Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Season 1, Episode 6 – “This Just Isn’t Right” – A Matter of the Soul


     “This Just Isn’t Right” is a great episode at showing the limitations of Magical Girls, the complexities of their relationship to one another and the nature of their Soul Gem and what it means in regards to who they are before they are killed. It’s a good episode, though I wouldn’t call it great. It is more concerned with worldbuilding than the overall plot it feels like. But I’ll get into more of that later in the review.

    The episode was directed by Fujiaki Asari, Jun’ichi Fukunaga and Hitoshi Miyashima and written by Gen Urobuchi.

      The story picks up where we left off with Kyoko stopped by Homura where Homura knocks out Sayaka and berates Madoka for being a fool. Later Homura visits Kyoko when she sees Kyoko as the best bet for the arrival of “Walpurgisnacht.” Things come to a head later on when Kyoko acts on her own to egg Sayaka into a fight and is only stopped by the arrival of Madoka and later Homura where Kyubey than reveals the nature of the Soul Gems.

The Pros: Kyoko – Kyoko is actually really good in this one. We see that she is crazy but in control of herself and it is that control that she is not willing to give up. When Madoka throws away Sayaka’s Soul Gem which leads to Sayaka appearing dead Kyubey says that Sayaka is the Soul Gem which is how they fight witches which leads to Kyoko turning on Kyubey realizing that her soul was torn from her body.

Homura – Homura reveals herself to once again be good as she saves Sayaka’s life by recovering her Soul Gem before leaving. Her agenda is met too as now all of them distrust Kyubey minus Sayaka.

Sayaka – Sayaka begins under pressure as Kyubey says she needs to get more Grief Seeds to get stronger and that should be her aim. This promotes the selfishness of the Magical Girls but Sayaka’s is firmly Kyubey’s currently. We later see her stalking the boy she saved wit her wish before Kyoko eggs her into a fight. We learn this episode that Sayaka stands as a protector for all and against all enemies of humanity be they Witch, Familiar or Magical Girl. When she loses her Soul Gem she is knocked out and when she has it again does not know what happened.

Madoka – Madoka learns from her Mom that people drink because of pain and that’s the nature of being grown up so Madoka should make mistakes earlier, especially if it protects the people she loves like Sayaka. It’s a powerful scene and you see just how deep their relationship is with Madoka’s mother telling her to hurry and grow up than so they can drink together. Madoka is reckless we see as she doesn’t know what throwing away a Soul Gem does and nearly kills her friend in trying to stop her friend from being killed. When she realizes what the Soul Gem is we see her crying in surprise and pain.

Kyubey – Don’t trust Kyubey, he’ll tear your soul out of your body and make you a weapon of his will. Even the insane Kyoko doesn’t trust him now. This scene made me happy as the sooner Kyubey is out of the picture, the better. Kyubey is just like a Witch in almost every way and that scene of a large Kyubey like force facing off against Homura is troubling to say the least.

The Cons: The Narrative – The narrative is all over the place this episode and I wish it would have focused on Homura or Sayaka. Because it is split it brings the episode’s quality down and makes it harder to focus on the story.

     This episode like the last one is mostly setup, but it does a good job of it. It is because it is a setup that it is brought down though. It can’t focus on a single character or point so there are a few throughout which takes away from it’s overall power. Still, great to see an episode with Magical Girls outside of Homura turning on Kyubey.

Final Score: 8.4 / 10.

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