How I see the Madoka Magica ending

My reaction to the ending. (spoilers ahoy)

In the end, I think I don't quite agree with the ending. I don't have any problems with "sacrifice endings", as long as the story proved that there's value in it. You know, in 300, King Leonidas died holding back the enemy horde, and his sacrifice gave the Greeks the reason and time to be able to stand against the enemy. There are many more examples of a good sacrifice, but I just can't see Madoka as one of them.

Why do I say that? Well, first of all, since there's no real limit on the wish Madoka can make (due to her imba threads of fate or something) she wouldn't have to make a sacrifice in the first place. The wish could had been like, you know, that the energy never accumulate in the soul gems at all. Or such that Puella Magi would never turn into Witches. Or better yet, erase the whole entropy problem. That last one might be far-fetched, but it's not like it's proven unworkable, since her wish is suppose to be able to bend laws and shit.

Secondly, I see very little value in her sacrifice. Puella magi are still reanimated bodies with souls trapped inside little gems (if that's actually a problem at all). Monsters still exists, and they're still risking their lives to fight them. They still accumulate despair, which means they are still going to die young. And since there's not a shread of humanity left inside a witch, and its past life have little influence of what she would do... if you look at it realistically, does it really matter how a witch is born?

So in summary, this is how I see the ending: Madoka used up her huge assload of power to achieve absolutely nothing other than getting herself trapped in eternal limbo.

I'd really like to look on the bright side but... can anyone really prove me wrong?


  1. There really isn't any true "bright side" - things were so watertight that either they would have to have a "recent human history is replaced with something else" ending, or what we get: an incrementally better situation.

    My only real problem with the ending is that too much information seems to happen at the end to make it seem more watertight. Did they mention that witches have existed since Joan of Arc's time before the last episode?

    If they did, it was so minor that I missed it - and I don't usually miss those kinds of details. That's my gripe - it felt like they didn't have it as well planned-out as people think it was, or they made important concepts way too easy to miss.

    I dislike the feeling that I'm supposed to be convinced by one final episode, rather than the whole series. But again, I guess I just missed things.

  2. Actually, I think witches are kinda like MG's that have gone mad from despair. It's definitely not a good ending becoming an insane abomination.

    I like to think that Madoka appears to each Magical Girl about to become a witch and escorts them to Magical Girl Valhalla.

    See, it's not that bad at all.

  3. You made a common mistake when analyzing wish making. Homura is the living example in the show.

    You have no control over how the wish is fufilled.

    Take for example your wish of "energy never accumulate in the soul gems at all". How is it fufilled? The wish never bothers with what you think or want, it does what you say. Nothing more, nothing less. Here are some possible solutions to your wish

    i) Energy never accumulated but instead just released, explosion equivalent to a nuclear bomb happens

    ii) Energy never accumulated. All MS die in 3 days as their soul gem just loses all energy just powering their bodies

    iii) Taint never accumulated. Instead immediately it forms into familiars. End point is every time you use energy to fight a familiar you spawn 2 familiars. Familiars eat humans. In a short time, end of the world very quickly

    There are lots more possibilities with massive negative side results (think of a lawyer contract and how long it is for saying so little) and this is one reason Madoka's wish is remarkable.

    Instead of leaving it to the wish on how to fuifil it, she fufils it with her own hands. Instead of having a wish that is the equivalent of a driverless bus, she drives the bus.

    Whats the drawback? She's stuck driving the bus pretty much for at least thousands of years. Most wishes are based on laziness, you don't want to have to spend days, months, years fufilling the wish, you want it now and without you having to work for it.

    As for what good does the wish do? It allows all mahou shoujo to not become the monster they were fighting as their final action before dying (or rather don't die). It doesn't attempt to change too much because if QB is telling the truth, a wish to eliminate them or prevent them from collecting energy would return mankind back to the stone age.

    She also doesn't change the fact they still die and their bodies still disappear because to do so would change history because all some of the MS depicted were all historically important.

    What about those killed by the witches? They would change history right? Not necessary. Those killed by the witches would most likely get killed by the new demons or simply kill themselves because of their despair. The witches magnified the despair of people, so you have to have despair first.

    In the end, the wish is not primarily for humanity but for the mahou shoujo.

  4. Hogart> yeah... Kyubei mentioned that his kind has been around since the stone age. And if his kind never arrived on earth, humans would still be "living in caves".

    Anon#1> that's what I mean... so Madoka's wish makes people feel better about it, that's all. If you look at it realistically, is there any difference?

  5. Anon#2> For (i) and (ii), I meant that taint would never accumulate in the soul gems. I don't think the soul gems have a limited lifespan anyway, or did I miss that out?

    I like your bus analogy. But to say that she have control over what happens, is it really true? For her wish, she got herself stuck on the her mission for eternity, and it's not like she any choice in matters anymore. The only thing that can happen is to give up and watch the girls she's suppose to rescure turn into a witch.

    And I don't think that there's no control over wish making. Homura DID NOT set controls for her wish, which is why it didn't turn out the way she expected. Madoka is a example of controlled wish. She wanted her wish to be executed PERSONALLY. Even if I don't agree with it, I think it's a form of control she puts on her wish.

  6. And history did change. Mami and Kyoko stays alive, and they are just the people in the show we know really well. Madoka's mom never knew she had a daughter. Wonder how much has changed in the places not on screen?

    My suggestions for the wish might not be the best applicable, but I think you can see what I'm going on about; there is definitely a more productive wish you can make when you don't see any limits to what you can make.

  7. For the soulgems, the taint increases every time magic power is used. Since their bodies are puppets, it must be powered by magic. This means there is a constant drain on the soul gem.

    Now if you say no taint, you did not say endless magic power, so the magic power is still used. What happens? Well possibly the entire gem gets dimmer and dimmer instead of covered by taint.

    On Madoka's wish, that is exactly one of the points she made that makes her wish special. Before eps 11 and 12, people were already guessing what wish could she do to save everyone. No one thought of her putting herself as the control for the wish. Everyone ended up with long pages of a wish that worked like a lawyer contract. As more holes were pointed out, more sentences were added and more pages.

    That was why the wish when she spoke it was like a light bulb to those who tried guessing her wish.

    Oh by history i meant major historical events. Kyoko and Mami are mahou shoujo but they have no power, position or real long term effect on mankind's history. Mami's absence was not even felt until ep 11 and even then only merited some discussion.

    However if Joan of Arc, Queen Himeko, Cleopatra survived their soul gem shattering, they would change history simply by being alive. The effects would be enormous. Leaving them dead but without despair at the time of death was again another masterstroke.

  8. Yeah there's a big difference. Think about it as heaven and hell.

    On one hand you go insane, killing people while trapped in your own personal hell until you're put out of your misery by another MG.

    On the other hand Goddess Madoka comes to take you away before that happens to her Magical Girl Heaven where there may or may not be massive yuri orgies.

    Big difference.