Madoka Magica Episode 6: This Just Can't Be Right

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"Just because you keep trying to do the right thing doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a happy ending."
"If she's so focused on what she thinks is right, try doing something wrong to snap her out of it.
"You never know, sometimes doing the wrong thing for someone is exactly the right thing to do." ~ Junko Kaname

This Just Can't Be Right
こんなの絶対おかしいよ
First airing 10 February 2011
Script Gen Urobuchi
Storyboard Shinsaku Sasaki
Episode director Fujiaki Asari
Animation Director Jun'ichi Fukunaga
Hitoshi Miyashima

Summary

E6-Sayakacleaning.jpg
E6-KuuKai.jpg
E6-MadokaTheMagicalGirlSlayer.jpg

As presented in the previous episode, Kyoko Sakura almost finishes off Sayaka, only to discover that her spear is stabbing thin air and Homura has intervened. Sayaka is quickly knocked out by Homura. Annoyed, Kyoko asks Homura whose side she is on. Homura then states she is always with the cool-thinking people and against the troublemakers, demanding that Kyoko identify which group she belongs to. Kyoko complains, but retreats. Madoka asks Homura if she came to save Sayaka, but Homura berates Madoka for not following her advice at all. She warns that next time she may consider other (presumably brutal) options to make the fool listen, leaving Madoka horrified.

Sayaka uses a Grief Seed to clean her Soul Gem, and asks Kyubey how important it is to do so. Kyubey answers that it's needed to strengthen her magic. He advises Sayaka to get more Grief Seeds in order to become stronger, and tells her that if Madoka contracted, she'd have the power to defeat rivals like Kyoko. However, Sayaka firmly rejects the idea of involving Madoka.

Homura approaches Kyoko in an arcade and proposes a deal to let Kyoko have the city as her territory, but forbids her to attack Sayaka. Kyoko offers Homura a snack in a gesture of cooperation.

Madoka, concerned about the violence between Sayaka and Kyoko, tries to persuade Sayaka to seek a truce. She argues that Sayaka and Kyoko are both magical girls, who are supposed to battle witches, not each other. Sayaka rejects the idea, pointing out that selfish magical girls such as Kyoko intentionally let familiars attack humans, resulting in the deaths of innocent victims. Next time, it may even be Madoka's parents or Tatsuya.

Madoka, deeply worried about Sayaka, asks her mother for advice. She tells Madoka that people sometimes need to make mistakes. If there's no right answer, it's necessary to be wrong - something she believes Madoka must learn how to do gracefully in order to become an adult.

The next evening, Sayaka is once again confronted by Kyoko, who goads her into another fight on top of a highway bridge. However, before the battle starts, Madoka arrives and seizes Sayaka's Soul Gem, the source of a magical girl's energy, throwing it off the bridge in the hope of stopping the fight. To Madoka and Kyoko's shock, this causes Sayaka to suddenly collapse, lifeless. Kyubey says Madoka has just thrown Sayaka. It turns out that as part of the contract, the Soul Gem literally contains a magical girl's soul, with their body becoming a mere shell that turns limp and lifeless if the Soul Gem is more than 100 metres away from them.

Appalled, Kyoko explodes, claiming that what Kyubey has done is practically turning girls into zombies. Kyubey expresses his difficulty in understanding all girls' repulsion towards the idea, describing how useful the arrangement is for enabling girls to survive witches' attacks. Meanwhile, Homura rushes to retrieve the Soul Gem and brings it back to Sayaka in order to revive her. Sayaka wakes up, not remembering anything that happened after Madoka threw her gem away.

Runes

No runes were featured in this episode.

Audio Commentary

See Also: Guidebook staff commentary from the Magica Quartet


This Just Can't Be Right
こんなの絶対おかしいよ
Commentary Aoi Yuuki
Chiwa Saitou
Yukihiro Miyamoto

The 6th commentary features the 'series director' Yukihiro Miyamoto.

