Posted by: Leek | September 8, 2011

Kamen Shoujo Madoka: Post Finale Special

Forward: I apologize for the extremely ridiculous delay in publishing this. When your HD crashes and you lose a lot of data it’s one thing to lose all that data. It’s another to even work on things that might have been saved. Anyhow, sorry about that. For those of you who have continued to swing by and were waiting, I hope I don’t disappoint.

I will admit when I first compiled all the information for my Madoka article before, I had only planned to touch on it once. It was something I did out of leisure but it was something after publishing that kept on confronting me. After episode 4 passed I got a lot of random messages.

“No, no. That character is nothing like that. Look at…”
“Wait but isn’t *character* more like this?

Of course I was still gradually browsing topics and was seeing more and more comparisons made. And, as you could figure, these were observations that happened nearly simultaneously. Someone brings a point up and then everybody literally comes to a consensus that it’s the accurate depiction. So now that the nightmare is finally over, I figured I would take my favorite comparisons and compile them one last time.

And since I’ve been here and interacted with Kamen Rider and Madoka in three articles, I’ll provide a very small personal note. I’ll thankfully put this at the end of all the comparisons so it’ll be easy to ignore if you don’t want to hear any of my opinion. I’ll also repost these disclaimers just so we’re all square again before you dive in.

This article will contain massive spoilers concerning Kamen Rider Ryuki and Puella Magi Madoka Madoka Magica. Don’t read it if you don’t want to be spoiled on either series. Naturally I’ll have to touch on any and all plot points necessary to properly compare so only read on if you’re ready.

Due to experiences with Japanese Madoka fans, I KNOW this is a sensitive topic. This (well the comparisons anyway) are all done for the sake of fun. Don’t hate me for pointing these things out and don’t take anything I say as fact. I’m simply just reiterating a lot of discussion that’s happened elsewhere.

Character Parallels: Before and After

As opposed to last time, I won’t really draw out too much on this area. I only really want to do simple character comparisons so I’ll generalize everything into one. If you really expected me to break it down into three parts again, then you’re expecting far too much from me.

Madoka Kaname


Naturally, Madoka was easy to assume as Shinji’s counterpart early in the series. She was still “the main character” of the series in some respects and most major events were from her vantage point. Just like Shinji, she struggled with the idea of what it meant to be a magical girl (Kamen Rider for Shinji) and, more so, struggled when the truth of things when exposed to them. Despite coming in as an innocent she was ultimately exposed to some of largest despair in the series in an attempt to make sure that everybody else survived to see the end of things.

In respect to her iterations during the time loop, she showed much of Shinji’s determination when fighting monsters. And the only time she began to crack was when the truth of the situation was made clearer to her. Of course I did joke that she would die first which did turn out to be right…for the most part. Up until the end she always went before Homura which is much of what I specified would happen before. At this point there’s no real sense of despair for her as she’s simply happy to seeing her good friend continue on in life.

And naturally it’s given that the Madoka and Homura relationship was nearly parallel with Shinji and Ren. While things originally appeared rough between the two and you were often forced to antagonize one, true motives came out eventually. But where Shinji realized Ren was fighting for the sake of his girlfriend, it was Homura who had been fighting for Madoka’s sake directly. Regardless for both, it unfolded into a situation of respect and bonding once the truth surfaced. And just like Shinji and Ren, Madoka and Homura were the only two left standing when it came down to the penultimate scenes and as eternal allies and friends even if they were separated by a certain gap.


Ryuki fans may or may not have seen this one coming. It’s true. Madoka was “the main character” but not in the Shinji sense. The events revolved around her but on a level that surpassed Shinji. After Episode 10 and the finale came into play, it became obvious that Madoka had assumed none other then the role of Yui Kanzaki.

I’m sure when you think about it, the rest kind of goes without saying. Just like Yui, Madoka was the ultimate beginning and end of a lot of events. The entire series rested on her shoulders just like it did for Yui and the ultimate fate is decided by her in every chain of events. And Madoka, upon learning her responsibilities, is eventually left in the ultimate despair of what she has to do to eventually bring a real end to things (whatever that end might be).

