Posted by psgels on 24 February 2011 with categories: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica



And here this show comes with an episode that to be honest… I only expected to arrive around the penultimate episode or something. Now, that means that if this show knows what it’s doing, it can get an amazing climax out of that, when awesome episodes like this are used as build-up episodes.

The creators really didn’t try to drag out Sayaka’s descend into madness. It’s just been an episode and a half, and she already exhausted her soul gem. So yeah, she’s probably going to remain as a witch starting from the next episode. My guess would be that that’s the point where the creators are really going to go all out on Madoka and Homura. The part in which Madoka nearly gave in to QB (or should I say InQBtor) was really powerful. Now it’s up to the creators to build further upon that.

One point of criticism: here we have the childhood friends that you forgot about cliche again. Very weird place to show such a cliche, but it should be fine if it is indeed central to Homura’s character and her motivation.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

45 Responses

  1. Mentar says:

    Naaah. No way she simply “forgot”. I’m almost certain that Homura pulled a Chikane on her and wished Madoka out – so this “forgotten childhood friend” is rather the result of magic. But the wall is about to break already. It will be interesting to see what happens when Madoka remembers.

  2. garfield15 says:

    But are they “childhood friends”? It’s true that Homura and Madoka definitely knew each other once but why and how and their relation needs to be seen. And also, there’s the static when Madoka was trying to remember. Something is keeping her from remembering Homura.

  3. Kyubey says:

    The part in which Madoka nearly gave in to QB (or should I say InQBtor) was really powerful. Now it’s up to the creators to build further upon that.

    Don’t know about you but I heard her say “I want to become a mahou shoujo”

    Did anyone else notice how Madoka didn’t react to Kyubey’s graphic death that occurred inches away from her? Where are the accusations that she is Mephistopheles?

  4. shinji2k says:

    I really don’t want Madoka to contract with Kyubey. I’m sorry, but if some weird creature appeared to me and claimed it could grant any wish if I only made a contract with it, the first thing I would do is question it’s motives. Since it’s been pretty clear from the beginning that QB was up to no good, I’m hoping there is an alternative way for her to become a mahou shoujo.

  5. EvilDevil says:

    she didnt forget, I am betting InQBtor had something to do with Madoka’s forgotten memory.

  6. chounokoe says:

    I’m hoping there is an alternative way for her to become a mahou shoujo.
    Well, as Incubator (Kyûbe) put it, mahô shôjo is just another term for the girls who have been chosen to become witches…more or less a growing state.
    So becoming one would be the wrongest thing that Madoka could do. I started assuming around episode 5 or 6 that there might be an ending to this show without Madoka ever becoming a mahô shôjo and thus foiling the plan to do…whatever.

  7. qwerty says:

    QB can’t have anything to do with any missing memories on Madoka’s part. This is the first that QB has actually figured out who Homura is, and even then he’s only pieced together she’s a time traveler. You would have to imagine that to block out a memory of someone you’d have to know who you’re blocking first.

    One of my random guesses is… the fuzzy feeling Madoka gets when thinking of who Homura is could be like a hint of a family resemblance. Homura being Madoka’s yet to be born little sister who grows up in a family devastated by Madoka’s sudden disappearance, she hunts down all the information she can and eventually stumbles on QB and his plans and decides to rewrite the past to save her sisters life and restore her shattered family.

  8. dm says:

    I’m not sure, but I wonder if Madoka’s “have we met before?” may come from her alleged magical power — she’s in psychic contact with her other selves in other “time-lines”. Her dream of Homura at the beginning was actually something that one of her parallel selves saw happen.

    It could even be more prosaic than that: Homura keeps talking like she knows more about Madoka than is justified by their common experience in this world. This Madoka is confused, and wonders if it’s because they’ve met before and she just doesn’t remember? When actually, it’s because Homura has been leaping from time-line to time-line, trying to prevent Madoka’s contract.

    I’m suddenly reminded of Noein.

  9. EvilDevil says:

    @qwerty
    How about this, Homura in the future deceives QB and makes a deal with him so she can gain the power to travel to the past, but not to be outdone future QB makes sure that any memory about Homura and Madoka’s relationship gets deleted so that way it would be more difficult for Homura to stop the events, since she is a stranger. With QB anything is possible and nothing is set on stone…

  10. Tan-Tan says:

    What happened to Sayaka is so sad =/ and it wasn’t really stated if Homura and Madoka are childhood friends. I bet it was referring to the part in Madoka’s dream and that’s the time Madoka saved Homura’s life.

