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Anime Analysis

Madoka Doesn’t Need a Sequel to Explain Itself

It goes without saying that I didn’t get a wink of sleep last night – after all, the biggest anime of 2011′s finale is finally airing! I didn’t like how moot ordered a purge of all Madoka threads on /a/ to save 4chan from a server meltdown, but it’s a historic moment to be remembered! Anyway, now that the ending is upon us, as usual, I’m seeing a lot of unsatisfied haters. This post will hopefully show why the ‘flaws’ people have with this mostly flawless show don’t exist.

I will keep this with a Q&A format, because truth be told, the ending of Madoka isn’t that hard to comprehend. I’ll keep this updated as more common problems arise in the blogosphere, forums or /a/. Of course, feel free to drop questions in the comments.

What the fu*k was that ending? They didn’t explain anything?!

The ending was brilliant. Too many people today expect everything to be perfectly explained and spoon-fed to the audience. That is absolutely not what makes a masterpiece that will go down in history. Yes – to understand Madoka, you do need to use your brains. This article will hopefully help you a bit to understand it.

Madoka’s wish was to erase witches. Why did so many unexplained phenomena happen??

Madoka’s wish was “I wish to erase every witch before they are born. Every witch from every world, from the past and the future. With my own hands.” The emphasis here is ‘with my own hands’. It’s almost mindblowing that Madoka can come up with such a flawless plan in such a short period of time.

Why did she add this? That’s because it puts her into the controller’s seat. If she simply wished for “I wish to erase every witch before they are born. Every witch from every world, from the past and the future.”, that wish would not be moderated by anyone, and the literal interpretation can be easily distorted. If you’re a lawyer, you know what I’m talking about. For instance, that wish can erase every witch as well as the Mahou Shoujo they came from. This way she wouldn’t be saving those girls at all. If Madoka is in the moderator’s seat, she has every say on how this wish should be executed, without having to specifically mention them in the wish. She’d need someone with a Harvard J.D. to include everything she plans to do in a single wish.

What in the world universe happened after she made her wish?

People say this part is unexplained, but in all honesty, that’s because you didn’t rewatch episode 1~10 before you started watching this, and your memories of Kyuubey’s explanations on how this World works has become blurred since the past six weeks. In the universe of Madoka Magica, all elements must be kept in equilibrium – unlike in the universe of Suzumiya Haruhi, where Haruhi can make things out of nothing. With Madoka now firmly in control, she executes her plans of taking the ‘mud’ out of the diminished Soul Gems, so they never become Grief Seeds from the past, present and future. Essentially, she now exists in a new dimension so she is omnipresent.

It was shown in episode 11 that the ‘mud’ in the Soul Gem comes from despair and pain, so that means when Madoka removes this, all this despair and pain (which is normally harvested as energy by the Incubators) has to go somewhere else. That becomes shouldered by Madoka herself. Why else did this episode air on Good Friday? Today is the day of crucifixion of the Lord, Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. At this very moment two thousand years ago, all sins; past, future and present flew upon him. What Madoka is doing is essentially the same thing, although she is shouldering all the grief of Mahou Shoujo instead of the sin of every living man and woman (Madoka has a far smaller burden in comparison).

Nicely played, SHAFT.

Doesn’t Madoka’s wish generate a new witch?

Madoka travels forward in time to kill her own witch. This was given a lot of screen time in episode 12.

If Madoka destroys her own witch , doesn’t that create a time paradox?

My good friend Catcher answers this marvelously well. “This is best answered in a reference to the ageless question “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” The idea behind the question is of circular logic: the chicken lays the egg, but the egg houses the developing chicken. Madoka’s disappearance can be explained in a similar fashion. After Madoka gathers all the grief from the mahou shoujo, she literally has nothing else to do rather than to house this grief, which takes the form of a giant soul gem that we see take the form of a world-devouring witch. Her wish, however, mandates her to destroy herself in her witch form (which would be in her own immediate future), thus eliminating her from the plane of existence that Homura is in. She’s essentially created a paradox for herself, thus why she can’t take a material form.

However, as her wish is to destroy every witch, she still cannot fade from existence, as this is an ongoing task. Mahou Shoujo in the new system still have the, technically speaking, capability to turn into witches. However, because of Madoka’s wish, this “capability” is actually impossible, as a result of the paradox I mentioned above. It’s Madoka who pops in continually and makes impossible the witches from being born, thus necessitating the new “Majuu” system as I will talk about in the next question.

And remember, magic is not subject to the rules of logic, so her wish can create paradox.

OK, so, the big white things called “Majuu”. What are they?

As Kyuubey has explained before, everything in this universe must be kept in equilibrium. Under Madoka’s new system, Mahou Shoujo can still be contracted. Clearly, the amount of despair that comes with the granting of every new wish need to be balanced out. Madoka has taken the despair, but that doesn’t mean MP of the Soul Gems will not run out. As you may recall, Mami and Kyouko were such cases – the MP running out does not result the Mahou Shoujo in becoming a witch – only emotional grief plays a factor. This means that while the dangers of becoming a witch no longer exist, they are still prone to run out of MP and cease to exist.

In the original system, the curses and despair of the World’s population are absorbed by Witches and Familiars to grow more powerful. Now that witches do not exist anymore, these curses manifest in their own forms, and that’s the ‘big white things’ I like to call Majuu. The job of Mahou Shoujo are still exactly the same – to eliminate the curse and despair of this World. It’s just that now they fulfill their jobs by defeating these Majuu instead of Witches.

Can you give a more simplified answer? My brain kinda hurts.

Original System:

Mahou Shoujo: Contracted to fight Witches
-> Low MP -> Emotionally unstable and more likely to fall into despair
-> Falls into despair -> Turn into Witch
-> Runs out of MP -> Vanishes/Dies

Replenishes MP by killing Witches.

New System:

Mahou Shoujo: Contracted to fight Majuu
-> Low MP -> Emotionally unstable and more likely to fall into despair
-> Falls into despair -> Madoka absorbs despair -> Nothing happens
-> Runs out of MP -> Vanishes/Dies

Replenishes MP by killing Majuu.

Didn’t Madoka do all this for nothing?

Absolutely not! Under this new system, none of the outcomes after becoming a Mahou Shoujo will result in pain for other people. You either keep fighting or you vanish. Before, there is a likelihood you will turn into a Witch and become a burden to many people. In Madoka’s new system, Mahou Shoujo are truly the fighters of justice – the one who eliminate the curses and despair from this World…without any side effects! That’s pretty awesome if you ask me, and they still get one wish granted!

Also, for all you Kyuubey haters – this is also an amazing solution. Because Madoka herself shoulders all the ‘energy’ that Kyuubey ends up collecting when a Mahou Shoujo becomes a Witch, he doesn’t get any of it! He said himself that the new system produces significantly less energy than the original system with Witches, and that he would ‘definitely’ use that old system if he were able to. Too bad he forgot. This is the ultimate loss for Kyuubey.

Why is Sayaka still dead?

In this new timeline that Madoka repairs, Sayaka still makes the same wish so that Kyousuke can recover from his illness. However, since he gets into a relationship with Hitomi, Sayaka falls into despair extremely rapidly, and when that despair reaches its peak, instead of turning into a witch, Madoka absorbs that despair so she does not fall into witchhood. Interestingly, she dies in the next scene in battle against a Majuu. This is explicitly stated by Mami. So here is the important thing: Sayaka died not because she fell into despair, but she ran out of MP. Also, how she died has nothing to do with Kyousuke x Hitomi. It’s just Gen being who he is. This is another important evidence supporting the idea of Madoka’s new system.

Why can Homura still remember Madoka while no one else can?

Because Homura’s wish was to ‘protect Madoka’, when Madoka went from a human to a being that transcends time and space, Homura was also affected by this change. Due to the nature of her wish, she is the only one who can still remember Madoka despite her having trascended to another plane. No one else can remember her because her existence from this World has been moved to a higher one, and obviously she is removed from the time axis of this dimension too. As for why her little brother can still remember her, that’s all theory and there are plenty of discussion in the comments below.

What is with Homura’s new powers and the epilogue?

Oh snap. This is the one question that I absolutely hate, because it is probably the only major event in this entire anime that doesn’t have a solid factual answer. Although I did say this entire article is factual with no room for doubt, to understand this scene, one must theorize. Using Umineko-style, I’ll be writing the theoretical elements in blue. All things in blue should be taken with a grain of salt since they are speculations and not based off solid evidence.

So we can see, before the ending credits, Homura jumped down from the building. She is seen to have white wings. This, along with her new bow is a symbol of her new powers. As for how she obtained this power, it can be assumed that because she made a wish to protect Madoka that when Madoka changed into a higher being, her weapons changed as well. At the scene after the credits, we can see see that as she is walking in a desolate land, she becomes surrounded by a witch-like energy that looks like despair – the taint of Soul Gems. As she becomes more and more engulfed, she hears Madoka’s voice saying “It’s alright”. Hearing this, she smiles. The taint explodes and surrounds the whole screen, ending the anime.

Now, from what I can see, although the witch-like energy look somewhat like wings, they do not look like the white wings she has before the ending theme. Thus, those are not Homura’s newfound powers – but her despair about to engulf her, making her into a witch. However, Madoka arrives and takes away the grief. This is part of her new system. However, Homura was able to hear Madoka’s voice. How is this possible? From the facts we established, Madoka is on a whole different plane. The only other instance when Madoka talks after her ascension was with Sayaka – as she is about to become a witch. This leads me to believe that the only way for Homura to hear Madoka’s voice is that she is becoming a witch. Her MP is nearly completely used up and that causes her to fall into despair, but then Madoka reassures her it’s alright, and takes away the grief. Homura then smiles, knowing that she is in good hands. With the final ounce of her MP, she launches herself at the Majuu, effectively dying in battle. She dies smiling because she knows she will be reunited with Madoka.

Man, I hate using blue text. It makes me feel like I’m Ryukishi07.

You got me beat. But seriously, don’t this show have any flaws at all?

Ryhzuo’s article is even longer than this one.

I have a question not included here!

They probably need theorizing. A lot is being discussed in the comments section below so hop right on in!

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About ImperialX

Anime fan and tech guru.

Discussion

298 thoughts on “Madoka Doesn’t Need a Sequel to Explain Itself

  1. If Madoka is the equivalent of a deity in the new universe, it is only logical that humans would feel her presence, especially those who were originally close to her.

    I imagine this is similar to how people hear and communicate with god, which only further presses the theme that SHAFT was trying to push.

    Posted by Ryhzuo | April 22, 2011, 8:10 PM
    • I considered that, actually, but that wouldn’t address why Madoka’s mum would forget her. She has interacted with Madoka far more than the brother, at least from what use viewers can see.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 22, 2011, 8:14 PM
      • I don’t think she has. She feels nostalgia when she hears her name, and she recognizes the ribbon as something she’d give her daughter if she had one.

        I don’t think her brother fully remembers her either. He just knows that there is this presence he can feel around him, and that it’s name is Madoka. Knowing what she looked like is a stretch, but then he’s never known what she looked like in costume in the first place. We could equate that to an ‘artist’s impression’ of God, ie the common conception that God has a beard. And is Caucasian. =3

        Posted by Ryhzuo | April 22, 2011, 8:18 PM
        • Of course, this is the assumptions we arrive at after interpreting what was given to us. There is no solid proof this is what the director wanted to deliver, but yeah, I like your explanation. And as for the pictures he drew of Madoka in her costume…I just don’t know. When she rose up her entire costume changed, didn’t it?

          Posted by ImperialX | April 22, 2011, 9:11 PM
      • There’s is also the possibility that he has actually seen her in dreams or in some other way (imaginary friend quite explains it). My theory is this (I hope to god that I can actually make it sound a bit more reasonable):

        Madoka’s essence is everywhere. This is stated blankly throughout the finale. I believe that her brother has either seen her in dreams or has simply imagined her with his untainted childhood mind. It’s a bit of a stretch to state this, but it is apparently an ongoing thing. He imagines her constantly when he’s alone and needs someone to play with. So Madoka might be presenting herself in that way to him (like she presented herself to Sayaka before her death). To her mother, she’s present as that feeling of nostalgia.

        For her mother it’s nostalgia because as an adult, she would dismiss any physical image of a girl in a mahou shoujo outfit as a dream, hallucination, tiredness or anything else (even if she had seen her when she was a child herself). Especially since no one has told her that Madoka actually exists. Going with the religious theme, IRL we do have adults saying they’ve seen Jesus, God or some other Saint, because they have actually been told time and again that they exist and it’s possible to see them. So, they are predisposed to it. Madoka’s mother (or anyone else for that matter) isn’t, so they just feel nostalgia. My guess is Kyoko and Mami would feel the same nostalgia if Homura talked to them about Madoka. Kyubey is incapable of feeling anything, so maybe nostalgia isn’t in his repertoire either.

        But basically, her brother is able to have an actual image of her…because he’s a child, he just runs with it.

        Posted by NeoTsunami | April 29, 2011, 11:45 AM
        • Madoka’s meeting with Sayaka is exactly the same as her meeting with Homura in the epilogue – they are dying. I’m sure if Madoka can contact living people, Homura would have been able to hear her voice (which she isn’t able to). That’s my take.

          Posted by ImperialX | April 30, 2011, 3:57 PM
      • maybe it’s because her mother, as an adult, is too rational and has too much on her mind, while her baby brother, being little more than a toddler, has a mind almost like a clean slate. he’s still in that phase of life where he hasn’t fully grasped his surroundings yet, but he is possibly much more connected to his own unconscious / subconscious / the collective unconscious / collective memory / higher plane of existence / some magical realm where madoka manifests herself, either as a memory from a “past life”, or as a present-time deity.

        Posted by yoroppajin | November 28, 2013, 11:25 PM
  2. LOL i loved this. See this is what I was trying to say but couldn’t word it. Most people are saying the end sucks but I think they are failing to understand it, it was simply brilliant. And I don’t even think the whole thing about her little bro still remembering her is such a bad thing or a plot hole it’s one of those…things. Like how in horror movies the kids always see the ghosts first or some shit like that. I think it’s sweet that her little brother still has a place for her in his memories.

    Posted by Shotacat25 | April 22, 2011, 8:14 PM
    • Exactly! When I finished watching episode 12 the first time, I didn’t even think I need to write up a post since I thought it was crystal clear. When I go on forums though, I saw tons of people who didn’t get it. I knew I had to write this to put them out of their misery.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 22, 2011, 8:16 PM
      • Yeah they were totally oblivious! This anime…as corny as this sounds…was so good it made me shed a tear. Just one tear. This is the one anime where I want a sequel but I don’t want a sequel. It does not need one. In a mere 12 episodes it managed to be one of the greatest stories ever. And the people who were demanding a more action packed ending are obviously not very familiar with SHAFT.

        Posted by Shotacat25 | April 22, 2011, 8:20 PM
        • There are plans for a spin-off where all the girls are living in a care-free World and is a Slice of Life. Kinda like Hidamari Sketch. It doesn’t need a sequel (as my title says LOL). It’s conclusive enough and is a good ending.

          Posted by ImperialX | April 22, 2011, 9:12 PM
        • Hey, ImperialX, maybe they could take the slice of life genre and turn it on it’s head :P
          I love this anime and the ending, even if it was a little sad, it made sense (except for maybe the after-credits, but I like what you said about it)… I would hate for it to turn into a tea-and-cakes-cute-girl-parade D:

          Posted by BB89 | April 19, 2012, 8:59 PM
    • Well it’s not that we think the ending sucks or anything. If you do really sit down and think about it the ending is magnificently created. However, when I sit down to watch a mahou shoujo anime I KIND OF expect it to be nice, sweet with NO DEATH OF THE MAHOU SHOUJO! But I guess that’s just MSMM. I’m just hoping that in the end Madoka and Homura will be able to sit down with Kyoko, Mami, and Sayaka and have tea again, if I can be promised that that’ll happen I can honestly say that MSMM is one of the most magnificent animes IN THE WORLD!

      Posted by LeoKitchen | October 4, 2011, 7:45 PM
  3. I always thought that if a MG runs out of MP they turn witch, thats how Madoka turned into Gretchen after Oneshotting Walpurgisnacht no?

    And that once a MG runs out of MP and starts to turn “witch” Madoka comes in and makes them vanish??

    Posted by pikachuwei | April 22, 2011, 8:43 PM
    • Nope. They were both going to turn into witches because of their grief, not due to MP. If they lost all their MP they would simply vanish like Kyouko and Mami.

      And another nope. This I will edit into the main blog post. Thank you for a good question. ^_^

      Posted by ImperialX | April 22, 2011, 9:13 PM
      • I have to disagree with you on the MP thing. Mami didn’t vanish, her head and Soul Gem was destroyed and eaten and the rest of her body was stuck in the barrier. Kyouko didn’t vanish either but rather blew herself up with Sayaka. Where exactly did it say specifically that they’ll vanish because it was mention after the fight between Sayaka and Kyouko in episode 6 that “mud” will appear after using magic. Like you said, having too much mud will turn you into a witch.

        Posted by Omimon | April 22, 2011, 11:14 PM
      • Mami showed in ep2 that usage of MP dims the SG.

        Maybe when you got murky SG your mental strength is at its weakest state that you can easily go into depression mode in a very short amount of time?

        Posted by Jeroz | April 22, 2011, 11:30 PM
      • Jeroz nails it.

        Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 1:37 AM
      • Then I want to say that situations where MP going to zero and grief not going up is impossible.

        Posted by Omimon | April 23, 2011, 9:14 AM
      • This is the thing that bugged me. she wants to erase every witch everywhere, so then she destroys their soul gems right? kyouko and mami in ep 12 mentioned how exhausting your magic makes a PM vanis…

        Or maybe she takes away the “grief” involved so that the PM “vanishes” when they feel theyve satisfactorily made theyre wish mean something. like as you said Sayaka giving it all she got to make Kamijous concert go uninterrupted. So that way theyll die happy more or less

        Posted by CainSonozaki | April 23, 2011, 2:15 PM
      • Sayaka’s disappearance was my mistake. I’ve fixed it in the main article and I’ll post it again here:

        In this new timeline that Madoka repairs, Sayaka still makes the same wish so that Kyousuke can recover from his illness. However, since he gets into a relationship with Hitomi, Sayaka falls into despair extremely rapidly, and when that despair reaches its peak, instead of turning into a witch, she simply disappears under Madoka’s new system.

        Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 4:11 PM
        • My interpretation of Sayaka’s death had nothing to do with vanishing via despair or mud:

          Sayaka went into battle with the other magical girls but dies in heroic fashion using everything she had (similar to how Sayaka was destroyed earlier in the series). No mud involved. The moment she dies Madoka brings her to the concert seats and talks with her in her final moments; letting her see the boy she loved play one last time. I don’t see how she keeled over from despair when she was perfectly fine with how things turned out even sayng she’s happy Kyousuke will be cared for.

          Posted by Anonymous | August 21, 2011, 3:21 PM
        • My interpretation of Sayaka’s death had nothing to do with vanishing via despair or mud:

          Sayaka went into battle with the other magical girls but dies in heroic fashion using everything she had (similar to how Sayaka was destroyed earlier in the series byt he red-head). No mud involved. The moment she dies Madoka brings her to the concert seats and talks with her in her final moments; letting her see the boy she loved play one last time. I don’t see how she keeled over from despair when she was perfectly fine with how things turned out even sayng she’s happy Kyousuke will be cared for.

          Posted by Jayson Burke | August 21, 2011, 3:32 PM
      • I agree with Omimon. None of the girls,except Homura knew that they were doomed to turn into Witches before Sayaka turned into one.

        Analyzing Sayaka and Homura’s cases, there’s strong hints that a unstable emotional state worsens the accumulation of “mud”:
        - Sayaka turned rapidly into a Witch because of her context (having her “boyfriend” taken away, discovering that her soul was detached from her body, etc, etc).
        - Homura’s Soul Gem was being overtaken by the mud at the same time she was losing all her hopes.

        Thus it’s not necessary to use all of the MP to turn into a Witch. Being in an unstable emotional state/despair can trigger the transformation into a Witch if the Soul Gem is too much contaminated.

        Posted by Jun-01 | April 23, 2011, 4:34 PM
      • Basically vanishing does not happen in the old world.

        Posted by Omimon | April 24, 2011, 2:35 PM
    • I was thinking that maybe a PM never runs out of Magic, since it’s not something she spends, but generates from nothing, a “miracle”. But the usage of Magic itself has a cost: your SG will get dirty. Thus a PM would never deplete MP since it’s theoretically infinite. But the continuous use will be traded with mud, and they’ll become witches eventually when the SG turns black. Remember the equilibrium concept the show shouted the entire time.

      When Madoka changed the rules of the game:
      - The witch transformation part is skipped, and the PM’s grief mysteriously disappears from the universe with her existence.
      - QB can’t collect the PM’s grief anymore , since there’s no Grief Seed at all. But humanity is still a infinite source of grief/despair, this grief culminating in the forms of Demons/Curses. So he needs to rely on the “Grief Cubes” dropped by them.
      - PMs function now is exclusively of destroying demons/curses.

      That new system is less cruel than the previous one. Still far from ideal and not perfect, but still good when you think about equilibrium.

      Posted by Jun-01 | April 24, 2011, 3:41 AM
    • I was thinking that maybe a PM never runs out of Magic, since it’s not something she spends, but generates from nothing, a “miracle”. But the usage of Magic itself has a cost: your SG will get dirty. Thus a PM would never deplete MP since it’s theoretically infinite. But the continuous use will be traded with mud, and they’ll become witches eventually when the SG turns black. Remember the equilibrium concept the show shouted the entire time.

      When Madoka changed the rules of the game:
      - The witch transformation part is skipped, and the PM’s grief mysteriously disappears from the universe with her existence.
      - QB can’t collect the PM’s grief anymore , since there’s no Grief Seed at all. But humanity is still a infinite source of grief/despair, this grief culminating in the forms of Demons/Curses. So he needs to rely on the “Grief Cubes” dropped by them.
      - PMs function now is exclusively of destroying demons/curses and collecting “Grief Cubes”.

      That new system is less cruel than the previous one. Still far from ideal and not perfect, but still good when you think about equilibrium.

      Posted by Jun-01 | April 24, 2011, 3:41 AM
    • I always figured Hope WAS the MP, and despair was the absence of it. It always felt like it was more of a “lightside vs Darkside” scale than a measure of statistics. They did not “use” magic as much as turned their “magic” into despair. The energy given off by the transformation is manifest in their powers. The despair that is created from the burned up “fuel” replaces what magic used to be their in their soul gem. If that makes sense.

      Posted by CramerGamer | April 26, 2011, 9:12 AM
      • Haha, that’s actually an interesting concept, and I do like it. Just because I like it, however, doesn’t mean it’s truth. There’s nothing in the show that supports this concept.

        Posted by ImperialX | April 26, 2011, 12:47 PM
        • Actually there are many facts that there is no other MP other than hope-despair. And both using magic powers and literally falling into despair via emotions depletes hope, so resulting in a new witch. Or after 12 episode – prevention by Madoka via absorbing all despair and destruction of the Soul Gem (contractor physical body vanish too because of Soul Gem). They are:
          1. (Episode 2 – last half) Mami Tomoe shows after battle that using magic(!) depletes the Soul Gem’s power, as shown by the dimming of its light; using a Grief Seed, the dim is absorbed by it, leaving the Soul Gem brighter and restoring the lost power. Her (Mami) emotions are high, even no small regrets occurred because Mami controlled the battle. She let a witch to slam her against the wall as she waited previous shots to summon strings to completely immobilize the witch and her familiars.
          2. (Episode 11 – end; when Homura is trapped in debris) While Homura do not use any magic(!) at all, her Soul Gem on the hand became completely corrupted on our very eyes. Hope-energy goes down from 80% to 10% in a second. Then Madoka grabs her hand and tells her not to worry and this action (not any magic) stopped corruption of the Soul Gem on the hand.
          3. (Episode 12; Homura then discusses her story with Kyubey) he remarks that they still can’t explain why depleted(!) Soul Gems vanish without any trace.
          4. (Episode 12) in the end Homura connection with Madoka can only be explained by the ribbon that she got in a place without time from Madoka (she followed Madoka because, of her old wish to protect). Without any speculations about her imminent death in the desert. So dark wings is just a connection of this mystic(!) ribbon with Madoka and her last words in a place without time about a true miracle that probably can connect them again.

          Posted by SERGIY | January 22, 2013, 5:07 AM
  4. “It’s almost mindblowing that Madoka can come up with such a flawless plan in such a short period of time.”
    So anyway, how long did it actually take to come up with this plan? For us watchers, it’d have been… uh… a whole bunch of weeks, I guess, but how long did it take (in the actually show) from the moment Madoka learned about Mahou Shoujos and Witches and stuff, until she finally hatched that plan by the end of ep11?
    I’d say she had plenty of time, but that’s debatable.

    On another note, I bet Urobuchi Gen planned this delay from the beginning. He was already set on airing the last episode on this particular day.

    Posted by Oosran | April 22, 2011, 8:48 PM
  5. I think that since his little brother is still very young without any malice or anything (very pure) Madoka made contact with him. either as a ghost on in the childs dreams.

    Madoka’s parents wouldn’t probably understand if she appeared in their dreams, since according to that world they never had a daughter and would only see her as cute girl, whereas the little brother would see her as an imaginary friend and someone to play with.

    Posted by hector | April 22, 2011, 9:20 PM
    • This is actually very intriguing, and I think what you said makes sense. Airing it on Good Friday, SHAFT is obviously relating Madoka to Jesus. Here’s an interesting Bible verse:

      “But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”” – Luke 18:16~17

      I think this corresponds to what you say – little children are closer to Madoka than adults because she has a pure heart.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 22, 2011, 9:29 PM
      • This would have aired a month ago but for the disaster in Japan, and it ran in it’s usual timeslot, which happens to be Friday. Also, Japan is maybe 10% Christian of all denominations, and I have never seen any information to the effect that anybody at SHAFT or Gen Urobuchi is either Christian or has any particular affinity for Easter. In fact, the only reference I know of is that Akemi Homura transfers from a Christian school.

        So, read into it what you like of course, but “obviously relating” is really not that obvious to everyone else. So I understand the theological significance of Jesus Christ in the Christian faith, but the Japanese have no shortage of internal examples of people who sacrificed themselves either for faith or loyalty, it’s a common theme in their culture, c.f. the 47 rōnin, etc.

        Posted by slyborg | April 22, 2011, 10:21 PM
        • If SHAFT or Urobuchi Gen are Christians, they would not have even made this anime because it is filled to the brim with blasphemy to the Faith. Even though they say they’re delaying it because of the Earthquake, there’s no reason to delay it for six whole weeks. They even started airing Denpa Onna and Maria Holic Alice before they started airing this. Obviously they have had everything planned out.

          Also, you don’t need to be a Christian to know what Good Friday means. I should hardly think only 10% of the Japanese population understand what that day is for, thus airing this episode today has its significance, regardless of the religion practiced by the majority of the country.

          Posted by ImperialX | April 22, 2011, 10:25 PM
      • > Also, Japan is maybe 10% Christian of all denominations, and I have never seen any information to the effect that anybody at SHAFT or Gen Urobuchi is either Christian or has any particular affinity for Easter.

        It’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that they might know what day Good Friday is, or know of Good Friday. Someone on staff was doing some sort of research; you notice all the stuff on Homura’s computer monitors? You don’t find those woodblock prints and poems just browsing Wikipedia…

        Posted by gwern | April 23, 2011, 3:48 PM
  6. > Falls into despair -> Madoka absorbs despair -> Soul Gem vanishes-> Become normal human.

    No, they died. Look more closely on all those puella magi that Madoka ‘saved’.

    >> Runs out of MP -> Vanishes
    No, they became witches.

    Posted by Matriach | April 22, 2011, 9:34 PM
  7. I could be wrong, but I think there are some errors in the points above:

    >As you may recall, Mami and Kyouko were such cases – the MP running out does not result the Mahou Shoujo in becoming a witch – only emotional grief plays a factor.

    + Where is this shown? I don’t think there’s any mention or example of this- their magical power is tied to the state of their soul gem anyway, so I believe the result is actually still transforming into a witch.

    Mami was killed outright, and her soul gem presumably crushed, whilst one could assume that Kyouko simultaneously crushed her gem to unleash the explosion, thus stopping a potential transformation into a witch.

    Madoka’s wish doesn’t specifically make it impossible for them to change, it only means that once they do, they’re instantly destroyed by Madoka, and act of somewhat morally ambiguous mercy.

    >What’s with Homura’s power-ups?
    Another easy one. Madoka, having shouldered all this ‘energy’, have learnt how to control it. When she is fighting alongside Homura, her powers are clearly visible in the black wings that are drawn in a similar art style as witches.

    + I was actually under the impression that Homura was about to descend into witchhood, triggering Madoka’s intervention and finally giving the two their bittersweet reunion. The magic arrows are clearly being aimed at Homura (She doesn’t have her bow out), who appears to be momentarily repelling them, but she succumbs quickly.

    Madoka Magica’s plot was really well explained, but what I want to know is what people think of Madoka’s actual method of achieving her desired result- I would have thought there would at least be a few people out there who would disagree with what strikes me as a bit of a defeatist attitude from Madoka, though personally I support what she chose.

    Posted by Midgemage | April 22, 2011, 9:41 PM
    • ****, I got ninja’d.

      Posted by Midgemage | April 22, 2011, 9:41 PM
    • >Where is this shown? I don’t think there’s any mention or example of this- their magical power is tied to the state of their soul gem anyway, so I believe the result is actually still transforming into a witch.

      I don’t think they turned into Witches, because if they had been, they would at least be shown to do some damage like Sayaka, since they are powerful Mahou Shoujo. In episode 11, it is specifically explained that Witches are born from grief.

      >Mami was killed outright, and her soul gem presumably crushed, whilst one could assume that Kyouko simultaneously crushed her gem to unleash the explosion, thus stopping a potential transformation into a witch.

      That’s actually a pretty interesting of looking at it.

      >Madoka’s wish doesn’t specifically make it impossible for them to change, it only means that once they do, they’re instantly destroyed by Madoka, an act of somewhat morally ambiguous mercy.

      Mmm…no. She didn’t mention that specifically in her wish. As said, she’s in the controller’s seat. She decides what to do in the limitation of the literal wish.

      >I was actually under the impression that Homura was about to descend into witchhood, triggering Madoka’s intervention and finally giving the two their bittersweet reunion. The magic arrows are clearly being aimed at Homura (She doesn’t have her bow out), who appears to be momentarily repelling them, but she succumbs quickly.

      Another extremely interesting view, but nonetheless, I don’t have a problem with your interpretation and it doesn’t affect the plot.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 22, 2011, 9:48 PM
      • Homuchan doesnt look like she is succumbing, more like she flies in amongst the demons and gives them a can of whoopass with those sick wings of hers XD

        Posted by pikachuwei | April 22, 2011, 10:04 PM
      • i mean at the end Homu’s wings were blacking out the screen, cutting out all background music (probably to save us from the eye bleach that is dead demons pwnt by her majesty) No sign of her falling there.

        Posted by pikachuwei | April 22, 2011, 10:57 PM
      • I don’t think she’s descending into witch-hood. It seems more like this is the future, maybe a post-apocalyptic era, and Homura has learned to control her witch powers. Also, those lines look more like the attacks coming from the demons.

        Posted by Chaoswurm | April 24, 2011, 5:39 PM
        • Again, why I wrote those in blue text. I have no problems with your theory. It’s just an alternative take and we both have no solid evidence to prove our speculations.

          Posted by ImperialX | April 24, 2011, 5:42 PM
        • Since Madoka can see into the future, she can see that Homura has the potential/ability to control her witch powers and deliberately did not erase her witch(Homulilly)? Until the last moment where she is about to become a witch and Madoka activates her spell and erases Homulilly? Or it could be that Madoka allowed Homura to shoulder the burden of the erased witches’ despair? Since Homura’a powers are time travelling anyway. And weirdly create a paradox where Madoka meets Homura and shows her her ability? Okay this is random blather but I’m fairly sure her wings have something to do with witches, given the ending where witches are erased and Madoka shoulders the burden of erasing it. And Homura swoops in, using the powers of one universe to fight the despair in another. Okay now I’m sure i’m blabbering nonsense.

          Posted by scarlet-riko | January 27, 2013, 11:10 PM
  8. Totally missing the point. What many anons complain about is not the inconsistencies but the Good End when we were wishing for more despair/broken characters.

    Posted by Anne Onymouse | April 22, 2011, 9:49 PM
  9. Hi.I got a question.I don’t remember it very well but if I remember correctly at first kyuubey goal was to make madoka become a magical girl so that she can turn into the strongest witch.So what is kyuubey trying to accomplish by doing this?
    And after the events in episode 12.What is Kyuubey role is this new universe now?

    Posted by Annoymous | April 22, 2011, 10:00 PM
  10. are they still zombies under the new system?

    Posted by anti | April 22, 2011, 10:17 PM
  11. My god…this was just so good. FLAWLESS. It’s definetly one of the best animes ever, and also, I thought the ending was perfect, the one thing I didn’t understand were Homura’s purple-with-wing-things at the end, but this is explained here, so, everyhings fine.

    Also, Joan of Arc was a Mahou Shoujo? AWESOME

    Posted by Juusan | April 22, 2011, 10:47 PM
    • Cleopatra too. xD

      Posted by ImperialX | April 22, 2011, 10:49 PM
    • /a/ made me laugh about that one

      If you look at it this way, all the influential women shown in history were all magical girls.
      >implying women can’t do anything without being helped by magical powers
      >implying all powerful women got to where they were by selling their souls

      It’s like social commentary or something! Can’t wait for feminists.

      Posted by Raindrop | April 22, 2011, 11:10 PM
      • >implying women can’t do anything without being helped by magical powers

        ALL of humanity would still be living in caves without the incubators granting wishes, remember?

        >implying all powerful women got to where they were by selling their souls

        Mixing up cause and effect here. Beginning of episode 11, Kyuubey says queens and saviors attract misfortune, giving them more potential as a Puella Magi. They didn’t become powerful by selling their souls, they got the offer to sell their souls because they were powerful.

        >It’s like social commentary or something! Can’t wait for feminists.

        The “still living in caves” thing implies men have never made any progress in anything in history ever. So this show is actually VERY feminist.

        Posted by DannyBoy | April 23, 2011, 12:46 AM
      • I actually laughed at that part when Kyuubey said we would still be living in caves if it wasn’t for the Mahou Shoujo. It does imply than men have never contributed in making progress.

        Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 2:14 PM
      • Not to sound butthurt or anything, but I was just quoting something I read on /a/ and found amusing. I probably should have added quotation marks, but yeah.

        Posted by Raindrop | April 25, 2011, 1:13 AM
      • Weird, I can’t find it archived, either. I hardly ever use Green-Oval, so that could be me fumbling, but are there ways that posts don’t make it there? Perhaps it was deleted and the site updated it off?

        Posted by Raindrop | April 26, 2011, 12:29 AM
      • I’m waiting for the feminist because it’s implying that girls are more unstable than boys.
        Incubator needs energy from emotion, and teenager girls are the most efficient way of getting it, how about teenager boys? They aren’t emotionally unstable? And is this implying that girls are more stupid than boys?

        I know it’s a mahou shoujou anime and all so I don’t think too much but I can read it that way too.
        I’m kinda meh with feminist though, they can be misogynist at times.

        Posted by kktt | May 4, 2011, 6:13 AM
        • You’re missing the point. This anime is a deconstruction of the “Magical Girls” genre, NOTHING to do with the problems guys have. You want to see an unstable guy? Watch Evangelion.

