"With kindness comes naïveté. Courage becomes foolhardiness. And dedication has no reward. If you can't accept any of that, you are not fit to be a magical girl."
— Homura Akemi, episode 5.
|Japanese Name||暁美 ほむら (Akemi Homura)|
|Voiced by||Japanese: Chiwa Saitou|
English: Cristina Vee
Italian: Alessia Amendola (show, first 2 movies); Emanuela Damasio (Rebellion)
Spanish: Ariadna Jiménez
Cantonese: An Chung Yi
Homura Akemi is one of the main characters in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. She is first seen by Madoka in a dream of her fighting a monster in a desolate landscape of skyscrapers. The day after the dream, Homura has transferred to Madoka's school where she gives her ominous warnings.
- Age: 13-14 (estimated)
- Height: 155-159cm
- Eye colour: Purple
- Hair colour: Black
- Soul Gem: Diamond located on the back of her left hand
- Weapon: Shield (storage and timejump device). (Episode 12 and Wraith Arc show her using a bow) Homura has been shown using golf club, pipe bombs, IMI Desert Eagle, FN Minimi, Beretta 92FS, Remington 870, Howa Type 89, M26 frag grenades, flashbang grenades, RPG-7, AT-4, C-4 explosives
- Wish: "I want to redo my first encounter with Kaname-san. But this time, instead of her protecting me, I want to become strong enough to protect her!"
- Witch form: Homulilly
- Japanese pronoun: watashi (わたし)
- School: Attended a Christian/Catholic school in Tokyo before transferring to Mitakihara Middle School.
Ms. Aoki’s Design Check:
- A blunt girl. I tried to let this shine through in her design. Her distinguishing point is her silky long hair.
- Magical girl outfit: Homura was designed with her personality and combat style in mind. I found her fascinating right away.
- The sharp lines of her upper back and jacket evoke her personality. Overall rather monochromatic. Her black tights have a diamond pattern.
- School uniform: She wears black tights in uniform too, leaving her overall feel just like in her magical girl outfit. She gives off the air of a silent beauty.
Since her arrival at Mitakihara Middle School, she is immediately depicted as being very intelligent, athletic, distant, and cold. It is revealed in episode 4 that she is only like this because she has seen so much suffering during her tenure as a magical girl. Because of this, she does not want Madoka to become a magical girl and tries to do anything in order to stop her from making a wish with Kyubey, going as far as to attempting to injure the cat-like creature. Despite her cold attitude towards others, she still very much cares for Madoka as it is her sole objective to protect her due to the countless amount blood, sweat, and tears she has shed over her jumps in time.
In the original timeline where her journey began, however, Homura is portrayed as meek, shy, timid, clumsy and is known around the school for her lack of confidence. She was also known for her physical incapability of performing in P.E. class; she would get dizzy upon doing even the simplest of warm-up exercises. This had the unfortunate result of her being a target of bullying, as heard on Drama CD 1. Overwhelmed by her perceived uselessness, she begins questioning her existence and until she begins her fated friendship with Madoka, her feelings do not change. Madoka, alongside Mami Tomoe, shows her the ropes and dangers of becoming a magical girl and notes that Madoka's own attitude became much healthier with every witch battle. In an ironic twist, in the anime timeline we see how frail and meek Madoka is, compared to the current Homura whose personality had performed a complete 180-degree turn due to her experiences in multiple timelines.
Despite being regarded as emotionless by Sayaka Miki, Homura is far from it. Although she does not easily show signs of remorse, sadness, or pity, it is only because she had grown used to the suffering around her. Her cold nature is from her determination to save Madoka after having failed in her mission to prevent Madoka from becoming a magical girl countless times. Homura herself has stated that she always feels badly with each life she unable to save or alter, but nevertheless, it does not slow her down from staying true to her main objective in saving Madoka.