  11. Ncrdrg says:

    Childhood friend? What? pgels, are you sure you paid attention to the episode? Because Kyubei confirmed she came from the future. She can’t forget someone if she hasn’t met her yet. It’s more likely that Madoka helped Homura in the future.

    Anyway, powerful episode. No dragging the madness, confirming they’re just meant to be turned into witches and wow, Kyubei was fucking creepy. I especially loved the part where Sayaka was saying she just started hating herself more and more as she helped more and more people. Being a hero is not a gateway to happiness and she learned it the hard way.

  12. m says:

    It appears that in the end, nearly everything bad in the story will have transpired as a result of Homura having abysmal communication skills. ZzzZzz

  13. qwerty says:

    If future QB did in fact somehow erase memmories of past Homura or even remove past Homura from the timeline entirely it’s possible he could have thrown in a condition that she couldn’t tell anyone any specifics about the future.

    Which would explain why she is always so terse and even after her emotional breakdown couldn’t say anything.

  14. synkronized says:

    I think they used the time traveler trope over the “long lost friend” one. I agree with other posts in that Homura has some relation to Madoka, I’m actually leaning to her being Madoka’s daughter. As weird as that is, it’d be a pretty darn interesting way to present the situation.

  15. c160 says:

    That Hitomi sure is a bitch. She deserves happiness too,sure,but to really continue chasing after a guy your friend like sure is bitchy of her.Well,not to say that Sayaka would be any better if the situation was reversed..

    My theory after Homura and Madoka’s exchange at the benches would be that the Madoka from Homura’s timeline made a wish to Kyubey to save Homura. But like Sayaka,she turned into a witch as well and the fight in the first episode was really Madoka(witch form) vs Homura after all.

  16. Ncrdrg says:

    Right now, I’m leaning towards Homura being younger sister. And that Madoka became the greatest witch there could ever be. Which would also explain why she doesn’t give a crap about the others.

    Anyway, my current speculation is that Kyoko is the next one to be in danger. She’s a pretty nice girl, she saved Sayaka from Homura and tried pretty hard to take her under her wings. I’m pretty sure she’ll try to save her somehow and put herself in danger.

    Then again, it’s also possible the next episode will focus entirely on Homura and we’ll see Sayaka resurface later.

  17. DmonHiro says:

    “One point of criticism: here we have the childhood friends that you forgot about cliche again.”

    Wrong. Maodka never met Homura. Homura is from a different time line. She met Madoka before, but not THIS Madoka.

  18. Cicero says:

    Who is Homura?

    Theories I’ve seen that I consider the most probable are:

    1: Someone we haven’t met yet in this timeline.

    2: Sayaka from another timeline in which Madoka became a magical girl to save Sayaka.

    3: Madoka’s mother.

  19. Spike says:

    I have to say, this show has exceeded my wildest expectations every week.

    The art for this ep was gorgeous. The atmosphere during the rain scene was superb.

    Barring a horrible ending this is looking to be top of the season IMO.

  20. steelbound says:

    My wild guess as to Homura’s real identity – it’s Madoka’s younger brother, Tatsuya. He was forced to wear a female shell so he could become a Puella Magi. :)

  21. Perrin4869 says:

    It seems no one commented on it, but Kyuubei eating his other dead body was completely awesome!

  22. Frost says:

    So awesome… This blows away every other mahou shoujo out there… Im already sad that it will be only 12 ep, there is so much potential

    But Shaft lately has been notorious for making 2 seasons of 12 eps instead of a full 24 ep one, so maybe this will happen to Madoka too

  23. EvilDevil says:

    incubator has its roots to the word incubus L. incubo “nightmare, one who lies down on (the sleeper),” from incubare “to lie upon” (incubate). This describes QB in a nutshell, but it seems to also suggest that QB is collecting the grief seeds for something big…

  24. Wow, I suck at Ascii art. That was supposed to be Kyubei.

  25. I thought about the possibility of Homura to be Madokas Mother but, it wouldnt explain why Homura is still the body of a middle school girl, so I threw that out the window, also. . .

    Madoka is actually getting on my nerves, its like three episodes of her whining for Sayaka, I mean I know shes young and all but still, after learning all that crap about your soul being taken, and (if she thought enough about it) not being able to grow up, and have more experiences etc. . . basically Dying. . . as sooner or later, people will notice that Madoka isnt getting any older (which probably happened to the red haired chick)

    but after all that you would think that she would stay away from Kyubey, and NOT even think about being a magical girl, but. . .her whining stupidity is annoying the hell out of me, at that bench scene I was like *Omg Madoka, stop being retarded* At first I figured that Madoka wouldn’t become a magical girl, but after that bench scene. . .I want her to be a magical girl now, It will stop her whining for one, and two I just dont give a crap about her anymore, maybe she will get better as a character in the next few eps, but the last 5 eps of her whining and crying is just grating me, and making me wish the worst possibel fate for her. . .which is probably being done purposely so that the viewers will want her to just make the contract and shut the hell up, so that when she does make the contract, the viewers wont be suprised. . .they will have already figured ou tthat she is pretty damn stupid.

