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Kyoko Sakura is an antagonist-turned-anti-hero in the anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica. She is a veteran Magical Girl who uses her powers for no-one but herself, initially causing a bitter rivalry with Sayaka Miki. Eventually, however, she warms up to the main cast and comes to their aid several times, particularly in Rebellion.

She is voiced by Ai Nonaka in the Japanese version and Lauren Landa in the English version, the latter of whom also voices Nora and Annie Leonhart.

Plot

Kyōko is a veteran magical girl who comes to the city following Mami's death. Her distinguishing features include long red hair, twin fangs, and a voracious appetite, almost never being seen without food. She came from a poor church family and used her wish so that people would listen to her father's preaching; when her father learned of this, however, he went mad and killed everyone in his family aside from Kyōko. As such, Kyōko decided only to use her magic for herself from this point on, since using it for others will only cause despair. Having grown up in a poor family, she often has to steal food and hates people who waste it, a logic she also applies to Grief Seeds, as she only goes after fully grown witches.

Kyōko has been a Puella Magi much longer than the others, and thus is more skillful; she wields a spear which can extend itself, split into multiple sections, and produce a ball at the end of a chain, which can constrict and hit others at the same time. She also has the ability to put up barriers to protect others or keep them from interfering. She initially clashes with Sayaka, but after learning the truth about Soul Gems, she sympathizes with her and tries to help her. After Sayaka becomes a witch, she becomes determined to save her and restore her to normal, but ultimately sacrifices herself in the fight so that Sayaka would not die alone. She overloads her soul gem to create a massive explosion that kills them both. In a previous timeline, she was killed by Mami, who was driven insane after learning that they would all eventually become witches. In the final timeline, Kyōko survives and grieves over Sayaka's death in battle. In the third drama CD, it is explained that, prior to the main storyline, Kyōko once had the power to utilize illusion magic, but after her family's death, she subconsciously lost that ability. She also had a friendship with Mami prior to her family's death, which was severed when Kyōko decided to be more selfish with her magic. This friendship was also explored in Oriko Magica, though not in-depth.

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