Follow TV Tropes


WMG / Puella Magi Madoka Magica 4

Go To

The page has grown big enough to start corrupting the wiki software. Confirmed and Jossed theories are here. Unconfirmed theories are here. Crossover theories are here.

Miscellaneous theories

Odd stuff, symbolism, meta-concepts, etc.

Anything not directly story related, and/or things we'll never be able to confirm.

The Incubators represent Real Life Humanity and the Audience.
It's a You Bastard! moment. We may hate Kyubey, but it is because deep down he/she/it/shkler is us in the mirror. Entropy represents Our desire for depressing stories and suffering characters. It is we who made
Gen Urobuchi such a cruel and capricious creator, and it is we who are bullying and manipulating those poor Magical Girls into suffering Break the Cutie and sacrificing themselves and crying for us because we are entertained if they do it and we call it a "beautiful artform". You know that if it was not for Kyubey, then the Madokaverse will just be forgotten as nothing more than just another Moeblob marketing tripe.

Madoka's being Jesus to Urobuchi Gen will result in later Gen series being less Kill Them All.
We've already seen this in PsychoPass yes, there was suffering, but not nearly as much as many thought.
  • It remains to be seen in Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet but episode 3 and no suffering yet...
    • Apparently, Urobuchi really only worked on the script of the first episode. It shows: the Galactic Alliance of Humankind, most prominent in episode 1, wouldn't seem out of place as a faction in Warhammer 40,000.
Madoka broadcast will skip one week to make series end on April 30 instead of 24.
In Madoka, the big finale will happen on Walpurgis Night. And Walpurgis Night is April 30.
  • They might be able to make a 13th episode or do the same thing as what they did to Bakemonogatari.
  • Except that this puts the probably end-date at March 31.
  • Yeah, the series is supposed to end in March, not April. Speaking of which, due to timezones it might be April 1st in Japan when it airs. April Fools? Keeping it in Meta because they might release a bonus episode on April 30th, who knows?
    • Very unlikely, but since episode 11 was delayed again...
      • If they delay the final episode until the Walpurgis Night I will be scared. Coincidence, yeah right.
  • It's going to air April 21. It's...pretty close.
  • It aired on Good Friday 2011. Madoka Died For Your Sins! Explanation 

The whole series is an experiment
Specifically, an experiment on writing a show based on internet theories. They started out with character designs and a general concept and direction, dropped hints that it would be an extremely dark show (the leak about Urobuchi Gen's involvement was no accident), and then let the theorists go to town. They keep a close eye on all the forums and wikis that are examining the show, take the theories they like best, and use them. Heck, just look at all the theories that have been confirmed/lent credence, from this page alone!:

  • Kyuubey really might be evil (this was one of the very first theories here, appearing shortly after the first episode aired).
  • Witches are Fallen Mahou Shoujo.
  • Sayaka becomes a Witch.
  • Homura is a Time Lor- I mean Traveler, of all things (Another episode 1 theory).

After all, what better resource is there than the audience's imagination?

A popular 4koma gag comic in Japan's internet community involves QB as a used car salesman, desperately trying to get people to sign up for contracts because his bosses are on him to meet his quota. In episode 10, one of the things he specifically mentions is that he doesn't care what happens to Earth, which will likely be destroyed by the rampaging super-witch created by Walpurgis Night, as long as he fills his quota. Uh...

The Witch runes are the Incubator alphabet, and "Witch speech" (as heard in Rebellion)
is their language."Witchification" could be compared to malware, so it would make sense for the "programmers" to use their own language and script.

Has anyone noticed...
...that Madoka's necklace in the main page artwork bears a striking resemblance to Kyouko's soul gem? That's a whole other Epileptic Tree right there...

Each magical girl is a representative of another magical girl show
Not an outright expy, but more of a conglomeration and may or may not be corrupted somehow. For example, Kyouko Sakura says this to Sayaka: "I told you and I hit you, but you still don't get it", and before that tells her to take a chill pill. This is pretty much Nanoha's Modus Operandi. On a more superficial level, she also wields a pole-arm, which can break into chain-connected segments simultaneously bearing similarities to Raising Heart and Levantine.
  • I can see it happening... But not only to a series. To many of them, perhaps.
    • Mami: Might be Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, although one could say she took the "Kamikaze" part a little too literally.
    • Sayaka: Magic Knight Rayearth, perhaps? Has the whole sword-wielding thing, not to mention the "I can't be with my beloved one" part...
    • Homura: Sailor Moon, perhaps (Sailor Pluto's powers). And maybe a bit of Zakuro's personality, after who knows how many timelines.
      • Both Homura and Chibiusa time traveled in order to save someone. Homura was in poor health when she was befriended by Madoka, and Hotaru was in poor health when she was befriended by Chibiusa. In both instances, the character with a pink color scheme befriended the character with the purple and black color scheme. Episode 12 shows Homura on the moon. Moon Kingdom, anyone? Also, the lyrics to Moonlight Legend (the original Japanese theme song) and the opening for the English dub of Sailor Moon describe Homura pretty well.
      • Ironically, Puella Magi Madoka Magica Portable shows the witch forms of all the main characters, and Homura is the only one whose witch form does not share a name with a celestial object. Her witch card refers to her as "the mortal world witch", so it is possible that just as the Sailor Senshi protect individual celestial objects, Homura protects the mortal world. Episode 12 supports the concept that Homura is supposed to protect the moral world, while Madoka takes care of the spirit world or afterlife.
    • Kyoko: As you said, Nanoha. And maybe a bit of Saint Tail as well (even the clothes are a bit similar, not to mention the whole Catholic thing going on).
      • Her magical girl outfit does resemble a barrier jacket.
    • Madoka: A reversed Cardcaptor Sakura (Sakura must be a magical girl to prevent a terrible thing; Madoka must not become one to do so). Not to mention that I couldn't be the only one to see similarities between her clothes and the ones Sakura uses in all openings.
    • Oriko and Kirika: The one in black is the one that fights while the one in white is the one who sits in the sidelines. This fighting style is pretty much like Futari wa Pretty Cure.
      • Kirika's last name is Kure, which contributes to this hypothesis.
    • Kazumi: Sugar Sugar Rune. She has a Cute Witch magical girl outfit and is in a series with a food motif.
    • Satomi: Tokyo Mew Mew. She has a Catgirl outfit and is in a series with a food motif.

Conversely, all witches who appear are representing girls from different animes.
Said animes being not necessarily in the mahou shoujo genre.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica takes place before every Magical Girl show ever.
Originally, every magical girl contract in every universe was a Deal with the Devil - it only makes sense for Madoka's story to have to take place before all of them. Also reinforces the "Madoka = Jesus/Goddess of Magical Girls" concept.

The random corruption in the Cypher Language isn't random.
The cipher language has random errors in it, possibly to make reading it harder. Or, perhaps, it's a longer message that's playing out through the episodes, designed to be read at the end.

