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Being meguca is suffering
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File: 1488298174212.jpg (2.42 MB, 4640x2144, Wraith Arc Covers.jpg)

No. 13273

Okay anons, now that the dust has settled, I think we can say that Wraith Arc was a thing. Personally I gave it a 5/10 on my first read, but gave it a 7/10 after a re-read. I know some people are still sperging out about Wraith Arc and after checking some places out online, I'd like to ask a question.

Why are some fans confused that Homura is the main character of Wraith Arc? She's the focus on every cover. To me, much of the complaints that aren't on a technical level or about the perceived plot holes all seem to be aimed at the story not going like how they wish it would. It seems like a lot of the noise is "the characters don't act like I want them to" or "this isn't like the fan fiction I envisioned."

Pt. 1

No.13274

File: 1488298232799.png (147.53 KB, 640x451, Majestic!.png)

>>13273

One common thing I've seen is Mami and Kyouko not getting enough panel time or development. Well, I'd say this: this shouldn't be a surprise. Mami got her development in TDS and is a relatively minor character in the series. She's more plot device than character and because those aspects of the plot (Madoka making a wish or Homura searching for the witch) are absent, she has very little purpose. Kyouko's story and her crowning moments were concluded in the series. Homura on the other hand had all sorts of things going on in Rebellion that were brought up. Ai yo, losing her memories, why she even remembers anything, what was her wish in Madoverse and of course, central to the world building, what Wraiths even are. It was logical that Homura was going to be the MC. It was obvious that when it was mentioned Wraiths were targeted at emotion that Madoka was going to have a role to play, and this manifested in the form of Majuuka. You don't have to like it and you can hate it for not being good, but I've seen too many people on Facebook and Tumblr shitting on it because it wasn't what they wanted it to be.

Wraith Arc being convoluted is a valid criticism. Wraith Arc suffering from technical writing issues is a valid criticism. Wraith Arc not conforming to your head canon or plot for a fan fiction is not valid criticism.

No.13275

>>13273
The premise that all of this was caused by Gretchen somehow manifesting inside Homura's shield doesn't make an iota of sense. Wraiths acquiring time manipulation opens up a huge plot hole: why didn't they exploit the ability to time loop in order to maintain their goals? How did the Wraiths gain Kyoko, Sayaka, and Mami's powers by stealing Homura's magic? Moreover, how did they appear as Mami's parents when Homura has no idea what they even look like? Speaking of Mami, she is uncharacteristically nonchalant about Sayaka's death. Reset ending rendered the whole thing pointless (which may well have been a good thing considering how much of a trainwreck it was). And finally, the idea that magical girls could not be saved if they were eaten by wraiths renders Madoka's wish utterly pointless and turns Homura from morally questionable to unambiguously justified in usurping Madoka.

No.13276

>>13275
The post was about a semi-common complaint that the characters didn't get the screen time they wished for, not the writing.

>The premise that all of this was caused by Gretchen somehow manifesting inside Homura's shield doesn't make an iota of sense

Kyubey makes a comment about Homura's peculiar, dangerous level of curses and Majuuka made a similar one about being unable to consume Homura's emotional energy. The fact Homura's sheild, a memory of the old world that Madoka destroyed, still exists within her wish means that Gretchen would still exist as an extension of Madoka. It's logical, but not well written.

>Wraiths acquiring time manipulation opens up a huge plot hole: why didn't they exploit the ability to time loop in order to maintain their goals?


That never happened. That was just some dude on Twitter who gave a shitty summary. At best they could freeze time, but were never able to reset it.

>How did the Wraiths gain Kyoko, Sayaka, and Mami's powers by stealing Homura's magic?


Homura's seen their abilities, hasn't she? There effectively just mimics.

>Moreover, how did they appear as Mami's parents when Homura has no idea what they even look like?


It's never clarified if this is an innate ability of Wraiths. It's clear they can exploit emotions, but it's not clear what is "mutant" about the mutant Wraiths. They seem to have this ability in the concept movie, so we'll have to see. There's also the issue of translation.

