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    In General 
  • Achilles' Heel: The girls' soul gems. As long as the gem isn't damaged, the girls' human bodies can take all kinds of punishment and they would still recover. But, should the soul gem be destroyed, the girl herself drops dead right there. And they also lose control of their bodies if they get too far away from the gem.
  • Badass Adorable: They're all just as cute as they are badass, thanks to Ume Aoki's character designs.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: A magical girl transformed into a witch is implied to be unable to properly pass on to whatever afterlife exists in this world. During the conversation in the Afterlife Antechamber in episode 12, Mami and Kyoko (who died when their Soul Gems were shattered) appear so they can talk to Madoka, while Sayaka (who became a witch and was subsequently killed by Kyoko) does not.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Many famous girls and women throughout history, including Cleopatra, Queen Himiko, Joan of Arc, and Anne Frank, were magical girls.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Mami (Blonde), Homura (Brunette), Kyoko (Redhead), who coincidentally form a squad of three at the end of the series.
  • Break the Cutie: The world of magical girls is not kind to them. This is the point of the magical girl system, to create magical girls whose suffering will give birth to witches. The energy created by the release of their emotions is used by the Incubators to stave off the heat death of the universe.
    • Madoka watches Mami get eaten by Charlotte and fight/unsuccessfully plead with her best friend after she turns into a witch, and in a previous timeline, kills Mami herself to stop her from killing Homura.
    • Homura watches Madoka sacrifice herself for her, becomes a time traveling magical girl in an attempt to save her]], and goes though dozens of time loops and subsequently relives the deaths of Madoka and the other magical girls over and over again.
    • Sayaka learns the true nature of magical girls, and sinks into despair, believing herself unworthy of Kyosuke's love. And then she loses Kyosuke to Hitomi.
    • Mami's parents died in the same car accident that prompted her to make a contract with Kyubey. In a previous timeline, learning that magical girls are destined to become witches also does this to her.
    • Kyoko's father went crazy after learning that his religious sect was only gaining followers because of her wish and subsequently killed her entire family and then himself.
  • Child Soldiers: By becoming a Magical Girl, you dedicate your life to protecting the world from Witches. Don't let the glamorous costumes and promise of having any wish you want granted fool you: it is a thankless and dangerous job. And all these girls are still just adolescents.
  • Child Mage: They're Child Soldiers who are Magical Girls.
  • The Chosen Many: Aside from the main characters, it is shown that there are other Magical Girls all around the world. It also turns out the incubators have been recruiting girls since the start of recorded history. Famous examples of magical girls are Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, and Anne Frank.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Madoka - Pink, Homura - Purple, Sayaka - Blue, Mami - Yellow, Kyoko - Red.
  • Despair Event Horizon: When a magical girl crosses this line, she transforms into a witch, with her Soul Gem becoming a Grief Seed.
  • Doing In the Scientist: The existence of Magical Girls is said to defy established logic. It's even in the name.
  • Eldritch Abomination: As magical girls, each of them has a corresponding Witch form, although Mami's and Kyoko's do not appear in the main anime. In order, they are Kriemhild Gretchen (Madoka), Homulilly (Homura), Oktavia von Seckendorff (Sayaka), Candeloro (Mami) and Ophelia (Kyoko).
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: Mami, Homura, and Sayaka fill the roles of Child, Hero, and Fool respectively. Homura is bound by Mami's magic until it fails due to her death. She only arrives in time to save Sayaka and Madoka; however, as Sayaka wasn't there to see it, she thinks that Homura consciously allowed Mami to die, fueling her later resentment for Homura and other magical girls in general.
  • Healing Factor: All Magical girls can use their magic to heal themselves. According to Kyubey, this allows them to fight even when their hearts have exploded and every drop of blood has been drained from their bodies. Sayaka takes this Up to Eleven, as she heals fast even by Magical Girl standards. Of course, all this is only possible because their only vital components, their souls, have been removed.
  • Humanoid Abomination: They're Liches in all but name, and if they ever cross the Despair Event Horizon, they'll turn into Eldritch Abominations called Witches. Best exemplified by this quote between Kyoko and Homura.
    Kyoko: "Why you! How can you act so callous?! Are you even human?!"
    Homura: "Of course not. And neither are you."
  • Human Resources: Magical Girls are created by the incubators to harvest the raw power of their souls, which they intend to use to help stave off the heat death of the universe.
  • Hysterical Woman: Kyubey explains that the reason his species make contracts with girls, and specifically teenage girls, is that they're the most emotional kind of human. Specifically, they have the most dramatic reversals between hope and despair, which provide the emotional energy that Kyubey is collecting.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: All the fighters are female, for obvious reasons, but only the tomboys—Sayaka and Kyouko—use melee weapons (or thrown swords). Mami, the Team Mom, uses magical guns and ribbons; Madoka, The Chick, has an Energy Bow and doesn't directly fight anyone in the final timeline. Homura is an Action Girl, not especially feminine or tomboyish, so she uses manly ranged weapons—non-magical guns and explosives. She has a sword but is never seen using it.
  • Little Miss Badass: None of them are older than 15 when they start killing witches.
  • Made of Iron: They are very tough little girls especially Sayaka who gets outright Healing Factor. This story deconstructs this trope, as that kind of durability is impossible for normal humans. They're actually Liches in all but name. This means they do not fit this trope at all because they have Super Toughness.
  • Magical Girl: They make a contract with Kyubey to gain magical girl power, outfits, and duty.
  • Make a Wish: For the low, low price of one lifetime's worth of service as a magical girl, Kyubey will grant your heart's desire.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • As revealed in Episode 8.
    Kyubey: On this planet, you call females who have yet to become adults "girls". It makes sense then, that since you'll all eventually become Witches, you should be called "Magical Girls."
    • Soul Gems and Grief Seeds. The first one is literal and the latter is created when a Magical Girl crosses the Despair Event Horizon and gives in to her grief. Also they're abbreviated SG and GS, which are fittingly the reverse of each other.
  • Navel Window:
    • Sayaka's Magical Girl outfit features a white corset with a gap around her navel, which exposes her soul gem.
    • Kyoko doesn't attend a school like Madoka and her friends and has a snarky, rough-and-tumble personality. In keeping with this, her casual clothes are short shorts and a jacket over what is likely some kind of belly shirt, as the jacket is unfastened at the bottom just enough to expose her navel.
  • One-Winged Angel: When they turn into Witches, they gain a massive power boost. Sayaka who was the weakest among them suddenly became a legitimate threat once she becomes Oktavia. They are killed shortly afterwards however.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Becoming a Magical Girl means having your soul ripped out and transformed into a gem, while your body becomes an Empty Shell that's remotely operated. While this does give them a Healing Factor and the ability to block out otherwise crippling pain, separating a Magical Girl from their gem causes them to lose consciousness. If they stay separate for too long, their bodies begin to rot.
  • Reality Ensues: Insofar as the rules of reality can apply to a universe with magic, but the magical girl system turns out to be uglier than it looks.
    • Magical girls are effectively Child Soldiers who have no choice but to fight witches to stay alive, as Soul Gems can't be cleansed without a Grief Seed. Fighting for their lives on a daily basis means that magical girls can also get hurt, die, or witch out.
    • Getting something for nothing almost never happens in real life, and someone who offers you what appears to be a wonderful gift with no downsides usually has some ulterior motive in mind, especially if you don't know them well. Becoming a magical girl seems like it has no negatives, until you find out about having to kill witches and endanger your life on the regular. Your friendly neighborhood Mentor Mascot? Yes, he wants you to become a magical girl...and eventually a witch, as the emotional energy released by your fall to despair is going to help him stave off the universe's heat death.
