Posted by psgels on 18 February 2011 with categories: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica



Ah, the wonderful character development! This episode added a ton of new things to the characters, especially Sayaka and Kyouko. This is really what these short 13 episoded series need to do: instead of wasting time like what Fractale is currently doing, they constantly need to focus and build up their characters and if character development fits in the story, then all the better.

Kyouko revealed her past and became a completely different character from who she was at her introduction. She’s still the experienced Mahou Shoujo, but the way she became a mahou shoujo is a really tragic one (which looked awesome, by the way). Sayaka meanwhile takes an entire episode to let the revelation of the previous episode sink in, to the point where she believes that she can’t even have a proper romance anymore. I wonder why, because even though she’s a bit of a zombie, she still can feel emotions like any other. Her fears here are entirely irrational, but this episode really hinted at her getting screwed over by those feelings at the end.

Overall, Shaft. I have to congratulate you. This has by far been my favourite Shaft series in years. For once, they did everything right again, and their decision to bring in Urobuchi Gen was an excellent one.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

18 Responses

  1. EvilDevil says:

    As someone told me, she can never be with Kamijou. Every time she kisses, or touches him, it wont be her but her meat-suit controlled by the soul gem. There is detachment that causes a split in her mind, QB stated that her body would not feel alot of pain now that her soul is detached, does that also include pleasure and tactile? By removing the soul to make her body stronger and increase her pain endurance, it may have done the same to the sense of feelings, and pleasures (I am guessing, but it is not impossible).

    Also, she is shocked by the fact that she is a zombie, a freak. She is terrified that Kamijou will never accept her (considering the crush was one sided).

  2. Alec says:

    theories can wait. damn! part of me wants this 13 episode anime to become a 26 episode anime, BUT i know the anime would lose part of its brilliance if that were to happen.

    Madoka just became party of my top 10 anime. I really hope the next episode would become another mindblowing one

  3. Tan-Tan says:

    Damn, I thought Sayaka was going to be awesome. Turns out she’s going nuts.

  4. Maskedguyonceagain says:

    Hmm, firstly, some people, espicially the eastern ones(don’t ask why, its religious/cultural thing) consider thought of the soul not being in the body really horrific, secondly…

    You do notice how Kyoko’s flash back seems to be in rather old style? Of course, I could be wrong, but doesn’t that imply that she hasn’t aged?(unless its just stylistic choice) Plus Homura is implied to be rather experienced…

  5. Scruffy says:

    There is somthing about the way that these characters are portrayed that feels so real. You can feel the horror that Sayaka feels at what has been done to her.

    And yes Kyuubei … to prove his point he tortures Sayaka!!?? I’m not sure if evil is the word for him now. His manipulations have always seemed fairly inept, and I think it’s because as mentioned he simply has no concept as to what is important to humans.

  6. gandalf8 says:

    Another fantastic episode this week. Sayaka is finally cracking under all the pressure, what with the big revealation of what it means to become a mahou shoujo and Hitomi confessing to her that she likes Kamijou too, I’m not that surprised that she snapped during the battle with the witch.

    Sayaka will now be constantly conscious of her body as just a soulless shell that cannot feel any pain, and is almost immortal unless her soul gem is destroyed. If she were to be in a relationship with Kamijou, she will probably constantly be in fear of him finding out about it.

  7. Scruffy says:

    @Maskedguyonceagain. Good point about the ageing thing. If the body can be healed by magic it can certianly be made ageless, after all it is just a shell now.

  8. fangel says:

    Does anybody else realize that all the mahou shoujo girls have a little shape or design on their middle finger? I don’t know which hand, but on one of them you always see a shape drawn onto their fingernail!

  9. Kiarae says:

    The only thing that bothered me in the whole ep was the Sayaka wore her school uniform out when meeting Kyoko, even though she hadn’t gone to school. Doesn’t really make sense to me, but otherwise a fantastic episode! It covers a lot, yet still leaves even more open for interpretation!

    THOSE LAST SCENES!! DX Lovely and frightening!

