Ophelia (OPHELIA) is the witch form of Kyoko Sakura, making an appearance in Madoka Magica Portable. Like the anime witches, she was designed by Gekidan Inu Curry.
The witch of wǔdàn. Her nature is abandonment. A witch who eternally wanders with hollow footsteps within the fog. She can no longer remember what the horse that always accompanies her was.
The wǔdàn witch's minions, whose task is to march. They continually walk through the fog in an orderly fashion. The witch typically doesn't have any reason to approach these familiars.
From the March 2012 Dengeki PlayStation
||Kyoko's witch form|
Kyoko's witch can generate separated bodies, similar to the effect of Rosso Fantasma. She can also assault by becoming a lance form. Her familiars can shoot fireballs or slash with their deformed heads. Homura fights Kyoko's witch by herself. It is better to utilize her magic to stop time and attack with powerful weapon to beat multiple enemies at once.
Ophelia, Kyoko's witch form.
- The official website for Puella Magi Madoka Magica Portable refers to Ophelia as the witch of wǔdàn (武旦). A wǔdàn is a fierce female warrior in traditional Chinese opera.
- Ophelia also appears in Mami's Heart Pounding Tiro Finale game.
- Ophelia wears a long, mostly red garment that is somewhat reminiscent of, but still distinct from, her magical girl outfit.
- Ophelia rides a horse which wears around its neck, a large mostly red diamond-shaped symbol. The symbol is different from the one of her father's religion, but bears a resemblance in a common shape.
- The walls and floors of her barrier are largely unadorned and lined with dark red bricks.
- Ophelia's familiars are colorfully attired warriors, most of whom march around aimlessly. One has a dragon's head emerge from its neck for a powerful melee attack. Another has the ability to summon melee familiars by ringing a bell, and a long-range fire attack. The two reflect the hybrid abilities of Kyoko who possesses both strong melee abilities and range abilities with her weapon.
- Ophelia is fought on a narrow, confined area blocked off on either side by her barriers, somewhat reminiscent of the alley where Kyoko fought Sayaka in Episode 5. It allows her to maximize her use of Rosso Fantasma (previously a lost ability to Kyoko) to create duplicates of herself. These duplicates are not purely illusionary. They are capable of powerful melee attacks. Ophelia can transform into a spear for a long-range attack.
- Kyoko is known for the color red, her warrior ways, and her fiery attitude, all of which are incorporated in the main color palette of her barrier, the choice of wǔdàn witch, and the use of fire.
- How Kyoko becomes Ophelia is described in her game route (expand for story spoilers).
Speculation & Observation
- In Episode 7 during Kyoko's puppet show, it shows her father's head is on fire. Ophelia's head is also on fire, like her father.
- Ophelia can be thought of as a headless horseman.
- There are two German folk tales of a headless horseman:
- One is set near Dresden in eastern Germany. In this tale, a woman from Dresden goes out early one Sunday morning to gather acorns in a forest. At a place called "Lost Waters", she hears a hunting horn. When she hears it again, she turns around she sees a headless man in a long grey coat sitting on a grey horse.
- In another German tale, set in Brunswick, a headless horseman called "the wild huntsman" blows a horn which warns hunters not to ride the next day, because they will meet with an accident.
- In some German versions of the headless horseman, he seeks out the perpetrators of capital crimes. In others, he has a pack of black hounds with tongues of fire.
- Technically, the witch seems to have an eye below the flame, making Ophelia more of a candle-headed horseman. The impression of being headless is likely intentional, as the witch's "head" is flat enough to resemble a neck.
- Horse meat is known as "sakura" in japan, which is also Kyoko's last name.
- The name Ophelia is derived from the Greek οφελος (ophelos), meaning "help". This name was probably created by the 15th-century poet Jacopo Sannazaro for a character in his poem 'Arcadia'.
- The word 'Arcadia' has a connotation with an Utopian vision of pastoralism and harmony with nature. This type of setting appears in many works of fiction.
