Tag: Character

One Piece: Rebecca the Gladiator

One Piece: Rebecca the Gladiator

Introduction to Rebecca

I’m about halfway through the Dressrosa arc of One Piece (on episode 690) and I already have multiple topics I want to discuss within the arc. So rather than waiting to put it all in my final review of Dressrosa, I’m going to do two or three discussions about specific topics within the arc.

And the first of those topics is on Rebecca and her swordsmanship.

I really like Rebecca’s character for a few reasons. Her character showcases a rough idea of what it was like to be a gladiator. I think she has a very good design compared to similar characters. And she probably has some of the most realistic swordsmanship in the One Piece series.

Rebecca is also just one of those extremely likable, saga-specific, supporting characters — much like Vivi during Alabasta and Camie during Fishman Island. And unfortunately, that also means we probably won’t see too much of her once the arc is over. She’ll be around, but it’s not like she’s going to join the Straw Hat crew.

Gladiatorial Combat

As we see in Dressrosa, “professional” gladiators were slaves. I think this is something people often forget. It’s not like gladiators were the professional athlete’s of Rome who decided to go into that line of work. These were generally people who were sold into slavery and then forced to fight (and die) for the amusement and monetary gain of others.

But that also doesn’t mean that every fight that took place within the real Colosseum was a battle to the death. After all, if you have highly skilled and entertaining gladiators, you don’t want them to die. Gladiators such as this would bring in larger crowds and also make more money for their owners.

Rebecca is not one of those gladiators though. She’s not a privately owned slave and she’s definitely not beloved by the citizens of Dressrosa. She’s basically one of the throwaway gladiators who are sent out to die.

Rebecca thrusting her sword from the anime series One Piece (Dressrosa)
Rebecca thrusting her sword

Two other aspects of being a “professional” gladiator that Rebecca embodies are the idea of fighting for her freedom and the fact that she’s highly skilled at combat. In this arc, we’re told that Doflamingo will grant freedom to any gladiator who achieves 1,000 wins, and while this number isn’t realistic, the idea behind it is.

Gladiators who were exceptionally popular and successful could be freed by the emperor.

And as we’re told by some of the other gladiators, Rebecca is the one who stands the best chance of achieving this goal. She’s highly skilled at combat. But while Rebecca is skilled due to her training as a child, it’s actually not unheard of for gladiators to be some of the most deadly and efficient fighters.

Since they’re forced to fight or train every single day, they have a lot of experience. This is in part why the slave revolt led by Spartacus was able to defeat multiple of Rome’s armies. So the idea that a gladiator like Rebecca would be one of the strongest swordsmen in the country isn’t a stretch.

HobbyLink Japan

HobbyLink Japan

The best place to buy and ship products from Japan!

Shop Now

Character Design and “Armor”

While the ideas about gladiators that we see Rebecca embody are fairly realistic, her character design isn’t really. It’s possible that you could see female gladiators dressed in a similar fashion to her, but if that’s the case it would have been because they were doing a re-enactment battle in the Colosseum.

I shouldn’t have to point out that her “armor” isn’t exactly realistic. But as I said, if they were doing a re-enactment, especially one involving the Amazons, then I suppose it could be possible for some female slaves to be forced to fight in costumes that would be somewhat like Rebecca’s.

Looking at her outfit though, the cape stands out to me first. This isn’t something you would want to be wearing in a combat situation. It would just get in the way and restrict her motion. Then, of course, we have the classic female Roman armor in anime trope of armor from the knees down.

Rebecca taking an offensive stance from the anime series One Piece (Dressrosa)
Rebecca taking an offensive stance

Nero from the Fate series has this same design. But while I don’t like Nero’s design, I think Rebecca’s is more acceptable. This is because while the rest of her outfit is very revealing and definitely not going to protect her, it’s at least made of metal like armor. And she’s actually wearing a helmet.

