And the fangirls scream with joy
|I just… I… Exam and all… Club meetings… Swimming… Exams… Yeah, pretty tired right now. Marathoning episode seven to ten of Magi was definitely my refreshment for this busy week. And boy, the last four episodes have been great.|
Alibaba the Wondrous // So finally, after the hints whatsoever, they officialy reveal his glorious past. As expected, Alibaba is a prince of Balbadd, a country at a brink. He used to chill out in the slum, until the King of Balbadd claimed him as his son and took him to his palace. This should have been nice, except that Cassim and Alibaba fought before he left. After few years, Cassim and Alibaba reunite, but everything is not the same. Their personalities and beliefs are no longer the same, and the now-manipulative Cassim takes advantage of Alibaba. Feeling guilty of what happened, Alibaba escapes. And yet, when he comes back to Balbadd, he ends up as Cassim’s pawn again, being manipulated (although it was not without reason). Well, at least his obsession with money is finally explained. But still, ugh.
It was a struggle to sympathize with the current Alibaba. He literally portrays a moronic character. He tried to escape from Cassim’s rejection by entering the palace, not taking his new role as a prince seriously. When he finally decides to become a better prince, the accident that caused Balbadd’s economic poverty terrifies Alibaba, and he escaped from his duty of a prince that was entrusted by the now-dead-due-to-shock king (yeaah, the fire accident and the king’s death is somehow Alibaba’s fault. So much for being Alibaba the Wondrous). Basically, all he did in his life was running away. It is not without reason though. This is what happens when someone that’s too used to relying on others handle responsibilities they are not used to. Throughout his childhood, Alibaba did nothing but rely on Cassim (this is Cassim’s fault), and being exposed to new responsibilities, he can only run away because that’s the only thing he knows. You can call these his character flaws, which is better than being perfect.
The number two reason why Alibaba is a moronic character is how emotional this dude is. This is not so bad, but considering Alibaba’s position and circumstances, it’s time for him to use his head. The guilt he has been feeling until now is what made him to be Cassim’s pawn. He claimed that he wants to change Balbadd by joining the Fog Troupe, but it’s pretty obvious that he’s doing it because Cassim asked him to. Man, he doesn’t even have any intention to be Fog Troupe’s leader, and this can be seen when he was unable to answer the poor citizens’ questions about the talk between him and Abhmad. This is a fact that is pretty obvious to everybody right now: when one does not completely commit himself to his cause, no matter what it is, he won’t be able to do it properly. Unfortunately, Alibaba doesn’t realize this. Of course, he can always forcefully take the reign of the government since he has every right to do that, being the prince that was entrusted by the Late King and all, but looking at his not-so-pleasant personality right now, there’s no way he’s going to do that. He can only lean on others, such as Cassim and Sinbad, because nobody points out that he has to solve his problems by himself. I can only hope someone can make him see sense, and that someone might be Aladdin and Morgiana.
Cassim // Alibaba’s childhood friend, the source of all the problem, and that one dude who will always and always, no matter what, be shipped with Alibaba by Magi manga readers (those who read the manga will know what I mean). Coming from an extremely poor family with an abusive father, Cassim with his little sister was adpoted by Alibaba’s mother, and they all became one happy family. Unfortunately, everything changed when Alibaba’s mother died. Cassim decided to become the main source of income for the family, but he did it through dishonesty. The bad thing is, this habit of his carried on to present. Adult Cassim is still as dishonest and manipulative as his childhood self.
He might seem a helpless man who just wants to change the country, but it’s obvious he has some hidden agenda somewhere in his mind (joking about starting a war is pretty funny… Not). His manipulative side can be seen when he recruited Alibaba into the Fog Troupe and making him the leader. Even Alibaba admitted that Cassim is the real leader of Fog Troupe. He basically used Alibaba as a pawn to control the society and give Fog Troupe a status more than just mere thieves. Heck, even before recruiting Alibaba, Cassim’s showed his evil side when he looted and burned the palace treasury. I don’t know about you guys, but not even the meanest bitchiest friends I have did that to me.
However, that doesn’t mean that this side of Cassim grew naturally. The problem lies with Cassim himself. Since he was small, he believed that “bad blood of his bastard father” is running through his vein and even his existence itself is evil. So hey, since he’s evil already, it’s fine to be evil forevah right? I bet that was the question that has been running through Cassim’s mind. Maybe. The point is, Cassim didn’t try to change himself. Even though he’s more independent than Alibaba, Cassim is the similar to him in some way. He only knows how to be bad, and when he has to face some problem, he can only solve it through the “bad ways” because that’s the only thing he knows and learned throughout his whole life. Comfortable with “being bad,” Cassim refuses the “better way” to solve the problems, such as talking directly with the king. Hmm yeah, Cassim sounds like a bastard now, but let’s cut him some slack. Cassim was born into a poor family, and he was abused by his father. When he was adopted, his adopted mother died. Then, his only best friend left him. A year after, Cassim’s sister died because of some chronic illness, and the slum he has been living all his life in was burned because of the chronic disease was spreading throughout the city. So yeah, no wonder Cassim turned evil. Being Cassim is suffering.
Not saying that he lost his good side, of course. He was nice at times, such as forbidding Alibaba to steal because he didn’t want to involve him. Cassim also didn’t kill Alibaba when he looted the palace’s treasury. These are just little gestures, but it shows that Cassim does have a good side. It’s just buried deep within his bitterness accumulated till now. Alibaba might be acting like a moron right now, but like the Baba of the Kouga Clan said, everything that happened in this world is not a coincidence. Maybe, Alibaba’s appearance will bring out the goodness within Cassim.
