Magia Record Story Homecoming ~ Three Days of Kyoko Sakura

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Summary

The following is a summary by bigscarythings.

Part 1

The story's prologue kicks off with a cold open into Kagome interviewing Kyoko in Walnut's, with Ui present, asking Kyoko about what she'll do for a "happy ending." This question is as sudden to us as it is to Kyoko, who has no idea how the conversation led to this point. What happy ending? What exactly is she doing here, anyway? Kagome and Ui are unfazed by these questions, and explain that Kagome had wanted to interview Kyoko for her magical girl record, and that Ui was here to help introduce them to each other. Kagome wants to interview as many magical girls as she possibly can now, because in three days, the world will end. Kyoko instantly knows something's wrong - that this has to be a dreamor something. None of this could possibly be real.

And then, without skipping a beat, she turns to a doll-like version of her sister, and asks sincerely, "What do you think, Momo?"

We don't get to hear Momo's "response," due to a scene transition into episode 1 proper. There, Kyoko asks Kagome about the impending apocalypse, and Kagome and Aru (Kagome's doll) explain how the world will last for at most three days. If someone, however, were to say the magic words - "The End" (which come to people naturally when they close their eyes) - the world will end then and there. Ui finds it bittersweet that absolutely no one on earth has said these magic words yet; Aru explains that people are all trying their best to ensure the end of their days is a happy one.

Ui reflects on how hard it is to make your happy ending. Having worked with Sana on her picture book project, they both realized just how hard it is to write a convincing happy ending. Kyoko assents; in the real world, love and courage never conquer all, and happily ever afters are bullshit (Ui remarks that Nemu said something very similar once).

Ui realizes that she accidentally took over the interview and gets flustered, but Kagome is perfectly fine with it; if anything, she's happy that Kyoko is much less scary than she had assumed. Kyoko wonders what kind of reputation she has, and Kagome explains that the Mitakihara Quintet say she's scary on the outside, but deep down, she's a real softie who can't help but rescue people from mortal peril. Kyoko gets flustered, insisting she's not out to be nice; Kagome goes "Oh, is that so?", just as Manaka to come out of the kitchen, declaring that Kyoko is lying - she takes care of everything, especially all the food on her plate!

As Manaka brings out their dessert - a bundle of apples - Kyoko reflects that while she's been working with the Kamihama and Mitakihara girls for quite some time now, they still know nothing of her past or what she's done to survive. She's gone quite soft these days.

At this moment, Manaka looks up and sees...Momo. She seems uncomfortable and asks who this is; Kyoko blithely introduces Momo as her sister. Ui gingerly asks if Momo is like Aru; Kyoko only briefly acknowledges the question before she abruptly pivots the topic to dessert. Manaka offers to peel one of the apples, but Kyoko waves her off, saying she prefers them whole. She takes a big crunch out of one, everything goes dark for a second, and...

She opens her eyes to a witch's labyrinth - that of Patricia, the class representative witch, to be specific. While Kyoko is processing her situation, a battle is raging all around her between the witch and the Mitakihara Quintet, plus Nagisa - Homura is trying to round up a gaggle of kindergarteners entrapped in the labyrinth, while Mami is busy trying to make paths for everyone with her ribbons so they don't fall into the endless blue. Kyoko starts piecing together what happened - she was scouting out the area and saw an empty shuttle bus, felt something was off, and eventually found this witch. Mami orders Kyoko and Sayaka to take down the witch while Madoka handles the familiars; Kyoko asks why doesn't Mami just nuke it with her gun, but Mami and Sayaka insist Mami needs to handle the path-building so the kids don't fall to their deaths. Left with no choice, Kyoko begrudgingly closes in on the witch.

