But nae smile was seen on Kilmeny's face;
As still was her look, and as still was her e'e,
As the stillness that lay on the emerant lea,
Or the mist that sleeps on a waveless sea.
For Kilmeny had been, she knew not where,
And Kilmeny had seen what she could not declare.
That's pretty much how I felt after watching Puella Magi Madoka Magica for the first time. This article (new minted though long worked on) is one fruit of that obsession - picked on the academic side of the orchard. (For a basketful of others, feel free to click on the Madoka tab.) If you like narratology, reception studies, discussions of "the child" in children's literature, or magical girls with cool powers, it may be for you. However, it is full of SPOILERS, so tread carefully, don't linger, and don't leave the marked paths.