Why do you like/hate Madoka Magica’s ending?

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

Praise be to Goddess Madoka!

Okay, since this is going to be inevitable later on in whatever post I make about Madoka’s finale comments’ section, I’m just going to open this up to the readers first and deal with it early.

Why do you like or hate Madoka Magica’s ending and what is your justification for your stance?

I would really like to see how the opinions are really divided amongst the viewers. For the time being, you can count me in the “like” camp, but I realize there are flaws in the ending.

P.S. I sincerely hope no one actually takes the religion jokes about Madoka that seriously.

90 Comments

  1. AC Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 1:39 am

    The concept was fine; the execution was poor. Realistically, everyone and their dog expected something of the sort to eventuate – Madoka’s problem is that it thoroughly ham-fisted the entire affair. The aftermath scenes lacked emotional resonance because you were still trying to figure out exactly what had transpired, and what it meant for Madoka and Homura. The build up was also plain unbelievable – Madoka’s mother letting her run out into the middle of a storm with no apparent reason (she’s already suspicious of her daughter for knowing something about Sayaka’s mysterious death) and then Homura giving into despair. It plain lacked build up and explanation to make it believable.

    QB’s opening diatribe was additionally meant to be emotionless and logical, but came off as anything but. It wasn’t reasonable or persuasive in the slightest, and Madoka just came off as being kinda stupid for swallowing it.

  2. Game8910 Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 2:04 am

    Considering how the series had done a great job at providing plot twists and leaving people intrigued and speculating on what would happen next. The ending was by far the most predictable event in the series to I was a bit let down since I had expected a bit more from Madoka when it comes to the story department.

    With that said I did not hate the ending by any means, in fact it was rather fitting. If it had gone with a happy ending I prob would’ve raged so at the very least I enjoyed seeing things conclude in this way.

    As a whole Madoka was an above average anime with a very interesting and intriguing plot but I still cannot understand the PoV of those that praise this as one of the best anime in recent years. Apart from the plot, I couldnt really get too much into the characters or the SHINBOness this time around (much like Bakemonogatari).

  3. Tiresias Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 2:20 am

    Haven’t watched 11 yet due to me forgetting that there was TWO new episode and skipping right to the last, but for now, I must admit that I expected this to have Evangelion (series or End) kind of ending, but it turned out to be more Gurren Lagann, bittersweet ending and all. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on eps 11.

  4. G.K. Sil Kamina Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 2:31 am

    I ended up liking the ending. For a long time I was scared they’d go with a “I wish magical girls and witches didn’t exist!” and then everyone was revived and lived happily ever after as normal girls (at least until the universe imploded thanks to lack of female misery power). But instead we get a bittersweet version where girls still get contracted and die early, but don’t have to suffer and become eldritch abominations.

    Plus Madoka becoming both Godoka and Frilly Pink Mahou Shoujo Reaperka was neat. Too bad about Sayaka still getting the short end of the stick, though. The things you do for love!

  5. Zzz... Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 3:59 am

    “You probably would still be living in caves.”

    I love that line. That whole conversation about the prosperity of the present (and future) being built on the despair and suffering of the past.

    Oh…oh…and calling Humanity a collection of the criminally insane.

    …Godoka…really?

    Is someone going to write a existential play about…

    Waiting for Godoka…by Homura…who else…

  6. CaptainBright Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 4:16 am

    @Skribulous

    GOD-EMPRESS?!!! WHAT FOUL PITS OF CHAOS HAVE YOU COME OUT OF, HERETIC?! THAT’S IT, YOU’RE EXTRA HERETICAL! “BLAM”

    ‘Wipes hands clean of blood’

    Now where were we… Ah yes. Can’t believe this is still going on… Oh how I hoped Shin Mazinger Z had this kind of discussion….

  7. JimJim Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 4:42 am

    I think I’m not the first to say this, but for SURE there was another original ending that goes WAY sadder (and more thought provoking) than this optimistic happy end.

    I guess they HAVE to change it to the current form after the massive earthquake. Did you see how many Japanese people were waiting to watch this? 22.6% of households in the entire Kansai region when it aired at 3:00am local time.

    After the massive real world tragedy, this HAVE TO be something uplifting.

