Magi News

Magi is a franchise comprised of 3 anime series, 5 manga series
From Anime Vice
News Neon Alley: What's Coming this Fall? -- THE VICE PIT Oct. 18, 2013
News MAGI #21 - - Watch & Learn June 4, 2013
News MAGI #20 - - Watch & Learn May 27, 2013
News MAGI #19 - - Watch & Learn May 21, 2013
News MAGI #16 - - Watch & Learn May 10, 2013
News MAGI #15 - - Watch & Learn May 6, 2013
News MAGI #10 - - Watch & Learn April 10, 2013
News MAGI #7 - - Watch & Learn April 1, 2013
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I am starting to understand Magi art a little better. The best manga strive to paint a comprehensive picture that places a character within a specific environment and even goes so far as to show you the impact experienced by this character within his environment in reaction to some external force.

Most manga though choose to prioritize the character over his environment, with titles like bleach pouring great detail into each individual while showing little to nothing of the surroundings. 

Magi is somewhere between; the mangaka will represent the surroundings and the characters in the same panel and image, but without these two elements actually being connected. 

An example would be chapter 256, where we are shown Judar unleash twisters of wind and what I think was fire from above, as well a close up of their destructive impact on the trees, the ground etc.

In the same panel we see Aladdin, juxtaposed against the trees as they are being ripped from the ground; except he’s flying, with Judar just above him.

A cursory glance at that image can create  confusion, especially when all you can see is Judar and Aladdin standing in the midst of explosions and squiggly lines. You have to look close enough to put things together, that everything happening behind Aladdin and Judar is just a background image, showing what’s happening on the ground while Aladdin and Judar continue to fight in the air.

What I am trying to say is that I might have annouced Magi’s art as being bad, but maybe I simply misjudged it.

+THE CHAPTERS:
The battle between Hakuryuu and Judar, and Aladdin and Alibaba heats up.

+MY THOUGHTS

No. Excuses aside, Magi art is indeed very messy, so much more than I can sometimes stomach. It’s almost like Shinobu is trying to cram waaaay too much into each panel.

But maybe that is a compliment; because Magi isn’t drawn like any manga I have come across. Most mangaka try to keep the virtual camera on present events when drawing. If Aladdin and Judar are fighting in the skies, then that is all you are going to see. Not until they drop to the ground can we expect to see the impact of the supernatural elements on the environment.

Where it proves necessary to first display the full extent of an unleashed ability, mangaka tend to assign entire panels to such matters. That’s why you tend to find entire panels in Manhwa dedicated to showing the earth as it’s being ripped apart.

Shinobu isn’t helped by the fact that she seems to take short cuts in presenting some of these fights, making it difficult to follow the events fluidly from panel to panel.

That isn’t necessary a bad thing, though; because so much more happened in just one chapter of this fight than what we normally see in the typical Bleach battle, with Kubo more interested in showing the step by step elements of each fight whereas Shinobu keeps things frenetic.

+The Good
These are some of the best fights we have seen in the series in a while; and I had to read these three chapters a third time to fully comprehend what they had to offer.

If I am being honest, it is the fact that Aladdin and Alibaba are managing to hold their own against their clearly superior foe that these chapters are proving to be so entertaining.

And they are not simply holding their own; Shinobu has managed to give Aladdin and Alibaba an edge that is not only impressive but believable. 

A few weeks back I stated, more than once, that Team Alibaba didn’t stand the slightest chance of defeating Team Hakuryuu. Yet, watching Alibaba rise to the challenge has allowed his character to grow exponentially. 

His tenacity doesn’t eliminate the many irritating flaws of his character; as a King and primary protagonist, Alibaba is sorely lacking. However there is something endearing about watching him stand up to Hakuryuu and showing a determination to back his idealistic words with strength of will.

This is Alibaba as we have rarely seen him, especially in light of that chaotic exchange of blows and his final declaration to bring Hakuryuu to his knees. 

Could he actually win this bout? Well, Hakuryuu’s Belial transformation was impressive as hell. He continues to prove why he’s such a badass villain. And Alibaba has yet to corner him.

So, No. Alibaba isn’t winning this. But he will lose with a certain sense of pride, knowing he didn’t simply lie down and allow his former friend to walk all over him.

