Puella Magi Madoka Magica – 10

And now for something completely different.

Episode 10 of Puella Magi Madoka Magica provides us with Homura’s backstory, depicting her metamorphosis from her frail, timid, and emotional former self to the Homura we’ve grown to love and cheer for.  The previous timelines through which she lived help us understand Homura a little more, as well as show us some interesting storylines involving her relationships with the various characters.  But that wasn’t the best part about the episode.

The best part of the tenth episode was finally being introduced to Mahou Shoujo Madoka.  Our lovable protagonist was shown kicking various witches’ asses while still retaining her compassionate and sympathetic personality.  How awesome is that?  Not only is Madoka the most powerful magical girl of the bunch, but she is still the caring and supportive girl she’s always been.

Madoka’s persona is certainly the strongest among the cast of characters.  Throughout each timeline, Madoka did her part to protect her friends, whether it was saving a new transfer student from a surprise witch assault or using her final soul gem to save a fellow Puella Magi from being transformed into a witch.  Outside of battles, she was a helpful and considerate student, looking out for the wellbeing of her friends and instilling confidence in our time-traveler, Homura.  Really, the Homura we know now is all thanks to Madoka.  If it weren’t for Madoka, Homura would’ve been the shy and fragile girl from the original timeline.  So we have Madoka’s personality to thank for that.

Also, while on the topic of Madoka, I am kinda curious to learn what her original wish would have been.  We know she contracted with Kyubey, so then she must have made a wish during that event.  I’d be interested to see what it was, but I doubt we’ll ever find out what that wish was.

Being reunited with Mami was an unexpected and welcome surprise.  I always liked Mami, even though we only saw her for a couple of episodes.  Mami has a personality similar to Madoka’s in that she’s encouraging and supportive but she’s certainly less energetic and outgoing when compared to Madoka.  Mami’s role in most of the timelines was to be Madoka’s mentor as they worked together as a duo defeating witches, which was interesting to see.  Those timelines where Mami and Madoka teamed up are certainly very unlike what we’ve been watching with Sayaka, Kyoko, and Homura dominating the spotlight.  It’s too bad we won’t be seeing Mami anymore.

And now back to Homura.

Homura’s development throughout the course of the episode was done exceptionally well.  We saw the original, sickly Homura gradually transform into the current, emotionless version due to her feelings toward Madoka.  We saw Homura try time and time again to save Madoka from her doom.  Each ending, despite being very different, all ended in failure for Homura.  And each time, after seeing all her efforts go to waste, Homura returns to the beginning in order to achieve the perfect ending.  Well, despite all the misery and pain in this storyline, hopefully this timeline ends with a happy ending.

And speaking about the ending, I have a feeling that we won’t be seeing a repeat ending from this episode.  We already know what’ll happen if Madoka contracts during the Walpurgis Night fight, so I doubt we’ll see that again.  We also know what’ll happen if Madoka contracts before the fight, which resulted in her death a few times, so that’d unlikely as well.  The only ending which we never see is one where Madoka never contracts, and thus never becomes a Puella Magi.  Landon successfully predicted that ending a while back (ending #2), and, should it come to fruition, I’d put on a cap, just so I could tip it to him.  This series has had a lot of misdirection and twists, which has made the ride to the finale all the more exciting and entertaining.  And right now, as I look to the final episode, there’s only one possible ending that I can imagine after having exhausted all other possible endings with this episode’s journey through all the previous timelines.

Also, there’s still that black cat in the opening sequence.  We still haven’t seen it in the series yet.  And for taking a spot in Sayaka’s lap in the final image of the opening, you’d think this cat has a pretty significant role in the series.  Anyway, we’ll find out soon.  I mean, with only 2 episodes left in the series, we’ll be meeting that cat next week or the week thereafter.  All that’s left is figuring out what role it’ll play in this timeline.

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  1. #1 by Havieru-X on March 11, 2011 - 1:14 PM

    I agree with Madoka never contracting, but the question is what will Homura will have to do in order to achieve that ending?

    Eager to watch the final episode 2.. only 2 more weeks..

    • #2 by avvesione on March 11, 2011 - 7:25 PM

      I wonder if a happy ending is something that Homura can’t achieve alone. After all, Homura has gone through several timelines and still hasn’t found a happy ending, so maybe she needs some outside help. Maybe the happy ending is all up to Madoka.

      • #3 by Havieru-X on March 11, 2011 - 7:40 PM

        I think that a “happy” ending has never been in the script. After all, this is an out-of-the-box maho shojo plot… My bet goes for Homura dying for Madoka to keep her happiness, unless another option is inserted in the story, like a new character or some point that hasn’t been mentioned about Walpurgis.

        • #4 by avvesione on March 11, 2011 - 8:11 PM

          Well, instead of saying ‘happy ending’, I should’ve said ‘satisfying ending’. Over on Washi’s blog, he posted a quote from one of the producers using the word ‘satisfying’ when talking about the final episode (http://washiblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/daily-intake-08-03-11/ first bullet). So whatever happens, if it’s a triumphant ending or a tragedy, I think we’ll be happy for us in the end.

  2. #5 by VW on March 12, 2012 - 1:13 AM

    I think the black cat is maybe a representation of Himura?

    • #6 by avvesione on March 12, 2012 - 8:09 PM

      I remember finding out about the black cat a year ago soon after this post was written and I distinctly remember they said it had nothing to do with the series. It was more a red herring that the animators added in the opening than having to do anything with the story. I think after learning this, someone wrote up a short story concerning the cat and Madoka that predates the current timeline in Madoka about the cat. I don’t remember all the details or remember where I read it but it wasn’t related to the anime at all.

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