|Name||Sakura Kyouko (♀)|
|Occupation||Magical Girl, Active Service|
(Rank: Lieutenant General)
|Founder, Cult of Hope|
|Above the heart|
Sakura Kyouko (佐倉 杏子 Sakura Kyouko) is one of the original protagonists from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. In To the Stars, she has appeared primarily in her role as the visionary founder of the Cult of Hope and mentor to Shizuki Ryouko.
Kyouko is responsible for most of Ryouko's pre-deployment training and orientation, although usually acting indirectly through her subordinates, Patricia von Rohr and Shirou Asaka. Despite this, she is present at the discovery of the Supersaturated Grief Cubes apparently responsible for the demon attack on Ryouko and Simona del Mago, and at Ryouko's departure from Mitakihara City. Kyouko is also present at numerous meetings with Tomoe Mami and Chitose Yuma to discuss the numerous mysterious circumstances surrounding Ryouko's contracting, as well the Grief Cube Discrepancy. Several significant flashbacks are seen from her viewpoint.
Kyouko is also involved in a significant subplot regarding her year-long relationship with Kishida Maki. Maki's realization that her resemblance to the dead Miki Sayaka served as a significant reason for Kyouko forming the relationship causes her to confront Kyouko, asking that she tell her the truth about their relationship. After a stormy argument, Kyouko tells Maki to leave, claiming that their relationship was nothing more than a fling.
Death of her Family
The daughter of a minister, Kyouko spent a significant portion of her childhood in hunger due to her father's decision to preach outside the doctrine, resulting excommunication from his church, and loss of financial support. Outraged that her father's seemingly reasonable preachings were being completely ignored, Kyouko wished that people would listen. Her wish resulted in a flood of new followers, allowing her family to maintain a stable living for the first time in a long time. It was during this period that she first met Mami, and the two of them decided to work together to fight Demons. Notably, while this decision would have been anomalous in the Old World, it was prefectly reasonable in the New World, where they were surrounded by similar magical girl teams.
Unfortunately, Kyouko'a father's discovery of her daughter's new power and form proved too much for him, spending him into a spiral of depression believing that her daughter had sold her soul to the devil. Eventually, this leads him to kill himself, his wife, and Kyouko's younger sister in a murder-suicide. With Mami's support, Kyouko is able to survive the incident, but the loss of her family deeply scars her, causing her to temporarily lose her primary power, and eventually to leave Mami, on the grounds that their ideologies no long match but also, secretly, because she fears being a burden on Mami.
Reconciliation with Mami
Over a year later, Kyouko finds herself compelled to intervene when Mami loses control of her rage against Mikuni Oriko and Kure Kirika for destroying her home in a spate of vandalism, simultaneously defending Mami and dragging her out of the area to calm down, before providing Mami with the Grief Cubes necessary to recover. Thought Kyouko leaves soon afterward, the event proves an important moment for the two of them, as Mami, her faith restored in Kyouko, renews attempts to convince Kyouko to team up again. Kyouko, under heavy pressure from attacks by the new Southern Group, finds herself cooperating with Mami more and more frequently, as a matter of survival, in addition to helping Mami to rebuild her home. Finally, Kyouko concedes to the inevitable, moving back in with Mami and even attending school again.
Soon afterward, the two of them rescue an uncontracted Akemi Homura from an attack by demons, and acquire a third member.
The contracting of Sayaka proves to be a defining moment in Kyouko's life. While originally disdainful of Sayaka's naivety and stubbornness, she eventually comes to recognize and admire Sayaka's similarity to her own younger self, driving her to try to protect the girl. Her realization and actions come too late, as Sayaka emotionally self-destructs, exhausting her soul gem exerting excessive power against a group of demons. Only after Sayaka's death does Kyouko come to understand the regret that overcomes her, a regret at lost love. It is heavily implied that Kyouko's experiences lead her to later seek comfort in a long series of shallow, physical relationships.
A member of the Mitakihara Four, Kyouko serves as one of the founders of the MSY and plays a significant role in its early formation, serving in a variety of positions, including Director of the Logistics and Grief Cubes Division. She also served at least one stint as Chairman and CEO of D&E Corporation, in the alias "Fukuzawa Anko". (Anko is an alternate pronunciation of the characters of her personal name)
While an important member of the organization, Kyouko did not serve as prominent a role as the other members of the Mitakihara Four, serving more quietly as the head of less prominent divisions.
Cult of Hope
Kyouko is present at the Battle of Epsilon Eridani, witnessing Homura's seemingly miraculous saving of the planet. This causes her to deeply reconsider Homura's statements about the Goddess. After thinking about it for a year, she gives a fiery speech on the anniversary of the battle, declaring both her belief in the Goddess's existence and the need for a magical girl religion. She is able to acquire prominent followers with stunning speed, and the new Cult of Hope, a church organized with her as the leader, quickly becomes a significant force in MSY affairs. Setting aside the majority of the her other duties, Kyouko devoted herself to her new church full-time.
The time she spent living on the streets on her own strongly influenced her personality and behavior, at least outwardly, and among friends she is usually brash, direct, and blunt-mannered. While the passage of time has allowed her to pick up numerous other personas, depending on situation, this still serves as her default set of behavior, though she does tone it down significantly for her duties as leader of the Cult.
Despite her exterior, she possesses as a strong, if specific, set of morals. This does not stop her seducing and bedding a long chain of female lovers, which is likely an aftereffect of her previous love for Sayaka. The topic is still a deep source of pain for her, and Maki's attempts to question her on the matter lead Kyouko to end the relationship.
Kyouko is almost always seen eating or carrying a food item, an aftereffect of her childhood spent without food. She views and treats Yuma as a little sister.
- MSY Rules Committee Representative, Mitakihara Special District
- Second Executive, MSY Leadership Committee
- MSY Founder
- Director, Logistics and Grief Cubes Division
- Chairman and CEO, D&E Corporation
- Morale and Welfare Officer, Anti-Demon and Home Defense Garrison, Japanese Islands.
- Directorate Citation, for the Battle of Epsilon Eridani (the medal is earned "for contributing to an exceptional degree to the wellbeing of Humanity")
Kyouko in her Cult of Hope getup
Kyouko with the rest of the Mitakihara Four, circa 2065
Kyouko with Yuma in adult form