“Alibaba, you might just become someone amazing one day.” -Sinbad
Summary: With smart political maneuvering, some quick thinking, and a lot of heart, Alibaba is able to untangle the fate of Balbadd from the Kou Empire by deciding to abolish the monarchy, creating a republic in it’s place. But it seems that Alibaba’s victory will be short lived, as the black Rukh flows through the city, and something wicked is stirring in the streets.
Impressions: Weeeeeee! Lot’s of talking this week. I guess after the last action-packed episode it’s only fair to have one where they obviously saved on the animation. Despite the focus being on Alibaba’s choice of what would happen to Balbadd after Ahbmad abdicated the throne, I didn’t find it to be boring or tedious. And since next week promises to not be more of the same, I’m actually rather happy to have a bit of a breather between such exciting episodes.
Alibaba proved that he really has what it takes to become a fantastic leader this week by coming up to a solution to Balbadd’s problems that was a win-win situation for everyone involved. He first got Ahbmad to give up on being king, or rather, he forced him to come to terms with the fact that any child would be a better ruler that he had been. Faced with all the pressures that come with sitting on a throne and his inability to do right by all the people that depended on him, Ahbmad rather reluctantly gives up. It probably helped that no one will even take him seriously anymore, now that Alibaba’s shown up. So that’s one thing taken care of. When Kougyoku shows up (props to her for keeping it together like a real princess when she found out who the king was), demanding that the Kou empires contract and her marriage offer be honored, Alibaba is able to move to part two of his plan, which include turning Balbadd into a republic. With Ahbmad off the throne, Sahbmad is technically next in line but he himself admits that he is in no way a fit person to become king. That leaves Alibaba, who also thinks that he’s not the right person to rule, and so he decides to give that power to the people since they’ve essentially been fending for themselves since Ahbmad became king. With no King to marry, Kougyoku looks like she (and the Kou Empire) are out of luck. Of course, she doesn’t go down without some fight, saying that the kingdom of Balbadd can’t just erase the debt that they owe to the Kou Empire, no matter how much Alibaba wishes it were otherwise. Just because you’re going to start a new country from scratch doesn’t mean that your past mistakes are automatically forgiven. Alibaba asks Kougyoku to take the whole matter to her father, since he’s the emperor, and Kougyoku is sure to mention that he might not take too kindly to this new development and decide to invade Balbadd.
This is were the ever helpful Sinbad shows up, along with some people who are other leaders from countries that are part of his Seven Seas Alliance. Sinbad explains that he though he would need their help to put Alibaba on the throne and make him king, but since Alibaba found a different (and probably better) route to help his country, he’s going to accept the Republic of Balbadd into the Alliance as well. With their protection, not even the Kou Emperor would dare to invade the country with a military force. It seems that there is an amount of mutual respect and fear that Sinbad and the Emperor have for each other, and that neither of them really wants to tangle with the other if it can be avoided. Not only that, but Alibaba makes a good point of saying that it would be better for the Kou empire if they were able to reap the rewards of Balbadd’s prosperous trade, than to turn the country into a war-torn wasteland. Kougyoku, who never even lets on for a minute that she’s not even really in a position to make any decisions regarding the matter, chooses to leave and let her father decide what to do, but only after extracting a promise that Sinbad visit the Kou empires capital someday in person. With the hope of seeing her crush someday soon, Kougyoku flies off on her giant magic carpet, along with Ka Koubun and the rest of her Kou empire entourage. The only people that are left behind are the Banker, the Arms Dealer, and Judal. And if that isn’t a recipe for bad things to come, I don’t know what is.
Throughout the whole episode, we get brief glimpses into the room where Aladdin is being kept, and each time there are more and more Rukh flying around, until the end where it seems to explode out of him into a giant bird like shape that then flies away. Presumably to do battle with the dark Rukh that has been gathering around not only Judal but also the Banker and his compatriot, the Arms Dealer. It also seems to have gathered around Kassim, who appears at the end of the episode, with some of the other members of the Fog Troupe. Looks like Alibaba is in for a fight, because it would just be too easy if he were to “win” so easily. With forces aligning themselves to “reverse the flow of fate” and fight the steps that Alibaba has taken towards freeing Balbadd and it’s people from their troubles, I wouldn’t be surprised if Aladdin’s rukh spirit bird were either 1. his soul going on a spiritual journey of sorts in order to power up so he can help Alibaba in the fight that I’m sure is coming up or 2. going to go get help of some kind. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what episode 15 will bring!
Final Thought: I guess I should maybe mention the three thieves that have been appearing, and that I haven’t been taking about, since the first episode that Sinbad was in. They stole all his metal household vessels that contain (I guess?) the power of his djinn. This week we see all the vessels again, in the hands of the thieves who seem torn about if they should keep them or give them back to Sinbad. I don’t think they know what they are, but it does give me hope that we’ll be seeing even more bad ass Sinbad soon, should he final manage to get all his gear back.