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Tear Jerker / Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story

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No shortage of meguca tears
While most of the story is Lighter and Softer compared to other entries in the series, there are instances that remind us that, yes, this is still the universe where girls sell their souls for a wish and risk themselves turning into monsters.

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

Main Story

  • The early parts of Chapter 5 of the Main Story tackle's Iroha's Friendless Background which causes her to space out at times. Despite her cheerful front to her classmates she wasn't particularly close to anyone and Iroha reflects on what was wrong with her. The rumor she and the gang tackles relates to this. She later learns that Sana, a magical girl who disappeared, willingly entered the barrier of the Rumor of the Anonymous A.I. out of loneliness. Iroha concludes that Sana had it worse than her. The fact that Sana wished herself to "disappear" due to abuse and neglect is a tearjerker itself.
  • Chapter 6 of the Main Story reveals Yachiyo's backstory. Turns out, Yachiyo and Mifuyu had another childhood friend named Kanae Yukino. A softhearted punk guitarist who acted as The Kirk of their little group, Kanae died protecting Yachiyo and revealed to her friends the truth of the magical girls' Soul Gems. Disheartened but still determined to survive, Yachiyo and Mifuyu made another group. Mel Anna, Yachiyo's bright-eyed fortune teller junior, died turning into a witch in front of her friends. As their leader, Yachiyo blamed herself for their deaths and started to think she's a Doom Magnet, thus begun pushing her friends away. Mifuyu went into half a year angst-inducted delirium until she found out about the Wings of Magius and the Doppel. Momoko felt betrayed by Yachiyo's apathy and left to stake her own claim in Kamihama. Tsuruno, who wasn't there when Mel died, was left confused of why her group suddenly shattered. When Iroha arrives in Kamihama, there's almost no trace that these girls were friends; Yachiyo is a bitter hermit, Momoko is hostile toward Yachiyo and actively slandering her, Tsuruno is desperate to bring her acquaintances back together, and Mifuyu is an antagonistic magical girl.
    • Mid-way through the chapter, Mifuyu convinces Iroha's group to attend a "seminar" in which the Magius will explain their goal. Mifuyu talked to Yachiyo in private causing her to become her cold, distant self again. As expected, the Magius's session turned out to be a ploy to brainwash Iroha and the group. They were successful in brainwashing Tsuruno, Felicia and Sana. Iroha then tearfully had a flashback of her first meeting with three realizing the Magius broke the bonds she has forged. It doesn't help that Yachiyo despite seemingly came to help Iroha is still acting cold towards her.
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    • The battle with Holy Mami in Episode 13 ends with Holy Mami dragging Iroha down into the pit, and Sayaka barely managing to save Yachiyo before she also fell. The scene then fades to black with Yachiyo sobbing as she mentions Iroha's promise not to let herself die, convinced that she's lost another friend.
  • The end of Chapter 6 and then Chapter 7 has Momoko decide to tell Rena and Kaede the truth about Magical Girls becoming Witches. Rena breaks down for a while and cries harder than she ever has before, but Kaede completely shuts down, locking herself in her room for days. Its only when Rena intentionally starts an argument with Kaede to fire her back up that Kaede begins to recover.
  • Expanding upon the reveal in Chapter 6, in Chapter 8 Mitama, Yachiyo, and Momoko decide to tell the truth about Witches to every Magical Girl in Kamihama. Although everyone is obviously shocked and distressed, a few reactions really stand out.
    • Rika begins to fall into despair, realizing that she had literally sold her soul for nothing and figuring that this was punishment for her selfishness. She even tearfully apologizes to Ren for stopping her from committing suicide. It's only Ren's emotional support that manages to pull her out of her despair.
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    • Aimi, normally a comedic relief character, is devastated when she finds out, crying that she could never be with her beloved crush if she would turn into a Witch one day and possibly kill him. Kokoro manages to give her a Rousing Speech, which in turn encourages Ren to give her own support to Rika.
