They should just rename this show to Commando Girl Homura Magica already.
There are quite a number of epic shows, but rare is the one that manages to transcend that to the annals of legendary. SHAFT promised a lot for this episode, and oh boy did they deliver on that promise. And more. And securing the show’s ascent in to legendary status. At least by my book.
I don’t think I have the capacity to go in to detail here right now (mainly because I will go fucking tl;dr) but suffice to say, Homura’s really marked herself as an integral part of the cast of Madoka Magica. She has been admittedly very passive despite hinting so much from the start, and in this episode not only we see why, we also see how and the true reason for her struggles as well as her determination and will power. Not to mention character growth as well.
I admit, while this “twist” has been seen coming for a long time now, I was more worried on the execution itself and I am extremely glad to say that SHAFT has managed to do it well and do it in a way that strikes right in to the heart as well. Not only there was flair and style in this episode, most importantly, it also had emotion and heart as well. With each timeline, I could feel the increasing desperation and determination of Homura as she tries her darndest yet unerringly fails. Just like in Higurashi.
And oh god, Prior Madoka(s). Oh god. So… SO GAR.
*sigh*… Good job, Gen. Good job.
This week’s ending card drawn by ムラ黒江 (pixiv)
P.S. Dumping the timeline notes I took for this episode, might as well….
TIMELINE 1 (ORIGINAL TIMELINE)
Mami and Madoka are Puella Magi, they save Homura at first.
No sign of Kyoko or Sayaka appearing as Puella Magi
Mami dies fighting Walpurgis, Madoka sacrifices herself to defeat it. → Madoka doesn’t turn in to a Witch after death.
Homura contracts with Kyubey in the aftermath → Homura’s Wish: Redo her meeting with Madoka until she is able to protect her.
Homura wakes up right before she leaves hospital (Start Point) → Homura has congenital heart disease
Mami and Madoka are Puella Magi.
Homura helps with Witch hunting with Mami and Madoka. → Still very dojikko at this stage :P → learns the basics of her time stop skill.
No sign of Kyoko or Sayaka Puella Magi
Madoka turns in to Giant Witch after defeating Walpurgis. → Homura discovers the real truth of the Soul Gem system.
START POINT → Homura discovers Kyubey’s lies.
Sayaka and Kyoko appear as Puella Magi this time. → Sayaka doesn’t believe Homura’s revelations of the Soul Gem system. → Doesn’t like Homura.
Homura upgrades her arsenal.
Sayaka turns in to a Witch. → Homura kills Witch Sayaka → Proves Puella Magi turn in to Witches.
Mami goes berserk, kills Kyoko → Madoka kills Mami to defend Homura.
Madoka and Homura face Walpurgisnacht together
Both of them win together, but Madoka saves Homura from turning in to a Witch with a secret Grief Seed stash. → Homura shoots Madoka (at her request) before she becomes the Giant Witch.
Homura returns again.
START POINT → Homura hunts Kyubey down before it approaches Madoka
Homura hunts all the Witches alone, no sign of Mami. → Fuck yeah machine gun Homura!
Walpurgisnacht(WN) appears → Episode 1’s prologue part happens → Homura can’t handle it alone.
Madoka accepts Kyubey’s Contract → Destroys WN in one shot → becomes Giant Witch
Kyubey – energy collection is finished after Madoka changes to Giant Witch, leaves it to Humanity to deal with it. Implies Madoka will destroy Earth any how.
Homura returns again.