Madoka Magica Episode 2: That Sounds Wonderful
"I can grant you a wish" ~ Kyubey
"Hey? Is that true?" ~ Sayaka
"A wish is ..." ~ Madoka
"Anything you want, even if it is a miracle, I can grant it!" ~ Kyubey
"That sounds wonderful." ~ Madoka
|That Sounds Wonderful|
|First airing||13 January 2011|
|Episode director||Masahiro Mukai|
|Animation Director||Mika Takahashi|
After bringing Madoka and Sayaka to her house, Mami, along with Kyubey, provides the girls with some much-needed explanations. She explains how a Soul Gem gives a magical girl her power, and how it is born out of a contract made with Kyubey. He tells them he has the power to grant any wish, but in exchange, those who make wishes must become magical girls in order to fight witches: dangerous creatures, born out of curses, who regularly kill humans. Mami reckons that it's a difficult choice, and thus offers to take Madoka and Sayaka with her on a witch hunt, in order to help them decide if there's a wish worth risking their lives for.
They also discuss Homura's apparent attack. Kyubey tells them the target was not Madoka, but him: she intended to prevent them from meeting. Her reasons are unknown, but they speculate it could be to avoid competition: vanquishing witches brings rewards to the victor, for which magical girls occasionally clash.
The next day, Kyubey, who cannot be seen by normal people, accompanies Madoka and Sayaka to school (much to Sayaka's surprise), where they learn that they possess the ability of telepathic communication, mediated by Kyubey. While discussing their future on the school's rooftop, Homura approaches Madoka once again. She admits her objective was to keep Kyubey from making a contact with her, which was Mami and Kyubey's suspicion. Now that she has failed, she restates her previous warning to Madoka. While walking away, Madoka asks what her wish was, but Homura, visibly disturbed, remains silent.
After school, Madoka and Sayaka meet Mami for the witch hunt. Sayaka brings a baseball bat, while Madoka shows them sketches of magical girl designs (including one of herself) drawn in class, to the other girls' laughter and her embarrassment. Using her Soul Gem, Mami traces the aura of the witch from the previous day back to an abandoned building, lecturing them about the dangers witches present to the human population along the way. They arrive just in time for Mami to save a woman from committing suicide by jumping off the building's roof. She points to a strange mark on her neck: a "witch's kiss," signaling that she was being controlled by the nearby witch.
Entering the building, the witch's barrier reacts to Mami's Soul Gem, opening a portal, which the girls go through. After fighting their way through a maze filled with numerous familiars, they reach the lair of the witch, Gertrud. Mami engages her alone, summoning and firing a large number of rifles at the witch. However, her familiars manage to bind Mami, slamming her forcibly against against a wall. To Madoka and Sayaka's horror, she appears to be unconscious, but then calmly opens her eyes and reassures them: her previous shots had summoned strings, which now have completely immobilized the witch and her familiars. Taking the opportunity, she summons a large cannon and fires her ultimate attack, "Tiro Finale," claiming victory.
After the barriers dissolves, she picks up a strange object from the ground: a Grief Seed, a "witch's egg." She explains it is the reward she talked about the previous day: using magic depletes the Soul Gem's power, as shown by the dimming of its light; using a Grief Seed, the dim is absorbed by it, leaving the Soul Gem brighter and restoring the lost power. After using it, she throws it down a dark hallway to a hiding Homura, who watched over the events. Homura refuses to share it, and throws it back to Mami. She then leaves, much to the other girls' annoyance.
In the credits, Mami wakes up and comforts the woman she saved from suicide, while Madoka and Sayaka watch with admiration. Later, in her room, Madoka colors her drawing, thinking of how wonderful it would be to help others, like Mami.
See the Runes of Episode 2 page for decryption of the messages the witch and her familiars wrote in runes.
See Also: Guidebook staff commentary from the Magica Quartet
|That Sounds Wonderful|
|Commentary||Aoi Yuuki |
She was involved in the franchise from a very early stage. It was to be a mahou shoujo show in the style of Urobuchi, and she was invited to have some fun. They first decided on the general setting, then made a general summary, and then worked from there.
Talking about the image-colors of each character, apparently Urobuchi assigned her the colors to be used for each of the characters. She would be told to, say, "Make someone red", and from there she'd be relatively free to run. Apparently, Madoka and Homura were fairly easy, but Sayaka was more difficult. Although she needed to get across a 'boyish' impression, it can't be overdone without risking that her gender actually be confused.
Another interesting character for her to design was Kyubey, who was designed to be super-ultra cute. She didn't really think about any particular kind of animal, just a mahou shoujo mascot character.
The voice actors did note that they noticed some dissonance between the character art they were shown and the lines they had to read during the audition, which is interesting...
