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TRANSLATION BY Montrevant

A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

1.2
An Inhuman OrderA Comparison with
J-Horror
The Terror of Order

Taking MadokaMagica together as a whole, one aspect of the story that is overlooked

is its horror-esque worldview and narrative structure. Urobuchi Gen i himself has stated that

MadokaMagica is horror; citing W.W. Jacobs 4 novella The Monkeys Paw as an example

(Megastore, 2011 June issue). The story, The Monkeys Paw, is about a mummified monkeys

paw that grants three wishes, but instead brings about misfortune upon an elderly couple. Also,

since Urobuchi was in charge of the script for the visual novel Song of Saya 5, which was based

on the Cthulhu Mythos 6, the creation of Kyubey as an alien may reflect an influence from

Lovecraft 7.

However, in contrast to Lovecrafts horror novels, where monsters that exceed human

comprehension appear one after the other, in the world of MadokaMagica those sorts of

creatures do not exist. Witches are the sad ruins of what were once girls who believed in hope;

Kyubey is only a small animal that is killed any number of times by Homura (when one dies the

i
Translators note: All Japanese names follow the Japanese convention of family name followed by first name. For
consistency, when dialogue is quoted from the anime Japanese names that are shown in the Western convention
have been changed back to the Japanese convention.
4
W.W. Jacobs (1863-1943). Writer. Representative works include Many Cargoes (1896), The Monkeys Paw (1902)
and The Lady of the Barge (1902).
5
Song of Saya (2003). Script: Urobuchi Gen. Voice Actors: Hikaru, Kawamura Midori
6
Cthulhu Mythos. A fictional mythological system based on the fictional world written about by Howard Phillips
Lovecraft.
7
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937). Novelist and Poet. Representative works include The Shadow Over
Innsmouth and The Call of Cthulhu

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

next Kyubey is dispatched.). The eeriness of the story comes from the very Order itself that

controls the magical girls.

At first, Iwakami Atsuhir, the producer, and Shinb Akiyuki, the director, said that they

expected that Urobuchi would place the magical girls in an intense battle of strange ability users

like in Fate/Zero (ibid). Certainly, both works depict people competing based on rules, but the

similarities end there. In the end, MadokaMagica and Fate/Zero are completely different types

of works. In Fate/Zero the characters outwit the rules, and occasionally use what can be

considered foul play, which causes one surprise after another to occur. Because of this, it is

difficult to be able to guess how the battle will end. In contrast to that, the rules of Madoka

Magica have almost no unexpected gaps. If we look at things from Kyubeys point of view there

are no big surprises until Madoka makes her contract in the final episode.

At the beginning, the full story behind the hidden rules is only gradually revealed. Even

the actions of Homura, who Kyubey calls an irregularity, are revealed in episode eleven to

have been beneficial to Kyubeys side, and contrary to her own intentions. Compared to

Fate/Zero the rules of MadokaMagica are overwhelmingly severe. This is one of the reasons

why the happy ending of MadokaMagica presents a gloomier impression than the bad ending

we are presented with in Fate/Zero.

This kind of setting is common in the so-called J-Horror films that started a domestic

movement throughout the 1990s and the first half of the 2000s. These films popularized the

motif of human beings controlled by a senseless law or order. The most famous of these is

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

probably Ringu 8, directed by Nakata Hideo, and the script by Takahashi Hiroshi. This is a

digression but, Urobuchi Gen also had the same well from Ringu appear in Song of Saya, when

he was in charge of the script for the visual novel.

Asakawa Reiko (Matsushima Nanako) is a TV director covering the urban legend of a

cursed videotape being passed around that kills those who watch it in exactly one week. At first

the existence of the tape is thought to be a simple rumor, but after the strange death of her niece,

ishi Tomoko (Takeuchi Yko), who had also watched the tape, and discovering that her friends

also died at the same time, it rapidly takes on a sense of reality. Discovering what appears to be

the tape, she dubiously replays the tape and, a paranormal phenomenon occurs. Sensing that her

life is in danger, she seeks the aid of her ex-husband Ryji (Sanada Hiroyuki), giving him a dub

of the tape. After that, her son Yichi (taka Rikiya), tempted by the ghost of the dead Tomoko,

watches the tape, further emphasizing the impending situation. They soon discover that the one

who created the cursed tape appears to be the vengeful spirit of Yamamura Sadako, a woman

with supernatural powers who met an untimely death. The two of them finally manage to arrive

at the well where Sadakos submerged corpse is located. Lowered into the well, Reiko embraces

Sadakos remains as Ryji announces that exactly one week has passed since Reiko watched the

tape. Theyre saved! The two are relieved.

However, the following day, Ryji dies from the curse. In order to save Yichi, Reiko

thinks about why she was the only one to survive, finally arriving at the answer. Make a dubbing

of the tape and show it to someone- that is the condition for survival. If so, then as those who

have watched the tape struggle to survive the curse must spread through the world. In order to

save Yichi, she drives back to her fathers house.

8
Ringu Director: Nakata Hideo. Script: Takahashi Hiroshi. Starring: Matsushima Nanako and Sanada Hiroyuki.

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

The establishment of showing the tape to another person to survive comes from the

original work; but on several points the film places much more emphasis on the inhumanity of

Order than the original novel ii. First, the motive for Sadako diffusing the video was cut from

the film. Sadakos curse is more like an automatic system rather than a grudge. Later on, in

Ringu 2 (1999) (In addition the contents are different than Rasen 9 the continuation of Ringu, by

the original author Suzuki Kji 10.), Sadakos corpse has been pulled out, but even now, in hell,

Sadako appears to repeatedly climb-up and then fall down the well; Takahashi Hiroshi talks

about that in the following:

The original meaning of climbing up has already vanished. only this simple act is eternal, repeating,

changing itself into a curse and giving birth to an ominous power. Why were you the only one saved? the voice of

Sadako asks, even the meaning of to survive vanishes. Thats the most terrifying thing; Mai (Note: Shes the

heroine of Ringu 2 11) gets a taste of the feel of the real hell from that inhuman voice.

Takahashi says that, caught in eternal repetition, meaning vanishes from Sadakos acts

and words. She has already lost motive and individuality, only that power continues to call out

for disaster.

