Posted by psgels on 4 February 2011 with categories: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica



That new girl made her proper entrance in this episode. She at this point is a bit too stereotypically evil, and I would like to see her character in a bit more detail than someone who just wants to kill people. Other than that though, this again was an excellent episode.

She did have a good point in this episode, though: becoming a mahou shoujo, just to protect others is a very shallow reason: in order to remain strong enough to protect innocent people, you need to collect the grief seeds, which can only be collected after a witch had a meal on some innocent people. It’s a vicious cycle, and Sayaka doesn’t really seem to understand this. Sayaka really is a ticking time bomb at this point.

Also, the more this show goes on, the more trollish the OP appears. The tone is obviously misleading here, but also the transformation scene which felt completely out of place could be just a subtle jab to other mahou shoujo and some of the tropes that they just continue to overuse. Especially considering how at this point Madoka still hasn’t become one. I have seen Phantom, Gen’s other work. I know that this guy has pretended the death of characters, only to bring them back later. At the same time though, it’s not like he’s afraid to kill of characters either. My guess is that Mami will return eventually when Madoka chooses her wish. At the same time though, I’m expecting quite a number of actual deaths with the rest of the cast here.
Rating: ** (Excellent)a

23 Responses

  1. maskedguy says:

    Ummmmmmmm… Have you heard of Saya No Uta, Gen’s OTHER work?(its visual novel, so probably not…)

  2. whoperson says:

    As the episodes go by, I find it more likely that Madoka does not become a magical girl. The ending animation seems to support it – with Madoka running past all the other girls.

    It’s been made very clear that making a wish and becoming a magical girl = selling your soul. This is the 1st magical girl anime I’ve seen where the truly heroic thing for the protagonist to do is to not become a magical girl.

  3. tanukichan says:

    “Also, the more this show goes on, the more trollish the OP appears.”

    Yeah, the OP seems misleading at first sight, but if you look carefully, there’re actually not-so-subtle hints at the darker story about to take place, for example:

    – Madoka is crying in the very begining, before the title appears.
    – She cries in the next scene too (what appears in her thought is meant to mislead us).
    – The scene of Madoka running through the rain and storm.
    – The second to last scene: Madoka is crying rain drops. She has a bitter smile on her face.

    So basicly, apart from all the pinkness/fluffiness, what I can see here is that Madoka cries/looks unhappy a lot. Definitely not your typical mahou shoujo OP if you ask me.

  4. AidanAK47 says:

    I wonder why nobody I have seen so far has commented about one very important thing. Why do Mahou Shoujo have to fight witches?

    In the second episode Mami told the girls that grief seeds restore the magic power she used. However this brings up a problem. Once Kyuubei grants your wish why didn’t any magical girl just lay back and just live out their life? After all if you don’t use any magic there isn’t a problem. They are under no obligation to hunt witches. And the big question. What happened when a soul gem dims completely?

    I have a theory. Kyuubei grants your wish. And does it well. However in order to keep the wish you need to prevent your soul gem from dimming. Over time a soul gem dims. If it dims completely Kyuubei gets your soul and your wish gets undone.(That would explain the comments of “We are doing this for our wishes”) After that maybe the magical girl turns into a witch and completes the cycle.

  5. Solaris says:

    >After that maybe the magical girl turns into a witch.
    Nice hint: I was thinking about that too.
    As a matter of fact nobody yet told us where witches came from.

    Remember the first scene of the first episode.
    There was Homura in a pinch and Madoka isn’t yet a magical girl. Sakura and Sayaka aren’t even there too. That must be an anticipation of the great finale. Madoka will turn into a magic girl at last but the other two…

  6. Solaris says:

    … and i also think Sayaka is bound to become a witch too

  7. Joe says:

    The new girl doesn’t really seem like a shallow character to me. She’s obviously just a magical girl who became jaded and cynical after facing many hardships as a magical girl; she’s a survivor who does whatever she needs to in order to collect the grief seeds she needs, though it remains to be seen what happens to those who don’t get enough grief seeds.

