I had heard this was going to be one of those WHAM episodes where serious shit goes down, but man….Some serious shit went down. Introduction paragraph? Forget that, all I did was plan complete and utter Pokemon world domination with Bass; nothing you need to know about. LET’S GET THIS STARTED.
What is this shy little meganekko doing on my TV screen? That’s not the Homura we know, but she’s being introduced to the class nonetheless and the mysterious transfer student with a weak heart. Instead of being a wimp, Madoka strides right up to Homura and walks her to the nurse office, chattering to her all the way there. She instantly befriends her.
Madoka was probably the best thing to happen to poor Homu all day. The rest of her day is laden with hard math problems, gym class, and sudden urges to commit suicide thanks to stumbling into a witch’s territory. Just when it looks like Homura might kick the bucket, Mami’s telltale yellow ribbon appears and rounds up the witches. YES MAMI IS BACK, MAMI IS BACK! AND MADOKA IS WITH HER AS A MAHOU SHOUJO!!! Who would’ve thought Homura would be saved by Madoka?
Off they go to Mami’s house for cake, tea and more mahou shoujo conversations. They seem pretty calm about the whole mahou shoujo job and seem to still be enjoying it. That is, until Walpurgis actually appears and kills both Mami and Madoka. Homura can only watch the slaughter as it unfolds, crying over Madoka’s body as it all ends. It’s then and there that Homura makes a wish to redo her meeting with Madoka so she can be the one who does the protecting.
REDO #1: Homura wakes up in her hospital bed, her wish having been granted by Kyubei. Her introduction on the first day of class is now much different, as she runs up to Madoka and
professes her love tells her that she’s a mahou shoujo. She’s still not very, um, proficient at it. In fact, she starts off just stopping time and beating things with a gold club. Mami gives her some good advice: steal some guns. When in doubt STEAL GUNS.
All 3 of them can now work together to slay those tricky witches! Homura seems to be useless at first but thank GOODNESS she actually managed to throw her bomb up that witch’s skirt and blow it up. Things seem fine…that is, until that battle happens with the same outcome. They beat Walpurgis, but Madoka turns into a witch. This is when poor Homu sees the truth of Kyubei’s contract.
REDO #2: Okay, let’s tell everyone what I learned about Kyubei! Oh, why don’t they believe me? D= Awww, poor Homura. They do, of course, believe her once Sayaka turns into a witch and they see it with their own eyes. Once again, Homura lands the final blow, killing Sayaka. There’s little time for shedding tears as Mami goes batshit and starts trying to kill everyone. Madoka kills her before she shoots Homura, but Kyoko wasn’t so lucky…
As the only two left, it’s not surprising that they both end up with tainted soulgems by the end of it. They lie there, waiting to become witches. Waiting to die, content that they had done a good job. That’s when Madoka reaches over and gently taps a grief seed against Homura’s soul gem with a slight smile. Homura was meant to live, go back in time and fix everything. Madoka lays that heavy burden on her dark-haired friend and even asks Homura to kill her before she becomes a witch.
REDO #3: This time, Homura means serious business. She ditches the glasses and the braids and struts around military bases collecting guns on her own. Homura plans on completely shielding Madoka from witches, mahou shoujo, and everything in between. If it means not being as close with her, it’s a loss she will bear to save her friend. Of course, it all falls apart when Homura tried to take on Walpurgis by herself. This is the same scene as in the first episode, and it’s where Madoka made her contract. Madoka kills Walpurgis in one shot and then turns into a witch. That’s where REDO #4 leads us into the current timeline.
LET’S DO THE TIME WARP AGGAAAIIINNN:
Homura’s marriage proposal didn’t go quite as expected
If there was ever a wrong way to beat up something with a golf club, Homura found it.
Madoka, don’t make contracts. Also, I organized your underwear drawer for you.
JESUS CHRIST MY CONTACTS FELL OUT AGAIN. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THEY ARE TO PUT IN??
End Thoughts: This episode was nothing short of exquisite. Every episode seems even better than the last, to the point where I can’t even imagine what the finale is going to be like. Madoka only gets exponentially better, it never falters. This was just beautiful, heart-wrenching, and an excellent insight as to why Homura acts the way she does. It makes me want to rewatch the first few episodes to see how she hints at knowing Madoka from before. Really, I would have never thought that Homura used to be such a little weakling.
I loved seeing all the possible endings Homura got, even though all of them were bad. We already know how sinister the contract is from the current storyline…seeing the characters have to react to that knowledge yet again really makes the idea hit home: they are slaves to this miserable cycle of death. I felt that more than ever every time Homura had to cry beside Madoka’s dying body. My favourite moment had to be when Sayaka turned into a witch, yet again, and Homura killed her. It was Mami’s reaction that really got me. She’s usually calm and very good at keeping her emotions to herself, to see her spiral into madness in the span of a few minutes once again intensified how life-changing it is to break out of ignorance. Her reaction still makes sense with her character too, since she’s so fond of helping people. The only way to end the cycle is to kill all the witches and then kill themselves. She just got a little too hasty in shooting everyone instead of reasoning it out for a bit longer…
Another thing I liked about seeing all the alternate endings was that MADOKA WASN’T ANNOYING. She was outgoing, cute and USEFUL. I dislike characters (and people) who are all “bawww I’m useless, I hate myself!”…except for Hmura’s past version. Homura took over Madoka’s useless role for a while, but was so adorable that I could overlook her clumsiness. Do you prefer klutzy Homura or refined Homura? I liked Homura when she had her twin braids and glasses, to be honest. Seeing Mami again made me die of happiness. Sayaka…not so much. Honestly, bitchy much? You still have Kyouko lusting after you, so be thankful!
So what does this mean for the next episode? It means that it’s almost guaranteed that Homura can’t beat Walpurgis on her own, and yet, that’s probably what she’s going to have to do. If Madoka becomes a mahou shoujo, she’s going to become a devastatingly powerful witch, and Homura will have to start over if that happens (since she wants Madoka alive). It’s really hard to see this ending anywhere except Homura starting over once again or a new mahou shoujo coming to the rescue. Whatever it is, I’m guessing that something is gonna be added to the game by episode 11 or even 12. I still wouldn’t put it past Madoka Magica to end with everyone dying though. What an ending that would be. Alright, speculate away!