Puella Magi Madoka Magica-1
Mitakihara Town, Japan. A modern-day city where nothing interesting happens. That is, as far as anyone knows.
Demons, beings born from negative emotions and disruptions in the world, prey on humans, inflicting upon them suicidal depression or murderous desires, feeding and making slaves in this fashion. These Demons, unable to be seen by mundane humans, threaten the Earth if left alone.
Kyubey, a small white creature, a "Messenger of Magic", roams about the city in search of girls worthy of being magical girls. To these girls he offers a single wish before granting them their Soul Gem, the object that will allow them to use magic, see Demons, and hopefully, save lives. The Soul Gems however require constant fuel, forcing the Puella Magi to fight Demons so that they can purify their Soul Gems; failure to do so would result in their disappearance, essentially their death.
The Theme In A Nutshell
SPOILER ALERT, STOP READING NOW IF YOU CARE.
You're an emotional young (female) teenager.
An adorable, fluffy white critter approaches you, offering you a wish.
Only, the wish's cost is that you have to fight evil creatures and collect their loot for him.
Do you do it?
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a pretty thorough deconstruction of the typical magical girl genre. Girl makes a wish with Kyubey, gains powers to fight evil, fights evil. Sounds simple, until the series' darker aspects get revealed as time moves on. The Soul Gems are not just transformation trinkets, they're the girl's souls stuffed into gems. When they experience negative emotions or have to use magic at all including to sustain their bodies (so, passively!) the Soul Gems darken. When they turn pitch black they either transform into horrible monsters and need to be put down, or just die outright. PS, there's only so many drops from the creatures you hunt to sustain you, and way more magical girls than creatures. You might have to fight over the drops!
And that's the premise of the theme, without going into the main characters.
|Mitakihara||The city most of the plot takes part in.|
|Puella Magi||A magical girl from this universe.|
|Contract||The term used when making a wish with an Incubator to become a magical girl.|
|Incubator||Kyubey's species. Fluffy white cat critters. Grant wishes and recruit magical girls.|
|Soul Gem||The gem container the magical girl's soul is put into and which sustains their transformation.|
|Witch||A being made entirely out of the negative emotions of a magical girl.|
|Witch Barrier||A pocket universe created and controlled by a Witch. Mistranslation, but stuck due to being catchy.|
|Witch's Kiss||A mark put on a victim by a Witch to incite actions such as suicide.|
|Familiar||A minion created by a Witch to hunt for her.|
|Demon||A manifestation of grief and despair which seeks to spread it.|
|Wraith||A Demon exposed to and powered by a larger amount of despair.|
|Slave||A minion created by a Demon or Wraith to spread chaos.|
|Possession||A spell put on victims by a Demon or Wraith to incite chaotic actions.|
|Grief Seed||Formerly what Witches dropped on defeat.|
|Grief Cubes||What Demons and Wraiths drop on defeat. Used to purify Soul Gems. Sometimes just called Grief Seeds anyway.|
|Law of Cycles||The new rules put in place by Madoka Kaname at the end of the plot.|
Changes From Canon
The Puella Magi Madoka Magica-1 theme takes place after the conclusion of the anime, following the resolution of its story as part of a very long TP. Integration of the third movie is ongoing, but it's going to be over the course of the entire year.
The following "large" changes are currently in place:
- A small amount of Unionites, who were extremely involved in the PMMM TP, have a cooperative way to cleanse Soul Gems. It doesn't revolutionize or trivialize the system at all, but it does give the Union an emergency tool if the right people are deployed. Psyber, Sakura Haruno, Ellestaria and Himei are the primary suspects here, though others may exist depending.
- As a Soul Gem darkens, Puella Magi develop Witch-like abilities, such as was displayed by Homura in the ending of the anime. The darker it becomes the more obvious these are, and it ultimately culminates in full transformation into a Witch. If defeated quickly enough, the Witch will revert back into a Puella Magi, and provided either "Grief Seeds" from Demons/Wraiths are available, or the people who can fix Soul Gems, the Puella Magi can be saved. Otherwise, she disappears as normal, taken away by Madoka to some sort of Puella Heaven.
- The main cast + Hitomi + Kimiko have conserved all memories from all timelines after Madoka's final wish. Prior to this wish they were still affected as normal by the timeloops. No traces of Madoka are left in the world, besides her ability to manifest occasionally; even so, she's obviously not a resident of that world anymore, so much as an outsider appearing.
- The theme is currently set 2 years after the events of the anime. Ages should be adjusted accordingly. (Most of the cast would be 16 instead of 14, Mami would be 17, etc.)
It also bears mention that all of the cast is OFC by default, as opposed to FC. That is because some of the changes above affect all characters in the cast and changes them immediately out of the box. Before the TP happened, though, the entire cast was OFCs for the simple reason that the anime had not ended yet when we apped, and we didn't want to take chances.
|Active Characters||Dropped Characters|
Cast Without Wiki Pages
CURRENT Sayaka Miki (OFC)
FORMER Kyoko/Kyouko Sakura (as played by Ariel)
FORMER Mami Tomoe (as played by Rally)
Definition: Puella Magi
A Puella Magi is a magical girl who made a contract with Kyubey. In exchange for a wish (limited by their cosmic importance, so more powerful wishes are usually offlimit, including wishes that break the rules like wishing for more wishes) they agree to fight evil in the world and give the prizes to Kyubey so that he may save the universe from its eventual heat death.