They asked Ume-sensei about her general impression of the series, which was tough for them to discuss because they were trying not to spoil things. She said that while it is certainly a mahou shoujo show, it's very much a human drama. It does eschew many of the classic magical girl tropes, like the standard love interest and the people they need to save. Instead, the show up until this episode is exploring exactly what being a mahou shoujo is, rather than just diving in.
Yuuki Aoi then talked about her drawing of Madoka's costume that shows up in this episode. She was given some concept sketches by Ume-sensei to base her drawings on, and apparently was watched intently as she drew. Ume and the other staff originally intended it look purposely bad, but when she tried to draw poorly, she found it hard to do, so they gave it to Yuuki, someone more likely to actually idly doodle in notebooks, to draw.
They also discussed Gekidan Inu Curry, who made the witch environments. Ume knew the story, but seeing their art was very cool for her. It must be interesting as an artist to see other artists' ideas, especially ones as off-the-wall as Inu Curry's, come to life upon reaching the animators. The voice actors too were always looking forward to seeing it air, because they'd often be recording over black and white sketches and it would change completely in final production. In fact, Katou Emiri, who played Kyubey, was shocked that Kyubey didn't have any lip movements, because during the initial dubbing for episode 1 she had tried hard to lip sync but afterward there was a decision made to not have Kyubey move his mouth at all.
They discussed many other things that aren't that interesting for their content, but more just for the feeling of getting to know the people behind the show.
References to Faust
The texts on the abandoned building's entrance wall in Episode 2 are quotes from Goethe's Faust. Here is a translation of the portion that is quoted.
Du hast sie zerstört,
Die schöne Welt,
Mit mächtiger Faust;
Sie stürzt, sie zerfällt!
Ein Halbgott hat sie zerschlagen!
Die Trümmern ins Nichts hinüber,
Über die verlorne Schöne.
Baue sie wieder,
In deinem Busen baue sie auf!
Mit hellem Sinne,
Und neue Lieder
Thou hast it destroyed,
The beautiful world,
With powerful fist:
In ruin ’tis hurled,
By the blow of a demigod shattered!
Fragments into the Void we carry,
The beauty perished beyond restoring.
For the children of men,
Build it again,
In thine own bosom build it anew!
Bid the new career
With clearer sense,
And the new songs of cheer
Be sung thereto!
As in Episode 1, cut out rings containing Faust quotes in German can be seen within Gertrud's barrier. One of these is legible, referencing a passage where several things are cursed. Here is the full passage and translation:
|Verflucht voraus die hohe Meinung,
Womit der Geist sich selbst umfängt!
Verflucht das Blenden der Erscheinung,
Die sich an unsre Sinne drängt!
Verflucht was uns in Träumen heuchelt,
Des Ruhms, der Namensdauer Trug!
Verflucht was als Besitz uns schmeichelt,
Als Weib und Kind, als Knecht und Pflug!
|Cursed be, at once, the high ambition|
Wherewith the mind itself deludes!
Cursed be the glare of apparition
That on the finer sense intrudes!
Cursed be the lying dream's impression
of name, and fame, and laureled brow!
Cursed, all that flatters as possession,
As wife and child, as knave and plow!
The Madoka Magica and Faust page contains additional analysis and speculation on references to Faust found throughout the series.
Episode 2 first aired on Thursday, January 13 2011 at 25:30 JST (Friday at 1:30AM JST) on MBS.
- According to the Blu-Ray Episode 2 voice commentary, Ume Aoki gave a draft to Aoi Yuuki who was asked to draw some sketches on Madoka. She came up with the outfit designs for the notebook shown in this episode. Originally it was planned for Madoka's drawing skills to be horrible, but it didn't turn out that way.
At the beginning during Madoka and Junko brushing their teeth in bathroom, a shot from their back shows that Madoka had her hair tied in bunches. The next shot turned to their front immediately, Madoka was still in toothburshing but her hair was not tied.
Before they enter the barrier, Sayaka receives a bat Mami imbued with magic to protect them from any immediate threats. Sayaka is still in possession of the bat during the battle with Gertrud, but after Mami destroys Gertrud and the barrier dissipates, the bat is nowhere to be found for the rest of the episode.
Episode 2 end card, by Hekiru Hikawa
Blu-Ray versus TV broadcast
- Main article: Episode revisions#Episode 2
Analyses and runes cracking
- Live watching threads featuring reactions to the episode as it aired:  and 
- Information about the school Madoka attends, Mitakihara Middle School.
- Gertrud, the witch who fought Mami.
- Gertrud's maze, a magical realm that reflects the witch's mind and heart.
- Translations of the witch runes appearing in this episode.
- References to Goethe's Faust in Madoka Magica.
- What is Lord Humungus doing in the end card?
- Revisions made to episode 2 in the BD version.
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