"Despite her appearance, she's the most hurt." ~ Sayaka
Homulilly (HOMULILLY) is the witch form of Homura Akemi, making an appearance in Madoka Magica Portable. She is the Witch of Mortal World (此岸の魔女 Shigan no Majō) with a disc on top of her and an infinity sign. Homulilly first appeared in the bonus material of Madoka Magica Portable. Unlike all other witches in the game, with the exception of Kriemhild Gretchen, Homulilly is not playable in the game or bonus dungeons, nor is any other information provided in the game or bonus materials. She only appears in a Game Over screen in the game if a player loses to Walpurgis Night in Homura's route, under specific conditions.
In The Rebellion Story Homulilly reappears, now known as the Nutcracker Witch. The movie takes place in her barrier and Homura transforms into Homulilly once she discovers the truth. Her appearance has been altered from the PSP game.
The Nutcracker Witch. Its nature is self-sufficiency. Its gallant form, which once split many nuts, is now useless. Without any other purpose, this witch's last wish is her own execution. However, a mere decapitation will not clear away the witch's sins. This foolish witch will forever remain in this realm, repeating the procession to her execution.
The Nutcracker Witch. Her nature is self-sufficiency. Her teeth are showing, her skull is melted, and her eyeballs have fallen out. A promise is the only thing that pitifully planted in that head which can no longer crack any nuts, but within the husk of the awakened witch is the distinct form of a magical girl. Her servants shamefully refer to that thing as a good-for-nothing.
The children of the false city. They play the role of mourners. These dress-up dolls fake crying in order to liven up the funeral procession. The dolls present are Pride, Pessimism, Liar, Coldheartedness, Selfishness, Slander, Blockhead, Jealousy, Laziness, Vanity, Cowardice, Stupid-Looking, Inferiority, and Stubbornness, while the last one, Love, has yet to arrive. "The depths of this world, born of form and without void, are our stage," and their power is a match for Magical Girls. (Additional details here)
The Nutcracker Witch's servant. Its duty is to mete out punishment. These tin soldiers organize the procession for the witch sent to the guillotine. They execute fools and worrysome fools. Their bulky heads are serious and unyielding, and do not heed anything the witch says. There are gigantic Brocken-types in addition to the human sized ones. They hate white rats.
A minion of the Nutcracker Witch. Her duty is to eliminate rats. She hunts the wretched white rats on her mount, a decaying tooth. She also helps the other tin warriors get rid of those who would dare to interrupt their funeral procession.
The Nutcracker Witch's servant. Its role is to bear bad news. These stuffed birds announce the beginning of the witch's funeral procession. They receive food from the children of the false city, and follow their orders to a certain extent, but their basic intelligence is on par with an average bird. They fly in flocks, but their headgear impairs their vision, and they have a habit of ramming into moving objects. In addition to their usual size, there are also gigantic Brocken-types.
The Nutcracker Witch's servant. Its role is to chew. These nutcracker dolls chew and crush any unwanted foreign substances in place of the witch who can no longer crack any nuts. They can also fire a nut cannon from its mouth. As the rumours go, it is no exaggeration to say that their vaunted enamel has a hardness of 10.
Madoka Magica Portable
In Madoka Magica Portable, if the player dies fighting Walpurgis Night in Homura's route under specific conditions, there is a dialogue of Homura losing hope and an illustration of Homulilly before the Game Over screen appears. The dialogue is as follows:
- Her Witch's Kiss from the Special PlayStation Portable theme bundled with the limited edition of Madoka Magica Portable looks like an hourglass on top of a red spider lily (彼岸花 Higanbana) although it is Homura's character color purple, instead of the usual red color.
- "Shigan" is the opposite of "Higan" (nirvana). Higanbana (literally "higan flowers") is the Japanese name for red spider lillies. So shiganbana, or Homu lilly, could be a pun.
- The top part looks like an old vinyl record, the stylus has an odd shape. If you think about it, it almost makes it look like a stereotypical witches' hat, in Rebellion a wheel turns around revealing runes that refer to Homura's devotion of Madoka.
- An endless record that keeps spinning - that could possibly refer back to her timeline reset ability and her ability to manipulate time, or never giving up as she keeps going on and on.
- The section where the braided parts meet, there is something like red sticks held by hands formed by the ends of her pigtails.
- If these are knitting needles, then her design could also be partially based off of the famous old quote "A stitch in time saves nine", meaning good preparation can prevent future hardship (or tragedy).
- Under the red stick, the hair forms the shape of what that looks like the number eight or the infinite symbol.
- Her familiars, Lotte appear to be based on the English Queens guard due to their uniforms and hats.
