"If I see you wasting food like that again. I'll kill you." - Kyoko Sakura, Episode 7.
|Japanese Name||佐倉 杏子 (Sakura Kyōko)|
|Voiced by||Japanese: Ai Nonaka|
English: Lauren Landa
Italian: Veronica Puccio
Cantonese: Choi An Hung
French: Nayeli Forest
Kyoko Sakura is a veteran magical girl who appears to Sayaka and Madoka in episode 5, but not before making a brief appearance at the end of episode 4. She is introduced as an abrasive, fiery, and self-centered girl who fights only for self but later adopts a more sympathetic outlook.
- Age: 14 - 16 (estimated)
- Height: 156-158 cm
- Eye colour: Red
- Hair colour: Red
- Soul Gem: Red eye located on chest
- Weapon: Spear
- Wish: "I wish that everyone would listen to what Father has to say."
- Witch form: Ophelia
- Japanese pronoun: atashi (あたし)
- Known relatives: Father (Deceased), Mother (Deceased), Momo Sakura (Younger Sister)
- School: The "Sunny Day Life" Drama CD points out that Kyoko doesn't go to school. In The Rebellion Story she is shown attending Mitakihara Middle School.
"Ever hear of something called the food chain didn't they teach you it in school. The witches go and eat weak humans and then we hunt em down and eat the witches. It's the natural way of things the weak gotta give in to the strong." - Kyoko Sakura, Episode 5.
Kyoko first appeared as a magical girl who came from another town to take over Mami's turf after hearing of her death. According to the Drama CD "Farewell Story", Kyoko is from the neighboring city of Kazamino. She was initially introduced as a callous, arrogant magical girl who simply has supernatural powers and had abandoned the premise of justice and benevolence. In short, she didn't hesitate in any sense in using her magic powers for her own selfish benefit and did not mind sacrificing humans to familiars if it meant obtaining a Grief Seed.
Kyoko was the elder daughter of a preacher. Her father started to deviate from regular doctrine and was excommunicated for it - Kyoko used her wish to get her father more followers; however, upon finding this out, her father went insane and killed the entire family except Kyoko, (in Madoka Portable, Kyoko is gone when her father kills her family) then committed suicide by hanging himself from the church ceiling. After her family's death, Kyoko was introduced to the principles of "Dog eat dog world", "you get what you pay for" and "Kill or be killed/Eat or be eaten" and started to live by them. She uses her magic and other abilities mainly for herself due to the belief that helping somebody else will only result in something bad.
Kyoko seems abrasive and selfish but has a somewhat soft side as well. She values food a lot and chastises those who waste it. After her father lost supporters, Kyoko and her family (parents, Kyoko herself, Momo, her little sister) nearly starved. She may have experienced trauma from her family's death giving her an eating disorder of sorts, or erasing the memory of hunger. She is rather tomboyish, with barely any femininity at all if any. This is where she differs from Sayaka's boyishness: whereas Sayaka has a bit of a girlish streak due to the fact that she is interested in romance, Kyoko only demonstrates a nice side, and likes stories with happy endings.
She seems to be very faithful in God as during her final moments in the original timeline getting killed by Oktavia (she does live in the world reconstructed by Madoka, but does not remember her), she prays to God to show her a "happy dream." . It's uncertain what exactly this means, but presumably she is pleading to be shown something happy like her family all being alive and happy, in the form of a dream, or to allow her to die peacefully and ascend to Heaven.
- Kyoko's backstory is told in the Drama CD "Farewell Story".
- A NewType article goes into more details regarding Kyoko's character and behavior.
- Rebellion shows that under normal circumstances, Kyoko has the typical attitude of a lazy, slackerish schoolgirl, and loses many of the abrasive points of her personality.
Kyoko in the Anime
- In episode 6 when she approaches Sayaka as she is about to visit her friend Kyosuke, Kyoko scoffs at Sayaka's wish saying that if she wanted him that badly, she should just go in and break his hands and legs, leaving him crippled and they could be together.
- Kyoko, in an effort to restore Sayaka to normal after she became a witch, takes Madoka to Oktavia's lair. After taking many hits defending herself and watching Madoka's attempts to reach her prove futile, Kyoko "sacrifices" herself to stop Oktavia and save Madoka. This also allowed Homura, who had just arrived, to rescue Madoka and leave the witch's lair with her.
- In a previous timeline, Kyoko is killed by a mentally broken Mami after the fight with Oktavia. Having gone mad after learning what happens to magical girls with time, Mami shot and destroyed Kyoko's Soul Gem, killing her in what she saw as a mercy kill that would save Kyoko from becoming a witch.