Looking at her helmet closer, it makes no sense for the faceguard to be adjustable. It looks like her helmet was half based on that of a medieval knight. Her helmet should be a solid cast piece that comes down farther on the sides of her face.

But I do also need to again point out that her “armor” and general outfit are not realistic whatsoever. There’s really no reason to wear heavy, armored boots like she is and then no other real armor besides a helmet. If she’s going to be wearing a bikini anyway, she might as well forgo the boots to get a bit more agility.

I’ll admit it’s an aesthetically pleasing design, though. The colors work well together and the outfit has a surprisingly good mix of “sexy” and “cool.”

Weapons and Fighting Style

While Rebecca doesn’t really use a shield, she does have one. Why is this worth mentioning? Because it’s connected to her character design.

In a lot of games and other media, we get depictions of warriors (often knights) with plate armor and a shield. However, if you’re wearing plate armor, you don’t use a shield — the armor is your shield. So when I saw that Rebecca was initially using a shield to protect herself since she doesn’t have full plate armor, I was mildly impressed.

But her shield doesn’t exactly match with her sword. And in fact, her sword is all wrong for the context of the Colosseum. She’s using a long, one and a half or two-handed sword. I’ll assume it’s one and a half since she does hold it with one hand when she has the shield.

Gladiators wouldn’t use a sword like this.

Rebecca fighting Suleiman in the Colosseum from the anime series One Piece (Dressrosa)
Rebecca fighting Suleiman in the Colosseum

The name gladiator comes from the gladius, which is the type of sword they use. It’s a short sword that’s primarily used for thrusting and stabbing. But while Rebecca has the wrong sword, she does actually use the right fighting style the majority of the time. She uses her sword as if it were a gladius.

In the picture above, we see Rebecca fighting against Suleiman. Suleiman is performing a wide swing like we see most swordsmen in One Piece do. But Rebecca is holding her sword in front of her body and at the ready. So in this particular situation, she would have an easy thrust right into Suleiman’s chest before he could execute his swing.

That style of actually using a sword as intended (for thrusting, not swinging) combined with her use of her surroundings is really why I like Rebecca so much. Even though she doesn’t fight to kill, she actually uses proper techniques which is why she’s so successful within the Colosseum.

Sure, her style isn’t always the most realistic, but compared to the vast majority of other sword-wielding characters, Rebecca actually knows what she’s doing.


Who do you think the best supporting character in One Piece is? At this point in the series, I definitely have to say that Rebecca is my favorite. I know a lot of people out there like Vivi, but I just don’t think she’s as interesting to discuss.

If you enjoyed this Rebecca appreciation post (and discussion of her character, I guess), then click the like button ❤ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Lolis in Anime

Lolis in Anime

An Introduction to Lolis

On May 11, 2020, I vowed to write my “Loli Thesis” once I was caught up on all my anime reviews. I’ve just scrolled through my list, and it looks like everything I’ve watched has been reviewed at this point. So today is the day I make good on my promise and finally write about lolis in anime.

If you’ve watched anime or read manga or light novels, you’ve likely come across a character whom many viewers or readers would refer to as a loli. This character is going to be a young girl, or in the case of a “legal loli,” a girl who appears young, but is actually at or above the legal age of adulthood.

As I’ll explain more later on, a legal loli is a misnomer, not something that actually exists.

Illya von Einzbern and Miyu Edelfelt from the anime series Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya
Illya von Einzbern and Miyu Edelfelt from Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya

But, why do lolis matter? Why am I writing about young, female characters in anime? Because lolis are one of the most divisive aspects of anime — probably more so than the inclusion of ecchi elements, which I’ve previously written about as well.

There are two main camps when it comes to the topic of lolis. There are those who like them and there are those who do not. However, it’s probably more apt to say that there are those who love them and there are those who hate them.

From Lolita to Loli

What many people may not realize is that loli isn’t even really a Japanese term. If it was, then I wouldn’t be using “lolis” as the plural, I would simply be using “loli.” The term actually comes from the word, or rather name, Lolita, which in turn comes from a 1955 American novel by the same name.