Someone will give Kyubey a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
Don't we all want this to happen? Anyway, in the dream at the start of the series, Madoka gives Kyubey an angry/determined look just before it ends. If the WMG that she won't accept a contract is true, she may be gearing up to deliver one of these.

The series will eventually be followed with a Reconstruction of the Magical Girl genre.
People have compared this to Neon Genesis Evangelion so much, it's only natural that we'll some day see its Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. And while the genre has been deconstructed several times before, to my knowledge there's never been a reconstruction, at least one popular enough to be widely known.
  • Perhaps the second season of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt? Or perhaps a Sailor Moon remake? It has to be tons of badass, either way.
    • Sort of confirmed, since Madoka reconstructs the world so that despair now forms demons instead of turning girls into Witches. The sequence is even somewhat similar to the Third Impact sequence from End of Evangelion.
    • A Sailor Moon remake has since been confirmed. People have also suggested that Pretty Cure may reconstruct the genre.

Madoka Magica is an Allegory of Drug Addiction combined with Human Trafficking
A human trafficker comes and offers desperate girls an offer of a great pleasure. The catch is, once they are in, they can never get out and they will be forced to do tricks for him, with death being the only apparent exit. They also need to constantly find more and more of these "Grief Seeds" to survive. They fight each other to obtain them. Not to mention that when in the process of extracting these "seeds" they find themselves in such a bizarre space (or state of consciousness).

Homuhomu, an already addict, comes and tries to warn Madoka about not getting into it if she cares about her life and family. Some think it is because this would reduce the number of narcotics she can acquire, but maybe it is really because she doesn't want others to suffer her same fate. She tries to shoot down the dealer, Kyubey, before it's too late. But the girls find him and get interested in the thing after a little try. They meet Mami, a "veteran" in this and tries to turn them in as well. She started consuming them because she "had no choice", she had no family, she was alone and depressed. It "saved her life". What was the result of having this way of life for so long? Her death. The drug itself "consumed" her. It "destroyed" her head.

Horrified, the girls doubt. But Sayaka, who has her own problems, becomes more and more interested. Kyubey is constantly trying to make Madoka turn in; as to what the potential about her he is talking about means, I'm not really sure yet. When Kyouko comes, she is not really interested in stopping the death of the innocent lives all the narcotrafic or the drugs themselves cause. More for her.

However, later they find out just how much these things deteriorate their bodies, to the point of Kyouko pointing out they have become something like zombies in episode 6, and even she is disturbed. Sayaka collapses when her "stuff" is taken away from her. They really can't go on without it.

This series makes a lot more sense if you substituted “pimp” for “Kyubey,” “drugs” for “grief seed,” “crack whore” for “puella magi,” and “cocaine-fueled orgasmic high” for “wish.”

So, maybe now you will think differently next time you see these girls "fighting witches".

  • THIS.
    • Check out the Poison Oak Epileptic Tree "Madoka is one giant drug trip." Kyubey is a pale, balding Ephebophile with red eyes.
    • FYI, this was not my intention when I wrote the theory about ''That 70'sShow on the previous page. I just noticed parallels between Homura's room and Eric's basement.

The witch in episode 4...
Was One of Us! Is the female populace of our community not even safe? The witch was saying phrases like "she don't like fools" and "I'm young so I will not work! I will only live, live, live!" Also notice the form: ITS A COMPUTER MONITOR FROM THE 90's! Poor troper got herself turned into a witch... DAMN you EVIL WHITE RAT!
  • Oh and apparently her name MIGHT be "Elly Kirsten"
  • Confirmed, I guess, according to the cards, Elly is Hikkimori witch.

Kyubey works on commission.
Have you ever tried to buy or lease a car? They can get REALLY pushy. Also, with Homura following him around, he's probably really hurtin' for new contracts.

OPTIONAL: However it will go horribly wrong.

Each witch is an Allegory of the Seven Deadly Sins.
It is now known that witches are born from negative emotions when Magical Girls become corrupted. Perhaps the form they take as a witch is based on their greatest sin as a human being.
  • Gertrud represents either Pride or Lust
  • Charlotte represents Gluttony.
  • Elly represents Sloth
  • Elsa Maria represents Pride or Wrath
  • Sayaka/Oktavia von Seckendorff represents Wrath or Envy.
    • Since the mermaid in the original Andersen tale was supposed to represent lust, perhaps Oktavia is lust and Gertrud pride?

Kyubey tastes like marshmallows
You know you want it to be true.

Morning Rescue...
Will break the Walls of Reality and rescue Madoka and everyone else. Then everyone will enjoy a nice cold glass of LCL.

All the confirmed Wild Mass Guessing in this page were written by people who made a contract with QB
/人 ‿‿
QB is a wife-/mate-beater.
... Yeah, I know this is kinda Dude, Not Funny!, but I Always Wanted To Say "Wishes? You know who gives wishes? Blokes what bludgeon their wives to death with a golf trophy."

It's all planned by a really sadistic cosmic being.
Kyubei is just a vessel for it.

Urobuchi being the writer was a Red Herring
So that nobody would notice the real one. The real writer will be revealed to be Ryukishi07, and the plot was caused by Bernkastel's boredom as a WMG above mentioned.

Madoka's power is enough to Punch Reality
  • Confirmed by Word of God?
  • Too Soon, man.
    • You should stay away from /a/, then. It's even parts this joke, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 jokes, and complaints about how earthquake reports are going to fill the screen for the rest of the season.
  • Alternatively, caused by Homura in some desperate attempt to stave off the inevitable.

Gen Urobuchi is an Incubator
In a similar vein, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an extremely efficient emotional energy collection mechanism. Why spend the effort to draw energy from a couple of little girls at a time, when you can get energy from a much wider range through television? The reason why he tried to hide his involvement was just to heighten the hope we'd all feel to boost the effects of the slow dive into despair.
  • It all makes sense now! It all makes sense!
  • It goes further. He harvests the disproportionate nerdrage that results from his trolling. One simple anime spawns a massive fan effort that generates more emotions and even more nerdrage in a cascade of entropy-defying disproportionate reactions, thus ensuring that he won't even need to really make little girls suffer when a cascading avalanche of fan reactions produces infinitely more efficient energy. Now that is true genius.

Kyuubei is Maxwell's Demon.
What if you could summon a demon to negate entropy?

Homura is an AU Ghost Rider.
If QB is Mephisto...
  • or you know, Faust.
    • Given that Madoka's Witch form is Gretchen, the name of the woman Mephisto tries to get Faust to corrupt; it's apparently Homura who is Faust.

There will be an AMV of "Friends on the Other Side".
Listen to it! Doesn't it fit Kyubey?

The staff will end up releasing episode 11 in late March, and episode 12 on April 1.
Then they get an excuse to make some weird Gainax Ending and say "Haha! April Fools'!"
  • With no episode 11 in sight, I believe this one is Jossed at this point.

