Aladdin News

Aladdin is a anime/manga character in the Magi franchise
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I was anticipating this chapter and am not even sure why; it’s the typical rule of most manga that the end of a massive conflict is immediately followed by some downtime, though the purpose of this chapter revolved around that final revelation, which wasn’t much of a revelation truth be told.

THE CHAPTER:

The various species are glad for their free and begin to emerge from the shells. The magicians however express doubt over their victory and ask whether freedom and equality achieved were a worthy cause for the sacrifices they suffered.

MY THOUGHTS:

Magi is at its best when its asking all these difficult questions and giving few answers. There was hope in chapter 231, watching as the various species finally emerged from hiding and enjoyed the sun, free from the oppression of the orthodox magicians.

However there was also despair from the magicians that had fought for decades and centuries to bring equality to the other species, only to achieve their goal and lose their families as a consequence.

The first half of this chapter was dark; there was less doubt in Solomon’s leadership than I expected and more raw anger, with most of the magicians coming to accept the fact that Solomon wasn’t to blame.

He bounced back rather quickly, Solomon, putting his mind to the task of figuring out what David intended in massacring his friends and family and then gifting him with the stave.

Following previous revelations about David’s intentions to capture god, it was of little surprise what the crew discovered at the end. Yet one has to wonder what David had in mind.

I cannot even begin to ascertain where this story is going. We know David has foreknowledge of the future. Which means all his actions where intended for a very specific purpose and not merely meaningless violence.

And now we have Illah, stuck in another dimension, leaking magoi; this has to link back to the great Alma Toran disaster and what Al tharmen has in mind for the present world.

+Predictions- We can presume that the Father is Illah corrupted into a black rukh form, and is probably responsible for Alma Toran’s destruction. Solomon’s friend's are still on track to becoming Al Tharmen.

With this chapter I am now even more certain that Sheba will become Gyoukuen. She is clearly mesmerized by Illah whereas Solomon is curious. He’s probably going to find something that deems Illah in his current state too dangerous to be set free.

David will probably prove to be righteous, with his previous actions intended for the greater good, and in her attempts to set Illah free at all costs, even with the potential destruction of reality, Sheba will turn against Solomon.

And she did call Illah father after all, the same thing Al Tharmen called that black thing that fell out of the sky.

+RATING: 7/10, This Magi flashback is gearing up for quite the epic finale.

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This was brutal, and surprisingly so, even considering the lengths to which Shinobu Ohtaka has gone in past arcs; I have found some difficult to enjoying these flashbacks, mostly because the stakes haven’t felt real enough to me for quite a while, not like they would usually feel with our usual cast of characters.

Yet that didn’t negate the impact of this chapter, which, I suppose, is going to have epic consequences with regards to the war against David.

THE CHAPTER:

Solomon and Ugo attempt to escape their self made trap even as David launches an assault against their home.

MY THOUGHTS:

Chapter 229 was all over the place, starting off quite dull, entering some really muddy waters and then coming out ahead in one of the manga’s most brutal and gut wrenching scenes. There was a point in the chapter were events seemed like they were starting to turn down a clichéd path.

Ugo’s ability to lift the barrier puzzled me; because even his genius doesn’t explain his ability to overcome a trap that took centuries to create; the gibberish in between didn’t help matters. I don’t think we needed a step by step description of exactly how Ugo went about breaking the barrier.

Even as a means of proving his genius, it was unnecessary, and I didn’t buy. That being said it made for interesting progress, watching Solomon basically prop Ugo up as the greatest wizard the planet had seen, not because of any ostensible magical ability, but due to the wonders he had proven capable of achieving through the power of his brain.

One might look at this as an interesting shift in the development of these characters; we have spent so much time watching Ugo fawn over the might of Solomon, it is interesting to understand how highly Solomon views Ugo. It explains their friendship and a lot about what we know of Aladdin’s Ugo and his relationship with the young magi.

There was that moment as Solomon and crew were racing back home that I thought of the scenes we were about to witness, specifically the final clash between father and son that would see the city saved and justice delivered, before the city finally came into view. I expected devastation of some sort, but not an utter obliteration of the city.

