The Different Story: Episode 12
The final episode begins with Homura sitting in Mami’s home. Mami asks Homura if she knew that Miki would become a witch and that Mami would go after her. Homura admits that she did however she didn’t expect Mami to return alive. Mami responds that she was lucky she did, but it was thanks to the support of her friends and Kyoko cleansing her soul gem that she was able to return. Homura begins to discuss her plans for Walpurgisnacht and asks Mami for her help in fighting it, telling her she would have asked sooner but Mami would not have believed her earlier. Mami tells Homura of the promise she and Kyoko made of defeating Walpurgisnacht and protecting the town together as well as never leaving each other’s side. Homura admits that she doesn’t know where Kyoko is and hasn’t seen Sayaka’s witch barrier either. She then asks Mami if it’s not possible that her soul gem wasn’t actually cleansed by Kyoko earlier, due to her illusion magic since she couldn’t possibly have had enough magic after their battle or a grief seed to spare for Mami. Kyubey appears from nowhere and tells the girls that he saw all that happened and that Kyoko and Sayaka are no more. In flashback, Kyoko cleanses Mami’s soul gem with Sayaka’s grief seed as she tells Kyubey she couldn’t leave Mami there to die because what kind of sister would that make her. She leaves Mami’s soul gem by her body laying on the ground and heads out, but after making it to the center of another witch’s barrier her magic runs out and Kyoko is defeated. As the flashback ends, Kyubey continues to explain how Kyoko would have survived had she kept collecting grief seeds at her usual pace and it was not Mami who was a direct cause of Sayaka becoming a witch due to Mami avoiding witch hunting as much as possible. However, Sayaka did not pick up on hunting witches the way Mami had hoped she would. Instead, all three girls’ soul gems became polluted over the course of time due to this stalemate. If it had continued on, all three would have become witches. Angry and in grief, Mami materializes a pistol from her soul gem and aims it at Kyubey, demanding answers. But according to Kyubey, all he did was grant her wish and questions why she’s so concerned with whether her friends live or die. All this time she’s survived by destroying other magical girls turned witches. Why should these two particular magical girls matter so much?
Defeated, Mami collapses to the ground, asking why someone as selfish as herself gets to continue living when the girls who deserved to be saved are now gone. She would have been happier had either Sayaka or Kyoko done away eith her. Homura stands, pistol in hand, and asks Mami if she wants to die that badly. As Mami begins to answer in the affirmative, Homura slaps her across the face. She calls Mami absurd and scolds her for believing in Kyubey’s words. Even if she did kill many witches, she saved many more lives as a result. If Mami were to die now, the Walpurgisnacht would materialize and thousands of people will die, causing everything Mami worked so hard for to vanish in an instant. Homura goes on to say it would be better for Mami to learn her limits and to keep on living. She goes on to describe to Mami a time when her friends erupted into conflict and she was put in a bad situation until her friend was able to save her at the cost of killing another precious friend in order to do so. She made a promise to her before she perished and Homura intends to keep this promise and won’t let her life go to waste. The images in the panels show a different timeline when Madoka had to kill Mami in order to save Homura. Homura continues on to say that death can only separate them physically, it can’t separate their feelings and she should fulfill her promise to Kyoko. Homura failed to save her friends even after they were able to reverse Mami’s seemingly unchangeable fate. Once more, she urges Mami to fight alongside her during Walpurgisnacht and not to say anything about this conversation to Madoka. She gets up to leave, but not before telling Mami she will ask once more tomorrow. Before Kyubey can ask if Mami will be joining her or not, Mami demands he leaves but not before Kyubey lets her know Madoka is waiting outside her apartment door.
Madoka sits in Mami’s living room as Mami pours tea for her. It seems Madoka did not go home and waited so she could talk to Mami about a secret she had been keeping from her and Sayaka: she was friends with Kyoko. In flashback, Madoka goes on to describe how she met up with Kyoko shortly after her and Homura saved them from all from a witch. Madoka introduces herself to Kyoko and thanks her for saving them but Kyoko says she was only interested in the witch and not in saving them. Kyoko also tells her she insists on being called by her first name rather than by her last which causes Madoka some awkwardness. As Madoka struggles to find something to say, Kyoko blurts out something she had been wondering: Why is Madoka following Mami and Sayaka around if she doesn’t really want to be a magical girl in the first place. Madoka explains that she had been friends with Sayaka since elementary school, but despite looking up to Sayaka and being protected by her she could never come to like herself. She felt like a burden who wasn't useful for anything until she met Mami and learned about magical girls but before she could become a magical girl, Sayaka became one first. This caused Sayaka to drift away from her friendship with Madoka and focus more on being a magical girl and being friends with Mami which caused Madoka to feel like a burden once more even if she were to become a magical girl herself. Madoka apologizes to Kyoko for talking about herself so much and wipes a tear as Kyoko offers her some Pocky. Kyoko explains that Mami and her were once good friends, but they split apart for various reasons. When Kyoko saw her with a new partner, she couldn't accept it and said some things she shouldn't have, blowing up at her and messing up their relationship. Were she to start over again, Kyoko is worried they would just mess around with her. Madoka smiles and tells Kyoko that at first she seemed like a really mean girl but in reality she's not like that at all. Kyoko asks Madoka to keep their meeting a secret and Madoka happily agrees, saying she wanted to keep it a secret as well.