Episodes 11 and 12, and the ending of Madoka altogether, will be Bowdlerized.

As to not offend victims of the Earthquake & Tsunami in Japan. This would explain the delay between Episodes 11 and 12. Even if they aren't Bowdlerized by SHAFT, they still could be watered down by the stations broadcasting Madoka.

  • Semi-confirmed in that this was why the delay kept getting extended: the channels refused to broadcast something of that nature. Either they've gotten around it, or they Bowdlerized it (but chances are the Nico broadcast will probably be untouched).

Fans will be disappointed by the finale
  • Jossed, thankfully. By and large, the finale was very well-received.

SHAFT will make up for the delay somehow

Urobuchi is Kyubey and he is trying to cure himself.
Or rather, Kyubey, entropy, and the entire despair-powered Cosmic Horror Story universe are projections of the "tragedy syndrome" from Urobuchi's afterword of Fate/Zero from which Magica draws from. He is the part of himself that was taken over by the pessimistic-yet-realistic "Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!" philosophy, making him no longer comprehend happy endings and become a bearer of the plague to his worlds. But while creating some of the darkest scenarios possible, he is also littering them with the means to turn things around. Not easily or without things worsening first, which is why Homura, who can represent his "true Self" trapped between hope and despair, has the ability to keep trying.

Mami's wish was likely to live, so she has an unshown ability to survive her scenario so long as her Soul Gem is intact long enough. Kyouko's was to make people listen to words of salvation, where if she calls out to Witch!Sayaka herself, she can reach her. With each attempt, Madoka's potential and memories of the previous timelines grow, and with it the scale of her wish. If being consumed by corruption is the magical girls' own equivalent of entropy, she will become something that can violate that rule. Homura has yet to completely outgrow being a Shrinking Violet, and much of the senseless deaths are a result of Poor Communication Kills where she cannot convince anyone. Should she overcome her flaw or Madoka remember the alternate events, the stage will be set for a time loop that lets them win. Possibly through a wish as simple as "I wish Kyubey could understand."

With Episode 12, aka Urobuchi's happiest ending, this guess might just be likely.

Or these are all hope spots for the audience.

The broadcast delay was done to re-animate the first section of episode 11.

During the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, some of the creators of the show tweeted "It's Walpurgis Niiight~!" and such, suggesting in-show that the appearance of the Walpurgis would cause some sort of earthquake. This would also explain why the official explanation for the delay was "self-restraint" — they realized it would be very cheap of them to use a massive earthquake in light of the tragedy and the first half of episode 11 was re-animated to be a storm rather than a quake.

Think about it for a second. The incubators need energy. Their method to obtain it is harvesting the black despair of magical girls turned into witches. This causes damage, in the form of everyone suffering through the whole process. When Madoka wishes that witches are no more, she instead opts for a system which produces somewhat less energy, but causes less suffering all over the universe.

Now, change 'suffering' for 'pollution.' You can't deny that it sorta makes sense, don't you think?

Gen, you Magnificent Bastard! Everything has gone exactly as you planned!

  • It's funny, I came to this page exactly to add this. Goddammit, that makes this theory look more true...
  • What makes this even better is the windmills contrasting with the oil rigs in and around the city. Alternative energy was the theme the entire time.
  • And Witches and their barriers are effectively allegories for toxic waste/nuclear exclusion sites like Love Canal or (wait for it) Fukushima.

Homura saves Amy in every timeline that Madoka doesn't

As a reflection of what Madoka means to her, Homura saves Amy (The cat in the OT), in spite of everything else going on.

Commander Video is Homura in the far... far... future.
In the far... far... future end of the universe as we know it where the universe turned into 8-bit, Homura is still alive... searching... for something... Her purpose is unclear due to how the universe changes.]]

When Homura dies/disappears...
She will Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence with Madoka, and be together forever.

May 21st was going to be the end of the world...
...but then a bunch of Puella Magi prevented it from happening.

IN AMERICA! Kyuubey turns you into a lich.
In Soviet Russia, lich turns you into KYUUBEY!

Madoka and Homura form two "human/flawed" parts of one Jesus
Well with all the Madokamists preaching Madoka as our Saviour we didn't notice that Homuhomu is always there protecting Madoka even if it means bearing the eternal torment of an endless recursion of time, and isn't that like something Jesus would do for your salvation? Initially, in the original timeline, Madoka is a full-blown messiah who suffers for Homuhomu. When Homuhomu wished for Time Lord powers to protect Madoka, in other timelines (like the series timeline) she suffers for Madoka, making Madoka gain the power of multiple universes revolving around her and making her think about what she really wants to wish. In the end, Madokami is able to suffer and die for everyone's sins, bearing the eternal torment of the world's despair upon her to prevent witches from happening, and in the new witch-free timeline that she created, Homuhomu protects.

The series is based on a measure on Valentinian Gnosticism.

First, a bit of clarification. Gnostic schools like Valentinianism, while still somewhat suspicious of the physical world, did not go so far as to declare it innately and irrevocably monstrous. We're at the other end of the Gnostic scale from The Second Treatise of the Great Seth.

The PSP game has an interesting witch in the last Bonus Dungeon: Quitterie and her familiars look a LOT like Kyubey. While this really could just be honoring Kyubey's goals through imitation of its guise, it does bring up an interesting thought, that the Incubators themselves are a composite familiar, or at least very much akin to such. Thus, their creator/liege is like unto a witch. And so begins the train of thought...

Unlike schools that regard the Demiurge as a simple monster, Valentinianism thinks of him as more of a misguided Lawful Neutral who is obsessed with rules and stability. The problem is that his methods of keeping the flawed physical creation together generate plenty of grief and woe fallout for the mortal denizens. The archons, his police force, don't really help the situation. It helps to look at the more severe schools, where the archons torment and harass mortals for their own amusement and edification...and sometimes, their sustenance. While the Demiurge is still well-intentioned, that (somewhat alien) benevolence is nonetheless malign for certain denizens. Then again, the Demiurge seems to be more concerned with the physical universe as a whole, and himself and his archons whose eternal dwelling it is, than the self-aware subset.

So basically, we have a creator and angels who can't see the forest for the trees. Stabilization at the cost of sorrow isn't that good a trade! However, Valentinianism also posits that the aeons sent a Messiah (variously the Serpent of Eden, Jesus, etc.) to help redeem the creation from the Demiurge's mismanagement. Unlike the view of the producers of the Second Treatise, though, the Demiurge and his archons are meant to be redeemed as well. Also important to consider is that in at least most schools of Gnosticism, human souls are actually divine sparks that got unwittingly trapped in the physical creation as the Demiurge produced it. The Demiurge, mind you, has no real idea that the souls are divine in nature; he's just wholly ignorant of the existence of anything outside himself and his creation (the aeons are working on that, though). So, because they're not archons, he has no way to see them as important unto themselves, as being mini-aeons would imply—he's Obliviously Evil. So, in short, he's busy keeping the world going as he's always done, no matter how much woe is produced as a side effect, because he literally has no ability or cause to imagine a Plan B at this time. He just doesn't know how to care. The Messiah is here to get Plan B going, whether the Demiurge initially approves or not.

