Mark Watches ‘Puella Magi Madoka Magica’: I Think That Would Be Truly Wonderful

In the second episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Mami explains the world of magical girls to madoka and Sayaka, and then offers to take them witch hunting to show them what she does. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Madoka Magica.

Oh, lord, this is not the the show I thought it was.

Using a flashback device, “I Think That Would Be Truly Wonderful” acts mostly as exposition both for the junior magical girls under Mami and for the viewer. It’s an introduction of sorts to how this fictional world operates, and this is not the show I thought it would be.

  • The “contract” that Kyubey spoke of at the end of the previous episode refers to the agreement he sets up with magical girls. In exchange for their commitment to fighting witches, they are granted a single wish. This episode goes to great length to show us just how overwhelming this idea is, and Sayaka in particular openly discusses the challenge with her best friend. Getting a wish granted with no exceptions is a big deal all by itself, but as Sayaka puts it, she’s trading this for a life of perpetual danger. What sort of wish could be that important?
  • Sayaka then takes this logic and realizes that she and Madoka have lived such privileged lives that there is literally nothing they can come up with that is worth being put in danger for. Like, I am just SO GODDAMN IMPRESSED that this show acknowledges it. INCREDIBLE.
  • The concept of witches vs. magical girls is explained. I liked that they’re symmetrical with one another. A magical girl is born of a wish; a witch is born of a curse.
  • Witches exist to cause misery, sorrow, and despair, and it’s implied that this is how they survive. They need this to exist. It’s like a mix between an infection and possession, and Mami explains that this is why there are unsolved murders, suicides, violent car crashes, random attacks, etc. Basically, unexplainable moments of human misery are caused by these witches.
  • Kyubey has the ability to basically create a telepathic net by which Sayaka, Madoka, and Mami can communicate. It’s kind of creepy at times. Like, that shot where they’re on top of the school and Mami is just casually at the top of another building looking at them was kind of unnerving. How did you even get there???
  • Magical girls sometimes fight one another. GREAT. This situation is even more complicated than it was before. Mami elaborates, telling the girls that when you defeat a witch, the witch often leaves a “reward” behind, and magical girls are known to fight over that reward because sometimes they’re amazing. As an example, Mami gets a Grief Seed when she destroys the witch at the end of this episode, and it restores her magical power after it’s been used.
  • What this does is create doubt in Sayaka and Madoka. Now, it’s entirely possible that Homura is targeting Madoka because she doesn’t want another magical girl to compete with. Do I personally believe that? No, I don’t. I still think there’s something we’re not being told. BUT WHAT IS IT?
  • The colors of this show are ridiculous. I love how the flashbacks were tinted with deep oranges and reds. And for that matter, the animation is lovely and quite detailed. I didn’t realize that this show is just under two years old! I thought it had been around much longer than that.
  • The art for the witch battle scene is out of this world. I fully admit that it may be a visual reference to something I’ve never seen, but I’m completely blown away by it. It’s strange and ridiculous, and it just feels so new.
  • HITOMI IS THE BEST. THE BEST. She’s that member of your favorite fandom who just bursts into tears when you bring up her OTP. Look, I don’t even care if I’m interpreting this wrong. It’s the funniest reading imaginable. Initially, I thought she was being homophobic! Like, she truly believed two girls being in love was wrong. But her second interaction with Sayaka and Madoka clearly proves that this isn’t the case. OMG DOES SHE SHIP HER BEST FRIENDS? Whatever, I love Hitomi and I want to see more of her.

The trope destruction on this show is so much fun to watch, and the writers are clever enough to do this without distracting from the story they’re telling. I admit that I need to know what the fuck is going on right this second. Why is Homura so determined to get Madoka to reject the offer of being a magical girl? What doesn’t Madoka know? ARGH, THIS IS HURTING MY BRAIN. So far, so good, though. This show is a trip, and I’m having a blast.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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