here. Unconfirmed theories are here. Crossover theories are here.
Miscellaneous theoriesOdd stuff, symbolism, meta concepts, etc. Anything not directly story related, and/or things we'll never be able to confirm.
The Incubators represent Real Life Humanity and the Audience.It's a You Bastard moment. We may hate Kyubey, but it is because deep down he/she/it/shkler is us in the mirror. Entropy represents Our desire for depressing stories and suffering characters. It is we who made Gen Urobuchi such a cruel and capricious creator, and it is we who are bullying and manipulating those poor Magical Girls into suffering Break the Cutie and sacrificing themselves and crying for us, because we are entertained if they do it and we call it a "beautiful artform". You know that if it was not for Kyubey, then the Madokaverse will just be forgotten as nothing more than just another Moeblob marketing tripe. PsychoPass yes, there was suffering, but not nearly as much as many thought.
Madoka broadcast will skip one week to make series end on April 30 instead of 24.In Madoka the big finale will happen on Walpurgis Night. And Walpurgis Night is April 30.
The whole series is an experimentSpecifically, an experiment on writing a show based on internet theories. They started out with character designs and a general concept and direction, dropped hints that it would be an extremely dark show (the leak about Urobuchi Gen's involvment was no accident), and then let the theorists go to town. They keep a close eye on all the forums and wikis that are examining the show, take the theories they like best, and use them. Heck, just look at all the theories that have been confirmed/lent credence, from this page alone!:
Has anyone noticed......that Madoka's necklace in the main page artwork bears a striking resemblance to Kyouko's soul gem? Thats a whole other Epileptic Tree right there...
Each magical girl is a representative of another magical girl showNot an outright expy, but more of a conglomeration and may or may not be corrupted somehow. For example, Kyouko Sakura says this to Sayaka: "I told you and I hit you, but you still don't get it", and before that tells her to take a chill pill. This is pretty much Nanoha's Modus Operandi. On a more superficial level, she also wields a pole-arm, which can break into chain-connected segments simultaneously bearing similarities to Raising Heart and Levantine.
Conversely, all witches who appear are representing girls from different animes.Said animes being not necessarily in the mahou shoujo genre.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica takes place before every Magical Girl show ever.Originally, every magical girl contract in every universe was a Deal with the Devil - it only makes sense for Madoka's story to have to take place before all of them. Also reinforces the "Madoka = Jesus/Goddess of Magical Girls" concept.
The random corruption in the Cypher Language isn't random.The cypher language has random errors in it, possibly to make reading it harder. Or, perhaps, it's a longer message that's playing out through the episodes, designed to be read at the end.
Someone will give Kyubey a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.Don't we all want this to happen? Anyway, in the dream at the start of the series, Madoka gives Kyubey an angry/determined look just before it ends. If the WMG that she won't accept a contract is true, she may be gearing up to deliver one of these. Neon Genesis Evangelion so much, it's only natural that we'll some day see its Gurren Lagann. And while the genre has been deconstructed several times before, to my knowledge there's never been a reconstruction, at least one popular enough to be widely known.
Madoka Magica is an Allegory of Drug Addiction combined with Human TraffickingA human trafficker comes and offers desperate girls an offer of a great pleasure. The catch is, once they are in, they can never get out and they will be forced to do tricks for him, with death being the only apparent exit. They also need to constantly find more and more of these "Grief Seeds" to survive. They fight each other to obtain them. Not to mention that when in the process of extracting these "seeds" they find themselves in such a bizarre space (or state of consciousness). Homuhomu, an already addict, comes and tries to warn Madoka about not getting into it if she cares about her life and family. Some think it is because this would reduce the amount of narcotics she can acquire, but maybe it is really because she doesn't want others to suffer her same fate. She tries to shoot down the dealer, Kyubey, before it's too late. But the girls find him and get interested in the thing after a little try. They meet Mami, a "veteran" in this and tries to turn them in as well. She started consuming them because she "had no choice", she had no family, she was alone and depressed. It "saved her life". What was the result of having this way of life for so long? Her death. The drug itself "consumed" her. It "destroyed" her head. Horrified, the girls doubt. But Sayaka, who has her own problems, becomes more and more interested. Kyubey is constantly trying to make Madoka turn in; as to what the potential about her he is talking about means, I'm not really sure yet. When Kyouko comes, she is not really interested in stopping the death of the innocent lives all the narcotrafic or the drugs themselves cause. More for her. However, later they find out just how much these things deteriorate their bodies, to the point of Kyouko pointing out they have become something like zombies in episode 6, and even she is disturbed. Sayaka collapses when her "stuff" is taken away from her. They really can't go on without it. This series makes a lot more sense if you substituted “pimp” for “Kyubey,” “drugs” for “grief seed,” “crack whore” for “puella magi,” and “cocaine-fueled orgasmic high” for “wish.” So, maybe now you will think differently next time you see these girls "fighting witches".
