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[1500] Trapped on the inside

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[1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by paarfi » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:55 am

Fred has posted the new comic to his Patreon. He'll post it to the main site and elsewhere tomorrow.
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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by eomdal » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:58 pm

fredrin twitter wrote:All the 500 mark comics have had something important about them, and this one is no different.
There's certainly a direct link between 500 and 1500. 500 was our first inkling that there was a more complex story involving Erika's past and Otakudom in general, and that Erika's past wasn't done with her yet. 1500 hints that she still has an even deeper link to her Idol past than just a persistent fanbase.

1000 was about a major shift in perception for Kimiko.

And now, Fred has seen fit to point out the fact that this is an important strip with uncharacteristic directness. Where are we headed now?
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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by paarfi » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:17 pm

"Dare" is the .jp word for "Who". So Ririka is correct; not the right kind of doctor. :P

I had been thinking that anime producers made their magical girl anime's based on the exploits of real magical girls. That they had heard about them in the news, or learned their story by some similar mundane means, and that served as the basis for their anime adaptation.

But that doesn't seem to be the case here with Moeko. It's more like Moeko's potential story had a life of it's own, and that drove the development of Girl Phase, with the people involved in the production completely unaware of that directing hand, if we can extrapolate from Erika's reaction.

This seems similar to Miho's story in some ways, with the adaptations and the fact that the story isn't "real". Moeko wasn't flood-hammering bad guys any more than Miho was really a sick dying girl who never loved. Though I wonder if it wasn't such a bad thing in Moeko's case. I hope it was a way for her to live beyond what was possible with her coma.

I wonder if this kind of thing is what happened with Kimiko and Sight. It was going to be a very different story before Kimiko decided that wasn't how Kotone really is. I'd also draw a parallel to the way Fred writes MT. He'll frequently change the direction of a comic or storyline because he'll realize that a character would act or respond differently that he had planned. It's like the Story itself is acting through the creative people involved to guide them.

If Ririka is right, and Erika can finish Moeko's story, maybe the same could be done for Miho. It would take someone who already understood her story and was emotive enough to really grasp it. It would also help if they were a professional actress with a large fanbase. Somebody like Kimiko, perhaps.
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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by iffy » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:35 pm

Just scanned over the posts, normally I always view the comic first. But stopped here at what I think would be spoilers in the post ;) Having not seen the comic yet or reading your full text, there's always seemed there would likely be some actual reason (other than just memes, meanness, trolling, random behavior, luck, coincidence or generic lulz) that Miho is anywhere doing anything. If she is what she's supposed to be, there would seem there'd have to be more depth of some sort to all the stuff we know about her, others and how MT works. Latching onto these two guys and two gals now, and trying to accomplish something with Piro specifically (perhaps) understanding-wise. Then all the other things like hanging out at the ASF, being around the CoE, sparring with Ed and giving him story-time analogue-style, blocking for Yuki, ditching Junko, dying for Kimiko, palling around with Meimi, letting herself be interrogated at the ninja compound, being in Endgames, absorbing the Erika fans. Some reasons.

As for whatever else, well really the story has to give us all some sort of direct information at some point, doesn't it?

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by Liminaut » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:54 pm

paarfi wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:17 pm
"Dare" is the .jp word for "Who". So Ririka is correct; not the right kind of doctor. :P
And now I'm imagining Yuki showing up with Tom Baker or Peter Capaldi next ...

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by darrin » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:30 am

Snerk. "Put him back, you don't know where he's been."
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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by Initial B » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:36 am

So in MT, the Magical Girl anime shows are based on actual Magical Girls, albeit glamourized and modified to fit into existing tropes? Wow, I'm imaging MT reality folding in on itself trying to wrap my brain around this revelation.

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by iffy » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:55 pm

Insider cross-translation science fiction/fantasy humor. Nice.

