「笑顔」 (Egao)
“Smile”

While some animation errors still persisted in some of the less important scenes, this week’s episode has definitely stepped it back up, bringing a satisfying conclusion to what has been a considerably long arc. Understanding and closure pervades this episode, advancing many character developments that have given the story much depth.

Previously, in earlier arcs, I had a serious gripe about how the antagonists of the series were one-sided in their personality and intentions. However, with the Balbadd arc came some well balanced antagonists whose intentions, actions, and situations can be sympathized with better. Take Judal for example. Terrible childhood, dead family, and raised by an organization that’s intent on creating chaos. While he may be a hothead blowhorn that shoots icicles, his situation is perhaps something to be pitied, to be seen as a tragedy of fate rather than an object we should hate. If the dark and light rukh didn’t raise that conflict flag in the past, his memories should back up such ambiguities now. The Fog Troupe too suffers a similar situation, as they too have had everything stripped away from them only to have had their weak emotional states taken advantage of. Those who lost their families, their homes, and most of all their freedoms were provoked in their time of emotional instability in what seems to be retribution, but is actually just a vicious cycle desired by the darkness. Same goes for Kougyoku Ren, whose tough situation in the royal family forced her to make decisions she herself never really supported or had her full heart in…with inviting Sinbad over to the Kou Empire being an exception. The majority (if not all) of the antagonists have been “mixed” in one way or another. I’ll take a huge bet and say that most antagonists from here on out will have some sort of moral dilemma behind their “evil” faces, something much appreciated from the series now that the base character development is over.

In fact, I believe Magi has done a very good job exploring the emotional side of sensitive topics such as social classes, slavery, and the social disconnect the two create between two otherwise friendly people. While the exploration of the topic is fairly shallow as compared to shows that seriously and maturely focus on social issues, the emotional hits and the resultant sense of understanding definitely have arisen from this arc, especially so in the last half. Kassim, whom the show has painted mostly in mystery and antagonism, finally opens up his side of the world plain for us to see. While many of the actions Kassim performed against humanity are hard to excuse, his circumstances make such acts seem reasonable in a sense, in which the world lead him to no other reasonable path. His father endangered Mariam, forcing Kassim’s hand (like the authorities would do anything), while the despair of losing Mariam in the end forced Kassim to take the road of violence to quench his vengeance (since doing nothing equates to solving nothing). As an unfortunate victim of his environment, he switched from being a forgotten slumdog to becoming a pawn for chaos, though he himself was at least partially aware of his transformation. His desire to fight the upbringing he was stuck with was noble, but gone about in the wrong away. While fighting for a better future is a great thing, somewhere along the line Kassim lost sight of that future, clouded solely by his hatred for his life and those who had it better. For the more experienced, it is clear that such “villains” have a deeper side behind them, but oftentimes without seeing said side directly, it becomes hard to empathize with them prior. It is hard to hate on Kassim now that his story has finally unraveled, or anyone besides the weapons dealer for that matter. Even the recently deposed brother kings have sympathy, as they too were victims of an environment they caught themselves in.

Thankfully we have those who brave through their environment and succeed, changing what is otherwise a hard fate to turn. Ali Baba, now coming off less as a whiner and more of a humbled and truly sorry individual. There are certain emotions one can let out that come off as pathetic or unsupported, but Ali Baba’s emotions this time were not of that sort. Genuinely deep, honest, and well thought-out emotions spurred from Ali Baba, finally allowing for that connection with Kassim that unfortunately…had to be their last. At the very least Ali Baba sent off Kassim with a smile, perhaps one of the best things a friend can do in such a situation. Although their brotherhood was wrought with conflict, misunderstandings, and jealousy, in the end, for the two to end on positive terms makes their bond a strong one. While I lamented when Ali Baba constantly hesitated in stopping Kassim, the amount of respect, trust, and bonding that the two shared is hard to look down upon, for it reflects their core characters nicely.

While the weapons dealer has gotten away, Balbadd can now focus on rebuilding from rock bottom. Now likely to join the alliance that Sindria heads, it is likely that we will see our heroes travel to Sindria with Sinbad once again metal-clad to begin what is likely to be the final arc (or two) of the season. Now that Aladdin and Ali Baba have proven themselves capable of affecting their world significantly, I can’t wait to see what their travels with Morgiana will be like next.

Full-length images: 16, 17, 23, 24.

 

Preview

56 Comments

  1. Ah Kassim, forced to grow up looking at such radiance while he wading through the mud in pursuit. You could have lived a simple and honest life but you sought to become someone sublime, someone dazzling, and in the end you failed, cursing your own fate because of it. At least now you have finally reached Alibaba, although a bit late, now you can support Alibaba as a part of the great flow of fate on his journey to become “king.”

    KoroshiyaKi
      1. Oh hey, it’s a fan of Filthy Frank, my guilty pleasure in life D:.

        We don’t know for sure how many episodes will be released, but it’s looking to go until the end of the season and end there, or at least that would be the most convenient stopping point for them.

