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Magi   04   34 Magi   04   35 Magi   04   36

「草原の民」 (Sougen no Min)
“The People of the Plains”

The themes of identity, both in terms of a society and an individual, were strong in this episode. On a personal level, Aladdin still searches for who he is and where he belongs, despite having a strong sense of justice and morality that aligns with the Magi of old. Meanwhile, the Kouga clan, lead by Baba, struggles with their own nationalistic identity as the Kou empire attempts to assimilate their territory. This episode brings yet another set of mature topics for Magi to tackle, which advance the plot, but also expand the world.

Qishan is now far far away, in a galaxy not so far away, with Ali Baba in a faraway land after being in a coma for many days. While this is terribly far away from Morgiana and Ali Baba, this separation allows us to focus on what Aladdin needs most: an identity. Mama Baba has started that path for Aladdin, providing us with a very small glimpse into the history of the Magi. It must be fate that Aladdin was ushered into a once great people that begun under a Magi’s guidance. Contrary to their conquering history and ridiculous evasion skills, the contemporary Kouga contrast well with the people of Qishan–peaceful and non-aggressive in nature, at least under Baba’s guidance. If only there were no plot to worry about, Aladdin would probably fit well with this family that accepts him so easily. However, reuniting with Ali Baba and the impending assimilation from the Kou Empire act as two thorns that guarantee Aladdin’s stay is temporary. There still is the lingering issue of the Black Magi as well, and it is yet to be seen whether his interference, especially with the Kou Empire, will be present.

One crucial element that this “vacation” has taught Aladdin is the presence of the butterflies. Now revealed not to be solely for show, Aladdin now has an important tool to help guide his destiny as a Magi. It’s heavily hinted that although the Kou Empire does seek to unite the world, one of their generals, Ren Hakuei (Mizuki Nana) will receive the blessing of the Magi to accomplish her empire’s goal. The butterflies seem to be present when a person expresses themselves unclouded and truthfully, representing an unbarred life force. While the butterflies appearing made sense with Baba and Hakuei, I personally am confused when the butterflies appear just as the wagon chase begins. Perhaps we will learn more about this Magi-unique power in the future, and whether or not all Magi possess this ability.

Returning to the Kou Empire, there is fierce opposition to her pacifist and diplomatic ideals, such as Ryosai, who has the patience of a fuse. Though I disagree with the black and white coloring of the protagonists and antagonists, the conflict is setup to be complex enough for us to wonder what exactly will happen next. The antagonism of Ryosai makes sense, since the anime portrays the Kou Empire has having its share of brutes and xenophobes, but the prevalence of that attitude within the Kou Empire is yet to be seen. Will the Kou and Kouga meet in a bloody clash (and in what scope), or will Aladdin be able to stop any further bloodshed with some hard diplomacy with Hakuei? Though Baba reinforced that the Kou would not break the most important bond they have–family (d’awwwww), with her gone, many of the characters could now potentially have a change of heart, such as Dolge or even Aladdin himself. It’s such a shame though that a lovable character had to die in such a way…her feisty and strong personality as a grandmother figure would’ve been a nice steady personality to have in future episodes.

Overall, this was a great setup episode that expanded Magi beyond the sands of Qishan, into grassier pastures…literally. However, the anime is showing what limits to morality it will push, especially with the death of Baba and the sexual threats made to certain characters. The next episode will present challenging trials to Aladdin, who now has lost one of his friends to dishonesty. How he will react, I have no idea, but if we can infer from the serious attitude he took in the first labyrinth, the reaction will be anything but pacifist.

 

Preview

Magi   04   Preview 01 Magi   04   Preview 02 Magi   04   Preview 03
October 30, 2012 at 12:19 am
25 comments »
  • October 30, 2012 at 12:47 amDualash

    Its the cold hard truth sometimes, that despite with a promise, the princess was the only the one who wanted to negotiate peacefully, while some of her subordinates do not agree.
    (Great episode, kind of felt sympathetic for Aladdin since he is too innocent to know how one person’ promise doesn’t mean “everyone” agrees under those conditions)

  • October 30, 2012 at 1:06 amewok40k

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • November 1, 2012 at 2:40 amThe Moondoggie

      Not really: She’a a member of the Kou empire. The series seems to make each affair with one kingdom as one arc.

  • October 30, 2012 at 1:19 amFT5Havok

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • October 30, 2012 at 1:26 amk

    All magicians can see the rukh, not just Magi. Magicians can only use the power inside themselves, but Magi, in addition to that, can borrow the power of the surrounding rukh

    • October 30, 2012 at 1:35 amZanibas

      Thank ye for the clarification! It all starts to make sense now ^^

  • October 30, 2012 at 1:51 amPassingThrough

    So far so good, excessive scenes are cut nicely and the progress doesn’t feel rushed.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • October 30, 2012 at 7:22 amzleihsh

      Ahhh~ Baba, I really like her character. She is not only funny but also wise. ^_^

    • October 30, 2012 at 5:43 pmYoyo

      Pleasssse let it be anything but blue. As I was bummed out that Amon was blue. I was hoping they would each have their own colour set. Also I wonder if it would be censored?