  10. psorcerer says:

    Girls in Japan really like their uniforms (some are choosing the high school solely by their uniform), naturally they go out wearing it. Although now it’s less common, but the anime is made by middle age men, who remember how it was then.

  11. Ncrdrg says:

    Madoka Magica brings another amazing episode. I called the part where Sayaka would see her crush leave for someone else. What I didn’t expect was to see this complete breakdown. She feels so disgusted with her body being like a Meatbag that she resigns herself to let him go with another girl. Not to forget the awesome black shadows effect to indicate that she’s losing her mind.

    Now, I also predicted Sayaka would be our first main character to transform into a witch. Still looking good seeing how she completely broke down in this episode. I also love seeing how they made Kyouko to be a girl who was crushed but strong enough to realize she needs to stop making others happy and instead focus on herself. Unlike Sayaka, whose naive and idealistic nature is what made her fall so hard and become twisted so easily.

    I’m eagerly awaiting the next episode.

  12. Ncrdrg says:

    Oh yes and don’t be surprised if something happens to Kyouko :
    http://i887.photobucket.com/albums/ac75/Maribo281/forshadow.jpg

  13. brianwuzhere says:

    @Nerdrg, haha I was just thinking about posting that and it’s even more plausible after the last few minutes of the episode when Sayaka has gone off into the deep end.

  14. EvilDevil says:

    @Maskedguyonceagain
    In Kyoko’s memory if you noticed her sister and her mom are wearing old style clothing, but she is the only one that is still wearing modern clothes, also notice the buildings and the old style street lamps. Then in one of my conversations someone mentioned this:

    “I was thinking she may be from a different time since she uses the word “kuu” for “to eat” instead of “taberu”, which is common among people with the akita dialect in japan, and the people that have that dialect tend to be rather old.”

    I am not sure how accurate this is, but if true then there is no doubt about it.

  15. c160 says:

    Sure Sayaka,you’ll be a magical girl that uses her magic for others,just not in the way you think you would.Should have been more specific there.

  16. psorcerer says:

    @EvilDevil I think it’s not correct. Kuu is just a vulgar word for “eat” (devour). But, as everywhere in the japanese “vulgar” not always means “vulgar” in Western sense. E.g. all the “diminishing” words can be considered a sign of affection/sympathy: father for son, friend to friend. And in most cases this is used by males.
    So here we have Kyouko who’s portrayed as a “street kid” with male register words and affection towards Sayaka, just in one single verb.

  17. psorcerer says:

    P.S. on second thought it can also mean that Kyouko is indeed old and wise and uses it as a real diminishing word for the newbie.

  18. Hogart says:

    The character development of Sayaka saved this one (and possibly the series) for me, after the awful treatment of Kyouko’s backstory.

    If she’s such an important character, and her backstory is supposed to be such a contrived tragedy, then revealing it in 5 minutes of exposition doesn’t do it justice. I’m not watching Angel Beats again, am I?

    But yeah.. Sayoko’s evolution in this episode kept it on track. It’s nice to see the show is at least taking her seriously, even if they reduce her and the rest of the cast into merely broken birds who take Kyubey’s favor far too seriously given how quickly they accepted the servitude of a solider in the first place.

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  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:54 AM)
    The episode was alright and felt dense as I watched it, but in hindsight only really moved the plot forward incrementally. Lancer not untying Tohsaka as soon as he killed Kirei and then not killing Shinji when he clearly had the chance left a bad taste in my mouth. That and Shirou’s heavy plot armor at this point is becoming reminiscent of another famous anime dual-wielder. Not a compliment.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:46 AM)
    UBW 20 felt like another rendition of Eva 26 (Take care of yourself), complete with character analysis, battle with one’s Jungian Shadow, and loosely Buddhist ideas of self-actualization. It even featured the repetitive monologue shots that fade to black (with “I saw Hell” instead of Rei’s “Sky. Red, red sky”). It never went as far as Eva with “which way is up?” type of Soliloquy, but that’s probably a good thing.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.

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