Madoka Magica Episode 7: Can You Face Your True Feelings?
"I’ve thought long and hard about this. I can’t lie to myself any longer. So how about you? I need to know. Can you face your true feelings for him, Sayaka?" ~ Hitomi Shizuki
|Can You Face Your True Feelings?|
|First airing||17 February 2011|
|Episode director||Satoaki Kidokoro|
|Animation Director||Ryou Kobayashi|
The episode begins with Sayaka in her room, outraged at the fact that Kyubey lied to her and Madoka about the relocation of a magical girl's soul upon making the contract. Kyubey explains that he offered her the contract, and she accepted: in return for a wish, Sayaka has dedicated her life to fighting witches. Because she never asked about the details, Kyubey saw no need to tell her. Kyubey adds that because a magical girl's consciousness is separated from her body, she is able to endure pain that would break a normal person. Touching her Soul Gem, he inflicts a pain on Sayaka equivalent to being stabbed by a spear, as a demonstration of what the pain would be like if her soul were not transferred into the soul gem. She collapses and contorts on the floor for several seconds. Ominously, he notes that although Sayaka can completely ignore any pain if she so chooses, doing so can drastically reduce reaction time to injuries.
The next day, Madoka notices that Sayaka is absent from school and begins to worry. During lunch break, Madoka meets with Homura on the roof of the school and questions her about why she told neither Madoka nor Sayaka about the true nature of the Soul Gem. Homura explains that she had tried to do so before with others, but that no one believed her. She again advises Madoka to avoid involving herself with Sayaka, and tells her that she should not confuse gratitude with responsibility; even though Sayaka has saved Madoka's life, Madoka is not in debt. Homura explains that when a magical girl makes a contract with Kyubey, they are receiving a miracle that may well be worth more than a life. Even if Sayaka had spent her entire life caring for Kamijou, there would have been no chance of him returning to playing the violin. Kyubey grants the impossible, and thus a magical girl's side of the contract is dedicating the rest of her life to fighting. Madoka asks if there's any way for it to end, and Homura bluntly tells Madoka to give up on her friend. Madoka wonders aloud how Homura can be so cold, and Homura responds introspectively, saying, "Well, maybe I behave this way because I’m not human anymore."
Meanwhile, as Sayaka is laying in her bed, tortured by her emotions over Kamijou, she receives a telepathic message from Kyoko who is outside her house, holding a bag of apples. Kyoko tells her that she wants to talk. Sayaka complies and the two head towards an abandoned church. When they arrive at the church, Sayaka asks why Kyoko brought her here. Kyoko offers Sayaka an apple but when Sayaka throws it away, Kyoko angrily walks over to her and lifts her up by the collar, telling her not to waste food. After Kyoko calms down, she starts telling Sayaka about her past and why she chose to become a magical girl as well as the wish she made. Back when Kyoko was younger, her father used to preach at a church. However, her father's preachings began to stray from the original church's teachings, and he was excommunicated. This left Kyoko and her family poor, and Kyoko hated that no one listened to her father's words, so she made her pact with Kyubey to become a magical girl. Her wish was for people to listen to her father. People came in droves to listen to his preaching, and Kyoko fought witches in return for her wish, believing idealistically that she and her father would change the world through this way. Somehow, her father found out about Kyoko's wish, and that the people who came to worship did not do so out of faith, but out of magic. Calling her a witch who tempted men's souls, Kyoko's father snapped under the realization, and one night drank himself into a rage, and forced the family into suicide. Only Kyoko was left alive.
After Kyoko finishes telling her tale, Sayaka asks why Kyoko bothered to tell her. Kyoko tells Sayaka that she is headed on the same path as she once was when she became a magical girl, and she wants her to avoid those mistakes, and live for herself instead of for others. Sayaka apologizes to Kyoko for misunderstanding her, but informs Kyoko that she will never regret making a wish for someone else. She believes strongly that she will use her powers to save others, and keep those around her safe. In a moment of self-righteousness, Sayaka asks Kyoko where she purchased her apples. Kyoko is unable to answer. Sayaka guesses that the apples were stolen, and turns away, telling Kyoko that she cannot accept stolen food, and cannot in good conscience be thankful for Kyoko's offer in the first place. She then leaves the church, secure in her morals, leaving Kyoko in frustration.
