“Is Chaos gone?”
“I think it went back to where it belongs.
“Where it belongs?”
“Yes, back to people’s minds.”
-A conversation between Sailor Galaxia and Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars, episode 200
Placing your trust in one other person is difficult. Placing your trust in the entirety of humanity is nothing short of godlike. Before Madoka Kaname made her wish, Usagi Tsukino set a guidepost.
It is an ongoing struggle to battle the darkness in one’s own heart, never mind take on the entirety of others’ vices and fears. For all of Usagi Tsukino’s self-identified weaknesses; she is lazy, a crybaby, a poor student, etc., her most redeeming quality is the trust she places in her friends and loved ones. Usagi builds this trust through each iteration of Sailor Moon, culminating in her final battle on a galactic stage in Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars.
For all of her own shortcomings, and the foibles of Sailor Stars as a whole, Usagi understands this universal truth: no one person can shoulder the weight of the world. As she shatters the veil of darkness around her final enemy, Sailor Galaxia, we discover that Galaxia herself was a sailor scout who had attempted to seal away the embodiment of all evil: Chaos. Following her release from Chaos’ influence, Galaxia immediately questions Usagi. If Chaos has been released once more, then what had she, Galaxia, been fighting for all this time? Wouldn’t history simply continue to repeat itself?
“Let’s believe them! The people who love their world. Please don’t worry. The Light of Hope is in everyone’s mind.”
-Usagi Tsukino, Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars, episode 200
For all of Galaxia’s power, she is unable to allow herself to trust in others, and this leads to her corruption as she tries to shoulder the burden of all evil. Usagi creates the perfect foil to Galaxia as a girl with countless flaws, but an ability to love and trust in others. Usagi’s answer, that Chaos, or evil, is in the hearts of everyone, is hardly reassuring if one doesn’t also carry faith in others’ ability to achieve a balance between love and the darkness that creeps around the edges of all of our thoughts.
“Won’t you believe in the answer that the one you have protected all this time has found?”
-Madoka Kaname, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, episode 12.
Similarly, Madoka Kaname is only able to make her wish because she carries with her an intense faith in the human ability to hope. When Homura questions her decision, it is similar to the doubts that Galaxia expresses to Usagi. Madoka’s answer echoes the faith that Usagi has in others’ ability to overcome their own darkness. She is not taking on the entirety of others’ despair because she has the ability to place her trust wholeheartedly. Her faith counteracts what, to Homura and to the viewer, seems like an impossible amount of suffering. Additionally, Madoka’s wish is not to eradicate this suffering. She knows that this would truly be an impossible task.
“Just because witches are no longer born into this world…it doesn’t mean the curses of mankind have ceased to exist. The distortions of this world have merely changed form…Though this irredeemable world continues repeating its hatred and tragedies, this is still the place that she once tried to protect. I remember that. And I will never forget it. That is why I will keep fighting.”
-Homura Akemi, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, episode 12.
The world that Madoka creates is one with both good and evil, much like the state to which Usagi restores the galaxy. Like Galaxia and Homura, we may lack the ability to understand or carry this hope with us from day to day. Regardless, curses, and Chaos will always return to where they belong: everyday life. One only has to have hope in order to overcome them.
As an aside, this is why I love Sailor Stars so much.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica 12: The Hope We Find at Beneath the Tangles.
The Birth of a Goddess at Listless Ink.
“It’s Harder to Raise Girls.” Puella Magi Madoka Magica and the Variances of a Mother at Gar Gar Stegosaurus.