Who would have ever forgotten about Kyubey, the infamous character of Mahou Shoujo Madoka and arguably the most debatable character of the year? This cutesy rodent-like creature significantly raised Madoka into the pedestal. What I truly find interesting about Kyubey is how he plotted such villainous acts without actually being wicked. It was long debated whether he’s evil or not. But until now, I still stand by my belief that he’s neither good nor evil. He’s simply amoral.
Truth and Trickery
One of the most interesting topics that Kyubey brought up was the notion of truth and trickery. Some say that this manipulative creature is evil because he turned vulnerable girls into magical girls to fight the evil witches. However, the tricked was he didn’t tell these girls that by doing so, their pure seeds would turn into grief seeds. On the other hand, the pro Kyubey ones are arguing that there’s nothing wrong with what he did. Kyubey asked the girls to sign on a contract to maintain a surplus of usable energy in the universe. This collected energy from the magical girls’ emotions is being used to refill the lost energy. Hence, Kyubey is only acting for the greater good.
So why did I see Kyubey as amoral?
Amoral is being free from moral and immoral beliefs. Personally, when it comes to morality, I’d like to think that it’s nothing but well crafted and defined ideas of right and wrong, wherein these notions are not universal and simply man made. I believe anyone who’s amoral sees truth as a “necessary lie” to set the order of things—believing that we are pre-programmed by nature to carry out such tasks in the world.
In addition, according to Kyubey, the problem with humans is, because of our emotions, we don’t simply accept things the way they are especially if we are the ones being aggravated and used as sacrificial lambs—which eventually creates chaos within the order. For instance Sayaka, she signed on a contract to reverse Kyosuke’s fate. However, she couldn’t accept the result when the outcome didn’t go her way—which was obviously because she cheated on fate. Also, Sayaka should’ve asked what the contract was all about before signing on.
- My very first post for this blog is about Mahou Shoujo Madoka.
- Remember those days when this emoticon was everywhere? ／人◕ ‿‿ ◕人＼
Yes, Kyubey <3
I’m not sure if they’re amoral or if they simply have a different set of moral beliefs.
If I remember correctly, Kyuubey does justify his actions by claiming that they obtain the humans’ consent first. This seems that to indicate that he does have moral values, since otherwise he would just take what he wants without any guilt (assuming consent isn’t a requirement of the magic… I don’t recall).
The Kyuubeys also make what we could term a “moral” judgement in deciding that a quest to save the universe from entropy is a worthwhile undertaking. We could cynically ascribe this to self-interest, but I doubt any of the QBs will live long enough to witness the entropic death of the universe (unless they’re immortal or something?). They actually want to save the universe for the sake of their fellow and future QBs, or perhaps for the sake of the universe itself. I’d consider this an altruistic and moral undertaking.
But the most convincing evidence that the QBs have moral values, I think, comes from Kyuubey’s mention of the fact that certain QBs do develop emotions, and are considered mentally insane. Now, it would be in their best interest to encourage this behavior: as we know, emotions are the force that can reverse entropy and save the universe. But they don’t encourage this, because having emotions is insane. So they make a moral judgement, and decide that it is better to risk destroying the universe than to become insane as a species.
From what I understand moral values are nothing but a human creation. It’s just a made up ideology that we are using to pattern which one is ‘good’ and ‘bad’. As for the Kyubeys, I don’t think they’re really after that kind of system, but rather concerned with one reasoning which is only to fulfil their purpose. As for the negotiating part, I believe that’s just part of the process that needs to be done. They have to get the human consent in order for them to proceed with their next action–I don’t think they can’t skip that part because it’s part of the process that they are bounded to.
‘certain QBs do develop emotions, and are considered mentally insane’
How I interpret this is Kyubeys act like machines and pre-programmed to ‘save’ the world. Apparently, emotions can divert their purpose or can put bump on their straight line of ‘reasoning’ or rule. Hence, saving the world isn’t really because they want to be morally correct (by human definition), but that’s just who they are.
But of course, we have our own understanding of the context. To settle this down, perhaps you’re right, Kyubeys might have their own set of moralities which are different from humans. But, can we really call that as ‘morality’ since humans already predefined this term in their own ways?
The question of whether the QBs have a morality depends on how we define morality. (well, duh) If we define morality as a human creation, then of course the QBs don’t have a morality: they aren’t human.
I prefer to go with a bit wider definition of morality. I like this definition from the dictionary, “Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.” Morality is having an idea of right and wrong. I would claim that how this idea of right and wrong came into being doesn’t change whether it is an idea of right or wrong or not.
