|Full Name:||Madoka Kaname/鹿目 まどか|
|Aliases:||Escort Quest Incarnate, Kyubey Bait, Adorable Same-Height Sister|
|Age/Birthdate:||14 (Oct. 3, 1999)|
|Favorite Food:||...Cream Stew?|
|Least Favorite Food:||Locust Tsukudani|
|Least Favorite Subject:||Science, English, Chemistry, and... she's not great at Phys-Ed, either.|
|Character Song:||Mata Ashita (See You Tomorrow)|
|Clubs:||Gardening Club, Crafts Club|
|School:||Ohtori Academy (Grade 9)|
|Source:||Puella Magi Madoka Magica (FC)|
|Player:||Pink Moon Stick|
"Can someone like me really make a difference?"
To those with an eye for it, magical potential dwells within Madoka Kaname in absurd, even apocalyptic quantities; the strings of fate converge upon her en masse, binding her tightly to their web of tragedy. This sense of infinite possibility is, to put it mildly, bizarre, in that Madoka is neither a notable reincarnation, destined queen nor even a mysterious orphan -- she enjoys a loving, supportive home life, and is surrounded by good friends. An ordinary, cheerful ninth-grader at Ohtori Academy, Madoka projects an air of friendly kindness, reinforced by her position as class nurse and her constant willingness to help anyone in need. Gentle and thoughtful but also rather meek and soft-spoken, Madoka is secretly deeply insecure with a very low sense of self-worth. She worries that she'll never be able to help anyone, especially in comparison to the magical girls she's surrounded by. She is often accompanied by the adorable but profoundly creepy mascot-critter Kyubey, who seems strikingly eager to solve this problem for her...
Spoiler alert: Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Do yourself a favor if you haven't seen the show, and don't spoil yourself.
Logs and Cutscenes
- 2013-10-01 - Ohtori Classical Dance
- 2013-10-09 - Into The Woods
- 2013-10-11 - The Ginga Bishonen
- 2013-10-14 - Love and Motorcycles! Secret identities revealed
- 2013-11-02 - 1st Annual Sister Schools Sports Festival!
- 2014-01-17 - Sisters of Same Height Hospital
- 2014-04-16 - Rescue The New Year! Part 3/3
- 2014-08-21 - To The Moon
- 2014-09-13 - Dungeons and Dragons
- 2014-09-14 - Liches and Labyrinths
- 2014-10-09 - Breathtaking Literature
- 2015-05-16 - Labyrinth Overrun
- 2015-06-04 - Princess Seminar
- 2015-06-14 - The Duel
- 2015-11-23 - Puella Beach
- 2016-08-15 - The Crimson Rose and the Blue Knight
- 2016-08-16 - Locks and Keys 11
- 2017-02-22 - AoAka Christmas Gala
- 2017-02-25 - Chevaliers versus Wolkenritter
- 2017-03-02 - Charlotte's Web 1
- 2017-03-03 - Charlotte's Web 2
- 2017-03-03 - Intermezzo Charlotte (Charlotte's Web 2.5)
- 2017-03-04 - Charlotte's Web 3
- 2017-03-24 - A Snowball Story
- 2017-05-06 - Rest Stop
- 2017-05-19 - CAKE WARS!!
- 2017-07-21 - The Golden Queen of Shibuya
- 2017-08-20 - The Tols and the Smols
- 2017-09-22 - Box Seats for the Chevaliers
- 2017-10-20 - Crimson Rose Ball
- 2018-02-18 - Ueno: Chevalier-Shepherd War
- 2018-03-31 - Shinjuku
- 2018-06-29 - What Lies Beneath 19
- 2018-09-29 - Her Best Friend
- 2018-10-02 - Reckoning III
- 2018-10-03 - Reckoning IV
- 2018-10-04 - Reckoning V
- 2018-10-05 - Reckoning VI
- 2018-10-06 - Over And Over Again
- 2018-10-07 - An Opposite of Grief
- 2018-10-12 - Two Cats
- 2018-10-21 - Harmony
- 2018-10-24 - Tokyo Hotaru Festival
- 2018-10-25 - The Road
- 2018-11-08 - Oktavia Sonate
- 2018-11-09 - Oktavia Menuett I
- 2018-11-10 - Oktavia Menuett II
- 2018-11-12 - TIMELINE 1: First Day Of School! Homura's Heart-Pounding Introduction!
- 2018-11-12 - TIMELINE 1: Setting Up
- 2018-11-14 - TIMELINE 1: Westar Strikes! Nightmare In Dream Land!
- 2018-11-15 - TIMELINE 1: Sports Festival Day! Tug-of-war Over Hearts!
- 2018-11-17 - TIMELINE 1: Sports Festival Day! Teamwork And Obstacles!
- 2018-11-19 - TIMELINE 1: Homura's Depression! The Arrival of a Puella Magi Konbi!
- 2018-11-23 - TIMELINE 1: Save That Tomcat!
- 2018-11-24 - TIMELINE 1: Save Tokyo From Fusion! A Miracle Light Reaches Everyone's Hearts
- 2018-11-29 - TIMELINE 1: A Mewracle! Let's Come Together To Help Momma!
- 2018-12-05 - TIMELINE 1: Battle For The Top Of The Mountain! Snow Melts Hearts!
- 2018-12-06 - TIMELINE 1: The Companionship Of Stars
- 2018-12-07 - TIMELINE 1: The Star That Stole Christmas! Nagi's Wish And Steven's Spirit!
- 2018-12-08 - TIMELINE 1: A Star's Wish! The Death Of Madoka Kaname! The Rebirth of Princess Serenity!
- 2018-12-12 - TIMELINE 1: White Night! Silver Dreams!
- 2018-12-12 - TIMELINE 1: White Night! The Covenant of Style!
- 2018-12-13 - TIMELINE 1: White Night! A Gift Exchange!
- 2018-12-17 - TIMELINE 1: The Covenant Strikes Back! North Pole Confrontation!
- 2018-12-18 - TIMELINE 1: Death of a Princess! The Outers' Revenge!
- 2019-01-10 - TIMELINE 1: Those Happy Golden Years
- 2019-01-12 - TIMELINE 1: Wish Upon A Star
- 2019-01-18 - TIMELINE 2: String The Banners High
- 2019-01-19 - TIMELINE 2: Training Day! Puella Magi Amazing Debut!
- 2019-01-24 - TIMELINE 2: The Amazing Race! Marriage On The Line!
- 2019-02-01 - TIMELINE 2: Garden of Time! A Mother's Cruelty!
- 2019-02-02 - TIMELINE 2: Garden of Time! A Daughter's Love!
- 2019-02-08 - TIMELINE 2: This Ordinary Life
- 2019-02-09 - TIMELINE 2: Beryl Falls And Metallia Rises! Dreams vs. Destruction! Hope vs. Despair!
- 2019-03-24 - TIMELINE 3: The Magic of Christmas
- 2019-03-29 - TIMELINE 3: Dream Land
- 2019-03-31 - TIMELINE 3: Wish Upon A Star, Redux
- 2019-04-14 - Parks and Realization
- 2019-04-20 - Alone, Together! Kimiko's Dilemma
- 2019-04-22 - Red Present
- 2019-04-24 - A Brief History Of Time (Criminal)
- 2019-04-27 - Sleeplessover! The Incubator Explains It All!