  • October 30, 2012 at 2:16 amMagnus

    The rukh isn’t composed of small butterflies, but small birds. But I can see the resemblance. Overall good episode and good review.

  • October 30, 2012 at 6:19 amjustin

    Milk is good!!! so sad that a funny grandma is gone, hopefully someone is going to pay for that.

  • October 30, 2012 at 6:55 amColonelMiim

    rukh is pronounced rooh in arabic which means usually the soul or the holy spirit :p in other words it signifies the souls of the people x.x translation was correct, just felt like adding a piece of information :p and morjana means sea corals :p I’m just bored u know so u can slap me silly!

    that was really sad though bleh, this usually is what happens, u try so hard to maintain something but a simple act ruins what you do :p….

  • October 30, 2012 at 8:05 amPietro

    Ryosai should learn the proper etiquette when you go to a diplomatic mission, behaving like that in Sparta would have him finding earth and water.

    • October 30, 2012 at 8:09 amdimasok

      This is Magi!!!!

  • October 30, 2012 at 8:08 amdimasok

    If I was Alladin, I would use the genie to smash Ryosai into a pancake.

  • October 30, 2012 at 8:08 ammac65

    (Bad) people have already died in this series, so I hoping we’re at a point where Aladdin can open up a can of
    whoopass on the perpetrator who shot Mama Baba.

    I was surprised by the arc away from the other two (main) characters. So, I wonder if, through various circumstances,
    Aladdin will be the catalyst that actually unites all of the various factions and clans into a single kingdom, then
    selects the king/ruler?

    I don’t think Ryosai and Ren Hakuei are at odds with each other, although he appears as her subordinate, his
    independent egregious actions make me thing they are both taking direction for an authority greater than themselves.

    No complaints about this series – can’t wait to see more of Morgiana…

    • October 30, 2012 at 8:12 amdimasok

      Ryosai needs to be disciplined as he is her underling but she just stands there like a statue and lets him do what he likes. Warn him with some severe form of punishment and then apologize on the behalf of her barbaric subordinate that that’s NOT how you come to conduct diplomatic talks and these sort of boorish brutes should be left back in their camp or kicked from the military.

      • October 30, 2012 at 11:02 amMorricane

        No no, you send those cretins on punishment missions to pacify some barbarians who rebel, so they hopefully die a heroic death in battle for their country. At least that’s how it usually went :)

      • October 30, 2012 at 1:52 pmshadowalker

        i think Ren Hakuei is portrayed as a naive and inexperienced character that needs to be developed rather than someone whose ready to be a queen.

  • October 30, 2012 at 10:29 amHakumeiJin

    I’m happy that the scale has finally changed and we’re concerned with more than just the one city now. While an Empire has appeared I wonder how much order there actually is considering the times. If the Princess has the potential to become a King (or queen whatever :P)it seems like it only means she has to grow into it as she surely isn’t good enough yet. While her intentions were good she can’t really succeed in leading an Empire with that attitude. And the reason the old woman isn’t a king candidate is obvious. While it is true that surviving is important, the first thing they should do is make sure they keep as much independence as possible by showing their strength. If they just agree meekly they’ll just become slaves or will be forced into frontlines where the only difference in one what happens is they kill people like themselves instead of the guys enslaving them.

    Also while I know the princess accepted because she was a good person seriously who could look at this face and say I’ll kill them.

  • October 30, 2012 at 12:52 pmL002

    I still feel the urge to punch that old dude.

    Got to say, Magi provides a lot of EVIL characters that you just have to feel the urge to punch.

    • November 1, 2012 at 2:42 amThe Moondoggie

      You, sir, have no idea.

  • October 31, 2012 at 11:13 aml3reezer

    While Magi has definitely proved to be more mature in a sense than other shonen series, I still feel that uncoined(?) aspect of shonen that tells me Baba is still alive.

  • November 1, 2012 at 2:55 amThe Moondoggie

    So the gang separates each one has his/her own mini arc for now. This mini arc is one of my personal faves in the manga so I’m very happy to see it get animated.

    • November 1, 2012 at 6:56 pmYoyo

      I wonder if Mor will get a bigger arc. As her mini arc was good in terms who she is and stuff but I would hope she gets a big one like Alibaba. Damn that arc is going to be sweeet. I also enjoy this arc buuut then Elder Baba died T_T which had sucked. But how will they add the first chapter into her arc as they do have some plot to it. Also I want to see Ugo and Aladdin turn into one in anime form as that was funny.