Sunday, March 6, 2011

U Mad-oka, Bro?

Seriously, though.  How Madoka became the most discussed show in the history of 2chan is beyond my comprehension.  That's not to say that it's bad or that I don't like it; I'm thoroughly enjoying every minute of this twisted, seizuriffic lark through the forest of isolated souls and shattered hopes.  I just cringe whenever I am reminded of the disproportionate exposure it's receiving or when someone hails it as mind-bendingly original or triumphantly deconstructive.

Yes, I expected the excitable flapping of jaws when the series first landed; how could one not when something both experimental (and thus volatile) and sensationalist hits the table?  However, anyone claiming the series to be a brilliant little sojourn into the creepy heart of the magical girl genre needs to realize that, beyond its stunning presentation, Madoka offers little else genuinely outstanding.  The writing is merely passable, the characters are solid, but not spectacular, the pacing is messy, and the plot borrows more from standard dark-fantasy fare than it may initially seem, as illustrated above.  I'd even go to far as to say that the series is quite dumb overall, as it is almost completely lacking in subtlety, which is potentially fatal when working with such a delicate subject matter.  But the fact that it's not as deep or wickedly ingenious as people claim does not dampen its overall quality.  Madoka is still the well-polished, surprisingly-poignant, and stirringly-psychological little experiment that anime is lacking nowadays.  I just would like the clamor to be brought down to appropriate levels, is all.

Oh, and aside from Claymore, Madoka has been taking an uncanny number of cues from Mai-Hime as well.  Though, hopefully it will not end in as ass-pullingly saccharine a manner.