          Posted by Namer Fan (@KentaMisaka) | October 14, 2011, 7:57 AM
  12. Hi. I have question.

    In new system, Madoka acts somehow similarly to Homura. She destroys withces before they born, and sorrow from Seeds accumuates flying behind her cometa-like Soul Gem. There was scene: black grief from cometa start to destroy Earth or smth like that. But Madoka destroyed darkness again.
    They will gather again, she will destroy them…
    But what will happen, if she lost her hope at some iteration? She will become witch? Or its impossible for her to lose hope? Or?

    Thank you for awesome post, helped me to sort things out a bit.

    Posted by jedi | April 22, 2011, 11:30 PM
    • I personally would say it’s impossible for Madoka to become witch, as it’s stated very obvious in her wish that not a single witch is to be born, whether in the past, present, or FUTURE. The “future” part, I believe, already includes Madoka herself. Even though she is now beyond time in her own godlike state, the term “past, present, and future” covers every possible time for her. Therefore, I’d speculate that she’s not gonna turn into a witch.

      About the question whether she would lost hope…I’d like to quote Mami-san’s words to answer it. She said that not only Madoka became a PG to save the hope of others, she also became THE HOPE HERSELF. Plus, I believe I remember Madoka said something like she wanted to be “Kibou no Mahou Shoujo,” the Puella Magi of Hope…and hell she did! So my answer is she’s not gonna lose hope: she has plenty of it. ;)

      Moreover, with her current state, I assume that she’s beyond all worldly emotion i.e. fear, grief, or despair, as much as she’s beyond space and time. Anyway, I don’t want to discuss metaphysical theories whether God or some entity of His level could have negative feelings like mortals. -__-

      Posted by Povolam | April 23, 2011, 3:07 AM
    • Povolam’s answer is great. In episode 12, Madoka took a few seconds to explain why she will not fall into despair too, also because she has become hope herself. She understands the bane of Mahou Shoujo and remind us we’re still watching a Mahou Shoujo show.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 2:16 PM
  13. i thought it was:
    Mahou Shoujo generate equal amounts of “hope” and “despair” instantaneously and on demand. hope becomes the energy that fuels magic. despair is stored in the soul gem as “taint”.
    old universe:—————————————————————————————–
    Mahou Shoujo: Contracted to fight Witches
    ->uses magic->accumulates taint-> when taint reaches critical mass->become witch.
    emotional grief can result in additional taint. witches can generate familiars, and when familiars kill people they can become witches.
    witches are repositories for taint, and use taint to do dark magic. when they are destroyed, the grief seeds are effectively empty of taint, and can be used to store taint from soul gems.
    new universe:—————————————————————————————
    Mahou Shoujo: Contracted to fight Demons(majuu)
    ->uses magic->accumulates taint-> when taint reaches critical mass->soul gem is absorbed by madoka, to ensure the world is not affected. mahou shoujo disappears.
    taint can be released in the form of black cubes.
    Demons originate from “distortions” caused by magic and possibly human emotion.

    also, madoka’s soul gem DOES become a grief seed, and a witch that is capable of destroying the universe. however, before madoka’s soul gem changes, madoka travels forward in time and destroys her own witch.
    also i imagine that homura was able to observe what happened because she was dissociated from time due to her power. basically homura has the the power to travel through time and retain persistent memory between alternate universes(otherwise she would not remember when she travels through time). if something is removed from the collective universes, (that something being madoka’s existence, or witches, or the original intents of QB, or the original laws of the universe), only someone who could retain memory across universes would remember it. everyone else would originate and end in the same time-space and would be unaware of the universes that were destroyed. all other lingering effects are coincidental
    the ending sequence is confusing. i don’t think the white lines were arrows. if you look at 20:42 you can see similar lines swirling around the sitting demons, so i prefer to believe that those lines are the demon’s attack pattern. as to how homura gets wings that resemble witches, my theory is that madoka changed the nature of magic so that any mahou shoujo could use any type of magic, including witches magic. that would also explain why homura is able to use madoka’s bow and arrow magic at 21:22. i don’t think it’s madoka “fighting alongside” homura because if madoka had the power to generate an existence in the world, QB would probably notice the discrepancy in energy.

    Posted by ShadoFX | April 22, 2011, 11:38 PM
    • Your first point is the system we all understood it to be initially, and that is the gradual tainting of the Soul Gem. That was proven wrong in episode 11 when Kyuubey stated that Grief is the only factor that plays a role in the conversion of a Soul Gem to a Grief Seed. Sadly, this does mean all of the Population Dynamics article will have to be rewritten.

      As for Madoka travelling forward in time, I actually got that but forgot to leave it in the Q&A. Thank you for reminding me. I’ll update it.

      As for Madoka changing the nature of magic, I don’t believe that’s the case because it wasn’t part of her wish. Madoka isn’t god or omnipotent. She’s just omnipresent and have the power to erase witches before they are born.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 2:22 PM
  14. In one of the time line Madoka runs of of MP by using it to defeat WN. Then she become a witch. In the first for example she defeat it again, but she is dying in the process, because she still don`t have so much power. Is just that you can become a witch because of strong despair too.

    Her brother, nor her mother remember her. She and Incubator said that she is everywhere and nowhere. That’s why she is like a imaginary friend for them. You know how people are saying that little kids understand the world better, before their souls become corrupted from the humans world.

    When the Soul Gem become corrupted, their own soul become corrupted, because the Soul Gem itself it’s there soul. They become despair itself and Madoka take this despair in her own soul. The girls material bodies die and her soul disappear and there is no such place like the so called Mahou Shoujo Heaven. Even her strong and full of hope soul become corrupted taking the despair of all mahou shoujo being in the eternity (not only humans). But then wishing to erase of witches that include her own. Like she is taking down herself her own witch and left an other soul that is still pure and full of hope and dreams. The infinity despair destroy the university, but the left hope re-create it, but in a world without witches. Is kind of paradoxical thing, that you just can`t really understand by having normal and stupid human way of thinking and all, but can understanding by just being top tear being or something…

    Posted by djhot | April 22, 2011, 11:46 PM
    • Basically it is what Jeroz said earlier. She became it wasn’t the MP that caused her to become a witch, it’s because of despair. I have solid evidence for that and it’s not an assumption – Kyuubey himself said in episode 11 that grief is the only factor here. I wasn’t sure before episode 11, but I was sure when I saw it yesterday.

      And I never said there was a Mahou Shoujo Heaven…xD I think that tea party is something inexplicable like Umineko.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 2:26 PM
  15. How can Sayaka “ensure Kamijou’s concert go uninterrupted” as you say ? I don’t think she ever had this kind of power…

    Also, when Madoka absorbs despair of all these girls, do they really die ? It seems to me that they simply vanish…

    Posted by Toady | April 23, 2011, 12:08 AM
    • Sayaka become a witch, because of her despair love and weakness for Kamijou. Before she die Madoka show her his future.

      Mami’s body was never found, because she died in witch barrier. But we saw how Sayaka become a witch and then got killed by Kyoko. After that they found Sayaka’s body in a hotel.

      To die physically is simple for the body to stop working. Beings in the anime have souls for sure. After the body stop working normally the soul vanish or becoming one with the universe, something like the water circle (how the watter go in the ground).

      Posted by djhot | April 23, 2011, 12:20 AM
    • The way I phrased is quite confusing, but yes, dying for a Mahou Shoujo is simply vanishing, since they are already dead and they’re just empty vessels, remotely controlled by a Soul Gem.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 2:27 PM
  16. pointing out a mistkae on your stuff:
    Using magic taints your soul gem. Turning you into a witch, thats the only outcome.
    Grief, sadness, and whatnot -> Taints your Soul Gem
    Using magic -> Taints your Soul Gem

    Only outcome, is turning into a witch, or getting your Soul Gem destroyed.
    If what you said was truth then there wouldn’t be any witches… Since they would use all their magic power before that, and dissapear… And thus you could prevent anyone becoming a witch by just wasting all their power.

    I think you should rewatch the older episodes.

    Right now the differnece we see is 2:
    1) When you turn into a witch you get destroyed right away.
    2) The only way to collect the grief now its removing it as it gets created. Thus Homura removed bits of it and gave it to kyubey.

    Anyways:

    The sayaka dead was the only element kinda a bit off… Maybe it’s the sub but the “She used all her energy in that last attack” followed by “what’s the point of dissapearing for the sake of the guy she loves”…

    Going by this, first it looks like she was fighting, but then that sentence was a bit weird… If she was reffering to the first wish, why bring it up as if it had any relationship with the fight?.
    Or did she use all her Magic to stop the anomalities, so they wouldn’t interrupt the concert?

    Since you use magic, or accumulate grief, and it shows as a slow corruption that you can remove and give to kyubey… The only reasonable option is that she used too much on a single go, or didnt cleanse before… Turning into a witch and getting destroyed right away.

    Posted by Kabi | April 23, 2011, 12:41 AM
    • Nope. That’s how we understood it before episode 10. Kyuubey blew the entire Population Dynamics article out the door when he stated that grief was the only factor in the transformation into a witch in episode 11. This is also evident when Madoka stopped Homura from descending to witchhood by giving her hope.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 2:30 PM
      • Hope counters the Taint… that doesn’t mean that using Magic doesn’t also corrupt your Gem…

        Again, if not there wouldnt be almost witches… Most of the mahou shoujo would just use their magic instead of falling into despair, and dissapear.
        The system itself wouldn’t make sense, you would be wasting the energy every time a mahou shoujo dies from using magic.

        So tell me when kyuubey said that? Cause i watched it less than a day ago and i’m sure he didn’t say that.

        Posted by Kabi | April 23, 2011, 3:08 PM
        • Grief alone causes one to descend into witchhood. Also, you saw at the end of episode 11 Homura was only starting to descend when she is losing hope. Otherwise she would have just turned back time.

          Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 3:58 PM
  17. Took this from 4chan.
    Madoka became an entity that goes around and saves Magical Girls so that when they die, they get escorted by her to Magical Girl Heaven, a’la Sayaka. She does this spanning the past, present and future. Madoka did not get rid of all the evils in the world, but she made it much better place. Anything else would require the complete eradication of all bad things ever, and would basically require the human race to be emotionless. Because emotions still exist, bad feelings still exist and they now take the form of the Demons. Magical Girls fight them to protect people. Soul Gems are now cleaned by those Cubes dropped by Demons. Homura was seen feeding a few to QB. When a Soul Gem reaches critical mass for whatever reason, i.e. being defeated, not defeating enough Demons and getting their Cubes, Madoka appears and takes the girl away. For those of you arguing that this is a bullshit ending and that nothing changed, I would argue that an ending where everyone was happy and everything was solved forever is bullshit. For who ask why nobody made a wish like this before, this was explained in episode 11, because of the time loop, Madoka has powers that can break the rules and limits on wish making.

    Mami, Kyoko and Homura were fighting a DEMON WITH Sayaka, not AGAINST her. Sayaka used up all her energy in the assault, thus Madoka came for her and took her to Magical Girl Heaven

    Homura’s powers may be different from every other Magical Girl’s because she was removed, at least in part, from the reformatting of the world. There is no trace of the existence of Madoka in the new world, save for Madoka’s ribbons which Homura currently wears, this alone is proof that her existence is different. This could explain why Homura is seen with Witch like powers. Conversely, it could be that in this new world, ALL Magical Girls have powers that look like that since there are no more Witches.

    To the best of my knowledge, there was no implied religious/DEEP style ending. Madoka is not Evangelion or any other show you might compare it too. This explanation should stand on its own.

    If you were disappointed with the ending because it felt like nothing changed, then you didn’t understand it and I hope this helped

    If you did understand all this and still felt disappointed at the ending, well I am sorry you did not enjoy it. You can hope for a Season 2.

    Wait.

    So even if Magical Girls and Witches didn’t exist there would still be a enemy born from negative emotions? Yes those demons you saw

    not OP, but to put it simply, now the girls know what there end is, and they don’t have to fear becoming monsters. Basically she grants them death. Being a magical girl isn’t supposed to be fun and games.
    So this means even if the Incubators never came to the Earth negative emotions will still make monsters that kill us all. Yes Essentially.

    Yes, and without the Incubators making magical girls to deal with those emotions, mankind would never have been able to progress

    for the Homura thing, in the post-apocalytpic world, she’s going into her final battle where she meets her demise, which is why you hear Madoka because they finally reunite. But alot of it is up to your own interpretation
    OP here, I’m not so sure about this part. For one thing it looked more like those Demons were about to get fucked up. Keep in mind that she could have just been fighting in a desolate place like a desert somewhere, the kind that exist all over the world in DBZ. Also Madoka talking to her is not necessarily a sign of her demise, as one removed from the world, she and Madoka have a connection, through the hair ribbons, and also the fact that they were the only two in the rainbow world while the reformatting was going on. So its possible Madoka just says “Hey” once in a while.

    That IS why they were created. The Incubators harvested energy from the process of girls being flung into utter despair, which occurred when they became witches. Without witches, they have no way to harvest energy, and thus Madoka causes the heat death of the universe. I’m going to assume she doesn’t want that.

    So either the demons are natural manifestations of grief that happen since witches don’t exist, or they’re manifestations of the massive amount of grief that Madoka herself took on. My guess is the first one, but the second is plausible.

    Exactly. It’s not like Kyubey technically made witches, since they spawned naturally as well as from mahou shoujo. He didn’t create the methods to harvest energy, he just used them.

    > For who ask why nobody made a wish like this before, this was explained in episode 11, because of the time loop, Madoka has powers that can break the rules and limits on wish making.
    > because of the time loop
    every time homura failed to save madoka the karmic weight that madoka has rose until it got to retarded levels and she could make a wish like that, as her wish and becoming a magical girl affected multiple time lines in the end.

    Posted by watdkjfh | April 23, 2011, 12:58 AM
  18. @Kirroha : Euh, because they almost become a witch? Which of course, because of Madoka’s wish then those girls who almost become a witch will be killed so that no witch will be born. At least that’s what my logic is :(

    For me, this explain why Sayaka is gone after she almost become a witch in episode 12…

    Posted by Matriach | April 23, 2011, 1:16 AM
  19. Nice one. Not like I needed it. But still, nice one.

    Posted by GBolt | April 23, 2011, 1:54 AM
  20. Love your take on this ending and its very similar to my own thoughts so I have a question that I’ve been thinking on not really pertaining to the ending but something that I’ve been racking my brain on. So I wish to poke yours on your thoughts on this.

    So if Madoka is seen as a god does this mean that since Homura can hear and remember Madoka that she could be seen as Lucifer? A fallen angel of sorts?

    I could type so much more but I’d turn this into a book so I’m curious on your thoughts of on this.

    Posted by crazyrevy | April 23, 2011, 2:12 AM
    • Thank you. Madoka can’t be seen as God because she isn’t omnipotent – she can’t do anything she wishes. She can only do what she wished for – and that is to stop all witches from being born. That means she is omnipresent, yes, but she can’t do things aside from erasing witches. That’s hardly ‘god’. xD

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 2:33 PM
      • I don’t see why not. A god is a very touchy subject but I do believe she meets the requirements to be counted as one. Sure she can’t do it all but does she not oversee. I’m not saying she is “THE” god but more like a god as she does have god like qualities.

        “God is most often conceived of as the supernatural creator and overseer of the universe.” stole the definition but if this is the case can she not be seen as a god? Sure she can’t do everything but is she not the overseer of her new world that she created for all the magical girls?

        Anyway I’ll shut up now lol. Dam Madoka and your mind FU. I havn’t thought this much about an anime in a long time. I will definitely be checking back to your site for future reviews.

        Posted by crazyrevy | April 23, 2011, 4:59 PM
  21. I don’t think that homura became a witch in the last scene .maxima tells her to keep it up and what we see is homu kicking ass

    Posted by Nick | April 23, 2011, 2:12 AM
  22. Q: so madoka absorbs all the hate/despair, what happens to her? came up with a few answers, any one of em right?

    A’s: 1. she gets the despair but then is just like “fuck it, im saving the universe” and the despair goes away naturally

    2. she gets the despair and is tortured with it forever (ouch)

    3. her new laws release the despair.. somewhere

    4. her ballerness releases the despair.. somewhere (this one is so sophisticated :D)

    5. she gives it to homura, who uses it as energy so she never needs a supply

    6. any combination of the above

    Posted by Trueblade_Mia | April 23, 2011, 2:17 AM
  23. Good thinking.
    I understood some things, but now are clearer. (Until someone comes to me with another theory)

    Maybe Madoka Magica will keep us talking about Madoka Magica during weeks. :-D

    Posted by Titanio Verde | April 23, 2011, 2:17 AM
    • There are no theories in my thread. All are solid facts based off information they have given us. There are a lot of things that need theorizing about, but they’re not in my post. You can see tons of them in /a/ archives and AnimeSuki. :)

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 2:41 PM
  24. The wings still have me beat. I can buy that the witch-like wings are merely her using new powers, but how come, earlier in the ep, right before the credits, her wings show as clear, white angle wings?

    Posted by BrickBreak | April 23, 2011, 4:35 AM
  25. OK, I understand Madoka’s wish to prevent witches from being born. And that she has full authority on how she carries out that wish. And that she chooses to do so by absorbing all of a PM’s grief/sorrow in the seconds before they die and would otherwise become a witch.

    In other words, Madoka waits to save the PM until AFTER their grief/sorrow has already become unmanageable and they are on the verge of total despair.

    However, isn’t this method flawed from her “hopes and dreams will always triumph” perspective? With Madoka’s omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, wouldn’t a better system be to _continuously_ cleanse a PM’s soul gem… so that it never even approaches that fine line between magical girl and witch?

    With this new system, PM are essentially free from grief/sorrow, as Madoka would absorb it as soon as it appears, never allowing it to accumulate to critical mass-levels. They truly would become beacons of hope, untainted by anything… only dying due to old age/being physically bested, a la Mami.

