So Mami’s dead. I know there might have been hints that she wouldn’t live through the series but I certainly didn’t expect her death so early on. Plus her demise was quick – but not painless. Sayaka and Madoka were obviously traumatized from watching Mami get chomped on by the witch, and I expect there’s going to be emotional backlash for the next episode or two. Mami’s death was so surprising (for me) that at the end of the episode, I realized I was in a state of denial: I thought that maybe Mami wasn’t really dead; that maybe – just maybe – she was still alive. Of course she is dead, and so my second thought was whether or not Madoka would use her wish to bring Mami back to life. Theoretically, if Kyubey had the power to keep Mami from dying the first time around (when she first became a Mahou Shoujo), then he also has the power to bring her back to life. I just don’t know if Madoka will think to use her wish that way, and who, between the two girls, will actually do it.
Sayaka clearly has something (or someone) else in mind for her wish. Again whether or not she’ll take action (or when she’ll take action) is another question. First: Mami left Sayaka with some really good advice regarding fulfilling someone else’s wishes, and two: now that they’ve seen a really dark side of being a Mahou Shoujo, will they still commit? Is their life worth a single wish – no matter what the wish is?
I like how deep the whole concept of choosing your wish wisely is in Madoka Magica. These girls don’t just jump at the first wish that enters their minds, though they do think about things like money, boys, looks, clothes… I was pretty upset when Mami suggested that they wish for a cake and a party for Madoka’s induction, but I understand that she was excited to have someone join her in her fight against the witches. Perhaps if she was a little nicer to Homura, they could have been comrades rather than competitors. But then again, they had differing values.
And in light of Mami’s death, it seems Homura isn’t as opposing as she’s initially set out to be. Homura’s probably experienced her own share of pain and loneliness being a Mahou Shoujo, and unlike Mami, would rather stop other Mahou Shoujo from being created than gather more to keep her company.
See, I think the trick to these Grant-A-Wish contracts is that you have to be very specific about the details of your wish. If you wish for immortality, for example, you should specify that your immortality is protected from being stripped by other supernatural beings (Kyubey’s sneaky cousin, perhaps), having the ability to terminate your immortality at any time you choose (in case you tire of living forever), whether or not your form of immortality excludes physical pain and the regeneration of severed limbs or damaged organs… I know it takes the romance out of the whole notion, but I’m being practical here. If Kyubey wants me to form a contract with him to become a Mahou Shoujo, I’m ready. But he’d better bring his reading glasses.