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MADOKA MAGICA #7- - - Watch & Learn

Kind of like EPIC MICKY - - but with all the angst it was missing.

Perhaps in answer to the horrible, horrible life advice that Madoka’s mom shared last episode, Sayaka’s classmate actually offers up some of those most cool-headed and reasonable straight talk I’ve ever heard in any show. Seriously, where were friends like this in high school? Can you imagine how much needless anguish could be outright avoided if more people were as honest with themselves as she asks Sayaka to be?

It’s little touches like that which make me certain the people making this know precisely what they’re doing. I’ll say it again - - sex, violence and any other potentially “exploitative” ingredient can always be used, without guilt or embarrassment, if the writers know their precise effect. And, judging by the rancor against, say, the TWILIGHT flicks, I think we can agree teen angst is an ingredient of that order.

Sayaka’s friend offers a counterpoint that establishes enough self-awareness here to make it clear that these we’re seeing a supporting character with dimensional flaws, not some thin surrogate for the writer. Likewise, her fear of that advice works so well - - cleverly wrapping up body image and self-confidence metaphors into the fantastical notion of her new, impervious form.

Other attempts at deepening characters don’t quite work, though. The backstory about Kyoko’s father seems oddly out of place. Sure, it does fit in with the greater themes of the series, but it still seems… overly busy? She makes such a sharp point about Sayaka being so foolish for making such a big, life-shaping sacrifice for a boy - - but her self-interest’s established with an absolutely overwrought amount of complication.

Lastly - - I’m starting to figure that the witches must be Magical Girls who eventually strayed from the path or de-evolved, somehow. That’d make this into be some sort of sinister pyramid scheme for Kyubey, and that’d be all too fitting. He’s sounded like an Amway salesman this whole time, after all.

Watch this episode, "Can You Face Your True Feelings?" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

YotaruVegetaon Nov. 19, 2012 at 9:39 a.m.

...keep watching.

Petiewon Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:12 a.m.
I agree that Kyoko isn't very well developed. I'm not really sure what you're trying to say about her backstory in the article though since I'm not sure how it'd be overly busy.
She used her wish for the sake of other people and it backfired on her, so now she only tries to protect her own interests. The reason Kyoko dislikes Sayaka so much is because she used to be exactly like her and knows how it'll end up if Sayaka doesn't change.
metalsnakezeroon Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:45 a.m.

I feel that Kyoko's story does help make us understand her reasoning for her actions. It never felt it was busy but it sure needed to better develop (Which is done better on the drama cd of her and Mami).

zaldaron Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:56 a.m.

Ah how I can't wait till a couple episodes from now...thought it was this episode where the other show dropped but no...a few past this. SOOOOOO looking forward to that.

Lurkeroon Nov. 19, 2012 at 3:03 p.m.

It seems like a consequence of teenage naivety, but I thought it was pretty obvious that Sayaka's wish wasn't going to end well. She shoulda seen that coming, especially with the warnings.

I enjoyed Kyoko's real talk. That doesn't happen too often in anime.

takashichea moderator on Jan. 4, 2013 at 1:03 p.m.

I like Kyoko's little reality talk with Sayaka. These girls who have such good goals are being dragged into something ugly.

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