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 Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections

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PostSubject: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:34 am

I wanted to start a topic in which we can discuss every little matter of the show and generally all Madoka-related stuff. I want to focus on details and I'm going to start this discussion by analysing every transformation scene in the show/in movies. It is my goal, but I'm now focused on transformations in third movie - the Rebellion Story. I loved these transformation sequences and they were sooo full of seemingly revelant details~!

 
So, there is a video showing the sequence. 

Starting with Mami~She appears as the first for she is the leader of the quintet. Her silhouette is yellow and she is apparently ice-skating in this scene, accompanied with yellow decorative flowers - her main motif. She is dancing surrounded by plain, dark background. But then, the background becomes yellow and Mamis silhouette is black- maybe magical powers are enligthing her existence, but it seems Mami herself becomes stained with impure, dark force...Am I overinterpretating? Probably...And then there are three identical Mamis! What is this supposed to mean? And the background is a caleidoscope, without doubt. 



And then Mamis become white and the background is black with yellow flowery pattern and several teapots (Mami loves tea) decorated with brown lace and swan's silhouette within oval shape. Look, these swans have something around their necks!



Swans are symbols of grace and beauty but they are also strong and aggressive when protecting their babies.

Then the background becomes yellow with black and white flowers and Mamis are black again.



Then, there are only two Mamis and there are two muskeets and name "Mami" written with runes.

Quite plain, comparing to runes in Homura's sequence.
Then, there is only one Mami, her shillouette is black, but soon it's torn apart into flower petals (?) by the yellow sillhouette inside, and then the yellow sillhouette is torn apart in the same way by the "real" transformed Mami. The "true" Mami appears from under layers of false? Or something else?
Finally, Mami appears, surrounded by luminous flowers, and the background is well...some net? Like in fence...There are some unidentyfied flowers but also red tulips. Red tulips are symbol of ideal and beautiful love. There is a legend that red tulips grew from blood of some man who commited a suicide after his beloved woman was murdered. And what it has to do with Mami? o.O I dunno.


Then Kyouko~

She is holding her Soul Gem in her mouth~And the background is filled with regular round shapes.

Then she is dancing and suddenly she has multiple arms! (precisely 20)

What's the meaning of this? She looks like some hinduistic deity. But Kyouko was daughter of some clergyman or something. Why a hinduistic deity? She is dancing again (now she has only 2 arms), then there are 3 Kyoukos and then even 7 of them! 

She tears the background apart with her hands and then her eyes, with vertical pupils, like a cats...?
Everything is rough, like expressionist painting or like Japanese caligraphy. And then Kyouko's religious symbol appears in multuple copies.

Then finally, transformed Kyouko appears. The background is filled with flowers of many kinds. It's very decorative~

Sayaka is next and the background is black with many round, blue diamond-like gems. Gems are symbol of nobility and diamond symbolises purity and perseverance. Together, diamonds form wave-like shapes (water is Sayaka's main element). Sayaka is throwing her Soul Gem and the she catches it.
Multiple overlying sillhouettes of Sayaka are brakdancing. Some are in different shades of blue, some are dark and filled with colorful lights. Gems become multicolored and scattered.

Sayaka's Soul Gem is 'sent' to her Magical Girl form's hand. Notice: there is a Magical Girl Sayaka's sillhouette and 'civilian' Sayaka's multiple sillhouettes! And they are rainbow.

But deep blue Sayaka leaves her colorful copies behind and she crashes with her magical alter ego (deep blue Sayaka and turquoise Sayaka and Magical Girl Sayaka are involved in crash). And then they become like a splash of water...Sayaka is deintegrating!
 And then, Magical Girl Sayaka emerges from the splash. Transformed Sayaka is born from destruction of "normal" Sayaka~! 

Then a round stave with notes appear as well as Sayaka's name written in runes.

Then, transformed Sayaka somehow "draws" a star (cross?) shape with her hand~
Finally, she is standing among such stars (crosses?) and the background is...rough crystals (there were gems before)? Stones?



Then, Homura is dancing. There are two Homuras - white and purple (good Homura and evil Homura??) and then this appears:

The runes read: 'Zu meistern/Wir sind gelangweilt' It means 'To master/We are bored' in German. Who is 'we'? Who is bored? Clara Dolls? And what is this red stuff? Pasta? 

And she is dancing and then this:

The runes are: 'Lch töte mich'. There is a mistake - it should be 'Ich töte mich' and it means 'I kill myself'. Homura is indeed trying to kill herself in the movie. Are these Claras' heads?
 
And then she jumps and background is a film reel...with Homura's sillhouette in every frame. 

Then there is a night landscape (?) with street lamps or something...It's hard to see.

Then the landscape transforms into weird fluid-like sillhouette of Homura. And the real, transformed Homura emerges from this shadow...