Aladdin has the makings of a truly powerful Magi, and for a long time the series seemed to forget him. Even with his showing at Magnostadt, his worth seems to have disappeared in light of juggernauts like Kouen and Sinbad.

These chapters finally allowed him to come into his own, portending his future as the biggest threat Il-Illah will ever face.

The talking took a back seat in all three chapters, which was a good decision on the Mangaka’s part, because these four characters more or less expressed themselves fully in the previous two chapters.

Any more talking (or begging on Alibaba’s part) would have felt redundant.

+The Bad
I have no problem reading a chapter a second or third time in order to understand some concept that I am yet to grasp. However rereading a chapter just because I didn’t quite understand what was portrayed on the page can get annoying. 

Magi’s art was waaay too messy. Chapter 257 was mostly consistent, but Chapter 255 and parts of 256 required some squinting and focusing to make sense of who had done what exactly.

Aladdin’s flash back was also terrible. IN fact the entire 255 was terribly paced. Shinobu rushed those moments of Aladdin trying to master Solomon’s Wisdom.

In fact it felt like she unnecessary shoehorned them into the chapter. 255 was just a mess top to bottom, barring a few decent Aladdin/Judar panels. 

This as opposed to the Hakuryuu/Alibaba panels, which were great, especially the sword/scythe stuff. That is where Shinobu’s habit of trying to fit several panels’ worth of work into a single panel paid off. The fast pace of the fights really resonated, as well as the desperation behind every one of Alibaba’s blows.

RATING: 7/10. Magi is getting its form back. Not that it was bad before. More like lackluster. It is considerably boosted by the unpredictability of this fight, from Aladdin’s display of space warping magic to Hakuryuu’s Belial Djinn equip and Alibaba’s roaring determination.

HIGHLIGHTS: Hakuryuu and Alibaba’s sword/scythe exchange. Aladdin’s potential omniscience.
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Urgh, these Magi chapters were on their way to greatness; but that art, especially the fighting bits, things got a little too messy for my liking.

Never the less, Shinobu Ohtaka couldn’t have handled Alibaba and Hakuryuu’s confrontation any better.

+THE CHAPTERS:
Alibaba reaches out to his old friend, Hakuryuu, in an attempt to craft a peaceful accord; negotiations breakdown relatively quickly.
+MY THOUGHTS

I had no intention of touching Magi until the manga had accrued at least five chapters (I failed to consider the long break Magi took); I wasn’t particularly keen on reading the events surrounding Alibaba and Hakuryuu’s meeting.

I specifically expected Shinobu to drag this particular situation out as she had done before, with some of her characters often spending several panels speaking cyclically and basically saying the same thing over and over again.

Which isn’t what happened. You can accuse Magi of many things. But you can never accuse it of being slow paced.

+The Good.
The transitions in chapter 252 were perfectly done, specifically Alibaba and Hakuryuu’s initial meeting, Alibaba’s attempts at rekindling old bonds, the re-ignition of camaraderie that seemed to occur, only for dark Hakuryuu to emerge once more.

I don’t think any of us actually expected Hakuryuu to change sides; there is nothing Alibaba had to offer which Hakuryuu hadn’t already considered and outright rejected.

Indeed, Hakuryuu himself stated that, had they met a few weeks prior, he would have been more than willing to take Alibaba’s hand; except Alibaba wasn’t there when Hakuryuu needed him most.

And while he listened to Aladdin’s story of Alma Toran, Hakuryuu allowed Judar to sway him to the dark side; and if there was one element that primarily shined through Hakuryuu’s words, it was the fact that there could be no going back, not with Hakuryuu’s current resolve.

Shinobu cannot be commended enough for simply getting to the point of her story and throwing Hakuryuu and Alibaba against one another. 

I don’t think the outcome is particularly unpredictable though; Aladdin stands a decent chance against Judar, considering what we all know he is capable of (this not taking into account his connection to Solomon’s Wisdom).

Alibaba, on the other hand, isn’t coming out of this fight in one piece; we haven’t seen anything to suggest that Alibaba has anything close to the power Hakuryuu has displayed thus far.

