He/She/It STARES into Your Soul! A post on Kyubey and Human Morality

"Boku to keiyakushite, Mahou Shoujo ni natte yo!"

“MY MIND IS FULL OF F*CK!” -Valence

“Everytime I see him, I just want to strangle that little white thing.” -Yi

“I find myself hating Kyubey a lot more after each episode. Gosh I hate that thing!” -Yi

“Kyubey stares into your soul!” -A lot of sites

“…Kyubey has forever changed the way we perceive magical girl familiars.” -Triple_R

“…his smile and eyes make him look sinister in the dark.”             -Chikorita157

“Kyubey is so creepy. Its face is creepy. Its eyes are creepy. Its expression is creepy. Kyubey makes the color white seem creepy. Kyubey makes mahou shoujo’s pets seem creepy. Isn’t Kyubey just plain creepy?” -keikakudoori

“I mean it has ears coming out its ears!! How can it not be evil???? XD” -meimi132

“KYUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUBEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY!!!!!!” -Everyone

“Pahiram nga ng shotgun…! papatayin ko yang p&^%%$()*^$ yan, eh!” (Lend me a shotgun…! I’m gonna kill that son of a b^&#$!) -My friend

“Yan? Yang inosenteng yan!? Yan ung kalaban?” (That? That innocent looking creature!? That’s the villain?) -My dad

“Make a contract with me and become a magical girl!” -Kyubey

This is Kyuubee/Kyubey/Kyuubey/Cubey/QB/Mephisto Plushie/whatever you want to call him/her/it. He’s one of the main reasons why Madoka Magica is so different from other Magical Girl anime. Heck, he is one of the reasons why Madoka Magica is different from most other anime. Kyuubee is one of those characters that gives that deceptive, if not otherworldly creepy smile. Without his rare traits, MSMM may have been just a very ordinary magical girl anime. He is a villain like I have never seen before. He’s someone/something that works for the “greater good”.  This may be one of the characteristics that you would expect from some goody-goody-two-shoes hero trying to save the world and all, but Kyuubee is different. As he is from an alien race, he apparently fails to understand human emotions and values.

One of my favorite moments. Too bad the next scene broke my euphoria.

We humans tend to push our moral beliefs on other people. As an example, some of us believe that we should apologize right away to someone we have wronged, while some prefer to let the wounds heal a bit before going in to apologize. The difference in personal moral beliefs is one of the causes of conflicts, big or small.

Where does Kyubey stand in all of this? He is the extreme example of something that deviates from our moral norms, somewhat like Niccolo Machiavelli. Niccolo Machiavelli was a political philosopher who believed that power was not only a means, but also a goal for a good government. He is the one who said that “the ends justify the means” and suggests the use of “necessary” violence in running a nation. Like Machiavelli, Kyubey’s extreme pragmatism will be most likely hated by the average person. Believe it or not, Machiavelli was also attributed to the devil in one of Shakespeare’s plays as “Old Nick”. And this is what we’re doing to Kyubey now. Though we are more open to moral ambiguity now than the past, we still have ties to our subconscious that tells us what is right and wrong on a very basic level. We simply have a hard time accepting views that we think is “wrong”.

TL;DR: Kyubey is hated not for being evil or something stupid like that. It’s something more. You, dear reader, if you do watch Madoka, or you are at least familiar with Kyubey, what is it that makes your blood boil about the little bastard?

I have this uncontrollable urge to put a yuri pic in this post though it has absolutely nothing to do with the contents. But oh, well. Yuri is appreciated. Right?

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About Lucas Magnus

Trying to change for the better.
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32 Responses to He/She/It STARES into Your Soul! A post on Kyubey and Human Morality

  1. feal87 says:

    I do not make people blood boil.

    I just prepare contracts to save the universe, I’m the good guy in this story. >_<

    • afkeroge says:

      Well, to be honest, I really like Kyubey’s personality/familiar-lity design. I mean, a villain for the greater good? Though I’ve seen others whose goals are ideal like Kyubey’s, he is still quite unique.