That’s right, you can thank America for lolis in anime.

Lolita is a story about a professor who becomes sexually obsessed and involved with his 12-year-old stepdaughter. The girl’s name is Dolores, and the nickname she’s given by her stepfather is Lolita.

Sagiri Izumi from the anime series Eromanga Sensei
Sagiri Izumi from Eromanga Sensei

So the term loli is actually just a shortened version of the nickname Lolita and is used to describe characters who are similar to Lolita in the novel. We then also get the term lolicon, which refers to someone who is attracted to a character that would fall under the loli label.

When a character is referred to as a loli, what we’re really saying is that they’re Lolitaesque; they have the traits of Lolita.

I’ll also mention that there’s a male version of a loli known as a shōta. Unlike loli, the term shōta does have it’s origins in Japanese culture. Shōta is simply a shortened version of the name Shōtarō, the protagonist of the 1956 manga “Tetsujin 28-gō.” There’s also the term shōtacon, which refers to someone who is attracted to a character under the shōta label.

What is a Loli?

With all that history out of the way, it’s time to answer the main question when it comes to lolis: What counts as a loli?

There are a few different answers to this question depending on who you ask. Some people would say that any female character in anime who’s under the age of 18 counts as a loli. Others say that it refers to a more specific age range. And then there’s the answer I’ll be backing, which is a bit more complicated.

The true definition of a loli is a young (prepubescent) girl who’s either sexually promiscuous or viewed as such.

By using this definition, we can already see that a so-called “legal loli” is a misnomer. Since loli refers to girls who have not gone through puberty yet, you’re unlikely to have one over the age of 18. A woman who is of legal age but looks like a loli character is just petite, not a loli.

Hina Kawamoto from the anime series March comes in like a lion
Hina Kawamoto from March comes in like a lion

The second part of that definition is how we can start narrowing down what a loli truly is. There needs to be an aspect of sexual promiscuity, either real or imposed upon the character.

An example of a young, female character who would not be considered a loli is Hina from March comes in like a lion. She’s 14 years old, which puts her in the required age range, but she lacks any of the sexually promiscuous traits. She’s not doing anything lewd and nobody is imagining that she does.

A true depiction of a loli would be any of the three main girls from Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya. I think Illya, Chloe, and Miyu are all supposed to be 12 years old, but despite this, they’re depicted in more sexually explicit ways and even do sexually suggestive things.

So basically, a loli is a very specific character archetype — much like a tsundere. And yes, you can combine archetypes to have a tsundere loli.

In Defense of Lolis in Anime

Everything up to this point has been based on sources, history, and facts. But now it’s time to get into the opinion portion of the discussion. Is it okay to include lolis in anime?

The people who are against the loli archetype will say that lolis should not be included in anime because it promotes the sexualization of children. And although I don’t agree with that, I’ll admit that it’s a fair point to bring up because it’s a serious subject and that argument should be considered.

However, the way I see it, the inclusion of loli characters doesn’t promote the exploitation of minors any more than violence in games and movies promotes violence against real people. And despite what some (generally older) people will say, there’s no evidence to back that up.

Nadeko Sengoku from the anime series Nisemonogatari
Nadeko Sengoku from Nisemonogatari

Next, we also have to remember that loli characters are both drawings and fictional representations. Just because someone likes a loli character does not mean they’re attracted to real children. There’s a difference between the concept of something and the real thing.

If you still don’t understand my point, let’s use sheep as an example. If you were to present me with an anime-style drawing of a sheep, I would probably think it’s cute. But I don’t think real sheep are cute. I think they’re gross and weird and I don’t want them near me.

So in summary, I don’t mind loli characters. I don’t care if they’re “legal lolis,” 500-year-old vampire lolis, or legit 12-year-old lolis. Just be prepared to be called a lolicon.