Mapping to Madoka...The Incubators are, if not the Demiurge, then his archons. They manipulate the divine-sparked mortals (specifically, potential magical girls) to harness what's needed to keep creation as it's "always" been. While the magical girl/witch cycle can seem like sadistic schemes for the Incubators' amusement, it's really "just" the only good way the archons can think of to keep things going (not that it makes the situation less malign, that it's not actively malevolent). The amount of high-grade (they don't know it's actually divine/pneumatic) energy they get results in universe-wide stabilization that outmasses the Earth-localized rue. And are the magical girls ever manipulated—they practically become unwitting archons...

However, because of Homura's persistence, Madoka understands not only the true nature of the Incubators' schemes but also that they're genuinely trying to do the right thing. Their understanding of right and wrong is, like the spirit-ignorant Demiurge's, incomplete. Homura, like the untiring Messiah throughout his/her many incarnations, has awakened Madoka, the representative divine spark, to the truth/gnosis. Only the Incubators' mechanism is bad; the goal isn't. And so, by taking the Messiah mantle herself from Homura, Madoka commences the salvation of the system. It's not complete, not by a long stretch, but at least this way, the manipulated magical girls are instead released into the Pneuma after they've done all they can, rather than become victims of Demiurgic foolishness—just as those who know the truth (as, after Madoka's work, they do as a matter of course) can reach salvation rather than stay stuck in the Hylic/physical mire. And given enough time, perhaps the archons/Incubators, too, will figure out a way to stabilize/save the universe that doesn't require energy harvesting from innocent mortals...

The series is a metaphor for the Seiyuu and pop idol industries, and by extension how Music Is Politics and Hollywood is evil in general.
Aya Hirano and Michael Jackson are certainly testimonies to the chew-'em-up-and-spit-'em-out nature of the entertainment industry. Also noteworthy is how so many young modern seiyuus and artists (wait for it...) signed the contract because they were fans of Sailor Moon or other cheerful TV shows, only to discover that they get most of the downsides of celebrity life (Typecasting, Slave to PR, Artist Disillusionment, being virtually whored out all the time by Corrupt Corporate Executives who always desecrate their Magnum Opus, creepy stalker fans, having to keep their private/romantic lives complete secrets to avoid eternal damnation by the crazy fans, not even being able to hide their private/romantic lives and avoid said eternal damnation due to constant accusations about scandals) with very few of the perks (seiyuus go into idoldom and gravure shots because voice acting actually does not pay too well in Japan, and most idols themselves only get judged by their cover and not their true self).

You may know already that even if you're a rich popular celebrity you will still be able to fall into Despair Event Horizon (hence reckless hedonism or suicide), and are in fact more susceptible to it, but most people may never notice because of the "all kinds of fame=money=anything you want" imagery. What's worse is that when you do fall into Despair Event Horizon the executives will whore you out even more (paparazzi, Dead Artists Are Better, etc.) thus more money for them, and they don't even have to pay you back since there will be more suckers who want to emulate your fame and wealth (this parallels how Incubators extract even more energy from magical girls falling to Despair Event Horizon and turning into witches, which in turn creates increasing demand for more willing magical girls to outshine said witches). Just like how if you're a Magical Girl you can get anything you want, and everyone sees you as a hero, but unfortunately, deep down you're just a zombie who's reduced into nothing more than a glorified furniture of the Incubators. Also, according to Music Is Politics:

Younger artists are very susceptible to this trope. This is probably one of the reasons labels prefer younger artists: they're less well-versed in the ways of the business and easier to control. And it's likely the reason the industry focus on younger listeners. Older music buyers/listeners already know what they like and don't like, whereas younger listeners can be told what to like.

Sounds like why Kyubey prefers making liches out of young, weak, unknowing, diabetes-tasting girls with high hopes (like Madoka and Moemura) instead of the older more strong-willed ones experienced in business (like Junko), right?

The Eldritch Horror behind all the Madokamisery and the Entropy is..... TV Tropes!
Where did Entropy get its name from? The prefix "en-" coupled with of all things, the word "TROPE" note . Kyubey requires making a Deal with the Devil to sustain the universe. TV Tropes requires ruining your own life to sustain itself. Makes sense?
  • It wouldn't be wild to even speculate how Urobutcher is one of those ruined lives.

...and seven drinks after the bartender tells them there's a five-drink minimum for setting up bad Black Comedy jokes, Urobuchi makes a bet to Anno and the bartender that he can beat Anno at making THE most depressing anime ever.

From the aforementioned Evangelion WMG; the Incubators are actually manifestations of humanity's collective opportunism and sociopathy under a mask of civilization.
With the rise of agriculture/industrialism, the establishment of cities, increasingly stratified societies, and insatiable mass consumerism/capitalist corporate culture, humanity's capacity for empathy decreased, while raw selfish ambition which led to sociopathic greed and opportunism built up to critical mass. Today, idealistic themes we saw all the time in Magical Girl shows, such as The Power of Love, are nothing more than a marketing ploy for the dominant ruler of the world, The Power Of Love For Material Wealth, represented by the Incubators' ruthless profiteering for the sake of obtaining more Energy.

All that stuff about aliens and entropy is symptomatic of our tendency to justify them with little white lies and Half Truths whenever we devastate nature or take advantage of our fellow man. It took the form of a race of seemingly harmless RidiculouslyCuteCritters for much the same reason; we all try to convince ourselves we're right, we're just trying to help, and the destruction of the earth and the human individual is all for the sake of Enlightenment and protecting human civilization from entropy/decay. In other words, we are all Kyubey. Or rather, we are all his/her/its / shkler father/mother. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

Also, when Madoka asked what would happen if Kyubey never existed, Kyubey replied that humanity will still be naked living in caves. Thus, Kyubey's Industrialized Evil is presented as something good and necessary. Unfortunate Implications arise when "bringing civilization" is also one of the reasons the Europeans justified slavery and destruction of other cultures.

