Magi Episode 22: Household of Flames

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“I get to fight alongside all of you!” -Morgiana

Summary: The team fight their way through more of Zagan’s (or rather the copy of Zagan’s) traps, Morgiana is finally able to use her household vessel (although at a terrible cost) and just when you think they’ve made it to the treasure room and safety, those pesky bad guys from Al-Thamen show up. Plus, Judal drops in on an unsuspecting Sinbad & Co for a not really friendly chat.

Impressions: Just when I though the dungeon couldn’t get any weirder, it did. The Zagan we’ve seen up till now hasn’t actually been Zagan, but a copy! And now he can multiply! And regrow his head at will! And make faces that make me very uncomfortable! It’s a very interesting twist that I certainly didn’t see coming.

Kickin' ass and takin' names!

Kickin’ ass and takin’ names!

After finally successfully working together as a team to fight off more of the dungeons monsters, Morgiana, Aladdin, Alibaba, and Hakuryuu make it to a wide open space where they confront Zagan, and he tells him about how he’s just a copy blah blah blah. He’s a weird one, that’s for sure. But it because of him that Morgiana finally is able to use her household vessel. When Zagan drops them through a hole in the ground, the group is sent on a free-fall straight into fake Zagan’s belly, which just so happens to be chock full of gastric juices just waiting to dissolve them. Morgiana’s fighting spirit kicks in, and because of her deep feelings of wanting to protect her friends she’s finally able to use her chains to hook-shot her way back up to the ground floor, while carrying the boys on her back.

Instead of taking a time-out and resting for a second, Morgiana takes the badass approach and dives right back in, this time to take out the monster for good. If you know the story of how Hercules defeats the Hydra, a monster whose head would grow back two-fold every time it was cut off, then you know how this is going to end. The tried and true method to defeating anything with regrowing body parts is to set it on fire. Which is what Morgiana does, with her awesome move (called Amon Selseila). Since her household vessel draws its power from Alibaba’s djinn, it is of course a fire based attack. The chains wrap around the creature, and crush it while setting it aflame. And Morgiana’s face once she realizes that she finally was able to use her vessel is so cute! I just want to pinch her cheeks. Not so much afterwards when she was crying blood and looking a lot like a zombie, but there was a really cute moment there, with her imagining how her friends would praise her and tell her she did a good job.

But after all the butt-saving she’s done, it seems like a fair trade that now she’s the one who needs to be saved. Since she doesn’t have the magoi reserves of Alibaba or Hakuryuu (and certainly not of Aladdin), her attack used up almost all of the magoi in her body, leaving her close to death. It’s hard to see her looking so weak (and scary; tears of blood man, they get me every time) but she still wants to keep fighting. While I appreciate that she acts so strongly this episode, and even wants to keep going even when it’s clear that she can’t, I’m glad that they did show her as being unable to do one thing. There’s no fun in a heroine (or hero) who is too strong and can’t be beaten. I mean, even Hercules had his weak side.

While all this is happening, back in Sindria Judal comes a-calling. Ja’far is the first to attack him, and for a brief moment I think the assassin that Ja’far used to be surfaces. He’s face changes into “stone cold killer” mode, and he looks downright frightening, even though Judal’s certainly not someone to be taken lightly. He’s rotten through-and-through, even going so far as to use his sad childhood to trick Sinbad into feeling sorry for him. He really does only care about war, and his absolute disregard for other people’s feelings is…almost nice? He’s a villain  and even though he has this “tragic” past, he’s not using it as an excuse for his behavior or personality. He knows he’s bad and he doesn’t really give a shit? I don’t know, I feel like sometimes it’s nice to have a bad guy own the fact that he’s a bad guy. Like too often do they try to do this “oh, but look at all this bad stuff that happened, you should feel sorry for him, it’s not his fault” kind of thing. Sometimes that done well and makes the character better (like with Cassim, but even there it was used more to make the viewer understand his motives, but not to excuse his actions), other times…not so much. And it’s those times where I wish they’d just let someone bad be bad. I don’t need all my evil doers to be shades of gray, it’s fine if some of them are just straight black and white. Anyway, enough about that.

Judal does share some important information about Al-Thamen and their motives. It seems that at any given time there have only ever been three Magi in the world at a time. But now that Aladdin is in the world, it marks the first time that there’s a fourth Magi running around. This makes Judal a little upset, since Aladdin is “special” and even has powers that Judal’s never seen before. Al-Thamen, of course, are after this mysterious power, and have even sent their operatives into the dungeon in order for them to capture Aladdin and the others. While Al-Thamen are after Aladdin’s power for the sake of becoming more powerful, I find it far more interesting that Sinbad might also have some kind of reason for wanting to hold on to Aladdin and Alibaba. It certainly adds a new dimension to the story if Sinbad does turn out to have some kind of hidden agenda. I have a feeling though that Sinbad’s agenda (if he has one) will be the whole “get Aladdin and Alibaba to help fight against the Organization”, which he’s already talked to them about. That is something that Al-Thamen would be nervous about and would want to put a stop to ASAP.

Back in the dungeon, our little group passes through the door into the treasure room, and they’re almost immediately attacked by the members of Al-Thamen that we saw a couple of episodes ago (the dour-looking man and the princess-y looking lady) as well as another masked man. It’s just as Judal mentions earlier in the episode: they’ve come to capture not the dungeon, but Aladdin and Alibaba (Hakuryuu and Morgiana as well, but I get the feeling Al-Thamen is interested in Aladdin above all else). The episode ends with cliffhanger all around. Judal declares that because of his meddling,  Sinbad will have to take what Al-Thamen is dishing out, and the special this week just happens to be W-A-R. The Organization is done sneaking around in the shadows, this time they’re going for a full-frontal assault  and Judal seems more than overjoyed at this development. In the Dungeon, Alibaba, Morgiana, Aladdin, and Hakuryuu look like they’ll have their hands full trying to not only defeat the members of Al-Thamen that are out to get them, but also trying to get their hands on the real Zagan. Next weeks episode look like it’s going to be an intense one!

Final Thought: I don’t know if this face makes me laugh or want to cry while curled in the fetal position because it’s so creepy.

Hiiiiiiii Kiiiiids

Hiiiiiiii Kiiiiids

Tenderfoot

Just another anime nerd with above average taste.

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