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paarfi wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:17 pm
If Ririka is right, and Erika can finish Moeko's story, maybe the same could be done for Miho. It would take someone who already understood her story and was emotive enough to really grasp it. It would also help if they were a professional actress with a large fanbase. Somebody like Kimiko, perhaps.
Emotive, lots of fans, yes. Kimiko already has that head start, she knows something about something about something about who she's playing, not uninformed as Erika apparently is. (unless Erika knows more and just didn't understand what specifically Ririka meant, or is not being fully honest consciously or subconsciously)

Although if Erika's comments about the portrayal are accurate, Kimiko isn't all that believable. That here in hospital, Kimiko did not become Miho like Erika became Moeko. Is that a matter of Kimiko's ability, or is it because who and what she's trying to portray. Say, can anyone, no matter how good or knowledgeable, fully implement a portrayal of the real thing when they aren't the real thing. Not acting, is. Or going back the other direction, how much does Erika's ability to become Moeko stem from some deeper link. Although Kimiko/Kotone isn't a work yet, not completed, and Erika/Moeko is a well established (albeit suddenly cut off) final product. That could help explain how real a performance gets to be at the end versus the not too real one at the start. Unless the story is supposed to be how Miho gets involved by absorbing the disaster of Erika quitting and now is working to get Erika to come back and complete Moeko's story, and everything with Kimiko and Piro and Largo is just collateral damage. Or what Miho does is all those things and more... but that makes the already unmanageable even more insanely complex.

But as far as Kimiko and Miho as compared to Erika and Moeko. A difference of importance seems that apparently Moeko is the current day actual person magical-girl template that Erika's character was copied from. A more direct trail, with one story seeming to be like ' what-if a frail MG wasn't frail'. Another, changing Moeko to be non-frail and then adding more embellishment, to make it interesting and compelling. And of course to match the expectations/demands of what MG are supposed to be/have to be. It doesn't seem the Erika version (actress rage quits, hides, is brought back out by crazy alien) is anywhere near the real version (too weak to do much as an actual MG, now in a coma). But a match is supposed to be at least somewhat the case with Kimiko playing Miho, isn't it?

For Kimiko though, she started with some fictional version of Kotone in Sight, where the original story of Kotone (as Miho related it) doesn't seem too similar to what Sight started out as, except some of the emotional impact. But then Kimiko made Sight more real, added herself and more to it. Still, not necessarily resulting in something all that much closer to being really real. (Or as has been said, just as overwhelmingly emotionally compelling.) How closer or farther did her spin and feeling and emotion take Kimiko's version to or from the actual? Which, if the actual story is what's happening now, nowhere near it apparently when it comes to details. On the other hand, if the criteria is solely emotional impact of a certain sort, maybe it's more than close enough, and is a total success whatever the facts. Who in Megatokyo is the story for then might be a follow up to that line of reasoning. Still, whatever else is wrong with Miho, she's been out and about and doing incredible things nobody can do. And is not locked away alone with no help and abandoned. Nor is she dead. Even if currently she's weaker than usual... Than she used to be, recently, most of the time. Not too emotionally impactful, and neither is (except to the ninja) what's happening now with Miho. Same seems to go for Megumi driving away in a car, or Junpei battling mechas and confounding otaku. This conversation about Moeko could help make others feel it, have an emotional impact. But again we would ask who is that story for.

For a parallel between Kimiko/Miho and Erika/Moeko, Moeko isn't apparently herself anywhere near an Analogue. No primal source of types of stories. Situationally, not leaving at will, not being hounded by hordes, not being besieged by people wanting to hire/ignore/destroy/understand/save/help her. Apparently. So Moeko isn't some archetype of deeper untraceable scattered truth behind what flows from it, but Miho is supposed to be all of that. What story does Kimiko finish here then? What does it take to finish those sorts of stories, ones that aren't clearly traceable and are not one thing. We might be headed to the solution where the only method to kill an Analogue is figurative, where you become the Analogue instead, and how would that even work. Okay, the Analogue is figuratively killed, and then just isn't there any more. How does a concept imagination flows from go away?

