Glossary

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A glossary of relevant terms.

Automatic Purification System

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Automatic Purification System (自動浄化システム Jidou Jouka Shisutemu)
Image: The core of the Automatic Purification System.

A field surrounding Kamihama City that:

  • blocks all Kyubeys from entering (except for the Lil' Kyubey),
  • prevents any Magical Girls inside from becoming a Witch, and
  • allows for the manifestation of Doppels.

Created by the combined efforts of Ui Tamaki, Nemu Hiiragi, Touka Satomi, and Alina Gray, it operates by collecting impurities from fully darkened Soul Gems directly, converting the energy therein to a usable form, and manifesting the user's Doppel. As the energy gains are forwarded directly to Kyubey, the APS thus contributes directly to the fight against entropy.

In the anime, it instead does not work correctly, causing Doppel use to randomly result in a glorified Witch-like state known as Doppel Syndrome. The only differences between Doppel Syndrome and becoming a Witch are that Doppel Syndrome victims' Witches appear fused to their bodies like normal Doppels, and that the condition is reversible by trained Coordinators. In Episode 24, it was shattered, but ultimately transferred to solely surround Iroha Tamaki as Ui's final gift to her, allowing her to use the Infinite form of Giovanna despite never becoming Infinite Iroha herself.

Doppel

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Doppel (ドッペル)
A special ability that magical girls can use in the mobile game Magia Record
Image: Iroha Tamaki's Doppel released before game distribution.

According to the official website "A select few Magical Girls in Kamihama City can summon a power known as a Doppel. Only awakened Magical Girls have this ability, which allows them to invoke a portion of the Witch power in their Soul Gem when it becomes fully tainted."

Typically, a Magical Girl becomes a Witch when their Soul Gem becomes completely black from developing too many impurities. Inside Kamihama City, however, the "Doppel" power is invoked instead. When a Soul Gem becomes completely black, a manifestation of a Magical Girl's Witch form is summoned instead, taking on a variety of forms for each individual girl. Doppels are extremely powerful, making them useful in battle, but can come with high risks depending on the specific nature of the Doppel.

From their in-game description, a Doppel's manifestation depends on several factors. For instance, though this is not always the case, older Magical Girls (or potentially, those who have been contracted longer, not necessarily one's actual age) experience a narrower range of emotions than younger Magical Girls, and as such their Doppels are more likely to appear fused to their master's body rather than as separate entities.

Doppel Versions

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Image: Kyouko Sakura's Doppel Version.

When initially summoned, a subconscious confrontation occurs between the Doppel user and their Witch self, in which the Witch attempts to convince the girl to give in to their inner darkness and give the Witch full control. Usually, the Doppel user will simply reject their inner darkness, and the Doppel will be semi-autonomous; however, by achieving true catharsis, a fusion referred to as a Doppel Version can be achieved. In a Doppel Version, the user is fully in control; how permanent this fusion state is is somewhat unclear, and may vary on a user-to-user basis.

In the Anime

Exclusive to the anime adaptation, when a Doppel is summoned, a Magical Girl's face will morph to appear completely white with solid black eyes and a mouth. This face does not appear on those who gain enough experience summoning their Doppel that they can retain consciousness while using it, but may reappear if their inner Witch gains the upper hand and risks taking control of their body.

Later in the anime, it is revealed that the formal name of doppel is doppel witch by Mitama Yakumo. It reflects negative emotions in a magical girl. When doppel takes control of a magical girl, they fall into an everlasting nightmare. Their doppel makes a barrier like in the Rebellion story. Their appearance also deforms into something like their witch form. It is possible to turn them back if other magical girls get into the barrier and defeat the doppel, but not for sure.

It is unknown what would happen if a Soul Gem separated from its owner's body becomes black in Kamihama City.

Familiar

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Familiar (使い魔 Tsukaima)
Lesser monsters divided out of the essence of a witch. Though normally assigned the task of maintaining and defending their mistress' barrier, it seems that they can eventually gain independence and stray to form their own barriers.
Image: Ulla, Suleika's familiar in her own barrier.

A Familiar is a secondary enemy that a Witch creates for a variety of purposes, usually shortly after the Witch itself is born. After either eating a few humans or simply waiting for time to pass, they will grow into identical copies of their parent Witch, able to spawn their own Familiars and dropping their own Grief Seed (occasionally exploited in a practice known as "Witch farming"). This is frequently possible despite the original Witch having already been defeated -- indeed, the entire Witch population of Kamihama City save for Etteilla was created in this way.

Unlike their parent Witches, Familiars are approximately weak enough for a human to do significant damage to them without magical assistance.

Familiars do not drop any Grief Seeds when killed unless they have matured into a full Witch.

According to the January 2012 Dengeki PlayStation, Familiars are "projections of the magical girl's heart before they became a witch".

Grief Seed

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Grief seed (グリーフシード Gurīfu shīdo)
A witch's egg, which occasionally appears after a witch is defeated. Magical girl require these items to restore their depleted magical energies.
Image: Gertrud's grief seed.