Time travel plays a big part in catering towards both Yui and Madoka as well. I’ll discuss it more later but it essentially comes down to time being pulled back to make sure things go perfectly according to plan and ensure that both survive and experience as little despair as possible in the process.

Unfortunately, neither Yui nor Madoka get to see (or, more importantly, exist in) the final result of the world they created. Yui (in the TV series at the least) puts the ultimate end to the Rider war by sacrificing her own survival. Madoka brings the end of despair to magical girls by sacrificing her own life and existence. Generally they both fade from the minds of most of those that they encountered in the series but are able to bring a bit of bittersweet end to everything. But in place of that, all those that were being lost in the process to keep them (Yui and Madoka) alive were allowed to survive. With the exception of Sayaka anyway (who evidently was just meant to die regardless).


I never actually spoke about Kyubey before and simply joked at him taking the place of Shiro Kanzaki. And for the most part it held together for the majority of the series. Both acted as the main conductor of the majority of events and were the ones to actually incite their respective battles. And both intend to hide their real intentions so they can simply reap the benefits from those that are manipulating.

Kyubey and Kanzaki generally sit on the main antagonist role for their respective series. After learning the truth of magical girls, you’re driven to hate Kyubey for simply using innocents under deceptive conditions. Kanzaki does the same as you gradually learn that he’s sacrificing the lives of many to save one life. In the end, both are running high risks and letting various deaths occur for a questionable cause.

Just the same, both are generally invincible. Kyubey, as an alien, was often targeted by Homura in hopes that he could be disposed of. This reaped no benefits as he merely would reappear as if he had nothing to worry about. Kanzaki was the same as he only truly existed as a denizen of the mirror world. Because of this none of the Riders could lay a finger on him.

Those who tried to act out of line were generally brought back to their place through certain enforcing. Both made various circumstances clear in various situations and Kyubey and Kanzaki often appeared as villains because of it. Because of this, they were generally able to keep all their subjects fighting on a consistent basis or it would lead to nothing more then an early death.

The Villain?

Both characters do hold the same position in various senses. I did say that both Kanzaki and Kyubey could be considered the greatest antagonists of each series. But, at the same time, they hold traits that might redeem them from a truly villain-esque role.

Kanzaki was easily the more evil and more deceptive. Aside from manipulating people into joining the Rider War, it was under very false conditions. The idea that your “greatest wish would be granted’ was nothing more then a lie. The ultimate survivor was meant to be sacrificed for Yui’s sake and thus the wish element only made participants fight harder. The more driven by your wish, the more likely you were stronger and bound to produce the best soul to sacrifice. All the other sacrifices (innocent human lives) meant nothing really and was also another way to propel Riders to continue fighting and to get stronger.

In contrast, it was revealed that Kanzaki did have good intentions. All his research and the process of losing his life was all done for the sake of Yui. It was a love that ultimately twisted his mind and led to the long series of events within Ryuki. Going by the TV ending, he ultimately came to terms and gave up on his dream and ultimately prevented all the series of tragedies from happening.

Kyubey on the other hand does run a bit of an evil line. He hides nearly all information concerning his identity from the magical girls and (questionably unintentionally) tortures them on various occasions as part of his job. Unlike Kanzaki though, he does have the ability to legitimately grant wishes and thus does act as some good to the magical girls. And, relatively, he doesn’t show half as much enforcement as Kanzaki did throughout the series. Regardless, it’d be wrong to say that you’re not driven to hate Kyubey just as much as Kanzaki.

So what makes Kyubey legitimate? Granted it’s hard to justify as easy as Kanzaki’s intentions which were more humanistic. Naturally, the Incubator race is in fact preventing a great disaster at the cost of fewer lives. The lack of “understanding human emotions” is rather cheesy but it doesn’t mean that Kyubey is simply lying to get away with his actions. And naturally if Kyubey really had sadistic intentions then it would have been relatively easy for him to prevent Madoka’s wish at the end of the series. Despite his own shock and reaction, he does grant Madoka’s wish and let’s the world resettle into a new balance. Kyubey is not necessarily more legitimate but more of an ambiguous villain then Kanazaki. Considering Kanzaki a villain is purely based on your moral standards. Kyubey is simply whether you want to take some of what he says as fact or not.

So by the end of the series are you REALLY going to say either is a bad guy? It seems to be a personal vote.

