Room 208

Elaborate Burn

After the break: Wishes are dangerous, m’kay?

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@the-world-is-a-corner writes, in response to my post comparing Madoka and Psycho-Pass’ endings:

There WAS something preventing other Magical Girls from making Madoka’s wish. And that is, none of them had the absurd amount of potential Madoka possessed. Kyubey specifically said Madoka was “the most powerful Magical Girl” - it took an insane amount of magic to make her wish come true, an amount I think we can be quite sure no one before her ever possessed. They were limited in that sense - Madoka had a much wider number of options to change the system because she had a lot more brute power to work with.

I got a couple of responses to this effect, and I want to say that while the concept of “magical potential” is a valid justification in-story, it doesn’t hold much water for me as a narrative device. This is largely because we never see this constraint actually restricting anybody’s ability to make a wish, and as such it seems like an abstract limitation tossed in at the last minute to satisfy a technical loophole instead of something that must really be fought. This is in fact one of the things I was worried about almost from the moment the concept of wishes came up in Madoka’s early episodes; without concrete boundaries on what is and isn’t possible, boundaries that are shown to be very much in effect from the outset, any story resolution that involves such an open-ended mechanic is just asking for trouble. If we had seen a character try and fail to make the same wish that Madoka eventually did, Kyuubey’s statement might have had a little more substance, but as it stands it feels a bit like bringing up general relativity during a go-kart race.