They start out asking what exactly a 'series director' does. They've seen him around, but the seiyuu don't really know what is role is. He says jokingly that he basically wanders around and says "Please do this". He also though generally gives advice on the contents of the series; the general flow of things and such. He'd be correcting things such as overall lighting saying "it's night, it should be dark". Maybe he had a big role in the revisions between the TV airing and the blu-rays? They made a lot of such continuity corrections.

Then they joke that theyll now go ahead and spoil the whole rest of the series, since by the time this commentary was recorded they finally finished recording episode 12.

So next, Saitou asks the general circumstances around the planning of the work. Miyamoto says that they were doing Arakawa Under the Bridge, and they couldn't fit Madoka into the schedule at that time, and then Denpa Onna was on the table, so it was kinda fit into the schedule fairly suddenly. But when it was time for work to start, they basically gave it to him and said "Make atmosphere". He did say that instead of making too many changes, he just left it to Akiyuki Shinbo (the main director of the series). But when changes would be made, it was up to him to get things done.

They next talk about the changes between TV and BD; there were a lot of things that they simply couldn't finish in time for the TV airing, but that they still wanted to do and so those were put off for the Blu-rays. Clearly, they were definitely in a rush. Saitou said that although she was already used to working with Shaft, she found that the drawings that they were dubbing to were far rougher than usual. "Aren't these drawings kinda bad?" And then when it actually aired, her reaction was "Huh? THAT got finished in time? Did anyone die doing this?" Miyamoto does say that if anyone died, it was probably Abe Nozomu, the animation director, who really worked on the action scenes. Apparently, he'd die every time a cut would be changed, and so would the person whose job it was to make the actual animation changes.

Due to the state of the pictures (sometimes just "..."!), Saitou felt strongly that they were relying on the animators to follow things up. But there were benefits. Normally, you do more animation before the voice-overs are completed, but in this case the artists and animators get to hear the voices before putting things down on paper. So here, they got to really animate things according to the voicing, which really lets them fit better than they would have otherwise. Miyamoto said that it's significantly easier to imagine the facial expressions given the voices made beforehand.

I wonder if that is yet another part of why the dialog feels much more natural... The voice actors get to make their own interpretation of the emotions in the script, and then the art is drawn around their performance. In other series, the voice actors would have to work around facial expressions provided to them by the animators, and it's probably more forced. It makes me feel bad for the foreign language dubs of this series since the animation is fit exactly to the original performances...

Miyamoto says that his favorite character is Kyubey, because he's goal-oriented and seems like he'd follow a schedule to the T.

They next talk about quality control; in the aired version of Episode 6, there was an error in which they mix up the terms 'soul gem' and 'grief seed' and that probably didn't get corrected in time because of the overall time pressure on the series. Miyamoto apparently decided the timing of every single cut in the series, so he really has a lot of work to do...

They do talk more about Kyubey, because here he starts getting really dark. Katou Emiri (Kyubey's seiyuu) would be apologizing after each episode for "burdening everyone with darkness". Miyamoto said that Kyubey was a very helpful character, since his mouth doesn't have to be animated, and his tail flipping around is enough to make him look cute. Laziness for the win. And it's not like it appeared lazy, it's a really great effect in-story.

He finished up saying that everyone really was immersed in the show. Even the animators would say "I haven't seen up to here on air yet, so I don't want to animate this part". Even the people making the series didn't want spoilers!