Homura Akemi


After it was all said it done, I still don’t have issue saying that Homura was a good Ren clone. At the beginning of the series and on she held the “don’t get involved” trait that Ren was all too known for. She stood cool calm and collected the entire time and only began to show signs of weakness when it came down to her true intentions being revealed. Ren, just the same, was meant to come off as the ass until you realized that all his fighting was to save his girlfriend that was unfortunately pulled into the Mirror World experiments. Ren only became a Rider because the one person he treasured most was lost because of it. Had his girlfriend never been involved, then Ren could have easily skated by without any problems. Homura, in parallel, would have never got involved had Madoka not already been a magical girl.

Another though somewhat odd parallel, both Madoka and Ren’s girlfriend acted as balance to their personalities. Ren before meeting his girlfriend was nothing more then a troublemaker and eventually leveled out upon meeting her. The only times he appeared as a relatively good guy was when she was at his side. Madoka acted just the same for Homura as Homura slowly develops her confidence fighting for Madoka’s sake. And without Madoka, Homura with have likely just stayed relatively awkward and sheltered as originally presented. So aside from sharing a similar reason for fighting, both did develop thanks to their treasured figure.

And as stated before, the relations between Homura and Madoka was generally the same as Ren and Shinji. Homura is taken as the real survivor of the series and is forced to witness the death of their greatest friend and ally.


When Episode 10 of Madoka came out, Ryuki fans all yelled at the same time. It was our favorite Time Vent episode and Homura was revealed to be more of an important character then we had imagined. But what did it mean? In the end she began to take several traits but mostly the good intentions of Shiro Kanzaki that Kyubey had been lacking.

When it was revealed that Homura had in fact been going back in an attempt to see Madoka survive, it began to exactly resemble Kanzaki’s entire intentions for the Rider War. All their actions were being controlled by the desire to see one person live. Homura going back did exemplify a bit of what happened with Shinji in the actual Time Vent episode. Whatever Shinji attempted to do to try and allow others to survive ended up occurring anyway due to the presence of Kanzaki. Homura couldn’t truly prevent the tragedy as long as Kyubey continued to initiate the magical girl process.

Eventually both Kanzaki and Homura are met at a stalemate of a situation. Despite their own attempts to make sure their respective loved one survived, destiny was simply set against them. Madoka and Yui both decide to sacrifice themselves for the good of everyone else and merely live as a memory within the mind of Homura and Kanzaki respectively. Homura continues on in a world without Madoka and one would assume that Kanzaki would do the same without Yui (since he prevents the creation of the Mirror World one would assume that his death is prevented with it). Ultimately both give them the same reasoning of always being with them to give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside.

But just to bring up the REAL Homura joke.



Sorry to bother you Homura but Ankh called. He says he wants the rest of his core medals back.

Sayaka Miki


Sayaka felt relatively easy to pin from the early series but was the one character who was bent in a variety of ways throughout the series. In the end I could still say that early on she still held traits that were close to Tezuka.

Her wish still standing as it was, Sayaka stood a constant reminder to Madoka as to the truth of situations. She was still Madoka’s close friend and losing her was the heaviest way to throw Madoka into despair. Sayaka does, in a way, take a bullet for Madoka. By becoming a magical girl in the main loop she keep the responsibility away from Madoka so she can retain her regular lifestyle. This, at the least, prevents Madoka from becoming a magical girl instantly and potentially putting her life in danger earlier on. Tezuka ultimately gives his life so that Shinji can continue on in the Rider war and changes his fate of dying on the spot.

Both Tezuka and Sayaka acts as loners upon coming into their roles. While they do try their best to assist others, they generally isolated themselves from others when it came down to the nitty gritty. Both also showed the determination to survive that they would fight other Riders/magical girls if forced into the situation. And both did eventually meet their end not from a monster but at the hand of a fellow Rider/magical girl. Though at that time Sayaka was hardly as stable minded as Tezuka.


Sayaka was pieced into a lot of roles at the end of the series but mostly to that of Satoru Tojo. Upon being one of the few surviving members of their respective groups at the end of the series, Sayaka was revealed to share many of the twisted notions of Satoru.

