Madoka wakes up thinking that everything from meeting Mami and Kyubey was a dream, however Kyubey sitting with her stuffed animals suggests otherwise.
After what had happened the night before she and Sayaka went over to Mami’s house, where she explained that the jewel she carries is a symbol of her contract with Kyubey, and that the contract itself will allow any of their wishes to come true as Puella Magi. In return though they will have to fight witches, something that can’t normally be seen due to how they hide behind their barriers, and unmotivated murders or suicides can be placed to their curse. Of course in fighting them they would be risking their lives, so Mami suggests that they take some time to think about it and that they accompany her on a witch hunt. The morning after this as Madoka went about her daily routine, she found that her mother couldn’t see Kyubey and hypothetically asked her what she would do, her answer though would be to get rid of most of the people where she works in order to take the position of the president in her company.
So as usual Madoka meets up with Sayaka and Hitomi while Kyubey sits on her shoulder, who allows them to communicate with something like telepathy. However Hitomi takes their new found ability to understand each other as a sign that they’ve taken their friendship to the next level, something she doesn’t exactly want to accept. When they finally get to school they apologise to her and even if Homura tried to kill Kyubey there, Mami will be able to come to their aid but other than that she’s sure that she won’t attack around the other students. The reason for why she might have tried to kill Kyubey was also explained the night before, as if she were to kill Kyubey she would be eliminating the possibility for any more competition for the benefits that come with hunting witches.
During class Madoka sketches what she thinks she would look like as a Puella Magi and when they eat lunch, she and Sayaka talk about wishes with Sayaka telling her how people are blissfully unaware of what their wishes would be because they’ve never truly experienced misfortune, as she says this a shot of a boy in a hospital bed is shown. This makes her ask why they were given this chance just as Homura returns to remind Madoka about what she warned her about, and as she leaves Madoka asks her what she wished for which makes her pause for a moment before continuing on.
As school ends for the day Hitomi misunderstands them again and run off while Homura turns down an offer to hang out with some of the girls in their class. Madoka and Sayaka then meet up with Mami where Sayaka shows them the bat she bought for protection and Madoka shows them their sketches. After this they go on the witch hunt that Mami invited them on, following her jewel to where the witch from the day before is supposed to be, meanwhile a woman heads up to the rooftop and prepares to jump. While they’re on they follow her jewel, Mami explains how a witch’s curse is stronger around areas where accidents have happened, the worst case being hospitals where there are more people for them to drain and influence. Just as they arrive the woman jumps, so Mami transforms and manages to catch her, seeing a ‘witch’s kiss’ on her neck.
They then head into the building where she transforms Sayaka’s bat and they head through the barrier, and are greeted with similar things to what appeared in the last episode. Which Mami shoots with her flintlocks as she heads on to face the witch, she drops down and pulls out flintlock after flintlock and continues to shoot, even when the witch swings her around. Before finishing it by removing and transforming her ribbon, to both break free and create a flintlock that kills the witch in a single shot.
With the witch dead she picks up something called a Grief Seed that she uses to restore some of the magic she’s used into her jewel, she then throws it into the corridor where Homura was waiting but she turns down the offer. During the epilogue they help calm down the woman who jumped, and after what she’s seen Madoka is considering becoming a Puella Magi a little more seriously.
After the way that the first episode went, this episode was something that I had been wanting to see, something where the things that were brought up then that look to be a big part of the show would be explained. If that wasn’t enough it also managed to flesh out the characters a bit more, making both Mami and Homura a bit more ambiguous while the episode acted as Madoka deciding whether she should really become a Puella Magi or not.
One of the things that this episode came across as was an information dump, as while the first episode managed to showed a few things and introduce the characters. This one went about going into a bit of detail about just what had happened in the latter half, and what becoming a Puella Magi would mean to Madoka and Sayaka. Which would allow them to have any wish they had granted in return for defeating witches. In doing this they would receive things known as Grief Seeds, which so far have been shown to recharge their magic gems. However something that I’m interested in seeing is how these correspond to the wishes they make, and whether the wish is granted immediately with the Grief Seeds serve to keep it granted, or whether the wish is granted once so many of them have been gathered. The former seems more likely though.
The concept for what a witch was shown to be, was also something that I kind of liked, with the ambiguity to how it really existed being something that I thought was a nice fantasy aspect for them. As the witches themselves were shown to be able to hide themselves behind barriers around places where crimes or accidents had occurred, almost acting as part of the atmosphere itself in how they influenced people to do things that they wouldn’t normally do. It was just something that I liked as it possessed that characteristic of being something connected to the real world yet disconnected to it at the same time. Other than that how they exist as an opposite to Puella Magi has gotten me curious as to how they come to be and whether they’ll be shown outside of their barriers.
Once again I liked the use of the animation style used once they broke through the witch’s barrier, as not only does it make the effect that the witches have a little more horrifying. But it also helps makes a clear distinction between the two worlds and shows just how dangerous it is in a way. The action sequences that we saw in this episode was also pretty awesome, with Mami fighting by continuously pulling out multiple flintlocks and cycling through them as she used them. And if her Gate of Babylon-like attack from the last episode wasn’t awesome enough, she showed a bit more power in using one that was able to defeat the witch in a single shot.
Other than that the episode also served to flesh out the characters a bit more, where while Mami was better introduced as their upperclassman, she was still kind of suspicious in how she was encouraging Madoka and Sayaka to become Puella Magi. We were also able to see a glimpse of what lays underneath Sayaka’s happy and upbeat appearance, with a shot of a boy in the hospital being shown when she was talking about wishes indicating that there may be some sadness underneath it. Homura also continued to be portrayed as something of an ambiguous antagonist, returning to try and discourage Madoka from becoming a Puella Magi and otherwise also appeared to be against Mami as well. Her response to when Madoka asked what she wished for may also indicate that she regretted becoming one herself. At the same time though Mami was also suspicious and the question needs to be asked, just why would she encourage Madoka and Sayaka to become Puella Magi when she had also been the one to talk about competition regarding the rewards from defeating witches.