The witch in episode 4...Was One of Us! Is the female populace of our community not even safe? The witch was saying phrases like "she don't like fools" and "I'm young so I will not work! I will only live, live, live!" Also notice the form: ITS A COMPUTER MONITOR FROM THE 90's! Poor troper got herself turned into a witch... DAMN you EVIL WHITE RAT!
Kyubey works on commission.Have you ever tried to buy or lease a car? They can get REALLY pushy. Also, with Homura following him around, he's probably really hurtin' for new contracts.
Each witch is an Allegory of the Seven Deadly Sins.It is now known that witches are born from negative emotions when Magical Girls become corrupted. Perhaps the form they take as a witch is based on their greatest sin as a human being.
Kyubey tastes like marshmallowsYou know you want it to be true.
Morning Rescue...Will break the Walls of Reality and rescue Madoka and everyone else. Then everyone will enjoy a nice cold glass of LCL.
All the confirmed Wild Mass Guessing in this page were written by people who made a contract with QB/人◕ ‿‿ ◕人
QB is a wife-/mate-beater.... Yeah, I know this is kinda Dude, Not Funny!, but I Always Wanted To Say "Wishes? You know who gives wishes? Blokes what bludgeon their wives to death with a golf trophy."
It's all planned by a really sadistic cosmic being.Kyubei is just a vessel for it.
Urobuchi being the writer was a Red HerringSo that nobody would notice the real one. The real writer will be revealed to be Ryukishi07, and the plot was caused by Bernkastel's boredom as a WMG above mentioned. Punch Reality
Gen Urobuchi is an IncubatorIn a similar vein, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an extremely efficient emotional energy collection mechanism. Why spend the effort to draw energy from a couple of little girls at a time, when you can get energy from a much wider range through television? The reason why he tried to hide his involvement was just to heighten the hope we'd all feel to boost the effects of the slow dive into despair.
Kyuubei is Maxwell's Demon.What if you could summon a demon to negate entropy?
Homura is an AU Ghost Rider.If QB is Mephisto...
There will be an AMV of "Friends on the Other Side".Listen to it! Doesn't it fit Kyubey?
The staff will end up releasing episode 11 in late March, and episode 12 on April 1.Then they get an excuse to make some weird Gainax Ending and say "Haha! April Fools'!"
Episodes 11 and 12, and the ending of Madoka altogether, will be Bowdlerized.As to not offend victims of the Earthquake & Tsunami in Japan. This would explain the delay of Episodes 11 and 12. Even if they aren't Bowdlerized by SHAFT, they still could be watered down by the stations broadcasting Madoka.
Fans will be dissapointed by the finale
SHAFT will make up for the delay somehow
Urobuchi is Kyubey and he is trying to cure himself.Or rather, Kyubey, entropy, and the entire despair-powered Cosmic Horror Story universe are projections of the "tragedy syndrome" from Urobuchi's afterword of Fate/Zero from which Magica draws from. He is the part of himself that was taken over by the pessimistic-yet-realistic "Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!" philosophy, making him no longer comprehend happy endings and become a bearer of the plague to his worlds. But while creating some of the darkest scenarios possible, he is also littering them with the means to turn things around. Not easily or without things worsening first, which is why Homura, who can represent his "true Self" trapped between hope and despair, has the ability to keep trying. Mami's wish was likely to live, so she has an unshown ability to survive her scenario so long as her Soul Gem is intact long enough. Kyouko's was to make people listen to words of salvation, where if she calls out to Witch!Sayaka herself, she can reach her. With each attempt, Madoka's potential and memories of the previous timelines grow, and with it the scale of her wish. If being consumed by corruption is the magical girls' own equivalent of entropy, she will become something that can violate that rule. Homura has yet to completely outgrow being a Shrinking Violet, and much of the senseless deaths are a result of Poor Communication Kills where she cannot convince anyone. Should she overcome her flaw or Madoka remember the alternate events, the stage will be set for a time loop that lets them win. Possibly through a wish as simple as "I wish Kyubey could understand." With Episode 12, aka Urobuchi's happiest ending, this guess might just be likely. Or these are all hope spots for the audience.