Also not appearing in the original work is the episode where Tomoko shows the video,

which serves a role above emphasizing this inhumanity. Just as Ryjis words Thats not

Tomoko anymore foreshadow, the personalities of the victims are also snatched away;

ii
All of the film titles that appear here have been translated using the same name as the North American release,
when it exists. As an example, there are several alternate names for the Ringu series when discussing it in English.
The titles of the novels are translated as Ring and Spiral, the original Japanese films are referred to as Ringu and
Rasen, and the American remake is called The Ring (Rasen was not commercially released in North America). The
English version of the manga, which is based on Ringu, is also called The Ring.
9
Rasen (1998) Director: Iida Jji Script: Iida Jji and Suzuki Kji Starring: Nakatani Miki (DVD Pony Canyon)
10
Suzuki Kji (1954~) Writer and Essayist. Notable Works: Paradise, Ring, Spiral and numerous others. Winner of
the 1995 Yoshikawa Eiji Newcomers Award.
11
Ringu 2 (1999) Director: Nakata Hideo Script: Takahashi Hiroshi Starring: Nakatani Miki, Sanada Hiroyuki (DVD
Pony Canyon.

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

transformed into part of the system. Furthermore, I would like to bring attention to the scene

about rumors of the video are spreading as another transformation point

Reiko: Who did the story start with?

Ryji: Stories like that dont start with anyone. People feel anxious, and the rumors start flying.

Reiko: Anxious

Ryji: Or people start them hoping things will turn out like this. iii

The rumor that was not caused by anyones intentions symbolizes the emptiness of

Sadakos curse.

Horror depicts the terror of the irrational and the collapse of order; on the other hand it

also frequently takes up the theme of the terror of order. At this point I shall reference Furuya

Toshihiros 12 Ghosts VS Aliens? Fate and Love in J-Horror. In this study Furuya takes

Takahashi Hiroshi, Shimizu Takashi 13, and Kurosawa Kiyoshi 14; stating that Shimizu and

Kurosawa are the supernaturalist group and Takahashi is in the Extraterrestrialist group.

The supernaturalist group sensitively infers and gives shape to those scenes where inconsistencies,
contradictions and gaps appear; in contrast to the mystery, the desire to seek out a systematic solution is not strong.
The mystery is the vivid sensation of the world as it is; from the start it is not something that a solution can seek out.
In contrast, the extraterrestrialist group has a strong desire to systematically understand, or systematically construct,
a work.

The supernaturalists also believe in the Laws of the World but, as they are something that surpasses
human knowledge the universe is constantly putting new wonders before ones eyes. To the extraterrestrialists the
Laws of the World must exist as a system, with everything in the world already written down somewhere and
decided uponNovelty does not exist in the world. (The Brain Oozing Out into the WorldThe Logic of
Sensation and the Dreams Image, Fururya Toshihiro, Seidosha, 2008. p. 62-63)

iii
Dialogue taken from the subtitles used in the North American DVD release of Ringu.
12
Furuya Toshihiro (1967~) Artist and Critic. Notable Works: The Brain Oozing Out into the WorldThe Logic of
Sensation and the Dreams Image (sekai he to shimidasu n kankaku no ronri, imeeji no miru yume)(Seidosha), The
Person Who One Day Suddenly Became a Novelist (hito ha aru hi shsetsuka ni naru) (Seidosha). [My translations
of the titles. They have not been previously translated to my knowledge.]
13
Shimizu Takashi (1972~) Film Director. Notable Works: J-on: The Grudge, The Grudge 2, Reincarnation and
many others.
14
Kurosawa Kiyoshi (1955~) Film Director and Screenwriter. Notable Works: Cure, Pulse (Kairo) (Pulse) (Dai-ei
th
Films), Bright Future and many others. Winner of the 54 annual Cannes International Film Festival International
Federation of Film Critics Award.

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

The terror of irrationality depicted in the works of the supernaturalists is a world full of

mysteries, but in the works of the extraterrestrialists that take up the theme of the terror of

order, the world has been filled with well-known things.

Furuyas study also has the tendency to be over-classificatory. For example, in several of

Kurosawa Kiyoshis horror films, does he not depict the terror of a deterministic system?

Although at the present, in much of horror criticism there is a tendency to only emphasize the

terror of the unknown, irrationality and chaos (what Furuya calls the supernaturalist group).

Furuya also does a great service for pointing out that, within this climate, the terror of the known,

reason, and order (the extraterrestrialist group) also exists.

Against this background of horror theorists, who frequently only pay attention to the

terror of irrationality, there could be some influence from Western Sublime Aesthetics. The

sublime is the feeling people have when confronted with things that surpass their ability to

understand, causing a feeling like a mixture of fear and excitement. For example, the flames

blown out from the Sun are how many tens of times larger than the Earth; a galaxy is gathered

from billions or hundreds of billions of suns; that galaxy is furthermore one of the tens of

thousands gathered into a galactic cluster when you consider things like this, there is a feeling

that your perception is spreading out. That is the sublime.

M.H. Nicholson 15 claims that in Europe the sublime was a feeling that could only be

caused by religious subjects, but from around the seventeenth to eighteenth centuries it also

started to turn towards the vastness, variety and unruliness of nature.

15
Marjorie Hope Nicholson (1894-1981). Writer. Major Works: The Breaking of the Circle: Studies in the Effect of
the New Science upon Seventeenth Century Poetry (Northwestern University Press, 1950), Mountain Gloom and

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

Something strange indeed has come into the minds of these modern people, something that has broken
down the idols of pattern, regularity, symmetry, restraint, proportion, and replaced them by ideals of diversity,
variety, irregularity, most of all by ideals of indefiniteness and vastness. (Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory: The
Development of the Aesthetics of the Infinite. M.H. Nicholson, Cornell University Press 1959. p.16)

For example, to the Europeans of the past, for whom order and balance were themselves

beautiful, the unruly craggy mountains could be nothing but ugly.

However, from the eighteenth century onward those same mountains changed into

sublime subjects of reverence.

Nicholson asserts that this change was brought about by the development of the natural

sciences. From Galileos 16 discovery of the mountains of the Moon, it was conjectured that the

Moon and each of the planets were, like the Earth, singular worlds. On the other hand, novae

caused thinking about the waning of heavenly bodies, along with the observation of spots on the

Sun and Moon, leading to the collapse of the belief that the heavens were eternal and unchanging.

This was the manner in which the people confronting a vast and unruly world discovered the

sublime.

