Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica – 3

She was eeeeeeeeeeevil…

I suppose I should mention that there are major spoilers in this review, so don’t read it if you haven’t seen the episode…

The third episode of Madoka was certainly interesting. Of course, being uninteresting was never an issue with this show – like most of Shinbo’s work it was intellectually engaging from the beginning. I’m not sure if it made any headway towards emotionally engaging me, though.

I will say this – seeing a mahou shoujo decapitated is a definite first for me. No “magical girl armor” for Mami – that was one helluva exit. She certainly sent up enough death flags to where it wasn’t a total surprise, but it’s still shocking to see a loli’s head bitten off. I don’t remember that happening in “Nanoha”.

So this is definitely setting up as a discourse on good & evil and manipulation. It struck me right from the very first that Kyuubey (definitely) and Mami (probably) were not all they seemed at best, pure evil at worst. There’s some doubt about Mami though I suspect she quite literally had a bit of a deathbed conversion there. She seemed a willing participant in Kyuubey’s manipulation right up to the end. And there can be no reasonable doubt that the little vermin is pulling all the strings here. That smile never left its face even as Mami was being killed, and all it talked about was pressuring Madoka and Sayaka to make their contracts. Only Homura’s intervention saved them from having to do so, not that they seemed especially grateful.

I can’t help but wonder if that death is going to take – “Miracles” is in the next episode title and both Madoka and Sayaka have wishes to burn. Kyuubey is certainly keeping the heat on them to sign the deal and despite the horrors they’ve seen and the cautionary words even from Mami, there’s no indication either will back out. Homura will certainly keep trying – it’s Madoka she seems especially worried about – but it’s inevitable from the title alone that they’ll give in sooner or later. Sayaka at least has some indication of what (who) she might wish for, but it seems to be that this show is starting to take on the character of Bokurano than anything else. Kyuubey has an agenda and I suspect all the little girls it uses up to achieve it are purely disposable.

Last thought – the visuals were interesting as always with this show, but I thought this maze was the most interesting one yet. The motif was pharmaceutical products and sweets, and the which a sort of jack-in-the-box eating machine. All in all, it was effective as being creepy and disturbing.

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2 comments

  1. 0

    Mami's death took me by surprise, I actually didn't quite believe it until they exited the maze and she wasn't there.

    She was actually my favourite character in the show too, due to her sweet and charming nature. I never really suspected her of being truly evil, although I thought she would turn out to be a well intentioned extremist. Kyuubey, on the other hand, definitely strikes me as suspicious, and my friends (I happened to have anime buddies over on the nights subs of episodes two and three came out) friends.

    Also, while I would classify Madoka, Sayaka, and Homura as lolis, I don't think I'd classify Mami as such. I know she's only one year older, but for some reason she comes across as considerably more mature both mentally and physically to me.

    And yeah, I'm loving the visuals. It's Shinbo with budget for once – guess we're starting to see the rewards he reaped from Bakemonogatari.

  2. I'm still not convinced Mami won't be resurrected, truth be told. I don't know if I can consider her evil, but it was her very sweet and charming nature that put me off – it was a little too sweet and charming to believe. The dynamic with Mami and Kyuube reminds me of a predator using a child to lure other children into the car…

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