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Old 2011-01-27, 12:03   Link #121
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Turns out Kyouko is voiced by Nonaka Ai, not Asumi Kana.
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Old 2011-01-27, 23:05   Link #122
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A bit of a post mortem of observations on Mami and some new observations.

Mami protected Kyubey and the others for the time she knew them.
Mami tried to be diplomatic toward Homura.
Mami did not attack Homura despite warning Homura several times.
Mami warned Sayaka and Madoka against making a hasty decision about becoming MGs.
Mami was elated that Madoka wanted to be a MG like her.

Kyubey left Sayaka and Madoka on the rooftop to seek someone who "needed" to form a contract with him.
Kyubey appears when Sayaka was at an emotional low despite saying he was going elsewhere.
Kyubey advertised a MG vacancy when Mami died, but did not advertise the position was filled.

Homura has known of/seen many MGs die.
Homura reinforces the concept of the "cost" of becoming a MG when she speaks to Madoka.
Homura was not in the barrier (?) when Madoka was in danger. (This may have been because she saw Sayaka go in and judged her to able to finish off the witch.)

To go with this, some interpretations:
If more magical girls was a good thing, there wouldn't be concepts like MGs having their own "territory" unless some hunt in packs. The city they live in seems to be a desireable place to find witches, but Mami was the only MG there at the start of the story. Mami may have been strong enough to chase off other MGs like Ryoko since Ryoko seemed to have known Mami. Mami and Homura probably did not clash over Mami's territory because Mami seemed to have a forgiving disposition and Homura never initiated hostilities against Mami, Sayaka, or Madoka.

Ryoko's appearance suggests to me MGs seem to be free to roam. This may suggest a cost that affects their families. Perhaps being a MG or merely being chosen by Kyubey attracts witches to them, eventually destroying the people they are most connected to in the world. Seeing Ryoko's disposition, however, she may just be like a bandit who left home and used her powers to provide for herself.


Going back to system analysis, I'm starting to think it doesn't matter of Kyubey needs to be able to make witches to be an immoral being. Creating an MG essentially grants one party a wish and a large amount of power, as long as they fight witches till their dying breath. Being an MG does not necessitate a moral existence, as Ryoko will probably demonstrate. Corollary to this is the cost of the wish--the contract spend the rest of their lives as MGs who fight thankless battles and die in paper cutout worlds, leaving nothing behind. MGs must fight witches to restore their Soul Gems. Past this, there is no restriction on if they use their powers to kill/harm people or save them from being killed/harmed--they only need to worry about how much that depletes their Soul Gem, which can be restored by hunting witches' Grief Seeds. Building on Homura's experience of knowing many MGs who have died, you can probably think of MGs being "dead" after they make their contract as they seem invariably destined to die. Along this vein, I see Kyubey as a hateful little creature who goes around signing girls' lives away for a wish which he can grant at what seems to be no cost to himself, and the people he contracts have no moral obligations to fulfill.

edit:
Slow night, huh?
Homura's been dead set against Madoka becoming a MG, and Kyubey sees great potential in Madoka. I don't think Homura's trying to cull competition stronger than her, but her focus on Madoka even as Sayaka becomes a MG probably ties into some witch mechanic--either strong MGs attract strong witches or MGs become witches with proportional strength (and appropriate collateral damage), so Homura does not want a witch with the kind of potential power that Madoka has to appear. Before someone jumps on this as misreading cues about some personal relationship either from a future or a past, I am going about this from the "they never knew each other" perspective because I find it hard to rationalize either sort of timeline without considerable timeskip details to trip out on.

Last edited by Decagon; 2011-01-28 at 05:14. Reason: to avoid double posting
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Old 2011-01-28, 06:36   Link #123
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Anyone had the idea that Homura might have had been a cat?
That she used to be Madoka's pet kitty, and somehow transformed into a MG.

What cat? This cat from OP:


Things that I think are in favor of this idea:

1. Homura isn't very good at communicating with others. Well, if she isn't a human at first place..

2. Personality-wise I think she is kind of cat-ish, too. She only cares about Madoka, but pays, I would say, very little attention to Sayaka, Madoka's best friend.

3. She also has the kind of "I am proud and good of being just myself" atitude that one might sometimes get from cats..(yeah I know I am somehow sterotyping cats, but anyways).

4. OP makes it seem like the cat is Madoka's final and best friend. Seems like a suitable position for Homura to me.

5. Try image Homura with nekomimi!!!

I know this is a wild guess, but oh well..
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Old 2011-01-28, 07:42   Link #124
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I would actually raise a my extension to the conundrum, and that is one Gen could use instead of the repetition of this cycle.