- Character development: Prior to the events of episode 1 (or timeline), from the very beginning Homura considered herself to be useless, and worthless. She didn't think people would miss her if she were to die or disappear. But Madoka was probably the first person to see Homura differently, for the good person that she was and opened her eyes that changed her way thinking about herself. With each timeline, we start to see a transformation not only in Homura but with Madoka as well, where there is a role reversal. It is now Madoka who believes she is powerless and worthless, someone who can't even do anything to save her friends, and it is Homura who believes that Madoka is too kind and reckless for trying to do to much for others. Unfortunately, over the course of looping time, Homura becomes colder and callous and her intentions to save Madoka shift solely into "Madoka's survival", causing Homura to become crueler towards her and others as a means of "protection". See also the paragraph about Homura showing emotionally abusive traits below. She seems to have grown past this by the finale, but it's ambiguous to whether or not Homura accepted or repressed her feelings. Either way, Homura is still heavily dependent on Madoka for self-validation, a trait which rears its ugly head during Rebellion.
Homura's backstory was revealed in episode 10. She was a transfer student who was hospitalized for a long period of time due to heart disease. The whereabouts and status of her family is unknown, as they are never mentioned in the series. In the original timeline, Homura at this point is physically frail and weak most likely due to her illness. She wears glasses and braided hair in her early insecure depiction shown in episode 10. Later in that episode with renewed determination she undoes her braids and uses her soul gem to correct her vision and to heal her heart condition. From then on she no longer required the use of glasses.
Homura in the Anime
The original universe
Homura's time-loop officially starts on the 16th of the month in the anime (speculated to be sometime between March and April). She was released from the hospital on the 16th, and transferred to Mitakihara Middle School on the 25th. In the original timeline, she is attacked by a witch and saved by Madoka and Mami. Sometime during the next month, during Walpurgisnacht, she becomes a magical girl while wishing to redo her meeting with Madoka, thus gaining the power to pause and/or rewind time one month.
It is estimated Homura repeated the same month starting on the 16th nearly 100 times before the present timeline in the TV anime. Within these timelines, Homura was able to gradually improve her abilities and acquire items (such as ammunition and weapons from the Japanese military) to prepare for the battle with Walpurgisnacht. She was also able to memorize and deduce through statistics the major events that would occur within all timelines, giving her incredible knowledge about most of her adversaries. The corollary, however, was that Homura experienced the deaths of many of her friends repeatedly, often horrifically. As a general trend, Homura became increasingly distant to Madoka with each repeat of the month.
By the timeline of the TV anime, Homura appeared as a cold and calculating character who is distant from all the characters. She failed to save all of her companions (apart from Madoka), and by Walpurgisnacht, was forced to face the witch alone. She was subsequently defeated by Walpurgisnacht, and seemed just about to succumb to despair before Madoka appears and rewrites the universe with her wish.
By the Anime's Finale
After Madoka's revision of the universe, Homura is the only known character to retain her memories of the previous universe. She has possession of Madoka's ribbon, and has a new black bow as her weapon similar to Madoka's weapon. It is unknown if she retained her abilities to manipulate time and space. Homura is shown to have a much closer relationship with Kyuubey, so much so she even confides an entire account about how the old universe worked. She also has the ability to create wings of energy, forming angelic wings when confronting Wraiths in the city, and jagged dark wings when walking through the desert.
Homura in Wraith Arc
Homura in The Rebellion Story
|Warning, this section contains spoilers about the movie.|
"Without a doubt, this place is a witch's barrier."
In events prior to The Rebellion Story Homura was captured by the Incubators, and her Soul Gem was placed in an Isolation Field that blocked out the Law of Cycles. This strain led Homura to transform partially into a witch without her knowledge. In this form, she also unconsciously created a labyrinth that was a near-perfect replica of Mitakihara City, and unconsciously lured her former acquaintances into it. She even drew in Madoka from the Law of Cycles, who entered the barrier along with Sayaka and Nagisa Momoe. In this dream world, Homura unconsciously distorted almost everyone's memories (including her own) so that they believed they were living in the real world fighting new enemies called Nightmares. In order to stop the Incubators from fulfilling their goal, Madoka entrusted her memories and powers to Sayaka and Nagisa. Sayaka only pretended to have her memories altered, while Nagisa disguised herself as Charlotte/Bebe.
