The only thing wrong with this chapter is the fact that this dynamic duo of Hakuryuu and Judar is going to be defeated by Aladdin and Alibaba.
It is expected; they are, after all, the heroes of the series. Yet, It becomes difficult to stand behind Aladdin’s idealistic dreams and Alibaba’s indecisiveness, not when faced with the realistic and somewhat incisive approach that Hakuryuu and Judar bring to the table.
The battle against Gyokuen comes to a close. Kou has a new emperor. Hakuruyuu and Judar set their eyes upon the rest of the world.
That was unequivocally brutal. Say one thing about Magi, say that it never really holds back on the gore and despair when it needs to cement a point.
This is it; the point when Hakuryuu and Judar finally became the central villains of the story.
Sure, there are a lot of negative things you could say about Kouen and his ilk; yes, few other characters in the series are quite as conniving and untrustworthy as Sinbad. Yet none of these characters have truly given themselves over to depravity, not when compared to Hakuryuu.
One might say that the Magi story just turned onto a new path this week; Hakuryuu finally got his revenge, and in a most brutal fashion, especially when you read this chapter together with the last panels of chapter 249, where Hakuryuu tears the flesh out of his mother’s neck with his teeth, with Gyokuen then lumbering towards the salvation waiting beyond the boundary of the barrier, only to fall to Judar who hands her life to Hakuryuu.
That Hakuryuu could kill her without a second thought, unmoved by the sorts of silly tricks so many heroes tend to fall for in the very last moment, shows his resolve.
That he understands the depths of his intentions, the blood he will have to spill in his conquest means that he is unlikely to fall to the sweet words of Aladdin and Alibaba about right and wrong, the evil of his path and any salvation they might offer.
Simply put, Hakuryuu is the perfect hero turned villain; there are no forces pulling his strings without his consent, which means we are unlikely to run into another Obito situation.
He is fully aware of his own madness and accepts what he must do to accomplish goals that, to an extent, even he realizes are wrong; which means his clash with Aladdin will more or less come down to a last man standing type situation, where Hakuryuu and Judar must be put down lest they bring the world to its knees.
Magi has created a situation so perfect, with the rising conflict between Aladdin, Hakuryuu, Kouen, Sinbad and Al-Tharmen, especially with so many of the lines so blurred, that it would be difficult for Shinobu Ohtaka to ruin this arc.
She doesn’t even have to deliver deaths on any scale to create a satisfying conclusion to what might be Magi’s last, or at least one of its final sagas.
+RATING: 9/10, Judar never seizes to surprise, specifically how far his character has come, with each chapter continuing to compound upon just how reliant the Magi is on his friend’s madness.
Hakuryuu is the soul mate Judar searched for and failed to find in Sinbad, which probably has something to do with the fact that Sinbad is so much more mature than Hakuryuu and thus less likely to succumb to Judar’s darkness.
Gyokuen will be missed; she showed the sort of madness and resilience few villains have manifested in anime and manga.