Nooo, Kyouko!!!! She went out with a spectacular bang, so I can’t say I’m disappointed though! Now all that’s left to see is whether the creators will be able to outdo themselves in the finale, and given this episode, that may prove difficult. But now they should have plenty of time to develop Homura and Madoka, who have largely been left out so far, since they’re the only ones left.
The second half of this show, particularly the battle scene, was simply beautiful. Shinbo’s style really worked out well here, with the orchestral music in the background, the concert hall, Sayaka’s crazy-awesome new form, Kyouko’s spear skills and Madoka’s crying. Everything just really came together in that scene – the animation, music, and voices, and blended together perfectly.
Another (of many) things this show does quite well is manage to keep you sitting on the edge of your seat. I don’t think I’ve anticipated the next episode of a show so much since watching Code Geass (well, it certainly did have other flaws, and let’s pretend the second season never happened). This is how you do a tragedy – something you know will be so terrible that you can’t look away. It manages to inject hope up to the point where you can believe that things could turn out all right, such as when Kyoko and Madoka head to help Sayaka, only to dash that hope with an even darker fate than before. Yet in spite of the dark fate of magical girls, we must conclude that all is well and hope overcomes despair, as Kyouko overcomes the darkness in her own soul and reaches out to Sayaka and Madoka.
If I had to nitpick, however, I was disappointed in Kyuubey infodumping all the secrets about his nature to Madoka. I feel they could have drawn this out a bit later to the end of the series. It seems that now there are few unanswered questions, except Homura’s past. I don’t doubt that there will be more surprises as we go along, but they could have found a more interesting way to reveal everything. Plus, aliens are lame. Things that walk in the darkness on Earth are way scarier.