Hope, it has been a central theme in the Madoka-verse. As defined by wikipedia, it meant:
- the state which promotes the desire of positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.
- the feeling of that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.
- to look forward to something with desire and reasonable confidence
Magical girls by the act of wishing indulge and is powered by hope. It is the feeling that gives them strength and sustains them. Madoka, herself, symbolized this. Her wish is basically a message of hope to magical girls. That they wound’t need to fall and become witches. That there could be a happy ending at the end of their life.
But, as the third movie comes, we are introduced to a new concept and a realization.
Homura as a character has never been or ever been about hope.
Ok. Perhaps, she has been in the first timeline when Mami and Madoka died. And her continued struggle and dogged perseverance during the series can be considered an inspiration to others to hope. But, Homura as the series introduced as is very jaded and pessimistic. And not exactly hopeful. 5
Some of her quotes are pretty telling.
Here is her famous one.
I will repeat it no matter how many times.
I’ll live through the same events until I find the one way out.
The way to save you from despair.
Madoka, My only friend. If its for your sake … I don’t mind being locked in this endless maze.
In the above statement, I won’t deny that Homura harbor a hope in her heart – that she can save/protect Madoka but the bolded one is important. In here, Homura acknowledges that she may never find it.
Which is already against the definition of hope. There is an expectation in hoping. A feeling that despite all the bad things that happened, something good will come out of it.
Unsurprisingly, that isn’t Homura’s character definition at all.
In this quote, Homura doesn’t really expect and outright admit what she is doing may be futile. But, she’s surprisingly ok about it or at least non-despairing because futile and hopeless it may be – she’s doing it for Madoka. She won’t accept that its fated that Madoka will die/ be unhappy so she’s going to try and try until she cannot or until the universe gives up out of sheer frustration .
That is admirable. Noble and perhaps a tad insane. But, it is not hopeful.
Another quote from post madokami:
“Even though this world is without witches, that doesn’t mean there are no curses. The distortions of the world change form and target people from the darkness. This maybe a world without salvation and where nothing but sadness and hatred repeat, but it’s still a place she once tried to protect. That is something I remember, something I will never forget. That’s why… I will keep fighting.”
Again that isn’t about hope. That is more like someone who loves someone deeply and profoundly that they’ll protect them even without any hope of it doing any good.
This really highlights the difference between Madoka and Homura.
Madoka does what she does because she hopes. Madoka believes that her actions will lead to a better outcome. Even in the bleakest situation, she could see a silver lining.
Homura does what she does because she loves. She doesn’t believe that her actions will lead to success or a better outcome. But, she’ll do it anyway. She does it because she loves Madoka, that not trying is unforgivable.
Its like timeline 1 all over again.
In the previous universe, its arguably the better timeline of all that we have seen. But, Homura refused Madoka and Mami’s fate to die. And thus, she wished.
The movie is like a mirror of that only in larger scale.
Homura could not accept that Madoka should suffer an eternity of loneliness, away from her loved ones. So Rebellion happened.
Is that wrong? Is it right?
Only time will tell, now that Love and Hope is in opposing sides.
Hoping for a better future is good and all but sometimes it perpetuates a bad system.
Love can move mountains but its also destructive for yourself and others.