Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

By Nitro+,Ninomae Hajime

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Volume 1 Chapter 1

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Volume 1 Chapter 1

Chapter 1 : As If I Met Her In My Dreams...[]

Do I have real friends? I often thought of this question after I had entered junior high. Are the people whom I go to shopping with after school my friends? Are the people who prepare for exams with me, who chitchat about other classmates, or who share the secrets of the boys they like my friends? I couldn’t come to a conclusion after refuting my own thoughts repeatedly. This was probably because I didn’t understand how close or intimate relationships should get to be called as friendship. So, at the end of the day, I didn’t have a clear conclusion of whether I have real friends around me.

Yet, if I had really said what I thought, Sayaka-chan would definitely get angry at me, saying, “what? Are you regarding me as an outsider? What are you coming up with now?” And Hitomi-chan would definitely say, “these words kind of hurt people. Do you want to say that the friendship we’ve built till now is as illusional as a castle in the air?” Sayaka-chan and Hitom-chan certainly regard me as their friends, but am I really fit as their friends? And thus I became a little restless. When the thought that I couldn’t become anyone’s true friend came over me, I felt a bit lonely and dejected.

It was probably because I went to sleep with these irregular thoughts in my mind that I had an inexplicable dream that one night. The dream’s scene was in some kind of an armageddon. The sky was dyed red by the midst, and the broken and wrecked buildings on the street were devastating. In this world where everything went to its end, only I was standing foolishly on a cliff. Then, before my eyes, there was a monster I had never seen before. The monster’s body was so gigantic it covered the whole sky, making sharp, laughing sounds. The buildings nearby swirled around it, burning like paper and then falling down, collapsing. It looked as if it hated everything that mankind has made, wrecking them with all its might. In this appalling scene, my legs trembled spontaneously; I wanted to run, but my legs went against my will.

“Eh?”

At this moment I discovered at last what the huge monster, which is destroying the city savagely, was actually after. Then, what was it actually after? I saw it—it was a girl who looked extremely small compared to that huge monster. She was a very beautiful girl with black hair. She was wearing back-and-white striped clothes, dancing in the sky, jumping and evading while attacking the monster occasionally. It was surprising to see her fighting alone such a huge, abominable monster.

“Goo-Good Luck!” I couldn’t help but to clasp my hands and root for her. But, my weak supporting sounds couldn’t possibly be sent to her; not long, she was swirled away like a dried leaf by the turbulence blasted from the monster.

“Yiahhhh!” At the same time I cried, the girl was blown to a far building by the strong wind and slammed right into it.

“Tha-That’s too atrocious,” my lower jaw was trembling so vigorously I couldn’t close my mouth. Nevertheless, the girl who was slammed into the wall of the building was still living; her beautiful face twisted in pain. Although she was beaten black and blue, she still used all her might to get off from that wall of the building. And at this moment, she seemed to have landed her eyes on me. At the same time I was stared, the rate of my heartbeat rocketed indescribably. Those firm, condescending, yet dismayed eyes penetrated directly through my heart, making me feel as if I forgot something very important, and hence making me afraid. But, at this moment, the displeasing monster made another appalling laugh, blasting this black-haired girl and the building behind her away.

“Why…Why?”

“Do you want to ask why she had to suffer from such things?”

As I mumbled with tears welled in my eyes, an adorable and young voice suddenly came from my back, freaking me out. I quickly turned around in a flurry, happening to see a peculiar living thing before me. It had round, red eyes, and long ears like those of a rabbit. A pair of golden rings hung on them.

“Who…Who are you?”

It didn’t answer my question but just lightly said, “this can’t be helped. After all, it’s too much for her to shoulder alone. But, she knew that from the start.” Hearing its words, I couldn’t help looking back to the black-haired girl. She was blasted afar; and when she tried to stand up again, the monster hurled a multitude of pieces of buildings and threw them at her, exploding her from head to toe. She evaded swiftly, but she couldn’t evade all the attacks: she was hit by a huge concrete piece, her feet twisting into an unnatural figure.

“Yiahhh!” I couldn’t help but to cover my eyes. “This is too atrocious! How can something like this happen?!” I cried, tears about to rush out of my eyes. At this instant, the black-haired girl called for me.

