Madoka Magica Episode 10: Homura’s Wish

Episode Ten explores one of the most important questions Madoka Magica’s avoided answering since the beginning: Who is Akemi Homura?

“I wish I didn’t have to wear glasses.”

And to think I almost wrote this show off. Madoka Magica has been a really fun and unexpectedly good ride. The last few episodes with Sayaka becoming a Witch, and her ultimate demise involving the sacrifice of Kyouko, and this week with the revelation of who Homura really is and the extent of her Mahou Shojou power.

It takes real dedication – and a lot of love – to repeat a designated course of time over and over again until you achieve your desired results. I know this pales in comparison to Homura’s situation, but when I play FreeCell, I have to win, so I’ll play the same game over and over again until I solve it. And that’s pretty much what Homura’s doing: Playing the event over and over again, making different decisions, choosing a different path, tweaking her actions each and every time with the hopes of protecting Madoka. We don’t know how many times Homura’s done this or the extent of what she’s seen during the many times that she has, but it sheds some light as to why she knows so much and why she seems so indifferent to the deaths of Mami, Sayaka, and Kyouko.

I was so excited to see Mami again. Although I eventually realized she was never meant to live. Even if she won against Charlotte or whatever witch it was that chomped her, she would ultimately die against Walpurgis Night.

…As would everyone else. Until Homura comes upon one route which is what we saw in the first episode. In that reality, Madoka contracts with Kyubey and becomes the most powerful Puella Magi and destroys Walpurgis Night in a single shot. However Homura refuses to allow Madoka to become the most powerful Witch and thus returns to the beginning to try again.

In the time line that we’ve been watching, it was pretty traumatic to learn that Puella Magi mature into Witches through Sayaka’s transformation. But in the other reality after the four Puella Magi work together to defeat Witch Sayaka, the moment of realization of their impending is even more brutal. I was shocked when Mami lost it and killed Kyouko, and equally shocked when Madoka decisively killed Mami before she shot Homura. It was a short scene, but the high strung emotions were very real and subsequent reactions near understandable.

With this episode, Homura really steals the character spotlight, though seeing what Madoka was like as a strong and determined Puella Magi made me like her more too. The change she’s taken from the original beginning to present turn has been drastic but necessary. She’s managed to avoid death not just because she’s had many opportunities to develop her skills, but because of her resolution to keep Kaname Madoka from becoming a Witch.

I’m really interested in seeing how Homura will end this vicious cycle, and whether or not Kyubey (or even Madoka) will catch on as to what Homura is doing. I’m trying to keep myself from theorizing a plausible outcome where Madoka doesn’t become a Mahou Shoujo, and therefore never becomes a Witch either. I do wonder, however, why Madoka’s level of power varies in each reality that Homura explores. Is it due to Homura’s changing resolve with each try?

With these recent revelations, Puella Magi Madoka Magica doesn’t need a second season. What it does need to do is ensure they don’t waste a beautifully told story with a disappointing ending. The stakes are high, Madoka Magica. Do not disappoint us.


10 Responses to “Madoka Magica Episode 10: Homura’s Wish”

  1. 15 March 2011 at 9:23 am

    Madoka’s power is different in each timeline because her wish is different. Now this doesn’t explain why Kyubey is going on and on about Madoka becoming a magical girl because in the first unaltered timelime Madoka dies before coming a witch. Unless Kyubey is also a time traveling fool and wants Homura to fix this so he can get his powerful witch that part doesn’t make sense. But yes Madoka’s power level is different each time in part based on her wish. Which changes based on when she makes the contract.

    I don’t think this version of the timeline is going to be a home run for Homura either. Her mistake this run is letting Kyoko try to save Sayaka. Sayaka (in Homuara’s mind) had to do die so Madoka would be too scared to make a contract. But Kyoko was necessary in beating the ultimate baddie so her splatting ruins what could have been a perfect run.

    However I think Homura should have been slightly more upset about Mami dying. She was pretty nice to Homura in the original timeline too. And since Kyoko was around and Mami was still alive in the suicide/murder timeline it was possible to have Mami stay alive. But if Mami was always going to splat no matter what maybe Homura just wanted to get it over with and use it as an opportunity to scare Madoka. And maybe Homura cried at home.

    • 2 Son Gohan
      15 March 2011 at 4:17 pm

      The problem with Mami is that she is a walking time bomb. If she discovers the truth about the Puella Magi system, she goes nuts and kills everybody like she did in timeline 3. That’s why Homura was willing to sacrifice her, even if she could become a powerful ally against Walpurgis.

