I'm in despair! I've been left in despair because of the fact that my despair saves the universe!
As of episode 9 we now know Kyubey's real goals (if he's actually being entirely truthful this time). However even if what he is saying is true, I really doubt that the energy generated by the emotions of magical girls, will actually help save the universe. Due to the fact that the energy the whole universe is spending by entropy is much more higher than whatever energy they could generate and regain by using the girl’s emotions. For instance I doubt a witch could regenerate the used energy of a star in an hour. Much less the whole universe.
But on a more serious note, we're not sure what the conversion rate between normal energy and magical girl/witch energy is. Maybe one can effectively replace a star with enough emotion. And we know Kyuubey has enough contracts that there is active fighting for territory amongst the Magical Girls, not to mention that each of them effectively has two "modes" to create energy from.
Still, we're talking about the ENTIRE FREAKING UNIVERSE HERE, with TRILLIONS OF STARS. Also, doesn't it take work and therefore energy to contain energy in the first place? Therefore, storing the energy of magical girls would simply cancel the benefit for reducing entropy. And the fact that he can seemingly create mass and energy out of nowhere, why do we have a problem with entropy again?
It is explicitly shown that magic can generate amounts of power comparable to the Big Bang. That was a special case, of course, but even a non-special magical girl who still has to rely on conventional weapons was able to rewind time and create GOD in the process. Think for a second what magnitude of power an ability like this actually implies. No, we have every reason to believe that the magical girl system can serve its intended purpose. Soul Gems/Grief Seeds most likely serve as hypertech containing devices, storing nearly all energy generating during a magical girl\witch lifecycle, so it doesn't obliterate the entire Milky Way galaxy, or something like this.
There are a couple of things to be considered here:
1) Kyubey's explanation to Madoka was an extremely simplified one. In fact, he even makes a few small mistakes, since energy and entropy are closely related, but not the same thing. It's quite possible that he/they know more about the universe than we do and he just tried to give an explanation that she would understand.
2) From a narrative perspective, this is a Cosmic Horror Story. One of the key points is that the antagonists are not just evil, but too alien to comprehend. Madoka obviously didn't get one iota of his explanation and only cares that they are being sacrificed for something that would in no way, shape or form ever impact them. Remember, Kyubey is worrying about something that will happen along the lines of 10^50 years from now. This may be a big deal for them, but the human race wouldn't care less.
3) Combining points 1) and 2), we have no clue just what exactly Kyubey is going for. Perhaps the collected energy is not subject to decay and can be stored to fuel one island of civilization inside a dead universe forever. Perhaps they are testing whether the energy can be farmed on a more controlled basis. Perhaps we're already on the brink of heat death and we just don't know it. All that matters for story purposes is that the reasons are outside of human comprehension. What makes Lovecraftian gods so scary is that they are not just evil (because something like Satan's evil, we can still comprehend), but we don't even know why they do what they are doing or whether they can even reason at all. The writers here are going for the same effect.
We're really not on the brink of heat-death if the sun's still burning. Any star able to support life would have burned out billions of billions of years before the true heat-death of the universe - current estimates are 10^100 years before the galactic nuclei go cold, which is to the current age of the universe more or less what the current age of the universe is to one Earth year.
But we could be WRONG. What you said doesn't mean anything if it turned out we were making a mistake.
But even if we take for granted that harvesting angst energy will work and our Puny Earthling knowledge just isn't enough to understand why, why are they going after single individuals and giving them a choice? Given that they have absolutely no understanding of or respect for free will, emotion, or the sanctity of life, wouldn't it be more efficient to make factory farms or put all humans into The Matrix instead?
I, for one, think he's full of shit.
Kyubey does seem to understand the notion of morality. He does seem to have principles like "don't lie" or "don't outright force or mind control" and a basic notion of fairness. It's quite possible that he wants to act in an ethical manner. They're just alien ethics. In fact, he more than once voices frustration about how bizarre human ethical standards are. Remember that, for example, asking interest or bribing officials are considered taboo in some parts of the world, while in many other places, they are considered perfectly natural aspects of business. Something similar may be going on here.
So by Episode 10, we know that once Madoka becomes a witch, she can destroy the entire world, along with all human on it, in 10 days. As QB came to Earth to harvest energy to prevent the heat death of the universe, rooting out the source doesn't sounds like a good idea in the long term. While it does mention that he has met his quota, you would think something like saving the universe to be a more long-term plan.
Perhaps that's because the moment Madoka becomes a witch and kills everything, she now no longer has anything that can kill her. Since she also violates the first and second laws of thermodynamics and keeps emitting despair, she would basically be an eternal star that could fuel Kyubey's civilization past heat death forever. Admittedly, this is becoming WMG, but it would make the ultimate And I Must ScreamDowner Ending.
It is possible that Kyubey is either a messenger, programmed to gather certain amounts of energy, or an alien equivalent of Corrupt Corporate Executive, who only cares about meeting his quota. Alternatively it was said that Incubators can use other species than humanity as well, so any particular species might be considered expendable... This is a Cosmic Horror Story after all, and "using up" a species can be perfectly acceptable for them, if the energy obtained will allow the Universe to go long enough for many new sentient lifeforms to arise. For that matter, with their implied level of tech, they can recreate humanity in some other place too. In fact, judging by certain strange details of Madoka's world, this might have happened in the past already.
Or he had an ulterior motive for saying this to Homura. Like, ensuring that she will keep "charging" Madoka with repeated rewinds. Why even talk with Homura otherwise? He can't either gloat or empathize with her and she's (if Kyubey is actually clueless) a walking corpse who doesn't have anything it wants.
But he didn't even know why Madoka had the potential to become so powerful because he knew about Homura's time travel ability, and that didn't imply he did.
Actually he says that Magic is an energy NOT BOUND BY Thermodynamics. Which means Mana is reusable energy. If you take this interpretation it becomes scientifically correct. They wouldn't need to continually produce enough to counter the Entropy increase in the universe, just enough to turn the population into perpetual mobiles before the heat death. This would in turn make stars obsolete.
There is still a problem here, though, and a rather serious one at that. Namely, entropy is not what will ultimately do us in. The current model of the universe suggests that dark energy will tear every last thing in the universe apart in the so-called "Big Rip", long before the heat death of the universe becomes a problem. Unless the Incubators can somehow deal with that, what they are doing is completely pointless as the universe will be rendered uninhabitable long before anyone has to worry about entropy.
If the Incubators can grant miracles, it's possible that they can also stop the "Big Rip". Or maybe our current model of the universe is completely wrong. Remember, the Incubators are much more advanced than us.
Why must it be pubescent girls? Like, plenty of people have emotional conflicts to be farmed. People of all genders and ages. If it's just for pun's sake, Kyubey's species is pretty cringe-worthy on doing so. I bet if he asked for, let's say, a bunch of nerds to contract with him, they not only would ask the details of the contract, but accept it anyways, by knowing that they'd basically become liches (it'd actually be really cool to many) and fight with awesome powers (not to mention they'd probably become kinda powerful witches, since most nerds tend to rage and despair a lot). And one of them would probably wish to reverse entropy, considering they're nerds. Then again, such a wish could put the whole Universe at risk (not to mention that quite a few nerds would just wish for animu waifus or to know how to speak Klingon)... Or, I dunno, just ask to emokids. Falling to Despair is what they're good at.
Not at all. A rational person would recognize this as an opportunity to get literally anything once, followed by rather impressive magical powers for a time, in exchange for your soul and life. There are many calm, reasonable people who'd be glad to take advantage of an offer like that; it gives you the chance to make massive and permanent changes to the world or the universe, much more than a person could normally achieve over the course of their life. Of course, a calm reasonable person would never be given the offer in the first place, since they wouldn't be worth enough emotional energy to justify whatever the cost of granting a wish is. Little girls would swing from the hope and joy of getting magical powers for no cost that they're aware of, to the despair of realizing everything they've sacrificed, all for the low cost of curing one sick person or something equally trivial in the grand scheme of things.
Well, it certainly sounds like it could be a fun proposition, but the reality of it is that the contract is only really beneficial to the incubators. Sure, you would get some cool magical powers out of it, along with a wish,(though it would need to be within your power, so probably no hardcore reality warping for you), but the situation will ultimately screw you over eventually. Assuming your wish was straightforward enough that nothing went wrong there, you would still have to deal with the "spend all of your time gathering grief seeds" problem. It's not just despair that will cause you to witch out, you can do the same thing just by using up all of your power. On that note, since the witch you generate upon your "death" is going to do as much evil as you did good, you would almost need to be amoral on purpose so as to avoid killing a bunch of people when you die, turn into an Eldritch Abomination, and the proceed to try to kill anyone unfortunate enough to be nearby. Deals with the devil rarely work out well no matter what you get out of it.
It's to poke a fun at why Magic Users need to be Girls. Deconstruction, duh.
About that "Reverse Entropy" one, I'm guessing that even though they are Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and then some, and have something they refer to as black-box magic to boot, Kyubey's people cannot do things that they cannot do. If they could reverse entropy with a snap of their fingers they would just do it, rather than all this. If magic works such that they could only do it if they found someone who'd wish for it they'd make that their selection criteria instead, or go about their plan with the goal of convincing somebody on the face of the planet that that was what they wanted (hint: Explicitly tie "reverse entropy" to "stop my people from doing X to you"). Reversing Entropy all at once is simply beyond their power.
I buy before the twelfth episode why it has to be pubescent girls. How about after Madoka's ascension? What's the Incubator's reasoning of only teenage girls now?
More or less for the same reason, emotions power Magical Girls... the stronger they are (emotionally), the more powerful they become. That and the system changed but some things still remain. Madoka's own wish removed the witches from the equation... nothing more than that. What happens to the girls now is rather up in the air.
Could it be a comment on gender politics? A major cause of the girls' descent into despair is realising that what they wished for wasn't exactly what they wanted. Traditionally, men are encouraged to be forthright in their goals: it's hard to imagine the star of a shounen show being embarassed about declaring outright "I want power" or "I want to marry Sally." In many cultures across time and place, women are "taught" (for want of a better word) to achieve their goals indirectly, usually through manipulating others and ideally without even admitting to themselves what they want in the first place. Instead of achieving academic excellence herself, the Education Mama lives vicariously through her son; instead of actually running a business, she might become The Man Behind the Man for her husband and let him take the credit, all the while telling herself she's doing it for her child/husband's own good. Many cultures insist that women be "virtuous," and they should be above such things as ambition, or even a desire to be loved rather than to give love. Maybe Kyubey's race studied this, and realised that the shattering of this illusion of "selflessness" was a good way to throw the girl into despair - if males were more upfront about what they wanted, and wished for the "selfish" thing outright, they'd take longer to succumb. Sweeping generalisation, I know, but the fate of Sayaka would fit this; she told herself that she was making a true sacrifice for someone she loved, and getting to help others in the process. Instead, she's confronted with her own thirst for love and desire for recognition. Sad thing is, what she sees as proof of her own unworthiness and selfishness is a perfectly normal teenage desire — but she's gotten it into her head that she's a bad person for wanting something of her own. As for age...Kyubey counts a lot on a recruit's inability to ask the right questions. Adults would be more cagey, and more likely to check the small print.
Well, this interpretation does make sense, though, being a Doylist explanation can only be confirmed via Word of God. Another possible explanation could be that it's not true that only pubescent girls are viable for energy harvesting... it's just that the Incubators think that.
It's strongly suggested that Kyubey doesn't produce the magic, but it is the own potential magic that the girls have that makes it possible. Maybe pubescentgirls have more magical potential than any other creature?
Kyuubey says this is canon in episode 9.
The whole thing with "turning the girls into witches saves the universe" - can we be entirely sure of that? The only person who ever told us that was Kyubey and taking into account his mastery in "omitting" crucial details, nothing he says should be fully trusted. Isn't there a possibility that behind the "saving the universe from heat death" plan there is another a more important one, about which again Kyubey "forgot" to mention?
It's possible, but unlikely. Kyubey doesn't actually gain much by lying to the girls about what he's up to, and it's only because of the multiple rewinds and Madoka's own desperation for answers that he has any reason to explain about the heat-death business in the first place. That's why, in the new universe, the Incubators have everything to gain by being up front and honest with the magical girls before they contract: there's no Awful Truth for him to hide anymore.
Specifics are for the losers!
Putting aside the Awful Truth, why doesn't anyone consider wishing for something like, "I wish that no living creature would ever get cancer again"? They talk about money and power and luxury and saving individual lives, but never anything big, which seems like a bit of a waste of a wish that can literally do anything. If you're going to gamble your life and/or soul, it seems like you should try to get as much out of the deal as possible. Madoka does learn this in the final episode.
This would cause OBSCENE amounts of horror and possibly end the world. Why? ->"Magical Girls are subject to the same amount of dispair as their wish creates for ALL people it effects, as per the laws of equivalent exchange" Imagine shouldering the equivalent amount of dispair to the joy of humanity realizing that cancer no longer exists. Walpurgisnacht would look like a freaking PUPPY compared to your witch form.
Probably because the fact that they're girls going through puberty. How many of you at that age would think, "Let's cure cancer," and actually wish it?
A lot of us, actually.
That's not an emotional enough reaction for Kyubey's notice. Wishing for something that clever would be the opposite of what Kyubey would seek out. He'd seek out girls that would want to cure their own/their loved ones ailments without thinking of a bigger picture solution.
There's a good reason for why many girls didn't wish for something like this. Kyubey reveals that every wish must have a curse to counterbalance it and keep the universe in order. This is why so many girls' wishes end in despair; it's because their wish wasn't in the bounds of reality and a curse with just as big of an impact of the wish must be created to keep the universe in equilibrium. If a girl had wished to cure cancer, it would have cleared the way for a (potentially) even deadlier disease.
Maybe that's what happened. Say, a girl watched her loved one slowly die of cancer or was dying herself but still kept it somewhat together, so instead of wishing for only her cure or the cure of her loved one, she'd ask for research on cancer making a huge leap forward, enough to cure her? (would speak for the "She's dying herself" thing - even though the prospect of ones own death is terrifying as fuck, the death of your loved one is far, far worse - so yes, it's not impossible for her staying level-headed enough. After all, even though you might have made peace wth your apprroaching demise, the chance to live inspires IMMENSE hope). The witch Roberta established that Magical girls don't have to be around 13-15, so it might have been a slightly older girl with a bit more perspective?
.... however. The wish was a leap forward in cancer research. Wish granted, she proits from it and gets better. ... now what during the days of Sexual Liberation if a diease appears that nobody can explain, that seems to spread overnight in certain minorities at first but nobody quite understands why and nobody understands exactly how it kills... only that it kills slowly? ... hmmmm...
The scene where Sayaka makes her wish also does not involve her actually saying it. This seems to imply that you have to be able to picture the wish in your mind. "Curing all cancer" or "World peace" is probably too abstract of a concept to picture. Most people would like for cancer to be cured, but don't really have a strong emotional involvement in it, unless you have a loved one suffering from it... but then the true wish would once again come down to saving that loved one. Not to mention that Sayaka asks earlier whether someone else can be the recipient of the wish, which also seems to imply that the wish can only have one recipient. Whether this is a subconscious limitation or an actual limitation of the wish remains to be seen.
Kyubey confirms this in Episode 10 when Homura wished to see Madoka again and protect her wouldn't work if she didn't have the resolve and visualization to make the wish. Also note that Kyubey tend to show up when the person is usually under emotional distress. Chances are, it would be difficult to make a wish clearly.
For that matter, what would happen if you found out about the whole thing beforehand and your wish was "I wish I never become a magical girl"? Logic Bomb?
Kyubey would probably just ignore it, since it'd basically amount to "leave me the hell alone."
Worst case scenario, he might just skip the magical girl part and go straight on to the witch part, since it seems like once a wish is made he has to fulfill the contract. If he can't do that, he'd probably just go for the next nearest thing, in this case turning the girl into a witch.
Kyubey doesn't need to know the wish in advance himself, and nor can he halt a wish in progress. It is likely he only acts as a catalyst for the wish.
Hence why I said "putting aside the Awful Truth." My question was about why none of the girls considered it, not the results.(Also, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't give people cancer; it'd probably cause some other horrible disease, since cancer would no longer exist.)
I think this was actually answered indirectly in the finale. Kyubei says that Madoka has enough power that anything she wished could become true; this implies that the scope of the wish granted is limited by the Puella Magi's magical power. Very few people would have enough magic to do something that huge.
Okay then, why not wish for a time loop centered around someone else, so they get a bunch of magic power. Then, convince them to make some big world-changing wish to destroy some problem (like Cancer). Once that's been processed, freeze time (since we know time loop wishes provide that power) and shoot them in the Soul Gem. No witch produced.
Because that requires the knowledge equivalent to having watched the show. No Puella Magi will ever make that kind of wish because Kyubey will never allow a magical girl to know that much about the system before she makes it. Madoka is only the exception because of her immense magical potential. Being chagrined that the otherwise-mundane 13 year olds presented with the opportunity for a wish with only "You get a wish granted" as an explanation don't actively exploit loopholes in the Puella Magi-verse's laws of physics is more than a little unfair.
Madoka is also fairly specific about her wish and how she wants to accomplish it, thus avoiding being cheated out of her desired result.
Following on the train of "a wish that creates hope must be accompanied by a curse that creates as much despair train," who's to say that someone didn't make this wish way back in the early days of human civilization with a plague just as bad. Their wish is granted, and then all of a sudden humans started showing up with these weird tumors that killed them in an even faster, worse way. Now Incubators, seeing that it ultimately killed humans faster with a perfect 0 gain in despair decided that it was ultimately bad for their quota and decided to discourage anyone from making a wish like that again.
You're Completely Missing the Point. Those types of huge wishes have been made by magical girls, and those wishes contributed hugely to the state of humanity to bring the world to the point it's in now. Which, if you haven't noticed, is more advanced than ours. You're splitting hairs about curing cancer; magical girls apparently got us out of the World Wars and the bubonic plague.
Actually, what kind of wish can screw up the system as Madoka wish?
This has puzzled me for a while, and it seems to come up a lot with the more angsty O Cs...What if a candidate makes a wish regarding her own mortality, such as I wish for a peaceful death / I wish for a long and happy life / I wish to live forever / I wish to die happy / I wish to live long enough to play with my great-grandchildren ? The very nature of the wish seems to run counter to the whole witchification process, yet Kyubey presumably has to grant it for the contract to be fulfilled. There are a couple I can imagine Kyubey getting around: a wish for immortality could mean an eternal existence as a witch and invoking Who Wants to Live Forever?...although you would assume they would have to be a very weak one, to avoid wiping out humanity, and one that can elude Magical Girls, to avoid being killed. The same would be true of a "long life" wish. However, if the candidate specified she wanted a long and happy life, or that she wanted to die happy or peacefully...how does the Incubator get around that wish, since if she falls in battle it nulls the "peaceful" part of the contract, and if she falls into despair it nulls the "happy" and the "peaceful" stipulation. No magical girl seems to make it into adulthood — does that really mean, in the entirety of human history, no candidate thought to ensure their own survival and life as a (pseudo-) human?
Why does everyone forget that Kyubey targets emotionally vulnerable little girls for these things? He would never approach a girl whose life is so perfect that, when presented with a wish to give them literally anything, she would wish for something as as practical and boring as a long, happy life. And if he did, it means her life is long and peaceful and happy, which means she's got a one-way ticket to survivor's guilt: she continues her long and happy life, watching all the other magical girls fall into despair or die in battle. She'd just become a creepily sincere Stepford Smiler, unable to grieve or cry for her lost comrades, happy forever and unable to die.
