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.
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.
Judar and Hakuryuu embark upon the journey to kill Gyokuen.
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.
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.
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
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.
fallen into depravity, Hakuryuu falls into the category of villains that
are more or less evil for the sake of being evil.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
that is simply great story telling on the mangaka’s part, showing
Alibaba’s failures before finally allowing him to rise.
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.
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
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.