Sayaka attends school the next day, and is joined by Madoka and Hitomi. Madoka worries, but Sayaka assures her she's fine. Sayaka's close friend Kamijou is also in attendance for the first time after being discharged from the hospital. Madoka says that Sayaka should go and see him, but Sayaka declines. After school, Hitomi asks Sayaka to meet her at a cafe where Hitomi tells her that she has had a crush on Kamjiou for a long time. This startles Sayaka, but Hitomi says that she will give her one day to confess, because she knows Sayaka has feelings for him too. Though if she cannot confess in one day, Hitomi will do so.
As night approaches, a depressed and confused Sayaka is heading out to hunt witches. She finds Madoka waiting outside. Madoka asks if she can come along, to keep Sayaka company, and this triggers Sayaka's held-back emotions. Sayaka begins to cry, saying that for a moment, she had regretted saving Hitomi's life before, and that she was no good as a moral figure of justice. She reveals that she feels as though she cannot ever face Kamijou with a shell of a body, and is emotionally torn and grieving over the apparent loss of both her humanity and her chance to be with the one she loves. After being comforted by Madoka, Sayaka appears to regain composure, and they head out.
The Witch Fight
Atop a scaffolding, Kyoko is idly watching a witch's barrier while eating an ice cream bar. Homura appears silently behind her, and asks her if she is going to allow Sayaka to take her kill. Kyoko at first brushes this off, telling Homura that since it's an actual witch and will drop a Grief Seed, that it isn't a waste like before. However, she notices strange behavior in the barrier, then curses, muttering that Sayaka is botching the fight. The scene switches to Sayaka and Madoka within the barrier; the witch is seated in a prayerlike position on top of a long arm holding a monstrance. Sayaka is then seen charging forth at the witch, Elsa Maria, which defends itself with snakelike animals and gnarled branches and vines. It fends off Sayaka, injuring her, and Kyoko soon comes to her rescue. Kyoko is about to attack the witch when Sayaka gets up and tells her to stay out of it. Sayaka again rushes forward, this time cutting past the vines, and reaches the witch. She slashes at the witch repeatedly, and begins to laugh insanely while blood splatters on her face.
"It’s true, I can block out the pain! I don’t feel any pain anymore!" are Sayaka's closing lines before she bisects the witch, referring to Kyubey's comment in the beginning of the episode about purposely numbing pain. The scene fades to black, and Madoka's voice is heard pleading, "Stop. Please stop."
See the Runes of episode 7 page for decryption of the messages the witch wrote in runes.
|Can You Face Your True Feelings?|
|Commentary||Aoi Yuuki |
The seventh commentary features along with Madoka's and Homura's VA is Ryouko Shintani, who provides the voice of Hitomi. She's also known as playing Sae in Hidamari Sketch, which role is rather a lot closer to her natural voice.
Again, they start off with the auditions. This time we find out that Saitou was actually trying out for Kyubey and Kyousuke, before being told to try Homura. On the other hand, Shintani was trying for Sayaka and Homura before trying on Hitomi. Her first impression based on the general character overviews given to the auditioning seiyuu was that she'd be a big impact on Sayaka. Then they found out how wicked she is. They joke that she's the most evil out of all the girls.
All of the girls immediately see through the facade: Kyouko is the nice one and Hitomi is the evil one, the opposite of what guys think. As a guy, I definitely didn't have any suspicions of Hitomi, but I was very wary of Kyouko when she first showed up. It's very interesting in that way.
At this point in the story, it gets much darker. Both Madoka and Sayaka hardly smile anymore. But as a result, Madoka starts talking more with Homura. They both lend each other some stability, though you can tell that they're both under a lot of stress. They show it in different ways.
They do talk about the 'strength' of the characters. Sayaka is strong on the outside, but she doesn't like relying on others and that's part of her weakness as a character. On the other hand, while Hitomi doesn't put up a strong front, she is assertive and strong when she wants to be. They say that it feels like Hitomi is the one who'll end up happiest at the end of the story, because of the strength of her character.