Technically, I agree with Mentar that Madoka will become a Mahou Shoujo and with that everyone else would be wished into normal lives, but given that the story writer's background, what is more likely to happen from my perspective would be far more bitter, in the sense that having this reset does not prevent Homura, Mami and others from tragedy at all. In fact, what I envision is that Madoka will her friends suffering, if not dead, after Madoka resolved to prevent tragedies by being a MG and wished the reset to happen. Triumphs she will have, but she will have them with collateral damage all around.

She will find happiness and solace, but those will be fleeting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faust, Part II, Act III
FAUST:
Don’t seek to analyse so rare a fate!
Our duty is to live: though but a day.
The fruit of her labor end, as of the fate of Euphorion... and those she thinks will be guaranteed happiness by her actions will take her own path as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faust, Part 2, Act III
EUPHORION

Yes! – I am winged here,
I will not wait!
Onward! I must! I must!
Let me but fly!

(He hurls himself into the air: his clothes bear him a moment, his head is illuminated and a streak of light follows.)

CHORUS
Icarus! Icarus!
No more! We sigh.

(A beautiful youth falls at the parents’ feet. We imagine we see a well-known form in the dead body, but the physical part vanishes at once, while an aureole rises like a comet to heaven. The clothes, cloak and lyre remain on the ground.)

HELEN and FAUST
At once, joy is followed,
By bitterest pain.
After this highly personal happiness has vanished, she will head on the path of acting for the greater good... yet only to see wine turn sour. To top it all off, I think Kyubey will misinterpret Madoka's intentions in the execution of Madoka's wish, either by choice of inadvertantly. As an executor of the wish of his client, how Kyubey acts will essentially decide on the costs associated to realizing his clients' wishes. Such is quite dangerous if the mindsets of the client and the attorney do not align; many disasters result from misinterpretation. Of course, given the client being that of Madoka, his decisions would be the root cause of the human sacrifice that will go into Madoka's well-intent debacle.

I am of the camp that unless Madoka realizes that she cannot really give salvation, even if her intentions are just, in being a "true magical girl", she won't find any closure. In short, I seriously question if Urobuchi Gen would come to think that one decides to shoulder the weight of the world at their will will necessary simply succeed.

I do not know however if Gen would actually pen Madoka realizing her own limits yet still act in the face of such grim realities. It would even to questionable for me as to whether or not if Madoka would actually find satisfaction just in doing all that she can. Worst of all, I cannot say for certain that Madoka will bear to live on and come to such realization...

If I were to develop how others might view of Madoka's good intentions if they've gotten wind of how it came into being, it shall be as thus:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faust, Part 2, Act V
PHILEMON
Yet he’s offered us another
Holding, on his new-won land!

BAUCIS
Never trust what’s built on water,
On the heights maintain your stand.
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Last edited by panzerfan; 2011-01-28 at 08:29.
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Old 2011-01-28, 08:00   Link #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estdesoda View Post
Anyone had the idea that Homura might have had been a cat?
That she used to be Madoka's pet kitty, and somehow transformed into a MG.
ohoho..i think you might be right, hmm...
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Old 2011-01-28, 08:12   Link #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estdesoda View Post
Anyone had the idea that Homura might have had been a cat?
That she used to be Madoka's pet kitty, and somehow transformed into a MG.
It's actually among the earliest ones, it didn't get anywhere because the cat hasn't showed up in the show proper yet.
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Old 2011-01-28, 08:38   Link #127
scr
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@estdesoda:
what i'm thinking about that is that if Madoka somehow wish for magic to disappear, Homura will return to being a cat. not that it's a bad thing, as Shiki Tohno and Soi Fon demonstrates.
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Old 2011-01-28, 08:45   Link #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decagon View Post
A bit of a post mortem of observations on Mami and some new observations.

Mami protected Kyubey and the others for the time she knew them.
Mami tried to be diplomatic toward Homura.
Mami did not attack Homura despite warning Homura several times.
Mami warned Sayaka and Madoka against making a hasty decision about becoming MGs.
Mami was elated that Madoka wanted to be a MG like her.

Kyubey left Sayaka and Madoka on the rooftop to seek someone who "needed" to form a contract with him.
Kyubey appears when Sayaka was at an emotional low despite saying he was going elsewhere.
Kyubey advertised a MG vacancy when Mami died, but did not advertise the position was filled.