- The names 'Liese' - meaning 'God is my oath' and 'Lilia' - meaning 'innocence and purity' - could possibly be a reference to how Homura viewed Madoka in such a positive light and looked up to her.
- Homulilly appears to have half of her head cut off, which is a reference to the guillotine in her barrier, guillotines are usually symbols of punishment and shame, which may reflect Homura's guilt for not being able to protect Madoka.
- Liese looks like a raven or a crow, crows are usually omens of death or a sign bad luck is about to befall.
- HOMU is a known nickname for Homura used by Inu Curry, revealed in runes in Episode 3 Charlotte's barrier.
- In Japan the Red Spider Lily signals the arrival of fall. Many Buddhist will use it to celebrate the arrival of fall with a ceremony at the tomb of one of their ancestors. They plant them on graves because it shows a tribute to the dead. People believe that since the Red Spider Lily is mostly associated with death that one should never give a bouquet of these flowers.
- Since these scarlet flowers usually bloom near cemeteries around the autumnal equinox, they are described in Chinese and Japanese translations of the Lotus Sutra as ominous flowers that grow in Diyu (also known as Hell), or Huángquán (Simplified Chinese: 黄泉; Traditional Chinese: 黃泉), and guide the dead into the next reincarnation.
- When the flowers of lycoris bloom, their leaves would have fallen; when their leaves grow, the flowers would have wilted. This habit gave rise to various legends. A famous one is the legend of two elves: Mañju (Simplified Chinese: 曼珠; Traditional Chinese: 曼珠), who guarded the flower, and Saka (Simplified Chinese: 沙华; Traditional Chinese: 沙華), who guarded the leaves. Out of curiosity, they defied their fate of guarding the herb alone, and managed to meet each other. At first sight, they fell in love with each other. Amaterasu, exasperated by their waywardness, separated the miserable couple, and laid a curse on them as a punishment: the flowers of Mañju shall never meet the leaves of Saka again. It was said that when the couple met after death in Diyu, they vowed to meet each other after reincarnation. However, neither of them could keep their words. In commemoration of the couple, some call the herbs 'Mañjusaka' (Simplified Chinese:曼珠沙华; Traditional Chinese: 曼珠沙華), a mixture of 'Mañju' and 'Saka', instead of their scientific name. The same name is used in Japanese, in which it is pronounced manjushage.
- Some other legends have it that when you see someone that you may never meet again, these flowers, also called red spider lilies, would bloom along the path. Perhaps because of these sorrowful legends, Japanese people often used these flowers in funerals. The popular Japanese name Higanbana (彼岸花 Higan bana) for lycoris radiata literally means higan (the other or that shore of Sanzu River) flower, decorate and enjoyable, flower of afterlife in gokuraku jyōdo (極楽浄土 gokuraku jyōdo).
The significance of red lillies is interpreted as the eternal separation of two friends/lovers; a relationship forced to be separated by obstacles, circumstances, and outside forces. This is interpreted as Homura's failure to reunite with Madoka as they are both doomed to fail to break the cycle of despair. The myth about the two lovers never meeting again, despite promising one another, reinforces the idea that to Homura, Madoka means more than just mere friendship.
Broken Tooth Symbolism
In The Rebellion Story the witch has a new appearance, and is clad in an ornate dress resembling Homura's magical girl outfit. While she initially retains her record player-like witch hat from the PSP game, she quickly discards it to reveal a giant spider lily that replaces the top half of her head. Teeth constantly fall from the spider lily, like water droplets or tears.
This relates to the biblical depiction of Bruxism as sinners wailing and gnashing their teeth in hell.
- It also preludes Homura's eventual transformation into a demon since her witch represents a sinner and she is the first magical girl to sin and rebel against goddess Madoka declaring herself to be a force of evil.
It could also relate to the Nut Cracker Ballet; in the story the nutcracker was once a human who was transformed into a nut cracker and later given as a gift a Christmas party where he was damaged, the girl felt sad for him and took care of him, then when the mice attacked he came to life and defended the girl. Similarly Homura started out as a normal girl and was held back by her heart condition, then she befriended Madoka and the others and became a Magical Girl and grew stronger with the intent of protecting Madoka; which would be similar to the role reversal in the ballet. However since Madoka died in most of the timelines until she finally ended up as a part of the universe, Homura could see herself as still being the damaged nutcracker doll who can't protect the girl who helped her or even fulfill her most basic purpose.
Homulilly against Oktavia von Seckendorff.
Clara Dolls in Rebellion Manga.
Homulilly in Rebellion Manga.
Homulilly (first form) from Witches Artwork.