The broadcast delay was done to re-animate the first section of episode 11.During the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, some of the creators of the show tweeted "It's Walpurgis Niiight~!" and such, suggesting in-show that the appearance of the Walpurgis would cause some sort of earthquake. This would also explain why the official explaination for the delay was "self-restraint" — they realised it would be very cheap of them to use a massive earthquake in light of the tragedy and the first half of episode 11 was re-animated to be a storm rather than a quake.
Madoka Magica promotes the use of clean, renewable energy sources.Think about it for a second. The incubators need energy. Their method to obtain it is harvesting the black despair of magical girls turned into witches. This causes damage, in the form of everyone suffering through the whole process. When Madoka wishes that witches are no more, she instead opts for a system which produces somewhat less energy, but causes less suffering all over universe. Now, change 'suffering' for 'pollution.' You can't deny that it sorta makes sense, don't you think? Gen, you Magnificent Bastard! Everything has gone exactly as you planned!
Homura saves Amy in every timeline that Madoka doesn'tAs a reflection of what Madoka means to her, Homura saves Amy (The cat in the OT), in spite of everything else going on.
Commander Video is Homura in the far... far... future.In the far... far... future end of the universe as we know it where the universe turned into 8-bit, Homura is still alive... searching... for something... Her purpose is unclear due to how the universe changes.]]
When Homura dies/disappears...She will Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence with Madoka, and be together forever.
May 21st was going to be the end of the world......but then a bunch of Puella Magi prevented it from happening.
IN AMERICA! Kyuubey turns you into lich.In Soviet Russia, lich turns you into KYUUBEY!
Madoka and Homura form two "human/flawed" parts of one JesusWell with all the Madokamists preaching Madoka as our Saviour we didn't notice that Homuhomu is always there protecting Madoka even if it means bearing the eternal torment of an endless recursion of time, and isn't that like something Jesus would do for your salvation? Initially in the original timeline Madoka is a full-blown messiah who suffers for Homuhomu. When Homuhomu wished for Time Lord powers to protect Madoka, in other timelines (like the series timeline) she suffers for Madoka, making Madoka gain the power of multiple universes revolving around her and making her think about what she really wants to wish. In the end Madokami is able to suffer and die for everyone's sins, bearing the eternal torment of the world's despair upon her to prevent witches from happening, and in the new witch-free timeline that she created, Homuhomu protects.
The series is based to a measure on Valentinian Gnosticism.First, a bit of clarification. Gnostic schools like Valentinianism, while still somewhat suspicious of the physical world, did not go so far as to declare it innately and irrevocably monstrous. We're at the other end of the Gnostic scale from The Second Treatise of the Great Seth. The PSP game has an interesting witch in the last Bonus Dungeon: Quitterie and her familiars look a LOT like Kyubey. While this really could just be honoring Kyubey's goals through imitation of its guise, it does bring up an interesting thought, that the Incubators themselves are a composite familiar, or at least very much akin to such. Thus, their creator/liege is like unto a witch. And so begins the train of thought... Unlike schools that regard the Demiurge as a simple monster, Valentinianism thinks of him as more of a misguided Lawful Neutral who is obsessed with rules and stability. The problem is that his methods of keeping the flawed physical creation together generate plenty of grief and woe fallout for the mortal denizens. The archons, his police force, don't really help the situation. It helps to look at the more severe schools, where the archons torment and harass mortals for their own amusement and edification...and sometimes, their sustenance. While the Demiurge is still well-intentioned, that (somewhat alien) benevolence is nonetheless malign for certain denizens. Then again, the Demiurge seems to be more concerned with the physical universe as a whole, and himself and his archons whose eternal dwelling it is, than the self-aware subset. So basically, we have a creator and angels who can't see the forest for the trees. Stabilization at the cost of sorrow isn't that good a trade! However, Valentinianism also posits that the aeons sent a Messiah (variously the Serpent of Eden, Jesus, etc.) to help redeem the creation from the Demiurge's mismanagement. Unlike the view of the producers of the Second Treatise, though, the Demiurge and his archons are meant to be redeemed as well. Also important to consider is that in at least most schools of Gnosticism, human souls are actually divine sparks that got unwittingly trapped in the physical creation as the Demiurge produced it. The Demiurge, mind you, has no real idea that the souls are divine in nature; he's just wholly ignorant of the existence of