When a Soul Gem contains too many impurities and becomes completely black, it will transform into a Grief Seed, and its Magical Girl will become a Witch. All Grief Seeds drain impurities when used on a dim Soul Gem, replenishing a girl's magic and staving off their transformation into a Witch. In episode 6, Kyubey warns that absorbing too much impurities can revive the Witch. A Grief Seed that has been used before and already contains impurities will be unable to fully cleanse a Soul Gem.

Because of how valuable they are, Magical Girls may also use Grief Seeds to test if they can cooperate with another Magical Girl; rejecting an offered Grief Seed from another Magical Girl means refusing to work with them and hostility. Both Mami and Homura peformed such kinds of tests.

As shown in Magia Record:

  • Grief Seeds can be consumed by Witches and make them stronger.
  • They are also confirmed to exist within the bodies of the Witches that own them.
  • Grief Seeds are originally Soul Gems that have been influenced by emotions. Inside Grief Seeds is an energy similar to an iPS cell, a type of stem cell within living organisms, which can "become any emotion".
    • Grief Seeds can be reached and stimulated by the hydrogen line, a specific radio wave used to send and receive signals during searches for extraterrestial intelligence; it can penetrate through any obstacle, including the bodies of Witches, and resonate with their Grief Seeds within, allowing whoever is sending the signal to stimulate and manipulate their emotions.
      • Touka Satomi further explains that, somehow, the hydrogen line can be emitted "with brain waves", such as brain waves used in hypnotism and waves that are emitted when one is excited.

For the fake Grief Seeds known as "Evil Nuts" in the featured in Kazumi Magica, please see here.

See this page for list of Grief Seeds in the franchise.

Labyrinth

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Labyrinth (結界 Kekkai, lit. barrier)
An otherworld used by witches to conceal themselves. Should a normal human wander in by accident, it is impossible for them to escape.
Image: Madoka et al entering Gertrud's barrier.

In the anime, these locations are designed and animated by Gekidan Inu Curry in a style vastly different from that of the rest of the series in order to reinforce the otherworldly aspect. Inside and outside of the anime they are sometimes referred to as "mazes" (迷路 meiro) or "wards".

According to the January 2012 Dengeki PlayStation, the barrier is "a space resembling the Magical Girl's mental landscape before they became a Witch".

The barrier can be based off a lot of things, such as where the girl became a Witch, what their Soul Gem or Grief Seed motifs are or were, what they liked, and/or what their wish was.

This can be proven by looking at Oktavia von Seckendorff's barrier. It has a theme of longing for Kyosuke, since Sayaka's wish was to heal his hand. The ulterior motive behind the wish was for Kyosuke to love her, but this didn't happen. There is a Kyosuke-like figure shown in her barrier. Additionally, she became a witch at a train station, and at the beginning of episode 8 we see trains in Oktavia's barrier.

Law of Cycles

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Law of Cycles (円環お断り Enkan no Kotowari)
Image: The inside of the Law of Cycles, as depicted in Magia Record.

The Law of Cycles is an extra-universal system created by Madoka Kaname for the purpose of killing and archiving Magical Girls who are about to become Witches.

As the future of the universe in which Magia Record takes place is still being written, the Law of Cycles has no access to it, and it is further implied that the summoning system also has to cheat (as Nagisa Momoe was summoned into the Mirror Witch's labyrinth, known to connect alternate universes). Despite this, Madoka is sometimes able to force her support through.

Magical Girl

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Magical Girl (魔法少女 Mahou Shoujo)
Girls who have formed a contract with a messenger of magic, and in exchange gained the power of magic. Beings charged with the task of combating witches.
Image: Mami Tomoe, a Magical Girl.

Philosopher's Stone

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Philosopher's Stone (賢者の石 Kenja no Ishi)
Image: An example of a Philosopher's Stone.

A Philosopher's Stone is a magical rock of unclear origin with a variety of uses. Currently, it is known to be able to:

  • Completely halt the aging process in uncontracted humans.
  • Sustain a What-If reality.

As of 1431, the only known Philosopher's Stones are in the possession of Nicholas Flamel and the What-If version of Minou.

Soul Gem

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Soul Gem (ソウルジェム Souru Jemu)
A gem birthed from a contract with a messenger of magic. Proof that one is a magical girl; the source of their magical power.
Image: Mami's Soul Gem.

The Soul Gem is the source of a Magical Girl's magical power, produced upon contracting by extracting the contractee's soul and giving it physical form. When they use their magic, experience strong negative emotions, or sustain physical injuries, the Soul Gem gathers impurities and becomes "corrupted". When "corrupted", the gem loses its shine and becomes progressively darker. The only way to rid it of its darkness is to extract it with a Grief Seed or Grief Cube.