  8. deBurg Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 4:58 am

    some ppl said that Madoka’s mum was foolish in letting her wishy daughter out into the storm. Blah I say, the mum’s no fool (she knew something out of her ken was happening), she was keeping tabs on Madoka and she ain’t raised no wishy washy airhead. Madoka’s seemingly indecisiveness was her realizing that the wish was more important than others were letting on (especially with the hints that Homura was dropping), and until the last episode – she just didn’t have the knowledge on making the best of it.

    Pooh pah, every parent’s dream is that they raised their kid to be good enough to handle life, the mum never coodled her and hit the nail perfect “don’t let them fool ya!” in her last scene. Yes, break QB’s rules, and get the f-ing universe to follow yours!

  9. EvilDevil Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 7:12 am

    @deBurg

    plus she gets to be the mother of a Deity (even if she doesnt remember): “My Daughter is an Ultimate Deity, How About Yours?”

  10. South Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 10:04 am

    I think she should have also wished for the Mahou Shoujo not to have their bodies/souls stolen by the wish…that’s what made Sayaka go into despair for the most part…they are still doomed, I don’t get that.

  11. asdjsd Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 10:31 am

    The series summed up is “What do you wish for.” It took that simple concept and added weight to the consequence the wish. Many stories have asked this same question, and through them, colored in the details of the consequence of that wish. I have to say that the patience of this anime to answer what would madoka wish for is great. If you remember, it went from whimsical thought (at least on madoka’s behalf) to ever weightier matters of healing an incurable hand all the way to saving a life. Along the way it showed what happened when a girl gave into wish completely; painted a nice picture of the monsters we become when giving into obsession. The show took all these themes and lead us ever deeper into their consequences. And just when the road was darkest. And I couldnt imagine finding a different path from the one I was lead onto, Madoka spoke her wish and illuminated a way out. And what followed was a hail of light, in the form of countless arrows that carried the being madoka across all ages to free all the victims of kyubees deception. Wow.

    So, yeah, I liked the ending

  12. LovelyAngel Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 10:31 am

    I had very high expectations, so it’s not surprising I met with some disappointment and letdown. The finale did not have the heartpounding impact I was hoping for. And yet, the episode was powerful, thoughtful, beautiful, and emotional. I cried in a few places… even on the second time around.

    I wished the music were stronger – key scenes could have used support from the powerful, emotion-raising music we know Yuki Kajiura is capable of. I’m wishing (without much optimism – and no contracts, please –) that someone at Shaft decides to redo the music for the DVD/Blu-ray release.

    I have some minor reservations about the way that the story wrapped up, but I think the bittersweet results were about right – not too dark and not too light. Shaft had about 1000 ways they could have screwed up the ending – badly – so I’m happy that they got it mostly right.

    The ending left us with a lot interpret and to reflect on. I like that you can’t draw black and white conclusions or interpretations. I suspect that my feelings for the episode are going to build up over time – every little scene will develop a special thought, insight, or emotion. Nuances and ramifications from this episode are going to sneak up on people, I think. People who really study this episode in depth are going to discover a subtle and intricate tapestry. I believe the brilliance of the episode will take time to reveal itself. For some people, this episode is going to look much better over time.

    Also, something that people forget is that the main characters are 14-year-old middle-school girls – not high schoolers. The maturity, wisdom, courage, and selflessness they show is well beyond their years. All things considered, they made awfully good decisions. I know at 14 I couldn’t have held a candle to them.

    In short, I really liked the ending a lot. I didn’t 100% love it. But things could have been much, much worse. So I’m grateful.

  13. kyseri Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 10:56 am

    I can safely say I liked the ending, whereas it wasn’t amazingly moving I felt that it ties up the series in a way that I can accept and potentially revisit.

    There’s a few holes but I think I’d like it less if they tried to explicitly explain all these holes during the episode, it would make it too wordy… we have enough information to make our own guesses as to what happened. just my take on it

  14. AidanAK47 Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 11:06 am

    I am conflicted.

    On one hand this style of ending is something I have not seen in ages. It takes balls to pull off something like this. There are so many ways it can go wrong and come off a pretentious. However it managed to avoid this. It also gives the viewer a happy conclusion to a otherwise depressing series. Oh and just in case people wonder why any magical girl didn’t wish for what Madoka wished for before, Kyubey did mention that because of her power any wish would be granted no matter how absurd. Meaning, previous wishes had limits.

