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「ソロモンの知恵」 (Soromon no Chie)
“Wisdom of Solomon”

My feelings on this episode are mixed. While I am glad that Aladdin has returned and hope is finally returning to make a stand, there were many aspects of the show that threw me off and prevented my full enjoyment of weekly Magi.

First off, the visual quality control this episode was significantly subar this episode. Many of my caps had to be filtered out due to the amount of animation hiccups, badly drawn faces, and overall what was the product of poorly outsourced in-between animation. I find this to be perplexing since these episodes are supposed to be the most demanding in animation quality due to all the action, but alas, business and time constraints put a toll not easily fixed.

Aside from the poor animation, nothing new particularly developed character-wise this episode save for a few foreshadowing events. It’s quite clear at this point that Ali Baba has history issues holding him back, but reinforcing the idea every time through a one-sided fight is tiresome and repetitive. Ali Baba is an emotionally chained yet inspiring hero, Morgiana is a loyal trooper, and realized that Judal is a cocky villain that has to spit out a line every time he makes an attack. We get that. It makes sense. I would’ve much preferred the fight scenes to have been less dialogue trying to reinforce these ideas and well…more fighting to excite the mood. While the severity of this situation may not be as bad as the dialogue-heavy fights in Index, the sentiment is beginning to rub on me negatively, I hope such repetition is fixed in the future, at the very least to reveal or reinforce less obvious traits about our characters.

Alright, character development wasn’t great this episode, but our knowledge of the Magi universe increased significantly. Although Aladdin’s Wisdom of Solomon stays hidden in a cliffhanger, we do realize that Aladdin’s magic focuses on heat magic, a convenient polar opposite to Judal’s ice magic. This heat magic though extends its capabilities beyond simply generating heat though–Aladdin shows off great capability in manipulating the heat elements in complex shapes, such as the manifestation of Ugo during a shielding (head and all). While this magic alone doesn’t serve much to fight the rukh, Aladdin’s true power comes from hope, aka the strength of others. This makes Aladdin less of an ultimate character and more of a uniting character who uses the contributions of everyone to well…fight the power. On the other side of the spectrum, the dark rukh finally make an explicit appearance, revealing a Djinn which has control over gravity (Bahamut anyone?) as well as the power of endless regeneration in the presence of sufficient dark rukh. The regeneration is an interesting topic though as it brings up the question: why didn’t Ugo just regenerate himself as well? Is regeneration a Djinn specific power? Either way, this boss is madly overpowered, both in sheer magical power and the fact that Ali Baba hesitates several times due to Kassim being buried within…somewhere. Although Sinbad is shown to have knowledge and ability in weakening the beast and Ali Baba has an unwavering desire to defeat it…the power of the dark rukh is overwhelming.

However, that overwhelming power does not shatter the hopes of everyone involved though–the populace of Balbadd still has the will to fight for freedom and peace, for what is just and forgiving. While Aladdin’s presence may have materialized such hopes to be used against the darkness, such hope existed all along thanks to Ali Baba, convincing even the thieves of Sinbad’s gear to return the metal vessels.

The light is a welcome sight to see after an episode and a half of despair against the odds, hopefully signifying the eventual close to this epic arc. Even Kassim deserves his rest, just like all the other allies of Balbadd, after this long and tedious fight against the forces of darkness.

 

Preview

Magi   16   Preview 01 Magi   16   Preview 02 Magi   16   Preview 03
January 29, 2013 at 12:00 am
19 comments »
  • January 29, 2013 at 4:41 amMi-Chan

    I felt that this episode should have been made for more than twenty minuets to give the best time and animation for what is to be given to me as an audience. It felt rushed if anything, really rushed. This episode was either rushed, or I was waiting for it so long that I felt too excited and didn’t notice some things, I need to rewatch. I still think that even Judal’s return was so fast.

    I liked the scene with Morgiana and Alibaba, and I madly hated his hestitation, and felt like screaming, OH DEAR GOSH NO! Not the hestitation thing again, but gladly that was left aside. We also got to see a part of what might be Alibaba’s further transformation? the metal hand that is. Though I wonder, what will happen to his sword.

    I have to add that the music in this episode was actually nice. Those past five episodes have hurt me so bad! cliffhangers, hate them! but glad it makes me look up to next week.

    I just noticed that the three thieves that stole Sinbad’s stuff were actually the same thieves that met with Fatima-san (the slave trading guy), or is it not?

    Thanks for your review, appreciated. Now gotta look forward to Kassim :D….! Cheers, xx!!!!

  • January 29, 2013 at 5:07 amNaYa

    @Zanibas – As for why “Ugo” wasn’t regenerating compared to the dark rukh Djinn:

    The Black Djinn is the manifestation of dark rukh themselves fused with Kassim, whereas Ugo form is more of an illusion via heat magic created by Aladdin by using the light rukh as his power source. He could’ve created the same spell looking like a shield or a ball of fire, but he simply chose to make it look like Ugo, kind of like how Gandalf made Elrond’s water spell look like charging horses. XD

    • January 29, 2013 at 4:44 pmZanibas

      I was more referring to when Ugo was still alive and was in his first fight with Judal…sorry for the confusion!

  • January 29, 2013 at 5:21 amYojimbo

    Is it just me or did the music and effects sound a bit weird this episode.

  • January 29, 2013 at 5:25 amGiorno Giovanna

    There was about 25 or more animation errors in this episode. What happened?
    I never noticed such issues in the previous episodes to this extent.
    Hopefully the people I recommended this series to don’t pick up on the errors.

