Pleiades Saints

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"Those seven stars up there! We're named after the seven sisters of myth." ~ Niko Kanna, Chapter 3.
From left to right, Niko, Mirai, Saki and Satomi
The Pleiades Saints (プレイアデス聖団 Pureiadesu Seidan, lit. Pleiades Holy Party) is a team of Puellae Magi featured in Puella Magi Kazumi Magica: The Innocent Malice. Together, they fight witches in Asunaro city.

Their name is taken from the Pleiades star cluster (プレイアデス星団, the same pronunciation), whose stars are named after the Pleiades of Greek mythology (a.k.a the Seven Sisters).

Contents

Members

The Pleiades Saints' current roster is composed of:

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Kazumi (かずみ)
A girl with amnesia who can't remember anything except her name. Despite this, she keeps an innocent, cheerful and friendly personality. She is also a glutton for delicious foods. Eventually she was found by her roommates and partners, Kaoru and Umika. Her wish is unknown through the first 11 chapters because her friends claim she never told it to them before she lost her memories.
She is the team's sharpshooter, maintaining some distance from the opponent and firing powerful magic beams when the opportunity arises.
She is, in fact, a clone of deceased magical girl Michiru Kazusa link, created from the flesh of her witch form, in an attempt of the Pleiades to revive her.


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Kaoru Maki (牧 カオル)
An athletic soccer player living with Umika and Kazumi. A bright older sister figure who takes good care of things. She wished for a strong, healthy body that would let her play soccer or so she tells Kazumi, but the truth is she wished to help the people who were hurt in the match where she got her leg injured.
She fights by dealing powerful kicks and ball strikes, stunning, distracting and wearing down the opponent.


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Umika Misaki (御崎 海香 Misaki Umika)
A popular novelist who bought the trio's house with her earnings. Her reliable, mature aura changes completely when there's a deadline looming. She is close to Kaoru and thinks of Kazumi as a little sister. She wished for the chance to meet an editor who would publish her stories.
In battle, she uses her magical book to read the opponent's mind in order to figure out it's weakness and to improve the team's chances of success. She is also capable of manipulating memories, implanting Kazumi with memories and rewriting Jubey's to keep him under their leash.


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Saki Asami (浅海 サキ Asami Saki)
A mature and intelligent girl, she effectively acts as the Pleiades' leader. Cool and collected, she is apt at commanding the other girls both in battle and outside of it. She also cares not only for their safety, but for their morale.
In battle, she wields an electric rod, and can summon lightning at will from it. When transformed, her glasses become a single monocle.
She becomes a witch in chapter 18, after Kanna implants her with an Evil Nut.
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Mirai Wakaba (若葉 みらい Wakaba Mirai)
An impulsive girl with long, puffy hair. She is hotheaded and is not afraid to express her thoughts as loud as possible, and occasionally vents out her frustration on Kazumi by smacking her (especially when Kazumi begins doubting herself). She also thinks of herself highly, sometimes even calling herself "Mirai-sama," but deep down she is a caring girl.
She wields a staff with an elaborate heart-shaped design on the end with which she can fire magic. Mirai, while enraged, reveals that she is able to transform her staff into a gigantic sword, and she can summon a platoon of teddy bears with an attack called La Bestia (The Beasts). The bears can also fuse into a single massive bear with La Bestia Rifare (Remake the Beast).


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Satomi Usagi (宇佐木 里美 Usagi Satomi)
A polite girl who loves animals, and wants to become a veterinarian when she grows up. Her wish was to gain the ability to talk to animals, which she uses to gather information.
Her individual abilities in battle are so far unknown. When transformed, her suit gives her a feline appearance, complete with cat ears, paws, and even a long tail. She also wields a cat shaped staff.
She can also control people's bodies with a spell called Fantasma Bisbiglio, and is more unstable then she appears at first.
She becomes a witch in Chapter 15, while trying to dispatch Kazumi
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Niko Kanna (神流 ニコ Kanna Niko)
A tech expert and arguably the most intelligent of the group. She uses several pieces of high tech equipment, most notably a
smartphone with an app that can read a witch's residual power wavelength and calibrate the girl's Soul Gems to track it more accurately. She is also able to quickly analyze situations, and notice subtle details the others don't. She is constantly seen with the same uninterested look on her face, which barely changes even when pierced with an arrow.
While transformed, she dons an aviator suit, complete with goggles, a harness and a parachute backpack.
After becoming a witch and dying in chapter 9, she is replaced by Kanna Hijiri link, a duplicate of Niko who was created by Niko's wish (a version of herself that could live happily, without the memories of her tragic past incident), who was given her original name, while the original Kanna took on the alias of "Niko".


History

This section may contain major spoilers for the Kazumi Magica manga!

Please refrain from reading if you haven't read the latest chapter yet.
Figli Del Toano - A quick joint attack
Episodio Incrocio, their joint bind spell.

Though Kazumi, Kaoru and Umika were present since the start, the Pleiades were only introduced in chapter 3. After a witch traps Kaoru and Umika inside of itself and takes off, four mysterious girl come to Kazumi's aid. They introduce themselves as the Pleiades Saints, a seven-girl witch-hunting team of which Kazumi and her abducted friends are also a part of. Together, they search for Kaoru and Umika across town. While they search, the mysterious girl from previous chapters, Yuuri, attacks Kazumi, having disguised herself as Satomi to separate her from the rest of the team. Overwhelmed, Kazumi is on the verge of defeat, but her four companions intervene. Kazumi is then held at gunpoint, causing them to hesitate, but she screams out to them to attack anyway. They do so, and fire a joint attack at the mysterious girl: Figli Del Toano. It causes a large explosion, but the magical girl gets away. Kazumi is only lightly wounded.

They reunite at Umika's house for a strategy meeting. While analyzing the situation, Saki, their presumed leader, makes a breakthrough. She discovers the symbol the witch left across town was also on the back of a book, leading her to conclude the witch has possessed a bookmobile. After filling up on Kazumi's delicious food, they head out to the last stop on the bookmobile schedule to intercept it. They successfully do so, and, leaving Kazumi on the outside to strike at command, rescue Kaoru and Umika just in time. Together, the six of them bind the witch with Episodio Incrocio. However, Niko's GPS/com unit breaks, leaving them unable to give Kazumi the needed signal. Umika, thinking quickly, commands them to use candy flutes given to them by Kazumi. The sound reaches her, and the witch is destroyed by Limiti Esterni.

While they reunite and celebrate their victory, they are approached by Jubey, the "fairy" (妖精) or sprite that turned them into Puellae Magi. He cleans up their Soul Gems, and gladly accepts the last witch's Grief Seed, but refuses a couple of weird looking seeds, obtained from the pseudo-witches of Chapters 1 and 2, saying they were not real. Umika theorized they imitated the Grief Seed's power and were created by the mysterious girl from before, but before they could draw further conclusions, they are attacked by that very girl, Yuuri. She kidnaps Kazumi, and orders them to go to the Asunaro Dome at midnight if they want Kazumi back. While waiting for the deadline, they speculate on Yuuri's motivations. At the right time, they head to the dome, but due to a force barrier they can do nothing but watch as Yuuri enacts her plane. Yuuri states her objective is to seek revenge on them. She interprets the Pleiades' failure to recognize her as having been "just that insignificant" to the girls. She then removes her hat, causing a shocked Umika to recognize her, and proceeds to shove an Evil Nut, one of the awkward Grief Seeds from before, into Kazumi's forehead, while the Pleiades scream in horror.

