After coercing one of my friends into watching the first Madoka movie (He makes me watch the stuff he likes too, don’t judge), we wound up on a 6 hour marathon of the whole trilogy after he got engrossed in it, with not even a breather to think through after the first two movies, to my dismay. Inevitably, this tale ends with a huge “HUHH? HUUUUUHHHHH?” as Rebellion came to it’s conclusion.
Even amongst fans who followed the series from its inception, Rebellion is a film which splits it’s audience into many conflicting views. That, is the thing I love so much about the movie because, this shows how ‘human’ Madoka’s characters are, to be able to view a character with the same context and yet still wind up with diverse set of views at the end. As a heads up, this post will contain spoilers, but you probably would have guessed that already.
To understand why Homura decided to rebel against the system Madoka created, the one she preached, we first need to understand Homura’s feelings towards the fate of our titular character. Go back to the original series, recall what Homura said when she found out Madoka would become a concept.
Homura made her contract for Madoka’s sake, even in the new world that hasn’t changed, she sees little value in protecting the world other than because Madoka wills it.
These are shots from right before the scene where they feed the first nightmare. Recall this world is built by Homura, the backgrounds therefore represent part of her subconcious. The crucifixion one shouldn’t need explanation, the deer I would presume is representative of Madoka, her surname (鹿目) contains the the character for deer (鹿).
Homura sets herself up to be an apostle to Madoka’s Divine Will. She preaches that Magical Girls have a duty to fulfill for Madoka’s sake and scorns those who run away from that duty. But in this act she has set up, she averts her eyes from her true desires which is revealed to us by her own world.
As true as these words can be, they will certainly come back to bite Sayaka in the ass later. Sayaka, in a speech which appears, to me, to be partly aimed at mocking Homura, questions her purposes in dispelling this illusion. She says all of this because she knows what is going on; that this world, all of it, is a manisfestation of what Homura really desires.
Naturally, discussing Homura’s motive would bring us to the flower field scene. I’ve read many different opinions on this scene and there is one in particular that I disagree with.
Madoka doesn’t remember the experiences that lead her to make her wish without regret, she doesn’t remember how happy she was with her decision, and the way Homura words her description of her “dream” makes it sound like Madoka would be isolated and miserable, so of course Madoka would say she would never do something like that.
Homura is acting under the impression that she’s doing what she’s doing for Madoka’s happiness, but the whole thing is a big misunderstanding
From a comment I saw on MAL. I have no qualms with the first part that talks about Madoka missing her memories, the part I disagree with, is that Homura is acting on a misguided belief. Homura is fully aware of how Madoka is missing her memories, that despite her claims of being a coward, she is still the same Madoka who would choose to sacrifice herself for the world. Homura even says this herself if you see below.
While Madoka’s lack of memory is what’s always brought up here, let’s not forget that Homura is also a victim trapped in her own dream. She makes an important realization here, not about how Madoka feels about becoming a concept, what she realizes is her own aversion towards the sacrifice made. What’s important to her has never been Madoka’s vision of a better world despite what she tried to delude herself with. What she desires is only for Madoka’s happiness.
No longer under her illusion that preserving Madoka’s wish is in her best interest, Homura quickly realizes that she has been running away from the truth and learns who is behind the laybrinth. Her previous act of worship now becomes one of taint and corruption.
In the new universe, the children of false city throw tomatoes at their master, symbolizing her self-loathing. Despite the fulfilment of her desired world, Homura is at conflict with herself. She was able to give Madoka a happy life, but at the cost of the world and at the cost of Madoka’s wish. She created this world for Madoka, yet she is further from her than ever before because she can’t forgive herself for trampling on what Madoka believed in.