「新たなる来訪者」 (Aratanaru Raihousha)
“A New Visitor”
Ren Kougyoku, a vicious psychopath who could annihilate anyone who stands in her way…unless it happens to be a hot guy. Thank you Sinbad for saving Balbadd’s impoverished from the impulses of a mad woman, nonviolently to top it off. Although this princess of the Kou empire has gotten off o the wrong foot by potentially killing off Ugo, her tsundere attitude already indicates her gray nature. It is scary to think though of how much power she wields through her guard, compared to her fellow sister (I’m assuming), Hakuei. The three elites that assault our beloved main characters have a mysterious and imposing aura about them, which is backed by strength and agility that match the Fanalis, and training that challenges a royal sword style. I don’t know whether we’ll learn more about these shrouded characters, but they sure will create an even bigger fight in the near future, if Kougyoku hasn’t killed everyone in her rage mode first.
However, it is not the military prowess that has made this episode, but rather the political agenda of the Kou Empire finally being revealed. As I stressed before, the politics were slowly unfolding in the background as the action ensued, but now the story has finally merged the two together…making for an intriguing dilemma. Not only are Sinbad and Ali Baba fighting against a corrupt monarchy, but are fighting an entire nation…one of the largest of the world of Magi. It is clear now that the Kou Empire intends to cripple Balbadd’s economy enough for invasion and assimilation, with Judal and Banker at the helm. Contrasting heavily with Hakuei’s peaceful methods, Kougyoku hasn’t much respect for the people her nation seeks to conquer–both have the same goal of uniting the world, but their reasons for doing so are polarized. I predict that with the politics in full swing, we’ll be seeing more internal conflict of the Kou Empire, with disagreements on key issues that could hell, possibly lead to a civil war. Of course this seems far into the future as an end-game sort of scenario: most of the world hasn’t been revealed yet, and the roles of the Magi in the current age haven’t been clearly set in stone. It does excite me though at the potential plot the future holds, since well executed political conflict in the midst of shounen action…that’s something I want to wrap myself around!
But we may see a climax even in the near future, as Sabhmad, the good-hearted yet spineless messenger, warns of the slave state Balbadd is about to become. I didn’t expect such a quiet character to start playing a role that advanced the plot, but in retrospect, the show dropped signs beforehand of his innocence. In the future, I’ll have to note these subtle signs such as one single line…for Magi is well written enough to take advantage of these subtleties. It’s interesting to witness yet another conflict within the government, only that Balbadd’s situation will resolve itself within the next few episodes. With Morgiana pissed to the max, shit’s going to go down against Abhmad as Sindria (with reinforcements coming soon) and the Fog Troupe team up to what’s looking to be a coup against the current government. It looks like Aladdin and Ugo will be taking the sidelines for now as this political conflict unfolds, as Ali Baba undoubtedly will have to face some hard issues in the next few episodes to come…the biggest of which is the strange absence of Kassim. It is obvious at this point that Kassim will reappear and cause havok in our protagonists’ plans, but how he will do so, up to speculation. If I had to take a guess though, Kassim will probably retrieve more powerful instruments (from his supplier…which I can guess is Banker) in order to stop Ali Baba out of pure hatred.
The Balbadd arc has definitely shaped up to be our first major arc, with political tensions climbing constantly, waiting to explode in civil war. But can Sinbad avoid such bloodshed with his diplomacy? His silver tongue may be able to stop a crazy princess, but will it sway those corrupted by greed?