Sayaka’s descent into madness does not take long, even with Madoka doing her best to support her and Kyouko, of all people, trying to help. But the doubt and regret Sayaka was sure she wouldn’t feel has started to spread, and can no longer be reversed.
Akemi however, seems unsurprised by this, and continues to talk to Kyouko cryptically about the arrival of something called Walpurgisnacht, which is incoming. Meanwhile, despite Sayaka’s new hostility towards her, Madoka is still desperate to help her and believes herself ready to make the contract with Kyuubey if she can use her wish to return Sayaka to how she was. But they are interrupted by Akemi, who is soon reduced to tears pleading with Madoka to treasure herself more…just who is she? Kyuubey has it figured out, and by the time Sayaka has lost herself completely and the episode is over he has lets us in on three things. One, he can’t be killed, two, Akemi is ‘not from this timeline’ (and thus must be a timetraveler), and three….
No longer content with giving us one major revelation at a time, episode 8 cranks it right up and bashes us over the head with a bunch of them. Perhaps, if you watch this show, you’ve seen some of the many speculation discussions floating around – particularly in regards to where the witches come from exactly – and this episode has proved such speculations to be true. The witches are Puella Magi whose Soul Gems became too corrupt and became Grief Seeds. Perhaps because of seeing these discussions, this revelation wasn’t quite as hard-hitting for me….but it was still a fairly solid blow in its delivery. (May I just take a moment to say that the direction in this show is absolutely fantastic?) I didn’t actually expect it to be revealed now, though. (this does, however, make me wonder about the ‘familiars’. Will Sayaka become a ‘familiar’ first, or go straight to being a witch? It was said that familiars became witches when they killed a few people, but it was implied that Sayaka killed two guys on the subway…)
The revelation about Akemi was less expected to me…and even less expected than that was her breakdown of sorts in front of Madoka. She never cried when anything else horrible happened, but the prospect of Madoka making a contract did it. For the first time since the beginning, Akemi felt very human instead of overly cold and distant. From what timeline exactly she is from, we don’t know yet. Most likely the future, as it would explain how she seemed to know about everything that would happen (although Mami’s death seemed to shock her at first. But she did warn her, so perhaps she did know about it anyway). Then there’s the fact that her and Madoka have definitely met before…but where? People have been quick to speculate that Madoka has amnesia, but there was something really off about the way she acted after asking Akemi if she knew her….sort of just turning away all “I…have to go find Sayaka…”, and there’s definitely something up with that.
Lastly, Kyuubey. Just when you think the little creep couldn’t get any more horrifying he freaking regenerates outside his dead body, and then eats his own freaking corpse. That was the damn scariest thing in the whole episode to me.