- 2019-04-28 - Sleeplessover! The Incubator Explains It All! 2
- 2019-04-30 - A Final Mercy Granted By Love
- 2019-05-11 - Walpurgisnacht: Ring Around The Roses
- 2019-05-12 - Walpurgisnacht: The Fourth Wish
- 2019-05-13 - Intermission 1: Hope For The Hopeless
- 2019-05-14 - Intermission 2: A Small Happiness
- 2019-05-15 - Intermission 3: HIKARI
- 2019-05-15 - Intermission 4: Shallows
- 2019-05-16 - Intermission 5: Promise of the World
- 2019-05-16 - Intermission 6: Sing-Along
- 2019-05-16 - Intermission 7: Yakusoku wa Iranai
- 2019-05-17 - Intermission 8: Friends
- 2019-05-17 - Intermission 9: Quiet
- 2019-05-18 - Walpurgisnacht: Sagitta Luminis
- 2019-05-19 - Walpurgisnacht: Liminality
- 2019-05-20 - Walpurgisnacht: Closing Night, Naturally
Despite attending Ohtori Academy since Kindergarden, sweet, helpful Madoka Kaname flies largely under the radar; she's just one of the faceless background of ninth-graders, too unambitious to leverage her position to get out of that ugly teal uniform, which clashes awfully with her fluffy pink hair and fabulously cute red ribbons. She passes all of her classes without truly excelling in any of them, and attends the Gardening and Crafts Clubs. In other words, she's a thoroughly ordinary princess. Additionally:
- Madoka is far too meek and soft-spoken to be one of the Popular Girls in her class, but neither is she some kind of outcast; she has a few close friends, especially softball player Sayaka Miki and notable ojou Hitomi Shizuki, and gets on cheerfully with most everyone else.
- It is seemingly impossible to bully Madoka into hating you, though she isn't a constant victim so much as an occasional target of opportunity.
- It is also apparently impossible for her not to be manipulated shamelessly by anyone with even a hint of talent at taking advantage of her essential kindness; she makes an outstanding pawn in Ohtori intrigue games, and hardly even seems to notice when it happens. Ignorance is bliss.
- Madoka eschews violence, and encourages those around her to find better ways to resolve their problems than fighting. (She's not an off-the-rails extremist pacifist about monsters, however, openly admiring the media-covered Magical Girls who fight "criminals" and the like a great deal.)
- Sooner or later Madoka's official status as Nurse's Assistant often initiates a tender moment of connection with someone when they're down; you may have had one of these with her in the past, complete with handkerchiefs, little pink band-aids, or escorts to the Nurse's Office!
- Madoka is petit-bourgeois at best; new money that built a fabulous house in the suburbs, but nothing that would even register on the Richter scale of Ohtori financial competitiveness. More interesting to some is the fact that the Kaname breadwinner is her mother, Junko Kaname, an Ohtori graduate herself and basically the living personification of 'badass yet uncompromisingly feminine corporate executive.' Junko is rumored to have been on the Student Council at some time in the past.
- Madoka's toddler brother, Tatsuya, is basically the cutest creature on the face of the planet. Fate has transpired to bring him to Ohtori Academy before.
- Nobody ever really has a reason to stop and thoroughly analyze plain old Madoka Kaname for mystical potential, but if they did, they would be in for a surprise of apocalyptic proportions.
- Ami, photobombing, while doing a typical "Inner Senshi poses for picture" wink.
- Kozue, lowkey enjoying this too much.
- Madoka, with a wealth of best friends.
- Actual Sayaka, wearing an expression no one else there can truly imitate, and dragging in...
- Miki, who is not sure how he feels about this.
This list is rarely exhaustive, nor fully up to date.
- Sayaka Miki: Madoka has been there for Sayaka as she dealt not only with the maiming of Miki Kaoru's hand, but got dragged into some pretty weird stuff both by Kyouko and, somehow, the Duelists. She can't help but hero-worship the new Puella Magi Sayaka, but she is quietly deeply worried about her friend's safety and well-being.
- Mami Tomoe: Mami has been around for a long time in this timeline, and yet Madoka has been unwilling to Contract due to other traumas; this has allowed the two of them to nurture a much stronger friendship than usual, and in private, Madoka even uses the "-chan" suffix. Where Sayaka went off to do a lot of interning with Kyouko, Madoka stayed much more closely at Mami's side. She is, by now, moderately aware of the extent of Mami's loneliness, and determined to offer those things Mami seems to think she's lost forever, like ordinary, wonderful friendship. It troubles her, though, that she can't offer more, in terms of the day-to-day life-and-death battles her senpai faces.
- Kyouko Sakura: Kyouko made a great impression from the get-go in this timeline, because she helped save Madoka and Sayaka from a Witch, and has saved her life a number of times thereafter. In turn, Madoka has been determined to reach out and do what she can for the guarded, homeless Puella Magi. Kyouko and Sayaka's endless bickering doesn't bother her too much, and she was more grateful than angry about Kyouko's apparent mentorship of Sayaka during the "Batyaka" period -- and grateful for Kyouko's advice that she make her own wish very carefully, if at all. She trusts Kyouko probably more than she should, and always thinks the best of her. Whether this will turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy remains to be seen.
- Homura Akemi: Since their weirdly familiar and unfamiliar meeting at the beginning of the timeline, Madoka has been deeply puzzled by Homura. She wants to be friends -- she often invites Homura out or in, though more often than not she's been turned down. She defends Homura to her other friends; she has picked up on Homura's weird obsession, and it's creepy and weird, but even so she's sure Homura has good reasons for behaving the way that she does. She has asked Homura to stop trying to scare people away from being her friend. This hasn't worked.
- Hitomi Shizuki: Madoka's other oldest friend (and classmate), she feels herself growing apart from Hitomi a little bit, as their experiences diverge more and more extremely. This scares Madoka, who is trying to pay more attention to her beautiful, talented, wonderful friend -- especially after Hitomi recently suffered a Witch's Kiss and nearly killed herself and others as part of a terrifying ritual suicide.
- Eri Shimanouchi: Classmate, clubmate, and increasingly a very dear friend, Madoka became close to Eri without knowing she was a Puella Magi. Eventually she found out, and has done her best to be supportive. In many ways Eri has suffered the most overtly of the Puella Magi, so far; seeing Eri bleeding out in an alley after being attacked by another Puella Magi gave Madoka nightmares for months and brought her back from the precipice of being about to make a wish to keep Mami company. Seeing Eri clearly starving for Grief Seeds, struggling with the morality of claiming (and now keeping) territory, has forced Madoka to think more deeply about the whole Puella Magi system than she would have otherwise, and she is rapidly coming to the conclusion that it is fundamentally horrible and unfair. Madoka was once hospitalized because she pushed a weakened Eri out of the way of an attack, and this is such a minor event on the Richter scale of supernatural danger of the last six months that she's practically forgotten about it, but she'll never forget how much Eri seemed to be suffering at the time.
- Kyuubey: Madoka thinks Kyuubey is an adorable mascot critter. She worries about disappointing him because of her unsurety about becoming a Puella Magi -- the violence terrifies her and subsequent hospitalizations have forced her to acknowledge consciously that she is valued by others, who are hurt when she gets hurt. At this point, though, she often tags along with the others planning to make an emergency wish to save someone (especially Sayaka) if necessary. Kyuubey is aware of this, and figures it's only a matter of time. He has recently taken to hanging out with Sayaka more than Madoka, to reinforce any feelings Madoka might have of being left behind or excluded by her friend's new Contract.
