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


I'll Never Forgive That

This episode is pretty much made of Shout Outs. Shout Outs and Les Yay. Since hottips don't work in liveblogs (last I checked), I'll be footnoting them. The Shout Outs, not the Les Yay. Except when the Les Yay is a Shout-Out
Episode 9 - I'll Never Forgive That

We start with the "I've been such a fool" scene, then, rather than an explosion, we go straight into the kekkai of Sayaka's witch form, Oktavia von Seckendorff1. Oktavia is a giant knight/mermaid2 that seems to be conducting. The kekkai is filled with trains and wheels3

Anyway, Kyouko has no idea what's going on. She sees Sayaka's body falling and grabs it, then decides that she should really be running from the witch. Then Homura shows up. Homura rescues Kyouko by way of Time Stands Still, which will also affect anyone she's touching. As they run, we get confirmation that, yes, Oktavia really is Sayaka as a witch, and that Sayaka's body isn't good for anything

And the OP. Once again, no new changes

A bit later, Madoka finds the rest of the main characters. Homura explains what happened, and Madoka gets a new trauma. Kyouko yells at Homura for her attitude a bit, and there's something about how Sayaka's body could be a problem

Cut to Madoka BSODing on her bed. The Kyuubey shows up to have a chat. Basically, the Incubators are emotionless aliens that are trying to stave off the heat death of the universe. Magic, which is tied to emotions, creates energy, which should be impossible. In particular, a Magical Girl becoming a witch gives off a lot. Madoka thinks this is all bullshit. Oh, and there's some shot with a lot of chairs4

Over at her... hotel room? Kyouko is keeping Sayaka's body warm. Then Kyuubey shows up. She asks him if it's possible to get Sayaka back. He says no in a way to make it sound as though it could be possible

Madoka is walking to school with Hitomi. Hitomi is somewhat worried about Madoka and Sayaka, but has no idea what's going on. Then Kyouko telepathically contacts Madoka, and Madoka runs off to talk to her

Basically, Kyouko wants to try a "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight, and thinks Madoka is the only one that might have a chance (being, as she is, entirely unaware of Kamijou's existence). And it's explicitly stated that being around Sayaka has made Kyouko remember her idealistic roots. Madoka, unsurprisingly, agrees to try the plan

Back at school, Homura notices that Madoka is absent, and leaves. And apparently they have teachers other than Saotome-sensei. Who knew?

Kyouko and Madoka are talking while tracking Oktavia. Kyouko only considers Homura an ally against the Walpurgisnacht, which is an extremely powerful witch.

They find the entrance to the kekkai in an abandoned warehouse. It's marked with a heart reading Love Me Do5

This time the kekkai starts in a corridor covered in posters advertising a concert. All of which read 'Look at me' (in English. Oktavia is a hip, modern witch). Along the way there's a conversation about why one should become a Magical Girl. Madoka feels that she should do so as a way to be useful for once, but Kyouko believes that the only ones that should put their lives on the line are those with no other choice, as it'd be a game otherwise. Then Oktavia notices them and the get pulled into the boss arena, which is a massive concert hall this time. The musicians are called Holgers, if anyone cares

The fight starts out with Madoka calling out to 'Sayaka' from behind Kyouko's barrier (remember it from episode 5?) while Kyouko gets beaten up by wheels. Then we see silhouettes of Sayaka and Kyouko in intimate positions6 which turns into a heart before turning out to be blood. So, apparently Kyouko x Sayaka is canon-ish now

Kyouko gets abused a bit more, enough for the barrier to fail, then Oktavia grabs Madoka7. Kyouko cuts off the hand that did the grabbing, Madoka falls unconscious, and Oktavia knocks the floor out from everybody. Naturally, Homura shows up out of nowhere and catches Madoka before she hits the ground. Kyouko tells Homura to protect Madoka, and sets up another barrier, both protecting the two and preventing them from helping

Lots of weird imagery in this part. Kyouko takes out her bow and hairpin (to make her look more innocent?) and gets into a praying position (probably to parallel Elsa Maria, the beginning of Sayaka's fall). Then she summons a bunch of very large spears (probably meaningless). Then she kisses her Soul Gem, which has merged with her hair pin to look like a key8, tosses it into the air, and destroys it, resulting in a giant explosion

Later, Homura is at her house, talking to Kyuubey. This whole thing was a plan by Kyuubey; Kyouko dying would make it highly unlikely that Homura could defeat the Walpurgisnacht on her own, which means Madoka will have to make the contract

Next:Episode 10 - I Can't Rely On Anyone Anymore
1'Oktavia' is pretty clearly based on 'octave', in keeping with Sayaka's musical theme. 'von Seckendorff' almost certainly comes from Karl Siegmund von Seckendorff, a German poet that put one of the poems in Goethe's Faust to music

2Probably based on the original version of The Little Mermaid. Long story short, girl sacrifices everything for the love of a man, including her ability to tell him this, and ultimately doesn't get him, leading to her dying

3Karl Siegmund von Seckendorff wrote a book titled The Wheel of Fate

4Bokurano Shout-Out. As the characters die they leave their chairs, which are reflections of their personalities

5A song by The Beatles. Relevant lyrics:"Love, love me do / You know I love you / I'll always be true / So plea~~se love me do"

6May be a shout out to Utena. Doesn't make it less gay even if it is, though

7Possible Neon Genesis Evangelion Shout-Out. Unit 01 holding Kaworu in this matter is among the more famous scenes

8Possibly an allusion to the myth of the Melusine. The Melusine is an often mermaid-like creature, and in some versions it holds a key in it's mouth, and will marry the one that removes it. Goethe wrote a version of the myth (though I don't know if it included that detail), which gives this possibility some more credibility. And I don't know why else the Soul Gem would look like that


The trainyard in the early part is a near-duplicate (layout, shots and lighting) of the one from Asuka's mind-rape scene in the director's cut of EVA.

DrDedman 9th Mar 11
Kyouko's hairpin is actually something that belongs to her father. Watch her flashback in ep7 and you'll spot it
Guessmyname 11th Mar 11
I doubt that Kyouko's death was actually planned by Kyuubey, but he definitely has no scruple with using it to press his advantage against Homura.
JakesBrain 11th Mar 11 12th Mar 11