Magi Episode 11: A New Visitor
“O spirit of sorrow and isolation. I command thee and thine vessel. Using my magoi, bestow great power upon my will. Come, Vinea!” – Ren Kougyoku
After Ugo lands the final blow on Judal, representatives from the Kou Empire arrive in the form of princess Ren Kougyoku and her assistant, Ka Koubun. Kougyoku easily defeats Ugo after equipping her djinn, and the group eventually leaves with Judal in tow after Sinbad manages to persuade her to stop fighting. As the Fog Troupe treat the wounded, Morgiana and Alibaba are both moping at their inability to do anything when Deputy King Sahbmad arrives, requesting to speak to Alibaba.
Oh god, dat Kougyoku expression <3
Ahem. For those of you who don’t usually read Tenderfoot’s posts on Shin Sekai Yori – she’s off on holiday for the next couple of weeks, so I’ll be covering Magi in her stead during that time. Personally, I’m quite pleased that I was given the opportunity to cover this episode, since this week featured the introduction of my favourite female character in Magi and a princess of the Kou Empire – Ren Kougyoku. Along with her assistant, Ka Koubun she’s come to join the party that Judal unceremoniously crashed last episode…or rather, to pick up the remains of his broken body that Ugo mercilessly destroyed. Aside from acting on his own, it seems that Ugo’s rage was still not sated as he felt the need to inflict more pain onto an already defeated enemy with more of the heat magic he used in the plains.
I felt it was rather brave of Kougyoku to go up against Ugo knowing that he’s just beaten a Magi of Judal’s caliber, and is still very, very pissed. It’s probable that their battle wouldn’t have gone the way she wanted it to had Ugo been anything other than a fire djinn, as Kougyoku is also a metal vessel user – commanding the spirit of sorrow and isolation, Vinea. As she’s in command of a water djinn, she holds the upper hand against Ugo, who can evaporate her water shield but otherwise not do much harm to her. Having the same last name as Hakuei, the Kou Empire’s first imperial princess, I think it’s safe to say that there are other members of the Kou Empire’s royal family that possess djinn metal vessels, with them being a massive military force seeking large-scale expansion, from a countryside location like the plains to a sea port like Balbadd. Unlike Hakuei, who seemed to be very pacifistic, Kougyoku gets a noticeable crazed look in her face when equipping her djinn, and seemed to have no problem with running Ugo through with her weapon and blowing a massive hole in his body. I know Sinbad went on about how Ugo is fine and wouldn’t die from wounds like that…but the fact still remains that his eight-point star signifying a djinn’s presence in a metal vessel is gone, which would technically mean that Ugo isn’t “there” any more. Well, the flute was still happy to suck up Aladdin’s magoi when he offered it up, so perhaps he isn’t entirely gone yet.
Someone isn’t being very honest about their feelings, are they~ I would have actually liked seeing Kougyoku fully equip her djinn, but that would mean further destruction and possibly further deaths, which Sinbad wasn’t willing to risk. I love how she managed to turn her personality around to being an adorable tsundere once Sinbad told her who he was right after she told a group of monsters to kill everyone. I don’t think Sinbad (or anyone else for that matter) is actually aware of it, but if Kougyoku has a crush on him, it’ll probably be useful in not having the Kou Empire mess around with Balbadd much further, though it remains to be seen on how much influence she has over both Judal and Banker. If anyone was wondering why Kougyoku has Hanazawa Kana as a seiyuu…well, there’s your answer. I’m pleased with how she alternates between her confident badass style and her confused moe mode, it’s one of the reasons I like her as a character. Kougyoku is probably the only good thing that came out of this Kou Empire appearance though – what the heck are those monsters? I’m pretty sure they’re not human by the way they cover up their faces, and I don’t think multiple elephant trunks or leopard arms and legs are particularly human qualities. Since there is no proper way to breed creatures who aren’t human yet can talk, I can only imagine that they are artificial monsters, and strong ones at that. Being able to match Masrur and overwhelm Morgiana isn’t good, especially considering the physical strength of the Fanalis in general.
We have a lot of people feeling useless today, from Morgiana, who felt she wasn’t able to do anything, to Alibaba who lost easily to Judal and is wallowing while staring at his uh…many wounds. LMAO at that priceless reaction xDD Their despair will be elaborated on in later episodes though, since the one who probably had the lowest self-esteem this episode was Sahbmad, the Deputy King of Balbadd, whose name I’ve probably spelled wrong. Anyway, it’s his own lack of confidence in himself and his constant fears that lets Abumad easily control him and his actions – while in reality, he’s very strongly against what Abumad is doing and has leaked info on the army after realizing what was actually going on in Balbadd. And the keystone to the whole socio-economic condition in Balbadd was that moment when Abumad enlisted the help of Banker.
What a stupid, stupid fool. My god, that guy is such an ignorant, greedy bastard. I think they explained the situation quite well for anyone to understand it, but those reasonably well-versed in economics will pick up straight away that using a foreign country’s currency is a massive no-no, which expands to an absolute “do-not-cross-this-line” when that country is the Kou Empire, who is actively trying to expand their territory. Basically, paper money is made of paper, and is supposedly worthless to other areas not circulating it, e.g. Laem, Partevia etc. This is different from a precious metal like gold, where there is a gold standard in which its value is fixed.
Because the value of the “fan” is controlled by the Kou Empire, they can choose whatever they want to set its value at to suit their own needs, and if its value is fluctuating, it fluctuates, and whatever inflation that results from it has to be dealt with in other countries. Similarly, Banker eventually stopped letting Abumad freely take “fan” – he had to borrow it, with interest, set by the Kou Empire (monetary policy). If the Kou Empire chooses to raise interest rates for their own internal purposes, then they are entitled to do so, even though it may fuck up the economy of other countries involved with its interest rates. A similar example is seen IRL with the European Union. Since a single interest rate is set across all member states, each country has less control over its own economy, so the ECB tries to set a rate that doesn’t hurt too many areas. Of course, the Kou Empire want the exact opposite – and eventually Balbadd fell into enough debt that they had to borrow more to repay it, turning it into a vicious cycle.
At this point, Balbadd all but belongs to the Kou Empire, and now Abumad has decided to use the citizens as human collateral – to give them to foreign countries in return for more “fan”. That, guys, makes Balbadd a slave-exporting country, which evidently got Morgiana very passionate about the situation. tl;dr Abumad is a selfish pig that cares for no-one but himself. Alibaba, make the right decisions and save your home country!