Subliminal projection forces on gaming political mandates, prejudices and harmful assumptions. Is it time to re-think our critiques? Read more →
Madoka Magica – Episode 6 Review: No Friends Among Magical Girls
We always try to do the right thing, but in some cases it doesn’t end well despite our best efforts. Madoka finds herself in a situation like this in episode six, but in a much more extreme situation than most other people will ever find themselves in. Episode six opens up with a recap of Homura’s big entrance that saves Sayaka. After Homura knocks Sayaka out, Kyoko asks Homura who she is but receives no answers from the cryptic magical girl. After Kyoko decides to wall jump instead of using the sidewalk to make her escape, Homura berates Madoka for getting involved despite all the warnings that she keeps giving her.
After the opening, we see Sayaka purifying her soul gem by using a grief seed. Kyube tells her that the seed has absorbed enough dark energy and that there is the danger of it hatching into a witch. What is the solution for this? Give the grief seed to Kyube so that he can open up his back and apparently eat it. So we take this object filled with dark energy and stuff it into the freaky Cheshire Cat that is Kyube. Maybe it is just me, but that sounds like a really bad idea regardless of how Kyube claims that this is one of his responsibilities. Kyube urges Sayaka to get more grief seeds, as the more seeds she has the more magic she’ll be able to use.
Meanwhile, Kyoko is busy playing a game that is basically Dance Dance Revolution only with three dance pads. I have no idea how that would work but I can roll with it. Homura approaches and tells her that she can have the city as her own hunting grounds, but asks her to leave Sayaka alone in order to handle the situation in a more peaceful manner. Homura reveals that a very powerful witch known as Walpurgisnacht will arrive in exactly two weeks. But how does Homura know this? She refuses to explain how and we are left with more questions than answers.
In the next scene, Sayaka tries to find a trace of the familiar that escaped the previous night. Unfortunately all traces of it have vanished so it will be difficult to track down again. Still thinking about the previous night, Madoka tries to convince Sayaka to talk to Kyoko and Homura. She hopes that they can all work together to fight witches. Madoka’s optimism is admirable, but she doesn’t understand the situation. Sayaka and Kyoko mix about as well as gasoline and fire given how different their views on Witch hunting are, so any attempt with the two of those working together will cause nothing but problems.
Later that night, Madoka wakes up to talk to her mother. Madoka has no idea how to help Sayaka realize how reckless she is being, and wants to figure out what the right thing to do is without mentioning any names. Her mother tells her that the best thing to do may in fact be to do the wrong thing for the greater good. Also, her mother’s line about adults being allowed to drink alcohol because of all their responsibilities was rather funny so props to Aniplex for that.
The next day, Sayaka goes to the hospital to visit Kyosuke. However Kyosuke has been checked out of the hospital since he’s made great progress with his physical therapy. So Sayaka goes to where Kyosuke lives and hears him playing his violin. She appears to want to knock on the large gate so that she can say hi, but then decides against it. As Sayaka turns around she is confronted by Kyoko who has apparently been following her. I’m rather surprised that Kyoko is bothering to follow Sayaka around, in spite of what Homura told her.
So Kyoko mocks Sayaka for using her wish to help someone else instead of using it for herself. Kyoko then proves that she should never be a dating coach by giving Sayaka the following advice. Want someone to love you? Break down their door with your magical powers and horribly maim them. Last I checked I don’t think that is how you win someone’s heart, not by a long shot. Fortunately this seems to be Kyoko just trying to pick a fight with Sayaka, and it works. The two girls find somewhere else to fight as not to draw attention to themselves.
In the next scene we see Madoka doing her homework on a super high tech computer with a hologram keyboard. Which raises a question that I’ve been wondering about for some time now. What year does this show take place in? It is far too futuristic to be modern day, but has a lot of modern day architecture in some places. I’m hoping eventually they will give a year, because I can’t wait to have a hologram keyboard. Kyube shows up outside the window, urging Madoka to follow him because Sayaka is in trouble.
Madoka follows Kyube and they arrive at the bridge that Kyoko and Sayaka are facing off on. Homura also shows up in order to try and keep Kyoko from attacking Sayaka. Homura steps in to deal with Sayaka herself while Kyoko finishes off her Pocky. Before Sayaka can transform, Madoka decides that the right thing to do is take Sayaka’s Soul Gem and throw it off the bridge and onto the highway below. Does this stop the upcoming fight? Well yes… but then Sayaka suddenly collapses. Upon investigating, Kyoko discovers that Sayaka is literally dead. Homura gasps and teleports down onto the highway in pursuit of the truck that the Soul Gem landed on.
Confused? Don’t worry, Kyube has some answers. After yelling at Madoka for throwing her friend away, Kyube explains a little known fact about magical girls. Kyube takes their souls and turns them into soul gems that they can carry around, that way no matter how much damage the body takes the magical girl can keep on fighting. Also if the soul gem is more than one hundred meters away from the body, the connection between the two will be severed and the body will be nothing more than a lifeless doll. Kyoko is livid after discovering the truth about the soul gems, and honestly I can’t blame her. That is a pretty big detail to hide from everyone. Homura appears out of nowhere like Goku and puts the soul gem back into Sayaka’s hand. A few seconds later she wakes up with no memory of what happened and the episode ends.
I was not expecting the twist about the soul gem, and it certainly continues the dark spin that Madoka Magica puts on the magical girl genre. The shock and rage that the characters displayed when they learned the truth about soul gems was believable and added a great turn of drama. I had a feeling that Madoka Magica would only get darker since Mami’s unfortunate decapitation. But there is one plot hole that concerns me. If a magical girl can use magic to repair her body, then why couldn’t Mami regenerate her head or something? Or are there limitations to how much a magical girl can regenerate herself with magic?
The next review will be up soon, but first I will be reviewing the next episode of Sword Art Online. That’s right, Volume 2 is now out so I can continue those reviews. But I’ll be putting Pokemon on hold while I finish up Madoka Magica and continue reviewing Sword Art Online.