Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Episode 7
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here.
Series Premise: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, or “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”, is a twelve-part weekly television series aired between January and April 2011, and original series developed for television. Madoka is your average middle school girl, until one day she is approached by a magical familiar, to form a pact to become a “magical girl” and fight the forces of evil and darkness. But despite normal “magical girl” stories, it doesn’t turn out to be all happiness and friendship, bright shiny colors and sparklies; instead, Madoka finds herself dealing with such angst-filled issues as death, suicide, isolation and murders.
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ep. tl;dr review: Sayaka reborn; I guess she drank some Morning Lescue.
Episode Summary: Sayaka rages at the implications of having her soul removed from her body, but an uncomprehending Kyubey calmly explains what he perceives as the benefits. Kyouko tries to offer advice to Sayaka, explaining how her dream only ended in grief, but Sayaka rejects her warnings. She tries to return to her normal life at school, only to have a friend offer an ultimatum: confess her love to Kyousuke, or she’ll lose her chance. That night Madoka joins her on a witch hunt, where Sayaka suddenly realizes her true power as a Mahou Shoujo, attacking without abandon as she loses herself in her newfound power.
My Impressions: Oh, Sayaka…what have you become?
(Hooray for Morning Lescue!)
Madoka can only stand by and watch as Sayaka tries to come to grips with the new reality of what she has done to herself. Without realizing it, she has given up her very soul…all out of love and devotion that she is quickly learning will not be returned. Ah, the pain of unrequited love, the most painful love of all.
Now Madoka seems so very far away from her best friend. Homura once again tries to tell her that Sayaka is lost, but Madoka stubbornly refuses to believe that, and tries to stay by her side. Yet there is nothing she can really do — other than offer a shoulder to cry on. The two are on totally different levels now, forever torn apart by the contract with Kyubey. Yet in the depths of her despair, she throws herself into her “job” of fighting witches, and discovers with glee how truly powerful she has become, able to use her body as a weapon without fear of injury or death. There’s a certain wild desperation in her eyes as she begins to understand her potential, almost like Galadriel’s “All Shall Love Me And Despair” speech.
While this episode was largely exposition, lots of talkie-talk, Madoka Magica remains the best show of the season. The inventive animation sequences are fun to watch (the childish-drawing church flashback, the shadow-puppet witch fight). Before the show was aired when they were talking about the “deconstruction of the magical girl genre”, I just sort of rolled my eyes a bit, but by god they’re pulling it off…and then some!
Oh, and don’t be hatin’ on Kyubey. At this point nothing he does is out of malice, but just out of expedience and necessity. Don’t try to ascribe human values and emotions on a creature incapable of understanding them. He’s not immoral, just amoral.
For more information:
- My earlier reviews: Episode 1 (April 16), Episode 2 (May 28), Episode 3 (July 9), Episode 4 (August 4), Episode 5 (August 20), Episode 6 (September 9)
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, AniDB, and Wikipedia
- If you like this series, you might also like: Alien Nine, or Red Garden.
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “This is really what these short 13 episoded series need to do: instead of wasting time like what Fractale is currently doing, they constantly need to focus and build up their characters and if character development fits in the story, then all the better. ” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
- “here was a lot of rather intense buildup this episode with regards to Sayaka’s struggle with her feelings, and it really did manefest itself in a very dark way. The pacing here was excellent, and did a good job with showcasing both Kyouko’s persona, as well as Sayaka’s eventual decline. Grade: 4.4/5.” – Emory Anime Club
- “See, even though the whole soul gem thing is a big issue, if you don’t treat it like an issue then it doesn’t really become one. Mami never knew about it so really to her, her soul was in body. It’s a case of ignorance being bliss, if you don’t know about it then you act like the soul is treated like it always was and you live like a human. If you know about it you can snap like Sayaka and treat yourself like a shell which almost seems like there is no real coming back from.” – Xebek’s Blog
- “But no, instead of a happy ending we’re left with some sort of monster. Something about being able to separate your body and soul to the point where you can’t feel pain anymore just felt wrong. The very notion of separating the soul from the body isn’t right, but even with their souls outside of their body a Mahou Shoujo still looked like they retained their human traits. For Sayaka, if she can’t feel pain, who knows if she can still feel other things like laughter or happiness?” – Rnadom Curiosity
Coming up next for the Winter 2011 Anime Season: Level E Episode 7, Fractale Episode 8, Hourou Musuko Episode 8, Yumekui Merry Episode 8, Gosick Episode 8