Arc 2:

Side Stories and Events

  • Ren's entire backstory:
    • Ren being bullied for being shy and having difficulty speaking in social situations is something that many readers can relate to. By the time she gets to middle school, the bullying has become so vicious that Ren decides to kill herself. Mid-fall, however, she realizes that she doesn't want to die, and when Kyubey offers her a contract she cries out that she wants to live.
    • Ren gets her hopes up when Kyubey tells her about how Witches spread negative emotions, and that they may have been responsible for her bullying. And Ren actually manages to defeat the Witch controlling the bullies, causing her bullying to stop. But Ren begins to realize that she can't eliminate all of the malice in Kamihama, and the thought of other people having to go what she went through breaks her all over again.
    • By the time that her sidestory begins, Ren is so broken that she's decided to kill herself again, having given up on the world and believing that she doesn't deserve to live if she can't help anyone. Even when Rika catches her, she just apologizes for being heavy.
  • The ending of Rika's sidestory, which in many ways is extremely similar to the ending of Sayaka's character arc in the original anime series. Having realized that her spur-of-the-moment wish had brainwashed her girlfriend and broken up a great relationship, Rika decides to break up with her girlfriend and get her back together with her forgotten ex-boyfriend. Although Rika is glad that she could fix her mistake, she's still heartbroken that she could never truly have her friend's love, and sees this as confirmation that she doesn't deserve love. Even Hinano is moved to tears by it all. When Rika tells her story to Ren in Ren's own sidestory, it's clear that she hasn't gotten over it.
  • Rena's side story:
    • Rena's family moved around frequently due to work reasons. Without the chance to establish a close friendship with anyone, she had no communication skills and was bullied badly, which led to low self-esteem and depression. Rena hated herself and wanted to throw everything about herself away, so she wished to become a different person.
However this didn't solve anything, only gave her an ability to change her physical appearance.
  • At the start of her side story, Rena made a friend: Momoko. She narrated that Momoko was her first and only friend, and that she was happy to have someone like her. However everything crashed down when Momoko wanted to add Kaede into their group. Having led a friendless life, Rena hated the idea of having someone stand in her and Momoko's way. Yet she hated herself even more for having such a selfish thought. This caused her to lash out against Kaede, telling the other two that they should just group up themselves and get rid of her, then ran away, avoiding the other two for days.
  • Rena regretted it but couldn't find the strength to apologize. Having pushed away her first and only friend, Rena once again drowned in depression. She decided the world is better off without her and attempted suicide in a witch barrier. However she was saved by Kaede. Rena tried to run off again but was caught by Momoko and transformed into Kaede. In Kaede's appearance, Rena started to let loose of her feelings and berate herself, calling "Rena" a terrible person who didn't deserve kindness. Momoko saw through the disguise, stopped her and said she loved Rena for who she was - an awkward but kind and straightforward person - causing Rena to break down crying and revert to her original appearance. With Momoko's encouragement, Rena apologized to Kaede and the three had been together ever since.
  • Sana’s side story in a nutshell is a cruel mixture of Hope Spot, Alone in a Crowd, and Yank the Dog's Chain. To further elaborate:
    • The story begins with showing Sana's abuse and neglect from her family. Despite her best attempts, her father, mother, and two step-brothers treat her as a nuisance at best and a useless idiot at worst. Finally, part 1 ends with Sana’s stepfather telling Sana that she is unworthy of the Futaba name and will no longer be a part of the family.
    • Part 2 – Yay! It looks like Sana made a friend, albeit a stray cat. However, based on the title of part 2 alone "She was my friend", the Foregone Conclusion is very obvious. Sure enough, one day, after looking for her cat friend (who had gone missing), Sana learns that someone from the health department came to get rid of all the stray cats. All she can do is sob.
