Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story is a three-volume spinoff manga of Puella Magi Madoka Magica written by Masaki Hiramatsu and illustrated by Hanokage. The first volume is based off the anime's third drama CD, Farewell Story, and the second two volumes expand into a What If? storyline centered around Mami and Kyoko meeting again. Like the manga adaption of its parent series, it was released volume by volume in October and November of 2012.
THIS PAGE HAS UNMARKED SPOILERS FOR MADOKA MAGICA. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Mami Tomoe, a veteran magical girl, is out on a witch hunt when she saves another magical girl, Kyoko Sakura, from being killed by a witch. After they defeat it, the two girls introduce themselves, and Mami invites Kyoko back to her apartment. Once there, Kyoko asks Mami if she would mind making Kyoko her disciple. Mami is delighted, and the two of them begin fighting together as allies and friends.
But there are many sacrifices that all magical girls must make, and the consequences of Kyoko's wish are spiraling out of control. Because of this, Kyoko becomes angry and bitter, and she and Mami get into a fight, ending in Kyoko leaving Mitakihara City for good.
Until a certain blue-haired girl makes a contract, that is...
The series has been licensed by Yen Press, and all three volumes have been released in North America as of October 28, 2014.
Tropes in Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story include:
- A Day in the Limelight: The story focuses on Mami and Kyoko, the magical girls that had the least amount of screentime in the original series, turning the other three girls into secondary characters.
- Adaptation Expansion: Of Madoka Magica's third Drama CD, showing Kyoko and Mami's relationship before they parted ways.
- Alternate Timeline: The last two volumes take place in an alternate timeline to the series. More specifically, one where Mami is saved from Charlotte by Sayaka contracting a little earlier than she did in the anime.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: Sayaka turns into a witch, the very creature magical girls are supposed to fight. And this fate awaits all of them.
- Awful Truth: Mami finds out that magical girls become witches after Sayaka becomes a witch right in front of her.
- Back from the Dead: In this timeline, Madoka uses her wish to bring Sayaka back to life.
- BFG: Mami's Tiro Finale is a massive version of her normal guns. She can take out a witch in one shot with it.
- Big Damn Heroes: Sayaka turns into a magical girl to save Mami from Charlotte.
- Bolivian Army Ending: The ending shows Madoka, Sayaka, and Homura preparing to fight Walpurgisnacht, but the reader knows that however it goes, it will end with Homura going back in time again.
- Both Sides Have a Point: Mami and Kyoko have conflicting opinions on whether or not they should be hunting familiars in addition to witches. Mami believes that they should down familiars before they have a chance to grow into full witches that could hurt innocent people, especially since no one but the magical girls themselves can protect people from this threat. Kyoko believes that hunting familiars is a waste, since familiars don't provide Grief Seeds with which to cleanse their Soul Gems and thus take up valuable and limited magical power with no direct benefit to the magical girl. Mami certainly isn't wrong to want to protect innocent people, but Kyoko isn't wrong for taking the practical side of things into account. A city can only have so many witches, and hunting the familiars before they can grow into witches themselves further limits that number; with multiple magical girls in the same city, there are only so many Grief Seeds to go around.
- Calling Your Attacks: Mami, as usual, shouts her fishing move's name—"Tiro Finale"—whenever she uses it. She tries to get Kyoko to do it, and even comes up with a name, but to no avail.
- The Cameo: Michiru Kazusa of Kazumi Magica makes a cameo in Chapter 9 as Mami saves her from a witch.
- Death Amnesia: Sayaka doesn't remember being dead once Madoka brings her back to life; instead, she thinks that she was in a fight with a witch gone wrong and that Madoka contracted to help her.
- Demoted to Extra: This is probably Kyubey's least consequential appearance in the series; he does little more than act as a spectator for most of the story, rather than driving events as he generally does.
- De-power: Kyoko loses her illusion magic after her family dies. She gets it back after Sayaka turns into a witch.
- "Dinner, Bath, or Sex" Offer: In the preface, Homura suggests re-branding the spinoff as a Romantic Comedy in order to appeal to the audience, complete with an Imagine Spot of Madoka offering the choice, although Homura interrupts, choosing Madoka before she finishes.