I’d also like to mention that the only true loli in the Monogatari series is Nadeko. Despite Mayoi, Shinobu, and Yotsugi being dubbed the “loli trio,” they don’t possess the sexual promiscuity aspect as Nadeko does. Shinobu is never sexualized as a child, even when naked. And Mayoi and Yotsugi’s harassment is simply used to joke that Koyomi is a lolicon.


What are your thoughts on loli characters in anime? And more importantly, who’s your favorite loli? Let me know in the comments. I’m not sure who my favorite loli would be. Nadeko is definitely high-tier, but Illya’s up there too. There are also probably a lot I’m forgetting about.

If you enjoyed this discussion, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Discord Community

Discuss anime, manga, and more with our members!

Join Server

Anime Character Names

Anime Character Names


Today we’re going to take a look at the wacky world of anime character names. Now, I know you’re probably thinking that the names of characters don’t matter all that much, but you’d be wrong. We can actually learn a lot about certain characters just by knowing their names.

Sometimes character names simply serve to make it easier for viewers to keep track of who’s who, other times they can be simple jokes, and occasionally, there are names which make everything else about the character make sense once you figure it out.

To cover this topic, I’ll be breaking it down into three different sections, physical characteristics, color palettes, and character attributes. And, as we’ll see, some character names don’t just fall into one of these categories.

Physical Characteristics

Names which reference the physical characteristics of their respective characters are by no means exclusive to anime. In fact, this is extremely common in Western cartoons as well, but we just don’t notice pay much attention to them because they’re in our native language.

So, before getting into examples of this in anime, let’s take a look at the series SpongeBob SquarePants. Just about every major character in the series has a name which explains what kind of animal they are. Squidward Tentacles is a squid, Patrick Star is a starfish, Mr. Krabs, is a crab etc.

But, what does this look like in anime? Basically, exactly the same as it does in Western cartoons. Often the most easily recognizable of these names belong to characters who are themselves animals, or animal-like.

For example, in One Piece there’s a recurring character named Hachi. You may already be familiar with his character, but if you’re not, can you guess what type of animal he’s designed as? If you guessed that Hachi is an octopus then you’d be correct.

So, how can we know Hachi is an octopus without even seeing him? Simple, his name, Hachi, means eight in Japanese, which is the number of arms octopus have. Now, I’m not saying that we should be able to determine what a character looks like just from their name alone, but names like this make it easy to keep track of different characters.

Another example from shounen is Kisame from Naruto. Same is the Japanese word for shark, which makes complete sense once you see Kisame’s character. He looks very shark-like, carries a sword called Samehada (shark skin), uses water-style jutsu, and summons sharks.

However, while names which describe the overall physical attributes of a character are fairly common, what’s even more common are a subset of these names which only describe the color palette of characters.

Color Palettes

One of the most obvious character names which ties into their color palette is Aqua from KonoSuba. Aqua’s color palette is blue, as you would expect from someone named after water. It also helps that her name isn’t in Japanese, so it’s even easier to recognize.

But, what if her name was in Japanese? What then? Well, fear not, because the Japanese word for Aqua is simply Akua. And, in case you were wondering, there is an Akua in anime. She’s from Love Tyrant and has blue hair as well as her name implies (you’ll notice that by color palette I tend to mean simply hair color).

While I can’t think of a character named a variant of Aqua whose color palette isn’t blue, there are other names, like Sakura, which don’t always work out.

Sakura Haruno from Naruto is an obvious example of this name working, since her hair is pink just like sakura (cherry blossoms). However, it’s more of a stretch to say that this type of naming convention still holds completely true when we look at the Sakuras from Madoka Magica and Fate, who are red and purple respectively.

Kyouko Toshino, Akari Akaza, Chinatsu Yoshikawa, and Yui Funami from the anime series Yuru Yuri
Kyouko, Akari, Chinatsu, and Yui

But, fear not. Just because the name Sakura doesn’t always work out, there are still other names which do, like Akari Akaza from Yuru Yuri. Her hair color is red, which is exactly what the word aka means in Japanese. That’s right, both her first and last names have the word red in them, just in case you weren’t completely sure.