- Usagi Tsukino: Madoka met Usagi and Sailor Moon separately, and adored both for the same reason -- because they're wonderful, kind, awesome girls. Cheering on Sailor Moon became a happy habit, and cheering up Usagi a glad donation of her time. Finding out they are one and the same was a little scary, and Madoka has been repeatedly used as a hostage by the Dark Kingdom because of their association, but nothing, not even Homura, can convince Madoka to give up on this, one of her newest and most important friendships. From a distance, she witnessed the revelation of Usagi as Princess Serenity, but they haven't had a chance to talk about it yet.
- Anthy Himemiya: Another classmate, and (at least according to Madoka) friend, Madoka has long admired Anthy's gardening skills and omni-knowledge of flowers, and has steadily (and mostly unsuccessfully) reached out. Still, she's managed to get Anthy to a flower shop and a slumber party (mostly because of Utena's influence, but still). They've had a number of surprisingly complex conversations. The two have also often been caught together in the crossfire of battle, and this has forged a unique bond, if one with unpleasant associations. She has no idea that Anthy is the Rose Bride. She does think she and Utena make a cute couple.
- Utena Tenjou: Another classmate, Madoka is appropriately dazzled by Utena's awesomeness, and was very surprised that the celebrity would condescend to overtures of friendship (mostly in the context of Anthy). Having had a chance to get to know her a little better, Madoka thinks Utena is pretty darn great beneath the sparkling veneer, too. She is aware that Utena fights with ruffles and swords, but hasn't connected this to the Duel she was invited to witness (from a distant balcony) between Sayaka and Juri.
- Nori Ankou: Another classmate! Nori and Madoka have gone from casual, friendly acquaintances to pretty good friends through the vector of steady hangout and mutual sympathy. Madoka is vaguely aware, from the class trip to Hokkaido, that Nori has problems with her family. This is unimaginable to her, and she does her best to be supportive. She is also a big fan of La Sirene du Nord, though she doesn't know the connection.
- Minako Aino: By sheer coincidence, Madoka happens to subscribe to Minako Aino's YouTube channel and leaves a lot of merry, emoticon-filled comments on her idol videos. They recently met in person, bonding over mutual fandom of a series of novels, and Madoka hopes they can hang out soon! She has of course heard of Sailor V, and is, in fact, a member of that official fan club. She has the card and everything.
- Michiru Kaioh: Michiru and Madoka have never closely interacted, but Madoka has had several encounters with Sailor Neptune, including being spirited off to the hospital in her arms. Sailor Neptune was also the first visitor to Madoka's nighttime rooftop cookie stand (set up once a week, sometimes twice if there isn't too much homework!). Like any reasonable person, Madoka finds Sailor Neptune incredibly glamorous. Unlike many, however, she wonders about the girl as well as the senshi, and hopes that the driven, determined soldier has lots of cookies to cheer her up at home.
- Miki Kaoru: Miki is more Sayaka's childhood friend than Madoka's, but Madoka knows him casually. She's very aware of Sayaka's crush, and equally aware that it isn't mutual. She worries about this a lot. She had a lot of sympathy for Miki's tragic injury at the hands of Zoisite, and has connected his miraculous recovery with the timing of Sayaka's wish. Sayaka says she'd never regret it, so... who is Madoka to judge?
- Mai Tokiha: Madoka semi-recently took a part-time job waiting tables at Linden Baum, making Madoka and Mai coworkers. Madoka isn't very good at juggling dishes, especially when the orders come thick and fast, and she is grateful that Mai hasn't yelled at her too much for her mistakes. In general she's very impressed by her senpai's professionalism and maturity.
- Maron Kusakabe: Madoka hasn't met Kaitou Jeanne, except from a distance across a battlefield, but she once had a very nice heart-to-heart with Maron Kusakabe out on a jogging trail.
- Nanoha Takamachi: When Madoka was at the wrong place at the wrong time (so often the case), Nanoha saved her from a Jewel Seed. Afterwards, Madoka insisted on pulling out her trusted Class Nurse first aid kit and cleaning up Nanoha's scuffed knees. Witnessing Nanoha's strength and determination inadvertantly made Madoka feel particularly ashamed of herself for not making a Contract and joining the battle personally (with a little help down this line of thinking from Kyuubey). Regardless, Madoka hopes they'll meet again under better circumstances.
- Lera Camry: Madoka has only recently seen Cheeseburger Propane-chan up close, in a Witch's Labyrinth. There, she seemed especially horrified by the life of a Puella Magi. So far she's just another magical warrior in Madoka's life, but to Madoka, that means another girl to think about and worry over.
- Sei Itazura: A glamorous Ohtori senpai, Sei took an interest in Madoka, and Madoka was very flattered.
- Akemi Tsukiyama: Madoka hasn't met Akemi, but has seen the Scarlet Rune Maiden in action repeatedly. She has been repeatedly struck by the interchanges between the Maiden's "two personalities," and more than anything wants to give her a hug. It seems like Rune Maidens have to bear a lot of grief.
Once upon a time, there was a magical girl named Puella Magi Madoka Kaname...
Madoka had everything in life: a loving family, wonderful friends, a beautiful place to live, a top-notch education at Ohtori Academy. Her supportive environment had nurtured her into a kind, gentle, caring young lady. The only thing she lacked was self-confidence -- she was rather meek and hesitant, compared to her more outgoing and popular friends, mostly because of her own belief that she wasn't really worth much.
Then one day, even that changed, and she really did have everything. She had been taking care of a stray kitty in the neighborhood, and it got run over by a car. Attracted by her anguish, the cute creature Kyubey made an appearance and offered her a deal: to make a wish, any wish, in exchange for becoming a magical girl who fights evil witches and protects people.
It was a dream come true for Madoka, who promptly wished to revive the poor dead kitty. As a magical girl she quickly blossomed from a sweet but awkward young waif to a strong, cheerful heroine -- one that never lost her fundamental kindness. She might have gotten into a great deal of trouble alone, but fate (and Kyubey) guided her into the company of a more experienced Puella Magi, Mami Tomoe, and together they fought Witches, put down familiars before they could hurt anyone, and provided each other with friendship and support, so neither would get lost in the despair of shouldering the Puella Magi burden all alone.
At first Mami was her mentor (and a good thing, too -- Madoka was rather clumsy in her earliest battles, and without Mami's guidance might have been killed!), but they quickly grew to be partners. Mami had really needed a friend, both emotionally and practically (because of an upcoming Walpurgisnacht), and Madoka was an eager student and a devoted companion, viewing Mami with starry-eyed adoration that gradually metamorphosed into that most powerful foundations of friendship, true respect.
Madoka quite agreed with Mami's policy of saving everyone they could, rather than waiting for familiars to become witches at the price of someone's life. She did her best to manage her magic, and was taught to fight as efficiently as possible, so that what few grief seeds they did win would be enough to cleanse the taint of their soul gems. This was more dangerous; fights were often prolonged, rather than being ended quickly with large blasts of power. But, as her parents had taught her, the right thing to do is not always the easy thing to do, but it's still worth doing.
One day at school, a new transfer student joined Madoka's class. Homura Akemi was adorable but very shy, with dismal self-esteem, and Madoka's heart went out to the girl who reminded her so much of how she had been before she became a Puella Magi. This empathy was mixed with a strong dose of compassion for Homura's bad situation at school; the teacher had briefed her, as the class nurse, on Homura's medical needs, and she promptly took charge of the nervous, dorky waif, escorting her to the infirmary during the breaks to take her medicine. Madoka was aggressively friendly from the start, determined to help Homura however she could, even if that just meant letting her know she wasn't alone.