  2. 15 March 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Some thoughts:

    I think that Homura is trying each and every single different combination of puella magi live/die in order to save Madoka. Kyoko dying was actually QB’s doing to provoke Madoka into contracting.

    I feel a strong Higurashi sense in all this story. We know how it ended for Rika and company, but I think things will be different for Homura.

    I agree with B in that this won’t need a second season, it would ruin a masterly told story just for earning money (I know, but I’m still an idealist). I’m also expecting an epic finale that will make us tag this anime as a classic.

  3. 15 March 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I’m unsure as to whether Homura will discover a way out of the system. It might be pre-determined that Madoka will become a magical girl, no matter what. Alternatively, we’ll get a depressing ending where everyone dies apart from Madoka, Walpurgis Night passes and she’s left all alone in the aftermath.

    So long as we don’t get a Mai Hime ending…

  4. 16 March 2011 at 12:50 am

    Well it was good to get more information about Homura. Though might be alone in it not making me like her character that much more than I did before. Since I pretty much guessed she was time traveling for a while and her focus on Madoka made the reason fairly clear. Maybe it’s the singularity of her goal that doesn’t resonate with me. It’s not about the world, the city, innocent people, the other girls, it’s just about Madoka. Everything else can go to hell long as Madoka doesn’t become a Puella Magi.

    Might even be making things much more worse. Mami and Madoka went down in a final battle the first time around, not worrying about their fates and probably being a bit satisfied. Now we’re getting Madoka’s wishes becoming bigger thanks to her holding back and thus the witch she could become gets more dangerous. If Homura gets killed or just loses her will in the wrong timeline she could doom the entire planet.

    I’m not sure they can end this without a second season. Unless they just want to end with the world being destroyed or Homura dying and Madoka making the same wish Homura did. They might have had a chance (I don’t believe that Mami snapping in one timeline guarantees her to in every one) to pull people together to try and find a solution. Instead she’s alone facing a close to hopeless fight. Her skills have improved but Homura’s people skills haven’t gone anywhere from her shy origins.

  5. 6 Tako
    21 March 2011 at 12:34 am

    now i see why homura was so frustrated in the early episodes. THIS ALL MAKES SENSE!

  6. 7 maximus459
    24 March 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Hey, Heared that inlight of the recent events in Japan they’v decided to put Madoka Magica on hold, indeffinitely.. It was posted on the series website and twitter page it seems.. Anyone heared more on that?

  7. 8 T-Bone
    15 April 2012 at 1:27 am

    i finished the anime about 2 months ago and i loved it. don’t worry i won’t say any spoilers. but i will say this: i understand Homura is willingly trying to protect Madoka. but is anyone else wondering if she ever even cared about the other characters? did she ever have any sympathy for Mami, Kyoko, and Sayaka at all? I mean if she’s going to protect Madoka, she could at least have the heart and soul to try and protect everyone else too (even though Sayaka’s death is never stoppable). in Higurashi, Rika didn’t just care for Satoko, she cared for all of her friends equally. that’s what Homura should have done, in my opinion of course. i’m not bashing Homura. i actually think she’s a sweet character for going through all of that for the sake of a friend. but she could have the same sympathy for the others too

    • 9 flareknight
      15 April 2012 at 2:21 am

      I’m not really surprised with how Homura’s only focus was Madoka. The more times she failed the more narrow her goals and focus would be. Worrying about everyone is much more work than simply focusing on saving 1 person and 1 person alone. Of course at the same time I don’t think it was hard on her since she didn’t seem that attached to the others in the first place. Frankly if they got in the wya I wouldn’t be surprised to see her try to kill them long as Madoka wouldn’t find out.

      It’s definitely a distinction between her and Rika. The focus to save one person from doing one thing is worlds apart from trying to stay alive, keep friends alive, and live happily with them after that. Fought against something incredibly large without much power herself.

      I think being too single-minded was Homura’s biggest weakness.

  8. 10 T-Bone
    15 April 2012 at 1:34 am

    also, Homura might have had a better chance at defeating Walpurgis Night if she had had some help. Kyoko believed her, so why shouldn’t everyone else? she could have had Mami and Kyoko’s help in the battle. of course Sayaka would be dead already. I mean with more help, she might have had a shot at winning. maybe so, maybe not but it’s worth a try, right? or better yet, if i were in Homura’s position, i would go out looking for other magical girls to help out with the battle against Walpurgis Night. but none of that came to Homura’s mind huh?

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