Sinbad // King of Seven Seas, owner of seven djinns, voiced by one of the sexiest seiyuu in the whole world. Yes, Sinbad is sexy. Just look at that bodeh when he was naked…. Anyway, not a lot can be said about him but enough that it can be written in one paragraph. He’s a king, but not just a mere king. He conquered seven dungeons, and I bet that’s not as easy as reading gay porn on screen. From the hints Ja’afar, Sinbad worked hard to achieve what he wanted (and got, thankfully). So it’s no wonder that he’s so strong and charismatic. He needs these two things to conquer seven djinns and rule a country. Unfortunately, ruling a country also means that he has the same personality as Cassim (though not as bad). Sinbad is an opportunist too. I bet Sinbad won’t ask Morgiana and Aladdin to help him if he didn’t know about Aladdin’s power, and there’s no way he would’ve joined the Fog Troupe if that had nothing to do with his country directly, and indirectly. Sinbad’s speech when the citizens asked Alibaba about the talk between Abhmad and Alibaba? Sinbad is really talented when it comes to making marvelous speeches. He twisted the truth without denying it in such a way that the speech actually rose the citizens’ spirits. And whoa, he just saved a prince’s ass in that speech! Imagine if Alibaba was an official prince/king, he would be really indebted to Sinbad. Actually, Alibaba’s already indebted to Sinbad. There’s also that past Sinbad has with Judal. So yeah, Sinbad might look like a decent character right now, but there’s more that meet the eyes.
Judal // Another magi who happens to be under Kou Empire right now. Not much is known about him yet except that he’s physically sexy but is mentally unstable. He has a past with Sinbad’s group too. Since this is not yaoi, this kind of personality is not alright. Judal is a violent bamf who cares nothing except war and war and war. His sadistic personality is something that I don’t mind, but that is not a good thing in the Magi world. From the first few episodes, Magi are those who guide kings. Now, having a magi like Judal, imagine how the king of Kou Empire is. Heck, imagine how sadistic Kou Empire is. Even in the Kouga arc, it’s obvious that “Kou Empire” and “violent” will always be side by side. And right now, Kou Empire is trying to expand its territory and economic system. With a violent empire like this, imagine how the world will be! Well, I know for sure I don’t want to be under an empire like that. It will be hell for me. And if the world in Magi falls into hell, it will be Judal’s fault. But does our magi here care? Nope, he doesn’t. All he care about is fighting fighting fighting. It’s saddening how everything can change just because of a position that’s misused by the wrong person, but I guess that’s how life works. And thiisss is where Aladdin comes into play. I hope he beats Judal’s sexy ass and sets the world straight. Although Ugo already kicked Judal’s ass anyway. Take that, you sexy biatch.
Mysterious Ugo // Seriously, being Aladdin sucks. First, he learned how it feels to be betrayed. Second, he found out from another magi that Ugo is not his. Duuuddeee, Ugoooo, Aladdin’s first and only friend when he was in a “library.” Gosh, my heart aches just by thinking about it. It’s not time to talk about aches though. It’s time to talk about Ugo’s real owner. Who is Ugo’s real owner? Why is he with Aladdin instead of his real owner? From what I see around Ugo’s head, it’s obvious that it’s inside the library Aladdin used to live in. Why is Ugo’s head and body separated? Or maybe… Ugo’s head was kidnapped? But seriously, UGO IS WHOSE? Two people popped out of my mind: 1) King Solomon, 2) the person who locked Aladdin inside the infinite “library” or “maze” or whatever it is. Whoever owns Ugo, he must be a really powerful person since the amount of magoi inside Ugo is huge.
I made the greatest decision by marathoning Magi episode 7 to 10. The lack of the usual one week break enabled me to digest the plot and the characters better. And damn, Balbadd Arc is just so DAMN GOOD. Just look at this post. This is probably the longest episodic post I’ve ever written in my entire life. Trust me, I’ve cut some parts out. Episode seven to eight is something that needs to be underlined because Ohtaka Shinobu’s unique art was well animated in those two episodes. The animation has been fabuuulloouuss throughout episode seven to nine, and the lack of still images make me happy.
My favorite part, of course, is the battle between Ugo/Aladdin and Judal. Seeing that sexy biatch getting his ass kicked was satisfying for some unknown reason. Once again, I have to praise the animation for the fighting scene because it just kicks ass as it was beyond my expectation. Heck, it’s waaayy better than the manga. Not a single detail was left out, and the animation leaves more impact for the audience. My second favorite part has got to be how this manga depicted the paper-based money system Kou Empire is currently adapting. I’m not an expert when it comes to economy whatsoever, but it’s obvious that this is a huge slap for today’s economy system. The oldest trio, the ones who stole Sinbad’s metal vessels, said that he only “trusts in silver and gold,” and it made me think about how worthless these papers we are using today compared to the olden days’ gold and silver that were used to trade. Not that the system itself is bad of course, but comparing a bunch of paper with gold and silver…. Damn, I feel humiliated and inferior at the same time. Anyhow, Ohtaka Shinobu has been careful with the politics and the economy in this anime, and I’d say she’s doing a good job so far. Magi is more complex than how it started in the beginning. I hope with the way things are, people no longer label Magi as a mere children’s anime.
Preview: Visitor from Kou Empire, voiced by Hanazawa Kana. It will be a good episode.