+The Bad.
Alibaba has never been the most impressive of heroes in Magi, and these two chapters did nothing to improve his image; there are idealistic characters in shonen manga that often strive to change the world into an image they believe meets the criteria of justice and righteousness.

And am not sure if that is the personality Shinobu was trying to craft in him, but Alibaba came off as irritatingly uncertain and indecisive.

Which only made it that much more difficult to support his position; at the present, Alibaba is simply too weak willed as a hero, and no matter what Aladdin might say, it is difficult to buy the idea that he might be the Magi universe’ only hope.

RATING: 6/10. These two Magi chapters were thrilling primarily because it was impossible to predict the turn events were likely to take with each new page. However the art didn’t help things and some of the battle oriented panels were simply too messy to make any sense.
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A very ‘meh’ chapter of Magi , I think; I am no mangaka but I imagine there are so many more ways Shinobu Ohtaka could have portrayed the events of chapter 251 than what she ultimately chose to do.

THE CHAPTER:
Kouen and his siblings react to Hakuryuu’s rebellion. Aladdin and Alibaba ride out to meet an old friend.

MY THOUGHTS:

What was wrong with this chapter? Well, nothing too egregious, yet one might argue that it simply didn’t get enough done.

And if there is one thing you have to say about Magi , it’s the fact that most chapters are often packed full of so much content that the events of the manga can sometimes feel rushed.

After a few weeks delving into the minds of Hakuryuu and Judar, it was inevitable that returning to the less interesting duo of Aladdin and Alibaba would prove a little difficult.

None the less I don’t know if we needed so many pages of the pair basically travelling to Rakushou and talking about what they would eventually have to do.

Actually, that is another thing; a lot of talking was done and yet I don’t know if anything was really said. Who didn’t already know that Aladdin and Alibaba would do everything in their power to stop and save Hakuryuu from himself?

Aladdin said as much back at the summit. And who actually expected Kouen to step aside as his brother ascended to the throne?

  Magi has always had a tendency of glossing over certain events and occurrences with the aim of getting to the bigger picture. It should have done just that in chapter 251.

There was no real reason for using the meeting between Alibaba and Hakuryuu as the cliffhanger for the chapter; in fact we should have gotten to the meeting immediately.

Why? Well, it’s not like anyone is expecting anything particularly intriguing to come out of these four characters finally talking with one another. As with Aladdin and Alibaba, we already know what Hakuryuu thinks of his former friends.

He has either implied or told us directly exactly what he intends to do and the lines he is ready to cross over and over again over the last few chapters. If the purpose of these four characters meeting was to allow Aladdin and Alibaba to understand exactly where Hakuryuu’s head is right now, the mangaka really should have done that immediately. 

RATING: 4/10, not a bad chapter per say, but somewhat bland. I really want to get excited about Alibaba and Hakuryuu meeting, but really; we have heard the opinions held by both sides. Essentially, there can’t be anything new or unexpected out of the next chapter, which hopefully deals with Alibaba and Hakuryuu’s conversation quickly.
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The only thing wrong with this chapter is the fact that this dynamic duo of Hakuryuu and Judar is going to be defeated by Aladdin and Alibaba.

It is expected; they are, after all, the heroes of the series. Yet, It becomes difficult to stand behind Aladdin’s idealistic dreams and Alibaba’s indecisiveness, not when faced with the realistic and somewhat incisive approach that Hakuryuu and Judar bring to the table.

THE CHAPTER:
The battle against Gyokuen comes to a close. Kou has a new emperor. Hakuruyuu and Judar set their eyes upon the rest of the world.

MY THOUGHTS:

That was unequivocally brutal. Say one thing about Magi, say that it never really holds back on the gore and despair when it needs to cement a point.

This is it; the point when Hakuryuu and Judar finally became the central villains of the story.

Sure, there are a lot of negative things you could say about Kouen and his ilk; yes, few other characters in the series are quite as conniving and untrustworthy as Sinbad. Yet none of these characters have truly given themselves over to depravity, not when compared to Hakuryuu.