      But one side of me just can’t forgive him. Sorry about that. ^^

    • baka~ says:

      ep 9… Kyubey mentioned that with Kyouko out of the picture, Homura will be forced to fight the Walpurgis alone and with no other choice but for Madoka to form a contract. Good guys don’t reveal their intentions don’t just go saying “hey that bitch is dead, care to make a contract?” (did this with Mami and will most likely do this with Madoka now that Kyouko and Sayaka are goners).

      ep 10… Madoka turned into a witch and kyubey was simply amazed but could care less since he already had achieved his quota… So after assuring Madoka in ep 9 that someday, humans will be able to make contact with their race, he goes on ep 10 not giving a damn sh*t with the fate of the world.

      But hey, he’s doing it for the good intentions… I just can’t see him as one of the good guys. Well, Lelouch of Code Geass and Kira of DeathNote may fall under Kyubey’s category of doing the good things using the wrong methods but for that little sh*t, he lacks the charisma that those two had (at this point, cute != charisma)

      as an off-topic, where the FFFFFFFF is Madoka ep 11 and 12?! *headbangs*

      • afkeroge says:

        And this is why most people hate that stuffed animal. He doesn’t even try to justify his means. He explains it, but he does not defend himself. Not to mention his ultimate troll face, happy face, explaining face and all other faces are exactly the same.

        I think the later episodes of Madoka will come by mid-April at the earliest.

  2. Vallen Chaos Valiant says:

    My argument is this; the only way you can claim QB isn’t evil, is by claiming evil doesn’t exist. And if evil doesn’t exist, then there is no such thing as a good guy either, which means QB can’t possibly be doing anything for the “greater good”.

    QB has the right to kill us all with force for his own benefit, as much as we have the right to blow up his home planet in retaliation. And I would be disappointed if QB’s masters actually survived the end of the series unscathed. You reap what you sow.

    • afkeroge says:

      Ooh, a very nice argument you have there. ^^

      The reason I put “greater good” in quotes instead of his specific agenda is that someone who is presented with the fact that a certain technology of theirs (without getting specific) can help add free energy (or internal potential) to the otherwise decreasing reserve of potential energy in the universe will certainly approve of his plans because of the many benefits that it seems to bring. I’m not saying that what Kyubey is doing is entirely good or entirely despicable. It’s just that the most basic fact about his whole plan is to gather energy, which is supposed to be beneficial, or “good”.

      >”QB has the right to kill us all with force for his own benefit, as much as we have the right to blow up his home planet in retaliation. And I would be disappointed if QB’s masters actually survived the end of the series unscathed. You reap what you sow.”

      I really like these words of yours. They are so true. Why the hell would Kyubey, a creature with seemingly no emotions, have qualms about causing the destruction of a planet or two? And why won’t we humans just defend ourselves? It’s a matter of ‘who wins’ in this context.

      But I do hope that Kyubey or his superiors, if he has any, can at least have some sort of divine retribution for what they’re doing. It would just ruin the show if the “bad guys” win with no consequences.

  3. Valence says:

    Here’s an interesting question about morality : did Hitler think he was an evil person? Why is it that some events are universally agreed upon to be ‘amoral’, while others are accepted and rejected by different groups of people? Do we have a sense of morality, or do we build our own morality? Answers a few questions raised here.

    See also: The paradox which proves that God didn’t give us morality.

    • afkeroge says:

      Whoa, I’m having a blast with all these arguments and stuff! ^^ As I thought, philosophy is the best subject there is!

      It can be argued that moral standards arise from us humans having these pesky little things called emotions. Different people react differently to a particular situation or concept. Which is mainly why people argue over stuff and start fights or wars. External influence such as our parents, teachers, peers and religion also contribute to what we think is right and wrong, or rather, what’s acceptable and what is not. Personal experience also plays a part in building our moral standards. Of course we don’t want anyone to kill us for no reason or for someone to steal our stuff. It just makes things inconvenient for us. That’s why we see to it that no one does these kinds of things, hence, the justice systems.

      Also, going back to the Book of Genesis, for those of you who are Christians, Adam and Eve knew nothing of what was right and wrong until they ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.

      • Valence says:

        But isn’t morality sort of arbitrary if knowledge of it was gained all at an instant? Doesn’t this not reflect the ever-changing nature of knowledge and morals today? Surely, some of what were unacceptable centuries ago are commonplace now, and we don’t complain. How can complete knowledge and morality be encapsulated so easily?

