Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Thoughts (Part II)

[Originally written by nikki-no-otaku]

[Talk on 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ between Nikki and Moro]

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Are we blogging?? Is it the exam period or something? Not yet, but coming soon, so you guessed right, if you tried. Well, it’s not like we shouldn’t and couldn’t be studying… Anyway, since you’re here, keep reading!

Nikki: We have been talking a lot about various aspects of this series and although I kept saying I’ll make a post with those thoughts, I never really got round to it. Until now. So, shall we start with canon versus yuri?

Moro: But of course (≧∇≦*).

Nikki: I guess most people out there – who are familiar with the story and the characters and the whole Madoka Universe really – know, or noticed that Homura and Madoka, as well as Sayaka and Kyōko, are canon (just try browsing Minitokyo, where you get official scans – as a matter of fact, that is where the images I use on this blog come from (unless I myself take them) and I have already asked for permission to post them).

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[However, Moro and I recently read this article.]

Moro & Nikki: Although it is fairly clear that these pairs are canon, they are not necessarily so in a yuri-kind-of-way. There’s clearly love between them, but neither of us thinks it is that sort of love.

Moro: On another, completely unrelated, note I maintain my opinion that Kyūbey is evil 

O(≧∇≦)O.

Nikki: I have already stated that I think that Kyūbey is not evil per se; its race cannot feel what humans call ‘emotions’, I don’t think they know what it means to hurt someone. There’s also the part where Kyūbey tells Madoka that humans do exactly the same with non-human animals: they use them in order to survive, kill them, hurt them for various reasons etc., so what’s wrong with what he’s doing?

Moro:  Weeeeeell… whilst it may be true that it’s not aware that its race is or may be hurting someone, whilst it was ‘fine’ for Kyūbey to gather energy from magical girls, its wanting to capture the Ultimate Madoka crossed the line (the sicko >_<); it basically wanted to mess with the force that kept the Universe in balance.

Moro & Nikki: So in that regard Kyūbey might, after all, be evil in some way.

[The next issue we discussed – and we’re pretty sure quite a few fans out there will agree – was that the last episode of the series (and so the second film) should have been the end, at least for the plot of this arc; if the creators really wanted to ‘keep milking it’, they could have made a new series in which to introduce new characters (as we have read, this is the case of the spin-offs – which both of us have yet to read) and they could have simply left it there for these girls.]

Moro: It would have been a great end – open, indeed, but a great one, it really didn’t need a sequel. Everything just felt right the way it ended ‘the first time’ xD. We each had mixed reactions to the third film, didn’t we? After the first time we watched it, I was kind of nowhere about it.

Nikki: I agree – it really didn’t need that sequel; after we watched it, I was not only confused, but also angry.

Moro: After the second time we watched it, I was quite frustrated.

Nikki: I remember I tried to find reasons as to why they’d make this film at all. What we see in the third film is indeed one of the things which may have happened some time later.

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Nikki: What if after Homura (being the only one left alive and with the burden of all the memories, with missing Madoka so bad and with fighting the Nightmares alone) finally snapped some time later, and she got where we see her in the third film?

Moro: Unless the creators messed with the character on purpose, this really shouldn’t be the case.

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Moro: Firstly, your theory with the burdens on Homura’s shoulders is a double-edged sword: memories might make Homura snap, alongside killing Nightmares, but instead of that, what is most likely, is that instead of breaking her, these burdens rather motivate her to keep moving forward, as she knows that if she gave up, this would nullify Madoka’s sacrifice (who sacrificed herself for all magical girls, but for Homura’s sake in the first place). And this is shown by Homura’s attitude at the end of the anime series, when she has a new weapon, which is heavily influenced by Madoka’s (and whose change is affected by changes in one’s own mind and subsequently, personality), and also wears Madoka’s ribbon, as a symbol of always keeping Madoka with her (i.e., by her side).

Nikki: OK, you got me there.

Moro: Secondly, there’s Homura’s transformation scene (no, no, not the transformation into a magical girl xD). Once, in the anime, she turns from the shy girl who’s low on self-confidence into the strong, stubborn, and motivated one; then, in the third film in the labyrinth, she’s first seen as her original self – the shy girl, but when she finds out there’s something out of place, she transforms again (cue the representative and signature scene in which she undoes her braids and takes off her glasses), just as she does in the original series. This shows that regardless of what comes her way, she can always become strong and try as many times as it takes to overcome it rather than be overwhelmed.

Nikki:  OK, so, even though I had thought that all the memories and missing Madoka and all that jazz would bring her down, there’s no way this should be the case. However, you can’t deny that her actions at the end of the third film – the fact that she created a utopia, based on Madoka’s memories and her [Homura’s] wishes, and the way she smiles, her words, and actions – clearly are signs of a weak person who’s completely lost it. She’s not the usual, strong Homura. So the creators must have either messed up Homura’s character because they wanted to milk the story for money, or she really snapped because she missed Madoka too much.

