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Kyoko Sakura

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Kyoko Sakura
Puella Magi Madoka Magica character
First appearanceMiracles and Magic Are Real
Created by
Voiced byJapanese:
Ai Nonaka[2]
English:
Lauren Landa[3]
Profile
SpeciesMagical girl
GenderFemale
RelativesMomo Sakura (Younger sister)
WeaponSpear

Kyoko Sakura (佐倉 杏子, Sakura Kyōko) is a fictional character and one of the the main heroines of the 2011 anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica. She is a veteran magical girl who comes to Mitakihara city following Mami Tomoe's death.

Creation and design[edit | edit source]

Kyoko was created by writer Gen Urobuchi and director Akiyuki Shinbo, and designed by Ume Aoki.[1] Kyoko's color was initially designed to be yellow, but Aoki changed it to red while yellow was used for Mami Tomoe.[4] Kyoko's face appeared immediately at the moment Aoki read the screenplay for the series.[5] Unlike the main characters who were designed with image of their weapons, Aoki designed Kyoko with the thought to distinguish her from them, and said that Kyoko was also the last character to be created.[6]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

In Puella Magi Madoka Magica[edit | edit source]

Kyoko is a veteran magical girl who comes to the city following Mami's death. Her distinguishing features include long red hair, fangs, and a voracious appetite, almost never being seen without food. She came from a poor church family, and used her wish so that people would listen to her father's preaching; when her father learned of this, however, he went mad and killed everyone in his family aside from Kyoko. As such, Kyoko decided only to use her magic for herself from this point on, since using it for others will only cause despair. Having grown up in a poor family, she often has to steal food and hates people who waste it, a logic she also applies to grief seeds, as she only goes after fully grown witches.

Kyoko has been a magical girl much longer than the others, and thus is more skillful; she wields a spear which can extend itself, split into multiple sections, and produce a ball at the end of a chain, which can constrict and hit others at the same time. She also has the ability to put up barriers to protect others or keep them from interfering. She initially clashes with Sayaka, but after learning the truth about soul gems, she sympathizes with her and tries to help her. This is partially because Sayaka reminds Kyoko of her past self, as she too had made a wish for another person's sake and tried to fight for justice. Thus, she wants to stop Sayaka from making what she believes is the same mistake and advises her to live a life of selfishness. Even though Sayaka thanks Kyoko and admits that she misunderstood her, Sayaka refuses to abandon her ideals of justice.

After Sayaka becomes a witch, Kyoko becomes determined to save her and restore her to normal. In the end, though, Kyoko becomes tired of her pain, gives up her previous ideals and abandons her outlook of self-preservation, and chooses to destroy herself along with Oktavia, in an attempt to both find peace in death and make sure that Sayaka will not die alone, by overloading her soul gem to create a massive explosion that kills them both. However, Kyoko's sacrifice leaves only Homura and the potential contract Madoka to face off against Walpurgisnacht, which ends up in Homura being defeated and Madoka contracting.

In a previous timeline, she was killed by Mami, who was driven to kill them all in a desperate attempt, after learning that they would all eventually become witches. In the final timeline, Kyoko survives, and grieves over Sayaka's death in battle, lamenting how they had "finally become friends".

In the ending of Rebellion, Homura rewrites reality so that Kyoko lives with Sayaka and has a more kind, cheerful, yet slackish personality, as a result of her better life, instead of being selfish and vicious to others.

Prior to the storyline, Kyoko was previously Mami's partner and also possessed illusory magic gained from her wish of deception, allowing her to make copies of herself. However, following the death of her family, she subconsciously lost her illusion magic and decided to be more selfish in her outlook, ending her partnership with Mami. This relationship is explored in the third drama CD, "The Farewell Story", the PSP game, and the Different Story manga. In the PSP game, her witch form is Ophelia, the wǔdàn witch, depicted as a horse rider with a candlestick for a head.

In other media[edit | edit source]

Besides the main series, Kyoko is present in most Madoka Magica media.

