Blimey, this chapter was wordy. But was it worth it? Well, I wouldn’t say this was my favourite chapter of Magi in recent times, but it does pose some fascinating questions…
Essentially an entire chapter of dialogue, 214 revolved around Aladdin filling the assembled Kings and their Households in about the mysterious world of Alma Torran which – it transpired – is a sort of parallel universe.
How very Fringe.
It was certainly a big revelation, although much of it had been extensively hinted at before. What it did do, however, was set up Magi’s backstory as one of the potential weirdest out there. I mean, every series has its progenitors and god-like figures: like, say, the Sage of the Six Paths in Naruto, the dragons of Fairy Tail (and with them, Zeref and the wonderfully mysterious Acnologia) and (although this is more of a stretch) the Soul King in Bleach. Magi’s King Solomon, though, could be a breed apart: he didn’t just help found the order of the current world; he created it. Like, dreamed it up in seven days kind of real, fluffy-beard-and-smiting-genesis-stuff.
Which made it all the more awesome when Aladdin decided to go against Solomon’s wishes in telling the assembled kings about the other world. Defying the orders of a god is all in a days work for a magi, it would seem.
This chapter may have been heavy going at times, but this page at least killed it.
It was also great to see that Sinbad, above all others, really grasped the idea of there being uncountable parallel worlds alongside his own. The guy’s as intelligent as he is devious, clearly.
If I’m honest, this chapter didn’t blow me away as I thought it might. Really, I’d already guessed much of what was said. It was pretty obvious from prior mentions of ‘the world before’ that some sort of parrellel-universe god complex was in play; this chapter confirmed this, rather than blew my mind with impossible theories and ground-breaking revelations.
Is that a disappointment? Well… no. Getting to grips with the backstory of Magi’s world ought to be fascinating (if, I imagine, slightly long-winded…) but I was sort of hoping it might have more mediate impact in the present. And while I’m excited by the prospect of us entering a prelude arc of sorts following Solomon’s rise to, essentially, godhood, I can’t help but feel a little miffed that we’ll be leaving the present day action for a while – just when it was all getting so tasty! Shame.
Lastly, I just wanted to reflect on the implications that not only Aladdin but also Al-Thamen were ‘born’ in the world of Alma Toran. I’m curious: does that mean born in a literal sense, or was Al-Thamen’s merely an ideological conception? Ren Gyokuen’s past within the previous world as one of Solomon’s magi and a traitor has been established, but does that mean that, say, Judar is also a child of the previous world? Or was he (as I think I remember him being) recruited later..?
I’m sure all will be answered eventually. In the meantime, their absence (or, at least, that of Judar) was remarked upon by Yunan, and Kouen informed us that they are off training. Judar and Gyokuen together? Scary. And what does that mean for Hakuryuu (who seems to be seriously stuck in the middle of those two…)
Only time will tell. In the meantime, all aboard the Alma Torran express, baby!
- A nice set-up, the art remains bang on point and the upcoming (I think) arc could set Magi apart from other series with a truly bizarre, trippy backstory.
- Sinbad is not only a badass but also an astrological mastermind. Man, I love that guy.
- An Alma Torran arc could be amazing, but I can’t be the only one who will be a bit sad to leave the present day tension behind, and at such a critical time…
- A lot of what was revealed in this chapter felt like it had already – if not obviously – been suggested to us. All very interesting, sure, but I felt it lacked a real sucker-punch revelation; something to really make you catch your breath, you know?
p>Overall: A dense chapter, but one that at answered definitely much of what had already been hinted. I give it a 6/10.