While this blog is about gaming and reading, I can’t help but want to share my thoughts on this particular anime. Purella Magi Madoka Magica is an anime that starts off about a magic cat-like creature that will grant particular girls any wish in return for their devotion towards fighting evil witches. These witches curse humans and cause them to die in ways that seem more like accidents or suicide than anything magical. The girls who fight these witches in return for only one wish are known as Magical Girls (in the same vein as Sailor Moon) complete with special costumes and their own powers to fight these evil witches. It sure sounds like a light-hearted anime!
WARNING: WHAT FOLLOWS ARE SPOILERS AND STUFF LIKE THAT. Go watch it if you are into horror anime that is kind of messed up. Not Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni level, but kind of close.
Boy was I thrown for a loop while watching this anime. For the most part, I was unable to predict exactly how things were going to go for any of these characters. I was completely shocked when Mami, the Magical Girl that was going to train both Madoka and Sayaka, dies in the third episode. She gets her head bitten off by a witch she didn’t properly finish off. What’s worse is that Homura is somewhat of a red herring throughout the show until near the end when she plays her hand. Homura, the dark haired Magical Girl, is always brooding and telling Madoka to stay away from Kyubey (the magical cat creature). She desperately wants to keep Madoka from making a contract with Kyubey and becoming a magical girl… and the audience has NO idea why. We are told by Kyubey that Madoka would be the most powerful Magical Girl of all and that the miracle she would be granted would have no limit due to the amount of potential she had.
Meanwhile, Madoka and Sayaka decide they don’t want to become Magical Girls. After seeing Mami lose her life to a witch, they are both understandable shaken up by the event and try to live normal lives. There is always a ‘but’ though when it comes to these horror/drama animes, because Sayaka is in love with a boy that broke his hand. This boy broke it so badly that he may never play the violin again. Sayaka has been visiting this boy, Kyosuke, since he entered the hospital. During an argument with Kyosuke, she decides to become a Magical Girl to fix his hand. This happens just in time to save her friend Madoka and their mutual friend Hitomi (who is present in the Anime, but takes a serious back seat).
Shortly afterwards the gang runs into Kyoko, a bad-girl Magical Girl. Kyoko decides to pick a fight with Sayaka in order to one, take over the area and become its main witch hunter and two, teach Sayaka that she cannot just fight familiars (witch’s summon them and they shortly become witches after killing a few humans) and must focus on only hunting witches. Sayaka and Kyoko fight each other and Homura jumps in to rescue Sayaka just as she was about to bite the dust. Sayaka curses the two other Magical Girls and cries that they are the reason Magical Girls like Mami end up dying. Ouch!
Fast Forward a bit and Sayaka is having a plain bad time. She struggles to defeat witches, discovers that her soul gem is literally her soul and that her body is basically a lifeless husk without it, and Hitomi decides to move in on Kyosuke just as he has finished healing. OUCH! Sayaka’s soul gem becomes cloudier and darker as these events unfold and its revealed that, dun dun dun, the main sources of witches on the Earth are Magical Girls. Those who do not purify their soul gems and succumb to feelings of despair are doomed to become witches and curse humanity. Sayaka becomes a witch and she cannot be saved by any known means. Kyoko, who had actually started to somewhat get along with Sayaka, ends up killing both herself and Sayaka’s witch in one blow.
Kyubey reveals to Madoka that all Magical Girls eventually become witches. Its unavoidable if they don’t die by battle first like Mami. The reason Kyubey makes deals with the girls is because the soul gem transmits emotional energy into the universe which reverses entropy. His kind created the gems, but were unable to use them themselves due to having no emotions. Humans turned out to be the perfect batteries and so the chain of events began. The greatest energy released, according to Kyubey, is when a Magical Girl becomes a witch. He explains to Madoka that the amount of energy she would release when becoming a witch would pretty much set the universe up for a long time against entropy. That’s nice.
On top of all this, Walpurgisnacht, the most powerful witch known to the Magical Girls, is on its way the their city. Homura, who had been keeping Madoka from becoming a Magical Girl, was depending on Kyoko’s help to defeat Walpurgisnacht. At this point in the show, it is revealed that Homura is technically from the future. Not the far future, but she has witnessed Walpurgisnacht’s attack before and has met all the Magical Girls before, but before Homura was a shy, nerdy girl and Madoka was already a Magical Girl. In fact, she has been through the same month countless times and keeps returning to the start of the month when she doesn’t get the ending she wanted. It is this way that Homura ceases to be shy and becomes a powerful warrior as she has to watch her friends die over and over.
In the final battle against Walpurgisnacht, Homura is outclassed completely by the witch. She becomes wounded and gets her leg trapped under some debris. She tries to reset time, but is clouded by doubt and her soul gem becomes dark. Just as I think this anime is going to have a depressing ending, Madoka shows up with Kyubey and says she will make a contract with the little furball. While I was worried this would still lead to a bad end, Madoka makes an impossible seeming wish. She wishes to prevent Magical Girls in all times and all dimensions from becoming witches. Due to the nature of this wish, Madoka essentially becomes a god or law of the universe. Her wish causes the very fabric of time to shift and change. Mami and Kyoko live and Sayaka is content with remaining dead (I think). Madoka appears to all Magical Girls who run their limit of power and cleanses their soul gem so that they may die peacefully instead of become witches. Due to Madoka becoming a law that no Magical Girl will become a witch, it would seem that Madoka will be immortal.
As the end draws near, it seems that Magical Girls now fight a new evil called Wraiths. They aren’t witches or human, but they could be the residue of evil and despair that Madoka has been cleansing from all the Magical Girls she has encountered. The show ends with only Homura remembering who Madoka was, as she erased all traces of her existence otherwise, fighting large Wraiths by herself brandishing a large bow similar to Madoka’s Magical Girl bow and large wings.
So in the end the major change is that Magical Girls now vanish or simply die when they expend all their magical power and they fight Wraiths with no idea that originally they were doomed to fight each other in a vicious cycle. The ending of the Anime is satisfying, but obviously there is room for a sequel even if it stars other characters.