So if the QBs only concern is fulfilling their purpose, then don’t they see their purpose as “right”, and not fulfilling their purpose as “wrong”? This seems like a moral system to me. In fact, it seems awfully like a moral system shared by many humans: only the purpose itself is different.
Your second argument (if I’m understanding this correctly) is that the QBs are machines, and do not have free will, and therefore do not have morality. I’m not sure there’s any more evidence regarding whether the QBs have free will than there is regarding whether humans have free will. Humans also behave perfectly rationally, unless emotions divert their purpose. So humans are amoral creatures. :)
As for me, I’d like to think morality not exactly between right and wrong but rather good and evil because something that is right isn’t necessary good. For instance, it’s wrong to lie, but what white lies give good consequences. So I’d like to think of it as an acceptable behaviour or manner. When I was defining Kyubey, I’m under the perspective of being a human, someone who’s bounded by my moral system because after all morality is a human rationality. ^^
I do understand that one might see Kyubey fulfilling his purpose as a moral act because they’re doing the “right” thing according to their purpose. However, I see him as amoral because it’s just like what you have mentioned they perfectly and rationally behave. It may not be mentioned that they don’t have a free will. But following the logic that they’ve been only collecting emotions over and over, I do think that they’re like machines. Another analogy is why I find Kyubey as amoral creature is because they’re like animals—they don’t have the rationality of being a human. Say for instance, snakes. Some people define them as bad creatures because of how they devour and act. However, come to think of it, they’re just acting according to their nature and help balance the food chain. Indeed, we can extend the definition of morality beyond human definition. But do snakes really eat rodents knowing and claiming what they’re doing is good—I don’t think so. So pretty much just like Kyubeys. They store energy not for goodness sake but just to act accordingly to their nature–which is reasoned out why they don’t have emotions.
“Humans also behave perfectly rationally, unless emotions divert their purpose. So humans are amoral creatures.”
Yes, human can perfectly behave as amoral creatures and that is by isolating them. Tarzan is a very good example of this.
Kyubey is a very intresting mascot indeed. Not sure about the amoral part, but certainly he isn’t evil in a way a human is, since he lacks emotions. I think he kinda represents the consequences of cold logic, rationalism and positivism. On the other end of the spectrum lies Homura, who represents a being controlled solely by her emotions and is unable to let go. This has repercussions, too. Madoka is somehow standing for the balance between these two.
Back to Kyubey: even though I don’t see him as evil, if I were in Madoka’s place I’d cry just as her about my loses and I’ll probably try to kill the ‘bastard’ who takes away innocent lives, the way Homura wanted to cook him :P
“I think he kinda represents the consequences of cold logic, rationalism and positivism.”
I agree with this. And also, like what I replied to Draggle-kun, I think Kyubey only like a machine. He doesn’t care about the path, as long as the end result will fulfil his purpose.
if I were in Madoka’s place I’d cry just as her about my loses and I’ll probably try to kill the ‘bastard’ who takes away innocent lives
Actually I cried when Homura shot Madoka, and when Homura didn’t want to let go of Madoka on the last episode. I guess it’s unavoidable, after all we’re humans. ^^
Kyubey approve this post. ／人◕ ‿‿ ◕人＼
Thank you Kyubey~ ／人◕ ‿‿ ◕人＼
Kyubey, in my eyes, is as you have described him/her/it/We don’t know the gender.
On the 9 point chart of human character, Kyubey would actually be Chaotic Good, one who strives to do what is good without heed to the cost to achieve the goal. Pretty much, Kyubey has a notion of “The ends justifies the means”. These kinds of characters usually tend to have the extremes of fans as you either hate his guts and want to grind him into minced meat or you love his ideas for good.
Personally, I’m sitting on the fence with my thoughts about Kyubey as although I know his acts were for good, I do pity the Mahou Shoujo who were screwed over.
Oh yes, Kyubey is genderless. I just happened to use him….
I understand we’re you’re coming from. I’m just refusing to categorized him as “good” because I don’t think that he’s doing that neither for charity act nor goodness sake. I see him that for him, he is just simply defaulted to the such acts. Kyubey, for me, is the type of character who doesn’t mind good or evil.
But of course, a viewers, we can pretty much weigh the reasoning behind his character and can judge accordingly on how we understand him. Also, I’m with you. I see Kyubey’s goal as something good, but the way to get there is evil–pretty much they cancel out together putting Kyubey on the neutral zone.