“Eh…what?” However, I couldn’t hear a word she was saying. Even when this was the case, she still called for me loudly and repeatedly. When I looked at her, her face of trying all her might to cry to me tightly tore my heart. Yet, I was too feeble: all I could do was to tremble with my legs, unable to move an inch. I couldn’t even go to her side to lift her up. Why am I so useless? I was angry and regretful of myself being so weak; tears rushed out of my eyes, incessently trickling down my cheeks.

“If you give up, everything will end here.”

A sound suddenly came into my ears again.

“But, you can change your fate.”

That peculiar creature was sitting before me, though I didn’t know when it sat.

“You can upturn all these inevitable unhappiness and chaos, as you have the power to do so.”

Until now did I find out that this voice directly appears in my mind. This adorable and young voice seemed to have blended into my subconscious, reverberating in it. At the same time, many people I hadn’t seen before appeared in my mind and gradually faded away. There was a girl with a torn yellow dress lying in a pool of blood dismally. There was another girl beside her with a broken long sword, her blue skirt cut into threads. There was another girl with her sleeveless red garment torn open apathetically, with round eyes that implied her subsequent death.

“Who are they? Who are these girls?”

“It’s up to you to upturn all these inevitable tragedies. You have the power to do so.”

I tried my best to turn my neck to put my eyes on that black-haired girl again. She was shouting something to me with all her might and staring at me with eager eyes, yet I couldn’t hear what she wanted to say no matter how I closely look at her mouth.

“Is it true?” I sounded a husky voice from my mouth, “can someone like me really do something to change everything before me?”

“Of course.”

The eyes of the peculiar creature flashed with beam. Then, it jumped up.

“You can change everything—simply everything! So…”

So…?

“So, sign a contract with me and become a magical girl!”

Ring, ring, ring…!

“Wuaghh?!” I abruptly sat up in the frustrating alarm sound.

Before my eyes was my familiar room. The teddy bear plush and the Kappa plush I like very much was placed beside my pillow. There was also my favourite calico bolster. I turned my head to look at the window absent-mindedly, looking at the flashing sunlight penetrating through the curtains and spilling inside the room.

“Awaa. Was that a dream?” I turned off the switch of the alarm clock with a dizzy and slacking mind, heaving a sigh at the same time. Then, I got off my bed, walked beside the windows, and opened it to see the refreshing sunlight of early summer and the soft and tender wind blowing through the windows. This was enough to rejuvenate me and blow away the appalling nightmare in my mind. There was a small, private garden below the windows where dad was now in. I felt rest assured when I saw him acting usually with his apron.

“Good morning, dad,” I greeted my dad, waving my hands.

“Good morning, Madoka.”

Yes, this person who was standing up and smiling at me was my dad, Tomohisa Kaname.

“Where’s mum?”

Hearing my inquiry, dad shrugged his shoulders and said in a soft, placid voice, “Tatsuya has gone to call her. Can you also help?”

“Sure.”

With that said, I jumped and ran out of the room. This was our family’s everyday routine. I rushed from my room to the hallway and busted into mum’s room.

“Mum! Good morning! Good morning!”

As I had expected, Tatsuya was crouching on mum and hitting her repeatedly. Of course, mum wouldn’t be willing to wake up to the punches of a three-year-old kid. And thus I ran to the windows and flipped open the curtains. Then, I lightly inhaled, and cried, “wake up!”

“Yiiahhhh?!”

This jovial job had become my routine job recently, for it was wondrous to see mum, Junko Kaname, wake up with such a spectacular reaction.

“So. By the way, what did you want to say to me yesterday?” Mum asked me while brushing her teeth in her sluggish face, reminding me of such a thing.

“Oh, that. Hitomi-chan received another love letter. This is the second letter this week already.”

“Oh.”

“And she was troubled of how to respond to it, so she asked me whether I could ask for your advice.”

“My advice? Why me?”

“Yeah.”

When asked by mum, I was stumped of how to answer her.

“May because Hitomi-chan thinks that you mum is very reliable?”

“Oh. Anyway, can I speak bluntly?”

“Oh sure.”

“Men who don't even have the courage to confess face-to-face are out of the question.”

What a swift and direct reply. But, how should I tell this answer to Hitomi-chan? Just when I stopped brushing my teeth, mum had already brushed her teeth agilely and was starting to wash her face at the sink beside me. I quickly accelerated my speed in brushing my teeth, but mum had already finished washing her face and was starting to comb her beautiful hair. Looking at her delicate hands tidying her face, even I as her family member was captivated by her charm.

“Right. How's Kazuko doing?”

