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In the penultimate episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, we briefly see this image, possibly formed by the ice in a glass of alcohol when Madoka's mother is at the bar with Madoka's teacher. (This image comes right before a "break" from that scene before the episode shifts back to Homura's room, so it's hard to tell. While initially that seemed like a reasonable interpretation to me, in retrospect, the two "blades" here suggest that this isn't the case, and that the image is superimposed onto something else.)

Image of Creation of Adam detail superimposed onto something else

This clearly seems to be one of the more famous details from Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam, which is on the Sistine Chapel ceiling:

Creation of Adam detail

What is the significance of this image in the context of the anime series? With other references in the series, there's often a clearer connection (e.g. to Goethe's Faust) but here it doesn't seem as obvious, and the only interpretation I can think of is related to Madoka becoming some sort of god, but even so, using this specific reference doesn't seem to make much sense here.

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Madoka's mother is drinking from a faceted glass and what your screenshot shows are two edges of it and the Michelangelo's painting behind the glass. The dialogue between two women doesn't really correspond with the painting's theme, as far as I'm concerned.

The painting seems to be part of the entourage of the bar. With studio Shaft in charge of creating this anime, you can safely assume that it's a subtle hint at one of the many existential topics raised in it. It's probably not very significant in relation to the plot, but it just may give you some food for thought.

Consider the process of Adam's creation by God a metaphor for a magical girl becoming a witch. As a more powerful entity, witches are capable of creating their own kind by corrupting magical girls. Something along those lines.

  • Yeah... It seemed like something of a "random" reference, but me being me, I was hoping there might be something that would have a very direct connection to the plot, but who knows. – Maroon Apr 28 '14 at 18:53
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    @Maroon, I interpreted the image in an alternate way: remember that Michelangelo is depicting the moment of Adam's "birth". God is in effect Adam's parent. This parallels the situation Junko is upset about at that moment - both God/Junko have given birth to this other person, Adam/Madoka, and yet we all know or can guess what will happen to their offspring. The parents cannot prevent them from making their own choices, good or ill, taking the forbidden fruit/dying/becoming a magical girl etc. – Meir Illumination Aug 29 '15 at 0:55

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