She reaches her hand toward something (Madoka?) and stars (or snow petals) are there...And then there is her Soul Gem and then

The runes are 'Mie verherrlichen den todv'...It should be 'Mie verherrlichen den tod' - 'They glorify the death'. Who is glorifying? And is this blood?

And then there is transformed Homura surrounded by purple rectangles (together they form two circles or infinity sign...)and background is some clockwork.


And finally Madoka. She is carefully holding her Soul Gem; dancing; background is filled with flowers, four-leaves clovers (symbol of luck) and keys (what symbol is a key? Is something closed? Is something to be opened?) And there are multiple 'Madoka' words written in katakana (one of Japanese writing systems). Madoka's name is usually written in hiragana (some other system) and then, the font here resembles the font Clara Dolls' names were written in production notes...

Then, she puts the Soul Gem on her head (?) and there are 9 Madokas - like in Andy Warhol's portraits (?) 

And then there is a big keyhole in the background

And she is dancing and then she jumps and there are multiple simplified Madokas' sillhouettes on the film reel...
And then, transformed Madoka appears, and she breaks some glass with her hand. And she is looking through her fingers (literally).

Eye within a triangle - it's God's symbol. And finally, smiling transformed Madoka is standing there surrounded by pink hearts (obvious symbol of love) and the background is sky with a rainbow (6-colored like in gay pride flag or whatnot o.O) but rainbow is also a divine symbol of the promise beetwen God and the mankind...

That's enough for now...Does any of you have something else to add here? Please share it with us?

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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:32 pm

For some reason I prefer how the Transformers transform, but that is just my opinion. I thought the transformations in Madoka was pretty good.
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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:04 am

I have always loved "transformation sequences" in magical girls show's since early childhood. But scientists have discovered that boys are more into 'inanimate objects' (like cars or other machines - generally non-biological things so Transformers are also in this category) and girls are more into 'living beings' (like people or animals - thus also magical girls) so maybe that's the point. 

I've always wondered what it IS to transform like a magical girl does...Whether all these sparkles and dazzling ribbons are 'material objects' one can touch. And these sequences above...Even more wondering~How it feels when one divides into several copies of oneself or when one desintegrates into water o.O

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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:11 am

Hmmm... I'm usually not big on those transformaiton sequences except they show something surprising or sinister that goes against an already set mood or something like that. The original PMMM had very short transformations and so it felt more real to me. Just imagine, you have to fight, NOW, what will you do? Do a long, upbeat, sophisticated dance? Nope. And the show did justice here. Mami's transformation is a whole 9 seconds in ep2. Sayaka is just there to save Madoka from Elly, but later her transformation sequence is shown and it isn't much longer, like 10 seconds. Before the Walpurgis fight Homura changes to her magical uniform in 5(!) seconds. Much more 'utilitarian' than a typical magical girl transformation scene.

Then came Rebellion. And they have a whole team dance before the nightmare fight, more than 2.5 minutes long at that! Like a group of much more traditional magical girls! It's, together with the whole overly cute 'nightmare' thing and the entire setting that seems to have nothing to do with the original series and especially its end, to implant the feeling that something is really, really wrong. Things have drastically changed and nothing in ep12 can explain it. That, or a bone thrown for the fans before trolling them :D

But I can only call Homura's part a real foreshadowing. Those hidden messages probably never could catch anyone's attention in the theater but, they're there. They might be disturbing enough for your subconscious to amplify this 'something is wrong' feeling, I really don't know. But it was the same with the Faust quotes in the series' rune messages... they weren't even supposed to be read by the fans (but they did, of course :D) and being such a unique alphabet I wouldn't think anyone's subconscious can read them. But they are there, too.

This messaging and SHAFT visual language must be a witch thing, just like German. Magical girls are young witches (see Ma[hou shou]jo) and it must be already hidden inside their subconscious. Their potential just has to show, or something similar. They might even notice the signs and suspect something but probably don't dare to think further.

I really don't think that Madoka multiplies, it must be an illusion, just like Kyouko's many arms. The girls can have their mini labyrinths, don't they? :) I'm almost surprised that we couldn't see their potential familiars.

In Girls Of Science Era standard issue UN/VP helmets (usually worn by former magical girls) have HUDs with built-in witch rune / German translation among their many functions but the girls usually learn to read and understand them by themselves.

Potential familiars are there, too. In my head canon it's a solid fact. Especially Homura who has already been 'on the other side' shows signs. You can see... things... in Tomb Raider and the Angel Of Death too.

But watch canon, how Sayaka goes SHAFT on the train before killing (?) those guys (I support that she does, hell it would be kind of satisfying...), what is that if not her witch powers manifesting a bit too early?


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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:11 am

Latin and German are the languages that appear in the show very often. "Puella Magi" is Latin, songs from soundtrack have mostly Latin titles...And witches' names are usually German, as well as these runes here and there throughout the show and movies. 