Kyoko is a playable character in nearly every Madoka Magica video games,[7] including the PlayStation Portable action video game developed by Namco Bandai Games, Puella Magi Madoka Magica Portable (2012),[8] and the PlayStation Vita titled Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Battle Pentagram (2013).[9] She is also present alongside Sayaka in the Third Person Shooter (TPS) titled Puella Magi Madoka Magica TPS Featuring Sayaka Miki & Sakura Kyoko (2012).[10]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Kyoko's character has been well received in Japan. She took first place for "Top 7 Red-Haired Anime Heroines" voted by Akihabara Fans and third place for "Anime’s Greatest Ponytails".[11][12] Kyoko was the runner-up for the 2011 Anime Saimoe Tournament, having garnered 3380 votes.[13] She is also considered to be among Shaft's most beloved heroines, where she took fourth place for "Top 10 Shaft Heroines" in 2016.[14]

Several pieces of merchandise inspired by Kyoko have been created, such as key chains.[15][16][17] Action figures based on her have been produced,[18] including figures manufactured by Good Smile Company,[19][20] as well as figures launched by Banpresto.[21][22] Accessories and clothing items inspired by Kyoko have been created.[23][24] Other products based on her have also been produced.[25][26]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 新房昭之×虚淵玄×蒼樹うめ×シャフト 1大プロジェクト始動 [Akiyuki Shinbo × Gen Urobuchi × Ume Aoki × Shaft: The Start of One Large Project]. Megami Magazine (in Japanese) (127): 115. October 25, 2010.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  2. "Interview: Madoka Magica's Ai Nonaka". Anime News Network. July 27, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  3. "Lauren Landa to Appear at Otakon 2012". Anime News Network. June 23, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  4. Puella Magi Madoka Magica Official Guidebook: You Are Not Alone (in Japanese). Houbunsha. p. 105. ISBN 978-4832240612.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  5. Puella Magi Madoka Magica Official Guidebook: You Are Not Alone (in Japanese). Houbunsha. p. 38–39. ISBN 978-4832240612.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  6. Puella Magi Madoka Magica Official Guidebook: You Are Not Alone (in Japanese). Houbunsha. p. 100–103. ISBN 978-4832240612.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  7. Dong, Bamboo (March 13, 2013). "Madoka Magica Fone App Adds Mami, Kyoko, and Sayaka". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  8. Loo, Egan (February 24, 2012). "Madoka Magica Portable PSP Game's 3rd Promo Streamed". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  9. Loveridge, Lynzee (September 11, 2013). "Madoka Magica Gets Vita Action Game This Winter (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  10. Loo, Egan (October 16, 2012). "New Madoka Magica Android Game Stars Kyōko, Sayaka With Baseball Bat". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  11. "Akihabara Fans Vote For Favorite Red-Haired Heroine". Anime News Network. June 2, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  12. Schley, Matt (January 14, 2016). "These Are Anime's Greatest Ponytails, Say Japanese Fans". Otaku USA. Archived from the original on October 30, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  13. "2ch Forum's Anime Saimoe Tournament 2011 Semifinals, Finals". Anime News Network. November 6, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  14. Green, Scott (May 12, 2016). "MadoGatari Nagoya Exhibit Announces Results Of Top Ten (Plus Two) Favorite Shaft Anime Girls". Crunchyroll. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  15. "Madoka ☆ Magica story of rebellion Sakura Kyoko Tsumamare Keychain Uniform Ver. (japan import)". Amazon. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  16. "Puella Magi Madoka Magica Key Chain: Sakura Kyoko". Amazon. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  17. "The Movie Magical Girl Madoka ™ Magica Kyoko Sakura pinched Keychain". Amazon. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  18. Green, Scott (December 5, 2011). "First Look at "Madoka Magica" Kyoko Sakura Figma". Crunchyroll. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  19. "Kyouko Sakura". Good Smile Company. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  20. "Kyouko Sakura: Yukata Ver". Good Smile Company. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  21. "Banpresto Kyoko Sakura Madoka Magica SQ Puella Magi Action Figure". Amazon. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  22. "Banpresto Madoka Magica 5.5" Rebellion Kyoko Sakura Relax Time Figure". Amazon. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  23. Loveridge, Lynzee (May 3, 2016). "Sayaka, Kyoko Inspire Magical Lingerie from SuperGroupies". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  24. Green, Scott (August 21, 2013). ""Madoka Magica" Kyoko and Sayaka Shoes Previewed". Crunchyroll. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  25. "ensky Magical Girl Madoka Magica Reflector Kyoko Sakura". Amazon. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  26. Komatsu, Mikikazu (August 10, 2017). "Try Five-Type "Puella Magi Madoka Magica" Collaboration Glasses!". Crunchyroll. Retrieved January 3, 2019.


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