No, I hadn't forgotten that at all. It doesn't seem that much of a stretch that a girl who'd had to confront mortality in some way would make a wish of that nature - whether she was ill herself, had lost someone close to her, or was simply going through the stage that many children go through, where they are obsessed by and terrified of the idea of death. In that case, she'd be vulnerable enough to draw an Incubator's attention, but the nature of her wish would be difficult to take advantage of. Madoka showed us that Incubators can be screwed over by their own system, and Kazumi (from the spin-off) showed us that some girls, no matter how grief-stricken, still maintain a level of respect for their loved ones, the laws of nature and the benefits of hard work (true, the wish itself breaks "the law of nature," but they don't realise that). Kazumi from Kazumi Magica could have wished for her grandmother's life, but since her gran had decided to let life take its course, she respected that and altered her wish accordingly. Surely a magical girl in a similar situation might decide "I can't bring my loved one back, but I can spare my own loved ones the pain of having to bury me..." or, more selfishly "They died too young. I don't want that to happen to me." It's also a wish she could justify to herself — people do live long lives, it's not that unnatural a wish. But it seems that up until Madoka, the Incubators always "won." So my question was how could they "twist" this wish to profit from it?
Your question was already answered: she'd become a creepily sincere Stepford Smiler. If her wish is "to live a long, happy life", that doesn't do anything to subvert any of what a magical girl entails. Kyubey never says the girls are dead bodies, that's a conclusion they draw themselves. The incubators don't see a difference between a soul operating the body that houses it and a soul operating its body remotely through a Soul Gem, and since magical girls don't age, she could live potentially forever if she weren't killed. The "happy" part just means it removes her ability to feel sadness. She can still be angry, she can still be disappointed, she can still feel guilty. All it means is that her wish is, like so many others, completely wasted.
I'll try to keep this last post short; the question isn't "would the wish still screw them over" — of course it would, that's how magic works in this setting. The question is "how do the Incubators benefit from this?" She might be a Stepford Smiler, but she's still useless to Kyubey and Co as long as her wish protects her from despair (I would argue that "rage," "disappointment" and "grief" also null the "happy" part). They can't even use her as a sacrificial pawn (the way Kyubey did with Mami and Kyoko) until she's reached the status of a "long and happy life". Would they just wait it out? It seem that "one shot" wishes, like Sayaka and Mami's wishes, are easier for them to reap the reward from, while longer term / delayed ones pose a problem. So does the Incubator write them off, remain patient, or would find a way to turn such a wish to their advantage ("well, if you were a dog you'd be old by thirteen, so technically...)?
You could argue that, but you'd be wrong; assuming that Kyubey offered her the contract and didn't ignore her because her wish is so vague and aimless it would be incredibly weak and have no worth to him, the incubators don't understand emotions and the means of granting the wish is defined by their laws of magic. Charlotte is your walking example: she wished to share "a last cheesecake" with her mother, and it was, literally, the last cheese she ever ate, even her witch form can't make cheese. Wishing to "live a happy life" means always being happy, but a person can feel emotions in addition to happiness. It means she would always be smiling no matter what horrible things were going on around her, or what horrible things happened to her. And if she had more innate magical power, it would mean that her life is happy, not that she is; she could be rich, famous, loved by everyone, only to crack under the pressure, with Kyubey egging her on by saying "But your life is perfect now. Anyone would want to be you! How can you complain when you live such a happy life?"
So, in short, they'd warp the wish by messing with the way she perceives emotion, instead of granting her the happy circumstances she intended? And presumably if she wished for happy circumstances, the magic would ensure she was unable to enjoy them? That would make sense (although despair and grief are still anathema to happiness — presumably that would be got around hy making her "happy" emotions ever present but extremely weak). Twisted logic, but appropriate to the Incubators. Are you sure you're not working for the diabolical little fuzzball?
Of course not. I'm working for the good of the whole universe! /人 ◕ ‿‿ ◕人 *** But, that's the thing with wishing for "a happy life". The wording counts, and wishing for "a long, happy life" says nothing about circumstances, just the end result. Mami wished to tie herself to life and that's how she got her ribbons; the ribbons (which come pointedly from being a magical girl) are what bind her to the world of the living, because otherwise, she'd be proper dead, so her wish is granted despite her body being a corpse. That seems to be how we— I mean, Incubators, define "being alive", as being able to operate a functioning body with one's soul, so that's the "long life" part taken care of. And the more I think about it, there are lots of ways to turn a wish for a happy life into a curse of despair. Perhaps she can only feel one type of happiness, constantly, always. But happiness is a matter of contrasts! Happiness without sadness means happiness would become boring after a while. Even if she couldn't say anything was wrong, her brain would eventually develop a tolerance to the raised levels of the chemicals that cause feelings of happiness. Happiness would eventually begin to feel like neutrality, until she found ways to make herself even happier, but that higher happiness would lose its edge eventually too. She would eventually develop a manic disorder as she tries harder and harder to feel happy even when she knows she isn't sad... at least, until she realizes that there's a limit to human experience, and either falls to despair, or her brain has been boiled by all those chemicals, and who knows what that might do to a human? I certainly don't know, but that's what she wished for: a happy life!
In all seriousness, though, the point of the contract is that a magical girl wishes for something to introduce happiness into the world at the cost of taking the reciprocating unhappiness onto herself, which consumes her soul gem and turns it into a grief seed, which erases the girl (and her unhappiness) from the world when her grief seed is consumed, but the happiness her wish brought is left in the world she leaves behind, thus being an energy that overcomes entropy. Based purely on the science (in as much as the show gives us science, anyway), if you had a magical girl who wished for her own happiness, and the wish actually worked, her magic would be extremely weak and Kyubey wouldn't have any incentive to tell her that Grief Seeds can cleanse her Soul Gem, so she'd quickly use up her magic and become a witch.
Why do none of the girls ever wish directly for what they want? Kyubey explicitly states that the girls always wish for things that they think will bring them what they want, so why do they never wish for those things directly?
For a lot of reasons, but I think it has more to do with Kyubey's picks than the girls themselves. Wishes are most powerful when they're made in earnest, and a simple wish ("I wish my family would never go hungry again" over "I wish people would listen to my father") is just meeting a need, cut-and-dry. A more emotional wish comes with an entire fantasy of what the magical girl wants the end result to look like: "I wish Kyousuke's hand was better!" has the unspoken-but-present fantasy of "Kyousuke's hand gets better and then once free of his depression at not being able to play the violin again, he realizes Sayaka has always been there for him and when he finds out she was the one who became a magical girl to heal him, he falls in love with her, and they live happily ever after as a cool hero of justice and her amazingly talented boyfriend". There's also the element of selfishness: good girls aren't selfish! They take joy and pleasure in helping others! What the girls wish for is an avenue to get what they want through their own effort, but the wish contract doesn't pay that effort off, it only gives exactly what they wished for. Wishing for someone else to fall in love with you is basically brainwashing, but wishing for someone to be healed is totally selfless! Which is exactly the problem: the selfish motive at the core of the wish isn't acknowledged, and so never gets granted, and so the disappointment ends up manifesting as despair.... and all that suits Kyubey's needs just dandy.
Ouch, my Soul Gem!
Who thought it would be a good idea to put a Magical Girl's Soul Gem in a place where it could be so easily destroyed? As we saw in episode 10 in the alternate timeline, Kyouko's soul gem was shattered in one simple shot by Mami, who's gem in turn was sniped by Madoka.
Well, most of the Magical Girls don't know that the Soul Gem is a Soul Jar.
And I guess it's not like the force of magic that creates their costumes let's them decide where to put the Soul Gem. If Kyubey could decide that you'd think he'd at least put it somewhere where they can't be so easily hit, thus depriving him of the energy they make when they eventually turn into witches. Same goes for the aforementioned suicide.
One other question that remains is how exactly Magical Girls fight with their bodies being virtually destroyed, as Kyubey claims. Even if Mami had kept her Soul Gem somewhere other her head, with her head bitten off, she would be blind and deaf, possibly paralyzed (with the loss of her eyes, ears and brain) even if she could use the Gem to control the rest of her body, and Charlotte would only have taken a few more seconds to devour the rest of her body (including the arms to use her magical guns and the hat she stores them in), regardless of whether she had already eaten Mami's Soul Gem.
That's a fairly decisive case, but presumably, he's discussing things like gut wounds and other wounds to the vicinity of the center of mass. Painful, lethal, but if you cannot die and can suppress physical pain, there is actually very little there that would stop you from continuing to fight if it were lost, short of physical dissolution/dismemberment.
Homura's various attempts on Kyubey's life shows that he can resurrect himself by creating a new body to inhabit if his own one is destroyed. That said, it's not a stretch to think that he can easily create a new body for a Magical Girl if her old one is destroyed or damaged beyond repair especially since bodiless Magical Girls are a wasted resource due to being unable to become witches and providing the Incubators with the energy they need. The Incubators are Crazy-Prepared as shown by their millenia old system for countering the heat death of the universe which isnt due for a trillion years. They'd come up with ways to keep the girls up and running for as a possible.
Kyubey can't create new bodies for himself, it's more that he has an untold amount of bodies already running around. He is also a Hive Mind, so destroying one of his bodies isn't even an inconvenience (Gen Urobuchi compared it to pulling out a single strand of hair).
Not so, it was said that Kyubey creates new bodies out of the mana in the surrounding air. The hair thing is basically just saying the body is an otherwise irrelevant part of the whole.
Why does Sayaka, and all the other girls, for that matter, freak out when they learn that their Soul Gems contain their souls in lieu of having them in their bodies? There is never any clear downside to this given (aside from the danger of turning into a witch if the gem becomes too impure, but that hadn’t been revealed yet), and while the concept of having one's soul removed from your body must be disturbing to say the least, it’s something you could easily come to terms with since the soul in question it hasn’t gone very far, it has only changed form. Furthermore, magical girls’ bodies don’t seem to change due to this. All of the magical girls, Sayaka included, should have spent enough time as magical girls to realize something is wrong if there was something wrong, but they don’t notice the change until Kyubey reveals it to them. If that is the case, then, that means they still experience their lives through their bodies; they still eat, sleep, sense, and have their consciousnesses centered in their bodies you could liken it to having a “wi-fi soul”, everything is basically the same, the “router” has just moved outside their bodies. There is also nothing to hint that in order to become a magical girl one must give up their soul, and be condemned to hell, never being able to reach the afterlife, or something like that in order to complete the contract. They are still THEIRS, so why does it bother them so much?
The magical girls do give up their souls, eventually. The Soul Gem becomes a Grief Seed, which is harvested by a magical girl, who uses it to cleanse her Soul Gem, and then gives it to Kyubey to eat. There's a very good reason Sayaka doesn't show up in the scene in Mami's apartment in episode 12: Kyoko and Mami are only dead, but Sayaka was annihilated.
Because that's horrible. They're basically undead, and their bodies are corpses made to continue functioning through magic; it doesn't change anything on the surface, but that's only going to last until they get close enough to someone for them to realize that they don't have a heartbeat and don't breathe. Sayaka says as much; no one can love an abomination.
But there is nothing to suggest they are undead. Their body seems to be working normally and there is nothing to suggest they don't have a heartbeat or don't breath.
Except where they explicitly state that they're zombies? Their souls have been removed from their bodies and given a physical form. Even if you're willing to assume that there's no physical difference and the body works as normal, they still have to deal with the fact that the point of doing that is to make them less prone to pain response, which means they just don't feel as much as humans do. It's easy to be okay with it when it's just a super power and has no meaning but that, but being less able to feel things because your soul is no longer housed in your body is pretty damn chilling to realize. That's not even getting into the cultural dissonance at work, either; coming into contact with death renders a person ritually defiled, and under normal circumstances, a defiled person must purify themselves before they have a chance to spread it around and quarantine themselves socially in the meantime, sometimes for a year or more. When you are a corpse, and can't get your proper life and body back? You can't purify yourself, you're as filthy as death is but there's no way to make yourself clean again. A lot of what Sayaka is worried about when she talks about never being able to love Kyousuke with the body she has now comes from the fact that she considers herself too dirty to be allowed to touch him.
That's mainly because no magical girl has ever lived long enough to notice she doesn't age, or gain or lose weight, or change at all once she makes the contract unless she magically alters herself. Their bodies don't function normally as much as they're kept in working stasis: Mami, Homura, and Kyouko eat, but if you pay attention, it's never because they're actually hungry: Kyouko is a compulsive eater, Mami only uses food to socialize, and Homura does it to keep up appearances at school. Homura proves they don't have a working heart, too: she's clumsy at first, and she does her breathing exercises, but once she becomes a magical girl she never suffers the symptoms of a heart condition again.
Where/when does she do her breathing exercises? I don't recall ever seeing an example of this
Right after her first training scene, where she beats up the metal drum with a golf club. When she's finished, we see her sitting on a handkerchief doing deep-breathing exercises.
It doesn't mean they do, either. Food is used very carefully in this show, and it's always meaningful. In Sayaka's case especially, because we see her with a half-eaten meal at lunch at one point before she makes the contract; when Hitomi gives her one day to confess to Kyousuke, she has the same meal in front of her, but it's gone untouched.
Furthermore, the 'their body stops functioning' case is a bit all-or-nothing, because you have to define the point where the magic 'takes over'. To move anything, you have to move your muscles. To move your muscles, you need oxygen and food. To get oxygen to them, you need your breath and heartbeat. To maintain your muscles, you need cell division. All of the above also goes for sensory organs, and we know Homura still needs her eyes. Cell division causes ageing. Ergo, unless the soul gem magically makes the girls' muscles move, their bodies don't shut down like you all are suggesting. I would be more inclined to think the soul gem is simply the new centre of consciousness, and everything else is still functioning the same, so removing the soul gem is most analogous to a coma/temporary brain death. Adding further credence to this is the fact that the girls don't notice anything until The Reveal. I know I would notice if I never got hungry. There would also be other telltale signs others would notice even if the girls didn't - no heartbeat, body goes cold. That would get picked up on by others.
You might notice if you never got hungry, but would you ever conclude that if you ignored that hunger and stopped eating altogether, you wouldn't starve? It's a very passive indestructibility.
Considering the state the girls are in without their Soul Gem, that's exactly the case: the magic keeps the body functioning as close to normal as possible, but it is magic that's doing it, not normal body processes. We know that because healing and restoring the body depletes magic but it can work to restore a body to perfect non-working wholeness (Kyouko does it to keep Sayaka's body fresh long after she witches out). The only difference is proximity to a soul gem.
It also might explain the relative super-strength the girls tend to have. The brain tends to limit the amount of effort it can put into moving the body to prevent actually hurting itself, but the human body on its own is way more powerful than it looks. (If you've ever heard a story about a woman lifting up a car to save her kid, that's what happens when there's enough adrenaline to override that limit). Sayaka becomes way more dangerous once she realizes she's remotely controlling her body and is no longer subject to normal human limitations; Homura has the same thing going, only she puts hers into soaking the recoil of all that hardware she carries around. Half that stuff could break a grown man's shoulder, let alone a petite, anemic middle-school-aged girl.
Oh dear, here she goes again
So, who knows how many loops ago, Homura began her contract on the wish that she could redo her meeting with Madoka. Question 1: why does the wish kick in every time she reaches the same point in the new timeline? The wish didn't state "redo AND save" so the first reset should've been enough to fulfill it. Two: the Kyubey from our "true" timeline takes a very long time to realize that Homura comes from an alternate timeline. Where did he think she came from, when he's the one who creates Magical Girls in the first place? Didn't he think it was weird when all of a sudden there's this magical girl he's never even met and she's trying to kill him? As far as we know, he's the only one assigned to Earth, and his line about "completing his quota and leaving" makes it even more likely that he's alone here.
Here are the answers. 1)You forgot the second half of her wish : it's not the "I want to meet Madoka again" that causes the time loop, it's "as someone who can protect her instead of being protected" that resets time every time Madoka is killed/turns into a witch. And 2)we're talking about magic here. QB himself said that magic has the power to bypass logic. The irregularity could have been pretty much anything ; he narrowed it down to time travel after getting to know her more.
As it turns out, Homura actually has control over when she resets the loop; it's part of her time traveling powers and related to her time-stopping (the sand timer in her shield). As long as she keeps her sand timer with her, she can reset after a month has passed.
As for why he's not shocked at Homura's appearance. Kyubey admits that there are more of his kind on earth making contracts. Puella Magi Kazumi Magica, a prequel or interquel to the Madoka introduces us to Jyubey, another Incubator. Kyubey probably assumed that Homura was a Magical Girl who was contracted to a different Incubator and only caught on to who she was after making careful observation of her ability.
Kyubey is surprised at Homura's presence... at least, as surprised as someone lacking emotions can be. He admits to Kyoko that Homura is "irregular", and he isn't sure where she got her powers. However, Homura really isn't doing anything that hinders his plans in any great way, so... why bother worrying about it?
Wait, Homura's loop is messing things up again.
Another question: the first time Homura looped back, it was to her first day at school. By that point, Madoka already was in a contract, just like in the original timeline. The rest of the loops we see hint at this always being the case, so how come the Madoka of the latest timeline hasn't gone into a contract, or even met Mami yet, by the time Homura is transferred?
By the fourth timeline, we see that it isn't totally immediate. She returns to the day she gets discharged from the hospital, and presumably only returns to school a couple days later. The fourth time around, we manage to see Homura holding a dead Kyuubey corpse, with the implication that she killed the Kyuubey that Madoka would have contracted with in the past timelines, thus staving off the contract.
You've got it. Homura's calendar shows she's being discharged on the 16th, and returning to school on the 25th. Madoka rescues her after her first day of school and remarks that she only made the contract with Kyuubey a week ago. Presumably he was en route to her house when Homura killed him.
If Homura just went back into the past, does that mean there is actually two Homura's in the same timeline? Time travelling Homura and specific timeline Homura? Time travelling Homura was in school with Madoka in our timeline, so what happened to the other one?
No. Homura doesn't physically travel through time, her consciousness returns to her body in the hospital on the 16th, so there is only ever one of her at a time. Since the Soul Gem is where her spirit is housed and not her body, the Soul Gem is what's going back, and her body is the same as always. "Loop" is really a bad misnomer for what she's doing.
YMMV on Supporting Characters and QB
The fandom's treament of Hitomi, Kamijou, and Kyubey. Just because Sayaka is a main character does not mean that Kamijou is obligated to love her, even if she visited him a lot. Yes, it was rude not to let her know he was leaving the hospital, but how do we know that he knows her phone number? Plus, teenage boys aren't known for their tact anyway. On that note, Hitomi is not a man-stealing whore. She told Sayaka of her feelings for Kamijou beforehand, which is pretty damn courteous all things considered. If Sayaka had told her the truth about why she wouldn't confess, I think she'd hold off a bit. The fact that she's getting bashed for taking the initiative in pursuing Kamijou is rife with Unfortunate Implications. The fandom reviles Kyubey while ignoring the fact that his morality is more than a little different from ours. His kind has no emotions and is only concerned with staving off entropy. It shouldn't have been that surprising that he wasn't concerned when the Madoka of the fourth timeline turned into a world-destroying witch, since he doesn't have emotions.
On that note, not-OP would like to add in the fandom's reaction to the idea that Hitomi was confessing Sayaka's feelings for Sayaka, rather than Hitomi's feelings for Hitomi, as if this is any less unfortunate than claiming Kamijo belongs to Sayaka. Basically all this is is a show-don't-tell version of the same thing, so why do people act like it's necessary to justify Hitomi's confession? Especially when the in universe reasons given rarely make much sense. . . .