And, in some cases, such as in Prisma Illya, you’ll have characters given names by other character specifically because of their color palettes. Chloe von Einzbern is known to her friends as Kuro (black) because she’s a “dark” version of Illya, literally.

Character Attributes

Now it’s time for the more interesting role of anime character names, and that’s to describe character attributes that aren’t purely physical. And, this is where we’ll see some characters I mentioned in the previous two sections making a comeback.

Take Aqua for example. Yes, her name being Aqua matches up with the fact that her color palette is blue, but what’s even more important is that it signifies she’s a water goddess. Just from her name and character design we, the viewers, know she’s a water goddess long before Kazuma does, which is just one of the many jokes in the series.

Likewise, I mentioned that not only does Kisame look like a shark, but he uses water-style jutsu and can summon sharks. The fact that his name has to do with sharks foreshadows this even though we don’t actually see him use these jutsu for quite a bit of time after he’s introduced.

And, similar to Kisame, we have Squalo from this week’s episode of JoJo’s Part 5. Squalo is Italian for shark, and his stand, Clash, is a shark-like stand. Unfortunately that logic won’t work on most of the other characters from Part 5 since they’re mostly named after various types of food.

Yuusha, Fai, Mei, and Seira from the anime series Endro~!
Yuusha, Fai, Mei, and Seira

Then, we also have characters like Yulia “Yuusha” Chardiet from Endro~! All of Yulia’s friends call her Yuusha, which turns out to be a pretty good nickname for her considering it means hero, which is what she is. This is basically like how Goblin Slayer is named Goblin Slayer, her name is simply her title as well.

Even if we didn’t know that Yuusha was a legendary hero, it would be implied simply by her name. But, like the rest of the names I’ve gone over in this post, Yuusha’s is still pretty basic. So, what about a name that has a bit more nuance?

This is where my favorite character, Mayoi Hachikuji comes into play. Her first name, Mayoi, can be written as the word for lost. This is significant due to her former status as an apparition known as a lost cow (or lost snail). But, that’s not all!

Her last name, Hachikuji, is also a reference to her character. As previously mentioned, hachi is the word for eight, but ku is nine, and ji is temple. So, all together her last name reads as “89 temples” which is a reference to the 89th temple being considered unlucky in Buddhism.

Further, the characters for hachi and ku in her name can be read as misfortune. So, basically everything about her name points to how she’s unlucky or lost in some way, which makes more and more sense as the story of the series continues to unfold.


And, that’s all I have to say regarding the names of characters in anime. So, let me know what some of your favorite clever anime character names are in the comments. Mine is obviously Mayoi Hachikuji, but I’m interested in hearing some of your picks which might not have made their way into this post.

Oh, and since I just remembered this one, Usagi Tsukino from Sailor Moon. Usagi is the word for rabbit, which references her hairstyle, and Tsuki is the word for Moon, referencing her role as Sailor Moon.

If you enjoyed today’s post or found it interesting in any way, let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below. And, make sure you follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on all my latest content.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how to become a supporter and the benefits you receive for doing so, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Sayaka Miki: The Sacrifice

Sayaka Miki: The Sacrifice


Welcome to the fifth and final part of my Madoka Magica characters series. If you’re interested in reading any of the previous entries in this series, click on the following links: Homura, Madoka, Kyouko, and Mami.

While Sayaka isn’t a potential protagonist like Madoka or Homura are, she does serve the role of the hero in the story. Unfortunately for her, she serves the role of the sacrificial hero, and sacrifices her own well-being for others a few too many times.

I actually didn’t care for Sayaka’s character all that much until after I watched the Rebellion movie. Since then, I’ve come to appreciate Sayaka’s character and role, because without her, the rest of the magical girls would have been lost.

