The Only Thing I Have Left to Guide Me (最後に残った道しるべ Saigo ni Nokotta Michishirube?) is the eleventh episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It originally aired on April 21st, 2011 in Japan and was produced by SHAFT.
The episode opens with Kyubey talking to Homura in her apartment. He has guessed everything about the nature of Homura's magic and wish, and comments that Madoka's great magical power developed precisely because of that wish. By repeatedly going back in time, Homura inadvertently caused the creation of several parallel universes centered around Madoka; the accumulation of karma from each timeline manifested itself as Madoka's magical power. In this manner, Kyubey says, Homura has created an "ultimate witch."
The media report that the dead body of Sayaka has been found in a hotel room, with no trace to a possible cause. Madoka, along with other classmates, attends her funeral (including Kamijou and Hitomi). When asked by her mother whether she knows anything about the cause, she says that she doesn't.
Kyubey talks to Madoka in her room, expressing that he does not understand why humans can experience the death of a single person with so much emotion, and tries to explain the behavior of his race. He makes a comparison to humans raising animals for their meat, calling it an "ideal symbiotic relationship." However, he admits that the comparison is imperfect as Incubators actually recognize humans as sentient lifeforms. He then proceeds to show Madoka the "common history of mankind and Incubators," revealing that some well-known historical figures (e.g., Cleopatra, Himiko, and Joan of Arc) were in fact magical girls. He refuses to admit his own fault in the cruelty of the magical girl system, claiming that the wishes of girls in question are to be blamed as any wish can be twisted by its own logic. He even comments that if Incubators never came to the Earth, humans would "still be living naked in caves."
Junko Kaname and Kazuko Saotome meet and talk about the death of Sayaka, as well as about Madoka's change in behavior. Kazuko says that this all happened during Sayaka and Hitomi's "fight" over Kamijou and mentions that this is rather hard on Hitomi as well. A very depressed Junko blames herself for being a terrible mother, not being able to help her daughter during a hard time; Kazuko tries to comfort her saying that Madoka needs more time to handle herself and that Junko should believe in her.
Madoka visits Homura's house, where she asks her if it is really not possible to defeat Walpurgis Night alone, as Kyoko said. Homura denies Kyoko's words, but Madoka finds it difficult to believe her. Homura then reveals her true identity and history to Madoka, hugging her.
Walpurgis Night comes. All civilians have been evacuated because of an intense storm, thought to be a supercell; it is revealed that the storm was caused by Walpurgis, who is so powerful that she does not need to hide within a barrier. Homura starts to fight the witch using a large number of weapons, including rocket launchers, explosives, and a petrol tanker. However, the witch withstands her attacks, and even starts sending familiars to further attack Homura.
Madoka leaves the main hall of the shelter where her family was evacuated in order to talk with Kyubey. He avoids giving a clear answer on whether or not Homura can defeat Walpurgis Night by herself, persuading Madoka to go see it herself. He also comments that Homura is able to fight because of her hope, which can always be sustained: in the worst case, she can turn back time and try again. Losing her hope would mean turning into a witch; as long as she has hope, there is no escape from her ultimate fate. "Just like all magical girls throughout the history," he remarks.
She proceeds to go outside, but is stopped by Junko. Madoka tells her that she is aware of all the people caring for her, but there's something only she can do to help with the disaster befalling the city. She asks her mother to believe in her, and Junko eventually lets her leave.
After several desperate but unsuccessful attempts to defeat Walpurgis Night, Homura runs out of time. Homura is about to lose hope, realizing that going back in time would only make things worse. Her Soul Gem is near total corruption. Before she can become a witch, however, Madoka grabs her hand and tells her not to worry, with Kyubey in the background. The episode ends with Homura telling Madoka not to do what she's about to do, and Madoka apologizing to her.
Magical Girls Edit
- Kyousuke Kamijou
- Hitomi Shizuki
- Madoka Kaname
- Junko Kaname
- Kazuko Saotome
- Tomohisa Kaname
- Tatsuya Kaname
- Various historical figures (Cleopatra, Himiko, Joan of Arc, and Cassandra or Helen of Troy)
- This episodes title card was made by Buriki (ブリキ Buriki?).