In horror there are many works that depict this kind of fear of a sublime existence. Be

that as it may, we should not conclude that chaotic things are themselves frightening, or that

those things that can be logically broken down are not. There are also works that, like the group

of work that Furuya calls extraterrestrialist, depict the fear of everything that is can be

explained by logic and not one step beyond.

Mountain Glory: The Development of the Aesthetics of the Infinite (Cornell University Press, 1959), Science and
Imagination (Cornell University Press, 1962).
16
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). Physicist, Astronomer, and Philosopher. Major Works: Siderius Nuncius, or the
Sidereal Messenger (University of Chicago Press, 1989), Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
nd
(University of California Press, 2 Revised Edition, 1962), and Mechanics.

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

We can also say that MadokaMagica follows this pattern of extraterrestrialist horror.

What is terrifying in this anime is not its irrationality, it is the Reason that hope must be

rewarded with despair, and that a magical girl will become a witch. This sense appears in the

following section where Kyubey talks about the objectives of his group.

I hope you dont misunderstand, but its not like we hold any malice towards mankind. All of this is done
to extend the lifespan of the universe. Madoka do you know the word entropy? To give you a simple example, the
heat energy you gain by burning wood in a campfire is unequal to the energy it takes to grow the tree youre burning.
When you convert energy between forms there is a loss involved. And so, the total amount of energy in the universe
is diminishing. Thats why we searched for a form of energy not bound by the laws of thermodynamics, and what
we discovered was the magical energy from magical girls iv.

There are some odd points in his explanation of energy, but thats not a problem. As we

have just seen, the concept of an infinite, vast frightening universe gives birth to the aesthetics of

the sublime. What Kyubey emphasizes is the total reverse of that; the wasteful use of energy

leads to a withered, finite universe, the shape of a universe confined by the law of entropic

increase.

Cosmic Conflict

Drama is born from antagonism (conflict). Linda Seger 17 has classified this by the scale

of the conflict (Making a Good Script Great 3rd Edition. Silman-James Press 2010 p.190 see

below 18). The biggest scale is the Cosmic Conflict. In this type mankind opposes God or the

universe. As an example I would like to take a look at the episode Shrinking from Tezuka

Osamus 19 Black Jack 20.

iv
All dialogue quoted from the series follows the subtitles used in the official North American release by Aniplex
when possible. Because the DVD containing ep. 9-12 will not be released until June 2012, the yesy Subs version is
used for quotes from episode 9, like the quote above, and the gg Subs version is used for quotes from ep. 10-12.
17 rd
Linda Seger. Screenwriter. Making a Good Script Great 3 Edition (Silman-Jones Press, 2010)
18 rd
Making a Good Script Great 3 Edition (2010) is an instruction manual for sketching good scenarios. Using films
from the past as examples, it explains the structure of screenplays.
19
Tezuka Osamu (1928-1989). Manga artist, Animator and Medical Doctor. Notable Works: Astro Boy, Kimba the
White Lion, Phoenix and numerous others.

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

Called by his former teacher, Togakushi, Black Jack (hereafter BJ), proceeds to Africa.

There a strange disease that causing people and animals to shrink and die is widespread.

Togakushi, himself infected by the disease, requests that BJ investigate a cure with him. BJ

refuses but as Togakushi tells him You already have it. You touched the dead lion; leaving him

with no choice but to cooperate. Eventually, BJ succeeds in making a serum, but is too late to

save Togakushi. As he breathes his last, Togakushi tells him that this strange disease was a

warning from God; that the only way for the living things of the world to share its food is to

shrink their bodies. Taking the tiny corpse in both hands, BJ turns to the sky and roars:

You, so-called God! You are cruel!! Doctors cure illnesses and save lives! As a result theres a population
explosion and a billion starve to death in a food shortage! If this is your design what are we doctors for? v

Tezuka was an author who frequently took up the cosmic conflict, which can be said

about his compilation Phoenix 21. The logic of God or the world moves without regard for the

opinions of man, and all we can do is futilely vent our hatred and sadness; this is the prototypical

cosmic conflict.

This sense that an inhuman order is depicted in horror is new. Whereas the height of

affinity towards cosmic conflict in J-Horror is in big-hit, entertaining works like Ringu, Ju-on:

The Grudge and One Missed Call 22 that are starting to be produced; the production of complex

experimental works speculating on the relationship between man and the world are also

contributing to this. The films Charisma23 and Pulse (Kairo) 24, directed by Kurosawa Kiyoshi,

20
Black Jack (Serialized from 1973-78 and from 1979-83). One of Tezuka Osamus works. Tagged as a monumental
work of medical manga.
v
Quotation taken from the 2009 Vertical Press Release of Black Jack vol. 3
21
Phoenix (1954~incomplete). A work that Tezuka Osamu worked on from his first days as a manga artist through
his twilight years. This work has influenced many other manga artists. Remains unfinished.
22
One Missed Call (2004). Director: Miike Takashi Script: Daira Minako Starring: Shibasaki K, Tsusumi Shinichi
(DVD Bappu).
23
Charisma (1999) Written and Directed by Kurosawa Kiyoshi. Starring: Yakusho Kji and Ikeuchi Hiroyuki

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

as well as the films Sodom the Killer 25 and Kyfu 26, directed by Takahashi Hiroshi 27, and so

forth are like that. I dont find it strange that MadokaMagica, which has similar characteristics,

continues to be a commercially successful, thematically powerful work. If you think about it,

Phoenixs Tezuka Osamu was also a writer that brought together entertainment and theme.

The Severance of Drama

The laws of the world disregard man. This same unfeeling recognition is conveyed to the

audience. In J-Horror, it seems that to an extent this kind of scene frequently depicts the

unexpected severance of the drama by an inhuman order.

Once again I will take up Ringu as an example. In the scene where Reiko discovers

Sadakos remains at the bottom of the well, it seems to give an impression that the film is going

for a drama of trauma and healing. Pleasewhere are you?... as if in response to Reikos

appeal the corpse appears. The mysterious music flows; the figure of Reiko holding tight to the

corpse. The setting of Sadako shunned by people in life, and after death being shut up in the well,

is still effective here. The soul of the lonely Sadako is just now saved. However, Takayamas

death tells us that that story is hopelessly misguided. This technique of severance of the drama

was subsequently adopted by other J-Horror authors.

