Puella Magi Madoka Magica (魔法少女まどか☆マギカ) is a Japanese anime television series. The story follows a group of female middle school students who choose to become magical girls and must battle surreal enemies called witches. However, they consequently learn of the anguish and perils associated with their newfound roles.
In the fictional city of Mitakihara, Japan, a middle school student named Madoka Kaname and her friend Sayaka Miki encounter a small, cat-like creature named Kyubey. It offers a contract in which a girl may have any wish granted in exchange for obtaining magical powers and being tasked with fighting against witches.
Meanwhile, a transfer student and magical girl named Homura Akemi tries to stop Madoka from making the contract with Kyubey at all costs. Madoka and Sayaka then meet Mami Tomoe, an upperclassman at the same school who is also a magical girl and offers to bring them along on her witch hunts so that they may learn of the responsibilities that come with being a magical girl.
The alien character Kyubey was also envisioned and designed by Urobuchi. As one of the primary antagonists in the series, Iwakami stated that “the mash-up of cuteness and darkness is the central theme to Madoka, and Kyubey is an epitome of that theme.”
A central goal in Urobuchi’s writing was to highlight the moral and ethical dissonance between Kyubey and the young middle school girls, which was done through actions in the series such as Kyubey eating its own corpse in order to recycle energy. He compared the character to monsters occurring in the works of horror fiction author H. P. Lovecraft, commenting of Kyubey: “he isn’t evil, it is his lack of feelings that make him scary.”
Urobuchi further remarked upon the moral ambiguity that the series displays in an interview with Asahi Shimbun, stating “Al-Qaeda brought down the Twin Towers due to their self-righteousness. Justice for some people is an evil for others. Good intentions, kindness, and hope will not necessarily make people happy.”
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