That was a great subversion of one of the most overused mahou shoujo tropes: the magical object that somehow allows the girls to transform themselves. Now that this show mentions it, I’ve seen very few series that actually put in a deeper meaning to these items. The only other I can think of right now is Fancy Lala.
The idea that your soul gets separated from your body when you become a mahou shoujo is a great one. It offers a very interesting explanation to all the healing and invincibility powers that you often see in these series. What’s even more interesting is that most of the mahou shoujo don’t know about that, and maintaining your soul gem suddenly gets a whole new meaning here.
Aah, and Kyuubei. Seriously, that animal was being evil in this episode: it specifically called Madoka when Sayaka was about to be attacked and it just keeps referring to Madoka’s latent powers. In this episode we also learn that it eats grief seeds. That really can’t be a good thing.
That mysterious “Walpurgis Night” will probably the climax of this series. With this episode we pretty much learn what Homura’s goal is, though it’s still unclear what she was planning to do while fighting Sayaka in this episode. She obviously was trying to do something to her without killing her, but that as all I could gather.
Rating: ** (Excellent)