24
Pulse (Kairo) (2001). Written and Directed by Kurosawa Kiyoshi. Starring: Haruhiko Kat and As Kumiko. (DVD
Kadokawa Entertainment)
25
Sodom the Killer (2004). Written and Directed by Takahashi Hiroshi. Starring: Urai Takashi and Komine Rena
26
Kyfu (2010). Written and Directed by Takashi Hiroshi. Starring: Fujii Mina, Nakamura Yuri and Katahira Nagisa.
(DVD Geneon Universal)
27
Takahashi Hiroshi (1959~). Film Director and Screenwriter. Notable Works: The Night has a Thousand Eyes,
Sodom the Killer and Kyfu.

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

Shimizu Takashis The Grudge 2 28, for example, describes the coming-of-age story of

Aubree (Amber Tamblyn), who lives in the shadow of her dazzling older sister Karen (Sarah

Michelle Gellar). But in the end, she is released from the inferiority complex she held towards

her sister, and fighting Kayako, the ghost that killed her sister, she quickly finds the tables turned

and finds that she herself has turned into a ghost.

Shiraishi Kjis Teke Teke 2 is the story of a female high school student, Nakajima Reiko

(Nakamura Miu), who borrows the power of the evil spirit Teke Teke, to take revenge against the

delinquent students who are antagonizing her. After Reiko has annihilated the delinquent group,

she herself becomes the victim of Teke Teke to protect her best friend Mizutani Natsuki (Iwata

Sayuri), who had followed her because she was worried. Mizutani whispers thank you to

Reikos body. But, in the next instant, Reikos body turns into Teke Teke and kills her.

As a matter of fact, this technique is inconspicuously introduced into MadokaMagica

as well. However, in pointing out that as a preliminary step various details must be explained.

For now, keeping that in mind will be sufficient.

Calling out to Friends

In episode nine, Kyko, in order to save Sayaka, who has become a witch, requests the

help of Sayakas best-friend, Madoka.

She might have turned into a witch, but she might remember the voice of a friend. If you call out to her,
maybe shell regain her memories from when she was human. The only one who can probably reach her is you.

Thus, the two of them head to the witch Octavias location, but fail. Madoka is rescued

by Homura and Kyko dies; frankly this situation itself is a common pattern that has been seen

28
The Grudge 2 (2006). Director: Shimizu Takashi Script: Stephen Susco Starring: Amber Tamblyn and Ariel Kebbel.
(DVD Avex Entertainment)

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

in several J-Horror works before. Often cited as a forerunner of J-horror is the Scary True

Stories 29 series (1991-92) directed by Tsuruta Norio 30 with the script by Konaka Chiaki 31.

Despite their production techniquesthe indistinct figure of a person standing in the distance,

the odd movements of an approaching ghosteschewing elements of splatter films to generate

terror, they were successively developed by Nakata Hideo 32, Takahashi Hiroshi, and Kurosawa

Kiyoshi; becoming established as a genre of J-Horror. Already in the Scary True Stories series,

in the episode My Friend at the Stairwell, we see that this calling out to the dead has been

depicted. The dead are depicted as leading a lonely existence, with those that want to help having

no other means than calling out to them, and ultimately unable to do so, shares many similarities

with MadokaMagica.

This pattern, as seen in Mihara Juns 33 Hamidashikko 34 (1975-1981), of calling out to

someone who has closed off their heart because of a sickness of the spirit, may be born from the

application of this narrative to horror. Later, in the TV Drama Gakk no Kaidan: Haru no

Mononoke Special 35 (2001), Tsuruta Hideo, having further refined the same theme, would direct

his masterpiece Something Possesses.

29
Scary True Stories (1991-92). Director: Tsuruta Norio Script: Konaka Chiaki. Called by some the origin of J-Horror.
30
Tsuruta Norio (1960~). Film Director and Screenwriter. Notable Works: Scary True Stories, Kakashi, Premonition
and many others.
31
Konaka Chiaki (1961~). Screenwriter and Novelist. Author of Ultraman Tiga, Digimon Tamers, Shinen wo Aruku
Mono (Those Who Walk the Abyss) [My translation] (Tokuma Dyuaru Bunko) and numerous others.
32
Nakata Hideo (1961~). Film Director. Notable Works: Dont Look Up (DVD Bandai Visual), Dark Water (DVD Th)
and many others.
33
Mihara Jun (1952-1995). Manga artist. Notable Works: Hamidashikko Series (Hakusensha), Bokura no Omiai
(Sheisha), Lou to Solomon (Hakusensha), and many others.
34
Hamidashikko (1975-1981). A manga by Mihara Jun. As a collection of short stories it has also been called The
Hamidashikko Series
35 35
Gakk no Kaidan: Haru no Mononoke Special (2001). Production and Script: Yaguchi Shinobu Starring: Fukatsu
Eri and Shigeyama Ippei. (DVD Dai-ei)

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

You can feel the strong influence of My Friend at the Stairwell here, but also in the

previously mentioned Pulse (Kairo). This film, on several points, draws closer and closer to

MadokaMagica. Let us try to summarize the content that emphasizes our argument.

A mysterious website appears online, displaying the message would you like to meet a

ghost? and the phenomenon of those who access the site being taught how to create the

forbidden room. The forbidden room is a room where every crevice is covered up with red

tape. When one enters this space, a ghost appears. Those who meet a ghost are a shortly

thereafter turned into black stains on the wall (the figures of those turned into stains are revealed

to mutter help mehelp me This is a direct influence from My Friend at the Stairwell).

The only way to prevent this is to commit suicide before turning into a stain. The cause of this

phenomenon is the number of the dead from prehistory exceeding the capacity of the spirit world.

At the moment when the dead seek an exit, the rule that a room with every crevice covered with

red tape becomes a passage from the spirit world to the present world comes into existence from

this slight impetus. Thus begins the invasion of the present world by the dead, spreading out to

the entire world.

With this as the films setting, the alternating storylines of a university student,

Kawashima Rysuke (Kar Haruhiko), and an OL, Kud Michi (As Kumiko). Rysuke wants

to protect the woman he loves, Karasawa Harue (Koyuki), but his navet prevents him from

understanding the constant feelings of isolation that torment Harue. Eventually, she dumps

Rysuke and leaves. Meanwhile, Michi loses her workplace friends one after another. Towards

the end of the film Rysuke, wandering about the ruined world, encounters Michi. Hearing

Haures story from Rysuke, Michi suggests that they go help her together. After the two have

searched around they discover the bizarre condition of Harue, whose head is completely covered

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

by a trash bag at an abandoned factory. She had already entered the forbidden room and,

ignoring Rysukes pleas, shoots herself in the head with the pistol in her hand. They both fall

down. After that, Rysuke, carrying gasoline from the factory, inadvertently enters the (likely

made by Harue) forbidden room. Noticing the accident, Michi extricates Rysuke, who has

already encountered the spirit world. The film ends with Rysuke vanishing at Michis side.