- Kyoko is brought back to life by Madoka's wish in Episode 12
Kyoko in Wraith Arc
|Warning, this section contains spoilers about the manga.|
Kyoko makes her first appearance in chapter 1 alongside Mami as they hunt down wraiths in the city, with Kyoko complaining about letting a large 'trophy' wraith get away from them earlier. After Sayaka encounters and is unsuccessful in capturing the giant wraith, Kyoko taunts and teases her until the two girls end up in a small scuffle, in which Kyoko is victorious. After a few more battles in the following days, Kyoko is seen coming to Sayaka's rescue against several wraiths. Sayaka has been distracted lately and it's effecting them in battle. Afterwards, Kyoko is angry with Sayaka's airheadedness and tells Mami to use up the grief cubes on herself after Sayaka initially declines them. After Mami leaves, Kyoko ascertains correctly that Sayaka's lack of focus is due to Hitomi and the boy she likes, Kyosuke. She tells Sayaka that the solution to her problems is to allow a wraith to eat Hitomi's feelings, which causes Sayaka is retaliate in anger calling Kyoko the worst kind of magical girl there is. Sayaka challenges Kyoko to a rematch. Despite Kyoko gaining the upper hand at first, she notices the dark state of Sayaka's soul gem which causes her to be caught off-guard by Sayaka's next attack and leaving Sayaka the victor of the battle. Sayaka leaves, but not before telling Kyoko to never talk to her again.
Some time later, Mami and Kyoko await at the station at the appointed time. Sayaka is late and as they wait, Mami asks Kyoko about the state of Sayaka's soul gem. Kyoko is surprised that Mami is aware of the second battle they had and Mami lectures Kyoko on being a bully. They discuss the state of Sayaka with Mami expressing concern over how quickly her soul gem became polluted. She tosses some grief cubes at Kyoko and tells her to give them to Sayaka and to apologize to her. As soon as Kyoko leaves, Mami is ambush by a number of wraiths. Kyoko finds Sayaka surrounded by a number of wraiths who are about to consumer her emotions. Kyoko dispatches them with her spear and grabs Sayaka, taking her to safety. At the top of a watercooler, Sayaka dismisses Kyoko and reminds her she was told never to speak to Sayaka again. Before Kyoko can work up the nerve to offer her the grief cubes, Kyubey tells the girls about Mami's predicament. As the fight against the wraiths escalates, Kyoko and Sayaka appear at Mami's side to help her. Mami comes up with a plan where her and Kyoko distract the wraiths while Sayaka closes in on the giant wraith. But the plan fails and Sayaka is captured by the wraiths instead. Mami and Kyoko yell encouraging words to Sayaka who manages to escape, but not before using up her magic and being led away by the Law of Cycles.
The following day, Mami and Kyoko meet up with Homura on the school's roof, Kyoko having borrowed a school uniform to better blend in. They tell Homura about the giant wraith that has been seen lately and agree not to hunt it on their own. After several days of combing the city for the giant wraith and hunting down other more common wraiths, Homura encounters the giant wraith alone and attempts to defeat it herself. Mami and Kyoko run into the aftermath of the fight where they find Homura laying unconscious on the streets.
The next night, Kyoko runs into Homura while patrolling the streets. She assures Homura she won't tell Mami she saw her up and about knowing Mami would only lecture her further. When asked why she remains in the city despite Sayaka having disappeared, Kyoko responds she is still here to avenge Sayaka. Kyoko agrees to help Homura in finding and defeating the wraith provided she is the one to give the final blow. The next night, Mami meets with Kyoko at the station and asks her what she would do were she to meet with her dead family again. Kyoko has no answer for her and Mami leaves. Hitomi overhears their conversation and asks Kyoko about the truth concerning Sayaka's disappearance. Kyoko tells her as much as she can, saying Sayaka smiled during her final moments. Hitomi tells Kyoko about the promise she made to Sayaka concerning Kyosuke and how it may have caused Sayaka to despair. As they finish their conversation, Sayaka appears sitting on the light pole next to them. Hitomi apologizes to Sayaka, but Sayaka tells her she must make a choice between her and Kyosuke. Kyoko steps in once she sees how hurt Hitomi is only for Sayaka to nearly hit her with her attack. Sayaka then turns into a wraith and escapes. Kyoko chases after the wraith only to come across Mami and Homura in the park after their own encounter with a mutant wraith. She informs them of the fake Sayaka and they agree on rules in order to limit their ability to be taken by surprise by the mutant wraiths.
