Our world is a place filled with evil. In recent years, the notorious terrorist group known as ISIS has murdered thousands of innocent people from multiple countries. Rough neighborhoods in some of the toughest areas witness gang rapes and child prostitution as the norm. School shootings appear frequently on the news, devastating teachers, families, and communities. Even in today’s society, human beings are still being sold as property and treated as animals. Clearly, evil exists in our world.
In the 2011 Shaft anime, Madoka Magica, similar evil brought about by witches rules their universe. Magical Girls are sent to fight against these creatures and defeat them. However, what they learn later in the series changes everything: they are the very evil they are fighting against. Witches are simply Magical Girls who have not purified their Soul Gems, undergoing a terrifying transformation.
If people really stop to think about it, doesn’t mankind have the same situation? Isn’t mankind consumed with the same evil that terrorists and rapists are? The average person might not be a murderer, but they steal, lie, and cheat to the top. People still commit sin and, according to perfection, we are the same as the absolute worst (Romans 3:10-18). We are the very evil that ruins our world and we cannot save ourselves. Hope is needed and a savior is necessary.
Near the beginning of Madoka Magica, an alien named Kyubey offers a contract to a group of adolescent girls to turn them into Magical Girls, bestowing powers to fight witches, and one free wish of their desire. They are also given a Soul Gem to hold onto that contains their life force. However, what he doesn’t tell them is their Soul Gems become tainted with darkness and despair over time and, at a certain point, the object will shatter and the owner will turn into a witch. The only way to prevent this is to fight against other witches, which will purify some of the Soul Gem. Kyubey had trapped all Magical Girls into an endless cycle: purifying one’s one life force, eventually turning into a witch, and being killed by another for their Soul Gem’s restoration. Madoka saw her friends accept this curse and knew she had to do something about it.
People in the real world are under a similar curse that the Bible calls sin, which is an act against God, and every single person is born into it. Death is the ultimate result of sin and there is no way to escape it. Just like Magical Girls who try to purify their Soul Gems, we feel like we can “clean ourselves up” by doing good deeds. However, one sinful act already warrants death and no amount of good deeds can erase the bad. The worst part about this curse is that we willingly choose it and pain the heart of our loving creator. God watched His creation accept this curse and knew He had to do something about it.
Looking at the evil that exists in the world and our inability to escape our own sin, we are in desperate need of hope. Madoka herself was this hope for Magical Girls in her world. She willingly laid down her freedom and signed a contract with Kyubey, turning into a Magical Girl. However, she was able to defeat the system when she wished that every witch from past, present, and future would be killed before it was born, essentially rewriting the entire universe. In the process, she sacrificed herself and become only a concept that people vaguely remembered.
The allegory ends between Madoka Magica and our world where Jesus Christ is triumphant. Madoka is a great example of hope to a fallen world, but He is hope. Jesus Christ literally became our curse, sin itself, and was nailed to a cross by the Romans to experience the death that we were supposed to. Unlike Madoka Kaname, He didn’t fizzle out of existence and became a concept. Rather, He rose back from the dead and now reigns eternally with His Father in heaven. The hope that we have in Jesus Christ washes away our sin from the past, present, and future, and did what we could not do for ourselves.
When you turn on the TV and see the despair that exists in our world, know that hope exists. Hope is active, hope is moving, and hope is healing. Hope is Jesus Christ and He has His arms open for you to run home.