  8. Myssa Rei says:

    I think the biggest surprise (aside from Kyoko’s general nastiness) was the fact that Kamijou turned out… rather well as a consequence of Sayaka’s wish. Whether or not this is another bait-and-switch courtesy of Gen Urobuchi though remains to be seen.

  9. Nyitora says:

    Great episode, and I really like the new girl. I felt that she wasn’t stereotypically evil; when she first appears before Sayaka, I was expecting her to attack Sayaka immediately, but she just talked, albeit arrogantly. The new girl was actually pretty chill, I thought. It’ll be interesting to see the character interactions after this.

  10. Janette says:

    I think the Opening Theme, while disregarded as lackluster by most people, is actually brilliant considering what type of story Madoka is telling. The OP demonstrates a standard magical girl story–while the story isn’t a typical story.

  11. Manticore says:

    Witch familiars needs to kill innocent people to become witches who bears grief seed.

    Where does witch familiars came from?

    If grief seeds are so much in demand. Why does other magical girls like Mami wanted Madoka and Sayaka to join? Why add more competitions?

    It was curious that Sayaka’s wish made her body that much tougher. I wonder what’s the side effect of Mami’s wish. She didn’t want to die, can it be the she’s immortal? And even now her body’s trying to recuperate in that other dimension?

  12. C160 says:

    I’m sure Sayaka’s story won’t be a happy one,that’s for sure. I really want to see Homura succeed in keeping Madoka from becoming a Puella Magi though. Just so that Kyubey will show his true color and they can have the ultimate battle of the stoics.

  13. Cicero says:

    I wouldn’t call protecting others a “shallow” reason to become a magical girls. It’s actually quite noble, and brave.

    Naive would be the term I would use. And naive is what your points suggest it is. This system is setup in such a way that it rewards a deliberate failure to protect people from familiars. So becoming a magical girl to protect others means you are handicapping yourself before you even begin.

    Yet you’ll notice that Mami (the source for Sayaka on what it means to be a magical girl) did not hesitate to destroy a familiar before it became a witch. Mami understood how the magical girl world worked, yet she choose to protect people anyway.

    To me this episode demonstrates just what a good magical girl Mami was (although she obviously also had some flaws- such as wanting friends enough that she’d drag them into the nightmare of fighting witches). It also shows that Sayaka is trying to do what is right, not just what benefits herself most. How is that “shallow”?

    Now I think it obvious that Sayaka is naive. She doesn’t really understand what she is getting into. That doesn’t make her shallow, it makes her normal and relatable.

    Suppose someone did understand what they were getting into, but choose to do it to protect people anyway? That is what makes a person a true heroine, and I think that is the message that this anime is going to push: Don’t think you can be heroic and that everything will end up bubbles and sprinkles for you- but that doesn’t it not worth being heroic.

    Sorry, I just get upset when I see fictional characters dismissed for the “flaw” of wanting to protect others.

  14. anon says:

    Some issues I see:

    1. If Kyuubei can grant any wish, why can’t you just wish for the power to grant any wish? Why can’t you just wish to be omnipotent?

    2. If as Kyuubei said, wishing for someone’s recovery will give you extraordinary regenerative powers, then, on the flip side, wishing for someone’s death will give you extraordinary killing powers? What if you wished for a person’s revival? Say, Mami’s revival? Would you then have the power to revive yourself/others and/or escape death?

    3. What happens in the case, say, I wished for another person’s hand to be healed, and later after Kyuubei healed it, he broke his hand again? Would it get healed again?

    Minor note: Sayaka is a dumb bitch. Why only wish for the recovery of the hands of the person when you can wish for the recovery of the entire body of the person? Did Sayaka never thought about what happens in the case that he never manages to reuse his legs again?

  15. T_I says:

    There are limits to wishes. Homura said that the dead do not return and once you become a magical girl there is no way to undo it.

