Episode 3, the turning point of the original Madoka series. Where it stopped pretending to be your standard, run of the mill magical girl show and turned into the masterpiece subversive ‘dark’ magical girl show that we all know it as now. While Magia Record can’t re-create the shock value and magic of the original, it can still use this episode to introduce some interesting concepts and ideas that we will be exploring as we move forward.
A few things I want to focus on are The Coordinator, Rena’s wish and character, and the important bits of information we get at the end of the episode. Including the return of a beloved character from the first series.
First, the coordinator. First off, I’m a little disappointed that it isn’t a magical girl that we are familiar with. That being said, there is something distinctly…off about the entire concept. Being able to bring out the hidden ability of a magical girl by adjusting their soul gems? Yeah, that’s entirely too sketchy for me not to be immensely suspicious. Still, there is nothing to prove that the coordinator is evil, yet. So it’s a little too early for me to be writing her off as a villain.
So the coordinator calls in Yachiyo. Yachiyo, Momoko, Rena, and Iroha all get together to try to save Kaede from the curse of the chain witch that whisked her away.
Rena is such a painful character for me because I can relate to the idea of hating yourself so much that you want to be someone else, you’d risk your soul and spend eternity fighting witches just to get that wish. As someone who also dislikes themself greatly, the symbolism of the mirrors in her transformation is not lost on me. The self-hate she feels is not lost on me and her projecting her feelings of self-hate onto Kaede. Who is always apologizing, even when she’s not at fault.
I can understand it, I can’t relate to it though. In that case, I relate to Kaede more. Always apologizing, even if you aren’t the one who should be apologizing. After a fight and a true and genuine apology from Rena to Kaede, they combo and take down the witch.
Or, was it a witch? Yachiyo points out that it didn’t drop a grief seed. However, it was far too big and too powerful to be a familiar. Also, whoever heard of a witch that only appeared when the right conditions are met?
That is certainly one mystery, but the episode still has more mysteries to lay at our feet. We cut away from the gang to a lone magical girl outside the city. A magical girl that fans of the Madoka series know rather well, one Mami Tomoe is outside the city limits with a Kyuubey. Who presents her with an interesting conundrum. Every moment he walks into the city, he loses consciousness.
Could it be the work of a witch? Could it be the work of a magical girl?
That’s what Mami has to find out.
There are some other things that come up, such as two girls who were supposedly in the hospital at the same time as Ui. However, while we confirm that they are real people, there is still no evidence linking back to Ui.
How does Iroha’s wish work into everything? Does it have anything to do with the city? Perhaps Ui herself made a wish that could be the cause of all of this. Right now, we don’t have enough information. We’ll have to see where things go from here.