>Speaking of Mami, she is uncharacteristically nonchalant about Sayaka's death


She was nonchalant in the series too.

No.13277

>>13276
>Reset ending rendered the whole thing pointless
You could say the same about TDS. Everything ends on a reset. The difference was Kyubey remembered everything.

>And finally, the idea that magical girls could not be saved if they were eaten by wraiths renders Madoka's wish utterly pointless and turns Homura from morally questionable to unambiguously justified in usurping Madoka.


Homura's world was always better. It just came at a steep cost.

No.13278

>>13276
>The fact Homura's sheild, a memory of the old world
The idea that memory equals equivalent power is incongruous. By stealing the magical power of Homura, they are able to manifest the powers of Mami, Sayaka, Kyoko, Homura, (magical girl) Madoka, and Gretchen, because Homura's soul contained memories of these entities. Logically, that would mean Homura would be able to manifest all of the above before her magic was stolen simply by virtue of having memories of all these, which is clearly not the case.

> At best they could freeze time, but were never able to reset it

Unreasonable, especially since thew two are linked. They stole from Homura, Mami's powers, Sayaka's powers, Kyoko's powers, Madoka's powers, Gretchen's power, and time stop, but conveniently not time reversal?

>it's not clear what is "mutant" about the mutant Wraiths

It's seemingly clear: Homura's memories are apparently so powerful/paradoxical that the wraiths, upon stealing Homura's power, are able to physically manifest those memories. The problem is that even if you accept this, Homura never had memories of Mami's parents.

>She was nonchalant in the series too

She had, what, 2 lines in episode 12? In contrast, she constantly recurred in WA, which would offer at least some room for consistent characterization, which the manga fails to deliver.

No.13279

>>13277
>TDS
Explores a timeframe unaffected by the resets (Mami and Kyoko's shared history), and provides context and characterization that supplements the anime. The only real takeaway from WA is "Madoka is a fuckup, Homura really did do nothing wrong."

>Kyubey remembered everything

Which is contrary to his statements in Rebellion.

>Homura's world was always better

This is debatable given the open-ended context of Rebellion's ending. The argument could go either way. WA demonstrates that Madoka's wish was a colossal failure and Homura was justified in cleaning up Madoka's mess, which is thematically contradictory to both the TV series and Rebellion.

No.13280

I liked the beggining. First Homura's appearence, her powers like rain of crows and memory manipulation fit Rebellion very well. But total mess has started after wraith stole her power. This simply shouldn't happen.

No.13281

>>13278
>The idea that memory equals equivalent power is incongruous.
Let me rephrase that: a relic of the old world. It was literally her wish. They made clear that Homura's previous wish is what caused the issues and tied her to the old world. The old world where Gretchen and other witches existed. I don't know why this is a point of contention. Chapter 8 and 9 explained it: there were two wishes existing within Homura. The wish that caused the trouble was the one left over from the old universe. It was also, as stated, the one she believed tied her to Madoka.

>Unreasonable, especially since thew two are linked. They stole from Homura, Mami's powers, Sayaka's powers, Kyoko's powers, Madoka's powers, Gretchen's power, and time stop, but conveniently not time reversal?

Let me ask: how would resetting time benefit the Wraiths if the goal of Wraithpurgisnacht was to eliminate all life?

>It's seemingly clear: Homura's memories are apparently so powerful/paradoxical that the wraiths, upon stealing Homura's power, are able to physically manifest those memories.


>The problem is that even if you accept this, Homura never had memories of Mami's parents.

Easy explanation: Homura doesn't know what they look like, but she knows they exist and what they meant to Mami. Mami knows what they look like and filled in the blanks herself. From that point, they just played off of Mami's emotions the same way the Sayaka Wraith did.

No.13282

>>13281
>She had, what, 2 lines in episode 12? In contrast, she constantly recurred in WA, which would offer at least some room for consistent characterization, which the manga fails to deliver.

Because Mami doesn't see it as a bad thing. Sayaka died and now resides in the Law of Cycles. She knows everything leads to death in exchange for wishes. Mami never curses the system she's working in. She accepts it and treats it as the status quo meant to be maintained.