Eventually Homura realizes that she's trapped in a witch's barrier and attempts to discover who is behind it. Near the end of her journey she has a conversation with Madoka that causes her to realize that she can't accept Madoka's sacrifice. At this point she begins to realize she is the witch, and confirms it when she separates herself from her Soul Gem without consequence.
At this point Kyubey appears and explains the truth about Homura's present nature and the Incubators' plan to control the Law of Cycles. This causes Homura to go berserk and curse her existence, completing her transformation into a witch known as Homulilly. Madoka and the other magical girls manage to rescue Homura by destroying the stasis field containing them all, returning them to reality. Due to the Isolation Field, Homura only became a witch inside her own Soul Gem, allowing Madoka to save her.
Ultimate Madoka arrives to take Homura away as per the Law of the Cycle. However, Homura grabs Madoka first. Her Soul Gem turns black, then fills with swirling colors that Nagisa calls worse than curses. Reality begins to crack as Homura separates Madoka from her goddess self. The colors burst out of her Soul Gem, and both the cracks and colors engulf the entire universe.
Homura and Kyubey reappear in the same place where Madoka ascended in Episode 12. Homura shatters her Soul Gem in her mouth, and a new gem appears called the Dark Orb. Kyubey exclaims that Homura is rewriting the universe, and asks what happened to her Soul Gem. Homura explains that she remembered all of the times she repeated time, and all of the pain she suffered for Madoka's sake. She says that even this pain has become precious to her, tainting her Soul Gem with something greater than curses. As she swallows the Dark Orb, she calls it the pinnacle of human emotions: Love.
Homura transforms into a new form and grows a pair of black wings. Kyubey says that Homura is no longer a magical girl or a witch, and asks what Homura is now. Homura that since she brought down and imprisoned god, it's only appropriate to call her a demon (akuma). Kyubey decides that it was a mistake to experiment with human emotions and flees, but Homura grabs him and says she still needs his existence to deal with all the curses of the world.
By Rebellion's finale
|Warning, this section contains spoilers.|
"As I am now, I'm not a witch anymore. Something that could bring down a god and imprison her...I suppose you could only call such a being a demon."
Homura effectively becomes a goddess of this new universe. Apart from her true nature as a demon, she still exists with a human form in the real world and can interact normally with everyone else. She appears to have the power to manipulate the memories of virtually anyone she pleases, but otherwise the full extent of her abilities are unknown. It is assumed that Homura is a deity that primarily embodies love (whereas Madoka embodies hope).
Homura is presently holding a fraction of the Goddess Madoka captive--specifically, the part that was Madoka Kaname before she became the Law of Cycles. It is also implied she is placing the world's curses onto Kyubey. Despite proclaiming herself as a demon, Madoka, Sayaka, Kyoko, Mami, and Nagisa are all given happy lives in her new world.
Homura in the Manga
"Homura-chan. We were already friends. From now on, and forever. Always." - Madokami, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Chapter 12
- Homura's role in the manga follows the anime exactly up until the final chapter.
- Instead of wandering through a desert towards a group of wraiths, the epilogue of the manga Homura is shown being saved by Madokami, who tells her they always have and always will be friends before they walk away together.
Homura in The Different Story
- Homura acts just as she did in the anime.
- Homura tries to cooperate with all magical girls to fight Walpurgisnacht. But she still fails because all other magical girls don't believe her.
- When Sayaka becomes Oktavia, she warns Kyoko not to visit Mami or she may die. Kyoko refuses and set a barrier to stop her from following.
- She brings unconscious Mami home, and then seeks her help.
- She lies to Madoka, saying Sayaka is killed by witches. She doesn't want Madoka to know about the cold truth.
- When Madoka contracts, she doesn't reset time immediately. She tries to convince Madoka to run away, but Madoka refuses. She resets time after the other two go to fight Walpurgis.
Homura in the PSP Game
- If certain conditions are met, the Homura route will be available for playing.
- Homura can save Mami from Charlotte.
- By telling Mami she will leave Charlotte to her, Homura can avoid being tied up in ribbons. Homura can then secretly follow and save Mami in time.
- Mami apologizes to Homura for misjudging her and forms a bond with Homura.
- With Mami alive, there is a scene where she fights against Kyoko.