I think that they WERE supposed to be read by the fandom. It was predictable that the fans would actually read them. The creators wouldn't waste their time and effort to make frames in vain, with no purpose.

And that German. Witch hunts and stakes and stuff...I'm not supposed to talk about religion here but the religious conflict in XVIth century was very intense in Germany and people of Protestantism (Protestantism was born in Germany if I recall correctly) were more likely to hunt 'witches' (while Catholics were more likely to hunt 'heretics'). Sound Horizon has one story about witches and stakes and whatsnots set in XVIth century Germany. And then there is Goethe and his Faust...The creators haven't chosen German without a reason. 

And Latin is believed to be the language of religion and magic.

I also wonder...'Incubator' has kinda obvious meaning as the being that 'incubates' the despair energy within magical girls...But does it have something to do with incubus???

I think that magical girls (not only PMMM but all other animes and shows) create their own mini-dimension when transforming and time-space is distorted there so the transformation lasts about half a minute from given magical girl's POV but, like, few seconds from everyone else's POV...

Just some random reflections and speculations.

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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:46 am

@SockPuppet wrote:
I think that they WERE supposed to be read by the fandom. It was predictable that the fans would actually read them. The creators wouldn't waste their time and effort to make frames in vain, with no purpose.

Yeah, bad wording on my side. They weren't supposed to find out so fast :)

Quote :
And that German. Witch hunts and stakes and stuff...I'm not supposed to talk about religion here but the religious conflict in XVIth century was very intense in Germany and people of Protestantism (Protestantism was born in Germany if I recall correctly) were more likely to hunt 'witches' (while Catholics were more likely to hunt 'heretics'). Sound Horizon has one story about witches and stakes and whatsnots set in XVIth century Germany. And then there is Goethe and his Faust...The creators haven't chosen German without a reason. 

My guess was that they chose Goethe's language because of the Faust motif of the story.
But witches vs heretics... I like them paired. The original PMMM is about witches and as a writer I always wanted to give sneak peeks through the curtain from new angles, and to make heretic associations. Yes, heresy is my way to look. Have some heresy:




Quote :
I also wonder...'Incubator' has kinda obvious meaning as the being that 'incubates' the despair energy within magical girls...But does it have something to do with incubus???

I don't think so. Even though they 'seduce' the girls to make contracts...

Quote :
I think that magical girls (not only PMMM but all other animes and shows) create their own mini-dimension when transforming and time-space is distorted there so the transformation lasts about half a minute from given magical girl's POV but, like, few seconds from everyone else's POV...

Then I'm completely lost. Who do they play those intricate choreographies for then? Themselves? Confused What a narcissistic bunch Big Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:34 am

@SockPuppet wrote:
But scientists have discovered that boys are more into 'inanimate objects' (like cars or other machines - generally non-biological things so Transformers are also in this category) and girls are more into 'living beings' (like people or animals - thus also magical girls) so maybe that's the point.

I was referring to how iconic the Transformers are. I mean it's just a classic and many people are aware of it.
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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:42 am

Sailor Moon (along with her many transformation), for example, is also iconic. But well 'Transformers' are called this way so 'transforming' is the main point of their existence. I'm not into machines though. I like sparkles and ribbons and stuff XD

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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:23 pm

@SockPuppet wrote:
I have always loved "transformation sequences" in magical girls show's since early childhood. But scientists have discovered that boys are more into 'inanimate objects' (like cars or other machines - generally non-biological things so Transformers are also in this category) and girls are more into 'living beings' (like people or animals - thus also magical girls) so maybe that's the point.

I'm fascinated and thrilled by (semi)organic machines like those in Half Life 2.

Where should I stand now? Happy Hop
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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:55 pm

I'm definitely into living beings...Not necessarily human beings~I appreciate especially handsome male non-human beings(◡‿◡✿) I've always wondering what am I doing in Madoka Magica fandom and how did it end up as my favorite anime XD Maybe it's calling my child-self that loved magical girls genre~

Machines usually aren't soft and warm.

Also I don't like 'traditional' witches. I generally don't like 'traditional' magic (I don't consider magic in PMMM 'real' witchcraft). I'm definitely witch/heretic hunter type. (And in that Sound Horizon's story the main 'witch' was also called a 'heretic'.)

And I loveeee writing (PMMM) runes with watercolors~They are beautiful.

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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:15 pm

@SockPuppet wrote:
But well 'Transformers' are called this way so 'transforming' is the main point of their existence. I'm not into machines though. I like sparkles and ribbons and stuff XD

I don't care who is transforming, I just like the sound. I mean Sailor Moon's transformation sequence would be 10 times better if it had the sound effect and is sort of as quick. I don't know, it's just me being weird.




