I really liked this episode. “Can You Face Your True Feelings?” Lives up to it’s name and we get to get Kyoko’s backstory and even get to know Hitomi, the one friend of Madoka’s not connected to Kyubey in some way. It’s a great episode that doesn’t forget the ripping of souls from the body of a Magical Girl to create the Soul Gems that we learned last episode and we see how each of the Magical Girls deal with this reality of their state.
The episode was directed by Ryou Kobayashi, Tomoaki Kado and Satoaki Kidokoro and written by Gen Urobuchi.
The story picks up where we left off where Kyubey defends his methods by explaining he trades in miracles and shows Sayaka that without her soul torn she would be destroyed by the Witches and feel nothing but pain. Later Kyoko meets up with Sayaka and tells her story about the deal she made as her Father was a preacher and and how the wish ended up leading to her father killing himself and their family with only her surviving. After Hitomi approaches Sayaka and confesses her feelings for Kamijou leaving Sayaka full of guilt and regret with her only friend she can be honest with being Madoka.
The Pros: Kyubey – Kyubey is an alien. He doesn’t understand what it means for a person to be seperated from their soul and maybe this is because He isn’t human which Homura thinks, or maybe he chooses not to because it would break whatever illusions and agenda Kyubey has. Suffice to say though Kyubey is controlling, he puts Sayaka in pain in order to show her why what he did was right…not a good creature.
Hitomi – Hitomi shows that she has integrity. After Sayaka healed Kamijou she wants Sayaka to confess her feelings first since they are friends and she sees that Sayaka has watched him longer. She has good intentions but it breaks Sayaka as Sayaka realizes that now that she’s a “Zombie” she can never share that connection again.
Homura – Homura is the observer again and we see her check in with Kyoko who now is no longer trying to hurt Sayaka, and she defends Kyubey explaining that he is alien and that is why he doesn’t get that the tearing of souls from the body is bad.
Madoka – Madoka is also an observer this episode but she is active too. When Sayaka needs a friend she is there and is the one person taking on everyone else’s pain. I don’t see her becoming a Magical Girl anytime soon as we see at the end that becoming a Magical Girl has finally broke Sayaka just like it did to Mami and Kyoko.
Kyoko – Kyoko’s story is a tragedy and a powerful one at that. Kyoko’s father was in charge of a Church got other ideas and began preaching his own ideas which lead to them becoming homeless and alone before she made the deal with Kyubey for people to listen to her father. This lead to her Father becoming famous but going mad in the end when he finds out what Kyoko did and kills his family leaving only her alive, he labeled her a Witch before the end which she sees as ironic given her job as a Magical Girl. It’s a really tragic story and we see how caring she is of Sayaka. She pretends she doesn’t care but chooses to care even letting Sayaka fight a witch and only joining in at the end to save her. Sayaka’s pain and wish for another is something she can relate too. It’s why she does whatever she wants since she no longer has anyone.
Sayaka – Sayaka finds herself forever alone as she loses everything…she loses Kamijou when she knows she can’t be with him and her friend Hitomi wants to be with him, she loses the connection to herself too after Kyoko’s story and being hurt by Kyubey as we see her say detachment makes it so there isn’t any pain as she kills the Witch she was facing off against. It is in that moment she loses Madoka as Madoka cries knowing she can no longer reach her and the Sayaka who was around before exists no longer.
This episode captures the tragedy of what it means to be a Magical Girl really well. From Kyoko’s tragic backstory, to Sayaka losing everyone and herself in the end. These are young girls put into combat and trauma through how they are created and what their job is…and the one who creates them is indifferent and thinks it is justified. This is the tragedy of it all and why Madoka resisting is a good thing. This episode really shows why Homura wants to keep others from making the Contract.
Final Score: 10 / 10. Perfect episode.