    Furthermore, remember what Kyubei said to Sayaka? He said that “her wish was okay” He didn’t say that he could grant every wish but hers was okay. Of course he’s not explicitly saying that since devils like word play

  16. anon says:

    @T_I

    “He didn’t say that he could grant every wish”

    I am pretty sure he did at some point. Rewatch the past episodes, I am sure he did.

    “…dead do not return and once you become a magical girl there is no way to undo it.”

    But if I wish to be omnipotent, how can I be omnipotent if I can’t do those things? Do you now see the issue with be able to grant any wish?

  17. madharuhi says:

    Kyubey did say he can grant any kind of wish, being able to create all kinds of miracles (episode 2: ”僕は君達の願い事何でも一つ叶えてあげる。何だって構わない。どんな奇跡だって起こしてあげられるよ。”). Whether that is mere sweet-talking or not remains unknown though (I believe it is mere sweet-talk), whether is reviving someone actually possible or not (Homura contradicts Kyubey’s words, and I take Homura’s side since I don’t trust that little devil’s words).

    I had the same thoughts of SHAFT trolling us too, “what if Madoka does not become a Puella Magi, even by the end of the series”? Well, I don’t think it’s possible for that to happen but I can’t help but think of it.

    What I’m interested in is Kyubey’s true motives. He might be all cute and fluffy, but there’s something about the way he talks that makes me think he’s much darker than he looks. What are the consequences of becoming a Puella Magi? Yes, you have to fight Witches but is that the only thing? I doubt so. And also, what happens if you do not fight them? Do you die? Do you become a Witch? Does the contract get retracted and your wish undone? Or all of the above? Kyubey did say that a Witch is a direct opposite of a Puella Magi; A Puella Magi is born from wishes, while a Witch is born from curses. This can mean a lot of things though, maybe one that makes a negative wish (eg. wishing for someone to die) would become a Witch, or when a Puella Magi lost hope, die, or curse their own fate, etc.

    Also, Homura and Madoka’s relationship. Homura seemed to know Madoka from before and also, the dream Madoka had at the prologue seems to be trying to hint us of something.

  18. Jew McZion says:

    >>But if I wish to be omnipotent, how can I be omnipotent if I can’t do those things?
    Perhaps Kyuubei can grant omnipotence, but chooses not to, as doing so may not favor his motives. I am still unsure as to the nature of his character; he seems to have a hidden agenda given that everything he has said so far has seemed to be for the sake of making contracts (even upon Madoka’s decision not to make a contract, Kyuubei’s words of sympathy seemed to target her guilt and reinforce his own altruistic intent should her resolution waver — recall that he can read her mind so such manipulation would be conceivable). Also, unless fansubs mislead me, Kyuubei is a familiar as are the prewitch entities. If Kyuubei is to indeed become a witch, then to create magical girls to destroy potential future rivals would be most advantageous.

  19. Jew McZion says:

    >>Homura seemed to know Madoka from before and also, the dream Madoka had at the prologue seems to be trying to hint us of something.

    Perhaps a suppressed memory of the past? Or a premonition of the future? Or even a hallucination induced by Kyuubei to manipulate her into becoming a magical girl (although so far to no effect)?

    Such a thought has brought about a rather unnerving theory in me. Considering that Kyuubei can read the minds of potential magical girls, perhaps he exhibits a much greater influence over the minds of full on magical girls. So far Mami and Kyouko have been behaving in such ways as to encourage Madoka’s making of a contract (Kyuubei seems very keen on this — maybe Madoka even has magical girl potential of the degree of THE CHOSEN ONE sort). Even Sayaka’s postcontract behavior would seem support this. Then again, perhaps I am completely misinterpreting everything (a lot of maybe’s and perhaps’s).

  20. madharuhi says:

    >>Perhaps a suppressed memory of the past? Or a premonition of the future? Or even a hallucination induced by Kyuubei to manipulate her into becoming a magical girl (although so far to no effect)?

    Perhaps. Suppressed memory of the past seems unlikely, but the other two possibilities sound good to me. That or it might even end up having nothing to do with the whole story. After watching so many ridiculous plots over the decades, nothing feels impossible.

