Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Episode 11
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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Episode Summary: Kyubey explains to Homura how her own actions have created such awesome/terrible potential within Madoka. Kyubey also explains how his race views humans similarly to “cattle”, and how they’ve been behind humanity’s progress for millennia. Homura tries to convince Madoka that she alone can face Walpurgisnacht, but as an awful storm approaches the city, Madoka is unsure. Homura unleashes her entire arsenal, but to little effect. In the depths of her despair as she is about to lose all hope, Madoka shows up with Kyubey.
My Impressions: For the past several episodes I’ve been singing the High Hosannas about this series, and thankfully each succeeding episode continues to live up to the hype. After being disappointed so many times with shows that have blown their wad in the finale, Madoka Magica is looking to go out with a real bang.
Wow, they just keep piling on the mental angst on both Homura and Madoka. We learn it is through Homura’s thousands of iterations of Groundhog Day that she has unwittingly empowered Madoka. Can you imagine how she must feel after learning she is the one responsible for everything she has been going through, and such utter devastation over and over and over again? And yet, she has been repeating the same course so long that she knows no other way out, doomed to repeat the endless cycle ad infinitum. Because as soon as she gives up hope herself, her own soul gem becomes hopelessly tainted and all hope is lost for everyone.
And Kyubey’s explanation to Madoka was just brutal. Sure, you can understand Kyubey’s position, it’s all quite logical and understandable when you see it from it’s perspective, but that does not make it any less palatable when viewed from the personal level. Harsh realm, Madoka, harsh realm.
But now Walpurgisnacht has descended upon the city and Homura stands alone in defense. With all her awesome powers, it’s for naught, and at the last moment it is up to Madoka to come to the rescue. Perhaps. At the very least, she arrives to save Homura from turning into a witch. But with Kyubey in tow and with the fateful words “Forgive me, I’m sorry” we are left wondering what’s in store after the cliffhanger. The implication is that Madoka has made a pact with Kyubey, but given the gut-wrenching twists we’ve seen so far, anything is possible. One episode left, and I’m ready to be awed.
P.S. As I was watching Homura irredeemably trapped in her endless cycle, unable to find a way out but each time making the situation worse, I was strongly reminded of the Circle of Sin from Haibane Renmei (my favorite series). Homura herself cannot find a way out of the trap she has created for herself, and requires Madoka to break the cycle for her. Anyone else see the similarity?
FYI, when Madoka Magica originally aired, episodes 11 and 12 were shown back-to-back.
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:
- “Homura’s fight against the witch to end all witches was also completely badass. The countdown at the beginning got me so excited; I was sitting there going yes, yess! The month was so totally worth it!” – Sea Slugs!
- “Madoka finally stepped in and decided to do something about all of this, which means **drumroll** Madoka FINALLY decides to become a Mahou Shoujo. It’s been pretty obvious that Madoka will somehow make the difference, and the wish that comes with the contract is still around. Woo awesome buildup!” – Emory Anime Club
- Because episodes 11 and 12 were aired at the same time, most bloggers did reviews for both at the same time as well, so there aren’t many people who only did impressions of episode 11 alone.