I saw the Sayaka-Kyousuke relationship as something like the Gatsby-Daisy relationship in The Great Gatsby, in that Sayaka is idealizing him since she loves him and that he's not really all that. Yes, I understand that Kyousuke just got his arm paralyzed, which breaks his dream, but he does seem to be kind of unusually self-absorbed about it, even going on to believe that Sayaka is mocking him. Realistic or not, definitely not intended to be seen as your typical Love Interest. Kyousuke deciding not to tell Sayaka, the girl who had dutifully cared for him in the hospital, that he was released only confirmed my notion that Sayaka was pursuing someone who simply wasn't worth it.
Alternatively, he didn't say anything because he was having a snitfit. If you recall, when Sayaka brings him a violin CD, he asks if she hates him, since she's reminding him of what he can no longer do. Sayaka rather naively, thought that bringing him music would make him more comfortable, when in fact he wanted to try and forget. Since he has no idea she's the reason he's healed, he decided not to tell her to indicate that he wanted some space. But Sayaka never realizes any of this due to the Magical GirlAwful Truth, so she's unable to understand and cope.
More on Kyubey, even though he doesn't have emotions, he does have good intentions, even very admirable ones. He is, essentially, doing what needs to be done to save the universe. Therefore, Kyubey is nowhere as bad as everyone says. I honestly can't believe I'm the only person who actually likes him.
Oh, I like him, I just don't trust him. He doesn't lie, but he has an annoying habit of never telling the complete truth unless he's pressed to do so. You always have to ask him the right questions, and as many as you can think of.
Also, the timescale. The heat-death of the universe is going to happen, but not for aeons. Humans are at absolutely no risk of emerging to a dying cosmos, but they are at a very real risk of being consumed by the "waste" of Kyuubey's plans, even to the point of extinction. While everything he says in his lectures is true, it seems a lot like a handy cover story for a culture that has found a way to generate cheap, renewable power from the torment and suffering of other species. And an alien empire Powered by a Forsaken Child does veer into Dystopia territory. Still, YMMV.
Episode 11 confirms that Incubators have been making contracts with humans since the beginning of time. Who's to say that the heat death of the universe wouldn't have happened a lot sooner if they hadn't? I'm not saying he's not an antagonist. I'm just saying he's not pure evil.
The big problem with the fandom treatment of Kyubey is that loving to hate him obscures the fact that either his manipulations were aimed at creating a better world through Madoka from the very beginning, or the series have a plot hole the size of a moon and the creators were stupid by very explicitly giving telepathy of "can constantly scan minds of at least two humans at once without his targets noticing his presence in their brains" level to a character which the main heroine is supposed to deceive. And as there are no indication that the creators are stupid enough to turn a mere, seemingly throwaway, piece of a dialogue, into such such a gigantic plot hole...
Except that he can't read minds that comprehensively; if he could, he would have known that Homura was a time traveler from the start.
He can not only read human minds, but also manipulate them, at least to the point of hijacking sensory input. This is his observed, factually confirmed abilities. See: Episode 2 walk-in-the-park scene (specifically around 7:35-7:45) where Madoka and Sayaka find themselves able to telepathically communicate with each other through him, and, of course, Episode 11 mind screw. What on Earth makes you think he didn't know that Homura was a time traveller from the start? He didn't even stated so. No, rewatch the fountain scene and note his Exact Words, not meanings that can normally be implied from them. And remember, that in said scene he wants to drive Homura into despair by pointing how her actions only play into his hand - unless you think he lied through his teeth the entire series, he is very likely to be literally incapable of gloating, being angry, being shocked or even wasting time on idle chatting, and therefore every single one of his conversations and actions has a specific underlying goal. There is a caveat that he might need a physical contact with a Soul Gem to do his stuff on magical girls, like he did when torturing Sayaka. This, of course, leaves Madoka's dream at the beginning of the series without any rational explanation, as the only being capable of projecting it into her head was QB, and barring having awareness of different timelines on his own, QB could only extract the exact replay of a past timeline's battle with Walpurgisnacht from Homura's mind (then probably edit his own dialogue in). But whether he can read magical girls' minds, is not even relevant. Because we're talking about Madoka, a normal human, whose mind he outright invaded briefly before her final decision. That's not even touching upon the fact that QB repeatedly hammered the bit about "you'll get the power of God" into Madoka.
For someone who acts like they can remember the entire series in detail, you neglect to remember how Kyubey, in multiple timelines, has rhetorically asked the trail-off question "Akemi Homura... Are you..?", with the instance in the current timeline in a situation where she could not feasibly hear the question. Kyubey may have had his suspicions, but, at least in the current timeline, even when he had worked out that she was a time traveller, he still felt the need to gauge her reaction to being asked the question in Episode 8 in order to verify it. Additionally, due to the revision made in the BD version to make the scene in the prologue identical to the last shown Walpurgis fight in Episode 10, it's incredibly likely that the dream was more along the lines of "remembering something she shouldn't" than Kyubey's interference. In fact, if it were Kyubey's interference, that raises several other plotholes, such as him being a being that has such clairvoyance as to be able to see alternative futures, why he made contact in such a manner when, in previous timelines, he had already formed a contract with her prior to that day (which Homura prevented; likely the other time she killed him he indirectly mentions in Episode 8), why he never gave Homura the speech that caused her to almost fall into despair in any other timeline... Need I go on? Reading the minds of Magical Girls is likely beyond him, and if the dream was his work, it would be an absolutely massive plothole.
This troper, too, doesn't understand the Kyubey hate. You'd think people would root for an antagonist this days, especially when they're so cute.
At heart, there are 3 reasons that Kyubey is so hated: 1. This being a cosmic horror story, his motives are so grand in scale that they have no effect on humanity, other than his manipulation (heat death of the universe is ridiculously far away) 2. Kyubey is a superficially charming, emotionally stunted, extremely manipulative, and remorseless being, which basically makes him a psychopath (difficult to sympathize with) 3. He is shown purposely picking at the protagonists' insecurities in order to get them to agree to a contract that he knows will eventually turn them into insane, destructive, Eldritch Abominations; it's difficult to root for a character who purposefully kills people in such horrible ways even when their goal is a more stereotypically "noble" one, and as I said, his goal is too large in scale to seem noble to the audience.
Kyubei stated that he can't suggest what the girl should wish for. But what was his speech in chapter eight (that Madoka can even become a goddess if she wished for it) if not a suggestion?
This is Kyubey we're talking about. Presumably he just didn't see it as a suggestion of a wish, but rather a simpler way of saying "your wish could be really, really powerful."
Considering he was caught off-guard by [[spoilers:her actually making a wish that would result in her apotheosis]], it is very likely that this is the case.
Series Ending Headscratchers
Did anyone ever say that Sayaka sacrificed herself specifically so that Kyousuke would make his audition on time? (Not that I have a problem with this, I just want clarification). This seems to get passed off as fact a lot, but the only thing I clearly remember was actually said was that it had to do with Kyousuke in some manner, which may or may not have to do with the audition (for all we know Sayaka's ghost could have gone back in time).
No, Sayaka sacrificed herself because she had a choice between dying and going with Godoka or become normal again but Kyousuke's crippled hand will return and lose his ability to play ever again and she could be at his side. Sayaka, being true to herself, chose Kyousuke's happiness over hers even if it meant she would never be in it. It seemed like they were in a place between Life and Death when they were watching over Kyousuke, who was really playing at a rectical at that moment. Hence he felt something odd.
Right, but something happened in the New World to make Sayaka die, and Kyouko very visibly saw her sacrifice herself for something related to Kyousuke.
Sayaka refused to come back to life because it meant undoing her wish. Puella Magi can only really die in two surefire ways - having the Soul Gem broken or becoming a witch. Since Sayaka's Soul Gem was never shattered, Madoka retconned her fate into preforming a Heroic Sacrifice.
According to Word of God, Sayaka's death was inevitable in any universe or timeline. In the retconned timeline, Sayaka was most likely still suicidal after realizing she would never be with Kyosuke because of the whole "magical girl destined to fight evil until dying an early death" thing, and willingly gave her life in the fight we didn't see taking out a demon so that the other girls could survive.
Last episode: Magical girls vanish instead of becoming witches. If Neon Genesis Evangelion taught me anything, it's "as long as you are alive, you can be happy." Those pour souls don't even get a second chance... when Madogod saves them. They might go to where Madoka is, cause I can't think of Madoka being that cruel, but what about the dead magical girls?
Why is this bad? While you have a chance to be happy "as long as you're alive", you can't make this a blanket statement to mean "if you ever die you will be doomed to unhappiness forever", especially when everyone dies. Death is a natural part of life- in a way, it gives Magical Girls back some of their humanity.
You'e misunderstanding what exactly Madoka wished for: To stop them from becoming Witches with her hands, not completely change their fates. Madoka's wish was probably the only truly selfless wish on the show because it was pretty fair all around, it fulfilled: 1) a life of a Magical Girl is still full of sorrow, but that sorrow is necessary to mankind's progress, and 2) there is still a need of energy resources so Kyubey's kind can slow down the heat death of the universe, while saving the Magical Girl from a Fate Worse than Death. Madoka's wish at least allowed them to pass on peacefully and fulfilled and go to a sorta Valhalla with her (and the Magical Girls know that before contracting instead it being revealed from as an Awful Truth). It was a best outcome for everyone, really.
Wait if all Magical girls go to Vahalla and, let just say there is some kind of afterlife in that universe, won't that mean they won't able to reunite with their love ones after death? Unless their love ones are allow to enter Vahalla to reunite with them, won't their love ones wonder where the heck their friend/daughter/sister is once they pass on? Or am I thinking too hard?
Nope, you've got it right. In Ultimate Madoka's new universe, that is the sacrifice a Magical Girl is really making: in exchange for a single wish, they give up their lives and their afterlives to the cause.
So nothing changed in the end? Besides the girls feeling guilty about becoming witches, no one knows where demons come up from (they said distortions in the world, but it seems more like grief just manifesting into demons). Girls are still dying all across the world from sadness. The only thing different is it benefits Kyuubey to keep the girls alive instead of having them die. But even then, they still will face sorrow. How is this a good ending?
It isn't. It's bittersweet at best. Specifically, the scene with Mami, Kyoko, and Homura right after Sayaka dies in the last and permanent universe (as well as Homura's voiceover afterwards) is there to tell you that things are NOT good, and there's still a lot of suffering, regret, and sacrifice. The only difference is that they won't become witches, so at least there is some measure of comfort and the promise of mercy at the end of a magical girl's journey, rather than ultimate despair and the loss of identity.
Not to mention having the Incubators purify Soul Gems themselves rather than using a witch's Grief Seed removes the need for Puella Magi to compete for them which is what prevented them for being to form teams and even led some girls to try to kill each other. Removing this competition allows Puella Magi to be able to band together against demons which not only increases the chances of winning meaning they're less likely to be killed but also allows for close friendships to be formed which would have been nearly impossible in the old universe. In the Retcon we see Homura, Mami and Kyouko together as a team mourning Sayaka after she had just performed a Heroic Sacrifice which is different from their earlier interactions in the old universe. After watching The Power of Friendship get constantly get pounded to the ground throughout the series it was nice to see it get reconstructed in the Retcon.
But when Kyubuy leaves they'll have the same problems as they did in the main timeline, the only difference being that they'll eventually fade away, and we'll have a fixed number magical girls fighting against what is likely a never ending supply of wraiths, and the show kept saying that the fight will lead to them failing. Even when this tries to act like something is uplifting it's still depressing.
How do we know they don't just become demons instead? Instead of one big witch, the grief is put together and split up to form demons. Kyuubey says that no one knows why Magical Girls disappear and there is no real answer to where demons appear.
Because the show itself explicitly states it. Explaining how this happens (and I don't mean "vaguely implied" or "hinted at," but the characters outright say it) is the entire point of episode 12. But to state it again: Madoka purifies the magical girls' souls and takes them away when they've reached the limits of despair. We see her do this. We listen to characters explaining this. But after the creation of the new universe, no one is aware of Madoka's existence except for Homura. That's why no one knows why magical girls disappear, because they don't know that an existence beyond their awareness is saving them at the last second. Oh, and the demons don't come from the magical girls. They form ex nihilo from what Homura called "distortions" in the world.
Eliminating one injustice, even a major one, does not suddenly make the world a perfect place. Neither should it. But it does make the world appreciably better. Pre-retcon being a magical girl meant inevitably forfeiting your soul in exchange for a miracle. You could not even take solace in good deeds you might do as a magical girl, because you crimes as a witch will compensate for them. Post-retcon it is just enlisting for a dangerous job. And you still get your miracle, plus immortality until killed.
None of the girls die of sadness in the new world. Listen to Madoka's wish again, and keep in mind that everything she says after Kyubey interjects is also part of the wish.
This is directly contradicted by the scenes of Madoka taking the Girls away when they would have become Witches. She hasn't removed despair from the equation; if she had, the girls would never disappear, they'd just live until their soul gems were destroyed and they died. That we explicitly see Madoka taking away girls who've fallen into despair and are about to become Witches proves that yes, they do still die of sadness in the new world. They just get to pass on in the comforting arms of Madokami, instead of becoming Witches.
It doesn't remove despair from the world, but it does seem to remove despair from the equation as it relates to Witches, at least. In the new world, Kyubey says that Soul Gems shatter when they've exhausted their magic (which is what kills Sayaka) but even the Incubators don't know why. The scenes of Madoka taking the girls away when they would have become Witches are taking place in the old universe, which is then destroyed. Witches can't exist in Madoka's universe, which means the sufficiently advanced technology that the Incubators developed to produce Puella Magi could not have been designed to create Witches. There are a few ways to interpret how the 'Grief Cubes' produced by Wraiths work, but the end result is that it's the depletion of magic and not the Puella Magi's despair that causes them to shatter; Ultimate Madoka is more or less the law of physics that dictates it.
The World 1.0 had Mahou Shoujo that would die in battle, or due Witch-ification. This new world has negated the second clause, and if TV Tropes teached us something (And the show was indeed Troperrific) was the Law of Conservation of Ninjutsu: Witches are one, and powerful, Demons are hordes, so they are bound to be weaker. Yes, Mahou Shoujo still risk their lives and just like everybody, they will eventually fight their end. Madoka made a world a bit less of a Crapshack.
Altoght it can be considered a WMG, the demons can easily come from Witch!Madoka from Earth 1.0 It was a COSMIC amount of sorrow, and it surely has to go somewhere. Mahou Shoujo job is to clean all that sorrow, bit by bit, until Madoka can be free from that huge load of sin and sorrow she's bearing. Now, Mahou Shoujo are Saving their Savior.
Under the new system, would it be possible for a Puella Magi to live until old age? Because, under the old system, it seemed to me that Puella Magi were really fated to die young, because either shattering your soul gem due to despair or some accident, or using up magical energy were bound to happen in a short span of time. But if it's possible for a Puella Magi to live a long life, then that raises all sorts of new questions: they obviously can't do this forever, so what happens? (Can they even age physically? Can they just "retire"?)
Even in the original timeline, they don't age. Their body just "stops" once their Soul Gem is extracted, becoming more of a puppet than a self-sustaining organism. The reason the girls in the main cast all died young was because they were thrust into the responsibility with little emotional preparation and they made mistakes while in the frontlines —Homura, OTOH, survived lots and lots of battles without corrupting because she was eased into the role by Madoka and Mami (both in combat, and psychologically.) And in the end, it's evident Homura's been at this for a VERY long time, with her endless recursion of time and the desolate landscape implying an After the End situation, so yes, it's possible for a Magical Girl to essentially live forever if she takes care of her body and her Soul Gem's regular purification. For all we know, the girls that Madoka came to to save from corruption had already lived for hundreds of years, but they had the same appearance as when their bodies stopped growing. I doubt they can "retire," though. Seems to me that simply maintaining the link between the empty body and the Soul Gem (or even just keeping the body "alive") uses a portion of the latter's magic, so they're forced to fight at some point to keep the Gem from corrupting completely. That's the catch of the wish —if they didn't have to fight Witches, then what's the point of the contract?
Okay, this is entirely speculation. In fact, it's Jossed speculation, considering we have confirmation by way of the production notes on Roberta that magical girls do age.
The notes on Roberta prove that magical girls can age, not that they do as a rule; the ending, with Homura in the desert with some apparently-evolved powers, definitely shows us she hasn't grown physically even though she doesn't have time-stop powers anymore. Since Roberta is the exception and not the rule, it could be that her ability to age is a bit like Sayaka's increased regeneration.
Besides the fact that a secret society of immortal girls might get uncovered someday (especially if you consider that they seem to stay in the same territory), they were never expected to live that long, anyways. Giving them anti-aging-magic is probably a waste of time.
The Incubators don't exactly care if magical girls are discovered or not. Kyubey's desire to have a girl contract is proportionate to the greatness of her destiny, that's why he wants Madoka to make the contract so much, knowing what we do about soul gems it's probably a bigger expenditure to make a magical girl's corpse-body age instead of just maintaining it in stasis like they do (remember, it's designed to combat entropy), and on top of that, they stay in the same territory but they don't normally work together because they have to compete for Grief Seeds. Madoka and company are an exception, but Kyouko pretty much comes to take Mami's territory after she dies and immediately confronts Sayaka because of it.
If a Magical Girl with darken soul gem will be saved by Madoka, what happen to those girls whose soul gems got destroyed? Does they simply cease to exist all together? Or they can still go with Madoka to Vahalla?
All Magical Girls go to Valhalla. Knowing Madoka, all souls period would go to her heaven if she has the ability to do so.
In the new system, magical girls fight demons instead of witches. Where do these demons come from?
They're described as being born from the fluctuations of the world. Basically, they come into existence to tie up the paradox caused by Madoka's wish. They have to fight something, or else why would all these girls become Puella Magi?
We know that Witches fed on "grief." This "grief" was a something, so presumably with no predators it became sentient.
Witches don't feed on grief, they're born of it, and don't so much 'feed' as 'fucking kill people'. The demons aren't sentient grief, but are personifications of the Time Paradox according to Word Of God.
I see it like this, as a law, the Hope and Dispair created by a wish has to be zero sum. Normally, this manifests as the girl's Witch. However, madoka's wish also stopped her own witch. The demons were created by the "dispair equivilent to the end of the universe" QB mentioned.
Remember that Kyuubey said that any use of magic, including every miracle and wish that he grants, creates a "distortion" in the world, because it is doing something contrary to the normal laws of physics. The 'demons' are most likely physical manifestation of distortion caused by the wishes Kyuubey grants when a new Puella Magi signs up.
What happens to the Soul Gem after the retcon? Does it still function as a Soul Jar? It does still require the corruption to be drained by Grief Seed afterall.
After she's brought back to life with no memory of the old universe, why does Mami still talk about being a Puella Magi like it's a bad thing? A) Madogod more than likely talked with her, which means she'd have had the chance to change her wish and save her parents; if the car crash is an unavoidable point in her life regardless of the time line, I can understand her still being a little resentful, but talking about how it's "best for them to disappear" is a tad overboard. B) In the timeline that scene was from, Mami knows about the Puella Magi system (Homura had told them that Puella Magi become witches, even if she didn't believe her until she saw it personally). Now their hope doesn't bring despair to the world and they're all going to die happily for their wishes in the end. Given how the circumstances regarding their wishes, fighting, and Sayaka's death changed, why is she so cynical?
I got the feeling that the revived Mami hadn't spoken to Madogod, since Madoka was retconned out of existance. So Mami doesn't know about the alternate past of being a Magical Girl. However ignoring that, she probably felt that disappearing was better than being a Witch or something similar, if she did remember speaking with Madogod. However, remember that she was still really lonely as a magical girl, and it was still probably a rather depressing job that doesn't allow much for human relationships. . . .