After several weeks of searching for the giant wraith, the girls decide to begin their search from the beginning. Mami is upset to find that Homura had been searchign for the giant wraith alone and worries that something may happen to her. Homura snaps at both Mami and Kyoko before taking off. Later, Mami and Kyoko run into Homura who has been searching alongside a mutant wraith in the form of Madoka. However, to Mami and Kyoko she looks nothing like Madoka and only has the form of a mutant wraith wrapped around Homura. They transform into magical girls and prepare to rescue Homura, but Homura instead begs the wraith to save her from being a magical girl. The wraith takes Homura's soul gem and teleports them from the area, leaving Mami and Kyoko behind.
Some time later, Mami and Kyoko sit in the park at night as they discuss Homura's recent disappearance and lack of clues leading to the giant wraith. Kyoko comes up with the idea of reminding Homura what her wish was in order to bring her back to normal. As they talk, a parade of wraiths swarm around them, however the wraiths take no notice of the two girls. Mami and Kyoko transform into magical girls and follow after the wraiths, coming across a city full of dead people. They're suddenly ambushed by Wraith-Sayaka. Kyoko stays behind to fight her off and allow Mami to continue chasing after the other wraiths. As Kyoko battles against Wraith-Sayaka, fending her off as best she can, other wraiths with similar time-stopping abilities join in the fray and Kyoko is soon overwhelmed. She uses the last of her magical energy to summon hundreds of spears that impale the wraiths, freeing Kyoko from their grasp.
By this time the giant wraith has been consumed by the power it took from Homura and transforms into a witch-like creature complete with familiars. As the familiars began to overrun the city, one of the witch's large braids swings at Mami, nearly killing her. However Kyoko has appeared just in time to pull Mami out of danger. Mami introduces to Kyoko the Wraith-Madoka and Kyoko hands to Mami the last grief cubes she has. Before Mami can finish using them, a braid has trapped Kyoko. Wraith-Madoka frees her with an arrow but it is too late: the witch has taken away her soul completely the moment it touched her.
At the end of the story, after Madoka has reset this universe's timeline so the curses of the previous world don't interfere, Kyoko is shown alive and well with no memories of the previous timeline.
Kyoko in The Rebellion Story
|Warning, this section contains spoilers about the movie.|
Prior to the events of the movie, the Incubators trapped Homura's Soul Gem in an Isolation Field that blocks the Law of Cycles. Homura creates a witch barrier inside her own Soul Gem, which is an idealized version of Mitakihara. Along with Mami and other characters, Kyoko is taken into the barrier and has her memories altered.
Within the barrier, Kyoko is now a student at Mitakihara Middle School and fights with the other magical girls against Nightmares, monsters created by the barrier specifically to provide an enemy for the magical girls to fight. She is shown to be much closer to Sayaka; in fact Kyoko is staying at Sayaka's house.
Homura suspects something is off and invites Kyoko to a treetop cafe to discuss things. While Kyoko sees nothing wrong initially, Homura feels Kyoko is the one that is most different from the impression she has of her. She asks her when Kyoko first transferred to Mitakihara from Kazamino City and how long it's been, however due to the memory alterations Kyoko can't remember. Homura asks Kyoko to accompany her on a trip to Kazamino, and Kyoko agrees so long as Homura buys her ramen once they get there. The two girls board a bus headed towards Kazamino, only to end up back at the same bus station in Mitakihara. They board the bus again only for the same to happen. They soon come to the realization that they can't leave the city as the townspeople stop to stare at them. Homura urges Kyoko to keep this revelation a secret from the other magical girls until Homura is able to figure out what is going on.
Eventually Homura realizes she is the witch and transforms into Homulilly. Kyubey tells Madoka to reveal her true powers in order to save Homura, but Sayaka tells Madoka not to listen to him. She stabs herself in order to summon Oktavia and an army of familiars from other witches. The summoned familiars battle Homulilly's familiars, while Oktavia holds off Homulilly herself. The other magical girls either fight off Homulilly's familiars or attack the ceiling of the barrier, cracking it. During the battle, Sayaka is rescued by Kyoko and admits that she regretted abandoning Kyoko at the end of the anime. The two girls then fight off familiars together, and Oktavia even uses Kyoko's spear to punch another hole in Homulilly's barrier. Finally Madoka shatters the ceiling of the barrier and exposes Kyubey's Isolation Field. She reaches out to Homura's remaining Humanity, and together they destroy the Isolation Field from within. Back in the real world, Mami place Homura's Soul Gem on her body, and Kyoko watches as Madoka, Sayaka and Nagisa descend from the sky to take Homura into the Law of Cycles. Just as Madoka is about to touch Homura's Soul Gem, Homura grabs onto her hands and begins altering the universe. Kyoko is engulfed by the colors that spill out of Homura's Soul Gem and spread out over the universe.