When Homura was strictly on a last-name basis with the world, Madoka called her Homura-chan. When Homura put herself down, Madoka responded with confident support -- "You have a great name, so you should act cool to match it!" And when Homura, physically, mentally and emotionally beaten down by a first day of school most succinctly described as "made of fail," was attacked by a witch on her way home from school, Madoka was there to rescue her, along with Mami. Once the immediate danger was past, they inducted Homura into their little club; Madoka was glad of the excuse to include the girl in something special, something secret.
And so a friendship was born that would last not simply for all time, but for every time.
Together, Madoka and Mami, often with Homura in tow, hunted Witches and watched each other's backs, all the while preparing for the upcoming Walpurgisnacht. Madoka grew ever-fonder of Homura. On the one hand, she sensibly wanted to keep Homura far from the danger that the hunts represented. On the other hand, having Homura around was both a comfort and something of an inspiration, in the sense that it made the consequence of failure very immediate -- if Madoka failed to defeat her enemy, Homura would die. Others would die as well, random individual victims, entire cities... but Madoka knew she'd fight all the more fiercely to protect her friend.
Alas, when Walpurgisnacht arrived, Mami and Madoka faced it together, but not without cost. Mami was the first to fall, and as Madoka stood over her beloved partner's body, she felt an almost soothing sense of resolve wash over her. She was the only one who could stop Walpurgisnacht, now. She was a Puella Magi; she had to protect everyone. Especially Homura, who stood by her even here, pleading with her to run away, to leave the city to its fate so that they could live on together.
Looking at Homura, speaking so passionately, compared to when they met, when she could barely speak at all, Madoka smiled.
Then she went willingly to her fate, energy bow in hand, roseate bolts striking deadly blows upon the Mami-weakened superwitch. And Walpurgisnacht, in turn, struck deadly blows with flame and blade, sword and sorcery. Magical girl and witch; two sides of the same coin. Light and darkness, hope and despair. They clashed in a titanic battle, and in the end, neither survived.
Puella Magi Madoka was dead.
Her corpse lay on the soggy earth, well-watered by the witch's accompanying dramatic storm, and when the barrier collapsed, even it would disappear. Her family would always wonder about the fate of their eldest child, never knowing where she had gone, and why. Even the only surviving witness, Homura, didn't really know why. Madoka made a wish to become strong; she wielded fantastic powers and fought evil; she became brave and confident; and some time later -- the happiest time, the saddest time, the most intense time of her life, the last time of her life -- she was gone.
But what Madoka hadn't expected was for her wish to beget someone else's.
What would have been the end of one magical girl's story became the beginning of another's:
Once upon a time, there was a magical girl named Puella Magi Madoka Kaname...
She had everything in life: a loving family, wonderful friends, a beautiful place to live, a top-notch education at Ohtori Academy, and a secret life hunting witches with her mentor, ally and dear friend Mami Tomoe. She was stunned and embarrassed when the cheerful new transfer student, Homura Akemi, announced that they were magical girls in front of the entire class, but hers was a forgiving nature. Once the blush drained from her cheeks, she laughed it off with her friends, and the incident was quickly forgotten by her schoolmates.
Madoka and Homura's friendship started off on a different foot, but it grew strong and bright nonetheless. Homura's demonstration of her miraculous time powers explained why she knew Madoka's secret, and once that mystery had been revealed, Madoka was eager to take the fledgling magical girl under her wing, much as Mami had done for her, and train her in the use of her powers. Homura's clumsiness was endearing to Madoka, and her improvement, satisfying to see. Madoka was awed by Homura's explosives-making abilities; her friend was so smart and resourceful. When Homura scored her first witch kill, Madoka gleefully celebrated with her.
What a perfect world she lived in, with not one but two wonderful friends to fight alongside!
But when Walpurgisnacht arrived, their combined powers still were not enough to deliver flawless victory. Mami was the first to fall. Then Madoka managed to finish off the witch, and this time, she was a little stronger than before, unknowingly wielding the combined strength of two timelines. Strong enough to survive... only to suffer a fate worse than death.
Pain wracked Madoka's every vein. She clutched her soul gem, which had darkened from overuse; it had taken every ounce of magic she had to defeat Walpurgisnacht, and then some. She could barely think to ask what was going on, why this was happening to her, before her gem shattered, completing its transformation into a grief seed. In a grotesque reflection of Walpurgisnacht's shape, Kriemhild Gretchen, the witch that had once been Madoka, rose toward the sky on a thousand shadowy strands of grief.
Kyubey had never told the girls that Puella Magi were destined to incubate into witches; what was the point? Even now, as he collected an abnormally large amount of energy from this latest apotheosis, he had no regrets.
But that wasn't true of the only other witness, Homura Akemi. Armed with the dark secret of Puella Magi, she strode forth to make things right:
Once upon a time, there was a magical girl named Puella Magi Madoka Kaname...
She had everything in life: a loving family, wonderful friends, a beautiful place to live, a top-notch education at Ohtori Academy, and a secret life hunting witches with her friends Mami Tomoe and Sayaka Miki. Kyubey had noticed Madoka's unusually high magical potential -- not impossibly high, but still excellent -- and targeted her for recruitment a little faster than before, in such a way that wound up drawing in Madoka's best friend as well.
Madoka was awed by Sayaka's wonderful wish to heal Kamijo, and mildly humiliated that her wish had been to save the neighborhood kitty, but what was done, was done. Now the three of them fought and trained together. It was rare enough for a Puella Magi duo to exist, given the competitive nature of their hunts... what force could possibly defeat a trio?
Or, for that matter, a quartet? Homura Akemi, the new transfer student and evidently experienced Puella Magi, presented herself to the group with a dire warning. Madoka watched as Sayaka reacted suspiciously, even viciously, to the newcomer -- who was clearly perceived as an interloper -- and stepped in to defend Homura when Sayaka might have driven her away. The mysterious girl was clearly only trying to help... and, as they fought witches together (admittedly with plenty of close calls due to pipe bomb explosions), Madoka grew to trust her, and to care for her.
The same was true of another new Puella Magi in town, Kyoko Sakura; where her friends might resent the competition, especially when it came from a loudmouthed, seemingly selfish girl who scorned their familiar-hunting strategies, Madoka's welcoming and friendly nature ultimately bridged the gap between them, and saw her inclusion in their group. There were five girls fighting together, now, and while it was dubious that there would be enough grief seeds to keep them all at top form, Madoka felt that the friendships born of such cooperation made the risk worthwhile.
Homura's warning was confirmed in the worst possible way when Sayaka became overwhelmed by grief over losing Kamijo to Hitomi, and metamorphosed into a witch. Using Kyoko's plan to try to reach out to the newborn monster, Madoka and the other girls fought defensively, pleading with their lost friend to come back to them. They would have likely been slain if not for Homura's timely intervention; when it was clear that Sayaka was truly gone, she quickly lay the witch to rest.
Madoka, shocked and horrified by what she had just experienced, wept. This was so cruel... too cruel. Sayaka had sought to act as a hero of justice, someone who protected others, only to become the opposite. It was no less cruel that her friends had to be the ones to put her down. She honestly believed that there was no way things could get any worse.