Also while Puella Magi dont become witches, they're still liches (i.e. undead magic users whose bodies are basically meat puppets controlled by their consciousness which now reside in their Soul Gem. With their bodies no longer alive, this would idicate that they can no longer age preventing the Puella Magi from being able to form close social ties with normal humans since they would outlive anyone they know. Like the Cullens in Twilight, a Puella Magi would have no choice but to wander around endlessly since staying in one place for too long would mean drawing the attention of people who'd notice this girl wasnt aging.
Why are so many people convinced that Madoka actually spoke to all of the girls to give them a chance to undo their contracts or change their wishes? It wasn't even implied in the anime. I don't think Sayaka was ever even given a choice, either; she was just reflecting her sentiments on what happened.
Actually, Madoka says something along the lines of "To save you, I had to erase this future", and Sayaka replies that she doesn't mind how things turned out as long as Kyosuke was healed in the end. That's when they fade out. And given that Madoka had some sort of talk with Mami and Kyoko's spirits when she made her wish, it's not the craziest assumption ever.
I thought it was pretty clear that there was a choice, but it was Madoka's. Madoka explained that preventing the contract would come at the cost of Kyosuke's healing. This would have been necessary information if Sayaka had chosen off-camera; Madoka wouldn't wait until after she had already chosen to tell her.
Well, at that point, linear time no longer applied to Madoka, as her new form technically exists at every possible time at once. She could have easily retconned Sayaka's wish if she wanted. I also think that she really did talk to the girls' spirits. They simply forgot about it when they were resurrected in the new timeline.
Originally, emotional energy was harvested when magical girls turned into witches, right? So how how do Incubators collect energy now that magical girls no longer turn into witches?
Grief Cubes, the equivalent of Grief Seeds. Kyubey even comments that Homura's Witch world would be much more efficient.
So, the universe is supposed to be improvement, because if the incubators still abandon planets when they reach their quota, it doesn't sound like one, seeing as Kyubey will still ditch the planet eventually, and the magical girl's soul gems will eventually get tainted to the point where they all vanish, and then we're stuck with another bunch of monsters we can't see or hear. Calling this even a Bitter Sweet Ending is too generous.
That's missing the entire point. Grief, sadness and death will *never* go away. But what was once a gruesome, dark mockery of the genre is now a straightforward magical girl show. Magical girls fight and suffer, but they get their happy endings. Even the most saccharine magical girl series are crawling with monsters and are about people who can die. But friendships can form uninhibited, the monsters are nothing more than dark things to be slain and forgotten, Kyubey is straightforward about the deal from the start, and the deaths of magical girls can be prevented with relative ease. It's not a happy ending so much as a new beginning. But that new beginning is a much brighter one, where despair is possible but not mandatory.
QB abandoned Earth not because his quota was met, but because Earth was about to be destroyed, but he had no reason to work on preventing this, as his quota was met. As long as no similarly catastrophic events happen, there is no reason to ever stop harvesting. That's assuming he wasn't just screwing with Homura in the first place.
It is suggested that since the girls no longer have to compete for Grief seeds, they can now form teams and fight more efficiently. We even see that Mami, Kyoko and Homura fight wraiths together and later mourn Sayaka (poor girl, she's the only magical girl that dies in every timeline possible). But later, after the "Collecting energy from human emotions would be such a marvelous idea" talk with Kyubei, Homura seems to be fighting numbers of wraiths all alone (maybe with some "guidance" from Madoka). Where's Mami and Kyoko?
Given Rebellion, they're still in Mitakihara; they haven't been drawn into Homura's barrier yet.
If in the end Madoka was able to rewrite the universe, why didn't she rewrite it in such a way as to repeal the second law of thermodynamics, or at least to create another source of energy that doesn't involve teenage girls, basically still children, being exploited by an amoral species with no emotion?
Technically, Madoka didn't rewrite the universe. The universe re-ordered itself to conform to Madoka's wish according to Kyubey's contract magic, she didn't have conscious control of how that worked out. Basically she becomes a god/personification of hope/law of physics with a non-linear view of time as a result of her wish, not the other way around.
Magical Girls of the Past
If Cleopatra was a Magical Girl and all the Magical Girls are liches, then, why Cleopatra died for the bite of a snake?
Maybe she later on broke her Soul Gem, and the whole snake thing was part of an act to give her death a plausible cause and not rise suspicion.
Cleopatra committed suicide so that she wouldn't face the Romans. It's possible that the despair of having lost to them transformed her into a witch, explaining why they thought that she died; hell, it's possible another magical girl killed her and then returned telling stories about a snake.
Could have happened like this: having reached the edge of despair, Cleopatra tries to commit suicide via snake bite. But since her body, like all other magical girls', is a soulless shell and unable to die from that, she realizes the truth of the Soul Gems and THEN becomes a witch, leaving her body behind with a convenient bite mark for someone else to find. Then some other random magical girl simply found her witch form and defeated her. Joan of Arc could have likely gone through a similar thing: a snake bite wouldn't destroy a body beyond usability, but having it burned to ashes would. Whether Joan despaired enough to become a witch or not, her body could still be destroyed (and Kyubey could've just picked up the Soul Gem from the pyre at his convenience.)
Regarding Joan of Arc, it's possible her Soul Gem was burned up. Nobody ever said they were fireproof. In fact, they actually look rather weak to me...
So if Cleopatra, Queen Himiko, Joan of Arc and Anne Frank were Magical Girls, what were their wishes and what cause them to go into their Despair Horizon?
Anne Frank: "I wish for the founding of Israel." Israel comes as a result of World War Two. OR "I wish to be famous." Anne Frank becomes famous....through World War Two.
More likely: "I want the Jewish people to be saved."
Both are a bit too grand. My guess: when her family was being hunted, she wished for a place to hide her family. Her despair horizon probably came when the nazis found said hiding place and took everyone.
Joan of Arc probably wanted to help fight for her country/become a warrior of her faith. Kyubey gave her the potential only to be tried as a witch and canonized years later.
My take on all of the above:
Cleopatra: In desperation the land that adopted her, Cleopatra wished that the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt would continue, no matter who was at it's helm. Against all odds, she essentially leads for some time and holds the dynasty together, bearing Marc Antony many children and stabilizing the state - but in the end, the dynasty only truly survives... As a glorified province of Rome, stripped of all it's former independence.
Jehanne D'Arc: At first, she needed no wish. With her belief in her God and her skill at tactics and oratory, she resisted Incubator until the very end. She was caught, however - and her final wish was simple - I want France to remain separate from England, independent and free. And so it does - however, the independence from the former Angevin family comes at a price. French exceptionalism leads the conquered to turn to conquerors, becoming harsh overlords of the European stage for roughly four hundred years, when finally the British - not 'England' for purposes of the wish - become a world power. If that isn't enough humiliation, her charred corpse is puppeteered into Witch-form as a symbol by the Vichy French, which leads us nicely from her despair horizon to...
Anne Frank: A simple wish. I want my family to be safe. Of course a simple wish is often precisely what Incubator is looking for, and through that wish, however granted, Anne's many other wishes - I want to be happy, I want to be loved, I want to grow older - become impossible in the cruelest ways possible.
I would go for 'don't let me/the Jewish people/the Holocaust be forgotten', hence the survival of her Diary.
Emperor Himiko: I use the term Emperor because in no way was her position subservient to any other. Himiko's wish - that the land of Japan would survive the threat of the great nations across the sea. And so it did - in a manner of speaking. However, Koshinto - Shinto in it's purest form - no longer existed in the majority, replaced by the emotion-culling beliefs of Mahayana Buddhism, the societal divisions of Confucian thought, the subjugation and assimilation of the Yamato and Ainu peoples by today's modern Japanese, who were likely descendents of Chinese colonists, and the fact that no woman in Japanese history would ever after bear a position as socially significant as her (yet). Possibly because she had such high spiritual energy(?), I think in many ways the destruction of Himiko's wish is fantastically cruel.
The take of an amateur historian on the above:
Queen Himiko: her wish was linked to the survival of her people in the face of the might of the enemies across the sea. She was very successful, and died suicidal after finding out the truth about the Incubators and magical girls, with early Japanese historians splitting her in three different figures (empress Jingu and the princesses Yamato-totohi-momoso-hime-no-mikoto and Yamatohime-no-mikoto) out of spite. As for the desperation brought by her wish... It's the rise of the simil-Fascist regime that brought Japan in World War II and the devastations of the war.
Cleopatra's wish was to bring welfare and eternal glory to her country. She did it, in spite of the powers arrayed against her (that even saw her briefly exiled), and, in the meantime, fought multiple witches and lived to the ripe age (for a magical girl) of 39. In the meantime she found out the truth about the system, and didn't have the heart to use her powers against the triumphant Octavianus, so, before becoming a witch, she killed herself by smashing her Soul Gem, but not without having herself bitten by the snake so that no Roman would be Pharaoh (the bite from the asp being a symbol of giving the kingship back to the gods).
Anne Frank met her Incubator in the lager, and wished him to make a repeat of that horror impossible. Anne died soon after, but through her diary and the birth of Israel a repeat of the Holocaust became impossible. The latter at the price of Israel being loathed by its neighbours.
Joan of Arc met an Incubator she mistook for the Archangel Michael and two magical girls she mistook for Saint Margaret and Saint Catherine, and made a wish linked to knowledge and driving the English out of France. This gave her power to know what she needed to do, that she first used outside the fight against the witches to inform the count Robert de Baudricourt of a recent defeat and earn the right to see the Dauphin. In the end, thanks to that knowledge, she inflicted the English many a defeat, and, once captured, was able to answer the inquisitors' questions in such way it became obvious her trial and conviction for heresy were a sham. She either died when her soul gem was burnt with her, or survives as a soul gem in ring form because she was stripped of it before the execution.
Wait a second, just realized: Magical Girl or not, one would assume that Cleopatra still seduced Mark Anthony and produced Caesarion, Alexander Helios, Cleopatra the Second and Ptomley the 16th. Now, as we all know, becoming a Magical Girl turns you a corpse. So even though she could most certainly have sex (sucks to be the accidental necrophile, eh Anthony? ), how in the name of Madoka would Cleopatra be able to give birth to ONE, much less FOUR children when her body is incapable of sustaining and producing life anymore?
Even though it's never outright stated, I think we are to assume that a Puella Magi's body still has the same bodily functions as a normal body; eat, sleep etc. If not, you'd think someone would have figured out the whole Soul Jar deal by now. Also, both Kyouko and Mami are shown to be younger in the flashbacks to when they become PM. So ,for all intents and purposes, a PM = normal body with normal bodily functions with the exception of not being able to die. Wait, does this mean a PM can die of old age?
Probably not. Kyouko's life experiences, and the fact that she can't remember how old she is, imply that after they hit a certain age, they stop aging. But yes, a Puella Magi's body is only a corpse if something happens to the Soul Gem.
Perhaps we could think of the Soul Gem as batteries. When near the body, it functions completely as normal. But when removed, the body loses its power source and 'dies'.
If Madoka's wish prevented all Puella Magi from their original deaths and transformations, doesn't this make a significant change to the course of human history? Did Joan of Arc never get burned, Cleopatra never suicide-by-cobra, and so on?
And given Kyubey's comment that "without Magical Girls, (humans) would still be naked and living in trees", one could expect some even sweeping changes.
Madoka only prevented that the girls transformed into witches, not their deaths they simply vanished instead of transforming. It's likely that the demons that manifested then prevented history to change much.
This might be a bit too meta, but why in the ever loving blue fuck are there so many goddamn instances on This Very Wiki of people claiming that Kyubey can't bring back the dead? Seriously, at what point in the franchise did someone reach into their own ass an come out with the assumption that the immortal magic weasel that can turn back time an fix medically incurable/terminal ailments was powerless against mortality? Doesn't that go against a lot of the spoken and shown extent of his abilities to claim that? That's not even getting into the fact that in multiple Expanded Universe works he explicitly shows that creating and recreating life is well within his powers. Kazumi Magica sees him create a doppelgänger of one of the Saints that has all of the original ones memories (except for the childhood accident) and a lifeforce of her own, and if that isn't good enough, the alternate timeline of A Different Story has Madoka make a contract when Walpurgisnatch comes to revive Sayaka after she had become a witch and been slated by Kyoko (though she doesn't remember being a witch and thinks Madoka instead saved her from being eaten by one.) So what gives, why is everyone claiming that he can't do it? He can rewrite the laws of the universe if the correct girl thinks to try. The only reason that he doesn't do it in the anime is because either A) the heat of the moment keeps the thought from occurring (like Mami) they become convinced that karmic recompense will screw over whoever they wish back into an even worse grave (Madoka) or they have wider intentions that won't be met by merely bringing a person back to life (Homura).
Probably because "back to life" is a very vague phrasing. Kyubey does grant wishes that create clones or restore witches, but since he doesn't seem to define death the same way humans do (his views on Soul Gems illustrate that nicely), bringing someone back from the dead may be beyond his capability just because he can't grant a wish he can't understand. "I want my friend back" isn't necessarily the same thing as "I want my friend's soul to be restored to a functioning body identical to the one she used to have when she was alive." Case in point: Mami was dying and wished to live, and Kyubey granted that wish by making her undead. There's nothing to say he isn't physically capable, but he has to be able to wrap his head around the wish in order to grant it.
That is still blatantly underestimating Kyubey's capabilities and goes against canonical examples of what he can do. Kyubey has been around since the Stone Age, he knows how the human mind works, he may be bemused by the nature of emotional outbursts, but he knows the hows and whys behind them intellectually, at least enough to understand which phrases can deflect uncomfortable truths without false information, and certainly enough to understand that a wish like "I want my mother to not have died in a train wreck" entails. And even if he didn't, the end of episode 12 makes it clear that the fulfillment of a Contract happens without his control once a girl starts the process, with him powerless to stop or circumvent the wish as it is being granted, so even if he was malicious or ignorant enough to try to evoke Literal Genie or Jackass Genie with Contracts, it's impossible for him to do so because the magic is coming from the girls, and their intentions are the main force behind the machinations of the wish, (it's just most of the girls are self-destructive enough that it still backfires on them.)
Madoka's wish isn't a good example of what Kyubey can and can't do, wish-wise. She was the only magical girl in the history of magical girls who knew exactly how the system worked, figured out how to exploit it, and had the power to pull it off. Consider the powers of magical girls: they can keep a dead body fresh and restore it to nonfunctioning wholeness, but they can't actually put a soul back into a body, and they can't fix a broken Soul Gem. We know this because the Incubators' plandepends on Magical Girls harvesting Grief Seeds and becoming Witches themselves; a dead magical girl is a wasted resource, so if they could restore a soul back to its original body, it stands to reason that they would. Perhaps more to the point, Kyubey can't grant a wish that no one makes, or a wish that is made by someone who doesn't the power to pull it off. Restoring the dead to life is something that only Madoka is ever shown to do with a wish (in one of the video games, she resurrects Sayaka), while the others try and technically fail (Mami) or are so consumed with their own grief for their dead loved one that they can't even imagine it's possible to wish them back to life (Charlotte).
Keep in mind, all of the wishes made in the show (other than Madoka's last wish) have a cruel twist. It never seems to say that someone couldn't revive someone with a wish, but it would be likely to end poorly. Nothing in the show contradicts the idea that someone could revive a friend with a wish. In fact, it seems that was what QB was tempting Madoka with in the park (when Homura shot him to shut him up long enough to prevent making the contract).
That doesn't necessarily mean it would work, though. Again, Kyubey can't grant a wish if no one makes it, and he can't grant a wish with insufficient power. A true resurrection is shown to take Madoka-level magical potential.
Consider the hope you'd be generating from a wish like that. A magical girl's friend, assuming they're the same age, being brought back to life and presumably live a normal life span is a literal 70-90 years worth of practically-limitless hope that would otherwise be gone from the world: hers, for her own future, her family's hope for her...the witch born from that much despair would practically pop the magical girl like an M80 in a sausage.
Similar to the above, what's this assertion going around that Puella Magi don't age? There is no evidence for that in any of the canon works, and a few pieces that show it is very much not the case. Kyoko in her flashbacks show an extremely clear difference in age between when she first start hunting witches and the present.
How do you figure? Because she changes clothes and has a different hairstyle? She looks exactly the same as she does in the series, just dressed differently and not smiling. As soon as she becomes a magical girl she's precisely the Kyouko from the series, even in the flashback. Magical girls don't age because they stop growing as young teenagers; the only exception is the magical girl who became Roberta, because she contracted in her 20's.
But there's not a single indication in canon that they stop aging, so saying they do as if it's fact seems strange. We don't know when exactly the Black Wings of Corrosion Homura happens, so that's not really evidence, unless you believe that it's a post-apocalyptic moment - Urobuchi says that while it can be taken that way if you wish, it wasn't his intention, so it can't count as a valid argument. Kyouko and Mami haven't been magical girls long enough for images to conclusively tell us one way or another whether or not they age normally; most people have differing views on that. As for the 'zombie' thing, they aren't literally undead - they die when their souls get too far away, but there's no indication that their bodily processes are arrested even when the Soul Gems are with them. If they did, surely Mami at least would have figured by now that something was off, yet Kyuubey states that she never once suspected anything, and if everything else is working fine then her aging should be too. So I'd say that based on that, it's just simpler to assume that they do in fact age.
Oh, also, that point about Roberta is wrong; she didn't contract in her 20s, she Witched in her 20s, or 30s. The Production Note describes her as "weak, as she was no longer a girl when she became a witch (mid-20s to 30s?)", implying that she did in fact become a magical girl as a teenager or younger.
That raises a lot of questions about the magical girl who became Roberta then. None of the magical girls except her are even suggested to be able to survive as magical girls for longer than a couple of years at most, Homura being something of an outlier because she's sort of cheating by reliving the same month over and over. As to them being literally undead, yes, they are. They're corpses animated by magic after their soul/life force/whatever has been forcibly removed from their bodies and are functionally immortal as long as it remains intact, that is the very definition of a lich; a Soul Gem is just a cute, egg-shaped phylactery. The only difference is that their bodies, being forced to function by magic, don't rot, and since we see in the show that Kyouko can keep Sayaka's corpse fresh with her own magic, we know that is something magic can do. All the evidence we get in the show would suggest that Roberta is the exception, not the rule. It's possible that her aging was a side-effect of her particular magic, like Sayaka's improved regeneration, but I don't think there's a canon answer either way.
Cleopatra is a canonical magical girl. History tells us she lived through adulthood (AND HAD KIDS), and Kyuubey only contracts 'girls in their second growth phase', so she must also have contracted as a teen and then aged. Given that both of the girls who survived long enough to grow up did in fact visibly age, and one was still fertile, it seems like it's supposed to be the rule that they do age and aren't totally lichlike.
How do we know that the history in the show is identical to actual history, though? The PMMM universe has significantly advanced technology compared to the real world, so at least some things had to have been different. The girls' bodies function more or less normally as long as the Soul Gem is nearby and intact, and there's nothing that says she had to be a fully grown adult woman when she had children, only capable of childbirth, and her death is different in the show from how it was historically: she was bitten by a snake in the arm, not the chest. Also, the adults in this show aren't physically different from teenagers due to the cutesy art style, so it's impossible to tell just by looking. There's just not enough to go on.
Okay, I understand that all of the different time loops converging on Madoka is what caused her to be so insanely powerful by the time the show takes place, but what I don't get is why this didn't also affect Homura, Mami, Sayaka, and Kyoko. Episode 10 shows that Homura, Mami, and Sayaka were in all of the time loops, and that Kyoko was also there for a couple. Why didn't they have just as much potential as Madoka? Likewise, since Sayaka is fated to become a witch no matter what, why wasn't Sayaka's witch form just as powerful as Madoka's witch form, if not more since Madoka doesn't witch out in every time loop?