anything outside himself and his creation (the aeons are working on that, though). So, because they're not archons, he has no way to see them as important unto themselves, as being mini-aeons would imply—he's Obliviously Evil. So, in short, he's busy keeping the world going as he's always done, no matter how much woe is produced as a side effect, because he literally has no ability or cause to imagine a Plan B at this time. He just doesn't know how to care. The Messiah is here to get Plan B going, whether the Demiurge initially approves or not. Mapping to Madoka...The Incubators are, if not the Demiurge, then his archons. They manipulate the divine-sparked mortals (specifically, potential magical girls) to harness what's needed to keep creation as it's "always" been. While the magical girl/witch cycle can seem like sadistic schemes for the Incubators' amusement, it's really "just" the only good way the archons can think of to keep things going (not that it makes the situation less malign, that it's not actively malevolent). The amount of high-grade (they don't know it's actually divine/pneumatic) energy they get results in universe-wide stabilization that outmasses the Earth-localized rue. And are the magical girls ever manipulated—they practically become unwitting archons... However, because of Homura's persistence, Madoka understands not only the true nature of the Incubators' schemes, but also that they're genuinely trying to do the right thing. Their understanding of right and wrong is, like the spirit-ignorant Demiurge's, incomplete. Homura, like the untiring Messiah throughout his/her many incarnations, has awakened Madoka, the representative divine spark, to the truth/gnosis. Only the Incubators' mechanism is bad; the goal isn't. And so, by taking the Messiah mantle herself from Homura, Madoka commences the salvation of the system. It's not complete, not by a long stretch, but at least this way, the manipulated magical girls are instead released into the Pneuma after they've done all they can, rather than become victims of Demiurgic foolishness—just as those who know the truth (as, after Madoka's work, they do as a matter of course) can reach salvation rather than stay stuck in the Hylic/physical mire. And given enough time, perhaps the archons/Incubators, too, will figure out a way to stabilize/save the universe that doesn't require energy harvesting from innocent mortals...
The series is a metaphor for the Seiyuu and pop idol industries, and by extension how Music Is Politics and Hollywood is evil in general.Aya Hirano and Michael Jackson are certainly testimonies to the chew-'em-up-and-spit-'em-out nature of the entertainment industry. Also noteworthy is how so many young modern seiyuus and artists (wait for it...) signed the contract because they were fans of Sailor Moon or other cheerful TV shows, only to discover that they get most of the downsides of celebrity life (Type Casting, Slave to PR, Artist Disillusionment, being virtually whored out all the time by Corrupt Corporate Executives who always desecrate their Magnum Opus, creepy stalker fans, having to keep their private/romantic lives complete secrets to avoid eternal damnation by the Fan Dumb, not even being able to hide their private/romantic lives and avoid said eternal damnation due to constant accusations about scandals) with very few of the perks (seiyuus go into idoldom and gravure shots because voice acting actually does not pay too well in Japan, and most idols themselves only get judged by their cover and not their true self). You may know already that even if you're a rich popular celebrity you will still be able to fall into Despair Event Horizon (hence reckless hedonism or suicide), and are in fact more susceptible to it, but most people may never notice because of the "all kinds of fame=money=anything you want" imagery. What's worse is that when you do fall into Despair Event Horizon the executives will whore you out even more (paparazzi, Dead Artists Are Better, etc.) thus more money for them, and they don't even have to pay you back since there will be more suckers who want to emulate your fame and wealth (this parallels how Incubators extract even more energy from magical girls falling to Despair Event Horizon and turning into witches, which in turn creates increasing demand for more willing magical girls to outshine said witches). Just like how if you're a Magical Girl you can get anything you want, and everyone sees you as a hero, but unfortunately deep down you're just a zombie who's reduced into nothing more than a glorified furniture of the Incubators. Also, according to Music Is Politics:
Younger artists are very susceptible to this trope. This is probably one of the reasons labels prefer younger artists: they're less well-versed in the ways of the business and easier to control. And it's likely the reason the industry focus on younger listeners. Older music buyers/listeners already know what they like and don't like, where as younger listeners can be told what to like.Sounds like why Kyubey prefers making liches out of young, weak, unknowing, diabetes-tasting girls with high hopes (like Madoka and Moemura) instead of the older more strong-willed ones experienced in business (like Junko), right?
