Be it accidentally or on purpose, Sayaka is a veritable pile of these. In addition to her surname being the given name of Cure Berry, Berry's weapon is called the Berry Sword (even though it isn't.) Also, her witch form, Oktavia von Seckendorff, resembles a mermaid and as a character, especially in the movies she has a strong connection to music through Kyosuke. Both of these things she has in common with Seira, a character from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, who is also voiced by Eri Kitamura.
Junko Iwao plays Kazuko Saotome, Madoka's school teacher, who happens to be a scorned lover who can't keep boyfriends. Junko Iwao also plays every incarnation of Akane in the Mai Hi ME metaverse, and most of that character's drama revolves around how she's constantly separated from her sole love interest, Kazuya, no matter what universe she's in. "Kazuko" is literally the feminine form of "Kazu", which is the nickname Akane always calls her boyfriend.
Creator Breakdown: Gen Urobuchi's self-confessed "tragedy syndrome" from his afterword to Fate/Zero (see the Quotes page) is in full play here. Yet the trope is ultimately inverted! Everyone gets a happy ending in the last episode, with the exception of Madoka, Homura, and Sayaka, who get Bittersweet Endings.
Condom-chan for Kyoko, due to the thing in her mouth during the OP. It's actually one of those ice tube popsicle things◊.
In Japan, she is sometimes called "Anko" based off an initial misreading of the characters in her name. As a reference to this, some American fanworks have used Anko as the name of Kyoko's dead sister, before it was revealed to be Momo.
"Urobutcher" for the scriptwriter, Gen Urobuchi, himself. Because, well...
(WARNING: Higurashi: When They Cry spoiler) Mahou Shoujo No Naku Koro Ni ("When the Magical Girl Cries"). Originally partially a gibe at the many times Madoka is seen crying onscreen and partially a speculation on a possible presence of time loops, the nickname gained more currency when the latter was proved to be correct.
Similarly Penitent Gretchen. The name Gretchen is self-explanatory if you are familiar with the show. The title of Penitent isn't, which means "feeling or expressing humble or regretful pain or sorrow for sins or offences". It explains Madoka's temperament at the time of her wish. Also, the full name is yet another reference to Faust ...or more appropriately, how Gretchen saved him.
It's not uncommon to see the characters referred to by their meduka meguca names, usually in all-lower case. So magical girls are called meguca, and the characters themselves are meduka (Madoka), hameru (Homura), seyiku (Sayaka), mumi (Mami), and coobie (Kyubey). The only one who seems to avoid this is kyaku (Kyouko).
The show and its protagonist, Madoka, tend to be referenced as Doka by some fans.
Foreshadowing: Entirely a pure coincidence, but the editor of one standard critical edition of Faust, Cyrus Hamlin, passed away on January 19, 2011; one day before episode three aired. It's pretty creepy honestly.
Gen Urobuchi shortly before the series premiere: "I have been entrusted with the formidable task of series composition and script for all episodes. Although having director Akiyuki Shinbo and Ume Aoki-sensei as teammates puts a great deal of pressure on me, I will do my best to deliver a heartwarming, happy story to our viewers!" If you believed that last part, you don't know what his idea of a "heartwarming" story is.
Gen Urobuchi wants to write stories that can warm people's hearts... But ever since I can't recall when, I can no longer write works like this. I have nothing but contempt for the deceitful thing men call happiness, and have had to push the characters I poured my heart out to create into the abyss of tragedy...
Urobuchi later confessed that he lied to retain surprise Episode 3. The original plan for the production team was to hide Urobuchi's involvement with the show, so when the staff list was leaked he tried to do damage control. Now that the cat is out of the bag and it's clear nobody believes that he reformed: "Okay now I've took a big load off my mind. Thank you everyone who keep up until today! I'm going back to the normal Urobuchi from now on!" Note that Episode 3 is his idea of going back to "normal".
As a warm up to the statement above, just watch Episode 4. Then Episode 6.
His statement that Sayaka's the actual main character should also be taken with a grain of salt, considering Episode 8.
Claiming that the "kyu" in "Kyubey" comes from "cute" we now know it's Incubator. Technically he wasn't lying. The 'Kyu' in 'Kyubey' really did came from "cu-" of "cute"; just without the "-te" part.
Before Episode 3, he made a point of complaining about fans speculating as to when the show was going to get really dark: "Come on, we still haven't shown even a single scene with bloodshed yet!" That episode more than made up for it.