However, the Evil Nut seems to empower Kazumi instead, and she fights Yuuri again. Despite her efforts, Yuuri still comes out ahead in the battle. She shockingly claims that the Pleiades Saints are a gang that kills magical girls, and had killed her in the past. The Pleiades adopt guilt-filled expressions. She says that she went after Kazumi because she was their most precious possession. At this point, overuse of her magic causes her Soul Gem to crack. Saki tells Jubey to purify Yuuri's Soul Gem, but she shoots him before he can do so. Niko realizes it's too late, and announces that Yuuri's Soul Gem has hatched as Yuuri became a witch. In her barrier, Yuuri's witch form traps the Pleiades Saints on crosses and wraps vines around them, inflicting them great pain.

The story then flashes back to the past. During the flashback, the Pleaides rescue a girl named Airi from a witch. Kazumi is not among them, suggesting that she wasn't a member at the time. After they leave, Kyubey appears to Airi and reveals that the witch was actually her friend Yuuri Asuka, and she became a witch right in front of the Pleaides Saints. Mentally shattered by the revelations, Airi wishes to become Yuuri, and declares revenge on the Pleiades, setting up the above events.

It is then revealed that the flashback was actually a vision shown by Yuuri/Airi's witch form. The witch attacks Kazumi, but she falls under the influence of the Evil Nut and begins transforming, breaking of her cross. Suddenly returning to normal, Kazumi tries to Yuuri/Airi back into a human, with horrific results. At this point, Saki shoots the witch, freeing the rest of the Pleiades. One by they attack the witch as Kazumi begs them to stop. They explain they have no choice but to stop the witch from hurting anyone, and they won't let Kazumi dirty her hands. Realizing that her friends are as pained by this as she is, Kazumi delivers the final blow to the witch, saying she'll bear this burden with them.

Later that night, we see Kaoru, Saki, Mirai, and Satomi confront a magical girl named Sumire Akane (It's unclear if Niko or Umika are present). Kaoru uses a mysterious spell named Tocco del Male (English: Touch of Evil), causing Sumire to scream. We then cut to a magical girl that is watching the Pleiades, and seems to want them for something. Through her binoculars, we see the Pleiades turn back to their civilian outfits as they hold out their Soul Gems. Sumire also untransforms and seems to be unconscious or dead. Later in the chapter it is learned that Tocco del Male is used on a magical girl's Soul Gem, and it stuns their body.

The other Pleiades Saints then appear to rescue Kazumi and Niko from Ayase and Luca Souju. Kaoru says they'll be taking the Soujus' gems. Saki tells Kaoru not to do it in front of Kazumi, but Niko says Kazumi already saw her doing it. Kaoru pulls out both Ayase and Luca's gems with the spell Tocco del Male. Kazumi angrily asks the others why they're taking the Soul Gems of other magical girls, saying that she said earlier she would bear the burden with her friends. Against Saki's objections, Umika says she'll tell Kazumi the truth about the Pleiades Saints, but while she's saying that Satomi watches Niko's Soul Gem glowing. Niko falls over on her knees, and then the Pleiades turn to see a witch has appeared with Niko's body floating in front of it.

As Niko's Soul Gem cracks, we see background text of her thinking that that she'll die without a trace, and she wants everyone to remember. She thinks she doesn't want to kill anyone anymore. The runes coming out of her Soul Gem read "We have no future as long as he's around." The Pleiades are shocked to discover Niko has become a witch. Repeatedly shouting "Cut", the witch turns her hands into a single pair of scissors. Kaoru transforms and blocks the attack using Capitano Potenza ("Captain Power"), which encases her arms in a black metallic substance. The witch fires projectiles from its body. Kaoru turns to the others and tells them not to stand there. Umika encases herself, Kazumi, and Satomi in a barrier. Saki pushes Mirai in, but is wounded. Mirai flips out and uses her attack La Bestia ("The Beasts") causing an army of teddy-bears to appear and chew on the witch. When the witch throws them off, Mirai uses La Bestia Refare ("Remake the Beast"). The bears start hugging each other and turn into a giant bear that Mirai jumps on. The bear pounces on the witch and pulls it into a bear hug. Mirai leaps into the air, turns her wand into a giant sword, and cuts both the bear and the witch in half. The witch dies, yelling "Cut" one last time. She drops a Grief Seed (which notably looks different than Niko's Soul Gem).

Mirai asks Saki if she's alright, but she's still processing Niko's death. Mirai tells her she had to do it, but is interrupted by Satomi screaming that she doesn't want to die or turn into a witch. Jubey and Umika look at the Grief Seed, as Umika wonders how did things turn out like this. Kazumi takes the hand of Niko's body and finds it's cold. As she shouts Niko's name, a voice says "You called?" Everyone is shocked to see another Niko standing behind them. As Kazumi asks what's going on, the other Niko walks up to the first Niko's body, puts her arm around her neck, and with a disturbing expression says "Switch". She then touches the hair of the body, and it's face suddenly vanishes. Jubey, a disturbing grin on his face, says that the body was Niko's "spare" and "compensation for Niko's contract". Kaoru asks why Niko didn't tell them. Niko says that to deceive an enemy, you have to deceive your allies. Kaoru punches her, then gives her a hug. Niko then says they should cut to the chase. Kaoru tells Saki Kazumi can handle it.

The scene switches to Mirai's teddy bear museum, "Angelica Bears". Mirai says that in Japanese it's called "Ashitaba" (literally "tomorrow's leaf") and says that Kazumi came up with the name. As they walk inside, they step onto a magic circle. Umika holds out her ring, suddenly transporting them all somewhere else. Umika tells Kazumi that the museum was born from them meeting with her. The walk up to a giant door, which opens into a giant room filled with girls floating in tanks. The middle of the room contains a pile of Soul Gems. Umika explains that after they take Soul Gems, they put the empty shells of the magical girls into "the Freezer". We see one of the girls has a nametag, reading Kaede Hinata in English. Kazumi says that Ayase was right, and asks why they're doing this. Jubey says that it's their response to the magical girl system, which is full of contradictions: Rejection.

Umika explains that witches are the end state of magical girls. Umika tells Kazumi that they lied to her when they said that sometimes the Soul Gems of magical girls go out of control. Jubey, grinning, explains that Soul Gems are the extracted souls of magical girls. Kaoru admits that they're like zombies, but it's preferable to dying to a witch in one shot. Jubey then says that the Pleiades refuse to fight without feeling pain. Kaoru responds by saying that if they do that they'll cease being human. Umika explains that the magical girls they capture are placed in a barrier that separates them from their Soul Gems and puts them in suspended animation, preventing them from becoming witches. Kaoru says they hope to find a way to completely clean the gems and turn them back into humans. Until then, they'll keep fighting alone. This is their "rejection" of the magical girl system. Niko then takes out a container that has the Soujus, their Soul Gems, and the Soul Gem and body of another magical girl. The bodies of the magical girls have been shrunken to the point where they can be picked up by one hand. Niko puts into two new containers, saying they "will keep on waiting for the prince's kiss." Kazumi asks when everyone found out about the connection between magical girls and wishes. Umika touches her forehead to Kazumi's, telling her to remember everything.