In this work the motif of an inhuman order or rule, that was vague in My Friend at the

Stairwell is clearly introduced. Once the forbidden room started to move there was no

stopping it; the hopes of mankind were swept away. What finally isolated Kyko and Sayaka

were the heartless rules that control the magical girls. One futher thing, after considering its

influence on MadokaMagica, Pulse (Kairo), strikes me as also having the setting of those who

are seized with despair become victims. In the how to make a forbidden room instructions, that

Harue has printed out from the ghost site, mixed into the specific instructions of covering up

crevices with tape and so forth, the phrase bring despair unto the world is written.

This may not be the fault of the fanbase, as there are few examples to point out, but J-

Horror has a strong influence on anime and manga, with a reciprocal influential effect likely. For

example, at the start of Neon Genesis Evangelion 36 cuts of Ikari Shinji having visions of

Ayanami Rei, projected as standing in place for just as moment throughout the city, resemble an

often used direction in J-Horror. Like Konaka Chiaki in the beginning, there are creators that are

active in extending into horror films and anime.

At present, the horror productions cultivated by J-Horror have become too popular, losing

their former impact; the depiction of an indistinct figure of person standing in the distance being

36
Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995~). Original Work: GAINAX Director: Anno Hideaki Voice Actors: Ogata Megumi,
Hayashibara Megumi and Miyamura Yko.

14
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

put to use has also lessened, but as for MadokaMagica, that narrative structure doesnt seem to

have lost its force as of yet.

15
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

1.3
The Survival Conditions of Magical Girls
MadokaMagica as Horror
Survival ConditionsSayaka

We can sense the strong influence from the inhuman order depicted in J-Horror in

MadokaMagica. However, the shape of its distinctive characteristics is also allowed to

progress.

For the time being let us call the various settings related to magical girlsSoul Gems,

Grief Seeds, witches, and including all their preparations as the Magical Girl System. The

Magical Girl System itself is the first time we notice the inhuman order in MadokaMagica.

In the second half of the story, however, the shadow of an enormous inhuman order

rather than Reason becomes pronounced. In the world of the story if you embrace hope in

defiance of Reason it will always be returned with despair. The Incubators utilize this law to

change magical girlsthe symbol of hopeinto witchesthe symbol of despairextracting

energy from this process. In other words, we can say that the Magical Girl System is

something that was established to parasitize Reason. The relationship between these two

inhuman orders has become somewhat complex, but as this will be important later on, I would

like you to comprehend this ahead of time.

In episode eleven there is a scene where Kyubey appears before Madoka, who is in a

daze from the deaths of Sayaka and Kyko, and says It was not entirely unexpected. The signs

were there for a while.

16
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

In Ringu, for example, there was the rule that if you watch Sadakos video, you die;

however, if you dub the tape and show it to someone else within a week you will be saved.

Judging from Kyubeys way of speaking here there seems to be similar conditions separating life

and death in MadokaMagica as well. If you fall to despair you turn into a witch is definite, but

there are various other rules which are difficult to probe.

For example, in episode seven when Kyko says if you wish for hope, an equal amount

of despair will be rained down upon you, too. Thats how everything stays in equilibriumand

the worlds balance doesnt get disturbed. There were probably many viewers who took this as

a half-metaphorical argument. As matter of fact, later on, from Kyubeys own mouth, it is made

clear that it is a rule of the grave world of the story. This is how, in the case of MadokaMagica,

if one is not being attentive you could miss what the rules are.

Furthermore, and I will explain this fully later, it seems as if the survival conditions differ

among the magical girls. I myself am unable to clarify everything (particularly in regards to the

survival condition of Mami, where there are many points of uncertainty). Be that as it may, I

believe that we know considerably many things about Kyko and Sayaka. Let us begin here by

first considering Sayakas death.

Sayaka, who admired Mami, goes overboard in her pursuit of justice. Kyko is the one

who continues to warn her.

Magic is only supposed to be used to grant wishes for yourself. If you use it for someone else, it always
ends up going bad. Didnt Tomoe Mami even teach you that much?

Sayaka rejects this but, just before she changes into a witch, she acknowledges that

Kyko was right. This is a sad situation. This is because after meeting Sayaka, Kyko starts to

recover her former kindness.

17
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

Should magic be used for someone else or not? The antagonism between Sayaka and

Kyko is entwined with the presentation of the setting. Witches employ small monsters called

familiars, but a familiar sometimes differentiate from the main body and after a short while grow

up to be a witch itself. While familiars also kill people they do not possess Grief Seeds. The two

of them are in conflict over whether or not familiars should be killed. Kyko asserts that since,

after a while, familiars turn into witches and give birth to the valuable resources of Grief Seeds,

that they should be kept alive. However, from Sayakas perspective it is impossible to ignore

these familiars that commit murder.

This setting subsequently leads to Sayakas witchification. To magical girls, fighting

familiars has the meaning of consuming magic power with no means of recovering it. The

experienced Mami is one thing, but for Sayaka, who has only just changed into a magical girl,

this is a dangerous deed even under normal circumstances.

However, having lost Kysuke, and her body being no longer that of a human, Sayaka,

no longer able to find any meaning to her own existence outside of being a hero, rejects Homura

and Kyko, who wont fight familiars, by proving at any cost that she does not fight for the sake

of Grief Seeds.

While in battle with a witch Sayaka is saved by Kyko and, not wanting to be indebted to

her, pushes the Grief Seed she obtained onto Kyko. In the end, she kicks away the Grief Seed

that Homura, trying to stop Sayakas witchification, had offered her, leading Homura to lose her

self-control and attempting to kill her.

Kyko, having affection for Sayaka, is unable to take in the urgency of the situation

because she has no knowledge of witchification (had she known, she probably would not have

18
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

taken Sayakas Grief Seed, no matter how much it was forced on her). Conversely, Homura, who

does know the situation, simply does not want Sayakas witchifiction to cause Madoka any

sadness, not from any deep wish to save Sayaka. This slippage of friendliness is clever, yet cruel.