    Posted by Dele | April 23, 2011, 4:49 AM
    • She’s not omnipotent. She has full authority on how she carries out her wish, but that isn’t omnipotency. If she continuously cleans the soul gems, that’s not erasing the witch. That’s just making sure the witch never borns. In her wish, the wish must be manifesting before she gets rid of it.

      I agree your system is better than Madoka’s though.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 2:48 PM
      • What’s the point of their soul gems with that solution? It’s made to turn into a Grief Seed and it would be futile to push it back, not completely stop it like Madoka’s doing. With Madoka’s way they’re not stuck fighting witches for the rest of eternity they probably go to a nice place. They wouldn’t die of old age because PM bodies are basically puppets. If they eventually died from old age why would Kyubey go to the trouble of separating their souls from their bodies for fighting? They can’t fight well when they’re old so Kyubey probably gets rid of that.

        Posted by Jenni | April 23, 2011, 4:11 PM
        • You’re forgetting some details from previous episodes. The Soul Gem is the container of the girls’ souls. Without it, they are not able to remotely control their bodies. In other words, the Soul Gem must exist for this system to work.

          Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 4:13 PM
  26. Too lazy to read all those comments to check if my opinion has already been stated so I’ll state it anyway.

    My theory is mainly in relation to Homura’s bow and the Majuu , I think it comes from a massive mistake on Madoka’s part. I think her wish wold not affect the new world due to her not having any grounding in the new rules of the universe, to put it differently the old rules of the world still exists and Madoka is the deity over those however she doesn’t exist in the new rules of the world thus she has no jurisdiction over them meaning that if nobody knows of her she can’t exist(reality is based on perception argument) however due to some cosmic fluke Homura was pulled into the new world with all of her memories remaining as they were at the end of Walpurgis Nacht in the old world. The reality is based on perception argument also leads to Homura losing her memories of Madoka due to her being the only sentient being that knows of Madoka’s existence however due to the magic of circular logic Madoka exists in the new world due to Homura’s memories and Homura’s memories exist due to Madoka existing in the new world. The circular logic is remedied in part by Homura gaining Madoka’s bow through Madoka’s wish which alters the laws of the universe out do Homura’s wish which alter Time and Space, seeing as Homura is now left without a weapon and Madoka’s wish is left without a host all of Madoka’s energies are transferred into Homura which again help fight the circular logic that is keeping the world together. The Majuu exist as the final thing that keeps the circular logic from engulfing the, as well as human evil leaking out all over the place the are also and embodiment of the circular logic spinning around itself which is where the entropy nulling energy comes from. also under this thought train if Homura dies, Madoka can no longer stop the witches from existing so the person who the last lines refer to(Don’t forget. Always, someone is fighting for you) does not mean Madoka by herself but Madoka and Homura. I think I contradicted myself a few times there but oh well

    Posted by J3N0V4 | April 23, 2011, 5:26 AM
    • We have talked about this, about the lack of omnipotency regarding Madoka’s new position. She can’t do whatever she pleases because she can only carry out her own wish of erasing witches. As for your theories on the bow, those are speculations and this post serves to present facts that we completely understand based off solid evidence from the information this show gives us.

      It is a very good one though. :)

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 2:51 PM
  27. Good job, Imperial. I say this is very accurate from what I understand. Demons born from curses are far better than having to deal with the witches.

    I couldn’t help but snicker a bit when QB couldn’t recall anything, plus wound up with nothing. Oh, well…

    Posted by Arashix | April 23, 2011, 7:05 AM
  28. Not hard to understand at all. Still thanks for the FAQ but I suggest you drop that way of talking that keeps implying you feel intellectually superior to others for understanding an anime ending.

    Posted by af14 | April 23, 2011, 8:57 AM
  29. okay quick question…after madoka made her wish and did what she did right.
    Why is it that..kyoko,mami, and himura are still magic girls? What exactly happened? I understand everything else that happened, but why were they still magic girls in the end? Can someone answer this question?

    Posted by Andrew | April 23, 2011, 10:18 AM
  30. Did all this happen only because Homura happened to have time manipulation as her power? Because that was the only reason why she could go back in time and make a perfect scenario where Madoka could save the world. Her wish was to have another meeting with Madoka where she could protect Madoka instead of Madoka protecting her, nothing about being able to revert time endlessly.

    Posted by grack | April 23, 2011, 12:58 PM
    • This shows that your wish can be executed in ways that even the wisher didn’t think of. This can be dangerous for Madoka’s case and that’s why she wished for her to execute it herself wit her two hands. This puts her in the controller’s seat, not some unknown phenomena.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 2:57 PM
  31. Great Review about the series~!
    You made it even clearer and accurate for people who can’t understand the stuff about the last episode.

    and about the Good Friday stuff.. GREAT JOB SHAFT~!

    Posted by Etchel | April 23, 2011, 1:20 PM
  32. now that clears some of it . . . i got a question thou Madoka said to Homura that “I’m sure there will be a true miracle soon. There has to be” so those mean that She’s waiting for something or its just use for words?

    Posted by Grendel | April 23, 2011, 1:38 PM
  33. So, I was just wondering, what is your analysis of the scene after the ending credits?

    I have read many different theories on multiple forums, but I’m still not really sure what happens.

    Posted by Bob_John | April 23, 2011, 2:23 PM
    • This is really a theory so I’m not going to include it in my post, but it’s widely accepted that Madoka can control some of the power she gets from absorbing to grief, and she aids Homura in her battles.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 3:00 PM
  34. imo Homura’s powerup at the end is her falling into despair, but she continues to fight after rmb’ing what Madoka told her, and that’s why she smiles and continues to fight. My reasoning for this is she had the white wings at the beginning when she jumped from the building, I would say it’s like a representation of her state of mind. This would go with the text that preceded the scene with the black witch type wings. Homura fights through her despair and continues to believe what she’s doing is making a difference.

    The reason why she doesn’t have her time stopping powers probably has to do with the fact that since Madoka no longer exists, only as a concept her original wish to protect Madoka cannot be fulfilled by her time stop/reverse powers. The bow I guess is more of a representation of her fighting for what Madoka stands for.

    just my take on it

    Posted by kyseri | April 23, 2011, 2:51 PM
    • Indeed. The reason why she has new powers is, as you say, since Madoka doesn’t exist, she must have wished for something else in that timeline which gave her new powers. As for the colour of her wings and her falling into despair at the end, that is certainly a very interesting take, and I agree with you. However, Madoka’s presence is also there, and I don’t think she’ll be becoming a witch because she has hope.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 3:03 PM
      • I agree with you, I don’t believe either that homura will become a witch, just thought that her hope and strength of belief aren’t as strong as it used to be.

        Definitely Madoka being there for her lets her keep hoping.

        Posted by kyseri | April 23, 2011, 5:31 PM
      • Updated the main article based on some of your insights.

        Posted by ImperialX | April 25, 2011, 2:57 PM
      • I thought so too, at first, but upon rewatching the last episode, I don’t think this is the case at all.

        In the same way that Homura didn’t get to make new wishes each time she rewound time, I don’t think she got to make a new one when Madoka restructured the timeline, either.

        Because Homura is the only character of which there is only ever one instance of in this story, the Homura at the end of episode 12 is the same Homura from the beginning of episode 10 and has only ever made one wish: to save Madoka.

        I see Homura adopting the bow as her weapon to be more of an indication of character development and her connection to Madoka. She doesn’t need to rewind time anymore–her wish was actually granted, if you think about it. Homura’s wish was not to keep Madoka from making a contract, it was to keep her from dying. The contract prevention was Madoka’s request, and the method that Homura used to try to prevent her from dying, but Homura’s wish was to save Madoka from dying. Because Madoka became an entity beyond time, she cannot die, so one could interpret that as Homrau’s wish being fulfilled. Either way, regardless of whether you think Kyubey’s batting .800 or 1000 for wishes granted, I don’t think Homura ever made a second wish.

        Homura has accepted the current situation (her line as she jumps off the building with QB indicate this) and while we can’t say everything is peachy, Homura is at least significantly more stabilized than she was at the climax of the 1-11 timeline. Madoka empowers Homura to fight on, which is why she uses the bow.

        Posted by Veers | June 10, 2011, 12:30 PM
  35. Amazing analysis Imperial! I was thinking about writing something like this myself when I saw ignorant people claiming to dislike the ending because they didn’t understand it/misunderstood it. It’s one thing if they didn’t like it because “a bittersweet ending” was not their taste and they wanted DISPAIRRR, but it’s another if they dislike it because they couldn’t figure it out. My understanding of this ending was roughly the same as yours. Although it did take me a moment to figure out what Madoka’s wish exactly entailed, but once I realized it my emotions overflowed and I let a out a tear. Madoka was such a wonderful person. I’ll save your page as a reference for anyone who didn’t understand the ending. Well if they just didn’t like it, to each his own I say. I for one, was fully satisfied and loved this epic ending to what I believe is the best show this season. (and maybe the whole year!)

    Posted by FlameStrike | April 23, 2011, 3:54 PM
    • Thank you! I wrote this post precisely for the reason so people who don’t understand the show can read this and understand. I hope it becomes useful for you.

      2011 is an awesome year and Spring has tons of good stuff. We’ll have to wait and see if anything tops this. My hope is high! :D

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 4:04 PM
      • I’m firmly in the camp that the ending was a cop-out, and used deus-ex-machina all over the place.

        I still think there are numerous plot holes in the series, and your writeup fails to address some questions regarding the ending.
        Here’s a few for example:

        Why did Madoka herself disappear from everyone’s thoughts/existence? If she’s omnipresent, why doesn’t she “exist” in end scenario?

        Why did “erasing every witch” require an entirely new system anyway? If it’s an issue of energy in>energy out,

        Where would the (grief ) energy collected by Madoka go anyway? It’s not like she has any use for it…

        The Madoka Universe doesn’t actually require equilibrium in the first place. If you think about it if, according to Kyubey energy is naturally lost in the universe.

        Madoka’s wish – “I wish to erase every witch before they are born. Every witch from every world, from the past and the future. With my own hands”
        I’d go so far as to argue that a Witch and Mahou shojou are one and the same. Erasing one should mean putting an end to the existence of the other.

        If you argue that Madoka has the means to control with the statement, “with my own hands”, that should only give her control over the time of expiration and the means to a glorified will. At (witchification), the soul gem is at the point of destruction, so the subjects are pretty much dead anyway.
        In short, Madoka’s wish (should have been) entirely useless.

        Kyubey are messengers for some sort of unknown entity. This part of the series is clearly entirely unexplored.

        You can’t change the past (Homura) But Madoka can!?!

        Oh, and the series was quite overrated imo, but that’s an entirely different can o’ worms.

        Posted by DOLOisSOLO | April 23, 2011, 8:34 PM
        • Let me direct you to the post written for haters. And as for your questions…

          Why did Madoka herself disappear from everyone’s thoughts/existence? If she’s omnipresent, why doesn’t she “exist” in end scenario?

          She exist in a different dimension that is unrestricted by time. Thus, she no longer exists on this plane, at any time.

          Why did “erasing every witch” require an entirely new system anyway? If it’s an issue of energy in>energy out,

          Because she wanted to save the Mahou Shoujo who became witches.

          Where would the (grief ) energy collected by Madoka go anyway? It’s not like she has any use for it

          They were going to taint up her Soul Gem and make her into the most powerful witch about to destroy the universe, but her wish allowed her to destroy her own witch. It was shown in episode 12 very clearly.

          The Madoka Universe doesn’t actually require equilibrium in the first place. If you think about it if, according to Kyubey energy is naturally lost in the universe.

          Entropy is exactly that. Why do you think Kyuubey is constantly trying to collect energy? It’s obviously for the universe’s sake. Everything is in equilibrium.

          I’d go so far as to argue that a Witch and Mahou shojou are one and the same. Erasing one should mean putting an end to the existence of the other.

          If you argue that Madoka has the means to control with the statement, “with my own hands”, that should only give her control over the time of expiration and the means to a glorified will. At (witchification), the soul gem is at the point of destruction, so the subjects are pretty much dead anyway.

          Dude…you just don’t get it. Rewatch and re-read. Madoka absorbed everything that makes a witch in the first place.

          Kyubey are messengers for some sort of unknown entity. This part of the series is clearly entirely unexplored.

          He explained himself pretty well. He’s a moderator that keeps the universe in balance – to stop it burning out.

          You can’t change the past (Homura) But Madoka can!?!

          Kyuubey explained that in episode 11. The wish and the powers you obtain are directly related to the burden you carry. Madoka had been shouldering the burden from a lot of different timelines, thus her power is immense.

          Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 10:48 PM
  36. In regards to the final bit of Madoka 12 and Homura: I think Homura didn’t make a different wish in this timeline as much as her wish was given a bit of a power-up. Her wish went from “Protect Madoka the Human” to “Protect Madoka the Concept/God/Being” which changes the wish slightly. Additionally, Homura herself is an anomaly.

    It isn’t that only her memories were brought into the new reality, but her entire being. Her wish causes her to effectively be outside of the jurisdiction of Madoka’s power. If you notice, when she”s on the moon QB even comments on this and is part of the reason why she’s able to witness Madoka rewrite reality.

    As for her wings, it’s a stylistic clash when you compare her original wings (pure white and more similar to an angel) to her final wings (much darker and messy, similar to a witch and they sort of blot out the final screen) which leads me to think that it’s one of two things:

    1. Homura is about to turn into a supermassive Witch.
    2. Homura is able to use powers similar to a witch due to being an anomaly.

    Posted by FZeroRacer | April 23, 2011, 6:05 PM
    • “Protect Madoka the Concept/God/Being” which changes the wish slightly. Additionally, Homura herself is an anomaly. It isn’t that only her memories were brought into the new reality, but her entire being. Her wish causes her to effectively be outside of the jurisdiction of Madoka’s power. If you notice, when she”s on the moon QB even comments on this and is part of the reason why she’s able to witness Madoka rewrite reality.

      I can accept this theory. It’s quite sound and I like it.

      As for her wings, it’s a stylistic clash when you compare her original wings (pure white and more similar to an angel) to her final wings (much darker and messy, similar to a witch and they sort of blot out the final screen) which leads me to think that it’s one of two things…

      That was something that many people brought up. I’m more leaning towards your second idea.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 10:13 PM
      • Has anyone proposed a third alternative?

        Just as a soul gem starts bright and shiny and ends as murky, Homura’s wings starting out pure white and ending witch-like is signaling the end of line for Homura’s life.

        The setting being presumably some sort of a final battle and the ending being, I think, hopeful with Madoka encouraging Homura. Homura dies (having run out of whatever her wings signify) instead of becoming a witch and can finally be together with Madoka (too sappy?)

        Of course, that anomaly-theory is interesting, meaning that instead of dying, she could transform to something else (sinister, probably)

        Posted by woods | April 24, 2011, 2:08 AM
  37. I still don’t understand what happened to Sayaka and why are Mami and Kyoko revived. O_O

    Posted by Asd | April 23, 2011, 6:26 PM
  38. The ending was wonderful! Madoka came up with a great wish. I’ve heard the ending being called a Lain ending, but I really don’t feel that the ending is “derivative.” (Which appears to be the gist of people who are referring to this as a “Lain Ending.”)

    Posted by Rena | April 23, 2011, 6:48 PM
  39. Grief seeds didn’t recharge a magical girl’s soul gem’s MP, nor did “running out of MP” make them vanish or die, or whatever you want to call it. Grief seeds simply absorbed the “grief” that has clouded the soul gem and restore it to it’s original state. Soul gems become clouded from all the despair they absorb from the respective magical girls, thus making their magic weaker.

    It’s like if you were trapped in a smoky house. Your eyesight is no different than it was before. You leave the smoke and you can see just fine. But if that smoke (despair) traps you, it’ll just obstruct your field of vision (makes it harder and harder for mahou shoujo to access their magic).

    Since “grief” is constantly clouding the soul gem, mahou shoujo must fight witches for their grief seeds, so those grief seeds can absorb that despair and allow them to fight for longer with their burden. But once a magical girl’s emotional state goes down the shitter then it’s pretty much all over and they become witches. They never lost MP, they just had their magical power, from the hope of their wish, constricted, so to say.

    And the thing about Mami and Kyouko. Mami got killed by charlotte. Her soul gem got wrecked once charlotte consumed it. Kyouko destroyed her soul gem by releasing all of her magical energy at once to destroy EVERYTHING, not by exhausting her MP. Basically she killed herself with her power.

    Posted by madokafag | April 23, 2011, 7:05 PM
  40. Imperial, I don’t buy your evidence in stating that Grief is the ONLY thing turning an MG to a witch. That screenshot you posted some post above only stated that Homura will become a witch when in despair. There is no proof denying that running out of MP will turn you to a witch TOO.

    Posted by anonymous | April 23, 2011, 7:21 PM
    • There’s no proof for it either. That’s what it means to be a theory. For all we know, it’s FACT that grief turns a mahou shoujo into a witch, but it’s only a theory proposed by you that running out of MP will turn a mahou shoujo into a witch. =3

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 10:24 PM
      • Yes, it’s a theory. Point is you’ve been saying it like it’s the one and only truth.

        The fact is only that grief turns an MG to a witch, not that it is the only thing that does so.

        Posted by anonymous | April 24, 2011, 1:18 AM
      • As I said, there are definitive times in the show where MP runs out, and the Mahou Shoujo did not turn into a witch. Also think about it. Your MP is the same as your soul. Grief is simply the tainting of your soul (which makes you become a witch). If your soul runs out, how can you become a witch? You just die.

        Posted by ImperialX | April 25, 2011, 2:56 PM
      • I’m probably late to the party, but I thought the soul cannot run out? Either they have it or they don’t. After all, episode 2 explicitly stated that using magical energy taints the soul, not runs it out.

        Mami’s and Kyouko’s cases are not the soul running out; they were obliterated. It doesn’t really have any relationship to them depleting their magical energy.

        Posted by Scrooge McDuck | May 11, 2011, 11:23 PM
  41. Thanks for the insight ImperialX!

