「その名はジュダル」 (Sono Na wa Judaru)
“His name is Judal”
Epic fights aside, the key developments this episode were superb. Judal and Banker finally rear their ugly heads towards Aladdin, bringing out rage and panic unseen before in our “chibi” character. Oh Judal, you have such a nasty heart, which made it all the more satisfying for me to see you crushed by Ugo. It’s not often that I smile at a beaten up body, but this time, I have to bow to my darker side and say…I smiled a wry smile by the end of the episode. It’s wrong, but sometimes you just have to bask in the emotions the show intends you to feel without regard to logic.
As many of you expressed last episode, Ahbmad is a despicable character. His terrible treatment and disrespect of anyone not a “true” noble is sickening, but even if he wanted to change…the influence of Judal and Banker would prevent such change. Although Sinbad has done his best to try and resolve the issue diplomatically, whether through dialogue or uplifting the poor, such methods are past everyone at this point. As soon as Judal showed his dark self and confronted Aladdin, any hope of peaceful resolution was gone. I can appreciate that the protagonists this episode didn’t immediately resort to force, but alas, the energy and conflict we’ve been waiting to see has finally erupted, with all of the emotions bursting out in this first major fight between significant world powers. Let’s get out the popcorn, because destruction and fighting is now abound!
Judal, complete opposite of Aladdin, sure likes to pick a fight. If Banker was here to try and increase his influence subtly, that too is out the window. As a cocky man who also has skill, Judal represents an archtype of character that I both despise yet have respect towards. Unlike the other antagonists we’ve seen thus far, Judal has capabilities to back his smack talk and provocation. As a far more experienced Magi who’s more aware of his potential than Aladdin, he is aware of what exactly he can do with his powers. Instead of seeking out a worthy king to rule the land, Judal seems far more interested in betraying his seemingly god-given role to create chaos. Whether it’s eliminating the other Magi or helping pull the strings of the Kou Empire, he exudes confidence–one fitting for a ruler of the world.
Thus, midway through the battle, I honestly thought that he would succeed. Aladdin has never demonstrated any sort of fighting for an extended period of time until now–the only other times being brief moments in the first dungeon. It was Ugo that handled most of the pair’s conflicts, and even then, it was merely an expression of force rather than any refined fighting. For the majority of the battle, Aladdin showed his inexperience. Although he could throw a fireball and raise his shields, Aladdin lacked any real desire to conquer his enemy, or any tactics to suggest such. Aladdin merely wanted the conflict to stop, rather than eliminate an opposing Magi.
However, enter Ugo, and he is PISSED. So pissed that logic and words no longer work–only the wrath generated from a desire of retribution remained. Ugo’s friendship, the only wish Aladdin desired from the genie, definitely activates into its highest gear, with Ugo possibly sacrificing his life to save Aladdin. Although it made me chuckle that Aladdin blew into the flute to pop out the shards from Ugo’s body, it was also a saddening scene, seeing Aladdin’s first friend be treated this cruelly. However, those wounds meant nothing to this badass genie–and you don’t mess with a genie with an agenda. Judal, severely underestimating the power of the Djinn, gets his ass handed to him in an epic combo of rage. At this point, I was intensely despising Judal for his smack talk and his reckless use of power, but all that emotion paid for itself in the end when his body lay powerless on the ground. It’s a weird thing to admit, but I couldn’t help thinking, “he was asking for it” as his shield started to falter under all the pressure. When it finally broke though, I was shocked, but at the same time strangely happy that Judal got the whooping he deserved. Damn Judal, don’t die yet though…you’re meant to return and cause havok!
But I doubt that Judal will be defeated this easily this early on in the story. Someone’s going to save him (even himself), and Ugo’s going to have a bad time next episode with all those injuries. Although the manga readers may know exactly what’s going to happen next, I can’t wait to see how they can follow up this exciting battle.