Magi Episode 6: Fanalis, the Warrior Tribe
“Yes, everything will be okay. Because my legs and my body are faster, sharper, and stronger than anyone else’s!” -Morgiana
Summary: In short: Morgiana kicks ass. In long: Morgiana, after finding out the her way to Balbadd (the city she wants to get to so she can take a boat to her homeland) is being blocked by a bunch of thieves, decides to go out and take care of the problem. She then proceeds to kick a lot of ass, take down a fort’s worth of armed men, beat up a mess of wild animals, save a cute little girl, free a bunch of slaves, and is reunited with Aladdin. The two continue their journey to Balbadd together, since Aladdin is going there to find Ali Baba.
Impressions: Awwwww yeah son, Morgiana in the house! This week Magi leaves behind both of our main protagonists (of the show thus far) and gives us an episode that revolves solely around our girl Morgiana. And it’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. The only critique I could level at it is that it feels just a smidgen rushed, but considering the clip at which this show has been moving, it’s not really such a big surprise.
We start are episode a half-year from when Morgiana was freed by Ali Baba (so some time has pasted between last episode and this one) and she’s since joined up with a caravan and made some friends in the form of two new characters we met this week; Leila and Sahsa. They’re basically the best, and have come to care a lot about Morgiana, who in return has opened up a bit to them. They mention a mysterious boy who they meet in the desert, and of course at the end of the episode it turns out that that boy was Aladdin. The story of how they met is actually the first couple of chapters of the manga, so if you want more of Leila, Sahsa, and Aladdin’s antics, you can go read those. It’s not a terribly important story, so I can understand why they didn’t animate it, and I think the episode worked without having that previous interaction between the three to base their relationship on. Those brief seconds of Aladdin with the two of them perfectly summarizes how that trio works; Aladdin is after Sahsa’s boobies, Leila is always trying to stop him which leads to them fighting and Sahsa trying to break them up. It’s cute.
The whole reason Morgiana has joined the caravan is because she’s trying to fulfill Goltas’s last wish that she return to her homeland, and in order to do so, she needs to get to Balbadd. So when she finds out her route is blocked, she takes it upon herself to do everyone a favor and go clear them out. And so she goes and infiltrates this hide out full with vicious, dangerous criminals. Now, we’d seen a bit of what Morgiana is capable of in episodes two and three, but this one really showcases all of her amazing powers to the fullest. She takes on guys twice her size, armed with swords and all that jazz, and beats them to a pulp. I think the reason I love her so much is that it’s really good to see a female character who is literally strong, and just beats up guys no problem, but who also isn’t overly muscled in a way that’s obviously played for laughs. Mor (let’s use her new nickname because I’m getting tired of typing Morgiana out all the time) needs just her bare fists and her legs to deal some serious damage, which is maybe something that’s rare to see (at least that I can think of off the top of my head.) Her fight scenes were awesome, and up until Fatima the slave trader enters the fray with his stupid poison bird, it looked like she was going to win the fight, no contest.
Our designated bad guy for the episode is a really flamboyant slave trader, Fatima, who deserves a good round-house kick to the face if you ask me. My one other complaint about Magi is that all the villains (so far ) have been rather one-note “Evil” guys who are lacking in depth. Then again, sometimes it’s nice to have a show where you just let a villain be a villain, without giving them some half-baked story that’s supposed to make them seem more human. This is especially true when you have bad dudes who are only around for one or two episodes. Why waste your time on someone who’s going to be gone by next week? Maybe I’m just saying this because I know about what’s coming up next. Whatever. Anyway, Fatima uses his bird to knock Morgiana out and when she wakes up she’s in a cell with the cutest little blob of cute to grace our screens so far.
I’m of course talking about Nadja, the little girl who Mor bonds with. Morgiana is not the kind of person I’d ever leave with a child, as she’s clearly the type who doesn’t handle social interactions very well, and she ends up scaring Nadja with her detailed talk of what will happen to them once they’re sold as slaves. It actually turns into a very sweet scene, since the whole episode we see Morgiana fighting with her own demons from the abuse she suffered over years of being Jamil’s slave. When she sees the terrified Nadja begging for her parents, she empathizes with the girl since she went through some very similar experiences, and she tries to react in such a way that will comfort the little girl since she knows that she would have wanted the same thing.
Part of that is what makes Morgiana such a good heroine for me. Yeah, she’s one tough cookie and can really dish it out, but she has her own problems that she’s trying to overcome, little by little, which makes her seem very human. But unlike a real person, who might let those demons overwhelm them, Morigana tries (and succeeds) in overcoming them, which takes her from being just a regular person to someone you can aspire to be like, and that is what I want in my heroines. It’s because we’ve been seeing all of Mor’s flashbacks throughout the episode, and we see her trying to break those invisible chains that are holding her down, that by the time she actually manages to shatter the locks on feet and truly embrace her freedom, I had a big goofy grin plastered all over my face and was cheering at the screen. Magi might not be the most high-brow, ground-breaking series to ever walk the face of the earth, but any show that can get me excited and smiling like a loon is a success in my book.
The long and short of it is this; Morgiana, with some mental words of encouragement from
jesus Goltas, continues her rampage of awesome-ness, taking down a pack of wild demon hyenas and some jumbo-sized tigers. She doesn’t kill Fatima, but instead opts to release all his “merchandise” which hurts him all the more, now that he’s lost the safety of the thieves fortress and all the animals he had to sell are dead or have run off. Among the captives are Nadja’s parents, and Aladdin, who somehow managed to get captured. He get’s his flute back and together with Morgiana, they break out all the slaves and wreck the rest of the fortress just as the cavalry is arriving in the form of the combined might of the caravans Mor and Aladdin had been traveling with, as well as Leila and Sahsa. With the thieves rousted and the slaves freed, everyone is happy and there is much rejoicing. One of the continuing themes is touched on again, in that nothing is chance and that the strings of fate tie you together again and again. The episode ends with Mor and Aladdin setting off to Balbadd after parting ways from Leila and Sahsa with the promise to meet again. Next episode: Sinbad. And that’s all I’m saying.
Final Thought: A large part of me (probably a bigger part of me than I’d care to admit even exists) wanted to only take screencaps of Morgiana’s precious face for this episode, since it really ran the gamut of every emotion possible (except maybe lust.) But common sense won out in the end. (sadly.)