Kyubey

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Revision as of 19:28, 22 April 2011 by Aster Selene (talk | contribs) (Trivia)
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Kyubey
Kyuubey Chara Sheet.jpg
Japanese Name キュゥべえ (Kyuubee)
Seiyū Emiri Katou

Kyubey is a "Messenger of Magic" (魔法の使者 mahou no shisha) who grants the wishes of young girls, but in exchange contracts their services as Puella Magi (魔法少女 mahou shoujo, lit. Magical Girls). Girls who form a contract with him are tasked to defeat Witches -- bizarre entities that feed upon the hopes and dreams of normal people. Kyubey features prominently as a character within the anime series of Madoka Magica.

Trivia

  • People still argue as to how to write his name. Is it Kyubey or Kyuubey?
    • His name is written in both Hiragana and Katakana as キュ(kyu)(u)(be)(e), so Kyuubee or Kyuubey would be most accurate as a romanization.
    • On the other hand, the fifth commercial has his name romanized as "Kyubey", which resulted in controversy. However, the lack of the extra u is probably just a use of the modified Hepburn system, which never accounts for extended vowels.
    • Urobuchi Gen joked that the "Kyu" comes from the katakana of the English word Cute so it could also be Cubey.
    • Episode 8 suggests that his name comes from 'Incubator', which would be romanized as 'inkyubeetaa.' In the same episode, it is revealed that he has multiple replacements.
      • During Kyubey's dialogues in episode 9, he keeps saying "we", meaning that he isn't the only Incubator.
    • Some fans of 2ch have taken to assigning the kanji 「九兵衛」 (Kyūbē, lit. nine protector soldiers or nine warriors in defense) to his name, speculating that like Doraemon (whose name can be written as 「銅鑼衛門」), Kyubey's naming might have been inspired by old Samurai dramas.
    • 'QB' is short for 'Kyubey' in Niconico Douga. This name is also common on 2ch.
  • Kyubey claims that he turns girls into magical girls (and thus eventually into witches) to keep a surplus of usable energy in the universe. He explains that through entropy, energy is gradually lost and the energy formed by the emotions of magical girls restocks that energy.
    • It's a bit more complex than that. Entropy dictates that in a closed universe, producing energy always costs more than it produces. Common examples of this include the fact it takes dozens of years to grow a tree which will in turn grow apples, but that the total of apples that tree will produce in its lifetime will give less energy than it took to grow the tree itself. In this end this means that all energy is destined to eventually run out, even if it's at a pace our human minds can't conceive. Emotions however aren't bound by entropy; to Kyubey's species, humans are basically walking emotion dispensers and can produce hundreds to thousands of times more emotional energy in their lifetimes than it takes to give birth to them. Since they themselves don't have emotions, Kyubey's species has decided to use humans and to convert their emotions into energy they then, presumably, pump into the cosmos somewhere to give entropy the middle finger. Madoka's transformation into a witch is said to be able to produce so much energy that they "collect even more energy than their quota", meaning that her transformation has enough juice to save the entire universe.
      • Small quibble: technically, energy is never lost. It is only made unusable.
      • The quota statement was likely just that he got more energy from Earth than he was assigned to (or what was expected to be extracted). You'd require an infinite amount of energy to permanently stave off the heat death of the universe after all.
      • It is also possible that transforming a girl into a witch converts heat to energy, and that Kyubey's explanation was simplified.
  • In one of the alternate timelines in episode 10, Kyubey remarks that Madoka's witch may be capable of destroying the entire planet. However, he doesn't care as he already got his surplus of energy.
  • Kyubey appears to be capable of teleportation. In episode 10, at the end of the first timeline, he appears to fade into reality above Homura.
  • A fanart meme tends to point out Kyubey's similarity to Hummy, the mascot of Suite Precure♪, the other (much more traditional, child-friendly, and optimistic) magical girl series that began airing in Winter 2011. Due to the closeness of their airing dates, this is likely a coincidence, but it has not gone unnoticed and adds to the series' postmodernist deconstruction of the magical girl genre.

