This week’s MADOKA THREAD is chalk full of spoiler goodness, so if you haven’t watched it yet, gg’s subs have been out for hours. Get it. Watch it. HHNNNNGGGG. Come back here.
So throughout this entire series, speculation has been high as to what kind of time-traveler Homura was. My running theory was that of TNG’s “Cause and Effect” where Homura was living out the same loop of time, and as it turns out, I was mostly correct. This episode goes pretty far to detail just exactly what Homura was dealing with this entire time that leads us up to the point we’ve seen thus far. Some anon on /a/ condensed it into a handy JPG.
The episode opens with Homura, hair in pigtails and glasses, on her first day of school. Rather than the cold and calculating look and sound we’re used to, we get a shy and timid Homura who Madoka befriends. However, as she was walking home and lamenting about how weak and useless she was (irony!) she encounters a witch and who comes to the rescue but Madoka and Mami as magical girls. They explain what they do to Homura, but it seems through this timeline, much like Madoka, Homura hesitates to contract with Kyubey until after Mami is dead and Madoka is left to fight Walpurgis Night, resulting in her death. Homura contracts with the wish to “reset” time and save Madoka by becoming a magical girl and fighting with her. In the second timeline, she joins Madoka and Mami in fighting witches, but again at WPN, Mami dies and this time Madoka turns into a witch. In the third timeline, Sayaka and Kyouko join the picture, but Homura tries to warn them of Kyubey’s deceit. Sayaka becomes a witch and is killed by Homura using guns and bombs stolen from local Yakuza. Mami goes nuts and kills Kyouko straight up, and Madoka kills Mami. Both succeed in defeating WPN, but their gems were badly corrupted. Madoka uses a Grief Seed to restore Homura’s gem at her expense and asks Homura to reset once more and try to save everyone. In the fourth timeline, Homura is no longer who she was before, she has hardened and become jaded to her surroundings. She uses magic to cure her eyesight removing the glasses, and improves her physical stamina and speed, and this time kills Kyubey and warns Madoka not to contract at all. She fights the witches solo, nothing is known about the others. Then, she tries to fight WPN herself, failing when Madoka contracts to save her, and becomes a witch who will destroy the planet. The fifth and current timeline is what we have been seeing since the start of series, beginning with the dream sequence seen from the fourth timeline.
Aside from “Cause and Effect”, the other ST episode this reminded me of was Voyager’s “Year of Hell” which got me onto developing my current END GAME theory, and that is, if Homura were to die, time would reset back to a point where Homura does not exist, and none of the other timelines would occur. The kicker is, in the cause of the Voyager episode, when the timeship exploded and the temporal incursion occurred, it returned everything back to before the ship was made, and we see Annorax skip plans to complete it in favor of his wife, and Voyager continue on its way. There is no guarantee a Homura-less timeline would prevent the girls from contracting, but it may not occur to the characters we’re seeing. Either that, or this “other path” alluded to in the credits may refer to another way to end this, either GOOD END or BAD END. It could be Madoka’s wish in this timeline is some sort of POWER OF LOVE that fixes everything, but I find that unlikely coming from a series that seems to point to a cold and unhappy ending, because even if a magical girl were to make that wish, one would end up staying behind and becoming a witch. Any way you slice this, someone will die for good even if the others live on.
I like how this series provokes a lot of response, speculation, and thought, but I wouldn’t go far as to call it DEEP or anything. Time travel is often a convenient means to jump around in a story without having to worry about previous events, you can re-write them or just skew tangents. On its own it is nothing overly epic or special, but the fact that you expect a regular magical girl show and are presented with something much darker and grittier, that is where the real part of the gem shines (ha). Dozens of threads daily on /a/ and 2chan only reinforce this idea, a lot of people are enjoying this show for its mind = blown episodes each week.
Looking forward to next Thursday at the speed of light. Only two more episodes left guys, my body is not ready.
Also, POKEMON LEVELS comic related.