Magi 10-14: The Cave of Wonders
January 17, 2013 in Magi
Throughout this new year, it’s no secret that WordPress caught me off-guard with its Facebook-like tick to fix an unbroken format with broken systems. Luckily for me, I managed to upload my formerly doomed pics and now we have a post. “But Chaps, we’re like 5 episodes behind.” “Well, crap,” I’d reply but I’m lucky cause this span of episodes clears out most of the Balibadd arc and can be summed up easy, so without further ado it’s time for Stella to get her groove back, as the Ancient Hawaiians would say.
First and foremost, the big elephant in the room is that there’s a new OP around this point in time and what replaces the awesome SID song is this really shitty song by Porno Graffiti, the geniuses who gave us a ton of Bleach OPs.
Thankfully, the suck that exudes from the music doesn’t bog down the actual animation itself as it shows off everything that makes Magi memorable such as Sinbad flirting with his harem as Masrur and Ja’far look unamused, Aladdin sexually harassing a horrified woman with large breasts, and Morgiana putting on a burlesque show. Gloria Steinem would be so proud.
Now that the OP is taken care of (the ED doesn’t matter cause that’s just “Wired Life” from Blue Exorcist), let’s get going on Episode 9′s main conflict, which is the fight between Aladdin and Judal. Judal was set up to be a pretty neat antagonist who was more of a douchebag than a maniacal villain, but then when he wants to fight, he just turns into a massive wimp.
The worst thing they did was they showed off Judal’s fighting ability much too early during his big introduction to the main cast. They could’ve had him just be a dick and then run away when the odds weren’t in his favor like a logical anime antagonist would do, but they decided to have him get his ass pummeled to dust as he bitched and moaned about being a loser. Perhaps this was the better route, like if Aizen’s introduction to Ichigo began with Aizen collapsing after a swift kick in the balls instead of what truly happened, but this is a much smarter shounen dealing with poverty and government and serious shit. The least they could do is have their main villain be a real motherfucker and not some guy that likes quoting The Major’s war speech from Hellsing.
The following episodes focus more on Alibaba since Aladdin is out of commission after Ugo exhausts himself after giving Judal fists full of reconstructive surgery, and thankfully too because the remaining episodes turn Alibaba into quite the badass. The stakes are risen high as he learns from Ahmabad’s defecting brother Sabhamad that the former is planning on revitalizing the economy after paper money declines in quality by selling Balibadd’s civilians as slaves to the Kou empire. With this news, there’s pressure from everyone to find a way to prevent this by abdicating Ahmabad from the throne through diplomatic means.
The show gets very exciting as Alibaba trains quickly with Sinbad to control Amon and he builds up enough hype for people around him to say that he will be the new king of Balibadd. Cassim’s desire for an all-out war is what really kickstarts the takeover though as it makes Alibaba want to kick down the doors and fight his way to Ahmabad’s chambers to abdicate him from the throne without anyone dying.
Another interesting turn of events is when Alibaba succeeds in storming the castle, making his way to Ahmabad as suddenly his own guards start turning against him when they discover his plot to sell everyone over to the Kou empire. Though the pressure of being king overwhems Sabhamad, Alibaba decides the best route is to build a government on elected officials and move into the 20th century. It’s neat how the world of Magi mixes older and newer societies with each other by having the land seemingly filled with corrupt kings and slave trading suddenly create a republic that works to reform laws, maritime trade, and the penal system.
What’s even crazier though is what’s in store for the final part of the Balibadd arc with some sorcerer manipulating Rukh overseeing Balibadd during the revolution as he clamors for Cassim to start the war he desires to have. However, the real question is how Cassim will react to the new government? He seems pissed either way because anarchy suits him more, but either way the resulting fallout should be interesting.