    This is the answer to Madokas question: Why Me?

    Its because she is stupid, way too impressionable, and tries to bend over backwards to do the impossible: to offer up actions so that other people can feel good, rather than letting people rely on their own power. . .

    I mean the whole not being able to grow up thing is why Sayaka was so Distraught, because her soul isn’t in her body anymore, I mean she would be unable to be with that kid she liked once they start to grow up, and he noticed that she didn’t, he would pretty much freak the hell out and leave her on the spot, yeah she helped him heal but, he wouldn’t want to be in her eternal servitude and be in another kind of prison to repay the debt of her selling her soul to heal him, Sayaka was really mature in that regard, but really immature in her Idealistic whatever about saving the world etc. . .she doesn’t realize that qb WANTS her to go crazy and turn into a witch!

    Although Its not Sayakas fault that Madoka is going to end up being a witch (yes Im pretty sure shell be a witch like a previous poster mentioned about Madoka being the witch that Homura was fighting in the beginning)

    Homura probably has some serious limitations on her power, or because of her power, which is why she is unable to go further back in time to prevent Sayaka from being stupid, which is why she really cant talk about what QB or Madoka really is, as it probably weakens her or something like that (that and the thing she said about no one really believing her anyway when she did try) and would explain why she is so *cold* as she really has to choose her words and actions carefully as to not activate whatever limitations her power or QB himself put on her.

    Also the thing about Homura saying shes scene people like Mami Dying *too many times to count* Homura is probably either talking about this very situation, or Madoka herself in the future, either killing someone, or being killed.

    Anyway, thats all for now lol this series is pretty awesome to get a reaction like that from me, the creators really know how to push the buttons of the viewers.

  26. AidanAK47 says:

    I find it interesting the guesses people are coming up with about Homura’s identity.(Madoka’s brother cross dressing? Now that is an interesting theory)Styill one possiblity people seemed to have forgotten. I mentioned it before and now that the time traveler theory has been confirmed it has become more likely.

    Homura is future Madoka.

  27. D.S.Lee says:

    Why does everyone come up with wild theories concerning Homura’s identity. If she were really future Madoka, that would be one hell of a personality change, other theories are similarly unprobable. Homura is just Homura, how she came “here” or would it be “now” and why is another matter, but not really important concerning her identity.

  28. NguyenSon says:

    I’ve seen another theory (on the “A Steely Gaze and The Kaiser’s Will” blog) that seems interesting. It seems that when Faust summoned the devil, he was forced to take the form that was most pleasing to faust and you will notice that Madoka’s room is full of stuffed animals…

  29. For some reason I figured that Incubator was connected to a cycle with grief seeds and magical girls later becoming witches. After all, the very fact that their Soul Gems become ‘tainted’ implied that the magic itself is a source of impurity, thus with sufficient impurity poured into their soul gems, a witch would undoubtedly be born.

    The night of the Walpurgis is a night where witches gather. Remember how some evil fluffy freak is collecting grief seeds (inactive witches)? I wonder if there’s a connection there.

    His full name Incubator implies that he might know exactly when and where every witch is, and as a result, he likely knew that the witch Mami died against was more powerful than it appeared. If he’s so interested in Madoka becoming his pet, and a future witch, he likely introduced the three in the first place (Madoka, Sayaka and Mami.) Further, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s actually partly responsible for planting grief seeds, he is collecting them after all.

  30. psorcerer says:

    > Also the thing about Homura saying shes scene people like Mami Dying *too many times to count* Homura is probably either talking about this very situation, or Madoka herself in the future, either killing someone, or being killed.

    Homura took Mami’s soulgem, now Mami and Homura control Homura’s body, that’s why QB was shot by Mami and it’s Mami who broke in tears when talking to Madoka.
    Homura is a time traveler, therefore the story we see in the anime could be a 1000th iteration of Homura trying to save Madoka, that’s why she saw it “too many times” before.

  31. Ebisu says:

    Here I thought Homura was from a parallel world. And the opening and the intro of the 1st ep happened in that world.
    And our Madoka remembers Homura from the dream she had in the 1st episode I think.