The Pleaides before making their contracts.
The story flashes back into the past. Umika, Kaoru, Satomi, Mirai, Niko, and Saki are standing on a catwalk. They are all displaying a witch's kiss on their necks. Each girl had some "despair" in her life, which caused them to be vulnerable. This is shown in flashbacks:
  • Umika wrote a draft for a novel that was taken by her editor and released under the authorship of a top idol. Then the editor calls her to ask if they can look forward to her next work. Umika drops the phone.
  • Kaoru was injured in a soccer game that left her on crutches. The girl who injured her is then rushed to the hospital Kaoru was recovering in. It turns out that girl was bullied for ruining Kaoru's career and tried to kill herself. Kaoru screams.
  • Satomi is given a cat on her third birthday, which she names Sare. Years later, she goes out and leaves it alone in her house, despite it's protests. It's then seen in a veterinarian's office, dead. The vets says that if the cat was brought here earlier it might have survived, prompting Satomi to think that this wouldn't have happened if she had just listened.
  • Mirai is shown at school wearing glasses. The other students want nothing to do with her. As she walks home, Mirai clutches her teddy-bear saying, she's not lonely because she has all of them. We then find that her room is filled with teddy-bears. As she begins sewing one of them, admits she wants friends and starts crying.
  • Niko is shown as a little kid, playing with her neighbors and a loaded gun. She is promptly revealed to be the Japanese kid from the news article in Chapter 7. The gun goes off, the bullet bouncing off a vase and killing her neighbors. Niko cries.
  • Saki is shown as a child. Her friend Miyuki shows off her lily of the valley flower. Miyuki says her dream was to grow lots of flowers and use them as a bouquet in her wedding. Saki says that dream won't come true, because she thinks no man is good enough for Miyuki. Miyuki hugs Saki and says that she'll marry her. Years later, Miyuki and Saki are caught in a horrible car crash. Miyuki is killed by a piece of glass lodged in her throat. Saki can only say Miyuki's name.

The six girls jump off, as a voice says "Everyone should just die." The voice is cut-off by a familiar spell, where ribbons wrap around the girls, stopping their fall. Their savior is none other than Kazumi, saying, "Ciao! You suicidal girls!"

Kazumi opens up a witch's barrier around herself and the girls. Familiars appear and start attacking the normal girls while Kazumi watches. Kaoru tries to use her crutch to fight them off, but falls down. Umika shields her with her body. Mirai does something similar for Saki. Satomi asks why Kazumi isn't helping. Kazumi responds by asking why they don't want to be eaten if they want to die. She then pulls six firearms from her hat and drops them on the ground. The familiars combine, revealing that they were actually a witch. The girls pick up the weapons, Satomi saying she doesn't want to die and Niko musing she can't run away from guns. They fire at the witch, deflating it like a balloon. It re-inflates itself and charges. Kazumi stops the witch with her cross, saying that "As long as you keep trying to live, you won't fall into despair" and that there's always hope. She then fires "Limit Esterni", destroying the witch.

As the barrier disappears, Saki asks "What was that?" A silhouette appears behind her, looking similar to Kyubey. It turns out to be Jubey, who says that was Magical Girl Kazumi, who hunts witches. A loud growling noise is heard, which turns out to be Kazumi being hungry. It's revealed that her ahoge was absent in the past (though the symbol is still on her hat and earring-bell). The scene changes to Kazumi's house, where she eats with the Pleiades. She talks about how her grandmother said that people eat plants and animals to live, and so they have a duty to them to keep living. She asks the girls about her strawberry risotto, which was passed down from her grandmother. When they respond positively, Kazumi says that her grandmother would be happy to hear that. Saki asks where her grandmother is now, prompting Kazumi to reveal that she had passed away. She tells them not to worry.

Kazumi point to a book with Umika, asking her if that's the book that plagiarized her story. After reading the book Kazumi says it's bad because the main character wastes food like "The Girl who Trod on the Loaf" (a fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen). Umika suddenly becomes animated and agrees, saying the scene wasn't in her draft. She then explains that the rule of villains is that the one who wastes food is a villain and can't be left alive - revealing the source of the brief flashback Kazumi had in Chapter 1. Kazumi says she never heard of that, but agrees. She tells Umika to keep writing, because other than the main character the story was good. As Kazumi goes to get desert, Saki asks her how she became a magical girl.

Kazumi explains she became a magical girl the day her grandmother died. The story flashes back again to Kazumi's past. She narrates that she was studying abroad when she learned that her grandmother's condition became critical. While hurrying home, she ran straight into a witch's barrier. Fortunately, she's saved by a surprise appearance from Mami Tomoe, who muses that she can't take it easy even on a trip. Mami destroys the witch with "Tiro Finale". When Kazumi thanks her, Mami tells her to get going and be careful. As Kazumi leaves Jubey is strangely seen by Mami's feet. At Kazumi's home, a doctor explains that her grandmother only has a few days left unless she's hooked up to a respiratory machine and it's unlikely that she'll wake up. Kazumi says that her grandmother would never want to go on life support. Later and alone with her grandmother, Kazumi starts crying and says that she wants her grandmother to open her eyes, just once more. Jubey appears on the windowsill, saying that he can grant her wish if she makes a contract and becomes a magical girl.

Jubey tells Kazumi being a magical girl is difficult. Kazumi is fine with that and wishes for her grandmother to return to her normal self as long as she remains alive. Jubey asks if she's fine with not curing her grandmother's illness. Kazumi says she wants to, but it wouldn't be respecting her way of life. The contract is established. Kazumi's grandmother wakes up, asking if it's a dream. Kazumi says it's her last dream, and asks her grandmother if she can teach her how to make strawberry risotto. Kazumi spends the day learning cooking skills and advice from her grandmother. She tells Kazumi that people can't fall into dispair as she gives Kazumi her earring-bell; the same earring-bell Kazumi has worn throughout the series. The flashback in a flashback ends as Kazumi says her grandmother went to heaven the next day. (She incidentally reveals the name of her cat, Toto.) Saki asks why Kazumi didn't just wish her grandmother to be healthy, saying Kazumi is now all alone. Kazumi says her grandmother will always be in her heart, just like Miyuki will be in Saki's heart (Miyuki here is revealed to be Saki's sister). Mriai asks if she can be a magical girl. Jubey tells her she can if she accepts her fate of fighting witches. Mirai says she can accept anything. Umika, Kaoru, Satomi, Niko and Saki quickly chime in agreement. Kazumi cheers over having new friends. Mirai questions the fact that she's a friend, prompting Saki to thank Mirai for protecting her. Jubey tells the girls to give him their wishes. Mirai says her wish was already granted by having friends. Saki suggests wishing for the friends that have always protected her - Mirai's teddy bears. She points to a number on it, asking Mirai if it's her 666th friends. When Mirai asks how Saki knew, Saki explains that her sister did the same thing. Mirai decides to wish for a museum for all her teddy bears. Kazumi suggests calling it "Angelica Bears" which is a pun on Mirai's name and the Ashitaba plant (Mirai's name means "Future Young Leaf", Ashitaba means "Tomorrow's Leaf" and is in the Angelica genus).

The origin of the Pleiades' attack names.

Satomi then wishes to talk to animals. Niko whispers her wish to Jubey, embarrassed to say it aloud. Saki wishes for her sister's flower to bloom forever. Umika wishes for an editor to recognize and handle her works preciously. Kaoru wants to help the people that were hurt in the match where she had her injury. Kazumi asks her about her injuries, but Kaoru says she'll just return to the field with her current legs. The contracts are completed, and Kazumi names their team the Pleiades Saints. The scene cuts to the girls fighting a witch. Kaoru destroys it with her spiked shoes. Jubey asks about her strengthened magical girl body. Kaoru is very happy about it. Kazumi calls Kaoru's attack Capitano Potenza ("Captain Power"), and reveals she wants everyone to call their attacks, even recording them in a book. Kazumi reveals that she's following the lead of Mami Tomoe and says she won't cook for the girls if they don't do it. Saki then notices Kazumi's earrings are missing. Kazumi guesses she lost them in the battle, but admits it's okay because her grandmother won't disappear from her heart. Later on Kazumi receives a new pair of the earrings. Kaoru explains that Saki asked her dad to get them while he was on a business trip. Kazumi thanks Saki, while Mirai has a sad or angry expression on her face.