    • Part 3 – As if things weren’t bad enough, Sana once had a human friend, a girl from her class. Things are looking up but one day her friend didn’t stand up to the bullies tormenting Sana, and both girls grow apart.
  • The conclusion of Shizuku's sidestory; Yachiyo and Iroha try to bring Shizuku into their group, but she rebukes them because she thinks she's a stranger among friends who had passed great trials together and she has no place among them. Shizuku then continues to drift aimlessly, possibly even fall into a dark path, not knowing what to do with her life - exactly like at the beginning of her story.
    • Her story continues to the event "Whereabouts of the Feather"; it confirms that the "shady group" she pledges her service to is the Wings of Magius, and Shizuku gets brainwashed to better serve them. While there, she befriends two other Feathers, Ryou and Ikumi, who unlike Shizuku are not brainwashed. Seeing this half-lucid friend of theirs goes about her life doing a cause that she doesn't really put her heart on, Ryou and Ikumi take pity on her, break her brainwashing, and drive her out of the organization. If the two didn't do this, Shizuku would not be found and get evacuated and by the time Kamihama magical girls storm the Magius' base, Shizuku would be one of those faceless minions the heroes, including Yachiyo and Iroha, cut down.
  • Homura's story in Valentine 2018 is a deconstruction of the What Measure Is a Mook? mentality of the Wings of Magius that was implied in Holy Mami's side-story. Homura befriends a nameless Black Feather who is pretty similar to her. Overworked by the Magius and without someone to confide with, the Black Feather curses her powerlessness for failing her wish to save a precious someone and for troubling Homura, before turning into a witch in front of her. Homura then kills the witch, crying bitter tears the entire way. The kicker is the witch is nothing but a Palette Swap of Candy the Stuck-out Ear Witch and the witch's profile says:
    MATASABURO. The Chocolate Witch. Her nature is to play a minor role. The final end of a Puella Magi from somewhere.
    • Despite her name and appearance being unknown, we know quite a lot about her. Her base of operation is in Kamihama, but her parents' house is in Mitakihara. She was hospitalized and released around the same time as Homura, and there was a nurse who is kind to her. She's bullied quite often at school. She doesn't have other friends and Homura is the only one whose number is in her phone. She wants to be a hero just like in her favorite book. She's entirely devoted to the Wings of Magius' cause, believing her 'God' will bring salvation to the magical girls. It's implied that she attacked her bullies after they destroyed the chocolate she made for the nurse, possibly killing them, before turning into a witch. But it's exactly because we know a lot about her that her situation becomes very tragic; in the end, she doesn't matter.
      Homura... I'm sorry... I'm sorry... Homura, Homura... I love you. I love you so much. I love you the way you are. I love everything about you. So, please tell me just one thing! Why do I have nothing!?
    • This event basically demoralizes Homura, who had thought that she can be just like Madoka, whose kindness and friendship could pull her out of the chasm of despair. When she fails to save her friend, it serves as a reminder that she had always failed and she will always fail.
  • Momoe Nagisa's Wish Was Granted, the event that showcases Nagisa's circumstances and the Start of Darkness for how she turned into Charlotte.
    • Nagisa has an awful life. She lived alone in an empty house full of garbage, her father left and her mother was hospitalized. She found comfort in reading fairy tales with unhappy endings because they "wrap things up nicely", unlike her painful life that drags on and on.
    • Nagisa's mother was mentally unstable and abusive. This got to the point that Nagisa considered trading her soul to heal her mother - not because she cared about her mother, but because she was just that desperate to be loved again. However when she asked her mother for permission to make the wish, her mother told her to go kill everyone in the world instead, and that her life went downhill the moment she gave birth to Nagisa. A broken Nagisa later decided to wish for a single cheesecake out of spite.
