Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
Spoilers below, so if you haven’t watched this episode yet, don’t read any further.
Right, so for a few episodes now I’ve been wondering two things:
1. When are Sayaka and Kyouko going to die?
2. When will the first soul gem turn into a grief seed?
It was taking so long for for these two events to happen that I was starting to think the literary analysis techniques I was taught in high school was getting rusty. Thankfully, the first transformation from soul gem to grief seed happened this episode and Sayaka is as good as dead. That just leaves Kyouko, who I’m predicting will die within the next 2 episodes.
While I’m glad that two of my predictions are coming true, I was completely stumped by the third revelation in this episode: Homura = Madoka (maybe).
Well, they didn’t come right out and say it, but it was so heavily implied in this episode that I don’t see any other way around it. Just think about it, Homura only acts to benefit herself but protects Madoka, she’s a class of mahou shoujo far above the rest (something Kyubey keeps saying Madoka will be). Oh, and lets not forget the mysterious longer-haired and bigger-boobed version of Madoka in the opening:
Just paint her hair black and stick on a hairband and voila, you’ve got Homura.
I admit that episode 3 had caught me off guard, and I paid close attention to each episode after that to make sure it wouldn’t happen again. That’s why I’m ashamed that Puella Magi Madoka Magica got me TWICE using the same techniques. Like I had mentioned in my post on episode 3, the series lures you into a false sense of security before the “chomp” and they did something similar before revealing Homura’s identity. After Mami’s unfortunate demise, I dismissed all of the scenes in the opening as unrelated to the story because Mami was still in most of them; big mistake on my part. With the opening full of so many unrelated scenes, it’s understandable that no one would guess that there actually is a second Madoka. Add to that all of the hints about Sayaka, Kyouko, and the grief seeds, and I was actually thinking to myself “ha, they can’t get me a second time, I know what’s going to happen.”
The way Puella Magi Madoka Magica was able to give viewers a sense of confidence in predicting the outcome before dropping a bomb is really amazing. It’s not like there were no clues either, which would’ve just made it a pointless plot twist. I don’t consider it an easy feat for a story to catch me off guard twice, so Madoka is quickly becoming a condidate for my list of favourite anime ever. If it gets me a third time, it’s definitely going on the list.