The Incubator of Incubator Kyubey – Madoka Magica 09

Would have been up earlier had I not suffered from a bad case of DDOS.

Welcome back to yet another dose of RegularHealingMagicGirlAnime-1. Once again, spoilers aplenty, so GTFO if you’ve not watched the latest episode yet. (If you haven’t watched a single episode at all, please teach me how you’ve managed to live on Pluto. )

So as most watchers know, Sayaka is consumed by despair and turns into a witch, and both Kyoko and Madoka seek a way to ‘revive her’, and Kyubey’s revealed to be something called an ‘Incubator’, something which would be explained later on in the episode. But before I move on to that, I’ve noticed that the show started to resemble a movie I recently watched…

…the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.  Why? In the movie, the devil (Mr. Nick) deceives Doctor Parnassus into taking a bet, which, if Parnassus won, would grant him eternal life, something he desired – yet in the end, it only doomed him to eternal suffering, and when he bet with the devil again, he would inadvertently end up fucking things up, big time. But that’s not the point. The point is that the contractor is a trickster, someone who let him win because he knew what would happen as a result. Needless to say, I could simply replace this movie with any other movie that involved this kind of deal, because they all go along pretty much the same lines- suffering and despair, for a single wish.

In this case, Kyubey seems to be kind of a machine : he is set to ‘save the universe’ (literally) by using the girls’ emotions to help cope with the universe’s entropy (See:“Heat Death of the Universe”), but he is also a bystander. Much like Homura he knows what would happen, and he willingly allows it to go on…all according to plan. Even though he knew that Kyoko’s death was certain, he allowed her to go on in her ill-fated attempt to try and save Sayaka so as to force Madoka into being a Puella Magi when the Walpurgis Night, apparently, thanks to Japan’s knack of modifying words’ meanings, in reality a powerful type of witch so strong that Homura would not be able to stop alone. In other words, the king is in check. His plan would come to fruition if Madoka became a Puella Magi – her transformation into a witch would provide massive amounts of energy.

So , technically, Kyubey is actually on the side of ‘good’ …his version of it anyway. He fights to stop the universe from reaching maximum entropy, in a sense, trying to save the universe – yet he has no emotion , for his ‘race’ (which I presume, must consist of nothing but clones of him) cannot feel any emotion. So his reasoning is this: why not sacrifice one, for the sake of many – for the sake of the whole universe? Here he is with a method of creating energy, out of almost nothing, something that completely breaks the laws of conservation of energy.

Time to bring in a little philosophy : in this case, utilitarianism. Utilitarianism could be defined as doing things for the greatest happiness of the majority, or if you analyse the word itself, treating the moral worth of any action as dependent on its ability to well, utilize. Problem with Kyubey’s Act Utilitarianism is that it simply doesn’t adhere to our set of morals and values. While it might make perfect sense to him, to us it’s morally wrong, no matter the amount of people saved. Consider the famous train-track question. There are two railroad tracks, one with 5 people unconscious, and the other with a random person you’ve never met before in your life.  You only have time to move a lever, upon which the train headed for the 5 would be redirected towards the person, who will definitely die. What do you do?

And another thing that prevents me from not seeing Kyubey as some form of divine, malicious being is the existence of the witches themselves – how does that make any sense, at all? Who even created these witches? Better yet, who created Kyubey? Surely, he wasn’t born out of some rock, was he? Maybe he was made out by marshmallows …with magic.


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21 Responses to The Incubator of Incubator Kyubey – Madoka Magica 09

  1. Sebz says:

    I challenge the Japanese to use “May Day Eve” once. Just once.

    Kyubei’s belief that his deeds are for the greater good, the “universally” good, is what makes him an awesome “villain” I suppose. He thinks that he is doing what Madoka defines as “hero of justice,” and that the humans, strong as they are, are selfish and insensitive to the “universally” good. Heavy irony, that.

    • Valence says:

      A May Day Eve being a powerful witch? A Walpurgis Night sounds cooler. It has that foreign touch that makes it sound cool.

      Kyubey believes in literally saving the universe, but we won’t sacrifice ourselves even for the sake for the universe.

  2. lvlln says:

    As Madoka said to Kyubey regarding his inability to understand why humans get upset over losing just one of them, “If you think like that, you really are our enemy.” As well meaning as Kyubey is, his system of ethics is simply incompatible with ours, which values the life of a human being as the most precious thing in the world.