Madoka's changes are meaningless
Despite what the show tries to paint its ending, it's Sad But True. Kyubey is going to eventually leave the Earth when he reaches his quota and we'll be worse off than before because the number of magical girls will reach an end and the wraiths will keep coming. Hell, the final scene shows Humora out in a desert fighting wraiths with the likelihood that she'll fade away even if she wins, the scene implies everybody else is dead, and the desert scene likely means the wraiths devastated the planet. This show is depressing even when it's trying to be uplifting.
  • The manga takes that route but it also has other significant differences from the anime's continuity.
    • How is that even relevant? I wasn't talking about the manga. And so what if Homura is with Madoka after that scene, that means that she tried and failed to defend humanity and adds to what I said above, even in Madoka' new timeline, we're still dead.
      • It's relevant because it means your 'Word of God' doesn't apply to the anime continuity unless you can show otherwise. I said that before, and you edited that out of my original comment, which was rude. Please don't do that, and just show me where you're getting this "Word of God" for the anime. Also, Homura being with Madoka doesn't mean that Homura failed in any capacity; she'll have to die eventually, she's not immortal. She could've succeeded at absolutely every challenge in her path and still have died. Humanity doesn't end if Homura dies, and that desert isn't even post-apocalyptic. The script board for it only describes that desert as "Not Japan." Homura could be in Cairo for all we know.
      • I removed both bits on the Word of God because I checked and misremembered it and decided to remove it from my thing because I don't want to leave around WMG I made based on remembering author details, and I removed it from your comment because some other people would notice there was a reply to something that didn't seem to be there.
  • If I were an Incubator, I would actively support humanity until they go extinct, to collect as much grief as possible. I wouldn't leave them to die. It's only logical. So please get off your depressants, for everyone's sake.
    • Tell that to Kyubey, because in the normal timeline he said he had a quota would decide a world-destroying witch wasn't his problem if he filled it, and we don't see anything saying he wouldn't do the same here.
      • So, you're basically saying that the Incubators will only bail on humanity once they are completely and irrevocably fucked (which, as the other person said, isn't too likely in Homura's lifetime or beyond). And let's go with the "half-eaten sandwich" logic - why would Kyubey suddenly stop milking humans for all the possible energy that they can yield (which is potentially infinite)?
      • Fair enough. Perhaps a better thing to ponder that I haven't wondered about till now is, how many other planets are those wraiths on anyways?

Gen Urobuchi has secret daughters.
They helped him with the screenplay in order increase their allowance, based it off of gossip at there school, and helped to get classmates to stop asking them what daddy talks about with Hideaki Anno and Naoko Takeuchi during lunch breaks. How else could one explain Gen's insane knowledge of magical girls?
  • Expanding on that theory: Homura is that secret daughter. One of the anthologies has an AU story where the girls are in the drama club and want to write a Magical Girl story. Homura writes twelve extremely depressing chapters in one night (exactly like Urobuchi's script, save for the ending), much to the dismay of the other girls.

We now have holy quartet of wild mass guesses.
Along with instrumentality, Haruhi, and time lords, everyone is now a magical girl contracted to kyubey.

Gen Urobuchi is a fan of The Elder Scrolls.
Kyubey is quite similar to a Daedra due to his immortality, and he can manipulate Soul Gems (both the Madoka kind and the TES kind). Also, Witch barriers are like Oblivion Gates; that, or they're little planes of Oblivion, with the Witch as a small-scale Daedric Prince.

He might have had a bit of a hand in developing Skyrim, due to some vague similarities (the protagonists consume the souls of their own kind, and time travel is important). Also, Dawnguard introduced its own Awful Truth about Soul Gems.

Homura's not narrowing her eyes to look tough or because she's become jaded to the world.

In the former timelines, she's always shown with her eyes wide open when wearing glasses. But after she gets rid of them, she narrows her eyes a lot. Where'd her glasses go? That's never elaborated on, and she's never shown with contact lenses. She's just squinting because she can't see shit.

  • In Timeline 4, didn't she hold up her Soul Gem and heal her eyes in the process?

Homura at one point killed everyone.
If asked about this, she'll answer: "I dunno, seemed like fun. I think I went a little nuts there for a while."

Contracts = loans. The Incubators grant wishes by letting desperate girls borrow some of their energy. However, in turn, the girls will have to pay back more in terms of energy. Replace "girl" with "debtor" and "energy" with "money" and "Incubator" with "banker". Banks do serve as incubators for money and wealth. The Incubators even act like stereotypical salarymen working for some large faceless financial corporation. The debt spiral that the girls are hopelessly stuck in is the same in the modern Real Life Fiat Currency Debt system. Fiat, from the Latin for "Let there be" (money), is inherently worthless paper or digital money with no commodity to back it except the faith the people place on it and that we must pay our transactions and taxes through it, unlike commodity-currency systems such as the gold-silver standard. We know that Central Banks have the right to print fiat money. If the Central Banks can print fiat money to pay for everybody's debt, then how come everybody is still in unpaid debt? Because banks profit exactly out of debt. Banks are not charity to make free money.

The most lucrative business in banking is Usury, aka Money Lending. The lender and borrower will pledge into, well, a Contract. The lender will lend his money at first, but some time in the future force the borrower to pay back more. Interest is where the debt multiplies over time. If the borrowers can no longer pay back the interest, then bad things (bankruptcy, foreclosure, seizing your bankrupt assets as collateral, or even debt slavery) happen. Usury was like the classic tale of Faust (the basis for Madoka) selling his soul to Mephistopheles in exchange to borrow temporary knowledge and power. Banks make money by making loans, by selling debt. Therefore, the banks will not just give money, they will sell the money in the form of Loan Contracts, to be loaned with interest to be repaid in the form of assets with actual value, such as labor.

Even the Central Banks do this. Central Banks, such as the Bank of England (insert Rothschild references here) and the Federal Reserve, are actually partially privately owned and derived their power, not directly from the Government, but also from independent private stockholders for profit, like for example lobbyists such as JP Morgan behind the unconstitutional establishment of the Federal Reserve. In fact, only the US Treasury that answers directly to Congress has the right to coin in actual gold and silver, and will only issue debt-free fiat money when absolutely necessary during times of war, such as Continentals and Lincoln greenbacks. Federal Reserve is no more federal than Federal Express. Without usury, banks would just be nothing more than an honest state-run service that answers to the will of the people, and there would be no such thing as National Debt.

Suppose a government or corporation pledges into a Loan Contract or offers to trade a Bond in order to borrow money, but the bank has loaned most of its existing money. In commodity-currency systems such as the Gold standard, loans without actual money are impossible. However, in the modern fiat fractional-reserve system, the bank or Federal Reserve has the right to make Fiat money out of nothing by simply writing a numerical value into said Loan Contract as long as the people have enough trust to use it as if it was actual money. The new money is called Credit, from the Latin meaning to entrust or loan. The credits are then loaned off with compounding interest. It is not free money, but more of a deal with the devil. The Central Bank can then print credits as per the Contract dictates. To pay for the interest, the governments and corporations then expect you, the consumer at the bottom of the pyramid, to pay for it in real wealth through taxes, high prices, service and so on.