After that, Madoka continued to meet up with Kyoko in secret to talk about various things. In the next scene, Madoka is sitting on a park bench next to Kyoko describing Sayaka's personality while Kyoko describes Mami's. When Madoka asks Kyoko to become Mami's partner once again, Kyoko declines saying she doesn't want to risk her life to help people because she's not that kind of person. Very few people in the world are like that but no other magical girl besides Mami ever was and she doesn't want to see Sayaka turn out that way as well. Soon Kyoko will be returning to Kazamino, besides which she doubts Mami wants a reminder of the past here all the time. Madoka tells Kyoko that it seems she really wants to make up with Mami and she's sure Mami would understand but Kyoko cuts her off, telling her to stay out of this business and not to worry about Mami and Sayaka anymore. Kyoko will handle it should anything happen to them. As she tells Madoka to go home to her family before they worry, Homura is seen in the foreground, hidden behind a tree and listening in on their conversation.
The flashback ends as Madoka apologizes to Mami once more for not having told her sooner. She didn't have the courage to help everyone to become friends, but she's given it a lot of thought since then and has made a decision: for the sake of all her friends, she's going to become a magical girl. It was always Sayaka that saved and protected her and now it's Madoka's turn to save and protect Sayaka. She should have been there with Mami and maybe Sayaka could have been saved from the witch. But Mami disagrees, telling Madoka that making a wish for the sake of someone else will inevitably come back to bite her and then she'll end up suffering the same fate as Sayaka and that's something that Mami couldn't bear. However, Madoka isn't becoming a magical girl just for Sayaka's sake but for Mami's as well so she can go back to being an ordinary girl. She knows that being a magical isn't all fun and games but it isn't all pain and suffering either. Mami has been protecting this town and shouldering this pain by herself for a long time with no one to support her and no family to love her. So even though Madoka may not be able to change the fact she's a magical girl and can't return her family to her, she can fight in her place so that Mami can instead live an ordinary life full of friends instead. Mami falls into Madoka's arm, sobbing as Madoka holds her and Kyubey watches from the side.
The scene changes and shows Madoka standing before a sky swirling with ominous clouds as Walpurgisnacht is close to descending on the town. Sayaka asks Madoka what's wrong and Madoka apologies, explaining she had been thinking of Mami just then. Sayaka sympathizes, and says they must do their best to protect this town without regrets like Mami did. Homura narrates the scene as she explains that Mami's actions led to Madoka making a contract to bring back Sayaka and in the end Mami destroyed her own soul gem, leaving only a message behind. This time, it's Madoka who asks Homura what's wrong before going on to say she made a promise to Mami to protect everyone. Homura urges Madoka to escape before it's too late, but Sayaka cuts her off telling her not to be weak since she's the more experienced of the three. She offers her hand to Homura, saying she wants to protect Madoka as well not only for saving her from being killed by a witch but also for getting past everything that was weighing her down. Not only Madoka, but Homura also saved her once as well and she intends to repay the debt. As the three magical girls head forward to take on Walpurgisnacht as she descends on the town, Homura vows to never give up no matter how many times she must go back in time.
The final scene shows Mami setting up a luscious tea party filled with treats and pastries. Kyoko is sitting at the table asking if all of this is just for the two of them. Mami explains she called everyone over and Kyoko had better figure out how to make up with Sayaka or else she won't' be getting any cake. She goes to answer the door, saying she had called her friends over only because they said they would be late and the silhouette of a man and woman stand in the doorway as she welcomes them home. As the scene unfolds, the contents of Mami's final message are intersperced between the panel frames: Mami apologizes for not being there and being unable to fight witches any longer. Despite their acquaintance being short, Mami was glad to have met them all and is no longer lonely thanks to them. She wishes only that she could make a wish to meet all of them in a world without witches. The final image is of Mami laying on her couch, holding her shattered soul gem and Kyoko's ribbon and pendant in her hands.