In this manner Sayaka tumbles towards ruin.

At this stage has Reason determined that the rule dont use magic for the sake of

others is a condition of survival? Is this merely sense for surviving as a magical girl? It is not

clear. We can also see that Sayakas own abilities result in an inadequate way of fighting that is

only perverse and self-destructive.

When we think a little more about the reason why one must not use magic for the sake of

others, however, how we see it begins to change. Kyko herself asserts this basis- even though

hope is repaid with despair, it is not profitable to only take despair onto oneself, she explains, but

it is likely that this theory is only a half-truth. According to the afterword of Fate/Zero vol.1 the

Reason of the universe flows in the direction of evil. If so, then good deeds must defy

Reason. In other words, are magical girls not caught in a reversed fate of incurring punishment

when they do good deeds? If we consider this, then it appears likely that there is a strong

possibility that Sayakas fall was also caused by an effect of Reason.

In episode five when Madoka succumbs to her sense of guilt over Sayaka becoming a

magical girl and protecting the city while she did not, Sayaka says the following to calm her:

Which is to say, you dont have to feel guilty. This just means theres no problem if you dont want to
become a magical girl.

But, in episode eight where she at last transforms into a witch, because of all the anguish

that has piled up in her, she can no longer contain her resentment towards Madoka.

19
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

Then you fight them. I heard from Kyubey that you have more natural talent than anyone. Without
suffering the way I do, you could finish off any witch easily. If you really want to do something for me, you could
experience what Ive experienced first. You cant, can you? Of course not. You cant give up being human just out
of a little pity, can you?!

Sayaka knows, in her heart, that her words were unfair, and she criticizes herself while

running away from Madoka. But, she will not be given the chance to apologize to Madoka for

that. For until her witchification, the two will not be able to meet again. The Magical Girl System

will not permit Sayaka to be a kind person. Her lines explain the situation: for as much

happiness we wish on one person, we cant help but curse someone else. Thats how it works for

us magical girls.

Now, just as Kyko warned, because she used magic for the sake of other people, she

ended up suffering herself, but there was yet another stage; witchification.

Homura and Madoka have the following conversation about Sayakas witchification:

Madoka: That cant be whySayaka just wanted to save people from the witches; she wanted
to become a hero. She became a magical girl wanting to do that So why?

Homua: She just ended up bearing a curse as powerful as her wish. She will now live cursing as
many people as she had saved.

By the decree of Reason, when a magical girl does good things, they bear in their

hearts resentment and curses to the same extent. Magical girls turn into witches in the end, and

because they spread those negative emotions, their goods deeds from their time as magical girls

are cancelled out. No matter how much they may fight for the sake of justice, in the world of

MadokaMagica, which has become an arrangement that can never be revised.

Survival ConditionsKyko

20
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

Sayakas transgressed survival condition was primarily dont use magic for the sake of

others, but what about Kyko? Actually, she is a character for whom we are given many hints

about the survival conditions of magical girls. Let us first confirm her past.

Her father was a clergyman, but his desire to save people led him to preach things too far

outside the doctrine, and he was excommunicated. There was no one who would listen to him.

Kyko, who loved her father, made a contract with Kyubey, and wished that people would listen

to her father. The church seemed to teem with believers. But one day he realized that it was

caused by magic and condemned Kyko.

He called me, his own daughter, a witch who tainted peoples hearts. Isnt that hilarious? After I had been

out hunting real witches every night!

Despair already afflicts her father and he commits a murder-suicide leaving Kyko alone.

Kyko suffers because my wish destroyed my whole family. Because I went and made a wish

for someone else without really knowing what he wanted, I ended up bringing everyone

misfortune. While fighting witches she thought my dad and meone from the front, and one

from the shadowswere going to save this world together. Kyko must feel that like an idiot,

I thought of it as my role and threw myself into hunting witches, and from now on she swears to

never use magic for the sake of someone else ever again.

When Kykos wish was betrayed and she lost her family, she should have been

tormented by the phase transition between hope and despair. She herself knows there is a rule

that if you wish for hope, an equal amount of despair will be rained down upon you, too. Thats

how everything stays in equilibriumand the worlds balance doesnt get disturbed. When

Kyko is fighiting Octavia there is also a scene that relates that she has also experienced the

21
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

same suffering as the witch. Youre mad arent you? You cant forgive anyone for whats

happened. I know. Once you feel better, come back to us, okay? If this is so, then why did she

not undergo witchification?

Perhaps Kyko, by discarding hope, was able to protect herself from the despair that was

returned. As we have already seen, one of the themes of MadokaMagica is that for as much

hope as one holds, when that hope is betrayed the despair becomes that much deeper. We can say

that Kyko personifies that existence.

This character of having no hope is represented in Kykos actions and speech. First of

all, in contrast to Sayaka, lets us look back at her lines when she claims that familiars should be

left alone.

Ever heard of the food chain? They taught you about it in school, right? Witches eat weak humans, and in
turn we eat those witches. Its the basic rule of this world. The weak have to give way to the strong.

It has already been stated that in MadokaMagica hope defies Reason. If we turn this

around, then those who discard hope are in accord with Reason. As we guessed, it is declaring

that here Kyko is following the Reason of the Magical Girl System. Of course, as already

stated, her actions of not using magic for the sake of others are in accord with Reason.

In contrast to her rough appearance and speech, Kykos actions are always deliberate.

Her obsession with information shows this well. When she sets her sights on Mitakihara, before

commencing battle she observes Sayakas situation from a distance, and she does not fight

Homura, because she doesnt know the true nature of her abilities. We also see this when

Homura tells her where Walpurgisnacht will appear, and she questions the source of the

information. Lokk, Im not saying we should trust each other or anything, but cant you show

me your hand just a little bit more? When she stops Homura from killing Sayaka and notices

22
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

the limits of Homuras time stop ability her interest shows. Kyko is the type that avoids reckless

behavior by not shirking her previous information gathering. This characteristic agrees with her

having no hope.

Furthermore, according to Urobuchi Gen, it seems there was a hidden setting, in which

Kyko, due to the shock of losing her family, can no longer use the dazzling magic power she

originally had (Megami Magazine, July 2011 issue). Does this setting not also display discarding

hope is the source of her magic power?