For Mami

Sayaka’s first sacrifice comes shortly after the death of her friend and mentor, Mami Tomoe. Mami was the city’s resident magical girl and was killed by the witch Charlotte while defending Sayaka and Madoka.

It appears that Sayaka felt partially responsible for Mami’s death because she believes it wouldn’t have happened if Mami didn’t have to protect her. This, in part, leads Sayaka to become a magical girl herself so that she won’t be a burden to her friends next time.

She sacrifices her normal, middle school life to continue Mami’s work as the city’s magical girl.

Magical Girl Sayaka Miki from the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Sayaka Miki

For Love

But, simply becoming a magical girl is only one of the multiple ways in which she sacrificed herself. Coinciding with her sacrifice for Mami was her sacrifice for her love, specifically for a boy named Kyousuke whom she has a crush on.

Kyousuke is one of Sayaka’s classmates who has been bedridden in a hospital for some unknown amount of time. At one point he was a violinist, but whatever injury or illness he’s afflicted with has robbed him of full use of his hands, and as a result he’ll never be able to play the violin again.

As you may know, magical girls get one wish granted in exchange for their services when they make a pact with Kyubey. Sayaka used her wish for Kyousuke’s sake and wished that he would get better and be able to play the violin once again.

There’s no doubt that in the back of her mind she hoped that this wish would make it so the two of them could be together, but at the same time she knew that he would never know it was her doing. She could have wished for anything in the world, but instead she chose to use her wish to help someone in need.

What seems like a selfish wish on the surface was actually the second sacrifice Sayaka made. She gave up her chance to wish for Kyousuke to love her, and instead wished for his dream of playing the violin again to come true.

For Her City

The potentially biggest sacrifice Sayaka makes throughout the whole series is for the citizens of her city. This is the sacrifice that ends up taking her life (the first time) when she falls into despair and becomes the witch Oktavia von Seckendorff.

Yes, she fell into despair partially because after wishing for Kyousuke to get better, her friend Hitomi “steals” him away from her, but this isn’t actually the primary reason. The real reason Sayaka fell into despair was because she was working too hard as a magical girl to protect her city.

Every time magical girls use their magic, and very slowly over time anyway, their soul gems become more and more tainted. Once their soul gems turn completely black, the girls die and become witches, the things magical girls fight against in the first place.

The only way to purify a soul gem, however, is to defeat witches and use the grief seeds they drop. In theory, a magical girl should never fall into despair because by continuously defeating witches, they can continue to purify their own soul gems.

However, in practice this isn’t really the case, at least for someone like Sayaka. I’ll use the difference between Sayaka and Kyouko to explain this point.

After meeting, Kyouko stops Sayaka from hunting down a witch’s familiar because she says it isn’t worth the effort since familiars don’t drop grief seeds. Sayaka, however, says that a familiar is still able to harm someone, and so it’s her job as a magical girl to defeat it.

Kyouko’s philosophy is that a magical girl should think only of herself, and so she should allow a familiar to “eat” civilians until it grows into a full-fledged witch, at which point a magical girl should “eat” the witch and obtain the grief seed it drops. It’s the food chain as far as she’s concerned.

But, even with this explanation, Sayaka still believes that she should defeat familiars before they can harm anyone, even though it means she doesn’t receive a grief seed in return. It’s this philosophy that eventually results in her falling into despair.

Sayaka sacrifices her own life for the people of her city by defeating familiars which would do them harm and then being unable to purify her soul gem afterwards. Upon her death, she says that she doesn’t regret sacrificing her life for the civilians, just that she regrets she couldn’t save more of them in the little time she had.

For Her Friends

Now, at this point you may be reminded of the wise words of Shirou Emiya from Fate/Stay Night, “People die when they are killed.” However, that doesn’t necessarily apply when your best friend decides to become a goddess and rewrite the universe so that you’re alive again.

We’re now in what’s known as the Wraith arc. Madoka is a goddess whose existence is only known by Homura, and Sayaka, Kyouko, and Mami are all alive and well once again. This means that Sayaka gets a second chance at life, so what does she do? She sacrifices herself again.