  • January 29, 2013 at 7:09 ammac65

    Sadly weak episode. Zanibas, you nailed it.

    It’s kinda getting long in tooth with Ali Baba and his hesitation, scene after scene. And it’s inconsistent.
    If he’s worried about the people of Balbadd with his earlier words, then why let so many suffer ’cause
    his olde non-friend (who has made his purpose and disdain for Ali Baba known to Ali Baba) went berserk.

    It wasn’t clear, if Aladdin defeated the beast which was/is Kassim, where did Kassim go? No remorse
    either from Ali Baba who just lost his childhood non-friend. Too many things didn’t fit…

    • January 30, 2013 at 4:05 pmshadowalker

      Like I mentioned in a post below that erratic behavior of Alibaba, itself is the point.Sure he dealt with extreme situations before, but not to this extent.It’s understandably that his actions aren’t clearly thought out, after all, there are only so many things the mind can process simultaneously and clearly.If Kassim is actually gone(which I doubt) I’m sure Alibaba will be remorseful when he has the time to catch his breath and think about it.

  • January 29, 2013 at 12:39 pmunderbeds

    I can’t wait for the next episode!!! Judal is such an evil bastard! Next episode he totally Show Spoiler ▼

    I really could care less about the animation hiccupus. I love this series and I still think the studio is doing an admirable job!

  • January 29, 2013 at 4:54 pmDvalinn

    I pretty much had the same problems. A lot of the fighting felt rather underwhelming, which is strange since this is the climax. An overly-drawn out climax at this point.

    Fine, we get it, you struggle with your past, Ali Baba. But do get a move on, will you? I just want this thing to die and the fight to end, for good this time. Have too many climaxes and the audience will get tired (like the LotR climax in Return of the King, which had the same problem imo). I still like this show, mind you, but it is dragging at the moment.

    Luckily, it seems we get what I’m wishing for next week.

  • January 29, 2013 at 9:01 pmTingster013

    Ali Baba is such a wimp. Really do not know what he is doing. First second, Worry about my people. Next second, this black djinn( that will kill everyone) is my childhood “friend”, I cannot kill him. God, he is so stupid. A king? Really?

    With Judal and Aladdin back, I am saved from the indecisive and pussy king bs that have been dragged too long. Just give me the climax.

    • January 29, 2013 at 9:18 pmshadowalker

      I think that internal conflict of Alibaba was what the author intended to bring out.Alibaba wants to protect the people of the city and at the same time he wants to protect his friend, two conflicting feelings resulting in his rather erratic behavior – and it doesn’t help his friend turned into a dark Djinn in front of his eyes.One could argue his reluctance to give up on Kassim even at this point is one of the qualities that would make him a great king one day – obviously he has much room to improve though.

  • January 29, 2013 at 9:45 pmhoiut

    Forgive me, but is the animation error in the linked screenie the presence of a double chin on Barkak?

    If so, it took me literally 5 minutes of pondering to come upon the error. If not, I know not what to say for myself.

    • January 29, 2013 at 11:42 pmKoroshiyaKi

      You should really be checking out the copy and paste soldiers in the background

      • January 31, 2013 at 10:58 amMi-Chan

        please don’t forget to mention the ‘still’ photos with the talking and the mouth that isn’t moving XD….

  • January 30, 2013 at 12:43 amFSLightbringer

    Somehow Aladdin’s forehead mark made me remember Dai…

  • January 30, 2013 at 12:45 amPuffy

    A bit disappointed with the episode to be honest, it was poorly executed. It stood out even more as the previous episodes (in my opinion) were done well.

  • January 30, 2013 at 4:33 amKaioshin_Sama

    I’m starting to worry that Hiroyuki Yoshinos worst tendencies as an adaptation writer are beginning to take over and ruin this otherwise fun arc. He’s got his all time favorite VA Yuki Kaji in Aladdin to work with here too and I think it’s causing the script to get layed on a bit too thick like it has for parts of Guilty Crown and even Accel World (both also using Yuki Kaji’s character in the respective shows). This arc is best finished off quickly before it really starts to become a problem methinks.

    I really don’t want to see this guy on too many more adaptation projects that involve Yuki Kaji as a VA like this as I feel even when adapting his scripts often hit a sub par point of what I liked to call “absolute pathos” where they become awkwardly drawn out, full of confusing out of context and over the top character actions/reactions, and always tend to lay on the…dare I say emo much to thick. Hopefully this ends up more like an Accel World and it pulls something out of it to it’s strength by the end rather than a Guilty Crown where it just sort of ultimately drowns in it.

    Of course Yoshino can’t be blamed for the animation flubs, that’s all on A-1 and always seems to happen at some point during their shows sadly.

    • January 31, 2013 at 6:48 amk

      Kaji is voicing Alibaba not Aladdin.
      Anime Magi is based on a manga, anime Accel World on a light novel and Guilty Crown is anime-original(not based on any other source material). It is hard to compare, unless you have read the source material for Magi and Accel World as well.

      The way I feel this anime adaptation is lacking is that a number of things were left out or shortened.(cramming 8 volumes in less than 20 episodes…) Other than that, all that happens this ep is what happens in the Magi manga(vol 8). This arc is part of Alibaba’s growth as a character, and is one of the longer arcs in Magi.
      This arc will probably end within the next few episodes.

  • January 30, 2013 at 10:12 amMagoiichi

    It gets better people calm down lol