- Commonly thought of as being in line with Utopian ideals, Arcadia differs from that tradition in that it is more often specifically regarded as unattainable. Furthermore, it is seen as a lost, Edenic form of life, contrasting to the progressive nature of Utopian desires.
- There are various colored fish swimming in her barrier. They are part of the scenery and not actually familiars.
- Fish have various symbolic meanings:
- Early Christians used a fish symbol to represent the Christian faith.
- In Buddhism, fish can represent abundance and fertility, or living beings who practice the dharma need have no fear to drown in the ocean of suffering, and can freely migrate (chose their rebirth) like fish in the water.
- Adaptability, change, and transformation in Greco-Roman, East Indian, and Norse mythology.
- Goldfish are associated with fortune and wealth. One of the eight auspicious signs of Buddhism is a pair of goldfish, representing the state of fearless suspension in a harmless ocean of samsara.
- Ophelia of Shakespeare's Hamlet was a young woman who had a famous and highly romanticized suicide. While she lived, Ophelia's main conflict was between obeying her father or her love interest. She had a fear of intimacy and eventually went mad under the pressure of her father's death and her lover's rejection of her. Kyoko lost her family (her father being the driving force behind that) and was spurned by Sayaka.
- Polonius was obsessed with keeping Ophelia pure and repeatedly told her the importance of retaining innocence. Without that purity, he believed she would lose her worth. This mirrors the actions of Kyoko's father, who rejected her upon learning that she possessed her powers.
- The story of Ophelia's suicide by drowning is striking in a number of ways. First, her death seems to be passive: rather than straight-up committing suicide, as Gertrude (The Queen in Hamlet, who shares a name with the witch Gertrud) tells us, she accidentally falls in the water and then simply neglects to save herself from sinking. This seems to be a metaphor for the way Ophelia lives her life toward the end of the play – going with the flow, doing what her father tells her to do, rather making decisions for herself. Ophelia's garments "pull" her down, as if they had a mind of their own. Likewise, Kyoko followed wherever life lead her and was pulled down by her magical girl status.
- Ophelia is also described as being "mermaid-like" with her "clothes spread wide" as she is consumed by the water. Even in death, Ophelia is regarded as an erotic creature. Gertrude also suggests that Ophelia's drowning was natural when she describes Ophelia as being like a "native" creature in the water. Kyoko killed herself in an attempt to reach Sayaka, who took on the form of a mermaid as Oktavia, and whose transformation into a witch resonates with the features of water and the implied theme of drowning. Sayaka and Kyoko appear together underwater in the BD 5 artwork, shown to the right.
- Ophelia's famous death scene is represented in various paintings, including one painting by Millais.
- Shakespeare readers have interpreted the Ophelia character to be linked to the idea of regret, corrupted innocence, and unrequited love.
- In Norse Mythology, Valkyries rode into battle with spears —a weapon heavily associated with the god Odin.
- The spear was the symbol of the god Wodan and the most common weapon in Germanic armies; it was cheap to produce because it didn't need much iron and most types could be used for both stabbing or throwing. Most Germanic horsemen carried a shield and a spear though the footmen sometimes carried multiple spears; at the start of a battle these were thrown at the enemy and the last one was saved for close combat. According to Tacitus, the Germans were able to throw these spears immense distances. Some types of throwing spears were even equipped with a leather loop for the fingers so that they could be hurled even further.
- The ceremonial use of candles is found in the practice of many religions. Light is everywhere the symbol of joy and of life-giving power, as darkness is of death and destruction. Fire, the most mysterious and impressive of the elements, the giver of light and of all the good things of life, is a thing sacred and adorable in primitive religions, and fire-worship still has its place in two at least of the great religions of the world.
- In Christianity the candle is commonly used in worship both for decoration and ambiance, and as a symbol that represents the light of God or, specifically, the light of Christ. The altar candle is often placed on the altar, usually in pairs.