Later, Kaoru and the other Pleiades (except Kazumi) wonder why Kazumi is late, having been told Kazumi was bringing a new friend. Jubey appears, saying a witch's barrier is nearby. They run to Asunaro Dome, where they see Yuuri Asuka transform into a witch. After the battle the girls are stunned. Satomi asks if magical girls turn into witches. Jubey explains how witches are created, and says his job is to gather the energy form the conversion of hope to despair. Kaoru grabs Jubey while he explains that immature witches should be called magical girls. Suddenly Umika grabs Jubey and slams her head against him. A laser fires from her eye into his. Jubey falls down and asks why Umika is looking scary. Umika explains to Kaoru that she rewrote Jubey's memories, preventing him from making contracts. The story then returns to the present. Kazumi says she remembers hunting magical girls after Yuuri, but then suddenly falls over. The symbol for the Evil Nuts appears in her eyes. Satomi looks on in shock, as Kaoru says everyone's tired. Umika leads Kazumi out as Kaoru says they should rest for the day. Saki remains in the Freezer, looking at the pile of Soul Gems. They include two Evil Nuts. We then find Satomi is walking up behind her. Saki asks why Satomi is there. Satomi pulls her hand to her mouth and says: "Saki, let's kill Kazumi." The last panel has Satomi giving a sinister grin.

Satomi tells Saki that they can't afford to let Kazumi live as long as she's infected by the Evil Nut. Saki refuses, as she loves Kazumi too much to hurt her. Satomi then grabs Saki and brainwashes her with Fantasma Bisbiglio ("Ghost Whisperer") and sends her to the Misaki residence. Inside, Kazumi is asleep, while Kaoru and Umika discuss her well-being. Kaoru admits that she had Umika lie about her wish in the separate flashbacks Kazumi was given. Saki arrives, asking them if they know how the Evil Nut will affect Kazumi. They don't know, but Umika suspects that someone else created the Evil Nuts for Yuuri and the Souju twins, so tracking them down should reveal everything. Umika and Kaoru tell her that things are going well "this time", but Saki panics at the idea of another "repeat", and points out that Niko's clone became a witch even though its Soul Gem was clear. She thinks that they are all close to becoming witches themselves.

Umika reveals that she knows something is amiss with Saki, as she referred to Kazumi as Kazumi-chan (an honorific that Satomi, not Saki, uses). Saki kicks Umika across the room. As Kaoru goes to help her, Umika explains that Saki is under Satomi's control. Saki exclaims that they can't keep Kazumi alive in this state, and that it will be easier if Saki kills her. Kaoru attempts to restrain Saki, but she's incapacitated when Saki drops a chandelier on her. She then goes to murder Kazumi, but manages to break free of Satomi's brainwashing and stabs herself in the leg instead. The blood splashes on Kazumi's face, waking her up. Satomi regains control and has Saki grab Kazumi, teleporting the two of them to a building outside.

Saki collapses from heavy blood loss, telling Kazumi to run while she still can. Satomi reveals to Kazumi that her memories from Umika were lies. The Pleiades Saints already knew about the origins of witches before meeting Yuuri, because Kazumi herself had become one and died. Her real name is Michiru Kazusa. Satomi and the others have been trying to revive Kazusa by cloning the remnants of her witch and stuffing them into clone bodies, and Kazumi is the thirteenth of those clones. She refers to it as Malefica Farce ("Witch Stuffing"). Being exposed to Evil Nuts is causing Kazumi to revert to her witch form, and Satomi plans to kill her before that happens. She summons the previous twelve clones of Kazusa from beneath the Freezer and tells them to destroy Kazumi.

Kazumi continues to watch on in disbelief as Satomi says she will tell her what happened to the real Kazumi. The scene flashes back to the past, showing Michiru Kazusa cooking strawberry risotto for a special occasion. In this case, it was for Umika's novel debut titled, The Sky of the Seven Stars. Saki begins to think back to the past and says how a special day reminds her of the day all six formed a contract with Jubey. Umika thanks Michiru for changing her fate and is really glad to have met her. Michiru began shaking and Kaoru assumed she was crying, but then the former's Soul Gem fell to the floor - it had become black and tainted. Michiru's eyes changed to black, the irises changing to spirals. Her gem explodes and Michiru becomes a witch, tearing up Umika's novel and punching a hole in the roof. The girls collapse onto the ground in shock of this revelation, with Satomi saying, "Magical girls... turn into witches?"

In the present, Satomi reveals that Yuuri becoming a witch was a lie implanted by Umika. It was Michiru's death that led them to find out the secret of magical girls. She then goes on to explain the Pleiades Saints tried to use their magic in an attempt to revive Michiru, but this resulted in creating clones with witch-like features. Satomi had hoped and thought that Kazumi, the current 13th clone, would do well, but it seems like it failed because she isn't human. Niko and Jubey can be seen watching from outside as Satomi speak, and Niko simply says, "...She told her, huh?"

Satomi asks Kazumi if she likes Saki, because even though Saki said she would destroy the failed clones, she couldn't do it because Saki was in love with Michiru. It was too hard for her to kill the clones that shared Michiru's face. Mirai can then be seen eavesdropping from behind a wall. Kyubey can also be seen, observing from further behind Mirai.

Saying that they will release Saki from this burden, Satomi possesses Kazumi using Fantasma Bisbiglio and forces her to attack the clones. Kazumi begs her to stop, but Satomi refuses. Kazumi then begins to use each of the Pleiades' unique magic, such as Umika's barrier, Kaoru's Capitano Potenza and Saki's thunderbolts. This convinces Kazumi that she is truly made of their magic. She is even able to use Niko's regeneration abilities to absorb the remains of the defeated clones and repair her damaged body, which is slowly becoming witch-like. Satomi responds to this saying that she is "eating" them and declares Kazumi a monster.

Eventually, the only clones remaining are Kazumi and a clone with the roman numerals for the number four on her cheek. As the two clash, the fourth clone asks Kazumi to kill her. Kazumi doesn't want to however, but before she can make a decision, Satomi stabs Kazumi through the back and into the other clone's chest with her staff. She apologizes, and then says to herself that she has finally finished off all of the "Kazumis". She giggles with delight as the rain continues to fall.

Kazumi and the final clone fall to the ground, while Satomi transforms back into her street clothes. Kazumi grabs the clone's hand and absorbs it. Satomi expresses annoyance at this and prepares to attack her again, but her Soul Gem suddenly begins to crack without any visible corruption, like Niko's spare did. It breaks open and Satomi becomes a witch. Kazumi dodges the witch's attacks and changes into a tentacled, witch-like form. Satomi's familiars attack Kazumi, but Kazumi turns them against the witch with Mirai's "La Bestia" attack. The familiars explode, breaking the witch open and revealing a smaller form inside of it. Kazumi grabs it and kills it by smashing it against a wall.

The remaining Pleiades run up to see Kazumi now attacking Satomi's corpse. She returns to normal at the sound of Saki's voice and is horrified at what she's done. Saki tells her it wasn't her fault, calling her Michiru. Kazumi shoves her away, asks the others if she really is a clone or not, and is met with silence. She begins to panic, asking "Who am I? What am I?!" and teleports away.