Mami promptly put paid to that presumption. It all happened very quickly; Mami shattered Kyoko's soul gem and was about to kill Homura as well, raving about how they all had to die before they became witches. Madoka rose from the depths of her despair long enough to save Homura by, in turn, slaying the maddened Mami -- there was no time to restrain her.
Surrounded by her dead friends, slain not by witches but by each other, she collapsed back into tears. The voice of the other survivor only barely penetrated her grief. "It'll be fine! Let's work hard together! Let's defeat Walpurgisnacht together!" Homura's encouragement felt hollow, too bright in a world that contained such darkness... didn't Homura care about the other girls' deaths? But Madoka felt that Homura was right, at least on some level; the city was still in danger. Grief would have to wait.
Now it was two against Walpurgisnacht, two when it could have been five. It went unexpectedly well, considering that originally both Mami and Madoka had died; between Homura's skill and Madoka's triple-timeline talent, they managed to live. But it had still been close... too close. Already, they could feel the change coming over them, as their critically tainted soul gems began to change.
Madoka was calm, in a shell-shocked post-battle-trauma sort of way. She knew what was coming, unlike last time, and it was horrible, but... maybe, even if there wasn't anything she could do about it, there was something her last and best friend could do about it. It tore her heart to listen to Homura speak of becoming a witch and destroying the world. And the realization of what she was about to do to Homura tore the pieces into pieces.
Clutching the grief seed that had been Sayaka, she pressed it to Homura's dying soul gem, and watched the grief drain away, watched Homura's hysteria turn into appalled silence while gazing lovingly at the friend whose life she could save. And then she made two more wishes. How appropriate, some distant part of her mind mused; wishes are supposed to come in threes. All trickery aside, Kyubey's deal was always a raw one, in that respect.
Given that Homura was already on an endless temporal quest to make a better future, Madoka begged her to change the past, to stop Madoka from becoming a puella magi in the first place. The only winning move is not to play -- at the point that you'd made the contract, you'd already lost everything. The ease and totality of Homura's commitment to her salvation blew her away. It was shocking, and yet oddly, disjointedly understandable. They loved each other, and they'd do whatever they could for each other. If only there was a way to save Homura too...
It was horribly selfish to further add to Homura's burden, but Madoka couldn't quite make the connection between "I am about to die and become a Witch" and "Homura is about to go back in time so that none of this will ever happen" -- as she felt the pain and grief rip through her, the experience infinitely worse now that she knew exactly what was happening, she pleaded with Homura to put her out of her misery, and smiled weakly when Homura finally used her first name for the first time in three timelines. She was barely strong enough to lift her darkened, shifting soul gem toward the blinding sky. Homura's anguished sob was the last thing she ever heard.
Once upon a time, there was an ordinary girl named Madoka Kaname...
She had everything in life: a loving family, wonderful friends, a beautiful place to live, a top-notch education at Ohtori Academy. Her supportive environment had nurtured her into a kind, gentle, caring young lady. The only thing she lacked was self-confidence -- she was rather meek and hesitant, compared to her more outgoing and popular friends, mostly because of her own belief that she wasn't really worth much.
One day, a forbiddingly mysterious new transfer student joined Madoka's class. The way Homura Akemi stared at her made her feel terribly nervous, but she screwed up her humble courage and tried to reach out anyway. When this was rewarded with a late-night visit to her home, and a coldly delivered piece of advice to not help someone in exchange for a miracle, Madoka was only more intimidated.
But, as tends to be the case, when faced with someone whose motivations confused her, Madoka reached out to try to understand them. And in so doing, she was inevitably drawn into the world of Puella Magi, first as an observer and then as a Contractor. And so Homura, to keep her promise, reset the timeline, again and again and again.
Once upon a time there was an ordinary girl named Madoka Kaname who became a Puella Magi to keep Mami company...
Once upon a time there was an ordinary girl named Madoka Kaname who became a Puella Magi to save her friend Hitomi from a Witch...
Once upon a time there was an ordinary girl named Madoka Kaname who became a Puella Magi so that Sayaka wouldn't have to...
Once upon a time there was an ordinary girl named Madoka Kaname who became a Puella Magi to save Sayaka from Kyouko...
Once upon a time there was an ordinary girl named Madoka Kaname who became a Puella Magi to save Kyouko from herself...
Once upon a time there was an ordinary girl named Madoka Kaname who became a Puella Magi to rescue a random stranger named Usagi Tsukino... Utena Tenjou... Tsubomi Hanasaki... Nanoha Takamachi...
Once upon a time there was an ordinary girl named Madoka Kaname who died before she could become a Puella Magi, murdered by another Puella Magi who had prophesized the destruction Madoka would cause as a Witch...
...for, just as inevitably as Madoka Contracted out of a mix of ignorance, compassion, and low self-esteem, with each passing convergence of the ever-reset timeline, Madoka's interdimensional fate became more intertwined, and her potential as a Puella Magi -- and thus, her destructive potential as a Witch -- grew and grew, exponentially, to increasingly apocalyptic levels. Which meant that with each passing timeline, Kyubey's investment in convincing Madoka to Contract grew as well, making Homura's job harder and harder as he became more and more persistent.
Once upon a time... once upon a time... once upon a time...
Endless iterations passed, an eternal maze of minor alterations to the timeline and their unforseen consequences. Each time, Madoka and Homura grew further and further apart, their thoughts and feelings struggling to connect. Until:
Once upon a time, there was an ordinary girl named Madoka Kaname who became a Puella Magi to save Homura from Walpurgisnacht. It was a timeline like any other timeline (one of many, in fact, that Madoka had Contracted for this very reason) but unique for three reasons. First: this time, Madoka had managed to make it all the way to Walpurgisnacht without getting involved in Puella Magi business. Homura was inches -- seconds -- from the finish line. But, Madoka wandered into the epic battle's dimension (probably with a little help from Kyubey), and bore witness to the terrible injustice, the one-sidedness, of Homura's battle... and to Homura's impending fate, as she fell to her doom, struck down by Walpurgisnacht once more. Knowing nothing about the situation in front of her, other than that Homura was in trouble and needed her, Madoka Contracted with an all-too-eager Kyubey. Drawing back her mighty pink bow, she vanquished Walpurgisnacht with a single bolt of incandescent light. And, having defeated her greatest enemy, the most powerful Puella Magi, Madoka Kaname, did the only thing left for such a being to do, and instantly transformed into the most powerful Witch, Krimheld Gretchen. Left unchecked, she destroyed the world in days. Homura didn't stick around to watch, turning back the clock again.
The second reason this timeline was unique is that it was the most recent one, until now.
The third reason this timeline was unique, was that the overwhelming, impossible strength of Madoka's cross-timeline fate has now become such that she actually dreamt about it as our new, latest, last timeline began 'some time earlier' -- a sort of postcognative precognition laden with enough paradox to make a time traveler's head explode.
Once upon our time, there is an ordinary girl named Madoka Kaname, who had a dream about a strange girl fighting alone against the darkness, and a tiny creature who told her she had the power to change the world. She is surrounded by good friends, yet alone in their crowd; deeply compassionate and just as deeply insecure; and pursued relentlessly by an Incubator absolutely determined to harvest the incredible energy that lies nascent in her soul.
Will this time be different than every other time?
Perhaps, with a little help from her friends.
