Magi: The Kingdom of Magic Episode 14: The Hidden Citizens
Magnostadt was a beautiful city the first time Aladdin saw it, and that still remains true now – while the academy definitely has its own charm, there’s a breathtaking difference to the city life experienced by Aladdin, Titus and Sphintus that I can’t quite describe. Maybe I’m just impressed by all the cascading waterfalls and floating spires everywhere xD Magnostadt looks like it’s operating on autarky – the state of being self-sufficient with production. It normally wouldn’t work at all, but it’s the use of magic that makes it all possible – life magic helps citizens grow fruits and vegetables at a quicker rate than normal, and they use magic tools to do a lot of mundane work, eliminating the need for slave labour. For everyone living above ground, it’s definitely a nice life; if you’re a goi there’s a slight setback of having to prostate yourself in front of every magician you meet… but hey, the assured quality of life sort of makes up for that. They seem to be happy enough at least. Everything’s beautiful and (seemingly) nothing hurts, but where are they getting the magoi to power the country?
This is where the hierarchical power structure of Magnostadt comes into play. It’s disgusting – class restrictions based on magical ability is bad enough, but the true victims are those living in the 5th Level Authorization District. It’d be one thing if Mogamett was preaching utilitarianism (prioritising the happiness of the entire society at the cost of a few) but I can’t believe they actually built an entire city underground! And they’ve decided to stick 200,000 “citizens” down there, purely to serve as livestock for magoi production – what a scandal. It’s not surprising that Aladdin and the others weren’t allowed to go down there before they’ve taken ideology courses – it’s likely that those serve to reform their way of thinking and get them to accept everything that’s going on down there. It’s only a utopia for the people at the top of the hierarchy, while those at the very bottom eventually become too submissive (and depleted of magoi) to even think of going against the establishment.
This was a deep episode, and there’s a lot to think about – after all, we’ve finally discovered one of the (many) dark secrets of Magnostadt. There were also subtler things going on too, primarily Titus’ overwhelming joy over what seems to just be ordinary life (he seemed to attach himself to Aladdin very quickly, too). It was very strange seeing him so happy while looking at… a cat, or a baby. It’s almost as if he’s never seen cats before, and I think it was a shared sentiment that had him sympathize so much with Marga (who looks even cuter than she was in the manga). Maybe he’s just attached to her, but he seems awfully intent on getting her to the outside world – to the point that he’s willing to cross that nasty-looking whip magician dude to do so. There’ll be many more secrets revealed in this second section of the Magnostadt arc, which was properly marked by a new OP (which was nice enough, although it spoiled far more djinn equips than I’d have liked it to). We’re in for a great ride, so look forward to it!
In other news, it’s been announced that an anime adaptation of Magi: Sinbad no Bouken has been green-lit! I’ve been following the manga for that too, and it’s definitely something I’m excited for – it tells the story of a young Sinbad’s various adventures throughout the world. We get to see how he captures his dungeons and meets his future companions, including the Eight Generals (some of whom don’t actually meet him on very good terms). As of now, it looks more like it’ll be an OVA rather than a full-length series, but hey, something’s better than nothing, right?