    • The story also featured two original magical girls: Inui Itsumi and Yu. Inui was a girl who clinged onto her abusive boyfriend, serving as a foil to Nagisa's relationship with her abusive mother. Yu was an amnesiac magical girl with the nickname "Sleepwalking ghost" who killed people she deemed "bad", including Inui's boyfriend and Nagisa's mother. Inui tried to stop Yu from killing her abusive boyfriend but failed and turned into a witch shortly after. Nagisa tried to fight the witch while Yu went on to kill Nagisa's mother.
    UHRMANN. The Canine witch with a craving nature. She has taken on the form of a dog in the vain hope of being loved by all. Humans who enter her barrier can't help but embrace her in concern. One hoping to defeat her can do so by feigning love.
    • The end of the event was simply depressing: Nagisa walked in to see her mother already mangled by Yu. In her dying breaths, the mother begged Nagisa to call a doctor but she just stood there silently as she disobeyed her mother order for the first and last time. After her mother drew her last breath, Nagisa turned into a witch. The story ended with a fairy tale of how Nagisa became a magical girl alone and died alone on a day not too cold, not too hot.
    CHARLOTTE. The witch of sweets with a tenacious nature. She desires everything and will never give up. Though she is capable of creating infinite amounts of any dessert she desires, she is unable to make the cheese that she loves most. One could easily catch her off-guard with a piece of cheese.
  • The reason Felicia is hellbent on killing witches is that her parents were killed by one. Even more, this was her own doing and her wishes caused her to believed that witches killed her loved ones.
  • See You Tomorrow event is full of this:
    • Seika who suffers from social anxiety was invited by her classmates to eat lunch together. Seika though delightfully surprised that people other than her childhood friends Mito and Leila invited her, was too anxious to accept the invitation. Her classmates gave up and assumed they were bothering her.
    • Mito is actively being bullied by her classmates and calls her and her friends weird.
    • The event is centered around the friendship of Mito, Seika, and Mito which is on the brink of falling apart as Seika who is already a magical girl attempts to keep Leila and Mito out of the magical girl life.
  • Mitama's Side Story reveals Mitama's past. Mitama was a former student in Mizuna Girl's Academy. From Daitou, Mitama was admitted as a scholar. She befriended her more affluent classmates despite her coming from a poorer background. However one day, Mitama was pushed down the stairs by who she thought was her closest friend and bumped another student. The incident was reported to be intentional by the school paper and Mitama was asked by the school administration to dropout.
    • It got worse when Mitama returned to Daitou. She was shunned by her classmates since she "failed" Daitou and everyone was "putting hopes on her". One even remarked how they feel sorry for her sister. This was the final straw which causes Mitama to snap exclaiming how she should start "fulfilling" people's expectations by asking for "volunteers" to get pushed down the stairs and threatening others with a fire extinguisher. Good thing her friend Kanagi helped her calm down.
    • This wasn't enough though. Mitama was driven to misanthropy so much that she wished to Kyubey that she wanted to be the one that destroys Kamihama. This is the main reason for her neutrality in the main storyline, she is afraid that if she did fight she may end up destroying Kamihama when the Wings Of Magius go off the deep end.
  • Nemu's side story has quite a melancholy feel to it. Having been hospitalized for an extended period of time, Nemu's relationship with her family grows detached over time, most evidently shown with her little brother who regards her as a stranger. Nemu realizes her existence is slowly and steadily fading away from their mind, yet is unable to do anything about it, and eventually comes to accept that her place is no longer there.
    What was I hoping for? What did I want? A newly released novel? An out-of-print book that sounded interesting? New clothes for a change of image? No, no, no. Those are all wrong. I just want to be told I'm loved. It's so close and yet so far. That is all I want.
  • Tsukuyo and Tsukasa's backstory. Although they are twins they knew each other just recently because they were separated at birth since their biological parents separated due to class differences. When they meet each other their difference in upbringing caused a rift in their friendship which later led to them wishing not to hate each other.
    • Tsukuyo laments of her Friendless Background before meeting Tsukasa. She notes how many admire and respect her but not a single one offers her friendship due to lack of time to socialize.