    But I have another idea about the scene shown at the very end of the last ep, where Homura is walking alone in what seems like a post-apocalyptic world.

    Perhaps, at the very end, because of Madoka’s intervention, the new universe is unable to produce enough energy to counter the entropy of the universe, resulting in the desolate wastelands depicted in the last scene. Suddenly, Madoka’s sacrifice doesn’t seem to be all that beneficial from the bigger perspective that Kyubey was always looking from.

    And on the other hand, had Madoka’s wish not been what it was, the end result of the world might be as Kyubey described in ep 10 in Homura’s previous iteration of the time loop, where Madoka would become the strongest witch and destroy the world.

    So at the end, it is a lose-lose situation for humanity, and that there is no true salvation?

    Just a thought of mine.

    Posted by Ardi | April 23, 2011, 10:44 PM
    • Perhaps, at the very end, because of Madoka’s intervention, the new universe is unable to produce enough energy to counter the entropy of the universe, resulting in the desolate wastelands depicted in the last scene. Suddenly, Madoka’s sacrifice doesn’t seem to be all that beneficial from the bigger perspective that Kyubey was always looking from.

      I said that in a comment in another blog. Kyuubey is the real good guy if you look from a grander perspective.

      And on the other hand, had Madoka’s wish not been what it was, the end result of the world might be as Kyubey described in ep 10 in Homura’s previous iteration of the time loop, where Madoka would become the strongest witch and destroy the world.

      Nope. Madoka travelled forward in time to destroy her own witch as part of her wish. It was in episode 12 where she shot the arrow at the big black witch about to engulf the Earth.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 23, 2011, 10:51 PM
  42. the flaw i can’t think of right now is… the ending itself.
    It’s like SHAFT is simply running away from problems by making Madoka a Goddess. Yeah if that was easy, surely the the magical girls of the past could’ve wished to become a goddess.

    Posted by VieN | April 24, 2011, 12:32 AM
  43. your explanation for the show is just like what I think. People keeps talking about Madoka creating parallel universe, but I truly think that she just changes the current world and creates no other world. I’m impressed by the fact that Madoka became a “concept” – a thing that exist alongside with the world from it’s beginning. That’s why QB say that she loses her beginning and ending. while being a concept, Madoka infact is locked in another dimension and from that dimension she will use her power to destroy witches in every time plane of the world, from past to future

    Posted by BLACK | April 24, 2011, 3:06 AM
    • This is interesting. It’s something that really gives me food for thought. As of right now, I agree with you in that she does not create parallel worlds – she only govern this current one that she saved. Although this may change as I rewatch this series again and put more thought into it.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 24, 2011, 4:37 PM
  44. So, will Homura vanish one day? I don’t quite get the part when Mami, Kyoko and Homura killed Sayaka. I mean, wasn’t she dead already?(Since she was there at Kamijou’s performance)

    Posted by Diecker | April 24, 2011, 3:25 AM
  45. After much discussion and rewatching, I have updated three sections of the main article. Feel free to check them out.

    - Why is Sayaka still dead?
    - Why can Homura still remember Madoka while no one else can?
    - What is with Homura’s new powers and the epilogue?

    Posted by ImperialX | April 24, 2011, 4:16 AM
    • After rewatching episode 12, I’ve come to the conclusion that you are indeed correct about the epilogue. While my initial viewpoint was that Homura would continue shouldering the grief (the wings) on her back, what you propose takes evidence and presents it in a way that is logical. Very good article.

      Posted by catchercatch | April 24, 2011, 6:23 AM
      • I am still a bit skeptical about the “Homura dying” speculation. That epilogue surely leaves me a bit disturbed. Although Homura’s wings are definitely witch-like, it could also be something totally different. I think my main point lies in Madoka whispering “Ganbatte” instead of “Daijoubu”. If Homura had really been dying, why would Madoka motivate her to continue giving her best instead of comforting her like she did to the other girls?

        It could be that, or I just want to be in denial. It would suck if Homura really did fell into despair :(

        Posted by Hoshi | April 24, 2011, 8:13 AM
        • As I said, the stuff in blue should be taken with a grain of salt. It’s up to you whether you want to believe it or not. I mean, there are plenty of evidence that support your theory too, such as the lyrics of the OP “I’ll never lose hope again”, etc etc. It’s a happier ending, definitely, and I don’t have a problem with people interpreting it the way you do.

          Posted by ImperialX | April 24, 2011, 3:50 PM
  46. Awww, it’s so cute how Homura’s powers took the form of a bow like Madoka’s as if to honor her memory<3. Maybe it did that because she has such a strong connection to Madoka thanks to her wish and she's wearing Madoka's ribbon in her hair. It could've transferred some of her magic to Homura.

    Posted by Anonymous123 | April 24, 2011, 7:09 AM
  47. About Homura’s new powers. They’re magical girls… Can’t it just be chalked up to magic?
    Who says they need to use a certain weapon? Mami created some sort of magical bat for Sayaka.

    Maybe Homura just changed her weapon of choice from explosives to a bow in memory of Madoka.

    Posted by Vinter | April 24, 2011, 8:46 AM
    • She can’t just ‘change her weapons’. Even if she could, it doesn’t explain why she can’t turn back time anymore. Her shield vanished, if you take a look.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 24, 2011, 4:19 PM
      • Did not notice that.
        Since Homura’s wish was to protect Madoka, then that would explain the change in powers, as it implies that her powers are dependant on the current state of being of Madoka.

        Then power’s aren’t fixed, and only influenced by the nature of your wish, but entirely dependant on the specifics of your wish.
        That opens up questions about Mami’s death, since her wish after the car accident was to survive.
        Shouldn’t then her powers have adapted, and changed when she was about to die?

        Posted by Vinter | April 24, 2011, 8:36 PM
      • No, but it is implied that she used her wish to save herself.

        Posted by Vinter | April 25, 2011, 6:55 AM
      • Yeah, there are plenty of doujins about that. *snickers*

        Anyway, I know what you mean. However, if it’s not something definitively stated in the show, I can’t put it up in the main article. It’s just speculations.

        Posted by ImperialX | April 25, 2011, 2:54 PM
  48. If Sayaka’s death has nothing to do with Kyousuke x Hitomi, then why does Kyouko say “What’s the point of disappearing for the sake of the guy she loved?”?

    Posted by PMMM | April 24, 2011, 10:52 AM
  49. such theory.. makes me more contented..
    i can’t believe that a 12 episode series made it fantastic that you could never ever imagine. I can’t say a thing but to “WOW”.

    A sequel would ruin the anime.. side stories and spin-off’s might be nice though..

    Posted by Etchel | April 24, 2011, 11:21 PM
    • SHAFT does indeed have plans for a spin-off, where it’s a slice-of-life setting and the girls are living happy lives. It will be like Hidamari Sketch but with these Madoka characters. It’s not confirmed yet though – just random musings by Shinbo on his twitter.

      And yes, this is one of the best directed 12-episodes anime in existence.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 25, 2011, 12:29 AM
  50. Nice interpretation, but with a few mistakes. =) Madoka doesn’t cleanse their soul gems, she doesn’t exist anymore. She did that, and got so much despair to destroy this and create another universe, but as kyubei said, her existence is zero now (except for her soul cuz she told Homura she’d see her again, prolly meant in Heaven).

    Posted by Core-Station | April 25, 2011, 12:43 AM
    • No…she just doesn’t exist in this plane anymore. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist. She also travelled forward in time to destroy her own witch.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 25, 2011, 1:36 AM
      • Exactly what Imperial said. She literally can’t exist in this plane, as all the grief she was gathering was turning her into a witch (which we see starting to destroy the world), but she destroys her own witch (her own future).

        Posted by catchercatch | April 25, 2011, 5:14 AM
      • To destroy her own witch she had to take all of her despair which would once again turn her into a witch. And that’d go round and round in circles.
        And no, she doesn’t exist, especially in her own freshly created world.

        Posted by Core-Station | April 25, 2011, 6:27 AM
      • She doesn’t exist “physically”, but it’s made very clear that she’s cheated and appeared in that world nonetheless.
        - Madoka’s brother considers her his imaginary friend; this could very well imply that Madoka appears to him to play around every now and again.
        - Madoka’s mother states that she’s pretty sure she saw Madoka with her father before.
        - Madoka at least personally appears to Puella Magi who need their grief taken away, for example, to Sayaka, but also to Mami and Kyouko earlier on, even if they don’t remember.

        Bottom line, she might not exist physically, but she certainly seems to have found a way to “hang out” in that world and see how the people she cares about are doing.

        Posted by Derp | April 25, 2011, 2:47 PM
      • Every case of time travel in fiction have always had loopholes (except for Ever17, which is what makes it a masterpiece), and Madoka is not an exception. However, Kyuubey already said that Madoka’s wish is a treason to itself, so it can be assumed that no witch will ever be formed again. I know it’s a difficult concept to get around, but it’s something you have to accept whenever time travel is used in fiction.

        And she does exist. There’s no arguing there.

        Posted by ImperialX | April 25, 2011, 2:47 PM
    • Here’s how I explained it:

      “This is best answered in a reference to the ageless question “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” The idea behind the question is of circular logic: the chicken lays the egg, but the egg houses the developing chicken. Madoka’s disappearance can be explained in a similar fashion. After Madoka gathers all the grief from the mahou shoujo, she literally has nothing else to do rather than to house this grief, which takes the form of a giant soul gem that we see take the form of a world-devouring witch. Her wish, however, mandates her to destroy herself in her witch form (which would be in her own immediate future), thus eliminating her from the plane of existence that Homura is in. She’s essentially created a paradox for herself, thus why she can’t take a material form.

      HOWEVER, as her wish is to destroy every witch, she still cannot fade from existence, as this is an ongoing task. Mahou Shoujo in the new system still have the, technically speaking, capability to turn into witches. However, because of Madoka’s wish, this “capability” is actually impossible, as a result of the paradox I mentioned above. It’s Madoka who pops in continually and makes impossible the witches from being born, thus necessitating the new “Majuu” system. This is also why I think that Homura succumbs to despair at the end, as she’s able to hear Madoka’s voice, who should only be able to recognized at the time of a mahou shoujo’s conversion into a witch, by the logic I have painted above.”

      And remember, magic is not subject to the rules of logic, so her wish CAN create paradox.

      Posted by catchercatch | April 25, 2011, 3:02 PM
      • Marvelous answer, my friend. Do I have permission to add this to the main article?

        Posted by ImperialX | April 25, 2011, 3:15 PM
      • Yep! As long as the ending is more easily understood for people, it’s all good.

        Posted by catchercatch | April 25, 2011, 3:22 PM
      • Oh, I’ve just realised her witch didn’t destroy the world after all. There was never a new world. My bad.

        Posted by Core-Station | April 26, 2011, 1:49 AM
      • But still, I don’t think Madoka absorbs despair and nothing happens. She also denies their soul gems and then witches disappear (Walprugis disappeared).

        Posted by Core-Station | April 27, 2011, 6:55 AM
      • The despair DO get piled up on Madoka and try to turn into a Witch, but Madoka’s wish also eliminates that wish. This is the loop that Catcher was talking about.

        Posted by ImperialX | April 27, 2011, 2:59 PM
      • I was actually referring to “nothing happens”. I know she turned into a witch and killed herself. But after she takes away the despair, mahou shoujo (ex witches) disappear as their soul gems slightly explode.

        Posted by Core-Station | April 28, 2011, 12:52 AM
      • Yeah, but there’s nothing about “nothing happens”. Every time she does that their soul gems disappear. There is no scene when it doesn’t happen.
        Once they’re up to turn into witches it’s over. In fact that’s what MP of MS are. Remember, more fighting more “black thingy” in their gems? Remember how Madoka became a witch in ep 10? She got all MP drained as her soul gem was full of despair.

        Posted by Core-Station | April 28, 2011, 9:02 PM
        • I’ve said it countless times now, but before episode 10, we all thought that MP and becoming a witch is directly related (like you say). That was reflected in the Population Dynamics article on Puella Magi Wiki. However, after episode 11, this concept was completely changed when Kyuubey explained just what exactly turns a mahou shoujo into a witch.

          The scene in episode 10 is exactly the same as in episode 11 when Homura was about to turn into a witch, as well as Sayaka. Low MP results in low mental stability, thus making the witchifying process easier.

          Posted by ImperialX | April 30, 2011, 3:54 PM
      • Here we’re talking about “emotion affects reality” thing, a mainstream Mahou Shoujo element. No matter how much they decided to oppose mainstream MS, they failed in some points.
        NOTE: Emotions give energy for the universe to stand.

        Sounds logical but it’s not the way they decided to put it. I know despair makes them witches, but I’ll leave that for explaining Madoka’s logics.

        Saiyaka spent her MP and didn’t want to refill. She was so sad she should have already become a witch a few days ago. It’s different from what happened to Homura (who lost hope and almost immediately became a witch).

        The way they put it even after ep 10 shows that despair and negative MP do the same thing. They never showed the case when “nothing happened” when Madoka cleansed the gems.
        And whenever they lost MP they got some “despair” in their gems, but that wasn’t REAL despair.

        As well as emotions give much energy away, it means despair gives negative energy to the soul gems known as the “black thingy”, same as if they spent their MP.
        Emotions affecting reality = that’s what usually happens in Mahou Shoujo stuff – only the entire thing is much more childish (the “power of love” like in the end of Tokyo Mew Mew…).
        That means despair and negative MP should be the same, at least in the way they put it.

        And Madoka felt no despair when she was up 2 become a with in ep 10. There was no reason for that. She only spent her MP, as well as Homura who was even glad to help Madoka. And when she had 2 kill Madoka in 1 of the timelines – that should have given much despair. No matter she knew she’ll go back in time again, it’s human nature.

        I see you’re quite a logical person. But let’s look into the logics of the anime a bit:

        Taking despair from other witches – taking despair is possible? Shouldn’t that be on personal emotional level?
        Low MP = low mental stability? It’s just energy, like what we get from food only much stronger – physical, not mental. Physical can’t affect mental so much. Saiyaka wasn’t sad bcuz of her MP, but bcuz of her “guy”.
        Emotions producing so much energy? Nonesense. We spend much more energy if we physically work hard. But that’s a mainstream Mahou Shoujo element.

        And see the difference between Saiyaka & Homura witch-becoming process. Saiyaka’s (who was full of REAL despair) soul gem waits for MP kill, and Homura’s soul gem gets affected only by her despair. It’s like sudden change of rules!

        This anime lacks logics, and it can’t be helped.

        Posted by Core-Station | April 30, 2011, 11:23 PM
        • Yeah, I know your comment is 2 years old but still:
          Let’s be clear, Madoka is a fantasy anime, IT´S NOT science fiction. Therefore, no need to have a realistic logic 100%

          Posted by Anonymous | November 3, 2013, 12:00 PM
        • Yeah, I know your comment is 2 years old but still:
          Let’s be clear, Madoka is a fantasy anime, IT´S NOT science fiction. Therefore, no need to have a realistic logic 100%

          Posted by Karime | November 3, 2013, 12:05 PM
  51. Hey, ImprerialX

    I may have some extra evidence to support your assumption sentence, which goes as: “it can be assumed that because she made a wish to protect Madoka that when Madoka changed into a higher being, her weapons changed as well”

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this already, but I’ll say it anyway: so Homura’s power can change according to the state of Madoka, whom she wished to protect, right? It is interesting how Homura only seems to rewind time after Madoka dies. As if she doesn’t even get that power until then. Also, in the last timeline, before Madoka making her wish to take the burden of every magical girl, Homura didn’t rewind time to give another try to save Madoka, even though it would still benefit her (keeping Madoka away from becoming a magical girl once again to prevent her “to be” inevitable death by witches). The problem was, the one dying this time was Homura, not Madoka. Maybe the reason Homura was giving in her all into the battle against Wallpurgis Night was that this was her last chance to save Madoka, because she left her to stay back and not engage in the dangerous fight, thus not being able to gain the power to rewind time. Please reply, anyone, of what you think, or say so if you think I was missing out some factors.

    Posted by amcsi | April 25, 2011, 10:34 AM
  52. Thanks to my good buddy Catcher, I have added the following questions and answers to the main article.

    - Doesn’t Madoka’s wish generate a new witch?
    - If Madoka destroys her own witch , doesn’t that create a time paradox?

    Posted by ImperialX | April 25, 2011, 3:17 PM
  53. I have some questions about the very last segment.. the more I watch it, the more it seems strange. Homura definitely has some witch wings… and if you watch closely, she’s being attacked by a light source past the curse beings. She’s not actually fighting them, there are arrows coming from behind the white guys, hitting her, that made her wings diminish momentarily before she launched into the air fly past them towards the attacker. They almost looked like what Madoka/Mami used in their fights that we got to see.

    Posted by Bubby | April 26, 2011, 9:23 AM
    • It’s all blue text for the interpretation of the epilogue. There is no set answer.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 26, 2011, 12:48 PM
    • According to some artwork that got released, those white lines are the Majuu/Demons’ attacks, actually. They shoot very thin white lasers out of their fingers, so they have the potential to launch ten of them each, which is why there’s such a large amount on screen. It is in fact the Majuu attacking Homura. As for the wings, well, I don’t fully agree with this article’s analysis, in that I don’t think death is a guarantee, and that what is going on is similar to what happened to Sayaka at all.

      Citing the two examples, Sayaka had the grief taken away from her before she went off to fight, and then died using the last of her MP. Obviously, taking the grief away from a Puella Magi is NOT the same thing as restoring her MP, so while it can’t be said that Madoka is effectively killing the girls she cleanses, she is leaving them with nigh-empty Soul Gems. What this means is that if they had an effective way to fight, maybe they could defeat a Majuu and restore their Soul Gem before they vanish.

