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Episode 4 ~ Madoka Magica

Hellos!

First up, an update: Yes, all Café Daifuuku staff are currently being attacked by a bombardment of Italian Dustbunnies midterm exams, and so we apologize for the generous amount of dust that has so far been able to settle on our tabletops and on your computer screen! We’ll get to dusting as soon as exams are over!

Having said that however, just because we’re having midterm exams, doesn’t necessarily mean we’re studying…
Oh hohohohoho~

So until I find a reason to crack down on some textbooks, lets fill up on some coffee and cake!

Thus, today’s meal comes to you in 2 dishes:

  • Dish 1: Reasons to Be Working
  • Dish 2: Possible Results

Dish 1: There are Miracles and Magic

This episode begins once again with Miki. She has gone to the hospital to see her friend (and lover?) Kyosuke, only to learn that he’s not there. We learn more about Kyosuke’s condition (an accident has impared him) and that he is struggling to recover. Of course, his accident will make it impossible for him to play the violin. As Miki leaves, she starts blaming herself on Kyosuke’s accident (and probably on Mami’s as well) and asks why it couldn’t have been her who has been involved in the accident/killed, since she’s useless anyways.

[Cue Opening]

Skipping over to Madoka, we see her family as she’s getting ready for school. During breakfast, we see that she’s still very bothered by Mami’s death, and bursts out crying while eating as she realizes just how lucky she is to be alive
(Mami’s back! Or rather, her voice actress is, in the form of Madoka’s younger brother)

On their way to school, they try to pretend nothing has happened. Madoka is still rather depressed, but Miki was able to put on a strong forefront and talk/joke around with Shizuki.

At lunch, the 2 girls are back to thinking in the only place in Japan that allows such pondering of the deep variety (the school roof…). Madoka voices that she’ too scared to make the contract after seeing what happened to Mami. Kyube becomes magically compassionate (compared to what he was like last episode) and leaves the 2 girls to find other Puella Magi hopefuls.

After school, Madoka visits Mami’s house, and is reminded of the friend she has just lost. While there, she meets Homura, who also weirdly turn compassionate towards her. As the 2 walk together, we learn that Puella Magis who have lost their life while fighting will never get proper burials since their bodies will not appear in the “real world”. Mami, and many other girls before her, are considered “Missing Person” cases, due to the fact that no trace of their deaths are ever found. Homura also does some hinting around at the pitiful life she a Puella Magi must lead, having to save the world without any recognition from the people around them. Madoka is horrified of this information, and many tears are shed.

Meanwhile, Miki has gone back to visit Kyosuke, bringing with her yet another classical music CD for him to listen to. She tries to strike up a conversation with him, but Kyosuke, being the pessimist he is, suddenly fights back with desperation; he is no longer able to play the violin, and thus no longer wants to listen to music. Fueled by Kyosuke’s sudden fit of frustration, Miki becomes determined to help him. Of course, this is the perfect time for Kyube to reappear outside his window.

Having said goodbye to Homura, Madoka is walking home alone when she meets Shizuki on the streets. She notices a Witch’s Kiss on Shizuki’s neck, and follows her into a storage building, where many people affected by the Witch are gathering. Everyone begins preparing for a holy ritual to bring them to a “better place”, and Madoka tries to stop the mass suicide. Having thwarted their plans, the people turn towards her. Madoka, in her haste to get away, locks herself in the same room with the Witch. She is sucked into the Witch’s labyrinth, and is tortured with her memories of Mami’s death. As Madoka begins to lose hope, Miki, in her full Puella Magi attire, jumps in to save the day (with a sword?). Homura arrives just in time to see the Witch die, and the people affected by the Witch begin to recover.

As the story ends, we see Kyube talking to a mysterious Puella Magi named Kyoko. We learn of Kyoko’s goal of killing Miki to win ownership of the area and its Witches (along with the Grief Seeds the Witches will leave).

This is going to be one bloody battle…

[space]

Dish 2: Possible Results

First of all, the speed of this episode was, I think, a little too fast for the circumstances. Although I do understand having to get Mami’s death out of the way so the story could continue, it felt like Miki was rushed to become a Puella Magi. Her making the contract felt like a spur-of-the-moment thing that Kyosuke’s sudden madness triggered. Can you imagine her regretting it 5 minutes later?
“Daah! Why did I say that! I can’t believe I made the contract! Goodbye, rest of my life…”
We also get some answers to the identity of the second character in the ending sequence (the new Puella Magi, Kyoto). Looks like this girl will be staying here for a while…

That aside however, I think what happened this episode somewhat narrows down the Plans that were laid out earlier (which you can find here). As far as things go, Madoka obviously wasn’t as bothered as I thought she would be about Shizuki being affected by the Witch to make a wish, and even if she was, SHAFT probably wouldn’t use that again. Kyube also voluntarily left the girls when he thought they would be too scared to make the contract, and Mami is most definitely not returning, which means Plans A, B, E, and F are pretty much dead.