- Distress Ball: As in the show's timeline, Hitomi is possessed by a witch and has to be rescued before she attempts suicide. in this timeline, she apparently tells Sayaka about her feelings for Kyousuke before this happens. When Sayaka later sees her under the witch's influence, she decides not to help her. Fortunately, Mami rescues Hitomi in time.
- Dramatic Irony: Kyoko's father calls her a witch and compares her contract with Kyubey with making a deal with the devil. Given the ultimate fate of the magical girls that don't die in battle is turning into witches, he's accidentally right.
- Driven to Suicide: Mami, at the end.
- Foregone Conclusion:
- This being an alternate timeline, we know that Madoka is going to either die or make a contract and that Homura will survive. In the end, Madoka wishes to bring Sayaka back to life.
- Since Mami and Kyoko aren't seen together in the main timeline of the original show, something will inevitably happen to split the pair up.
- Sayaka has made a contract in this timeline, so it's only a matter of time before she succumbs to despair and becomes a witch.
- Kyoko's father killing his wife and youngest daughter and committing suicide after learning of Kyoko's wish was already stablished in the anime and, given that it was before the point where the time loop begins, nothing changes here.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Woman: Kyoko, and later Homura, do this to a suicidal Mami Tomoe.
- Healing Hands:
- Sayaka demonstrates this ability by saving Mami of a witch's attack that left her bleeding to death.
- Just like in the series, Mami briefly uses her healing powers. In this case, it's to heal Kyoko's injuries after fighting a familiar.
- If I Wanted You Dead...: Inverted. During their first confrontation, Kyoko recognizes that Mami is missing her shots on purpose and so she doesn't actually need to defend herself. She quickly finishes the fight after that.
- Lady Swears-a-Lot: Kyoko, after her Trauma Conga Line.
- Mentor's New Hope: Sayaka is this to Mami after Mami and Kyoko part on bad terms.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Sayaka, when she admits that she knew Hitomi was possessed by a witch, but didn't help her because of Hitomi's feelings for Kyousuke.
- My Greatest Failure: Kyoko feels that her wish was responsible for the deaths of her family. This feeling is what makes it impossible for her to use her ability to make copies of herself since she subconsciously rejected her wish.
- Razor Wire: In her final confrontation with Kyoko, Mami uses her ribbons to create extremely fine strands to cut her.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kyoko is the red one, being hot headed, reckless, and more prone to violence but still pointing out that Mami can't save everyone from witches and their familiars—and she actually wears red to boot—while Mami is the blue one, being the one that comes up with strategies before engaging in combat, takes the role of mentor and tries to save everyone to the point of obsession even if it means putting herself (and Kyoko) in danger.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Kyoko uses Oktavia's grief seed on Mami instead of herself, and subsequently runs out of magical power while fighting another witch, leading to her death. Unfortunately, Mami still ends up committing suicide, unable to handle the truth of what magical girls become or the guilt of Kyouko having died for her sake.
- Took a Level in Kindness: After being brought back to life, Sayaka is more friendly and playful towards Homura, because she thinks she helped Madoka save her.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Kyoko's backstory. She is an idealistic, enthusiastic (if somewhat brash) girl who wants nothing more than to make friends with Mami and use her powers to make the world a better place. She even views her actions as a magical girl as the extension of her father's religious faith. Until her father discovers her identity, has a massive mental breakdown and kills the rest of her family, after which she becomes the Knight in Sour Armor familiar from the original series.
- We Used to Be Friends: Kyoko and Mami are initially close friends, the latter finally gaining a companion and the former getting a mentor that would help her grow into a full-fledged magical girl. After Kyoko's family dies, their relationship deteriorates due to their different viewpoints on hunting familiars in addition to witches. Kyoko doesn't see the point in putting themselves in danger by fighting familiars if they won't get grief seeds after killing them, while Mami wants to protect everyone regardless of a reward.
- What If?: The last two volumes show what would have happened if Mami hadn't been killed by Charlotte back in the third episode of the series.