      In Homura’s case, there is something very different going on. She shouldn’t be producing Witch-like wings, or for that matter Witch-like anythings, if Madoka is there to take the grief away. It just shouldn’t be happening, because if it is happening, it means that a Witch DOES exist, but Madoka’s wish explicitly says she wants them gone before they’re born. This actually could mean several things, but I find the most likely answers to be:

      -Maybe the above analysis is right, and Homura is being swallowed by grief. Madoka’ll take it away, leaving Homura with an almost empty Soul Gem, and then she’ll either vanish fighting, or manage to finish her fight, replenish her gem, and keep going. This doesn’t really explain why Homura’s visibly producing Witch parts, though.
      -Maybe Homura just broke the fine line between Puella Magi and Witch, and she’s tapping into similar abilities to fight.
      -Maybe Homura has tapped into powers similar to Madoka’s newfound ones, and she’s able to tear reality up similar to how a Witch does. This would explain “linking” with Madoka via those wings, and Madoka cheering her friend on to keep fighting.
      -Something else?

      The same artwork I mentioned above called Homura’s Witch-like wings an “aura of magical power”, though, so it could very well just be something she can do now.

      Posted by Derp | April 27, 2011, 6:27 AM
      • As I continuously say, the blue text in the article are all things that no one can know for sure because of the lack of solid evidence, and should be taken with a grain of salt.

        -Maybe the above analysis is right, and Homura is being swallowed by grief. Madoka’ll take it away, leaving Homura with an almost empty Soul Gem, and then she’ll either vanish fighting, or manage to finish her fight, replenish her gem, and keep going. This doesn’t really explain why Homura’s visibly producing Witch parts, though.
        -Maybe Homura just broke the fine line between Puella Magi and Witch, and she’s tapping into similar abilities to fight.
        -Maybe Homura has tapped into powers similar to Madoka’s newfound ones, and she’s able to tear reality up similar to how a Witch does. This would explain “linking” with Madoka via those wings, and Madoka cheering her friend on to keep fighting.
        -Something else?

        All these are possible theories. I believe in the first one solely because of Homura’s ability to hear Madoka’s voice during the epilogue, but you’re free to believe what you want.

        Posted by ImperialX | April 27, 2011, 3:03 PM
  54. What about the part when Kamijou suddenly remembers about Sayaka? Was he hoping that she was at his concert?

    Posted by Diecker | April 27, 2011, 7:14 PM
  55. Hi,

    I like to ask a question. Earlier on, the statement from Madoka is this, “I wish to erase every witch before they are born. Every witch from every world, from the past and the future. With my own hands.”

    I agree that with my own hands was right but why can’t it be ” With my own hands, without dying / getting killed? ” If space time travel was possible in a solid body like Homura (like on the moon) , I’m pretty sure Madoka can produce a doppleganger or an temporary solid body to help the other Mahou Shoujo in the past and future since she is half God.

    Sorry it took so long. Just knew about this website ^.^

    Posted by Log | April 28, 2011, 2:36 AM
  56. Wow, someone can write a whole formal paper for just this series. In anycase there is somthing I do not understand.
    If Madoka can not interact with people and its surrounding, but in order to absorb all that grief, she must interact with them, at lest their SG. Even with her wish as that, it is just a paradox…

    NOW FOR SOME ADD IDEAS THAT POPPED OUT OF MY HEAD!

    While there is no real evidence to support this bunch of messy scattered idea, I will express them regardless. Sorry in advance if my ideas are too disorganized for you. Also I do not want say that god is real or not.

    I think the reason why Homura remembers Madoka is that she had seen her in her higher state of being. For example, prophets, who had claimed to actually had seen “God” in its true form and in their dimension, do not think that “God” is a mere concept; however, they know they truly exist while others only have a hint of what it is.

    However, KB was not able to remember anything as he does not have emotions, or have any special relationship with Madoka. Or the fact that he does view humans as a lower being/ not a human at all, similar how different religion might not see each other’s “Gods” as they view each other as lower or not in the same group.

    Posted by GreenBob | April 28, 2011, 12:32 PM
    • Well, firstly, none of the prophets in the Bible have actually ‘seen’ God. The closest one have gotten is Moses who saw God’s body. God Himself said that if a human sees Him, he will instantly perish due to His holiness. That was off-topic, I admit, but I felt like correcting it. xD

      Anyway, regarding your theory, it’s actually one that I’ve considered, but in the end I decided that the wish makes more sense and is more solid as it is supported by the anime. That’s not to say it’s definitely not true. It is a valid interpretation and I have no problems with people believing it. A lot of things in Madoka are open for interpretation anyway.

      Also, as for the ‘paradox’, I frankly don’t think it counts as one. Grief and all this magical energy doesn’t exist on the plane we live on anyway, so it comes as no surprise that Madoka can interact with them, but is unable to interact with people on the plane we all live on.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 28, 2011, 5:36 PM
    • I…actually DID end up writing a paper for it, for a class where they knew nothing about anime, and had to present it to about half my classmates. orz It was still awesome! But a little awkward to explain.

      Posted by Aeriol | April 30, 2011, 5:30 PM
  57. Great article, actually cleared up a few things for me, thanks. :D Just one thing I wonder though:
    “Sayaka died not because she fell into despair, but she ran out of MP.”

    Is this really true? I mean, do they even explain that running out of MP will kill you? The way I thought about it, there was no MP really, the only thing that happens when using magic is that your soul gem becomes more dirty, and when it’s more dirty it becomes easier to fall in despair and turn into a witch. I can’t remember any part from the series where they mentioned or showed that “running out of MP” will kill you.

    So the way I thought about it, Sayaka once again fell into despair, but because of madokas wish, madoka absorded the grief and Sayakas soul gem chattered, killing her.

    Or am I out in too deep water here?

    Posted by Hydra | April 29, 2011, 10:42 PM
    • The Soul Gems shattering was not because of Madoka, but because they have used up all their magical powers. Just because Madoka prevents you from becoming a witch doesn’t mean she can stop you running out of magical power and dying. Sayaka dying has no relationship to Madoka, nor do any of the deaths have any relations. It’s the Mahou Shoujo’s own problem.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 30, 2011, 3:58 PM
      • Once again, how do you know that running out of MP kills the mahou shoujou? Where in the anime does it say that it works that way? And we saw in the last episode that after madoka saved someone from becoming a witch, their soul gem shattered, so madokas relation to sayaka isnt really relevant, right? If Sayaka was close to becoming a witch, madoka would absorb the grief, killing Sayaka in the process.

        Posted by Hydra | May 1, 2011, 11:02 AM
        • Once again, how do you know that running out of MP kills the mahou shoujou? Where in the anime does it say that it works that way?

          Mami and Kyouko. Especially Kyouko. The Soul Gem shattered in the same way.

          And we saw in the last episode that after madoka saved someone from becoming a witch, their soul gem shattered, so madokas relation to sayaka isnt really relevant, right? If Sayaka was close to becoming a witch, madoka would absorb the grief, killing Sayaka in the process.

          Firstly, the fact that Sayaka could talk to Madoka means she is about to become a witch, so that part is definitely true. If you really want to believe that Madoka is the one responsible for killing the Mahou Shoujo as they’re about to turn into witches, then be my guest. However do note that this is not part of her wish.

          Posted by ImperialX | May 1, 2011, 4:32 PM
  58. I just think that if the new witches always stronger than before, it means at one point earth would always be destroyed, right? So this system is not exactly a good deal for human and a good long term way of preserving the universe?

    Posted by kktt | April 30, 2011, 1:00 PM
    • In a grander scale, Kyuubey is the only ‘good guy’ in this series. He just wants to collect energy for the noble goal of preserving the universe. Madoka made his job harder just for the sake of one measly little planet. Madoka’s wish puts the entire universe at jeopardy just because she care for humans. Truly, Madoka is the true antagonist of the series if you look at it that way.

      Posted by ImperialX | April 30, 2011, 4:00 PM
      • no but I thought that the PM who defeated a witch will always become a stronger witch than the witch she defeated, with that logic there will always a stronger witch than before and IMO Madoka and Homura only sped up the process.
        and looking from timeline 4(?), the incubator had no intention to stop witch!Madoka from destroying earth after it met its energy quota.
        So in that sense that incubator race is using/destroying earth to save its own world?

        Posted by kktt | April 30, 2011, 9:39 PM
        • Yes. No matter how you see it, Earth will eventually get destroyed by this system. The Incubators are going to destroy Earth for the sake of saving the entire universe. I think it’s a very good tradeoff.

          Posted by ImperialX | May 1, 2011, 4:35 PM
  59. Just as a note on Homura’s powers changing (and maybe this has been pointed out already but I’m too lazy to wade through 200+ comments), her original wish was canceled by Madoka’s ultimate fate. Since Homura’s original wish was to redo her meeting with Madoka, Madoka no longer existing at the time at which Homura would have made the wish (or any time at all in that world) means she literally cannot have made the same wish to gain her powers. Therefore, whatever wish she did make probably wouldn’t have involved time travel. My GUESS would be that she wished for something along the lines of the ability to protect everyone, or protect people like Madoka did — that way, it would make sense for her to have a similar weapon as Madoka’s, both since she would have wished a wish that involved Madoka, and because the wishes determine the weapon and her wish would have been very similar to Madoka’s, so similar weapon too.

    Posted by Aeriol | April 30, 2011, 5:28 PM
  60. One thing you haven’t covered is why Madoka is the most powerful Puella Magi. The explanation given in the series is actually flawed as it contradicts the many worlds theory that Shaft tried to apply in the show. What they went with was something similar to the concept that formed the basis of Jet Li’s The One, but this is an erroneous idea as the simple act of crossing timelines is tantamount to crossing dimensions.

    To my mind the most powerful Puella Magi should have been Akemi Homura as she has crossed x number of timelines, traversed a multitude of alternate realities, and is the single focal point of all of the different versions of herself. The proof of that lies in the fact that Madoka is always present in those other timelines, yet Homura remains the same person who is constantly trying to save her.

    If you look at it in terms of energy it becomes simpler to work out. The energy that forms the basis of Madoka is specific and independent from one dimension to the next, but the energy that makes up Homura is strong enough to bend space-time so that everything effectively revolves around her. The other characters may remain the same, but she is the only player of the game.

    Also, there’s the whole issue with emotional batteries. It’s been proven (repeatedly), that adolescent boys are more prone to emotional upheavals than girls, mainly due to the “boys don’t cry” mentality. The bottling up of emotions fits Kyuubey’s needs far more than the whole wish-despair-witch thing, especially as the boys are nothing more than storage batteries for emotion. Flip the right switch and it all comes out.

    A race as advanced as Kyuubey’s would know this, and would have at least experimented on male versions, yet the creature makes it clear that all of the Puella Magi have been female.

    Posted by Archaeon | May 1, 2011, 10:07 AM
    • I was just about to hit you up on MyAnimeList regarding the Madoka review you posted. Ryhzuo and I were talking about you when we finished Madoka and we tried to guess what rating you were going to give it. We both decided, knowing you, you’d give it an 8/10. Hey presto – we were right. Being a big fan of Madoka (I gave it 9/10), I certainly cannot agree with the majority of your opinions regarding this series, but let’s leave that for somewhere else and address the issues you brought up at hand. You mentioned these in your review too, so the timing is great.

      Now, regarding why Madoka is such a powerful Puella Magi. The show’s answer to this problem was revealed in episode 11 since Kyuubey was puzzled with the same problem you were. It turns out that the grief, sorrow and destiny that fell upon Madoka’s shoulders across the different timelines have a stacking effect, so as each timeline goes by, the powers gained by Madoka when she makes a contract becomes stronger. We both understand that this is the show’s concept, so there’s nothing more to talk about here.

      So you think Homura should be the most powerful Puella Magi because she crossed the same number of timelines as Madoka (assuming that the burden on Madoka’s shoulders stack every time Homura turns back time) because she is the one responsible for the time travel, yet on the surface, Madoka is independent and doesn’t remember anything. While it’s logical in one sense, it’s not logical if you think about how one becomes a Puella Magi in the first place. Remember what Kyuubey said when he made a contract with Sayaka: the strength of a Puella Magi is determined at the moment of making a contract.

      Taking into account what Kyuubey said, regardless of the amount of experience that Homura acquires as she repeatedly turns back time, her fundamental powers do not increase. We know in from episode 11 and 12 that the potential of a person’s strength upon becoming a Puella Magi is the amount of grief shouldered by that person before making the contract. Again, that’s why Kyouko is so much stronger than Sayaka – Kyouko’s wish was related to her broken family while Sayaka’s only pain came from a adolescent crush. Even though Homura has gone through just as much pain and suffering as Madoka across the timelines, Homura has already made her contract. Her base powers can no longer change. This isn’t the case with Madoka. Remember, in the first loops, even when Madoka made a contract, her together with Homura just barely defeated Walpurgisnacht. The difference in power between the Madoka of that timeline and the Madoka of the current timeline are entirely different.

      In a World where time-travelling is possible, why is impossible for the events of multiple timelines to interact with each other? I think this concept makes plenty of sense. Alternate timelines intertwining with each other isn’t a theme that haven’t been explored in the same fashion. This is actually the fundamental idea of Ever17, which is my favourite visual novel of all time. I do recommend you play it because it is absolutely amazing. Words can’t describe how good it is.

      As for the using males as the emotional battery, I agree that your view is correct. However, we have to remember what Shinbo and Urobuchi said about their purpose with this series – to deconstruct the Mahou Shoujo genre. They made this show with this very reason in mind, and including little boys in this anime series will go against their roots and the very reason why they made this show in the first place. In this 12 episode anime, I’d say they fulfilled their goals damn well.

      Posted by ImperialX | May 1, 2011, 4:29 PM
      • 1. If grief, pain, anguish, despair, etc, have a stacking effect across dimensions, what about love, hope, etc? In addition to that, the explanation given would mean that Mami and Kyouko would also be insanely powerful Puella Magi since Homura also interacts with them, especially Mami.

        The cop out clause is the idea of destiny as once that’s thrown in, literally anything can be justified. It’s cheap and I don’t really like it being used.

        2. The strength of a Puella Magi is determined at the time of the wish. Okey dokey, here we go-key!

        Kyuubey states that Madoka’s wish has the power to alter time-space, etc, etc, etc – right? The thing that everyone seems to ignore is that Homura’s wish did exactly the same thing, but also allowed her to cross from one dimension to the next. Homura can travel through time, cross from one timeline to another, etc, etc, and the amount of power it takes to do that is greater than you might think. Time travel, after all, is not an easy thing, and there are two theories about how to do it. The first is to go beyond the speed of light, inherit a new set of physical and dimensional laws, and navigate time-space from an outside perspective. That would require energy on a level we simply can’t generate, and technology that could only be found in science fiction.

        The other is static time travel, and the energy required to do that is GREATER than all of the energy in the universe because the traveller doesn’t have that bit of kinetic energy adding to things. All they have is potential energy that, once activated, allows them to move outside of the universe and back to whatever time they wish to go.

        The other thing to take into consideration is this, what happened to all the other versions of Homura? Madoka tends to die in the various realities, but Homura remains as she always was because she absorbs the past, present and future of that timeline’s version of her. That adds to her power rather than taking away from it, and the simple fact is that she has made her wish with Kyuubey countless times before, otherwise how was she able to kill him so many times as a Puella Magi without making a contract? Every time she makes another wish, her power grows exponentially as it’s not a linear scale (according to the theory posited in the show), and she’s now at the point where she can be a Puella Magi in any dimension without relying on wishes or anything like that (I should really add that to my review, but tis already long enough).

        Besides, if what you said for point 1. is true, then who suffers the most? Who is subject to the greatest grief? The one who doesn’t really know anything, or the one who has been trying to save her best friend countless times in innumerable timelines, only to lose her every single time?

        The answer should be pretty obvious.

        3. If the purpose of the series is to deconstruct the mahou shoujo genre, then go the whole hog. Nothing could be more experimental than introducing mahou shounen, and the reason they didn’t is because they didn’t want to really push boundaries as that would risk alienating the audience. They’re a business after all, so their first and foremost task is to make money.

        Statement like that are nothing more than marketing comments designed to ensure nobody realises they copped out.

        Posted by Archaeon | May 1, 2011, 11:45 PM
        • Leave it to you motivating me to write the longest reply I have posted in this entire thread.

          1. I don’t believe that love and hope play a role in the relative strength of the Puella Magi. Even if they do have a stacking effect, it wouldn’t be relevant. Also, in every loop, Mami and Kyouko have never lived to Walpurgisnacht. The amount of pain they had to go through do not compare to Madoka. She even had to kill Mami in one of the loops to save Homura!

          2. The Science side of Madoka Magica has always been tacky, so I’d prefer not to bring actual science into account when deciding the value of this show. As for time traveling, there isn’t even much to discuss regarding its actual scientific validity. Forward time travel is possible, but backwards? It’s impossible given the modern laws of physics. Criticizing Madoka because it utilizes such a plot device is the same as criticizing Suzumiya Haruhi because Mikuru’s organization knows how to travel back in time. I agree that Madoka has far more plotholes than say, Haruhi, but that doesn’t matter – this isn’t what the show focuses on.

          And what makes you say that Homura made a contract with Kyuubey ‘countless times’? As we have already established, the Science side of Madoka is floppy. Urobuchi obviously didn’t take Science in higher education.

          Your interpretation of Homura’s time travel is one we can refer to as plastic time. Basically, Homura’s memories are the only what travels back through time, and not her physical body. When the rewinding of time is completed, she lands back in her body before everyone makes a contract, but with her old memories.. Thus, you presume she has to make a new contract every time she goes back through time.

          But that doesn’t make sense.

          In the beginning of episode 10 when she made the first loop, she has her Soul Gem with her. This leads me to conclude that she only makes her contract once, regardless of how many times she turns back time.

          I understand that this is a enormous paradox, but I don’t believe this de-values the show. Never once have I praised this show for its ‘clever use of time travel or science’. Are we watching this show because we’re theoretical Physicists? Heck no. And I’ve always agreed Homura suffers a lot of pain, even more so than Madoka.

          So what?

          If she only makes her contract once, she isn’t going to become any stronger. That’s that, really. No problems here.

