Madoka Magica’s Great Question

madoka magika kyubei

What is that one thing I wish for? It is a very important question because it will come true.

Madoka is in a very interesting place because that this she wishes for is actually the cost of the wish. The wish is an exchange for power. It is implicit that there is a responsibility that comes with that power. It is explicit that there is danger that comes with that power.

It is neither explicit nor implicit that there is an addiction that comes with that power. There is nothing yet that clearly says that the power corrupts. Perhaps Madoka Magica has witches for that role. Witches are corrupted and perhaps destructive if not malicious as a result. But the Puella Magi – they hunt witches to serve and protect it would seem, but also for the power they win. Why else the competition between them?

But let the speculation about these things cease for now. The question remains: what does Madoka wish for? I am less interested in what she actually does wish for in this post. I’m placing her as a wish-fulfillment character: an improbably powerful (in raw potential) Puella Magi despite basically being bland/k in every other way.

 

madoka magica sayaka x kyoshiro

Episode 04 gives us an example. Sayaka Miki made her choice, and became a Puella Magi. It isn’t directly stated, but we see the boy she cares about beholding a miracle: his injury is healed (and we can assume he’ll be able to play music again). In the previous episode, Mami warns them/her that when wishing for the happiness of another person they/she should be clear about what is being wished for. Is it just the happiness of the other, or that of receiving the thanks, and perhaps love from the other.

I can’t see how this will end well for Sayaka.

I doubt that this show will break the tradition of magical wishes not powerful enough to change the will of another human being (see Disney’s Aladdin), so Sayaka can’t use the wish to make Kyosuke love her (or even guarantee that he will be happy or appreciative of the miracle). So, it will really be a test of Sayaka’s love. Is the wish truly freely given?

It will be interesting to me what the shape of the tragedy will be. I anticipated something tragic, but I suppose way too extreme: Madoka wishes for Mami to come back to life, but she comes back as a witch, and Madoka’s first kill would have to be Mami. Maybe this is what I wish for this show (which is perhaps why I shouldn’t be writing anime).

Now, the question really is: what would we wish for? What do I wish for in her place (but with a context all my own)?

Money on tap.

I’m going to take a page out of Fractale and create a lifelong daily dole of money for me for the rest of my life. It will never be enough for me to start buying yachts and sports cars, nor bankroll the production of anime I want to watch. It will however, put the concern for subsistence to rest. To ask for more is to poison my own happiness.

It will however, give me a great measure of joy indirectly. My wife can now choose to work for fulfilling but financially unsound jobs, like non-profits and some branches of government. She can’t do that yet because we have to pay for our household, put funds away for our daughter’s schooling, and the like.

I can then devote myself to time-risky ventures that make little economic sense, like publishing OEL manga, and other startups that banks won’t dare finance; and/or I and my partners are unwilling to mortgage our assets for.

madoka magika puella magi sayaka

If I get this wish, then indeed I’m willing to use what amounts to The King of Braves Gao Gai Gar’s Dividing Driver, or Star Driver’s Zero Time, so my very violent battles against what forces of evil I hunt down will never hurt the innocent. What would you wish for?

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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45 Responses to Madoka Magica’s Great Question

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  2. Marigold Ran says:

    I wish for the ability to comprehend anything that I see, whether it be books or martial arts techniques.

    When it comes to making wishes, anime characters are really not that smart. Instead of wishing for 1 person to be healed, she should have wished for the ability to heal anyone of anything. That way, her wish is multi-purpose. It’s too bad she’s not a power-gamer.

  3. ~xxx says:

    My wish would be granting me to wish more so that I could save anyone….
    And my ability would be to counter all of opponent attacks and create an attack based on the opponents attack.

    • Marigold Ran says:

      So you agree that that would be a pretty awesome power in real life?

      Also, I’m assuming that you cant’ wish for more wishes.

    • Marigold Ran says:

      Furthermore, this ability will also help me survive the deadly world of Mahou Magica. Dual-purpose wishes (that help in both the real world and in the magical world) are good.

  4. KrimzonStriker says:

    My wish eh… probably to to bring about a new era of reform, enlightenment, and consolidation to the world. Like a new Renaissance and/or Enlightenment Era, probably among the most intriguing and inspiring of ages for bringing out the possibility in man. Big ticket things seem to feed my sense of purpose and belonging on the basis that once they’re achieved I can then take the time to appreciate the small things afterwards.

  5. WhatSht says:

    my wish is to bring humanity into the next stage of human evolution LOL

  6. Crusader says:

    I would wish into the existence of my ideal anime, that or a Song of Ice and Fire/Wheel of Time Anime series created by a staff of my choosing. If that rotten little plush toy says it is impossible I will settle for nothing less than a Shin Mazinger Z sequel created by a staff of my choosing.

