Glossary

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"If magical girls are said to be born from wishes, then witches are creatures born from curses. Magical girls bring hope to the world, witches bring despair. And since they’re invisible to humans, they are that much more insidious. Anxiety and mistrust, rage and hatred; they sow the seeds of disaster all over the world."
— Kyubey, episode 2.

Barrier

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Barrier (結界 Kekkai)
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 and friends 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 she 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 proved 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 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.

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.

After eating a few humans ― approximately four or five according to Kyoko in episode 5 ― they will grow into witches themselves.

They do not drop any grief seeds when killed unless they have grown into a full witch.

According to the January 2012 Dengeki PlayStation, familiars are "projections of the magical girl's heart before she 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.

All grief seeds drain grief when used on a dim soul gem, cleaning it. In episode 6, Kyubey warns that absorbing too much grief can revive the witch.

Sometimes magical girls also use grief seeds to test if she can cooperate with another magical girl. Rejecting a grief seed from another magical girl means refusing to work with her and hostility. Both Mami and Homura did such kind of tests.

For the fake grief seeds known as "evil nuts" in the Kazumi spin-off manga, please see here.

See this page for list of grief seeds in the franchise.

Magical Girl

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Magical girl (魔法少女 Mahō shōjo)
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.

Soul Gem

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

The soul gem is the source of a magical girl's magical powers; but, every time the magical girl uses her magical powers, the soul gem becomes "tainted". When "tainted", the soul gem loses its lustre and becomes more and more dark. The color of the soul gem darkens also. The only way to rid the soul gem of its "taint" is to use a grief seed. The grief seed will absorb the "taint" out of it.

When a magical girl transforms, the soul gem transforms together with her and becomes a part of her costume. The magical girl can also transform the soul gem into a ring, which makes it easier for the magical girl to take it with her and not lose it.

Episode 6 reveals that soul gems contain the magical girl's soul, while the body is merely a husk that is controlled by the gem.

Episode 8 reveals if the soul gem is not cleansed in time and reaches a certain point, it will become a grief seed and birth a new witch. Which, in other words, means that the more "tainted" the soul gem gets, the bigger the risk of becoming a witch.

See this page for list of soul gems in the franchise.

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 kiss on a victim's body.
All the witch's kisses.

From left to right:

Top row: Gertrud, Charlotte, Kirsten, Albertine, Gisela, and Elsa Maria.

Middle row: Oktavia von Seckendorff, Izabel, Patricia, Roberta, Kriemhild Gretchen, and Walpurgisnacht.

Bottom row: Candeloro, Ophelia, Homulilly, Quitterie, and Itzli.

Notes:

  • The cards for Kriemhild Gretchen and Walpurgisnacht do not actually depict their kisses, but the order presented throughout the top two rows matches that of appearance in the anime. The imagery presented also correspond to their themes.
  • While two different kisses appear on Homulilly's Rebellion-based cards, her card based on the Portable game does not depict any kisses to speak of, but the form shown of an hourglass corresponds with her theme of time.

Walpurgisnacht

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Walpurgisnacht (ワルプルギスの夜 Warupurugisu no yoru)
A gargantuan witch impossible for a single magical girl to handle on her own.

Witch

Gertrud ep2.jpg
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 in fact the "grown" forms of magical girls. See also:

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

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: An Uwasa that spreads rumors

Although similar to witches, uwasa are ultimately different. They are the manifestations of actual rumors that are spread through Kamihama City. They exist to spread and fulfill these rumors, attacking those who meet the rumors' conditions or who prevent the rumors' completion. They can only be defeated by doing the opposite of what the rumor represents. They notably do not drop grief seeds when killed.

Some uwasa are capable of communication. 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.

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."

In general, a magical girl changes into a witch when her soul gem, which is the main source of magical power that is created as a result of contracting, becomes cloudy. But in the world of Kamihama City the "Doppel" power is invoked instead. A magical girl's appearance changes into that of their witch form but will still leave her magical girl form intact resulting in a hybrid of their magical girl and witch forms. When doppel is activated, the magical girl is able to use powerful techniques they would not normally be able to use.

External links