          3. Didn’t BONES try that already? *Looks at my own avatar* You know as well as I do that this show will not be as good if SHAFT actually chose to use male protagonists. It will not only hurt sales but also the show itself.

          Posted by ImperialX | May 2, 2011, 10:37 PM
  61. LOL

    Allow me to poke more holes :)

    1. If love and hope are not equal in power to despair and grief, then the much lauded concept of “balance”, “Karma”, whatever you want to call it, that Kyuubey himself even talks about, goes out of the window.

    On the other hand if they do have equal power, then this would explain the whole deal with overtly contrived methods to inflict pain upon the girls. That said, if despair and grief lead to witches, is the opposite also true? What does an abundance of love and hope lead to? Does it lead to something like what Madoka ended up as?

    Either way, it becomes a flaw that the writers should have either resolved or explained, especially as it plays a major part in whether the girls become witches or not.

    2. If the science isn’t supposed to be open to criticism, then it shouldn’t have been used, but since it is there, claiming that the show isn’t about that is a bit of a cop out, especially as the whole reason for the creation of the Puella Magi is to prevent the heat death of the universe by an advanced alien race that considers emotions a mental disorder (sounds a bit Vulcan to be honest).

    The difference between Suzumiya Haurhi and Madoka is that SHnY never tried to explain the science in any real detail. It just said “we can do this” and left it at that. If Madoka had used the same method then there would be less room for criticism, but the writers had to prove just how clever they are, and in doing so they shot themselves in the foot.

    Pride is a wonderful thing :)

    You mention that Homura’s body doesn’t go back in time, only her mind and emotions, but then you mention her holding her soul gem. Only one of these can be true, and in all honesty there’s a scene that actually shows Homura’s time travel mechanism at work, with her walking backwards through time to start again.

    Okay, she may or may not have made multiple contracts, that’s nothing more than my assumption. What IS true is that if the amount of power a Puella Magi has at the time of the contract being made is fixed, then Homura already had far greater power than Madoka. The proof of that is in the simple fact that before Madoka’s godhood, Homura had already broken the laws of space-time. Secondly, as I pointed out before, Homura is a unique entity in that there is one ONE version of her in all of the realities and timelines she goes to.

    Putting it another way, Homura’s presence is like a massively massive weight on the flow of space-time which creates a nexus point in all of the realities she has visited or intends to visit. She is bound to all of them and none of them at the same time, and her power doesn’t come from all of the other versions of herself, but from the fact that she is the ONLY version of herself.

    Actually, thinking about it in terms of multiple realities, the fact that she has her soul gem with her actually DOES mean that she makes a new contract as she always goes back to the time before she made her original contract with Kyuubey, and the current version of herself absorbs the entire timeline of the version of herself that had previously existed in that universe – future contract and all.

    The thing that people forget is that possibility has just as much power as reality – sometimes more in fact. That’s why we have this thing called POTENTIAL energy.

    The simple fact is that Homura is, in terms of the story and everything in it, the most powerful Puella Magi. Kyuubey’s explanation of how Madoka is tied to multiple realities is actually flawed as in order for that to happen the person in question MUST have travelled through time and other dimensions. Only then could the they gain the “weight” of other universes that would create a nexus point in space-time.

    Only one character has done that, and it isn’t Madoka.

    3. Takuto wasn’t really a mahou shounen, but more a parody of the typical mahou shoujo. The same goes for Kore wa Zombie Desu-ka.

    The fact is that people can talk about popularity and whatever else until the cows come home, but that doesn’t change the fact that they honestly just don’t know what the reaction would be to a REAL mahou shounen because it’s something that’s never been attempted properly.

    And to be honest, having male Puella Magi in Madoka would have added a completely different dimension to the story, but it’s a bit presumptuous of you to say it would have made it worse as we simply don’t know if that would be the case.

    Posted by archaeon | May 3, 2011, 1:54 AM
    • “What IS true is that if the amount of power a Puella Magi has at the time of the contract being made is fixed, then Homura already had far greater power than Madoka. The proof of that is in the simple fact that before Madoka’s godhood, Homura had already broken the laws of space-time.”

      I honestly dont see how thats any proof. You mean that just because Homura also could make a wish breaking the laws of space time she has to be stronger than Madoka? The way I see it, Madokas wish was a much more demanding one than Homuras, even if they both involve breaking the laws of space-time.

      “Actually, thinking about it in terms of multiple realities, the fact that she has her soul gem with her actually DOES mean that she makes a new contract as she always goes back to the time before she made her original contract with Kyuubey”

      Why? I always thought that she made the contract once, and then whenever she went back in time, it is the current version of her, having made the contract already, ending up in the other timeline. When she changed her hairstyle, that carried over to the other timeline for example, and I think the fact that she made her contract already would also do that. And she did make her contract before time-traveling even one time, so that would explain why she is not as strong as Madoka.

      Posted by Hydra | May 4, 2011, 5:30 AM
      • 1. Not quite. If one assumes the prerequisite for godhood is a wish that can break the laws of space-time, then Homura has already done that. The show makes clear though that the power of the wish is dependent on specific criteria at the time the wish is made, and then goes on to explain how Homura has tied Madoka to all of those multiple realities in order to justify why she has so much power.

        The problem is, that’s an inaccurate justification. In order for Madoka to be tied to multiple realities, the CURRENT version of her HAS to have been to those realities. She hasn’t, Homura has.

        Also, Madoka’s wish may have been the more demanding one AFTER THE FACT, but in everything up to that point Homura had suffered far more than any other Puella Magi. Madoka has no knowledge of what happens in all of those other realities, but Homura does, and she carries all of that grief, despair and suffering onwards. Madoka never finds out about any of it until after she becomes a “god”, which is quite a big deus ex machina that’s used as proof of her link to multiple realities.

        2. Firstly, Homura subsumes the past, present and future of that version of herself, INCLUDING all of the choices and decisions that version had made and would make – that includes wishes.

        Secondly, we’re dealing with TIME TRAVEL, so things like who made their wish when go right out of the window. What you forget is that the very first time Homura goes back in time, she goes back to a point PRIOR to the time she made her wish and asks Madoka if she can be a Puella Magi with her. It would be a fair assumption to say that the same format occured each and every time, to the point before she made her wish.

        As I’ve explained, she subsumes the future of that version of herself and creates a new one, and that means she absorbs ALL of the choices, decisions and wishes that the alternate version of herself would make. And she does that every single time.

        She doesn’t actually need to make a new contract with Kyuubey, as her status as an existence OUTSIDE of the universe (if she wasn’t then she wouldn’t be able to statically time travel), means that possibility is pretty much the same thing as reality for her.

        The science in the series clearly makes Homura the most powerful, but since the story has Madoka becoming a “god”, you then have a conflict which can only be blamed on poor planning.

        Posted by Archaeon | May 4, 2011, 8:17 AM
    • I’d like to address some errors you have here in your reasoning and knowledge of how time travel operates (from both a logical and theoretically physical perspective).

      “Not quite. If one assumes the prerequisite for godhood is a wish that can break the laws of space-time, then Homura has already done that.” Here, you’ve assumed something that the show didn’t even mention, thus breaking a basic principle of deconstructionism and bringing your own exclusive arguments in to try and justify your point. It is a basic rule of debate that only inferences and facts may be used to argue a point, and your assumption is in violation of this. Basing, or arguing, the idea that Homura should be stronger than Madoka (who is, in fact, a deity in the strictest sense of the term) on your assumption is silly.

      “The problem is, that’s an inaccurate justification. In order for Madoka to be tied to multiple realities, the CURRENT version of her HAS to have been to those realities. She hasn’t, Homura has.” Here, you display a very vivid misunderstanding how space-time, and the theory behind travelling multiple worlds, works. This is especially evident when I look back and see that you’ve written this:
      “Putting it another way, Homura’s presence is like a massively massive weight on the flow of space-time which creates a nexus point in all of the realities she has visited or intends to visit. She is bound to all of them and none of them at the same time, and her power doesn’t come from all of the other versions of herself, but from the fact that she is the ONLY version of herself.”
      You cannot be “bound to all… and none” of multiple worlds if you are the so-called “nexus.” If she is connected to all the worlds, she is bound to all and that’s it- in fact, this suggests that the worlds are connected. Schrodinger’s cat, which suggests similar to what you’ve said, is a thought experiment, not one in which to gauge actual interpretation of space-time and travelling across multiple worlds by. However, she doesn’t even exist at every possible world at any time in the series; she connects to them only in that brief moment she travels to an alternate world. In space-time, the fact that she is able to travel through different worlds means that she opens a hole and connects two different planes of existence by a “bridge” of bent space. In that moment she travels to that alternate world, the two worlds are one world, and thus share in whatever transferrable things are present (suggested reading: Parallel Worlds, by Michio Kaku). Madoka has in fact connected to these other worlds due to the fact that Homura has connected the worlds themselves. The only hole in the show about this ordeal is how Homura shows up in every world, as if she had already existed there, because…

      “Firstly, Homura subsumes the past, present and future of that version of herself, INCLUDING all of the choices and decisions that version had made and would make – that includes wishes.” No. You cannot subsume a previous entity of yourself, or a present entity, because this would imply that Homura existed at all times at every single point of every universe, and she resumed control of an individual instance of her when the time was right. This does not work, because being able to exist at multiple moments of time IN ALTERNATE WORLDS is something that could only be done by a being of the fifth geometrical dimension (NOT physical, as the physical one only represents the realm in which forces invisible to our dimension, such as electromagnetism and gravity, are visible as actual crinkles in the dimension itself). This is the major hole in the show and your logic.

      “Secondly, we’re dealing with TIME TRAVEL, so things like who made their wish when go right out of the window. What you forget is that the very first time Homura goes back in time, she goes back to a point PRIOR to the time she made her wish and asks Madoka if she can be a Puella Magi with her. It would be a fair assumption to say that the same format occured each and every time, to the point before she made her wish.” You’ve demonstrated here a rather juvenile knowledge of the mechanics of time travel and and alternate worlds. After the time travel backwards, we observe that Homura’s new world clearly delineates from each previous world, as viewable in every action that is displayed (the largest evidence being Madoka’s actions). Thus, it’s highly probable that Homura doesn’t make the wish again, and Kyubey shrugs off Homura’s powers in the previous worlds, just as he almost did for her in the fifth and final world. This proves that she traveled to an alternate world, because events are immutable in a single timeline, according to the predestination paradox (more commonly known as a causality loop). Like I mentioned previously, however, there is an error: why does it look like Homura had done something already in said world? For this to happen, it would have to be time travel in a single world, which clearly did not occur. There’s no explanation for this.

      “She doesn’t actually need to make a new contract with Kyuubey, as her status as an existence OUTSIDE of the universe (if she wasn’t then she wouldn’t be able to statically time travel), means that possibility is pretty much the same thing as reality for her.” No. Being an existence “outside of the universe” implies that she must live in the fifth dimension, if space-time constitutes the first four. But at the same time, something in the fifth dimension essentially provides omnipresence over all parts of time (which Homura does not show, seeing as she has failed many times). Possibility, therefore, is not the same as reality, as she is not a higher dimensional being. Time travel is not limited to a higher dimension – in fact, the math of theoretical physics has proven that breaking some limits of energy and gravity can cause objects to “travel time”, or dilate it. Bending space-time can create a wormhole into a previous state of space-time.

      Posted by A-Beam32C | May 4, 2011, 12:06 PM
  62. I dunno bro, getting into a car accident, becoming a puella magi, and being forced to fight endlessly just to keep myself alive isn’t exactly a happy system to me.

    You know, a better wish and a better system would have probably resulted if instead, her wish was more like:

    “I wish to eat all the misery that is ever created. From every world, from the past and the future. With my own mouth, whilst farting out rainbows and happiness for all from my magical goddess bum that will continue to be exist forever to make oh so much happiness for all.”

    Posted by Chris | May 4, 2011, 4:07 AM
  63. “Also, Madoka’s wish may have been the more demanding one AFTER THE FACT, but in everything up to that point Homura had suffered far more than any other Puella Magi. Madoka has no knowledge of what happens in all of those other realities, but Homura does, and she carries all of that grief, despair and suffering onwards. ”

    I agree that the explanation to why Madoka is destined to carry so much misfortune could be better than that Homuras time traveling, centered around Madoka, has somehow interwined the different Madokas in the different timelines. Still, that is the logic in the show, and as long as it doesn’t too blatantly contradict its own logic I don’t really see a problem. And since I still claim that Homuras contract happened only once, all the suffering she goes through later, in different timelines, shouldn’t matter. I would agree if everything she went through happened in the future in the same timeline, or if she made a new contract, but that’s not how it is.

    “Secondly, we’re dealing with TIME TRAVEL, so things like who made their wish when go right out of the window. What you forget is that the very first time Homura goes back in time, she goes back to a point PRIOR to the time she made her wish and asks Madoka if she can be a Puella Magi with her.”

    The way I see it there are two different ways to approach time traveling. One is when you go back in time and redo things, and it’s only one single timeline that changes. But clearly the show took the other approach where every time travel end up in a compelety different timeline. Otherwise the “interwined Madoka”-argument from Kyuubey would be completely pointless.

    The “past” she travels to is not really the past in this same timeline, which means that sorrow/grief from different timelines shouldn’t have been stacked up already when she made her wish. The same goes for potential future grief, which are all located in different timelines. Of course, Kyuubeys logic probably gives Homura incredible potential as well, but since Im claiming she “wasted” that potential in the first timeline when making her contract, it shouldn’t matter. And when she made that contract, what has happened or should happen in different timelines should not make her stronger.

    Now that would make Madokas wish a bit weird perhaps, but that is also one of the reasons I consider it more demanding. Madoka isn’t time traveling, she just exists at all time, like a higher being on a different plane, and only in the one timeline where she makes her wish.

    At least that’s the way I interpreted it in the show, but I’ll honestly say I have only seen it once, so I might not remember all details.

    But I agree that the ending is kinda a deus ex machina, and it was probably what I liked the least in the entire series. And Im not saying that the shows logic is foolproof, far from it. I just dont think it blatantly contradicts itself so badly that it’s anything to get annoyed at.

    If you have som new input showing Im wrong or thought of it in an incorrect way, you’re more than welcome to share, no matter what one think about the show it cant be denied its interesting to talk about at least. :P

    Posted by Hydra | May 4, 2011, 9:19 AM
  64. Sorry, I wrote that madokas wish only applies in the timeline she made it in, which obviously is wrong, since she is talking about being able to see all suffering Homura has gone through. My bad.

    Posted by Hydra | May 4, 2011, 9:43 AM
  65. My only questions about the end are:
    - is there a logical explanation to Madoka’s talk with Mami and Kyouko at the beginning of ep12?
    and
    - so who the fuck is Walpurgis Nacht in the end?

    Both of which haven’t been addressed in your post (not even in the comments for the latter one)!

    And like Midgemage said (way) above, I for one think that Madoka could have gone for a happier wish than she did, at least anything that would have prevented mahou shoujos to eventually die from their nature.
    Not doing so she kinda wasted her potential to me.
    Was it the best choice for a powerful ending? At this point I’m not convinced.

    (And I agree with Hydra on the current issue.)

    Posted by SYAMEIMARU | May 4, 2011, 9:02 PM
    • Walpurgis is supposed to be a combination of several different witches, but I wish they would’ve shown which ones. I think maybe the montage sequences of Madoka cleansing several soul gems was illustrating the several girls that made up the Walpurgis Night. I’m not completely sure of that, and I don’t think it’s a good enough answer if it’s the right one.

      As for the talk at the beginning of the last episode, I would assume it would be explained in the same way that the scene with Sayaka was. They were good friends, and she wanted them to “pass on” peacfully. It was shown before Sayaka’s scene and before the transformation-into-a-God scene because they wanted us to know what exactly Madoka was doing, and how important it was, before showing us directly.

      Posted by Mimo | December 17, 2011, 2:22 AM
  66. I just want to confirm – Kyouko and Mami are alive because the circumstances of their deaths in every timeline are now impossible due to Madoka’s wish – it’s -not- because ALL mahou shoujo were resurrected (for a do-over – wouldn’t make sense according to her wish), right? It’s just that – Charlotte can’t have killed Mami, Kyouko can’t die fighting Oktavia, and Mami wouldn’t lose her marbles because Sayaka never turns into a witch. Assuming this, I suppose that all other mahou shoujo who died fighting witches ended up surviving, possibly up until now (!), unless their MP was depleted under different circumstances.

    It’s a shame Sayaka expires again, but it seems that in the Madoka universe, events don’t differ wildly from timeline to timeline. I suppose those fated to become witches in previous timelines couldn’t escape from it, even under Madoka’s new rule, unless the cause of their grief was from someone else becoming a witch. The best resolution they can achieve is to be freed from grief and disappear, and possibly witness the future effects of their wish because of Madoka.

    Posted by Guy | May 5, 2011, 11:19 AM
    • “I just want to confirm – Kyouko and Mami are alive because the circumstances of their deaths in every timeline are now impossible due to Madoka’s wish – it’s -not- because ALL mahou shoujo were resurrected (for a do-over – wouldn’t make sense according to her wish), right? It’s just that – Charlotte can’t have killed Mami, Kyouko can’t die fighting Oktavia, and Mami wouldn’t lose her marbles because Sayaka never turns into a witch”

      Kudos, you made me realize one huge thing. I just kind of ignored it and saw it as a bland reset.

      I just wish Abenobashi and Mirai Nikki have learnt a couple of things from Madoka about Deus ex Machina, resets and parallel worlds/timelines.

      Posted by Akumatafur | May 10, 2011, 10:56 AM
  67. About Homu’s and Madoka’s power ups, I agree that Homura grew stronger every time she replaced her other self after the time travel, but since her wish was about Madoka, she created a connection between Madokas of different timelines.

    That’s why Madoka thought she remembered events that never happened in her timeline, perhaps it affected people dear to her as well, that’s why her brother remembered her.

    Why Homu wasn’t strong until after-madoka timeline? Her shield forcefully separated her from the power of everyone she replaced in previous timelines and when the shield is gone in the epilogue, she has has rightful power.