>>13279
>The only real takeaway from WA is "Madoka is a fuckup, Homura really did do nothing wrong."
Not defending it because it's true.

>Which is contrary to his statements in Rebellion.

Not at all. He specifically stated he wouldn't bother with the experiment if it was just curiosity guiding him. Nothing beyond the ramblings of a crazed fundamentalist.

>This is debatable given the open-ended context of Rebellion's ending. The argument could go either way.

If you cared about the livelihood of the cast and their happiness, then Rebellion's world is significantly better. If you care about the abstract metaphysical existence of magical girls, an inherent exploitative system in itself, they it was questionable due to the lack of clarification on the state of the Law of Cycles. If you care about the relationship between Madoka and Homura, then Homuverse is terrible.

>WA demonstrates that Madoka's wish was a colossal failure and Homura was justified in cleaning up Madoka's mess, which is thematically contradictory to both the TV series and Rebellion.


Consider this: neither Madoka or Homura's actions were enough. Kyubey managed an incredibly flawed universe. Madoka improved a previously flawed universe. Homura improved on the remaining flaws of that universe. Her universe is still flawed.

No.13283

>>13278
>>13279
And I don;t want you to think I'm defending this like a 10/10 work. Like I said, this is at BEST a 7/10. I just suggest re-reading instead of doing the 2-4 month a chapter schedule we were all reading this on. A lot of the major "plot holes" are filled, despite there still being plenty of other issues.

No.13284

>>13281
>It was literally her wish
That still doesn't make sense. Why would her wish contain Gretchen? Gretchen isn't a product of her wish, it's a product of Madoka's wish. Homura's hypothesis is that if Gretchen exists within the shield, then Madoka may as well, but this appears not to be the case; if there was an existence of Madoka within the shield, then Gretchen would have been destroyed.

>how would resetting time benefit the Wraiths

Escaping Homura, and theoretically, having the ability to attack Homura again for even more power.

>From that point, they just played off of Mami's emotions

They should have not been able to do this unless they had overwhelmed Mami and began consuming her emotions, in which case, deceiving her would be pointless since they already won.

No.13285

>>13282
>She accepts it and treats it as the status quo
Sure, but that completely ignores the guilt she feels for not having saved her parents, which should lead to the impression of failed responsibility when it comes to Sayaka dying on her watch, similar to that sense of failed responsibility she had for Kyoko in the old universe. And there's the specific trait that Mami puts on a brave front despite having the most fragile heart– I'm not saying she should give up and have a breakdown, but there should be a profound sense of self-blame and angst, which WA fails to convey.

>he wouldn't bother with the experiment if it was just curiosity guiding him

It wasn't mere curiosity, it was the realization that the witch world was more efficient for energy collection, which provided the justification for experimenting on the Law of Cycles.

>neither Madoka or Homura's actions were enough

Of course.
>Kyubey managed an incredibly flawed universe
Yes.
>Madoka improved a previously flawed universe
According to WA, she averted apocalypse only to cause a secondary one which Homura has to fix; she also fails to save magical girls as the Law of Cycles cannot save magical girls who are lobotomized by wraiths. It overrides the improvement implied by the anime ending.
>Homura improved on the remaining flaws of that universe
Based on Rebellion, the Madoverse is better from an ideological perspective, and the Homuverse better from a pragmatic one (I'm simplifying here), but WA completely destroys any room for debate by portraying the Madoverse as explicitly worse.
>Like I said, this is at BEST a 7/10
As a standalone, maybe. In the context of the rest of the franchise, it's rife with contradiction and is crap.

