My dissertation (fanboy rant) on Tomoe Mami   Leave a comment

Tomoe Mami

The one in the middle is the real hero… in my heart

Undeniably my favorite character from the recently finished Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Tomoe Mami is the facade of the Mahou Shoujo. She simply fights to rescue the lives of people from the threat of evil witches. But unlike any normal magical girl protagonist, her raison d’etre is fortified by the fact that she herself was saved by a miracle. Now using her newfound powers, she becomes the hero who saves.

I’m going to help you from now on, Madoka-chan

But was it Madoka who needed help in the first place?

Even if magical girls are obliged to fight witches to sustain their own soul, she doesn’t believe so. In exchange for her life as a normal girl, she continue to fight, while fully aware of the fact that she might lose her life again anytime. I consider that a bit reckless, but she already almost died once, as a human. She was only saved by a miracle, by making a contract to become a magical girl. She made the contract just to save herself. So now she does not live for herself alone. Even though she herself is lonely, trying to cope up with life all alone, after her tragic past. But just after she found new friends, new companions to fight along with, and a new reason to fight, we witnessed the tragic demise of her. Her fall was a major turning point in the show. Magical girls are supposed to be the hero. They should be the victor in the end. They should not die.

Her last words… Unlimited Gun Works

Musashi Gund-OH WAIT

To me, Mami represents the creative drive of the show, the theme of breaking the cliche of the magical girl genre. Magical girl shows are usually these black and white stories, good versus evil, and in the end good always triumphs over evil, without any consequences whatsoever. Also, her character has depth to it, and it’s not the type where the show just faceslaps character background in the show, so we can develop pathos to the character. You can see her personality from her actions within her run in the show. And even after her end, we were told the fact that Mami herself was oblivious to the real consequences of being a magical girl, that she didn’t know about the deeper relationship of magical girls and witches. And that goes back full circle to why she fights, she fights selflessly without concern for her own life.

The irony

Also I think Mami is an antithesis of the Mary Sue character. Usually in anime, the Mary Sue character is the most beautiful, most powerful and is the character without any flaws whatsoever. Mary Sues seem to know everything in the world, and she can stop anything that opposes her. In the first two episodes we see her incredible ability as a Magical Girl, and it is implied several times that she is the most beautiful of the girls. But given the fact that she had a tragic past, her powers are INDEED awesome, and yet she doesn’t get the whole attention of the show, barely clears her out as the Mary Sue character. Another testimonial of this is in the alternative world shown in episode 10, where Mami learns the truth, and haphazardly kills off Kyoko and Miki, just to keep them from their inevitable fate. Her reckless nature shows again in that situation, and it caused the end of her life in the hands of her own comrade, Madoka. Not only it made Mami more interesting, but it cemented my love for her and the show. I should really give credit to the writers for carefully putting her character in the show.

This gun will save you from yourself

The most badass image I can get of Mami

To end this seemingly pointless rant, I think that Mami is the reason why I liked Madoka Magica a lot. The first two episodes never really got into me, but from the third onwards I was very interested. It is not right to say that her death was not in vain, but I think that the meaning of her existence was fundamental in the show’s theme. Also I’m a sucker for twintails and gun wielding chicks. So that is why Mami is my favorite character in the show overall. Now may she rest in peace, along with fellow blonde snipers (if you catch my drift).

Posted April 28, 2011 by coral422 in Uncategorized

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