- By telling Mami she will leave Charlotte to her, Homura can avoid being tied up in ribbons. Homura can then secretly follow and save Mami in time.
- Homura can save Sayaka, by choosing Kyoko to talk to Sayaka and prevent her from becoming a witch.
- Sayaka will join the group in fighting against Walpurgis.
- Kyouko will team up with Homura in most cases.
- If Homura successfully avoids Mami's death and none of the magical girls become witches, then it is possible for Homura to challenge Walpurgis with four magical girls without having Madoka contracting with Kyubey.
- The PSP game has a transformation scene for glasses Homura
Homura in Oriko Magica
"Madoka... don't ever tell me not to save you. I'm not all-powerful. I am not able to save everyone. But... even so, I want to save you. So, don't say that anymore!" - Homura, Puella Magi Oriko Magica, Chapter 5.
- Homura first appears in Chapter 3. When Mami warns her about the magical girl murders, Homura seems not to care, but warns Mami not to get close to her, Madoka, Hitomi and Sayaka.
- In chapter 4, she appears for one page with her friends, going out for sweets. She defers to Madoka's taste and doesn't care where they go. She protected Madoka well to this point, keeping the knowledge of magical girls far away from her and Sayaka.
- In chapters 5-7, as Mitakihara Junior High is covered with a witch's barrier, Homura does her best to protect Madoka from the familiars. After Madoka told her not to sacrifice others to protect her, however, Homura decided to find Oriko and Kirika and defeat them. Oriko reveals that she knows about the end of the world caused by Kriemheld Gretchen, Madoka's witch form, and that she plans to kill Madoka before she can contract and cause that to happen. Homura fights together with Mami, Kyoko and Yuma, coming close to losing when two of the other three fall into despair after seeing Kirika become a witch. They manage to pull themselves together and defeat her, and Homura kills Oriko. But since Oriko also killed Madoka by using the last of her power to shoot a piece of Kirika's witch body through Madoka's torso, Homura can do nothing but reset the timeline.
Powers and Abilities
- In episode 9, it was revealed that Homura can stop time. However, anyone she touches while the ability is under effect will not be stopped. Along with stopping time, Homura can also reverse time to before her meeting with Madoka.
- According to an interview in Otona Anime Vol. 20, translated by symbv, here is what Gen Urobuchi said on more of Homura's power: "The weapon that looks like Homura's shield is actually a sand timer. When the flow of the sand is blocked, time is stopped. And when there is no sand on the upper part of the sand timer and then the timer is reverted, one month's worth of time is turned back. But before that stage is reached, only time stopping is possible. This means the special power of Homura is the ability to manipulate one month's time's worth of sand in the sand timer. As for the time passed and then turned back, since it was not the focus in this work I did not think it through very thoroughly. I think you can say that the world split up and became parallel worlds there." In episode 11, we see Homura's sand run out in the middle of her fight with Walpurgisnacht, verifying this limitation of her time stop powers.
- Gen Urobuchi stated that he didn't really think too much about the mechanics of Homura's time loops, so the nature of Homura's power is not only a mystery, but it is not fully understood not even by the creative source.
- Homura's shield is able to store a countless amount of weapons, as demonstrated by the many pistols, light machineguns, shotguns, rocket launchers, and boxes of ammunition packed inside it. Note that her shield is relatively small and she is able to wear it around her wrist, much like a watch.
- She appears to live by herself; her residence only has her name on the nameplate, much like Mami's. In episode 10, when she wakes up in the hospital, no-one is there with her, and she seems to have been filling out the school transfer forms on her own.
- Her house has a wall display of documents relating to witches.
- She is visibly upset when Madoka uses her last name or honorifics instead of the more intimate "Homura".
- Homura calls everyone by their full name, giving the impression of being distant to people. This is most likely an attempt of her part to distance herself emotionally with everyone.
- In episode 10, Hoemura goes from formal to first name basis with Madoka.
- In episode 9 when Kyoko sacrifices herself to save Sayaka, Homura calls her by her first name.
- The way she calls Sayaka varies on timelines. And she always refers to Mami as by her full name or Tomoe-san, probably because she is her senior.