        Zanibas
      2. Well, considering that the main Cs have to be meet a certain someone that is portrayed in the ending, I’m guessing that its going to be 24-30 episodes, give or take what the plans they have for Magi

        Dualash
    1. That’s not entirely accurate, Kassim didn’t curse his own fate simply because he thought Alibaba’s life was better and he himself wanted to be someone great, at least not solely for that reason, it was also because his own fate involved killing his own father to protect his sister and then only to lose his sister.Even if Alibaba wasn’t present in his life I think there’s a fair chance he would have gone down the same path.

      shadowalker
      1. What I was pointing out was his reasons for cursing his fate, basically the death of his family, but sometimes there’s a difference between the reasons for doing something and trying to justify it.I believe the main reasons for Kassim to curse his fate came from his own life while he tried to justify his actions through Alibaba’s life – even though in doing so he turned a blind eye to the fact Alibaba’s fate wasn’t filled with comfort and happiness either.(hope this made sense, this sounded much clearer in my head)

        Hope that clarifies things because I’m not 100% sure what ‘you’ meant in your post.

        shadowalker
      2. My take on that scene was on how Kassim explained why he hated Alibaba.Basically what Kassim did was create an ‘image’ of a Alibaba(mind you, a image of person doesn’t necessarily describe the actual person himself) who was better than him, had a better life/fate than him and decided to hate him for it(and also to justify himself later on), but IMO that alone wasn’t enough to send him over the edge.Only when it was coupled with the experience how sad and painful his own life/fate was, did Kassim decide to tread a darker path and curse his fate.Of the two I think the latter factor bears more weight than the other.

        shadowalker
      3. I agree to the extent that Kassim would have gone to the evil side again, but then again, Alibaba made a major influence into how Kassim saw the world in upon fairness. By looking at how Alibaba had so many benefits while Kassim was forced to kill his father and scavange for survival in the slums. Though its just my opinion, I feel that upon the two guys, Kassim and Alibaba would never have act as they were unless they had met under the circumstances.

        Dualash
      4. “Why couldn’t I protect those I love?” “Why am I different from someone else?” “why is his life so much better than mines?” “Is this my fate?” You could say all of these feelings you describe are a part of what makes the Alibaba in Kassims mind so radiant and thus the disparity between the two and said events themselves serve to drive his fall into depravity. Humans are complex animals after, we can’t necessarily say that only one event is the cause but rather a compilation of events though the one that keeps getting harked back to is Kassims jealousy of Alibaba. It serves as a magnifying lens for his rage I guess you could say.

        Though I guess you could say I glossed over so I apologize for that.

        KoroshiyaKi
  2. No mention of the “faceless” organization loyal to “Al Thamen” (“the Eight” in Arabic)? I thought it was interesting that right after that, the preview says “Eight generals, assemble!”

    I foresee that this anime is about to step up the complexity even more, and tell its story through the lens of simple, powerful emotion.

    hoiut
  3. Lol… at first I was thinking so that’s where the budget from last episode goes.

    Sindria arc next, the world of Magi is expanding tremendously, and it’s going to be even more awesome 😀

    And yep, tribal dancer Mor.

    Vermillion
    1. I hate those kind of ‘what if’ things because they’re so…. heart-breaking…. but it takes a strong person to rise and choose the right path, not many people can, sadly. I agree with you completely TuT”

  4. I cried when Mariam showed up, whispering in Alibaba’s ear and Kassim standing next to her, it was a very emotional scene. Actually the ending with the music was… epic in my opinion.

    I loved this episode, I finally got to know Kassim’s real side. Let’s go back to the previous episodes where Alibaba was ‘lying’ and Aladin told him ‘no one will believe you if you keep lying’, and now here we had Kassim, who had disliked Alibaba, but lied to him just to get what he had in mind going, something we all knew from the begining. Howeever, despite Kassim’s complete behaviour towards Alibaba was obvious to us, I think he didn’t know what he truly felt about Alibaba, they were ‘friends’, I liked it, really, the fact that he had the same smile that moment, but this time, we got an answer.

    People said this arc dragged long, and I was begining to think the same, but well.. not really, had the arc been shorter, it wouldn’t have given any fairness to the story. I also hated how Alibaba was acting like a coward at some points, but a part of me thinks of it as the only way if you had the last person in your family and you tried to save him, and all solutions don’t work, it would be frustrating. I liked this episode, really.

    Thanks for your review. I don’t know how many more episodes are left, I just hope it won’t be a type of anime that’ll never go as far as the manga goes, will be dissapointing if it just stopped before then.

    Thanks for your review! I liked this episode and now I want to know who are this dark group and what have they done to Judal! The adventure will begin soon again, can’t wait!

    On a side note, isn’t it awkward when an anime charecter screams your name in anguish, I could almost say “I’m here” and cry with them!

    Cheers, xx!!!!

  5. I cant help but keep seeing that Rukh = The Force. In the words of Yoda

    “Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed that is. “

    Chaos Kid
      1. It didn’t happen in the manga. Banker suppose to be one that got Kamehameha bu Sinbad. I don’t understand why do they need to change it. In fact Isnan should be out yet.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Vermillion
    1. Jasmine is being held hostage by Disney (she’s actually not in the real story, they made her up).

      The one Aladdin actually married to is named Badroulbadour who is from far east not arabian, and consider how Magi’s Aladdin is so loosely based on the actual story… we will never get to see her (or maybe it turn out to be Hakuei of Kou which based on Chinese empire from the East, which I will lol if that happen).

      Vermillion
  6. Well there goes one of the better character designs in anime. I honestly think if we’re not thinking about crazy swords and armor, Kassim is one of the better male anime designs.

    Also gotta respect that they wrap up the episode during the credits. Most other animes leave the wrap up after the conclusion to the next episode and take up a good 5 minutes. Though I suppose there is a bit more wrapping up left to do

    Spades
  7. Just a sneak peak at Sinbad’s hax, can’t wait for the other overpowered things to get animated, but more importantly

    Mor’s dancing debut <3 and something hilarious coming up next.

    Magoiichi
    1. She probably whispered something about her cherry being popped in the past, then she ran to Kassim and held his hand. Alibaba looks in disbelief and Kassim just smiles.

      Sakilibarbarman

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