I really wish we had a better word for Homura's ability than "time loop", because that's not really what she's doing, it just looks that way from her perspective. When Homura activates her sand timer and goes back to the first day, all of the energy becomes Madoka's magical potential/karmic destiny (in other words, how big a role she plays in the fate of the world) because Homura uses Madoka's condition (alive and fully human) as the criteria for whether or not she negates that timeline. Each "different timeline" is actually a potential future that can only exist as part of Madoka's magic because Homura has prevented it from becoming reality. The other girls have nothing to do with it. When Homura goes back to the start, all of the other timelines become potential futures that are hinged solely on Madoka. It doesn't increase anyone else's magical potential because it doesn't affect how big a role they play in the world, only the circumstances of the role they play.
So Madoka, being a little weirded out by Homura's pleas at the end of episode 8, decides to go look for Sayaka, whose current status she knows nothing about. So where do we find her walking around in the beginning of episode 9? On train tracks closed off by barbed wired fences. Makes sense.
Those train tracks might have been the site of a tragedy or something, and we know witches love to spawn in those kinds of places.
Stepping in front of an oncoming train is a fairly common method of suicide in Japan; all things considered, it's a pretty logical place to start looking for a witch's presence.
I don't get that... can someone explain that to me, please?
I'll try to give my thoughts. Witches never seemed to spawn in areas where many can see its barrier form (this could just be for plot-convenience though), so Madoka likely figured Sayaka was witch-hunting and looked in areas that a witch would typically spawn.
Where was Sayaka earlier, before her breakdown? On a train. Witnessing two men trash-talking about their girlfriends. She interrupts their "conversation", transform and possibly kills (at least in the manga) them. I suspect that the train tracks might even be the same ones as the ones where she killed the two men.
So we've seen that Homura can stop time, apparently long enough to break into Yakuza headquarters and nick some serious damaging weapons. We also know that firearms and explosives deal enough damage to witches to kill them. So why doesn't Homura just stop time and bombs Walpurgisnight into oblivion? She might be the strongest witch, but she could eventually die of a thousand cuts. It seems weird she doesn't even try to abuse that more.
I just assumed that Homura couldn't plant enough explosives to stop it without pushing her power too far and going all witchy herself. And since in that timeline all the other nearby Magical Girls are dead, that wouldn't really improve Madoka's situation a lot.
Answered in episode 11. She did. In the final battle, she used hundreds of RPG's, dozens of artillery units, an improvised fuel tanker bomb, a battleship, and a huge pit filled with explosives. It all did jack shit anyway.
Which leads us to how could she transport and operate a battleship by herself.
Obviously, she put it into her shield.
Couldn't she just take a sword, freeze time, and slowly cut the witch in half like a big cake?
She laughed off Homura's explosion jamboree like it was an elevator fart; what makes you think there's a sword sharp enough to even scratch Walpurgis? Even if Homura did somehow manage to find one, she'd still have to touch Walpurgis to attack her with it, negating the time-stop effect. Theoretically there are a few ways to apply that in a helpful way, but it'd deplete her magic; she'd be winning the battle only to lose the war because defeating Walpurgis doesn't mean Madoka will never make a contract.
Actually, that would be the one thing Homura couldn't do. It's established that anyone that Homura touches while her time-stop ability is in effect becomes able to move in time. That's why Mami goes after her first when she's driven mad by the truth about magical girls, and ties her up with her ribbons: as long as they're connected, Homura can't use her time-stop ability on her because they'll both be moving within the stopped moment. As soon as Homura touched her with the sword, Walpurgis would be able to move normally again.
At which point in time(s) did Homerun find out Kyuubey's real name was Incubator? I really can't put in my head that Kyuubey just went ahead and told her for the hell of it. So either she is a very smart girl and figured it out herself, or she has indeed gone through more timelines than the ones shown. Is there any other convincing way it could have happened?
Same goes for how she found out Soul Gems are Soul Jars. She says she knew it when questioned in Episode 7, and her response hints that she knew it in the third timeline, where Mami killed Kyouko, but the only thing we ever see her discover is that magical girls become witches.
It was probably revealed in the time loop that she finds out that they are Immature Witches. It's very likely Kyubey revealed how the system worked as his full name off-screen. However, it doesn't nix the possibility that Homura may have experienced more timelines than what we saw.
In Episode 11, Kyubey mentions that Homura has gone through countless time loops to prevent Madoka from being a witch which would indicate that she indeed has gone through more time loops than the five shown in ep. 10
Countless for him. All he knows is what Homura told him herself or what he could conclude from the informations he had. He has no real idea how many times Homura traveled through time.
Homura did seem to mention that her cold personality came from how the people she saw die were too many to count. As in too many Madokas in too many timelines.
A relatively small one, but how did Kyosuke know the way to Hitomi's house? Since she said she kept her feelings for Kyosuke a secret, I can accept that she'd been visiting him at the hospital like Sayaka was and just asked him not to tell, but he wasn't in school very long between being discharged and her confessing to him.
It's probably reasonable to assume that Kamijou attended school with them prior to his accident.
He didn't. Hitomi walks with him back in the direction to his house, not hers; he even mentions that he didn't realize that she lived so close to him because he just assumed they were going the same way, and Hitomi says she doesn't and just wanted to talk.
When Sayaka started ranting about how Homura supposedly let Mami die, why the hell didn't Madoka just tell her that that wasn't the case? It's not like there was anything stopping her?
Madoka may not have realized that Sayaka actually had a good reason to think that; Madoka was stunned by Sayaka's ranting and didn't really recover in time to explain.
A moment ago, Madoka thanked Homura for saving them showing that she knew Homura fought Charlotte as a rescue and not to collect a valuable grief seed. She probably assumed Sayaka thought the same way too and was shocked when she found out otherwise.
What are you talking about? Madoka outright says "That's not what happened!"
Post-episode 3, Mami's dead. She's not around to snap and kill everyone. Homura could have tried to tell the truth about magical girls to Madoka and Sayaka. Sure, it may not have worked, but it would be worth a try. Even better, she could have done it in front of Kyubey; they'd ask him, and he wouldn't deny it. Is Homura that dedicated to being secretive?
She just doesn't believe that outright telling people will lead to belief, and has the evidence of at least one loop where it didn't help, which is why she's being all mysterious and hinty.
Assuming that she's got through more time loops than shown, chances are she probably did try that but failed.
Still, Homura does come off as fairly callous in the wake of Mami's death. She could at least have read Sayaka and Madoka's reactions and made it clear that it was for their benefit (even if she's only truly interested in Madoka), and this would have made her easier to trust, since Madoka finds to be quite cold even as Kyubey turns out to have kept more and more information from her and the other magical girls.
Also bear in mind, Homura has at this point watched Sayaka, Mami and Kyouko die a unfathomable amount of times, and has undoubtedly reached the point where she's desensitized to it. "It was inevitable and I really don't care about their deaths" was probably at that point her default setting.
Dont forget that before all this happened, Homura was orginally a Shrinking Violet due to a long period of hospitalization which made her uncomfortable around people (Madoka was the only friend she had). While her battle skills have been improved by the "Groundhog Day" Loop, her people skills are still lacking, not helped by the fact that the rest of the cast keep dying around her despite her efforts.
Homura's goal was to prevent Madoka from ever making a contract with Kyubey. Following Mami's death, being callous and blunt served that goal. She wanted to put the idea in both Madoka and Sayaka's heads that "If you make a contract with Kyubey, you will die a horrible and pointless death just like Mami did." Saying, "Oh, by the way, being a Magical Girl makes you really hard to kill," would have been actively counterproductive to this end. Would Sayaka have been unwilling to make her contract if she knew she'd become a lich? That's hard to say. It didn't stop Madoka when she almost made hers on the park bench.
Homura's best weapon in the fight to keep Madoka from making the contract was, unfortunately, one of ignorance. She knows better than anyone how ready Madoka is to give herself up for the greater good; telling Madoka the truth wouldn't have changed her mind just because she already knows that Madoka wouldn't consider her soul too high a price to pay. Leaving her to watch Sayaka and Kyouko fall apart without truly understanding the how and why of it all was the best deterrent Homura could have asked for. After all, once she had all the puzzle pieces, Madoka immediately stepped up to make a contract; without them, she would have waffled in confusion until long after it was over.
When Mami tied Homura up before going off to face Charlotte, why couldnt she tell her why fighting the witch would be a bad idea, namely namely that the witch has 2 forms, a doll form and a giant worm that can spring up to devour people like what eventually happened with Mami. If she had, Mami would have likely lived due to being more prepared. The spin-off Oriko Magica shows that Mami is capable of defeating Charlotte as long as she remains guarded. People criticize Mami for not listening to Homura, but really what did Homura warn her about? Homura only said that the witch was different, without going into details about its abilities and that Mami wasnt ready for it, which to Mami's point of view sounds like "You've too weak for this witch, now stand aside and let me take the grief seed that should essentially be yours since its your territory." It shouldnt have surprised Homura when the other Puella Magi tied her up. And when Mami and Madoka started walking away, why not warn them with telepathy? Better yet, why not offer to team up with Mami against the witch or at least hang back, follow Mami and Madoka and intervene when Mami's about to be killed which is what happened in the PSP Portable with better results?
Because there's no point in trying to save Mami once Mami made it clear she wasn't interested in accepting help from Homura (which she'd been doing every time they talked; Mami is actually a really condescending bitch when she wants to be). She either dies in the fight against Charlotte, or she goes insane when she finds out the truth about Soul Gems; letting Charlotte kill her where Madoka could see, up close and personal, was the best deterrent Homura could have for keeping Madoka from making the contract.
Except for the fact that Homura is in need of allies to fight against Walpurgisnacht. The fourth timeline showed that Homura on her own isnt enough to beat it and if no one can stop Walpurgisnacht, then Madoka will contract to save the city, which leads to Madoka turning into Kriemhild Gretchen once the battle is over. While Homura might have been leaning on Kyoko, having two veteran fighters would have increased their chances since Mami has been at the MG business longer than any of them Homura's timeloops withstanding and employs long range weaponry since is useful when Walpurgisnacht can chuck debris at you. And all Homura would have to say is that Walpurgisnacht is coming and Mami's heroic nature would drive her to fight the witch, without Homura having wrangle any deals than with a more self-serving girl.
How exactly would two Magical Girls handle Walpurgis Night better than one? Based on what we've seen, the stuff Homura throws at it seems far beyond what a 'normal' Madoka and Mami could have done in the first timeline; likewise, Kyouko wouldn't have made much of an addition either.
Homura being stronger than Madoka is simply not true. Remember that Madoka still managed to defeat Walpurgis alone at the very first timeline. Having more numbers is always an addition. Sure two men facing a lion barehanded probably wouldn't produce a win, but would you rather fight that lion alone or with another comrade? We don't exactly know all of Kyouko's powers either as she wasn't fighting her best when facing Sayaka; at the very least Kyouko could have protected Homura from the fodder enemies Walpurgis was sending out.
Did Madoka defeat Walpurgis in the first timeline? I thought they only showed Madoka herself dead or dying, but I don't remember Homura mentioning Walpy's defeat. IIRC, the only decisive mention of having successfully defeated her happened in the "Madoka oneshots Walpy and becomes a witch immediately afterward" timeline.
She did... through a Suicide Attack that took out Walpurgisnacht. Notice that her Soul Gem was nowhere to be seen and Walpurgisnacht was gone? And consider the next few timelines that Madoka manages to defeat WPN without having to resort to a Suicide Attack and eventually into Witchdom? Madoka already had potential to be a great magical girl. Homura's time-traveling just multiplied to the point that Madoka could make a wish to recreate the universe!
The thing about Madoka's potential and Homura's time traveling enhancing is unrelated to the discussion. The thing is, Walpurgis being absent from the "Madoka dies," "Madoka becomes a witch," and "Madoka and Homura together" scenes doesn't MEAN she's been defeated. The thing flies wherever it wants, it could have just moved on to wreak havoc elsewhere after defeating the local resistance. That's why the only EXPLICIT confirmation that Walpurgis really IS defeated comes from the "Madoka oneshots Walpurgis and THEN becomes a witch," when Kyubey actually says it. Madoka's Soul Gem also being absent doesn't say anything on its own. It could've just shattered after a fatal attack without Madoka accomplishing anything. A Suicide Attack can be inferred, but one can also infer a complete failure from the exact same scenes.
You are overthinking things. That confirmation also came from someone who didn't know Madoka's power was growing because of Homura's timeline hopping. Also, you have to make the distinction of between Madoka doing a Suicide Attack and Curbstomping WPN. It is heavily implied that WPN was defeated in the first timeline after Madoka's Suicide Attack. I don't think they would let WPN roam around without saying nothing or at least implied that they did. WPN was powerful enough to destroy the World even though it would take much longer than Madoka's Krimhild Gretchen. Also consider that Gretchen always more powerful than WPN BEFORE that One-Shot Madoka did.
Well, what I can say (based mostly on eps 10 and 11) is that:
a) Homura CAN'T use any magical attack, her only magics are time stop and moving stuff around (like the truck or the missile launcher) so far, before the Retcon she never had the bow and she balanced this with timestop, and Genre Savy.
Not true. Homura fires purple energy bolts the first time we see her chasing Kyubey, presumably so as not to give him any clues about what her magic really does, and to conserve her Soul Gem as much as possible.
b) Madoka is kinda like Nanoha, a mid-long ranged fighter with very very strong magic attacks. Mami also qualifies on this category. Kyoko one hit ko'ed witch-Sakaya with her suicide attack. And Sakaya can heavily increase her strength and speed using magic. So any of the girls with the exception of Homura can use strong magic attacks.
c)Walpurgis has an weird eye/magic circle aura around it. IMO walpurgis is simply immune to non-magic attacks, regardless the Overkill, unless it aura is broken with a very powerful magic attack. Thats why Madoka always defeat it, and why having at least one magical girl with a magic attack would greatly increase Humura's possibilities to defeat WP.
For that matter, Walpugisnacht's nature is helplessness. Maybe it's simply impossible to do with only one person, because that person is "helpless" - Homura can't win, but Homura + mouse that noms on Walpurgisnacht's ear can. Madoka breaks this by being Madoka.
A witch's nature is like her personality (she just laughs and floats upside down 95% of the time, and the rare photo(s) showing her right side up also show the city in flames). Homura's firepower hardly singed her dress, and considering all that magical witch-fire spewed, she seems to be magically-heat-resistant enough to laugh off "mere explosives". Ironic, as she is the 'stage-constructing witch'.
I thought Sayaka was Madoka's best friend, Not Homura. That poor girl just can't get a break. Homura seems equally fixed on Madoka as well, thinking of Madoka as her only friend. She and Mami were friends in the first three timelines, but after that...
It could be that because in those previous timelines, Madoka already was contracted by Kyubey and was probably felt separated from Sayaka due to the consequences of being a magical girl. She probably was close to Homura because she inadvertently stepped into their 'world' of sorts. Notice after Homura kills Kyubey before he gets Madoka, Madoka isn't as close to her, especially when Homura emotionally shuts herself away.
Madoka only calls Homura her best friend after she becomes omniscient. People are allowed to change their minds when faced with new knowledge, especially when that knowledge is of somebody who loves you enough to repeat hell just for you.
Then again, you can always have more than one best friend...
That's true, Madoka has just realized how hard Homura has been fighting for her sake, as she says immediately before making that declaration.
So why is Kyouko around in the third timeline? In the only other timeline where she appears (the current one), it's a result of Mami dying, but Mami is alive and kicking in the third timeline.
I think that it was more than Mami that made her that interested in that place. Notice that Sayaka got contracted in that timeline? My bet is that Kyouko was wandering around the world, possibly looking for a new area to hunt witches. While she was passing through that place, she saw Sayaka.You can probably tell what happens next...◊
Don't forget, Mami, Kyouko, and Homura all knew about Walpurgis Night, and the scene where Mami kills Kyouko indicates they had already talked about it. It's likely they had called her in to help against it; that would be in character for Mami, and Walpurgis was the one witch Kyouko had shown an interest in killing without mentioning a Grief Seed.
First point of divergence, when Homura shows up. Second point of divergence, Madoka. What we're seeing is the world where Mami "lost it" in episode 10, but now she has hope (and Madoka). In "mainline", Mami and Kyouko are in the waiting room (or maybe lounge) for the next world (notice how Kyouko just pops into existence when the camera isn't looking). The only constant in the universe(s) (besides Madoka) is Homura (who created many of them if not all). She's doing the whole eternal champion thing.
In The Different Story and the PSP Portable game, Kyouko shows up in Mitakihara Town, even in routes where Mami lives, ostentibly to look for new hunting territory but really to check up on Mami. In the Mami route, Mami catches her in town and the two get into an argument with Kyouko going back to Kasamino City without meeting Madoka and Homura. Its possible that the same scenario occurred outscreen in timeline 1 and 2, and maybe 4 which is why we dont see Kyouko, maybe only staying long enough to get noticed when Sayaka contracts.
So do the Yakuza and the Godzilla Defense Force ever start noticing that their weapons stockpiles are running suspiciously thin? Does Homura keep every weapon she's ever stored in Hammerspace for all the timelines like a New Game+ scenario since I'm pretty sure that all those RPGs in the ending would be missed by those who owned them in the first place.
You're probably right, but the show isn't called Yakuza Chronicles: The Missing Arms Stockpile.
Even if they notice, if their weapons just disappeared and even security cameras didn't record any more than "puff, they're gone", they can't do anything about it. And since it's a massive pile of weaponry, they wouldn't think a schoolgirl is responsible for stealing them.
It would be fairly noticeable if Homura obtains her weaponry in the short window of time (albeit which for her, can last as long as she needs it to) while the locker is open, as she seems to, instead of finding some way to pick the lock.
How do the magical girls know of Walpurgis's existence before she is born? In Timeline 1, Mami even says "Kaname should become a pro before Walpurgis Night." But unlike Homura, they don't have the benefit of knowing its nature or knowing when it's going to appear, or even that it will appear at all.
Any decent magic girls already knew about Walpurgis, as Kyoko shown an intrest in fighting it without Homura having to explain what it is. As for Mami's comment, she might have known there will be a Walpurgis, but might not have known it would be so soon and it would hit their city.
Well, yes, we know they did know there was a Walpurgis. But where did they find out that she's coming? Did Kyubey tell them? How did he find out?
The witch's card says that stories about Walpurgis Night have been "handed down through history", so either some Puella Magi have told each other (trying to form teams against it?) or Kyuubey is telling. He can sense when witches are about to hatch. He most likely didn't tell Madoka in later timelines so that when Walpurgis did appear, she'd be overwhelmed and more easily forced into making a wish.
Hold on a second, Madoka supposedly has the a shit load of power, right? and Kyubey has to grant any wish. so what would happen if Madoka wished for A: Witches not to exist, or B: kyubey not to exist? Would he (be able to) grant that wish?
Isn't A exactly what she wished for? And Kyubey said her wish was "treason against the wish itself" but he was forced to grant it anyway. The latter point would have also been granted as later in the episode Madoka dissapeared from existence and her wish was still intact. so Kyubey would have likely been able to grant it, but Madoka isn't spiteful enough to make that wish. She knows the incubators have been a boon to human civilization and they are trying to do what they think is right. So she reworked their game rather than erasing them all.