Both Sayaka and Satoru were originally brought together when Sayaka began talking about being a hero and fighting for justice. These were some of the same notions that Satoru hinted at as a Rider but were later revealed to be twisted in nature. Sayaka in her despair (similar to the despair and isolation that Satoru started the series with) is driven mad and her sense of justice eventually makes her surface as a witch. Satoru originally appears to have good intentions until he eventually begins to take out those that are close to him.

Interestingly enough, both are actually presented to have the most recognized deaths in the series. Sayaka’s funeral is actually shown in Madoka and Satoru (having died in the real world) is recognized and it is revealed that he is recognized as a hero within the local paper. This is unlike most of the other characters who’s deaths are only generally recognized by fellow Riders and magical girls but otherwise go completely unknown to the general populace.

The other interesting comparison (and what I might have liked more when Kyoko developed) for Sayaka was as the real Shinji/Ryuuki of the story. Factoring in the movie plot, it tends to work pretty well. Sayaka (unlike Madoka) chooses her position to fight evil in place of someone already deceased. In Shinji’s case this is arguable (since who he replaced never formed a contract) but nonetheless they were both filling shoes and in a position they were not generally intended for. Both join with the intention of combating monsters/witches and solely for that purpose. They are intended for the side of justice and only respond to threats when they fall under threat. And, like Shinji, I really doubt Sayaka would ever have the potential to actually strike anyone down (Kyoko). Factoring in the movie, Sayaka’s slow descent into becoming a witch is much like when Shinji’s mirror self (and Ryuuga) surface in the Ryuki movie. This alter ego (of sorts) both end up killing a close ally (Kirishima/Kyoko). And in both cases it’s really hard to say it’s actually the real person doing it but just a doppelganger overcome by a sense of despair. Unfortunately Sayaka has a bit more of an unfortunate end (as in she is never really saved from despair and is instead killed in every iteration) whereas Shinji gets to live on in every iteration. Guess that’s what you get for not actually being the main character. Sorry Sayaka.

Mami Tomoe


Since I generally wrote the post after the roaring majority (or all of it) of Mami’s role in the series, I have generally little to add. I still believe Kitaoka was the best comparison for her even factoring in the time loop. Even in regards to the loop, she still generally was more ally then villain to the other characters. Both were exceptionally classy (though I would have enjoyed that Mami be a total flirt like Kitaoka). But to refresh, both had essentially been or were extending their life by fighting yet had a good sense of justice (weren’t afraid to protect innocents no matter the situation). And while both find contentment with their life (by finding good friends and companions) both can’t escape a rather early death. Though it is a much more peaceful death for Kitaoka then for Mami.


In light of at least giving Mami a bit more love and some article space, there was other comparisons that managed to fly around. As somewhat cruel as it is Mitsuro Sano/Imperer was another viable comparison for Mami. I only say cruel because I can’t say Sano was the most likable character among the Ryuki cast. But he was a bit of a pitiable idiot character akin to Mami. Both are into their perspective roles to get something more out of their life. Both are generally like one another in that they attempt to seek out friends and allies that they encounter. And, in a way, are potentially overdependent on those allies. Of course, for Mami, this was a lot less dangerous then for Sano who was running an actual risk of being back stabbed by trying to make allies among Riders.

Both are most similar in meeting their ultimate and pitiable end. Mami and Sano both have their lives begin to turn around near before their ultimate end. Sano finally receives what he wants (acceptance and a luxurious life) and Mami finally gains the friends and support she was looking for. But, in what seemed like a everyday battle, both end up losing their lives before being able to enjoy their “new life”. Oddly both characters are the ones who react the most horrified upon realizing the truth of their position. For Sano it was the inability to simply run from being a Rider and Mami the realization of the ultimate fate of mahou shoujo. It manages to drive both into a state of panic unlike the others who managed to cope with their situation in some form. So it might be fair that, unlike most other cast members, Sano and Mami are burdened with a weaker mental then most of their peers.

Kyoko Sakura


Kyoko was the opposite of Mami and I unfortunately wrote the article right around her entrance into the series. As such she was the most “disputed” role (albeit she had some elements that obviously were meant to hint at Takeshi Asakura). It was the natural conclusion to call her Tezuka simply since Kyoko was only showing up as the one counterpart character to the other magical girls. That was the only real reasoning behind it.

