Magi Episode 13: Prince of the Rebellion
“People of Balbadd! Please be patient! From this moment on, I will change this country!” -Alibaba
Summary: Alibaba makes his way into the castle, and faces off against a the new royal guard. He and Morigana fight a veritable menagerie and eventually Alibaba gains access to the throne room where Ahbmad, and a couple of surprises, are waiting for him.
Impression: Blazing into the new year, it’s the first episode of the second cour of Magi! (you see what I did there? I’m the type of person who laughs at my own jokes.) We’ve got a new opening and a new ending, featuring lots of new characters, who I’m sure manga readers recognize. Since I’m not really very far into the manga, I only know them from fan art and the like, but I’m excited to get to know them all the same! I think this episode was the first one in a long time that really showcased what Magi does well: straight-up adventure, with nice looking animation and killer fight scenes. Not a lot of talking, not a lot of moping around (I’m looking at you Alibaba), not too focused on economics or politics, just the pure exhilaration of a good action story (not that I don’t like those parts of the show as well.)
Alibaba takes center stage this episode, making his way into the palace, only to come face to face with Abhmad’s new royal guard, freshly given to him by Banker and the Kou Empire as a wedding gift of course, and all of whom are scary animal-monster hybrids. Alibaba’s first opponent is the hideous giant elephant beast, who has three trunks for three times the water spraying power! With Amon being a fire based djinn, things are not looking to good for Alibaba. Thinking that maybe under pressure he would finally be able to properly equip his djinn, he goes into the fight head first, and is still unable to draw on Amon’s full power. As much as he tries to attack the monstrous beast, he still can’t even scratch him. Just when it looks like we’d be served up some Alibaba pancakes, our hero does some soul searching, and with some help from his friends belief in him (especially Aladdin), Alibaba is finally able to equip Amon. Queue the epic giant sword! With one fell swoop, the 50% more awesome Alibaba cuts his foe in half, thus ending the fight. But with only one out of three guards defeated, he’s still got some work to do, as soon he is over run by some sort of zombie monkey clan, who no matter how many times he cuts them just keep getting back up again. Thankfully, Morgiana shows up, and brings a can of whoop-ass with her.
Of course my precious darling angel talks some sense into Alibaba, who at first doesn’t want to leave her to face the demon monkeys on her own, but she quickly puts him in his place. Morgiana is so frank and open, it’s nice to see a character who isn’t afraid to tell someone that they’re being an idiot about going off to fight alone, or that he should know better than to think that Morgiana isn’t strong enough to take on some monkeys by herself. Alibaba, for his part, realizes that Mor is right, and she then proceeds to toss him farther into the palace. I always love seeing Morgiana fight, so her scene with the apes was probably my favorite of the episode. Trying to take a page from Masrur’s playbook, Morgiana tries to take out all of the monkeys at once with a mad rush right through the middle of them, but notices pretty fast that she is lacking both Masrur’s strength and speed. Using her noggin, she gathers speed by jumping from building to building and finally puts her foot (and the whole rest of her body) right through the top monkeys torso. *Sigh* She’s just so cool. Two guards down, one to go!
Meanwhile, Alibaba meets the third guard member, who is some kind of leopard…thing. Right as the two are really starting to get going, Alibaba runs out of Magoi. Left with only his little dagger, Alibaba tries to hold his own, and again, just when things are looking pretty bleak, he uses the second method of gathering Magoi that Sinbad taught him. Using some oil that he had with him, Alibaba starts a fire using some sparks from his blade, and then uses his sword to absorb them, giving him the temporary power boost he needs to cut that cat right in half. It’s a short, sweet and to the point battle. Having defeated all the guards, Alibaba finally makes it to the throne room. This is where things get a little interesting. Alibaba appeals to the (human) guards that are their to protect Abhmad to let him speak to the king, pleading with them to notice that their country has been messed up for a long time, and that it’s in their best interest to let him speak to Abhmad. Abhmad, on the other hand, is their employer, and orders them to get rid of Alibaba. It leads to a tense situation of who the guards will side with. In another anime, Alibaba probably would have made some kind of heartwarming speech, after which everyone would have dropped their weapons and that would be the end of it. But instead of going that route, Sabhmad (who I had pegged as a coward who would never do anything other than side with his brother and who had already had his 15 minutes of fame) decides that, since Alibaba had the courage to stand up for what he believes in, he should maybe grow a pair too and stand up to his brother. It’s a glorious moment, when Sabhmad finally snaps, wrestling control from Abhmad and ordering everyone to let Alibaba and his brother talk it out without interruption. I guess we will just have to wait until next week to see how thing between those two work out!
Other things that were happening this episode that I didn’t mention: Sinbad, after hearing what Alibaba has done, sets off to go to the palace as well hoping that he can still reach a diplomatic solution to the problems that Balbadd has. Something weird is up with Aladdin (who is still passed out); somehow his hair and cloths are being moved by the wind even though he is being kept inside. We get a statues update on Judal who is also still recovering from having all his bones broken (how one doesn’t die from that I don’t know. Magic I guess.) And last but not least, Kougyoku bemoans having to marry without first having done the things she wants to do, like be a warrior and fall in love (she also obviously has a bit of a crush on Sinbad), and fantasizes about what the king of Balbadd will look like (boy, is she in for a rude surprise!) I think that about wraps up the episode, which like I said was more heavily focused on the action part than anything else. But even so, it still managed to be funny in someplace, and heartwarming in others, which made for a very well rounded episode, and a great start to the second “season”!
Final Thought: Going back to the new opening and ending. I really like the animation for the new OP, especially Morgiana’s dance sequence, but I’m not sold yet on the song. It’ll probably grow on me though, knowing how that tends to happen. I like the new ED song more that the previous one as I think it matches the tone of the show more (the last one was fine, but maybe a little too childish?). I also like the simple visuals of the different characters and their djinn equips and what-not.
(I’m sorry for this rather belated post, my internet has been pitching a fit all day, making it hard to finish this in a timely manner.)