The wait is over! Plenty of spoilers follow below. Will a bad ending ruin this perfectly Good Friday?
Episode 11: The only path to be taken.「」
Kyuube’s conversation with Homura reveals that her going back in time in time again resulted in Madoka to have such great latent potential to be the greatest magical girl (and conversely & inevitably, witch) of all time. The accumulation of Madoka’s power from all the other parallel time is now concentrated to the current time line. In other words, Homura have been uncounsciously nurturing Madoka’s power with her time travel.
Madoka is then seen to have another conversation with Kyuube, who shows her the fate of all the magical girls in the past, who seem to include historical figures such as Cleopatra and Joan of Arc. Everyone started from a wish and ended with a curse. Kyuube claims that human’s evolution were helped by his race, who has been nurturing humans since the beginning of time. When Madoka questions Kyuube on what might happen if Kyuube’s race never came to earth, the creature claims that humans would still be left in primitive age.
Madoka then goes to see Homura, asking whether Homura have any hope fighting alone on the Walpurgis Night. Homura claims that she would be fine, but Madoka doesn’t believe her. Homura finally breaks down and finally confesses her timeloop secret and her wish to protect Madoka at all cost.
Walpurgis Night. Homura who throws everything but the kitchen sink at the Walpurgis Night witch, still couldn’t find a way to defeat it. This is the one last path, hope is diminishing, and she is about to turn into a witch herself. Meanwhile, Madoka, who is taking a shelter from the weather manifestation of the Walpurgis Night on the real world, finally reaches a decision. She manages to convince her mother to trust her and let her go, even if she couldn’t explain the reason.
Madoka arrives just in time before Homura is turned into a witch. Her indecision gone, she finally knows what wish to make in order to sort out this mess. The despairing Homura no longer have the energy to prevent this, even if all her effort until now to prevent Madoka contracting would be in vain. Or will it?
Episode 12: You are my best friend 「
Finally the moment we have been waiting for, Madoka’s wish:
I wish to eliminate all witches before they are born. All the witches from the whole universe, from the past and the future, with your hand. [すべての魔女を生まれる前に消し去って。すべての宇宙、過去と未来のすべての魔女を、あなたの手で]
Even Kyuube did not expect such a grandiose wish and its smirk diminishes just a little.
The next part, Madoka is shown to talk to Mami and Kyoko about what she has been thinking about her wish. Which is not to have a wish granted, but to become the notion of wish itself, everyone’s wish. What I don’t quite understand here is when this conversation took place. It couldn’t happen on this timeline since Mami and Kyoko never met.
After finishing Walpurgis Night, Madoka is then seen to go to take the burden of all the magical girl that ever existed. As a result, Madoka herself inevitably turn into a witch. Her wish though, makes her good part eliminates her evil part.
However, contrary to what may be initially thought, even this wish is not perfect, it does not eliminate the existence of all magical girls. They still exist, but instead of turning into a witch, they simply disappear when their time comes. Sayaka, who remains unrevived due to having exhausted her wish power, has no more regrets as she talks to Madoka.
The bitter part of all this is that no one remembers her existence anymore, aside from Homura and her little brother. Her mother seem to have some lingering memory imprint, but no real memory of her. When she meets Homura by accident, Madoka’s mother complimented Homura’s ribbon, who was left by Madoka. Madoka’s mother feel that this is just the kind of ribbon she would have bought for a daughter, if she ever had one.
Meanwhile, the magical girls still has enemies that justifies their existence. The enemies this time seem to be the manifestation of the world’s grief. They are never alone though, since God Madoka (or is it Goddess Madoka) is always with them. You’ll never walk alone indeed.
And Kyuube? The creature is still around, pulling the string of a different system this time, not quite believing Homura’s story of the alternate world.
While rather circumstancial, I strongly wonder if a big part of the extra delay (aside from the 2 weeks delay that most other anime had due to the tsunami disaster) was done in order to air these episodes on Good Friday (Japan time). However, I don’t think most Japanese is even aware that today is Good Friday, as it is not a public holiday there.
It does make a very neat symbolism as the parallels with the theme of salvation is very clear, and people would be aware of the connection after the fact thanks to the Internet. Thus airing it on Good Friday is most likely not a coincidence, but how we may never know whether that’s the main factor.
Overall, I am very happy with the ending. A very well done and totally unexpected conclusion finishes the series nicely. The theme of hope would undoubtedly be a source of strength for the Japanese, especially in these testing times, in the wake of the tsunami and nuclear disasters. Furthermore, the conclusion ties out nicely with earlier events. None other than Kyuube itself hinted that no one can measeure the extent of Madoka’s power.
Does this kind of finale fulfills your expectation?
PS: If you are converted, apparently there is a Church of Madoka already. Do read the fine print before making a contract. For everyone else, there is a Madoka Cafe opening next month.