SPOILERS FOR MAHO SHOJO MADOKA MAGICA
Darkness is promised and darkness is given in Maho Shojo Madoka Magica, every episode digs further down and it doesn’t fully pull itself out in the end. Besides Kyubey, Homura was the most ready reflection of this very tone. When we meet her she is single-minded in her pursuit to stop Kyubey. She doesn’t communicate her reasons and refuses to explain the situation instead insisting things just are as she says. Then we finally learn the truth of who Homura is, a girl who has repeated this story over and over, she has been here countless times before and it has changed her, which only intensifies the weight she carries. Because of that, the Homura we know now is a girl consumed with Madoka, everything else is irrelevant. What originally started as selfless became almost selfish. Homura stopped understanding who Madoka was, what she wanted, or what would make her happy; she became simply obsessed with her goal of making sure Madoka never became a magical girl.
Obsession is not love; it is not friendship. But often times it is born from them and the complex desire to protect. It is a spiral, just as Homura’s wish is a spiral.
But in the end Homura’s obsession created the circumstance in which Madoka had enough power to change the universe, history, and time itself. Still, I wish they would have addressed some of Homura’s flaws in the final parts before absolving her of them. Instead of Madoka saying “You’re my best friend,” what I wanted was acknowledgment and forgiveness, why not something more like “I wish we could have understood each other. Thank you.”