- Homura's appearance in episode 12 (in the new timeline) from the manga is different than her appearance from the anime. In the anime, her clothes and hairstyle remain the same, with Madoka's ribbon as her accessories. However, in the manga, she wears a new dress, changes her hairstyle to two pigtails with the ribbons Madoka gave her.
- Some viewers that noticed that Homura shows several traits of emotional abuse towards Madoka throughout the series. She intimidates Madoka, with Madoka often looking uncomfortable or fearful around her (multiple times, notably once in episode 1), belittles her by calling her a fool or idiot at various points (and telling her she "won't hold back against a fool" at one point in episode 6) and doesn't treat her as an equal, tells her not to ever change herself (episode 1) and to give up on or forget about her friends (episodes 5 and 7 regarding Sayaka), controls her decisions regardless of Madoka's wants or feelings, and especially without her explicit consent (several points in the anime, Rebellion's ending), follows or stalks her repeatedly (Madoka Magica, The Different Story — notice how she is almost always in time to stop Madoka making a contract or to save her from harm), has shown to be capable of doing extreme things in the name of Madoka's sake (attempting to kill Sayaka in episode 8), is capable of throwing other's lives away for Madoka's sake (again, Sayaka; Oriko Magica has a scene where Madoka acknowledges this), constantly withholds highly important information from Madoka (such as important info regarding magical girls, Kyubey, or Sayaka's situation), and tries to drive others away from Madoka/Madoka away from others if she perceives them as a threat to her safety (Mami and Sayaka). As well as this, in Rebellion, as this tumblr post points out: Homura alters Madoka's memories and takes away her powers, places herself in a position of influence over Madoka by making Madoka into her shyer pre-series self (who may in fact be even shyer than that) and into a new transfer student, and appears to even sever all her previous friendships, especially from Sayaka, who was previously Madoka's childhood and best friend.
- Homura also shows many traits of a textbook psychopath, as explained in detail here. Much of the analysis also overlaps with the emotional abuse analysis above.
- Homura may actually be Faust, as Faust in the play tries all his might to save Gretchen (Madoka) from dying but in the end she perishes anyways as Mephistopheles (QB) tries to tempt her to form a contract with him.
- There's also the fact that in the Goethe version, Faust would only lose his soul if he ever had a moment of perfect happiness that made him wish he could stop time at that moment forever. Homura's power, of course, is to stop time. As such, it's entirely possible that the Homura and Faust parallels will be taken to its logical conclusion: She will have a moment of perfect happiness, she will stop time at that moment, and then she will die or become a witch. However, it should be mentioned that Faust manages to escape Mephistopheles and enter heaven because he found his moment of happiness in helping others, and not in anything Mephistopheles gave him. On the other hand, there is a witch that tries to create heaven on Earth.
- In the story of Faust, the devil grants him "magical powers" for 24 years, "one year for each hour of the day," and the deal was at the end of the "24 years," the devil would claim his soul. Homura's "weapon" is an hourglass, and her hourglass can reset time by one month. Given the strong parallels to Faust, and how at the end of the last loop, Homura was about to lose her soul (by giving in to Kyuubey's master plan and her Soul Gem becoming corrupted), it is entirely probable that her loop lasted for a total of 24 months/loop attempts as a reasonable conservative estimate, and the full Faustian 24 years as a more gruesome estimate. Given how radically her personality has changed since the first loop attempt, and how she seems to have memorized most of the key events of the loop, 24 months seems like a plausible number.
- The reason why Homura can't prevent Madoka from being a magical girl may be interpreted that it is Madoka becoming a magical girl that makes Homura become magical girl. If Homura really did, there will be a paradox. But effect can't change the cause. Therefore, no matter how many times she tries, she is destined to fail.
- Another evidence may support this idea. In the end of episode 12, Homura is still a magic girl and she knows the existence of Madoka. It is because Homura became a magic girl and her trying hundreds of times to save Madoka that gives Madoka the ability to become Madokami. Even Madokami can't change what she is based on to exist. The effect can't change the cause.
