Making a WishAs someone with the potential to become a magical girl, Sayaka is offered a chance to have one wish granted by Kyuubey in exchange for accepting the responsibility of fighting witches. She can wish for anything she desires, even if it seems impossible. Not yet realizing the consequences of becoming a magical girl, Sayaka immediately begins to fantasize about riches, treasures, eternal youth and even the "fabled 108-dish banquet of emperors!" Her uncertainty deepens, though, as she learns of the burden carried by magical girls. While there are a number of things she would like to have or do, none of them are worth putting her life on the line to battle witches. Sayaka acknowledges she lives in an ignorant bliss and doesn't understand even a fraction of the suffering of someone willing to make such a contract.
Kamijo Kyousuke, a violin prodigy and childhood friend of Sayaka, is hospitalized due to an accident. He can no longer use his left hand and is told by doctors he will never be able to play the violin again. Sayaka cares about Kyousuke deeply and visits him in the hospital frequently. As Kyousuke's depression becomes increasingly apparent, she begins to consider using her wish on him. She thinks of him when explaining to Madoka how ignorant of suffering they are and she asks Mami if they are allowed to make their wish for someone else. Mami warns Sayaka that the only case she knew of didn't have a happy ending and that if she wants to make someone else's dream come true, she needs to make her own wish even clearer in order to avoid regretting it later. Does she want to make his dreams come true or does she just want him to thank her for doing so? Sayaka is hurt by Mami's words but realizes her thinking was naive and apologizes. When nothing that she wants for herself badly enough to risk her life is compounded by witnessing the atrocity of Mami's violent death, Sayaka gives up on Kyuubey's offer.
Despite Mami's warnings and the terror of fighting witches, Sayaka just can't bear the sight of Kyousuke losing himself to depression. After an outburst of blaming Sayaka for torturing him and cutting his hand because he is on the verge of giving up, her resolve solidifies. She assures him that magic and miracles do exist and Kyuubey appears outside of the hospital window. Sayaka wishes for Kyousuke's hand to be healed and her soul gem is born. Listening to Kyousuke play the next day, she smiles and says there's no way she could regret her decision.
Not only is Sayaka's wish the centerpiece of her story, I also believe it is important to discuss because it showcases her major personality traits that I discussed on the previous page. Using her wish on someone else rather than herself demonstrates her kindness and how she is very willing to do things for the sake of others. Making the wish to save someone else despite being terrified of fighting witches shows her courage and bravery. However, making a contract with Kyuubey immediately after an incredibly emotional exchange between her and Kyousuke arguably displays her impulsivity. This is especially true because she was so unsure about it beforehand for a number of good reasons. While her wish was noble and had good intentions in line with her kind and brave heart, acting without thinking in this moment ultimately contributes heavily to her eventual despair.
Relationship with KyousukeKyousuke's name will be on basically every page on this website because he is integral to almost every part of Sayaka's story. So, in hopes of not repeating myself, this section's purpose is solely to look at the nature of their relationship and feelings for each other. Consequences of the nature of their relationship are scattered elsewhere. Most notably, Sayaka's jealousy and other difficult emotions in relation to Kyousuke are explored in the despair section, the impact of Kyousuke on her magic is looked at in the justice section, and the maturation of her feelings is discussed in the metamorphosis section. However, in order to fully understand those sections, I think a solid understanding of their dynamic first is important.
It's obvious that Sayaka has feelings for Kyousuke almost immediately. Her somewhat brash and confident personality does a 180 the second she is around him or someone mentions his name. She quickly gets embarrassed and is visibly self-conscious and shy. She is even seen psyching herself up before walking into his hospital room! Sayaka blushes like mad when interacting with him, especially when they are in close physical proximity listening to music with one set of headphones. In a weird way, it seems like Kyousuke makes Sayaka more stereotypically feminine. To me, Sayaka usually carries herself much like a stereotypical male protagonist would. But when Kyousuke is in the picture, she reminds me more of your typical shoujo manga heroine. Whether this is an attempt by the writers to make Sayaka more feminine out of stated concerns of her personality being too "boyish," or simply another side of Sayaka, I'm not sure. All I know is that his presence seems to strip her of her confidence.
Kyousuke, on the other hand, is harder to read. At the very least, he seems to appreciate Sayaka's frequent visits and attempts to keep him connected to music. As a middle school boy, though, he is basically oblivious to her feelings for him. He clearly doesn't have as strong of feelings for Sayaka as she does for him, as he does accept Hitomi's confession and agrees to go out with her rather than declining in hopes of having Sayaka. However, in a few timelines of the PSP game, Kyousuke realizes how much Sayaka has done for him and admits that she is the one who is most important to him. It's likely that Kyousuke is just your average middle school boy: oblivious, not really sure of his own feelings and cares more about his hobbies than dating.
I think their relationship is a bit unhealthy, which may be why Urobuchi comments that Sayaka would never be happy with him even if they were to get together. Sayaka really admires him and his music and cares about him a great deal. However, I think his accident probably changed the dynamic of their relationship in a negative way. It created a somewhat artificial space for Sayaka to spend time with him frequently. I say artificial only because Kyousuke being cooped up in a hospital bed was the only reason they spent so much time together. Kyousuke couldn't go anywhere else or do anything else and he slowly falls into depression because of it. Even if he appreciated Sayaka's concern and visits, it doesn't necessarily mean they would have spent quality time together if the accident hadn't happened. Based on how Kyousuke treats Hitomi in the third movie (as something secondary to his music), I would argue that they probably wouldn't have.
Further, Sayaka focusing so much attention on him and cheering him up because he is in the hospital makes him a big focal point of her life. I wouldn't say she is obsessed with Kyousuke, but I would argue she is dependent on him. Her wish was for his sake, she fights in part to protect him and she spent so much of her time visiting and caring for him in the hospital. Knowing that Sayaka desperately wants to feel needed in general, she may have even convinced herself that she was needed by him during his time in the hospital. As he is able to return to music, school and eventually be with Hitomi, Sayaka becomes more depressed. She is forced to realize he doesn't actually need her. She isn't special to him. Kyouko is even able to dig at her by offering to break all his limbs so he can't do anything without her. While she obviously would never do that, I really think it made her angry because it resonates with part of Sayaka's desire to be needed by him. If nothing else is an indicator of how unhealthy their relationship is, Sayaka's despair mostly stems from the idea of losing him, whether that means to Hitomi, because she is no longer human or because he hates her. She even loses sight of her feelings for him and desire for him to be happy due to her despair over him not needing her. Kyouko directly challenges the depth of her feelings for him in the PSP game. Does she no longer like him just because he's going out with Hitomi? Is he no longer worth protecting because he's going out with Hitomi? Although Kyouko's challenge does seem to knock some sense into her, she still loses her strong resolve the second she sees him with Hitomi later on. Therefore, I ultimately think her crush on Kyousuke got blown out of proportion by the consequences of his accident and that she really doesn't love him as much as she thinks she does.