The Essential Madoka:
Kindness is the defining trait of Madoka Kaname in all timelines. Her boundless compassion applies to people, animals, cities... at first blush, her personality is an unstoppable force of good (her selflessness is not that simple, of course, keep reading). Her parents have raised her to be unfailingly polite and honest through their own example. She is cheerful and full of laughter among her friends, whom she cares for a great deal -- and it's very easy to be added to Madoka's friends-list, as long as you aren't too scary. Her gentle personality goes a bit meek around sufficiently strong or cold personalities that she doesn't know well, but even then she's eager to bridge the gap if she can. Understanding people for their own sake -- empathy -- is, after all, the basis of compassion. It's less a conscious effort on Madoka's part than just the way she is, most of the time.
She is not considered one of the Popular Girls in her class, but neither is she some kind of outcast; she has a few close friends and gets on amicably with everyone else. Sooner or later her status as class nurse usually allows her a moment of connection with someone while they're down, and if they hadn't realized Madoka's sweet and helpful nature before, they do then. She is very willing to go to great lengths, self-sacrificial ones, to help those in need, which is not always wise. She always tries to do the right thing, though figuring out what that is is often difficult.
Madoka is open-minded and nonjudgmental about others, in large part thanks to her parents (they have their own section, see below). Sometimes this backfires; she can be rather naive, and her willingness to think the best of anyone is easily taken advantage of. On the other hand, Madoka is generally level-headed and sensible, a thoughtful listener who lets others do the talking; when she does ask questions, they're often insightful (alternatively, they're a way to communicate that she cares; asking Mami 'you really fight those scary things?!' about three times in two episodes is an example of this). She is perceptive, and pays attention to both her surroundings and who she's surrounded by, and is often able to suss out her friends' feelings without them having to fully explain themselves.
Madoka eschews violence, and encourages those around her to find better ways to resolve their problems than fighting. (She's not an off-the-rails extremist pacifist about monsters, however, admiring the magical girls who fight Witches, youma and the like a great deal.)
Madoka has been surrounded by love for as long as she can remember. Her parents, Junko and Tomohisa Kaname, are a high-powered executive and stay-at home nurturer, respectively. That role reversal was responsible for a major and largely positive impact on their oldest child -- Madoka learned, from the beginning, to look beyond first impressions and stereotypes, when it came to the world around her; to try to understand people for who they were and what they did, not just based on what other people expected of them, or thought of them. To never judge hastily or make rash assumptions, as many did when it came to her parents.
Junko also gave her daughter an outstanding role model, as a strong and courageous and generally badass woman in the corporate world -- more common as times get modernized, but still unusual. Mom remains uncompromisingly feminine, a force of power that has not been co-opted by its environment. Their best bonding time usually happens over morning ablutions in the bathroom; she is always full of advice and support for her daughter, encouraging her to be more confident -- and she's not at all shy of how proud she is of her, either: "Madoka, you have grown to be a good girl. You don't lie and you don't do anything bad. You always try to do what is right. You are a wonderful child." They have a ritual of high-fiving as Junko walks out the door to go to work, as opposed to the hugs and kisses of earlier days, a message from Junko that she recognizes and supports Madoka's gradual growth from girl to woman.
The other side of Junko -- that to live her dream, she works so hard that she sometimes turns to alcohol for respite, and then comes home late drunk and has trouble waking up in the morning -- has also taught Madoka the concept that people are complicated. Sometimes, they seem to be doing the wrong thing, but that doesn't mean they aren't great people. Nor does it mean that there isn't a reasonable explanation for their seemingly poor behavior. Helping take care of her Mom is its own source of strength for Madoka... it feels good to be able to help support such a strong person.
That feeling is something she and her father bond over a lot. Tomohisa's quiet, steady kindness as the family's nurturing house-husband is an example that Madoka aspires to as well. His gentle demeanor is cast in miniature in his daughter, in many respects. He's always there with a smile and a pep talk, and his total willingness to support Junko through good times and bad is very comforting to Madoka. If Dad looks up to someone, then Madoka does too. She is sure he has enough love to go around, and is not jealous of the attention her younger brother gets.
Rather, Madoka is extremely fond of three-year-old Tatsuya, and vice versa; jumping on Mom to get her up every morning is their favorite game, though they play others. Since Dad is home taking care of him, Madoka is still free to spend her afternoons with her friends, which avoids resentment she might have otherwise. Not that Tatsuya is exposed to a great deal of danger, but his big sister is protective of him nonetheless, especially since he's really the only member of the family that she's bigger than. She enjoys that role a great deal, and tries to emulate her mother's strength and her father's gentleness when playing with him.
Madoka's Secret Shame:
Although Madoka is genuinely kind and caring, those traits born from a great capacity for empathy on her part, a degree of her selfless nature springs from the fundamentally selfish desire to be valuable -- and valued. She is, of course, valued by all around her, her parents, her friends... they love and respect her for being exactly who she is. But deep down inside, she fails to value herself.
Although she's fairly cheerful in day to day life, Madoka is miserably insecure, with very low self-esteem. She feels untalented, considers herself a poor student, and thinks of herself as weak and useless, as a burden on others. That sense of powerlessness weighs heavily upon her, and she's ashamed of her helpless nature, as she hasn't managed to become stronger, cooler, or more able to help others... which only reinforces her inability to grow (or at least, inhibits her ability to acknowledge her growth for the progress that it is).
Her low sense of self-worth does not inspire resentment on her part, however. She really looks up to those around her that she views as better than she is, and considers them role models; she's eager to help them, even just as moral support (or as a 'I can make a wish in an emergency to rescue you' failsafe).
Madoka's Hopes, Dreams and... Wishes:
Madoka pretty straightforwardly describes her internal landscape to Mami in episode 3, in a heartfelt confession:
"I've never done well in any subjects, and I've never had any talents. I'm pretty sure that I'd always just be trouble and wouldn't be able to help anyone. I've never liked this, but I couldn't do anything about it. But you showed me how you fight to save people. You told me that I can probably do the same thing. That's the nicest thing I've ever heard. That's why I believe that in order to fulfill my dream, all I need to do is become a Puella Magi. Even someone like me can be useful to others. I want to live being proud of myself. That's my biggest dream."
Madoka may not have experienced the life of a magical girl at gamestart, but whether she undergoes a canonish Mami internship, or gets her exposure to Magical Girls from others, she is fairly likely to evolve in this direction, at least early on. She finds the strength, coolness, and goodness of Magical Girls a major inspiration, and wishes that she was one.
It's not a truly selfless wish, of course; what Madoka is saying in the quote above is that the Contract wish is irrelevant, because the changes brought to her life by becoming a Magical Girl are worth the Contract for their own sake. She would become less worthless, she could live proudly. Her true wish is to feel better about herself, something that she believes requires drastic self-improvement. Kyubey offers the fast track away from her perceived weakness (as opposed to finding strength and confidence within herself, and her own actions as an ordinary girl), and making a Wish becomes a deep and powerful temptation.
(We see in previous timelines that this turns out to work more or less the way Madoka hopes it would have, at least before things go bad in terms of people dying, becoming Witches, and so on; whether in regular life or while henshined, Puella Magi Madoka is much more confident and outgoing, capable of strong, decisive action, though no less kind. Hooooowever, she does die every time, and eventually figures out that dying/becoming a Witch is not in fact worth a brief period of Kyubey-facillitated self-confidence... which leads to a certain request for Homura...)
Madoka's pettier dreams tend to spring from reasonably good-natured jealousy of those around her; she wishes she could get a love letter like Hitomi to affirm her value, for example, but would not wish to steal such affections from her friend.
