I finished watching Madoka Magica: You Can (Not) Advance last night. Then I read all the meta and reaction posts canis_m
linked, and all of the wiki, which inter alia demonstrates that one of the series' creative goals was to aid 4channers' battle against cognitive surplus (hard not to think of Jane McGonigal again). XD Not that multiple audiences and goals (more than one goal per audience segment!) are incompatible, or difficult for the series itself to juggle. The moe aspect passes me by, is all. I note it more as a visual language that attained standalone sophistication after
I stopped watching anime omnivorously, so in a minor way it's like the culture shock of when I came into contact with ONTD/TMZ/Perez in 2008, after ignoring anything to do with celebrities for the better part of a decade. The line I'll always remember from Pattern Recognition
has to do with the ability to unerringly parse fetish-foci without at all grokking the appeal XD although the character in question was thinking of baggy schoolgirl socks, this being the era of baggy schoolgirl socks, and I thought that was completely off-track.
Speaking of visual language, every aspect of this show is coded. And not in Utena's sometimes Lynchian-trolling way, but with purpose. By the by, apparently it is possible to watch Utena and be like, you know what, this is way too focussed on dudes and their feelings. Let's just not talk about male agency for a while, OK? OK.( Cut for mild spoilers, and not a lot of thinky thoughts )
In the meantime, I am 1/3 way through the Dunnett, progress marked by an increasingly edgy sense of deja vu until it came to me: THIS SHIZ READS LIKE MIRAGE OF BLAZE. Not the first two Dunnetts (although, gawd, entire arcs of Mirage turn on the reader not having any idea why Naoe or Kenshin are committing the actions you see them committing), and not the really ridiculous Naoe/Kagetora bits, but maybe 70% of the actual wordcount
of the Mirage of Blaze novels is just like this. The character types encountered, their motivations, their interactions and conflicts with yr protagonist, the no-win political and military SNAFUs. Even the narrative voice is similar, and the persistent feeling of not being able to pin motivations down properly, even when you seem to be told what those motivations are. Basically, you've got Christian knights in lieu of samurai, and the prose is much improved at the micro level.
So I will need to dash about in horror for a bit and get some fresh air, which I've been very short of this past week. XD;