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Madoka Magica Episode 9 Review: The Needs of the Many
At the end of the previous episode, Sayaka finally broke and her soul gem shattered. A grief seed appears and a witch spawns from it. As Homura shows up in the nick of time to save Kyoko and Sayaka’s lifeless body, she reveals that the witch is Sayaka now that she has been fully corrupted by her own curse. One of those little details that Kyube leaves out of the contract, and another reason why these girls should hire a lawyer before they made those contracts with Kyube.
Madoka happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and runs into Kyoko and Homura. Understandably, Madoka freaks out a little when she sees Kyoko carrying Sayaka. Homura, lacking any decent bedside manner, flatly tells Madoka what happened to Sayaka and then advises caution in terms of disposing of the body. So yeah, usual Homura in all her ice queen glory. Although she certainly does a good job in describing how not so great it is to be a magical girl given how ultimately they will all eventually become witches if they survive long enough.
Of course Kyube doesn’t help matters either. He approaches Madoka when she goes back home and provides a lengthy explanation for why he is making contracts that are creating witches. In short, he is an alien and his species are trying to keep the universe from running out of energy. Apparently the only way to prevent this is by harnessing the emotional energy that comes from human girls. According to Kyube’s explanation, the death of a few humans to save the rest of the universe is an acceptable loss. Aside from taking the phrase “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” to a whole new level, Kyube’s explanation does little to comfort Madoka. So Kyube leaves and instills the idea that Sayaka can be saved to Kyoko, who comes up with a plan.
Kyoko sets up a meeting with Madoka and explains her belief that Sayaka can be saved even in her present form. All they would have to do is have Madoka talk to Sayaka and see if it restores the soul gem. With all the risks in mind, Madoka agrees to go through with the plan. It is a good plan in theory, but ultimately it doesn’t work. Sayaka in witch form ends up essentially being deaf to her friend’s pleas and Kyoko gets the snot kicked out of her. Homura shows up again and offers aid, but Kyoko tells her to get Madoka out of there. Then with the last bit of her magic, Kyoko sacrifices herself to destroy the witch.
Later, Homura is at her base of operations. It is hard to tell if she is either mourning the loss of Kyoko or planning what to do next. Either way, Kyube shows up and admits that he lied to Kyoko. It was impossible to save Sayaka all along, and he was counting on Kyoko getting killed. That way Homura wouldn’t stand a chance against Walpurgisnacht and as a result Madoka would have to make a contract in order to save the city.
This is one of those episodes that portrays Kyube as a villain and a bit of a jerk. But at the same time, it is difficult to consider him as a villain. Human values aside, he seems to be doing what he is doing for the sake of countless lives beyond Earth. It isn’t pleasant, but it sounds like the Universe is in serious need of a couple of energy drinks and humans seem to be the only thing that can prevent the universe from being destroyed. His mission is a physical embodiment of the phrase: “Sacrifice the few to save the many”.
Kyube aside, Kyoko really shinned in this episode. She has changed quite a lot since her first appearance a few episodes ago. Kyoko has gone from being all about herself, to caring for the other Magical Girls. She uses her own magic to keep Sayaka’s body intact while also putting her life on the line to save someone who was once a bitter rival for her. The change may seem a little sudden, but it makes Kyoko more human and likeable than she was at the start.
Well that is all for now. I do not intend for there to be a long delay between this review and the next Madoka Magica episode review. There is only three episodes left, so stay tuned to see how things turn out.