No.13286

>>13284
>That still doesn't make sense. Why would her wish contain Gretchen?
Threads of destiny that tied her to Madoka and made it possible tocreate Gretchen.
>Escaping Homura
She wasn't a threat until she gained her pseudo-god power. Even then, it required Madoka to cleanse the earth.
>Mami
They did it to Hitomi and Kyouko and referenced things Homura herself wouldnt know. The Wraiths can read emotions regardless of memory.
>>13285
>Guilt
Chapter 4 or 5 says she's over it. The world is kinder to Mami and she doesnt spend her time feeling guilty about her parents.
>Kyubey
And he needed proof. He stated it was an interesting theory, but just a delusion without evidence.
>Madoka fails
This is was made post-Rebellion with the new project in mind and honestly I think they made this to show the people who weren't able to see that Madoka's world wasn't perfect and Homura's intentions were good even if she damned herself. I never thought a follow up was going to do much more than save Homura from herself, regardless of the outcome.
>In the context of the series
It explained ai yo. That's pretty big. It explained what wraiths are and what they do. Im not going to defend every aspect, but I'm glad it was a thing.

No.13287

>>13286
>Threads of destiny that tied her to Madoka and made it possible tocreate Gretchen
Even if the possibility exists, there is a lack of impetus. Such a thing shouldn't "just happen" simply because it is theoretically possible. There's also another problem with this explanation: that wraiths are able to manifest the other magical girls' powers. Homura does not have the link to them in the same way as Madoka, so it's unreasonable that her memories of Sayaka, Mami, and Kyoko generate the same profound anomalies.
>She wasn't a threat
That's still not an explanation for why they did not steal that power from her in the first place. It's not reasonable to simply pass up the opportunity to claim it.
>referenced things Homura herself wouldnt know
Not necessarily. Homura could have known.
>The world is kinder to Mami and she doesnt spend her time feeling guilty about her parents
There's a difference between absolving guilt, accepting it, and wallowing in it. In WA, in both the cases of her parents' and Sayaka's death, her guilt is portrayed as absolved, whereas it should have been accepted.
>And he needed proof
Which is what an experiment is for. In the Incubators' mind, Homura's explanation of the Law of Cycles is not a justification to conduct an experiment, because there's no practical benefit. "More energy" is a practical benefit, justifying the experiment.
>I think they made this to show the people who weren't able to see that Madoka's world wasn't perfect and Homura's intentions were good
They run something in a niche magazine which even many core fans ignore, in the process violating the moral themes of the established canon, targeted towards a group of people for whom the series is 2deep4u or no longer interesting. Really?

No.13288

>>13286
>It explained ai yo
Was sufficiently understood in the TV series and Rebellion. Madoka was uniquely and mutually connected to Homura as shown by the ribbon, the bow, the pink spool of thread, her original wish, and her remembrance of Madoka, so that Homura was able to exert influence over Madoka's power.
>It explained what wraiths
A welcome explanation, but not technically necessary.
>glad it was a thing
I don't see why it's something to be glad about when it turns the bittersweet TV ending into a farcical irony and Homura's amorality into righteousness. These are deeply integral thematic aspects that are completely discarded.

No.13289

>>13287
>There's also another problem with this explanation: that wraiths are able to manifest the other magical girls' powers. Homura does not have the link to them in the same way as Madoka, so it's unreasonable that her memories of Sayaka, Mami, and Kyoko generate the same profound anomalies.
You see it as a complexg problem despite the answer being simple: they mimic the technique of the girls they copied. Why can you accept something as complex as the isolation field but can't accept the idea of mimicry? KyouWraith didn't use Rossa Phantasma, which jives with that explanation.
>Homura's sheild
In theory it's possible they couldn't because it would return to the original user. Resetting time would cancel their stealing of the sheild. Homura mentions that in chapter 9.
>Experiment
Well, apparently Quartet didn't think so.
>Kirara
You don't think there are actual fans split on Homura?
>>13288
>Ai yo
That didn't explain why Homura was her own familiar. This did.
>Homura's amorality into righteoussness
>Rebellion is Nietzche: the Anime
Who do you think wrote this? Urobuchi loves that kind of character.

