Posted by psgels on 22 April 2011 with categories: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica



Dear Shaft: thank you for actually finishing this episode in time and not pulling another Bakemonogatari. Having to wait a month for the final two episodes still is pretty doable. Episode 11 was a rock-solid build-up that was quite worth the wait.

With just about every other character out of the picture now, this episode indeed focused on Madoka, Homura and Kyuubei, but also surprisingly Madoka’s mother also played a large role here. It was really building up to the inevitable: Madoka becoming a mahou shoujo. Or at least, that was very heavily implied at the end of this episode. Overall, while it would have been nice for Madoka to actually refuse Kyuubei throughout the entire series, I can see why she did it: as long as that Walpurgis night can only be defeated by Madoka in her Mahou Shoujo-form, this time-loop will continue on endlessly.

Just, what was the point of that one monologue of Kyuubei? The one where he started talking about the past of the mahou shoujo, where he started talking how many famous girls in history were actually mahou shoujo who were plunged into despair, and how without them we’d still live in caves? That just makes no sense and is completely out of context here.

Now, as for the ending: right now things are heading in exactly the way that has been built up by the previous episodes. At the moment, we’ve reached the inescapable situation where Madoka will destroy the world once she defeats the Walpurgis Night (after all: superpowered Madoka will make for a very exciting final battle). It really seems to be heading towards a loophole ending: the creators try to bend around their own rules in order to find a loophole out of its chaos. It probably will be with casualties, but at least the world will be saved. These kinds of endings really depend on a) how good that loophole is, and b) how exciting the final battle is. Madoka definitely deserves a good closure.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

14 Responses

  1. Janette says:

    Why was Saber Walspurgistnacht?

  2. m says:

    I don’t want to sell the finale short, but I think that I liked this episode more than the finale. It had more tension, a better use of the soundtrack, and impressive action scenes. I was also fond of some style choices, such as the manner in which they animated the swaying trees.

    I did think it was stupid that Junko allowed Madoka to run out into the middle of a storm, after her friend turned up dead and she learned that another girl went missing. Ah well.

  3. Xin says:

    @m Agree completely with all your likes of the episode and that it was the stronger of the two. The Junko/Madoka scene wasn’t skeptical to me on first watch, but after your post it did make me laugh about it.

    I think that suspension of disbelief is based on experience though. As a parent I would agree that its completely ridiculous, but before I was one I could see it being not so far fetched to consider “acceptable.”

    Either way, its a minor suspension of disbelief for how strong both episodes were in all, and what an amazing series this was. 12 was great in a different way.

  4. Firechick says:

    Hot diggity durn, this episode was all kinds of epic on soooooo many levels! And jeez, Walpurgisnacht is creepier than I originally thought! It’s a cross between a giant eye and a lady in a mock-up renaissance era or 18th century dress!

  5. Joe says:

    Kyuubey gave that monologue to explain that the use of magical girls was necessary and, in fact, benefited human society as well. If you pay attention, you’ll notice that people like Cleopatra and Joan of Arc used their powers to change history.

  6. Joe says:

    The monologue is also important for the final episode

  7. gandalf8 says:

    I think that Junko letting Madoka go was already foreshadowed earlier when Junko was talking with Madoka’s teacher at the bar. Junko was all worried, as she sensed that Madoka was hiding something from her about Sayaka’s death. Then the teacher mentioned about how kids really grow fast, and how worrying it can seem to a parent. But, as they grow old, parents need to learn to trust their children to make their own decisions, and learn to let them go when the time comes.

    So when Madoka wanted to go, Junko may have felt very reluctant to let her daughter go, as she could probably sense that something bad was going to happen. Nevertheless, she remembered her earlier conversation, and although with a heavy heart she let her go because she trusts Madoka, and believes that Madoka is doing the right thing. This really shows how strong their bond is.

  8. :3 says:

    I think that Joe is totally right. After Madoka’s rant about how Evil QB was, he explained how, without the wishes and ‘miracles’ they provide to the Mahou Shoujos humanity, as a whole, wouldn’t advance. So, the system, while fucked up, is ‘fair’.

    That monologue was also relevant to the wording of Madoka’s wish. I’m sure that having a better understanding of the whole system helped Madoka to find the loophole.

    @m, I also found ridiculous that Junko let Madoka out. I don’t know what were exactly after, with this scene. Maybe something related to how Madoka, with her streghtened resolve, is now an adult. Junko acceptance of her decision may be the symbolism used to represent how Madoka, as a character, has matured throughout the series.