Homura has known of/seen many MGs die.
Homura reinforces the concept of the "cost" of becoming a MG when she speaks to Madoka.
Homura was not in the barrier (?) when Madoka was in danger. (This may have been because she saw Sayaka go in and judged her to able to finish off the witch.)

To go with this, some interpretations:
If more magical girls was a good thing, there wouldn't be concepts like MGs having their own "territory" unless some hunt in packs. The city they live in seems to be a desireable place to find witches, but Mami was the only MG there at the start of the story. Mami may have been strong enough to chase off other MGs like Ryoko since Ryoko seemed to have known Mami. Mami and Homura probably did not clash over Mami's territory because Mami seemed to have a forgiving disposition and Homura never initiated hostilities against Mami, Sayaka, or Madoka.

Ryoko's appearance suggests to me MGs seem to be free to roam. This may suggest a cost that affects their families. Perhaps being a MG or merely being chosen by Kyubey attracts witches to them, eventually destroying the people they are most connected to in the world. Seeing Ryoko's disposition, however, she may just be like a bandit who left home and used her powers to provide for herself.


Going back to system analysis, I'm starting to think it doesn't matter of Kyubey needs to be able to make witches to be an immoral being. Creating an MG essentially grants one party a wish and a large amount of power, as long as they fight witches till their dying breath. Being an MG does not necessitate a moral existence, as Ryoko will probably demonstrate. Corollary to this is the cost of the wish--the contract spend the rest of their lives as MGs who fight thankless battles and die in paper cutout worlds, leaving nothing behind. MGs must fight witches to restore their Soul Gems. Past this, there is no restriction on if they use their powers to kill/harm people or save them from being killed/harmed--they only need to worry about how much that depletes their Soul Gem, which can be restored by hunting witches' Grief Seeds. Building on Homura's experience of knowing many MGs who have died, you can probably think of MGs being "dead" after they make their contract as they seem invariably destined to die. Along this vein, I see Kyubey as a hateful little creature who goes around signing girls' lives away for a wish which he can grant at what seems to be no cost to himself, and the people he contracts have no moral obligations to fulfill.

edit:
Slow night, huh?
Homura's been dead set against Madoka becoming a MG, and Kyubey sees great potential in Madoka. I don't think Homura's trying to cull competition stronger than her, but her focus on Madoka even as Sayaka becomes a MG probably ties into some witch mechanic--either strong MGs attract strong witches or MGs become witches with proportional strength (and appropriate collateral damage), so Homura does not want a witch with the kind of potential power that Madoka has to appear. Before someone jumps on this as misreading cues about some personal relationship either from a future or a past, I am going about this from the "they never knew each other" perspective because I find it hard to rationalize either sort of timeline without considerable timeskip details to trip out on.
I think it's pretty clear now that Kyubey doesn't choose based on morals but almost purely on potential. If they can fight then that's fine. For him it's more likely a means to and end: as long as witches get beaten down and seeds collected, everything else may as well be collateral.

Of course the question becomes what Kyubey actually gets out of this entire drama if he really doesn't care what method the girls use to kill witches. His comments at the rooftop before claiming to say goodbye to them is a highly suggestive, if not manipulative, statement as if to entice them to make the pact in light of Mami's death. The bigger question becomes what his stake in all of this is if perhaps he only sees MGs as expendable tool for some result, a result that he would gladly grant even seemingly impossible wishes to obtain.

It must be something gigantic and enormous akin to, say, the Holy Grail from Fate/Stay Night that any wish is granted by sheer power it possesses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by panzerfan View Post
I would actually raise a my extension to the conundrum, and that is one Gen could use instead of the repetition of this cycle.


Technically, I agree with Mentar that Madoka will become a Mahou Shoujo and with that everyone else would be wished into normal lives, but given that the story writer's background, what is more likely to happen from my perspective would be far more bitter, in the sense that having this reset does not prevent Homura, Mami and others from tragedy at all. In fact, what I envision is that Madoka will her friends suffering, if not dead, after Madoka resolved to prevent tragedies by being a MG and wished the reset to happen. Triumphs she will have, but she will have them with collateral damage all around.

She will find happiness and solace, but those will be fleeting.


The fruit of her labor end, as of the fate of Euphorion... and those she thinks will be guaranteed happiness by her actions will take her own path as well.