This more than changes everything. For one thing these events give credence to revelations made in chapter 222.5, about David’s ability to foresee the future; that he foresaw his son’s rebellion, the force that he would raise to stop him and created a means to utterly crush him places David a few pegs above the all knowing Aizen.

This is a villain like we haven’t seen in Magi. Seriously though, this wasn’t just any little old massacre. David obliterated everything, the home and the communities that Solomon and crew had spent the past decade creating, a life and families that now lie in ruins.

What this is going to do to Solomon’s will, one can only imagine. We can already presume that this is going to lead into the fated Alma Toran tragedy, of which this is a portion. After all most of his followers are likely to lose faith in him, no longer viewing him as that divine creature beyond reproach and in whom they will choose to trust.

Seriously, this changes everything. After that last scene, with Tess’ last words, it suddenly makes all the sense in the world, how some of these powerful and initially righteous people could fall into depravity. Those that were making presumptions about Sheba’s role in Al Tharmen might have to reconsider their position

Because if there is one thing we know about Gyokuen, it’s that she’s crazy. And if there is one recently prominent trait we have come to learn about Arba, it’s the violent nature she might be harboring beneath her calm exterior.

One can imagine the events of this chapter pushing her over the edge. Magi has taken quite the turn in chapter 229, and one has to wonder how this tragedy will translate into the golden days of Solomon we saw in Aladdin’s visions near the end.

RATING: 7/10, despite a few hiccups at the start, this chapter really shined at the end.

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Not what I expected. I am not sure what to think or even feel about this chapter, because one portion made very little sense to me, while another, mostly the end, changed the atmosphere of the arc into something darker and even more exciting.

THE CHAPTER:

Solomon and Crew bring the might of their strength against David and the Orthodox Magicians. As victory finally comes into view, the true nature of David’s plan finally takes shape.

MY THOUGHTS:

This was not terrible; and I say not terrible because Magi hasn’t been the most exciting series to read for some time now. And this chapter maintained the problems I have encountered with the manga in the last few weeks, yet while managing to inject some excitement into this war.

I finally understand why the extreme length of this flashback is proving to be so unexciting. It’s a flashback; essentially this is the past, and as such I simply cannot bring myself to get excited over these events. Certainly I would love to know the eventual fate of Alma Toran, Solomon and his people, yet the outcome of the war doesn’t interest me because, again, this is the past, it happened already, and isn’t likely to have an impact on the present beyond what we already know.

So really, chapter 228 did the best it could do, in actually proving exciting with regards to the conflict of wits and power between father and son, turning an easy victory into what might prove to be quite the gut wrenching defeat.

So, yes, actually good chapter, if only in showing Arba and Solomon’s determination to bring the Orthodox magicians to an end, as well as David’s genius planning ; however the first portion of the chapter was, well, quite cheesy, unnecessarily verbose and quite dull in fact.

RATING: 5/10, more exciting than what we have seen in a while. Yet Magi is still very strangely paced.

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I cannot be the only one starting to lose some patience with Magi. I understand what the author is trying to do, but these are some seriously long flashbacks. We might as well forget about Aladdin and group for the next few weeks to months, with the step by step process in which this manga is approaching its Alma Toran Arc.

THE CHAPTERS:

With war raging among the various freed species across the lands, Solomon must make his sacrifices in finally taking the title of King, if only to bring about a momentary peace. The final battle against King David begins to take shape.

MY THOUGHTS:

Here is the thing with these flash backs; there is some merit to them. Rather than catching a very brief very uninformed glimpse of Solomon, Magi has spent the past few weeks allowing us the opportunity to get to know this particular character and his collection of crazy friends.

Not a bad thing, especially when you consider the level of world building that has been achieved in that time, the revelation of what the Rukh are, the secrets behind the various Djinn transformations and even the formation of the world as it is known.

The problems comes with the execution. On the one hand, as I have said several times before, this story is taking its merry time in reaching a satisfactory conclusion. But even if I was to step back from that criticism, accept that we might be in this arc for a while and learn to appreciate all that we are learning, the Manga is doing an odd job of telling its story.

While certainly slow in comparison to ordinary flash backs, the Alma Toran Arc is also quite erratic, jumping from weeks to months and even years sometimes within a single chapter. Not the most impressive means of telling Solomon’s story, what with the way the panels will move from one random scene to another…Magi might be better off if this entire story was simply narrated within the space of a chapter or two.

I wish it would determine a pace and stick to it, because watching Solomon go from hero to King to the very gates of David’s palace within the space of a few panels just didn’t work for me. It’s possible the author is trying to say too much too quickly, seemingly being hurried either by her own intentions or some meddling editor.

Magi has potential, and still ranks as a pretty impressive manga; the message of chapters such as 226 and 227 are deep and philosophical and intriguing to contemplate, of the nature of freedom and what it takes to achieve true peace; however it would help the author took a different route to telling her story, away from the current, erratic and rather random nature of her approach.

RATING: 3/10, it is disturbing that I would fail to enjoy Magi to such an extent. But this arc needs to either end quickly or step up its game.

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I had every intention of waiting for this particular flashback to end before taking steps to review its intricacies, mostly because a number of the earlier chapters were so uneventful.

However this is starting to feel less like a basic flashback and more like a mini arc of its own, which isn’t a bad thing, granting us the opportunity to understand and follow the progress of this character formally presumed to be the god of the Magi world.

And besides, the past few chapters have been quite action packed, going about laying open all the secrets of the Magi world, so many little details that we (or at least I) paid little heed to but which are suddenly proving to be quite important to the structure of the Magi universe.

THE CHAPTERS:

Young Solomon attempts to break away from the evils of his Father David, in his attempts to unite the world under the teachings of Illah, resisting the campaigns of the orthodox authorities with the assistance of a select few helpers, magicians in their own right, whose names later take on greater significance as the various DJinn of the current Magi world.

MY THOUGHTS:

I have to say that Shinobu Ohtaka’s art has faltered somewhat in some of these recent chapters, especially during battle scenes, where some panels came off as somewhat messy, making very little sense in others. And while I have come up against these faults before in Magi, they have never affected my enjoyment of the series as they did with this flash back.

A flash back that is actually so much more fleshed out than I thought it would be; if these past few chapters have achieved one thing, it has been to allow us a true glimpse into life as it was before the great catastrophe of Alma Toran, presenting the various Djinn as they were before acquiring their current status.

Does this really change events on the ground though? I would say, yes. After all we see what humanity was like before acquiring magic, that they were little more than insects to be hunted by the monsters that roamed Alma Toran, that they were granted power by Illah because they more than anyone else knew what it felt like to be weak and would know best how to temper their greed; that these same humans went about doing to other species what was done to them.

Looking back on those events, the current stand off fares no different; you have two rulers in Kouen and Sinbad, one seemingly righteous and another evil, but both wanting the best for their world and both doing whatever it takes to achieve peace, even bringing about great war.

Aladdin stands in the place of Solomon, a true seeker of peace, one that will see the races united on an equal playing field, with no interest in ruling, but only looking for the best in his comrades and enemies; well, maybe comparing Aladdin to Solomon is a bit of a stretch, because Aladdin is indeed much more innocent and pure than his comrades.

Yet only because he doesn’t have the power that Sinbad has; which Solomon also possessed, so greatly endowed with skill and magic that many around him where ready to worship him; just like Sinbad who dazzles everyone he meets. And while Solomon saw his own short comings and gathered people around him to keep him in check, Sinbad seems to have lost his way a long time ago.

So maybe Sinbad is truly Solomon’s incarnation; because we know things went wrong in Solomon’s utopia; he too must have fallen. And why wouldn’t Aladdin then reveal these events to the most powerful persons in the world, if he can see them slowly starting to repeat the mistakes of Alma Toran.

+The primary goal of this flashback seems to be to flesh out the grand characters of the current magi world, and it is doing a hell of a job, laying out the secrets of the world’s creation, the various beasts that inhabited the planet before humans, the source of the DJinn equip theory, the mechanisms behind Magoi and rukh control, even providing a glimpse at the early life of what must only be Gyokuen.

I mean, we all agree that Sheba is Gyokuen, right? Who else could she be? And why place so much focus around her if she is not growing up to be the great evil of the Alma Toran world? We saw just how nasty she was as a child. That genocidal hate doesn’t go away after just a few years and even Solomon commented on seeing that rage hiding about behind her eyes.

Will she be the one to bring Solomon to his knees? Or does his downfall connect somewhat to the works of his father, David, in bringing about the death of their god, who we can guess will become the source of black rukh and that ‘father’ thing we witnessed in the previous arc.

So many questions littered among so many answers being provided in these chapters. Following the conclusion of Aladdin’s little show and tell, I cannot wait to witness the reaction among his guests, Kouen and Sinbad most of all.

IS this really the beginning of war? Will Alibaba really betray Sinbad? Because for all his deviousness, we know Sinbad stands as the more righteous of the two. Is Yunan a descendant of the mother dragons? And how about the Fanalis and their connection to the red lions, one of the two earliest inhabitants of Alma Toran?

Note: Has anyone read chapter 222.5 of Magi? Because I think Hiro Mashima needs to have a read of what is essentially a five page chapter special, which somehow manages to drastically progress the Magi story .

Hiro, this is how you do a manga special, one that takes an already complex story and further entangles it, allowing David’s time line to intertwine with the current world, giving us a glimpse at the master plan of his intentions, an inkling of the insight he possessed in foretelling the events of the current Magi world and taking steps to manipulate events to his own end.

Five pages; and all Hiro presents us in his 20 something page specials are stories about missing cats and the like. Really, Hiro?

RATING: 6/10, The Alma Toran Arc has been all but flawless, introducing a wealth of well developed and highly entertaining characters; and if not for the sometimes wonky art, these chapters would have had a higher rating.

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I almost didn’t bother reviewing this chapter Magi, if not for the second half that somewhat attempted to progress the story, beyond the comedic elements of Alibaba and crew.

THE PLOT:>

Alibaba and Morgiana clear up their misunderstanding, with Alibaba coming across as a considerable embarrassment. Aladdin is visited by Yunan, Aladdin revealing that he had taught Morgiana how to use her household vessels as well as teaching her the Toran language. It is revealed that Sinbad is eavesdropping on their conversation.

Their conversation quickly turns sour, Aladdin realizing that the pair isn’t on the best of terms.

MY REVIEW:>

Finally it seems like Magi is taking strides to progress the plot; the first half of this chapter continued with the motif of the last two chapters, focusing on Alibaba’s little adventure, which proves somewhat humorous, with Mori admitting her lacking knowledge in the area of relationships. It seems the purpose of the scene though was to cement the loyalty Alibaba’s household held for him, the trio commending Alibaba for his honesty.

Clearly the entire scene was crafted with comedy in mind, yet it wasn’t completely wasteful, bringing Alibaba forth as a man that wears his heart on his sleeve, earning the respect of his household in the process.

The core of the chapter though lay in the second half, with Yunan’s emergence allowing us to finally see the hostility between the magi and Sinbad manifest. We had mostly speculated from their initial meeting during father’s defeat that Sinbad and Yunan had an unpleasant past. Sinbad was clearly not comfortable with the time Mori had spend with Yunan.

Yet even then they managed to remain fairly civil with each other. This chapter seems to highlight that hostility in a harsher light. We have known for a while that Sinbad had his unpleasant side, specifically the fact that he was partially depraved, his fairly underhanded tactics, be it using Alibaba, trying to acquire Aladdin’s wisdom, using the Koe empire princess’ feelings for him to manipulate her and so on; and i assumed that it was because of how far Sinbad was willing to go to safe guard Sindria that placed him on Yunan’s bad side.

Yet it seems like Yunan isn’t the hero he initially seemed; after all we know that whatever his actions say about him, Sinbad is, at his core, a hero, only doing what he thinks is best for his people; by outright calling him a villain, Sinbad might be trying to tell us that Yunan exceeds the ‘doing bad for a good reason’ mark.

We know from earlier Magi chapters, as well as the Adventures of Sinbad manga, that Yunan is responsible for creating the dungeons. Sinbd is the ultimate dungeon conqueror, leaving the like of even the mighty Kouen in the dust. Clearly any history that might exist between them is linked to the dungeons and what Yunan’s true purpose is in unleashing their power. For all we know Sinbad blames him for all the hell that has been unleashed by the vessels released from these dungeons.

Whatever the case i am quite excited to explore this relationship further. More importantly Alibaba is finally at Balbad, which means we can finally get into this new arc. I want to see Kouen and Sinbad talk.

+RATING:> 3/5, decent chapter, forebodes exciting things to come.

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Strange, 203 was another fairly comedic chapter, but one that i somehow managed to enjoy. Rather than immediately skipping to Balbad it seems the author has chosen to chronicle Alibaba’s story at a much slower pace, allowing use a glimpse at his steady progress, mentally and physically, with relation to the events around him.

If there is any purpose this chapter served, it was to further the relationship between Morgiana and Alibaba, what with Alibaba initially displaying depression over Olba and Toto’s relationship-specifically the fact that Olba had acquired a girl friend before him- Olba getting him to come to the realization that Mori might have some feelings for him, Aibaba and Mori finally having a ridiculous heart to heart within which Morgiana thought she was getting Alibaba’s promise to stay with her forever, while Alibaba thought Morgiana had just confessed her feelings to him, and that the two where now an item.

I think Alibaba is shaping up to be my favorite character, because this isn’t the sort of chapter i would enjoy, one that more or less does little to progress the story. Yet it was difficult to read it without smiling, especially at many of Alibaba’s absolutely hilarious reactions and facial expressions. There was that one scene that seemed to say quite a lot about Morgiana, that despite all they had been through she still felt insecure in her position, uncertain that, once they became the truly important people they were meant to be, Aladdin and Alibaba would have place for her by their side.

It was a funny and heart warming chapter. I hope the next chapter finally leaps into the action and gets this arc going, but i still enjoyed this chapter, slow paced, allowing for a more realistic take on the events of Magi; after all no one’s life can actually jump from one explosive event to another.

RATING: 4/5

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Finally Magi makes a return after its two week hiatus, and truth be told i feel a little underwhelmed by its first two chapters. Not that they were bad; but i am just that impatient to get to the summit between Sinbad and Koeun.

But i suppose things are going to be slow going for a while now; i mean we haven’t event gotten back to Balbad yet, and once there who knows what mischief Kouen is going to get up to. It might be up to ten chapters before we get into the thick of the arc.

THE PLOT:>

As the summit draws near Kouen sends a delegation to Sindira, requesting Alibaba and Aladdin to escort him and his house to the meeting point, the rules set and which bar the use of metal vessels within the vicinity of the meeting point restricting the entire party to the sea. Sinbad smells a trap, Kouen possibly attempting to wring the secrets out of Aladdin before the summit. Alibaba volunteers to make the trip, Toto, Olba and Mori volunteering to accompany him.

Along the way Alibaba is dogged by fears and doubts over returning to Balbad. The crew is confronted by pirates armed with weapons from Magnostadht; after expressing loyalty to Alibaba, Toto and Olba are accepted into into his household by Amon, defeating the pirates with their new found powers. Aladdin gets a new wand.

MY REVIEW:>

Two decent chapters, each furthering the story in its own way. Chapter 201 set the pace for the approaching summit, with kouen showing his devious side. We can expect considerable chaos at the summit; because even if Sinbad believed that Kouen craved knowledge too much to try anything with Aladdin even if he had gone to Balbad with Alibaba, he doesn’t believe the empire will approach the summit without its metal vessels as promised.

And with Kouen set to sabotage things with his arrogance, and Sinbad putting counter measures in place, we can expect the confrontation we have been waiting for between Sinbad and Kouen. The question is what does Aladdin have to tell these two that we don’t already know? Sure we know what happened with regards to Alma Toran, but i have a feeling Aladdin is going to reveal more on that day than has been told to us.

The question is how Hakuryuu and his corrupted Magi will fit into the arc; technically hakuryuu isn’t evil, after all he wants to destroy the Ko empire, which would serve the world’s interests. The problem will probably arise with how he chooses to go about it.

It was interesting watching Alibaba doubt himself, regarding how he might have abandoned Balbad; but more so his fears about reaching home and finding that Balbad has prospered without his assistance. It was an honest desire he expressed, the need to play a part in his home’s prosperity and future and how haunted he was by the idea that the opportunity had slipped by as he journeyed with Aladdin.

Now Alibaba has his own household, or at least the first three members of what should be an interesting crew. I look forward to watching this young prince develop and grow, mentally and physically as Aladdin’s chosen king.

RATING: 3/5, decent amount of story, though i am anxiously anticipating the coming summit.

Highlights: Olba and Toto.

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