Madoka Magica Episode 8: I'm Such a Fool

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"I'm such a fool!" ~ Sayaka Miki
I'm Such a Fool
あたしって、ほんとバカ
First airing 24 February 2011
Script Gen Urobuchi
Storyboard Shin'ichi Omata
Episode director Takashi Kawabata
Animation Director Tomoyuki Matsumoto
Yuuji Kondou

Contents

Summary

Sayaka finishes off Elsa Maria, but refuses to use the Grief Seed, giving it to Kyoko, and doesn't feel well afterwards. Madoka helps her go back home. They are sitting on a bench with Madoka crying over Sayaka's actions. Sayaka tells that all that is left for her in life is fighting witches. Madoka tells that she wants to make Sayaka happy, but Sayaka runs away, telling Madoka not to follow her, while her Soul Gem is dimming.

Kyoko and Homura are talking about Walpurgisnacht in Homura's apartment, Kyubey appears uninvited and tells them about Sayaka's current condition. Madoka goes to Sayaka's apartment to find out that she's been absent since the day before. As Hitomi and Kyousuke are walking home, the two of them stop in a park and have a lively conversation. Sayaka watches from afar.

Homura speaks with Sayaka, trying to get her to use a Grief Seed, but Sayaka refuses. Sayaka accuses Homura of putting up false pretenses and always lying to them. Homura admits she is just doing things for Madoka's sake and prepares to kill Sayaka, but Kyoko interferes. Homura uses a flashbang grenade and escapes. 

Sayaka is riding in a train where two men are discussing and badmouthing their girlfriends and generally acting misogynistic. She interferes, asking them how they can speak this way about women who love them. Her train of thought grows progressively more fatalistic as she wonders why she bothered trying to save such a worthless world, and she begins to transform into darkness.

Madoka talks with Kyubey and he tells her about her apparent power. She seems to almost agree to become a magical girl, but Homura suddenly appears and riddles Kyubey's body with bullets before she can form a contract with him. Homura then breaks down in tears in front of Madoka, who has a strange moment of realization and asks if she has met Homura before. Before Homura can answer Madoka excuses herself and goes searching for Sayaka, ignoring Homura's calling out to her. Another body of Kyubey appears and eats his previous dead body. Kyubey realizes that Homura is a person from another time, and Homura says Kyubey's real identity is that of an "Incubator."

Kyoko finds Sayaka and sees that her Soul Gem is almost completely dark. Sayaka says that the hope and despair must always be in balance. Ironically she saved the boy who was in complete darkness, wishing for a miracle to get him out of this darkness, but by doing so she made herself fall into that same darkness that he was in, balancing things out, saying that this is the way magical girls are and calling herself stupid thinking that she could ask for a miracle for someone while remaining happy herself. In the end she understood that you can't have a wish(miracle) without giving something major in return(her soul),crying, her Soul Gem explodes, turning into a Grief seed, creating a maze with Sayaka apparently becoming a witch.

The episode ends with Kyubey noting "since this country calls women who are still growing up shoujo (少女 girls), for girls who on the way of becoming majo (魔女 witches), it's logical to call them mahou shoujo (魔法少女 magical girls)."

Runes

This episode made a more intensive use of the musical font. See Runes of episode 8

Audio Commentary

See Also: Guidebook staff commentary from the Magica Quartet
I'm Such a Fool
あたしって、ほんとバカ
Commentary Aoi Yuuki
Chiwa Saitou
Junichiro Taniguchi

The 8th episode features the chief animation director, Junichiro Taniguchi, in addition to our standard Aoi Yuuki (Madoka) and Chiwa Saitou (Homura).

This is the guy who makes sure that the series and characters all have a sort of unity. It's the sort of job where if you do it well, you're not noticed. He says that honestly, the people who keyframe and tween have the harder job overall. There are about 10 such animators for the series. And then there are one or two who help do corrections to the drawings.

He says that regarding the content, they all are surprised every time they're told what to draw.

Next, Saitou asks about how they decide on facial expressions, since the show is big on using the facial closeups to really evoke the emotions that the characters are feeling. Taniguchi says that he himself would often be doing the faces. He says that he'd be making weird faces (looking at himself in the mirror), but that they turned out nicely on the screen.

Yuuki asks about the wideface style. Taniguchi says that they certainly start out with very 'kyun' style smiles, but by this point, it's really distressing and dark. The wideface style really works well for these sad expressions...both here and in the later seasons of Hidamari Sketch. Saitou says it really hurt when acting some of those sad scenes, but it must have been just the same for the artists drawing them.

