Puella Magi Madoka Magica ep. 8 – The Obvious and Not So Obvious

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.

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  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Nopy's Blog -- Topsy.com

  2. They didn’t reveal that Homura was in fact Madoka, although it’s implied that they are related. She’s probably the Madoka character in an alternate timeline, and Madoka in that timeline either died or brought about Walpurgis Night. Remember she has time manipulation powers, so she could have saved her multiple times from horrible deaths and then reset over and over again. Maybe the fight in episode 1 really happened, where they fight the witch who is probably Sayaka, but she resets time. Ah, my head hurts.

    Also, I don’t exactly agree with this false sense of confidence thing, since it kind of faded ever since Mami got omnomnom’d. Now we don’t really have a false sense of confidence at all.

    Furthermore, this will be one of my favourite anime ever too…if the ending doesn’t let me down.
    Valence recently posted..“I’ll be calling him something different soon enough”

  3. You had another sense of confidence? Wow, I’m impressed. I’ve been like, quaking in my metaphorical boots since Mami got her head bitten off.

    I’m also a bit surprised you didn’t catch on to the Horuma/Mami thing. It’s been all over the place this season. I wasn’t sure I agreed with it, but at this point I definitely do.

    Most disturbing part of the episode for me though? Watching Kyubey eat himself. That was just…ew.
    Arianna Sterling recently posted..My History With Anime

  4. @Valence:
    Perhaps I am jumping the gun a bit regarding Homura = Madoka, but I really think that’s what’s going to happen.

    @Arianna Sterling:
    Kyubey the cannibal really was disturbing, not to mention the glowy red eyes just before that, gives me shivers thinking about it.

  5. homura is not madoka. she doesn’t look anything alike. top it off the adult madoka in the openning is taller then madoka… homura is the same height.

    homura is either a best friend, or hell maybe even her daughter… mami said it in ep 2 or 3.. that madoka would make a MORE powerful magical girl then homura.

    homura’s power has to do with time… which means her wish had to do with time. my guess is she was a good friend of madoka’s who watched madoka die.. then made her wish to go back into time to stop her from becoming a magical girl.

  6. @anime_fan:
    You make some good points and I admit that my little theory may be disproven later in the series, but until then I’m going to stick with it.

    Also, if you take a look at episode 4 after Madoka leaves Mami’s apartment, you’ll see that Homura is actually taller than Madoka. I’ve included a screenshot here: http://nopybot.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/madoka_homura_height.jpg

    @SilentSerenata:
    I know, it seems like it’ll be impossible to get rid of him.

  7. I guess this comment might help with the Homura=Madoka speculah

    but it’s anybody’s guess when it comes to Homura’s identity. Back around episode 3-4, I thought of this possibility but it gradually changed after I saw more character development and hints coming to believe that perhaps, Homura is a friend from Madoka’s past or future. She may even a Madoka’s kouhai, similar with how Mami treats Madoka and Sayaka before she died. The speculah are endless at the moment but with 4 episodes left, the hard truth will slam us all in no time :D
    baka~ recently posted..IS ep 8- Infinitely Enjoyable!

  8. @Nopy:

    Few speculah include but is not limited to:

    1) she may be someone that Madoka saved when she took the route and became a Puella Magi. since Madoka is not Magica in this timeline, perhaps that changed the events of her meeting Homura

    2) the time travel concept may be similar to Mirai Nikki where in the assumption, Homura was the one who inspired Maodka to become Magica then regretting her decision, she went back in time to kill her “past self” and lives as Homura of the current timeline to correct things

    3) Similar with theory 1 above where Homura is saved by Madoka Magica but when she saw Madoka suffering, she wished for Kyubey to erase Madoka’s memories, forcing her to live her life as a normal individual. Since Homura’s wish is undoing what happened, that granted her time manipulation

    there are a lot more theories and speculah i’ve read at the forums and other blog posts so I simply remembered what I can and added to it my own opinion :D
    baka~ recently posted..IS ep 8- Infinitely Enjoyable!

  9. Nice blog. Added the bookmark.

    Homura seems to know all of the Puella Magi, having greeted Kyoko by name at their apparent first meeting. Kyoko responded asking “Have we met before?” This seems to be more than just Homura doing her homework on the others.

    Grown up Madoka? I don’t think so, but I’ve been wrong before. Perhaps she’s something else, maybe a repentant witch (is that even possible?) or someone whose exposure to the Puella Magi was similar to Madoka’s before she became one herself.

    Madoka has been fed a lot of information about the Puella Magi, both good and (mostly) bad, and the fact that she’s still conflicted about becoming a Magi herself is very distressing to Homura.

    To an outsider. this is a no-brainer, get as far from Kyubey and the others as you can, as fast as you can, but Madoka’s soft nature won’t let her abandon any of them. That’ll be her undoing, unless she sees demonstratively what Kyubey really is, and decides to do something about it. Since it seems unlikely that she’ll flee the situation, I think this is the course she’ll take. The trouble is, what do you wish for? You lose your soul for this, so the wish has to undo the system somehow.

    Maybe the ED has the remaining clues, with Madoka determinedly, and willingly running straightway into the abyss.

  10. @skyhack:
    If a repentant witch is possible, I think that would just blow my mind. I’m really looking forward to when Madoka turns into a mahou shoujo, because as you said, the trouble is what to wish for. I doubt Kyubey would allow a wish to destroy the system (unless he still gets Madoka in the end) so it’s anyone’s guess what’ll happen. Maybe she’ll wish for that cake Mami mentioned :)

  11. Raged at Kyubey three times harder than all the episodes combined.

    If Homura is indeed Madoka from a different timeline, and Homura can use her “reset” powers indefinitely, then wouldnt the consumption of her magic be far greater than the rest of the cast? Lol amounts of grief seeds.

    I wonder now if Madoka’s parents are “safe” from the upcoming Walpurgis Night, seeing as how any character can die in any episode at any point in time. For all we know Kyuubey was the one instigating these events.

    I’m very much interested at the other puella magi series now =D
    duqs recently posted..MG 1-100 GN-X Review

  12. @duqs:
    Well, I guess Homura’s soul gem would be more tainted than the others, except maybe Sayaka’s.

    I don’t think Madoka’ss parents are safe. When you think about it, Homura keeps warning Madoka about losing her friends and family, so it’s bound to happen.

  13. Hello again, Nopy, and am I the only one who never suspected this at all? I was always pretty certain that she was a friend of Madoka’s from another time line, even before I saw episode 10, which comes out and says precisely what is going on with her.