    • Acting selflessly for another person sometimes comes at your own expense, and shouldn't come with the expectation of a reward or even gratitude. When Sayaka wishes for Kyousuke's hand to be healed (without his knowledge), he ends up falling in love with Hitomi after Sayaka can't bring herself to confess her feelings. When Kyoko wished for people to listen to her father's teachings, he was horrified when he found out, calling her an evil witch who was corrupting his flock.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: On a sliding scale from red (more passionate) to blue (more rational) - Kyoko, Sayaka, Madoka, Mami, Homura. For instance, Kyoko acts on impulse like when she neck-lifts Sayaka, and Mami puts more thought in her battles with witches.
  • Remote Body: Their original bodies become this once they become a Magical Girl, controlled by the soul gem (their new body) from a distance of up to 100 meters.
  • School Uniforms Are the New Black: Everyone except Kyoko wears their school uniforms most of the time when not transformed because Kyoko is never a student in non-Rebellion storylines.
  • Tareme Eyes: Madoka and Sayaka share the same big eyes, and they are both very naive at first about the true nature of being a magical girl.
  • Theme Naming: The names of the girls make them all seem as though they have Two First Names. However, Homura is the only one who has an actual first name as a last name (the spelling of Akemi used for her name is exclusive to first names only); the rest all have names that are valid last names, but are more commonly used as first names.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Those witches fought by magical girls were once magical girls themselves...so if you're a magical girl? Congratulations, you're fated to become a witch (assuming you don't die in battle).
  • True Companions:
    • Averted. Along with other traditional Magical Girl tropes, this one gets hurled straight out the window. They have proven themselves of getting along on occasion. Kyoko and Mami were friends before the series started, Sayaka idolized Mami and eventually grew to sympathize somewhat with Kyoko, and Homura was once like Madoka. However, due to factors like their individual reactions to discovering the truth, mental trauma, and Homura's lonerism, as well as Kyubey's machinations, their relationships end abruptly, either when someone dies, or when two individuals simply can't trust each other.
    • However, Rebellion, the game, and The Different Story show that it is possible for them to get along. Mami had good relations with everyone except Homura (and side material reveals that Kyoko, despite their fight, still considered Mami to be a sister). Sayaka was warming up to Kyoko. Kyoko was warming up to Sayaka. Everyone was friendly to Madoka. The one Magical Girl that everyone either did not trust or straight-up disliked was Homura, as a consequence of her growing cynicism, simply not caring about non-Madokas, and her overall lonerism.
  • Tsurime Eyes: In contrast to Madoka and Sayaka's Tareme Eyes above, Mami, Homura and Kyoko all have sharper eyes. They are all veteran magical girls who have a more cynical view on being one.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Sayaka (blue hair), Madoka (pink hair), Hitomi (green). No one comments on it so it must be normal.

    Madoka Kaname 
See Madoka's character page here.

    Homura Akemi 
See Homura's character page here.

    Sayaka Miki 
See Sayaka's character page here.

    Mami Tomoe 

Voiced by: Kaori Mizuhashi (Japanese), Carrie Keranen (English), Violeta Bibiloni (Spanish)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mammies_1838.png

A nurturing upperclassman at Madoka's school and a veteran magical girl. She wields an infinite number of magical flintlock rifles along with various ribbon-based binding spells. Her parents died in a car accident, and she lives alone.


  • Action Girl: Her introduction is saving Madoka and Sayaka from witches. She's a veteran.
  • All There in the Manual
    • Although the translation is unclear, Word of God says that her wish was something like "to connect to life"—presumably her own life.
    • Her wish is later revealed in The Different Story, where it is "to continue living" after being mortally wounded in a car accident. However, this backfires on her because she never specified saving her parents as well, leaving her to survive the car accident while both her parents died.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: How Mami became a Magical Girl. It was either make a contract with Kyubey or die in a car crash.
  • Back from the Dead: In the Grand Finale, Madoka revived her with her wish.
  • Badass Adorable: She pulls magic rifles out of her Nice Hat or with a curtsy!
  • Badass Bookworm: Mami's sole magical power is the ability to create ribbons. In order to create her guns, she taught herself the engineering talents required to create a flintlock rifle capable of firing multiple types of ammunition out of ribbons and at the age of thirteen.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She's one of the nicest characters in the franchise, but in Gertrud's barrier, she is able to slaughter the vast majority of the familiars and the witch quite easily.
  • Big Fancy House:
    • Her penthouse is huge, especially for someone who lives alone after her parents died in the same accident that Kyubey uses to make her a Magical Girl.
    • In the manga, her apartment is a little cozier but much smaller and later versions make it even cozier.
  • Big Sister Mentor: To Madoka and Sayaka; she taught them about magical girl life and gave them a 'trial version' so they could understand what they were getting into. Also to Kyoko in the past and possibly to Homura in other timelines as well.
  • BFG: Tiro/Filo Finale, her finisher. It's a massive matchlock which can vary in size or form.
  • Boobs of Steel: In the design interviews Ume Aoki explicitly states that she gave Mami "an impressive pair of hooters", a fact that the camera lingers just that little bit longer enough to emphasize. And in sheer raw-power before Madoka's ascension to Godhood and talent/skill in combat, Mami is the the most fearsome Magical Girl in the franchise.
  • Boom, Headshot!: During her Freak Out in the fourth timeline, Madoka mercy kills her to save Homura's life by shooting the gem off of her hat, killing her instantly.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Her teacup is broken in episode 3 to symbolize her death.
    • The second episode shows her sitting at the glass table in her room as she explains how Witches are responsible for many otherwise-unexplainable murders and suicides. Her own, for instance. Then there's a closeup of her hands resting gracefully on her lap in the proper sitting position. Sure, it shows how mature she is but pay attention to her reflection in the tabletop. She's holding her upside-down head in her hands.
  • Broken Ace: She is an elegant, skilled fighter who acts kind and gentle and appears as a role model, but her ideal magical girl image is just a facade to hide how broken she is from constantly fighting witches on her own.
  • Broken Bird: Does what she can to smile, but is pretty screwed up inside. To put it into perspective, in one timeline, upon finding out that Magical Girls turn into witches, she gets so broken that she very quickly resolves to commit triple-murder-suicide. In another timeline (The Different Story Manga), she commits suicide by destroying her own soul gem, albeit so that Madoka wouldn't have to wish her to have a normal life back, so it overlaps somewhat with Heroic Sacrifice — Madoka resurrected Sayaka, instead.
  • Broken Hero: She is seen as the ideal magical girl by Madoka and Sayaka, but confesses that she cries a lot when alone and says her smiles are all false.
  • Broken Pedestal: In The Different Story, both her apprentices Sayaka and Kyoko view Mami as the perfect magical girl and they come to feel their selfishness makes them undeserving of having Mami as a mentor. Eventually, Mami reveals her own hidden weakness and selfishness to them, admitting that she's nothing but a sad, lonely girl who pretends to be perfect to impress others. Sayaka is so appalled by learning that the hero she looked up to was a farce that she completely snaps and turns into a witch. Kyoko, on the other hand, is shocked to discover that Mami is so mentally fragile as to fall into despair after learning the Awful Truth about magical girls turning into witches, but she still cherishes her as her former Big Sister Mentor.
  • Bullet Hell: Creates these with "Unlimited Musket Works".
  • But Not Too Foreign: Creators have said that she's not fully Japanese. Her name is a Spanish word and her final shot is in Italian, and Ume Aoki says that she designed Mami after the image of a western gunner, but her true ethnicity has yet to be revealed.
