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Magical Girls and German Poets: Let's Watch Madoka Magica
Hylarn

[table of contents]
There are Miracles and Magic
Episode 4 - There are Miracles and Magic

We open on a shot of the hospital. It matches a building in the prologue

Sayaka is rushing to see Kamijou. Unfortunately, he's busy with rehabilitation. We then get some hospital staff expositing on what's wrong with Kamijou; he was a very talented violin player before his accident, but, among other things, his fingers will never again work well enough for him to play again

We move to Sayaka. She's thinking Kamijou. She wants his fingers to work again, and wonders how he'd react if she wished for him to get better. This is kind of hard to recap, but it's essentially a call back to the discussion about selfless wishes with Mami in the last episode, with the implication that Sayaka is going to be wishing for the wrong reason. Then we get her narrating, saying that she was clueless and didn't know about the price of miracles

And the opening

Back to Madoka's place. She's eating breakfast with the rest of her family. Or trying to, as she's not handling Mami's death well

Then we move to her walking to school with her friends. Sayaka is being quite talkative and bubbly. When Madoka tries to talk to her about the previous day through telepathy, Sayaka blows her off. Apparently Sayaka is the type to deal with her problems by not thinking about them

We spend some time with the teacher providing comic relief, then it's off to the rooftop. Sayaka asks Madoka if she still wants to be a Magical Girl. Obviously, Madoka is far to traumatized for the answer to be yes. After some discussion, Sayaka asks Kyuubey what's going to happen to the town. The answer is that another Magical Girl will show up. She'll likely be more interested in collecting Grief Seeds than actually protecting civilians, though. Kyuubey is pretty transparently trying to get them to change their minds throughout the conversation

Cut to Madoka going over to Mami's place. She's still grieving. As she leaves the building, she runs into Homura. Homura tells Madoka that she should stop blaming herself for Mami's death. Homura is supportive of Madoka, and glad that she's decided not to become a Magical Girl. As the two talk, Homura confirms that she's been a Magical Girl for some time, and has seen many people die. On the topic of Mami's death, it turns out that Mami had no close relative, and, having died in a kekkai, her body is not going to be found. Madoka finds the prospect of Mami going unremembered horrible, and swears to remember her. This makes Homura jealous, but Madoka swears that she'll remember her as well. This results in Homura saying that kindness can cause great problems. Probably foreshadowing

Back to Sayaka and Kamijou. Kamijou lashes out at Sayaka in frustration after learning that his hand will never move again, at least with modern technology. Sayaka tells him that there's still a way for him to get healed, and Kyuubey somehow appears on the window. Kyuubey's appearance here is kind of odd, and reminiscent of last episode's Grief Seed. First seen in a blurry reflection in Sayaka's eyes, then a shot of the window in which he's absent, then a closeup of the window in which he's clearly visible

And we move over to a shopping district, with Madoka wondering why Homura didn't like Mami. Then she sees Hitomi and runs over to her. Hitomi is acting oddly, and has a witch's kiss. When Madoka questions her, Hitomi says she's going somewhere much better, and asks Madoka to come with her. Hitomi stops acting like a zombie at this point, and instead acts bizarrely upbeat. They meet up with a bunch of other people with the kiss, who are still acting like zombies

They reach the building (abandoned factory or warehouse. Something industrial) to which they were apparently heading. The kissed people were planning on killing themselves by mixing bleach and detergent to create chlorine gas. Not certain how effective that'd be considering the size of the building they're in, but whatever. Madoka grabs the bucket they were using and throws it through a window. This pisses the others off, but they're zombielike, so Madoka manages to hide in a side room

Unfortunately, a kekkai manifests in said sideroom. (doesn't look like a normal one; rather that a clear entrance, it just shows up bloblike) Before Madoka gets sucked into it, "It was very, let's go again. Next time with a bentou" can be heard being said backward. I've no idea if this is in any way significant. TV screens, minion that look like marionette angels, and a vague circus theme are involved. Though Madoka mostly floats in a blue space. She's drawn in a different style than usual, probably because she's been forced in

So, the witch(?) in charge appears to be a CRT monitor (runes on it's screen read 'Elly', so I'll be using that). She uses various powers to make Madoka even more guilt stricken and self hating. As Madoka is about to die, she gets saved by streaks of blue light. Turns out to be Sayaka, who's become a Magical Girl. Turned into a swordswoman with a heavily blue outfit. Anyway, she saves Madoka, kills Elly, kekkai dissolves, etc. No Grief Seed, though, which leads me to believe that Elly is a familiar, probably of Kirsten, who's name appeared in runes more often than Elly's

So, back in the real world, the kissed are freed and unconscious, and Madoka is disturbed by Sayaka's decision. Homura shows up and also disapproves. Kamijou finds that his arm works

Cut to powerlines. A new girl, named Sakura Kyouko, is talking to Kyuubey. She was the Magical Girl that was going to take the city now that Mami is dead. She's irritated about making a long trip only to find that a rookie stole the perfect area from her (perfect how, we don't know). So she's going to defeat Sayaka

Next - Episode 5: There's No Way I'd Regret
31st Jan '11 8:46:55 PM flag for mods
comments
Once again, you choice of what to emphasize and what to skim over is significantly different from mine. Intriguing.
Clarste 1st Feb 11
The witch-kissed cultists were probably mixing bleach and ammonia, not bleach and detergent... Many people, including zerky, mix bleach and detergent with no ill effects. In fact, some brands will save you the trouble and pre-mix the two for you. :P

Depending on what quantity the bleach and ammonia are being combined and how, they could do a number of different things. Chlorine gas would be released, although with a single bucket in a big warehouse like that, probably not enough to kill everyone immediately. N Cl 3 (nitrogen trichloride) could be produced, which is highly toxic and explosive. If there's a high ammonia to bleach ratio, hydrazine could also be synthesized, which also toxic, and way more explosive. It'd catch fire at the very least and maybe even go boom.
zerky 19th Apr 11
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