Magi: Relinquishing The Past

The chains are finally broken.

Mor’s arc was handled in one episode but it was done with great pacing and highlighted the key points in her character while establishing a prelude to what is arguably the greatest arc in the manga.

Caravans

As mentioned in previous posts there is a chain of order in classes in the setting of the world of Magi, the chain includes the nobles, the sharifs (or managers of land), the working class, and then the slaves which are considered property. Caravans are traveling merchants who would fit under the category of the working class, they are free but they still have to work every single day to make a living and can’t lay back for even a second like the nobility and sharifs do.

Thus to make life easier instead of having separate businesses and consistently competing in terms of sales, caravans band together in attempts to form a bigger profit, the duties in caravans are split from selling like Leila to carrying the goods from storage like Mor did as a part time job.

Due to the consistent traveling, the merchants within the caravan must be consistently aware of things like terrain and obstacles when choosing their path of travel, this could be also seen when Alibaba was working in delivering goods as he had prior knowledge that transporting wine through that route was a bad idea only to be rejected by the stubbornness of his stupid customer who in the end reaped what he sowed.

However even with good planning things don’t always go as planned as occurred when Aladdin’s caravan got captured after a rock fell on them, which brings forth the second and arguably the greatest benefit of the grouped bunch of merchants and that is the simple yet powerful method of strength in numbers which allows merchants to fight back against thieves who mess with their business or those they work with, due to being merchants and people of trade it also grants them many connections like were used in the hiring of mercenaries in the attempt to rescue Mor and the caravan Aladdin was traveling with.

Fanalis

Mor’s immense strength was given further detail this episode as it deals with genetics rather then disciplined training. Now granted Mor as a slave has been working all her life so muscles would have surely been built, but the outline was already there for her regardless if she was slave or not. The homeland which Mor seeks to return to thanks to Goltas guidance in allowing her to release her chains (well her physical ones) is the Dark Continent. If one wanted a idea of the kind of place it is, then this episode gave some insight onto the type of creatures that live there. However as shown with how easily she dispatched them it shows the power the Fanalis required as residents of such a territory, as most other races would crumble under such conditions. That said though as Mor described to Aladdin the continent itself isn’t as “dark” as people view it to be, which brings forth the concept of assumption that takes place when someone doesn’t understand something, they fear it and thus label it as was done with her homeland in fear of the conditions that it had and the trials that were required in order to properly live there.

As was mentioned by the Slave trader, Fanalis have certain characteristics that stand out from the rest, in particular the red hair which has been shown to stand out from the average crowd as well as the power legs that the Fanalis utilize, of course as shown when she pummeled the thieves her arms are strong as well but the specialty all the same lies with the legs which allow such power that while jumping one may mistake them for flying temporarily.

Slavery

Slavery has been touched upon due to Mor’s early introduction, to put it simply and restate common knowledge, Slaves aren’t considered human, they are considered livestock and property, tools for manual labor, objects to fulfill daily tasks that the owner a “higher” person has no interest in doing, thus brings forth the cruel nature of slavery and those who manage them. The managers of slavery were given light this episode in the form of slave traders, like the merchants in the caravan they deal in the line of selling goods in this case however it obviously differs as slave traders sell living people, Their methods in obtaining said slaves also obviously differs greatly as they find them, capture them and sell them as the slave trader attempted to do with Mor since as a Fanalis she would bring forth a heavy price due to her rarity and power.

Slave traders are business oriented in nature however, they are scum but scum that desires to make money and as such they don’t waste resources on slaves unless they are high grade like Mor which will return their investment upon selling, thus making low grade slaves or common slaves like the little girl expendable if they ever fail to serve their purpose they get disposed of in cruel ways, like becoming the food for animals that may be something else the slave traders are auctioning off or what simply acts as guard dogs to guard their slaves and make sure that they don’t escape.

Impressions

People could have guessed enough but for those who didn’t give it thought it was surely given detail in this episode and that was the status of Mor’s mind regarding slavery. Aladdin, Alibaba, and Goltas may have very well helped her take a first step but in the end thats all it is, a first step, the chains that were broken by Goltas were physical and by no means did they remove the trauma of years of slavery. As Mor has spent the majority of her life as slave, if she recalls all her memories the shackles of chains will arise to the top of them all as they have been binding her for years on end.

It had a small role but something worth mentioning was the reference to the missing chapter 1 that the anime skipped, the anime started off directly with Alibaba while the manga started directly with Lelia and Aladdin’s meeting as well as how he helped her and her caravan thus the reunion that showed no original meeting. This in itself is understandable though as pacing requires details to be removed and other things to be quickened, its unfortunate but its reality. If one feels like seeing the small encounter then they can read the manga, which i recommend anyway as while this is a great adaption, the original is still the manga.

Rukh was once again referenced and should be a common occurrence as it is a pillar of foundation when dealing with concepts in the series, in this case one could say that Rukh guided Mor to not only join the caravan but eventually be captured because by being captured she realized that even if her physical chains were broken her mental chains remained and thus was able to take notice and release herself from such binds in time to save someones life. Its the idea of saying everything happens for a reason, thus why Aladdin was all calm and composed even though he was in chains because he believed he got captured for a reason and it would all work out. Now granted it may have just been because he didn’t feel danger as other scenarios may surely cause him to panic, but nonetheless the faith he has in the concept of the flow of Rukh adds to it.

Characters

Morgiana

Mor was given center staged and thus was able to establish essential development in her character which is defined by the trauma of pain from a childhood of slavery. Even if the shackles were broken the burden was not, not even the marks from the shackles disappeared due to the long duration of her wearing them. Even if she was given direction and a purpose in the form of returning to her homeland the doubt and fear caused by her former slave life remained, the fear which showed itself in her nightmares and also in her recollections upon seeing slaves, it was a bind which needed to be removed before she could ever truly take the next step forward.

It was already implied but Mor was shown to be a very kind person as when she attempted to give hope to the little girl who was crying of the possibility of being a slave, as she herself could relate to such fears. She was introduced to slightly serious to say the least but this is only because her former hope of things like freedom were a shell of its former self after multiple failures at escaping slavery she felt that her dreams of seeing her homeland were hopeless, that is until Alibaba and Aladdin freed her, with Alibaba making the final mark by financially freeing all the slaves in Qishan. With her chains now broken Mor is able to stand on equal ground with the rest of the cast, as she is now able to look forward instead of looking back. While it would be fairly naive to say her trauma is gone, it is fair to say the first step to removing said trauma was taken, and it was arguably the most important step of all.

Concluding Thoughts

Great adaption of Mor’s arc, it was well paced and highlighted all key points while giving important emphasis on direction which was referred to last episode. As a bonus we also got a prelude to arguably the best arc in the entire manga to date, and as well as my favorite arc, also the preview guaranteed the introduction of Sinbad next episode, as a manga reader i can’t wait for the Balbadd arcs adaption.

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