  • Calling Your Attack: "Tiro Finale!" (Italian: "Final Shot!")
    • The third drama CD has Mami insisting Kyoko call her attack too—and she even picks out a name for it.
  • Cool Big Sis: She is the mature center that the other girls orbit around. It's carried over to meta level; the staffs, the voice actresses, and the fans usually call her Mami-san because of this very reason.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Being decapitated and then eaten by a creepy clown-faced caterpillar-like witch DEFINITELY counts. You can see her decapitated body fall to the ground and hear the crunching.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Her fight against Gertrud and her familiars. They never stood a chance.
  • Dance Battler: She shoots, swirls, and bashes with her rifles all while her strings swirls about prettily too.
  • Dead Star Walking: First magical girl and features in the opening but dies in the third out of 12 episodes.
  • Deer in the Headlights: During her fight with Charlotte in episode 3. It does not end well.
  • Despair Event Horizon: In a previous timeline, after learning the Awful Truth about witches, she loses all hope and kills Kyoko. She plans on going for Homura and Madoka before offing herself as well, but is instead killed by Madoka.
    • In The Different Story she puts up with a lot of awful, traumatic things before the death of Kyoko, her surrogate sister and former student, right after their reconciliation finally pushes her over the edge. Unlike other timelines, she just quietly commits suicide by crushing her Soul Gem.
  • Died Happily Ever After: Implied to be her eventual fate, following Madoka's wish.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Rebellion reveals that she can use her ribbons to create duplicates of herself.
  • Driven to Suicide: The Different Story manga ends with Mami shattering her own soul gem to join her parents and her sister figure Kyoko in death. Homura remarks due to Mami's personality, she is guaranteed to succumb to this if she ever finds out the truth about witches and uses the events of Episode 10 of the anime as reference.
  • Eaten Alive: Gets mogu-mogu'd by Charlotte, in front of Madoka and Sayaka.
  • Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: Then guns start to fall from under her skirt...
  • Expy: Ume Aoki has said she shares many traits with Hiro from Hidamari Sketch.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Decapitated, eaten alive, then having your remains chewed on even more in front of two innocent, 14 year old girls. In the movie version, at least, you can see a shadow of what remains of her body land near Homura after Charlotte explodes.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: The third drama CD reveals that she's a Supreme Chef.
  • Field of Blades: Unlimited Musket Works, indeed.
  • Finishing Move: Tiro/Filo Finale, a massive matchlock rifle.
  • Foil: To Homura. They're both veteran Magical Girls, but while Mami is warm and inviting, Homura is cold and aloof. Mami wants to believe in the traditional magical girl show - even using Calling Your Attacks where no-one else does, whereas Homura knows the truth. Mami appears kind and selfless despite having some questionable motives for recruiting Madoka and Sayaka, whereas Homura appears harsh and to be a magical girl similar to Kyoko but is actually time travelling solely for Madoka's benefit and not her own. Even their uniform colors are opposites. Mami's color yellow is the opposite to Homura's purple.
  • Fond Memories That Could Have Been: At the end of The Different Story manga, Mami commits suicide and dreams of a normal life in a world where she could stay friends with Kyoko and Sayaka and her parents never died.
  • Four-Element Ensemble: Air. Sometimes rendered as a dreamy, idealistic girl, but can get serious if the situation calls for it.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The eclectic. A balanced mentor to the other girls.
  • Freak Out: After Oktavia's death in another timeline, she kills Kyoko and would have shot Homura, Madoka, and herself too if Madoka hadn't killed her (Mami) first.
  • Friendly Sniper: She's pleasant toward Madoka and Sayaka, but admits that she has no real friends.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Her witch form, Candeloro, has a name that's technically masculine.
  • Girly Bruiser: She's quite the talented magical girl, and hosts tea parties after gunfights with witches.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Episode 10 reveals that this happened to her in at least one timeline after being forced to fight and kill witch Sayaka (from her point of view) and discovering that everything she believed in was a lie, to the point where she starts killing her friends to save them from a Fate Worse than Death.
    Mami: (sobbing as she aims her gun at Homura) If Soul Gems give birth to witches, then we have no choice but to die! Both me... and you!
  • Good Is Not Soft: She's extremely kind, helpful, and motherly to her friends, and utterly ruthless when slaughtering witches, even going out of her way to hunt down familiars that don't have grief seeds to save as many innocents as possible. She's willing to kill her own friends when she discovers they'll eventually turn into witches and do evil things.
  • Gratuitous Italian: Tiro Finale!
  • Gun Kata: The musket variant. She clobbers Charlotte with them.
  • Guns Akimbo: One musket in each hand; one to shoot with and the other to club witches with.
  • The Gunslinger: With all those muskets she's a terrific shot. She's had plenty of time to practice.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Kindhearted and feminine but she's also very lonely and depressed, angsty over the accident that killed her parents and she takes Good Is Not Soft to high levels.
  • Hates Being Alone: She took on so many students because she can't stand loneliness, having been alone ever since she contracted due to the death of her parents. When Madoka decides to become a magical girl so she won't be alone, she becomes deliriously happy.
  • Healing Hands: She can heal the injuries of others, patching up Kyubey's body after he's injured by Homura in the first episode. This is presumably connected to her wish, which was to survive a car crash that killed her parents and left Mama herself critically injured.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Her only power is to create ribbons. She learned to make bridges out of her ribbons and even locks that can trap Homura.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • In at least one of the alternate timelines. She doesn't cope with learning what magical girls become very well. This unfortunately causes her to kill Kyoko and die at the hands of Madoka because she thought this would be the best way to prevent becoming a witch.
    • She had one in the 3rd drama CD when Kyoko left her embittered due to their ideals becoming wholly different, lamenting that she's left alone again.
    • In The Different Story manga, which centers around her, she breaks down so badly that she takes her own life.
  • Hero of Another Story: By the time she meets Madoka and Sayaka, she's been a magical girl for years and won a turf war or two.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: She can pull those muskets from her skirts and her Nice Hat. When she finishes off an enemy, she can also pull out a cup of tea from nowhere.
  • Idiot Ball: She catches it in Episode 3, with fatal results. If she survived as a magical girl for years, then why did she just sit there while Charlotte was about to eat her?
    • This is given a nod in Oriko Magica, a timeline in which she fights Charlotte and lives; after the fight, she comments that she could have been killed if she'd let her guard down. The implication seems to be that Madoka's power of friendship speech in the main timeline distracted her to the point that she wasn't giving her whole attention to the fight with Charlotte, and that was why she got killed.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Her greatest wish is to have a friend.
  • Implausible Hair Color: She's a Japanese girl with blonde hair.
  • Improbable Hair Style: Her cone-like curls are highly improbable to pull off in real life, much less maintain orderliness after all the fighting she does. Rebellion reveals that she curls them with magic.
  • Interclass Friendship: While it's unknown if she is rich, she is more well off then Kyoko Sakura who comes from a poor Christian family. She became both a friend and mentor to Kyoko.
  • It's All About Me: Her motivation is basically to encourage other girls to form a contract so she can have friends, despite knowing how dangerous it is and being a magical girl as long as Homura had, so she had probably seen her fair share of other magical girls get killed. She's not nearly as bad as most examples as she does thoroughly warn Madoka and Sayaka against wasteful, selfish wishes and motivations, but when Madoka insists that she wants to be a magical girl to help Mami so she won't have to fight alone anymore, she immediately concedes.
  • Just Desserts: Not because she was ever evil, but because she was unusually reckless.
  • Killed Offscreen: In the first and second timeline, her death wasn't shown. The first timeline however did indicate that she was killed by Walpurgisnacht.