Today, all fiat dollars are manufactured out of loan contracts and backed by debt. Credit cards and digital money automate the machine where a printing press and actual paper are no longer even needed. 90% of the money in the world is not actual paper money but rather in the form of bank credit in computers, with the charging of interest as automated. This is why the modern credit-based economy is based on debt, loan contracts, and such deals with the devil. Money=Credit and Credit=Debt. The more credits they make, the more money they make.

The system enforced by Incubators is unstable due to their expectation that the girls (who obviously represent the labor of the indebted) should violate Equivalent Exchange and pay back more. When they can no longer pay their requirement of Grief Seeds, they default and turned into Grief Seeds themselves to be used as collateral for the Incubators' energy requirements. Similarly, an economy based on usury, credit and Perpetual Debt is an ultimately unsustainable descent into despair because the principal, or initial money supply, will never be equal with the demands of the bank, the interest. Usury violates Equivalent Exchange and disproportionately forces people to work like serfs just to repay the interest. There will always be people who despair and default because there will always be more interest than the current money supply. Why Incubators justify themselves with tales about how letting the universe go into entropy is worse? Because having a form of currency is still better for a functioning civilization than not having it at all.

Homura tried to repay back her debts to the Incubators through her own effort so that they would not approach Madoka for a loan contract instead. However, because she still worked under the Incubators' debt system, her Endless Recursion Of Time used up energy and therefore created more energy-borrowing and perpetual debt that only resulted in Madoka becoming a bigger form of collateral, i.e. witch. Her inability to defeat Walpurgis, and Madoka's inevitable mutation into a witch, represents her inability to repay back her compounding debt. Inevitably she will either be forced to reverse time to create more debt, or commit suicide, or default as a witch, or have Madoka bail her out. Similarly, eventually, people in debt will borrow to pay back the previous debt, like fixing a hole with more holes or curing cancer with more cancer. And the banks will make Credits, gotta keep making Contracts. Banks call these Bailouts from the Central Bank. Debt will be paid through credits which create debt. This results in a cancerous vicious cycle of devaluation, inflation, high taxes, high prices, constant borrowing and An Endless Recursion of Debt that continues from generation to generation. Yo dawg, I heard you like Debt, so I put some Debt in your Debt so that you can pay back Debt while you pay back Debt... with Debt. Debtception.

Overprinting of Fiat credit money will also eventually cause Inflation, or the dilution of the money's inherent value to the point of worthlessness because the new money steals rarity value from the money supply. When the global Fiat Credit system started to replace other forms of hard currencies such as the Gold or Silver Standard especially with the establishment of the Federal Reserve, the purchasing power of the dollar has declined by 95%. One of the most iconic examples of Fiat Inflation Failure was Germany during the Great Depression. Destroyed by the war and without a single penny left to pay the war debt, Germany had no choice but to run the presses until the whole debt was paid; as a result, the Mark's value collapsed, and the biggest banknote ever printed was the 100 quadrillion Mark bill, which was worth something around 24 US dollars! Overprinting did reach a point when a newspaper cost 100 billion marks, and you literally needed wheelbarrows of marks just to buy groceries. In some cases, the wheelbarrow itself was worth more than its contents. Germans of that era would burn wads of banknotes as fuel during the winter, owing to the money being cheaper to burn than the wood/paraffin alternative.

When everybody realized they should stop making loans, it was too late. Instead of falling prices, now there was less money in the money supply to pay for the debt. Defaults and unemployment were common. This was called Deflation. One of the most infamous cases of Inflation-Deflation was The Great Depression that happened after the credit bubble that was the Roaring Twenties when the Federal Reserve contracted the money supply. Everybody can no longer pay their debts, and thus the Wall Street Stockholders sold off their worthless American investments, causing the cascade of suicides that was the Wall Street Crash. Deflation can only be beneficial when there is no debt.

The accelerating fall into Despair Event Horizon obviously represents the deadly combo of Inflation and Compound Interest, which, if not paid early, will grow exponentially until it can never be paid. Perpetual Debt is like a Perpetual Motion Machine that would eventually lead to Despair Event Horizon. It was the reason why, despite the advances of human industrial technology, everything is becoming more and more expensive because corporations have to pay for the debt, and taxes still rise because the government needs to pay for the debt. The gap between the 1% banker families and the overpopulated 99% are ever increasing. In modern times, having children will condemn you and your children and your children's children into debt. Children need money and money is made out of debt. Kids=money=debt. Having a decent family is now a path to mortgages and credit cards and student loans and such other headaches. There was a reason why the Japanese population growth collapsed when their National Debt went up during the Nineties.

Entire superpowers such as the United States of America are in foreign and war debt in the trillions, threatening the collapse of the dollar. America's debt now exceeds 100% of its GDP, and is multiplying, which means that they will never be able to pay back those debts. Ever. If the dollar crashes due to Ridiculous Future Inflation, it will bring other economies down with it. Perpetual Debt will eventually a Malthusian population catastrophe where starving people will no longer have a lot of children because there will no longer be enough resources to pay for the debt. Despair and war for resources will be rife. The suicide of human civilization, all because of a dishonest form of currency. The Debt Spiral Nemesis. This apocalyptic future of a Great Depression is what Kriemhild Gretchen represents. However, the central bankers, on the other hand, are too big to fail. Kyubey got his energy quota. The Rothschilds and other plutocrats at the top of the debt machine, along with sane people such as Chinese investors who knew what was going on, bought up 80% of the gold supply.

Thomas Jefferson puts it this way: To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers..

Only a Godlike scale of force to restructure the entire financial system can save us from such a dystopian future, as with the restructuring of the energy system by Madokami to forgive everybody's debt. Not to say that Madokami represents socialism, but rather a more honest economy free of debt, like the gold standard or Lincoln greenbacks. The fate of the magical girls will no longer be based on the perpetual debt machine of Witchification, but rather on their individual capability to earn resources and capture as many demons as they can to sell to Incubators in exchange for cooperation. More like a capitalist economy.

The ending is yet another Deconstruction.
More specifically, Madoka's ascension to Madokami is a Deconstruction of Serial Escalation, Plot Leveling, and Shonen Upgrades. How much more powerful can you get, how much Bigger can your Stick become, before you have to take the ultimate step and become not just a Physical God, but an actual God? Why bother with constantly one-upping each other when you can just skip straight to the top ?

Puella Magi Madoka Magica was meant to be a critical Deconstruction of the otaku lifestyle, like Neon Genesis Evangelion before it.
And if you like Madoka, Gen Urobuchi hates you. You may have read this infamous essay about Hideaki Anno's intent for making Evangelion. Well, Urobuchi also has the same opinions about otakudom. (Certainly his recent Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet outlines what he thinks of NEE Ts and hikikomori, which he stated right in his intro to the anime.)