  21. david says:

    i think i may have noticed something:
    you see the signs on their nail? doesnt sayakas and mamis look like the sign on kyubes back?
    comparing it to homura: hers is different, its a cross. maybe there are other “kyube”s out there to make contracts with?

    but then again kyube said: “she did and she didnt”

    anyways i feel kyube is like a machine. it is very cold and acts only to recruite.

  22. Suzushina Yuriko says:

    I don’t agree with your view of Kyoko being stereotypically evil. It has been said by the creators that Kyoko is neither “good” nor “evil”, but she is the one who represents “reality” in this series.

    Sayaka is a good character, but she is too naive. The reason she was so angry in the first place was because Kyoko pointed out the truth – did Sayaka become a magical girl in order to save people, or did she become a magical girl in order to fulfill her own desires?

    Kyoko is currently my favorite character because I love her fighting style and her attitude. Since wishes affect the type of mahou shoujo you turn into, Kyoko’s aggresive moveset might hint that she may have wished for power or something along those lines.

    Also, agreeing with the first comment that you should really look into Saya no Uta to see what horrors Urobuchi can REALLY come up with. Just reading the summary will make you feel a bit queasy.

  23. QQ says:

    「僕は君達の願い事何でも」is somewhat ambiguous language. That doesn’t have to mean “any” kind of wish, though it could, it can also mean, “some” kinds of wishes. Slippery words from a slippery character…

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 08:38 AM)
    Jesus I never expected that doing a myanimelist/letterboxd account thing would be so hard. I’ve seen a scarily higher amount than I thought, its insanely hard to remember everything to add.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:17 AM)
    It seems then that the future of the franchise’s anime adaptations rests a bit on Schwarzesmarken’s success, which looking at the buzz doesn’t seem favourable at all. I doubt it can regain the lost audiences.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:14 AM)
    That would suggest that the author(s) had the foresight of including seemingly useless stuff that will come into play later. That’d be impressive if they did, as these kinda series are make-it-as-you-go.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:59 AM)
    It’s difficult to put into words but essentially while the first game isn’t good, it does work as a tool for introducing and endearing you to the characters. Then Unlimited sets down the rules of the new world. And finally alternative proceeds to kick your ass into next Tuesday.
    That’s sort of why I don’t think it would have the same effect if it was an anime. VNs allow you to get a more personal connection with the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:55 AM)
    It’s not quite the same. It’s more like there are things in extra which seem insignificant but turn out to play an important role later. It wouldn’t really work the same if you did it in reverse order. Character history is a bit different too as each game is essentially an alternate universe. The character histories in extra are different from those in alternative.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:38 PM)
    And also remember how Darker Than Black had a big jump between the main series and Gemini of the Meteor. They later made a 4 episode OVA that covered the gap, and although you knew the outcome it was still entertaining; or at least more than the Gemini one. There’s merit to non-linear chronology and storytelling, but it is usually very hard to pull. The audience is intrigued by secrets that can later be uncovered, although in anime the pay-off is not always substantial.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:32 PM)
    I don’t know, the audience usually only needs very limited information to figure out dynamics and histories between the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:27 PM)
    A 13 episode series would work for the second title unlimited. But Alternative is a pretty long visual novel. You need at least two cours to give it justice. Making extra an OVA could work but you do need it for alternative. But it’s not an optional part of the trilogy. It needs to be read first, so that events later have a greater impact. Personally I am not even sure Muv Luv can even work in another medium.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:12 PM)
    That might compress things, but I think a good screen-writer can fit pretty much any VN in 12-14 episodes (covering just the main route).
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:07 PM)
    @Aidan: then the best solution would’ve been to make a two cour season covering the 2nd and the 3rd book. Have the cours air two anime seasons apart, and in the middle have an offshoot short OVA that covers the 1st book, but has a more harem comedy feel to it. Think Full Metal Panic and Fumuffu.

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