    However on the other hand I don’t think this was the best way to end the series. I can think of another way that could have worked. This ending had too much hope and happiness. It left a bad taste. I would have preferred an ending where the cycle was broken but the kyubey system was still in effect and the dead magical girls remained dead.

    I still really love the show. However, there were flaws.
    1: Kyubey infodumps were unnecessary. We didn’t need to know that Kyubey was an alien. We didn’t need to know about the counter entropy system. We didn’t need to know that past famous female figures were magical girls. It would have been much better for Kyubey to remain an unknown entity. The minute Kyubey revealed himself to be an alien he changed from manipulative dark demon to intergalactic energy salesman. This killed his interesting character. Should have just left it a mystery so we could paint him as whatever we wanted.
    2: When you think about it the characters were not really special. It was the situations they were placed in that really defined them. They wouldn’t be half as interesting to watch if placed in a different kind of story.
    3: Say what you will, I still think the cutout animated witches in the beginning just looked terribly out of place.
    4: Slow start-up. Madoka only got truly interesting at episode 3.Before that it was fairly stereotypical magical girl story. I understand why this was like this. Still I cannot ignore it.

    So I am conflicted about my score on this. I say…..9/10. Maybe 8.5.

  15. foshizzel Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    I shall miss this series! OH MAN SO GOOD!

  16. FlameStrike Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    This ending was just amazing. It was so emotionally impacting and inspired such AWE in me that I can’t put it in words… Madoka, you will be remebered!

  17. Pyro Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

    Random comment: For those who thing Homura ‘gave up’ her time-stop powers… that is not necessarily true. She may have just decided to go with using a bow to honor Madoka’s memory (along with the ribbon). Homura retaining her memory probably means she retained her powers as well. Her soul gem is the same, after all.

  18. Yumii Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    *sigh* The end of Meduka Meguca
    http://i.imgur.com/UDfJY.jpg

  19. Random Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

    I’d say I love it
    It had the great fight with Walpurgis, it was so amazing and jaw dropping.
    I cried more than I did in air, with that being pure drama.
    The ending was open, it creates more depression if you think about it, why would monsters be out in the wild? Shouldn’t they dwell in cities, combined with the desert and Homura’s black wings, I wonder if something happened to humanity and Homura is the last.

    It certainly isn’t perfect, but for a show at this level, creating a perfect ending is near impossible. I am extremely satisfied with it.

    PS: In response, the DVD sales on Amazon Japan is currently DOMINATED by Madoka.

  20. Manabi Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

    I loved it myself. I had worked out a lot of the details (how Homura’s time traveling had caused Madoka’s potential power to go up, because of the imbalance of the timelines she touched (although they show described this differently, same effect) and even suspected that Madoka’s potential power was the wildcard that would allow for a potentially happy ending), but I never suspected what Madoka would actually do.

    I mean seriously, Madoka made a huge sacrifice, she gave up her existence to become HOPE. As QB told her, she had ceased to exist as anything but a concept, and while he didn’t out-right state it, given her wish and the execution of it, she had become HOPE to the _entire universe_. That’s a pretty powerful move, and not something I was expecting given Gen Urobuchi’s reputation. What was even nicer was that Homura made this possible. Her sacrifice and suffering due to her wish (and undying love for Madoka) made Madoka powerful enough to actually be able to pull off the wish that basically saved every Puella Magica ever from the horror that was becoming a witch.

    That there’s still Puella Magica out there, and that they still have to fight isn’t that depressing. Madoka didn’t try to remove all suffering from the universe, she merely wanted to save all the Puella Magica from such a horrible fate (merely dying to fight evil to protect those you love isn’t that bad, becoming evil yourself afterward is horrible beyond belief) and in the process gave hope to everyone.

    In the end Madoka’s basically with all of us; every time we need hope, she’s there. She made the universe a better place and that’s pretty awesome. Totally not what I was expecting to happen, but I was very satisfied with how it ended.

  21. ryvrdrgn14 Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

    My personal opinion about the initial 10 episodes is that they were actually a buildup for a hopeful ending. You generally cannot have much impact on a ‘happy’ ending if the show’s previous atmosphere was lighthearted. A ‘sad’ ending wouldn’t have as much impact if the show was already in a downward spiral.

    I believed that something like this (not exactly how it turned out) would happen to even out the curve of dark/depressing things that happened throughout the show and since it’s happens after 10 almost hopeless/heartbreaking episodes, then the value and viewer emotions on the conclusion would be higher than usual.

