Up Close With Madoka

You know, plenty of people want to change the world. Most of us won’t ever be given the chance to. But what if one day a small, white, bunny like creature appeared and told you that you could make a wish, and because of your great potential you could wish for almost anything you wanted and it would come true?

Would you end up like the Rat from Juni Taisen who simply wishes to forget everything that has happened so that he could find some peace? Or would you manage to find a wish worth changing everything for?

This is the question Madoka is confronted with early on in Madoka Magica and it isn’t really surprising that it takes her the full series to finally come to a resolution. Madoka is living an ordinary life. She is an ordinary girl. This wasn’t a case of her being reborn in human form or born into a family of magician or anything along those lines. Madoka is painfully ordinary and she is well aware of the fact.

Madoka Magica - Madoka's Family

That said, her family interactions are adorable. She has a career driven mother who still tries to find time to bond with her daughter and to support her through the awkward transition into adulthood sharing small pearls of wisdom while preparing for a day of work/school. The father prepares meals and takes care of the younger brother and again provides that quiet background support within the story. Madoka’s home life is well established and her family feels warm and caring, though also busy with their own concerns. I would have liked to have seen more of hose Madoka’s choices impacted upon her family but realistically in the episode count they had they did a great job with this.

Madoka also has well established friendships with Sayaka Miki and Hitomi. These three are very well grounded and while Hitomi gets sidelined a little from the main action, serving more as a catalyst for Sayaka’s disintegrating mental state, early on it is fun spending time with these characters as they head to school and the like.

Madoka Magica - Sayaka

So from this very ordinary beginning, Madoka is asked to consider making a wish that might very well change the world. It isn’t that she doesn’t want to become a magical girl. It is clear early on she is interested as even the prospect of it has her daydreaming and drawing potential costume designs while at school. She also jumps at the chance to observe Mami in action so that she knows more about what a magical girl is.

The problem Madoka faces is she doesn’t want to waste her one and only wish and yet she doesn’t want anything badly enough to wish for it. Her life is settled and happy. Good family and friends. It makes sense that while she has things she’d like, none of them seem like something that are worth using such a wish for.

Of course, this is where things get ugly, because being a magical girl isn’t all it is cracked up to be and as Madoka witnesses the tragedies of the other magical girls and ultimately the threat to her family and friends from a witch that is really too powerful to be fought, Madoka finally does find her wish.

For a character who is fairly unassuming and comes from such an ordinary background, Madoka really does think this one through and while there are consequences and implications she couldn’t possibly have imagined, her wish really did change the world.

Madoka is a great character. She truly transforms in response to the circumstances around her and ultimately manages to figure out what it is she wants and uses her one and only wish to ensure it happens. Watching the journey as she tries to figure out what is really worth wishing for is truly a rewarding experience and one I absolutely loved.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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7 thoughts on “Up Close With Madoka

  1. Madoka as a human might have been fairly tolerable, albeit treacherous (just look how quickly she dumped best friend Sayaka to follow Mami, then Homura!). But she was intolerable as a goddess, “saving” all the magical girls except her former bestie. . .were I more into lists, I’m pretty sure that Madoka would wind up my “Worst Hero.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Poor Madoka.
      I do see your point but I like Madoka as she’s very human. So indecisive early on and only after all the tragedy has pretty much happened does she act and mostly she acts to make herself feel better. It is very recognisable.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Quite. But how can one trust her loyalty to an ideal when she can’t even sustain personal loyalty to her family and best friend? Those who set ideals before people become the Hitlers, the Stalins, the Lenins of the world. And just imagine if one of them had managed to achieve godhood. . .

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Do you remember when Madoka told her mom that she wanted to grow up and get drunk with her?

    That was such a sweet little moment. Madoka just wanted to spend some time with her mom!

    I think it might have been at that moment i realized something terrible was going to happen to her!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just loved the relationship developed between Madoka and her mother. They only had a handful of scenes together and yet they built such a solid picture of the relationship these two had and it was really great. Plus, anime heroine who doesn’t have missing or dead parents which makes her kind of unique.

      Liked by 2 people

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