Umika, Kaoru, Saki, Mirai and Niko reconvene at Umika's house. Niko is unable to locate Kazumi, as she is unconsciously using cloaking magic. Saki apologizes for not destroying the clones when she herself volunteered to, though the others don't fault her for it. The five then discuss what to do about Kazumi, now that she's becoming a witch again and they only have 5/6 of the magic needed to clone her. Niko holds up her container, with Satomi's body and Grief Seed inside of it, calling them the "ingredients" for Satomi. Everyone but Kaoru votes to kill Kazumi and to revive Michiru and Satomi as many times as necessary. Kaoru objects to just killing Kazumi off when they can no longer control her. Saki produces Michiru's diary, saying, "Are you fine with giving this diary a bad ending?!"

Saki and Mirai head out on patrol. Saki thanks Mirai for covering for her. Mirai says that Kazumi isn't the Michiru they knew-- she's just a witch that looks like a person.

Meanwhile, Kazumi hides in a lighthouse on a cliff, tearfully gazing at a photo of the Pleiades, taken after killing the witch from Chapter 3 on her phone. Someone behind her suddenly grabs her shoulder, and she turns to see who it is.

Continuing immediately from the previous chapter, Kazumi turns around and finds herself face-to-face with Misako Ishijima. Ishijima appears to have no memory of the bomb threat or her transformation into a pseudo-witch, and urges Kazumi to get in her car. They drive away from the lighthouse. Ishijima explains that over 20 young girls have gone missing in the past few months (Airi being amongst them), and she was worried that Kazumi was in danger. The only lead on the case is that some of the missing girls' phones had records of text messages from the address "Hyades". The messages themselves had been deleted, and the phone companies' servers contained no record of the address. Ishijima off-handedly asks Kazumi if she regained her memories yet. At this, Kazumi bursts into tears, and they hastily pull up at Souichirou Tachibana's shop.

Kazumi eats and falls asleep. Tachibana serves Ishijima coffee with butter in it (a recipe inspired by a popular manga). Ishijima pulls out a photo of a young girl, who she identifies as Remi Shiina. She and Remi were close friends in their last year of middle school. Remi went missing, however, and Ishijima heard from Remi's sister that she had been a magical girl. Ishijima says that she has found evidence of magical girls throughout her career. Tachibana asks why she brought this up, and Ishijima replies that Remi loved the manga that he took the butter coffee from. Tachibana takes this coincidence as evidence that miracles and magic exist.

Kazumi stays at Tachibana's shop overnight. In the morning, Kaoru drops off Michiru's diary, with a letter to Kazumi in it. Kazumi opens the diary, reading about Michiru's grandmother, how she met Yuuri Asuka before the Pleiades Saints were formed (breaking up a fight between Yuuri and Kyouko at one point), the time she spent with the Pleiades, and finally her grief at having discovered the truth behind witches. Kaoru's letter urges Kazumi to run away before the others find and kill her, and that Kaoru will protect her from them.

Kazumi and Tachibana make one final meal of strawberry risotto, from Michiru's grandmother's recipe in the diary. She then thanks him and leaves. At the Freezer, she telepathically announces her location to the Pleiades. She says that she isn't going to run away, and demands that they meet her at the Freezer to end things (threatening to deactivate the Freezer and let the Soul Gems inside hatch if they do not).

Following from last chapter, the Pleiades quickly show up after Kazumi's ultimatum. Kazumi welcomes them to her "barrier", telling that if anyone other than her uses magic, it will automatically break the seals on the girls's Soul Gems. Saki calls for Kazumi, but she stops her from talking, demanding them not to talk unless they are answering her questions since she doesn't need to hear any more lies. She then proceeds to tell them she has read Michiru's diary, figured everything out from the memories she was given and the diary, then asks them why they didn't give her Michiru's memories. Saki answers that all the clones that were given her memories lost their minds to their fighting instincts and became murderers. Umika complements that they took it as "Michiru's will" and stopped giving them her memories, then created a magical girl with a different personality. Kazumi objects that she isn't Michiru, and that they created a different person with only the same face, to which she replies that they wanted to reject Michiru's death.

Kazumi then announces she won't allow magical girls, who were born from hope, to die from despair, demands them to promise her to never give up on reviving Michiru and Satomi, no matter how many times it takes or how tough it is, calling it their responsibility for rejecting the magical girl system and creating her, and finally, as she starts turning back into a witch, urges them to kill her. Kaoru objects, but Kazumi begs them to do so, then asks one last question: "Would they have been friends if she were a normal human, rather than Michiru's clone?" while holding the picture from the end of Chapter 15, to which Kaoru answers that they made friends with ther when she was brand new and had no memories, and that they were always friends, and always would be. Kazumi thanks them, saying that was all she wanted to hear, dropping the picture. She then continues transforming, eats the Evil Nuts in the freezer and asks them once more to hurry up and kill her.

Kazumi, as a witch, knocks Kaoru into a wall with a tentacle, leaving her paralyzed, and starts engulfing the room with a barrier. Umika tries to get Kaoru back up, but to no avail. Mirai tells a shocked Saki that they have no choice, they must do it to save Kazumi. Niko also asks her what they would do. Saki then transforms, making the decision of keeping on killing the Kazumis, until they get the real Michiru back, no matter how many times she has to do it, and says she will then carve the sins into her mind and body, to which Mirai replies that she will share the burden with her. Kazumi then knocks Niko out with energy blasts. Saki and Mirai then perform a combined Episodio Incrocio, which creates a huge teddy bear of energy that attacks Kazumi.

Meanwhile, Umika is still calling for Kaoru, until she noticed Kazumi's magic symbol on Kaoru's cheek. She then performs Carcere Pausa on Kaoru, who then wakes up and sees Saki and Mirai fighting Kazumi. Kaoru says she must stop them, while Saki generates a pair of electric yo-yos, preparing to strike Kazumi with Pietra di Tuono. The next panel, however, shows that Kaoru jumped in and caught her attack. She then pulls Saki toward her, and the two start arguing. Saki demands Kaoru to get out of the way, to which Kaoru replies Kazumi is forcing herself to look like a witch. Saki asks why, and Kaoru replies that Kazumi knew Saki couldn't bring herself to kill her if she didn't do that. Saki keeps confronting her, and she tells her that Kazumi knocked her away first, because she had promised to protect her. She then urges Saki to stop, which she does.

Kaoru then says that she will be the one to kill her, while Saki breaks down in tears. However, Mirai jumps behind Kazumi and slices her into two. Kazumi's barrier then disappears, while Kazumi turns into a doll-like decoy of Niko. Niko, who was knocked out before, also turns into a decoy. The real Niko then shows up, showing Kazumi locked into her container, much to the others' surprise.

Mirai objects: "How unnecessary", to which Niko replies that that isn't the time to worry about her. Mirai turns around to see Saki with her Soul Gem about to hatch. Niko then uses Prodotto Secondario to create a clone of herself near Saki. Said clone tells Saki she will be putting her to rest, then calls Abra Kadabra, creating an Evil Nut. She says that is the "Secret Ingredient", then presses the Evil Nut into Saki's forehead.

Saki then yells as a pillar of lightning shoots up around her, obliterating the clone. Kaoru asks her why she did that, to which Niko answers with a smile: "I can't let you kill Kazumi", then looks back toward her, with a sinister grin on her face, and comments: "You humans, that is."