Homura, now calling herself a demon, creates a new world. In this world, Kyoko is initially seen in her school uniform on the road to Mitakihara Middle School. She is sitting in a tree with a bag full of apples and is feeding one to a number of Liese, Homura's birdlike familiars. Kyoko takes a bite of another apple before tossing a third down to Homura, who is sitting in a chair below Kyoko. As two of the Clara Dolls watch the apple fall into the creek, Homura shakes her head. Kyoko is surprised as the falling apple causes numerous birds to fly off.
At the end of the movie, a smiling Sayaka is shown taking a stick of Pocky from Kyoko, indicating that they've become good friends in Homura's new universe.
Kyoko in The Different Story
- Kyoko's illusion ability recovers a little in the 3rd volume, when she tries to stop Mami from committing suicide. (Die with Oktavia)
- She not only can make multiple images of herself, but also can make other kinds of illusions. She fakes Mami to believe her own soul gem is cleansed, to stop Mami from turning into Candeloro.
- Kyoko finally is defeated by a witch and dies. Before this, she gets a grief seed from Oktavia to cleanse Mami's soul gem.
- Kyoko and Madoka becomes secret friends when Madoka visits Kyoko.
Kyoko in the PSP Game
- Kyoko's Rosso Fantasma makes a return.
- It is used to daze opponents for several turns, leaving them open to attack.
- Kyoko is the only person that can prevent Sayaka from becoming a witch.
- Kyoko's family reappears in the game during a flashback.
- Kyoko's witch form is revealed: Ophelia.
- In the Homura route, Homura can choose Madoka, Mami or Kyoko to accompany her in the search for Sayaka. If she chooses Kyoko, Sayaka will be saved.
Kyoko in Kazumi Magica
- Kyoko made a brief appearance in chapter 16 of Kazumi Magica. She was mentioned in Michiru's diary, as she describes how she met Yuuri Asuka, who at that time was fighting against Kyoko.
Kyoko in Oriko Magica
"Just like what you read in manga, right? But it ain't like in manga where your overflowing love and courage is enough to give you the strength to save your butt. And ain't nothing can bring dead family members back to life." - Kyoko, Puella Magi Oriko Magica, Chapter 1.
- In Chapter 1, Kyoko takes in Yuma, a young girl orphaned when her parents are killed by a witch shortly before Kyoko kills it. Yuma has no one to go back to, and together they break into bathhouses and share a hotel room. Kyoko tries to instill her own morals into Yuma, and tells her to never disrespect and waste food. Yuma accompanies Kyoko to fight Witches, and when checking for wounds on Yuma after she has a close call with a witch, Kyoko learns of Yuma's abusive past, and sympathizes with her even more. Kyubey appears and tells Kyoko about the murders of magical girls. He attempts to contract with Yuma, but Kyoko stops him and tells Yuma to never become a magical girl.
- In Chapter 2, Kyoko leaves Yuma in their hotel room and goes out to fight a witch alone. Kyoko nearly dies from having her legs and arms torn off by the witch. Yuma, who has just made a contract with Kyubey, uses her new healing powers to save her. Kyoko is incredibly angry that the girl didn't heed her warnings about contracting, but after Yuma cries about fearing that she's useless and that she had been pushed to the edge by a girl named Oriko, Kyoko subsides. She does, however, promise to make Oriko pay for what she'd done.
- In Chapter 3, Kyoko appears only once, and speaks with Mami about the recent murders of magical girls. Mami is looking for a "black magical girl", but Kyoko knows only as much as Mami does. Yuma then flips Mami's skirt in defense of Kyoko, thinking that Mami was bullying her caretaker. Kyoko tells her that she is mistaken about Mami, but thanks her for trying to be helpful. She asks Mami about Oriko, but Mami doesn't know anything and Kyoko will tell her no more about it.
- In Chapter 6, Kyoko and Yuma fight together with Mami against Kirika after saving the blond magical girl. The fact that a magical girl will become a witch in her despair, but Yuma's words unite them again and together with Mami, they defeat the witch Kirika.
