Audio Commentary/Episode 2

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That Would Be Truly Wonderful
Commentary Aoi Yuuki
Chiwa Saitou
Ume Aoki

Episode 2's commentary features the original character designer, Ume Aoki, who is best known for her manga Hidamari Sketch and its derived anime. She's a very quiet person.

She was involved in the franchise from a very early stage. It was to be a mahou shoujo show in the style of Urobuchi, and she was invited to have some fun. They first decided on the general setting, then made a general summary, and then worked from there.

Talking about the image-colors of each character, apparently Urobuchi assigned her the colors to be used for each of the characters. She would be told to, say, "Make someone red", and from there she'd be relatively free to run. Apparently, Madoka and Homura were fairly easy, but Sayaka was more difficult. Although she needed to get across a 'boyish' impression, it can't be overdone without risking that her gender actually be confused.

Another interesting character for her to design was Kyubey, who was designed to be super-ultra cute. She didn't really think about any particular kind of animal, just a mahou shoujo mascot character.

The voice actors did note that they noticed some dissonance between the character art they were shown and the lines they had to read during the audition, which is interesting...

They asked Ume-sensei about her general impression of the series, which was tough for them to discuss because they were trying not to spoil things. She said that while it is certainly a mahou shoujo show, it's very much a human drama. It does eschew many of the classic magical girl tropes, like the standard love interest and the people they need to save. Instead, the show up until this episode is exploring exactly what being a mahou shoujo is, rather than just diving in.

Yuuki Aoi then talked about her drawing of Madoka's costume that shows up in this episode. She was given some concept sketches by Ume-sensei to base her drawings on, and apparently was watched intently as she drew. Ume and the other staff originally intended it look purposely bad, but when she tried to draw poorly, she found it hard to do, so they gave it to Yuuki, someone more likely to actually idly doodle in notebooks, to draw.

They also discussed Gekidan Inu Curry, who made the witch environments. Ume knew the story, but seeing their art was very cool for her. It must be interesting as an artist to see other artists' ideas, especially ones as off-the-wall as Inu Curry's, come to life upon reaching the animators. The voice actors too were always looking forward to seeing it air, because they'd often be recording over black and white sketches and it would change completely in final production. In fact, Katou Emiri, who played Kyubey, was shocked that Kyubey didn't have any lip movements, because during the initial dubbing for episode 1 she had tried hard to lip sync but afterward there was a decision made to not have Kyubey move his mouth at all.

They discussed many other things that aren't that interesting for their content, but more just for the feeling of getting to know the people behind the show.