Marth Debuted in Smash Bros.: The movies is the first time something related to the original series will be released in Mexico, since the TV series was not released there, albeit it seems the movies' release there are in Development Hell, due to possible legal reasons.note Very possibly because, due to Mexican laws, animated films must include a dub. Since Aniplex doesn't plan to include one, this is possibly the reason the movies' debut in Mexico are stalled. Contrast with the Mexican release of the Rebuild of Evangelion movies, who also doesn't include a dub, but the Mexican distributors managed to avoid this problem by showing the films as art films and as such, they don't need to be dubbed.
Meaningful Release Date: The last two episodes were released on Good Friday, and in the finale Madoka sacrifices her existence to become a god and save the souls of all the witches. And it wasn't even intentional, it was because of the March 2011 tsunami in Japan which pushed back the final two episodes.
Schedule Slip: After the 2011 Sendai earthquake, SHAFT announced first that episodes 11 and 12 would be delayed a week, then upped that to "will air some time before April is over." Episodes 11 and 12 were eventually scheduled to air together on April 21st. The last volume of the manga adaptation, and the manga spin-off Oriko Magica, have also been delayed. The cut segments of the anime were later revealed, which explains the delay — showing refugees hiding in a school gym, and a collapsed building crushing someone's leg was just a little too close to home after the Sendai disaster in 2011.
Also, Mami's surname is probably a reference to Tomoe Gozen, a famous female samurai from the late twelfth century who supposedly fought in the Gempei War. Doubles as an Ironic Name, since Gozen is also supposed to have survived that war.note Interestingly, Gozen herself seems to appear later in the series, briefly, as one of the historical magical girls in Kyubey's flashback.
A wall in the abandoned building in Episode 2 has graffiti of text lifted verbatim from the original German edition of Faust. Creepy.
The fight between Sayaka and Kyoko in Episode 5 is reminiscent of Saber and Lancer's first fight in Fate/Zero, another of Urobuchi's works. Though the sword-wielder puts up a valiant effort, they lose the fight's advantage due to the spear-wielder's craftiness with their weapon, and are ultimately saved by a Big Damn Heroes moment from another fighter.
Episode 9 has Madoka's room filled with all kinds of different chairs, a Shout-Out to Bokurano.
Episode 9 also features some graffiti that reads "Love Me Do".
In the OP while Madoka is reflecting on her adventures as a magical girl, Madoka is seen striking three◊ famous◊ poses◊.
In the final episode, when Madoka goes around purifying all of the magical girls who are about to die or become witches, the way that she appears in front of them and makes them fade away, taking them with her is awfully similar to the Instrumentality sequence in End Of Evangelion (Everybody Hugs and Turns Into Tang). Similarly, Madoka's wings when she takes out her witch are somewhat like Reilith's wings.
Madoka picks a red ribbon over a yellow one in the first episode. Taking this as a reference to the yellow-ribboned Haruhi Suzumiya might seem like a stretch, until Madoka becomes a nearly-omnipotent Reality Warper and attempts to recreate the entire universe...just like Haruhi. The red ribbon also achieves similar iconic status when Homura wears it.
Homura's Fallen angel form's outfit in the end of the the third movie resembles Dark Precure's.
Too Soon: Suspected to be the reason for why the Schedule Slip is more than the one week of most other shows. Episode 10 shows a flooded city after the Walpurgisnacht attacks; after the 2011 Sendai earthquake (and resultant tsunami), SHAFT re-animated some sequences.
Word of God has stated Episode 10 was actually cut down in size, and would have originally been 45 minutes long.
According to the official guidebook, the original proposal for Madoka had thirteen episodes instead of twelve.
As seen here (major spoilers in link), the audio Drama CDs were originally going to be quite different. Even in the final product, a line got cut from the first Drama CD: Madoka shouting "Finitora Freccia", which means Finishing Arrow in Italian.
The shopping mall Madoka, Sayaka, and Hitomi visited in Episode 1 is a blatant rip-off of the Weltstadthaus. There are actually extremely glass-y buildings in the world!
Weltstadthaus means "global-city house". According to The Other Wiki "global city" is defined as a city where happenings in it affects the world (due to the city's economical/strategical/magical importance), i.e. Alexandria in the ancient world or New York in the modern world.
The sixth◊ is by Hajime Ueda, who created the FLCL manga and the art for one of the Bakemonogatari endings, among others. A touch of Fridge Horror: The girls are all solid black, with their Soul Gems the only thing being illuminated. They also form the Kanji for death◊ when flipped 180 degrees.