Which thinking back to the Kotone story, laying locked away despondent and defeated is (aside from being a shamed and socially disgraced ex-pirate whose friends and lovers have all been executed) more like being in a coma hanging on and waiting for an actress on the comeback to finish your story. Moeko... Which, who is waiting for that story to end, how does Erika end that if nothing was ongoing until it was just (and only perhaps) picked back up. If Miho is an Analogue like what it might mean, she might be the source of that story about Moeko too. Kimiko's current situation is more one of proactively solidifying the relationship with heretofore perceptionally locked-away Piro, somewhat matching a similar situation that already happened with Erika to Largo. It appears (if that's what she was thinking in 1121) Piro has also won in the way Largo did and like they were both not supposed to even. Is it now the case where it was worked though for Piro to win instead of neither winning or losing? Does that even matter, did it ever.

It might seem at this point, both Largo and Piro were in that state that Miho described about Kotone, which would make Erika and Kimiko more so the players that stumbled along and closed out those stories. Anywhere true or not, where does that leave Miho, out in the ninja compound powerless and waiting for everyone else to save her, by others keeping the horde and the authorities happy about the state of social control, instead of her death closing out all her stories.

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by Roborat » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:42 pm

Great, a little more of the back story filled in. I love the last panel, the look on that poor doctor's face. And that final line, very funny, nicely done.

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by Tiger » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:20 pm

Whatever did happen to Seraphim and Boo...

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by iffy » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:43 pm

Last we saw Seraphim it was when she accused him of using Otaku Logic Powers, after Piro suggested they could just remove Miho's current fans then locate brand new ones last panel 1330 Where'd she go why, maybe she just doesn't think she's needed anymore (yet?)

Last we saw Boo clearly (or at all?) is on Erika's shoulder last panel 1467 and is probably around somewhere still

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by Teddy-Werebear » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:50 pm

Are we playing snatch the doctor roulette?

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by Rapierman » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:48 pm

Hmmmmm.....I wonder what the odds are of "Moeko" and Miho being one and the same person.

Silly thought, of course, but I wouldn't put it past Fred.
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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by kendermouse » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:08 am

Teddy-Werebear wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:50 pm
Are we playing snatch the doctor roulette?
Oh man, I really hope so. I need a bit of levity after the way the last few pages have been tugging hard on my poor lil' mousey heart... (the feels... the feels...!)
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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by chemi » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:40 am

Rapierman wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:48 pm
Hmmmmm.....I wonder what the odds are of "Moeko" and Miho being one and the same person.

Silly thought, of course, but I wouldn't put it past Fred.
I suspect that Ririka wouldn't use the present tense to describe Moeko's coma, then. It's not like Miho's re-admittance to the hospital (or her "release") was exactly subtle.

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by BetaCygnus » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:04 am

Ah, new post! YAY! =D

Yuki: PRICELESS!!! Just… priceless. Doctor… doctor… Ah! DOCTOR! =D

And Ririka seems to open up something major here — Erika looks just sooo brittle in Panel 1…

I am reminded of an encounter and conversation between Erika, Masamichi and Miho, outside MegaGamers…

Fred, thank you for this new post! (Off to work, now…)

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by MoneyMan » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:17 am

Ah, Yuki, never change.

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by Mitsuko73 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:26 pm

Ha, called it. Get Ririka sitting down before she falls down.

Okay, now don't tell me Moeko is really Miho. The more answers we get, the farther down the rabbit hole we go...but that's just the way of things in Megatokyo. ;)

I can just imagine what Yuki is going to tell her kids. "Yes, I was rather...enthusiastic...early on."

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by iffy » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:25 pm

Since Ririka seems to have personally known Moeko for a while, as a peer if not as a nurse, or both. And given that by and large none of the actresses or magical girls being patterned seems to be aware of Miho (who even her acquaintances forget when not present). Combined with Miho seemingly being in the background to everyone until she makes herself seen. Or if you happen to be one of her adherents or friends like at the Cave, or somebody on the inside (who still has to look up who she is).

Seems unlikely an Analogue or the real thing is a single person giving a push to a single story anyway. No matter how similar the sickly frail deal is sometimes. Unless Miho is just a semi physical phase manifestation of the inner power of a given MG or other provider of partial story, a projection ghost of Moeko or whoever else she is or was for that story or the other. Which doesn't seem to quite match much of anything, really? It would be an interesting thing to see explained though.

