When the Tobi reveal was made in Naruto, what most interested me were the events that had driven the innocent kid that was Obito towards the dark path he eventually came to embrace.
And while the various reasons put forth proved intriguing to follow and slowly make sense of, when all the chips were down, all those excuses, reasons and events more or less boiled away in the face of the cause of Obito’s true downfall.
He’s crazy; simple as that, and the various scenes in which he explains himself more than support this fact.
I mention Obito and Naruto because his life and situation somewhat echoes within the warring Chaos of Alma Toran.
Alma Toran’s war comes to a boiling head as lives are sacrificed, rage is vented and Djinn are finally born.
You could accuse Magi of making Arba’s transformation a little too sudden, turning her towards the dark side in no more than three or four chapters; yet once you accept the approach Magi is taking with this flashback, basically narrating rather than showing the story and all its intricacies, comfortable with availing a brief overview of events even while exploring one or two elements in detail, Arba’s transformation isn’t nearly as sudden.
Yet even taking into consideration the passing of time as has been shown in a few chapters, is it really rational for one such as Arba, Solomon’s most devoted servant, to turn so violently against him?
Well, Yes. She’s crazy. Seriously, just look at that face, that expression. Arba and her kin have crossed into the realm of insanity, simple as that.
What we are seeing here in Magi is a pretty extreme case of religious fanaticism; after all the current conflict began with Illah’s revelation below David’s castle. Was it the immensity of Illah’s being that most intensely affected Arba?
Or maybe it was the idea of Illah in her head, that he or it could be so grossly divested of all its glory and might. Whatever the case, it is difficult to argue against a case of insanity when one’s answer to having their god dragged from the heavens is blotting the entire world out of existence.
Alma Toran has come to its tragic end; one has to credit the mangaka for her approach to this story, basically setting up one of the greatest evils in Sheba, impressively redeeming her into a hero worthy of praise and sacrificing her life rather tragically to the last person you would have figured would become Gyokuen.
A tragedy indeed and one that is going to keep repeating itself if the events of Magi are anything to go by; it seems somewhat irrelevant now to give the Kou empire the benefit of doubt as a potentially benevolent force that might simply be striving to bring peace to the world using its own misguided means.
Not when Gyokuen, aka Crazy Arba is standing as empress, and certainly not when her blood runs through Kouen’s veins.
Suddenly the potential of Alma Toran’s tragedy repeating itself is starting to look more and more plausible with each new chapter. Al Tharmen’s particular dislike for Aladdin makes even more sense, their disgust for the so called arrogant king’s spawn and the wisdom he holds.
With so many pieces finally falling into place, one has to wonder how the events of Magi are going to play out from now on; the entire Kou family seems doomed to sink into Gyokuen’s madness.
Aladdin must possess a spark of Illah’s will within him though, considering Solomon’s position as the vessel for Illah’s rukh in the past; one wonders how it will affect his own will and whether he will descend down David’s path who, now that I think about it, didn’t differ so greatly in mannerisms from Solomon after he took Illah’s power into himself.
RATING: 8/10, these sort of sizzling chapters are why I love Magi; the manga seems to have found its stride, and permanently this time. If we are not out of flashbacks by next chapter, then it has to be the week after; after all the Arba/Solomon fight seems to have come to a sudden and conclusive end.
HIGHLIGHTS: Wahid; his story has to be the most tragic in the flashback, especially the actions he was determined to take at the very end for Falan and Tess.
If you are not reading Magi, then catch up with the anime and get to reading this amazing series.