Magi: The Promise Which Couldn't be Kept

The Flashbacks take their turn and give their reasons.

The high quality adaption of the Balbadd arc continues as well done pacing makes the flashback episode a well executed one as well as providing foreshadowing for the heavily Incorporated concept of Rukh and thus fate.

Metal Vessels

As implied several times in the series to the point that it was all but confirmed Alibaba did indeed make a contract with the Djinn Amon when he conquered the dungeon thus making him a Dungeon Capturer the same as Hakuei and Sinbad. The power of a Djinn is immense to the point that no one other than a Magi can fully manifest due to the insufficient Magoi that a average human possess in their body (Magi’s have the same case but they can borrow from the flow of Rukh thus their individual Magoi is consistently assisted) thus the methods of use vary but needless to say Alibaba used his Djinn in a vastly different way then Hakuei as he instead of equipping the Djinn and wearing its power he to put it bluntly just shot it out in every direction. While the differences in scales of power will obviously be touched upon later, the difference in usage should be noted as just like in all Shounen upgrades are a given, and the way to use Magoi and Metal Vessels will obviously play a key role in any improvement in strength.

Slums

Its not secret, though those governing and attempting to keep a well kept image may try to make it one that just as there are the rich there are the poor, it could even be argued that every time someone makes money some one else loses out, after all not everybody can be number one, nor can everybody be number two and so on, there will always be the poor and this is realistic truth of the world. How the poor are treated though differs greatly as well as the conditions which they live in, what may be considered poor in one country could be greatly different in another. The flashbacks however show this truth from a kid’s perspective unlike the adult perspective of struggling to get food for dying children to the point that they don’t care if they must kill in order to survive like last episode. From a child’s perspective which holds a more naive mind, one may expect that they are ignorant to such things due to their inexperience in life but as shown with Kassim, humans adapt quickly to scenarios and it changes who they are as they are influenced by their surrounding daily life.

Just as the old saying goes, not everything can be bought with money and thus even with the poor status of the slums, there are those who were fortunate enough like Alibaba to have caring parents (or in his case a caring mom), one could even argue that a good portion had such a life as the reason for conflict in the first place between the monarchy and the slums is because the slums have something they believe they must protect in their families, the majority of said riots thus wouldn’t contain good for nothings like Kassim’s dad who is more likely to drink in a corner and rot away then to start a revolution for the sake of others at the risk of himself.

Impressions

Aladdin’s entire motivation after leaving the Kouga village with his new found viewing of the world and the flow of Rukh was to keep the promise to Alibaba, he held this promise so high that he was willing to take on a group of thieves if it meant expanding his search, so needless to say that shock took away his excitement and will when his promise was left broken before unexplained reasons. For Alibaba it was a matter of priority, to be able to ignore the suffering of others and accept it as a unchangeable reality may be the answer to many people who don’t want to feel helpless, they view it as anothers problem, and even Alibaba may have felt this way when he looked at slaves and such before he met Aladdin, the feeling that you want to help but can’t do anything about it, this feeling was altered to something greater however when he himself had a stake in it, as its his past that he was never able to truly bury nor forget. One can never truly move forward if they keep looking back after all.

It was touched upon before but given more detail, and that is the serious economic problem in Balbadd. Our current society exists mainly on the use of paper currency and credit but as mentioned this causes the risk of inflation as that paper which normally is just a worthless sheet of paper is only given true value if the leading government, monarchy or in general established order backs the flow. If the flow is altered due to poor management then the paper loses value at a incredible rate to the point that you end up trading things of actual value for pretty much nothing in return, making actual goods like gold and sliver much more valuable in this state of economy as they can be sold in other places for fair value while the pieces of paper currency don’t have such international usage and will in all likelihood be worth garbage in foreign countries which hold no ties to Balbadd or the Kou Empire.