Heck, it has been stylized throughout the years to this. Again, just my opinion and my being weird:

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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:40 am

Hmmm I prefer 'blik blik lalalala <cute pretty music>' kind of sound than 'pow! pow! crack crashh!@(#D)!0df238' kind. But I like music in oldschool mecha anime if we're talking about giant machines...I also focus on music, not sound effects. And this transformation scene in Rebellion has great music, I especially love Sayaka's theme (it's some different version of her main theme Decretum), I'm sad it's so short.

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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:05 am

@SockPuppet wrote:
...I'm sad it's so short.

I still think the scene is long and is long for a reason :) You might say that two and half minutes for a quintuple transformation is not long at all - but it is by Madoka Magica standards.

Though I agree that the nature of their magical looks need something. They can't just walk and wear school uniform in one frame and magical girl dress in the next one (=1/30 seconds later). Though they're practical fighters even Homura likes to be (overly Big Smile ) dramatic here and there - let alone Mami and her classy everything and tea ;)

But the relatively quick change of their attires in the series signs that they fight seriously and risk their lives not just dance around and win with the power of friendship or whatever that would be.

<TRAOD>And, if it's of any indication of their personalities, if Mami changes in 9 seconds and Homura 5 then I give Lara no more than three. Maybe two. Which is still longer than clicking another outfit by the campfire in the game Smile</TRAOD>
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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:46 am

Quote :
I still think the scene is long 

I was talking about the music. I'd just like this music to be longer, not the scene itself.

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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:55 am

@SockPuppet wrote:
I prefer 'blik blik lalalala <cute pretty music>' kind of sound than 'pow! pow! crack crashh!

I thought it was chu chu chu chu for the Transformers. Transformation sequences in magical girl series are okay, but I personally think that Madoka Magica makes it more stylized and unique.
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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:40 am

I think that nowadays transformations in magical girls anime are becoming less interesting than they were in older series'. Maybe anime creators try to focus on some other aspects than transformation scenes. The other side of the coin is that often those scenes are, like, naked? It's called fanservice, showing naked characters without really good reasoning...It's evil :/

And yes, I'm in love with old (70'-90') anime shows.

BTW, this is probably the first transformation scene in magical girls anime ever (from Mahoutsukai Sally). 

I'm not sure, but I think it might be inspired by that scene in Disney's Cinderella when that Fairy is creating a dress for Cinderella. 

Maybe this is the origin of the concept of "transformation".

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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:14 pm

Maybe it's even older.

Think along the lines I found about liches. This weekend I did a bit of research on them. PMMM girls qualify as liches, right? They have their souls hidden in an object to make their bodies replaceable or, at least, more durable.

First, I found references in 20th century fantasy and RPGs. But the word itself stems in Proto-Germanic, and there are other occurences in folklore, especially in Slavic mythology. These are much, much older than the well known fantasy stories that made them popular.

My favourite is the tale of Koschei the Deathless. It reminds me of some tales I heard when I was a child. In that story the phylactery of the lich is hidden in multiple layers of creatures and things (like a Russian doll) and ultimately it's in the form of a needle, inside an egg. Of course I found the egg important Nod

All in all, the transformation may be much older. Of course it is, wizards and witches did often change clothes or even shapes, but there may be examples of this specific type of transformation - from everyday clothes to a magical "combat uniform" imbued with some form of magic.

Anyway, it's a good find, Sock!
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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:40 pm

Liches...In Polish it's "Leszy", I suppose. Also, I have heard abou Kościej as well. I'm not much into Slavic mythology. There isn't much problem with neo-pagans here in Poland XD <I'm the pagan-hunter type> Also, there are liches in "the Witcher" books/games but I'm not into books <except picture books, I love pretty picture books> neither I am into games.

From what I know, Mahoutsukai Sally is claimed the first magical girls show in history...I have watched it as a kid! <Colored version, not B&W> Also, the first magical girls anime ('60-'70) portrayed girls who could transform into literally any person/living being, not speaking of magically changing their clothes (for example Himitsu no Akko-chan). They were using their powers in everyday life, not fighting evil. Then age-shifting magical girls appeared ('80). They transformed into older girls also, using their powers in everyday life. The first evil-fighting magical girl was Cutie Honey ('72 if I recall correctly); she could transform into any person, but she had also her special "combat uniform". Then, Sailor Moon ('92) had her "battle uniform", she also had the power to transform into anyone but she rarely used it. Then, today magical girls usually don't have the power to transform into anyone/age-shift...

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PostSubject: Re: Analysis, speculations, discussion, reflections   Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:53 pm

Sally the Witch is questionably one of the first magical girl anime so it make sense. Though the odd kicker is that the first magical girl is actually not from an anime, but rather an old sitcom called Bewitched. I heard that Sally the Witch was based on that sitcom and Japan seems to like that sitcom. That's what I found online.
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