Madoka Magica Episode 1: As If We Met in a Dream...

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"Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki, may I ask for a request from you?"
"I want you to make a contract with me and become magical girls." ~ Kyubey
As If We Met in a Dream…
夢の中で逢った、ような…
First airing 7 January 2011
Script Gen Urobuchi
Storyboard Yoshiharu Ashino
Episode director Yukihiro Miyamoto
Animation Director Ryouma Ebata

Contents

Summary

EC01.jpg

14 year-old Madoka Kaname has a dream in which a dark haired girl is struggling against an evil force.

As Madoka wakes up and goes to school that morning, the very same girl, Homura Akemi, enrolls in her class. Even stranger, Homura seems to know Madoka and later confronts her in the hallway about whether she cares for her friends or not, saying she should not try to change her life, lest she risk losing everything.

After school, whilst visiting a record store with her friend, Sayaka Miki, Madoka hears a voice calling for help. Following it to a floor under maintenance, she finds a small creature named Kyubey being attacked by Homura. As Homura insists that she hand Kyubey over, Sayaka helps Madoka and Kyubey escape by discharging a fire extinguisher on Homura.

While fleeing, they are caught in a strange illusion and approached by strange creatures. However, they are rescued at the last second by another girl named Mami Tomoe, who transforms into a magical girl and defeats the creatures, dispelling the illusion. After allowing Homura to escape, Mami heals Kyubey, who tells Madoka and Sayaka he intends to form a contract with them to make them magical girls.

Runes

See the Runes of episode 1 page for decryption of the messages the witch and her familiars wrote in runes.

Audio Commentary

See Also: Guidebook staff commentary from the Magica Quartet
As If We Met in a Dream…
夢の中で逢った、ような…
Commentary Aoi Yuuki
Chiwa Saitou
Eri Kitamura

All episodes include Aoi Yuuki, the voice of Madoka, and Chiwa Saitou, the voice of Homura, and usually a guest. The first guest is Eri Kitamura, who voices Sayaka.

The commentary recording happened around the time episode 9 aired, so the seiyuu happen to know some things that the viewers don't. This includes things that they themselves didn't know during the episode recording. Each week, they were given the scripts shortly before recording, and had little idea about the plot or different characters' roles. They didn't even finalize the scripts until the week of, worrying the actresses a bit. It's pretty interesting that they had to act without even knowing why your character is supposed to be feeling one way or another.

They talked about how they got their parts during the auditions. Yuuki said that Madoka felt like a natural fit, and made a big impression on her. Well, a character really ought to make an impression on at least their seiyuu, so you can take it with a grain of salt. Kitamura said that she had tried a bunch of roles during the auditions, but Sayaka felt fairly similar to her.

Saitou actually was trying out for roles other than Homura, though. If you're familiar with her earlier roles in other anime, she often used a high squeaky voice, while her first well-known Homura-type character was Senjougahara from the Monogatari franchise. Her first impression was that it would be a difficult role, but even though she has two different personalities and hidden motivations, she certainly turned out to be a perfect fit.

They next commented on the school: it's a coed school, but the cast was mostly girls so they had to make all sorts of low "uehh"s to fill out the general sound profile of the classroom.

Then, they talked about Homura, who is really quite the enigma in the first episode. They say it seems like she's going to backstab you or something. She turns out alright though. Also, they note how Madoka is really passive and melancholic, rarely smiling. Yuuki was told "always crying" for how to act.

Another aspect of it they talk about is the character writing in general. Although when Hitomi is on screen at the restaurant, they all exclaim 'scary!' but they say that everyone in the series is a nice girl. Madoka, for example, is one of those people who you would say "She's a really nice girl", in a very natural way. Gentle, always thinking of others, but at the same time she runs away (a lot), which is certainly a very realistic thing for a middle school girl to do. Not so much of the "I must fight to protect!" deal from her, which makes her feel very human.

Sayaka is a bit more of that, though, kinda over-confident, cocky, and doesn't like to lose.

Finally, they talk about Mami, who is really cool here but at the same time seems really suspicious. (Also, they comment on how Shaft changed the shading and effects in her entrance scene between the TV airing and the BD version).

Observations

These runes are an excerpt from "The Hexeneinmaleins" in Goethe's Faust.

References to Faust

The very first shot of the series after the curtains rise is a title card that reads (in runes) "Prolog im Himmel". This is the title of the Prologue of Goethe's Faust, in which Mephistopheles and God make a wager over the soul of Faust. The runes underneath the title read "2011".

After Madoka and Sayaka run away from Homura, four Anthonies are seen "speaking" or singing moving streams of runes which form a quote from "The Hexeneinmaleins" in Goethe's Faust. This quote is a basic magic spell demonstrated to Faust on his first visit to a witch. It describes a 3x3 numerical grid where each row and column adds up to 15. Here is a translation of the passage.

Original text Translation
Die Hexe

Du mußt verstehn!
Aus Eins mach' Zehn,
Und Zwey laß gehn,
Und Drey mach' gleich,
So bist du reich.
Verlier' die Vier!
Aus Fünf und Sechs,
So sagt die Hex',
Mach' Sieben und Acht,
So ist's vollbracht:
Und Neun ist Eins,
Und Zehn ist keins.
Das ist das Hexen-Einmal-Eins!
The Witch

This you must ken (understand)
From one make ten,
And two let be,
make even three,
Then rich you'll be.
Skip o'er the four!
From five and six,
The Witch's tricks,
Make seven and eight,
'Tis finished straight;
And nine is one,
And ten is none,
That is the witch's one-time-one!


E1 ring with text.jpg

Inside the witch's barrier, cut-out rings containing German text appear which can be assumed to be quotes from Faust like a similar ring in episode two.

Please also refer to the Madoka Magica and Faust page for in-depth analysis and speculation on references to Faust found throughout the series.

Math

During class, Homura is presented with advanced algebra problems and solves them in a seemingly effortless, well-practiced fashion. Mitakihara Middle School's coursework is well above the normal middle school level, and some even appeared on the prestigious Tokyo University's entrance exam. See the Mathematics of Madoka Magica page for details and solutions.

Madoka BD 4 1.jpg

Madoka's House

Madoka lives in a futuristic house that features cutting edge architecture, a colossally spacious bathroom with digital screens that display currency exchange rates, and other high-tech amenities. See the Madoka's House page for details.

Revisions

Numerous changes were made between the TV and BD versions of the episode, as is common in SHAFT anime. See revisions for this episode for details.

Ending

In the original TV version, neither this, episode 2, or episode 11 have any ending. The BD version added the character song "See You Tomorrow" to fill this place.

Speculations

Trivia

Episode 1 first aired on Thursday, January 6 2011 at 25:30 JST (Friday at 1:30AM JST) on MBS.

Slowed-down BGM

Many fans have noticed that in the original broadcast, all the background music (most notably, Magia played during the prologue scene) is played slower and at a lower pitch. In the AT-X version (and reportedly the webcast version, too), this was corrected, causing the need for the tunes to be edited differently to fit the video. Some fans prefer "Magia (slow version)" and have uploaded it to YouTube.

Checkerboards and Chains

Although it may be coincidental, "dark scenes" within Episode 1 include many chains and checkerboard patterns, symbols usually associated with Black★Rock Shooter.

Images

Official art

Screenshots and crossovers

Fanart

This section contains fanart images

Everything in the following fan gallery is created, or the comments accompanying them are created, for entertainment value and should not be confused with actual canon events of the Puella Magi franchise.

Analyses

See also

External links

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- Madoka Magica Episode 1: As If We Met in a Dream... As If We Met in a Dream… Episode 2 That Sounds Wonderful
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