Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Season 1, Episode 8 – “I’m Such a Fool” – The Evil of Kyubey

Madoka Magica ep 8

          This is an episode leading up to some pretty big tragedy later. It was this episode where I think the most I can expect from this show is a bittersweet end, and that’s what I like since this show it fits the world and characters. Every Magical Girl is tragic and we learn the reasons behind that and why Kyubey manipulates and what it’s role is in everything and why it forms Contracts. Suffice to say, this episode was intense.

          “I’m Such a Fool,” was directed by Tomoyuki Matsumoto, Yuuji Kondou and Takashi Kawabata and written by Gen Urobuchi.

       This episode continues with Sayaka’s self destruction as we see her refuse the Grief Seed as she doesn’t want anything for herself. She is exhausted and drained and attacks Madoka for not becoming a Magical Girl too. Things come to a head when Homura attempts to kill her to protect Madoka. Kyubey also reveals his agenda and purpose to Homura when Homura attempts to kill him again after she kills him to prevent Madoka from making a Contract.

The Pros: Kyoko – Kyoko has become noble and saves Sayaka’s life when Homura tries to kill her and sticks by her when she transforms into a Witch when Sayaka’s Soul Gem goes black. She has become a truly good character now.

Madoka – Madoka is the one who feels pulled from all sides. Sayaka says she needs her to be a Magical Girl, Kyubey says she could become God if she becomes a Magical Girl and Homura fights for her soul knowing what could happen. Her decision is yet to come as she leaves when Homura cries before her as she feels overwhelmed and alone.

Homura – Homura truly cares for Madoka and it is implied she remembers the dream that kicked off “Madoka Magica.” She is driven to protect Madoka even if it is an impossible fight as Kyubey has many lives and every form she destroys does not end it. She is the one who learns his true nature too and that he is an Incubator (Kyubey) of Witches and that Magical Girls are that pre-form.

Sayaka – Sayaka is alone, refuses help from everyone as she doesn’t trust anyone and doesn’t feel human anymore and when her Soul Gem gets fully corrupted she is turned into a Witch. It is a tragedy that shows that she was always only a tool or food for Kyubey. He made the deal with her and many others before her just to make them Witches. Sayaka’s fall is that of nobility gone wrong and why taking things on alone and being self-righteous can lead to tragedy. You have to care for yourself and recognize those who care for you.

The Evil of Kyubey – Kyubey is a bastard and a great villain. The thing is an incubator of witches and a manipulator, evil in a nutshell as he uses innnocent girls as weapons against one another (since we see in this Witches were once Magical Girls) and that Kyubey cares nothing for what he does. Seriously, this character is one of the most cruel villains in anime. Most are openly cruel and don’t use innocents so.

The Cons: Scattered Narrative – At times the narrative was scattered but when it was focused on Homura and Sayaka it was really strong. Both of these characters really drive this episode and Madoka is the only one who really brings it down as her feeling torn makes the narrative feel scattered at time and takes the focus away from Sayaka’s decline and transformation.

  This episode continues the tragic bent of the show and has a powerful message on how important it is to recognize one’s own value so that bullies like Kyubey won’t manipulate you into hurting yourself. Homura cries before Madoka to recognize her value just as Kyoko and Madoka fight for Sayaka to find and discover her own self worth. This message is powerful and keeps me watching as characters continue to change and every action has consequences.

Final Score: 9.5 / 10.

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