Speaking of small animals that aren't Boo (courtesy of tvt you know em you love em) or maybe speaking of being older than you look, or of picking a version of some story in the middle to tell somebody is your origin. Or maybe just what an Analogue might be more like.

The Ur-Example
They all have one, but we often don't know what work they're from. The Ur-Example is the oldest known example of any given trope. "Ur-" is a German prefix meaning "proto-, primitive, or original".

Often, an Ur-Example doubles as the Trope Maker - but not always, and far less often with ancient tropes, which often evolved over a long period of time rather than suddenly bursting forth from someone's head, fully formed. When they're distinct, a Trope Maker differs from an Ur-Example in that the latter becomes an example of that trope only in retrospect.

For instance, one of the pivotal Trope Makers of the Detective Story is Edgar Allan Poe's collection of C. Auguste Dupin stories; before Dupin, there is no story genre of fictional detectives going about the business of solving crimes. Nevertheless, while you may or may not know Poe's Dupin stories, you've probably encountered a certain Danish Prince named Hamlet who not only sets about to ensnare his uncle King Claudius, but even incorporates into his plans a play-within-a-play he dubs "The Mousetrap". But half-a-millennium earlier still, "The Tale of the Three Apples" is a proto-Detective Story from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights which would make "The Tale of the Three Apples" the Ur-Example of the Detective Story, or at least a possible candidate. But wait, there's more! Oedipus Rex, first performed in 429 BCE, depicts Oedipus investigating the cause of the plague that has struck his realm. Which will give you an idea of the depth of the rabbit-hole a quest for the Ur-example can lead you down.

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by Areloch » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:38 pm

It's worth observing that on #1108, when the TPCD did a Magical Girl status check, the results were:
"Got it sir! All 87 accounted for. Two with catastrophic potential are at after school club activities. The third is still in a coma"

Not hard to guess who that is, now.

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by paarfi » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:56 am

Areloch wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:38 pm
It's worth observing that on #1108, when the TPCD did a Magical Girl status check, the results were:
"Got it sir! All 87 accounted for. Two with catastrophic potential are at after school club activities. The third is still in a coma"

Not hard to guess who that is, now.
That's an excellent point. Presumably Moeko had major sparkle power even in her coma, since that's how the TPCD seems to measure things.

I'm still trying to figure out how this all works. Was Moeko's high sparkle level the reason her story got told through Girl Phase and Erika, even though she's been in a coma all this time? If so, then why did Meimi get an anime even though she didn't have enough sparkle to even set off the TPCD alarms? How does sparkle power matter?

Also, we've seen that Miho's Story (and Miho's respawning) is powered by the fanboy horde's love for her story. Does magical girl sparkle have the same source? It doesn't seem like it. Nobody has heard of Yuki yet (and they don't see her as a magical girl even when told). And it sounds like the same would apply to Moeko with her coma.

Maybe there's a general Magical Girl Story that gets powered by the fanboy horde love of MG stories in general. And that gets expressed as sparkle powers for real magical girls. If so, I wonder if there is a Character Analog for the magical girl Story out there, like Miho.

Idols, like Erika, seem to be a way to present a Story for fanboy consumption, which in turn powers the Story. We've seen that Miho has similar indirect paths for expressing her story to the horde. Though Miho also has the CoE where she interacted with fanboys directly.

There seems to be a system here, which I think is important and I'd like to understand better. At the same time, I don't think we need to understand it completely in every detail. No need to be killing catgirls. But I like the fact that the underlying system seems to have some kind of sense to it.
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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by jkhartl » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:38 am

paarfi wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:56 am
If so, then why did Meimi get an anime even though she didn't have enough sparkle to even set off the TPCD alarms? How does sparkle power matter?
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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by Yl33 D4 N00b » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:25 am

So maybe someday Erika will reprise Moeko for one last Girl Phase, just for closure's sake? I would like a comic where Erika visits Moeko; I think that would change her(Erika's) perspective on the whole MT world.
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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by iffy » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:31 pm

Ah, but 1108 is about Emergent Magical Girl Candidates. Moeko has already been identified and portrayed. From what Ririka says about her, not particularly with catastrophic potential, even if she was emergent or a candidate still.