The situation gets a little hairy when they find two more hostages, but they slay the witch in the end, with Kyoko saving the two hostages from falling. Outside the labyrinth, the kids and bus driver have all fallen unconscious, so Mami makes arrangements to have an ambulance take them. Nagisa remarks that it's kind of a waste to save all these people, given that the world is ending in three days. Madoka and Sayaka insist it's not so - they all need to give the world a happy ending! Homura wonders if they'll be out witch hunting when the world ends, and Madoka remarks that actually, there's one thing she'd like to do before the end - take down a dangerous witch that's been haunting Kamihama lately.

Mami remarks she'd heard about it; that it spawned from a witch they had previously defeated in Mitakihara. Sayaka says it's awfully strange that a witch would travel all the way from Mitakihara to Kamihama, but Madoka swears something like that happened before...but after thinking on it hard, she figures it was all in her imagination. Even so, Homura feels like it's possible the Witch traveled through the Endless Mirrors; if so, the others agree it's their responsibility in the end. If they don't get this witch, it'll be nagging them to the bitter end.

Madoka assumes Kyoko will come, too, but Mami says that since Kyoko's territory is actually Kazamino, she doesn't need to come; it was already generous of Kyoko to come out to Mitakihara today. But Kyoko realizes something - Madoka is acting like Kyoko helping out is a normal thing now. It reflects what Kagome said about the Mitakihara girls thinking Kyoko is a softie deep down (and her behavior in rescuing the hostages just then doesn't counter that one bit), and Kyoko kicks herself for being so soft, despite swearing to herself that she'd never use magic for the benefit of others ever again.

Momo goes "..." at Kyoko, and Kyoko asks if Momo is happy that she's helping others. Homura is startled at the sight, but in that moment, the ambulance arrives. The Mitakihara girls girls need to run to school, however, so they make Kyoko and Nagisa explain the situation instead. They do so, and all's well that ends well, with the kids and bus driver rescued and the two hostages having a joyful reunion. After a hard morning's work, Kyoko treats herself to another apple, and...

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We proceed to Day 2 of the apocalypse. This time, Kyoko wakes to herself playing Dog Drug Reinforcement, nabbing a perfect score. She overhears two certain girls marveling over her performance, and Kyoko recognizes them - Ren and Rika! They all greet each other, and Kyoko asks what they're up to; Ren wanted a stuffed animal from a crane game, and asked Rika, the crane game pro, to coach her. Rika asks what Kyoko's doing in Kamihama in turn; there's an arcade in Kazamino, after all. Kyoko says that "arcade" is just a traditional one for food and retail. The taiyaki here, though, is particularly great. Rika thinks taiyaki on the day before the apocalypse must be quite an experience.

Ren says their next to-do is to form a gameplan for hunting a local witch; Kyoko recognizes it as the one the Mitakhiara girls discussed earlier. They ask if Kyoko will join the hunt, but Kyoko doesn't seem too keen on hunting witches to the bitter end. Even so, Ren says she doesn't want the witch to harm anyone else, even if the world is ending tomorrow. Kyoko says the Mitakihara girls will be there, and that Ren ought to be careful - for a witch to grow as powerful as it is, it requires a significant death toll. To herself, Kyoko figures the Mitakihara girls will be able to handle it with the five of them, but if it's just two people, their victory is in doubt...

Momo "..."s again, and Kyoko remarks that Momo wants her to help. Unlike everyone else so far, Rika recognizes Momo as an ordinary girl, and introduces herself and apologizing for not noticing Momo earlier. Kyoko explains that Momo is very shy, hiding herself around new people. Rika thinks that's adorable, while Ren...recognizes Momo isn't really human, but holds her tongue for now. Kyoko sighs and says if Momo wants Kyoko to help, then she's got no choice. The three agree that whoever deals the finishing blow gets the Grief Seed, which is good enough for Kyoko. Shortly after, they recognize a familiar's labyrinth. Even though it's not the witch, it's still dangerous, so Rika and Ren move to take it down. Kyoko watches them go, thinking it's pointless to take it down when it won't drop a grief seed, but Momo "..."s at her again, and Kyoko begrudgingly chases after them to help.