Fear and Courage:
So, why won't Madoka make a Contract right away? Presumably, fear.
Madoka is very rationally afraid of death and pain, which is enough to keep her from making a contract that would force her to fight for the rest of her life (or worse, become a witch and threaten her friends and family!). Despite her self-esteem issues, she's responsible enough to not want to throw her life away for no reason, both for her own sake and for those who love her, who would be hurt by her suffering a tragic fate. However, she is courageous (and silly) enough to go out monster hunting with her friends, just so they won't have to be totally alone. Where Sayaka charges into a witch's barrier at Mami's side, Madoka hesitates, but ultimately goes anyway. That is Madoka's courage: she's rational enough to not charge blindly into a dangerous situation without thinking about the risk, but will go regardless if it means supporting someone. She may hesitate, but it takes a lot to make her panic; for example, when faced with suicidal zombies, she first breaks through their ranks to remove their means of ritual death, then, though wailing with fear, finds a room to hide in. It's only when a witch's barrier starts forming that she loses it completely.
Shock, Awe and Grief (or: Madoka, roll your San check):
Madoka has a mentality that can deal with truth. It may horrify her, she may BSOD for a minute or cry for a week, but she won't pretend something isn't so, just to feel better; she'll confront it, accept it, and, eventually, move forward.
Madoka's psyche is very breakable, however; those who care a great deal, lose a great deal, when someone gets hurt. She grieves deeply and freely for the dead and the living -- there are plenty of fates worse than death that she watches people go through. Sufficient trauma very much disrupts her daily life; she can get deeply depressed, flash back to the horrors she's seen, and weep at the slightest prompt. "Real life" can feel surreal and distant, like she's living in a different world. On the other hand, becoming aware of her mortality also teaches her how very precious life is, and how it must not be treated lightly. On the other other hand, being ashamed of fear keeping her from contracting with Kyubey makes her feel weaker than ever, and some of her tears are self-pitying; and when she realizes that she's crying for herself instead of the dead, she hates herself even more...
Day to day, Madoka copes with grief as best she can; she tries to perk up for her friends, whose very presence tends to warm her, if not their actions. No matter how sunk into horror she is, if she sees one of them in trouble, she'll try to help, both because that's how she is, and as a welcome distraction.
Canon Friends and Friends(?)
These relationships (her family has their own section above, Family Values) are based on canon events that haven't happened yet and may never happen, but inform how Madoka relates to those around her. Kyubey, Mami, Kyouko and Homura, particularly, haven't really been met at gamestart; the descriptions about Madoka's relationships with them assume the first two or so episodes play out as canon. If they don't, things could naturally be different!
Madoka describing Sayaka to Homura, episode 5: "She's such a stubborn girl and it's hard to change her mind, so she gets into arguments with people easily. But she's a really nice girl! She's kind, brave, and works hard for other people."
Sayaka is Madoka's best friend; they comprise two out of three of a trio, but since Hitomi has actual extracurricular activities, hang out more with each other than with her. This has been the way of things for many years. They contrast well, especially in the current timeline where neither of them are yet Puella Magi -- where Madoka is soft, Sayaka is loud; where Madoka is thoughtful, Sayaka is brash. Madoka habitually lets Sayaka do most of the talking when the two of them are meeting someone new; it's just easier. Sayaka loves to tease Madoka, though not cruelly, and Madoka enjoys the teasing, because she knows it's an expression of love; it flusters her, but her giggles are genuine. Madoka knows about Sayaka's feelings for Kamijo, even though they've never talked about them... when you go to the CD store a few days a week to hang out with your friend while she buys music for her guy in the hospital, it's obvious. Sayaka is protective of Madoka but the reverse is also true; Madoka worries a great deal about her friend getting in over her head, and acts to support her however she can. In general, she looks up to Sayaka for her more outgoing qualities, and secretly wishes she could be more like her.
Madoka to Sayaka, episode 4: "I feel like I'm in a foreign country. Until yesterday, nothing ever changed about Hitomi or school, but now I feel like I'm surrounded by strangers."
Very much the girly-girl to Sayaka's tomboy, Madoka's other best friend has a habit of embarrassing Madoka by thinking she and Sayaka are in some sort of forbidden love relationship. Madoka can't quite tell if this is a joke or not, and wonders if Hitomi is invested in the idea for another reason. Still, they're very close; they have a certain girlish dreaminess in common. Madoka is awed by Hitomi's many talents (piano, Japanese dance, tea ceremony!) and popularity (so many love letters...), and considers her something of an ideal to aspire to. As she gets exposed to the supernatural world, Madoka begins to feel distant from Hitomi simply due to lack of shared experience; she feels incredibly guilty for lying to her (and in fact cannot do so directly without stammering, relying on Sayaka, or Hitomi's own assumptions, to cover her tracks), but very much values her friend's precious innocence. She would imperil herself in a heartbeat to help Hitomi.
Madoka to Mami, episode 3: "But even under scary conditions, you're still trying so hard. You're my dream."
Madoka looks up to Mami as the ideal magical girl, especially in contrast to scary, cold, confusing Homura; Homura was trying to kill adorable Kyubey, and Mami healed him -- that definitive contrast sold Madoka on Mami immediately. She was charmed by Mami's tea and cake, impressed by her nice (solo) house and the maturity it represents. In fact, Mami embodies everything Madoka wishes that she was -- strong, brave, beautiful, capable, and fighting to make the world a better, safer place. Madoka trusts Mami almost totally, though she's hesitant to allow her or Sayaka's label of Homura as bad or evil to stick without further observation of her own.
In many timelines, Mami and Madoka transition from senpai and kohai to true mahou shoujo partners; they are an extremely good match in that sense, and even though that is an impossible outcome on the MUSH for more than a flashback TP, it still informs the final loop. The two are extremely compatible beyond the superficial; Madoka's trust for Mami quickly becomes more than blind adoration. It deepens into true respect, once she comes to grasp the deep pain of Mami's loneliness, and the way that she deals with it by being, to put it succinctly, utterly amazing. Madoka is, therefore, quickly extremely eager to do more than be Mami's fan. The thought of being able to genuinely help such a brave, kind, and sad person, gives her exactly the sort of good feelings that she gets helping her mother into bed after a long night of drinking. She yearns to be able to support Mami in a greater capacity, and from such thoughts come great temptation...
Madoka, episode 9: "I want to help. I'll do it."
Madoka's total unwillingness to give up on the good in Kyouko -- even barely knowing her, even seeing her be quite, quite horrible to her friends -- defines their relationship. In timeline after timeline, if Kyouko's in the group at all, it's probably mostly because of her; Homura's jumps don't go so far back that they can repair Mami and Kyouko's break on their own, after all. This is a great expression of her ability to bring people together, and her essential and sometimes absurd capacity to both forgive and reach out, even if it's scary.
That being said, Madoka doesn't really have the capacity in any single timeloop to really comprehend Kyouko's story. She can surely sense bonds between Kyouko and Sayaka, as they become relevant, but her compassion for Kyouko is not entirely rooted in understanding; it is partially the sheer strength of her idealism, the idea that no magical girl could really be that bad. That they can, and should, all be friends.
On an integrated game, Madoka is going to be such a sucker in this sense, but she may also prompt a lot of character development in other casts entirely...
