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Madoka is horrified to learn the true nature of the witches she and her friends, the Magical Girls, have been fighting–and the terrible fate that awaits any Magical Girl who accepts Kyubey’s offer of power. Having watched countless Magical Girls sacrificed for the larger aims of his people, Kyubey is only interested in securing more girls to that end, and Madoka is left with his chilling reminder that she too is destined to be a Magical Girl of incredible power… Can Madoka and her friends escape this tragic fate?

MadokaMagica_V3_TPStory by Magica Quartet; Art by Hanokage
Publisher: Yen Press
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Action/Fantasy
ISBN: 9780316217163
Price: $11.99

All the loose ends get tied up in this final volume of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. The truth behind Kyubey, why Homura is so determined to keep Madoka from becoming a magical girl, and Madoka’s wish are all revealed, and like the rest of the series, none of it is what you would expect.

Throughout the first two books, Homura has been vehemently adamant that Madoka not become a magical girl. We finally learn why through a series of flashbacks that show how Homura became a magical girl and what her relationship to Madoka is. It all relates to her special power, time-manipulation, and it may turn out that her attempts to fulfill her wish may be what affecting Madoka’s fate.

That fate is that she is to become the most powerful magical girl ever, and in turn, the most powerful witch ever. Kyubey tells Madoka the truth about who he is, where he is from, why he creates magical girls, and for how long. It’s an interesting twist, but it doesn’t convince Madoka to accept his offer. If anything, it turns her against him. While Kyubey claims to not understand human emotion, he certainly knows how to manipulate them, as his interference, or non-interference really, leaves Homura as the only magical girl available to take on the Walpurgis Nacht, and leaving Madoka no choice but to become a Magical Girl to save her friend.

Kyubey’s machinations backfire on him as Madoka does make her wish, but it is the last thing that would occur to him or anyone. It is a wish of such magnitude that is rewrites the laws of physics. Madoka’s fate is still a tragic one, but it doesn’t end up feeling that way. Her sacrifice is immense, but it gives not just her friends, or magical girls in general, but the whole world so much more. I didn’t feel sad at the end, and Madoka herself was so full of joy at what she was going to do, that it was hard to feel anything but happy for her as well.

In the end, Puella Magi Madoka Magica lives up to be a true Magical Girl series. Light triumphs over darkness, and hope is renewed. It is definitely a Magical Girl series for the 21st century, where the story and themes take a darker turn, but also keeps friendship and hope alive. I loved this title and highly recommend it for the great characters, strong story-telling, and ultimately the promise of a brighter future.

Review copy provided by publisher.

About the author

Lori Henderson is the writer and reviewer for the manga blog, Manga Xanadu. She also keeps a personal blog at Fangirl Xanadu, and a writing blog at Muse of Xanadu. She contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. As the mother of two teen daughters, she needs all the escape she can get, which reading and writing about manga gives her.

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