With Madoka, Gen didn't just want to retell the story of Faust with Magical Girls, he wanted to smack otakus in the face. He showed how becoming an adolescent superhero would be pretty terrifying when you have to actually fight Lovecraftian Horrors all the time forever. Timid yet good-hearted Madoka is not supposed to actually "be" you, in a sense. She's actually the ideal selfless Moe Messianic Archetype Goddess we all worship and masturbate on. Homura is YOU; The emotionally stunted monomaniac who's so emotionally dependent upon her pink-haired Moe-ssiah waifu that she'd rather "just run away" back in time from all the suffering around her, rather than accept her new reality, and then covers up her true geeky, incompetent self with a fake badass Mary Sue air, ala Self-Insert Fan Fic.

Of course, like with Evangelion, the impact completely backfired and the "Megucas" all became moe cultural icons, yielding plenty of kid-and-otaku-friendly merchandise (as well as...less kid-friendly stuff, much like how the Magical Girl genre in general acquired a fetish stereotype), including some rather questionable materials (Charlotte inner tubes and Soul Gem bubble bath packs, anyone?). But what really pissed off Gen was how all the suffering became what people liked the most about the series, like sadistic Torture Porn Ryona fetishists and Tragedy fans, as well as people hailing him as "the Prince of DARKNESS" and the like.

So...first he co-wrote Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet. Reviews have mostly been well below those of Madoka (in about the 7-8/10 range, with 7 being about the average rating on MyAnimeList, for example). It had a rather cobbled-together, less-than-coherent storyline, which makes sense since five different people actually wrote the episodes besides him. (Gen wrote the first and last episodes and served as "script consultant" for the rest.) On top of that, its main plot twist was perhaps a bit too similar to that of Madoka ("The monsters were PEOPLE!!!") His reputation on anime sites such as MyAnimeList was nigh-indestructible immediately after Madoka; 2.5 years later, either because of Gargantia or just because of the time past, his ratings have gone down somewhat.

And as mentioned in that Evangelion essay, End (and perhaps Evangelion 3.0) was basically Anno taking the anger over the TV show's somewhat positive ending and him saying, "Oh, you want more emotional torture porn tragedy ryona? I'VE GOT YOUR EMOTIONAL TORTURE PORN TRAGEDY RYONA RIGHT HERE!!!" Madoka Movie 3 will be Gen saying and doing the same thing. The whole point of Gargantia's happy ending was for us to let our guards down and think, "Oh, he's changed. He took up meditation or maybe some happy pills. We don't have to fear his casts being killed off anymore." Gen Urobuchi also hates you. Whether improbably uplifting or soul-crushingly depressing, Movie 3 will be destined to generate in at least part of the fanbase the reaction: "How disgusting." And whaddya know, Gen himself cryptically says that the movie "may divide the fans".

Madoka Magica is about the theological contrast between Eternal Punishment versus Universal Reconciliation.
When a Puella Magi suffers Absolute Despair Event Horizon, she transforms into a Witch isolated in her own Barrier. If you would observe the Witches' Barriers, you can see that they are Absolute Terror Fields serving as psychological museums about the most profound regrets, negative emotions, unwanted memories and guilts made by a Puella Magi in life. For example, Oktavia (Sayaka) has one of her familiars representing Kyousuke, who represents her most painful regret in life. He, that symbol of regret, will always be there in front of her, impossible to remove. The Puella Magi's soul is essentially Mind Raped by this Self-Inflicted Hell of traumatic memories, for all of eternity.

Therefore, Witches represent Eternal Punishment, the traditional Christian view that once you are sent to Hell, you will suffer in it forever. Christian apologists try to defend this idea from God Is Evil accusations by replying that it is not God who sends you to Hell, but rather, is it you who sends yourself to Hell through your own thoughts and memories. Hell is not a literal place of eternal fire and brimstone, but a metaphor for a psychological state of mind suffering from angst, pessimism, and depression. The mind is its own place, can make a Heaven out of Hell or a Hell out of Heaven. If you are a Pessimist, then you would expect the worst out of everything, and if you expect the worst out of everything, then you would think that you are in an inescapable Hell and therefore succumb to Absolute Despair. If you made a depressing tragic life full of regrets and unwanted memories, then the replay of these memories would Mind Rape you to Absolute Despair Event Horizon, and you would become a Pessimist with low self-esteem. Your pessimism then projects an Absolute Terror Field that isolates yourself from the hope and light of God for all of eternity. Similarly, people accuse the Incubators (the Old Testament God and his angels) as sadists who manipulated the Puella Magi into Eternal Punishment, but ultimately, it is the Puella Magi themselves who adopt a Pessimistic philosophy, let themselves be corrupted to Despair, create Absolute Terror Field Barriers and become Witches. The Incubators are simply there as angels to oversee the system because it sustains All of Creation, with Eternal Punishment representing a cruel form of Law and Order that protects against Entropic Chaos.

Realizing the injustice of the order, Madoka, aka the all-forgiving Messiah, sacrificed herself, modified the entire system, and ascended to Heaven as a God, existing at every point in space and time yet transcendent from it. She overthrew the Incubators for a while and allowed the Puella Magi, who would rather be condemned to their own Hell forever, a chance of repentance. Sayaka, who would rather have become the eternally suffering Oktavia, was therapeutically helped by post-ascension Madoka come to terms with the choices she made in life. Kyousuke no longer represents Sayaka's biggest regrets. Instead, he represents how at the very least, she made other people happy, and that in itself makes her happy, allowing her to accept the final afterlife of contentment that Madoka made for her.

Madoka, the Messiah, represents Universal Reconciliation, the all-forgiving Jesus Christ who shall redeem all souls to Nirvana. She even forgives the Incubators, knowing that they have the good intention of protecting the universe against Entropic Chaos, and gave mankind Civilization. That's why she did not annihilate them, but simply removed the Eternal Punishment of the Witches and replaced it with a weaker, but nonetheless more forgiving, system. In the meantime, the dichotomy of Puella Magi and Demons still exist to represent Order against Chaos, and some souls that did a lot of sins and regrets in life would be delayed and "purified" for their sins before being allowed to Heaven. But eventually, in the end, all shall become one with God/Madoka.

The positioning of the girls' Soul Gems on their costumes is suggestive/symbolic of their wish.
  • Kyoko's Soul Gem is on her chest, near the (stereotypical) location of her heart. Her wish was for her family's benefit; it came from her heart.
  • Sayaka's Soul Gem is on her belly, roughly over her womb/ovaries. Her wish was based on her 'love' for Kyosuke, which could be interpreted as hormonal lust.
  • Not sure about Madoka, Mami and Homura's - little help here, Hive Mind?
    • Homura's soul gem on her hand represents how her wish is attempting to change the system however indirectly or minorly by force: She's going back in time, grabbing the wheel of time to try and grab Madoka out of her suffering.
      • So Homura wanted to take matters into her own hands or get a grip on the situation? Good one.
    • Mami's soul gem being on her head is a matter of how survival was an immediate concern at that point. She wished to live.
    • Madoka's wish was initially to save a cat and eventually to save everyone, thus from the heart, thus Kyoko-like placement at the heart. Godoka/Madokami/What-Have-You's bigass multi-soul gem-whatever is her eventually absorbing all magical girls to safety a la Kriemhild Gretchen sans the witches.

