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Madoka Magica – Episode 3 Review: Heads up, Mami
At the start of episode three, we are introduced to Kyosuke, a friend of Sayaka’s. Kyosuke is in the hospital due to some sort of injury on his lower arm and Sayaka makes a point to visit him when she can. She brings him a CD and they listen to it together on Kyosuke’s sci-fi looking CD player. After the opening credits, we see Mami finishing off a Witch’s familiar that had gone rogue when its master perished. Sayaka and Madoka congratulate her on her victory.
As they walk back home, Madoka asks what Mami wished for. We then see a brief flashback showing how Mami became a magical girl. She was dying in a horrific car crash, and Kyube offered her a wish. Mami explains to Sayaka and Madoka that she didn’t have much choice in the matter. It was either make a contract or die, and Mami wanted to live. She says that she doesn’t regret her decision either.
Sayaka then asks if they could use their wish to help someone who really needs it. Kyube explains how the wish can be for someone else, that the one who makes the wish doesn’t have to get any benefit from whatever they wish for. Mami warns Sayaka to avoid making a wish for someone, unless she is absolutely sure about the reason why she wants to make the wish for another person.
While Madoka is lying in her bed looking at her doodle covered class notes, she talks about what she would wish for with Kyube. Kyube admits that he can’t make any suggestions for wishes, apparently there is some red tape that keeps him from doing that. Madoka states that she doesn’t have anything particularly special about her and that if she could somehow help people and be as cool as Mami then that would make her happy. As Kyube speculates on how powerful a magical girl Madoka would become, Madoka’s Dad knocks on the door.
Madoka’s Mom has gotten back and she is completely smashed to the point that she can’t even stand up and is lying on the floor of her house. Madoka’s Dad helps Madoka’s Mom drink some water to help sober her up a bit. Then they take her up to bed as she rants about work. Afterward, Madoka and her father talk while drinking hot chocolate in the kitchen.
Meanwhile, Homura and Mami confront one another in the city. Homura criticizes Mami for taking Madoka and Sayaka to witch hunts, and she states that she doesn’t want Madoka to become a magical girl. Mami asks if Homura is afraid of having to compete with a very powerful magical girl. The two girls are about ready to start a fight, but cooler heads prevail and they walk away.
The next day, Madoka and Sayaka go to the hospital where Kyosuke is. However Kyosuke isn’t taking visitors that day and so Madoka and Sayaka decide to head home. Moments after leaving the hospital, Madoka spots a grief seed planted on the wall. Kyube warns them that it is about to hatch and that they should evacuate the area immediately. To keep track of the grief seed once the labyrinth opens up, Sayaka and Kyube decide to stay behind and watch it. While Sayaka gets a head start on searching for the grief seed, Madoka will find Mami and bring her there.
The labyrinth opens up and Sayaka and Kyube get pulled in. Kyube reminds Sayaka that she could always make a contract with him and take care of the problem herself. Sayaka says that she is saving that as a last resort. Mami and Madoka arrive and use telepathy to contact Kyube. He advises them to come as quietly as they can while the witch is still asleep, making sure to avoid using magic if possible. Shortly after they enter the maze, Mami turns around to see that they are being followed by Homura. Homura tells them to turn back and that she will kill the witch and save Sayaka and Kyube. Mami refuses and uses magic to bind Homura at the entrance of the labyrinth.
Homura tries to warn Mami that this particular witch is different, but Mami ignores the warning. I guess recent victories have gone to her head. As they navigate through the dessert coated nightmare, Madoka talks to Mami about her wish. She says that she wants to help people like Mami does, so that she doesn’t have to depend on others for help anymore. Although Mami says that she is a poor role model and warns Madoka about what life is like for a magical girl, Madoka doesn’t back down. She tells Mami that she is no longer alone now that her and Sayaka are there.
Mami is overjoyed and declares that if Madoka hasn’t come up with a wish by the time the witch is dead, that Madoka should wish for a cake from Kyube. After that she says that they could throw a party and announce that her and Madoka were going to be partners in fighting witches. Okay so Mami is getting a little ahead of herself. Kyube warns them then that the witch is starting to move, so Mami transforms and goes in guns blazing.
Mami and Madoka arrive just in time to see the witch manifest into a physical form. What do we get this time? A small, creepy stuffed animal looking thing. After the first two episodes, the weirdness of the monsters and witches just doesn’t really surprise me anymore. Mami starts fighting the witch and it first it looks as if the witch is getting its ass handed to it.
Then in a split second, the witch opens its mouth and a large black snake like monster with a creepy white face comes flying out. Before Mami can react the witch bites off Mami’s head. Well, had someone given her a heads up then maybe she might have survived that. As the witch eats Mami’s headless corpse, it finally notices that Madoka and Sayaka are there. Just as it is about to charge in and eat them as well, Homura shows up. Homura successfully kills the witch and the labyrinth fades away.
Homura takes the grief seed, and as she is about to leave Sayaka demands that she give the grief seed back. Sayaka says that it belongs to Mami, and Homura agrees with her. However, since neither Madoka or Sayaka are magical girls then Homura is unwilling to give them the grief seed and leaves the tearful Sayaka and Madoka to mourn for Mami.
This episode was incredible. Intense action, engaging drama, and I did not see Mami’s gruesome death coming at all. Overall I have to say that this episode is heads and shoulders above the previous two, and I promise not to make anymore head puns… maybe.