Physical contact with the Soul Gem is required for a Magical Girl to transform. When not transformed, a Magical Girl's Soul Gem typically takes its default "egg" form, or may be turned into a ring at will to be worn for easier transportation. When in ring form, the band will display its owner's name written in Runes. When transformed, the gem will change appearance and become incorporated into its owner's costume. The gem's costumed form most often takes on the appearance of one of the two symbols, which may or may not be the same symbol repeated, on the top and bottom/center of the gem in its "egg" form (e.g. Mami Tomoe's becomes a flower, Rena Minami's becomes a music note, etc.).

A Magical Girl is capable of using their Soul Gem to perform magic when not transformed: they can merge it with a normal object to temporarily imbue it with magic, which also transforms its appearance, which is then returned the normal when the Soul Gem is separated from it; and they can summon simplified forms of their weapons made of magical energy that extent from, and can be retracted into, the gem.

A Magical Girl must remain within 100 meters of their Soul Gem or their connection will be broken, and the girl will instantly "die". If this connection is broken, it will only be re-established once physical contact between them has been made again. Once separated, a Magical Girl's body has approximately 48 hours until it begins to decay. While transformed, a Magical Girl may be separated from their Soul Gem and retain their life and magic provided the distance between them does not exceed 100 meters; however, if a Magical Girl is not already transformed and is separated from their gem while remaining within proper distance of it, they will be unable to transform and, potentially, unable to use their unique magic. The connection between a Magical Girl and their Soul Gem can be broken by another using magic while still within 100 meters of each other.

If the Soul Gem becomes too full of impurities and turns completely black, it will transform into a Grief Seed, and its Magical Girl will become a Witch. This will completely sever the connection to the Magical Girl's body, unless the Magical Girl was already using a Doppel at the time and leaving the boundary of the Automatic Purification System.

Soul Gems have a natural magic sense that allows Magical Girls to detect both generalized spikes in magic and specific magic signatures, both of Witches and of other Magical Girls.

It is unknown what would happen if a Soul Gem separated from its owner's body becomes black in Kamihama City.

See also: Lists of Soul Gems

Uwasa

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Uwasa (ウワサ Uwasa, lit. rumors)
A type of monster that appears in the mobile game Magia Record
Image: "Uwasa-san," a specialized Uwasa that spreads rumors

While somewhat similar to Witches, Uwasa are very different. They are the manifestations of actual rumors that are spread through Kamihama City created by Nemu Hiiragi, originating from rumors she created about the city she saw through her hospital window before becoming a Magical Girl. Uwasa exist to spread and fulfill these rumors, attacking those who meet the rumors' conditions or who prevent the rumors' completion. They notably do not drop Grief Seeds when killed.

Some Uwasa are capable of communication or even independent thought that goes against the intentions of its creator or its own purpose. The Uwasa of the Commoner's Horse announces its intention to attack before it appears. The Uwasa of the Anonymous Artificial Intelligence is also capable of speech and has friendly interactions with other Magical Girls. However, it claims it is bound by its instincts as a uwasa.

An Uwasa's rumor can be modified on the fly, although doing so takes magical energy proportional to the magnitude of the change. For instance, modifying the Uwasa of the Graveyard Banquet more than simply adding a single line would have risked Nemu's life.

Under some circumstances, it is possible to turn a flesh-and-blood Magical Girl into an Uwasa and back.

See also: Category:Uwasa

Witch

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Witch (魔女 Majo)
The negative impulse that is called anxiety or suspicion, or excessive wrath or hatred = beings that spread the seeds of disaster across the world. Normally, they conceal themselves behind barriers.
Image: Gertrud, a witch.

Episode 8 reveals that Witches are the final form of Magical Girls. When a girl's Soul Gem becomes too full of impurities and turns completely black, it transforms into a Grief Seed, and its Magical Girl becomes a Witch.

As revealed in Magia Record, witches are capable of, and can be made stronger by, consuming Grief Seeds and other witches.

The traditional Japanese term for Witch is Devil (悪鬼 Akki).

See also: Category:Witches

Witch's Kiss

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Witch's Kiss (魔女の口づけ Majo no Kuchizuke)
A mark that appears on a human targeted by a witch.
Image: Gertrud's Witch's Kiss on a victim's body.

A Witch's Kiss is a marking, the personal symbol of the Witch, used by a Witch and its Familiars to control the minds of humans. They can be used to exacerbate pre-existing negative emotions and thoughts, change personalities, make people commit crimes or suicide, or lure them into a Labyrinth to be consumed by the Witch inside. While some of these actions may not necessarily lead humans to being consumed, some Witches may also desire merely to spread evil and misfortune regardless of if they get sustenance. Further, a Kissed human may not always die from it. Familiars can Kiss humans well outside of the Labyrinth they hail from in order to bring them to their Witch.

In the original series, Witch's Kisses were only depicted as appearing on people's necks. In Magia Record, they are now shown to appear on any part of the body, including the face and limbs.

In the original series and Magia Record, it is shown that humans with magical potential (future Magical Girls) can still become Kissed. It is unconfirmed, though implied in Rebellion, that even contracted Magical Girls can also be Kissed.

The symbol that makes up a Witch's Kiss also appears at the entrance of its owner's Labyrinth.

External links