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MAGI #12 - - Watch & Learn

Alibaba's mistakes are blowing up in his own face!

Leveraging an entire city’s populace as a royal wedding dowry? The plot thickens…

Actually, let’s be real. The plot’s been plenty thick since the second episode. At this point, I shouldn’t be marveling over how complex the plotting is in MAGI (despite its disarmingly kiddy style). That’s just restating the fact.

To get more specific then, I do appreciate the complexity of Alibaba’s relationship with Cassim. Over the course of maybe four episodes, we’ve seen it swing from fond friendship to bitter antagonism, with several degrees in between. This episode make a point of stressing that Alibaba has a wavering self-confidence, and you can see that play out in him continuing to seek Cassim’s approval despite the numerous glaring red flags that he ought to just stay away from the guy.

There’s some human honesty to that: especially in a genre where fans really get their pants in a twist whenever any of the heroes aren’t making totally rational decisions at all times. MAGI isn’t just unafraid of letting Alibaba make mistakes, it’s also brave enough to let those mistakes have the same sort of awkward indecisiveness that plenty of real human beings succumb to.

On the opposite end, Sinbad is proving to be quite charming in his developing role as the good guys’ manager more-or-less. The further away we get from the nap that introduced him, the more it looks like he’s a lay-about who eventually got his act together, instead of the incompetent accidental hero that he is in the folk tales. The scene where he coaches Alibaba to believe in himself more was one of the real stand-outs in this episode.

On the down side, though, I question the wisdom in revealing Judar as the secret weapon of the Kou Empireright after our heroes so easily pantsed him. It’s hard to keep a threat credible after you’ve already set it back a peg. (See CASSHERN: SINS for a more egregious example of that)

Watch this episode, “Decisions and Farewells" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

metalsnakezeroon April 19, 2013 at 2:59 p.m.

It pretty interesting to get some thickness from this child like style show.

BTW Tom, are you planning on watching some of the new spring animes? Because there is one show I bet you'll be in to and that is Attack on Titan. All I can say about it is that it is kinda grim.

No_name_here staff on April 19, 2013 at 3:26 p.m.

@metalsnakezero said:

It pretty interesting to get some thickness from this child like style show.

BTW Tom, are you planning on watching some of the new spring animes? Because there is one show I bet you'll be in to and that is Attack on Titan. All I can say about it is that it is kinda grim.

We've got a couple plans for coverage of spring anime. ATTACK ON TITAN is actually getting written up later today.

Sophismon April 19, 2013 at 3:32 p.m.

I'd have sent you a PM about this suggestion Tom, but your profile is completely broken so I guess I'll resort to "peddling" a show in the comments, although I'll talk about MAGI too so I don't derail this completely.

Aku no Hana, or Flowers of Evil is an incredibly divisive show that you might like. Think of it like a nihilistic Waking Life with a very simple premise that just gets more and more uncomfortable as it goes on. You can watch it on Crunchyroll, as the first two episodes are already out, with the next one coming in a couple of days.

I second the Attack on Titan suggestion as well, as it's turning out to be an excellent adaptation of the incredibly good manga so far.

- - -

This arc in MAGI was probably my favorite by far, as it really fleshed out a believable love-hate relationship between Alibaba and Kassim. Like you said, it's incredible how they managed to strike that balance of a flawed character fumbling through their growing pains, without just devolving into a stereotypical fuck-up making obvious mistakes as a way to advance the plot and nothing more.

My only complaint is that for as much development that Alibaba and Morgiana get, Alladin's growth is way more... "unknowable" and harder to relate to, as for all intents and purposes he's still a cliché amnesiac VIP with a heart of gold.

Marshal Victoryon April 19, 2013 at 6:16 p.m.

@No_name_here: Go into Attack on Titan as a b movie with a big budget an its better i think.

back on topic...

The plot is heavy an gets i think heavy long term to. Starting to cach up where i left off. Still a few to go. Rember they will be some rapid anime animation quality drops at times at some point. It dont distract from the story but its overall quality of the anime .

So the drop in quality or we get filler :/ an to the shows credit we get no filler!

takashichea moderator is online on April 20, 2013 at 10:55 a.m.

This episode was fun. I like how they put Alibaba in the light while Kassim is mostly in the dark. I find it symbolic.

@metalsnakezero: @Sophism:

In the meantime, you guys should check out Anime Vice's Attack on Titan Discussion and Aku no Hana Series Discussion. I agree it's one of the most anticipated shows for this season.

Dig Deeper into Magi - The Labyrinth of Magic

The story revolves around Aladdin who finds a Djinn. It follows his journey with a group of friends he found, Ugo and Morgianna.

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