Suddenly being brought up to this question, I stopped my hands again and replied while I hurriedly washed my face, “she still seems to plan on being a teacher, but she looks a bit absent-minded at class. It's the third month this week; a new record should be made.”

“Eh. Who knows? Now is the most dangerous period,” mum said while she put on makeup in super speed. On a side note, Kazuko was my class teacher, Ms. Kazuko Saotome. She was my mums good friend when they were in high school. She looked nice and feels gentle, but she was already thirty-four and still single.

“If this isn't for real, they should be starting to break up by now. But if they can get through it, then they can at least get to around a year.”

Speaking of which, I was very unfamiliar with things regarding to love, love as in couples. Ah, I was unfamiliar with other things too. I retorted myself in my heart, finished washing my face, and started to put my attention to comb my tousled hair. At this time, mum had already put on makeup perfectly, looking exactly like a female star. As her daughter, I didn’t have the smartness and cleverness as her, making me feel a bit inferior—but at least I could comb my tousled hair and make it tidy and neat. Then, I looked a bit dubious as I stared at both the brown ribbon and the red ribbon.

“Which one should I choose?”

Hearing my hesitant inquiry, mum immediately pointed at the red ribbon and said, “this one.”

“Eh? Wouldn’t this be too gaudy?”

“This is great. If women were to be belittled by their appearances, then they’re done for.”

With that said, she smiled at me, took the red ribbon, and nimbly tied it on my hair.

“Mmm. Isn’t this great? Now Madoka’s stealth fans will lost their minds for your charm.”

“I don’t have any stealth fans!”

“You have them. You have to think like that. This is the secret in being a beautiful woman.”

Mum blinked at me; I didn’t know how to look at her and looked away. I then looked at the mirror—however I put it, I thought it was too gaudy. Yet, I didn’t even have the courage to change it.

“Come. Breakfast is ready!”

Mum drew my shoulders tightly near her and pulled me to the kitchen. Tatsuya was already sitting on the baby sit, and dad was in the kitchen preparing breakfast skillfully. The smell of food flew out, and hence my stomach was stimulated and made rumbling sounds. Right, let me introduce the breakfast dad had prepared for us: soft and cripsy toast made of 100% soft flour, sausages made of salted and minced meat, lettuce salad, and a fried egg. Dad was really a housework genius! After my parents were married, mum immediately handed everything pertaining to housework to my dad. I thought I understood the reason now.

“Wa! I'm so blessed.”

Looking at mum happily sitting in front of the table, dad, who was wearing an apron, gave a delightful smile.

“Eat first. You have to leave early.”

“Sorry. Then, I'll start eating.” Mum swiftly grabbed a toast with her left hand and dexterously flipped the newspapers with her right hand. At the same time, she skimmed through the newspapers in astonishing speed, drinking the coffee dad brewed for her, and even took care of Tatsuya beside her. She looked like an Asura with multiple limbs.  This was my mum: she can handle jobs that require three people while doing it faster and better at me at every one of them. I had always been thinking of whether I was the result of atavism. However, mum would always tell me, “this comes from practice.” I heard that mum would have a lot of things piled in her mind and thought over, so she could squeeze more time to spend with our family. And as a result, she acquired this special skill, which in turn actually made her capable of handling important niches in her company. She then sighed and said mundane matters are always beyond our expectations. things -->

“Do you want another cup of coffee?”

“No thanks,” mum said lightly in response to dad. Then, she wiped Tatsuya’s face, folded up the newspapers neatly, and stood up.

“Okay. I'm out!” With that said, she kissed dad’s and Tatsuya’s foreheads, and stretched her hand to me. I also stood up, jumped, and clapped my hand with mum’s. She then smiled and went out—she was more than perfect. Would there one day I could become someone like mum? As I saw her off blankly…

“Hey, Madoka. You also need to pick up your pace and get going.”

“Eh?”

Having been reminded by dad, I looked at the clock—it was almost eight already.

“Wuagh. I’m going to be late!”

I frantically stuffed the half piece of toast and the salad in my mouth and grabbed my schoolbag. My dad was helping Tatsuya to wear his kindgarden uniform. After I touched Tatsuya’s head and clapped my hand with dad, I ran out of home in a hurry. I was running under the bright and cheerful sunlight, and I had forgotten all about the nightmare I had this morning.

“Good morning!” I waved my hand and ran to two familiar people I spotted on my way to school.

“Good morning.”