        • afkeroge says:

          “But isn’t morality sort of arbitrary if knowledge of it was gained all at an instant?”

          People’s views on morality do change over time, but the most basic ones are more or less intact. People who kill others know it for a fact that it goes against a very basic facet of their morality, yet they still kill people because maybe… they need to or it is needed for their survival. It somehow makes it more acceptable.

          And as I’ve said, what we do, who we interact with and our emotions affect our stand about moral issues. It can change over time, depending on the influence that they bring in our lives. It’s not knowledge acquired in an instant, but rather an ongoing learning experience. It just happens that Kyubey’s actions do not coincide with what most of the world thinks is acceptable. Who knows, maybe one day, we’ll become like Kyubey too.

  4. moichispa says:

    I don’t think he is “bad”, he has different values that humans as Homura said in a episode.

    He has no feelings so maybe it just has one way to be too. he is like this, probably a standard way to be of of his race. He does not feel he is doing something wrong at all. We are seeing him as bad because of cultural differences. the best thing to said at this moment is not beware of kyubey , it is don’t trust the kyubey

    But yeah I want to kill him.

    • afkeroge says:

      Kyubey can’t do a thing on his own. He needs despair and deception. That’s why we should be wary of him. We can trust him, because apparently, he doesn’t lie.

      “But yeah I want to kill him.”

      But if you kill him, another one of him will just pop out to eat the corpse. And it’s just plain creepy and cute at the same time. The mere thought of it puts your brain in a food processor on high.

      But yeah, I want to kill him too. Permanently.

  5. plasma991 says:

    “He is a villain like I have never seen before. He’s someone/something that works for the “greater good”.”

    There are many similarities between Kyubey and Coemushi from Bokurano. Both force children into contracts without them knowing the full details (well, in bokurano, coemushi just forces the children to continue the contract; he wasn’t there in the actual signing). Both are white with pink spots. Both don’t change their expression when they talk, and both are always smiling. What separates them (and perhaps makes Kyubey more creepy) is that coemushi’s smile reveals sharp fangs – the viewer knows there is something sinister about the thing and that he cannot be fully trusted. Kyubey, on the other hand, bears the cute and innocent smile, so others not familiar to his doings and motives (e.g. your dad) cannot fathom him being evil.

    I’m not sure if you’ve every seen bokurano. It has a lot of similar themes as Puella Magi, and it’s another great anime.

    • afkeroge says:

      Argh, I wanna watch Bokurano so bad, but I simply lack the time to do so. My dreaded backlog just keeps getting longer and longer every month.

      Anyway, another key factor is that Kyubey has this never-changing smile that does make him seem innocent, like you said. and that is what makes him different from others. But then again, the assumed nature of Mahou Shoujo anime may also account for quite a good portion of hatred towards that little piece of strawberry jam-filled marshmallow.

  6. Azure Hoshizora says:

    *<3 the yuri pic*

    I don't really want to kill him, her doesn't make my blood boil either. I just real;ly don't want to meet him. He's just this really unassuming cute looking evil manipulator, tryiing to solve the entropy problem the universe is facing (or so he claims anyway)
    Half the time I just end up feeling really sorry for the girls that fall victim to his contracts, then I go "gen Urobuchi you bastard, why?". It just didn't occur to me to start hating Kyubey…

    I'm weird.

    • afkeroge says:

      “I don’t really want to kill him, her doesn’t make my blood boil either. I just real;ly don’t want to meet him. He’s just this really unassuming cute looking evil manipulator, tryiing to solve the entropy problem the universe is facing (or so he claims anyway)”

      Well, I understand. Not everyone hates Kyubey. He’s cute after all. Haha! I do want to meet him once, though. I want to have a nice, long talk with him about us human beings. He’s smart, he’ll understand… I think.

      “*<3 the yuri pic*"

      Yay! Allies!

      • Azure Hoshizora says:

        *hi fives comrade*

        It might be a good idea to actually get Kyubey to coach me on science though.

  7. Will says:

    To me, Kyubey is simply a replica of Dung Beetle from Bokurano. However, I don’t think at any point in Bokurano I wanted to kill Dung Beetle, because unlike the former, he clearly shown that he didn’t care about morality. On the other hand, Kyubey is a scary little fucker because I still can’t see him as a total mad guy. He’s just too rational.