  9. psgels psgels says:

    Ah, now that I watched this final episode it indeed made sense. When I watched this episode though, I wasn’t too happy about how this monologue just trampled on human ingenuity. These people did awesome things, and didn’t really need mahou shoujo to do that. As a build-up for that ending though, it makes sense.

  10. HoHo says:

    “Just, what was the point of that one monologue of Kyuubei? The one where he started talking about the past of the mahou shoujo, where he started talking how many famous girls in history were actually mahou shoujo who were plunged into despair, and how without them we’d still live in caves? That just makes no sense and is completely out of context here”

    No, this context is very important. I’d say that this is a clever way from the author to prevent Madoka to not wish to erase QB race and get the ultimate happy ending. Because if that happens, humanity would have still lived in the cave.

  11. HoHo says:

    Well, I don’t mean that it was QB plan to say that. I mean it was a part of information which helps Madoka to make a decision in the end.

  12. m says:

    Kyuubey’s monologue makes sense as a self-interested party attempting to convince Madoka to give him what he wants. If you prefer you can interpret it as the apology of a completely alien mind, but if I take him seriously he comes across rather poorly. I don’t think it’s brilliant. The handling of Kyuubey’s thought processes is of the lazy “I do not understand your human emotions” alien type, which is weak when you don’t need to feel them to understand how they work; you just need a little game theory and some empirical study. Especially for an organism that appears ready to admit to having interacted with humans for at least two millennia, I would not be impressed when its imagination could not concoct explanations for how pro-social impulses presented humans with advantages in adapting to their environment.

    As for the actions of Junko, there is not a conversation point that obviates basic risk assessment when dealing with the continued existence of your progeny in the aforementioned circumstances. It shows stupendous idiocy to allow your child to flee into a storm that has people evacuating into shelters in order to pursue some shadowy event, doubly so after you suspect your offspring to be lying to you about the mysterious death of her best friend. Should any of you choose to procreate and allow your generally-ignorant and impulsive fourteen year old children talk you into this, and should they then happen to come up dead or missing (as Madoka essentially does, before we consider the magical aspects), do note that I will be over with Kyuubey at the alien autism table puzzled by your irrational behavior.

  13. Kyubey says:

    Cattle should be more grateful.

  14. starpowder says:

    @m I’m afraid I’m going to have to agree and disagree. I didn’t think it was the right decision for Junko to let Madoka go but at the same time, Madoka did tell her things she already knew.

    Also I feel that Kyuubei’s constant comments on, “I don’t understand human emotions” isn’t because of feigned or real ignorace – it’s because, frankly, he doesn’t care. It’s like this (continuing with his analogy of cows), do we care about their feelings as they get slaughtered? Do we care about their feelings when we have hamburgers or steaks or even drink dairy products? No. We don’t take the time to understand, not just because we may or may not know but because we don’t care to.

    Also, I also feel that Kyuubei’s monologue was also necessary. It puts things into perspective, though, if you really think about it, women like Cleopatra and Joan of Arc were in their teens whenever they did what they did or became what they became.

    I also feel that Kyuubei’s trying to take way too much credit for his race by basically saying, “If it weren’t for our help, you would still be in caves.” :\a

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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:20 PM)
    Decided to marathon Giant Robo, I think this was mentioned by someone on here before. I guess it was fairly entertaining, great action direction, looked good for its time, you don’t notice the hour long episodes go by, adequate characters, nice retro artstyle also, not sure if I got excited over this as big O and Mazinger however but still fun enough nonetheless.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:50 AM)
    Oh yeah Hoffman was a massive talent and a beloved actor, so I don’t take it lightly when I call Synecdoche his greatest role ever. Given his death and knowing the circumstances of his life at the time imbues this performance with a chilling sincerity that just breaks your heart and leaves you in awe.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:42 AM)
    Oh Andrew Niccol, oh how the mighty have fallen.
    Hoffman showed up in Capote and most wanted man, the latter which I especially love and there need to be more thrillers of that vein coming out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:37 AM)
    It’s funny how they also each have a Nicolas Cage movie. Kaufman has Adaptation and Niccol has Lord of War. Although despite the usual Cage antics neither of those movies is really that bad.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:33 AM)
    Eternal Sunshine and The Truman Show are the two roles where Jim Carrey really demonstrated his acting chops well outside of his usual comfort zone. But Kaufman moved forward from Sunshine with the superior Synecdoche, while Andrew Niccol went from doing Truman Show and Gattaca to doing young adult garbage like The Host *wretches*

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