Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story

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Cover of the first volume.
"...A magical girl... it's a name for girls who take on the heavy destiny of fighting against a curse that plagues the world in exchange for just one single miracle." - Mami Tomoe, volume 1
"Would you mind... making me your disciple?!" - Kyoko Sakura to Mami Tomoe, volume 1

Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story (魔法少女まどか☆マギカ~The different story~ Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magica ~The different story~) is a three-volume manga spin-off written by Masaki Hiramatsu and illustrated by Hanokage.

The first volume was released on October 12th, 2012, while the other two were released on October 19th and November 12th of the same year. The series has been licensed in English by Yen Press. The three translated volumes were released on March 24, 2014, June 24, 2014, and October 28, 2014.


[edit] Plot

The first volume begins as an adaptation of Drama CD 3, which details the events through which Mami and Kyoko meet for the first time and become witch-hunting partners. Ultimately, it culminates in an alternate timeline with a different outcome from the timelines shown in the anime.

[edit] Chapters

The chapters are titled as "Episode X" in this manga.

[edit] Observations

  • Mami and Kyoko are the protagonists in this story.
  • The story implies that Kyoko's father is physically abusive to her mother.
  • After seeing her father hanging, Kyoko lost her fascination ability due to the fact she had rejected her own wish. She might have decided to break up with Mami because she thought herself a burden to her.
  • In this story, Sayaka saves Mami from her fate (defeated by Charlotte) by making a contract for Kyosuke. She then teams up with Mami.
    • Homura tells Mami that since she already formed a party with Sayaka, she should not induce Madoka to contract with Kyubey. However, Mami thinks Homura's intention is to take Madoka for herself, along with Kyoko, so she refuses such idea.
  • Sayaka doesn't go to save Hitomi from a witch since she doesn't want to lose Kyosuke. Hitomi is saved by Mami, and Sayaka feels regret and guilt for almost letting her friend die.
    • She flips out during a witch hunting, and results in Mami getting severely hurt. Despite healing Mami with her magic, this makes Sayaka fall into despair.
      • Madoka tells Kyosuke about how his hands were healed. Sayaka feels hurt again when her secret is exposed.
  • Sayaka becomes a witch in the late part of chapter 8.
    • She didn't call herself an idiot this time. She feels happy for being necessary to Mami, but it was already too late.
    • According to Kyubey, she became a witch because there are no grief seeds left for her. They were all used by Homura, Kyoko and Mami.
      • Kyubey corrects his words later in volume 3, he indicates that it is not Mami's fault that Sayaka became a witch as Mami tried to avoid hunting excessively too many witches, leaving the rest for Sayaka, but Sayaka never acted as Mami hoped, so Sayaka failed to cleanse her soul gem as a result.
        • Kyubey isn't bothered with the results, saying confrontation between magical girls speeds up the pollution of their soul gems.
          • Kyubey regrets that Kyoko and Mami didn't become witches, since that represents a net loss.
            • After hearing his words, Mami becomes angry and summons a pistol from her soul gem, preparing to shoot Kyubey.
  • Knowing a magical girl's inevitable fate, Mami decides to die with Oktavia. Kyoko stops her and they fight.
    • Candeloro tries to tempt Mami to fall into despair with promises of friends that would never betray nor abandon her, promising Mami a new world of happiness. This is the first time that we learn that ones' witch version can tempt a magical girl to fall into despair.
    • Homura remembers Mami's insanity after learning the truth from many timelines. She tells Kyoko about it but Kyoko doesn't believe her.
    • Kyoko recovers her illusion ability momentarily. She deceives Mami so she has the chance to cleanse Mami's soul gem.
      • Kyoko creates a fake image of Mami's corrupt soul gem being cleanse to make Mami think it is cleansed to stop her from becoming Candeloro. In fact Mami's soul gem is still corrupted and Kyoko does not cleanse it until after she kills Oktavia and dies later on as a result. Kyoko used a lot of magic during the fight against Oktavia, but instead of using the grief seed for herself or sharing it between her and Mami, she uses it only on Mami. While Kyoko is hunting down another witch for a grief seed to cleanse her soul gem, Kyoko runs out of magic inside the witch's barrier and dies.
  • Finally Madoka makes her contract to revive Sayaka, and they fight Walpurgisnacht together. Although it is not shown, they probably failed and Homura likely reset the timeline. Mami commits suicide by breaking her own soul gem (after being saved by Homura). Mami might be afraid of becoming a burden to Madoka since she no longer wants to fight.
    • During the Narration of Mami's letter, we are shown what appears to be an alternate world, where Mami is happy with friends, all the magical girls are in friendlier terms, and Mami's parents are alive. It is not known if this is a dream, Mami's wishful thinking of how she wished the world could had been, a different timeline, or just a delusion from Mami's mind while she narrates her letter.
    • Homura doesn't reset time before fighting Walpurgisnacht. She suggests Madoka to run away to prevent her from becoming Kriemhild Gretchen, but Madoka refuses again.
    • After revival, Sayaka changes her attitude towards Homura. She also seems to know nothing about becoming a witch, and instead believes that she was saved by Madoka just before being killed by witches.
  • Weapon designs in this spin-off are the same as in anime, rather than the manga version.
    • Mami also often summons multiple guns.
    • Soul gem design is also based on the anime version.