Kyubey is a telepath who has no problem with entering girls' minds, as revealed in episode 2 and further hammered in during episode 11. (It also can just outright edit contents of their brains, as there is no other possible explanation for Madoka's temporary loss of all memories of Homura in episode 8). We can safely bet that it mindscans all the girls regularly. Even if it has to grant a wish - which is not actually confirmed - it will know if a wish is going to be harmful to the Incubators, and simply won't be there to grant it. Particularly true in Madoka's case, as it visited her right before she went to save Homura, when Madoka almost certainly knew what she's going to wish for. The idea that the ending didn't go Exactly as Planned by Kyubey is based on the assumption that Kyubey ever told the girls the true extent of its plans. This is far from a given, when we talk about a being notorious for omitting parts of the truth it isn't directly asked about. As about its motive for changing the system, even assuming that the Incubators have no ethics whatsoever, consider, that its race is supposed to think and plan forward on the scale of billions of years and most likely intends to exist for infinity. However, their current way of generating energy from nothing is inherently risky. Even if the risk of accidentally producing a witch capable of actually threatening the Incubators is infintesimal, it is not zero. It cannot be assumed to be zero, because they are playing with power they do not fully undestand. The main timeline Kyubey should be particularly aware of this, as he has an example of a magical girl capable of screwing with space-time on the universal scale right before him. In fact, had Madoka made any other wish, the entire universe would have been in in peril. Of course her actual wish also meant that the main-timeline Kyubey is going to cease to exist and be recreated, so at the moment of wishmaking itself it is distressed (unless it just failed to pick the correct tone of voice, or wanted Madoka to think she won). Once the wish is done, it becomes calm and contemplative again, even as it witnesses literal end of the universe.
I think you're making a massive misinterpretation of events in Episode 8. Madoka had a moment of realisation, that Homura knew her from before their "meeting" in Episode 1, but was more concerned with Sayaka's wellbeing than pressing the issue further.
This is probably just a factual mistake, but why is it that Kyouko's father was allowed to continue to use the church building after the (presumably Roman Catholic) church excommunicated him for his "heretical" ideas? Wouldn't the church heirarchy have simply appointed a new priest for the church in his place instead of letting him take over the building and scattering their parishoners elsewhere?
Maybe the ruined church was built or acquired after he got his followers from Kyouko's wish.
Going with the above, his new followers might have paid for the church's construction.
This troper always assumed that Fr. Sakura simply wasn't a Catholic priest, but a Christian minister, given that he is married with children (you know, Catholic priests have that celibacy thing). Also, there are a lot of Christian denominations with different ideas about Christ and Christianity so him having a 'different' approach in his church (thus his own Christian denomination) is not so strange.
Artistic license aside, it's also hard to swallow the Sakura family's misfortune after Kyouko's father was excommunicated. He could have always joined a more receptive branch of Christianity or started his own church. This troper has seen the latter happen quite often (OK, maybe not in Japan).
Maybe his new ideas included something radical that people are very likely to revolt against, like polygamy or theocracy?
We only have Kyouko's word for it that her father was ordained at all. It's entirely possible that 'Father Sakura' was actually the leader of a cult, and after having been raised in it, Kyouko doesn't know the difference.
So, exactly when does Oriko Magica take place before the anime. It was pretty easy to follow, until Homura showed up. The whole time travel element to the story kind of screws with my attempts to place it on a timeline.
Well, if we assume there are only five timelines overall before Madoka's wish, then it's either Timeline 4 or Timeline 5 because it's not Moemura. Since she and Madoka are on chatty-friendly terms with Hitomi and Sayaka, it's not Timeline 5. If we have 5+ timelines and a buttload were simply not shown, then somewhere between four and five. On the OTHER HAND, the promo of the manga describes it as "the paths of Magical Girls never meant to cross", so it's possible this "Oriko Timeline" is entirely aberrant. Does this help?
Homura's heart disease. Common Knowledge takes that she cured that with her eyes in the 4th loop, but I doubt it. Restorative magic implies restore the state to a previous point of time; and Homura's heart disease is likely to be congenital, as the case usually be, so there's no such a previous time point that her heart can possible be without deformity...
She's a Magical Girl AKA a fucking immortal zombie/lich thing that is pretty much a magically animated meat puppet. She doesn't even NEED her heart anymore.
Your answer does not align well with the fact she still needs to use the Soul Gem to cure her eyes. Based on what you said, her eyes should have been healed when she got the Soul Gem. In my opinion, even Soul Gem would heal injuries and attenuate pain, it cannot force the holder to go beyond the physical constraints of the holder.
The functionality of your eyes has nothing to do with being able to live. All Kyubey told us that their new state does is make it so they can regenerate from any injury, and will remain alive as long as their Soul Gem exists. The way you're trying to interpret things is purely fanfiction and has no basis in anything. The girls are zombies. They don't really need any part of their bodies because magic will keep them going one way or another; on top of this, it also filters out their pain to a degree that they can shrug it off for the most part (or not feel pain entirely at the cost of body-soul reaction lag).
Zombies Liches still need eyes to see through. As we witnessed with Sayaka, just because the girls are liches doesn't mean they don't need their bodies. The heart disease isn't going to threaten her because the implied regenerative properties of the Soul Gem should prevent it from being able to progress any further. Her eyes are actively inhibiting her ability to fight, and have a previous state they can be restored to that would resolve this problem, so she resolved it. They're two completely separate issues.
"Fixing" the eyes of a person who requires glasses at a young age isn't a matter of repairing damage or restoring to an earlier point; the eye trouble is far more likely to be genetic than the heart condition. Meanwhile her athletic performance in the first episode implies that she's at pretty much the peak of human ability. I interpreted taking off the glasses to mean that she'd altered her body to optimal functionality, removing eye conditions, heart troubles, any trace diseases, and any excess fat, and increasing muscle mass, immune response, and nerve conductivity all at once. Heart condition or no, someone who just got out of the hospital without serious physical therapy isn't going to be setting any region-wide records without magical alteration.
Who says she's restoring her body to its previous limits, or to a state they were at an earlier point in time? Healing magic usually involves restoring the body to an ideal state, not a previous one.
In episode 2, Mami explained that if you didn't clean your Soul Gem, it will become dull and dirty. No one was the least bit of curious to ask what would happen after that? Did everyone just assume that you can't use your magic anymore? All of this could have been avoided if they just asked the question that should have came hand-in-hand with that explanation.
As a viewer, I had assumed that you just couldn't use magic anymore, so I'm guessing that's what the girls thought too.
I wondered the same thing for the longest time. The fact that a Grief Seed of all things, cleans the darkness and can USE (to regenerate the witch) when a Soul Gem can't, says a lot to me.
Remember, back in the early part of the story, the girls along with some of viewers thought that they were in a regular Magical Girl show with the Soul Gem as a Transformation Trinket and Kyubey as the helpful Mentor Mascot recruiting them to Savethe World from evil monsters. The girls most likely did think that the Soul Gem's brightness served as a mana meter and that they wouldnt be able to use magic once it got dark. If it was life-threatening, then surely Kyubey would warn them about it. Of course, Kyubey couldn't care less about their lives and well-being except for the amount of energy they give him and his job is to turn them into monsters. Once the Awful Truth about the Soul Gems came out though, that definitely should have sent alarm bells ringing into the girls' heads, considering that it's their SOULS that has been dimming all this time, yet rather than further inquire into this they wait until Sayaka turns into a witch to find out about dark Soul Gems turning into Grief Seeds.
Well, if asked, Kyubey would probably answer something like "If your Soul Gem becomes too dirty, you are going to eventually die", which is technically true. Even if turning into a witch doesn't qualify as dying, this witch getting sooner or later killed by some another Puella Magi does. And such an answer would probably satisfy any curiosity.
After her first fight, Sayaka even asked Kyubei how important was that she purify her soul gem and what would happen if she didn't. Kyubei just said that she won't be able to use her magic "as she please" and therefore she won't be able to ever beat Kyoko. He quite clearly implied that Kyoko is so powerful because she harvests and uses a lot of grief seeds from witches which supposedly makes her magic more powerful every time. But of course if Sayaka have possibly persuaded Madoka into becoming a magical girl, defeating Kyoko would be a piece of cake...
In episode 11, we learn that Sayaka has been missing since the twelfth. What. According to this, it would mean that:
April 4th: Sayaka contracts with Kyubey.
12th: I'll assume "missing" to mean that Sayaka stopped showing up at home for some reason, yet continues to go to school.
16th: Sayaka fights Kyoko.
18th: Sayaka finds out that Kyosuke was released from the hospital. She almost visits him at home. The truth about soul gems is revealed. Sayaka later confronts Kyubey. Sayaka has been "missing" for six days at this point, so this scene most likely does not take place at her home.
19th: Sayaka skips school. It is implied that this is the first time she does so. Sayaka has been "missing" for a week at this point, so she is not at home, yet Kyoko finds her. Where is Sayaka staying?
20th: Sayaka returns to school and Hitomi delivers her ultimatum. At night, Sayaka battles Elsa Maria.
21st: Madoka searches for Sayaka, and learns that Sayaka has not returned home since the last night. The fact that Sayaka has already been missing for nine days to begin with is not mentioned. What.
27th or 28th: Sayaka becomes a witch.
28th or 29th, the following day: Kyoko sacrifices herself to kill Sayaka.
29th or 30th, the following day: Sayaka's body is found in a hotel room most likely procured by Kyoko after Sayaka became a witch. Sayaka's body is buried.
It might be a mistranslation of "missing for twelve days", which would fit if she disappeared some time in the night of the 18th and is found on the 30th.
The translation I saw said the 22nd, which fits in well. I think the linked calendar is just misinformed?
(OP) So it's a simple mistake due to a mistranslation. That makes sense.
(OP again) It seems that the linked timeline has been altered since this Headscratcher was written. Now Sayaka disappearing on the 12th makes perfect sense.
A defeated Witch drops a Grief Seed. The Grief Seed is a corrupted version of the Soul Gem the Witch had as a Puella Magi. Kyoko claims that Familiars can "mature" into Witches, wherupon they too will drop Grief Seeds. Where would the Soul Gems for these Grief Seeds come from? Soul Cloning? For that matter, what would happen if a male familiar, like Oktavia's Holger, matured? Would it become a Witch?
Based on the information presented to us: biological reproduction with a magical twist. A Familiar is a newborn Witch. There are no "male" or "female" Familiars, as Witches reproduce asexually. They may look like what we would think of as male or female, but they have no gender. Their Grief Seeds come from the same place that the souls for any other form of new life comes from.
Familiars grow up into perfect clones of their mother Witch. Therefore they grow Grief Seeds identical to the Grief Seeds of their mother. Since they mature by killing a buttload of people, it's apparently forged directly out of the grief of it's victims. Conversely, a Witch's Grief Seed becomes more valuable (able to absorb more grief) by killing people, so it seems a Witch can empty it's Grief Seed. It's all about how hope and despair have to balance out.
Is the whole show a vicious Take That at Pretty Cure? It's very similar in formula to it out of any other Magical Girl show, just...much darker. But then again, one of the VA's from that is in here, so... (I haven't seen past the first two eps of Magica, so I could be wrong.)
It's a Take That at the entire genre; it's just that Pretty Cure is just so goddamn formulaic that it pretty much hits every note that Madoka is deconstructing.
No, it's a love letter to Magical Girl Warrior core ideas, that also takes some shots at some of its overused supplementary tropes. And half the seasons of Pretty Cure would be almost as dark if their actual plot is condensed to twelve episodes and they are not marketed as Pretty Cure (so that it would be possible to sucker the audience into expecting a Downer Ending).
So what exactly is the unidentified substance that darkens a Soul Gem and must be transferred to a Grief Seed? And why do Grief Seeds have a limited number of 'uses'?
It's basically Grief. The darker magic and energy born of magical exhaustion and negative emotion; in the Puella Magi universe, the hope and despair created by magic have to balance out to 0. As for why the Grief Seeds have limited uses: If they get too full, the seed hatches back into the Witch it was before.
(not OP) I'm going to assume the Witch becomes more powerful on every iteration, right? Otherwise you just need one witch eternally for soul purifying purposes. ~~~
Also a different troper: I don't think that's true. The Incubators are way too efficient to pass up a respawning witch like that. I was under the impression that a Grief Seed has a max capacity the same way a Soul Gem does. Witches expend magic in combat just like a Magical Girl does, but regain their power through killing people and (presumably) absorbing their grief/their souls. Cleansing a Soul Gem with a Grief Seed is just refilling it with Grief, and once full, Kyubey eats it because being dead, it has no body to act with, and so can't expend anymore magic to deplete it again. Filling a Grief Seed to its limit is the end-product of the Incubators' Witch System.
How exactly did Homura fight and defeat Charlotte? As her shield is not present at all during that entire sequence, even in the DVD version her shield is not present. Just a production error?
It's entirely possible that it was just her dodging with the physical power innately given upon becoming a Puella Magi. Then the bombs she left where she was standing did the rest.
If she was dodging with her own abilities (which would be amazing) that doesn't explain where the bombs came from. As we saw in episode 10, her shield is a hammerspace closet. It's likely a production error.
All the Puellas can make their weapons appear and dissapear out of nowhere(Both Mami and Sayaka with multiple muskets and cutlasses). Maybe Homura was abusing that ability constantly.
Confirmed in episode 10. Homura has no other powers besides stopping time and storing items in her shield. She had to physically take the weapons and place them in her shield. I doubt Sayaka had dozens of swords lying around.
Why does everybody keep saying that? Homura has plenty of magic powers, she's just very careful about using them. She has the purple energy bolts she attacks Kyubey with when we first see her, her time-stop and her infinite-space buckler, and then the normal healing/reinforcement magic that all the girls seem to have, and then her parakinesis that she uses on the fuel truck and giant SHAFT missile launchers against Walpurgisnacht.
What exactly is this thing◊ that appears before the prologue. Even now, long after the show's ended, it just seems like a Red Herring to get people speculating.
Why don't any of the characters find Kyubey the slightest bit unusual? This is a world with very real animals, so something like Kyubey would at least raise a few eyebrows, especially since it can TALK. In any other Magical Girl anime, the Weasel Mascot is reacted to very noticably, especially when they see that it can talk, but in this case, no one bats an eye, especially Madoka, who protects this potentially rabid, unidentified animal simply because it's hurt.
The witches are also fairly strange, especially in comparison to other Magical Girl monsters. Perhaps they assume he's one of the many supernatural creatures they're dealing with.
Maybe, but by then Madoka and Sayaka hadn't encountered any. They found Kyubey injured, protected him from Homura, and then got caught in a barrier.
Madoka was contacted telepathically and by that point had already had a precognitive dream, and Sayaka asks if Kyubey were a stuffed animal. Look, when something talks and offers you wishes, you tend to just assume it's not a normal animal.
Actually, his appearance of being cute and the like may have been what caused them to immediately help him, which just leads to some more Fridge Horror.
I'm guessing deja vu.
How did Kyouko's father find out about her wish? This is the only case of someone who does not ever form a contract with Kyubey finding out about the wish, and the only time besides Madoka's wish that the wish's beneficiary finds out about the wish. Kyouko's narration also doesn't mention an explanation, so I have to wonder- is there a reason why her father found out, or does she know?
It's implied that she came forward with it herself in order to make him proud of her. It's also possible he caught her fighting a witch and asked WTF was goin' on.
The latter seems more likely, since (at least in the manga), she says the "truth came to light," which would imply that somehow, he found out by some way other than her own admission.
Confirmed by The Different Story spinoff. A witch came to the Sakura church and Kyoko's father saw her fight it.
After Mami's death, why didnt it occur to Madoka to just wish her back to life? I mean, there's a genie hanging around her who states it can grant any wish she desires. And its never mentioned by Kyubey that resurrection was impossble. I can understand why Sayaka didnt since she probably was saving her wish for Kyosouke who she has a crush on but there was nothing preventing Madoka especially since she was deeply affected by Mami's death. Her reluctance to make a wish would've been understandable after the reveal of the Awful Truth but until then there was nothing stopping her. Also it seems rather out of character for Kyubey not to use this to his advantage to coerce Madoka into becoming a Puella Magi to bring Mami back given that he spends the rest of the series pressuring her to make a contract when things are about to go wrong.
Probably because you can't bring someone dead back to life, but screwing with time if fine. Mirai Nikki worked the same way.
Because Madoka's not stupid enough to throw her life away for a friendly acquaintance she's only known for two days that's going to die in some other fight anyway. Madoka's not stupid; if she's going to sell her life she's going to get the bang for her buck.
Yes she is (Well, far too kind is a better term than stupid, but still). In the first timeline she became a magical girl by wishing to save a cat.
I see it as Madoka being unwilling to make the contract for 'any' wish at all, even reviving Mami, who I'm sure she was attached to (even given the short time span they were together). Remember that she understands Mami died a horrible death because she was a Puella Magi, and it was exactly the event which caused her to rethink making the contract. She simply didn't want to die with the dangerous job of being a Puella Magi, just like Mami did.
I think Kyubey might have been hoping Madoka and/or Sayaka would, on the spur of the moment, make a contract with him to revive Mami (and thus be able to fight and save their own lives), just like Mami had been forced to make a contract to ensure that she survived the car accident, since immediately after Mami is eaten, he tells them to make a contract with him. Then again, perhaps if it were that simple to revive the dead, Homura could just have asked to bring Madoka back from the dead as an ordinary human in the original timeline. Problem solved.
That wouldn't have fit Homura's desires, though. It's more than just making sure Madoka lives; it's also to prevent her suffering, growing stronger to protect her, and making sure Madoka doesn't just sacrifice herself to save someone else like...the next day.
It never occurred to her that it would be possible. Charlotte went through the same thing: she became a magical girl wishing she could share one last cheesecake with her dying mother, and when it actually came true and she got a single cheescake, she falls to despair realizing that she could have wished for her mother to get better. By the time she came to understand the magnitude of the wishes Kyubey is capable of granting, she'd already seen enough of the system to realize that Mami dying was still better than the alternative. For Madoka, bringing back a single person, knowing so many others are still suffering so much, would be unthinkable... which is why the wish she finally makes doesn't leave anybody out.
Sayaka's witch form is a mermaid, Kyoko's magical weapon is a harpoon spear, make of that what you might. Also, in the episode Kyoko took Sayaka down with her, the episode-end guest-image is a Cat Girl Kyoko.
...no, I don't get it. Can someone please explain what's so homoerotic about this?
Presumably someone reading too much into it. Dying together is probably the obvious one, but also spear fishing, the symbolism of the "spear" (as contrasted on this wiki with the distaff in an unrelated trope), and finally, how cats eat fish, with all the...other meanings fraught in that verb choice. It makes more sense if you start with the conclusion and look backwards for details to support it, rather than the more usual converse.
Why does the suicidal woman Mami saves in Episode 2 look so much like Madoka's mother (the only major differences are that her hair is longer and she wears a vest instead of a blazer)? The only other indicator that she isn't Madoka's mother is that Madoka doesn't say anything to the effect of "That's my mother!"
Speculation time: it initially WAS going to be Madoka's mother, but the production team decided that it would cause too many problems down the line so they made a couple last minute changes.
The hell are you going on about? They look NOTHING ALIKE. They're both women in business suits? Ooooh that only describes every woman in the Japanese workforce.
When Kyouko is facing off against Oktavia, and Homura steps in, why didn't she ask her for help in defeating her, rather than giving a full on Heroic Sacrifice?
The necessity of the Heroic Sacrifice itself is very debatable. It looked less like something she had to do, and more like something she wanted to do, especially based on her words to Sayaka as she performed it. The idea was that Kyoko killed herself with Sayaka so that Sayaka wouldn't have to die alone; a small-scale form of Madoka's wish. Asking Homura to help her kill Sayaka would certainly have prevented Kyoko from dying, but that would be counterintuitive to what Kyoko was trying to accomplish after her attempt to save Sayaka failed.