In a brief battle scene, Ren and Rika arrive in the labyrinth, just as Kyoko dives in as well; all of a sudden, Konomi and Sana pop in, too, having recognized a labyrinth and dropping everything to help, and Kyoko gripes about being surrounded by so many do-gooders.

After the battle, Kyoko complains it was a waste of time, while Konomi objects. Shortly thereafter, the hostages in the labyrinth wake up - the exact same two hostages that Kyoko had rescued at the end of the labyrinth the other day. Kyoko recognizes them, and Konomi, thinking the three are acquainted, gives the old "Kyoko saw you two had collapsed and came to help!" explanation. Via telepathy, Kyoko explains that they're just people she's rescued before. The hostage couple thank Kyoko for helping them out today and yesterday, and shuffle along their way. Kyoko grumbles about being bad at helping people and accepting their gratitude for it, which makes Ren giggle.

Speaking of helping people, Rika asks if Sana and Konomi will join the witch hunt tomorrow. Konomi is game; taking out a big bad witch at the end of the world sounds awesome, and Sana figures if Konomi's doing it, she will, too. When they ask why Sana was out here, she explains she was helping out a young girl and a stray kitten in her own invisible way. Long story short, a mother cat was raising two kittens in a back alley around here, and the girl came by to check on them every day; eventually, the mother cat passed away, and one kitten was rescued and adopted, but they didn't see the other kitten, so it was left behind. The kitten can't survive on its own, and the young girl can't adopt the cat, so they're stuck on what to do.

Momo "..."s, and Kyoko says there's no guarantee that being kind will end up well. Konomi and Sana, too, recognize Momo as an ordinary girl, but Ren speaks up via telepathy, asking if Momo is the doll that Kyoko is clinging onto; the girls have no idea what Ren is talking about. Momo "speaks" again, and Konomi says Momo is right - yes, there are times when kindness can blow up in your face, but this is a helpless kitten who can't survive on its own. Momo "..."s at the young girl, and the young girl agrees with whatever she says. Momo's words seem to have encouraged the girl, and she decides she can't give up now - she's going to try to find someone else who can adopt the stray kitten. The rest of the gang cheer on the young girl, and Kyoko mulls over this odd dream in silence, and takes another bite of the apple.

In the next phase, Kyoko wakes up in her father's church. As she comes to, she ruminates on how the events in this dream seem like things that have happened in reality - but there are so many details that are unfamiliar, like all the talk about the end of the world. Just then, Kyubey appears in her dream, and Kyoko immediately asks if he's going to babble on about the apocalypse, too. She says he's just a figment of her dream, and he agrees without a fuss. That fact established, she asks Kyubey about the nature of this dream - if he's the product of it, it stands he should know what's going on. Kyubey finds that logic unsound, but agrees to point out his observations.

For one, all the events in this dream are indeed based on real-life experiences she's had over the past three days. She is witnessing them in chronological order. In other words, she had that interview with Kagome and Ui; met with Mami and the Mitakihara girls, and then Ren; and then she went to her father's church. But why? Kyubey can't answer that; Kyoko came to that church on her own free will. Kyoko thinks on it, and figures it out - her heart has been thawing, her prickliness has softened; she's being a do-gooder and helping people fight witches. She promised to never use magic to help others, and here she is now... All in all, she's been losing sight of who she is, and returned to the church for a harsh reminder of why she hardened her heart to begin with.

She and Momo seem to talk, and Kyoko remarks that the story of the separated sister cats really cut deep - someone trying to be kind ended up dividing a family and nearly killing an innocent cat instead. It was just like what happened to her: she made a wish for a miracle and destroyed her family, leaving just her and Momo as the sole survivors--

No, she realizes. No. She finally remembers the truth: Momo is dead.

