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|“|| I promise.|
I'll save you.
I swear I'll save you. I'll do whatever it takes to keep you safe. I'll come back again and again and again. I'll save you I swear!!!
|~ Homura Akemi|
Homura Akemi is the deuteragonist of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, as well as both the main protagonist and antagonist of Rebellion. She first appears in a dream of Madoka Kaname's and transfers into her school the next day.
Homura is a magical girl who first appears in an apocalyptic nightmare of Madoka's. She transfers into her school the day after the dream. She is a beautiful, mysterious individual that performs exceptionally well in academics and athletics. This makes her instantly popular even though she is cold to others. Homura's cold personality developed from repeating the same timeline again and again. She was originally a shy, weak transfer student who spent a long time in hospital due to heart disease. She was befriended and eventually saved from a witch by Madoka, who revealed that she was a magical girl. When Madoka was killed in her battle with Walpurgis Night, Homura contracted with Kyubey in order to become a person that could protect her. She became a magical girl with the ability to manipulate time, allowing her to return to her first meeting with Madoka in order to change her fate. She tries again and again to prevent Madoka from being killed or becoming a magical girl and, inevitably, a witch, but is never able to save her. She always returns to the beginning of the month upon failure.
Her magical weapon is a shield filled with sand that allows her to freeze time. However, this power becomes useless if she is physically restrained as she cannot turn her shield to activate it. She can also use this shield to block projectiles and store the various infinite amount of weapons that she carries. Since her shield and magic has no offensive capability, she instead attacks using stolen firearms and homemade explosives while time is stopped. None of the girls actually know what weapons she has, since she only uses them while time is stopped and puts them. Only once the sand in her shield runs out, then can Homura reset the timeline. In the final timeline, she inherits Madoka's rose bow and arrows along with a set of white wings.
|“|| Homura: Do you realise you're just making Madoka suffer more and more?|
Sayaka: Madoka? This has nothing to do with her.
Homura: You're wrong. Everything has to do with her.
|~ Homura's devotion to Madoka|
In the original timeline where her journey began, however, Homura is portrayed as meek, shy, timid, and is known around the school for her lack of confidence. She was also known for her physical incapability of performing in P.E. class; she would get dizzy upon doing even the simplest of warm-up exercises. This had the unfortunate result of her being a target of bullying, as heard on Drama CD 1. Overwhelmed by her perceived uselessness, she begins questioning her existence and until she begins her fated friendship with Madoka, her feelings do not change.
Madoka, alongside Mami, shows Homura the ropes and dangers of becoming a magical girl and notes that Madoka's own attitude became much healthier with every witch battle. In an ironic twist, in the anime timeline we see how frail and meek Madoka is, compared to the current Homura whose personality had performed a complete 180-degree turn due to her experiences in multiple timelines.
Homura is also prone to brutal honesty, such as when she told Madoka that she should forget about Sayaka as there was nothing she could do to save her from her fate. When Madoka said she couldn't forget about her as she saved her life, Homura simply told her not to confuse gratitude with responsibility, causing Madoka to ask why she was so cold. Homura responded that it's because, like Sayaka, she doesn't consider herself human anymore, which she technically isn't as her soul is now outside her body.
Despite being regarded as emotionless by Sayaka, Homura is far from it. Although she does not easily show signs of remorse, sadness, or pity, it is only because she had grown used to the suffering around her. Homura herself has stated that she always feels badly with each life she is unable to save or alter, despite her frequent claims otherwise, but nevertheless, it does not slow her down from staying true to her main objective in saving Madoka.
Although becoming increasingly more distant towards Madoka with each timeline, she still very much cares for her as it is her sole objective to protect her and save her from her doomed fate, due to the countless blood, sweat, and tears she has shed over her jumps in time. In fact, after learning all that Homura had done for her, Madoka describes her as the most amazing friend she could ever ask for.
- Homura is frequently referred to as "Homerun-chan" amongst Western fans, due to the similarity of the two names in Japanese, however she is frequently referred as "Homuhomu" (ほむほむ) within Japanese community. Homuhomu likely originated from the runes in Episode 3, one of which translates to "Homuhomu".
- "Homuhomu" can be used as a verb as "do Homuhomu" (ほむほむする) which means to caress, consoleor take care of. The action of "do Homuhomu" is not defined exactly.
- Originally started by the fan community it has been embraced and adopted by the industry to become part of the official language and usage.
- When her full name is written vertically in hiragana (あけみほむら) and covering the left half at a certain angle, it could be read as カナメまどか which is Kaname written in katakana and Madoka written in hiragana.
- In an early production sketch, her surname was given as (暁海) "daybreak sea" instead of (暁美). Both are read as Akemi.
(*Fun fact: The name "炎子" or Homurako can also be read as "Moeko")
- Her first name is written in hiragana, which has no special meaning. However, when written in kanji, it can mean:
- flame, blaze (炎 or 焔)
- heart on fire (心火)
- mass of flame (炎叢)
- village protector (保村)
- Though only 焔, 炎, and 心火 are actually Japanese given names. The name 'Homura' can also be written the following ways as a given name:
- stride approaching happiness (歩向楽)
- head/point of the large village (穂邑)
"flame, blaze" as the kanji for her first name. However, no official kanji of her name exists in the original Japanese version.
- Some folks in 2ch nicknamed Homura's Residence Homu-home (ほむホーム Homuhōmu) since Homu is a nickname for Homura, and Hōmu is "home" rendered in the Japanese syllabify.
- It should be noted that "homu" is more often used for dog houses and similar structures, with the English word "home" expressed using "uchi" (うち, which refers to one's own house or household), "ie" (いえ, which can refer to a physical house or a family lineage), or the honorific "otaku" (お宅, which refers to someone else's house or household).
- Some pages from the Puella Magi Production Note refer to Homura's attack on Walpurgisnacht as "Pytha-homu Switch", a reference to the complicated Rube Goldberg machines featured on the Japanese children's show "Pythagorean Switch".
- The Homura of previous timelines is, due to her personality and actions, often referred to as "Moemura" amongst Western fans.
- Homura's appearance in episode 12 (in the new timeline) from the manga is different than her appearance from the anime. In the anime, her clothes and hairstyle remain the same, with Madoka's ribbon as her accessories. However, in the manga, she wears a new dress, changes her hairstyle to two pigtails with the ribbons Madoka gave her.
- In Audio commentary for Episode 4, Urobuchi liked Chiwa Saitou for the role because she had a "Dark Beauty" feeling.
- In the Audio commentary for Episode 7, Chiwa Saitou explains she tried the role of Kyubey and Kyousuke first, until Gen Urobuchi convinced her to try the role of Homura.
- Chiwa Saito explains that she found the character of Homura to be strong but also to be a weak/delicate girl.
- Aoi Yuuki adds that the Homura character had no other choice but to become strong.
- Ryouko Shintani states that would be true for a character that has something or someone important to protect.
- Homura's original self is nicknamed 'Moemura' by the fans.
- In the Puella Magi Madoka Magica Official Guidebook "You Are Not Alone" Hanokage jokingly describes Homura as "Hommando" in her After-Recording Report comic, because of the excessive vast arsenal of weaponry she unleashes in Episode 11. Apparently the smörgåsbord of weaponry was added later, they were not originally depicted in the early stages of the screenplay.
- Chiwa Saito (Homura) states that the crying scene in Episode 8 left her with a large impression. She feels like they captured the feelings of a girl perfectly, specially the part where Homura collapses, showing her weak side as a girl.
- In Persona 4 Arena, Yukiko Amagi has a palette swap for Homura.
- In the PSP game, her witch form is Homulilly, depicted as a broken record player.