If we consider these points, it appears that perhaps Kykos survival conditions were

having no hope is in accord with Reason. However, after Sayakas witchification, these

conditions are destroyed one by one.

When a Soul Gem has completely clouded over it shatters; turning into a Grief Seed and

giving birth to a witch. Since Soul Gems are, in the end, the true forms of magical girls, at that

time all that remains are the bodies they had as humans. Although I say that, without a Soul Gem

their bodies are no different from corpses. When Kyko and Homura escape together from the

labyrinth of Sayaka, who has become a witch, she carries out Sayakas remains. When Homura,

in an indifferent tone, tells the wailing Madoka about the fate of witchification, Kyko grabs

Homuras collar and, in a voice filled with rage, says:

Who the hell do you think you are? Are you trying to brag about how much you know?

This line shows that Kykos kindness has returned, but it also has a further separate

meaning. Here at last, Kyko casts off her former cautiousness and obsession with information.

The figure of Kyko angered by Homuras coldness is simultaneously touching and ominous.

Actually, the following day Kyko attempts the hopeless experiment of saving Sayaka.

23
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

Continuing from the previous scene, Kyko carries Sayakas remains to the hotel she is staying

at and uses magic to prevent their decay. She intends to keep Sayakas body ready for when they

recover her Soul Gem. Why are you going so far to keep the corpse fresh? From Kyubeys

manner of speaking it seems as if this act itself requires magic power. Kyko, who made

obtaining Grief Seeds her main priority, is expending magic power for Sayakas sake. This scene

has several meanings. It represents the strength of the feelings that Kyko has for Sayaka, as well

as showing that she has discarded her belief that magic not be used for the sake of others, and

that she has at last started to defy Reason.

Kyko sounds out Kyubey about the means of saving Sayaka. He knows of no methods

for doing so, but at the same time says that magical girls defy established logic. I wouldnt be

surprised by any absurd things you accomplish. Kyubeys line here suggests the possibility of

success, but if we consider this very carefully, we can say that this too is ominous; because it has

the meaning of the act of saving Sayaka goes against Reason. Requesting Madokas help in

saving Sayaka Kyko says the following:

You might think Im stupid, but I dont want to give up until we know for sure that she cant be saved.

In MadokaMagica, not giving up is also an evil omen. Because those who do not

give up have embraced hope. As previously stated, in Madokas dream in episode one Kyubey

says if she [Homura] gives up its all over and proceeds to form a contract with Madoka. From

this temptation Madoka becomes a magical girl, and a greater witch than Walpurgis. In episode

four Sayaka, in an effort to calm the crying and shouting Kysuke, says its going to be okay.

Im sure someday, somehow just dont give up and Im sure someday Immediately

following that she contracts with Kyubey.

24
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

Furthermore, when Madoka asks do you think it will work? Kyko replies:

No idea. (Smiling) Im saying we do it because we dont know. If we cut that witch in two, maybe
Sayakas Soul Gem will just kind of fall out instead of a Grief Seed. Stories where love and courage win out in the
end always turn out like that, you know?

Here, Kyko has completely regained her hope. Those hopeless days must have been

painful for Kyko, but now she has a sunny expression.

However, the consequences were cruel. Kykos hope is smashed into tiny bits. There is

a production that vividly shows this. In the witchs labyrinth there is a blue silhouette of Sayaka

and a red silhouette of Kyko floating. As Kykos shadow goes to embrace her opponent,

Sayakas shadow collapses. Until now the shadows represented the scene in Kykos mind, but

this is wound into a vortex, and changes into blood trickling down from the real her.

I beg you God, My life sucked. Let me have a happy dream just once

The realism that she had locked away in a cage was her bulwark. When she threw that

away in a dream she was destroyed as if it were a matter of course.

The road until Kykos death comes is already filled with omens. Kykos behavior at

this time is not like her usual self. We can even say that it is too unalert. Still, I would like to

touch on her rather tragic situation. In Homuras case, for example, because her wish was to

become the one who protects her (Madoka), so long as her actions are for the sake of saving

Madoka, they are protected by the contract, and end up not conflicting with the survival

conditions. However, there is no such relationship between Kyko and Sayaka. When she desires

to save Sayaka there is nothing Kyko can do but to ignore the survival conditions and proceed

towards her death.

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

As I explained in the previous chapter, in Pulse(Kairo) there existed a rule that when

you despair you are possessed by a ghost. At a glance the rules of MadokaMagica are similar,

but there is no escape. In Pulse (Kairo), Michi, who did not discard hope to the end, survives.

However, in MadokaMagica Kyko, who obtains hope, simply dies. The Magical Girl System

forces people to abandon hope.

Survival Conditions

There are many points that unclear about the survival conditions for Mami, but for the

time being I would like to simply touch on them. In episode three she dies, defeated by the witch

Charlotte. Could there be some sort of rule here? What comes to mind are Homuras words:

Unchecked kindness grows into navet, and brash courage often leads one to be caught off guard. Further,
no matter how hard you try, there is no thanks or recompense. Those who cannot comprehend this are not fit to be
magical girls. That is why Tomoe Mami lost her life.

Is Homura simply saying that her resolution as a warrior was not sufficient? Is she telling

about some kind of rule? I couldnt come to any conclusions, but I get the impression that she

died as a result of somehow losing her self-control. Mami teaches Madoka and Sayaka, who are

wavering over whether they should make a contract, about what sort of a life a magical girl has.

However, even though deep down she wants companions, she must not deceive her juniors; and

while she restrains Kyubey, who wants to make them form a contract, she herself decides to

guide them impartially (nonetheless, she is criticized by Homura, who says youre trying to lead

them [Madoka and Sayaka] so that they want to be magical girls.). However, she drops her

guard because Madoka has decided to become a magical girl. Opening up to Madoka about her

own painful feelings of loneliness, she then proceeds to innocently frolic into combat, and then

she is devoured by the witch.

26
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

Yet, in episode ten, as shown in Homuras time loop, Mami has formed a tag-team with

Madoka in another time line. It appears that since Mami will not be able to survive the visitation

of Walpurgisnacht, she has been fighting together with Madoka for at best a month, but the

Mami of this time line may not be exceptionally lucky.

