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 Is PMMM Deconstructive?

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Mew Ami
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PostSubject: Is PMMM Deconstructive?   Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:38 pm

Did this series really change the magical girl genre? I want to understand the hype of this show. I liked watched half of the first episode and couldn't get into it so I stopped...





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PostSubject: Re: Is PMMM Deconstructive?   Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:06 am

The term Deconstruction in itself is a nightmare to work with. 

It's a word that in itself is too deep for most people. Some people summarize it in various ways.

1 ) MAKE A WORK DARKER AND EDGIER.

2 ) Question the logical flaws that something could only get away with because it's fiction.

3 ) Twist the work into the opposite of what one expects.

And when the opposite of what one expects a magical girl show to be is grimdark and death, of course people think Madoka is a deconstruction.

I personally think that a deconstruction is the second one, that it plays the concept true to life and questions the flawed idea of it. A good example would be anyone who has seen Ducktales.



He can dive into his giant vault full of billions of metal coins all lying on top of each other and swim through it like water because it's fiction. Anyone who tried that in real life would end up horribly injured or dead.

Now the big question is, does Madoka Magica play the genre true to life? The question itself is difficult when you're dealing with a concept as out there as magic. 

On the one hand I can understand the part about the trauma and danger being more realistic. But really that's only because this was an adult show that was willing to show something like that. 

And for adult men too, not the young girls who are supposed to be inspired and empowered by a show like that. I feels to me like you CANNOT deconstruct a show when you take it outside of its intended demographic. It's like... Let's deconstruct Blue's Clues. Okay so Blue can't really talk and the voices of the kids aren't really there. Steve is on drugs and he's wandering around his house, hallucinating. And Blue was dead all along. It just... doesn't work.

A better example would be Digimon Tamers as a deconstruction. It answers the questions of how people would react to having these strange monsters breaking into the real world and how they came to be. It makes things like the creation of the Digimon and their powers more scientific and realistic than simply "This is another world where the Digimon are living things and if you believe strongly enough magic can happen."

On the other hand, I fail to see how a Soul Gem being the user's soul or the mascot being a nefarious alien is any more true to life than being the reincarnation of the moon princess with a talking cat guardian. It always bugs me when people say that Madoka deconstructed the transformation item and the mentor mascot. If you mean it made them twisted and edgy then yes it did.

And I don't think Sayaka's downfall in any way deconstructs hero archetypes. The only reason that didn't work is because Sayaka is a highly flawed character in a world that's inordinately stacked against her.
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PostSubject: Re: Is PMMM Deconstructive?   Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:52 am

Looking at the online Merriam-Webster dictionary a Deconstruction is defined as:

1 - a theory used in the study of literature or philosophy which says that a piece of writing does not have just one meaning and that the meaning depends on the reader


2- a philosophical or critical method which asserts that meanings, metaphysical constructs, and hierarchical oppositions (as between key terms in a philosophical or literary work) are always rendered unstable by their dependence on ultimately arbitrary signifiers

 TLDR - "Lemee tell you why this is silly"


Using simply those definitions I think PMMM is a deconstruction. Madoka Magica can have multiple interpretations & it unashamedly takes classic magical girl ideals and punches them in the face.
Whether or not you agree with it's methods is the debate really.

I mean, here we are 3 years later from the original airdate still talking about it. As an artist, I would be quite pleased if 3 years and beyond people were still constantly and actively debating about something I worked on in a civil manner. 

----
If we're talking about demographic, I think at this point having magical girls as strictly a young female demo. is a pretty conservative thought. It's broken out of that mold now and is a fully evolved genre with its own expectations from every age group. It's even in the fine art world now thanks to Takashi Murakami. How many shows do you see that are similar to Sally & Akko-chan now? Those old tropes are pretty forgotten in today's world. (I know its sad, but..)

Older Male aimed Magical girl shows have been around since the 80s and 90s, the flavor may be different, but most of them use the same tropes as their younger counterparts.

alot of them are active parodies (Papillon Rose, Magical Witch Punie-chan)
but others are quite sincere in reinforcing the MG rules (Magic Users Club, Magical Lyrical Nanoha)

I think alot of people have this weird perception of what the "older male demoraphic" magical girl show is like. (even as I say it, your picturing girls in skimpy clothes aren't you?) Yeah. there are alot of creepy ones like Moetan & Magical Canan, way more than there need to be. Then I watch a sweet little show like "Inari Kon Kon, Koi Iroha" which is basically "Hime-chan's Ribbon" mixed with Japanese mythology. And I was a little taken aback when I found out it ran in a Male magazine. It has shoujo tropes all the way down to to its core.