It’s unclear exactly at what point this new universe started, but Sayaka, Mami, and Kyouko are all magical girls once more, except this time they fight against wraiths instead of witches. It’s during one of these battles that Sayaka sacrifices herself once again.

Just like how Kyouko destroyed her own soul gem in the previous universe in order to take down the witch Oktavia von Seckendorff, Sayaka destroys her own soul gem in the new universe in order to save her friends from a wraith. After this point, Sayaka is “officially” dead, although she still does come back.

For Magical Girls

The final sacrifice of Sayaka in the currently available anime comes in the Rebellion movie. After her second death, Sayaka works under the Law of Cycles Madoka. If Madoka is a goddess, then we can view Sayaka’s role at this point as that of an angel.

Instead of whatever typically happens to people after death in the Madoka Magica universe, Sayaka has chosen to become an eternal hero for magical girls around the world. If you’re familiar with Fate/UBW, this is the same thing Shirou Emiya does as well.

Sayaka has sacrificed her eternal peace in order to save girls from falling into despair instead, as we see her attempt to do for Homura.


At the end of the Rebellion movie it’s unclear just how Homura’s fake universe affects Sayaka’s role as an angel, much like how we don’t know how it affects the Law of Cycles. However, I think it’s safe to assume that once Homura’s fake universe dissolves, Sayaka will go back to saving magical girls under Madoka’s direction.

From the very start, Sayaka was an unselfish character who was willing to give up everything in order to help others, even after learning just how much “everything” actually was.

So what are your thoughts on Sayaka Miki as a character? Do you like her as I do? Did you hate her as I did? Let me know in the comment section down below, and while you’re down there, click the like button if you enjoyed this final Madoka Magica character series post.

If you’re interested in other Madoka Magica content besides the entries of this series, there are a variety of other posts about various aspects of the anime which you can find on the site through the search bar. Also, since this post was about Sayaka, here’s a link to my Sayaka Miki Nendoroid post.

Finally, if you’d like to receive notifications every time a new post goes live, be sure to follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, or subscribe to my blog via email.

Mami Tomoe: The Mentor

Mami Tomoe: The Mentor


Mentors are an important part of shounen anime such as Naruto, One Piece, or My Hero Academia, but while they’re seen less frequently in shoujo series they still play the same roles. I don’t really think Madoka Magica counts as a shoujo series, but it is technically a mahou shoujo (magical girl) anime, so it’s close enough.

There are two primary roles for any mentor character in anime. These are the mentor in life and mentor in death roles. As the names imply, these roles follow a specific order; one cannot be a mentor in death unless they have first been a mentor in life.

Mami Tomoe is the character who fulfills both of these roles in Madoka Magica, and as is the case with any good mentor, her influence is seen less and less as time goes on and her pupils mature.

Mentor in Life

The mentor in life role is what we would typically associate with mentor characters. This is when the mentor is actively training their student(s) so that one day they’ll be just like them. I know this shouldn’t be a difficult concept to grasp, but let’s look at some examples.

Jiraiya is Naruto’s mentor because he teaches him how to be a ninja, and specifically, how to use jutsu specific to Jiraiya himself such as the Rasengan and Toad Summoning jutsu. In MHA, All Might is Deku’s mentor because he teaches him how to be a hero and passes on his own quirk to Deku.

Just as these two mentors trained their students to be just like them, Mami does the same thing with Madoka, Sayaka, Kyouko, and Homura. She’s the one who teaches the other four girls how to be magical girls and even attempts to instill her own ideals in them much like Jiraiya and All Might do for Naruto and Deku respectively.

While the effectiveness of Mami’s teachings are arguable, what’s clear is that she believes magical girls should work together in order to safely take down witches as a team, as well as to stop each other from falling into despair. The only one who follows Mami’s teachings from the beginning is Madoka, but in the end all of the girls appear to embrace this idea.

