Magi is ending! I didn’t see that coming. And I am not even sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing.
What’s certain is this: these chapters were equal parts good and bad.
Kou’s civil war is at and end. As Judar and Alibaba race back to their friends, Sinbad is all but ready to change the world.
The Time skip. Shonen manga’s best friend, a chance to wipe the board clean and essentially start afresh. It is a little strange to think that Magi has never had a time skip. It is almost impossible to imagine what any of this will mean.
Shonen series often execute time skips during moments of danger, with the hero choosing to separate himself from the world to grow stronger or undergo a change that will alter the story, possibly giving the good guys a fighting chance against the villains.
Magi is undergoing a time skip at the end of all the action, at a time when the story is essentially at rest.
With the war more or less over and the world largely united, Sinbad has basically brought peace to most of the known lands. Under the guidance of the Alliance, there is little reason to expect chaos.
Which makes you wonder; what shall we see the next time we tune into this manga? How will the world have changed? Where will the various players be after 24 months of transformation?
There are so many possibilities, so many considerations.
Sinbad saved these chapters. That final revelation was almost confusing. If Sinbad isn’t David, or rather if Sinbad is the reincarnation of David’s spirit but continues to act independently, making decisions without interference from Solomon’s father, then can we truly call him a villain?
And how about that last panel? Sinbad was clearly imbued with white rukh, a perfect contrast to the completely corrupted Arba, which means he hasn’t fallen into depravity yet.
At this point, anything could happen. Sinbad spoke of leading a revolution and bringing the borders of the world down but, suspicious as it might all sound, he isn’t saying anything Kouen wasn’t planning to do. And we all know that Kouen only ever sought peace, just like Sinbad.
And Kouen chose to work with Al Tharmen for the sake of delivering world peace, which doesn’t vary that drastically from Sinbad’s decision to work with Arba.
Simply put: I am not ruling out the possibility that there is another entity behind the scenes, another villain that Aladdin, Sinbad and group will have to face. Bad as things might seem, it is still speculative to suggest that Sinbad is the final villain of the story.
Sure, Kouen hinted at it earlier; but the biggest surprise of the chapters was still Gyokuen’s appearance, and that she had taken Hakuei’s body. The fact that Sinbad knew about her raises my suspicions about his claims that he is still Sinbad as opposed to David’s vessel.
How else could he have spotted her? And what the hell is Arba that she survived her ordeal with Hakuryuu and Judar? If Sinbad is indeed evil, then there is no defeating these two. A final showdown between Arba and Aladdin is definitely on the books.
My biggest issue with these two chapters is how they approached the Alibaba issue. Alibaba, for all intent and purpose, died. And it was an epic death, worthy of a primary protagonist, even one as unimpressive as Alibaba.
I don’t know if I buy the reactions we got in these chapters. In fact, Aladdin’s offer to remain by Hakuryuu’s side back in chapter 80 makes even less sense now.
Hakuryuu killed Alibaba. How is Aladdin so cool with him all of a sudden? And even if you explain away the ease with which Aladdin forgave Hakuryuu using Solomon’s Wisdom and whatever impact Solomon’s spirit might be having on Aladdin, what’s Morgiana’s excuse?
All of these people, Alibaba’s friend’s, there reactions and opinions of Hakuryuu made no sense whatsoever. I can almost buy Morgiana choosing to not knock Hakuryuu’s head off the moment she saw him, almost. But the friendly and forgiving approach she took to dealing with him made no sense.
I mean, really, they are not making as big a deal about Alibaba’s death as they should be.
They actually redeemed Hakuryuu. I didn’t see that coming. The mangaka technically cheated here, though. She tried to sell us on the idea that Hakuryuu had seen the error of his ways and turned a new leaf before his ideals of vengeance drove him off a cliff.
But, he technically went through with his ideals; he got his revenge and everything. So, really, it almost makes no difference that he has finally escaped his depravity. It’s already too late. There are no stakes to speak of at this point that could be impacted with his sudden turn towards the side of good.
But, plot-wise, it worked.
These chapters tied up a lot of loose ends. I guess Shinbhu Ohtaka wants us to plunge into the final arc with a fresh landscape, free of loose plots and character.