Yeah for real. I do not think a lot of people look or even think that Gen Urobuchi looks at the heroic spirit from a positive point of view when looking at his work. We could look at Sayaka in Madoka Magica who tried her best to be a hero in the series, but ended up failing at it. We could also discuss Saber in Fate/Zero who tried to carry the torch of being a hero and being as lawful good as possible in a holy grail war where people like that would end up dying quickly. Especially since almost, everyone involved in that war was selfish and chaotic and hateful. I think that just by looking at those alone, one would think that Gen Urobuchi has a negative opinion towards heroism. Something which I don’t believe.
To me, I feel like Gen Urobuchi is a person that wants his heroes to know what they are in for and not to run blindly into what they are doing. Sayaka was a magical girl that never listened to those trying to help her. She held onto her ideals with an iron grip so hard that she took down other people with her. She was a complete black hole of self hate. Saber was given that treatment as well as her idealism was mocked by everyone around her. Being a lawful good in an environment where everyone is anything but would be hard and Saber, as King Arthur, is clearly the paladin of the fourth holy grail war who only has Lancer to bounce her ideals off before their death. Saber kept her ideals strong during that war because she did not have anything else to hold onto and they ended up being twisted in the worst ways.
My counter argument to show Gen Urobuchi loves heroism is Madoka herself. I think Gen Urobuchi is a person that dislikes blind heroism. He doesn’t like the heroes who only declares themselves as heroes and fights for justice when no one asked for it. In Madoka Magica, our main protagonist hangs around and wants to fight but clearly doesn’t know how or where to intrude in the current situation. Well, Homura loves her and doesn’t want Madoka to get involved, but Madoka wants to help because she is just as courageous and heroic as Sayaka. She is intelligent and raised very well by a family that loves her. Madoka waited out and chose the right moment to act after no one could stop her. She knew what she was in for and what rightful action to do to save everyone. Madoka is heroic. Tell me that I am wrong.
I feel like Gen Urobuchi reveals his thoughts on heroism in Thunderbolt Fantasy season three. So a bit of spoilers in this season but there is a lot of messy and complicated timeline stuff in that series. But regardless of that, Thunderbolt Fantasy Season 3 had a moment where our protagonist Shang traveled back in time to the guy who created the swords meant for demon slaying. That guy just did what he could at that time not knowing what future implications would be and seeing Shang with them made him sad at the mistakes he made. Shang mentioned that seeing this guy being so human and flawed made him proud in carrying them even if his task was hard. That is what I feel like is Urobuchi’s statement this entire topic.
Gen Urobuchi is not a believer in perfect people. He also doesn’t believe in people who are unchanging and think they know what everyone wants when no one has ever asked them to do something for them. That is Sayaka and Fate/Zero’s Saber. Fragile people who have nothing but their ideals to hold themselves together. They are human beings and flawed people, but not heroes. Heroes are people who try to help and do not care if the people around them actually care about what they are doing. You know, despite having family and other people that love them? That is Shang and that is Madoka. No one else knows their names in those worlds and that does not matter to them.