  • Lady of War: She uses her guns with a heavy emphasis on precision, grace and high calculation instead of brute force. She also finishes her battles with a curtsy and sipping tea.
    "I can't let myself look uncool in front of my magical girl trainees!" A meal, on the other hand...
  • Last-Name Basis: Typically calls the other girls by their last name and the "-san" honorific. The dub changes it to First-Name Basis.
  • The Leader: Of Madoka's team because she's the mature veteran.
  • Lethal Harmless Powers: Word of God is that her only power is to create ribbons. Ergo, the matchlock rifles she conjures, as well as the bullets they fire, are actually constructed using her ribbons.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: This is the very trope that turns her into an item on Charlotte's menu; instead of her usual precision and caution she fought with reckless abandon.
  • Leitmotif: "Credens justitiam".
  • Leonine Contract: She could either take up Kyubey's offer to become a Magical Girl or die alongside her parents, which is the first hint that Kyubey is far more sinister than he seems.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Her choice of attack when she first shows up involves summoning and shooting hundreds upon hundreds of gigantic matchlocks. She can fire them fast enough to match actual machine-gun fire, and can use them to fire any type of bullet she wants, though they can only fire one each.
  • Mage Marksman: She uses her magic powers to conjure single-shot muskets, bombards and cannons out of thin air. Sometimes in massive amounts, only to have them fire a shot each and disappear.
  • Magical Girl: The closest thing this show has to a traditional one; a friendly girl who transforms into an elaborate outfit to fight monsters For Great Justice. According to the 3rd Drama CD, this is an Invoked Trope.
  • Magic Skirt: Her magic holds her skirt up while she is dangling upside down.
  • Mask of Sanity: Her elegant and nurturing personality hides a dangerous instability; according to Homura, the Awful Truth knocks her mask off every time. Averted in Oriko and The Different Story — the former has her regain her hope thanks to Yuma, while the latter has her calm down, accept her fate, and commit suicide quietly.
  • Meaningful Name: "Mami" means "Mommy" in Spanish, emphasizing her gentle, nurturing character and her role as Team Mom, and Tomoe Gozen was perhaps the most famous female samurai, renowned for her valor and combat prowess.
    • Tomoe is a rare female Japanese name that means "friend and blessing". She sure was.
  • The Mentor: She acts as a mentor to Sayaka and Madoka, and persuades them not to waste their lives and talent on a stupid wish, and to join her as a Puella Magi to fight witches.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Alas, poor Mami! While mentoring two magical girl candidates she is eaten by a monster caterpillar!
  • Mercy Kill: In at least one of the alternate timelines, she learns that magical girls turn into witches and decides that it is better for them to die right there than to become witches and start killing humans. The order she picked in mercy killing her allies makes a lot more sense when you know that she and Kyoko used to be good friends before the death of Kyoko's family. Mami knew Kyoko had been living on the edge of despair since said incident, and knowing what would happen if she'd truly go over the edge and her attachment to Sayaka, it would be easy for her to see that she would turn into a witch next, something she really did not want to see, especially after what happened to Sayaka. There's also the fact that as a hardened veteran Kyoko would've reacted alot quicker to Mami's Murder-Suicide attempt and put up a decent fight which is why Mami didn't finish Homura off right after tying her up but shot Kyoko dead next while probably not expecting Madoka to try to kill her.
  • Minor Living Alone: Mami's parents died in an accident. As it turned out, she also had no relatives, and thus had no choice but to live on her own.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Has easily the most attractive figure of the principle cast; a fact the cinematic adaptations love to emphasize.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Using her wish to live, but not to revive her parents as well. She doesn't openly regret making her wish since it saved her life, but she asks Madoka to think carefully of hers and lectures Sayaka when she learns that she wants to heal Kyosuke, implying that she feels guilty anyway.
    • In the PSP game, Mami openly expresses that she resents herself for failing to save her parents. She states that she made "a selfish, cowardly wish" and that she was only ever thinking about herself. The despair of this realization (as well as the pain she experienced when she saw the despair of the mother of a boy she had failed to save from a witch) eventually pushes her over the edge, and she becomes the witch Candeloro.
  • Nice Girl: She's a very polite and kind girl.
  • Nice Hat: A feathered one which acts as Hyperspace Arsenal in the other world.
  • No Body Left Behind: Implied to be her ultimate fate due to Madoka's wish.
  • No Ontological Inertia: On the way to confronting Charlotte, she turns down Homura’s offer to fight in her stead out of distrust and restrains with ribbons, promising to release her when she comes back. Just as Charlotte sinks its fangs down on her head, the ribbons binding Homura unravel on their own. Homura quickly figures out why she’s free even though Mami hasn’t come back, and runs off to defeat Charlotte herself before Madoka and Sayaka become its next meal.
  • Not So Stoic: When she has an Heroic BSoD and confesses to Madoka that she's far more frail than she lets her see. Also the revelation that magical girls can transform into witches, which in an alternate timeline, makes her flip out and in Puella Magi Oriko Magica almost makes her fall into catatonic despair.
  • Off with Her Head!: Initially in Episode 3 by Charlotte. Thanks to that, the Japanese fans now associate her name as a verb of the trope.
  • Ojou Ringlets: She has a pair of large corkscrew curls that start behind her ears and frame her face. She's the Ojou because of her deceased family's wealth and her own class and uses a more graceful style of Gun Kata.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: If OOC equals happiness-induced recklessness, you're going to end up on a witch's menu.
  • The Paragon: A paragon of Magical Girl-hood... for all that it entails. Sayaka, and even Kyubey, consider her to be the exception to most magical girls because she's the only one who is fully devoted in keeping Mitakihara safe from both witches and familiars while others will simply hunt witches for the grief seeds, and managing to do it by herself for years without dying or transforming.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Two cases of this in The Different Story:
    • When Kyoko broke off their partnership, Mami desperately tried to stop her both because she didn't want to lose the only magical girl who was her friend and leave Kyoko all alone after the Sakura Pater Familicide incident had happened recently.
    • Later on, Sayaka also wants to stop teaming up with Mami because deliberately abandoned her love rival to die at hands of a witch. Mami begs her to stay together with her because all she wants is to have a friend who is also a magical girl. Sayaka feels glad to hear that, but she ends up losing all respect for Mami because she's trying to stay friends with someone who tried to let an innocent die and this causes Sayaka to transform into a witch.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: In her normal attire because she is a Proper Lady.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Kyoko's red in the past and in The Different Story. The mentor had the grace and cool head while the student was more hotblood and crude.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Zigzagged.
    • In alternate timelines, she wavers between this and a Sacrificial Lion. While she survives much longer in Homura's previous loops, until just before Madoka's battle with Walpurgisnacht, her screentime is often scarce and, with the exception of her Freak Out, her death is merely a background event.
    • Averted in Oriko Magica, where she's much more careful against Charlotte. She even makes a remark about how she could have easily died.
  • Secretly Selfish: Mami gives the impression of being the only completely altruistic and virtuous magical girl there is in the Crapsaccharine World, to the point Sayaka and Kyoko think that she's a unique epitome of selflessness. The truth is Mami never wanted to be a hero of justice, but tries to save as many people as she can as a way to alleviate her Survivor Guilt over using her wish to only save herself instead of saving her parents in the traffic accident too. Her saintly image is just a mask she puts on to impress her apprentices in hopes they will like her and stay with her if she looks perfect to them.
  • Sempai/Kohai:
    • Sees herself as Sayaka and Madoka's senpai as a magical girl, and is a year ahead of them at school but they call her "Mami-san" rather than "senpai".