I'd like to outline again that impossible wishes just don't work. It's been suggested to death and got kinda old. Madoka Kaname's wish, which essentially turned her into a conceptual existence, was done as the result of her having the fate and cosmic importance of 100 timelines all tied around her. That's what it takes to make a broken wish.
The wish generally dictates what the Puella Magi's powers will be. Wishing for someone to be healed might give you healing abilities, or self-regeneration. Wishing not to die might give you the power to manipulate and create ribbons (symbolic of life). Wishing for your father's religion to work out might give you illusionary powers, or brainwashing ones. It's a pretty big scope with a lot of room for interpretation. Puella Magi only have the one unique power.
However, Puella Magi also have access to standard magical girl abilities, like hammerspace, limited flight, enhanced bodies, pain tolerance, etc.
Their signature weapon generally but not always has relevance to their wish too. A wish to protect makes a shield, a religious wish might lean towards weaponry relevant to that religion (Longinus, Excalibur, etc), so on. It's less important, though, overall.
Puella Magi's souls are located in their Soul Gems, not in their bodies. This is why their bodies are so resilient. If a Puella Magi had enough magic, she could remake her entire body, if it was destroyed and the Soul Gem somehow wasn't. As she uses magic or experiences negative emotions, the Soul Gem turns dark. When it becomes pitch black, the Puella Magi transforms into a Witch, and is subsequently either saved, or taken to Heaven by Madoka. Characters who aren't important enough (i.e. the majority of NPC Puella Magi) skip this step and go directly to the afterlife-- in other words, think of it as a narrative, "main characters only" effect. Characters whom the story benefits from turning into Witches (for GMing purposes, or because it's cool) can do it, others don't, and the majority don't.
Soul Gems can be cleansed by very specific Unionites, or using the small cubes dropped by Demons/Wraiths. Or Grief Seeds from Witches, if those somehow became accessible again (such as if a PMMM-2 theme showed up).
So Wait, Puella Magi Can Use Witch Abilities?
Yes! ... and no. A Puella Magi who decides that they're okay with trying to harness and control these abilities (most would not want to due to the risks inherent or the huge bias towards not turning into a horrible abomination) can. How this is accomplished is completely up to that character. Maybe they starve their Soul Gem on purpose and train while in that state. Maybe they embrace their negative personality traits so much it starts bleeding through. Maybe the character has absolutely no regrets in life, and thus can't fall into despair (this is EXCEPTIONALLY rare and only one character in the entire series can accomplish this normally) in the traditional way. Either way, it takes effort, and some special mechanism unique to that character.
Once that is achieved, it's a matter of two things.
1. HAVING A +POWER FOR IT, VERY VERY IMPORTANT. This is NOT a free power. 2. SPENDING TIME DEVELOPING IT. You don't just wake up overnight with these new abilities. This is something your character should work and hone for long months, if not at least a year, and it should definitely not be instantaneous either. Maybe your character starts off being able to summon one familiar. Then two. Then three. Then they start being able to make a very incomplete Barrier. Then slightly more. And then their body starts changing-- a bit more and more. Of course, how the abilities manifest is different per character.
It's also worth noting use of these abilities has severe backlash. The Soul Gem darkens much faster. It needs more upkeep. The character is more prone to negative emotions for a period of time around the use of those powers. Memories of events performed with the abilities are spotty at best. Etc.
Puella Magi fight three types of enemies, neither of which is visible to non-Elites, much like Kyubey isn't.
The first, Witches, are collections of negative emotions born from Puella Magi who go over the edge into total despair. They are usually themed after the Puella Magi's subconscious, greater desires, and cannot be reasoned with. Witches exist inside Labyrinths/Barriers, pocket realities under their control. More powerful ones can exist outside them. They spawn countless Familiars to handle intruders and matters inside their realms. Witches prey on humans using their Witch's Kiss, a small mark on a person that drives their mind to commit such things as suicide, murder and become insane. They are extremely eldritch in appearance; the animators' way to represent this is to have them appear animated differently from the rest of the cast, for example, as cardboard cutouts that move and shift, as scribbles and drawings onto reality, as shadow art, and so on. They are not meant to appear "normal" and should be treated as such. Witches no longer yield any prize; the prize is saving the Puella Magi (sometimes).
The second enemies are Demons, born from Madoka's wish as a balancing factor. These are large humanoid figures clad in all white. They don't usually have a theme, but they could, based on the tragedy they are bringing. They do not usually make use of Labyrinths/Barriers, but the more powerful ones could. Slaves are smaller versions, which are converted from humans who fall prey to their influences. Unlike Witches, who affect the mind, Demons affect the body, and so cause things like car accidents, organ failure, sickness, etc. When defeated, Demons (but not Slaves) yield small black cubes, which contain the curses and despair they brought about. These can be called the new Grief Seeds. They can be used to cleanse Soul Gems. As they contain significantly less curses than a Witch's Grief Seed would have, Demons are more numerous and killed in greater numbers to achieve the same effect.
Hostile Puella Magi
Puella Magi can also be antagonists, being people with full free will. They can choose to be evil and do evil things.