Additionally, there is the mystery as to why Mami was able to carry on for so long as a

hero, even though Sayaka and Kyko were destroyed by fighting for the sake of others. This is

also unanswerable, but I wonder if there is perhaps a connection between her forming a contract

for her own sake (she was on the verge of death from a traffic accident and formed a contract

with Kyubey to avoid death), as opposed to the rest of the girls who all made contracts for the

sake of someone else? If good deeds defy Reason, then in her case, where her first wish was

not a good deed, then the extent that it defies Reason is lower than that of the other magical girls,

and the timing of the phase transition between hope and despair may not happen as quickly. At

the present this is my best guess.

Because the setting of the survival conditions is extremely important for understanding

MadokaMagica, I will take this opportunity to touch on them.

The Magical Girl System and Reason

Kyubey talks as if all these rules that torment the magical girls are actions of the Reason

of the universe, and that his kind takes no responsibility for them. According to them, any hope

that is not suitable to Reason gives birth to disaster as a matter of course.

If you consider that a betrayal, then making wishes is a mistake to begin with.

But there is a part of what they say that is savage and terrible. For example, after Kykos

death Homura and Kyubey exchange the following dialogue:

27
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

Homura: Did Sakura Kyko ever have a chance to save Miki Sayaka?

Kyubey: Of course not. Thats impossible.

Homura: Then why didnt you stop her?

Kyubey: Of course, I would have stopped a pointless sacrifice. But in this specific case, there was a good
reason for us to lose her. Now youre the only one left who can face the Walpurgisnacht. And undoubtedly, there is
no way you can win alone. In order to protect this city, Madoka has no choice but to become a magical girl.

Homura had teamed up with Kyko in order to repel Walpurgisnacht without letting

Madoka form a contract. Kyubey says that he allowed Kyko to return to Octavias location in

order to defeat that plan. Thereupon, Kyubey, despite he himself spurring on Kyko, says about

her death that it was not entirely unexpected. The signs were there for a while, talking as if

everything was inevitable.

In Sayakas case as well we discover these points of uncertainty. One of the causes of her

ruin was that she continued to fight familiars. However, if you fight familiars without obtaining

a Grief Seed it becomes easy to exhaust magic power; in this manner are the Incubators not the

ones who created the Magical Girl System?

I would like to consider this point a little more minutely. Grief Seeds absorb the

impurities (despair) of Soul Gems, but they cannot be used more than a few times. Kyubey

collects the exhausted Grief Seeds. It seems that the Incubators are also somehow able to acquire

the energy of despair by this Grief Seed collecting and not only from the time of witchification.

Theoretically speaking, if magical girls are simply left alone, then someday they should be

assailed by the phase transition between hope and despair and turn into witches. However,
1

if magical girls are somehow induced to fight witches, then the exhaustion of their magic power

(the accumulation of despair) can be accelerated.


2 If there is a system to collect the impurities

(despair) from Soul Gems, then in the period until witchification many times more energy can be

28
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

acquired. The Incubators allow witches to hold Grief Seeds, and let the magical girls aim for

them.
1 and
2 solve this all at once.

However, at this point one problem arises. Just as Kykos example of the food chain

explained, witches are, on average, weaker than magical girls. Therefore, if the process of

witches being born from magical girls is not commenced, then the witches would soon all be

killed off. We can surmise that this is reason that the Incubators have the witches reproduce by

the detaching of familiars and hatching from Grief Seeds.

At this time, having familiars that are witch larvae being targeted by magical girls is

inconvenient because it becomes a hindrance to reproduction. Is it for that reason that the

Incubators do not allow them to hold Grief Seeds, and construct an environment where it is

difficult to fight familiars? If that is the case, then here it becomes what Lawrence Lessig 37 calls

regulation carried out by architecture 38. Regulation by architecture is an indirect method of

regulation. When there is some act that you do not want to let people do, you design the

surrounding environment so as to make it difficult to do that act.

Robert Moses built bridges on Long Island to block buses, so that African Americans, who depended
primarily on public transportation, could not easily get to public beaches. That was regulation through architecture,
invidious yet familiar. (Code and other laws of cyberspace 39. Basic Books p.92)

Even without creating directly racist laws, the same objective can be accomplished, to an

extent, by the layout of the environment. What the Incubators are doing is the same as this.

Namely, they have constructed an environment where it is difficult for magical girls to fight

familiars. If we go by what Kyubey himself says, this method seemed to be rather effective.
37
Lawrence Lessig (1961~). Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. Author of Code and other laws of
cyberspace (Basic Books)
38
Architecture in regards to Architecture as an academic discipline, this refers to design techniques or the
altering of architectural styles; at present it refers to the basic design and layout ideology of hardware, OSes,
networks, etc.
39
Code and other laws of cyberspace Basic Books 1999

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A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

Its true, magical girls like Mami are rare. Its natural for people to want to be rewarded for their work.
Most do approach witch-hunting with their own benefit in mind.

Of course, isnt it only natural that since Grief Seeds are also witches eggs that familiars,

which have not progressed beyond the larval stage, would not have them? It seems this claim is

possible. I would like to answer this objection as follows. To begin with, there is no necessity

for witches eggs to be an item that purifies Soul Gems. Rather, was it not because the Incubators

chose the eggs as purification items in order to prevent the magical girls from hunting the

familiars? Since the Magical Girl System is so excessively convenient for the Incubators, I

cannot believe that it does not completely reflect their will.

So, why do they rely on regulation by architecture and other circuitous means? This is

also not outside the limits of speculation, but there seems to be a hint in episode three. We can

discover it in Kyubeys lines to Madoka, who is wavering over whether or not she should make a

contract.

and considering my position, I cant rush you into deciding either. Suggesting wishes would also be
against the rules.

Who decided on these rules? Since all Incubators are animals that are all the same with

no individuality, perhaps they also have no social classes. Still, according to what he says later

on there seems to be many other civilizations that exist in the universe.

If we assume that there is some kind of cosmic civilization alliance, might they not have

established rules for contact with primitive civilizations? Also, because Suggesting wishes

would also be against the rules, it is probably even more forbidden to directly manipulate the

behavior of mankind. We can consider the architecture of the Magical Girl System to be an

indirect form of behavioral control.

30
A Cage Called Maturity Part 1 The Cage of No HopeSayaka and Kyko

If we consider from all these points then the Incubators are certainly acquainted with

Reason, but they are not its perfect mouthpieces. Due to their selfish use of Reason while

establishing the Magical Girl System, and claiming the entire system to be unassailable reason,

there is a strong possibility that it is a mask that is somewhat warped.

31