Aah, i wish Magi would pick up the pace; set up chapters like this, as good as they might be, leave me drastically unsatisfied. I understand the necessity of setting the stage for the showdown that is inevitably going to occur, but i have been waiting to see Kouen for several chapters now.
207 was largely tame, doing little more than shedding light on the true face of Balbad, once rebellious and violent yet proud and willful, now broken, the Kou empire further degrading the state of the kingdom through its legalization of slavery. And as with every society we have encountered in the manga so far, operating under a strict caste system, cruelty has began to creep into the hearts of the people, those less than fortunate forced to bow and bend both physically and emotionally; while those wielding greater power tread upon them, proud in the strength they hold and status of their households.
IN a way this couldn’t have turned out better for Alibaba, who displayed considerable displeasure at the thought of Balbad marching forward into prosperity without the guidance of his hand. Now he can approach his future with a goal in mind; Balbad is clearly in need of him, and now he gets to play the great hero. Though i don’t see his people standing up to back his call.
After all even Hassan seemed resigned to his new post. Really whatever we might have figured before there is no denying it now, the fact that the Kou empire is indeed the villain of the story and must be stopped at all costs. The question now is what is going to happen between Alibaba and Kouen, the two finally meeting at the end.
It does irk me a bit, the amount of time spent on this portion of the arc, seeing as this was supposed to be a short detour, Alibaba stopping off to lead Kouen to the meeting place. That is what i assumed would be the primary focus of this arc, Sinbad and Kouen’s meeting. But it seems like the Balbad portion of the story still has some life left in it.
Maybe this is for the best, as Magi is largely unpredictable at this point in time. It depends on whether all these detours will pay off satisfactorily, which this series always does.