- Her first name is written in hiragana, which has no special meaning. However, when written in kanji, it can mean:
- flame, blaze (炎 or 焔)
- heart on fire (心火)
- Though only 焔, 炎, and 心火 are actually Japanese given names.
- The official Chinese translation uses (焔) "flame, blaze" as the characters for her first name. However, no official kanji of her name exists in the original Japanese version.
- The first character for Akemi (暁) means "daybreak", while the second one (美) means beauty which is a common letter in girl's names.
- In an early production sketch, her surname was given as (暁海) "daybreak sea" instead of (暁美). Both are read as Akemi.
- Her last name can also be used as a first name.
- When her full name is written vertically in hiragana (あけみほむら) and covering the left half at a certain angle, it could be read as カナメまどか which is Kaname written in katakana and Madoka written in hiragana.
- At a Nitro+ Q&A Panel it was revealed that Homura went through almost 100 timelines. Q: How many timelines did Homura go through? A: Approaching 100.
- If Homura really did loop the same month and a half nearly 100 times, she would technically be around 26-years old, having spent 12 years looping time. (Calculations here.) However, since her body is always reset along with time, she is still only 14-years old physically. This makes Homura about twelve years older mentally than Madoka.
- Homura finds a manual on how to make bombs from the internet. According with the Japanese Wikipedia the manual is titled Hara Hara Tokei (腹腹時計 Hara Hara Tokei), published in March 1974 by a far-left terrorist organization.
- Incidentally, the manual explains with illustrations that “Anyone with a middle-school level knowledge of chemistry can do it”.
- Homura is frequently referred to as "Homerun-chan" amongst Western fans, due to the similarity of the two names in Japanese, however she is frequently referred as "Homuhomu" (ほむほむ) within Japanese community. Homuhomu likely originated from the runes in Episode 3, one of which translates to "Homuhomu".
- "Homuhomu" can be used as a verb as "do Homuhomu" (ほむほむする) which means to caress, console or take care of. The action of "do Homuhomu" is not defined exactly.
- Originally started by the fan community it has been embraced and adopted by the industry to become part of the official language and usage.
- Sometimes also jokingly refered to as "Homurika" due to shared similarity of circumstances (having to go through many timelines to prevent a tragedy) with Rika Furude (Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni).
- Some folks in 2ch nicknamed Homura's Residence Homu-home (ほむホーム Homuhōmu) since Homu is a nickname for Homura, and Hōmu is "home" rendered in the Japanese syllabary. It should be noted that "homu" is more often used for dog houses and similar structures, with the English word "home" expressed using "uchi" (うち, which refers to one's own house or household), "ie" (いえ, which can refer to a physical house or a family lineage), or the honorific "otaku" (お宅, which refers to someone else's house or household).
- Apparently there is a rumor on the net that some weapons went "missing" at the JSDF and US military bases in Japan. There is only one official report regarding the missing/stolen weapons. It is not known if the rumors of the
stolenmissing weapons inspired their appearance in the series. Nor is there any evidence indicating that the perpetrator was a time traveling magical girl.
- In the Puella Magi Madoka Magica Official Guidebook "You Are Not Alone" Hanokage jokingly describes Homura as "Hommando" in her After-Recording Report comic, because of the excessive vast arsenal of weaponry she unleashes in Episode 11. Apparently the smörgåsbord of weaponry was added later, they were not originally depicted in the early stages of the screenplay.
- One fan estimates that Homura used ¥ 1,383,040,300 Yen worth of military weaponry & equipment (that's $17,037,114 USD in today's dollars).
- Homura is the strongest of the magical girls as long as no one discovers the nature of her power.
- In Audio commentary for Episode 4, Urobuchi liked Chiwa Saitou for the role because she had a "Dark Beauty" feeling.
- In the Audio commentary for Episode 7, Chiwa Saitou explains she tried the role of Kyubey and Kyousuke first, until Gen Urobuchi convinced her to try the role of Homura.
- Chiwa Saito explains that she found the character of Homura to be strong but also to be a weak/delicate girl. Aoi Yuuki adds that the Homura character had no other choice but to become strong.
- Ryouko Shintani states that would be true for a character that has something or someone important to protect.