But afterwards there were still a few Asakura esque elements that were thrown in. The obvious 「食うかい?」 line was really infamous if you were a big Ryuki fan. Another thing (like Homura’s time travel episode) that made every Ryuki fans start banging their table in a mix of rage, laughter, and amusement. For those of you reading that might not have seen Ryuki (or those who don’t remember) there is a popular scene where Asakura is visited by Kanzaki. In the middle of a meal, he calmly offers his visitor a tasty roasted lizard (so much more refined then Pocky) with his lovely grin and follows by asking 「食うか?」. At this point in time everybody already was trying to pin the two together and the atmosphere of both scenes was generally similar. Oddly enough, you’ll note that Kanzaki was one of Homura’s popular comparisons. Funny how it all pieces together doesn’t it?

The other simple character similarity was the lack of any real relationships for both. Kyoko and Asakura are both posted as real loners of the series (though the bonds between Riders was often shaky). But both are usually shown wandering around by themself (and often eating for whatever reason). It is also worth noting that both of their families died in a fire. And you could almost say that both were the ones to be the one at fault. Though it was more direct for Asakura as he intentionally killed off his family by starting the fire himself. As for Kyoko, it was mostly unintentional but it was technically her wish that brought about the happening.


Kyoko’s ultimate comparison was fairly surprising but was mostly formed in accordance with the “Sayaka as Shinji” theory and much of the Ryuki movie plot. I did in fact agree with it though and I feel it best represents Kyoko and her small growth within the series. Just as one could figure it’d be wrong to call Kyoko a villain whereas Asakura was a complete monster in Ryuki. Kyoko (fun pokes aside) was never intended to be an Asakura and merely a misguided character that needed a heroic push in the right direction. This is where her role as Miho Kirishima/Femme comes into play.

For starters, both are generally pity criminals. Kirishima was a con-artist that was stealing money from richer men to get by. Kyoko was stealing food for herself, again, as a loner trying to get by in the world. Both are generally looked down on because of this but were forced into this situation due to their loner status. And, due to this attitude, they aren’t afraid to backstab fellow Rider/magical girls if it means benefit for them. Oddly enough they both try and backstab a certain person (Shinji/Sayaka) but rather then being successful are foiled in their plans. As a result they’re slowly guided out of their shells and moved towards a just side. And, in that process, both begin to develop feelings for the one who showed them the right way.

Despite this developing relationship, both are unaware of the darker end of things that is occurring. For Kyoko is was the fact it became outside her power to prevent Sayaka from becoming a witch. Alongside that is Kirishima who was forced to sit back unaware of Shinji’s mirror self that was fooling her within the Mirror World. And both are eventually killed by this darker form of their ally. Kyoko has no choice but to take herself down with Sayaka but is able to die “together” with her in this sense. Kyoko’s last interaction is with Sayaka and uses it to prove the bond she had formed by spending time with Sayaka. Kirishima is not too far from this. After the Ryuuga attack and returning to the real world with Shinji, she is able to share a last dialogue with him face to face. This is slightly closer then Kyoko was able to get to Sayaka but carried much of the same meaning. Kirishima, just the same as Kyoko, shows a sense of satisfaction even in coming death in that she was able to find a companion that finally made her feel accepted again. After both had dealt with fighting by themselves for so long they are both able to meet a somewhat peaceful end knowing that they weren’t dying alone and forgotten.

Conclusion: In Hindsight
I feel that I did most of my lecturing when I wrote up Spandex, Transformations, Magic, and being a Hero and even there I didn’t exactly bag on Madoka for what I saw. But just as a personal bit I will admit to a lot of things just because I feel it’d be wrong not to be honest as a guy who participated in a lot of this theory development.

I will be honest with you. I never listened to the Madoka opening. After episode 3 I’m pretty sure I always played the TV Size of “Alive a Life” over it (it actually works really well if you time it right). It was usually just for shits and giggles but it was just fitting of my image of the series at that point. And I won’t say I didn’t watch the series for what it was but it’s impossible not to see things when they hit you in the face like a wet rag. And it let me enjoy the series in a strange way that I might have otherwise enjoyed too much at face value.