Continuing from the last chapter, a shocked Kaoru asks Niko why she shoved an Evil Nut into Saki, with Niko holding Kazumi's body safely stored in a container. Niko repeats her statement from the previous chapter, that she couldn't let "those humans" kill Kazumi. When Kaoru demands to know the meaning of this, Niko responds by saying that she and Kazumi are the only composite magical girls in this world. Both Umika and Kazumi have a shocked face at those words. The girl claiming to be Niko shows sadistic pleasure at their screams. Mirai rushes over to Saki, who is turning into a witch as a result of the Evil Nut. Mirai frantically tells Juubey to cleanse her Soul Gem. Juubey says that it's too late and tells Mirai to run away. Mirai refuses. We then see a flashback of Mirai talking to Saki, with Mirai revealing the reason she didn't have any friends and Saki reassuring her she's not strange. Saki says that she sees her old self in Mirai, which makes her happy. Mirai appears to be very moved by this. It flashes back to the present, with Mirai crying out that Saki is her and she is Saki. Saki, who is turning into a witch as a result of the Evil Nut, tries to say Mirai's name. Mirai then notices her Soul Gem has completely turned into a Grief Seed, tearfully saying that she can't kill Saki. Just then, Saki completely turns into a witch. Mirai proclaims her love for Saki. In the next scene, Mirai is quickly decapitated and killed by Saki's witch form. Kaoru, Umika and Kazumi are all horrified by this.

Suddenly Niko calls out "Connect" and stops the witch with magic. Kazumi pleads with Niko to let her out, but she ignores her, saying that two are left in Pleaides and she's almost done with her revenge. Niko starts talking about the gun tragedy that happened in Niko's childhood, saying that both the only survivor and the one who pulled the trigger was Kanna Hijiri. We then see another flashback of Niko's past, in which it is shown that the guilt from the gun incident made her become depressed. Kanna started wondering how her life would have been if the accident had never happened and imagines a hypothetical version of herself, named Kanna Hijiri. Umika realizes that the girl before them is actually Kanna Hijiri.

The flashback continues, with Kanna being shown to have a normal life with friends and family. However, one day she sees Niko and the rest of the Pleaides facing Yuuri Asuka's witch form. Kanna is shocked at the monster, but even more so at the girl who looks just like her. Juubey suddenly appears, telling her that's her original self, explaining that she was created from the wish Niko made when she formed a magical contract, so she's a duplicate of the original Niko. The truth about her origins appears to make Kanna completely break down, wanting revenge on Niko and power. Since Kanna has feelings like a human, Juubey is able to grant her wish and turn her into a magical girl. Her wish is the ability to connect to others without drawing attention. It's revealed that Kanna was the creator of Evil Nuts, which she gave to Yuuri/Airi and the Ayase. It ends with Kanna telling them of her plan to kill the normal humans and replace them with beings like Kazumi and herself. The "new humans" will be called Hyades, the half-sisters of the Pleaides.

Kazumi, Kanna, Umika and Kaoru are inside the barrier of Saki's witch form, which appears as a meadow. Kanna wants Kazumi to go to the "new world" with her. Kazumi refuses, saying she doesn't want a world without her friends. Even though Kanna offers to heal her with magic, as Kazumi will soon turn into a witch, she still refuses to go along with Kanna's plan. Kazumi suddenly bursts out of the container she was being held in, her body falling to the ground. Umika tries to reason with Kanna, telling her that even if her body isn't human, she has a human heart, like Kazumi.

Umika goes on to admit that they were afraid of turning into witches and wanted to save themselves, but that Kazumi decided not to escape from the truth about both witches and herself, saying there's no way they could make something like Kazumi's heart. They refuse to give Kazumi to Kanna, so she attempts to attack them with Saki's witch form. Mirai's "La Bestia" breaks into the barrier to retrieve the Soul Gems of the Souju's and others, which turn into Grief Seeds and become witches, showing that Mirai's magic remained active even following her death. The witches protect Saki's witch form. Kaoru uses "Rosso Fantasma" to attack Kanna. Umika then appears behind Kanna and uses "Tocco del Male" to seemingly remove her Soul Gem from her body. Kanna reveals that it was a decoy Soul Gem and attacks both Umika and Kaoru.

Kazumi prepares to transform, telling them to kill her if she turns into a witch and thanks them for everything. However, her Soul Gem has become corrupted. Juubey goes to purify it, but his body starts breaking apart. With his last word of "Ciao" to Kazumi, he vanishes, leaving behind two Grief Seeds. Kyubey appears, telling them that Juubey was incomplete. Umika and Kaoru suddenly remember that Soul Gems can be purified with Grief Seeds. Kanna uses a spell on Kazumi to take her by force. Just then, seemingly in a last act of love for Kazumi, Saki's witch form attacks the other witches, causing them to kill her. It's revealed that her witch disposition is sisterly love. Umika and Kaoru use the Grief Seed that she drops to purify Kazumi's corrupted Soul Gem as proof of their friendship. The witch markings on Kazumi's body begin to disappear.

Continuing from last chapter, Umika and Kaoru successfully cleanse Kazumi's Soul Gem with the Grief Seed from Saki's witch. Kanna says that they want Kazumi to live and be one of the Hyades, but Kazumi tells her to shut up and that she's going to save her friends. Kazumi uses a spell (possibly Rosso Fantasma) that creates multiples of herself, attacking the remaining witches protecting Kanna. She quickly defeats all of them except for the Souju sisters' witch, which is much more difficult. Umika and Kaoru regret letting this happen to her, and say they wanted her to experience lots of fun things instead.

Umika has a flashback explaining why the Pleiades did not appear until chapter 3. Umika and Kaoru did not tell Saki or the others they had found Kazumi because they wanted to be sure she wasn't another failure that would end up hurting Saki's feelings. They tell Saki that Kazumi seems stable and doesn't show any abnormalities, but she can cook the same way Michiru did. They suspect she might be their first success.

Another flashback, which goes further back, shows Saki holding a witch in place while Umika collects data on it using Ex File. She then has Saki destroy it without explanation. Soon after, Umika is on the computer, doing some sort of research. She discovers a way to bring Michiru back from the dead, using a witch's heart, a Cor Maleficus. She leaves the choice of whether to go through with it up to the Pleiades. Saki agrees to the idea, telling the others that Michiru had saved them more than once by getting their Soul Gems cleaned first to keep them from becoming witches. Umika repeats that it will be their way of fighting the magical girl system, but it will also be their way of battling "them", despite breaking a law of nature. Unfortunately, they kept failing.

The story returns to the present, where Kazumi destroys the Souju sisters' witch, finally wounding Kanna. Another flashback begins when Kaoru asks Umika is she remembers when they decided to create Kazumi. The Pleiades wondered what Kazumi would be like, and Umika said she would be a blank slate, but she would certainly be as radiant and good as Michiru. Mirai wonders if she will look like Michiru as well, but decides that she will win Saki over anyway with her own charm and make Kazumi her apprentice. She made a special teddy bear with a cat charm necklace displaying Kazumi's name for the occasion. Satomi plans to give Toto the cat to Kazumi, as she has begun to like humans despite scratching Satomi's hands all over. Umika plans to let Kazumi read her next novel first, and Kaoru wants to give her an All-Japan soccer uniform. Niko says she'll take them all to America and watch the Pleiades Star Cluster with them at the Grand Canyon, and maybe she'll finally tell them her story. Saki says she wants to give Michiru's earrings to Kazumi, not to make her more like the original, but to give her Michiru's wishes so that the earrings will become Kazumi's alone.

Back in the present, Umika begins to sink into despair, saying she wanted to be with Kazumi until the end, but they were going to end up leaving her alone. She is shaken out of it as Saki's Grief Seed begins to make a new witch, and a barrier with Umika's magic circle above the city shatters, and Umika and kaoru suddenly remember the one thing that can eat Grief Seeds. The things they called fairies, actually Incubators, are the "them" Umika will never forgive. The two girls scream, "Come out, Kyubey!" Kyubey appears, saying, "Long time no see, Pleiades."

With Kyubey's sudden appearance, Kaoru asks where he's been until now. He says it's nice to meet Kazumi, and that he had never left town. He denies observing them in secret and claims they just never noticed him. He says to ask Umika for an explanation.