Speculations

  • When Kyubey gets shot by Homura in Episode 8, another one appears and eats the dead body. It could either be another version of 'Kyubey' (as expected in some speculations), or the same Kyubey that respawned. After all, cats are supposed to have 9 lives, so what about him?
    • This could also be an effort to get back some energy, that would otherwise be lost.
  • Many fans believe Kyubey is evil and believe he/she should not be trusted.
  • According to the same theory, it is likely that Kyubey is the messenger of a greater entity that has its own agenda.
  • Some think Kyubey's real form is that of a red devil and his/her white fur acts as a cover as indicated by tears rather than bleeding in Episode 1.
    • Additionally, when he gets shot full of holes in Episode 8, there are small drops that appear to be blood, but they do not spread out after he is hit. He also appears to have no bones or organs.
    • Gen Urobuchi's tweet "Yeah, that's terrible! We still haven't shown even a single scene with bloodshed!" (まだ今んとこ流血シーンなんてないのに、ひどいよね!) may refer to the fact that Kyubey doesn't bleed.
  • The existence of multiple Kyubey bodies that seem to share a single personality, his use of the pronoun "we" in referring to himself/the Incubator(s) in episode 9, and his in ability to comprehend the Magis' emotional distress at losing one of their own, suggests that the Incubators might be a hive mind (many individuals acting as an extension of a single consciousness).
  • It would seem that Kyubey never lies but instead holds back important information, often under the pretense of no-one asking him. An example for this is episode 9: when Kyouko asks him if Sayaka can be saved, he only says that nobody ever tried to turn a witch back into a human being (which could in fact be true), rather than saying that it's indeed possible (which would be a lie, as he reveals to Homura at the end of the episode). However, Kyubey also tells Madoka that he is incapable of manipulating humans, which contradicts the reason why he allowed Kyouko to chase after Sayaka in the first place: he wanted her to be killed so that only Homura would be left to battle the powerful Walpurgis, thus forcing Madoka to become a magical girl. This is clearly an attempt to manipulate Madoka's actions, making his earlier statement to her a lie.
    • He also states that his/their reasons for creating magic girls is so that new cultures can arise without the heat death of the universe preventing that. He seems rather nonchalant about leaving Earth to be destroyed at the hands of Kriemhild Gretchen in timeline 4. Given that nearly all of the population dynamics models made for the Puella Magica world will inevitably result in the destruction of life on that planet and that Earth is clearly not the only world harvested by Kyubey's race, their reasoning seems rather suspect. Assuming they really are collecting the energy to stave off the heat death of the universe, for other cultures doesn't appear to be their reason for doing it. If he is consciously lying about the reason, then this would make his story to Madoka another attempt to manipulate her by claiming it's 'for the greater good.' Additionally, if this was the reason and if magic/wishes can really do anything, then why not simply explain it to someone and ask them to make a wish to prevent the universe from suffering heat death? Surely someone somewhere in the universe would be willing to make such a wish.
      • To our knowledge, Kyubey has thus far only accepted wishes that his species's technology can "grant:" the healing of a paralyzed hand (Sayaka), the rescuing of a girl trapped in a crushed automobile (Mami), mass mind-control (Kyoko), and time travel (Homura). While we don't know for sure the bounds of this technology, we definitely do know that Kyubey's species can't end the heat death of the universe on its own, meaning that Kyubey wouldn't be able to grant the wish "Save the universe from entropy!"
        • No limits were stated. He hasn't failed to grant (or rejected) any wish on the first request. (Was technology ever mentioned?)
          • Kyubey does say at one point that sufficiently-advanced technology can appear to be magic to less-advanced species. He also mentions early on in the series that he can't bring dead people back to life, a clear limitation on his wish-granting abilities that most likely comes from his species' inability to revive the dead.
          • However, note, that wish granting may essentially be considered as an exertion of energy. Yet, magic girls generate more unergy upon their deciet, therefore it is anti-entropy. To wish against entropy, all the energyu in the universe would not suffice.
          • Isn't that inconsistent with Homura undoing deaths every time she time-travels.
            • No, since Homura always travels back to a certain point in time before everyone is killed. She isn't "undoing" deaths so much as going to a timeline where they haven't happened yet. (Of course, if Kyubey's species is capable of time travel, then he could technically "revive" a person by going back in time, grabbing a past version of that person, and bringing him/her to the present...but, of course, the past version of said person wouldn't necessarily be the same as the version the potential Puella Magi would want. In addition, picking up and dropping off people in different time lines could have complicated, horrible effects on time in general.)
        • When granting Homura's wish, Kyubey clearly states her wish surpassed entropy and yet he still succeeds in granting it. (see episode 10's page) That's consistent with his explanation that magic comes from the girls and magic is above entropy.
          • However, while "magic"/"miracles" can come from the girls, we have seen no indication of Kyubey being able to use any kind of magic other than what his species' advanced technology allows him to do. Moreover, he -- not the girls themselves -- grants the wishes, meaning that all wishes thus far have been granted using technology rather than magic. Taking fan theories about the ending of the show in mind, this could become a plot point when Madoka makes her decision to become/refuse to become a Puella Magi.
          • We don't know how wishes are granted. Another possibility is he plays a catalytic role. Homura's wish wouldn't have been possible if he granted them only using what his race was already capable of.
            • He couldn't have just given her a portable time machine? In that case, he would have given Homura the technological means to complete her wish, while she would have provided the "magic" to make that wish surpass entropy -- making Kyubey's, as you suggested, a catalytic role that doesn't necessarily involve magic on his part. Going back to why he apparently can't find someone to wish against the heat death of the universe, Kyubey most likely can't provide the catalyst necessary for such a wish to come true. He'd have to rely entirely on the magic of the girl in question, and so far as we know Madoka has been the only person he's met who might have the magical potential to rewrite the laws of the universe.
      • However, Kyubey seems to either remember making a contract with Homura, or know that such a contract has been made. It is therefore possible that the reason he wishes to make Madoka into a magical girl is that, as long as Homura keeps on resetting the space/time continuum, Kyubey can harvest an infinite amount of energy from each of the witches killed in each individual timeline, thus permanently preventing the heat death of the universe - for as long as Homura keeps resetting time. If Kyubey harvests energy from each parallel universe (and any witches that may be created from them), it is possible to create a paradoxically infinite universe.
    • He seems to show emotion despite claiming his race doesn't or can't. Kyubey
  • His name would also be very similar to Incubi.

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External links