- In Chapter 7, Oriko is killed, and everyone seems to be safe, but Oriko's final attack kills Madoka. Kyoko asks Yuma if she can heal her, but it's too late, so Homura resets the timeline.
Kyoko in Magia Record
- Kyoko's special attack is called "Rosso Fantasma" (Red Phantom) but for personal reasons she no longer has her illusory powers during the time of the anime events.
- Kyoko's full ability is finally displayed in the Drama CD "Farewell Story", she has the ability to confuse her opponents with illusions as well as split herself into multiple images to confuse opponents in battle.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story, Kyubey explains that Kyoko's magic is called "enchantment". When Kyoko rejected her power after losing her family, she also rejected her own wish. Kyubey explains that Kyoko's magic is now useless, because her subconscious mind has rejected her own wish and along with it her magical ability. As long has Kyoko's mind rejects or regrets her own wish, she won't be able to use her magic as she did before.
- Kyoko has also displayed the ability to produce warding spells as well as demonstrated transfigurative magic, such as when she transformed her soul gem into binoculars
- In Japan the colour red is associated with sacredness and resistance to negative energies which could be connected to both her Father's religious work and her continuing to fight after her wish indirectly caused the death of her family, something that would probably cause most Magical Girls to give into despair.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story a news broadcast indicates that a private residence in Kazamino City was caught on fire, inside the residency they found the bodies of the three members of the Sakura family. According with police the residents were forced in multiple suicide but the broadcast doesn't mention any other details. It is not known if the police suspected the father, or if the private residency was the Sakura Church.
- The Oriko manga reinforces the idea that Kyoko lacks a permanent residency, instead she takes shelter at a fancy hotel (it is never stated how is she able to afford it or what trick she used to obtain a room).
- This magazine article confirms the suspicion in regards to Kyoko's income, it also supports the idea that Kyoko has the ability from her wish to charm others ("mind trick") but doesn't use them as she suppresses them subconsciously because of the trauma with her family. Her powers had been described as persuasion/hallucination.
- Kyoko offers an apple to Sayaka while she advises her to live a life of selfishness but Sayaka refuses both of them. Sayaka believes that Kyoko's self-centered philosophy is just wrong and also rejects the fruit because she apparently believes it was stolen. Her attempt to tempt Sayaka with an apple and her suggestion to follow a path of selfish survivalism could be interpreted as Kyoko acting as the snake advising Sayaka to abandon the path of justice.
- Kyoko's first name contains the character for "apricot,"(杏子) a symbol of strength achieved through struggles with adversity. Her surname, Sakura (桜), means "cherry blossom", which, according to Buddhist tradition, symbolizes the transience of life.
- The first character for Sakura (佐) means "to help" while the second (倉) means "warehouse."
- Her last name can also be used as a first name.
- In the Audio Commentary for Episode 7, Aoi Yuuki (Madoka) describes the character of Kyoko of being an anti-hero, a flawed human character that has to fight to overcome aspects of her unjust self, to attain an overall form of justice that she believes in.
- The first character of her name (杏) is the implied real first name (An) of Kafuka Fuura from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Both characters are voiced by Ai Nonaka.
- Apricot+ happens to be Ume Aoki's circle name .
- According with the Drama CD "Farewell Story", Kyoko has been a magical girl for a year before she met Mami. Since the Drama CD events takes place one year before the anime events, it is suspected that Kyoko has been a magical girl for at least two years, making her the second veteran of the group, after Mami.
- Ai Nonaka describes Kyoko's speech style to be Shouwa-ish (Shouwa era, 1926-1989), meaning an old style of talking.
- In the original draft for the script it is stated that Kyoko did steal the apples in Episode 7
- Production notes indicates that in Episode 9, Kyoko damaged her entire right torso.
- She could be said to resemble Hibiki Ganaha from THE [email protected] franchise, to the point one could palette swap them into each other. Their hairstyles, expressions, and fangs are all similar. Even their casual and hyperactive personalities are the same.
- Her spear appears as linked pieces during combat much like a scorpion's tail, and could be a reference to the scorpion's spear.
- She uses warding spells in battle. Scorpions are often associated with protection/warding spells, in Egypt and Tibet the Scorpion is made into an amulet - signifying protection and warding off evil.
- The scorpion character who appears in Goethe's Faust is caught between the extremes of heaven or hell. Kyoko commits sins like letting people die and (likely) steals food, but in the same time she's seen as praying and she never allows wasting food.