12 Moments of Anime 2011: Madoka’s Mom Tells It How It Is


[Third Moment: Saorin Says The Darnedest Things (Wandering Son)]

Madoka’s family is nontraditional; subverting the inherited order of having the Husband/Father act as breadwinner while the Wife/Mother keeps house and raises the children. This constructed order is taken apart and reconstructed as an ideal order: The mother is the breadwinner and the father is the homemaker. It is an idealized counter-construct because not only are the roles reversed, they’re both good at it.

Madoka’s mom engages her daughter in a father-son, “man-to-man” conversation, while drinking whiskey to boot. It’s easily my favorite moment in the show.


I often think that an animated work works well for children when,
The adults in it talk to children as if they were adults,
Condescension condensing out of a glass of whiskey on the rocks –
Madoka’s mother is talking to her about life.

“It’s hard, but just as fun.”
Madoka, this will prove to be false won’t it?
Because your sacrifice isn’t the kind your mother makes,
Little compromises eroding her principles, her morals perhaps,

Part and parcel of being an adult in the workplace…
Something you will never know now,
Because even when you get to know everything, being who you are,
You will not have lived the life of a human being.

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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33 Responses to 12 Moments of Anime 2011: Madoka’s Mom Tells It How It Is

  1. cyshtoph says:

    That’s an interesting… poem you wrote there.
    As for Madoka’s mom, I will never forget post of someone suspecting her to be Homura after some time travels and body switching. That and the stray cat theory were two most ridiculous thing I’ve read this year.

    • Thanks, I spared myself from much of the speculation… mostly because I wasn’t as into the show as most were (on both sides of love/hate), but I did like Madoka Magica in my own way.

  2. I always thought that was a sad scene, not because I knew of Madoka’s fate (I thought she would be pretty powerful magical girl, not an all-knowing, all-powerful, unseen god), but because I had a feeling that she would never be able to put that sage advice to use. I figured she’d be ruined or compromised beyond anything that hard so hardened her mother. Also, she would never get to have the great moment that naturally follows this one many years later. It’s the conversation mothers and daughters have when the daughter finally becomes an adult and possibly has kids.

    It’s also a memory stolen from her mother once Madoka passed on. Another bittersweet anime ending, a family ruined by that despicable Kyuubey!!! *shakes fist* As you can see, this is one of the few shows I was able to actually delve into this year. Glad to see one of those moments made your list. For many people I think their moments may have been other more popularly talked about ones like the “Mami incident”, the realization of what the soul gems really represented or the “when good girls lose their sh*t moment*.

  3. Methinks of the conversation between Homura and Junko near the end.

    Yeah, to be living is to keep on learning about even the smallest things.

  4. Reed says:

    Ah, the battle-hardened mother who can chill out with a drink. Why aren’t there more characters like this? It’s up there with the Christmas Cake schoolteacher as one of the most under-appreciated archetypes in anime.

    • Reid says:

      Dangit. Now I suppose I’m going to have to change my screen name or get a blog of my own if I want to be easily differentiated.

      By the way: Hi, other Reed! You don’t happen to have red hair too, do you?

      • Reed says:

        Fun fact: My screen name comes from a character concept I drew up when I was six. He had red hair. Weird…

        • Reid says:

          lol that’s too real. Here’s why I asked – Another fun fact: according to meaning-of-names.com, Reid/Reed and all other derivative spellings (because people are dumb these days and actively try to come up with the stupidest alt. spellings possible) is of English/Scottish origin and literally means either A.) a reed, ie., river grass or B.) red-haired. That’s why Reid is the perfect name for me. My great great uncle’s name was Emory Reid so mom and pops decided to name me after him well before I was born, that is, BEFORE they knew I was going to have red hair. At least that’s how the story goes. What’s even crazier is that Uncle Em did NOT have red hair in the slightest. He was, however, a U.S. Marine who fought at Guadalcanal in WWII, so he was most definitely a bada$$, even if he didn’t have red hair.

          And Matt, old boy, I may take you up on that offer yet. What in the world I would talk about I really have no idea, but I’m sure I could BS my way through it. What would YOU talk about, good sir?

          • Matt Wells says:

            Seeing as I can’t web design, post screencaps or import images… not a lot EXCEPT talk. Not exclusively anime but the odd recommendation of literature, film and TV too. Maybe a spotlight series called “Why has nobody translated this yet?” for little known manga and anime, or series that are only partially translated.

            I’d be no good at the sweeping, in depth analysis posts that Ghost does from time to time, so perhaps focused dissections of episode arcs? I’d love to analyse Tetsujin 28 (2004) that way, an in depth study of every four episode story arc. I would geek out excessively over Imagawa if given the chance.

            I’ve had this idea festering in my head for a while: an annotated filmography of Yasuhiro Imagawa, or perhaps instead “The Annotated Getter Robo”. Or both! Go over those works in great detail, explaining all the references in Imagawa shows and the Getter OVAs, step by step and frame by frame. Lots of cross referencing with the manga versions when available. It would be a huge undertaking, but a perfect grounder for potential fans seeking to learn more about either subject.


          • Reid says:

            Maybe this is a project we could team up on some day! I like where you’re going at a conceptual level. The world needs more Giant Robo.

          • Reid says:

            My my, Mr. Lightning. Surely you jest.

          • I am serious. Use your gmail account to activate Google Plus where I organize collaboration and onboard new writers. Matt get your ass on Google Plus as well and I’ll make us our little Brown Tri Stars thing going on.

      • Matt Wells says:

        Dude, the day you make a blog is the day when I make one. You have my word on that. Whether that acts as an incentive or a deterrant…

        • Andaer says:

          Hey guys, do that please! Judging from your comments on We Remember Love you’ve got great tastes and supreme knowledge. I want to read more about robots, ghostlightning is not enough. ;P

          • Reid says:

            I mean, really, even if you were joking, that made my day. What pitiful ego I do have just got stroked. And I mean that in the sense of boring and stroking an engine to increase its displacement, ie. my ego got bigger…not the other thing about stroking. Yeah. Thanks dude [brofist]

  5. TWWK says:

    Eh, I kinda (really) thought Madoka’s mom was pretty terrible. But your post was still great. 🙂

  6. Curuniel says:

    What struck me the most about that conversation was that Madoka’s mum gives her what would in normal circumstances be pretty sound advice – don’t be afraid to mess up and get hurt now, while you’re a kid, and the consequences won’t be so dire nor the pain so long-lasting. The irony is that Madoka has already been thrown way out of her depth into a world with very real adult consequences, and the first resolute thing she does to follow her mum’s advice is separate Sayaka from her soul gem. Actually doing something for once backfires on Madoka and someone almost dies. So much for that safe childhood world of no consequence.

  7. lolikitsune says:

    Ooh, multiple folks have blogged this moment now. Suhweet. I liked it too. =)

    Is Madoka a teen, though? Aren’t they in middle school? Aren’t they first-years? (so 11-12) Am I totally wrong about everything?

  8. Pingback: 12 Moments in Anime 2011: Hanasaku Iroha and How to Make Boys Watch Cheesy Chick Media | We Remember Love

  9. Pingback: 12 Moments in Anime 2011: Kaiji Killed Me Every Week | We Remember Love

  10. Pingback: “It’s Harder to Raise Girls”: Magi Puella Madoka Magica and the Variances of a Mother | GAR GAR Stegosaurus

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