SHAFT, I remembered you saying you wanted to deconstruct the entire Mahou Shoujo genre. I applaud you because you have done it. Never before in my anime watching career have I watched a Mahou Shoujo so dark, sinister with a plot as deep and open for thoughts as this within the first hour of aired footage.
This post is a summary of my speculations of this amazing work at the time of episode 3. I may be completely wrong or maybe I’ll be dead right. Or maybe I’ll be somewhere in between, but I hope this can serve as an interesting read no matter when you, the reader may be reading this.
This post assumes that you have already watched episode 1~3. Spoilers below.
Puella Magi and Witches
First, let’s look at the two different magical entities that make up this story. It can be seen that the source of magical power for both the Puella Magi and the Witch come from some sort of gem. For the Puella Magi, it is referred to as the Soul Gem. A person becomes a Puella Magi exchanging it a wish for a Soul Gem. The amount of magical power granted also seems to be directly affected to the specific content of the wish. This was stated by Kyuubey during the second half of episode 3. Madoka’s ‘potential’ to become a powerful Puella Magi may be well related to her upcoming wish.
For Witches on the other hand, their respective gem is referred to as the Grief Seed. It has been stated that the power of the witches (which we can link to the Grief Seed) directly comes from a curse. For the sake and convenience of my theory, I’m going to call it a negative wish. I don’t think that’s distorting the original meaning, right?
Things get more exciting from here. Mami states at the end of episode 2 that when a Puella Magi uses her magic, her Soul Gem starts to become ‘dirty’ and ‘muddied’. She use these words directly and gg translated this to a fairly accurate level. However, it can be seen that this ‘mud’ can be transferred to a Grief Seed, restoring the Soul Gem to its original state. Here is a very intriguing concept, which will lead into my first theory:
Grief Seeds are Soul Gems that have fully been muddied, so Witches are Puella Magi who have lost their powers.
To be honest, I’m pretty confident about this theory. The Grief Seed and the Soul Gem can synchronize, so they must be related in some way. This is the most logical conclusion when putting that into thought. Since magic can dirty the Soul Gem, the only way for a Puella Magi to remain as one and not fall into becoming a witch is to kill Witches and steal their seeds. This doesn’t sound like a very pleasant job, does it? This also fits in well with one of Mami’s last words.
Of course, it also explains why there’s a fierce competition between Puella Magi to kill Witches. After all, no one wants to turn into a witch. Assuming that all this is correct, this will nicely flow into our second focusing point.
As said, SHAFT wants to deconstruct the Mahou Shoujo genre. So how do you deconstruct the stereotypical cute animal companion of the protagonist?
Kyuubei is an antagonist.
Let us think back to the gruesome scene where Mami got devoured by the witch. What was his first reaction again? Come to think of it, what was his expression?
Throughout this entire series, Kyuubei has been super pushy to both the girls to make contracts with him. On the surface he seems like a typical Mahou Shoujo mascot, granting wishes and magical powers that can beat the evildoers to ordinary little girls. However, if we consider my first theory of Puella Magi eventually turning into witches, does this still seem like he’s doing something good? Consider this vicious cycle:
- Grant wishes, make contracts with girls to turn them into Puella Magi.
- Puella Magi must kill Witches to live on, as they must clean their Soul Gems.
- Puella Magi eventually become Witches either by using up all their magic, getting killed in battle or not killing enough Witches.
- Make more girls into Puella Magi to fight the Witches.
- Repeat back to Step 2.
It doesn’t really matter if Kyuubei is working to his own interest or whether he is working for a greater evil. Regardless of whether anyone has anything to gain from this cycle, it is undeniable that this will bring fourth the destruction of the Earth should it be repeated many times. This is what in my opinion the likely goal of the antagonist/s.
Of course, if we assume Kyuubei to be an antogonist, that will flow straight into my last point:
Why was she trying to kill Kyuubei at the start? Why does she know Madoka? What’s her motive? They’re all explained if you take my previous two theories into account. To be honest, even you yourself can probably figure it out at this point. Let’s recall their first encounter and conversation in episode 1.
Right after this, she starts to go after Kyuubei so that she could eliminate him before he can contact Madoka, whose potential has been stated to be so huge, it can pose to be a serious threat to the World’s balance according to my first two theories. In other words, according to my deductions, here is my third and final theory:
Homura is trying to stop Kyuubei from contracting Madoka. She is a ‘good guy’.
Of course, this article isn’t written with accuracy in mind, nor does it address every question posed at this time of 3 episodes being aired. I wouldn’t be surprised if my theories turn out completely wrong by next week. What is important is that they make sense to me right now. Just take everything you’ve read with a grain of salt. I hope this article also helped you formulate your own theories, which I’d love to hear.
The epicness of this anime is making me write the 1200 words. I haven’t been as pumped as this for a speculations writeup ever since Code Geass R2, and that’s amazing considering this is only the third episode. Don’t let me down now, SHAFT. This is a history defining moment here.