No.13290

>>13289
>they mimic the technique of the girls they copied
The problem is that they got the powers from Homura, who doesn't have said powers. If wraiths stealing powers from magical girls was an established ability, then it would be logical, but it's a unique mutation caused by Homura.
> it would return to the original user
The shield affects everything but what it contacts.
>Homura mentions that in chapter 9
Because Homura would be doing the resetting, not the wraiths.
>actual fans split on Homura
Homura's actions being right or wrong was a point of legitimate debate amongst fans. Homura being evil is espoused only by idiots.
>familiar
A familiar is a projection of a former magical girl's subconscious, in other words, it is fundamentally some aspect of the soul. Homura being herself doesn't need any explanation.
>Who do you think wrote this?
Hanokage.
>Nietzsche
Rebellion was because Homura was asserting her own will amorally. WA turns it into a morally justified decision, making it less Nietzsche.

No.13291

>>13288
>I don't see why it's something to be glad about when it turns the bittersweet TV ending into a farcical irony and Homura's amorality into righteousness. These are deeply integral thematic aspects that are completely discarded.

This is my biggest problem with WA aside from the plot. It tramples over Rebellion's themes and its own grey ending that was supposed to make you question the morality of it instead of simply saying Homura was justified.

No.13292

>>13291
So the world with wraiths isn't qualitatively better than the world with witches? (I haven't read the Wraith Arc since I prefer to buy licensed translations.)

I don't think that makes Homura heroic at all. It only shows that Sayaka's statement about hope and despairing balancing out is a law that even Madoka cannot change. This is a bad thing for Homura's utopia: she used Kyubey as a toilet for all of humanity's collective suffering past and future, and at some point he'll probably explode into a despair god or something. Humans must produce some magic on their own if Kyubey was able to detect it, so multiply that by exty million years…

No.13293

>>13292
>So the world with wraiths isn't qualitatively better than the world with witches
According to Wraith Arc, no.
>I don't think that makes Homura heroic at all
How is fixing Madoka's failures unheroic?
>is a law that even Madoka cannot change
Which goes against the TV series where Madoka resolved to and did break that law.
>he'll probably explode into a despair god or something
Love is greater than hope or despair, though.
>exty million years
Certainly an improvement over all life on Earth being wiped out in year 20XX.

No.13294

I was expecting this to fill the gap between the original series and Rebellion but instead all it gave me was a random alt timeline story that's effectively retconned by itself.

No.13295

>>13292
>>So the world with wraiths isn't qualitatively better than the world with witches?

No, that's one of the key points of the whole show. Despite Madoka's sacrifice things are largely unchanged. Hence the "endless cycle of suffering" that keeps being mentioned. Even the words "wraith" and "witch" are deliberately very similar (especially in Japanese).

No.13296

>>13293
Gen states that Madoka didnt break the rules of the universe, she effectively rewritt and worked with the laws of the Universe as she became all knowing upon her ascension.

That's why;

- Kyuubey is still on earth collecting energy

-Why Wraiths dont kill gruesomely

-Why megucas get taken to heaven

Why all the things that were necessary remained the same. Taking light and darkness and balancing them.

Lots of fans seem to have this mentality where because bad things are still happening/ kyuubey is still existing is Madoka's "flaw" or "fuck up" or that "Madoka was wrong because megucas are still suffering"

Without darkness there cannot be light
Without saddness there cannot be happiness
To not know hope is to despair
To not know dispair there is no hope.

Madoka's last two episodes encompasses this important balance of this duality perfectly. Because the universe opperates on its own laws reguardless if your personal feelings. Failure to comply with the universe means the end of everything.

No.13297

>>13295
>>13296
It's a matter of degree. With the TV ending, Madoka's wish is portrayed as having small, but significant change. There's plenty of suffering and tragedy to go around, but, thanks to Madoka's sacrifice, it's just a little bit better. Wraith Arc defies that by downplaying her changes to the point of insignificance, to the point that Madoka can't even do anything about it; it's all up to Homura, meaning that her wish was in vain.

No.13299

>>13293
>Certainly an improvement over all life on Earth being wiped out in year 20XX.
Which Homura into the here and now. Kyubey may become a sympathetic villain who wants to end everything because being Kyubey is suffering.

>>13296
That's an incredibly warped moral. It's just trying to justify our current inability to stop evil by saying evil is necessary. You might as well say evil is good and start a planetary holocaust to teach everyone Calvinism ("you must submit to supreme suffering to discover the completion of joy").

