Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Madoka Madness

Oh, Madoka Magica – the explosion of posts on your final episodes is nothing short of prolific.  And with the religious overtones of the conclusion, I was particularly intrigued.  Never has a search for “Jesus” in my blog reader brought up so many posts which didn’t use the name in an exclamatory and not-so-hallow way.

Here are a sample of the blogs that particularly focused on the religious symbolism in the series finale:

Over at Drastic My Anime Blog, dm00 goes William Blake on us, setting the Romantic poet’s poem, “The Little Vagabond,” to images of Kyoko.  The post works very nicely, emphasizing Kyoko’s church background with a famous poem that has some fun poking at the church and Christianity.

Catchercatch gives a wonderful review of the show (including a breakdown of the characters’ endings) and mentions the parallels between Madoka and Christ, as does the Star Crossed Anime Blog.   Yumeka, likewise, draws the parallel, writing, “Madoka is a Jesus figure, Homura is her prophet, and Kyubey is the tempting Devil (the final episode aired on Good Friday too).”  Leenina adds, “Madoka just died for our sins, guys,” but says we shouldn’t go overboard on the ending, and Arc writes, “SHAFT is one sneaky studio releasing this episode on Good Friday, maybe as a coincidence or on purpose, as Madoka’s sacrifice is almost the same as Christ giving up his life for us( sorry if i sound evangelical), but this way it makes the episode even better.”  Myssa isn’t sure it was intentional, but she saw the allusion as well, as did Tsuki.

Christianity is not the only faith expressed in Madoka Magica – it may not even be the one that shows us strongest.  Chikorita157 and Aorii mention that there are both Christian and Buddhist overtones in the finale, with Yi doing a masterful job of outlining the the series in terms of Buddhist principles and ideas.  DrSenbei also emphasizes the Buddhist philosophies in the show, particularly karma.  Likewise, Omo feels that there might be better allusions for the ending than a Christ story.

On a lighter note, I would be remiss to skip out on discussing a newer religion.  The church of Madoka idea has spread like wildfire, with Kurogane even supplying a FAQMisterowl is certainly on-board with the tongue-in-cheek faith.  Otakurean, finally back to blogging (yay!), has spent her time delving into the church of Madoka, even providing basic estimates as to its size, in addition to connecting it with Haruhism.  Speaking of Haruhism, Kuro fears a holy war is about to begin. -_-‘

TWWK

Husband. Dad. Occasionally Korean. Enjoys Star Wars, ASOIAF, and Meg Ryan movies. Tweets before proofreading. Ghibli. Oregairuuuuu. Jesus is King.

8 thoughts on “Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Madoka Madness

  1. I found the readings on Buddhist interpretations fascinating. It seems like anime speaks to us each individually, with a message unique and useful to us as a person.

    1. Absolutely, and in the case of Madoka and Buddhism, the evidence seems to indicate that the creator definitely had Buddhism in mind when creating the framework for the series. I wonder if he’s commented on this at all…

  2. I have to admit, while I did see *some* parallels with Christianity, I really saw more Faust in there. Of course, I’d just come off of reading the play when it started airing, and it didn’t help that ended up as part of the title in the CAA thread, but..

    And just to emphasize the play connection, in one of my Book of the Month clubs is having us read a re-writing of Faust. It seems even more apparent with that. >.>”

    1. I’m only vaguely familiar with Faust, but from what I know, Madoka certainly parallels the story real well. Besides the CAA thread, I’m sure I read a Faust comparison or two in one of the dozens and dozens of posts about the series.

      The show is just rich for analysis, almost to the point of a wonderful literary work than “just an anime.”

  3. Thanks for the pingback =D And wow, this is an awesome collection of Madoka blog posts. I’ll now know where to look for anymore insight about the series!

    1. These are just the ones that touched (even a bit) on religion. Dozens more didn’t. LOTS of posts about the final episodes!

  4. For a writer sometimes known for his odd tastes in real life, and his use of dark themes and stories, it is surprising that he injected a degree of spirituality in PMMM that transcends all beliefs, through a young character who endured suffering, tragedy and temptation, and in the end chose self-sacrifice to save the world that she once walked upon, to save those like her but who thought they lost all hope, and to restore a higher degree of equilibrium within her universe. She also took the risk of losing her existence and all she had in the corporeal world, in exchange for a higher calling where she must serve to rescue her own kind, be it in the past or in the present.

    If I were the mayor of Mitakihara City and known all of what Madoka did in selfless service, then I shall award her parents the key to the city.

    Someday, we’ll be seeing that girl once more. 🙂

    1. It’s a tremendous series that takes its characters to the lowest depth (and us as viewers as well) and draws them out through redemption. We often mention redemption themes in film and anime, and it gets overused – but in this series, we experience the power of redemption as strongly as in any anime series I’ve seen. Great, great stuff.

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