After this highly personal happiness has vanished, she will head on the path of acting for the greater good... yet only to see wine turn sour. To top it all off, I think Kyubey will misinterpret Madoka's intentions in the execution of Madoka's wish, either by choice of inadvertantly. As an executor of the wish of his client, how Kyubey acts will essentially decide on the costs associated to realizing his clients' wishes. Such is quite dangerous if the mindsets of the client and the attorney do not align; many disasters result from misinterpretation. Of course, given the client being that of Madoka, his decisions would be the root cause of the human sacrifice that will go into Madoka's well-intent debacle.

I am of the camp that unless Madoka realizes that she cannot really give salvation, even if her intentions are just in being a "true magical girl", she won't find any closure. In short, I seriously question if Urobuchi Gen would come to think that one decides to shoulder the weight of the world at their will will necessary simply succeed.

I do not know however if Gen would actually pen Madoka realizing her own limits yet still act in the face of such grim realities. It would even to questionable for me as to whether or not if Madoka would actually find satisfaction just in doing all that she can. Worst of all, I cannot say for certain that Madoka will bear to live on and come to such realization...

If I were to develop how others might view of Madoka's good intentions if they've gotten wind of how it came into being, it shall be as thus:
Madoka walks the path to hell made with good intentions. I think we're all sure that she's not going to get everything from nothing. I expect equivalent exchange of some sorts, the problem being that if what you suggest is what she truly wishes, what does she possess that is big enough to be equivalent of everyone's happiness?
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Old 2011-01-28, 09:01   Link #129
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In reply to Decagon and MeoTwister5, I think that the matter of what Kyubey gets out of this and what price he pays is not something we can realistically speculate. We just know too little of him. There is not sufficient information for us to even paint a profile of him.

About the part of what Madoka possesses, I have two assumptions.

The first being that it is not so much in the significance of Madoka's considerable power, but in that of Mephistopheles' wager with God about corrupting Faust Madoka.
The second being that Madoka possesses either virtues or tangible power that would redeem so many. Virtue wise, we can see her innocence and her sensitivities to others, but I feel there's something more...
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It is because that I think the birth of a story... is from people dreaming of a happy ending. ~Misaka Shiori


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Old 2011-01-28, 09:18   Link #130
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Btw, did anyone else noticed that, on episode 4, right before Madoka threw the bucket through the window and it broke, a glass cracking was shown? Like she was destroying the witch's labyrinth? Could this be relevant?

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Old 2011-01-28, 09:22   Link #131
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Well it might simply be that Kyubey is an agent, such as what Mephistopheles is as Lucifer's agent in the older versions of the legend, so in that sense his reasons don't really matter as much as his overlord's.

As for what she possesses:

For the first well it doesn't seem to look like Kyubey has a bet that needs settling. To Kyubey's Meph, then the parallel God in this relationship might even be Homura who tries to keep Madoka from falling into his vicious MG cycle of death. Of course assuming Madoka falls into the cycle, will we get a Salvation end or a Hellfire end?

For the second it does sort of remind me of say one of those old moral tales where God and Satan duke it out for the fate of humanity using one single person as the battleground, as the rise or fall of this selected person becomes the basis of whether humanity as a whole is saved or doomed.
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Old 2011-01-28, 10:07   Link #132
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Originally Posted by Bazaa View Post
Btw, did anyone else noticed that, on episode 4, right before Madoka threw the bucket through the window and it broke, a glass cracking was shown? Like she was destroying the witch's labyrinth? Could this be relevant?

Yep, and it puzzled me too. Though I won't say that it means she has power without the contract yet.

As for QB's goal I say he's farming grief seeds, although we did not see what Mami did with them ultimately.
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Old 2011-01-28, 10:46   Link #133
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Some key points were raised in Episode 4 that I think helps create a clearer picture of the world of Madoka, and of its key characters.


Homura:

1) Homura has seen a lot of magical girls die. This means that either she's been a magical girl for a considerable length of time (likely at least several years) or that magical girls get killed with a great deal of frequency (at least one or two a week), or both. If she's been a magical girl for a considerable length of time, that could mean that either she wished for eternal youth, or that magical girls don't age naturally in Madoka's universe.

2) Homura revealed enough about herself in Episode 4 to more or less confirm that she is a good-natured (albeit somewhat socially awkward) person who wants to save lives. However, Homura also demonstrated back in Episode 1 that she's willing to kill to protect the people that she cares about. As such, we can safely conclude, I think, that if there was a powerful being out there that Homura knew was evil and a serious threat to innocent people, she'd want to kill him. With this in mind...