    • She calls herself Kyoko's senpai in the third drama CD/''0'' Manga.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: She's a teenage girl and her Tiro Finale is as big as a tank.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: Her parents are gone because they were killed in the same accident that Kyubey used to get her to become a magical girl, leaving her completely alone in their penthouse.
  • Spot of Tea: Immediately after killing a witch she pulls a tea cup from somewhere and sips from it. In addition, she serves tea to her friends when they visit her penthouse. After her death, the cup lies on a table shattered by a grief seed among what's left of Charlotte's remains.
  • Stepford Smiler: By her own admission, her smiles are nothing more than an act.
  • The Stoic: Of the "say something horrific without any emotions" variety.
  • Strike Me Down: In The Different Story, after Sayaka turns into a witch, Mami and Kyoko get into a fight, after which a suicidal Mami begs Kyoko to kill her. Kyoko refuses and instead uses her illusion magic to make Mami think her soul gem is clean, in order to prevent her from becoming a witch. It succeeds in stalling the matter out, buying time for Kyoko to gather grief seeds... but Kyoko herself dies fighting a witch, and Mami ends up shattering her own soul gem.
  • Supreme Chef: According to Kyoko in the third drama CD, she's a fantastic cook.
  • Survivor Guilt: When Kyubey contracted with her after the car accident, she only wished for herself to be saved and didn't wish for her parents to come back to life. She has felt guilty about it since.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: This pretty much plays anytime she's transforming into her magical girl outfit, or when she's pulling a Big Damn Heroes moment but it doesn't save her in Episode 3...
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: After Madoka gives her a "You Are Not Alone" speech, Mami goes into her next fight guns akimbo. Unfortunately, her recklessness costs her her head and, naturally, her life.
  • Undignified Death: The "headless Mami" meme will never let the poor girl live down how she went out.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Mami can be considered one of the people responsible for Sayaka's eventual breakdown and transformation into a witch right after Kyosuke and Hitomi. Mami's pretense at being the ideal magical girl when her true self is far from it ended up creating an unrealistic image of a perfect hero of justice in Sayaka's mind that no one could ever truly live up to. Sayaka becomes a magical girl to try to be just like Mami, but she soon realizes it's impossible and this is what kickstarts her depression. Taken further in the The Different Story, where Mami confesses her hidden selfishness and weakness in hopes that will convince Sayaka to stay friends with her. Instead, Sayaka completely snaps at realizing not even her idol Mami was perfect and turns into a witch.
  • Walking Spoiler: Because of her gruesome death a quarter of the way in the series, it's hard to discuss Mami in a spoiler-free way without bringing it up.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye:
    • In the anime she dies in the third episode and otherwise has little screentime in alternate timelines.
    • Averted in The Different Story, which focuses on Mami's past and follows her as The Protagonist in a timeline where she survives the the battle against Charlotte.
    • Meta-wise, defied. Kaori Mizuhashi went out of her way to say that it's exactly because of Mami's early and gruesome death that she becomes memorable and lives on in the mind of fans instead of being treated like thin air.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Post-Heroic BSoD, she kills Kyoko because she thought she was saving them from becoming monsters.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The third drama CD shows that she knew Kyoko when they were younger and were friends and partners in fighting witches, until the Pater Familicide happened and Kyoko decided to be selfish with her magic.
  • Worf Had the Flu: It's implied that her Broken Bird status is holding her back a lot, and the "Rebellion" movie confirms it by having her in a far better mental status and capable of an attack that could have one-shot Walpurgisnacht.
  • The World's Expert on Getting Killed: A veteran magical girl and the first casuality.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: She's feminine, polite, good at cooking, acts like a mother figure towards the other girls, and has a graceful fighting style. In one scene, she calmly sips tea immediately after a battle. Discussed in The Different Story when Mami mentions during an internal monologue that she exaggerates this part of her personality in order to be a perfect role-model Magical Girl for her pupils. However, she doesn't have any of the yamato nadeshiko's typical looks; she has blonde hair that she wears in Ojou Ringlets, is noticeably well-endowed, and the creators have also stated that she isn't fully Japanese.
  • Yandere: Her witch form, Candeloro, hates being lonely and has an inviting nature, inviting visitors to her tea party and tying them up when they try to leave.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After making a contract with Kyubey, Mami finds herself experiencing loneliness as her parents are dead and is prevented from having a social life due to her Magical Girl lifestyle. She finds Kyoko, another Magical Girl, whom she takes under her wing and becomes friends with and putting an end to her isolation until Kyoko grows bitter from her Pater Familicide, breaking up her partnership with Mami and leaving her all alone again. Some time later, she saves two girls Madoka and Sayaka who are discovered to have magical potential and Madoka tells Mami she intends to become a Magical Girl and find alongside her which fills Mami with glee. Then she is killed gruesomely moments later.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: When she suits up she is wearing thigh-highs instead of full tights. Consider what this means in regards to her dual identities.

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    Kyoko Sakura 

Voiced by: Ai Nonaka (Japanese), Lauren Landa (English), Marga López (Spanish)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kyoko_1734.png

A veteran magical girl. Introduced as morally ambiguous and selfish, she first appears as a foe to Madoka and Sayaka, serving as a "pseudo-villain" for a few episodes. Her view of a magical girl's duties is ruthlessly utilitarian; for example, on her first encounter with Sayaka, she suggests allowing a familiar to feed on humans and mature into a witch so as to ultimately gain a grief seed from slaying it. She wields a halberd with a segmented, chained shaft, giving her weapon dangerous flexibility and reach. However, in the end she reveals she's not at all the bad person she seemed to be...


  • Anti-Hero: After her Heel–Face Turn, she becomes mainly a Knight in Sour Armor.
  • Anti-Villain: Initially appears as a dangerous antagonist and a cynical Social Darwinist who lets people die just to harvest more Grief Seeds for herself. However, it turns out that she isn't outright malicious, and is merely a broken girl: her selfishness is a result of her selfless wish backfiring spectacularly, and she later warms up to Sayaka and others after realizing the truth about magical girls, to the point that she isn't antagonistic at all in Rebellion.
  • Arc Villain: Serves as the main villainous focus for a few episodes until her Heel–Face Turn, but mostly as the catalyst to demonstrate The Plan and intention of the real villain, Kyubey.
  • Back from the Dead: In the Grand Finale. Since she died fighting a witch, Madoka is able to revive her with her wish.
  • Bare Your Midriff: A lot of art work — both official and fan — implies she's wearing a belly shirt underneath her jacket.
  • Berserk Button: She threatens to kill Sayaka for wasting food (that attitude results most likely from either her religious upbringing, her life in poverty or both).
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: After finding out the whole Awful Truth and unable to save Sayaka, Kyoko felt she had two choices: destroy her soul gem in a final attack to put Sayaka out of her misery and die together, or win the fight the usual way and still become a witch sooner or later, be killed by a magical girl and die alone. Considering her past, guess which one she picked?
  • Big Damn Heroes: Gen Urobuchi loves to play with this trope. In Kyoko's case, Homura saves Sayaka from her and then she saves Sayaka from Elsa Maria. Then she saves Sayaka when she thinks Homura is about to attack her. She tops it off by protecting Madoka and Homura's escape from Oktavia... by going out with a bang.
  • Big Eater: She's always eating something and it's not Played for Laughs, as there is a Freudian Excuse for it.
  • Bifauxnen and Lad-ette: The Lad-ette to Sayaka's Bifauxnen. Kyoko has her hair tied a Tomboyish Ponytail and has a aggressive and rude personality, while Sayaka has boyish short hair and a personality of Knight in Shining Armor.