    Maybe if she destroyed her shield, she would’ve defeated Walpurgisnacht and prevented madoka from contracting, but there’s no way she could know that.

    Posted by Kilich | May 7, 2011, 12:14 AM
  68. I disagree with your explanation the short form of the new system.

    It’s not that Madoka takes the grief and nothing happens, the soul-gemless girls still die because it’s still a soul gem. Their souls just move along to the after life instead of witching.

    Mahou Shoujo: Contracted to fight Majuu
    -> Low MP -> Emotionally unstable and more likely to fall into despair
    -> Falls into despair -> Madoka absorbs despair -> Nothing happens (MG DIES, same as next)
    -> Runs out of MP -> Vanishes/Dies

    Posted by SSJPabs | May 9, 2011, 12:28 AM
  69. Thank you for the explanation! I really appreciate it, but there’s something I’d like to ask:
    In the episode 12, Madoka said like this to Sayaka during Kyosuke’s concert:
    “To save you I had to erase it all. And this future will disappear, too.”
    What does Madoka mean in “this future”? Kyosuke being a violinist? I’m still confused at this quote somehow.

    Posted by Kotomi95 | May 16, 2011, 1:21 PM
    • You missed the crucial part, right after that she says “But that probably isn’t how you wanted things to be, and I don’t think that everything you did and worked for was meaningless.. So…”

      Sayaka understands and says “It’s fine, I just wanted to hear him play once more.”

      I think the bit about “erasing the future” was a grammatical mistake in translating, Madoka never saved Sayaka, because that’s not what Sayaka wanted. She means that if she *had* saved Sayaka somehow, Kyosuke would never have regained feeling in his hands, his future as a violinist would never happen. Madoka knew that despite the pain and despair loving Kyosuke gave her, Sayaka still loved Kyosuke, and felt that giving him the ability to play again was absolutely worth giving up her life for.

      Posted by Mimo | December 17, 2011, 1:56 AM
  70. i guess it made sense after all, now i notice the future madoka that came destroy her own witch does not have her red ribbon with her since in the past she gave it to homura already.
    and the new generation mahou shoujou life’s running on batteries known as MP, not very much different from my POV

    though your idea i can partly agree, there are still some question like, what are majuu?manifestation of hate and despair?if yes why must they take form? the new world doesnt give birth to any new mahou shoujous anymore rite?meaning homura is the last mahou shoujou? in the end it looks like post-apocalytpic world, doesnt that made their efforts in vain?

    Despite,after all these theories being said, the ultimate conclusion will be decided by the creator of puella magica right?

    1 of da best anime of the season though there are more works out there to be discovered

    Posted by DAriel88 | May 27, 2011, 9:41 AM
  71. That was really nice and well put together. I shouldn’t have watched this when I could barely keep my eyes open. It helped explain things to me during my sleep deprivation ;p

    Posted by Ziggy | May 29, 2011, 6:57 PM
  72. I’ve just re-watched a part of the anime with a friend in order to show him what its like (we reached episode 7) and in ep. 6. Kyubei says “As you use magic, the Soul Gem is dirtied.” according to the subtitles on http://www.animeseason.com/mahou-shoujo-madoka-magika-episode-6/#
    (“Flash Player” mirror, Part 1, time 5:10)

    I guess that proves my point, that was deleted (prolly cause it was old).

    Posted by Core-Station | August 9, 2011, 4:43 AM
  73. Hahaha, yet, you must realize – Kyubey turned Madoka into what she was. The only reason why he normally doesn’t grant wishes like that is that the magical girl doesn’t have enough potential – Madoka’s huge potential allowed Kyubey to use energy to make Madoka a god, only because the energy he got from it exceeds the energy taken to make Madoka a god. It’s win-win for humans (cause bad things don’t happen) and Kyubey as well – he’s gotten enough energy to last a million years (from Earth, of course – Kyubeys across the universe could be turning other aliens into gods every second).

    It’s funny how everybody thinks that Kyubey’s powerless and that the joke’s on him – it obviously isn’t. He’s the most powerful being in the universe. (Well, he’s probably just a member of the most powerful race in the universe. Maybe being Kyubey is like being a garbage collector, and the powerful Kyubeys have power beyond even Kyubey’s imagination).

    Posted by Mushyrulez | August 16, 2011, 6:56 AM
  74. Hey can somebody answer a couple of questions for me.
    Firstly, on episode 2 or 3, Mami states that there is a second use for grief seeds, other than for purifying soul gems, before throwing a grief seed to Homura. (This means that the second use of the seed is not feeding it to Kyuubey as she could have done it herself and it would be of no benefit to Homura.) Homura refuses the seed and throws it back to Mami (This suggests that whatever benefit that Mami believes that the seeds give is not true or of no use to Homura).
    Another thing is on the fist cycle (chronologically) where Homura is not yet a MS, Madoka, Mami and Kyuubey all know of the incoming WN. When Homura reveals that WN is coming, on the cycle that is viewed first, everyone, especially Kyuubey, are surprised of the news.
    The idea of familiars is also puzzling. If a grief seed is a soul gem that has been tainted beyond repair and hold a soul, how can a familiar without a seed grow into a witch and acuire a seed?
    If familiars are not past MS, then in the new system, familiars and, in turn, witches could still exist alongside the majuu.
    Lastly, the beginning is a little misleading. The entire beginning credits show Madoka as a MS but she is only a MS in the last 3 episodes. The sequence of images of her failing as a MSleads viewers to believe that it is one of those stories where somebody is completely hopeless but ends up saving everyone (something like Kung Fu Panda). Also the black cat shown in Madoka’s hand. I believe it is something symoblic but I can’t quite understand.
    If anybody can answer these questions for me, I’ll be thankful. Despite all of this, I loved this anime. I just wanted to clarify some things.

    Posted by Justin Chia | October 28, 2011, 5:52 PM
    • As far as I understood, familiars are not ex MS but other witches’ “servants” who somehow got out. As for their grief seeds, perhaps they generate them later. but Im not completely sure about that.

      And the Opening/OP (if thats what u meant by “beginning”) is actually ironical. It shows how a MS is suppose to live like, taking Madoka as an imaginary example. However, some parts of the opening imply the irony (like the start where Madoka cries alone), and the anime itself is a complete violation of Mahou Shoujo tradition.

      Posted by Core-Station | November 3, 2011, 2:36 AM
    • Mami meant that there was “one more use” left in the grief seed, that Homura could use it to purify her gem if need. Homura didn’t want to, not because she didn’t need to, but because she despises Mami for killing Kyoko in the other timeline, and for trying to encourage Madoka to become a MS.

      Familiars do not exist under Madoka’s new laws, what you see in episode 12 are Demons/Curses. These are formed from human grief and despair, rather than grief/despair of the MS.

      Familiars were able to become witches under the previous rules because they were a part of the witch that had managed to escape. From what I understood, they don’t become completely new witches, but rather act as portals for the original witch they came from. I could be very wrong here but that’s how I understood it.

      Posted by Mimo | December 17, 2011, 1:43 AM
  75. Now that Im finally noticing this:

    “New System:

    -> Low MP -> Emotionally unstable and more likely to fall into despair
    -> Falls into despair -> Madoka absorbs despair -> Nothing happens
    -> Runs out of MP -> Vanishes/Dies”

    U completely missed that one…
    1. After the despair absorption there’s also Soul Gem’s disappearance (completely visible). It has been shown in the last episode for every example of a “purified” witch.
    2. Eventhough my previous statement implies this one, I’ll say it’s also visible in the last episode that those purified witches vanish.

    I will not repeat my comment that was 2-3 comments before this one, but I’ll imply to it. I’ve linked the proof and gave directions to get it. Yet you still didn’t fix Old System characteristics. Is it that you’re lazy, or that you’re stubborn?

    Posted by Core-Station | November 3, 2011, 3:02 AM
  76. Nice explain, but i have another theory about Homura’s wings at the end.
    When Madoka speaks with Homura after Madoka’s wish, she speak about being in all places, and for this she will be with Homura forever, even if she can’t see her. At the end, before the wings part it says

    “Don’t forget,
    always, somewhere,
    someone is fighting for you.
    - As long as you remember her,
    you are not alone”

    Homura don’t forget Madoka, she is the only one who remember her in reality, so she is remembering Madoka, who fights for avoid the existance of witches and protecting all puella magis of that destiny. For that reason she’s never alone, because Madoka stay at her side all the time “as long you (Homura) remember her”. The wings are the Madoka’s presence following Homura and protecting her, so Homura will never be alone.

    Posted by Anonymous | December 9, 2011, 4:02 AM
  77. If Madoka destroyed her own witch… it means that in the future Madoka will disappear and witches will appear again?!

    Posted by Stratosphere | January 29, 2012, 2:12 AM
    • No. The witch of hers is older than Madoka who destroyed her. In other words, Madoka will become a witch and suddenly meet her past self and be killed.

      Posted by Core-Station | January 30, 2012, 5:35 AM
      • I know, but then the world will be left without Madoka?
        Because if her past self stays in the future and never comes back, she shouldn’t be able to meet herself in the first place. Therefore she has to come back and leave the world without her?
        Sorry, english is not my main language.

        Posted by Stratosphere | January 30, 2012, 7:47 AM
        • Madoka has HER OWN timeline not affecting any other. First she killed all the witches, then killed her own witch (without absorbing despair) and then became a witch (who was killed by her past self). Once she became a witch there were no other witches left.

          Also, by making a wish when becoming a magical girl she changed her EXISTENCE. It is not true that she was never born after she killed her witch. She was simply never born ever since she got her wish fulfilled.

          Posted by Core-Station | January 30, 2012, 7:52 AM
  78. this show is not without flaws, what was with that scene where madoka is talking to Sayaka on episode 12 eh?

    if it was madoka taking Sayaka’s grief away because she was dying/becoming a witch then Sayaka should have been able to hear madoka if people really don’t remember her any more, unless if everyone can hear madoka’s voice when there dispair is being taken away

    in which case destroy ImperialX’s theroy on the last question about only Homura been able to hear Madoka’s voice when she is becoming a witch

    Posted by .I_am_awsome. | February 4, 2012, 10:24 AM
  79. You made this post so long ago and it is still benefiting people. Thank you for all your insight. Greatly appreciated and really clears the mist.

    Posted by IZEROII | February 12, 2012, 12:03 AM
  80. Wow. A lot of tl;dr comments here! Anyways, I just finished watching this show (I stayed up all night, watching straight from episode 1 to episode 12). It’s an amazing show! But the one thing I didn’t like is the closure. It was too depressing (still very good though). I just wish Sayaka could have been saved, although it does make sense why she died, but she was still one of my favorite characters.

    I do hope there will be a sequel that follows chronologically, but only because I feel it would be good to resolve some of the events that left so many of the characters emotionally broken in the end.

    Posted by Little Professor | February 24, 2012, 9:54 AM
  81. Me wanted to see more Kyuubeys.

    Posted by Anonymous | April 13, 2012, 1:43 AM
  82. The first time in months that I’ve used Ask.com for research and got a useful page. Love it!

    Posted by visit | June 22, 2012, 3:13 PM
  83. Hi!grat job Answering all these questions,you fulfilled my desire to understand Puella Magi’s ending,especially the part when you explain that “kyuubey gave immortality to madoka to allow her to be everywhere and everytime to save the girls,and so even tought the Madoka’s Witch was killed,she was yet immortal and eternal,and so she survived,I still have 3 question, your work was perfect and these are just something that bother me:

    1)Kyoubey said that Madoka was going to become “a Goddess”now,a Goddes is someone who can change the universe as she wants,but from the explanation Madoka seems to have become just Immortal and eternal,but not necessarely Omnipotent,how did she managed to became a goddes-like creature?
    2)Why Kyoubey said that “there is enough despair to destroy the universe and enough hope to rebuild it”?Madoka being eternal should have killed Madoka’s witch immediatly,so how could it have destroyed the universe?and how hope rebuild it?or maybe it’s Madoka who rebuild it?(this links to the first question,that she should not have superpowers)
    3)Madoka is forever forgotten by everyone exept for Homura and her little brother,but why she was forgotten at all?I know she died and stuff,but when a witch is killed the previous “self”of her is not forgotten,so Madoka should have just died(at least her witch self)while her immortal self should have survived,and it happened,but why everyone forgot her,why she was “erased from existence”?

    Sorry for talking too much and for asking too many things,I think that you already worked so hard,and I appreciate it,if you could solve these 3 questions(at least the first)that would be awesome,thank you in anticipation,you are great-minded! :D

    Posted by mortebianca | June 24, 2012, 6:16 AM
  84. I loved Madoka but the ending was poor. It’s about as close to a Deus Ex Machina as you can get. If the power of wishes was that strong (Ability to grant Omnipresence), why doesn’t Kyubey use it to wish away entropy?

    Posted by Tsuru21 | July 1, 2012, 7:48 AM
    • From my understanding, Madoka is a very special, one of a kind case–she has the potential energy of who knows how many timelines centered on her and her potential wish. As for why Kyubey doesn’t wish away energy–he’s not the one with the power, he’s just the facilitator who removes magical girl’s soul so she can use the power to be a magical girl and so Kyubey has a renewable energy source.

      Posted by Rena's Hub of Random | July 4, 2012, 10:54 AM
    • You’re forgetting, Kyubey doesn’t grant wishes, he allows magical girls to make them come true. Otherwise of course he’d do that. He simply acts as a “converter” (or more like an “incubator”) that interconverts emotion and energy. Just because he can convert emotion into magic doesn’t mean he can create energy (that would violate the first law of thermodynamics), and he can’t create emotions himself to make energy out of (he stated that his species is devoid of emotion). Madoka had so much “potential” power, Kyubey only assisted in letting her use that energy to (1) remove her soul and compress it into a soul gem, and (2) gain magical girl powers. Kyubey has absolutely no ability to “grant” wishes by himself. Plus Kyubey doesn’t lie (well, he stated he doesn’t lie but we have to go on the assumption that that is honest for the show to make any sense), so he couldn’t selfishly use Madoka’s powers to remove entropy. Plus, I don’t think he even has the ability to control magic, so even if he wanted to I doubt he could do anything more than “power up” Madoka and try to convince her to wish away entropy (which he stated was against the rules of his species, but he does suggest what to wish for indirectly).

      Plus I don’t think it was Deus ex Mechina at all. If Madoka suddenly became a god for no reason other than she “happened” to be more powerful than the rest, THAT would be Deus ex Mechina. But the show very clearly explained why she had so much power, and the events that led up to it were shown very early on (first episode, when they meat Homura).

      Posted by Stonecold | July 4, 2012, 11:03 AM
  85. I dont agree that Homura is running out of MP at the end since she has pretty much an unlimited supply from killing demons. I look forward to the third movie though, Everything thats still unanswered should be answered then (hopefully)

    Posted by wmeteo | August 23, 2012, 7:59 AM
  86. Reblogged this on GamerAbyss.

    Posted by josestrife | January 4, 2013, 11:25 AM
  87. my brains hurt…

    Posted by Anonymous | March 11, 2013, 6:44 AM
  88. I don’t agree with your analysis of Homura’s ending. Mainly for three reasons…

    1. It is clearly stated that Madoka prevents the existence of witches from the universe – which include manifestation of any powers thereof. As shown in episode 12, magic girls who are on the verge of death do not show any witch powers, they simply fade and pass away.

    2. Sayoka’s transformation scene. This scene shows that the girls only gain witch-like powers the moment they fall into despair, prior to that there is no ‘middle ground’ or transition phase. Homura, at the end of episode 12

    3. Final words of Madoka. The words stated by Madoka before Homura at the epilogue scene are “keep it up”. These words would imply that Homura is more likely to be continuing to battle, rather than on the verge of passing away.

    All in all the scene probably just shows that Homura has advanced her powers, not unlike the many mahou shoujo who have come before her.

    Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2013, 6:46 PM
    • I agree with all you said. She definitely doesn’t appear to be on the verge of disappearing from spent MP. And judging by the surroundings she’s fighting in, it could quite possibly be a future time period, which might explain in small part the evolution of her wings. The only thing i don’t get is why Modaka talks to her. i mean, why now, and has she done it before? Since they separated i mean.

      Posted by curzon176 | August 4, 2013, 9:35 AM
  89. Ok. I have one question, I know it’s kind of late to be questioning on this post but i was wondering… If Madoka sais she is always with Homura why can’t she communicate with her and why since she is so powerful why doesn’t she wish that she could communicate with Homura or her brother and I have one more question where does Madoka go after she leaves Sayoka at the ending?

    Posted by The cool dood 10102 | June 21, 2013, 1:16 PM
  90. Homura’s weapons changing is actually pretty simple to answer: in the new timeline, there is no Madoka. Therefore, Homura made a wish in the new timeline that has nothing to do with time travel. What is this wish? No idea! But since Kyoko and Mami ask Homura “Who’s Madoka?” shortly after Sayaka’s death, we can draw some conclusions that this is when “time-traveler Homura” merged with “new Homura” in the new timeline, complete with red ribbons appearing in her hand out of nowhere. If Homura had remembered Madoka any earlier, she would likely have mentioned her to her fellow magical girls, and they wouldn’t ask her about it. She later explains it to Kyubey, but he only confirms what she knows: “Madoka” never existed, and she has memories that essentially never happened. Thus Homura’s wish and weapons remain a mystery…if she contracted before being reinserted into the timeline (and thus without any memories of Madoka), how did this younger Homura end up with a bow and wings? We may never know! :P

    Posted by Fluttersnipe | July 13, 2013, 5:52 PM
  91. 1. You don’t know how to syntax
    2. The wish wasn’t to protect Madoka, it was to go back to when she first met Madoka. Hence her time powers.

    Posted by You'reanidiot | November 2, 2013, 1:07 PM
  92. Are you going to write a post about the Rebellion movie?

    Posted by bastardsofkingsgrave | April 5, 2014, 7:54 PM
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