Break the World’s Shell! Anime Apocalypses as Personal and Social Revolution

Recording of a panel I gave at Anime USA 2014.

Reminder that Patreon backers can see these videos (including Korra, my panel on anime and the apocalypse, and now Steven Universe) AND Near-Apocalypse articles early!

Those of you who follow on Tumblr, for whatever reason the videos don’t play there. Click through to to watch.

2 thoughts on “Break the World’s Shell! Anime Apocalypses as Personal and Social Revolution

  1. I finally get to see this!

    The one thing I have to say is that your characterization of Madoka Magica is significantly incomplete. In Madoka Magica, which follows Sailor Moon very closely, all magical girls embody both the Prince and Princess. Sayaka’s story is meant to read as typical: She begins her career as a prince, saving the one she (wants to) love from a terrible fate, and gallantly rescuing The People from Witches. Over time, she becomes a Princess herself, who can only be saved by a new Prince – this is how Kyubei tries to draw Madoka into a contract – but that new Prince would inevitably suffer in her place. And a Princess who is not saved becomes a Witch.

    Madoka’s apotheosis at the end is achieved not by becoming The Ultmate Princess, but The Ultimate Prince. “Ultimate Madoka” functions as just what Dios was supposed to have been before Anthy became the Rose Bride: Just as Dios made every girl a Princess by saving them, Madoka chose to end every Magical Girl’s story at the end of their time as a Princess. Her conversation with Sayaka at the concert establishes that she could also have prevented Magical Girls from becoming Princesses, but only by preventing them from first being The Prince. Madoka judged the Princess, but not the Witch, a worthwhile price to pay for the Prince.

    Homura’s character arc both begins and ends with rejecting the role of the Princess thrust upon her by Madoka, while professing eternal gratitude to Madoka for doing so.


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