Kyubey is a fiend. He’s a little fucking bastard who manipulates the innocent for his own whims. He’s evil, he’s wretched, and he’s one of the awesomest characters to ever set foot in an anime.
All this stuff about comparing him to Satan and the Faust story can be thrown out the window. With Satan, you know what you’re getting. You sell your soul, you get rewards now, and you pay the ultimate price when it comes time for you to die. When you make that Faustian bargain, you know what’s coming, so the angst is all existential and shit. You see it coming and there’s nothing you can do about it since you chose this path. You fucked yourself over, and Satan was just there to help you along your own path of damnation.
That ain’t what’s up with Kyubey. While he warns the girls about making sure their wishes are worth the price of having to fight witches, he’s by no means upfront about anything. He outright lies about how it’s “curses” that create witches, when we’ve seen that what creates witches is a magical girl allowing her soul gem to become over-corrupted. And with the latest episode we’ve had all of those “Kyubey is behind all this shit” conspiracy theories proven right, since he’s the one “incubating” witches by having girls make contracts.
With a Faustian deal, you’d know that your wish would lead to you becoming a witch. “I give you this wish, and you get to reap its rewards for awhile, and when that time’s up you become my bitch witch,” that’s what Kyubey would be saying if this was a real “deal with the devil” scenario.
Kyubey isn’t playing by those rules. He isn’t tempting people with temporary gain in exchange for a debt to be paid later, he’s scamming these girls into becoming something and doing his best to make them not realize the truth until it’s too late. He’s not unlike the sort of Cthonian gods we see in Lovecraftian shit, where the cultists who worship these dark alien gods think they can control the wild energies given to them by their masters only to find themselves descending into insanity and eternal servitude– all without the sort of warnings you get from classic Luciferian scenarios. These girls are given just enough hope that they can make a difference with their sacrifices, only to have that sliver of hope be their real downfall.
And really, that’s how most of this shit goes down in real life– you never know that you’ve fucked up until it’s too late. Rarely is it a case of some fucking bastard luring you down that path the way Kyubey does, but it’s a far better representation of the sort of shit you can get yourself into (Especially when you’re young, idealistic, and naive like the kids in Madoka.).
So yeah, Kyubey’s an awesome representation of the sort of real life “evil” that can fuck you over without you knowing it, but you know what makes him truly awesome?
He eats himself.
Seriously, dudes, that was the coolest thing I’ve seen in an anime since JET PIRANHAS. It was grotesque both in a disturbing way (You know, cannibalism and all) and in a disgustingly cute way (The way he gobbled himself up and then rolled around like a cat was adorable.). If I’m still doing this shit by year’s end and I do that 12 Days of X-Mas Shit again, I fail to see how this won’t be my #1. Hell, I better schedule it already.
Also: If Homura is Madoka from an alternate time line, I will be PISSED. My money is on Homura being Madoka’s mom.