  • Blade on a Stick: Uses a spear as her signature weapon.
  • Blood Knight: Unlike the other girls she enjoys hunting witches mainly for her own selfish purposes.
  • Broken Bird: She used to be a lot like Sayaka, a "hero of justice" but then her dad freaked out and killed their family. Is there any surprise she is now so cynical and selfish?
  • Bystander Syndrome: In the manga Homura's Revenge she has no interest in helping Homura save Madoka since Homura can't offer her anything to reverse with her time magic in return.
  • Byronic Heroine: A good person with a dark past and a lot of angst who engages in hedonistic behavior; yep.
  • Calling Your Attacks: She never does this in the anime, but in the third drama CD, Mami insists on calling her Doppelgänger Attack "Rossa Fantasma" - literally "Red Phantom". Kyoko says it once during battle, but then breaks out laughing afterwards because she can't take it seriously.
  • Catch Phrase: "You want some?"
  • Challenge Seeker: Tell her she can't do something. Anything at all. She will do exactly what you say she can't do, or die trying!
  • Chaste Hero: The second Drama CD has her as this. When the girls are trying to stop a panties thief, Kyoko doesn't understand why someone would steal used panties. Demonstrated by this illustration.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Appears in the title and credits sequences before appearing in the series. It's also implied that she's the magical girl that Kyubey and Mami talk about in Episode 3, who made a wish for someone else. This is confirmed in the third drama CD.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Becomes this to Mami in The Different Story. After their separation, Kyoko tried to bait Mami to fight her twice and got frustrated both times by her refusal. The irony is that this jealousy is the result of Mami taking Sayaka as her partner.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Red hair and eyes.
  • Cute Little Fangs: She has one and it makes her look like the predator she talks about. (Also cute).
  • Cynicism Catalyst: She made a shortsighted wish to bring followers to her father's congregation. When he realized what was going on, he killed his family. After this, she decided to work for herself and only herself.
  • Dark Action Girl: She's selfish, brutal, and not at all heroic. This changes some after her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Her father was a priest, but he was excommunicated for "heresy" and the Sakura family fell in poverty as he couldn't support them anymore. Kyoko used her wish to get more followers for him...but when he found out it was just magic and not his ideas and words, he went crazy and killed himself and his entire family, leaving Kyoko as the only survivor.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than the other main characters who think of themselves as traditional 'love and justice' magical girls.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Her time in the show is all about pitting herself and her beliefs against Sayaka, who sees herself and her beliefs as a traditional magical girl. As per the trope, she has a Heel–Face Turn and develops a soft spot for Sayaka, who reminds her of her ideals.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Part of the reason of her Heel–Face Turn is the realization that magical girls are essentially zombies liches, and that she might as well do something to remedy this situation. Culminating in her Heroic Sacrifice to give the bewitched Sayaka a Mercy Kill. She even gets her final moment of clarity, where she realizes that she has always wanted to protect someone.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Introduced as cold and selfish, but reveals a slightly warmer personality later as she grows fond of Sayaka.
  • Depower: The third drama CD reveals that Kyoko could originally create illusory copies of herself, but she lost this power when her family died.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Played with. As the sole survivor of a Pater Familicide committed by her father she became bitter and jaded but her soul gem did not corrupt so she held onto a bright outlook. When Kyubey lets slip the Awful Truth, she shows more and more humanity.
    • Potentially played straight in the PSP game if Homura defeats Oktavia before she has a chance to save what is left of Sayaka, thus removing the very last trace of hope and idealism she had left, and triggering her transformation into Ophelia.
  • Died Happily Ever After: Implied in the anime to be her eventual fate, following Madoka's wish.
  • Dies Wide Open: In one of the timelines after Mami find out that magic girls turn into witches she went crazy and destroys Kyoko soul gem Kyoko falls lifeless with eyes open.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: The third drama CD reveals that Kyoko's original power was to create decoys of herself. She lost this power when her family died.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: She kills Octavia in a Heroic Sacrifice which is also a Together in Death attempt.
  • Evil Redhead: Initially, she is an antagonist and her hair color is much darker than pink-haired Madoka.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Her last moment is her praying to her God.
  • Fallen Heroine: She was sort of a Church Militant and she acknowledged how stupid heroism is but not even she can help feeling a little sympathy for Sayaka's broken state, leading her to a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Fiery Redhead: As her red hair indicates, she's abrasive and hotheaded. Taken to horrifying literal extreme in that her Witch form has a candle for a head, with its flame as her hair.
  • Foil:
    • To Homura:
      • Homura is a gunslinging Long-Range Fighter, while Kyoko is the best melee fighter out of the main cast.
      • Homura fights for the greater good, but is ultimately driven by a selfish and personal interest. Kyoko is content with killing witches just to survive, but her selfishness also acts a way to prevent others from suffering the same fate as her.
      • Homura is cold and callous because of hostile experiences with them in past timelines and their neverending deaths instilled a sense of indifference towards them in her; Kyoko initially acts hostile towards Madoka and Sayaka, but later warms up to them.
      • Kyoko's growing interest in Sayaka causes her to act like a good person again, a case of Love Redeems. Homura's longstanding dedication to Madoka is what put her through heaps of tragedy in the first place, leading to her becoming the cold person she is now.
    • Also to Mami. Mami uses her magic for other people's benefits and fights familiars as well as witches. Kyoko uses her magic for herself and fights only witches. Under the surface, though, Mami is pretending to be a cool and collected mentor, and is trying to get Sayaka or Madoka to contract so she doesn't have to be lonely anymore. Kyoko, meanwhile, is initially hostile to Sayaka but often does the reverse of what she claims - she says she won't use magic for others but helps Sayaka out and tries to let her have a share of the Grief Seeds.
  • Four-Element Ensemble: Fire. Not only her theme color ties into fire, but she's also a Fiery Redhead and her religious nature reflects also fire: people tend to light a candle when they want to remember someone. Her backstory was told in shadow play, and one needs light (from a fire sometimes) to enact it. The nail in the coffin is her witch form, which is essentially one big candle. Also, fire is associated with indiscriminate consumption.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The choleric. Passionate, callous, and and stubborn.
  • Freudian Excuse: Her love of food comes from her family constantly starving after her father was excommunicated for "heresy" and barely having enough to eat; a scene in the manga shows Kyoko getting punished by her mother for wasting food. Her selfish and Jerkass nature comes from the fact that her wish led to her maddened dad killing the whole Sakura family except for her.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: From a rookie magical girl to an amoral Psycho for Hire to a defrosted Knight in Sour Armor.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Cements this with a near-Precision Bitch Strike as soon as Kyubey lets slip the Awful Truth. She then dedicates herself to preventing her friends from suffering Sayaka's fate.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Homura once meets up with Kyoko while she's playing a dancing game in an arcade.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Inverted; she seems to be after Sayaka, but not the other way around.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • She does a Mercy Kill on Sayaka so she won't have to die alone.
    • In The Different Story, she uses Oktavia's grief seed to cleanse Mami's soul gem, but this leaves her without another one to use on herself, and she dies while fighting another witch later.
  • Hero of Another Story: She was a magical girl for a long time. Her start up until meeting Madoka could be its own story.
  • Hidden Buxom: She has a case of this in the Madoka Magica Slot Machine: Smashing Watermelons mini-game ending, where in the full image she's almost on par with Mami. Who knew?
  • Hidden Depths: She reveals to Madoka in Episode 9 she used to love stories where love would triumph. This is hinted at when Kyoko tells Sayaka about her Dark and Troubled Past; losing her family left her jaded, but she didn't fall into the Despair Event Horizon and she kept on fighting.