One might say that the Magi story just turned onto a new path this week; Hakuryuu finally got his revenge, and in a most brutal fashion, especially when you read this chapter together with the last panels of chapter 249, where Hakuryuu tears the flesh out of his mother’s neck with his teeth, with Gyokuen then lumbering towards the salvation waiting beyond the boundary of the barrier, only to fall to Judar who hands her life to Hakuryuu.

That Hakuryuu could kill her without a second thought, unmoved by the sorts of silly tricks so many heroes tend to fall for in the very last moment, shows his resolve.

That he understands the depths of his intentions, the blood he will have to spill in his conquest means that he is unlikely to fall to the sweet words of Aladdin and Alibaba about right and wrong, the evil of his path and any salvation they might offer.

Simply put, Hakuryuu is the perfect hero turned villain; there are no forces pulling his strings without his consent, which means we are unlikely to run into another Obito situation.

He is fully aware of his own madness and accepts what he must do to accomplish goals that, to an extent, even he realizes are wrong; which means his clash with Aladdin will more or less come down to a last man standing type situation, where Hakuryuu and Judar must be put down lest they bring the world to its knees.

Magi has created a situation so perfect, with the rising conflict between Aladdin, Hakuryuu, Kouen, Sinbad and Al-Tharmen, especially with so many of the lines so blurred, that it would be difficult for Shinobu Ohtaka to ruin this arc.

She doesn’t even have to deliver deaths on any scale to create a satisfying conclusion to what might be Magi’s last, or at least one of its final sagas.

+RATING: 9/10, Judar never seizes to surprise, specifically how far his character has come, with each chapter continuing to compound upon just how reliant the Magi is on his friend’s madness.

Hakuryuu is the soul mate Judar searched for and failed to find in Sinbad, which probably has something to do with the fact that Sinbad is so much more mature than Hakuryuu and thus less likely to succumb to Judar’s darkness.

Gyokuen will be missed; she showed the sort of madness and resilience few villains have manifested in anime and manga.
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Excluding those very few moments in the manga’s run during which it has slowed down to a crawl, Magi is almost always consistent, at least with regards to the story.

What isn’t consistent is the art, however; this chapter falls into that category of chapters whose material somewhat lost its impact because of the wonky drawings.

THE CHAPTER:
Hakuryuu’s battle with his mother approaches a desperate end.

MY THOUGHTS:
One of Magi’s biggest draws over the last two or three weeks has been the manner in which Shinobu Ohtaka has portrayed the madness of the situation, specifically Grokuen’s descent into insanity.

I don’t know if she was attempting to achieve a similar feat this week but it didn’t translate well; some of the panels were so messy that I couldn’t make heads or tails of what was even happening.

The Good:

There is no such thing as a battle that is too long in shonen; it isn’t the length of a fight that makes it drag but the manner in which it plays out. 

  Magi has managed to maintain the dynamic nature of Hakuryuu’s fight with Gyokuen over four battle oriented chapters; which is no easy feat. Rather than changing the terrain and scaling up the fight in terms of destruction, Ohtaka has instead worked to keep the themes of each fight oriented chapter fresh.

Chapter 249 was a brutal dog fight, in which both sides threw their bodies against one another, deploying every skill and weapon in their arsenal, swords, teeth and all in what felt like a final dash towards the finish line.

It was the perfect use of 20 pages, within which Hakuryuu’s desperation came to life, coupled with Gyokuen’s ever increasing power and madness, the resolve of two aging generals who only sought to protect their kingdom after years of blind servitude, and the objectivity of Judar in determining that he could bring nothing positive to the fight and instead chose to retreat, lest he lose his life in vain.

Watching Hakuryuu take a bite out of Gyokuen’s neck would have been so much more impactful had Ohtaka strived to inject some sharpness into her art.

None the less the desperation of the situation  was palpable as both sides wrestled, special skills and magics forgotten, to force a victory through the difficult circumstances present.

The Bad:
There was a really scary moment during this chapter where Ohtaka almost ruined the momentum of her story; I am talking about those two pages were Hakuryuu goes on the offensive and seemingly begins to overwhelm Gyokuen with what seemed to be little more than resolve.

I am not a big fan of shonen manga that attempt to transform emotions into physical ability; that is how nakama power comes into being.

