Madoka Rebellion – Homura’s Motivations

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.

Madoka1Madoka2

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.

Though this irredeemable world continues repeating its hatred and tragedies, this is still the place she once tried to protect.

Though this irredeemable world continues repeating its hatred and tragedies, this is still the place she once tried to protect.

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.

[Meguca]_Puella_Magi_Madoka_Magica_Part_III_-_Rebellion_[BD][h264-720p_AAC][06B21A44].mkv_snapshot_00.03.31_[2015.11.15_23.41.15] [Meguca]_Puella_Magi_Madoka_Magica_Part_III_-_Rebellion_[BD][h264-720p_AAC][06B21A44].mkv_snapshot_00.03.32_[2015.11.15_23.41.37]

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).

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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.

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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.

FlowerField

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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8 Responses to Madoka Rebellion – Homura’s Motivations

  1. OG-Man says:

    Reblogged this on The Yuri Nation and commented:
    Contrary to my “Me vs the World” support Sakura Trick I am not as emotionally attached to Meguca Meduka. I acknowledge its noteworthy accomplishment of making moepocalypse media relevant to both the otaku and the general mainstream again and I do consider it a pretty good, I cannot call myself a diehard fan of it.

    Point being what fans think of Homura’s actions in the Rebellion movie is entirely up to them. While part of me understands that Homura did it because of how much she loves Madoka another part of me would not go as far as she did for said one true love. Everyone has their sides on this one from support, disdain to a certain frog’s “This is glorified fanfiction”. In any case check out this post and see what you think.

    Obvious Rebellion spoilers ahead are obvious.

    Like

  2. Cytrus says:

    “yet she is further from her than ever before because she can’t forgive herself for trampling on what Madoka believed in”

    Worse yet, Homura has that thing going on where nobody could ever truly connect with her as “she has lived through a different time” from everyone else, Madoka included (ep. 11, I think). Homura eventually gives up on doing anything about it, which is one of the reasons why she switches from meeting up with Madoka and then saving her to saving Madoka single-handedly while keeping the girl in the dark about anything and everything. However, in-between all the world-changing miracles at the end of the original series, there is another, smaller miracle being granted for Homura: as Madoka becomes able to see all of time and space, she also comes to understand the entirety of Homura’s struggle and feelings. The two then, fleetingly, reconnect and become the “best of friends” (ep. 12).

    Unfortunately for Homura, her way of doing things in Rebellion involves breaking that connection by robbing Madoka of her memories and knowledge. Thus Homura ends up in solitude whatever she does.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Shoujo Aisha says:

      The two then, fleetingly, reconnect and become the “best of friends”

      A scene that’s really both touching and heartbreaking at the same time, while Homura’s feelings are finally able to connect, it is a miracle only allowed by Madoka’s ascension, and comes at the cost of being eternally separated.

      The way things are now, Homura certainly does seem to be the one ultimately suffering.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ramenshojo says:

    The fascinating thing about Homura is that she can be seen as insane & sane at the same time. There are some fans who would even go as far to say she is a psychopath (not a statement I agree – there is a famous rant about this somewhere), and others who simply accept her as one who obsessively loves Madoka more than anything in the universe, literally.

    Homura becoming a devil-like being instead of a witch makes me wonder whether her actions are influenced by her “turning”, or if they are the result of her desires from the beginning, inevitably leading to the ending of Rebellion. I very recently read the manga adaptation of the TV series, and it’s even clearer to me now how heartbroken Homura really was by Madoka’s wish. The ending was a compromise. Something she just had to put up with due to her powerlessness.

    What she did in Rebellion can been seen as simultaneously ultimate selfishness and or ultimate selflessness. In the end, she is certainly lonely & suffering, but at the same time, she also fulfilled her (12 year or so) journey to save Madoka.
    It’s been 2 years since I’ve watched the series. Next time I’ll be sure to pay attention and start analyzing the scenes in detail.
    Nice post by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shoujo Aisha says:

      Homura becoming a devil-like being instead of a witch makes me wonder whether her actions are influenced by her “turning”, or if they are the result of her desires from the beginning, inevitably leading to the ending of Rebellion.

      This is what I loved about Rebellion, that it makes one look back on the series and see it in a new light. It was surely more of a ‘no choice but to accept’ kind of fate to Homura.

      Rebellion is a indeed a divisive piece, I’m certain each of the staff have their own impression of the characters, it really breathes life into the series. Of them, I generally agree with Hanokage’s view of the characters, though she does go to extremes with how she wrote Sayaka in The Different Story. Below are some interviews which might make for a good read.

      http://wiki.puella-magi.net/Movie_3_Brochure (Translations linked at the bottom)
      https://wiki.puella-magi.net/Madoka_Magica_Rebellion_Exhibition_Booklet

      Like

      • ramenshojo says:

        Thanks for the translation link. I like all the different reactions to the interview questions. The cast are more forgiving of Homura than I would’ve expected! I think I’ll spend the next hour or so clicking through that website!

        Like

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