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Last time on the Hunger Games, Katniss finds out that the drunken former winner is actually going to be really important to their survival in the games.

So they need to sober him up. They drag him back to the room and Peeta says he'll do the job of cleaning the guy off. Katniss suggests getting a servant to help, but he turns it down.

all of a sudden I think, It’s because he’s being kind. Just as he was kind to give me the bread.
The idea pulls me up short. A kind Peeta Mellark is far more dangerous to me than an unkind one. Kind people have a way of working their way inside me and rooting there. And I can’t let Peeta do this. Not where we’re going. So I decide, from this moment on, to have as little as possible to do with the baker’s son.

Yeah I'm getting sick of this. It's way too over the top, and it makes less and less sense the more I think about it.

Katniss doesn't seem to have ever been in the position of trusting and getting burned. I can see her not knowing how to deal with kindness, but this is well beyond that point. It's obsessive and crazy.

I quickly open the window, toss the cookies Peeta’s father gave me out of the train, and slam the glass shut. No more. No more of either of them.

Oh my god why are you wasting food.

Anyway her meaningless symbolic gesture in a world where people regularly starve to death reminds her of the dandelion.

I had just turned away from Peeta Mellark’s bruised face when I saw the dandelion and I knew hope wasn’t lost. I plucked it carefully and hurried home. I grabbed a bucket and Prim’s hand and headed to the Meadow and yes, it was dotted with the golden-headed weeds. After we’d harvested those, we scrounged along inside the fence for probably a mile until we’d filled the bucket with the dandelion greens, stems, and flowers. 

Why isn't anyone else eating dandelion? This is easily the easiest plant to ID. You don't even really need to wait for the flower if you know what you're looking for. And the whole plant is edible, just for the record, you can eat the root too. The place should be picked bare.

My mother had a book she’d brought with her from the apothecary shop. The pages were made of old parchment and covered in ink drawings of plants. Neat handwritten blocks told their names, where to gather them, when they came in bloom, their medical uses. But my father added other entries to the book.

Dad continues to be more important than Mom.

Plants for eating, not healing. Dandelions, pokeweed, wild onions, pines.



The plant that, if prepared exactly right, may not leave you vomiting your guts out?

Now, if the area was actually being heavily harvested by all these hypothetical starving people, I can see there being nothing left but plants like pokeweed. But if you've got dandelions sprouting everywhere you don't need to play russian roulette with your intestines.

There are lots of edible plants around, so I'm honestly baffled why this one is included, unless it's some horrible prank being played with any kid who reads these books and thinks they're accurate.

 Plants are tricky. Many are edible, but one false mouthful and you’re dead. I checked and double-checked the plants I harvested with my father’s pictures.

Now, despite what I just said, plants actually aren't that tricky. Very few plants are fatal by the mouthful, and the few that are usually advertise it, like pokeweed.

Here's how you check if a plant is poisonous:

1) Crush leaves, sniff to see if there's any bitter smell, rub the sap against your skin. Wait for reaction. If anything happens, wash the sap off and don't try it again.
2) Bite down on leaf. If it burns or otherwise tastes really bad, spit it out and don't try it again. Be very careful of anything bitter.
3) Swallow a leaf. If anything weird happens, throw up. Wait an hour or two.
4) Eat more leaves, throw up if anything weird happens, wait another hour or two.
5) It's edible.

The main drawback with this is you can get false positives with plants that are edible, and it's a lot more involved when it comes to figuring out what plants are toxic unless cooked. Your taste buds are designed to make you not eat poisonous plants, so if you spit out everything that tastes weird you should do pretty well. I had free run of the yard as a little kid and never managed to poison myself.

The danger here is that if you're starving you're going to be more and more willing to take a risk and eat a plant that tastes funny, not that anything you bite might instakill you.

Any sign of danger, a distant howl, the inexplicable break of a branch, sent me flying back to the fence at first. Then I began to risk climbing trees to escape the wild dogs

I'm not really sure why running back to the fence across open ground then crawling under a relatively large hole is actually the safer option to escape dogs.

Her mother eventually comes out of her stupor.

but I kept watching, waiting for her to disappear on us again. I didn’t trust her.

I suspect this is supposed to be the root of her trust issues, but that doesn't make any sense. The thing with her mom should have taught her people are unreliable and weak and she can't rely on them, not that kindness is a trick to let people take advantage of you and you can't afford to accept any temporary help or it'll make you weak.

once we reach the city, my stylist will dictate my look for the opening ceremonies tonight anyway. I just hope I get one who doesn’t think nudity is the last word in fashion.

That's kind of counterproductive, so I'd think not.

As I enter the dining car, Effie Trinket brushes by me with a cup of black coffee. She’s muttering obscenities under her breath. 

I sympathize, Effie.

 Haymitch, his face puffy and red from the previous day’s indulgences, is chuckling.

...well, no one else was taking the drinking seriously, so it's not really a surprise for the narrative itself to treat it this way.

Also, the fact he's laughing right as Effie's leaving means something probably just happened in there.

I realize I detest Haymitch. No wonder the District 12 tributes never stand a chance. It isn’t just that we’ve been underfed and lack training. Some of our tributes have still been strong enough to make a go of it. But we rarely get sponsors and he’s a big part of the reason why. The rich people who back tributes — either because they’re betting on them or simply for the bragging rights of picking a winner — expect someone classier than Haymitch to deal with.

The entire idea of sponsorships doesn't really make much sense for a punishment game.

Also, if she knows this, why were they shocked to hear it earlier?

Peeta gets mad and knocks Haymitch's drink out of his hand, then gets punched, then Katniss stabs the table when he tries to reach for the bottle.

“Well, what’s this?” says Haymitch. “Did I actually get a pair of fighters this year?”


“No,” says Haymitch, stopping him. “Let the bruise show. The audience will think you’ve mixed it up with another tribute before you’ve even made it to the arena.”
“That’s against the rules,” says Peeta.
“Only if they catch you. That bruise will say you fought, you weren’t caught, even better,” says Haymitch. He turns to me. “Can you hit anything with that knife besides a table?”

And suddenly he's metamorphized into someone competent, and apparently he was just drunk because he didn't feel like bothering.

What the fuck.