And while those events actually worked to further portray just how desperate team Hakuryuu was, the mangaka could have taken a more believable route in achieving this goal.

For 200+ chapters, Magi has done an amazing job of allowing its characters to depend solely upon their physical and magical abilities to attain victory. I don’t want that to change.

RATING: 7/10, the art somewhat ruined things in this chapter, which none the less continued to portray the Gyokuen/Hakuryuu battle in a dark, gritty and desperate light.
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Wednesdays and Thursdays used to be all about Naruto, One Piece and Bleach; now that Naruto is gone, maybe Magi can fit into that blank spot, because this manga is simply on fire.

It was more than worth waiting another week to read these chapters back to back; why can’t more manga and manhwa series do stuff like this?

Shocking, entertaining, crazy. That is Magi.

THE CHAPTERS:
Hakuryuu and Judar’s confrontation with Arba turns chaotic as the witch brings her fury down against her son.

MY THOUGHTS:

These are the sorts of series I crave to read; where scrolling down to each new page fills me with deep anticipation regarding what is about to happen next.

These two chapters kept me at the edge of my seat, from panel to panel; and manga rarely does that, where the contents of each new panel are so enticing that simply sweeping your eyes from one side to the other becomes an adventure.

+Gyokuen.
Arba is a monster; that is all there is to it. And she’s as crazy as they come. I am always complaining about Ohtaka Shinobu’s art, but the amount of effort she clearly pours into Gyokuen’s creepy facial expressions is simply inspired. 

The power she displayed in this chapter cemented her as the one true villain of the Magi series, the apex of Al-Tharmen and eventual destroyer of the world, if events continue down their current course.

One needs to question how Hakuryuu and Judar defeated the demented woman. No, scratch that, do we even know that they defeated her?

Because at this point everything we have come to believe about the events that happened at the heart of the Kou empire came from Judar, who could be lying out of his teeth.

The idea that Gyokuen might have attained victory and could be controlling both Magi and King vessel is exciting and would elevate Magi to new heights of greatness.

Not that Magi isn’t epic enough as it is; shonen series today simply do not display the level of madness that Ohtaka managed to elicit from Gyokuen in two chapters. 

Great villains make great manga; and if Judar and Hakuryuu are great villains, then Gyokuen is something entirely superior. Next week cannot come fast enough.

I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. And I cannot get enough of Gyokuen; knowing her back story only sweetens the spirit of her current level of madness.

+Hakuryuu
Hakuryuu deserves his own series. The manner in which he continues to prove himself as a decisive ruler and determined seeker of justice for his father and brothers’ deaths places him in a class far apart from Alibaba.

Truth be told, I couldn’t care less about Alibaba.

Where Alibaba, the primary protagonist of the series, has basically spent the last 50 chapters changing loyalties and basing his strategies around who’s leadership he should fall under, Hakuryuu is taking charge, so much so that even those most loyal commanders and generals of Kouen are standing ready to serve him, moved to action by his determination and fervor.

Hakuryuu is everything a primary shonen protagonist should be, and what Alibaba clearly can never be. It is almost tragic, considering how far Alibaba has fallen.

+Judar
That the dark Magi is no longer the irritating little runt whose every action was driven by his need to satisfy his own dark desires is surprising; Judar keeps proving with each new chapter that he is clearly not the person he used to be.

He is a loyal servant and, dare I say friend, of Hakuryuu, willing to follow him to the very end and more than ready to support his goals with his life.

This is what has always set Fate/Zero apart in my eyes, its ability to elicit as much entertainment and intrigue from the villains as it did from its heroes, so much so that picking a side to support became a difficult endeavor.

As things stand today, I would be hard pressed to choose Aladdin and Alibaba over Judar and Hakuryuu, even considering the journey we have enjoyed with Aladdin and Alibaba over the last 200 chapters. 

Chapters 247 and 248 were largely battle oriented, and yet covered so much ground, providing a ton of character development even while showing off the true extent of Gyokuen’s magic.

RATING: 10/10, from Arba nearly tearing the palace apart with her magic to Hakuryuu introducing his fists to her face repeatedly in a most brutal manner, these chapters were among the best the series has produced all year.