Okay, this isn't really a plot hole or mistake, just an ambiguity I'm curious about: what would happen if you got an insta-kill shot on a magical girl? Like, decapitation, or even vaporization, with the soul gem intact. Would that destroy the body/soul link and send them into stasis? Would their soul gem try to repair the damage and turn into a witch? If the link was already broken (e.g., by reaching the distance limit) when you destroyed their flesh, would there be any way to wake up the magical girl?
According to Kyubey, as long as the soul gem is alright, the magical girl is immortal and can keep fighting. Interpret as you please.
Word of God also has it that if a magical girl who doesn't know the Awful Truth about Soul Gems dies, they'll witch out instantly from the despair of dying.
Here's something I don't quite get: The general consensus seems to be that Homura can't use magical attacks ( which is why she has to use firearms), yet the very first episode has her firing pink balls of energy at QB ( and I don't think Homura can travel into the future to steal a plasma rifle). There's also this scene in Episode 9 where Homura tried to kill Sayaka before she could become a witch. She didn't pull out a gun, she was more likely trying to blast Sayaka's head off with another pink energy ball, after which she would've most likely destroyed her Soul Gem.
My theory: She doesn't use firearms because she can't use magical attacks, she uses them instead of her magical attacks. From what I can see in episode 1, her magical attacks seem to be pretty weak (one direct hit didn't blow a hole through QB like a bullet did later), and she doesn't seem to be able to stop time and fire her energy balls at the same time. The latter is probably the reason why she only uses her magical attacks as to not reveal her true powers to QB: Her "timestop followed by massive firepower"-combo is so powerful that she never bothered using anything else. Too bad Walpurgis seems to have massive damage reduction...
Another theory: She used her time-magic to advance the explosives to a point in time in the future when they're either in the midst of exploding or so far in the past that they're pure energy. Her using her powers like this also explains how she could control the truck in Episode 11- restore the engine to a time it's running, the wheel to a time when it's turning this way or that... The truck even glows the same color as the energy pellets. As for Sayaka's soul gem, she might have been planning on crushing it in her hand or something.
My theory: The writer couldn't think of a better way to keep her powers a secret and still have her actually DO SOMETHING. Episode 10 seemed to make it pretty clear that she can only stop time and store bombs and guns in her sand timer/disc thing, and Word of God states that he didn't think the mechanics of her disc all the way through.
Another possibility: Homura does have magic attacks, though possibly weak ones, but she chooses to use firearms instead for efficiency. Given how powerful they have turned out, how using magic depletes the Soul Gem more quickly than just the background power draw to stay alive, and how Homura wants to last as long as possible in case she needs to reset the loop again, keeping magic use to a minimum would be wisest. There is no indication that she comes back with a full Soul Gem, and given that she is a magical girl from the first timeline in the second, it's quite possible that her Soul Gem is what actually gets sent back to the beginning of the loop, meaning draining it would make the next timeline that much harder.
A tiny question: The hospital that Homura is hospitalized in, is it the same hospital that Kyousuke Kamijou resides in as well, or is it a different hospital altogether?
The PSP game implies it's the same hospital, but that the two never cross paths unless Homura deliberately does so.
Where on earth are Sayaka's parents? They supposedly let Sayaka skip school, are always missing whenever we see her at home, and don't even get one mention or appearance until Sayaka's funeral!
The PSP game implies that Sayaka is a latchkey kid.
Wouldn't the best possible path for Kyubei to approach the heat-death of the universe problem be to find an extremely powerful magical girl, and manipulate her into wishing that decay of energy would not happen? He's supposed to be coldly logical, but he's following a remarkably inefficient plan when the power he's exploiting surpasses all physics and logic.
This is kind of addressed; a girl's maximum energy output requires that she make a wish founded in emotional, earnest desire. The wishes that pay off best aren't the ones you sit down and think over, but the ones you've always wanted, and make without thinking it through. Also, what you're suggesting requires a girl powerful enough to rewrite the laws of physics. It might require more power than even Madoka had, and she was pretty much infinite. The decay of usable energy is a result of the process that allows events of any sort to take place in the universe, so using anyone short of Madoka could've granted the wish by permanently freezing time or something.
Kyubey says he could grant any wish in episode two, but later he says that the extent of the wish depends on the girl's magical talent. So what happens when a girl wishes for something beyond her powers? Won't it be granted? Or is it impossible for her to even THINK of a wish which is too powerful?
It would probably be granted to the best of their ability. For instance, if someone tried to emulate Homura's wish and didn't have the potential to satisfy it, it might grant it by reviving Madoka with amnesia...
Or maybe the people who would wish something like that are the people with lots of despair in their life, so they will have enough power to grant it?
Kyubey says that he needs teenage girls to become witches because they are the most emotional beings and thus produce the most energy when they go beyond Despair Event Horizon. So after Godoka undoes the existence of witches altogether and the Incubators harvest the grief cubes from the wraiths, can't they leave the teenage girls alone and employ adult Magical Warriors instead? Letting teenage girls do the job seems pretty unnecessary now.
Magic and emotions are the same thing, remember; meaning that young girls are still the most magically powerful human candidates, and thus the best for gathering Grief Cubes. You also neglect that energy is released and collected by the forging of a contract (and also when the Witch transformation occurs).
It's established that magical girls get a special magic based on their wish in addition to their weapon, i.e. Sayaka's healing, Mami's ribbons. What was Madoka's magic?
Not really an answer to your question, but healing seems to be a power all Magial Girls have in common (Mami heals Kyubey, Homura heals her eyes, Kyouko keeps Sayaka's body fresh); Sayaka is just ESPECIALLY good at it. So maybe Madoka is ESPECIALLY good at something that all Magical Girls can do to some extent.
In the Drama CD 1, she seems to be able to enhance Homura's physical performance during PE class, but it gets out of control. But what does it have to do with her wish to save the life of the black cat from the opening?
Magical girls seems to have the ability to enhance everything they want (Kyouko's telescope, Mami's spell on Sayaka's bat), but if we're to ask about Madoka's wish magic, we don't really have a clue. Though Madoka has a knack to make a wish that has something to do with happiness of others (in PSP game Madoka's wish in the second timeline is for her family to be always happy), so maybe she's an empath?
Possibly the powers aren't necessarily related to the wish. What have ribbons have to do with surviving a car accident?
According to the PSP game, in actual gameplay Madoka's powers include especially powerful healing of other characters, including the ability to bring characters back from 0 HP. She also has the ability to SLIGHTLY PURIFY SOUL GEMS ON HER OWN, use less MP than other characters for the same actions, use 'purifying' powers that destroy enemies on the screen, "giving them peace" according to the description, and her arrow attacks are specifically based on an angelic Cupid motif. All of her attacks and abilities tie into her Messianic nature, even on the first timeline.
Why doesn't Homura use her time-stopping powers to help her defeat witches as well as to move really fast? She could pause time and that would give her all the time in the world to find more weapons, recruit more magical girls, or even just keep firing away until the witch dies without having to take any hits herself. Hell, she could probably have defeated Walpurgisnacht this way without needing Madoka to contract.
There's a limit as to how often or how 'long' Homura can stop time for before her soul gem runs out of magic. You can see in the current timeline when Homura fights Walpurgisnacht she runs out of sand/magic (I forgot which), and would've had to go reset the timeline again if she didn't despair. I think Urobochi said she had 1 month worth of sand in her timer, but then again he also said he didn't think the timer's mechanics through.
Homura did try to use that technique, and what we saw is that, even if she fires the rounds, activates bombs and whatnot, she still needs to let time pass in order to have any effect.
Grab your torches and pitchforks folks! Am I the only one who thinks that the fandom is reading much, much, much more into the yuri undertones than implied by the series? I think it's especially true for Sayaka × Kyoko; I watched the relevant episodes several times over now and I don't find anything homoerotic about them. It seems like people forget that platonic friendships between girls actually do exist, and to me, it seems to be the far more likely option (and of course the more boring to phantasize about). As for Homura × Madoka, yeah, I see how we get the idea, but frankly, not before the final episode. So tell me, is it just that The Power of Friendship is too boring to be discussed or am I Oblivious to Love?
This troper agrees 100%
Not to mention, the whole "yuri" thing obviously wasn't intended to be there in the first place. People seem to love missing the point and latching onto things that aren't there. Seriously fandom, take off your yuri goggles and smash them to bits. Thank you.
IMHO, in the case of Madoka Magica, the yuri undertones are not coming directly from the (canon) series itself but rather from the (non-canon) supplements and artworks around it; especially Kyou/Saya. Mado/Homu in episode 12 can easily be seen as Romantic Two-Girl Friendship (as they're middle school girls), and from here, it's easy to cross the line to Les Yay. Romantic Two-Girl Friendship is a very real phenomenon (it's very normal for girls in their early teenage years to hug and cuddle a lot) but as we grow out of the middle-school age, we tend to forget that and become more prone to see such behavior as lesbian. In the Yuri Fans' defense, I think most of them take their Shippings with a grain of salt and are perfectly aware that they're not even close to being canon.
I Blame Society. Romantic love is always given the focus of any given media that is very easy to forget that other kinds of love exist, and most people resort to default to romantic any friendship, regardless of logic. So two friends that spend time together? They're in love. Brother and sister show they care about each other? Incest.
Kyoko bled images of her and Sayaka in a heart shape, I don't think that counts as sub-text.
I just came back from watching The Movie; that image has been removed from it. Also when Godoka and Homura hug in Godoka's realm, the two are clothed, while they're nekkid in the TV show. Probably safe to assume that the creators want to tone down the yuriness. The new opening sequence looks pretty romantic, though.
If Madoka became a witch, she would become the most powerful one in the world, and would destroy the earth (and probably her whole universe), but that also means she is undefeatable, so what's supposed to happen if she does destroy the world? Would she just spend eternity as this unkillable witch?
That's it exactly. She does, afterall, have a Utopia inside herself to manage.
My guess: She destroys the world and "eats" all of humanity, and eventually starves to death.
If Homura is trying to protect Madoka, then why the fuck does she keep leaving her alone when she's an absolute danger magnet?
Think about what she has to do. She has to steal new equipment, probably assassinate Kirika and Oriko, keep Kyubey away from Madoka as long as possible, kill witches that can deviate things outside of her scenarios, keep her soul gem clean on top of all that, and also save a certain kitty. Protecting Madoka's life isn't the problem; the problem is keeping her from contracting.
So, if the Incubators just leave planets to their fate when their quota is reached, what do they if a witch starts getting too powerful that it might pose a huge danger to the rest of the universe like Madoka became in some of the cycles? For a species of aliens that are trying to prevent the death of the universe eons in the future, they seem more like they'll end up causing the death of all life in it far sooner.
The witches don't seem to care about what goes on outside their home planet.
We never hear anything about whether witches stay on one planet or not.
In the PSP game, the witch Itzli is supposedly from the other side of the galaxy, so apparently it's possible for some of them to travel from planet to planet.
Why does Kyubey tell Homura why he figured out why Madoka would become so powerful is she became a magical girl. One would say it might to prevent her from resetting time, but he could just let her do that and odds are she'd either end as a witch or dead. Really it seems like the only reason he does that is exposition for the viewers.
And to push Homura into despair, creating another Witch to reap. Telling this information to Madoka also gives her incentive to contract in order to come to Homura's aid.
It might also serve to stop Homura from time-looping again. Kyubey's biggest problem with Homura was that he couldn't figure out how her powers worked, and once he realized she had time magic, he realized exactly what a problem her powers are: if she restarts time forever, the Incubators' plan can never be completed. One way or another, he'd have to eliminate Homura, and pushing her into witching out was the surest way.
Why do witches hide in labyrinths anyways? It seems redundant to hide in an invisible Evil Lair when most people can't see them and don't even know they exist, and they only things that do know they exist can find them easily. Really, hiding seems pointless. There might some practical reasons to making sure nobody but magical girls know they exist, but witches don't seem intelligent enough to grasp them.
The labyrinths are (pale, messed-up) reflections of the witches' hearts and minds, so it's more like they just do it to try to grasp the wishes they gave their lives up for but really didn't get anyways.
So the real reason that Walpurgisnacht doesn't hide in a labyrinth is because it's combination of witches rather than simply being born from a magical girl?
I think only exceptionally powerful witches can ever break out of their labyrinths, like Walpurgis Night and Kriemhild Gretchen.
So, I'm confused about the ending saying this a reconstruction and supposed to be uplifting, the final scene has Homura on her own in a Bolivian Army Ending out in the middle of a desert, implying she's killed, everyone else was killed, and that the magical girls fail against the demons. It feels like Gen couldn't resit dropping the depressing elements even when he's trying not to be depressing.
You're misunderstanding. That desert is only described as "Not Japan." It doesn't imply any sort of post-apocalyptic atmosphere at all; only that Homura walks the earth. She's protecting the whole world, not just one town.
Why does Kyubey still stick to young girls in the new timeline? Before he was doing that because he needed their despair when they became witches, now it doesn't seem like there is any reason and since he wants them to actually win, why doesn't he go making contracts with a bunch of commandos or something?
For the same reason he contracted them in the first place. The power of magic comes from emotions. According to Kyubey, young girls are the most emotionally volatile humans, both good and bad. Not just despair, but hope, crushes, joy over little things, etc. The wish has to be deep, heartfelt, and desperate.
I don't get the spellings of "Kyoko," "Kyosuke," and "Kamijo." I thought they were spelled without the "u"s, but it seems that most people are spelling them as "Kyouko," "Kyousuke," and "Kamijou." So...what are the official spellings?
With the u's.
It depends on the romanization. The spelling 'Kyou' is a 1-to-1 mapping from 'きょう', where 'う' alone is a 'u', but in this combination indicates that the preceding vowel is long. 'Kyoko' is an alternative spelling of 'Kyōko' with the bar left out. A somewhat archaic spelling is 'Kyohko'. You can see the different spellings in the other wiki.
On the Japanese DVDs, Kyoko is spelled — with the English alphabet, mind — without the "u." Seems to be the official spelling.
I don't even know how to categorize this, but: there's this scene in episode 5 with Madoka and Sayaka walking over a highway. Two lines of cars, perfectly horizontally aligned as if their doors were welded together, pass by in opposite directions. Then the same thing happens two more times. What in the world was going on there? A perpendicular funeral procession? All the other times traffic makes an appearance, like in Sakaya and Kyoko's confrontation on a bridge, the cars are arranged realistically.
Just a moment where the animators screwed up or something.
But they fixed a ton of mistakes and unfinished things in the disk set version. They didn't fix this, even though it would have been pretty trivial (they wouldn't need to draw anything, just shift some frames around). Maybe it was supposed to be disconcerting?
How did Madoka end turning into a witch after a few seconds in the timeline where she killed Walpurgisnacht anyways? It occurs off-screen, which kinda feels like a Hand Wave because nobody could think of reason for it to happen onscreen. Despair doesn't make sense given she didn't seem to angst much about the destruction caused, and we don't any dialogue implying she used up too much power so her soul gem go corrupted.
I would point towards the "too much power used" option. Imagine how devastating must have been her attack if she killed "the ultimate witch" with one shot. Madoka probably had used all of her power on the one, specific attack (which is a quite common tactic in final battles) which led to shattering of her soul gem which led to her changing into a witch. And since in that timeline (was it forth or fifth timeline?) Madoka didn't ask for a "mercy kill"...
Why does Kyubey eat his damaged and useless bodies?
He's shown as overly posessed by the idea of energy conservation, so he's not going to let his own body just rot in vain.
About energy conservation : Kyubey mentioned that his species came to Earth because humans can express emotions and energy collected from our emotions "save the universe". He also did mention that on his planet, there are "beings" that can express emotions but they are treated as mentally ill. As for species that obsessed with energy conservation, shouldn't they use them to gather energy instead of poor human girls? Of course, he mentioned that such situation is extremely rare but it might have been just enough to save a girl or two.
You're assuming Kyubey gives a damn about saving girls at all, for one thing. For the other, Kyubey is a hive mind creature; if the ones with emotions are considered mentally ill, they're probably not under his control anymore, and unlikely to do as they're told. For all his manipulation and scheming, Kyubey does obey his own rules to the letter, and he can't actually compel anyone to do anything. A mentally-ill Incubator, capable of feeling emotions and understanding what a soul is and knowing full well what happens to those who make contracts, would never do it.
What would happen if one wished that incubators never existed?
Depending on the potential of the girl in question(Madoka levels, or more powerful), the wish can be granted, creating a world timeline were incubators don't exist(but possibly the girl remembering them), or if her powers are weak, the wish could be interpreted as "not existing... for her" so essentially becoming a magical girl without memories of how she became a magical girl.
Why does Homura drop the empty gun after after killing QB on the bench? You'd think an empty gun with her fingerprints on it, surrounded by shell casings in a random park would raise questions.
Considering Madoka had come within seconds of making A Deal With The Devil, she may had been in shock and dropped the gun without knowing or didnt want to scare Madoka away by approaching her with a weapon in hand. She probably picked the gun up afterward and they just didnt show it.
Recalling the scene from memory, Another Kyubey stepped in to eat the remains of the dead one. Even though a gun lying on the ground at night may look suspicious,anyone who found the gun would have be unable to report an incident because there was no body.
The whole plot just bugs me. I know Madoka's the most important person in the universe because of Homura's wish, but magical girls have been around for centuries. Are we really supposed to believe no one else has made the same wish? Secondly, why has no one else wished to put an end to the witches?
Because Kyubey doesn't tell them what witches are before they make their wish; he tells them that he needs magical girls to fight witches, so the logical conclusion is that if Kyubey had the power to wipe out witches, he'd already have done it. That's not true, but a magical girl isn't likely to find that out until long after it's too late, if at all. The only reason Madoka knows witches exist at all is because Homura stopped Kyubey from making a contract with her... but she doesn't stop him from doing it to Sayaka; Madoka sees everything horrible happening to her best friend firsthand. Even if you assume that Madoka was the first and only magical girl whose magical potential was powerful enough to rewrite the universe, she's still the only normal girl who gets to see what the life of a magical girl is like, and thus the only one to realize that that wish is a viable one.
Well ... if that's the only explanation, fine, guess I'll have to take it. My first question is still unanswered, though: how has no one else in the history of magical girls wished to go back in time to save a friend?
What makes you think Homura is the only one who's ever done that?
The reason I think that is because Madoka is supposed to be the most important person in the world because of Homura's wish — but wishing to go back in time to save a friend seems like it'd be a pretty common (or, if not common, definitely not unheard of) wish. Is Homura the only one that managed to mess it up that bad?
In a word: yes, but "mess it up" is overly harsh. See, most girls have families, they have other friends, they live in less-dire times than the arrival of Walpurgisnacht, the most dangerous witch known on Earth (at the time, anyway). Most magical girls who wish to go back in time to save a friend from something have way fewer obstacles to it than Homura did. And even if those circumstances were equally difficult, that magical girl is more likely to fall to despair upon realizing she failed.. or worse (and more likely) that she suceeded, but it would have been better for their friend to have died. Homura began a physically disabled orphan with no self-confidence and no friends who was able to focus all her determination on fulfilling a specific set of criteria: Walpurgis defeated, Madoka alive, Madoka still not a magical girl. There's also the possibility that her potential as a magical girl was sufficient enough to give her multiple resets, where a weaker girl might have gotten the moment-stopping magic, but not the endless loop option, and only gone back in time for one try. So basically, other girls may have tried it, but only Homura had what it took to make it happen the way it did.