Observations

  • Madoka's homework is Hey diddle diddle!, an English rhyme.
  • The game Kyoko is playing in the arcade, Dog Drug Reinforcement, is based on Konami's DanceDanceRevolution series.
    • The characters decorating the arcade cabinet seem to have a resemblance to Konami's pop'n music series of music games.
    • Kyoko is dancing to a remix of the show's opening theme, "Connect" by ClariS.
    • Ironically, a licensed cover of Connect would later appear in both of the titles mentioned above. Article on RemyWiki.
    • The arcade cabinet features a logo that says "inudaruma" on its sides.
  • The opening sequence in episode 6 changed once again. This time, the transformation sequence is more colorful than before, and the angle changed slightly.
  • Rabbit heads are seen twice during this episode, first on Sayaka's bedding and latter on the screen of the game Kyoko was playing in the arcade. When Kyoko finishes playing the game, the smiling rabbit heads on the screen change to a "dying" expression" and a halo and pair of wings float upwards from them.
  • During the arcade scene, Homura mentions something by the name of "Walpurgisnacht" (ワルプルギスの夜 Warupurugisu no Yoru, Night of Walpurgis). At this point in the story, little is known about "Walpurgisnacht" (is it an event? A witch? Something else?). You can find more information about the real-life event here, and the anime "thing" here (caution: mega-spoiler ahead).
  • The grief seed that Sayaka used and Kyubey consumed was Elly's.
  • Junko's speech with Madoka is interpreted as moral relativism. Just because you think you are doing the right thing doesn’t mean that you will make others or yourself happy. However, “the desire to lead the world in the right direction is not wrong in itself,” as illustrated by the ending.

Madoka's and Junko's Conversation

Madoka: "There’s this friend of mine. She’s in trouble. I don’t think she’s doing or saying anything wrong, but… She keeps trying to do the right thing. But the harder she tries, the worse things get for her…"

Junko: "Sure, that happens a lot."

Madoka: "Really?"

Junko: "Yes. Sad but true. Just because you keep trying to do the right thing doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a happy ending. In fact, the more stubborn a person gets about what they think is right, the less happy they are going to be. It’s like they stop being rational all together."

Madoka: "It’s not fair to be unhappy. Especially if you’re not doing anything wrong."

Junko: "Uh-huh."

Madoka: "So then, what do you think I should do?"

Junko: "Well, at this point, I doubt that it’d end on a happy note no matter what anyone did."

Madoka: "Huh…"

Junko: "If the only way to help was to do something drastic, would you do it?"

Madoka: "Yeah…"

Junko: "Then you should do something wrong."

Madoka: "Huh?"

Junko: "If she's so focused on what she thinks is right, try doing something wrong to snap her out of it."

Madoka: "I don’t get it. How?"

Junko: "You could tell a big fat lie, or chicken out when the going gets tough. You never know, sometimes doing the wrong thing for someone is exactly the right thing to do. If you find yourself at the dead end and there’s no other options left, doing something the wrong way might do the most good."

Madoka: "But, will she understand that I’m doing it for her sake? That I’m just trying to help her?"

Junko: "Well, she might not get it right away. She might even hate you. See what I mean? We’re talking some drastic stuff here. But ask yourself this; what’s better, doing nothing or doing something?"

Madoka: "Huh."

Junko: "I have to say I did a good job raising you. You don’t do anything bad. You’ve never told a lie. You always try to do the right thing no matter what. You passed childhood with flying colors. Here’s the thing though, before you grow up, you should learn how to make the right kind of mistakes."

Madoka: "How can I? I don’t get it."

Junko: "You are still young, so it’s easy to bounce back after getting hurt. If you learn how to take life’s little hits now, it’ll help you later on. See, the older you get, the bigger the consequences are if you mess up. The more responsibilities you have, the less mistakes you’re allowed to make."

Madoka: "Hmm… That sounds really hard."

Speculations

The theories below have not been proven yet.
Please keep in mind that they are fanmade theories, and not official material.
  • If Mami's soul gem can be recovered, it may be possible to revive her. There is a catch, however: Mami's soul gem takes the form of a hairpin, and as you know it was the first thing to get crushed in episode 3.
  • Kyubey appears to eat Grief Seeds. What this means has yet to be seen. For more speculation on the subject, please refer to Kyubey is Evil

Images

Screenshots

Miscellaneous

See Also

External links

Episodes
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Episode 5 There's No Way I'll Ever Regret It Madoka Magica Episode 6: This Just Can't Be Right This Just Can't Be Right Episode 7 Can You Face Your True Feelings?