Who’s that girl..?
Intriguing. Anyway, it’s the Alma Torran arc (kinda). Woot!
When I began this chapter, I’ll admit that I wasn’t hugely looking forward to it. Alma Torran is a fantastically interesting concept, but if I’m honest I have missed the action that had been building in the present – and I didn’t believe that we would be getting major revelations here, as a lot of it seemed to have already been told.
Well, I was wrong – but more on that later.
Coincidentally, I think it’s a viewpoint entrenched by the fact that right now in the anime the Magnostadt Arc is reaching it’s climax, and while still very good, these chapters were never going to compare favourably to the ridiculousness of the fight that’s brewing in the manga. If you haven’t seen it, just wait. It is off the fricking chain. Seriously – if you aren’t watching, then go do so. I hope to have a series review up sometime after it concludes, so go catch up! You will not be disappointed, I swear it.
Anyway, back to Alma Torran. There’s a definite Battlestar Galactica vibe going on here (and if that’s a reference lost on everyone, then I apologies profusely, but it’s true). Seems that in the same way that Magi’s world was created Solomon, the world of Alma Torran was created by another ‘God’ called Ilah. All this has happened before, and all this will happen again… Maybe?
More crucially, though, Ilah also left humanity with a weapon to defend themselves from other species: magic. Which he did, apparently, so that humanity could unify the world under their leadership.
Talk about playing favourites.
And again, the circular nature of Magi’s backstory comes into play as Ilah intended for a single king to unite the world under his banner – just as the various kings of Magi’s world wish to. It is, seemingly, the accepted route to peace and raises nicely questions about just who is the right person to perform the same role in this world?
And then we come to the crux of the chapter. We’ve seen this series of images of Solomon standing with his household surrounding him before, but this time dropped some absolutely huge bombshells.
First off, it was great to get a good look at the members of Solomon’s household who (in the present world) are Djinn. They’re a really cool bunch, from the suave Focalor to the oddly nerdy Zagan.
But then comes the real fun. Stood near Solomon are three characters – one, we’re told, is Ugo; the others are two black-haired woman.
And the first is a dead-ringer for Aladdin.
Ahh, Ithnan. You so sly (and so short-lived…)
Oh man, this is terribly exciting. Is that Aladdin’s mother? More importantly (and I can’t believe I haven’t really entertained this thought in the past, because it makes absolute sense…), but does that mean – given the way they are talking to each other and standing close together – that Solomon is Aladdin’s father..?
Damn. I mean, perhaps Solomon sent his loyal supports to the new world he created, and his son along with them under the care of Ugo when Alma Torran fell. This again begs another question: where was Aladdin’s mother during all this? Was she also sent through, and is out there, somewhere, in Djinn form? Or was she a magi (as I hugely suspect), and died with Solomon?
Or, maybe… was she killed by the second of the two black-haired women, getting friendly with Ugo: Ren Gyokuen..?
I think Alibaba’s reaction hits it on the head, really…
It’s no definitive, but that sure as hell looks like Gyokuen to me. Given their closeness, is it safe to assume that she and Ugo lovers (one hell of a good-bad power couple, there, folks…)? And what does that mean, given that we know Gyokuen was a major instigator of the death of Alma Torran and Ugo remained staunchly loyal to the boy who (I believe) was his king’s son..?
Gah, so many questions. I’ll admit to not necessarily being blown away by the initial stages, but having re-read the ending once or twice I’ve warmed to night 215’s brilliance – the threads being laid down here could weave into an utterly vast tapestry in the future, and I can’t wait to see more!
Oh, and next time we’re going to (hopefully) see the fall of Alma Torran. Given that Magi tends not to pull its punches with the hard hitting stuff, this should be epic…
- Those last four pages blew me away. The whole ‘attack of the ogres’ bit at the beginning had me worried we might just be getting a play-for-time type chapter, but the ending proved me utterly wrong. Just goes to show that you don’t need action to make manga gripping reading, eh?
- Over the course of the chapter, the art was really on-point. Magi has some of the most best character designs in manga, in my opinion, and this was really on show here.
- Yes, I didn’t especially like the first half of the chapter but overall the ending more than makes up for it. Magi is really on the good stuff at the moment, and this chapter shows it.
- Not a criticism, as such, butI do really, really want to get back to the whole looming world-war-thing. Give me more SINBAD, dammit!!!
Overall: I may have harboured reservations of this Alma Torran-fest being just a brief interlude, fearing it would only retread old ground, but I was wrong. Very wrong. Great art and sledgehammer revelations made Magi 215 a great edition to a current streak of truly great chapters. I give it 9/10.