In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, before Ultimate Madoka's universe, I read that the system where a Magical Girl would become a Witch was referred to as the "Law of Wheels", while after that, the new system and Madoka herself is known as the "Law of Cycles", this term actually being used by Homura and the Incubators in the Rebellion movie.

I am wondering, where did these terms come from? Neither system seems like a wheel/cycle as in neither one does a Magical Girl ever return to normal (the origin).

EDIT: I seem to have made a mistake as Mami may have said "Law of Wheels" in Episode 12 in Ultimate Madoka's Universe, but still it doesn't change my question of where these terms came from.

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    Kyubey explained that when a Puella transforms into a Witch, it gives energy to its world. And the Puella change when they fight Witches. So the Puella exist because of the Witches and the Witches exist because of the Puella. Here is the cycle.
    – AGuif
    Aug 18, 2014 at 8:36
  • Please include the source (by whom) of these translations so we may have better context. Translations may vary between distributor and translator (official and unofficial).
    – кяαzєя
    Aug 18, 2014 at 18:13
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    @ɹǝzɐɹʞ you talking to me? doing a bit of backtracking to where i heard of the terms, Law of Wheels seems to have been said by Mami in episode 12 (my mistake, shought she said cycles) while Law of Cycles can be found here but also Homura does say in the Rebellion move she altered only apart of the the Law of Cycles to allow Madoka to exists
    – Memor-X
    Aug 18, 2014 at 22:18
  • Also when Homura wakes up after learning she's actually a witch the Incubators talk about how they know of the Law of Cycles but can not understand it and thus explain their plan to capture it, study it and ultimately manipulate it
    – Memor-X
    Aug 18, 2014 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


By interview of Gen Urobuchi, Law of Wheels/Cycles is a folklore talked between Magical Girls.

Following idea is my (and some Japanese anime fan's) guess.

Law of Wheels/Cycles is translated from "円環の理". 理 is principle or reasonable. I think 円環 is circle or ring instead of Wheels/Cycle.

Madoka is officially written as "まどか", but most Japanese have a name in kanji. By a naming dictionary, most common kanji for the name "まどか" is "円"(circle).

By this two facts, I guess 円環 means Madoka. In the rewritten world, most people forgot about Madoka, but Homura found some affected things from Madoka. I guess the folklore was named Law of Wheels/Cycle because of such a effect.

  • May I ask what do you mean by "affected things"?
    – nhahtdh
    Aug 23, 2014 at 5:26
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    For example, Madoka's mother say she didn't know Madoka but she feel she heard the name "madoka" before.
    – kumagoro
    Aug 23, 2014 at 6:00
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    and also there's Madoka's little bother who was saying her name and drawing her in the dirt to which Homura replied "yeh, that really does look like her"
    – Memor-X
    Aug 24, 2014 at 23:21
  • Interesting how the name of the Law of Cycles is comprised of "Madoka" (円) and "Tamaki" (環) as in Iroha 🤔 Feb 23, 2022 at 3:34

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