If this has been asked before, please forgive me, but... why didn't Homura just reverse time and LIE to Kyubey? Just admit that you're a time traveler but tell him that one day there will be an even more powerful Magical Girl then Madoka will be, but you'll only tell him/it about her if Kyubey never forms a contract with Madoka, from there it's a simpler matter of bringing the magical girls together, you have the time to learn all the things you need to know about Sayaka, Kyoko and Mami to convince them that you're on their side, you could of solved this so easily, Homerun-chan!
You forget that Kyubey has a hivemind with all incubators ever, and is likely aware of the magical power of everyone on Earth. Even if that person wasn't hypothetically born yet, Kyubey would probably demand proof.
Not quite. Kyubey is intrigued and surprised to notice Madoka's potential, so he can't really be omniscient as far as magical potential goes. But there's another reason that wouldn't work: Kyubey is too patient. If Homura tempts him with knowledge of the future in exchange for never contracting with Madoka, he already wins by default because Homura wouldn't know about it if it wasn't already going to happen.
She's also probably already tried that. We only get to see a handful of timelines, but she's gone through close to a hundred of them. Leaving aside the fact that Kyubey is a hivemind and a telepath, telling him that there'll be another, more powerful magical girl than Madoka doesn't make Madoka any less appealing as a candidate. And since Homura is already a magical girl, there's nothing she can do to compel him to keep his end of the bargain anyway.
As we see with Homura and Kyoko (the latter is regarding Sayaka), the Soul Gem can heal more than just injuries and it can also be used on other people. Going on this, if Sayaka had, say, wished for cake (or, if it's possible, wished for Mami to be revived), would she have been able to use her Soul Gem to heal Kyosuke's arm/hand injury?
No, the Soul Gem can't be used to heal ordinary people; what you're describing is essentially a Magical Girl capability to modify their unnatural body (which is basically an undead magical construct by that point), and Sayaka's abilities go beyond even that because she wished to heal a normal person.
Do we know that for sure? I don't think any Magical Girl has tried it yet, because it would mean showing the afflicted person the Soul Gem and explaining it all. Kyouko seems to freshen Sayaka's corpse just fine, so at least we know a magical girl can use her powers on people other than herself, but we don't have anything to go on about how it'd work on a normal person.
Forgive me if this has already been asked and I just missed it, but does nobody in this series have parents? Okay, so Madoka's appear on screen multiple times, Kyoko's are dead, and Sayaka's appear at her funeral. What about Mami and Homura? I read somewhere that Homura's parents died whilst she was in the hospital and that Mami's parents were killed in the accident she made the contract in, but this wasn't mentioned in the series that I can remember and I haven't found any definitive proof of this being canon.
Mami's is, at the very least, heavily implied in canon. We see the car accident in a flashback, and considering Mami would have died had she not contracted with Kyubey, it's safe to assume her parents did die. This is outright stated in the game, where Mami regrets not using her wish to save her parents instead of just herself. So only Homura's parents' fates are left ambiguous.
What would happen if one wished that incubators never existed?
Assuming the magical girl who made the wish had the power to pull it off and Kyubey wasn't lying about the role of magical girls in human history, we'd all go back to living naked in caves.
So what the hell is up with Mami pulling her rifles out so suggestively? 0:22 here, Victoria's Secret Compartment, and 0:42 here... yeah. We know they appear on the spot, and we know she can make them appear from anywhere - Mami has to be doing it on purpose. And this clearly isn't the type of show for Fanservice, or there would have been much more done with the transformation sequences. So what on Earth is the deal? Is Mami trying to tell Madoka something, or is it something entirely else?
This Troper thinks you need to clean your filthy glasses. That first example has the rifle manifesting from her heart, not her tits; the second has them dropping out of the sides of her skirt in a mock-curtsey, not from her crotch. She can manifest them from anywhere, but she does have to draw them out of herself somehow.
So... how is Kyubey expecting to harvest Kriemhild Gretchen's grief seed, exactly?
He doesn't need to. The Witch transformation itself gives off a crapload of energy his species absorbs.
If that were true, Kyubey wouldn't have the girls use grief seeds to clean their gems, and he wouldn't need them to fight witches. The grief seeds are his means of collecting the energy he needs. If the transformation was all he needed, it would better serve his needs to just let the girls fall to despair as quickly as possible, and let the witches already in existence spawn familiars and harvest the energy produced when they mature.
He says outright that the transformation into Witches in of itself releases huge amounts of energy. Also, this is Kyubey. It's not an either-or deal, he can have the witch transformations AND the Grief Seeds! Also, your argument implies that Girl-to-Witch and Familiar-to-Witch transformations are the same as far as energy output goes. This isn't necessarily the case. Either way, the method of letting girls hunt witches, collect the Grief Seeds, and enjoy their fallout yields more energy than just witching them all out immediately; ESPECIALLY since the Witches need to be hunted regardless or his cattle will be wiped to extinction.
He says it releases lots of energy, yes, but he doesn't collect that energy. He doesn't need to, it's already been released into the universe. Although we never specifically see it, the only time he says he's gotten close to meeting his quota is after Walpurgis is killed by Gretchen and, presumably, he picks up her Grief Seed. Kyubey doesn't care if humanity survives or not, they're only cattle when they produce an end product that must be renewed between harvests. Grief Seeds fit that description, the energy of the transformation doesn't. If he didn't need the Seeds, humanity wouldn't need to survive. And more to the point, he wouldn't encourage the girls to cleanse their Gems with them, since it delays them turning into witches.
Whether he needs the Grief Seeds is irrelevant to his need for humanity to survive if he wants the energy released by the transformation into a witch. No more humans, no more Magical Girls, no more witches. He needs them to transform, but letting them rampage will just cause candidates to die. Letting Magical Girls witch out without culling other witches will reduce the number of candidates. If Grief Seeds are the only way he can get energy, though, it would actually be counterproductive getting Madoka to contract with him. Humanity would be wiped out, meaning no more Magical Girls, and nothing to kill Gretchen to get it to release it's Grief Seed.
In that scenario, Gretchen's Grief Seed isn't necessary. He already has Walpurgis' and the energy of Gretchen's transformation is already released, and that meets his quota. Again, he doesn't collect the energy of transformations, there's no need to.
It's been said that Kyubey's species is a hive mind, but how exactly? For example, when Homura kills him to prevent Madoka from making a contract, another one steps in immediately. Is this a clone of that original being, with the same mind? Or is it a different one entirely who just shares the same goal? Is QB one of millions of identical minds (i.e. QC, QD, QE, etc.) or does every incubator share the same personality as Kyubey?
Kyubey is one being with multiple bodies, according to Word of God.
I get that witches' domains are reminiscent of their wish as magical girls, but what I want to know is, how sentient are witches? It's said that they are responsible for all of the pain and suffering of humanity, but do they seek to cause disasters? Or is are disasters caused by their presence. Could a girl who had just turned into a witch do anything to prevent tragedies, or is she so wrapped up in her grief that they happen without her control?
Falling to despair means being so wrapped up in grief that all she can do is try to take her pain out on the world by sowing curses in various forms; this is explained very early on.
I agree that Walpurgisnight is a collection of witches, but what causes the witches to gather? Charlotte and Gertrud, who we saw in the first three episodes were alone, so what was different about the witches who did make up WN?
She isn't a gathering of whole, complete, individual witches, she's a collection of curse energy that doesn't get absorbed into a grief seed (basically, the leftovers from when witches' kisses disappear after the witch who cast them is destroyed, or when familiars are killed without maturing into a witch first). It's called "a gathering of witches" based on the actual Walpurgis Night Festival, where witches gather on a mountain.
The above is pure speculation. Kazumi Magica includes instances in which Witches can be brought together to interact with one another.
Not quite. According to Word of God, WPN works "like tornadoes", so it seems to be a combination of the two. Walpurgis is a single witch that can absorb other witches, sucking up curse energy to become a huge, crazy-powerful witch.
In many timelines, there's at least one person who knows that magical girls exist without becoming one: Madoka (and Sayaka, for a shorter time) in the main timeline, and Homura in the original one. In Homura's case in particular, it seems as though Kyubey never even made her an offer until she makes her wish (she has no knowledge of the relevant issues the first time around, and she doesn't have a time-traveller to warn her, so what would have stopped her from making a wish earlier if she could have?). By contrast, someone like Hitomi is never even aware of this reality as far as we know – even though she had something similar happen to her in the main timeline as Homura did in the first timeline. I'm just somewhat surprised that Homura (with Madoka, we eventually know why Kyubey wants her) is allowed to know the secret and keep hanging around all these magical girls despite not being one. (Also, Madoka and Sayaka communicate telepathically through Kyubey in episode, like, 2.) At least for the sake of keeping the whole thing a secret – nothing's stopping your grandma or someone from being like "oh yes, many decades ago I was offered the chance to become a magical girl, but I said no." Or is it that everyone Kyubey bothers to reveal himself to becomes a magical girl eventually, even if they refuse the first time he asks them? (With one of those things being the cause of the other, though I'm not sure which one.)
To put it simply, Kyubey doesn't lose anything by revealing himself to potential Puellae because he's invisible to normal people anyway. If they try to tell anyone about him who isn't a candidate for the contract, he can just disappear and make them look crazy, and proving he exists at all means proving the existence of magic... and unless she's made a contract or has a friend who has, she has no way to do that. Kyubey is extremely patient, though: every girl he reveals himself to eventually becomes a Puella Magi, but it's not because he's just that good at picking winners. It's because the better he knows the girls, the better he'll know how to manipulate them. Homura makes a good example in the first timeline: Kyubey has no reason to stay in Mitakihara now that Walpurgis has flattened the place and his current girls are gone, but he stays behind to watch Homura because he knows that Madoka's death will give Homura a reason to make the contract. There's a better-than-average chance that he had a hand in convincing Homura to stay within sight distance of the battle, instead of taking shelter someplace safe until the battle is over like any sensible person would have done, for exactly that reason.
So hope and dispair balance to zero right? This means that for equal amount of hope there is the same amount of dispair... and the opposite should be true too. What happens when your wish initially is more like a curse (like wishing your stepmother to be dead because you don't like her) and brings dispair to the world? To balance this out, somehow your wish should bring hope too? How?
The point is that the magical girl has to endure the despair no matter who gets the hope. Sayaka makes a good illustration: she heals Kyosuke's hand, so he instantly gets the hope of being able to play the violin again, which gives Hitomi the chance to see him at school and confess. The two of them get all the hope from Sayaka's wish, but Sayaka has to take on all the despair. It's the same for any wish: a magical girl who wishes her stepmother dead gets the despair of killing her, while everyone around her gets the benefit of the stepmother's death. (If you've ever seen The Craft, Nancy does something like that: yeah, it works out for all concerned because they get to cash in on her stepdad's life insurance after he dies, but the power still goes to her head eventually and drives her insane)
Just because Kyubey can grant any wish, it doesn't mean he does. He's very good at picking his victims and he only picks ones that will make naive, hopeful wishes that will give him the greatest amount of energy. Kyubey wouldn't make a contract with a girl if she was going to make a wish like that. If he did, though, it would still work the same way as any other wish does: the magical girl is the one to suffer the despair brought by the wish, no matter what, so even if she were happy about her stepmother's death, it would eventually be overtaken by grief: if she really is so much of a bitch that her stepdaughter wanted her dead, then other people must not have liked her much either, or her death could bring people a lot of happiness by having her estate divided up amongst her children, or any number of ways. They get the benefit of living in a world without her, but the magical girl still has to live with what she did, on top of all the things she now has to do (fighting Witches, cleansing her Soul Gem, struggling with other Magical Girls).
A meta example, but why are PMMM and Neon Genesis Evangelion compared so often? Genre Deconstruction aside, they have no similarities. While Eva's Kaworu says that mankind is fundamentally alone, Madoka preaches True Companions. Eva's Esoteric Happy Ending contrasts PMMM's Bittersweet Ending and even the methods for breaking their cuties are different - Eva's version of Deranged Animation has bright, contrasting colors, even in Instrumentality, the reds, oranges and whites were bright. But PMMM's witch barriers are often muddy and grey and much more dull in comparison. And the finale for each series has Eva's protagonist choosing to exist of his own will, while PMMM has Madoka wishing herself out of existence. They're the total antithesis of each other at best.
Not sure I agree with your contrasts, but that aside the comparison comes mostly from not just their deconstructionism, but their immense popularity and gamechanging potential; the way things are going it's possible PMMM might influence its genre, and possibility the industry as a whole, similarly to how Evangelion did.
Why is the Counterpart Comparison between Mami and Kamen Rider Scissors? I can think of a lot comparisons that can be made between Madoka and Ryuki's cast, but this one makes the least sense since all they have in common is getting by a Monster of the Week and wearing yellow. Aside from that, they're completely different. Mami was set to look like she was major character, Scissors was a villain that had pretty well shown himself to be an irredeemable asshole with his actions, his death is nowhere nearly as a much of a shock because he was villain and the circumstances were completely different, and his fate, while Nightmare Fuel, came off as his him getting what he deserved rather than a tragedy brought his recklessness.
What happens if a magical girl makes a wish that would prevent her from falling into despair ("I wish I was happy all the time")?
Kyubey wouldn't make a contract with a girl who would make such a useless wish, but if he did, she'd either become a Stepford Smiler (being forced to appear happy whether they really are or not), a sociopath (all empathy for others removed so she'll be happy in a vacuum, and eventually be overcome by loneliness or other negative emotions that don't conflict with happiness), or Kyubey would prevent her from learning how to use Grief Seeds so that she'd deplete her magic and witch out. In the witch world's magical girl system, you don't get any option that doesn't end in either death or witching out, no matter how clever you think your wish is. Even Madoka eventually becomes a witch, and in the movie, so does Homura, despite her infinite mulligans.
Madoka's wish demostrates that Kyubey isn't infallible, and even if the girl in question never falls into despair, she can still become a wish if her soul gem gets depleted, specially if her definition of "happy" is "carefree", as she would easily orget to use the grief seeds.
Kyubey isn't infallible, but Madoka's wish still resulted in her becoming a witch. Even Madoka's wish doesn't eliminate witches, it only prevents them from manifesting in the physical world (which is why in Rebellion Nagisa and Sayaka can transform into and summon Charlotte and Oktavia, respectively). Homura's wish gave her infinite hope by giving her infinite retries to get it right, but as soon as she realizes she's only making it worse, her Soul Gem goes from clean to near-black in a heartbeat. That's because despair is not sadness and happiness is not the opposite of despair: despair is the opposite of hope. So a magical girl who wishes to always be happy is not wishing for anything that will stop her from becoming a witch the way every single magical girl is inevitably destined to do, if she doesn't die before that happens.
It's probably just a case of 'the writer hadn't decided on this at the time', but the fact that Maddy is back in the real world in Rebellion kind of flies in the face of the retgone she is supposed to have experienced at the end of the series proper. She can clearly do it, so why didn't she do it from the start and save herself and Homu a mountain of trouble?
Because she never actually left it, that's the point. At the end of the series, Madoka erased her human life from existing in the new world she created, but she still exists as Ultimate Madoka. That's what she tells Homura: that she'll always be there, even if she can't be seen or sensed. In Rebellion: Madoka is the Law of Cycles, the principle that defeats witches before they're born by shattering the soul gem first. The only time she physically appears in the real world is after Homura has destroyed and re-made it the way Madoka did, undoing the retgone in order to have Madoka by her side again.
What would happen if someone made the wish to never die? Their Soul Gem could never be destroyed because that IS their death, and becoming a Witch is essentially death so they wouldn't become a Witch either.
Like the common "wish away entropy" idea, this is the kind of wish that would probably require Madoka levels of potential or higher, given the actual logistics of what would need to happen for a girl to be able to live for eternity. But even if it was a easy wish to make, there are tons of things that could go wrong. There's nothing to actually indicate one way or another whether or not becoming a Witch qualifies as dying, for one, so it could result in an unkillable Witch after a while, which would basically doom the world (granted, the girl making the contract isn't likely to know about that). But let's say that yes, the girl can't become a Witch; that doesn't mean her Soul Gem won't darken. If she ever had a streak of failing to acquire Grief Seeds for whatever reason, such as there not being enough witches in her area to grab Seeds from, or if she fell into bad enough despair from something, she'd end up with a blackened, magicless Soul Gem, unable to fight Witches and therefore with almost no hope of purifying it - and it's been demonstrated that letting your Soul Gem stay significantly dark for too long is both exhausting and mentally harmful.
There's a lot of semantics there to exploit. For one thing, if you become a magical girl, you're already undead, which we know doesn't contradict wishing to stay alive because that's what happened to Mami. For another, becoming a witch doesn't mean you're dead, it means you're a witch, and if your Grief Seed is harvested and consumed by the Incubators, you don't die, you're annihilated, there's a difference. You could wish for your Soul Gem to be indestructible, unable to turn into a Grief Seed but also impossible to shatter, knowing what a Soul Gem is, and nobody knows that before they make a contract except Madoka. In that case, you'd never turn into a witch or die... but then you'd end up gradually going insane. Since the laws of the witch-system demand equivalent exchange between grief and hope, a soul gem that can't become a grief seed probably can't release its own grief to be purified.
Forgive me if this has already been asked, but why doesn't Homura just kill the person who's going to turn into Walpurgisnacht? Also, if the only people who turn into Witches are Magical Girls, why isn't anyone aware that the Magical Girl who turns into Walpurgisnacht exists? Is Walpurgisnacht formed from something else besides a Magical Girl?
A number of reasons:
Walpurgisnacht is a conglomeration of multiple witches, she isn't formed from just one magical girl. This is why Madoka's attack in episode 12 destroys her without hitting her: since she stopped all the witches from ever being born, Walpurgis can't exist.
Homura's sandtimer only goes back a month, and Walpurgisnacht is a powerful witch that appears periodically, to the point that she's a figure of Magical Girl lore and has caused multiple "natural disasters" in the past.
Madoka and company are the only magical girls who know that magical girls become witches, so no other magical girl would ever have figured out that Walpurgisnacht was ever a human girl.
What happens to a magical girl if she survives long enough to grow into an adult? As in she doesn't fall into despair or a least becomes a witch or die in a fight? Does she lose her powers or does she become a magical woman?
Presumably she becomes a magical woman. The jury seems to be out on whether or not they age normally (their being undead would suggest they wouldn't, but the magical girl who became Roberta witched out in her 20's, so either they age normally or Roberta's extra effect like Sayaka's regeneration made her age) but assuming that magical girls do continue aging, they become magical women, but that doesn't save them from witching out or dying in battle eventually.
Forgive me if this has been explained elsewhere, but I want to know, after Kyubey has a proper foothold in Madokas life, why doesn't he explain to her about entropy in simple enough terms for her to understand, and suggest that that be her wish? He doesn't even have to explain about the witch/magical girl relationship, hell by wishing for the universe to have enough energy to stave off entropy for good would probably do nothing but benefit him. Sure, Homura would probably just time travel but I don't recall Kyubey even mentioning this to Madoka until the point that she's horrified by Kyubey and what he's doing.
Because the wish has to be made in hope in order to work within the confines of the Incubator's magic system. Saying "Some hundreds of thousands of years from now, probably long after your species has died out and your planet is frozen in the barren wastelands of its next ice age, the heat death of the universe will destroy everything. Could you be a bro and consign yourself to a life of fighting witches for us, even though that won't benefit you or your planet in any way?" Ironically, wishing away the heat death of the universe doesn't create hope, so it would fail as a wish.
Incidentally, that's also why the Incubators can't just wish away heat death themselves. Their magic is powered by emotional investment, but they don't have emotions except for their mentally ill. It'd be next to impossible, if not impossible outright, to find someone so emotionally invested in the continued existence of the universe that they can understand the concept of heat death well enough and still wish it away.