"If magical girls are said to be born from positive desires like wishes, then witches are born from negative desires like curses."
"Magical girls spread hope, where witches spread despair."
"And to make matters worse, they can't be seen by normal humans."
"Doubt and suspicion, extreme anger and hate. They bring seeds of catastrophe to this world."
- Kyubey, Episode 2.
In the anime, these locations are designed and animated by Gekidan Inu Curry in a style vastly different from that of the rest of the series in order to reinforce the otherworldly aspect. Inside and outside of the anime they are sometimes referred to as Mazes (迷路 Meiro).
According to the January 2012 Dengeki PlayStation, the barrier is "a space resembling the magical girl's mental landscape before she became a witch."
They do not drop any Grief Seeds when killed unless they have grown into a full Witch.
According to the January 2012 Dengeki PlayStation, familiars are "projections of the magical girl's heart before she became a witch."
 Grief Seed
All Grief Seeds drain grief when put close to a dim Soul Gem, cleaning it. In episode 6, Kyuubey warns that absorbing too much Grief can revive the witch.
Sometimes magical girls also use grief seeds to test if she can cooperate with another magical girl. Rejecting a grief seed from another magical girl means refusing to work with her and hostility. Both Mami and Homura did such kind of tests.
For more information, see: Speculah:Grief Seeds.
For the "false/fake" Grief Seeds known as Evil Nuts only in the Kazumi spin-off manga, please see here.
 Magical girl
- The term "Puella Magi" is also sometimes used among fans.
- For more information, see Characters.
 Soul Gem
The Soul Gem is the source of a Magical Girl's magical powers; but, everytime the magical girl uses her magical powers, the Soul Gem becomes "tainted". When "tainted", the Soul Gem loses its light and becomes more and more dark. The color of the Soul Gem darkens also. The only way to rid the Soul Gem of its "taint" is to use a Grief Seed. The Grief Seed will absorb the "taint" out of it.
When a Magical Girl transforms, the Soul Gem transforms together with her and becomes a part of her costume. The Magical Girl can also transform the Soul Gem into a ring, which makes it easier for the Magical Girl to take it with her and not lose it.
Episode 6 reveals that Soul Gems contain the magical girl's soul, while the body is merely a husk that is controlled by the Gem.
Episode 8 reveals if the Soul Gem is not cleansed in time and reaches a certain point, it will become a Grief Seed and birth a new witch. Which, in other words, means that the more "tainted" the Soul Gem gets, the bigger the risk of becoming a Witch.
For more information, see: Speculah:Walpurgis Night.
Episode 8 reveals that Witches are in fact the "grown" forms of Puella Magi, as 魔女, Majo, are evolved forms of 魔法少女, Mahou Shoujo.