Questionable belly shirts aside, Judar proves to be one of the more striking anime villains I’ve run into a while. There’s an interesting sort of self-awareness to his villainy. He isn’t some hysterical heel whose hubris outweighs his horsesense, nor is he one of those cold, calculating heavies who’s utterly convinced of his own (misguided) righteousness. Rather, he’s sort-of like your worst older cousin. The guy knows his naughtiness is wrong, and revels in being a bully, but is also shrewd enough to tuck his badness away whenever it'll seem unpropitious.
I’m specifically thinking about how he acts like a properly-behaved vizier whilst in Alibaba’s brother’s court; but then opts to follow the heroes afterward because he can’t resist a proper bit of mischief. There’s also a bit of this conniving in the way he challenges Aladdin to a proper wizard’s duel. He’s almost like some grown-up challenging some kid to a pick-up game; all the while knowing that he’ll ramp it up into a horribly imbalanced match.
If that sounds like too petty a psychological profile for this arch-villain, then I’ll kindly point your attention back to the wickedly-brutal gag where Judar literally sucker punches our favorite lil’ blue haired moppet. Yeah, this guy's a real jerk.
There’s actually a lot going on in this episode, and I continue to appreciate how the crew is wasting no time in trying to say what they’ve set out to tell. Actually, I feel like the strong implication that Ugo’s being powered by some nefarious outside source is actually more effective for the way the show hurries past at it. It's almost like noticing some creep sneaking up on you from a few rows down in the box car, but being unable to do anything about it because the train's just barreling forward.
Which is to say - - I very much appreciate how I have no idea where this particular mystery may go.