Madoka, episode 1: "Well, that's a pretty fancy name... o-oh, I don't mean that in a weird way, I think it's cool." Episode 3: "...Is she really evil?" Episode 4: "You too, Homura! I'll never forget you either! I'll never forget how you saved me yesterday!"
Homura and Madoka, over the course of a great many time loops, essentially switch places. When they first meet, Madoka is the confident, capable savior; Homura is shaky and uncertain, full of the agony of embarrassment and self-hatred. Now, through Homura's interventions, it is the other way around: Madoka is meek and timid, with deeply insecure self-esteem issues, and it's Homura who at least appears to be the cool paragon of excellence.
It's strange how wishes turn out that way.
Poor Homura suffers from an extra stigma in this timeline... Madoka remembers some of the traumatic events of the previous timeline in a dream, which weirds her out when Homura shows up at school! Homura is immediately somewhat intimidating, but also nigh-instantaneously establishes herself, like Mami, as everything Madoka thinks she wants to be: poised, brilliant, talented. Then she twists it by saying mean, confusing things to Madoka in private, and by trying to hurt or kill the adorable Kyubey... Madoka doesn't understand, and she wants to understand.
In every timeline, Madoka is kind and gentle to the transfer student, and that's even true in this one: she feels shy and awkward as they walk down the halls to the nurse's office, mostly because of the dream, but she still tries to reach out by complimenting Homura's name. Beyond their first meetings, she is always drawn to Homura in an almost magnetic way, as someone who rapidly becomes deeply important to her, though the reasons why change. Sometimes she's affectionately taking care of a mentee who winds up being so much more. Sometimes she's just opening her heart to give a stranger a chance. But they're never truly strangers anymore; they are two hearts in fundamental connection, even if only one of them has the capacity to be aware of it. They are time-crossed, rather than star-crossed, lovers -- less eros, more filios and especially agape -- and yet, less and less able to articulate that connection, as every loop goes by.
In the final loop canon, Mami and Sayaka's suspicion of Homura's motives are a bandwagon Madoka's unwilling to jump on; Madoka knows well that people can be complicated. She wishes everyone could get along and be friends, and given half a chance will beg Homura to do exactly that. She thinks Homura probably has a good reason for acting how she does, and wishes the mysterious girl would open up a little... it becomes quickly obvious that she's rather obsessed with Madoka's safety and status as a nonmagical girl. And as events progress, she doesn't hesitate to turn to Homura for help (with Puella Magi Sayaka, for example), while being just as willing to help Homura if she's in need (much to Homura's chagrin).
Madoka protecting Kyubey from Homura, episode 1: "But he asked me for help! I heard him! He wants me to help!"
Kyubey's first contact with Madoka plays magical girl tropes straight; he begs for her help telepathically. Madoka being Madoka, she responds immediately, rushing to save him, and when he collapses, wounded, in her arms, she's immediately taken with him -- though on some level it's more about her own self-esteem issues, and she acts how she does because protecting the small feels good. As such, she fiercely defends him from Homura. Madoka is being played for a sucker, of course, but Kyubey is the master of manipulating teenage girls, and at least initially, Madoka's strings are dead easy to pull. As noted in the Wishes section above, Kyubey represents the easy path to everything Madoka wants, and she's both tempted by the path he offers, and fond of him for his own sake (mostly because he's cute and ostensibly helpless). She trusts him, at least initially, and is embarrassed and apologetic that it takes her so long to Contract with him.
Later, her feelings change rather drastically, of course.
Madoka doesn't even know the organizations exist, and is entirely unaware of supernatural politics; her opinions on them are likely to be heavily influenced by those who might introduce her to them, including Mami-sempai and Kyubey. However, as discussed in Personality, she's a level-headed girl, and quite capable of making judgments on her own; she tends not to put too much stock into first impressions, and is interested in understanding the people around her through their actions rather than reputation. She tends to give second, third, and fifth chances, which makes it likely she can be jerked around quite a bit by any organization that wants to take advantage of her.
Madoka attends Ohtori Academy, where she is an average student, neither excelling nor failing in any subject. She is aware of how lucky she is to come from a family that can afford to send her to Ohtori (thank you, high-powered exec mom), and is a little embarrassed that she isn't a standout student, sometimes worrying that she's letting her family down. (They're perfectly happy with her performance, but parental supportiveness can only go so far to combat teenage insecurity, it can't destroy it completely...) Her favorite class is art; she is a talented sketcher, especially of clothes... though her faces are rather creepy and hollow-looking, probably a reflection of how she feels about herself. She enjoys the structure of school and what she considers to be its friendly environment (ah, ignorance is bliss), and cares about her classmates' well being. As such, she volunteered to be the class nurse. The rivalry between Ohtori and Infinity is something she considers fun but not at all serious, and she doesn't look down on kids not wealthy or connected enough to attend Ohtori... or school at all, for that matter.
Madoka is an ordinary girl; she is not especially strong or athletic, but she's a pretty fast runner when properly motivated (by, say, fear). She is somewhat more mystically perceptive than the average bear; Kyubey inducts her into the can-interact-with-Kyubey-club, which in an integrated theme probably houses every Magical Girl unless he actively chooses to conceal himself for some reason. Even without his help, she's got a good eye for strangeness, able to sense and hone in on the disturbance in the force that is a nearby activating Grief Seed, for example. As the various alternate universes compress tightly around her, she's started to have dreams of the previous timeline, which could be mistaken for precognition.
Madoka has no Magical Girl powers, and is unlikely to develop them. There are lots of reasons not to have Madoka Contract on the MUSH before Walpurgisnacht, but the most important one is "Homura would promptly reset the timeline and that would obviously not work on the MUSH, putting her player/character into the bad position of being forced for OOC reasons to not do something she'd do ICly". To really cement her lack of agency in the supernatural world, although she definitely could qualify for E, her one and only mode is her Rank F Base Mode.
"Her Artifact is her Soul Gem (which is also her true body and the house of her soul), she has a cute rose staff that turns into a bow and fires bolts of pink light, can fly around inside barriers, and has some healing and possibly animal-related powers since her wish was to save the life of a kitty" pretty much summarizes her powerset in previous timeloops, along with the same advantages and disadvantages that all Puella Magi share.
In an integrated theme, Madoka's a big old Sailor V fan for the some of the same reasons she's a fan of Mami, albeit without the personal association. Her bizarre magical potential might alarm various people and organizations, like the TSAB and the Magic Association (also, Sailor Pluto), but she cannot use a Device, nor learn magic spells in a class; all that power is wrapped up as potential until she makes a Contract Wish, because of its nature. If someone tries to recruit her, her apparent bizarre lack of talent is likely to be played for laughs, while of course internally this reinforces Madoka's sense of worthlessness...
It also might attract villains who want to steal her pure heart, harness her potential energy for their own schemes, etc. Kyubey probably does a lot to discourage that sort of thing; he's very territorial about Madoka's power, he wants his quota! But it does make her a likely victim in various other series' plots, if other players want her to be. Magic aside, she's a great sucker for other peoples' machinations, at Ohtori and off-campus, and is likely to be drawn into various conflicts simply because she cares about the people involved, as the Aunt Mays of the universe are wont to do, and to be.
In other words, there are one billion new and exciting cross-theme ways to take a sledgehammer to Madoka's psyche. Being meguca is suffering -- let's do it!
Finally, whenever she visits Gold Crown Town, Madoka is, was, and always has been Gomadoka, the seal. This is not considered strange at all; anything else would be too bizarre, so it must be true.