So after a somewhat controversial ending, A-1 pictures returns to the magical world of Magi. And in my opinion, it’s a welcome return to characters I grew to love.
So the first ep starts with a HUGE in media res involving multiple kingdoms in battle and Alladin being powerful enough to summon 3 golem Ugos. Everyone is on seperate sides, and the collateral damage is atronomical. Things don’t look good, but then we go straight back to celebration now that we rewind to after Zagan’s invasion from season 1. Yet even this merrygoing hides its secrets.
For the most part, the first 10 minutes after the battle are focused on reintroducing characters and establishing new conflicts. Other than the introduction of new magi and political tensions between Sindria and Kou, the organization seems to play a bigger part in this new conflict. Previously a prestigious academy for magicians, Magnostadt staged a coup de etat and made a discriminatory kingdom favoring magicians and has deep ties with Al-Thamen. In fact, they’re revealed to be the ones producing the Black Djinn items used by the Organization.
And yet what really surprises me is how much development they crammed in just the first 2 ep. Aladdin forms a sweet friendship with his ex-enemy Dunya and even uses Solomon’s Wisdom to free her of the Black Djinn fragments corrupting her body. Unfortunately the corruption was too great, and Dunya dies knowing Alladin was her first friend. This along with him realizing how weak he is compared to the world causes Aladdin to decide going to Magnostadt on his own, learning the truth of Al-Thamen and also training himself.
Probably the most shocking character change would be the charismatic Sinbad. While in the first season he was seen as the morally-righteous leader of Sindria, he shows a more manipulative side in these two ep. He still has the charisma and will of a leader that made him so likeable, but that charisma has now been used as a weapon. From his double-edged pact with Hakuryu to accidently claiming Aladdin is already their magi, we see his ease in forming allies is less-about forming friendly pacts as it is gathering power through larger groups.
That’s not to say Sinbad is evil, as he clearly sees the difference between his carefree adventuring self to his position as a ruler. But when he lies about requiting Kougyoku’s love for him and subtly hypnotizes her to feel protective of Sindria, he starts to look pretty disgusting. Thank god Kougyoku wasn’t blinded by that love, as she admits to Alibaba how she knew that Sinbad would never take her seriously.
Speaking of which, I think it’s time to mention the recent changes in shipping. Alibaba is starting to get friendly with Kougyoku, and Morgiana is starting to pair up with Hakuryuu. Usually i’d join in the rage over messing with the Morgiana x Alibaba route, but the chemistry between both of them is actually kind of cute. Morgiana and Hakuryuu both share the absence of family, and this is more so for Kougyoku.
Much like Alibaba, she was born from a non-royal lineage and was persecuted by the royal family even when joining. Unlike him though, she grew into her family by making her worth nothing more than a weapon, which is why she fell in love so quickly with Sinbad. So when she realizes how friendly and similar Alibaba is to her, she instantly breaks to tears when he accepts to be her friend. But then again, trading crowns of flowers seems to indicate something much more. :3
Something I have to mention is that I never actually read the manga to this. However, I am aware that the last few ep of Magi Season 1 pissed fans off. And I do have to mention that the comedy in this series is very one-note, often with Aladdin going from innocent child to horny blob of paint. But the parts where it’s mainly a shonen are really well-done. Magi is known for bringing the right mix of political intrigue, dark subjects(slavery), and heartwarming shonen. And this season seems to promise all of that. Don’t fail us this time A-1!