3) There was a window of opportunity here for Homura to try to kill Kyubey if she still wanted to. With Mami dead, with Kyubey temporarily leaving Madoka and Sayaka, and with the latest magical girl not having arrived yet, there was a period of time in which Kyubey would have been more or less defenseless against another attempt on his life by Homura. The fact that she didn't try to kill him again strongly suggests that her earlier attempt on his life was based solely on a desire to prevent him from making contact with Madoka. So, Homura does not believe or know that Kyubey is evil. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that he isn't, but it means that if he is, then Homura (and likely Mami as well, before she died) did not know about that. More on this in a bit.

4) Homura is clearly very desperate to prevent Madoka from becoming a magical girl. This suggests that Homura has a particular affection for Madoka, or that Homura knows what will happen if Madoka becomes a magical girl, or both. This strongly hints at time travel or time reset being part of the in-canon background for this anime. One possible alternative, though, could be that Homura wished to have the ability to see into the future, and has hence already seen what will happen if Madoka becomes a magical girl.


Kyubey:

Kyubey is either an amoral agent concerned solely with recruiting magical girls to fight witches, or he's running a Xanatos Gambit or something close to it. He does come across as manipulative and machiavellian. If he does have a grand scheme in mind, he's carefully running it behind the scenes, as I strongly doubt that Homura or Mami had much inkling of it. Whether this latest magical girl is in on such a scheme remains to be scene.


Madoka:

Madoka is deathly afraid of becoming a magical girl, but she also demonstrated in Episode 4 a willingness to take big risks in order to try to save lives. Now, consider the two following points:

1. It's highly unlikely that the female lead of a magical girl show will never become a magical girl.

2. Whether or not Madoka becomes a magical girl is very important to both Kyubey (very much wants it) and Homura (very much doesn't want it).

So, Madoka will almost certainly become a magical girl, and the moment she does will be a very important plot point. I dare say that it will likely set in motion events quickly leading right into the climax of this anime. With this in mind, I do think that Madoka will become a magical girl, but I don't think that it will happen until the second half of this anime. I think that the stretch of time between Madoka becoming a magical girl, and this anime reaching its climax, will be pretty slim. Also, what will likely cause Madoka to become a magical girl is that being the only way for her to save the life of a person she cares for or likes, possibly Homura, but more likely...


Sayaka:

There's two key foreshadowing elements concering Sayaka in this episode.

1. Her calling herself "horrible" for the choices that she would go on to make. This suggests that those choices eventually cause serious, major problems that leave Sayaka feeling very bad about herself.

2. Homura being very displeased at how Sayaka has chosen to be a magical girl. The sense you get from Homura is that Sayaka's choice to become one raises the likelihood of Madoka choosing to be one.

So, here's what I think will most likely happen: At some point, Sayaka will be in grave peril, and Madoka (still a normal girl) will be nearby watching on. The only way for Madoka to save Sayaka's life will be for her to choose to be a magical girl. Madoka will do so, and will go on to save Sayaka's life. However, this will also set in motion very dark events leading up to a chillingly clamorous conflict.

There's an outside chance that an earlier speculation of mine could be wrong, and that this could occur even next episode (since the latest magical girl has stated a desire to kill Sayaka). But I think that Sayaka will win out in that struggle, but will not come out of it unscathed. This will horrify Madoka, and start her to second guess whether or not to become a magical girl, in order for her to better help out and support Sayaka.

Sadly, I think that we might see a lot of angsting Madoka for the next few episodes, with her showing lots and lots of guilt over not being a magical girl in order to help out Sayaka.


Now, all of the above is just speculation of course. But I wanted to put it out there since I think that I'm starting to get a clearer idea of precisely where this anime is going.
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Old 2011-01-28, 14:47   Link #134
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I'm sorry for being lazy and not reading the previous posts, but has it been confirmed that magical girls that die become witches? or are those all still speculations? since everyone seems to be talking about it with such confidence.

also i was pretty shocked with ep3.... first time seeing a loli die after watching anime for like 5 years. i guess theres more to come/
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Old 2011-01-28, 15:16   Link #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decagon View Post
Along this vein, I see Kyubey as a hateful little creature who goes around signing girls' lives away for a wish which he can grant at what seems to be no cost to himself, and the people he contracts have no moral obligations to fulfill.
I completely disagree. You'd have a point if Kyube was deliberately creating witches, but we don't know that.

It has been established, though, that witches are a threat to normal people. Someone has to fight them, unless you're fine with people being slaughtered. For all we know Kyube was sent to give mankind a way to fight witches, and he's confined in what he can do. Maybe he seems a little heartless at times, but it could be explained along the lines of "doing what I need to do, so that we have people to fight witches."