The Eldritch Horror behind all the Madokamisery and the Entropy is..... TV Tropes!Where did Entropy get its name from? The prefix "en-" coupled with of all things, the word "TROPE" note . Kyubey requires making a Deal with the Devil to sustain the universe. TV Tropes requires ruining your own life to sustain itself. Makes sense? Black Comedy jokes, Urobuchi makes a bet to Anno and the bartender that he can beat Anno at making THE most depressing anime ever.
From the aforementioned Evangelion WMG; the Incubators are actually manifestations of humanity's collective opportunism and sociopathy under a mask of civilization.With the rise of agriculture/industrialism, establishment of cities, increasingly stratified societies, and insatiable mass consumerism/capitalist corporate culture, humanity's capacity for empathy decreased, while raw selfish ambition which led to sociopathic greed and opportunism built up to critical mass. Today, idealistic themes we saw all the time in Magical Girl shows, such as The Power of Love, are nothing more than a marketing ploy for the dominant ruler of the world, The Power Of Love For Material Wealth, represented by the Incubators' ruthless profiteering for the sake of obtaining more Energy. All that stuff about aliens and entropy is symptomatic of our tendency to justify them with little white lies and Half Truths whenever we devastate nature or take advantage of our fellow man. It took the form of a race of seemingly harmless RidiculouslyCuteCritters for much the same reason; we all try to convince ourselves we're right, we're just trying to help, and the destruction of the earth and the human individual is all for the sake of Enlightenment and protecting human civilization from entropy/decay. In other words, we are all Kyubey. Or rather, we are all his/her/its / shkler father/mother. Search your feelings, you know it to be true. Also, when Madoka asked what would happen if Kyubey never existed, Kyubey replied that humanity will still be naked living in caves. Thus, Kyubey's Industrialized Evil is presented as something good and necessary. Unfortunate Implications arise when "bringing civilization" is also one of the reasons the Europeans justified slavery and destruction of other cultures.
Makoda's changes are meaninglessDespite what the show tries to paint its ending, it's Sad But True. Kyubey is going to eventually leave the Earth when he reaches his quota and we'll be worse off than before because the number magical girls will reach an end and the wraiths will keep coming. Hell, the final scene shows Humora out in a desert fighting wraiths with the likelihood that she'll fade away even if she wins, the scene implies everybody else is dead, and the desert scene likely means the wraiths devastated the planet. This show is depressing even when it's trying to be uplifting.
Gen Urobuchi has secret daughters.They helped him with the screenplay in order increase there allowance, based it off of gossip at there school, and helped to get classmates to stop asking them what daddy talks about with Hideaki Anno and Naoko Takeuchi during lunch breaks. How else could one explain Gen's insane knowledge of magical girls.
We now have holy quartet of wild mass guesses.Along with instrumentality, Haruhi, and time lords, everyone is now a magical girl contracted to kyubey.
Gen Urobuchi is a fan of The Elder Scrolls.Kyubey is quite similar to a Daedra due to his immortality, and he can manipulate Soul Gems (both the Madoka kind and the TES kind). Also, Witch barriers are like Oblivion Gates; that, or they're little planes of Oblivion, with the Witch as a small-scale Daedric Prince. He might have had a bit of a hand in developing Skyrim, due to some vague similarities (the protagonists consume the souls of their own kind, and time travel is important). Also, Dawnguard introduced its own Awful Truth about Soul Gems.
Homura's not narrowing her eyes to look tough or because she's become jaded to the world.In the former timelines, she's always shown with her eyes wide open when wearing glasses. But after she gets rid of them, she narrows her eyes a lot. Where'd her glasses go? That's never elaborated on, and she's never shown with contact lenses. She's just squinting because she can't see shit.
Homura at one point killed everyone.If asked about this, she'll answer: "I dunno, seemed like fun. I think I went a little nuts there for a while."
The ending is yet another Deconstruction.More specifically, Madoka's ascention to Madokami is a Deconstruction of Serial Escalation, Plot Leveling, and Shonen Upgrades. How much more powerful can you get, how much Bigger can your Stick become, before you have to take the ultimate step and become not just a Physical God, but an actual God? Why bother with constantly one-upping each other when you can just skip straight to the top ?
