If someone tells me that it's wrong to hope, I'll tell them they're wrong every time.
— Madoka Kaname in Episode 12: My Very Best Friend
Madoka Kaname (鹿目 まどか) is one of the five main Magical Girls and the titular protagonist of the Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica anime and manga series. She is a shy and kind girl who cares deeply for her friends, but has low self-confidence. After becoming a Magical Girl, she gains more confidence in herself and her actions.
Madoka Kaname has pink twin tails and wide oval-shaped pink eyes. When down, her hair is almost shoulder length. She has choppy bangs that are pointed and chin-length, framing her face. Madoka also wears two red ribbons in her hair, which hold up her pigtails. In her civilian form, she is mostly seen in her school uniform.
Madoka wears a puffy pink dress with two bows arranged at either side of her skirt. She sports two bows in her hair, supporting her twin-tails, as well as a red ribbon around her neck, which is tied in a bow in the back. The front of her torso has a pale yellow segment surrounded by white frills with a white placket running down the center, decorated by five red buttons. She has two small straps that connect from the front to the back of the dress over her shoulders, and short, puffy sleeves with frilly ends. In between her shoulder blades and just below her neck, there is a heart-shaped hole in the back of her dress. Her skirt's ends are akin to a flower's petals; there are seven separate petal-shaped segments of her dress, which are all decorated with a red edge and three white teardrop-shaped designs, lay atop a big, white petticoat, which is notably frilly underneath. She also wears a pair of white gloves with pink trims around the wrists, white, knee-high stockings with frills just below the knee, and red, heeled shoes with ribbons tied behind them.
Madoka, upon becoming the Law of Cycles, grew very long pink hair and kept her small twin-tails on the sides, which are held up by large, white bows, rather than her usual red ribbons, which, she gave away to Homura as a gift to remember her by before she became the Law of Cycles. Her eyes also changed color. Rather than pink, her eyes became golden, and her pupils became lighter in color.
She wears a long, white, three-layered, frilly dress, which is shorter in the front, and gets increasingly longer nearing its end. The first two layers are purely white, and the final layer beneath the two is a light purple-y pink hue. Her collar is wavy and wide-cut and splits down the middle all the way to just below where Madoka's ribs would be, and is kept together near the beginning of the split by Madoka's soul gem, accompanied by what looks to be two smaller soul gems on either side. Her sleeves go down to just above her elbow, and are airy and wavy. There are two layers to them, with the layer underneath it being purple-y pink. She also wears white gloves, similar to those worn in her initial Magical Girl form. Underneath the multiple layers of her frilled dress is what appears to be a reflection of the Universe, complete with glittering stars and deep, dark, purple-and-blue hues. Her stockings are baby pink and reach up to her thighs. She wears white pumps with a single wing on each side of ankle.
Madoka is seen to be a very kind girl who attempts to help and comfort anyone to the best of her ability, but is also shown to be quite timid. Madoka believes that helping others is the only thing she can offer to the world. Madoka is easily flustered, and can often be manipulated through her desire to help others. As a Magical Girl, however, Madoka retains her original personality, though is noticeably more confident with her actions. Madoka often tries to understand others, even if it doesn’t end well. She’s often anxious, scared, and usually doesn’t fully understand the whole situation, but even so, she attempts to do what is right.
Madoka is noted to speak politely with others, often referring to the same sex as ‘-chan’ or ‘-san,’ and the opposite sex as ‘-kun,’ somewhat indicating that Madoka is eager to get close to other people, with the exception of Kyousuke Kamijo, as Madoka believes he could someday become Sayaka Miki’s boyfriend.
One day, Madoka came across Mami Tomoe, an experienced Magical Girl who had contracted with Kyubey, she decided to become a Magical Girl as well by wishing to save a black cat she loved from dying. She eventually made a contract with Kyubey and the two fought together for a while. She later meets Homura Akemi after she and Mami saved her from a Witch's Labyrinth. Homura also joined them alongside Kyoko Sakura and Sayaka Miki, who was Madoka's best friend. After a while, Sayaka became a Witch and her teammates had to defeat her. Everyone was depressed after that while Mami attempted to kill everyone including her but she only managed to kill Kyoko before getting shooted by Madoka. Madoka and Homura prepared for their fight with Walpurgisnacht to which they got defeated. Since Homura had the ability to travel back and forth into time, Madoka asked her to go back in time and prevent her from becoming a Magical Girl.
Madoka lived her life normally until the day she and Sayaka were asked by an animal-like creature to be saved. It was actually Homura who was trying to prevent Madoka from becoming a Magical Girl, as she wished, in the original timeline. Madoka and Sayaka met Mami, a Magical Girl and followed her for a while in her adventures before getting killed by Charlotte. After a few days, Madoka was trapped in a Labyrinth and was saved by her best friend Sayaka who had just became a Magical Girl. They later meet with Kyoko who also died once she defeated Sayaka's Witch Form, Oktavia von Seckendorff. Walpurgisnacht was also arriving at the time and only Homura was able to defeat her but after Madoka seeing Homura struggling. She became a Magical Girl wishing to be able to erase all Witches from all timelines, thereby becoming a God.
The master of this emotion tries to save all of existence. This Doppel appears as a huge floating Soul Gem. Once it is summoned, it creates an existence within which all things around it are consumed, and then takes control of everything within that existence. After that, it floats higher into the air and a shower of light arrows rains down. While all of this is happening, the master of this emotion sleeps inside the huge Soul Gem.
The master of this emotion is filled with aspirations for the new year from inside her Doppel, which gathers all wishes for the year the moment it manifests and bestows them upon its enemy in the form of blessings of mercy. Any and all life that has thrived on this earth over the millennia of its existence are sure to be equally condensed and crushed by the enormity of this fleeting creature's wish.
The master of this emotion is identified as a foreign substance by her Doppel, and is mercilessly ejected from it. Having been separated from the representation of her emotions, only memories linger in its former master’s mind. But as she relishes those memories, they exude a new wave of emotion– and its charmingly quirky voice will surely mow down every enemy that she can see down below.
- The first character of her last name (鹿) means "deer". The last character (目) means "eye".
- Madoka's name is in hiragana, which does not have a specific meaning. When written in kanji, however, it can mean "round, tranquil" (円か).
- Her theme color was originally going to be white.
- Gen Urobuchi, also stated that it was difficult to design Madoka due to her double ponytail.
- Madoka's original wish was to save a black cat from dying.
- Madoka alongside Sayaka are the only two girls to have their Witch Forms shown in the original series, the rest girls had them shown either in the sequel movie or in video games.
- It was revealed in the light novel that Madoka and Sayaka met through Sayaka protecting her from a group of bullies.