That scene between Arba and Hakuryuu was…odd. I thought they were related.
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This chapter reminded me of the good old days of Bleach, before Aizen got tiresome, back when he was still the enigmatic villain the exact nature of whose goals and interests were shrouded in mystery.

All you needed to know about Aizen back then was that he wasn’t completely evil, merely focused upon achieving his goal. A better example might be Fate/Zero, where the exact nature of every conflict chose to ignore the good vs. evil cliché, instead presenting an amoral cast driven by there own personal interests.

My point, Magi is doing everything right in presenting the perfect villain for the series’ heroes.

THE CHAPTERS:
Judar and Hakuryuu embark upon the journey to kill Gyokuen.

MY THOUGHTS:

So we are most definitely in the past; this has to be a flashback of sorts, showing us the events that took place while Aladdin and group partook in their summit; I guess it makes sense, showing us exactly what happened and how Hakuryuu gained the power the defeat his mother rather than allowing speculation to thrive.

+The Good
I wrote a Blog Post a short while ago, giving my take on what it took to create a great villain; and I explained my disinterest in the complex villains of today, the excess of whiny child like antagonists with what had become cliché sad back stories, most of which where intended to attract sympathy to characters that were completely undeserving of pity.

Basically I lamented about the lack of true villains in the anime and manga, those bad guys that were truly bad, and who could truly pose a threat without the risk of them breaking down at the end of the arc; except that Magi, in these two chapters, showed that it is actually possible to create dark villains that are as sympathetic as they are threatening and engaging. 

Hakuryuu and Judar combine two facets of the common villain, coming off as both tragic and sympathetic even while operating in a dark persona driven only by evil.

Having fallen into depravity, Hakuryuu falls into the category of villains that are more or less evil for the sake of being evil.

Because, with a mind driven by dark rukh, Hakuryuu is now acting on instinct, and will commit evil with no remorse or thought, no different from the typical mindlessly evil villain.

Except this is a path that Hakuryuu chose to follow, having counted the cost, realized what he would lose by falling into depravity and choosing to take the plunge.

And that is what makes Hakuryuu and Judar better  than almost any other pair of villains in shonen; they are aware. They are not driven by an uncontrollable lust for blood or vengeance. There are no dark forces deceiving them into following their dark path, or at least there weren’t.

There is a cleverness in the manga’s choice of Djinn in this situation, with Belial allowing both young men an opportunity to fully scrutinize their souls, during which they saw the dark path before them, understood what it offered, admitted that the path of light indeed offered true hope and peace, and still chose to sink into the shadows of their dreams.

They will destroy the world not because they are misguided or unknowing; rather they understand the big picture, better than even Aladdin, and yet they choose to continue in their depravity. These are the sorts of villains I like, the type that are not likely to get talked off the ledge by the heroes when the final battle comes.

+The Bad.
This isn’t bad per say, merely a less flattering consideration, at least with regards to Alibaba; as the primary protagonist of the series, Alibaba is quickly becoming irrelevant and obsolete, far too quick and willing to follow anyone that will promise to save his friends and his home rather than taking any actual definitive action.

And considering the fact that Hakuryuu ranked far below Alibaba as far as interesting characters go in the past, he has come a long way in the time it has taken Alibaba to shift alliances haphazardly.

But maybe that is simply great story telling on the mangaka’s part, showing Alibaba’s failures before finally allowing him to rise.

+RATING: 8/10, both of these chapters were great and provided some insight into the minds of Hakuryuu and Judar, especially the hate they carry and unwillingness to forgive Al-tharmen for the role the group played in creating their miserable lives.

It makes you wonder whether Judar spent so much time pursuing Sinbad because he was simply lonely and wished to share his depravity with someone; because now that he has his king vessel, he no longer shows any interest in Sinbad.

I can’t figure out how Aladdin and his group are going to figure into the coming conflict; as a dark king vessel, Hakuryuu’s only interest is still destroying Al-Tharmen and all they stand for. Which means that the big villains of the story are about to fight. Not a very bad thing for the rest of the world.
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This chapter was one large flashback; and I actually expected to hate it. Because all chapter 242 did was basically tell us what we already knew and had known for several dozen to a hundred chapters.

However it would be accurate to say that all this served as a great reminder and somewhat placed things into perspective.