    • afkeroge says:

      So damn pragmatic and amorally correct that you want to kill him, huh? I feel for you.

      On that note, I really should start watching Bokurano.

  8. hiroy_raind says:

    Probably because while the process are quite inhumane, Kyubey is working for the greater good, which made it quite difficult to argue that “his ways are wrong” or “he must be stopped”. It is of course infuriating since he’s killing your friends and perhaps doomed humanity.

    The fact that he’s amoral is, to be honest, kinda understandable, since otherwise I doubt that “person” would be able to perform well as an incubator.

    Though a little bit of respect to the unfortunate ones, if even fake, would probably earned him a bit of sympathy (which would also mean PMMM would not have anyone on the antagonist role, so oh well =/)

    • afkeroge says:

      It’s also interesting that the fact that middle school girls are the ones who have to be sacrificed for this “greater good”. Imagine if they were thirty-year old men. I doubt that we would feel the same as we do now.

      “The fact that he’s amoral is, to be honest, kinda understandable, since otherwise I doubt that “person” would be able to perform well as an incubator.”

      Agreed.

      “Though a little bit of respect to the unfortunate ones, if even fake, would probably earned him a bit of sympathy (which would also mean PMMM would not have anyone on the antagonist role, so oh well =/)”

      Being sympathetic and giving respect to his victims are fruits of emotions. I doubt that he can do this.

  9. Anima says:

    Kyuubey doesn’t anger me. My logical side said, “Well, here’s the tradeoff. The universe, or a few insignificant lives on a tiny planet in the middle of nowhere.” That escalates a little if you consider the Walpurgis night destroying the entire Earth, but Kyuubey did reference that there were many other species out there. From his perspective (emotionless, as he claims) he is granting them one chance to have anything their heart desires, instantly. They can enjoy the utmost fulfillment in return for falling into despair and releasing all of their energy for the security and longevity of the entire universe.

    Doesn’t really make my blood boil so much as it makes me wish Madoka and her friends weren’t forced to make such a difficult decision.

    Also, this is the first series that I’ve seen in a long time (if ever) where they present such an interesting “villain”. There is no real villain in this series, but rather a multitude of moral choices and really thick plot ideas. It’s fantastic. 🙂

    • afkeroge says:

      Logical as it is, the way it is presented to us viewers is surely as tragic as it can be. If people were given a choice, most of them would rather have their friends and relatives live than save the universe from getting destroyed. It won’t be heroic, and it is very selfish, but hey, they know these people and care for them more than the entire universe.

      “Also, this is the first series that I’ve seen in a long time (if ever) where they present such an interesting “villain”. There is no real villain in this series, but rather a multitude of moral choices and really thick plot ideas. It’s fantastic. :D”

      Maybe the real deal here is the system, rather than Kyubey himself.

  10. ~xxx says:

    “Kyubey, How many times must I kill you until you die.”
    – Homura Akemi.

    But as what I see from him, I guess he is what you call the IMF of the mahou shoujo world.

    • afkeroge says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but is the IMF you’re referring to the International Monetary Fund? If so, then I guess you’re right. The IMF already has issues surrounding it’s methods of collecting funds, so I guess Kyubey can be viewed as such.

      Or is it that you’re talking about intermolecular forces of attraction? Just kidding! ^^

      • ~xxx says:

        IMF or the International Monetary Fund, an organization who helps nations in times of crisis but in return must fulfill a specific condition in order for them to lend them funds…

        Man, Kyubey really has a lot of stuff pulling under his ear-like appandages.

  11. Nopy says:

    I actually don’t think Kyubey’s too bad, he’s exactly what I imagine our contact with alien species will be like. Realistically speaking, we will never come face-to-face with aliens due to limitations of biological beings, at best we will send intelligent robots to do our work for us since. Kyubey acts just the way a robot would, logically (for the most part) and performing only actions needed to acheive its goals. Looking at it that way, there’s nothing bad about him, he’s just doing his job.

  12. massd95 says:

    yes, yuri is highly appreciated. Source?

  13. WOW.
    Everytime I watch Madoka, I have the urge to draw scary Kyubey.
    HE’S (I think its a he) SO SCARY.
    And he’s always trying to get Madoka to sign a contract >_>

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