“Madoka, you’re so slow.”

Both of them were smiling at me, and one of them was waving hands at me. Hitomi Shizuki was the beautiful girl with long hair nodding to me politely. This graceful girl was my best classmate since I entered Mitakihara middle school. The other one who was running to me to hold me into her arms was Sayaka Miki, a short-haired girl who were friends with me since grade school.

“Sorry,” I apologised, panting. Sayaka-chan suddenly cried, ‘oh?’, and stared at my hair with interest.

“What an adorable ribbon!”

“Is that so? Isn’t this too gaudy?”

Hitomi-chan smiled at my embarrassed question, “it’s beautiful.” Hitomi-chan was a trendy girl who was skillful in dressing up. Having heard of her praise, I felt more assured and calm. Then, the three of us walked to school like usual. Today the weather was usual too: the sky was bright, and the azure, placid sky was vast and devoid of clouds. I inhaled deeply and turned towards the station under the gradual slope: the streets of Mitakihara town were situated there, with hills and valleys stretching all the way to the horizon with a vague contour. ‘This was a town very suitable for living, where old things and new things were perfectly fused together.’ I remembered mum closing her eyes and saying this joyously. Indeed, there was a large shopping mall in front of the town’s station and a lot of large parks where people would bring their beloved dogs here for a stroll regardless of day and night. Pedestrians all had smiles on their faces—this was Mitakihara town, the town I lived in.

“Um… Madoka-san, have you helped me to ask my question?” Hitomi asked embarassedly. I nodded my head in response. Actually, I had been thinking of how to tell her mum’s answer all along, but at last I just resorted to telling her what mum said originally.

“Um. My mum said that boys who don’t even have the courage to confess face-to-face are out of the question.”

“Oh certainly…” Hitomi-chan nodded her head as if she was thinking.

“Ah. Madoka’s mum is still so cool!” Sayaka-chan said in admiration.

“Rea-Really?”

“Yeah! Your mum is not only beautiful but also a smart and clever businesswoman. I look up to her so much!”

“Yes, you’re right…”

Yeah. Sayaka-chan’s words make me gratified and proud, but when mum become more praised, the pressure on me become heavier. Mum could always bluntly speak of her opinion, but I couldn’t. She could always put the plans she devised in her heart into practice immediately, yet I would find it difficult to even start doing the first task. As such, when I hear others praise her, I couldn’t help thinking why I was so useless. I would even feel dejected and dismayed for my own feebleness. When I was fumbling with my thoughts…

“If only I could be like Madoka-san’s mum and get rid of things so determinedly…Sigh. How should I respond to him?” Hitomi-chan lightly heaved a sigh.

I quickly answered, “right. What should be done?” And I began searching for the answer like Hitomi-chan.

“But your agony is so enviable,” Sayaka-chan said casually and stretched her body. How would it feel to receive a letter from a boy? I thought blankly and carelessly slipped this thought out of my mouth, “yeah. I also want to receive a love letter written by a boy…”

“Oh?”

Eh? When I came back to my senses, Sayaka-chan was approaching me with a mischievous smile.

“So you want to say you also want to become as beautiful and popular among boys as Hitomi? Oh. That’s why you are starting from your ribbon to change the impression you make.”

“No. I’m not. This was mum’s…”

“So your mum even told you the secret in being popular among boys? Rats. I must use this move to take care of you shameless girl!”

“Ah-ah. Stop it! Please stop!”

To tell the truth, I was extremely ticklish. Even if one would stretch their hand before me, I would feel ticklish before one even touches me. This was almost like a tickle phobia.

“Sa-Sayaka-chan! That’s enough! Stop it! Yiahhhahaha!”

“Wahaha. What an adorable thing. I won’t allow you to become popular among boys! You’re my bride!”

Sayaka-chan had been saying this a lot, but more importantly…

“No!” Even if I tried my best to resist, I couldn’t stop myself from laughing under the endless tickles Sayaka-chan was unleashing on me; and my reactions stimulated her to tickle me even more. I wanted to stop laughing but I couldn’t—this tickle torture is the scariest torture in the world! Ahahaha. Stop! And at this moment…

“…uckhum,” Hitomi-chan coughed deliberately.

“Ah?”

During our frolic, we didn’t have a single idea that we had become the centre of attention to the students around us.

Translation Notes[]

  1.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kappa_(folklore)
  2.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asura
  3.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atavism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kappa_(folklore)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asurahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atavism