Itsumi Madoka

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Itsumi Madoka
逸美 窓花 Itsumi Madoka
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Description
Series [OW] Ellipsis
Magi Soldat
[FW] Itsumimonogatari
Age unknown
Blood Type unknown
Home Place Wakkanai, Hokkaido
Relatives Itsumi Hisanobu (Father)
Itsumi Rika (Mother)

Itsumi Madoka (逸美 窓花 <Itsumi Madoka>) is the protagonist of Magi Soldat and a magical girl.

Appearance

Itsumi Madoka is a young, and noticeably busty woman.

Itsumi sports a bizarrely "floofy" hairstyle that is neck-length in front and extends down to shoulder or mid-back length in the back. She often ties her hair into a ponytail or set of twin tails. Due to the voluminous nature of her hair, her tail(s) often "blends in" with the rest, creating the illusion that her hair is shorter than it actually is.

Her hair is normally vibrantly orange but can turn crimson when she transforms. She has emerald green eyes.

Personality

Itsumi is best described as an internally conflicted person who constantly struggles to be two separate people simultaneously --her true self and the self she believes she has to be due to cultural norms. She cannot and outright refuses to give up on her true self, but the energy it takes to maintain a persona is a constant drain on the reserve of mental energy she musters each day.

Beneath her masks, her true self is a very bubbly and impassioned person. She is a huge fanatic of comic books and cartoons, enjoys fawning over figurines and models, and loves singing karaoke. Though many people would find no issue with these hobbies, Itsumi was raised to believe them to be childish and off-putting, and that she would be marked as a social pariah if she were honest about herself to people outside a select trusted circle.

Due to the constant need for a dull "grown-up" persona, she suffers from frequent bouts of depression and near-constant paranoia, and constantly battles with an unfathomable loneliness and never-yielding worry.


Itsumi strongly disfavors surprises and sudden changes and reacts to them exceedingly poorly. Most surprises are typically met with an outburst of anger but those that toe too close to her most significant fears risk making her collapse and cry. Occasionally, immediately noticeably beneficial surprises will not elicit a negative reaction whatsoever.

Itsumi's greatest fear is, perhaps obviously, for her true self to be revealed. Her second greatest fear is mind alteration and loss of inhibition, which manifests as a general aversion to alcohol, drugs, and even hypnotism. She also has a very strong aversion to anything that must be proximal to or touching her eyes (e.g., contact lenses, ocular tonometers, etc.), or otherwise occludes her vision (excluding hair).

Additionally, Itsumi seems partially averse to her own physical appearance, heavily disdaining her sexually attractive qualities, and preferring more conservative clothing where applicable. Similarly, she also commonly embraces a prudish mentality, shying away from topics related to human biology, sex, and sexuality.

Biography

"It is a security violation to tell you this, but this self must inform you...."
This section mentions material not currently serialized. It may be subject to change without notice and thus become inaccurate. Either way, it is clearly spoilers. Read at your own risk!

Pre Works

Itsumi was born the only daughter of Itsumi Hisanobu and Itsumi Rika. She spent much of her childhood thoroughly engrossed in anime and manga, a trait that would stick with her throughout her life.

She graduated from Wakkanai High School at 18 and went on to attend university for 4 years. Upon receiving her university degree, she applied to the recently established Wakkanai Frontier Academy and took up the mantle as both a homeroom teacher and a social studies teacher.

She currently lives in a small apartment with Ienai Kaemi.

"If this self continues, there is no going back. You are now involved."
This section contains spoilers for material currently in circulation. If you are not caught up, plot points may be spoiled. Read at your own risk!

Ellipsis

Itsumi is assigned as the homeroom teacher to a class of eccentric and rambunctious students. She is annoyed by their antics but ultimately considers them benign. A few days later, however, one of her new students, Arikawa Senou, walks in on her singing karaoke and she is forced to admit her secret self to him. Fortunately, after a misunderstanding is cleared, she finds out Senou is more endeared to this revelation than repulsed, and the two form a secret friendship.

Itsumi and Senou's friendship does not last long as the line quickly starts to blur between friendship and relationship, and Itsumi becomes racked with guilt. She accepts one last invitation from Senou --a trip to the local ice cream parlor-- whereupon she asks Senou to stop being friends with her. The two immediately get into an argument. Itsumi claims the friendship will only destroy both of their lives, especially since the headmaster of their school is a no-nonsense businessman. Senou refuses to accept and argues in favor of personal freedom over what others think.

Lost in their mutual frustration and unaware of who was nearby during their public altercation, both parties are surprised when the headmaster himself confronts them. Itsumi is silent as she fears for her future but is shocked to learn the headmaster has no qualms and actually intends to give her a pay raise.

Now more confused than frustrated, Itsumi decides not to question it and demands a break from personal interaction with Senou. As she departs from the parlor, she is met by the proprietor who interjects to tell her that men aren't always great at talk but that it's clear Senou truly cares about her, perhaps more than he should. As the depth of the situation begins to dawn on her, Itsumi's heart skips a beat.

Magi Soldat

On one unreasonably hot day in the summer, Itsumi is approached by Dilalin and reluctantly recruited into the Soldat Initiative. She becomes Magi HOPE, the de facto leader of the Magi Soldat Alpha Unit.

Magical Girl Career

Through use of the Heart Soldat Crest, Itsumi is able to transform into Magi HOPE (マジ・HOPE <maji HOPE>).

