Magi Episode 7: His Name is Sinbad
“The confidence, experience, and bonds of friendship that are formed through adventuring are priceless.” -Sinbad
Summary: Morgiana and Aladdin continue on their journey and meet very sketchy, very naked man. He introduces himself as Sin, and after Aladdin lends him some cloths, the three of them finally make it to Balbadd. Even though things in Balbadd look very rough, Sin invites Aladdin and Mor to stay with him a very nice hotel. With the help of his two assistants, Ja’far and Masrur, Sin, Aladdin and Morgiana are allowed inside the building. As it turns out, Sin is actually Sinbad, the king of Sindria, who is in Balbadd to try to reopen trade as well as to try to repair the city, which has been poorly ruled over since the death of the previous king. Because of this mismanagement a group known as the Fog Troupe, a Robin Hood-esque crew of thieves, has become very active, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Sinbad agrees to help get rid of the Fog Troupe, and convinces Aladdin and Morgiana to help him. That night the two sides meet each other for the first time, and Aladdin finds a nasty surprise waiting for him when he finds out who one of the leaders of the Fog Troupe is.
Impressions: Oh. My. God. This show. This show is going to be the death of me. It’s just…so good! Seriously, if you’re not watching Magi, then what are you doing with your life? This episode was aces, of course, as we’re finally thrown into our first conflict that has a little more going on than just “evil people being evil.” But before we get into that, let’s talk about our new characters (because there were kind of a lot of them this episode.)
Of course, of course, we have to start with Sinbad. What an introduction! I knew it was coming, and I still laughed my ass off. He might be “the man who has traveled countless roads and sailed untold voyages, who has navigated the world’s seven seas, conquered seven dungeons and built his own country!” (as he so proudly tells Aladdin) but that doesn’t change the fact that the first time our protagonists see him, he’s wearing nothing but a fig leaf. Sinbad, in addition to being a King, is also supposedly the master of seven djinns from the seven dungeons he’s captured, so he’s not someone to take lightly (even if he let all his metal vessels holding some of his stored powers get stolen.) Not only does he seem like a skilled fighter (he must be to have captured seven dungeons), but he also seems like a very clever and just ruler. He quick to pick up on the signs that the city of Balbadd is in trouble once they enter it, and is very concerned with the welfare of the average citizens. He’s a very likeable character so far, falling somewhere between lovable buffoon and admirable leader.
With Sinbad come his two generals, Ja’far and Masrur. Unlike Disney’s Aladdin, our Ja’far here is not a scheming evil-doer, but seems to fit more into the role of “Sinbad’s Mom.” But he isn’t always the one making sure Sinbad doesn’t get into too much trouble, as we see at the end of the episode. Ja’far also makes for one scary fighter, using red ropes to deal out justice. If Sinbad is the heart of the operation, then Ja’far is the brains behind it. Representing the muscle is Masrur. He’s a Fanalis like Morgiana, with the same eyes and bright red/magenta hair. He’s the strong and silent type based on what we’ve seen so far and I’m hoping next week we’ll get to see him in action. He’s much bigger than Morgiana and is also a guy, so I’m interested to see how those two stack up against one another in terms of power.
Representing our newest villains are the Fog Troupe, made up of Kassim, Zaynab, and Hassan. Hassan (who uses the “sword of corrosive golden fog”) and Zaynab (who has the “sword of scarlet delusional fog”) are the two underlings of the operation. Kassim, who uses the “sword of the black binding fog”, is the leader of the group. And then rounding out the team, we have Magic Man Alibaba. Yup, our beloved Alibaba is for some reason hanging out with a group of dangerous thieves. You could probably tell it was him the moment he was on-screen, but they did a pretty good job of building the suspense leading up to him revealing himself. He and Kassim seem to have a past, since Kassim refers to him as “friend”, and also just based on next week’s episode title.
This episode introduces us to our first more complex storyline, with a lot of political intrigue going on behind the seemingly fun facade of simply catching some robbers. Balbadd, as Sinbad explains, is a nation made up of many islands with its capital on the mainland and thus making it ideal suited for trade (think Istanbul as a modern equivalent.) It’s a city that by all rights should be rolling in dough, but instead the poor and hungry crowd the streets, anti-government graffiti is sprawled on the walls, and inflation is running rampant. Sinbad notices all this, and when he asks the brothers Saluja, who are co-rulers, about re-opening trade with Sindria, he’s of course shocked that they would decline his offer when it would obviously do the country some much-needed good. Those two brothers seem to be hiding more than a couple of things, from the way they were talking about the Fog Troupe and that ominous document from the Kou empire they had on their desk. What does the Kou Empire have to do with Balbadd and why would they not want the city to be open to trade? ~ Mysteries ~…Hopefully we’ll get some insight into the situation next episode. As things stand, I’m starting to think that the Kou Empire is going to be the overarching nemesis of the story.
There was one more thing of note that bears mentioning, and that is that we got another little piece of the puzzle that is “what is a Magi?” Sinbad explains a bit more about what makes a Magi different from a normal person with a djinn (like Hakuei Ren, for example.) A normal person has certain set amount of Magoi inside of them made by the Rukh. When this Magoi is exhausted, that person can’t use magic or their djinn anymore, and are usually left tired and hungry. This is why in episode 5, Hakuei could only “equip” her djinn for so long and why Seishun could only use his sword attack so many times before their power ran out. What makes a Magi special though is that they can draw power not just from the Magoi inside themselves, but also that made by the Rukh outside of them (basically they can take energy from every living creature.) That’s why Aladdin can summon Ugo for such long periods of time without feeling tired right away. He uses the Rukh from all around himself in order to sustain the Magoi levels needed to keep Ugo outside of his flute. But even Aladdin has a limit, thinking back to episode two, and there are times when he’ll need to rest.
With the episode ending right in the middle of a rather tense situation between Alibaba, Aladdin, and the Fog Troupe, I’m once again left dying for next Sunday to roll around. Will Aladdin have to fight Alibaba? Just what happened to him to make him turn to thievery? What’s his connection with Kassim? What’s the story behind the Fog Troupe? How is Sinbad going to eliminate a group that might actually be doing a lot of good? Why isn’t this show on everyday?!?
Final Thought: Shout out to the art this episode. Someone spent a lot of time (and probably money) on it. The first shots of Sinbad sleeping looked absolutely stunning. The city and scenery looked fabulous, and so did all the interior scenes. God damn, there are a lot of details in those! Especially in the hotel rooms. So many different patterns and colors and textures! I loved it!