The Alma-Torran fun-ride continues!
Man, the opening really chucks you right into the fray of things… It took me personally a few pages to find my bearings but I have to say that when I did I really enjoyed this chapter. It was a great opener to what looks to be a fairly prolonged prelude arc.
One other aspect the opening threw up was that humanity’s war of benevolent conquest seems to have become mired in infighting between normal folk and magicians – just like in the present day. More of that circular ‘all this has happened before and will happen again’ vibe, which is a rather cool story device in my opinion.
SOLOMON!! An elder version of Aladdin, much..?
Perhaps the best thing about the chapter was finally getting to see King Solomon in the flesh. Coming off the back of last week’s hints about Aladdin’s lineage, it strikes me just how much Solomon looks like an elder version of Aladdin, complete with similar hair and eye-shape. If he is Aladdin’s father, then the family resemblance comes not just from his mother, perhaps.
Appearance aside, Solomon also came across as a really cool character, suave and easy-going in a way that reminded me of Sinbad, but not averse to letting his opinions be heard if need be. The way he shot down Sheba towards the end of the chapter was brutal, but necessary, given her rather racist outlook.
That brings us on to a now regular feature here on my reviews of Magi: Who’s that Girl?!
Yep, another week, another mystery female (or, more likely, the same one…), and the same choice, really. Was the little girl Sheba the same figure we saw at the end of last week who I reckon might be Aladdin’s mother OR was she, in fact, Gyokuen? I’m sticking with my Aladdin’s-mother theory, despite the suggestion from some that her less-than-savoury world-outlook might mean that we have just, in fact, meant Ren Gyokuen in her earliest days.
I reckon that rather than remaining a force for evil she will eventually be swayed by Solomon’s attitude and come to fall for him in the process. Naww.
So, if Sheba isn’t Gyokuen, then where is everyone’s favourite scheming magi? I mean, Ithnan is shown to be there among Solomon’s gang, so Al-Tharmen are definitely about, but no Gyokuen. The other girl among Solomon’s retinue – Arba – resembles her, in my opinion, but I can’t be sure… Could she be set to make an appearance soon? Or, am I entirely wrong and Sheba = Gyokuen? Argh. All these theories are making my brain hurt…
And that’s really all I have. This chapter felt very heavy on character, light on story, but it was still a pretty decent opener to the Alma-Torran arc – which itself doesn’t look like it’s going to go away any time soon, given the current pacing…
- SOLOMON!! Great to see the god in all his glory. I also quite enjoyed the interplay between his gang, especially Ithnan (who’s actually pretty awesome) and Ugo (who’s a geek, apparently…).
- I’ll be honest, the pacing was a bit slow. Hardly flying out of the blocks but Magi is often a bit of a slow burner and generally delivers in the end, so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.
- Sheba, as a character, is pretty flipping annoying. Hoping she changes/grows up a bit soon.
Overall: A bit lumbering and very heavy on character and dialogue, but we did get to see Solomon. He’s awesome… and that’s about it. A decent enough chapter otherwise, so I’ll give it a 6.5/10.