Abilities

As Magi HOPE, Itsumi is able to perform transmutation, the ability to change one substance into another with granularity down to the atomic scale (transmutation of atoms). While definitely the most versatile ability, it has severe drawbacks:

  1. The amount of psycho-exotic energy required is proportional to the transmutation's complexity.
    • It would take little energy to morph the shape of a stone but significantly more to turn lead into gold.
  2. Itsumi is limited to knowable transmutations.
    • She cannot transmute a metal or alloy if neither she nor the support system of her Soldat Attire possesses a structural understanding of it.

Age

Itsumi's age is canonically a mystery. While certain characters (such as her parents and the headmaster of the academy) are logically in a position of knowing her age, most characters are not privy to this information and it is never spoken or written in any canonical works.

Given that she was part of the same graduating class as Kaemi, she is likely 23-24 years old at the start of Magi Soldat.


Word of God: Itsumi Madoka has no canon age. Simple as that.

Development

Itsumi Madoka was originally conceived as a minor character for Ellipsis who simply took the role of the class homeroom teacher. Little was known about her at the time other than an apparently violence-first response to indecent behavior. Her debut strip was annotated with trivia that her name would be "Madoka", spurred by the anime Madoka Magica which had been airing at the time.

A short while into Ellipsis, Itsumi was promoted to the position of deuteragonist alongside Arikawa Senou as the series progressed from random slice-of-life to a more drama-based story. At this point, her character was fleshed out as the "secret otaku" she is today, though much of her emotional baggage was largely absent. While she still struggled with the same internal conflict, this prototypical Itsumi was less "innocent" and arguably far more desperate. When faced with a student finding out her secrets and a misunderstanding thereafter, this version of Itsumi seemed far more open to the idea of having sex with a student to keep him quiet, though she seems ashamed and devastated at stooping so low.[1]


Word of God: I'm not one to shy away from terrible things in stories because humans are terrible creatures who do terrible things for terrible reasons or lack thereof. However, this particular aspect of Itsumi is one I intend to retcon in Ellipsis Remaster. I don't think the current iteration of her character could will herself to commit such an act, essentially hiding lesser secrets behind one single worse one. Incidentally, I would like to remind readers that my choosing to express a concept in a comic is not synonymous with me approving of or consenting to the concept in real life.


When Magi Soldat debuted, Itsumi finally found herself in the limelight as a true protagonist. As the story developed, it became a convenient sandbox for incorporating the additional emotional baggage into the character and really defining her as who she is today.

Design

Initially, Itsumi was not a particularly outlandish character in terms of design. Her hair was short and straight with straight bangs. Due to the monochrome nature of the comic at the time, there was no indication what color her hair or eyes were. It wasn't until nearly three quarters of the way through the initial serialization of Ellipsis that she was given color for the first time.[2]

Her design remained mostly consistent up until the end of the first serialized draft of Magi Soldat, which marked the start of an art shift. [3] It was at this point that she began trending towards the wilder, "floofier" hair style that she currently possesses today.

Magical Girl Form

Originally, when assuming her soldat persona, Itsumi's hair lengthened artificially and her bangs took on a "pleated" shape, a nod to the transformation sequences in magical girl series like PreCure.[4] However, as the series shifted away from whimsy and towards being more grounded in science fiction, this design was entirely abandoned in favor of her normal hair taking on a new color as part of a disguise.[5]

Powers

During the initial conception stages of Magi Soldat, Itsumi's power as a magical girl was far more literal and far less technical. Being that she was Magi HOPE, her power was the power of "hope" itself --a technically passive power that could alter reality based on Itsumi's hopes. This power was limited by the amount of magical energy Itsumi had in reserve, with more substantial hopes requiring greater amounts of energy. At the end of the story, Itsumi was slated to upgrade into a new form known as Magi WISH, which drastically reduced the amount of energy required to influence reality.

These concepts never made it to serialization, however. Instead, they were refined into the current alchemy/transmutation ability. Whether or not Itsumi will receive a similar alchemy-based upgrade during the story remains to be seen.

The "Itsumi Madoka Obligation" of Story Writing

Fairly early on in development, Rain established an obligation barring erotic, fan service, or otherwise indecent imagery of Itsumi.


Word of God: Though I'm no stranger to lewd works involving my own characters, I've grown endeared to this notion of Itsumi's prudishness being borderline supernatural in its enforcement. In essence, not even God itself has ever seen Itsumi in a state of indecency. In practice, this means viewers should never be privy to any aspect of Itsumi that she has not or will not show to another character. I am absolutely aware that I cannot enforce this policy were any other individual motivated to draw counter to it. Yet, it's my hope that, if my works do become popular enough, that others will share in the silliness of the sentiment and abide the obligation.


This obligation further supplements the general Canonicity Obligation that requests characters be kept true to their canon unless otherwise okayed.

Trivia

  • Itsumi is referred to by surname outside of comic settings to avoid confusion with other similarly named magical girls.
  • Technically, Itsumi can transmute internalized alcohol into more benign substances, meaning she could theoretically drink absurd amounts of alcohol and never become intoxicated.
  • Itsumi's favorite food is strawberries.
  • Itsumi clapping her hands together when performing transmutation is an entirely aesthetic choice on her part and is an homage to circle-free transmutation from Full Metal Alchemist.
  • Of all the characters, Itsumi has changed the most over time.
  • In the original Ellipsis series, Itsumi is confirmed to be a wearer of shimapan (striped panties).[6]
  • Itsumi is said to have a beautiful singing voice.
  • Itsumi prefers to be addressed by her given name in all circumstances (e.g. Madoka-san or Madoka-sensei).
  • Itsumi is especially a fan of manhwa (Korean comics) and several non-Japanese comics.

References

  1. Ellipsis strip 14
  2. Ellipsis strip 46
  3. Prototype p.76
  4. Prototype p.10
  5. Magi Soldat p.46
  6. Ellipsis strip 11