Regardless if Moeko is or was an EMGC, how actually sparkly powerful are any of the actual templates for the magical girls? It would seem going by the 2 out-and-about of 87, not many. If that's the case, even for MG being portayed, they are by and large illusion.

Sparklogens and Miho, does she even have any? Seems if she's some ur-example it would be something less sparkly and less fancy, but we can only guess. Except that whereas most portrayals of power are ratcheted-up versions quite more than the original is, Miho is the real thing. To hear it (from such as Piro's interrogator, Ibara, Miho herself) and see it (from such as interacting with Ed, with Piro in the travel and school) all portrayals are mere wisps of a notion of whiffs of the hint of the actual stories. They fluffed up a fictional account of Moeko, might nerf a fictional account of Yuki, but can't even normally control anything about Miho's story. To the extent that story is so powerful and all-encompassing there isn't a way to directly tell it. It looks as if Miho can't even relate it properly, it even takes over her ability to either tell the difference or remember how she explained it to who when. Perhaps a way to put it is sort of like what Ibara said about Ping, and then said about Miho to Junko. Or how Piro's interrogator thinks it is like. Or Masamichi's beliefs about what Miho did that put her in hospital.

Performances where the portrayer becomes the personification and embodiment of what is being portrayed (Erika as Moeko, is Moeko and more) are powerful, and harness love and expectations, which expectations are then met in the portrayal the participants take subconsciously as actual. Analogues though are all these portrayals at once and a whole lot more and in stronger ways, yet aren't portraying anything. They are.

The original Moeko isn't even conscious, and her primary Erika doesn't create physical manifestations of need and desire that try and drag Erika down into their own warped concentrated combined emotions. (Unless her telling off the fans set up something like that, which Miho then had to absorb as the originator of all of it and only one who could conceivably accomplish it.) Rather than the original and primary, instead of playing somebody else, some small parts of what Miho is powers these people who power the fans, and provide for how society is bound together for the good of all. Miho wouldn't get anything from The Horde, who aren't supposed to know she exists. It gets it all from her, in mindless unknowing instinctual ways. It wants to devour all that she is, even though they are not aware of how much they can't. It's as if somebody who has taken a millionth of a sedative dissolved in an ocean of water wants what taking all of the sedative that exists in reality gives them, not understanding that would be obliteration.

Hordes then wouldn't give Miho the power to provide a story via their emotions, their emotions would derive from the tiny parts of tiny parts of what Miho is, and when they get a chance to try and eat the billion pounds of endorphins that they think is there because something was ill-fitting into their expectations, they'll form out of everywhere worldwide to have their manifestations rip apart entire buildings trying to get to Miho. She needs better fans (which seem in her case to be no fans) but that's not at all the way it works. You don't pick them, they pick you, and you can't do much about what they think or do. If the gods don't smite you, you can ignore what they say. Miho doesn't have a story, she is all stories. Ibara called it a powerful type, but he doesn't say what it is. He seems to think it's one kind. Maybe he's correct though, and it's the kind that makes an audience have emotion.

Which of course this frail girl with a pacemaker that is being being terrorized by a ninja, as everyone out there is trying to save her from termination, couldn't be that powerful. Nothing can. Get a pacemaker, rip yourself out of bed, demolish a hospital, beat up a bunch of superheros and elite forces, get hidden away again while others try and fix all the damage because you didn't die and finalize their stories for them in the dying. Powerful, but not the source of all fiction of all times. That there's at least a plan B to kill her, even though it's not working, must just be somebody making plans to cover all the contingencies, even the patently impossible ones. There doesn't seem any logical way to have all these things be true at once, powerful originator of it all and trapped inside it powerless.

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Re: [1500] Trapped on the inside

Post by GouryG » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:56 pm

Liminaut wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:54 pm
paarfi wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:17 pm
"Dare" is the .jp word for "Who". So Ririka is correct; not the right kind of doctor. :P
And now I'm imagining Yuki showing up with Tom Baker or Peter Capaldi next ...
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