「カシムの答え」 (Kashimu no Kotae)
If you didn’t like Kassim before, there’s no doubt that’ll change with this episode. Though there does hint a chance that we’ll see some of the reasons that backed Kassim’s obvious desire for chaos, that is not what we’re faced with today. Today Balbadd burns, covered in the shroud of dark rukh.
Obviously pissed at their thwarted efforts and desiring to stop the “flow of life” from proceeding naturally at all costs, the organization that seeks to unleash havoc have brought out the big guns. Suddenly, metal vessels and copious amounts of rukh have been put into play, demonstrating considerable power in the most terrible of ways. Balabadd’s population is mind controlled, the insurgents have powerful tools of restraint, and as a result many a soldier have been needlessly killed by the forces of darkness to kill royalty that already has surrendered. Even Banker, who has been revealed to be a part of the weapon’s dealer, has done his part by helping destabilize all sides of the conflict in his own way. The light is not looking so bright for Balbadd, as its final and perhaps bloodiest chapter has unfolded. Ali Baba has once again been betrayed by Kassim, yet once again spares his ‘friend’ from the clutches of death. While in hindsight this was a terrible decision and gives Ali Baba way too many wimp points, it’s understandable the position he faces; killing the only stable part of his childhood would be a terrible burden for him to shoulder…yet now because of it, he must shoulder an even greater weight that now involves all of Balbadd.
But there is still hope. While it’s terribly sad to see Ugo disappear from the story presumably for good, he sees the hope that the future holds, especially in Aladdin. While we still don’t have much information about Aladdin, Ugo, or this so-called “Wisdom of Solomon” that Aladdin is about to receive, but we can at least take comfort in knowing that Aladdin will awaken soon to save the day. While giving Aladdin this amazing power comes off as a bit “too easy” of a resolution for myself, it is a reasonable trade-off for Aladdin: lose his first friend in order to save the friends he has now. This evolution of Aladdin’s character, although not clearly obvious at first, shines in this episode. Ugo, like the caring father figure and friend he comes off as, is hesitant to let Aladdin go about his own duties, but has confidence that Aladdin’s new friends will guide the way from here. It’s a bittersweet moment that marks a moment of maturation for Aladdin, who will now probably take a more active role in defending against the darkness.
With Aladdin’s return will signal the return of Judal as well, whose mysterious aura of both light and dark rukh is still unexplained, though this may be a hint at an inner conflict that has yet to be revealed through Judal’s personality or history. Just like Aladdin, some exposition on Judal’s inner thoughts in the near future is to be expected, though seeing him switch to the forces of stability is not to be expected soon.
We have finally reached the climax of the arc, where the final boss has finally manifested itself from within a tragic character. If exposition doesn’t blossom next episode, we can fully expect a whole lot of kick-butt action in its place, presumably from all characters with a desire to fight.
Full-length images: 31.