OP: 「ANNIVERSARY」by SID
「旅立ちの予感」 (Tabidachi no Yokan)
“Premonition of a Journey”
Two seasons have passed, which means the leaves have fallen, and Magi is up and running to start again! Welcome back to the world of Magic, where heated international conflicts and moral clashes are soon to arise.
Starting right off where we left off in winter, the series makes no time for silly introductions–you either you remember the first series or you become lost. If you’re a bit rusty on the current state of characters or plot, I recommend a bit of re-watching or re-reading to get yourself up to speed. The characters page on MAL should suffice for most.
As the introductory text states, the story begins after the capture of Zagan, in the midst of celebrations. An uneasy air permeates the festivities though, as political tensions resurface after the battle. The Kou royalty is under pressure to leave, even as Kougyoku has no intention of leaving and Hakuryuu still hasn’t found the answers he seeks. Our princess will have it bad if she stays in Sindria any longer–it was easier beforehand to attribute Sinbad’s moves to sheer ignorance, but with today’s demonstration of his sly realpolitik, she’s gotta move lest she become a pawn to yet another organization.
Additional tension arises from Sinbad himself, as his hidden nature–hinted on in the first season–begins to surface more clearly. We can guess that Sinbad isn’t the power-hungry out of greed, but rather out of fear. If anyone’s played Fable 3, the concept is very similar here–a character armed with knowledge about a large impending doom resorts to questionable methods to save the world, all without letting anyone in on the details. I do worry for the day that Aladdin and Sinbad will come to an ideological clash, as it seems to hint that the former’s optimism and the latter’s pragmatism will conflict with one another, even though they both seek the best for this world. With Sinbad wielding the power that he has now, it is very likely that Aladdin will have to step in to prevent a “means justify the ends” scenario from occurring.
Before that conflict will fully come into fruition, Magnostadt–The Kingdom of Magic–will most likely be the first conflict to deal with. For what the kingdom has done to Dunya and her beloved others, and the imminent threat they pose as a nation that killed an entire people, investigating the Academy is of high priority for many, including Aladdin. It’s actually a good time for the fourth Magi to visit, as doing so will enhance his ability to control magic, in preparation for the inevitable conflict between Magnostadt and well…the other country under the other Magi, Scheherazade. Thanks beginning animation–you looked pretty badass, but you basically spoiled a lot of the plot.
As for Morgiana and Alibaba, it looks like both of them will not be accompanying Aladdin, but instead parting their separate ways, as the opening sequence and ED suggest. Once again they will separate from one another, but wilingly this time, but in due time we should expect them to reunite once again. The catch though is that the reunion will happen under less favorable circumstances, aka in the middle of a large-scale war (again, thanks opening sequence). With three potential character stories to follow now, with numerous more side-stories, I wonder how the manga managed to balance all these plotlines together. Hopefully the anime can follow suit and manage to keep a good balance, as this is the time where character development and nationwide conflict become most interesting.
Now, as for production values, let’s all hope that A-1 doesn’t absolutely destroy the ending episodes for this season due to rushed schedules. Though we have returned to an animation quality and better faithfulness to the manga that should satisfy most, who knows what could happen between now and the end of the season. We all know what happened, what atrocities were committed, and we all know that A-1 Pictures could very well repeat it again. With literally no change in the main staff, all we can do is cross our fingers that this show has enough time to be properly animated, and that the producers and director make the wise choice not to derail from the the source material at the end.
As for coverage, I will probably not be covering Magi on a weekly basis, but do expect at the very least monthly coverage or per-arc coverage. Though there are other shows I am entertaining for possible coverage, Magi’s first season has convinced me that monthly coverage should suffice. If important episodes do pop up that demand coverage, I’ll try my best to get them out, but I can’t guarantee promises. Hopefully we can still have a pleasant journey through the world of magic together, and I look forward to your comments!
ED: 「エデン」 (Eden) by Aqua Timez