As Madoka learns of the sacrifice that Homura had made for her – turning back time, reliving the same moments, fighting the same fights, over and over again – all to save Madoka from becoming a Puella Magi, and ultimately a Witch, Madoka makes the ultimate sacrifice for Houmra, and all the other Mahou Shojou across the globe.
There was no doubt that Madoka was ever going to contract and become a Mahou Shojou; in fact, the idea that we wouldn’t see Madoka become a Magical Girl until the very last episode was tossed around a lot when the show was around three episodes in. How right those rumours were; but in all the wrong ways. For a while, I couldn’t help but wonder what wish Madoka could make that would make “everything better”, because she didn’t seem like the kind of girl who could just sit on the side and let things go as they were. Not with the deaths of her friends, old and new, and not knowing the truth about what Puella Magi were, and what their fates would inevitably be.
Madoka’s wish certainly was a great one, even if I didn’t understand it at first. When she wished to erase all Witches before they were born, I instinctively thought that she was erasing the existence of Puella Magi altogether (because Puella Magi are what Witches are born from) other than her own. And then I thought: Well if there are no Puella Magi to turn into Witches, then what is Madoka going to fight all on her own? …Actually, I’m still asking this question: What are those things that Homura fights at the end of the final episode?
The interesting thing is that Madoka didn’t change the Puella Magi system; I suppose it’s because Kyubey revealed to Madoka how instrumental him and his wish-granting kind have been in the development and progression of human civilization. In the new reality where Kaname Madoka is a god, girls still have the option of forming contracts with Incubators, and in trade for their wish, they gather despair and turn it into a compact and convenient form that closely resembles kitty treats. When their time is done, they simply disappear.
It was nice to see Mami and Kyoko – and Sayaka again. When Mami died, I was like, “Madoka: Wish Mami back to life!” And when Sayaka became a Witch and Kyoko died destroying her, I was like, “Madoka: Wish Mami, Sayaka, and Kyoko back to life!” Madoka’s actual wish does bring Mami and Kyoko back to life – or perhaps she simply (“simply”) erased their deaths by Witch. With Sayaka, though, it seems she would have wished for Kyosuke’s health regardless of everything else, and in the end, use up all her energy to carry the burden of the outcome of that wish. Kyoko’s right though: What is the point of disappearing for the sake of the guy you love? Romance like that doesn’t make any sense Sayaka. Better to stick around and become a fantastic woman to show him what he’s missing out on.
The battle against Walpurgis Night was… overshadowed by everything else that happened (and by everything, I mean as if the events of episodes 11 and 12 were the same episode, because that’s how I watched it), but still fantastic. With a Witch as strong and terrifying as Walpurgis Night, you have to wonder what kind of Mahou Shojou she was. I know when Puella Magi become Witches, their power/strength/energy is greater than when they were Puella Magi, but why couldn’t Homura beat Walpurgis Night? Even after all the many times she turned time back? If Walpurgis Night was the event that always caused Madoka to choose to become a Mahou Shojou, couldn’t Homura have tried to “prevent” Walpurgis Night from becoming a Puella Magi? Okay I know Homura doesn’t love Walpurgis Night the way she loves Madoka, but I’m just saying.
Despite the delay of the last two episodes, Madoka Magica was easy to get back into as it was hard to forget. And it ended well. Sure there are things I don’t get, but that’s probably just because I… don’t get a lot of things, haha. I love that the direction and story of Madoka Magica was shockingly different from what many people (myself included) were expecting; for every ounce of pink, frilly, fluffiness, there was a pound of harsh, dark reality. But all the elements of a typical magical girl show were still present: the innocence of youth, the transformations from regular to magical girl, the determination to fight for hope and protect the ones you love… It’s just that in this show, you don’t get to take those things for granted; everything has a price – a heavy price. And that just made everything fantastic.