Puella Magi Madoka Magica was meant to be a critical Deconstruction of the otaku lifestyle, like Neon Genesis Evangelion before it.And if you like Madoka, Gen Urobuchi hates you. You may have read this infamous essay about Hideaki Anno's intent for making Evangelion. Well, Urobuchi also has the same opinions about otakudom. (Certainly his recent Suisei no Gargantia outlines what he thinks of NEE Ts and hikikomoris, which he stated right in his intro to the anime.) With Madoka, Gen didn't just want to retell the story of Faust with Magical Girls, he wanted to smack otakus in the face. He showed how how becoming an adolescent superhero would be pretty terrifying when you have to actually fight Lovecraftian Horrors all the time forever. Timid yet good-hearted Madoka is not supposed to actually "be" you, in a sense. She's actually the ideal selfless Moe Messianic Archetype Goddess we all worship and masturbate on. Homura is YOU; The emotionally stunted monomaniac who's so emotionally dependent upon her pink-haired Moe-ssiah waifu that she'd rather "just run away" back in time from all the suffering around her, rather than accept her new reality, and then covers up her true geeky, incompetent self with a fake badass Mary Sue air, ala Self-Insert Fan Fic. Of course, like with Evangelion, the impact completely backfired and the "Megucas" all became moe cultural icons, yielding plenty of kid-and-otaku-friendly merchandise (as well as...less kid-friendly stuff, much like how the Magical Girl genre in general acquired a Fetish Fuel stereotype), including some rather questionable materials (Charlotte inner tubes and Soul Gem bubble bath packs, anyone?). But what really pissed off Gen was how all the suffering became what people liked the most about the series, like sadistic Torture Porn Ryona fetishists and Tragedy fans, as well as people hailing him as "the Prince of DARKNESS" and the like. So...first he co-wrote Suisei no Gargantia. Reviews have mostly been well below those of Madoka (in about the 7-8/10 range, with 7 being about the average rating on My Anime List, for example). It had a rather cobbled-together, less-than-coherent storyline, which makes sense since five different people actually wrote the episodes besides him. (Gen wrote the first and last episodes and served as "script consultant" for the rest.) On top of that, its main plot twist was perhaps a bit too similar to that of Madoka ("The monsters were PEOPLE!!!") His reputation on anime sites such as My Anime List was nigh-indestructible immediately after Madoka; 2.5 years later, either because of Gargantia or just because of the time past, his ratings have gone down somewhat. And as mentioned in that Evangelion essay, End (and perhaps Evangelion 3.0) was basically Anno taking the anger over the TV show's somewhat positive ending and him saying, "Oh, you want more emotional torture porn tragedy ryona? I'VE GOT YOUR EMOTIONAL TORTURE PORN TRAGEDY RYONA RIGHT HERE!!!" Madoka Movie 3 will be Gen saying and doing the same thing. The whole point of Gargantia's happy ending was for us to let our guards down and think, "Oh, he's changed. He took up meditation or maybe some happy pills. We don't have to fear his casts being killed off anymore." Gen Urobuchi also hates you. Whether improbably uplifting or soul-crushingly depressing, Movie 3 will be destined to generate in at least part of the fanbase the reaction: "How disgusting." And whaddaya know, Gen himself cryptically says that the movie "may divide the fans".