  • Hypocrite: She scolds Homura for coolly explaining the true nature of Magical Girls and Witches to Madoka who is crying over Sayaka's lifeless body, saying that Sayaka was once Madoka's friend and asks if she's even human, but the reason Kyoko came to the city in the first place was to kill Sayaka and take her place as Mitakihara's resident Magical Girl when she heard about her and she likely wasn't thinking about the friends who would mourn Sayaka. Not to mention she was totally fine with letting Witch familiars devour innocent humans so they could become Witches and produce Grief Seeds when killed.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: She tries to do this alongside Madoka in a desperate attempt to save Sayaka after she turns into a Witch. It fails and Kyoko has to kill Sayaka along with herself.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In the manga, during her fight with Oktavia von Seckendorff.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Back when she was Mami's apprentice, Kyoko once mentioned that she didn't exactly think of Mami as her friend. Mami thought this meant Kyoko only saw her as a means to become a stronger magical girl and would eventually abandon her when she learned enough from her. Kyoko was simply too embarrassed to tell Mami that she was like a sister to her.
  • Interclass Friendship: Came from a poor family and ended up being friends with Mami Tomoe who was more financially well off.
  • Ironic Echo: When she first encountered Oktavia (Sayaka's witch form), she was rescued by Homura because she was carrying Sayaka's lifeless corpse and had no way to defend herself. When she refused to drop Sayaka's corpse, Homura calls her a hindrance. During their futile attempt to bring Sayaka back from being a witch, a very injured Kyoko leaves an unconscious Madoka to Homura, before stating that they should leave because Homura would not be able to fight with a hindrance like herself, before making her Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Irony: The daughter of a religious man, who battled witches in the dark, is labeled as a witch by her own father. To make it worse, instead of her father burning her at the stake, he burns himself, Kyoko's mother and younger sister together with their church, leaving Kyoko the last of her family.
  • It's All About Me: This is what she claims to be her philosophy; that a magical girl should only use her powers to benefit herself. However, she says this to Sayaka because she thinks she would benefit from that philosophy, and then she tries to help Sayaka against a witch.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: There was a time she was actually a lot like Sayaka and she wished to be a "hero of justice", but had her optimistic worldview shattered when her father killed her whole family and then himself after finding out people only listened to his preachings because of the wish she'd made.
  • Japanese Delinquents: She skips school, picks fights with those who enter her territory, wears somewhat inappropriate clothing for her age, and lives off of stolen food. And true to the major character archetype of this trope, she turns out to be nicer than she acts.
  • Jerkass: Initially, she cares about nothing more than killing her foes and leaving people to die in order to benefit herself.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: As cruel as her Social Darwinist outlook may seem, her belief that helping others would only lead to trouble is accurate in light of the series' universe. Both her and Sayaka's contracts came back to bite them horribly, Madoka's attempt to cheer Mami up by promising to fight alongside her distracted the latter in a fight, leading to her death, and finally the whole dark series began from Homura making a wish to prevent Madoka's death resulting in a progressively worse "Groundhog Day" Loop.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Her backstory doesn't justify her horrible treatment of Sayaka before the Awful Truth happened. However, her later interactions with Sayaka and Madoka show that, Jerkass as she is, Kyoko is still somewhat redeemable, and ultumately a good person. Just watch her Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Killed Offscreen: In The Different Story, Kyoko disappears after killing Oktavia and cleansing Mami's soul gem. Kyubey later informs Mami and Homura that Kyoko tried to defeat another witch to get a Grief Seed for herself, but she ran out of magic energy and was killed by the witch.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Implied that she stole most, if not all, of the food she was eating.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: After being reminded of her ideals by Sayaka she became this; renewed idealism but still bitter.
  • Knight of Cerebus: There's a reason why they waited until after Mami's death scene to introduce her and why she originally didn't appear with the other core four in promotional materials.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Confrontational as she is, she’d rather not pick a fight with Homura when she doesn’t understand the latter’s powers.
  • The Lad-ette: She is the poster child for this in a Magical Girl Warrior series. She eats food without manners and at a fast rate, curses constantly, and loves to start fights. This is in contrast with the other tomboy of the series, Sayaka Miki, who has her moments of girlishness.
  • Lady in Red: Her magical girl outfit is red and she has hedonistic tendencies.
  • The Lady's Favour: Inverted in The Different Story. Kyoko goes off to fight Oktavia and leaves her ribbon with Mami, promising her to return to get it back.
  • Lady Swears-a-Lot: By Japanese-standards, her vocabulary is filthy and at best is inappropriately masculine.
  • Laughably Evil: There are no comic relief characters in Madoka, and definitely not Kyoko, but try not to chuckle a bit as she nonchalantly stuffs her face with food or plays a Bland-Name Product Dance Dance Revolution clone as the events of the series unfold.
  • Leitmotif: "Anima mala" ("Evil soul").
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Does this just before sacrificing herself for Sayaka.
  • Lost Food Grievance: Do not waste food in Kyoko's presence if you value your life. She'll Neck Lift you.
  • Magic Knight: Mainly a melee fighter, but her main element is "enchantment" and she can occasionally use illusionary powers.
  • Master of Illusion: Used to be capable of illusions as her magical girl power before the Pater Familicide incident.
  • Meaningful Name: 'Kyouko' means 'apricot' (this ties in to Momo, the name of her sister, meaning 'peach'), which symbolizes strength achieved through struggles with adversity. 'Sakura' is the cherry blossom, which represents the transcience of life.
  • Mercy Kill: Gives one to Sayaka that doubles as a Taking You with Me.
  • Minor Living Alone: Kyoko lives in her apartment complex alone with no parental supervision due to her father murdering her mother, younger sister, and then himself in a murder-suicide.
  • Neck Lift: Performs one on Sayaka when she throws her apple to the ground without eating it.
  • Nice Girl: The Different Story and the PSP game show that she used to be this back when she first started out as a magical girl, being a very nice and polite girl who wanted to save the world from Witches and had undying respect for Mami, just like Sayaka did. But her father's increasingly abusive behavior after he found out the Awful Truth and eventual Pater Familicide left her jaded and resulted in her becoming far more cynical and selfish to the point where her and Mami's friendship ended because her philosophy developed into the complete opposite of Mami's (at least in a first moment, but she's still a good person deep down).
  • No Body Left Behind: Implied to be her ultimate fate eventually, due to Madoka's wish.
  • Nominal Hero: At the start, while she's a magical girl who fights witches and may be loyal to both her teammates and the mission, she cares far more about killing witches, gaining grief seeds, and letting familiars kill people so they can become witches with grief seeds, than she does about protecting civilians. However, she reveals to be ultimately kind-hearted.
  • Not So Different: From Sayaka. She criticizes Sayaka for fighting for someone else's sake, but ends up sacrificing herself to take out Oktavia to make sure Sayaka/Oktavia won't die alone. This is lampshaded when she tells Madoka that Sayaka made her remember the reason she became a magical girl.
  • Not Your Problem: Kyoko tries to convince Sayaka that she shouldn't bother with trying to save people and should prioritize herself with her power as a magical girl. This only serves to upset Sayaka and drive her away from Kyoko.
  • Oral Fixation: Always has something in her mouth.
  • Pater Familicide: In her backstory, her father killed her entire family save her before killing himself.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Her magical girl outfit is bloodred to symbolize her aggressive nature and the blood that was spilled as a consequence of her wish, as well. It is also adorned with the symbol of her father's church.
