ember_keelty: (anthy happy)
[personal profile] ember_keelty
So far I have written about why people hate Sayaka and why they are wrong. Now I am going to write a little bit about why I love her.



One thing I've noticed about Sayaka is that she tends to be at her best when she is being a Badass Normal. In a kinder universe in a more traditional mahou shoujo series, said badass normalcy would translate into increased badassery when she gained magical powers. Unfortunately for her, this isn't that kind of story.

So, let's take a moment to remember the good times.



Like the time she attacked the "hottie nutjob" (her own words) with a fire-extinguisher to protect her best friend.



This was probably the moment when I knew I loved Sayaka irrevocably. Mami tells Madoka and Sayaka to come prepared for a witch hunt. Madoka brings a sketchbook filled with designs for her magical girl outfit. Sayaka brings a goddamn baseball bat that she fully intends to use for bashing monsters over the head. She readily acknowledges that it probably won't be good as much more than a back-up self-defense measure, but even that's better than having to rely entirely on Mami the whole time, right? You can say a lot about Sayaka's naivety with regards to her idealism and her black-and-white way of seeing the world, but from early on she had a remarkably realistic understanding of the risks and rigors of superheroism, and when it comes to the actual fighting, she is endlessly practical.

But I think the moment that best shows just how brave and resourceful Sayaka is comes not from the series, but from the Oriko manga. That manga is mostly centered around Kyouko, Mami, and Homura, but as small as Sayaka's part is, she really shines in it.

In the timeline that Oriko follows, Sayaka never becomes a magical girl. She doesn't even learn that magical girls or witches exist until a witch's barrier materializes around Mitakihara Middle School and she sees the witch's minions gruesomely kill her teacher and most of her classmates right in front of her eyes. Homura transforms and rescues Madoka, but abandons Sayaka and Hitomi.



Sayaka grabs Hitomi's wrist and runs. When Hitomi has a mental breakdown and refuses to run anymore, Sayaka stays with her, snaps off a bit of the scenery from the barrier, and uses it as a club to kill minions. When they're about to be overwhelmed, she sees an elevator and drags Hitomi with her into the shaft, where they climb the ropes to a safer level and hide from the minions until Kyouko, Mami, and Homura can defeat the witch.

She does all of this on what she had thought going in was going to be a normal school day.

Because of Sayaka's fortitude, loyalty, and ingenuity in the face of sudden crisis, she and Hitomi number among the few survivors of the massacre.
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January 2014

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