Saturday, March 5, 2011

Drawing Parallels II : Puella Magi Madoka Magica

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I love it when I find two different things have some correlation with each other. Example of the week : the winter series Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and its references to various fields of my interest, particularly, equilibrium in a system, philosophy and literature.

--spoiler alert --

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Kyubey : The Mephistopheles of Puella Magi Madoka Magica

It is no coincidence that in Faust, Mephistopheles presents itself to the titular character Faust as a ‘small, cute animal’ , even though Mephistopheles is a demon in German folklore, or rather, a characterized version of the Devil himself.

Looks can be, and are very deceiving. Nowhere in the series preview hinted that when the series starts, you will hate and despise this cute furry little thing that grants any wishes possible to people who makes a contract with Kyubey to become a Puella Magi, i.e. a magical girl.

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Excerpts of lines from Goethe’s Faust. If you are interested, please watch the series from Episode 1 to current (9), and read this article about what has been found by Madoka fans about the relationship between Madoka and Faust. http://wiki.puella-magi.net/Speculah:Madoka_Magica_and_Faust

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Reminding me of my Chemistry test next week. The concepts is awfully similar, from the entropy thing to equilibrium and the Le Chatelier’s Principle. The system in an equilibrium behaves as to counter the external change introduced into the system. As in “when you wish for an amount of happiness, you will also create an equal amount of a curse, so that the total amount of happiness and despair in the universe stays constant.”  You get a scholarship in expense of someone’s hopes to further their studies. You smoke and damage your lungs while the nicotine provides pleasure and relaxation to your nervous system. The list goes on.

Another example : Many a time in our lives we lament that our life is too dull, and wishes for some spectacular ‘magic’ or ‘esper abilities’ to make life more interesting. That’s the reason that drives shonen manga, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, online games, fantasy novels and anime close to the hearts of ours. However, as the famous line in Spider-man goes : With great power comes great responsibility. It’s not everyone that can cope with that amount of work. That’s why 5% of the world’s population controls 90% of the world’s economy. Because the other 95% cannot cope with that kind of work, they prefer to live a simpler life, self sufficiency as the key for survival where all is well as long as there’s food on the table.

The final parallel I could think of is a Chinese proverb by Mencius,

Before you are about to be entrusted with an immense task, you are first to subject your determination to test, deprive yourself of pleasures, harden up to adverse conditions against your favour, and face up to multiple failures in your attempts in order to hone up your determination, skills and perseverance.

In the end,

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What’s your choice?

1 comment:

  1. Till today I still can't believe the way you write is so different from the way you talk -.- anyways the cat has a fat tail. I like. :D

    ReplyDelete