If only more important strategic alliances could be forged on the DDR dance floor. (And I’m guessing this is the hallucination-inducing, memory-warping scene Nick mentioned. Speaking of which - - we just recorded a Vice Pit about this show with him. Stayed tuned for it!).
Anyway, here’s another episode's worth of supporting evidence for my deconstructionist thesis. I’ve seen enough darker, creative reinterpretations of long-running fantasy franchises to recognize one when I’m watching it - - even when I’m not totally familiar with the material that’s getting spun around - - and this whole revelation about the nature of the Soul Gems totally makes me think of “the Anatomy Lesson” from SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING.
To those unfamiliar, that was an issue where WATCHMEN-creator Alan Moore revealed that the Swamp Thing wasn’t actually a man who'd turned into a plant monster, but a plant monster who mistakenly thought he was a man. Go on and look that trade up. It’s totally worth it. And, more importantly, you’ll understand my ramblings here a lot better.
Actually, while we’re on the subject, I’ll go ahead and throw out a theory that Homura must be decades or centuries old. She’s been frozen in the body of a young girl this whole time, and that’s why she seems so wise beyond her years. I feel even more convinced of this since her mature behavior’s being juxtaposed with Madoka’s Mom and the horrible, horrible life advice she gives.
Look, the second part of what she says is sound. All that stuff about it being better to learn how to fail when you’re young - - it’s solid advice. But the first part? The part about it being for the greater good to lie to your friends or sabotage them when you want to change them? Eeesh. That’s the kind of advice that turns an impressionable teenager into a manipulative, passive-aggressive psycho for life.
Actually, I’m starting to wonder if the biggest deconstructionist flourish in this series will come at the end. I mean, it would be funny if this whole series capped off with Madoka making the disastrous decision to become a Magical Girl because she listened to some really bad advice. It'd really be the inverse of all these uplifting adventure yarns we enjoy so much where the heroes go through such struggle to learn positive life lessons, wouldn't it?