THE CHAPTER:
The Kou empire stands at the edge of war. As Alibaba makes for Balbad in an attempt to protect his home from the oncoming chaos, Hakuryu acquires the means to wage war on his brother and mother.

MY THOUGHTS:
Thinking about it, I have no idea what the hell I even read in this chapter; parts of chapter 242 were flashbacks. But there were parts I am not quite certain about, especially when taking into account what we learnt at the end of the summit about Hakuryuu’s actions thus far.

+The Good
So, Hakuryuu is making plans to kill Gyokuen? Because I thought she was already dead. And is Gyokuen even Hakuryuu’s mother. Because everything that we learnt in this chapter suggests that Gyokuen appeared on the scene rather mysteriously and long after Hakuryuu was born.

So, what the hell is going on here? I might be confusing my Magi facts.

On the one hand, Hakuryuu could have lied about killing Gyokuen in an effort to further his rebellion, and now he plans to turn that particular lie into truth. On the other hand, chapter 242 was largely about Hakuryuu telling us what happened, in which case that last panel could have been the moment, entire days to weeks ago, when Hakuryuu took Judar’s power and ended Gyokuen’s life.

I don’t exactly understand what I was reading. And maybe I am reading way too much into the chapter. Whatever the case, the information was somewhat educational.

Considering how long it has been since we first encountered Hakuryuu and his family, I think I can proceed with a clearer picture about the Kou empire, its origins and a fair portion of information about Hakuryuu’s siblings, most of whom I can barely remember, save for Kouen and his sister.

+The bad
If my memory wasn’t so vague about the Kou empire history, this chapter would have been more or less pointless, with several pages outlining what Hakuryuu told us a long time ago. As it was, very little story progression actually took place, save for that last bit with Judar.

Maybe we needed to get a clear picture about what was happening at the heart of the empire, but the chapter could have done that in two or three pages; more importantly, without clear knowledge of who is dead and who is alive, I don’t how much of this picture we actually got, outside of Hakuryuu’s reminiscing.
+What mattered?
I guess we now understand Hakuryuu a little better; hearing the news about his actions during the summit, it was easy to jump to conclusions that Hakuryuu had gone dark and whatnot.

The character we met in this chapter was subdued, less dark and more determined; which makes you wonder if there is really any point to the upcoming clash with Alibaba. Hakuryuu is bathed in dark rukh, but really he’s no more depraved than Sinbad, merely a king that will do what it takes to bring about his vision.

And it isn’t even a bad vision. The question now comes down to where Judar falls in the grand scheme of things and what his plans for the young king might be; if it simply comes down to Judar having chosen his king vessel, then Magi is going to climax towards a fight between all the kings.

And truth be told, I want Sinbad to come out on top. Whatever Aladdin has to say, he and Alibaba are idealists whose visions of the future are largely unattainable and unrealistic; rationally speaking, Sinbad stands the greatest chance of not only winning any battle that might arise, even against Hakuryuu and Judar, but as emperor he can actually bring about peace.

+Predictions: Whatever Judar says, Al-Tharmen is no one’s puppet; and clearly they are using Hakuryuu for a new agenda; whatever his original intentions, Hakuryuu will lose himself to the black rukh and I suspect Alibaba will be forced to put him down; or at least he will try until Aladdin stops him.

RATING: 6/10, I am a little divided on this one; at a glance it was engaging, but the more I think about it, the less substance I actually see
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One epic arc concludes, and another begins.

Welcome to Anime Vice - Level 2!

Vicers of the world -- GIVE ME YOUR POWER!!!

PARASYTE - THE MAXIM #24 -- Watch & Learn

Yep. The non-ending you should've expected.

AKIRA - What's the Difference?

Tom teamed up with CineFix to break this classic adaptation down.

Anime Vice Transforms

One epic arc concludes, and another begins.

PARASYTE - THE MAXIM #24 -- Watch & Learn

Yep. The non-ending you should've expected.

Welcome to Anime Vice - Level 2!

Vicers of the world -- GIVE ME YOUR POWER!!!

AKIRA - What's the Difference?

Tom teamed up with CineFix to break this classic adaptation down.

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