Kyubey is probably pretty easy, says Yuuki. He just moves his tail around, no facial expressions. They start discussing if he's trying to express something with his tail. When irritated, Yuuki's cats will whap their tails on the floor, and when they're interested in something their tails go up.

Saitou then asks about the artists, since they often skip episodes like working on the first one and then the fifth one...would they need to be filled in on how the story is going? Taniguchi says that that is the producer's job, to give them an understanding of how to draw.

They then talk about how difficult the characters are to draw. Taniguchi says that Hitomi is the hardest, because she's constantly filtering her emotions. On the other hand, Homura is easy. The cool beauty.

Finally, here in episode 8, Homura says 'Madoka' in front of someone else, instead of 'Kaname Madoka'. She's really shaken up at this point.

Next is the scene in the train, with Miki Shinichirou and Tobita Nobuo playing the role of the hosts. Apparently, Urobuchi Gen basically pulled this conversation he actually heard in person on the train. Saitou thought it was pretty amazing to pull in big-name seiyuu for such a small role.

There really are a lot of scenes wher the characters just stop and think or talk. Saitou asks about how much they have to think about other items in the scene. For example, when Madoka is talking with Kyubey, they have to have the CG artists provide most of the motion in the scene. The fountain is moving around and changing colors. In this scene, Taniguchi says that they want the viewer to be noticing things...subconsciously? Temporarily have your attention drawn away from the characters, probably.

Then there's the big scene where everyone cheers, and then... Homura comes up. This is the real first time where Homura breaks down. It was written in the script for Saitou to express that Homura hasn't run out of power, it was just emotion that caused her to lose strength.

Finally is the scene in the train station. Sayakaaaaaa..... 'Atashi tte...hontou baka' Now it's fully a tragedy.

And here we have Kyubey explaining exactly what's going on. In the initial airing, Kyubey narrowed his eyes, but remember that Kyubey's not supposed to make facial expression, but they corrected it for the blu-rays. ...

It's pretty interesting how different commentaries are difficult to summarize. Sometimes the staff guests are easier to write up, but other times the commentaries are easier to write with seiyuu as the guests.

Observations

  • In Homura's apartment, there are a number of documents pertaining to Walpurgisnacht on display. Images of these documents have been archived at the article: Homura Residence.
  • Homura's room is laid out like the surface of a clock. There are gears on the ceiling.
  • The artist Paul Klee made a painting called "Walpurgis Night". Not only does it have a strangely familiar name, it also seems fairly similar to Sayaka transforming into a witch.
  • There is a scene where "Hotel Nwobhm" can be seen. NWOBHM is an acronym for "New Wave of British Heavy Metal", a genre of music started in the late 1970s where many bands attempted to toughen up their music.

Production errors

  • At the beginning of the episode, when Sayaka has defeated Elsa Maria, the Grief Seed she picks up and throws to Kyoko is Elsa Maria's. The scene then cuts to Sayaka. When it cuts back to Kyoko, she is holding Elly's Grief Seed.

Trivia

  • This episode is notable for "killing off" Sayaka at the end of the episode. In the anime Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, one of the main characters (Kamina) also dies in the eighth episode. What is notable here is that Kamina also has blue hair like Sayaka and wields a sword as his primary weapon, including a cape.
  • The train conversation scene between the two hosts is actually based on a real event that Gen Urobuchi witnessed.
  • In the novel, Kyubey transmits Sayaka's last thoughts to Madoka via telepathy. Her last words before witching out were "I'm sorry, Madoka."

Billboard

The billboard that appears behind Sayaka and Kyouko at the train station contains symbols that are believed to illustrate how new timelines split off from old ones. An alternative theory is that it shows how a witch splits her barrier off into a separate world, leaving her old body behind as if it were an umbrella and hat she no longer needs to wear.

Images

Official Art

Screenshots

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.

Miscellaneous

Annotations

Madoka ranking 2chan.png
  • By Episode 8 Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica has passed the original series of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu as the most popular current anime ever on the Japanese discussion board 2channel (2ちゃんねる)[1].


See also

External links

Episodes
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Episode 7 Can You Face Your True Feelings? Madoka Magica Episode 8: I'm Such a Fool I Really Am an Idiot Episode 9 I'll Never Allow That
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