Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Episode 9
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.
Note: Spoilers likely from this point onwards.
Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:
ep. tl;dr review: Sayaka’s lost, Kyouko’s gone, Homura’s screwed. In fact, everyone’s screwed…except Kyubey.
Episode Summary: Kyouko is attacked by Sayaka, who has transformed into a witch after her soul gem becomes completely tainted, and has to be saved by Homura. Madoka despairs, clinging to the slimmest of hope she can bring Sayaka back, and teams up with Kyouko to face Sayaka’s witch again, at the urging and misdirection of Kyubey. But it soon becomes clear that Sayaka’s soul is forever lost, and Kyouko is forced to sacrifice her very life to allow Madoka to escape. Now only Homura remains to oppose the upcoming Walpurgis Night, knowing full well she cannot face it alone.
My Impressions: Madoka Magica remains the most impressive show of the
season year. However, the revelation of exactly *why* Kyubey is incubating the witches is somewhat hokey, and ultimately unnecessary. A universe that is running out of energy, and that an alien race has determined that the emotional power generated by teenage human girls the is the best way to combat that is…well, there’s no other way to put it: Stupid. Not only does the whole premise violate one of the very basic laws of physics, but it was also unnecessary. Just leaving it alien and unexplained would have been preferable. I guess the whole silly explanation betrays the series’ magical girl show roots, alas.
Oh, and for all the anger leveled at Kyubey, remember that thing is not really evil — just amoral, and it’s a very important difference. Kyubey is literally incapable of understanding human emotions, and is simply behaving in the most logical manner…according to it’s perspective. Kyubey is no more evil towards humans that humans are evil towards, say, plants. Kinda harsh to look at it that way, but them’s the breaks. Even the manipulation of Kyouko and Madoka to get them to fight against Sayaka’s witch was not done out of malice, but out of logical reasoning.
But now it looks like everyone is fucked. It seems like the only way out is for Madoka to become a “mahou shoujo” in order to stave off the dreaded and deadly Walpurgis Nacht. Through Kyubey’s actions, it has managed to force the one thing that (prescient-future-girl?) Homura has been resisting the entire time. I really hope the climax of the series lives up to the wild ride we’ve gone through so far.
For more information:
- My earlier reviews:
- 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 how you do a tragedy – something you know will be so terrible that you can’t look away. It manages to inject hope up to the point where you can believe that things could turn out all right, such as when Kyoko and Madoka head to help Sayaka, only to dash that hope with an even darker fate than before.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
- “Madoka is now scared out of her mind as well, and for good reason; Kyubey’s reasons for his actions, his race’s plan to harness the emotional energy from young girls, are so completely logical yet they are so ridiculous to the individual. Because he has no emotions, Kyubey has no sense of self-preservation, and his entire race is focused on the notion of the ‘greater good’, the instinct to ensure that their race continues to flourish…Neither Kyubey nor Madoka can understand the reasoning of the other, and this inability means they will always be in conflict.” – Sea Slugs!
- “Welp, this damn episode nearly made me cry. Kyouko had been rapidly growing on me these past few episodes, and this was the one where I really started to love her. I’m glad that at least she was able to go out with a bang so to speak, and had some of the most badass final moments in the spectrum of tragic anime deaths. I knew it was coming, this being Madoka Magica and all, but…but…dammit. I really didn’t want her to die.” – Moeronpan
- “While I can’t say the plot twists were unexpected, it still left things off on a rather saddening yet tense note, and makes me wonder what will happen during the Walpurgis night in the next few episodes. In the end, this episode was all buildup; it simply supplied some information about Kyuubei, as well as built up tension to what looks like will be one horrifyingly despair-filled future.” – Emory Anime Club