    Failing that I would wish my 49ers were good enough again to make it to the playoffs consistently. If no miracle can fix that then I would wish that the Cavs win an NBA Championship before LeBron and will win more than the Lakers. Should the Cavs also need more of a miracle than Kyubei can provide (at which point his wish granting ability seems piss poor at this point) then I will wish that the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers never ever make it to the play offs EVER AGAIN.

    I am not a humanitarian screw things like poverty and shit, Kyubei would fuck that up in short order, but hopefully he can at least create a better curse than a Billy Goat on the Chicago Cubs. If he can’t then I wish that the Cavs will beat the Heat before the end of the season.

  7. ToastCrust says:

    I don’t personally have any wishes I’d bet my life on, since my life is my most precious asset, at least to me. Which means I’d probably only wish if stuck in a situation similar to Mami’s.

    On the other hand, I think a really interesting wish would be to wish to forget. Puella Magi Madoka Identity, etc. Ignoring the fact that the time to initiate such a plot line has long expired lol

  8. Valence says:

    I’d wish for the ability to grant myself any amount of wishes I wanted to without any limit or restriction, without any setbacks conceivable and power which cannot be revoked.

  9. Dliessmgg says:

    I wish for a nice life without too many ups and downs.

  10. skyhack says:

    Madoka will wish for a way to end the game, and kill the source of the witches.
    The cost will be her home and family, either by the loss of their lives, the loss of her own life, or, better still (see “Tommy”), her being completely forgotten by them. Homura will be the only exception in this latter case. She SHALL NOT (absolute imperative) forget Madoka.

  11. Sebz says:

    I wish for capability; the power to do ANYTHING. xDDD

  12. drmchsr0 says:

    Let’s see here…

    Nope, not world peace, not the solution to the energy crisis, discarding happiness, already on the way for money on tap, Enlightenment is probably too devastating to consider…

    Oh wow.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I wish I had a lawyer handy/was a lawyer so I can make a wish that’ll probably not cause horrible consequences. Or cause Kyuubey to interpret it in any way he wants.

    And I’ll only seal the deal if I get a Driver (Think Morpher from Power Rangers) or a super robot to fight dem witches with. I don’t really care about what Kyuubey says about that. I demand a super robot to crush evil with. Failing that, a Driver, a cool bike and a flashy final attack will serve me in good stead.

  13. Caithyra says:

    If I can’t wish for multiple wishes, my wish would definitely be for a healthy mind and body until the day I die (considering my current medical problems with both, and the family history of some really nasty chronic ones). Otherwise, it would be the first wish I would do after wishing for multiple wishes. Agelessness (not so keen on true immortality; ending up supernova burned, ripped apart by a black hole, and left floating in space still alive doesn’t sound like much fun) and knowledge of every language that ever existed (can you tell that I’m trying to memorise kanji?) are distant second and third. After that, I just make small, careful wishes that hopefully wont Butterfly Effect into the end of the world (though, the ability to get a new identity from time to time would be appreciated with the agelessness).

    • Caithyra says:

      Strange, it didn’t post my second paragraph.

      Anyway, it went something like this: That’s mainly why I could identify with Sayaka making her wish despite the costs. She has, after all, as a friend witnessed the limits of medicine, and barring a medical miracle, they’re stuck, and that’s a very frustrating situation to be in. Especially once the ailing person starts to give up. I think Sayaka decided to make her wish simply to get things going again, because even if there’s negative consequences, at least she could say that she’s done everything that she could do.

      On the other hand, I think Madoka will have to make either a very conventional wish (“I wish to save everyone!”) or a very unorthodox one, she can’t make a decision for something in the middle the way that the storyline hypes things up. But honestly? Barring the resurrection of Mami or bland and conventional “saving everyone” I don’t know what Madoka could wish for.

      • I like how careful you’ve put together your wish, showing a conscientiousness on making a wish that doesn’t in itself change (or warp) the world. It tells me that you’re more interesting in changing the world through your own contributions if at all.

        As for Sayaka, I can’t really blame her for wanting it all. What I will see is a test of her maturity because she can’t really count on things all going her way. She will really get to face the possibility that what she wished for isn’t really what her life is about — which is how the wish system is set up to mean, in a matter of speaking.

  14. Mystlord says:

    I’m just going to say that I’m not a fan of extrapolating situations of fiction out into the real life. I feel that it ends up detracting from the work itself, and it places a context on the work that doesn’t really suit it.

    • Well, if you value the work that way, that’s entirely your prerogative. Sometimes I will feel this way for some works, but in many cases the value of the work is in how it speaks to me, and my life — and how it reaches its viewers, readers, etc.

  15. foomafoo says:

    For the world to be terraformed ala Aqua so I can have some nice gondola ride :3 ? meh.

