Wraith Arc: Chapter 1
The chapter opens with a view of the universe. Homura and Madoka hang suspended as Madoka thanks Homura for always being her best friend. Homura is worried that Madoka must not live closed off alone in this cosmis world forever, separated from her friends and loved ones. But Madoka tells her she’s not alone because everyone will always be with her and she will always be by Homura’s side, even if she can’t be seen. Even so, Homura is still worried she will forget Madoka and never again be with her. Madoka unties the red ribbons that tie her hair and presents them to Homura, telling her as long as there is a shred of hope, a real miracle may still occur and Homura might still be able to remember her. Madoka tells Homura it’ll be ok as Homura falls down from the cosmos holding onto Madoka’s ribbons. As she falls, the ribbons in her hand flash with light and Homura’s diamond-shaped soul gem is seen for a moment.
It is the new universe created by Madoka’s wish and a wraith stalks an innocent woman walking down the streets at night. The wraith is almost upon the woman and just as she is about to turn back to see who is behind her the wraith is blasted by beams of light. The woman sees nothing behind her as she turns. Mami and Kyoko leap from rooftop to rooftop, raining attacks down on the wraiths below. Kyoko complains about the vast number of wraiths and that she let a ‘trophy’ get away from her, but Mami tells her complaining will get her nowhere and it’s better to focus on the task at hand. On top of a large horizontal building several wraiths sit cross-legged on its roof, the miasma pouring out of them and choking the sky. Sayaka walks down the street towards the building, pleased to see she’s the first to arrive. The wraiths stand up, looking down on Sayaka as she summons a multitude of her sabres. She telepathically communicates to Mami and Kyoko that she’s found the wraith colony but whispers the location only to Mami, much to the chagrin of Kyoko. Sayaka races at the wraiths as they begin to shoot multiple laser beams at her. She throws several of her sabres at the wraiths which pierce their torsos. She leaps up as the wraiths begin summoning smaller wraiths to their assistance. The atmosphere grows freezing and Sayaka looks up at a towering wraith, a majuu, similar in appearance to an origami star. Sayaka worries the majuu will escape if she waits for Mami and Kyoko to arrive, so she braces herself before taking on the majuu alone.
The scene changes and Kyoko looks down on Sayaka, leering and asking her how she intends to make up for her mistake. Sayaka apologizes but Kyoko is hearing none of it. Sayaka tries to turn it back on Kyoko by accusing her of going after it alone first and the argument escalates. Mami tries to intervene, saying all three made mistakes this night that cost them but Kyoko and Sayaka are too busy fighting to pay her any heed. Mami narrates, describing wraiths as creatures that fill the world with the miasma they eminate, devouring peoples' emotions and invisible to humans, how magical girls contract their souls for miracles in exchange for fighting and defeating these wraiths. She goes on to describe that she, Sayaka and Kyoko work together to defeat them. As the narration ends, Kyoko and Sayaka continue their quarrel physically, as Mami worries outloud that they let such a large and dangerous wraith get away from them. Although it didn't go after them, the miasma it created was impressive and could do major damage. Kyoko knocks Sayaka's sabre out of her hand, ending the fight as they lay back exhausted in the grass. They revert to civilian form and Kyoko offers Sayaka some pocky as she awkwardly apologizes to her. Sayaka declines, saying she's on a diet but also taking the blame for the events of the day. They sit back and look out at the city.
The next day, Sayaka is nodding off at her desk, with Kyubey sitting with her. Mami calls out to her telepathically, which startles Sayaka, causing her to yell out in surprise. Mami asks if she's gotten used to being a magical girl and what she thinks of Kyoko. Sayaka describes her as noisy, but wants to work with her. Mami sounds relieved, and believes they can become a splendid team with practice. Outside, after school, Sayaka complains to Hitomi about Kyoko, describing the magical girls as a club she participates in. Hitomi thinks it's wonderful Sayaka has made a new friend, but Sayaka is surprised to think of her as a friend. As they're walking, Hitomi looks down to the sidewalk below and sees Kyosuke laughing with his friends. Sayaka is happy to be walking home with Hitomi since it's been so long since they've done so. Hitomi turns and looks at Sayaka seriously, telling her there's something important they need to talk about.
That night, Sayaka stands distractedly as a wraith materializes behind her. Kyoko slices it in half with her spear and yells at Sayaka not to go about day-dreaming. Mami asks Kyoko and Sayaka to distract the wraiths as she summons a giant musket, unleashing her Tiro Finale on the mass of wraiths below. The girls have managed to secure only a few grief cubes however. Mami offers them to Sayaka, but she declines saying she didn't do much and her soul gem isn't that dirty yet anyways. Kyoko stands off to one side and tells Mami to go ahead and use them on herself, since Sayaka is just skimping out. She calls Sayaka slow and distracted lately, telling her she better be serious and not catch them up in her personal issues. Before Mami can respond, Sayaka agrees and takes the blame, admitting she was distracted and promising she'll fight seriously the next time. Mami tells Sayaka that fights with wraiths are fights from the heart and strength of will and heart are needed in a fight against them or else even a powerful magical girl can be easy prey. She goes on, describing how even a magical girl can have her emotions consumed by a wraith and her heart stolen. Mami advises the girls go home to rest for the next day and Sayaka thanks Mami for her concern.
As Sayaka walks home alone, she reflects on Mami's words about fighting from the heart as images of Kyosuke's injured hand, his violin playing and Hitomi talking to him go through her mind. Kyoko appears, saying she knew all about how that boy and Hitomi are the thing that has been bothering Sayaka this whole time. She tells her not to waste her time on ingrates like them but Sayaka tells her stay out of her business. Kyoko sneers, and tells her the solution to her problems is to let a wraith consume Hitomi's feelings. If a wraith eats her feelings it should eat her romantic feelings as well, leaving the boy free for Sayaka. Enraged, Sayaka grabs her by the cuff of her shift telling her she doesn't need her help, even if she's a complete idiot. She looks at Kyoko as she tells her she thought they could be friends on the same level, but that's impossible since Kyoko is the kind of magical girl who only thinks of themelves. They argue more and Sayaka tells Kyoko she'll prove she can manage her heart with her own power. Transformed into magical girls, they leap from rooftop to rooftop exchanging blows left and right. Kyoko is able to hit Sayaka on the leg, throwing her off before kicking her at a wall and calling her a coward. Sayaka gets her legs underneath her and uses the wall to kick off and change directions, launching herself at Kyoko. She closes in and tries to get a successful hit in, but Kyoko steps on the spear she's using to block Sayaka with and manages to flip her high into the air. Grinning, she knocks Sayaka back down to the roof below with her spear, knocking her cape and sabre off. Mami watches from a distance, letting the girls fight out their differences. Kyoko closes in for the final blow and notices Sayaka's darkened soul gem at the last moment. Suddenly, as she steps over Sayaka's cape, the cape pulls up, blocking her vision and confusing her. Sayaka tackles her with her shoulder, knocking both of them into the alley below. Sayaka stands above Kyoko, holding her sabre to her throat and declaring her victory and calling Kyoko the coward. As she turns to leave, she tells Kyoko she'll continue to work with her for Mami's sake but warns her to never talk to her again.