A flashback begins, showing the real scene where the girl realized that magical girls become witches. Instead of Jubey, it was Kyubey who contracted with them and explained the system when Michiru became a witch with the same speech from Episode 8. In a rage, Umika smashes Kyubey into the wall and stabs him with her spear. When Satomi says she didn't have to kill him, Umika responds that without him around, they won't become witches. Kyubey, in a new body, appears behind them, saying killing him is futile. He explains that Incubators are of one mind and have many "terminals" to replace broken ones. Niko then says, "Then, we can take this one, right?" She places the broken body in the container she later uses for Evil Nuts and magical girls heading to the Freezer.

The scene changes to Niko doing research on the body, using a computer and her Soul Gem to create a new kind of Incubator. She introduces him to the other Pleiades, calling him "INCUBATOR VER. DEPENDENT. Sub-or-din-at-ed (Juu-zoku-su-ru) Incubator. It's abbreviated to 'Juubey,' how about that?" Mirai thinks the name needs some work, but that this is amazing and they no longer need Kyubey.

The next time they meet Kyubey, they bring Jubey along. Jubey tells Kyubey that they don't need him for Grief Seed disposal anymore. He also demonstrates his Gem-cleaning ability. Kyubey says they don't need to do all this and should just use Grief Seeds, but Saki tells him that no one wants to use the remains of a friend to live. Kyubey doesn't understand, but Niko responds that they don't expect him to. Umika says she will not let him make another contract in this city ever again. Kyubey asks that they not waste resources by killing him over and over, and Umika agrees. They will just erase his existence instead. The Pleiades cast a spell that will make all Incubators save Jubey invisible and change the memories of all the girls in the city to Jubey instead of Kyubey. Their memories of casting the magic will also be forgotten. Kyubey compliments her on the well-though plan and Umika responds, "Ciao, Kyubey."

The scene returns to the present as Kyubey continues speaking, "That was interesting experiment. Turning Grief Seeds into programs and using our bodies as a cleaning system wasn't a bad idea." He says his theory for why it ultimately failed was in using the Incubator bodies to clean the Gems. He says they weren't actually being cleansed, only polished, which is why the Pleiades slowly became witches while their Gems appeared to be untainted. Kaoru accuses Kyubey of tricking them, but Kyubey says that they were incapable of cleaning Gems from the start because it goes against their entire purpose of harvesting despair from hope. Kyubey says he wanted to talk to Jubey, who was one of his own kind even though he was man-made, but even Jubey couldn't hear his words because of the spell.

Kaoru and Umika's Gems are darkening, and Kyubey says two witches will be born soon. Kazumi begs him to clean their Gems, but he says he isn't able to do that, only Grief Seeds can. The only remaining witch is the one born from the Souju sisters, pinned to the wall with Kanna by Kazumi's staff. Kazumi kills it, hoping that a Grief Seed will appear, but it doesn't. Kyubey explains that not all witches drop Grief Seeds as Kazumi panics and goes to her friends' sides, holding their hands as she calls their names and begs "please".

Kazumi is kneeling by Umika and Kaoru's sides, as they say that their gems and Kazumi's face are beginning to blacken. Kyubey says they have surpassed their limits and are about to become witches. Umika and Kaoru reply that they will never become witches, because they will keep fighting against that system even now. They have the hopes that Michiru's grandmother gave to her, and Michiru gave to them after. Their stomachs growl and they smile at Kazumi. Kazumi asks them to eat strawberry risotto with her when they get home, but they don't answer her.

Kyubey says there is no precedent for magical girls who die and do not become witches when their Soul Gems are so dark. They reply that they will become that precedent. Kazumi begs them not to leave her, but before they respond, her earring rings and flies off. It breaks open, revealing Michiru's Grief Seed inside.

A flashback shows that after Michiru's death, they found her Grief Seed. Saki says, "Killing our friend for our own good... Is that what magical girls are?" Kyubey says that it has nothing to do with that, and it's the same as animals eating plants to survive. It's just a system. Saki wants to reject that system, so the girls do not use her Grief Seed to clean their Gems, but hide it inside one of Michiru's earrings with a spell called, "Suoneria (Ringtone)".

Back in the present, Kazumi says that Michiru still wants to help Umika and Kaoru. Kyubey says that Grief Seeds are not conscious, but Kazumi says that she could tell that Michiru was always with her and fighting with the Pleiades. Kaoru tells Kazumi to use the Grief Seed for herself, which is what Michiru would do. Kazumi replies that Kaoru is right, but she is Kazumi, and Kazumi would use it for their sake, which she does.

Kanna escapes the building, saying to herself in English, "Every fox has to pay his own skin to the flayer, huh...?" She says that humans are annoying, and she uses her "Connect" magic to make all the Soul Gems that were left in the Freezer into one giant witch. Kyubey mistakenly thinks it is Walpurgusnacht for a moment, before realizing what Kanna has done. He names the witch, "The Dawn of Hyades", in respect to her.

Umika and Kaoru tell Kazumi to stay back while they fight the witch, since she cannot use magic anymore of she will become a witch. She tells them that won't happen, since she has no Soul Gem and has not made a contract with Kyubey. He asks, "Will you become a magical girl even if you know that you'll become a witch?" Kazumi says she will never falls into despair or become a witch.

Kazumi makes a wish to become a real human. Kyubey tells her that it's pointless, since she'll become a magical girl immediately after having that wish granted, but she replies that she needs a body not made by others in order to move forward by her own power. She says, "Now, grant my wish, Incubator!", the same words Madoka said in Episode 12. Kyubey grants the wish, replying with, "Your contract has been made. Your wish has surpassed entropy. Now, unleash your new power, Kazumi Magica."

Kazumi appears with her newly-made Soul Gem around her neck, with long hair and a new, white costume of her own that is different from Michiru's.

Chapter 23: Innocent Malice is the final chapter of Kazumi Magica. Continuing from the last chapter, Kazumi becomes a true magical girl, and Kyuubey says he feels a great amount of power from her. Due to Kazumi's new power, Umika and Kaoru's costumes change, which is an "upgrade", according to Kyubey.

Kanna is surprised by the wish of her contract, and Kazumi says they are not that different after all. Kanna's anger at her and her own despair at slowly but surely becoming a witch is to the point that she decides to destroy Kazumi's world alongside the other humans.

Using their new powers, Kazumi, Kaoru and Umika defeat the Hyades witch and its familiars, which leaves Kanna weakened and on the very brink of becoming a witch. Kazumi consoles Kanna, knowing how she feels at worrying if her family and friends love her for who she is or just who Kanna was a copy of. Kazumi tells her that all of these people loved her, and that was Niko's gift to Kanna.

After taking out Michiru's grief seed, Kazumi says that although she couldn't completely heal her soul gem since she already healed Umika and Kaoru's, she won't let her become a witch and she will watch over Kanna's loved ones. Kanna's gem is partially cleansed, giving her a few more minutes to decide her own fate. While crying, Kanna comments that Kazumi's words are "always heartrending", thanks her, leaps off the building they're standing on. She says, "Ciao", and her gem explodes, killing herself.

After an undetermined amount of time, Kazumi is seen attending school, where she chooses "Subaru", meaning "Pleiades", as her surname. At the same time, Kaoru and Umika are speaking with Kyubey, asking if he's pleased by their failure, and he replies that he does not feel, but that he gained good data and a good witch in Kazumi, so he should thank them. The two girls say they will never give up trying to find a way to change witches back into girls. Their conversation is intterupted as Kyubey senses a grief seed hatching.