Ephemeral Dreamer said:
Kyubey is certainly one of the most memorable characters this year, and I do agree that Kyubey is not good nor evil; he just has no sense of emotion, but he does have ethics. When he asks the girls to make a contract, he was ensuring that the usable energies of the universe was stable. This was for the benefit of the greatest common good, and he recognizes that ethically. But to apply such an approach, from his experiences with the previous puella magi, he decided to stop listing out the fine details to avoid all the backlash against himself and his purpose. The ends justifies the means, indeed. I think it’s all about Kyubey’s own ethics that people have been debating about, not his own personality.
I guess pretty much you summed up what I have in mind. I also do agree with you and Draggle that perhaps Kyubey have their own sense of ethics and morality. We’re discussions about this because Kyubey’s actions are threat to how humans define morality and ethics.
Kyuubey is a amoral utilitarian pretty much sums it up.
From what I know about utilitarian is you want to achieve the “maximum happiness.” I don’t think this fully applies to Kyubey since he doesn’t have emotions.
It’s quite simple really, Kyubey has come to Earth for a purpose and the girls who signed its contract are part of said purpose. It has goals. It isn’t concerned with right or wrong, it merely records the progress and uses a Faustian style of negotiation to get its message across. It’s kinda like Brainiac, who seeks to devour all data in existence because that’s all it wants to do. He doesn’t care what he’s doing is right or wrong, he does it just because. Kyubey has its own sense of logic.
Oops, bad example, Brainiac is clearly evil and is aware of the fact his actions are vile. Kyubey however, isn’t concerned with consequences, only results.
You really loved Faustian, eh! But I agree with you OG, Kyubey isn’t concerned with the consequences, just the end results. Plus, neither being good nor evil concerns him.
Everyone loves them some Kyuubey! After all he was the one we all loved to hate every week! I know I was like damn this little ball of furr is evil….And they showed it whenever he ate himself…ahahah that moment was pure WTF but still awesome.
Haha, I know right? Kyubey is certainly up there as a WTF character.
See, this is why you should read the fine print.
The thing I never understood about Kyubey is that a lot of his actions seemed, well, unnecessary. If everything he says about MGs is true, then I’m not sure why he doesn’t just wait for everyone in his way to disappear naturally, and THEN ask Madoka for the contract. I don’t think it’s ever stated that he needs it urgently. And if a character makes amoral decisions mainly out of impatience, then I think they do in fact qualify as evil.
From what understand, what Kyubey wants is not really to save the universe but rather he likes surplus of energy to prevent the doomsday. He can’t wait for everyone to disappear because existence of humanity is still part of the picture for the Kyubeys.
And if a character makes amoral decisions mainly out of impatience, then I think they do in fact qualify as evil.
I don’t think Kyubey is impatient, but I do think that he’s always looking for the best possible route or where he can use littlest time and energy.
Cely (¬.¬) (@CelyBelly_) said:
Simply, BEWARE of talking cats :O LOL
Amoral . . I like that. It’s true morals and emotions are influenced from anything around us. As an alien, he was brought up differently, maybe.
I guess so too, since I always like to think that whatever we believe in is just how we constructed the world.
Cave Story said:
“Behind that pretty face lies a monster”. Well, when pple see something cute, they expect the character to match. Otherwise, people find it hard to accept what they are seeing. Like contemplating upon a spider, so small yet so lethal, the sub-concious part of pple find this reality somewhat inconsistent. As a result, fear usually develops.
I think a person can choose to be amoral. But, he cannot blame others for labeling him as evil because from these other people’s point of view, his amoral attitude was proven to be detrimental to their well-being most of the time. Then again, good and evil are merely easy references made to remind us if an interaction will be fruitful or harmful…most of the time again.
I think a person can choose to be amoral. But, he cannot blame others for labeling him as evil because from these other people’s point of view, his amoral attitude was proven to be detrimental to their well-being most of the time.
Yes, I agree with this. After all, morality is just an ideology… a human construct and definition of what is acceptable and not.
Also, every person has his/her own definition of what is good and evil.
Kyubey is one of those minds that believes that the ends justify the means. Whether or not he’s evil depends on how you look at it. Saving the univerise is a noble cause and it’s hard to argue that doing so is bad, but if you look solely at the way Kyubey tricks the girls, that is considered evil. It begs the question, can an evil person do good? or even, can a good person do evil?
Yes, that’s why I would like to think Kyubey as neither good nor evil, or simply amoral. Like the example that I gave to Draggle, snakes devours other creatures which in our eyes is bad. However, by doing this they help maintain the balance of food cycle. But, they don’t really know that what they’re doing is either evil or good.
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