- An Advent candle is a candle marked with the days of December up to Christmas Eve. It is typically used in a household rather than a church setting: each day in December the candle is burnt down a little more, to the mark for the day, to show the passing of the days leading up to Christmas. The custom of having an Advent candle in the house seems to have started in Germany, but it is now widespread in some other European countries such as the United Kingdom.
- In Kyouko's puppet show in episode 7, candles are strongly associated with her father. They appear next to him several times, most notably during a sermon. When she describes how he killed the rest of her family and hung himself, his puppet falls with its head consumed by flame and ignites the rest of the puppets.
- It is suggested that the symbolism of the unicorn represents innocence. The fact that Ophelia is riding a horse, instead of a unicorn, has been speculated that the horse represents the loss of innocence and nobility. The image ingrains the idea that the unicorn has lost its horn along with its splendor and that it has become a regular equestrian animal.
- The horse's ears are unusually pointed, which make them resemble horns.
- According to Chinese folklore, each animal is associated with certain personality traits, and those born in the year of the horse are intelligent, independent, and free-spirited.
- There is some reason to believe that Poseidon, like other water gods, was originally conceived under the form of a horse. In Greek art, Poseidon rides a chariot that was pulled by a hippocampus or by horses that could ride on the sea, and sailors sometimes drowned horses as a sacrifice to Poseidon to ensure a safe voyage.
- Homer describes Poseidon, who was god of horses (Poseidon Hippios), earthquakes, and the sea, drawn by "brazen-hoofed" horses over the sea's surface.
- Tacitus (Germania) mentions the use of white horses for divination by the Germanic tribes, where the behavior of a white stallion could decide peace or war.
- White horses (which are rarer than other colours of horse) have a special significance in the mythologies of cultures around the world. They are often associated with the sun chariot, with warrior-heroes, with fertility (in both mare and stallion manifestations), or with an end-of-time savior, but other interpretations exist as well. Both truly white horses and the more common grey horses, with completely white hair coats, were identified as "white" by various religious and cultural traditions.
- In the New Testament, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse include one seated on a white horse and one on a pale horse - the pale horse carried the rider, Death. However, the Greek word translated as pale is often interpreted as sickly green or ashen grey rather than white. Later in the Book of Revelation, Christ rides a white horse out of heaven at the head of the armies of heaven to judge and make war upon the earth.
- Saint George, the patron saint of horsemen among other things, rides a white horse in the tale of Saint George and the Dragon.
- It is speculated that perhaps the guilt that Kyoko carried with her due to her failure to protect her family, and later Sayaka, weighted too much on her causing Kyoko to turn into a witch.
- The imagery of Ophelia riding a horse is speculated to evoke the imagery of "Knight, Death and the Devil" (Ritter, Tod und Teufel), a large 1513 engraving, one of the three "master prints" of the German artist Albrecht Dürer.
- If a unicorn is a symbol of purity and grace, then this may imply Kyoko lost both before she turned into the witch.
- Ophelia could be described as a (fallen) Knight-errant: a figure of medieval chivalric romance literature. The adjective errant (meaning "wandering, roving") indicates how the knight-errant would wander the land in search of adventures to prove his chivalric virtues, either in knightly duels (pas d'armes) or in some other pursuit of courtly love.
- The template of the knight-errant are the heroes of the Round Table of the Arthurian cycle such as Gawain, Lancelot and Perceval. The quest par excellance in pursuit of which these knights wander the lands is the Holy Grail.
- A knight-errant typically performed all his deeds in the name of a lady, and invoked her name before performing an exploit. In more sublimated forms of knight-errantry, pure metaphysical idealism rather than romantic inspiration motivated the knight-errant (as in the case of Sir Galahad). Such a knight might well be outside the structure of feudalism, wandering solely to perform noble exploits (and perhaps to find a lord to give his service to), but might also be in service to a king or lord, traveling either in pursuit of a specific duty that his overlord charged him with, or to put down evildoers in general. This quest sends a knight on adventures much like the ones of a knight in search of them, as he happens on the same marvels.