  • Christmas at Mikazuki Villa narrates how Sana doesn't understand Christmas and it's implied that she was never given gifts or took part in her family's Christmas celebration. Felicia hates Christmas because it reminds her of her happy moments with her parents who were killed by a witch.
  • The beginning of Ultimate Madoka's Side Story is a small rehash of the events of episode 12 of the original anime. You can feel from Homura's side that the price for Madoka's wish is a Fate Worse than Death and since this is the cynical Homura, this may be the starting point of her Start of Darkness that eventually leads to the Rebellion.
    • Several of Ultimate Madoka's home page lines are also pretty heartwrenching. Especially the ones about her family, such as Madoka noticing her little brother is drawing by himself, and can only apologize sadly for not being able to play with him anymore and promise to keep watching over him.
  • Ultimate Madoka's side story also reveals why the Wings of the Magius doesn't exist in any other timeline: because Touka and Nemu are dead. In all the other timelines, Ui dies, then Nemu tries to stay alive for Touka's sake but fails, and Touka's condition is exacerbated by the loss of her friends and she dies too.
  • Crimson Resolve event shows the brutality of the war in Futasugi city and the start of Promised Blood alliance. Due to the Magius' doing, witches from everywhere leave for Kamihama. Starved for grief seeds, a war broke out among the three magical girl factions, resulting in countless deaths and leaving deep trauma on the survivors, most notably Yuna, Juri and Ao. Yuna transformed from a calm and kindhearted girl to a demon of revenge, Juri became a murderous inferno of hatred and Ao had to repress her kind nature to become a cold blooded murderer.
  • Yozuru's side story is quite depressing.
    • Grew up with a strict mother, Yozuru was meek and obedient, always trying to keep up with her hard study schedule to please her. Her mother, however, seemed to value her study over anything. She always berated Yozuru for not being as good as her friends, to the point where she ripped apart Yozuru's drawing for her birthday because she did badly on the test. This caused Yozuru to fear her and never expressed affection again, only doing what her mother told her to. This continued until she reached rebellious phase. Yozuru started talking back to her mother, even return the beatings and insults. Till the time her mother died, Yozuru never apologized or had a chance to make up with her.
    • When cleaning up her clothes, Yozuru found her mother's diary. Inside the diary are her mother's thoughts, love and concerns for Yozuru that she was never able to get into words. At the end is Yozuru's old drawing carefully taped together, with apologies written all over the note. Yozuru deeply regretted the way she treated her mother and wanted death. However she wished to keep on living as a punishment to herself, which resulted in Kyubey erasing her compassion and thus her guilt and suicidal thoughts.
  • Sudachi was made the sacrifice in a mass shooting and had to die so that others can live. In rage and fear, she wished to be the only survivor. This caused the shooter to spare her on a whim and killed everyone else in the class instead. It was too much for Sudachi and the experience along with her regrets gave her PTSD, making her unable to speak from then on.
  • The reason for Kanagi being possessed by a Witch and mind-controlling the other magical girls during the Halloween event: The Halloween season brought back memories of all the magical girls who died under Kanagi’s leadership, and her guilt at being unable to save them or help the ones who mourned them process their grief. It swiftly becomes clear that Kanagi is suffering a horrible amount of guilt for all the allies she lost, and is truly tormented by not being able to help them. Thankfully, Momoko is able to reassure her that everyone has their own way for mourning those they’ve lost, and their is nothing wrong with mourning them in her own way.
    • While trying to reach Kanagi, Momoko ends up encountering Kanae, Mel and Ryo. Or rather, representations of Kanagi’s memories of them. From her behavior, it’s clear Momoko is still very saddened by what happened to her teammate and is sympathetic to Yachiyo and the others, despite not knowing Kanae or Ryo very well. Even more painful is the idea of Kanagi torturing herself with the memories of her dead allies, blaming herself for their loss.

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