Because there is not enough magic to go around, Kyube can only give a limited amount at first, and thus MG's need to replenish it by taking it from witches. Thus, the sad state of affairs of MG's marking out territory and possibly fighting each other, is a byproduct. Kyube knows of this, but also knows he can't stop it. He's just part of the system, and can only continue trying to make sure there are MG's in each area to handle the witches.

It's war, and war is not always pretty, and sometimes you bend the rules or cross the lines for the greater good. Unlike some here, I don't think he's downright evil, though he may be limited in what he can say and how he can act. Or is deliberately not sharing some things, because ultimately it would do no good.

He could have told Madoka and Sayaka, "You could wish to bring Mami back to life" but instead he apologizes to them for what happens, and lets them go. If he really wanted them as MG's, that would be the easier thing to try first. Leave Madoka more conflicted, and if it that didn't work, arrange for her to get caught up in zombies later (if indeed he was behind that).

That he didn't, speaks to me of someone who isn't particularly evil, but perhaps a bit more neutral. A tool designed to give humanity a way to fight witches. He doesn't really have feelings of his own (or perhaps he'd be overloaded with grief over sending young girls to die); he's been deliberately created without them.
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Old 2011-01-28, 16:53   Link #136
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My predictions for the rest of the series at this point:

Between now and the final few episodes, everyone magical girl/major character except Madoka, Homura, and Kyubey will die.

Then the events at the start of episode 1 happen. Madoka finally becomes a magical girl... at the very end of the series pretty much.

Optional series of events: Madoka's wish is for everyone that died to come back to life. But either her or Homura dies in the process of killing the last witch.

Such simple speculation, isn't it?
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Old 2011-01-28, 17:09   Link #137
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Homura

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
1) Homura has seen a lot of magical girls die. This means that either she's been a magical girl for a considerable length of time (likely at least several years) or that magical girls get killed with a great deal of frequency (at least one or two a week), or both. If she's been a magical girl for a considerable length of time, that could mean that either she wished for eternal youth, or that magical girls don't age naturally in Madoka's universe.
Well if she wished for eternal youth, we don't exactly know when Mami herself made her wish. So it could be that their aging is neglected for a long time, or forever. But if Mami made her wish before 2-3 years have passed, then there would prove that. But Homura wanted to go about stopping girls from becoming magical girls, so she probably did wish for eternal youth to stop as many as she can.

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3) There was a window of opportunity here for Homura to try to kill Kyubey if she still wanted to. With Mami dead, with Kyubey temporarily leaving Madoka and Sayaka, and with the latest magical girl not having arrived yet, there was a period of time in which Kyubey would have been more or less defenseless against another attempt on his life by Homura. The fact that she didn't try to kill him again strongly suggests that her earlier attempt on his life was based solely on a desire to prevent him from making contact with Madoka. So, Homura does not believe or know that Kyubey is evil. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that he isn't, but it means that if he is, then Homura (and likely Mami as well, before she died) did not know about that. More on this in a bit.
I think Homura is not going after Kyubey now is because the fact that Madoka is indecisive about her decision to become one or not. So she is letting her guard down for now.

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4) Homura is clearly very desperate to prevent Madoka from becoming a magical girl. This suggests that Homura has a particular affection for Madoka, or that Homura knows what will happen if Madoka becomes a magical girl, or both. This strongly hints at time travel or time reset being part of the in-canon background for this anime. One possible alternative, though, could be that Homura wished to have the ability to see into the future, and has hence already seen what will happen if Madoka becomes a magical girl.
Mami and Homura both new there was something special about Madoka that Kyubey wanted. As long as Madoka is indecisive on becoming a magical girl, then there would be nothing pressing her into killing Kyubey before the contract is made. But being able to see into the future is a possibility, because if she merely just wanted to help all the girls not become a Magical Girl. Then she would have just killed off Kyubey like you said, she would have tried to keep Sayaka from making her decision as well.

Kyubey

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Kyubey is either an amoral agent concerned solely with recruiting magical girls to fight witches, or he's running a Xanatos Gambit or something close to it. He does come across as manipulative and machiavellian. If he does have a grand scheme in mind, he's carefully running it behind the scenes, as I strongly doubt that Homura or Mami had much inkling of it. Whether this latest magical girl is in on such a scheme remains to be scene.
There are many things to say about what Kyubey is plotting in his mind. He is merely just trying to get as much Magical Girls fighting witches as he can so he can keep the world safe from everyone committing suicide because of the witches' kiss that appear on their neck. After seeing so much magical girls die before him, just like with Homura he does not show that much reaction or emotion towards their death (well Homura does have some emotions about it) but he knows these things are going to happen, all he wants is just to get girls to fight the witches' to keep the place safe. Of course that's the basic view of it.

