A while ago, we quoted a review of Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion, the film that continues the story of the original Madoka Magica dark magical girl series. It accused it of having an "indulgent lack of focus" and "mean-spirited twists," and said that they "beg to be rejected as a conclusion to the work that preceded it."
Those are still our thoughts on Hate Plus. After watching Rebellion a few times, however, they aren't our thoughts on the film anymore, and the film itself gave us a new perspective on *Mute's story and our fanfiction. It's become very significant for us.
Content note: Spoilers for Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Rebellion, plus videos of relevant parts if you don't care to watch the series! The videos contain gore and disturbing imagery.
Also there's talk of suicide, because it's key to both Rebellion and Hate Plus' stories, and is the reason for our fanfic rewrite of the latter.
So, how does this tie into Hate Plus?
First, we have the author's dubious understanding of *Mute's agency. Pretending a fictional character can choose how they're portrayed is just a silencing tactic, which prevents discussion of what the character should have done and why the author chose to have her do this.
(Especially when the real reason Love made that choice is because she didn't know how to tell *Mute's story. Not and have it be meaningful.)
And second ... second, the day after I finished crying, I went back and played Hate Plus over and over again, trying everything I could think of. The whole time, I was remembering Homura's struggle, and listening to Magia on repeat.
I feel I know what it was like for her.
I'll never stop trying to create a world in which *Mute can be happy.
I haven't been updating this enough. But the stuff I've been reading online lately is extremely depressing, so I figured I ought to spend more time on things like Dreamwidth and AO3 maybe. >_>
( Read more... )
That's about all, I guess. Except that if anyone has any SU fanfic recs, or just things that they'd like to share with us, we'd be more than happy to hear them.
Our sleep schedule's starting to recover, though, and we're getting used to the idea of living in a remote high-tech wilderness.
So, here's what we're working on:
capsulerp. Seriously you guys. Also the Time Fridge campaign.
Selling all our old D&D 4e stuff, because in hindsight it's very fiddly and technical and there is no one who has time for that.
Brainstorming an 18+ RPG that uses Dungeon World's rules, to help players explore sexual interests in a safe environment. I think I'll call it "Dungeon World."
We haven't forgotten about the Hate Plus fanfic, but having to actually play through the game again has been stressful. -_-
Probably the highlight of last week was watching Mari from Geek Remix stream a pacifist run of Undertale. It is the best RPG. On the down side, we cried for like a half hour straight afterwards, and I can't tell if that was a bad thing or a good thing. Maybe we ought to cry more instead of repressing all our anxieties. >_>; This is a thing, right? It's okay for girls to do this, right?
Anyway, I hope Yule all survive the tinselbombs and blinding lights of the War on Christmas season. Take care, everyone ~
When you first encounter her, you know Hyun-ae is being deceptive for unclear reasons, while Mute, on the other hand, just seems awful. She seems to at first despise everyone and is constantly snide. [...] Mute can be reliably counted on to have terrible views regarding women’s’ capabilities and what is 'proper’ for them.
Yep, that's about right. I didn't want to have anything to do with her in my first playthrough of Analogue: A Hate Story.
So when after [...] reading about the noblewoman being mocked and put-down by her husband and Mute asking my opinion on it, I select the 'she deserved it’ option because I figure that’s what Mute expects to hear. And then she disagrees with me, saying something along the lines of, “Well, in a way, true. She was a failure of a wife and a disgusting human being. But… that’s no excuse to treat someone like that, even her! No one should be treated cruelly like that."
I was floored. This was the point where I started to actually like Mute. Because it became apparent that Mute isn’t actually hateful. She has very messed up views, but she believes in them so strongly because she is genuinely convinced that these are the things that will be best for everyone’s well-being and happiness.
I think I grasped that pretty early on too, in my playthrough of *Mute's route. Which is maybe partly because, back when I used to say and believe a lot of hateful things I really believed in them, too. I hadn't had enough contact with the outside world yet to realize all these things were wrong. And most of the contact I did have, like browsing DA for furry art and reading webcomics, seemed so shameful that I learned to compartmentalize it.
Sort of like *Mute's fascination with "scandalous" women and acts.
All that said, let me get to the main thing I want to say about Mute in Hate Plus.
Author's note: This is an omake / crack fic that I wrote to decompress from writing the Analogue: A Hate Story adapt. It uses characters from Xcom and Portal, and features the Analogue version of *Mute and the Hate Plus version of *Hyun-ae.
Content note: Chryssalids being chryssalids, and *Mute being *Mute. So violence, sexism and homophobia played for laughs, and an attempt at Portal-esque dark comedy.
A darkened room, made out of sci-fi props and big-screen TVs displaying useless information. Their lights reflect on a middle-aged woman's glasses, as she puts down a coffee mug and opens an email on her computer.
Your performance in combating the alien threat has been excellent thus far ... and that is not a statement this council makes lightly. The leaders of the world's nations believe that you are making excellent use of their funding.
So excellent, in fact, that they are cutting it in half. Henceforth, all non-combat Xcom personnel under your command will be replaced with artificial intelligences, in order to save money. We have every confidence that they will perform just as well as the employees you're used to working with.
Good luck, Commander.
The woman blinks. Then she Alt-Tabs to Microsoft Word, and starts updating her resume.
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I am playing Hate Plus again, with the Level 4 Revive Materia mod installed. After what I went through the first time, this is scary and difficult emotional labour.
Hate Plus is the game that really made me care about *Mute as a character. She looked more attractive, and was much more conflicted and sympathetic.
I'm trying to figure out how to structure everything leading up to the Hate Plus adapt so as to capture the feelings I had playing it, so that I can finally confront and avert the emotional crisis I had.
I need to change some of the Analogue adapt to facilitate this. Its ending particularly rings hollow to me. It was faithful to the game, but ... it didn't feel right, on so many levels.
I've pulled the chapter 16 that I already posted. I'll update when there is more.