The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” is well known for its meaning to not judge others by appearance and to give more thought as to who they are and not just what they show, for they may be using facades and first impressions can be deceiving thus the necessary effort to get past said masks. However needless to say this doesn’t apply to the current king of Balbadd and his corruption, while the corruption has only been indicated and his true hand has only been implied its needless to say why the Kou Empire arranged such a marriage to such a king. To a king who likely would be secluded to the rotten corners of society if not for money making up for snobbish character a marriage to a princess would obviously seem appealing thus the offer acts as a enticement for manipulation. Humans are often driven by greed, if the King believes he is getting all he ever wanted he wouldn’t care to notice that he is really getting screwed over from the bottom up (the state of the slums and thus the economy of his currency) as such things would require attention to detail which he has obviously shown (particularly last episode) to not care for.

Envy, its a well known sin for comparison to jealousy despite its differences, to hold malice toward anothers more fortunate circumstances, this can be said to even more true in the case of friends because the equal standing that friendship requires looses in balance due to the feeling of inferiority so while friendliness may exist on the surface more times than not such thoughts still pass in ones mind, sometimes people ignore it and push it aside telling themselves such thoughts are wrong while other times they don’t care to hide it at all and show in on their face and actions. Kassim was more the first type despite his words to Alibaba when he told him to go the palace, as whether for manipulation or sake of true friendship he put up with the obvious difference between the two of them for a long time, likely degrading himself in the process as he believes he has rotten roots and the exact opposite of Alibaba who had a mother so caring she took Kassim and his sister in despite the struggle she surely faced just to look after Alibaba, a workload which eventually led to her death from sickness.

To hold a legacy is something that most humans desire even if the degree of desire varies, everyone wants to be remembered and no one wants to be  forgotten, it is for this reason that the old customs existed to pass down trades to children to carry on the work that was achieved in the span of your lifetime. The king however had incompetent children, spoiled rotten and corrupted by their own selfishness, thus his desperation to find a worthy heir, this road thus took him to the child he had with his maid in Alibaba. Whether or not he had such a selfish right to leave Alibaba and his mom in the slums all alone until he needed him can be argued but just as with all aristocracy such ways of thinking need to be taken into account. Its not a feeling many can sympathize with, but due to their pride of how they are viewed the king could not simply end up with a maid,  and even to a lesser extent the same applies for backgrounds in elections, no one wants a President with a bad background no matter how good his current state is, its the very source for attacks in said elections, as people focus on such things while often ignoring the rest.

When something is infected the instant reaction is to get rid of it, if its a disease then seek proper treatment or medicine, if its an epidemic then the proper course is to seal it off as much as possible and contain it to a limited area so the damage is kept minimal. The rich of the monarchy viewed the slums in such a degrading way that they viewed them as a stain to their city and country and thus disposed of them accordingly, not giving the time nor care to build up the poor and middle classes but instead caring for their own greed and enjoying their own circumstances while not caring less for the suffering of others. This sets forth a well used concept in this series of corrupted government, as while there are differences (Sinbad) the concept still exists, the foreshadowing of the Kou Empire just adds to this.

Characters

Alibaba

Its a well used concept to the point of being a bit cliche, but well one can’t expect everything to be original as even the best of characters have some cliche established roots and Alibaba’s lack of willingness to depend on others is one of said cliches. However as this is Alibaba’s arc in Alibaba’s home nation said roots will surely expand as the arc goes on, the viewing for Alibaba will go one way or the other by the arcs end, having him as a favorite or disliking his character entirely, that’s the way his progress is laid out to be, while there will always be exceptions to every norm such progressions have the said tilting effect of leaning people viewing one way or another.

Kassim

The root of Alibaba’s choices and the cause of his regret, it shows how people can vastly change despite similiar upbringings as well as the connections which never truly die. The concept of Rukh is arguably most noticed in Kassim’s character as while Aladdin believes in such a flow, Kassim despises it, he hates his roots as he hates his circumstances, and when hate meets opportunity as was done in his reunion with Alibaba it was only a matter of course that fire and chaos would follow as the built up stress finally released itself.

Concluding Thoughts

An excellent second episode to the Balbadd arc, its being well paced and the preview only indicates that such a flow will continue. The flashbacks were essential to Alibaba’s reasoning and established the cause for later actions as well as the foreshadowing for why said events may occur in the first place. As the conflicts move around off screen positioning themselves for their arrival one can surely expect the Balbadd arc to maintain its highly quality adaption of the manga.

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