    I think I’d wish for the occurrence of “meeting” my better half, or better, a companion in life somewhere along the way. Just the occurrence though, not really when or how so I’ll still have that excitement and something to look forward to. :> (Of course, to avoid the distortion, that person should not be influenced by any hocus pocus. I am simply wishing for the right “timing”)

    Then again if one believes in the destiny/inevitability stuff, I don’t know if one really should still be wishing for this since one could argue that the timing also depends on you! haha. okay this is getting cheesy. stopping right here.

  16. The only wish I can think of right now is absurdly simple–I wish I could just know what I want. But I don’t think such a thing is worth risking my life against those enemies for. Witches seriously freak me out so far.

    • Thus you find yourself in similar straits with Madoka. I find it rather interesting and plausible how Madoka is unable to choose a wish. At a young age (up to post-adolescence even) we really don’t know what we want.

      For much younger people like Madoka, there aren’t any regrets yet to fix, no mistakes yet to undo, no grave wounds to tend. So, the stark possibility of anything can happen is a near absolute kind of freedom, but also a void of any meaning at all.

  17. Here’s my wish. I wish I have stand that could fuck around with time and space. and it would have Absolute loyalty to me.

    If Kyubei cant do so, I’ll just wish I could have Mami’s Unlimited Muskets work, besides that dead people dont need skills

  18. 2DT says:

    You know, thinking about it, I do believe you’ve caught on screen the only time the little bugger closes its eyes.

  19. kadian1364 says:

    Unlimited airline miles, and only if it were a “free” wish, no strings attached. That is all. It provides practical (non-earth breaking) freedom and eases some financial burden, but no intrinsic power = no innate responsibilities. It probably speaks of my simple desires and low-income upbringing, but its my wish so meh.

    All this wishing nonsense reminds me of that X Files episode with the genie which required overly complex legalese to actually receive the wish as intended. And even then world peace meant the disappearance of everyone in the world. =\

    • Wish lawyering is an exercise I and my brothers played with a few times back when we were kids. At a young age, watching/reading variations of the Genie of the Lamp story we figured out that we’ll wish for infinite wishes. I think this activity, is rather relevant to anyone thinking about policy at any level. A policy-maker is basically wishing for an outcome and phrasing the wish via the law that will govern the behavior to produce the outcome.

      We don’t even have to imagine too hard the unintended consequences that policies and laws produced over the years. I’ve seen it in the corporate level (the Dilbert comic strip makes many meals out of this).

      Re your wish in particular, I really really really appreciate how you were very particular about:

      but no intrinsic power = no innate responsibilities.

      It’s frank, and probably represents most of our longings.

  20. Chan says:

    To be honest I don’t know what I’d wish for, I could say the ability to fly because even though I’m afraid of heights I love to go on planes and take the window seat so that I can watch the clouds, that makes no sense doesn’t it?

    Or maybe I’d wish for something more practical that we’d have only have capable, and rational people leading our countries, and yes this includes whatever law making body of the government as well as the judicial systems.

    Or maybe I’d just wish for all of my bills to be magically paid on time every month even if I don’t really have the money for it, and for my neighbors kids to stop making so much noise in the mornings.

    • My theory is that people who can’t easily figure what to wish for, are people without regrets, or are people who aren’t “in play” yet in life (they don’t have something big going on that risks something of themselves, that they care about).

      It’s not a criticism of these people. It’s consistent with what Sayaka said about how they can’t name their wishes because they hadn’t known true misfortune yet.

      Power is wasted on the happy, so it seems.

  21. Kuro says:

    My wish is simple. I wish I had a loving younger sister. Or I wish I was filthy rich. I’m just a simpleton.

  22. I’ve had the wish for a daily limited amount of funds swim through my head before. At first, I wanted it to appear in my favorite leather jacket. I didn’t give much thought to it being stolen or being too damn hot. I suppose a more relevant wish right now would be to stop time, for say 30 minutes to an hour. I don’t want it to last too long for fear of going insane or God knows what other side effects. I think that says something about my current lifestyle right now. I’m sure you can understand as a parent and someone with a busy schedule.

    We’ve seen the toll that other more ambitious wishes could have (anyone seen Ninja Scroll?), a smart wish is one that makes the best use of your life. Not one that warps it.

    • a smart wish is one that makes the best use of your life. Not one that warps it.

      Well said! The best use often requires work, while most other wishes simply indulge gratification.

      As for time… Jesus Yamato, I’ve woken up at 4 AM and spent the last 3 hours responding to comments. Blogging is getting harder (but awesome). Kindly word your wish to include extra time for me as well hehe.

  23. I’ll do my best, but now we’re starting to talk about something akin to Zero Time. And I think that the more people we include in that, the less likely it is that we do work as opposed to …get drunk. Then again, time frozen Happy Hour may not be such a bad thing. Ah! See what you did, you sullied my pure wish!

  24. Pingback: Puella Magi Madoka Magica – 8 (Goodbye Sayaka?) | Yappari desu~ Archives

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