  • Through out the story, it is stated that one grief seed is not enough to purify multiple soul gems, making its usage very limited on a party. This is the source of competition among magical girls.
    • It is also the source of strife and friction with Mami and other magical girls (and Kyoko).
    • Also the reason why magical girls ignore familiars, as magic would be wasted on a target that doesn't drop grief seeds.
  • Madoka's self-esteem is just like in the Drama CD, "Memories of You". Madoka confesses that the reason she wants to become a magical girl is because she has become self-conscious of how weak and useless she is, how much of a burden she is to her friends. She compares her current self with Sayaka and Mami and realizes how big the gap against those girls has become. She is also afraid that if she becomes a magical girl she would mess up and damage Mami's and Sayaka's team work.
  • Kyoko reveals to Mami that she does not consider her to be her friend, much to Mami's anguish.
    • But what Kyoko really meant was to her, Mami is like a sister, the only family she has left in the world.
  • Mami wanted her relationship with Kyoko to be more than that of being her senpai, but she was too afraid of getting closer to Kyoko.
  • Homura compares Mami's tragedy like her own, for that reason she gave Mami a chance to trust her. Before the end of the story, she realizes how foolish that wishful thinking was.
  • At the last volume Kyoko and Mami narrate their deepest thoughts of what has happened to them, the imagery clashes with what has happened in the storyline.
    • In Kyoko's case, while fighting Oktavia, we see an image of Kyoko being introduced to Sayaka, Homura, and Madoka by Mami. Perhaps in this world Kyoko and Mami are still friends. Sayaka extends her hand to shake that of Kyoko's. Perhaps a wish that they could had met under different circumstances.
    • While Mami narrates her last letter, we see Kyoko in Mami's apartment and Mami has invited the rest of the girls to join her on her tea party. Apparently Kyoko and Sayaka had a fight and Kyoko doesn't want to see her. Mami tells Kyoko to just make up and become friends again since it would be lonely to eat by themselves. Suddenly there are the silhouette of visitors in the entrance to the doorway, suggesting that these are Mami's parents who returned early. It is perhaps suggested that in this world there are no witches and all the girls are friends, or at least that is Mami's wish.
  • The story never explains if Madoka is aware of the fate of magical girls, it is implied that she is unaware of it. Sayaka also doesn't know about it since she has no recollection of what happened to her.
  • While the story centers around Mami and Kyoko as the main characters, their moment of their demise are never shown, instead they are narrated by a third party. Kyubey tells Mami how Kyoko died, and Homura narrates that Mami committed suicide.
  • Mami's mental state was never fully explored during the anime series. When episode 10 was aired fans were shocked to see Mami's mental breakdown. Different Story allows the reader to further understand Mami's fragile mental state.
    • It is speculated that Mami is suffering from survivor's guilt. She feels somehow remorseful for her parent's death for using her selfish wish to save herself. Mami even mentions how wonderful it would be like to use one's wish to help others. Driven by her guilty conscience Mami tries to save as many lives as she can to make amends for her selfish wish. Because of her drive to save as many lives as possible as a magical girl, Mami allows herself very little time for a social life. Mami's decision isolates her from her friends and from the rest of society; she can only function and interact with the world as a magical girl and as their protector, instead of as a human being. Mami personally believes that this is a sacrifice she has to make for her new-found responsibilities and for her parent's death.
      • In contrast, Kyoko used her selfless wish to save her family from starvation. Feeling responsible for her parent's death, Kyoko decides that if one were to make a wish, it should be a selfish wish for the benefit of the self so it won't hurt other people, instead of imposing such a burden on others as well as any expectations from them. Kyoko's response from her loss is to become a ruthless survivalist, perhaps as a way to punish herself for her sins as well to be hated by others. In truth, Kyoko does care about the well being of other people, but the pain and suffering of hurting anyone she cares for would be too much for her, which is why she pushes people away from her because of her fear of hurting them.
  • Michiru Kazusa from Kazumi Magica makes a cameo appearence in the third volume. This scene was probably included because Kazumi's author wrote the script for the manga.
  • Candeloro's human form resembles that of a child Mami seen in a flashback panel in the beginning of volume three. This may be significant, seeing as Mami's parents were still alive at the time of the flashback.

[edit] Speculation

  • If Mami became Candeloro in this timeline, her familiars would be red ones and blue ones, rather than the pink ones.
    • It makes sense, since Madoka hasnt made a contract at the time.
    • The actual reason for this is because in this timeline the two people that Mami wanted to keep all to herself were Kyoko and Sayaka, in no other timeline (including PSP) had she seemed to become closer to Sayaka than Madoka.

[edit] Publishers

Language Publisher Country Year 1st Volume Cover 2nd Volume Cover 3rd Volume Cover
Japanese Houbunsha Japan 2012 The Different Story 1 Cover.jpg The Different Story 2 Cover.jpg The Different Story 3 Cover.jpg
Brazillian Portuguese Editora NewPOP Brazil 2015 The Different Story 1 Cover Newpop.jpg (coming) (coming)
Chinese Tong-li Publishing Co,Ltd(東立出版社) Taiwan and Hongkong 2013 The Different Story 1 Cover CNH.jpg The Different Story 2 Cover CHN.jpg The Different Story 3 Cover CHN.jpg

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