    But that complexity is what makes this show even more interesting. Just like in real life, there is no simple evil, merely those who end up doing evil things for what they believe is right. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and every villain is the hero of his own story.

    • Valence says:

      But is he evil? Rather,does he think himself to be evil? He probably sees himself as a hero, and the humans as evil, since they don’t want to save the universe. But on the other hand, the humans see him as evil because of his lack of human morality. So the question here is, who is in the wrong?

      • lvlln says:

        Of course he doesn’t think himself to be evil, but evil people generally don’t. It’s just that his view of what’s right and wrong is in direct opposition to the view of humans. And because of that, no matter how right he believes himself to be, he’s in the wrong.

        Sure, there is no objective “right” and “wrong.” What’s “wrong” is what’s “wrong” for us. Kyubey’s methods involve destroying and killing human girls. Because we humans see that as “wrong,” it is wrong.

        • Valence says:

          But he goes about believing he himself is right, so this leads to a lot of conflict between him and the girls. In fact, if he had the same morals as we did we’d never have any of these problems to begin with.

  3. LoliHat says:

    Incubator, in this world we OBEY the laws of thermodynamics!”

    Seriously though, the QB alien(s) remind me of the Strangers from “Dark City.” They may be from another one of the multiverses/timelines to suck the energy from this one via Magical Girls…kind of like Asimov’s “The Gods Themselves.” Remember what Arthur C. Clark said: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”

    This series has turned into the Magical Girl version of “To Serve Man.” Aliens promise and deliver wonderful things and then use humans like cattle…all with out lying outright. If I were Madoka, I’d be screaming all over the place “IT’S A COOKBOOK!!!”

  4. Nopy says:

    This episode drew a big “wtf” from me, mainly because of Kyubey’s explanation. The laws of thermodynamics have been hammered into my brain while getting my engineering degree and this episode made absolutely no sense. Either Kyubey is just plain BS’ing Madoka or the writers didn’t do their homework. Darkmirage has a pretty good walkthrough of what’s wrong with Kyubey’s reasoning. I would’ve expected more from a magical alien.

  5. ~xxx says:

    IT sounded like my half-wit PE teacher who we always fooled during our classes…

    but little than too much fact and too much speculations, I think Kyubey’s real purpose is to harvest the ‘God-like power’ of Madoka after she turns into a witch.

    Or in short, “If you want to die for the sake of the universe. Just give Us a call.”
    He sounded so creepy in that line alone.

    • Valence says:

      God-like power? I doubt the witches can be controlled, really, if not he would have skipped the whole thing and skipped to unleashing the witches.

  6. Azure Hoshizora says:

    Well kyubey does look white and fluffy, marshmallows do seem to be a possible material.

    Then there could be the case of Kyubey lying. He’s still evil and using entropy as an excuse. If entropy was true though, it’d make Madoka and co. the selfish narrow minded people who can’t see the bigger image like the Emotionless Kyubies…

    I still don’t have a good understanding of the ‘entropy’ thing… *phails at science* And then there’s the whole morality grayness… I would still prefer to think that Kyubey is still evil though.

    • Valence says:

      I wouldn’t mind buying a marshmallow Kyubey. Looks nice to eat as a party snack…

      I still like your theory. the whole entropy things looks too unlikely.

  7. afkeroge says:

    I really don’t want to think that SHAFT fails at Physics, but that whole entropy explanation was a bit… no, really odd. In a closed system(meaning that no energy can escape from it, the universe being a prime example), we cannot lose energy. Maybe he’s just referring to the “Heat Death of the Universe” and that they’ve found a way to reverse it, but then goes off to tell Madoka BS. But then again, the facts may be completely different.

    • Valence says:

      We cannot lose energy, but by entropy I suppose he refers to the Heat Death of the universe (as I mentioned in the article) but either way his solution doesn’t make any sense at all.

      • afkeroge says:

        It maybe that what they have found was not a way to generate energy from nothing, but a way to convert heat back to useful forms of energy.

        • Valence says:

          Doesn’t his solution kind of break the laws of conservation of energy? This energy he gathers is created out of nothing, and simply flows into the universe. He doesn’t convert heat into anything: he creates energy out of little girls.

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