No.13300

>>13299
>>…..by saying evil is necessary.

More like "cannot be gotten rid of"

No.13301

>>13297
>> but, thanks to Madoka's sacrifice, it's just a little bit better. Wraith Arc defies that by downplaying her changes to the point of insignificance

I'm not sure I see the difference between those two. I'll agree that post-Madokami things are indeed "a little bit better" since the girls don't suffer as witches and go straight to "heaven" instead. But isn't that insignificant in the whole scheme of things, especially since we now have wraiths in the world, the Incubators are still at it, etc?

No.13302

>>13301
Here are the two main points of difference between the TV series ending and WA:
The souls of all magical girls are saved when they die vs. about 50/50 whether or not your soul is saved; you might get eaten by a wraith and turn into a lobotomized vegetable and Madoka can't do anything about it.
Gretchen isn't threatening to end the world anymore, since Madoka destroyed it vs. oops Gretchen was magically in Homura's shield and the wraiths took her power and mutated into a new witch that is going to destroy the world, and Madoka can't do anything about it.

No.13303

>>13302

Yeah, I can see that the WA situation is clearly worse than pre-WA.

My point was that even at the end of the TV (without even considering WA), I still see Makoka's sacrifice as insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and IMHO that was a fundamental point of the TV series.

No.13304

>>13303
Not really. That magical girls don't become witches is significant. This means they don't curse the world in a manner that undoes the hope created by their wish. Wraiths are implied to be less destructive.

No.13305

>>13304
Not only that, but Kyubey needs the girls to live as long as possible in order to harvest their grief. As a result he doesn't omit key facts because he doesn't want them to die in the first place. Now his relationship with them is more like bees pollinating flowers rather than a farmer farming cattle.

The problem is that he is still amoral. Worse, it turns emotions were too dangerous to harness anyway. On the bright side, he did become a toilet for all the despair in the universe so that everyone else could know everlasting hope.

No.13306

>>13305
> The problem is that he is still amoral. Worse, it turns emotions were too dangerous to harness anyway.

That has always been Kyuubey's thing since the series first started. As much as we ascribe it to being an amoral being it really isn't that at all. It's complete emotional detachment, Kyuubey is emotionless on a level that I have not seen in other media… and the drive in with it goes about it's business is the definition of ruthlessness.

It's arguable if he has any type of ego since there isn't any emotion to be found in the character to start with. Kyuubey begins and end were it started, simply harvesting what it needs to keep the universe running and not much else. If the situation changed… Kyuubey would not. If their was another way to get what it needs, Kyuubey would look into it… morals don't play into anything that it does.

No.13307

>>13305
Having kyuubey become the toilet for despair doesnt fix the problem.
Giving everyone rise colored glasses doesnt fix the problem.

Balance has been disrupted and now things will lead to only destruction unless they are set right.

No.13308

>>13306
That is amorality. I think you're confusing amorality with immorality.

>>13307
>Having kyuubey become the toilet for despair doesnt fix the problem
Sure it does. This way, humans don't suffer as much, and the Incubators get their karmic comeuppance.
>Giving everyone rise colored glasses doesnt fix the problem
It prevents them from creating more problems.

No.13310

>>13307
But Wraiths, meguca, and the LoC still exist. The whole Kyubey thing is fan fiction. Even Shinbo said Kyubey just got the shit beat out of him.

>Balance has been disrupted

Actually balance was restored. God was balanced out by the devil.

No.13311

>>13310
cont.

They're literally yin and yang. Homura's wish gave birth to Madokami (light), Madoka's wish gave birth to Homucifer (dark). The only thing left is for them to become one being and literally yinyang or kill each other.

No.13315

>>13311
Well, -a- balance was restored. Doesn't seem to be a particularly stable one. The state of the world at the end of rebellion (familiars playing on the streets, half the moon missing, an active and grumpy demiurge) makes it seem like an arrangement without a future, with Madoka 'waking up' being a very likely outcome.



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