- The knight-errant stock character became the trope of the "knight in shining armour" in depiction of the Middle Ages in popular culture, and the term came to be used also outside of medieval drama.
- In Arthurian literature, the Holy Grail is a dish, plate, stone or cup, and was used to collect and store the blood of Christ at the Crucifixion. In Christian tradition the Holy Chalice is the vessel which Jesus used at the Last Supper to serve the wine. Not to be confused with the Grail legend, which is an entirely different and pervasive tradition concerning the cup of the Last Supper.
- In Episode 7, when Kyoko's family is murdered and their paper figures dismembered, their bodies and their blood drop into what appears to be a bathroom basin. The basin has a bowl shape form that could be interpreted to be in contrast to a baptism basin or the Holy Grail, the vessel used to store Jesus' blood.
- If Ophelia is an Knight-errant in search for a quest, perhaps she is in a quest for her own Holy Grail: The salvation of her family. This salvation could be metaphysical or spiritual but it is more likely her actual desire to save her family from physical death. As a Witch she probably has forgotten that her family is already dead, making Ophelia's own hero journey rendered useless.
- Another interpretation is that Ophelia is a knight forever wandering to find something to protect, and never able to find it.
- Ophelia's familiars are based off the rokurokubi, a type of Japanese supernatural creature that look like normal humans by day but gain the ability to elongate their necks at night.
- The rokurokubi are related to the nukekubi, a similar monster that detaches it's head completely. This may tie into Ophelia resembling a headless horseman.
- When Ophelia's familiars extend their necks they resemble dragon heads, which has a significant symbolism.
- In many Asian cultures dragons are revered as representative of the primal forces of nature, religion and the universe. They are associated with wisdom -often said to be wiser than humans- and longevity. They are commonly said to possess some form of magic or other supernatural powers, and are often associated with wells, rain, and rivers. In some cultures, they are also said to be capable of human speech. In some traditions dragons are said to have taught humans to talk. Asian dragons are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet.
- The ringing of bells have their place in religious ceremonies, rituals and traditions:
- In the Eastern world, the traditional forms of bells are temple and palace bells, small ones being rung by a sharp rap with a stick, and very large ones rung by a blow from the outside by a large swinging beam. The bell used by the familiar is a Suzu bell, that is traditionally used to summon kami.
- Ophelia's horse lack of a bridle and a rein is speculated to be an indication that the horse, while still at the service of Ophelia with no restrains, remains wild and free.
- However, it has been suggested, like all familiars, that the horse could still be under the control of Ophelia by magic and bridles and reins are unnecessary.
- Other believe the horse is literally a part of Ophelia's body.
- Ophelia's witch kiss looks like a heraldic banner.
- In German, the word banner was originally meant an official edict or proclamation. Such written orders often prohibited some form of human activity, bandum assumed the meaning of a ban, control, interdict or excommunication. Banns has the same origin meaning an official proclamation, and abandon means to change loyalty or disobey orders, semantically "to leave the cloth or flag".
- Ophelia's horse might also represent Kyoko's appetite. Horses will constantly eat if food is available, similar to Kyoko's eating habits. The phrases "Hungry as a horse" and "Eat like a horse" can contribute to the link between Ophelia's horse and Kyoko's appetite.
- Ophelia's connection to fire might also be a reference to Kyoko's appetite, as fire is associated with indiscriminate consumption.
- Ophelia might be based off the Little Matchstick Girl, since it is written by the same writer of the Little Mermaid, Sayaka's witch form, Hans Kristian Andersen.
Ophelia and her familiars.
Ophelia in Mami's Heart Pounding Tiro Finale
Witch kiss and grief seed in PSP theme
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
Even as a witch Kyoko remains badass
Nothing left for me in this world right? What are you again by the way?
Magical girls turn into pokemons?!
"And then I said..."