However, despite how important mentor characters are in life, they’re arguably even more important in death. But, as I mentioned previously, one must first be a mentor in life before they can be a mentor in death. This is simply because if the character isn’t set up as a mentor while they’re alive, their death won’t have as much meaning.

Mami Tomoe and the witch Charlotte from the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Mami Tomoe and the witch Charlotte

Mentor in Death

To be a mentor in death, a mentor in life needs to die either literally or figuratively. Jiraiya became a mentor in death after he was literally killed by Pain. However, All Might became a mentor in death figuratively after he used up his quirk and had to retire from being a pro hero.

Mami is a member of the literal mentor in death group, although she’s a bit of a unique case. In episode three of Madoka Magica, Mami is killed by the witch Charlotte while protecting Madoka and Sayaka. While she does die, she is later revived when Madoka recreates the world, and thus is a unique case because she actually transitioned back to a mentor in life.

Revival aside though, how exactly do mentors in death work? And, more specifically, how does Mami fill this role?

There comes a point in every mentor/pupil relationship where the mentor can’t really teach their pupil anything else. I mean, sure, they could probably always find something to teach, but it stops becoming worth it at a certain point.

The easiest way for me to express this concept is through a video game analogy, so let’s use Fate/Grand Order since that’s an anime game I’ve written about before.

If I have a level 1 servant, I can increase their level to 2 in a relatively short amount of time. However, if I have a level 89 servant, it takes a much, much longer time to increase their level to 90 even though it’s still only one level. This is essentially how the mentor/pupil relationship works.

At some point, it becomes so time-consuming or difficult to teach the pupil something they don’t already know, that the mentor must send the pupil off on their own to continue learning or training. In anime, this often comes in the form of a literal or figurative death which sparks the solo training of the pupil.

For Naruto, Jiraiya’s death forced him to seek out how to learn sage jutsu. For Deku, All Might’s retirement forced him to learn how to use his quirk in new and unique ways. For the magical girls of Madoka Magica, however, Mami’s death meant something different for each of them.

For Madoka and Sayaka, her death forced a choice upon them. Will they choose to follow her path and make a pact with Kyubey or not? Madoka chose not to follow Mami’s path, but Sayaka chose to become a magical girl in her place. This choice wasn’t something Mami could force on Madoka and Sayaka while she was alive, but her death was able to.

As for Kyouko, Mami’s death sparked her movement into Mami’s old territory where she then came in contact with the other girls. Kyouko and Mami had split up previously because of their differing ideologies, as I explained in Kyouko Sakura: The Rival, but once Mami is dead, her teachings are finally able to reach Kyouko.

Homura is the one for whom Mami’s death is the most interesting to me. While Mami’s death was likely a motivator for Homura initially, as it was for the other girls, because Homura has experienced Mami’s death countless times, it becomes more of a tool for her.

By using her knowledge of Mami’s future demise, Homura attempts to convince Madoka and Sayaka not to become magical girls, but in the end this has no effect.

However, the most effective use of Mami’s mentor in death role appears to be stopping Madoka from choosing to become a magical girl. The only timeline that we know Mami survives past her fight with Charlotte in is the original timeline. This is also the timeline in which Madoka becomes a magical girl the earliest as far as we know.

While I recognize that Homura’s role is also different in the first timeline compared to the later ones, Mami’s death can’t be overlooked. One of the things Mami was teaching Madoka and Sayaka is that they need to decide for themselves whether or not they want to become magical girls, and in the later timelines, Mami’s death seems to have a profound effect on Madoka’s choice to refrain.


If you enjoyed this post, be sure to click the like button down below. You can also check out the previous entry in my Madoka Magica characters series here. This is the fourth of five parts, so the final entry, Sayaka Miki: The Sacrifice will be uploaded next week.

Do you want to receive notifications every time a new post goes live? Then give me a follow over on Twitter or Tumblr, or subscribe to my blog via email.