    The show, for me, is mostly about proper use of contrast to better emphasize darkness and light, rather than delivering a simple show with varying shades of grey.

    The actual ending was off tangent to my expectations, but a good and ‘safe’ one nonetheless. I didn’t like the inclusion of popular historical figures into the mix as integrated into the story, but we all have our own opinions about these things.

    To summarize, I’d have to say that I do like the ending, as placed in proper perspective to the rest of the show. And no, I’m still not converting from the Haruhi religion to this one. :)

  22. ahelo Said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

    No one believed me that Madoka was going to become God. I mean I was just wild guessing it back in episode 8 or something but OMG I WAS FREAKIN RIGHT.This will beat Haruhiism for sure. I mean they even have a prophet here.

    For the ending, I’m gonna be biased and say that was THE BEST ENDING EVER MADE. I don’t care about faults anymore, I loved it to death.

  23. skyhack Said,

    April 24, 2011 @ 6:55 am

    I liked it, partially because I (wild ass) guessed it (See Nopy’s blog) and it reminded me of another favorite, Serial Experiments Lain. After all, Lain resets the world, becomes an ethereal, omnipotent presence in the wired, she can see anyone anytime she wants, and no one remembers her when she’s gone. Her reset even has some humor in it, something that’s nonexistent in the rest of Lain.

    I also like how Madoka’s reset made the relationship between the Incubators and humans more symbiotic, and that Homura is apparently now a normal girl who can don her gem when she needs to use her magic.

  24. Guppy Said,

    April 24, 2011 @ 8:12 am

    How about this interpretation of the final scene…

    Madoka wishes for all witches to cease to exist, past-present-future. The balancing payment for this is that Madoka becomes a Witch — but the wish precludes this, creating a paradox. Madoka disappears from existence.

    When a Magical Girl’s payment for a wish comes due, it once purchased despair. Instead, thanks to Madoka, it now purchases Hope. But Homura’s wish is to protect a girl who never existed. As such, her wish is paradoxed as well, and can never be fulfilled.

    So Homura is the one Magical girl who can never be saved. In a universe where Witches Cannot Exist, Homura becomes the paradoxical Last Witch, as she spreads her wings and lets eternal night take her sky.

  25. hashem Said,

    April 24, 2011 @ 8:55 am

    I thought it was a pretty good ending. It was a great series. Sad to see it end

  26. Rincewind Said,

    April 24, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    I like the ending. A lot.
    With Urobuchi as writer I was expecting a sad ending, so the bittersweet ending is something to be thankful. And what an ending. Well executed, like the whole series.
    Full of crowning moments one after another. Of all types.

    Amazing job, SHAFT, Urobuchi, Shinbo, Aoki, Kajiura. I salute all of you! Thanks for bringing this fantastic series.

    Now, all praise Omadoka-sama!!

  27. Yi Said,

    April 24, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    Definitely in the like camp. Gave and still gives me a lot to think about.

  28. soulassassin547 Said,

    April 24, 2011 @ 11:44 am

    I like it more, but that’s not all. I want to see more of this Madokaverse than its 12-episode straitjacket, in the form of spin-offs and Director’s Cuts.

    Those references to WH40K are giving me interest to see into that other grimdark world.

  29. Skribulous Said,

    April 24, 2011 @ 11:50 am

    Black cat = biggest red herring ever. Or Madoka was actually written on the fly, and the cat was meant to have a role but was written out at the last moment.

    @CaptainBright

    Ha, missed! Silly Commissar, we all know you need to get closer to hit anything with your sword.

  30. Kaisos Said,

    April 24, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

    @Skribulous: The entire OP is a red herring. Apparently the staff put the cat there as just another way of fucking with the viewerbase.

  31. Raichuko Said,

    April 24, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

    I always thought the cat could be Kazumi.
    The ending was good, i started to tear up when Sayaka and Madoka were in the theater, but held back my tears, saving them for a really sad bit. Although that didn’t come. It would be good to see an explanation of what really happened in the process from shaft or somebody, at some point.