Madoka Magica is about the theological contrast between Eternal Punishment versus Universal Reconciliation.When a Puella Magi suffers Absolute Despair Event Horizon, she transforms into a Witch isolated in her own Barrier. If you would observe the Witches' Barriers, you can see that they are Absolute Terror Fields serving as psychological museums about the most profound regrets, negative emotions, unwanted memories and guilts made by a Puella Magi in life. For example, Oktavia (Sayaka) has one of her familiars representing Kyousuke, who represents her most painful regret in life. He, that symbol of regret, will always be there in front of her, impossible to remove. The Puella Magi's soul is essentially Mind Raped by this Self-Inflicted Hell of traumatic memories, for all of eternity. Therefore, Witches represent Eternal Punishment, the traditional Christian view that once you are sent to Hell, you will suffer in it forever. Christian apologists try to defend this idea from God Is Evil accusations by replying that it is not God who sends you to Hell, but rather, is it you who sends yourself to Hell through your own thoughts and memories. Hell is not a literal place of eternal fire and brimstone, but a metaphor for a psychological state of mind suffering from angst, pessimism and depression. The mind is its own place, can make a Heaven out of Hell or a Hell out of Heaven. If you are a Pessimist, then you would expect the worst out of everything, and if you expect the worst out of everything, then you would think that you are in an inescapable Hell and therefore succumb to Absolute Despair. If you made a depressing tragic life full of regrets and unwanted memories, then the replay of these memories would Mind Rape you to Absolute Despair Event Horizon, and you would become a Pessimist with low self-esteem. Your pessimism then projects an Absolute Terror Field that isolates yourself from the hope and light of God for all of eternity. Similarly, people accuse the Incubators (the Old Testament God and his angels) as sadists who manipulated the Puella Magi into Eternal Punishment, but ultimately, it is the Puella Magi themselves who adopt a Pessimistic philosophy, let themselves be corrupted to Despair, create Absolute Terror Field Barriers and become Witches. The Incubators are simply there as angels to oversee the system because it sustains All of Creation, with Eternal Punishment representing a cruel form of Law and Order that protects against Entropic Chaos. Realizing the injustice of the order, Madoka, aka the all-forgiving Messiah, sacrificed herself, modified the entire system, and ascended to Heaven as a God, existing at every point in space and time yet transcendent from it. She overthrew the Incubators for a while and allowed the Puella Magi, who would rather be condemned to their own Hell forever, a chance of repentance. Sayaka, who would rather have become the eternally suffering Oktavia, was therapeutically helped by post-ascension Madoka come to terms with the choices she made in life. Kyousuke no longer represents Sayaka's biggest regrets. Instead, he represents how at the very least, she made other people happy, and that in itself makes her happy, allowing her to accept the final afterlife of contentment that Madoka made for her. Madoka, the Messiah, represents Universal Reconciliation, the all-forgiving Jesus Christ who shall redeem all souls to Nirvana. She even forgives the Incubators, knowing that they have the good intention of protecting the universe against Entropic Chaos, and gave mankind Civilization. That's why she did not annihilate them, but simply removed the Eternal Punishment of the Witches and replaced it with a weaker, but nonetheless more forgiving, system. In the meantime, the dichotomy of Puella Magi and Demons still exist to represent Order against Chaos, and some souls that did a lot of sins and regrets in life would be delayed and "purified" for their sins before being allowed to Heaven. But eventually, in the end, all shall become one with God/Madoka.
The positioning of the girls' Soul Gems on their costumes is suggestive/symbolic of their wish.
Mami's wish to live indirectly allowed her body to remain functionally living despite her contract.That more physically mature look is a side effect of her body simply continuing its growth and development and most biological functions despite the soul being a gem outside of the body. As a side effect of this, she has a slightly larger safely usable magic pool and can go slightly longer without grief seed or cube or whatnot before running out of magic and witching out with little despair because she only has to use enough magic to give commands rather than fully maintain the shell. This does help explain why she can cheerily use massive gun barrages made of ribbon and a large finisher cannon on one soulgem's worth of energy without threatening her life so long as she has a refuel soon afterwards, while Kyoko can hardly summon a massive scorpion spear and ring of surrounding spears (admittedly while under stress and grief from being about to kill herself and friend) without dying.
Madoka Kaname never existed.No, not in that way. Madoka never existed at all outside of Homura's head. She was just the imaginary friend, the ideal Moe Messianic Archetype, of a Magical Girl fan with severe Clinical Depression, bullied by her classmates, resented by her own parents for being such a failure, and ostracized by everyone else, until she broke down and succumbed to schizophrenia. Her three friends at first tried to reach out and provide support, but when her interactions with them grew more and more erratic, delusional and violent, they eventually started moving away from her, and she in turn grew colder towards them. After she began throwing bricks and rocks at school staff, claiming she wanted to keep "Madoka" safe, she was eventually placed in a state asylum. Junko and Tomohisa are her two main attending physicians (as a single working mother, Junko occasionally has to bring along her toddler son), and Kyubey is her psychiatrist. Her teachers back in her former school lament her loss, especially since, despite her erratic behavior, she seemed to be showing much aptitude as an artist, creating elaborate Warholesque collage pastiches. While most institutions encourage their charges to express themselves through arts and crafts, all access to art supplies have unfortunately been denied to Homura, as several of her pictures feature her violently murdering "Kyubey". And for the records, "Madoka"'s image was inspired by the classic magical girl Magical Princess Minky Momo, possibly including Momo's tragic death.
You have some really great ideas. I can make any of them true.
All I need is for you to make a contract.
/人◕ ‿‿ ◕人 ——