  • Power Loss Makes You Strong: Kyoko lost her illusion magic as a result of her believing her family died because of her wish. Kyubey didn't think Kyoko would last with such a drawback, but Kyoko found ways to keep fighting while just relying on her weapon and combat skills. In The Different Story, she's able to go toe-to-toe with a serious Mami and hold out better than she ever did during their training sessions.
  • Preacher's Kid: She was an angelic Church Militant before things went bad. When we meet her, she's well over on the cynical side.
  • Psycho for Hire: Initially, she kills witches for their grief seeds and Kyubey has her on call.
  • Psychosomatic Superpower Outage: She's been unable to use her Master of Illusion powers ever since the Pater Familicide incident. It's implied this was because of the trauma she experienced. As shown in side materials, in a few of the alternate timelines she eventually gets them back.
  • A Pupil of Mine, Until She Turned to Evil: She used to be Mami's apprentice just like Madoka and Sayaka, until the Pater Familicide happened and Kyoko decided to be selfish with her magic.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Her messy hair grows past her back. Instead of the 'wealth' or 'high status' associations, it's more likely because she doesn't bother cutting it.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Initially she is a (sort of) villain and her magical girl outfit is red with a bit of black.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Sayaka's influence on Kyoko leads her to perform a Mercy Kill that takes both of of them out.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Her eyes are red and she is the first indication that some magical girls are outright evil.
  • Red Is Heroic: Averted, at least for most of the original anime. Lets grief seeds turn into witches so she can get soul gems and one of the first things she tries to do on screen is kill Sayaka. Eventually, though, she does join the gang and tries to uncorrupt Sayaka, despite it never having been done before. When she can't, she commits a Heroic Sacrifice and makes sure that Sayaka doesn't have to die alone by killing them both with her Soul Gem.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni
    • The red to Sayaka's blue. She's more feral and hedonistic and they are color coded.
    • Also the red to Mami's blue in the past and in The Different Story because she was more reckless and less precise than her mentor.
  • Say My Name: She yells "SAYAKAAAA!!!" when Sayaka becomes a witch.
  • Selective Obliviousness: A common theme is how Kyouko says many things... while not actually doing them.
    • She says she's going to kill Sayaka... but is content (at first) to only beat her up before walking away.
    • She talks trash about Mami and her beliefs... but as other content showed, she at first came back to Mitakihara to try to reconcile with her, before learning about her death. She even made a grave for her.
    • She comments on how normal people are essentially just food... but never hurts Madoka and doesn't stop her from going to Sayaka. She even encourages Madoka that she's done nothing wrong and that being a magical girl isn't something to envy.
    • She talks about how magic is only meant to be used for herself... but her wish was used for someone else, and even after that she uses magic for Sayaka and Madoka's sake, repeatedly.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: In The Different Story, she uses Oktavia's grief seed to cleanse Mami's soul gem, but this leaves her without another one to use on herself, and she dies while fighting another witch later. Sadly, Mami is driven to despair by losing Kyoko right after they reconciled and commits suicide.
  • Serious Business: Nearly strangles Sayaka because she threw an apple on the ground. Played for Drama; see Freudian Excuse above.
  • Ship Tease: Implied to have a one-sided crush on Sayaka.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Didn't appear in early promotional materials, likely because of her darker nature.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: At first, she seems to be a mean, selfish girl who believes that magical girls should use their powers for their own purposes. As the series progresses, it's revealed why she acts this way: Her family fell into destitution after her preacher father was excommunicated and when he found out that his followers increased and came back was due to Kyoko's magical girl wish and not from people actually believing in him, he killed his family and himself and only she survived. It is only when she learns about the Awful Truths of being a magical girl and when she saves Sayaka from Homura (who was trying to intimidate her into using a Grief Seed) that she starts to get over her sourness, which culminates in her performing a Mercy Kill to witch Sayaka and sacrificing herself so Sayaka wouldn't be alone.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": "Kyoko" versus "Kyouko". Both are officially endorsed, with the anime materials using Kyoko and manga materials using Kyouko.
  • The Social Darwinist: She compares the fight against witches to the food chain: Witches and their familiars prey on weak humans, while Magical Girls are the apex predators and prey on Witches. Familiars don't drop grief seeds, so she sees no point in killing them before they kill enough people to become a witch themselves. She also applies this to Magical Girls themselves: weaker ones should yield their territory over to the stronger ones or die. She seems to have abandoned this philosophy after learning the true nature of Magical Girls.
  • Stopped Caring: She was very idealistic when she started out, wanting to be a hero and save people from witches. After the Pater Familicide, she's now perfectly fine with letting people get killed by Familiars if it means more Grief Seeds. Meeting Sayaka reminds her of her old ideals and eventually gets her to start caring again.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: The only thing Kyoko accomplished by throwing her soul gem to Oktavia was forcing Homura to fight Walpurgisnacht all by herself.
  • Suicide Attack: She kills Oktavia with one.
  • Super Drowning Skills: According to the 4th drama CD, she can't swim.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: In a gag image Kyoko decides to disguise herself as a boy in order to become closer to Sayaka.
  • Sweet Tooth: She's constantly munching on sweets, even during battle.
  • Together in Death: With Sayaka via Suicide Attack.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Not really evil, but initially, prior to her Heel–Face Turn, she was a nasty magical girl. Kind of like a mercenary.
  • Tomboy: She's even more tomboyish than Sayaka with her aggressive personality and masculine manner of speaking, but despite that, she still refers to herself with a feminine pronoun.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Mami's and Sayaka's girly girl, having a much rougher speech pattern and being more aggressive and masculine than both of them.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: She wears her hair in a unkempt high ponytail. Not only she's a rough Action Girl and The Lad-ette, but also her civilian garb is a green hoodie and short shorts instead of a school uniform.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Downplayed; aside from using the feminine pronoun "atashi", her speech patterns are very rough and masculine, and when it comes down to it she's not very girly at all. In comparison, Sayaka is quite a bit more feminine than she is.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After starting as a bitch, Sayaka's and Madoka's suffering soften her up little by little. This culminates in Episode 9 with her bonding with Madoka, then sacrificing herself to save Madoka from a bewitched Sayaka, and putting Sayaka out of her misery.
  • Tsundere: She comes off as aggressive and bitchy, but there's a warmer personality buried under. These tendencies are more prevalent towards Sayaka and Mami in The Different Story, since she obviously cares about them but refuses to express it openly.
  • Tsurime Eyes: Befitting her harsh and confident nature.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Had Kyoko not picked fights needlessly with Sayaka, Madoka wouldn't have snapped and thrown Sayaka's soul gem away, thus The Reveal would have happened later, or not and all — and thus, Sayaka wouldn't've begun her Start of Darkness either.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: A Daddy's Girl who made a Selfless Wish and heroically fought witches, who later became a Nominal Hero and Blood Knight.
  • Variable-Length Chain: Her spear can segment into parts separated by chains. Her spear's shaft length also changes between scenes.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The third drama CD shows that she and Mami knew each other when they were younger and were friends and partners in fighting witches, until the Pater Familicide happened and Kyoko decided to be more selfish with her magic.
  • What Have I Become?: Not even she could stay indifferent to the Awful Truth but she takes becoming a lich better than Sayaka.
  • Whip Sword: Her spear is capable of splitting into chains, but it also appears to be able to curve in a whip-like fashion.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: In her civilian garb. It's another tomboyish contrast with her fellow feminine magical girls.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Tries to start an "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight to transform Sayaka back from her witch state. Explicitly lampshades it ("It'd be like one of those stories where love and courage triumph over all"). Considering the tone of the series, it's not surprising that it doesn't work.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: She's sporting a Grade B in her magical girl outfit and her school uniform.


Alternative Title(s): Puella Magi Madoka Magica 2

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