  32. Eriker Xangam Ragnarok Said,

    April 24, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

    The ending was awesome, Madoka pwning everything with a AOE attack & before that Homuras finall battle(explosive mountains FTW). Just wished the battles would have been a bit longer. Also we need a OVA/Movie with Homura after “MadokaGodification”, where she meets Madoka again :D

  33. Mentar Said,

    April 25, 2011 @ 12:08 am

    Fantastic ending. 95% of all open questions were resolved LOGICALLY! I’ll write up something comprehensive when I can, but for now let me say that Madoka made the top of my “best anime ever” list. Wonderful story. Thank you Urobuchi Gen, thank you Yuki Kajiura, and thank you Shinbo for this wonderful experience.

  34. Mitch H. Said,

    April 25, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    Eriker, since they pretty definitively established that Homura will meet Madoka “in the hour of our death”, I don’t see much of a chance for a sequel-OVA there. And the story’s kind of involved for a summary-digest movie like the Gurren Lagann or Macross Frontier movies. Not that I’ve seen either – digest summary movies have been done right exactly once, far as I’m concerned – Do You Remember Love or go home, you know?

  35. asdjsd Said,

    April 30, 2011 @ 7:56 pm

    AidanAK47 Said

    2: When you think about it the characters were not really special. It was the situations they were placed in that really defined them. They wouldn’t be half as interesting to watch if placed in a different kind of story.

    That is the definition of a hero, you realise? Ordinary people doing extradinary things because of the situation that is thrust upon them.

  36. Mmm Said,

    May 10, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

    Madoka magica review.
    (KYOTO UNIV. PRESS)

    http://goo.gl/WubBN

  37. Mutei Said,

    March 10, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

    I thought the anime itself sucked. All they would do each episode was cry, it took Madoka 10 out of 13 episodes just to get her powers, and every character in the anime except Kyubei was just illogical. Kyubei would explain something, and the characters would be like “Oh that’s so cruel”, I mean seriously? Wtf is wrong with this show.

    I honestly don’t see why people like this show.

  38. Draconis Said,

    April 10, 2012 @ 5:52 pm

    Liked it because it was much better than Mass Effect 3’s ending. lol

  39. MissKitty Said,

    July 2, 2012 @ 11:29 am

    Okay, so her wish erased all witches but that still means that the Puella Magi have to remain Puella Magi with no soul and fight until their Soul Gem runs out and they disappear?

    I feel like they’re still under immense pain and suffering. And despair. It’s only that, this time, that despair doesn’t turn them into witches. And when exactly does their Soul Gem run out? How does it run out in the first place if despair doesn’t exist anymore? Isn’t that kind of sad, to fight for eternity and then disappear when your Soul Gem runs out? I suppose it’s better than turning into a witch, which must be painful, but they’re still dying. They’re still disappearing at such a young age. They’re still fighting without souls. They’re still in danger of this new threat; demons.

    And why are they still fighting if there are no witches? Is it because the new ‘curses’ found in demons are the new form of preventing entropy?

    I like the ending, it made cry…*blush*…but I have this empty feeling. I almost feel like, with all the hope Madoka used to destroy the despair that was trying to consume the Earth, that Puella Magi would stop being Puella Magi and entropy would have ended due to all the hope God-Madoka created. That would have sat with me better. That all Puella Magi went back to being normal girls. Or at least, when their Soul Gems ran out, they went back to being normal girls. Yeah. The latter would have sat with me better. Not them disappearing. Because then I feel like Madoka’s wish was all for naught. It only benefited humanity and the universe, not the Puella Magi.

  40. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    July 2, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

    I think it was implied if the Soul Gems run out, the Puella Magi disappeared rather than turn in to witches.

    Madoka’s wish not really to deus ex machina the entropy problem away. If the Incubators were capable of doing that, they would’ve prodded someone else to do so the moment the realized they could.

    What Madoka did, in the confines of her own knowledge (remember she’s only 14), was to release the hopes and dreams of the Puella Magi she saw trapped in a ridiculous cycle of hope-granting followed with despair. I don’t really expect her to realize the magnitude of what the Incubators were trying to solve, but she certainly did know that it was unfair for the Puella Magi to be conned in to something so unfair to them.

    Also she did not totally erase despair, because that would be a silly thing to do. What she chose was to allow the Puella Magi to leave the world, with hope still in their hearts, knowing that their wishes will not be tainted.

    I suggest reading the other post I made here: http://kurogane.animeblogger.net/2011/04/25/puella-magi-madoka-magica-the-finale/

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