Umi Monogatari, Someday's Dreamer, Telepathy Shoujo Ran. these are some gentle shows you guys, and they all originally ran in Shonen & Seinen magazines. 

On the flip side, alot of adults have an inaccurate perception of magical girls too begin with. Alot of people remember Sailor Moon. But how many remember that sailor moon sacrificed herself multiple times to save her friends?
 
but back to PMMM. To me, I think it's a deconstruction on an average episode of a magical girl show where the answer is easily found and life goes on as usual.

If we just look at Madoka and her arc, it says to me that you can't trust the easy answers. You CAN triumph over evil, but probably not the way you were imagining.  

And don't make friends with the sad moe transfer student. XD
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PostSubject: Re: Is PMMM Deconstructive?   Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:47 pm

Ehh??

I really don't see it. Even though I have only seen half of episode I have pretty much seen a lot the series through tumblr. A person I follow blogs it from time to time. 

From what I got those posts that being a magical girl is bad. But you know what? I see that from the other shows in that genre. Sailor Moon is a good example. The girls are giving up their average life to put their life endanger to ensure the people of Earth are safe. 

Does that make sense?

I just don't feel like PMM isn't all what it's crack up to be.





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PostSubject: Re: Is PMMM Deconstructive?   Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:03 am

I don't think of Madoka as deconstruction at all. It doesn't rip apart the genre or make criticisms of Precure and the like. It just takes the basic setup of magical girls usually reserved for kid's shows and then just does its own thing from there.

More to the point I'd seen all of Madoka before I'd seen a single episode of Precure or Cardcaptor Sakura. Not only did seeing Madoka beforehand have absolutely zero effect on my viewing experience of either show, but watching both shows did absolutely nothing to effect my appreciation for Madoka. 

In fact, it's probably best that you don't make any comparisons between Madoka and traditional magical girl anime. Both sides have plenty of their own merits and pretty much all of them deserve to be discussed in much greater detail than this 'deconstruction' nonsense.
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PostSubject: Re: Is PMMM Deconstructive?   Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:46 pm

Aaaaaaaaaaaand the verdict is in! 

Source

Q: Madoka Magica has lots of elements of other Magical Girl series. Which ones influenced you? 


Urobuchi wrote:
Our intention was not to make reference to any show in particular, but since Shinbo directed, the obvious influence was Lyrical Nanoha. But Iwakami hired me after seeing Fate/stay night, so instead I watched Portrait of Petite Cosette for my inspiration.

You can't make a deconstruction of something you didn't watch.

And just for added measure, the following from this source

Q: From the story until now, I had an impression that all the staff are creating this work with their own colour and individuality. Here I want to ask, before you two got involved with this work, what was your stereotypes on Mahou Shoujo?

Urobuchi: In my case, the first mahou shoujo I saw when I was a child was "Magical Girl Shelley" Thus, "fighting after the transformation" type of mahou shoujo after "Sailer Moon" was a bit unexpected, and after that, I have been watching it thinking that 'girls must be hard'...
Aoki: I didn't watch any mahou shoujo when I was a child. In my home, my brother took control over TV-channels, so all the animes I've watched during that time was male-oriented. (laugh) In opposite, basing my knowledge with recent works such as "Negima", I was trying to continue to think what direction should I take from there. Actual design was more based on 'fighting mahou shoujo' than fairy tales like Urobuchi-san said.

Q: Does that mean that you two didn't think much on what kind of target audience you want to base on as a genre of 'mahou shoujo'?

Urobuchi: Well, since it is late-night animation, we never thought of the target audience. If it was more about selling toys and stuffs, we already had the final meeting on weapon which will be first to be worked on. In case of props design, it was being planned right until the deadline, which is simply not acceptable if it was project that focuses on merchandise.

Aoki: Indeed. Rather than targeting something, I was more aware of not changing it a lot from the start. If I try to make design fit with Urobuchi's script, the key point of this entire project might have been ruined. What we first asked was that it will be much enjoyable to work individually with individuality, so I worked thinking 'let's do it Aoki-like.'

Urobuchi: Shinbo also said that we shouldn't think a lot of target, but just make something fun. How unrestricted it is!...(laugh)
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PostSubject: Re: Is PMMM Deconstructive?   Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:50 pm

The more I look at the more I'm like eh???

I hate it when everyone is like it's so edgy and dark!! I'm like a lot magical girl shows have dark elements in it. In the Sailor Moon manga people's faces got melted off!!





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