Sayaka's arc is a Shout-Out to The Wall.
Just like Pink, Sayaka snaps after losing her Love Interest due of Poor Communication Kills. Just like for Pink, this is only the last of her traumas (Mami's death and the Soul Jar are "just bricks in the wall"). She attempts to fill the "empty spaces" with music-themed violence, but this only worsens her situation. Finally, the says "goodbye cruel world" in the station and traps herself in her personal mind desert. Sure, she still wants to be with Kyosuke, but since the barrier is the Wall, it warps her "hey you" into an obscure cipher language. Sadly, there is no "trial" for the poor girl; she can't realize she became the same evil force that led her story - witches (okay, "hammer army").

The Madoka franchise is cursed, like the Poltergeist and Superman franchises before it.

We probably know by now that the TV series spawned the 2011 earthquake. Movies 1 and 2 generated Hurricane Sandy, which struck the northeastern US the same week they were released in Japan. And more recently, not only did Movie 3 spawn Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines the same week it was released in Japan, but a 7.3 earthquake also occurred off Japan's coast in about the same area as the 2011 quake's epicenter, on the day of its Japanese release date. Fortunately, no one was killed though.

Also, the receptions of almost all new non-Bakemonogatari anime (the series originally began before Madoka anyway) anime from Studio Shaft (Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl, Sasami-san@Ganbaranai, Nisekoi, and Mekaku City Actors) and Gen Urobuchi (Psycho-Pass, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, and Aldnoah.Zero) has as of 2014 met much less enthusiastic reception (with some fans calling Mekaku City Actors and Aldnoah their respective Jump the Shark moments).

Tragically, it may be responsible for the death of seiyuu Miyu Matsuki, who wasn't in Madoka, but was only one degree removed from it (she was in several Shaft productions, including character designer Ume Aoki's Hidamari Sketch). So why was she affected? Remember how Sayaka made her wish to benefit another person instead of herself, and would eventually curse an equivalent number of people that she saved. As an alternative explanation, consider that magical girls are supposed to help others, and according to the Madoka mythos, Equivalent Exchange leads helping to be followed by a curse.

Blame the occult imagery and influences throughout the series, just as the [[Film/Poltergeist Poltergeist]] curse was supposedly generated by Tobe Hooper using actual human bodies in the first movie.

Mami's wish to live indirectly allowed her body to remain functionally living despite her contract.
That more physically mature look is a side effect of her body simply continuing its growth and development and most biological functions despite the soul being a gem outside of the body. As a side effect of this, she has a slightly larger safely usable magic pool and can go slightly longer without grief seed or cube or whatnot before running out of magic and witching out with little despair because she only has to use enough magic to give commands rather than fully maintain the shell. This does help explain why she can cheerily use massive gun barrages made of ribbon and a large finisher cannon on one soul gem's worth of energy without threatening her life so long as she has a refuel soon afterwards, while Kyoko can hardly summon a massive scorpion spear and ring of surrounding spears (admittedly while under stress and grief from being about to kill herself and friend) without dying.

Madoka Kaname never existed.
No, not in that way. Madoka never existed at all outside of Homura's head. She was just the imaginary friend, the ideal Moe Messianic Archetype, of a Magical Girl fan with severe Clinical Depression, bullied by her classmates, resented by her own parents for being such a failure, and ostracized by everyone else until she broke down and succumbed to schizophrenia. Her three friends at first tried to reach out and provide support, but when her interactions with them grew more and more erratic, delusional and violent, they eventually started moving away from her, and she, in turn, grew colder towards them.

After she began throwing bricks and rocks at school staff, claiming she wanted to keep "Madoka" safe, she was eventually placed in a state asylum. Junko and Tomohisa are her two main attending physicians (as a single working mother, Junko occasionally has to bring along her toddler son), and Kyubey is her psychiatrist.

Her teachers back in her former school lament her loss, especially since, despite her erratic behavior, she seemed to be showing much aptitude as an artist, creating elaborate Warholesque collage pastiches. While most institutions encourage their charges to express themselves through arts and crafts, all access to art supplies has unfortunately been denied to Homura, as several of her pictures feature her violently murdering "Kyubey".

And for the records, "Madoka"'s image was inspired by the classic magical girl Magical Princess Minky Momo, possibly including Momo's tragic death.

Walpurgis Night type conglomerate witches require an assimilating witch to start off.
Since witches seem quite hostile, it would take someone like Elsa Maria to make them start working together. Presumably, someone in the Freezer witched out and really wanted some friends, building the Dawn of Hyades.
Sayaka could have been brought back to being a magical girl from witchhood, but not how they were trying.
Two words: Kazumi Magica. Kill Oktavia Von Seckendorff and stuff the grief seed and any other remains into the still-fresh Sayaka. Since this is the Pleiades' whole thing and the only connection between the groups was the by-then-usually-deceased Mami, it is unlikely it would have been tried in any timeline.
Wraiths are essentially Poltergeists.
Supposedly poltergeists are not human souls trapped in the mortal realm, but entities generated out of people's bad emotions and anxieties. Sound like the more typical villains in Magical Girl productions, don't they?
Familiars do not grow up to become witches. They transform their last victims into a witch using their power.
The Incubators are remnants of a Precursor race, with no idea how to run the system they're using.
They're just AIs of the well intentioned variety left behind after their creators either died off or Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Its primary purpose was maintenance and repair. That's why emotion is considered an illness for them, it's a data error inhibiting proper functionality. It also explains why Kyubey granted Madoka's wish, despite it being clearly ill-advised for their goals. It didn't have a choice, it's just a button pusher for an automatic system that it has no actual understanding of.
The Incubators alter the Soul Gems of the Puella to encourage lesbian tendencies
This one doubles as possible Fridge Horror. If contracting young girls is better due to emotional vulnerability and intensity, then increasing those variables due to infatuation yields exponentially greater results. Especially if the love interest is another Puella. The high-risk lifestyle, fear for their loved ones, and stress of maintaining the Masquerade paired with burgeoning feelings of romance and questioning of sexual identity raises the likelihood of a Puella Witching Out by orders of magnitude. We know that they alter their ability to feel pain, why not also their ability to feel anything else? There's literally no possible downside from their perspective since they don't understand the Power of Love. At least until Homura demonstrates it for them firsthand.
  • Alternatively, budding lesbian and bisexual girls may be priority targets due to cultural and social stigma. Which potentially might mean that the Incubator's ability to detect potential Magical Girls is in actuality really just Gaydar.

You have some really great ideas. I can make any of them true.
All I need is for you to make a contract.
/人 ‿‿ 人 ——

Example of: