MAGI MANGA REVIEW: THE ALMA TORAN ARC SO FAR.

Topic started by katmic on April 23, 2014. Last post by takashichea 7 months ago.
Post by katmic (453 posts) See mini bio Level 10

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.

Post by takashichea (13,862 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Moderator

@katmic:

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?

Sometimes, I think you put too much expectations or criticize someone when you compared them to different authors. You make the impression to your readers that you have a grudge against Hiro Mashima. I tried to counter folks who attack you in your reviews. I have to step down a bit.

This is a wake up call. Your readers will notice you criticize Hiro Mashima more than other authors whose works you have reviewed. Take a good look at your reviews. It will help you. I'm not attacking you. Just giving a suggestion. I know DHK said a good flaw when comparing other manga series in our Seven Deadly Sins Roundtable.

Post by katmic (453 posts) See mini bio Level 10

@takashichea: I do criticize Hiro more than most other authors. And that is because he is the one author that irritates me the most these days. I am definitely going to check out rave master to contrast with Fairy tail, which i simply find odd these days. Of all the manga i read, fairy tail disappoints me the most. And that is the issue, my disappointment; in other words i don't hate fairy tail like so many people tend to do. It just keeps disappointing me. It has the sort of potential i believe Hiro keeps wasting. Now this is Hiro's story so of course he's free to do what he wants to do with it.

But i wish he wouldn't play with reader expectations the way he does. I get it, Fairy Tail isn't a dark series. Except it gets really dark in many places, unexpectedly so, and it leaves you expecting one thing, only for fairy tail to throw afros at you. The kind of stuff that is happening in these most recent arcs has been happening since fairy tail began. Only back then fairy tail was a clearly lighthearted series. i would have laughed at things like happy surviving an explosion with only an afro for his troubles, because they fit in the fairy tail mold.

What is happening now doesn't fit. I can't laugh at the funny parts because they are too inconsistent with the the tone of fairy tail. People say the series is light so we shouldn't take the dark parts seriously. I say it is the opposite, Hiro has made fairy tail so dark that the light elements simply don't make any sense. And for that Hiro must be criticized.

I was going to write a blog post about fairy tail's many flaws, but then i realized that the series has only one problem. Hiro is making it too dark. If he didn't tease the us so much about the series going in a darker direction, it would still be the comedic series i used to laugh at a while back.

Post by takashichea (13,862 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Moderator

@katmic:

Sorry for dragging this off-topic. I guess we should talk about Shinobu Ohtaka. My only main gripe is that she creates a lot of characters without going into depth with them. For Hiro Mashima, his story isn't consistent. For an example of a series that does comedic and serious moments right was Oda's One Piece especially Punk Hazard, Marineford, and Mermaid Island.

Definitely, check Rave Master.

I was going to write a blog post about fairy tail's many flaws,

I had expected that from you. You're the type of person who analyzes his shows with passion. Someone had done that: Why I hate Fairy Tail. Like popular HST, most fans are in a love/hate relationship, but they still continue to follow it.

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