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Kyoko recaps her past and her wish, how she lost her magic; how Momo was so little, so innocent, someone Kyoko had to protect - and failed at doing so miserably. Why is her dream just a recap of the past few days? That, she doesn't know. She's just finished two of the three days - so what'll happen tomorrow, on the third day? Kyubey says the world will end. Kyoko grumbles about it, asking what exactly the "end of the world" will entail, anyway. Kyubey says the universe has run out of energy, and is about to be consumed by entropy. They failed to harvest enough energy to stave away the end, but even so, they're still doing what they can.

Kyoko seems to find it pointless. Kyubey points out that all they need to do to end the world is say "The End" - that she hasn't means she's still clinging onto hope, too. Kyoko goes silent, and storms out of the church. She mulls over her behavior again - saving and helping people, using her magic, etc - and realizes that deep down, she hasn't actually given up on hope and happy endings, either.

But Momo "..."s again, and even after Kyoko's realization, she seems to be listening to Momo's words. Sayaka barges in on the scene, calling Kyoko's name, but Kyoko does not respond, just uttering Momo's name - and Sayaka is left wondering about what the heck is going on with Kyoko.

Finally, we dawn upon day three of the end of the world. We're now in real life, present-day Kamihama, with Ren waiting at the meeting place where she, Rika, Sana, Konomi, and Kyoko agreed to fight the witch. Ren finds it disquieting that no one else has arrived yet, but starts probing out the witch's location - and locks on its presence immediately. She guesses that the others might have already gone on ahead, and chases after it, where she runs into the Mitakihara girls as well (sans Nagisa). After introductions, they realize they're all after the same witch, and Mami realizes this must be the group Kyoko was going with (Sayaka gripes how "She turned us down when we invited her") - the rest of the group must have indeed realized the gravity of the witch's might and rushed into the labyrinth to take out the witch ASAP.

Ren and the rest of the gang find the labyrinth's entrance; the power it emanates is staggering. While Ren wants to dive into the labyrinth, Mami talks her down; they've already lost track of four people, rushing in will just have them lose even more. Mami and Sayaka agree to dip in the labyrinth for some brief recon while Madoka calls Iroha for reinforcements.

Once inside, they find an unconscious Konomi, and rush to rouse her. Konomi seems fine, if groggy, but she jolts awake when she remembers things and tries to explain, but there's no time - the witch herself has arrived. Despite their best efforts, Mami and Sayaka can't land a single blow; the witch seems to read their every move. They have no choice but to grab Konomi and run for their lives. Fortunately, they manage to escape, and Konomi explains things to the gathered group. Today, she and the other girls all met up to fight the witch, but the young girl from the other day was in a panic, because the kitten in the alleyway was gone. The girls scoured to find it, and it seems it got caught in the witch's labyrinth - and soon, the young girl fell inside, too.

The megucas ran in to save her, but were each snatched up by Familiars; Konomi says she fell unconscious, and until she was rescued, she was stuck in a shared dream recapping the past three days. Konomi talks about the "end of the world" and the "the end" incantation and all that. While they wonder what would happen if you said "the end" in the dream, they figure it can't be a good thing. Konomi also talks about how the four dreamers all believed Momo to be a real person; Ren and the other non-dreamers, however, recognized her as a doll. But what makes things very odd is that Kyoko has *never* talked about Momo with anyone else, and yet they saw her anyway - which makes them conclude that Kyoko is the keystone of the dream.

Despite her ordeal, Konomi's soul gem is perfectly clear - meaning they all have time to come up with a counterattack. It's odd, but Mami remarks that some witches have unconventional means of preying on their victims. But how can they fight a witch who reads their every move?

Just then, Iroha and Ui arrive, and soon receive a message from Kagome, who's in Kazamino with Nagisa. Nagisa has taken over the patrols there for today, and an idea seems to be hatching in Mami's mind. Iroha says she'll rally Yachiyo and the others to help, too, and the girls get cracking...

The scene ends with Kyoko in the dream world, mulling silence - leaving things to be continued.

Part 2

TBA

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