Now they're on the scene with Kyouko and Sayaka at the church. The art is kinda cute, but scary... They both have their own sense of justice, but they're not in agreement and so that's why they have their disagreements. Part of the difference is that Kyouko actually seems to act in the interest of other individuals, somewhat at the expense of the majority. On the other hand, Sayaka tries to make things best for the general population, but it's almost for herself, so that she can keep up her 'hero' personality. The difference in what they are want to do and what they are able to do hurts so much.
Next, is Hitomi's big scene. Hitomi is quiet but strong. She sets this ultimatum on Sayaka, saying that she has one day to talk with Kyousuke before Hitomi will confess. On the other hand, Sayaka is bright and energetic but on the contrary has no confidence. It's another really interesting balance that Sayaka's involved in: Kyouko/Sayaka and Hitomi/Sayaka... But everything is going really badly for Sayaka now, so you can really understand why Sayaka is breaking down now.
Sayaka next is talking with Madoka. It's so sad... "I almost regretted something. 'If I hadn't rescued Hitomi then...' I thought that just for a moment. I'm a failure as a hero. I wouldn't be able to face Mami anymore." Shintani here said that in the studio, listening to that performance she was thinking "sorry"... Here, Madoka does a good job of comforting Sayaka. She doesn't stand out very much, but she can read the atmosphere and sort things out nicely. In a way, here the roles are reversed and Madoka is protecting Sayaka..
Finally, we end up with the final scene. I really love the art, and so do the seiyuu. It's so beautiful...and the music...Decretum...so cool. Being a hero really hurts, huh. Shintani said that when Sayaka did the 'crouching start' it was written like that in the script and she laughed at it.. But when it aired, she thought it was almost too cool and felt bad for laughing at it. Ah man it's such a powerful scene...
- The opening sequence reverted back to how it was in Episode 5, not featuring the colorful background anymore.
- Just before we get a close up of Sayaka's face in the church, there is an angel in one of the gothic windows that seems to be thrusting a sword (Sayaka's symbol) into Kyoko's silhouette.
- Kyoko's Soul Gem when she transforms has resemblance to the religious symbol her father and the other believers had on themselves.
- Kyubey's talk in the beginning refers to the physical pain of injuries. However, Sayaka's last lines also imply the loss of emotional pain. Sayaka might use fighting against witches as a way of coping or closing away her emotional pain, and this might lead to risky decisions in the heat of battle.
- Sayaka feels as though she has already lost to Hitomi because she is, in her words, a zombie because of her soul's separation from her body. Ironically, the reason for that separation is her wish to heal Kamijou in the first place, and her side hope of being able to be with him. By wishing for Kamijou's recovery, all she has done is push Hitomi towards confessing her feelings to Kamijou, and emotionally block herself from being able to confess to him herself.
- Kyoko's offer of an apple to Sayaka bears two contrasting symbolic meanings. An apple is considered a symbol of apology in Korea, since the word for apple and apology is the same. The apple also represents the Biblical fruit of knowledge within the context of the church.
- Kyoko offers an apple to Sayaka while advising her to live a life of selfishness, but Sayaka refuses both. Sayaka believes that Kyoko's self-centered philosophy is wrong and also rejects the fruit because she apparently believes it was stolen. Kyoko's attempt to tempt Sayaka with an apple and her suggestion to follow a path of selfish survivalism could be interpreted as Kyoko acting as the snake that lured Eve into corruption.
- By choosing the uncompromising path of justice and throwing away the apologetic apple, Sayaka is not merely wasting food but also spiting Kyoko's offer of reconciliation and contrition. Sayaka chose purity and honor at the cost of rejecting the concept of redemption and the importance of human relationships. She refuses to tolerate or forgive sins, including her own, and shows determination to follow her path to the bitter end, no matter the price.
Parallel between insane Sayaka and Flandre Scarlet as depicted in Bad apple
The object that Elsa Maria is kneeling and praying in front of appears to be a monstrance, a Catholic object of worship.
- Live watching thread featuring reactions to the episode as it aired: 
- Elsa Maria, the witch who fights Sayaka.
- Gisela, the witch who fought Kyoko in her flashback.
- Translations of the witch runes appearing in this episode.
- Revisions made in the BD version of this episode.
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|Episode 6 This Just Can't Be Right||Madoka Magica Episode 7: Can You Face Your True Feelings? Can You Face Your True Feelings?||Episode 8 I Was Stupid… So Stupid|