The Bad Rap: Kyubey from Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Hello there! I’m happy to announce that I’m still alive! Oh… you hadn’t noticed that I didn’t post last week. Wow, okay.

Anyway, welcome to today’s installment of The Bad Rap! You know how this works – once or twice a month I like to put a spotlight on some of anime and manga’s notorious baddies and give them a fresh perspective. And today we are going to discuss a particularly nasty baddy… Kyubey from Madoka Magica.

Yeah, Kyubey is cute. That’s how he gets you.

From initial viewing, Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Madoka Magica for short) is your typical magical girl anime geared exclusively toward young girls. Right from the start you catch those old worn out tropes that are ever popular in this particular genre. However, if you keep watching, you’ll soon discover that this particular magical girl anime is anything but typical. It is actually complex with some interesting dynamics.

But we aren’t here for a review of the anime, we’re here for the creature in the hotseat – Kyubey. What is Kyubey exactly? Well, he appears to be some sort of talking cat critter with a gaping desire to have young girls enter contracts with him to become super powered adolescents. We learn a little later that these contracts are a lot more serious than our pal lets on, and these girls sell their souls to fight the very thing that they are all eventually destined to become if they don’t die first, which is a high possibility of happening. Kyubey turns out to be a cute species of alien creature that feeds off of the harnessed energy of the magical girls. Yikes, right?

Cute and terrifying.

Something that I noticed right away is even though what is expected from these contracts is horrendous, Kyubey doesn’t seem to feel anything about the outcome. He doesn’t necessarily hide the dark nature of these agreements and is forthcoming with Madoka when asked. It is simple – he doesn’t show shame or regret because Kyubey isn’t capable of human emotions. It is his task to fulfill the contracts and reap the rewards sooner or later. Is he a bad character because of it? Absolutely not. I love Kyubey and what he represents – a cute, emotionless critter with dark layers.

What do you think of Kyubey? Did you like him as a character as I do, or are you one of those that were shocked by what he turned out to be? Comment below and keep the discussion going!

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