Moro: Yupyup, makes sense ^^. However, I’d still like to think that Homura wouldn’t get there (that breaking point, I mean). Ergo, the writers might be evil Oo.

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Moro: Thirdly, at the end of the third film, Homura tells Madoka that she [Madoka] is sad because she sacrificed herself and is now alone, and so Homura wanted to relieve her of that, but this is clearly not the case, either. Madoka surely is happy with her own sacrifice and the fact that now she can bring salvation to all the magical girls. Madoka said it herself that now she’s happy as she’s with everybody and is aware of the scale of her sacrifice.

Nikki: Yeah, and she explains this to Homura and she [Homura] understands this, so there’s no way she’d be brought down by missing Madoka too much. So this shows the fact that Homura is not the usual Homura, as she’d understand Madoka and never think this about her in the first place.

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Moro: Also, I dare say that one of the main themes of the anime is hope. There’s clearly a force which drives magical girls to keep going, and this force might be different for each magical girl; for Madoka it was hope…

Nikki: For Homura it might have been perseverance by her love for Madoka.

Moro: And the promise she’d made to Madoka. For Kyōko it counterbalances the wish she made and its results; for Mami?

Nikki:  I think being a magical girl gives her a reason to live; as for Sayaka, she is driven by her love for Kyōsuke.

Moro: But also about justice, as she decided not to use the grief seeds to purify her own soul; the fact that she didn’t want a reward definitely contributed to her becoming a witch faster than she normally would have 😦.

Nikki: OK, if you put it that way, I might feel a little less antipathy towards Sayaka. However, I still despise her for the way she behaved towards Homura before even becoming a magical girl. I mean, she saw that another girl was trying to ‘protect’ Madoka, which to Sayaka might not have seemed so; which is fine, but the fact stays that she [Sayaka] never even tried to talk to Homura and ask her why she was behaving the way she was and why she was claiming to protect Madoka, eventually what she was trying to protect her from.

Moro: It’s still worth taking into consideration that Sayaka did what she thought was best for Madoka at the time. Plus, considering the characters’ age, it seems pretty plausible that she (Sayaka) just didn’t think to talk normally to Homura.

Nikki: Well, she thought wrong. I stand by my opinion: that was plain stupidity on Sayaka’s part – I mean, is it better to act like a paranoid idiot, moreover, in an unreasonable way, rather than talk to someone?! Besides, Homura was under no obligation to explain to Sayaka why she was doing what she was; it’s not like Homura had to go to each person close to Madoka – or even to people who didn’t know her and were just happening to witness what was happening – why and from what she was trying to protect Madoka, this idea in itself is ludicrous. I do love what Kyūbey told Sayaka and Madoka on the rooftop: ‘Magical girls should only be judged by magical girls.’ So even though Sayaka does get a few points, she remains one of the anime characters I hate the most.

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Nikki: What about future possibilities regarding what might happen in a possible sequel (possibly another anime series, as mentioned in this article)? I mean the facts are that a part of Madoka (as it seems, the Madoka before she’d become a magical girl) is trapped inside a world created by Homura based on Madoka’s memories and her [Homura’s] desires.

Moro: However, Nagisa is also there.

Nikki: So does that mean that they are in the past?

Moro: Well, Nagisa was most likely a school girl as well, before becoming a magical girl and subsequently turning into a witch.

Nikki: So what happens next? How would the order be re-established?

Moro: I’d say Homura did what she did to also protect Madoka from Kyūbey, not only out of personal interest. So Kyūbey will definitely stir sh*t up xD. However, it’s also true that magical girls wouldn’t exist if Kyūbey’s race weren’t doing what they’re doing in the first place.

Nikki: OK, OK, but my question was and remains: are the girls – inside the new world created by Homura – just memories? I mean, Homura took the part of Madoka which was a normal girl, and not the Ultimate Madoka; as for the girls, they were all dead already…thus might be somewhere – perhaps where the Ultimate Madoka part of Madoka is?

[We sort of concluded that the Ultimate Madoka might not be able to ‘surface’ (or manifest itself) as long as this part of Madoka (which Homura keeps trapped) is missing.]

Nikki: This was a very flavourful discussion that we had today, and there’s a lot of food for thought here, at least for me. Thanks, Moro, for pointing out certain things to me – I’m realising now I’d forgotten so many aspects regarding the story; so, thanks for reminding me, as what you said helped me feel better, especially regarding Homura…

Moro: No worries ^^. I’m honoured to be part of the post :D:D.

Nikki:  Also thanks to you, I have never been quite as upset as I am now with the fact that precisely this possible ‘route’ (if I can call it that) has been animated in the third film.

Moro: My work here is done (^~^;).

Moro & Nikki: Thank you for coming by and for reading our post!

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