  32. Hey, maybe the thing Homura fights in the first episode is Kyubey’s “ultimate form”. He’s collecting the seeds so that he’ll be able to transform into it, and then it’s curtains for the world as we know it. It’s up to our plucky heroines to etc, etc.

  33. LoliHat says:

    Here is the interesting thing about Madoka acting like a child: It fits in with her mother’s speech about making mistakes when you are young and not when you are an adult. Sayaka acted like an adult and suffered for it; Madoka is still like a child, and so for her there is hope of avoiding that fate.

    But then, I’d bet that this won’t end well.

  34. fox demon soavi says:

    I think homura could be madoka from another timeline.

  35. GSilver says:

    If Homura turns out to be anyone but Homura, it will be a very “Anime” (read: bad) plot twist.

    The big thing I’m wondering is the whole *why* of her actions. If we assume that Madoka became a godlike witch in Homura’s timeline (which Kyubey is convinced that she can become), I can see why Homura would be willing to *kill* her, but despite Homura’s continued efforts to stop Madoka from making the contract, I still have a hard time understanding why she doesn’t take more steps to outright prevent it, given how dangerous a fallen Madoka will be.

    Now the question is, if Madoka becomes a witch, how can she be saved? I’ve read that the authors are shooting for a happy ending… but I just don’t see it, no matter which path the show follows.

  36. Scruffy says:

    @Gsilver. I think the question of who Homura is, or more how she is associated with Madoka in her timeline is important. If her existance depends on Madoka in some way then she cannot take the simple path and just kill Madoka to prevent what is going to happen.

    An interesting possibility is that Homura’s existance is depenant on the tragedy that is potentially going to happen with Madoka and that by preventing it Homura will no longer exist.

  37. Chrisa says:

    I thought since everyone is posting their theories about Homura, I might as well post one of silliest (but anime plausible) that Homura is Madoka’s cat. I giggled at it but I was kept being reminded of how they emphasized Madoka’s cat during the opening and it was the same cat depicted with Homura on an Megami magazine. If Madoka’s cat was a way to make her a mahou shoujo, that would be the INCUBATOR free way but as always there would be a price as there always with Gen Urobushi. But in all likely hood, Homura will die because Gen doesn’t like to leave his quiet characters breathing.

    Anyways, as for the disturbing QB, since episode 3 and onwards, it just got more disquieting seeing him in the OP snuggled up on Madoka’s bed. I’m pretty sure he’ll be the final boss and maybe we’ll get to see what the little imp really looks like.

    I don’t believe that Homura is part of Madoka’s immediate family but I believe that Madoka’s family will cause her to become a mahou shoujo. In one of the episodes, her mother completely brushed off Madoka’s question and seems focused on drinking and giving her daughter relationship advice. But I haven’t seen her interact with her husband as much. Maybe their marriage will fail or someone is revealed to be having an affair which will force Madoka to make a wish on a Fausting QB to fix her parent’s marriage. But there’s always a possibility that something bad will happen to her little brother. I hate that a show is making me speculate what will break the main character! But I love how twisted it is.

  38. Solaris says:

    People I wonder what are you smoking sometimes. I bet it must be very good stuff!
    I’d like to remind you the very first scene of this damn anime:
    There are any other chars than Homura Kyuubey and Madoka. Homura was in serious trouble fighting some fucking strong witch. Madoka who’s not yet a magic girl. She’s going to say something, but from the distance Homura notices it and screams… Then the series started again. Doesn’t this ring any bell now?

  39. AznCoffee says:

    So far this theory has been 100% correct: I don’t remember where I read it from but it was right about Sayaka turning into a witch from episode 2-4.

    Homura is the cat Madoka is holding in the opening. In the future, Madoka is a mahou shoujo, Madoka probably wanted to fix everything (revive Sayaka, Mami, etc) and was probably in a dire situation, so she used her magic to turn her cat into a human, and then Homura convinced QB to make a contract with her. Afterwards she traveled back in time to make sure Madoka never made the contract, nullifying everyone’s deaths.

  40. Solaris says:

    Sayaka –> Witch
    AidanAK47 from episode 5 and my comments afterwards.

    The cat theory was #38’s above here though I wouldn’t bet 1$ on it anyway.

  41. South says:

    Yeah I also thought the cat theory, I bet on it.

    I reaaaally doubt she is Madoka or Madoka’s relative. Or from another world.

    I think the first’s episode dream shows the moment Homura is trying to avoid, Madoka being unable not to become a Mahou Shoujo, and making the contract, being Homura the last Mahou around for her to stop the attack of the witch.

