I have a lot of failures for someone who supposedly wants to be a writer. One of them is, of course, the fact that I can’t be critical to save my life. Although literary theory wasn’t my strong point to begin with (meaning I can’t name salient points using the pertinent technique or school of thought), I just can’t find it in me to really let it rip into someone else’s ideas. It’s not that I’m too sensitive or too nice, as evidenced by my experience in the Evangelion fandom, but I simply seem to lack any kind of strong opinion. It’s no wonder that, whenever two extremely vocal and diametrically opposite sides erupted in an argument (and these weren’t adolescent-level flame wars either, but people arguing morality vs. utilitarianism in evaluating the motives of fictional characters), the only thing I could contribute is a mediating voice that, in hindsight, contributed absolutely nothing to the discussion.
I suppose there’s a reason why people don’t listen to whatever I say in the fora I frequent. Feh.
Another failing, which in some ways galls me even more than the first, is how it takes me forever to ‘digest’ the central idea of a work I’ve read. To give an example, I read the stories of my classmates about two days ago. I still haven’t fully pinpointed the salient points of the stories they submitted. And if I can’t do that, well, I can’t even comment properly on their work. Of course, this assumes that I even have something meaningful to contribute to their individual rewrites. Seriously, my comments seem terribly banal, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if they just brushed off whatever I submitted.
I’m definitely not cut out to be a critic.
Now with that aside, I can stop feeling sorry for myself for the day. On to other, much personal (but happier!) topics! Warning, fangirlish gushing to follow.
This week’s episode of Madoka Magica was certainly… something. As viewers, we once more got answers, though I get the impression that many of us aren’t happy with the implications they bring. We also get another demonstration of just how cynical the setting is: when ‘courage’ and ‘justice’ can’t fix things (as is the staple of the genre the show is nominally part of), then what other recourse is left for the poor souls left behind? It’s definitely getting bleaker and bleaker, and given who’s behind the script, it doesn’t look like there’s going to be any kind of light at the end of the tunnel.
This is one of those series that I fervently wish for some sort of happy ending for the cast, but ‘happiness’ can be such a fleeting term in the mind of Gen Urobuchi. I still remember Saya no Uta, and Fate/ZERO, and I’m already prepared to see a similar outcome for Madoka Magica.
Regardless of the outcome, I’ll be watching until the bitter end.