The Ending to Madoka Magica Simply Explained
April 23, 2011 34 Comments
This will be sort of an extension to my last post. To understand Madoka Magica’s theme, it should be clear exactly what happened in the end, and it’s not all written out for everyone to see. The ending to Madoka Magica is multi-layered since it has several things to take into consideration.
Understanding the true conflict of the story comes first. Unlike a typical magical girl anime, the conflict is not within the evil force that they fight against, but the despair and tragedy that the witches themselves suffer as Puella Magi, which is what causes them to become witches. Kyubey is looking for sources of immense energy because the universe is supposedly running out because of entropy. The Puella Magi are the ultimate resource of energy, otherwise Kyubey would be leeching off other races. So Madoka and the others provide QB with that energy needed, but in turn they fall into despair and become Witches, which starts the vicious cycle of hope and despair. Since Kyubey lacks emotions, he doesn’t care. As a human, Madoka and the others just can’t accept that, and thus starts the drama between the girls and Kyubey.
The first person to attempt to save Madoka from despair is Homura, just because she wants to. Madoka is fated to become an extremely powerful witch because of how Homura keeps changing the time plane. Unfortunately her efforts can never work, and Kyubey knows that as well as Homura does.
As resolve for the problems at hand, Madoka makes a wish to Kyubey that she rid the world of all witches in all time planes before they appear. Madoka becomes a deity synonymous with God, or more specifically Jesus Christ. She takes the despair that all Puella Magi experience before becoming a Witch so that the Soul Gem exhausts, but a Witch does not manifest itself. They even show Madoka going to several Puella Magi around the world personally and taking the darkness from their Soul Gems.In a nutshell, Madoka rewrites the rules of the universe so that it just works that way, and it doesn’t need logic to it. It seems like an incredible cop-out for a plot device, but it looks that way because even in the show, it’s considered an incredible ridiculous thing to do. The reason it actually works is because Madoka is filled with so much hope and power that she just can.
Now that that is over with, Madoka ceases to exist in body and mind from everyone’s memories except for Homura and Madoka’s little brother. The first thing we see after this is Sayaka and Madoka talking to each other while watching Kyousuke at an audition most likely. The reason they can talk to each other I assume is because they’re both gone; meaning that time has returned to shortly after Sayaka fell into despair, but instead of becoming a wish, her Soul Gem exhausted and disappeared. Sayaka still died for the same reason which was Hitomi ending up with Kyousuke instead of her. Mami, Kyoko, and Homura are seen coming back from fighting the Witch that Sayaka died fighting, but Kyoko did not die.
Now it’s time to go over the new rules of the universe. Puella Magi do not become Witches. They fall into despair for whatever reason, and their Soul Gems disappear. The darkness of their Soul Gem is harvested and is able to be absorbed by Kyubey. It’s a fairly easy way to go about getting energy for the universe, and it lessens the strain that the Puella Magi go through. Shortly after the scene above, we also see that Homura has angel wings, and Madoka’s bow and arrow, which is interesting to note.
Because Witches no longer exist, they can’t bear the curses and darkness of the world. Homura herself says,
“The distortions of the world change form and attack people from the darkness.”
Kyubey refers to these white beings above as Demons, and I hear the word Majuu being used. These are what Mami and the others were fighting where Sayaka died while doing so. They are the new manifestations of darkness and evil, and defeating them is the new duty of all Puella Magi.
The new rules of the universe that Madoka created are ideal and allow Incubators and Puella Magi to co-exist with little conflit, all because of Madoka’s ultimate hope and benevolence.
The final scene is very ambiguous. It opens up with an interesting quote. We first see Homura in the presence of a large group of Demons, and then she sprouts wings that seems to be dark matter in the shape of wings. Homura then engulfs the entire screen, and quite possibly the entire location she’s in with the dark matter. We hear Madoka’s voice saying, “Keep it up,” showing that Madoka still exists within Homura, and that Homura must keep on fighting for as long as she can to preserve the world that Madoka worked to save. It’s a nice way to end the show, and although it’s ambiguous, it was pretty cool to see.