Madoka

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1. It's highly unlikely that the female lead of a magical girl show will never become a magical girl.
This is true there would have been no point in making a costume for Madoka if she was never going to be one in the first place

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2. Whether or not Madoka becomes a magical girl is very important to both Kyubey (very much wants it) and Homura (very much doesn't want it).
I believe when Madoka eventually becomes a magical girl, Mami's interpretation on why Homura is trying to prevent Madoka from becoming a magical girl will eventually turn into a fight between the two maybe? After all the time she spent trying to prevent Madoka from becoming one, she goes and decides to become one regardless and it might actually interfere with something Homura is trying to do.

Sayaka

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2. Homura being very displeased at how Sayaka has chosen to be a magical girl. The sense you get from Homura is that Sayaka's choice to become one raises the likelihood of Madoka choosing to be one.
I go by the opinion of a girl dying each 3 episodes if Mami died this quickly. If Sayaka does die eventually, then that will only make Madoka go into deeper thought and no one can stop her when she chooses to become a magical girl after seeing two of her best friends die with her being powerless because Homura tells her to.

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There's an outside chance that an earlier speculation of mine could be wrong, and that this could occur even next episode (since the latest magical girl has stated a desire to kill Sayaka). But I think that Sayaka will win out in that struggle, but will not come out of it unscathed. This will horrify Madoka, and start her to second guess whether or not to become a magical girl, in order for her to better help out and support Sayaka.
Or it could merely turn into a fight between the two that just leads to Sayaka getting beat up really badly. But things might occur like a witch appearing all of a sudden and with Sayaka still weak it might lead to bad events. It's merely a fight for territory for the new girl so if it actually is a fight to the death, of course she will take it quite seriously. But if it's merely a fight for dominance and superiority then I'm sure she would just go about beating Sayaka up, but not killing her.
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Old 2011-01-28, 17:52   Link #138
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
I completely disagree. You'd have a point if Kyube was deliberately creating witches, but we don't know that.

It has been established, though, that witches are a threat to normal people. Someone has to fight them, unless you're fine with people being slaughtered. For all we know Kyube was sent to give mankind a way to fight witches, and he's confined in what he can do. Maybe he seems a little heartless at times, but it could be explained along the lines of "doing what I need to do, so that we have people to fight witches."

Because there is not enough magic to go around, Kyube can only give a limited amount at first, and thus MG's need to replenish it by taking it from witches. Thus, the sad state of affairs of MG's marking out territory and possibly fighting each other, is a byproduct. Kyube knows of this, but also knows he can't stop it. He's just part of the system, and can only continue trying to make sure there are MG's in each area to handle the witches.
Why would it be the case that Kyubey tried to contract with Madoka and Sayaka in Mami's territory which, from Kyoko's remark, we know she has watched over for a while? We might speculate that Mami, as someone with no close relatives, could be free to move on, but what purpose would there be to create a shortage in witches Grief Seeds as it were by having more MGs in an area Mami was able to hold for a lengthy period of time?

Introducing more MGs into what was a stable system seems to only serve competition and conflict among the MGs in that territory.

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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
It's war, and war is not always pretty, and sometimes you bend the rules or cross the lines for the greater good. Unlike some here, I don't think he's downright evil, though he may be limited in what he can say and how he can act. Or is deliberately not sharing some things, because ultimately it would do no good.

He could have told Madoka and Sayaka, "You could wish to bring Mami back to life" but instead he apologizes to them for what happens, and lets them go. If he really wanted them as MG's, that would be the easier thing to try first. Leave Madoka more conflicted, and if it that didn't work, arrange for her to get caught up in zombies later (if indeed he was behind that).
This is where the concept of a wish becomes troubling. If he recruited people who wanted to fight witches from the bottom of their hearts--people who may have lost loved ones to witches' kisses, for instance--he could have people who would fight without the need for a wish, who would single-mindedly hunt witches. The wish is a form of coercion because it allows Kyubey to contract with people who normally would not want to be, out of their own determination, in a contract till death.