Just to restate at least this much. I really do love mahou shoujo series and I’ve watched them long before I started Rider series. On the other hand I’ve come to respect Rider series for a lot. And to be honest I don’t mind seeing certain elements recycled and making some fun references (Nanoha, Pretty Cure). And even within Rider series and Mahou Shoujo there are elements recycled just to make people throw things back and be nostalgic. W and OOO for Rider series have done it a lot (even Fourze is continuing that tradition). It keeps old fans coming back for more and creates a feeling of not being forgotten.

I’d never say all of Madoka was some intended Ryuki rip off. I never have and would never say that. But there is a point when all the jokes your cracking appear to become a reality. And sometimes that reality is a scary thing. Is Madoka just a animated, less developed Ryuki with mahou shoujo instead of Riders? I know a lot of people who would say so. Would I have considered Madoka better had I not seen Ryuki beforehand? To be honest, probably not.

But perhaps next time I want to relive Ryuki, I might just think about rewatching the original.



  1. Seems to rely on simplistic and overly general comparisons like time travel, QB and Shiro Kanzaki wanting to bring you into fighting for a questionable purpose, Homura and Kanzaki sacrificing others for one person, Madoka and Yui bringing about “a real end to things,” finding out the unexpected darker truth when it isn’t flat out wrong (Homura wouldn’t have gotten involved if Madoka hadn’t contracted? Madoka doesn’t get to see the results? Sayaka only wants to fight monsters? Madoka dies first in any timeline? Sayaka becoming a magical girls prevents Madoka from doing the same thing? QB is trying to get magical girls to fight each other? ) and never addresses the thematic meat of either series. And much of the time the valid comparisons, upon close inspection, only end up showing similar surface details being used to different ends. It’s most salient in the comparison between Asakura and Kyouko’s families’ deaths, and between Sayaka and Satoru’s ultimate despair.

  2. Your article just make masked rider look more shit because you compare it to madoka, so its means that “masked rider franshire makes any good plot become something shit?” masked rider = worthless stone, madoka = well cut gemstone. the more you compare them, the more pathethic ryuki has becomes. since ryuki doest get any praise while madoka get a lot of praise because although they have many similar setting but madoka execute and story is far better and got more favor than ryuki. I dont mind they have the same setting or rip-off since madoka make something wothless like this become meaningful and enjoyable than the original that is boring and dull like ryuki. To sum up, what you done is just merely admit that ryuki is just a loser while madoka is just the winner since they using the same plot.

    • They are series that have almost 10 years between their release dates, it’s pretty obvious which one would get more praise in the current day.

      But let’s factor out that and look into other reasons why one would get more attention. Say Madoka and Ryuki were airing within a year or so of one another, Tokusatsu (unfortunately) doesn’t have anywhere near the amount of exposure outside of the country like anime does. Even in Japan, tokusatsu is fondly looked upon (based on it’s history) but the amount of people who will sit down and watch an entire series isn’t anywhere comparable to those who will sit down and watch an anime. You take that to an international scale and a tokusatsu series like Ryuki couldn’t even hold a candle to Madoka.

      Back in it’s day though Ryuki had some of the best sales that basically held up until the newest generation of Riders (W and on). And we can’t forget that it was memorable enough that the Dragon Knight remake was created for western audiences.

      Honestly, I don’t know why you need there to be a winner. I said this in my in-between article where I talked about mahou shoujo and Rider series co-development together. It’s something I’d LOVE to talk about again because I love both genres to death. I see them gaining a lot from bouncing ideas off one another but I don’t think it’s a matter of “doing it better” than the other. And at the point that it becomes something like that is probably the point at which both genres ultimately suffer.

  3. Here’s some recent hilarity regarding the Kamen Rider franchise and Madoka Magica:

    I have noted that the latest Kamen Rider Series that is ending, Kamen Rider Wizard, seems to be returning the favor in being compared to Madoka Magica, what with the use of hope and despair as plot points as well as the origins of Kamen Rider Wizard’s Phantoms.

    Even more surprising is the fact that Kamen Rider Gaim’s Scriptwriter is Gen Urobuchi himself (who was himself scriptwriter for Madoka Magica and had himself noted the fans comparing Madoka Magica with Ryuki)!

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