In the middle of class, Kazumi runs out, sensing the witch, and on her way meets Tachibana, Officer Ishijima, Kyouka Shida (who had been the Cosmetics Witch), and Slice Akiyama, the chef who had hosted the competition Yuuri Asuka had last been seen at. She meets up with Umika and Kaoru, and all three transform with Kyubey accompanying them.

Teamwork

Given that none of the Saints appear to be overwhelmingly powerful, their strength comes from a number of joint tactics and attacks they have developed to make their numeric advantage as effective as possible.

Their main strategy appear to be to take advantage of Kazumi's powerful magic beams. The six remaining girls engage the enemy, wearing it down and immobilizing it by casting a joint sealing spell, Episodio Incrocio (English: Crossover Episode). This makes it a sitting duck for Kazumi to finish off.

That is not their only joint attack. For situations that require a quick strike, Figli Del Toano is an option. It is a powerful attack that creates a large explosion on the target, aimed by laser beams fired from the girl's staffs.

Outside of battle, they coordinate their search patterns to improve their chances of finding a witch. Along with Niko's app, this allows them to cover a wide area in just a few hours. The group can also communicate with each other telepathically using their soul gems.

Trivia

  • "Pleiades Saints" is a pun: "Pleiades Saints" and the Pleiades Star Cluster are pronounced the same way in Japanese and, when written, differ by only one character. Being named after a star cluster also produces another Astronomy reference.
    • The Pleiades Star Cluster is located in the Taurus constellation. Note that their opponent Yuuri summons a bull to attack them - Taurus is the bull constellation. In the Western zodiac, the constellation after Taurus is Gemini - the twins. All of the Pleaides Saints' opponents have been, in a sense, twin-themed.
  • They seem to have all contracted with Jubey, who cleans their Soul Gems. The first part is revealed to be untrue.
  • Saki, Kaoru, and Niko (along with a minor character in the franchise, Sumire Akane) are the only magical girls in the franchise whose transformed costumes aren't dresses and don't have skirts.

Speculation

This section may contain major spoilers for the anime!

Please refrain from reading if you haven't watched Episode 8 yet.


Current Speculation

  • It has been revealed that Kazumi is a clone made from stuffing the remains of Michiru Kazusa's witch form into empty shells. This could indicate a darker motive behind the Pleiades collecting magical girls. They may be using the soulless bodies of the girls in their experiments to revive Kazumi. The use of one of these girls could also explain Niko's "spare".
  • In the anime, magical girls worked alone or in small groups because the Grief Seeds they needed to clean their Soul Gems were a limited resource. Magical girls could easily clash over territory and were just as likely to compete than cooperate. When the Pleiades Saints were revealed to be a seven-member magical girl team, a number of readers wondered how that could be possible in this context. It was considered unlikely that there were enough witches in Asunaro City to support seven magical girls. Chapter 4 explained that Jubey, the fairy they contracted with, can clean their Soul Gems, meaning they don't need to compete for Grief Seeds.
    • What was left unexplained was why this was done. Kyubey has never demonstrated the ability to clean Soul Gems in the anime. In fact, he actively sought to have the girls corrupt their Soul Gems and turn into witches. One probable explanation is that from what we've seen, the Pleiades had fairly minor wishes and were therefore weaker magical girls. Being weak magical girls, they wouldn't become powerful witches, and thus they wouldn't produce a lot of energy when they transformed. It is then more efficient for Jubey to let them hunt Grief Seeds for him than to try and convert them into witches.
      In purely mathematical terms, a team of weak Puellae Magi capturing a more powerful witch than themselves, using team tactics to level the field, is extremely efficient when it comes to energy output.
  • While it is speculated that the Pleiades are hiding something from Kazumi, likely the true nature of witches, it is possible that Saki is hiding other facts. She has, in several occasions, said mysterious sentences about her past, and cut conversations short. In particular, a statement by Yuuri pertaining to Kazumi's relation with Saki caused an irate "shut up!" from her.
  • Chapter 7 opens with the Pleiades Saints hunting down a Puella Magi for her Soul Gem, apparently they are "gem picking" but for what reason it is unknown. The victim was Sumire Akane and her Soul Gem was lightly tainted so there was no apparent indication that she would turn into a Witch anytime soon.
    • Whatever the Pleiades Saints motives, they are not the only ones hunting down Puellae Magi for their Soul Gems.
      • Chapter 9 reveals that the Pleiades have stored the bodies and Soul Gems of several dozen Puella Magi in a 'Freezer' beneath Mirai's teddy-bear museum.
  • As of Chapter 15, two of the Pleiades-- Niko('s spare) and Satomi-- have suddenly become witches despite having clean Soul Gems beforehand. The cause of this is unknown.
  • In Chapter 16, there is a mention of a mysterious message left in the cell phone of missing girl, "Hyades". According with Misako, it is the name of seven sisters in Greek mythology, and they are nymphs that bring rain.[1]
    • The Hyades were daughters of Atlas (by either Pleione or Aethra, one of the Oceanides) and sisters of Hyas in most tellings, although one version gives their parents as Hyas and Boeotia. They are also sisters to the Pleiades and the Hesperides.
      • It is later revealed that artificial magical girls are referred as "Hyades" (ヒューアデス), as they are the half-sisters of the Pleiades (プレイアデス) and will take over from the humans (ヒューマン).
    • The main myth concerning them is envisioned to account for their collective name and to provide an etiology for their weepy raininess: Hyas was killed in a hunting accident and the Hyades wept from their grief. They were changed into a cluster of stars, the Hyades set in the head of Taurus.

Past Speculation

  • Yuuri, the mysterious girl who attacks them multiple times, holds a grudge against them from their shared past, though the girls appear to have no recollection of it until Umika recognizes her face. This past is apparently a very troubled one, and Yuuri believed she was being thought of as "insignificant". Note that Yuuri indicated that her name and the mysterious ghastly letter she sent was somehow related to her identity.
    • The arrow that Yuuri used could also be a clue.
      • Chapter 5 explains the mystery behind Yuuri.
  • Despite being named after the Seven Sisters of Greek mythology, Sterope, Merope, Electra, Maia, Taygeta, Celaeno, and Alcyone are only part of the nine brightest stars in the cluster. The other two stars are named after their parents, Atlas and Pleione. Given that the current roster of the Saints is composed of seven members, it is speculated that two of them are missing. Since Niko states they are named after the seven sisters, it leaves those two members as the "parents", or the most important (or senior) members of the team.
    It is likely those two are Yuuri, who has a past connection to the group, and the mysterious girl in Yuuri's flashbacks, who seemed to be a friend of hers.
    • In Greek Mythology the Pleiades were companions to the goddess Artemis and they trained under her.
    • This speculation was debunked in Chapter 5.
  • It is heavily implied that all of the Saints except Kazumi know that magical girls become witches. They seem to have accepted this fact, though it still bothers them - note Umika and Kaoru's expressions in Chapter 2 when Umika mentions that anyone can become a witch. Also note Niko and Saki's expressions when they take the witch's Grief Seed in Chapter 3, and the way Saki, Kaoru and Satomi react when Niko says Yuuri is at her limit in Chapter 4. It is very likely that they are hiding this from Kazumi.
    • Going by the above theory that the Pleiades Saints used to have more members, it's possible that one of their previous members became a witch, which is how they learned that magical girls become witches. This may have also been the event that created Yuuri's desire for revenge on the Pleiades.
    • Chapter 5 confirms the Pleaides knew the origins of witches and were hiding it from Kazumi. There is no evidence that one of their previous members became a witch, however.

Gallery

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.

Note

  1. Their number varies from three of the earliest sources to fifteen of the late ones. The names are also variable, according to the mythographer.
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