  42. Chrisa says:

    I just realized something from the first episode. Where the hell is Kyoko? Since this an Urobichi work, I’m afraid that my favorite character is going to die and it’ll be even worse if Sayaka is the one to kill her! O_O

  43. temperus says:

    I just wonder whether they will have the balls to show the “sexual plane” aspect during Walpurgisnacht or if Faustoka won’t see Medusa appearing in “sweet Gretchen’s” image.

    Frankly I’m a bit bored with Madoka so far, since the Faustian connections are a bit too obvious. I do hope they at least twist it a bit more. But I can at least get some people to experience Faust this way if the anime goes the obvious route.

  44. Random says:

    See how you got trolled by Gen by mentioning your ‘one criticism’ about Homura is a childhood friend after ep10

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  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:32 PM)
    An anime original that wasn’t an adaptation of some manga, LN or VN gave it a certain charm and unpredictability, which is absolutely a welcomed addition. Now I’m not gonna deny its plateura of problems, but it’s hard to sit back and hear people call Casablanca shit because it doesn’t have the flair and optimism of Age of Ultron.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:29 PM)
    Misanthropy in anime is old, cliched and boring. But that wasn’t the case when Eva did it. Plus it features characters like Misato and Kaji that are very hopeful for the future, going as far as planning to filter the ocean and regrow vegetation for society. There is definitely a bigger focus on misery, but as explained that was a mirror to Anno’s deteriorating mental health, which in itself added an angle of intrigue to the show.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:22 PM)
    Now does it look old? Does it seem overdone and unoriginal? Absolutely. But that’s no th fault of the series for not accounting for viewers who are watching it 20 years later, after getting exposed first to all the stuff that have heavily borrowed from it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:19 PM)
    It also perfectly explained what the instrumentality looked like for people that were in the process of assimilation, so it was a fitting end; albeit admittedly a weird one. Episodes 25 and 26 just chose to show the stream of consciousness of how the process was perceived by someone inside the sea of LCL. It made sense if you cared to pay attention along the way, so to call it completely nonsensical is unfair and entirely reliant on personal misinterpretation.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:14 PM)
    Also End of Evangelion is a masterstroke of the animated medium. That’s not just my opinion as a fan, but an opinion that’s been echoed in the circle of critics, many of whom don’t even care about anime. Even the classical conservative critics on IMDB gave it an average of 8.3, that is far from shabby.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:05 PM)
    Discounting the influence of a show is an arbitrary parameter that you’ve just come up with to undermine the series- nobody agrees with such restriction. And again, the genre deconstruction, the great cinematography, the slick character design, the music, the unconventional plot and creative ending, are all points that stand on their own regardless of how influential Eva was or wasn’t.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 02:58 PM)
    And no, Archer hated Shirou’s childish ideology, and he heartheadedly stuck to it, knowing we’ll what suffering he has gone people (including the future version of himself) thru. A World where nobody cries is an absurd goal, that is as illogical as it is unattainable.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 02:56 PM)
    @Aidan: nothing exists in a vacuum. The year the show got released is an extremely important factor, and a horrible show would never leave such a mark on the industry.
    Plus I spoke plenty about the reconstructive elements of Eva, that has nothing to do with its influence. Everything from SAO to Fate has copied exact scene compositions from Eva; just Google it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 02:47 PM)
    Two last things. Shirou in that timeline has very little chance of becoming Archer.
    And the end of the TV series wasn’t Annos fuck you to the audience. End of Evangelion was Annos Fuck you to the audience. Thing is instead of getting pissed off, they cheered.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 02:42 PM)
    Either way Mario said he might do a review of the First Eva tv series. I am curious to see if he will be quite so enthralled with it seeing as it’s his first time watching it and he hasn’t been deluded with years of it’s “influence”

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This part we explore one Chinese animation studio’s works. I choose Haoliners partly because they are independent studio, and their works are not hard to find. Just established in 2013, Haoliners is an indie studio but gathered more reputation in the last few years in their homeland. My experience with them through those titles below […]

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Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress OST Review

This will be the first time in my anime blogging career that I have ever done one of these anime OST review. It should be known that I have a complete bias for Hiroyuki Sawano as he has become one of the biggest composer for anime in recent years in some of my favorite anime […]

Nüwa’s Growth Diary

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 2: Chinese Anime shows

As much as I hated the term Chinese Anime (Anime stands for Japanese animation, strictly speaking), this is the exact term for those shows. Their influence from the Anime was so heavy that apart from the voice cast and some scene settings, you can’t tell those apart from the original anime. With that said, judge from […]