However, we are left with a very high possibility of Madoka making the contract to save Miki from Kyoto (the Puella Magi who seems determined to kill Miki and gain control of the city). On the other hand, I find this equally unlikely since both girls were not able to do so to save Mami from the Witch. There’s also the possibility of Madoka saving Homura, since they have grown somewhat closer this episode, but I have the same doubts for this plan of action, expecially with the ending this episode, I fear we’ll go back to seeing Homura’s cold side by next week.

Although there’s no way we can predict where SHAFT is going, I am growing increasingly worried of the possibility that Madoka will never actually become a Puella Magi. I mean, with all Mahou-Shoujos, most of the storyline consists of filler. Yes, they show character development, romance, etc, but the main subject of each episode is: bad guy comes, girl KO bad guy with lots of hearts, bad guy leaves, girl saves the day. If SHAFT is willing to completely change the Laws of main character-ology, then who knows how far they are willing to go to avoid the natural regularity and pattern in a normal Mahou Shoujo? Is there a possibility that Madoka will never become a Puella Magi until after everyone else dies? We could end up with something like this:

Kyube: “So you’ve decided on a wish?”
Madoka: “Yes, I wish that no one else will have to become Puella Magi”

…and thus save everyone else from the horrible bloody work.
However, even if SHAFT decides to stick with marathoning filler plotlines, I wouldn’t mind at all. You can never get enough of those Italian Dustbunnies!

I’ll update this post and the last Madoka Magica post with screenshots later this week! Sorry for the bland posts as of this moment, but believe me, if I don’t get studying soon, there’s only going to be one result tomorrow. SHAFT’s amazing many-possibility plots don’t seem to apply to real life, at least not during midterms…

So once again, we’ll all be back by Tuesday! Please wait until then!

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Comments on: "Episode 4 ~ Madoka Magica" (4)

  1. Ahh yes Madoka 4! great episode a bit dramatic and sad at the start with mami’s apartment scene T_T to sad for words!

    Nice to see Sayaka take up the good fight thou! She looked awesome in her magical outfit so epic and of course her entrance.

    And the whole wish thing makes me think something bad is going to happen to that guy, the shot of him in the dark was just plain creepy! Great job Shaft making him look evil xD

    My thought on the wish process, a few of us have our ideas on that. I think the wish is like straight to the point, however I think something bad will happen to him again like yes he can use his arm now but what if he had to give something up? like traded hearing or eyesight lol…Taking a page from Fma here too..

    • I cried >.<
      Well, I got teary eyes too many times to count. That might be just me though…but the parts were Madoka was acting like a sea-water fountain were so depressing…

      She's pure win =D Her ability to crack weird jokes in extreme moments is a really nice touch by SHAFT. Especially since she's such a good friend to Madoka. Can you imagine Madoka going crazy if Miki wasn't there to act all cool?

      I was kind of confused there. The blue magic-circle looking thing made it feel like Miki did the wish right there in front of him…so would he know that Miki was wishing for him? But then there's the part Mami said about the difference between wanting them to thank you or wanting them to actually get better…so I always thought the wish had to be done in secret…

      If he traded either hearing or eyesight, he'll still not be able to play music =D That would be so ironic.
      Yeah, the whole "make sure you word your wish properly" thing is kind of risky, and since Miki looked rushed when she made the wish, I was somewhat worried…
      Lets hope SHAFT has enough compassion to make her wish work at least. Poor Miki…

      Last thought: Miki's cape. Its AMAZING =D I think WOOSH every time I see it in action

      • Well most people are thinking about Madoka’s mom arriving home drunk, like I can see Kyubei jumping on a chance to get the contract finished if her mom were like dying or something like that. You know just to blackmail her into doing it! Because he rather have her than Sayaka.

        • I think people are misunderstanding Kyube’s emotional-less face to being a horrible, dangerous 4-eared animal. I’m sure he’s all soft and squishy on the inside! =D
          Anatomy aside though, I’ve thought of that, but I can’t imagine how SHAFT would clean up afterwards. It would be somewhat like a horrible aftertaste, and it’ll make the whole anime feel more depressing (and its already depressing enough to start with XD)

          I think its even less likely that this will happen now that the life-or-death idea has already been somewhat used for both Mami and now Miki. Will SHAFT reuse that idea again?
          It would be awesome if Madoka Magica went Musuko and centered on her “quest to find her real self” and become a Puella Magi because she “wants” to help instead of being forced.

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