So yes, actually, Katniss was right about hating him. It isn't that he's messed up, he was just sitting back letting kids die because they probably would anyway so why put the effort in.

The bow and arrow is my weapon. But I’ve spent a fair amount of time throwing knives as well. Sometimes, if I’ve wounded an animal with an arrow, it’s better to get a knife into it, too, before I approach it. 

Why couldn't she put a second arrow in instead? This feels contrived.

 “Well, you’re not entirely hopeless. Seem fit. And once the stylists get hold of you, you’ll be attractive enough.”
Peeta and I don’t question this. The Hunger Games aren’t a beauty contest, but the best-looking tributes always seem to pull more sponsors.

This feels like a misaimed satire attempt.

Look, I'm quite supportive of satire, but it's not something you can do halfway. Pretty much by definition, satire is creating an absurd situation that doesn't make sense. The way it jars with the story and sanity at large are the point, so you can't both try to write a serious business story with a setting and a satire at the same time. If it makes sense things would work that way, it's not satire. (You can get pretty close with really dark satire, like Swift, but that's going to require a situation with more bite than LOL BEAUTY CONTEST)

“All right, I’ll make a deal with you. You don’t interfere with my drinking, and I’ll stay sober enough to help you,” says Haymitch.

Because alcoholism totally works like that. It's actually a bit surprising given the book just had a pretty good view of depression as an illness.

He tells them that first up are the stylists, and they need to just go along with whatever they're told.

. The mountains form a natural barrier between the Capitol and the eastern districts. It is almost impossible to enter from the east except through the tunnels. This geographical advantage was a major factor in the districts losing the war that led to my being a tribute today. Since the rebels had to scale the mountains, they were easy targets for the Capitol’s air forces.

...yes, the mountains were a disadvantage to the rebels. Of course! Remember how the Soviet Union curbstomped Afghanistan?

Mountains are protection against armies, in fairness. But that's because armies move in large masses. Rebels rely on cover rather than firepower.

Being connected by tunnels is even worse. The rebels don't have to scale the mountains, they can just blow up the tunnels. The Capital relies on the Districts for everything, the Districts don't need anything the Capital provides. Even if we assume that somehow, the mountains are too well defended, they can blow up any part of the track leading to the tunnel as well.

The Capital itself is all shiny and pretty.

 the oddly dressed people with bizarre hair and painted faces who have never missed a meal. All the colors seem artificial, the pinks too deep, the greens too bright, the yellows painful to the eyes

So we're continuing to see the focus on fake appearance. Generally, this kind of thing should be marked as high-status, but since her area only has intermittent electricity, it's possible the districts aren't connected enough to the Capital for cultural norms to be transmitted and they just seem bizarre. Still, it's really bad sociologically, because one of the ways to keep in control is for people to see you as high class, not freaky painted dolls. You want the Capital to be the center of everyone's world.

like the flat round disks of hard candy we can never afford to buy at the tiny sweet shop in District 12.

Wait, but sugar is rare. They're still making regular candy? And there's enough people buying it for there to be a whole shop for candy?

The government really, really sucks at the whole oppressive government thing.

Anyway, the people of the place start pointing excitedly at the train, so Katniss gets away from the window but Peeta smiles and waves.

He sees me staring at him and shrugs. “Who knows?” he says. “One of them may be rich.”

Well, I guess that's a reason to play along, but he seems like a remarkably good actor for a baker's kid.

So Katniss decides everything, including the baker's cookies, are all part of a trick to worm his way into her confidence.

He hasn’t accepted his death. He is already fighting hard to stay alive. Which also means that kind Peeta Mellark, the boy who gave me the bread, is fighting hard to kill me.

Could you please stop making it all about you, Katniss? You've spent the whole time obsessing over how he's your enemy, as well as repeating that the trained kids will probably slaughter you both. If you can rationalize your own survival instincts as being defensive, give him the same courtesy.

While I know it's a lot to expect from kids facing their deaths, I wish there was some acknowledgment that playing along in the hope of a sponsorships is giving tacit approval to the whole thing. The sponsors seem to want pretty, cheerful kids, and the whole of the Hunger Games presented so far keeps reinforcing they're supposed to pretend they're happy about this. So don't give them that. Let them see what they're doing instead of pretending you're 0kay with it. You'll die, but come on - you were going to die anyway.

It doesn't even seem to occur to Katniss. She identifies what her district does, going silent and refusing to clap, as noble rebellion, but doesn't think the same applies to her.

And it'd be a nice change from her poor-me whining if she realized this but couldn't bring herself to do it because she didn't want to let go of the possibility, however faint, of getting back home alive. It wouldn't make her a bad person to do that. But the way the books don't even treat it as an option makes it all feel incredibly self-centered.

Chapter Five:
I grit my teeth as Venia, a woman with aqua hair and gold tattoos above her eyebrows, yanks a strip of Fabric from my leg tearing out the hair beneath it. “Sorry!” she pipes in her silly Capitol accent. “You’re just so hairy!”

And it's another stupid frivolous woman. Why, book?

Why do these people speak in such a high pitch? Why do their jaws barely open when they talk? Why do the ends of their sentences go up as if they’re asking a question? 

Wow, writing fail. If their voices all go up like they're asking a question, it would have been a good idea to actually put question marks at the end of the statements. So more like “Sorry?” she pipes in her silly Capitol accent. “You’re just so hairy?” or possibly ?!. The reader notices the weird question marks, then the following paragraph explains it. Instead, the paragraph complaining about the weirdos who end all their sentences in a question is the string of sentences ending in a question.

 Odd vowels, clipped words, and always a hiss on the letter s . . . no wonder it’s impossible not to mimic them.

You know, I don't even care that you can sort of make it work by saying they're not in contact enough with the Capital to pick up cultural norms, because on reflection, it's the bad option to take.

A major signifier of there being a certain class of people in charge, crushing everyone else beneath their jackbooted heels, is the crushees thinking jackboots are awesome. Katniss having a deep, knee-jerk reaction that the people of the capital are just somehow better than she is would make this whole sequence so much better. The conflict between rationally hating them and subconsciously thinking they're superiors should be a big part of this - and it'd help justify how the kids all seem to fall into the pattern of playing along so easily.

Venia makes what’s supposed to be a sympathetic face. “Good news, though. This is the last one. Ready?” 

Why can't she actually be sympathetic about this? She's already doing a stupid painful thing to Katniss because they think prettiness is more important than her comfort, is it really that big of a problem for her to be slightly sorry Katniss is miserable about it? She's surely had her legs waxed plenty of times, it's not hard to be sympathetic in her position.

“You’re doing very well,” says some guy named Flavius. He gives his orange corkscrew locks a shake and applies a fresh coat of purple lipstick to his mouth. “If there’s one thing we can’t stand, it’s a whiner. Grease her down!”

Hey, first asshole guy. And he's a stereotypically feminine fashion guy.

The three step back and admire their work. “Excellent! You almost look like a human being now!” says Flavius, and they all laugh.
I force my lips up into a smile to show how grateful I am. “Thank you,” I say sweetly. “We don’t have much cause to look nice in District Twelve.”
This wins them over completely. “Of course, you don’t, you poor darling!” says Octavia clasping her hands together in distress for me.

Yes, book, I get it, they're stupid and frivolous. Anyway, this is another example of playing along. It doesn't even seem necessary, since the only one she has to suck up to is the actual costume designer.

It’s hard to hate my prep team. They’re such total idiots. And yet, in an odd way, I know they’re sincerely trying to help me.

...I don't know, this just bothers me.

The fact people care about frivolous things doesn't mean they're just naïve. Some are, but there are plenty of people where if you say "People are hurt," will respond not with, "Wait, really?" but "Yes, and?"

In this case, I don't buy that they're innocent. For starters, they're the primary audience of the childmurder games. They know she's going to be put on live television, and considering the odds with twenty-four kids all fighting, they know that she's going be dying on live television.

They've just seen her naked, and we hear over and over again how hungry she's been. She's going to be stunted and far too thin - she's currently trying to stuff herself with food in part in the hopes of gaining a couple pounds, because she doesn't have any fat reserves. She likely has well-muscled arms and legs, which is only going to make the rest of her skinnier because muscle means you need even more energy to function.

There is no way they can look at her and not know she's spent her life in miserable conditions. It isn't simply "I live in the boonies where I don't have time to primp and wax". There is no way they could look at her and think she'd look fine if she took better care of her nails.

I left her blue dress and shoes on the floor of my train car, never thinking about retrieving them, of trying to hold on to a piece of her, of home. Now I wish I had.

I find this really hard to believe too. She's only got a couple outfits and she even pointed out how extremely special the dress was to her. She's not the sort of person who would just forget about something valuable and rare, because she can't afford to.

I can sort of see this justified by her being so stunned she's not thinking clearly, but again, just because you can make an excuse for something doesn't make it a good writing choice. Kind of like the show/tell conflict of her insulting the government out loud, having things work out so she just happens to behave in a way more commonly seen in people of completely different circumstances strikes me as lazy. The book's quite heavyhanded with how deprived she is, it'd be nice to see that reflected in her behavior more.

The door opens and a young man who must be Cinna enters. I’m taken aback by how normal he looks. Most of the stylists they interview on television are so dyed, stenciled, and surgically altered they’re grotesque. But Cinna’s close-cropped hair appears to be its natural shade of brown. He’s in a simple black shirt and pants. The only concession to self-alteration seems to be metallic gold eyeliner that has been applied with a light hand. It brings out the flecks of gold in his green eyes. And, despite my disgust with the Capitol and their hideous fashions, I can’t help thinking how attractive it looks.
“Hello, Katniss. I’m Cinna, your stylist,” he says in a quiet voice somewhat lacking in the Capitol’s affectations.

Oh come on.

She just happens to get the one person who's legit attractive instead of icky fake attractive. Because niceness directly correlates with prettiness as long as they're the right kind of pretty. And he doesn't even have the accent, despite this making absolutely no sense. And stop calling it an affectation! People can have different accents and dialects without it being faked!

Also, note we have yet another good guy. What do we have for women so far? Well, we have the bit about Katniss' mom not being totally to blame for being pathetic, weak-willed and useless, and the mayor's daughter gave the pin, but that was metatextually more of an apology for being wrong. And there was the stylist woman who called her a "poor thing" who's talked about like she's not even a person. So, basically Prim is the only decent female character, and she's the stereotypically useless girly girl.

Turns out Cinna's a new stylist.

“So they gave you District Twelve,” I say. Newcomers generally end up with us, the least desirable district.
“I asked for District Twelve,” he says without further explanation.

...that's something that needs explanation, book. Right now it seems like all it is is just shorthand for "see, Cinna is awesome and a good guy and not like all those other icky jerks", and I'm not that easily swayed.

 The top splits and from below rises a second tabletop that holds our lunch. Chicken and chunks of oranges cooked in a creamy sauce laid on a bed of pearly white grain, tiny green peas and onions, rolls shaped like flowers, and for dessert, a pudding the color of honey.
I try to imagine assembling this meal myself back home. Chickens are too expensive, but I could make do with a wild turkey.

Oh for fuck's sake. No.

It's true that chickens are generally kept for eggs, not meat. But half the new chicks each year will be male, and the nice thing about chickens is you don't have to feed them, they can forage for their own food. So there should be male chicks growing up every year and being slaughtered. A broiler chicken is going to be far smaller than a wild turkey. There's no "make do with". Turkey is generally considered the higher quality bird and even if the meat itself isn't valued more, the fact it's several times larger would make it a easy trade.

I’d need to shoot a second turkey to trade for an orange.

Hey, you know what's awesome about oranges? That they transport well. I'm not saying they're going to be cheap, but they should be among the cheapest imported fruits. There's lots of fruit that really is terribly expensive to ship. Oranges are not.

Goat’s milk would have to substitute for cream.

If by "substitute" you mean you can get cream from the milk.

We can grow peas in the garden. I’d have to get wild onions from the woods.

Yeah, about that Katniss. Why don't you seem to have figured out that you can grow wild plants on purpose? What's stopping you from transplanting a bulb to your own garden, or for that matter, clearing areas in the forest to keep gardens?

I mean, I suppose there's the problem of getting raided by other poachers, but they don't seem to have touched your blackberry bushes, your strawberry patch, or the fishing poles. By all appearances you and Gale are the only people in the forest.

I don’t recognize the grain, our own tessera ration cooks down to an unattractive brown mush.

It's probably just rice. Come on, rice is a staple good, they should have it.

Fancy rolls would mean another trade with the baker, perhaps for two or three squirrels.

The first valid point, and even then it feels like she's making a huge deal of it. When we first see bread brought up, it's a loaf her friend traded for a squirrel. Later they trade away some fish for more. This is something she does already.

As for the pudding, I can’t even guess what’s in it.

...it's milk, cornstarch or flour, plus either caramel, honey or syrup for flavor. Maybe some gelatin or ager too, or egg whites, to stiffen it up. Basic pudding isn't a complex recipe, and she should know all about pudding, even if she probably lacked the sugar to make the sweet version. This really smacks of someone who's only familiar with pudding as something you buy in cups.

Days of hunting and gathering for this one meal and even then it would be a poor substitution for the Capitol version.

Oh, bullshit. Even going by her melodramatic version, the meal would require two turkeys, peas from the garden they already have, easily harvested wild onion she already eats, milk from the goat they already have, and three squirrels. Most of that is food she'd already be collecting and eating on her own, and the only substitution is a wild turkey for the chicken, which as I said should be an easy trade. The part she can't replicate is the rice, which doesn't make sense, and the pudding, and that's apparently only because she doesn't know what pudding is. The expense of traditional pudding has more to do with how long it takes to make and how easy it is to burn, not that the ingredients are impossible. (Also, as a sidenote, the original puddings were meat dishes. Katniss should, if anything, not recognize the dish as pudding, because she should be familiar with the meat versions as the meaning of the word.)

And the resulting meal would probably be a lot bigger than the one she's eating, since it doesn't say there's even a whole chicken's worth of meat, let alone a turkey's worth, and it's not loaves of bread, it's just rolls of bread which are much smaller than the loaves she buys.

Really, if that's "days" of hunting and gathering, no wonder they're on the brink of starvation.

What's irritating is this could have been a perfectly good point if, for example, the author had any real understanding of seasonal food or was aware that there's other plants than oranges you can't grow in temperate areas. Katniss isn't able to make any meals that involve ingredients from different parts of the year because she can't freeze or even refrigerate it and it's not sold in shops either, and plenty of warm-weather plants will be off the menu completely. Just showing her out of season cherries should be a miracle - assuming they even grow cherries in her area, since they're way too much effort to ship in.

Anyway, she goes on to talk about how effortless food is here, and what do the people do with their time. You know, I call shenanigans again. She's a hunter-gatherer because no one's working, but most of the people in her area buy their food with wages. There's been no sign people in the capital don't work, and in fact, at every meal so far there's been servants giving her food.

I look up and find Cinna’s eyes trained on mine. “How despicable we must seem to you,” he says.
Has he seen this in my face or somehow read my thoughts? He’s right, though. The whole rotten lot of them is despicable.

Cinna continues to inexplicably say exactly the right thing to come off as a good guy. Also, come on, they're not despicable because they're able to eat food. She doesn't seem to have made any connection to the food being there because they take it from the districts, it's just straight up jealousy that they have food and she doesn't.

For the opening ceremonies, you’re supposed to wear something that suggests your district’s principal industry. District 11, agriculture. District 4, fishing. District 3, factories. This means that coming from District 12, Peeta and I will be in some kind of coal miner’s getup. Since the baggy miner’s jumpsuits are not particularly becoming, our tributes usually end up in skimpy outfits and hats with headlamps. One year, our tributes were stark naked and covered in black powder to represent coal dust. It’s always dreadful and does nothing to win favor with the crowd.

Then why would they do it?

I can see the kids getting dressed in humiliating outfits if it's what the people want, but why would they dress them in humiliating outfits people don't want? Why would the local fashion designers completely misjudge the crowd like this, and why on earth would next year's designer do the same thing after the crowd hated it, and then the next one, over and over again?

It's not like it's hard. You can represent coal with a black outfit. It can be soft black or shiny. Coal turns into diamonds, so add those as highlights. There, we're done. If it's got to be fancy, maybe string up lights all through the black costume like mining lights.

Or, since I doubt anyone really cares about accuracy, decorate them with bits of shiny obsidian. And if you want to do something bizarre and artsy, dressing them all in white and then painting their exposed skin black is more interesting and less lazy than just dumping dust all over naked kids.

(Also - District 11 is agriculture? Unless it's huge, they can't possibly be growing a wide enough variety of plants for the capital to have whatever they want. I guess you could get away with a bit if you had extensive greenhouses, but there's also going to be plants that don't grow well unless it gets extremely cold.

(I suppose it's possible that things are actually worse than they seem, and even in the capital a lot of foods we have today aren't available, but there's no sign of that.)

Anyway, Cinna points out the obvious that the whole coal miner stripper outfits have been done, and he wants people to actually remember this year's costumes.

“And what do we do with coal? We burn it,” says Cinna.
“You’re not afraid of fire, are you, Katniss?” He sees my expression and grins.

Well, that's another obvious option. I can't really be impressed because I can't shake the issue of why no one else every thought of this.

Also, why is this all about exceptions? First they managed to convince their mentor to sober up and try to help them, now they're getting a good designer after years of their tributes being dressed in humilating stripper clothes. The bad shit is happening to other people, unnamed people. Katniss is using their outrage here to get sympathy, but she's not actually experiencing it herself.

Show/tell again.

She gets dressed up in a black outfit with a fluttering cape made of streams of orange, yellow, and red . Because that's not over the top enough, the cape is then going to get lit on fire.

“It’s not real flame, of course, just a little synthetic fire Portia and I came up with. You’ll be perfectly safe,” he says. 

...what the fuck is synthetic fire? Artificially made fire? Fake fire? I'd assume fake fire except it's stated he's going to actually light something with the fire.

My face is relatively clear of makeup, just a bit of highlighting here and there. My hair has been brushed out and then braided down my back in my usual style.

Because what's important is whether or not your prettiness is fake. Katniss is getting legitimately pretty by not wearing makeup, so it's okay to make a big deal of how good she looks.

“I want the audience to recognize you when you’re in the arena,” says Cinna dreamily. “Katniss, the girl who was on fire.”
It crosses my mind that Cinna’s calm and normal demeanor masks a complete madman.

I realize this is probably meant to be comic relief after all the grimdarkness, but it's really more distracting. And I don't see the point in wasting time trying to set Cinna up as a Good Person who notices how much things suck when he's still spending his time making stupid outfits and caring about that.

 everyone is absolutely giddy with excitement over what a splash we’ll make. Except Cinna. He just seems a bit weary as he accepts congratulations.

Really, book, where the hell are you going with this? Is Cinna supposed to be a secret double-agent or something? I mean, he's not doing the best job of it because if he is he should try to be more gung-ho, but we're established YA can't really be expected to handle subtlety well.

She sees they've dressed Peeta in the same sort of outfit and figures it means he thinks it'll work.

He should know about fire, being a baker’s son and all. 

Except she, and probably just about everyone else in her town, cook using fires too. So everyone should know about fire.

Anyway, she and Peeta talk and are convinced they're going to get horrible burns. Apparently he was just going along with it because he was too scared to argue with the stylist, or he did argue and they stuck him in it anyway. Why didn't anyone demonstrate this to them? I mean, it doesn't seem unreasonable that kids are going to be a bit nervous about this part.

Cinna appears with a lighted torch. “Here we go then,” he says, and before we can react he sets our capes on fire. I gasp, waiting for the heat, but there is only a faint tickling sensation. 

Fire doesn't work that way. And no, calling it "synthetic" doesn't explain anything, he's using an actual torch here, what the fuck how does that work.

He lets out a sign of relief. “It works.”

He didn't test it?

Wait, no, this makes even less sense than him not testing it. He and the other fashion designer apparently came up with the stuff, so they'd have had to try it out in the process of inventing it.

Also, Cinna is apparently a dick who decided the risk of horribly burning the kids was worth it for everyone to notice him

 At first, I’m frozen, but then I catch sight of us on a large television screen and am floored by how breathtaking we look. In the deepening twilight, the firelight illuminates our faces. We seem to be leaving a trail of fire off the flowing capes. Cinna was right about the minimal makeup, we both look more attractive but utterly recognizable.

So it's okay to look pretty when it's Katniss.

I lift my chin a bit higher, put on my most winning smile, and wave with my free hand. I’m glad now I have Peeta to clutch for balance, he is so steady, solid as a rock. As I gain confidence, I actually blow a few kisses to the crowd. The people of the Capitol are going nuts, showering us with flowers, shouting our names, our first names, which they have bothered to find on the program.

Really, why do they keep playing along? They're not even being heavily coached half the time this happens, playing nice with the people just seems to come naturally. And Katniss never seems to think about how she's doing exactly what they want when she does this.

I notice a lot of the other tributes are shooting us dirty looks, which con­firms what I’ve suspected, we’ve literally outshone them all. 

Once again, it's okay as long as it's Katniss doing it. When the other districts are getting attention, it's so unfair. When she's the one in the limelight, all's fair in love and war.

Anyway, Peeta compliments her.

A warning bell goes off in my head. Don’t be so stupid. Peeta is planning how to kill you, I remind myself. He is luring you in to make you easy prey. The more likable he is, the more deadly he is.

Mm, this is actually rational now, I'd say. He's acting more friendly toward her now as the games approach, her being paranoid about it makes sense. The only issue is that she keeps treating it like everyone is out to kill her personally - I don't think it's been acknowledged even once that some people might be trying to convince people not to kill them without it being part of a strategy to murder those same people. Getting people not to go after you is a pretty good idea in itself.

But because two can play at this game, I stand on tiptoe and kiss his cheek. 

Finally. A much saner gesture than dumping the cookies. The survivalist response should be to take everything given and play along without actually committing, not throw a fit about not accepting it.

Date: 2011-03-26 03:59 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I’m guessing that the image for the games is similar to the coliseum arena in Rome for you, right? The book is very confusing in that way. When I was reading it to my mom she kept having me stop because she was confused about several things, including the whole stylists ordeal, the food wasting, the tesserae. Plus, she began to dislike the main character after hearing how she slaughtered that ‘crazy’ lynx. Yeah, she’s a total animal lover.
What always irritated me were the countless sentences where Katniss over described how deprived and poor her family was and still is. It made me wonder how I could get flamed for having an Angsty Sue, yet this author didn’t just because she’s making bank.
I’m guessing that you definitely know a good deal about chickens, evident by the adorable pics that are scattered amongst your posts. I find it amusing how oranges are always the expensive fruit in stories while apples are as common as death. I assumed that it was rice too, but she later mentions rice as simply that. Rice.
Ugh, yes, a good deal of melodrama, eh? You seem to really hate that stuff, the proof being the ranting reviews you give about angst.
It’s mentioned that District 11 is huge, but you might not want spoilers. Or maybe you do so you won’t have to be troubled with finishing the novel. Unless, are you enjoying the read? Not to go against what I just wrote, but Cinna is kind of double agent ish. I don’t know. It’s never really clarified.
Overall, I actually liked Cinna some, but he was pretty unrealistic at times. And, yeah, Katniss is kind of crazy. I wonder how they’ll incorporate it into the upcoming film adaption…
Also, Pokeweed? Is that code for Pokémon weed? Yeah, I’ve been writing way too many fanfics for the Pokémon section…

Date: 2011-03-26 04:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
It's more like the imagry of a ten year old who didn't actually know anything about Rome but that there were death matches. It's hard to describe, it's this really strong sense that it's the pop culture conception of it, as filtered through several layers of interpretation, rather than the author doing any direct historical research. It's like that stupid song that talks about Romeo and Juliet and the Scarlet Letter and it's so damn obvious the singer has never read the originals but is just going off stuff she heard people saying in passing.

The book sort of just floats along and works as long as you don't examine anything. It does have its own sort of internal logic, but any thought leads you to the realization there's no substance. (Seriously, those damn fish. How big were they? Sunfish are pretty small, while trout can be pretty big. Trading six sunfish and trading six trout is completely different. No, really, this matters because I want to figure out how much food she's eating.)

It's not so much the angst as that it's bad angst. I eat angsty shit up, but ideally, you want horrible stuff happening and the character silently bearing it, while Katniss half the time is complaining about minor things that, compared to the other stuff she goes through, should be no big deal, and all of the time is spending paragraphs on how miserable she is.

I've finished the book (though at speed, so my comprehension was shot), but nothing else in the series. Prefer to avoid further spoilers.

See, as a person, Cinna does seem nice. It's as a character I don't like him.

^_^ I actually have pokeweed growing in my backyard. It's why I was so surprised to see it mentioned.

Date: 2011-03-26 05:17 am (UTC)
ext_276146: (Help you make it to the top)
From: [identity profile] bay115.livejournal.com
It's like that stupid song that talks about Romeo and Juliet and the Scarlet Letter and it's so damn obvious the singer has never read the originals but is just going off stuff she heard people saying in passing.

Oh, you mean Taylor Swift's Love Story? GAWDS, I HATE THAT SONG! :/ Many of my friends love it and can't stop talking about it when it first aired in the radio. -_- And haha, yeah she indeed didn't read the originals of those two. I read both stories in 9th grade English and yeah, pretty depressing stuff, LOL.

Date: 2011-03-26 05:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com

The most annoying thing is the song will come on and I won't mind it for several lines, and then SUDDEN BURST OF STUPID.

Date: 2011-03-26 06:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] simon-alexander.livejournal.com
I just read the lyrics to that song.

I think I would have rather read The Hunger Games. *sigh*

Date: 2011-03-26 06:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ember-reignited.livejournal.com
I did too. I'd heard of it but had been avoiding it but I finally got too curious.

"Don't be afraid, we'll make it out of this mess!" Yeah, you know what might make that more convincing? If you would stop comparing yourselves to the protagonists of one of the most famous romantic tragedies of all time.

Date: 2011-03-26 05:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] simon-alexander.livejournal.com
So yes, actually, Katniss was right about hating him. It isn't that he's messed up, he was just sitting back letting kids die because they probably would anyway so why put the effort in.

This. This so much. I at first liked the idea of Haymitch (even if his character was handled with all the care of a rockslide). I love alcoholic characters, they're like my mainstaple in writing, especially when there's a reason for the alcoholism. But the author, whether on purpose or not, pulled this and made me dislike him right there.

And I'm liking Effie out of spite. I don't think this is right.

I know that disliking the main character doesn't make them a bad MC but in this case, (I think, anyway) we're supposed to like Katniss. But she just seems like a paranoid moron who needs to move out of the way and let that awesome Cinna take the lead role. How cool would that be, a stylist for these terrible games trying to end them or something? Way more interested in that than this peach of a character Katniss. Ugh.

Date: 2011-03-26 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
And I'm liking Effie out of spite. I don't think this is right.

It's an example of the temporal issues authors have. See, the way it is in real life is a person does something obnoxious to show they're bad, and then we cheer at every petty misfortune that befalls them. But since the author often writes already knowing they'll do something obnoxious, they put in this sort of petty sniping before the character's done anything to deserve it.

So here, by the time Effie does anything obnoxious, she's already been treated unfairly so it's easy to feel like events are getting twisted around to mock her. Plus, she's already been kicked so many times before doing anything wrong that instead I feel inclined to forgive her.

Of course, if you're the target audience, you're probably more likely to not need reasons for the bullying treatment the text has. Which is part of why I harp on it so much - a lot of kids' books will do this and reinforcing the idea that if people are being mean to someone, the person must deserve it is not good.

But she just seems like a paranoid moron who needs to move out of the way and let that awesome Cinna take the lead role.

I don't think she's really a bad character, but definitely, the story would be stronger if she wasn't monopolizing it. Cinna would probably be similarly repetitive on some other subject, but he looks more interesting because he doesn't have the space to be. Dividing the story up between characters more would prevent anyone from outstaying their welcome.

Date: 2011-03-26 12:16 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I've heard that one theory for Katniss' paranoia and whatnot is that she has PTSD from her traumatic childhood. Obviously has some holes that you pointed out here, but I'm just throwing it out there.

Date: 2011-03-26 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
There's more kinds of trauma than PTSD.

Diagnostic symptoms for PTSD include re-experiencing the original trauma(s) through flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, and increased arousal – such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger, and hypervigilance.

PTSD usually comes from a single incredibly stressful event or a series of such that a person is fixated on, and it doesn't manifest in cute little displays of how you just don't trust people.

She's not having panic attacks, and so far I haven't noticed anything set her off and cause a sudden behavior change in the way a trigger should. (She wakes up and her sister isn't there, and it doesn't trigger a panic attack about the time she was scared her sister would be taken away to the orphanage or die of starvation, she just calmly thinks her sister's crawled off to sleep with the mother.) Just constantly reacting to people being nice by assuming they're evil isn't good enough. The most that she's got is nightmares about her dad, and given the nightmare is focused on an event she didn't see and not her actual experience of it I'm not even going to give her that. Poverty and starvation are examples of long-term trauma that can cause something similar, but she's not acting anything like someone with those - she's entirely too rational about food for someone with her background. She isn't trying to horde it or horde anything for that matter, and she mostly only thinks about it when it's available or when she's hungry, instead of constantly.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica's Kyoto shows what poverty-related trauma would look like - it's very common for people to obsess about food, especially constantly wanting some on hand and eating often because they don't like feeling hungry. Katniss, instead, THROWS THE COOKIES OUT THE WINDOW and rationally explains her gorging by trying to pack on pounds, and she's in control enough that she doesn't eat to the point of throwing up.

Moreover, young kids tend not to develop it in particular, but instead grow up with a more generally fucked up view of things, because it's not a disruption in how they already think things work but a failing to ever establish a healthy model.

If you really wanted to diagnose her with something, it's more likely it'd be some form of attachment disorder because of how her mother stopped reacting, but she's not showing the kind of trust issues she should have from that. Her trust issues do have a certain resemblance to an abused child, but only not very. Psychologically, she's about as realistic so far as a character who gets amnesia with a hit on their head. She does have some weird behavior, but it all looks like bad writing of a character than someone who's supposed to look deliberately maladjusted.

ALSO she's already in a situation that has numerous things that could cause PTSD - the reaping and then watching the yearly hunger games, finding the dead bodies of people who starved to death, seeing other abused children - and she doesn't seem to have any traumatic reactions to those, unless we treat her lack of reaction as a disassociative symptom, and she seems to manage righteous anger too well for that to be true.

Date: 2011-03-26 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Puella Magi Madoka Magica's Kyoto

oh my god you're watching this. well it seems like everyone is but man I want to hear your thoughts on it!! ... also hunger games. do both. >D

Date: 2011-03-26 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wonsab.livejournal.com
^ This.

Date: 2011-03-26 11:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
Um. It is really cool and I like it.

Smart thoughts are hard for good things.

Ummm...everyone seems to think Kyubey tells the truth and I don't think so. I think the times he's volunteered information have been damage control, and anything that wasn't obvious may still be a lie. The fact the girls are treating him as telling the truth is part of their problem. They need to cut all ties.

The one time he gives them major useful information, it's about the soul gems. Homura would have explained after returning anyway, so he spins it as that they just didn't ask and tells them first. He does explain about grief seeds later, but that's after they're already worked everything important out. Mami trusted Kyubey, and she's completely on her own without any help and knows very little about what's happening. There have to be plenty of new girls made all the time, most of whom are going to be decent people. The fact she's isolated is probably his doing. The girls are easier to control on their own and more likely to have a bad run that ends with them turning into witches, and no one's there to learn from fatal mistakes.

Kyoto is told exactly what she needs to hear to get herself killed. If Kyubey had told her to do it, she probably wouldn't have trusted him, or at least would have realized Kyubey was lying to get her killed and warned Madoka in the end. There may or may not be any truth to what he said, but he obviously sounded like he was telling the truth and that's how he removed Kyoto. And I don't believe that he's just alien and doesn't understand human feelings. He's from a species powered by them and deliberately picking kids to induce an emotional rollercoaster in, and he's too good at manipulation. He calls in Kyoto because he knows her way of dealing with witches will force a confrontation. (And possibly, because Kyoto on her own was doing too good a job. It doesn't seem like she was at any risk of turning into a witch.)

I think the idea you can get any useful information out of Kyubey is another trick for those familiar with genre tropes.

I have no idea what's going to happen. It seems like if Madoka makes the right wish or does the right thing it might be possible to fix things. I'm kind of worried the only way to "save" Madoka is to kill her before she becomes a magical girl, but that doesn't seem like it'd fit Himura's wish when we know she does die in two timelines.

I'm also worried Kyubey is trying to remove Himura, since he's likely figured out that she'll reset and keep trying even if he convinces Madoka now. She can't reset if she dies before Madoka.

Date: 2011-03-27 01:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ember-reignited.livejournal.com
Kyouko. Homura.

As for the Incubator, I was falling into that trap up until this last episode, but now it's pretty clear to me that he doesn't even actually care about entropy, for all he tried to play what he's doing up as a noble enterprise when he spoke to Madoka. If he did, he would want the collection system to be sustainable, none of this "quota" nonsense. He's probably the magical alien equivalent of an oilman. Never ever ever ever ever trust an oilman.

Date: 2011-03-27 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
^^; haven't typed their names much.

I have no idea what's up with the collection system either. I do think he really wants Madoka to turn into a witch, because he was willing to help fix things when she died instead of turning. The obvious answer to that is that her grief seed will be huge, but since she's unbeatable there's no way to harvest it (unless possibly they can kill witches easily - I mean, he hasn't, but then he's pretended to be scared to die several times in the early episodes) and besides, he says he's already hit his quota.

It may be that he does care about entropy, but figures letting other species out into space after his species has fucked with them like this isn't a winning strategy. But considering how far we are from that killing us off now is still unbelievably wasteful.

Date: 2011-03-27 01:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ember-reignited.livejournal.com
It doesn't help that it really isn't clear when the energy is collected. There's the eating grief seeds thing, but then he tells Madoka that it's released at the moment a girl becomes a witch, which would make more sense in a way because it means that Madoka's the one to put him over his quota and that's why he wants her, but less because... well, you saw what happened when Sayaka turned, how do you harvest that? And then he even says "The entropy has been satisfied!" when Homura makes a contract.

Also it seems likely to me that in the earlier timelines Madoka WOULDN'T have become that powerful of a witch, since she wasn't as powerful of a puella magi, and thus wouldn't have released that much energy. We don't know what her wish was in the first three timelines, but in the fourth she might very well have explicitly wished for power — the power to defeat Walpurgis and save Homura. Did Kyubey somehow plan that when he first granted Homura's wish, or was it just his good luck? How long of a game is he playing?

Date: 2011-03-27 02:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
Well, if he's just picking up, like, radiation from it somehow, then the burst when the soul gem breaks into a grief seed might do it. But it's not the grief seeds then the whole taint issue is working in its own separate bubble, and in fact, why have the seeds? Why not just hand them power, tell them to go save people, and then collect the energy when the gem breaks, instead of letting them stave it off by killing witches?

(Also, if witches naturally divide and produce more of themselves, where's that fit in? He doesn't seem to discourage killing the familiars before they turn into witches at all.)

It might be that he's getting energy from all of it - the making of a contract, the breaking of a soul gem, and eating grief seeds. The contract we've seen all skew toward very emotional decisions and he's harvesting emotion. That would also explain why he's restricted by contract instead of just turning girls on his own.

Possibly the emotion of the wish is needed to power the transformation itself.

(...Or what if he's just releasing the grief seeds again? If the point of witches is just to get the girls to use up their power and transform, that'd be the way to do it. It'd explain why there are so many witches around when a single girl seems to kill multiple witches before transforming herself, and ones like Mami at least try to kill off familiars before it gets that far.)

Madoka's strength is another issue. If it's simply a matter of wishing to be strong, I'd think he'd do more to try to steer girls into doing that. Maybe what wish works varies too widely to be known. Or it might be that strength isn't all there is - the most powerful Madoka is the one that had no experience. She did win in a single shot, but the single shot also turned her into a witch. It might be the amount of power you can channel at one time has nothing to do with your total reserves - maybe that's why Homura's made it so long, she's weak but has the same total capacity, so she can't use her power up too fast.

Date: 2011-03-27 03:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ember-reignited.livejournal.com
Also, if witches naturally divide and produce more of themselves, where's that fit in? He doesn't seem to discourage killing the familiars before they turn into witches at all.

That would seem to point to it not being eating the grief seeds that's important, right? It does speed up the transformation process if the girls use their energy like that.

Possibly the emotion of the wish is needed to power the transformation itself.

That seems likely, given Sayaka's experience. Right at the end, she made it very clear she felt like the curse was just the other side of the coin from her wish.

...Or what if he's just releasing the grief seeds again?

That would make a LOT of sense. How else do you get grief seeds like the one Charlotte came from, that just show up out of nowhere and germinate? We've seen that first-generation witches don't work like that. We haven't seen how witches that grow from familiars work, so it could also be that. But I like your idea because it makes everything that much more depressingly futile, and thus it seems very likely.

Date: 2011-03-27 03:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
It's possible the witches are generating some energy from misery. The familiars have to eat at least a few people to transform and eating people seems to involve torturing them a bit. But it's probably very little compared to a girl who turns into a witch. Maybe manipulating people like that deadens emotions too much, or just the conversion isn't very efficient. It just seems like they should be in the energy cycle somewhere...

I think Mami said something about grief seeds germinating again if they get too much taint, right? Maybe even that's what a familiar is, excess taint, and they don't naturally transform, he's the one actually turning them into witches again. He is called an incubator, not a collector.

Date: 2011-03-27 11:07 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
That's an interesting theory. I think that maybe witches just radiate energy constantly -- that would explain why he doesn't try to extract Gretchen's grief seed, and simply say that his quota is fulfilled. If he actually cared about entropy, he'd try to get as much energy as he could, or at least try to make it sustainable. It would also explain what he meant when he said that witches are the most efficient producers of energy -- maybe they give off energy but magical girls don't.

There's also the question of what taint is, exactly. Why does using magic corrupt one's soul? I heard one theory that, going on the Faust parallel, it's "sin", since magic is Satan's power in Christian mythology, and thus using magic corrupts one's soul with "sin". Seems kind of unlikely, though, since it doesn't parallel absolutely everything in Faust. It does seem like taint is what QB wants to absorb, though.

I've also heard the theory that the Witch's Kiss is a witch trying to get rid of its taint -- it's possible that the witches are still trying to purify themselves, so they dump taint onto muggles' souls. Or something. Perhaps we'll never get an answer for the minor details, since the final episodes are probably just going to be the climatic final boss fight...

By the way, Farla, have you seen this (http://wiki.puella-magi.net/Characters)? Of note are the witch cards, which reveal interesting information about witches' personalities, especially Kriemhild Gretchen's.

Date: 2011-03-27 02:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ember-reignited.livejournal.com
...oh, neat! I'd actually wondered if Madoka's witch name would be Gretchen. I guess I should have called it.

Date: 2011-03-27 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
Well, since they're entropy-violating, it might simply be energy generation. in D&D, areas with a surplus of positive energy means you keep gaining health...until you explode.

So they're not simply perpetual motion machines, but ones that keep speeding up if they don't dump taint into something.

Date: 2011-03-27 01:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purplekitte.livejournal.com
I was kind of hoping when Kyouko was first introduced that her wish had been for something really selfish yet not trivial nor petty for someone without adult support and a past of deprivation--always having an unlimited food supply. Her obsession with food is very obvious but it works better than Katniss'.

Date: 2011-03-27 02:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ember-reignited.livejournal.com
That was my speculation as well. Since then I've reworked it into headcanon for Charlotte — who for some reason actually asked for an unlimited supply of sweet food (maybe she was thinking of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory???) and so still ended up malnourished and craving something savory.

Date: 2011-03-27 03:13 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
That's an interesting headcanon. Charlotte in particular seems to get a lot of speculation. (It's actually been theorized that she's one of the characters in one of the prequel novels, but as a magical girl.) I've heard a lot of evidence that she was a cancer patient with an eating disorder, and wished for the food she couldn't have on a patient's diet (chemotherapy patients can't eat cheese, which she says she loves most...).

Of note is that from what we've seen so far, witches seem to be denied the one thing they desire most, and kept in eternal grief -- Charlotte can create an infinite supply of desserts, but cannot create the one food she loves most. Gertrud probably wanted her garden to remain undefiled, yet her barrier is constantly "intruded" by humans and magical girls, which infuriates her, according to her witch card. If Gretchen were to succeed in creating "heaven on Earth", it would probably be twisted in such a way that it wouldn't be what she really wanted, possibly by killing everyone. (As it is, her central objective seems to be Madoka's desire to help others gone horribly wrong already.) Perhaps this will come into play in the last two episodes?! D:

Date: 2011-03-27 04:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
My first thought with Charlotte was diabetic (sweets + insulin needles) but the chemo option seems to fit better.

Date: 2011-03-27 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hm. I've actually heard another theory that the witches' barriers are affected by the outside world -- only the innermost chambers of their labyrinths are perfect reflections of their desires/past life/etc. From what we've seen so far, the first rooms of a labyrinth seem similar to where the characters entered. It's entirely possible that the hospital imagery in Charlotte's barrier was simply due to her proximity to a hospital, not because it has relation to Charlotte herself.

Date: 2011-03-27 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
That would make sense. I was viewing the transition as more crunchy trauma shell filled with gooey wish-fulfillment center.

Date: 2011-03-27 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
That works too actually! We may never know, though...

Date: 2011-03-27 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
I guessed the same. I'd like to see what a reasonable sort of wish creates, but looking at the pattern, I think Kyubey only picks those who make more dramatic wishes. It may even be that this is what he means by hidden potential.

Date: 2011-03-27 05:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ember-reignited.livejournal.com
What would a reasonable wish even be?

Date: 2011-03-27 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
A selfish one.

Mami's was the closest, but in general, a wish to get some helpful advantage to the girl herself. I was expecting a wish for power to be the right wish early on, when the girls were considering making the deal for the purely altruistic reason of saving people from witches. People seem instead to make wishes tangential to the actual magical girl thing.


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