You've likened MGs to soldiers to go with this war analogy, but I feel that is misplaced. Most militaries of the developed world are volunteer forces. These offer compensation to the enlisted for the duration of the term of service. Kyubey offers one wish. One wish which is supposed to be worth becoming a MG who must kill witches to cleanse their Soul Gems for the rest of one's life, a MG who is supposed to fight fight fight, and die.

The wish is an illusion of choice.

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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
He could have told Madoka and Sayaka, "You could wish to bring Mami back to life" but instead he apologizes to them for what happens, and lets them go. If he really wanted them as MG's, that would be the easier thing to try first. Leave Madoka more conflicted, and if it that didn't work, arrange for her to get caught up in zombies later (if indeed he was behind that).

That he didn't, speaks to me of someone who isn't particularly evil, but perhaps a bit more neutral. A tool designed to give humanity a way to fight witches. He doesn't really have feelings of his own (or perhaps he'd be overloaded with grief over sending young girls to die); he's been deliberately created without them.
By the way Madoka broke down throughout the day and later apologized to Mami, she was in no state of mind to consider making a wish in the first place because of how afraid she was. As Kyubey was also present in the last episode at the hospital, and before when she was asking Mami about making a wish for someone else (note the short cut to Kyubey during that conversation), he had a good idea of what Sayaka had her sights set on.

Since Kyubey appeared at Sayaka's most desperate hour despite saying he had left, I find it hard to believe he wasn't fishing for a more opportune moment.
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Old 2011-01-28, 18:01   Link #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decagon View Post
Why would it be the case that Kyubey tried to contract with Madoka and Sayaka in Mami's territory which, from Kyoko's remark, we know she has watched over for a while? We might speculate that Mami, as someone with no close relatives, could be free to move on, but what purpose would there be to create a shortage in witches Grief Seeds as it were by having more MGs in an area Mami was able to hold for a lengthy period of time?
I would posit that Kyube knows Mami isn't one to fight, or that perhaps Mami might have asked or told Kyube that she wouldn't mind other friendly MG's helping in her territory. After all, Mami certainly didn't seem to mind if Madoka or Sayaka became MG's.

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Introducing more MGs into what was a stable system seems to only serve competition and conflict among the MGs in that territory.
Unless they're friendly, which Mami, Madoka, and Sayaka clearly are.

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This is where the concept of a wish becomes troubling. If he recruited people who wanted to fight witches from the bottom of their hearts--people who may have lost loved ones to witches' kisses, for instance--he could have people who would fight without the need for a wish, who would single-mindedly hunt witches. The wish is a form of coercion because it allows Kyubey to contract with people who normally would not want to be, out of their own determination, in a contract till death.

You've likened MGs to soldiers to go with this war analogy, but I feel that is misplaced. Most militaries of the developed world are volunteer forces. These offer compensation to the enlisted for the duration of the term of service. Kyubey offers one wish. One wish which is supposed to be worth becoming a MG who must kill witches to cleanse their Soul Gems for the rest of one's life, a MG who is supposed to fight fight fight, and die.
Volunteer forces or not, soldiers get paid. Kyube has made this connection over and over again; the wish is payment for being an MG. And damn, think about that for payment. What would you wish for? Someone is basically saying, "I need your help with this. It's dangerous work, so I'll give you anything you want as payment." Anything you want... You really can't offer much more than that.

That doesn't sound evil, just capitalistic. Offering a fair price for services rendered. So the soldier analogy still holds, volunteer or not. In fact, it works better as a volunteer basis.

It's only an illusion if you believe you have no free will.

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Since Kyubey appeared at Sayaka's most desperate hour despite saying he had left, I find it hard to believe he wasn't fishing for a more opportune moment.
Perhaps Sayaka subconsciously called out to him. Remember, right before he appeared, Kamijou was talking about miracles and magic, and then Sayaka said they do exist with a firm look on her face. When she looks up, she sees Kyube, and isn't surprised to see him. Considering Kyube and Sayaka can do telepathy, I think it's more like she called him. She had made up her mind before Kyube appeared.
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Old 2011-01-28, 18:04   Link #140
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Perhaps Sayaka subconsciously called out to him. Remember, right before he appeared, Kamijou was talking about miracles and magic, and then Sayaka said they do exist with a firm look on her face. When she looks up, she sees Kyube, and isn't surprised to see him. Considering Kyube and Sayaka can do telepathy, I think it's more like she called him. She had made up her mind before Kyube appeared.
Probably true, Sayaka did make up her mind finally before she went to see Kamijou again. Then through telepathy and how fast Kyube can get between places, it was the perfect timing.
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