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

[table of contents]
I'm Not Afraid Anymore
Episode 3 - I'm Not Afraid Anymore

We open on a boy in a hospital bed. He's named Kamijou Kyousuke (no relation to that other Kamijou), and had been briefly mentioned in the previous episodes. Sayaka comes in to talk to him. She gives him a CD, one that's apparently rare. They listen to the CD together, and it becomes quite obvious that Sayaka has a crush on Kamijou. There's a brief flashback to Kamijou playing the violin, and then a shot showing that his injury has removed his ability to do so

And we move to the OP, which changed a bit

We see Mami fighting. Madoka and Sayaka are there as well, and Sayaka thinks this is all pretty cool. Madoka notes that the creature that was fought didn't drop a Grief Seed. It's explained that it was a familiar rather than a witch. Familiar split off from witches and, given time, will turn into the witch they split from

As the girls walk back, Mami asks the other two if they've decided what to wish for. They don't have answers, leading to Madoka asking Mami about her wish. We don't get the exact wording, but we do find out that it was how she survived a car accident. Mami isn't entirely happy about it, and says that the decision should be made carefully

Sayaka asks if the wishes have to be made for one's self. It turns out they don't, and there's someone who's made a selfless wish before, but it turned out poorly. Mami notes that it's important to make clear whether you want the person's wish to come true, or for the person to thank the wisher for the wish coming true

Back in Madoka's bedroom, Madoka is talking to Kyuubey about the wish. He says that it's against the rules to make her hurry or give suggestions. Madoka simply wants to be a better, cooler person. Kyuubey says that if she became a Magical Girl she'd be incredibly powerful, though it'd depend on her wish. And he looks incredibly creepy throughout all of it. Then Madoka's dad interrupts

Junko has come home falling down drunk, once again, and Madoka is needed to help get her into her bed. After taking care of that, Madoka and her dad have a talk about Junko's work habits. She lives for overcoming obstacles, not the joy of work itself, or having anything in particular that she wants to achieve

Japanese (business) culture lesson! Coming home late at night, quite drunk, is, more or less, normal. Everyone works late, then they go out together to drink. It's just not something people like talking about. So, I'm not entirely certain how significant this scene is. It could just be an attempt at realism, could lead to some social commentary, or it could lead to a more direct effect on the plot

Next, Mami and Homura have a talk. Homura wants Mami to stop trying to involve Madoka and Sayaka, as they'd cause problems. Especially Madoka. Mami accuses Homura of acting like a bullied child, not wanting anyone around that's stronger than them. Homura doesn't appear to be happy about this, though she doesn't let it show for long. She then says that she'd rather not fight Mami, but Mami suggests that to do that she should keep her distance

We move to Sayaka and Madoka walking... somewhere. Anyway, as they walk Madoka notices something on a wall. Said something is visible to neither the viewers not Sayaka. After a cut to a closeup of Kyuubey's face (he was riding on Madoka's shoulder) and then the girls looking at the wall, it becomes apparent that it's a Grief Seed, though. According to Kyuubey, it's about to transform. Sayaka suggests that she and Kyuubey stay with the seed while Madoka runs to get Mami. After some arguing, the other two agree to this plan

So Sayaka and Kyuubey get sucked into the kekkai. Lots of syringes, needles, pills, and other hospital type stuff. Some desert stuff too, especially later on. Somewhat odd, since the runes reveal the witch to have a cheese fixation. The minions are named Pyotr and look like spotted disks with scrawny limbs and a single, bulbous ringed eye in the middle

Kyuubey suggests that Sayaka should pick a wish and turn into a Magical Girl, but Sayaka would rather wait for an emergency

We move to Mami and Madoka. They're at the entrance, but get in contact with the other two before entering. The Grief Seed isn't going to hatch soon, but they should avoid using much magic, because that'd stimulate it

As the two venture in, Homura shows up and says that she'll handle it, and that they should stay way. Mami doesn't trust Homura, and binds her (without transforming, interestingly)

As they walk, Madoka and Mami have a conversation. Madoka thinks she has her wish figured out. Basically, she has the standard Magical Girl personality; she's not really good at anything, and wants a chance to change this. As such, her wish is simply to be a Magical Girl. Mami thinks that this is a bad idea; her life is one of toiling alone, unrecognized for her efforts. Madoka points out that Mami isn't alone anymore. This cheers up Mami immensely, but she still feels that Madoka needs to put more thought into what she wants

Then the Grief Seed starts moving. Mami kills a bunch of Pyotr, while narrating about how she's happy and not afraid anymore

So, they make it to the witch (Charlotte) just before she shows up. Charlotte looks like a doll. Quite cute. Mami pretty much curbstomps her. Right after Mami uses her finishing blow Charlotte turns into this horrible clown catepillar thing and eats Mami's head, followed by the rest of her

This releases Homura from her bonds. Homura finds this turn of events shocking, but, as usual, doesn't let it slow her down. She catches up with everyone else just as Kyuubey is insisting that they complete the contract. Homura kills Charlotte by tricking her into eating bombs

As Sayaka and Madoka are dealing with their newly acquired trauma, Homura tells them that this is the ultimate fate of a Magical Girl and takes the Grief Seed, which angers Sayaka

Then, for the first time, we see the ending. It's pretty dark, and has some fairly obvious symbolism

Next: Episode 4 - There are Miracles and Magic
29th Jan '11 8:23:58 PM flag for mods
comments
Weren't they walking next to the hospital that Kamijou is in when they found the grief seed? Sakaya had just attempted to visit him and they were going home. The fact that it was on the hospital would explain A) the hospital symbolism of the witch-world and B) why Sayaka was so insistent about dealing with it immediately, to the point where she volunteers to go inside alone without powers. Obviously, she didn't want to take the chance of anything happening to Kamijou.
Clarste 29th Jan 11
That'd make sense
Hylarn 29th Jan 11
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