So they finish the dungeon in one episode? Epic!
Let me tell you one thing, Magi has some breakneck pacing. I’m usually a person that likes going slow and steady, so this outing was definitely a change of pace for me. It’s definitely a good thing as every moment of this episode was exciting. There was always something interesting happening and the laundry list of traps that Ali Baba and Aladdin overcome would make Indiana Jones jealous. They narrowly escape a flaming pit, dodge a runaway boulder, combat a swarm of mutating insects, leap through pillars of fire, and escape the wrath of crazy lord all in the course of a twenty three minutes. They even had time for a small nap! If that isn’t impressive I don’t know what is.
It’s just a show that knows how to manage it’s time. Even with all of that happening on screen, it still makes some time for some light character development. First, we see the strengthening of Ali Baba’s relationship with Aladdin. Ali Baba comes off as the type of person that usually keeps others at arms length distance as he’s afraid that they’d just get in the way of his goal. But he’s finally found someone who shares the same joy for adventure and who would go to the same great lengths to protect a friend. Second, we finally learn a bit more about the magenta-haired slave, Morgiana. She had been sold into slavery a young age but still holds great pride for her homeland, which is a far cry from the deserts featured so far.
It’s surprising to see how all of this is so seamlessly woven into the fabric of the narrative. It doesn’t really feel like it was added after the fact because the writers realized that having characters with no backstories is a problem. Each moment is thoughtfully constructed along two axes – one where we learn more about the character and the other where this knowledge develops a connection between him or her and another one. It’s a smart move and makes every piece of information we learn about the cast seem valuable.
I could praise the writing all day, but how can I leave this section without saying a single thing about the excellent action sequences? Ali Baba’s choreography as he fought with his dagger was exceptionally animated. Could I really expect less from A-1? I hope the ambition of the producers continue as they bring Magi to life considering that art budgets usually decrease over the lifespan of a show.
The lord doesn’t seem like a very important villain. He is cruel and twisted but that is about it. I don’t see how he plays a role in the larger plot at hand. If he had some sort of quality that set him apart, such as exceptional intelligence or maybe even magical powers, he could be taken seriously. All he really amounts to is a stupid coward with a penchant for poking people with his sword. Hopefully some larger evil rears his ugly face later on in the series.
Nothing is ugly about this series really, which makes me quite happy. I was looking forward to this show and it has been delivering. I am a bit surprised that they cleared the dungeon in a single episode, but maybe its just a small piece in a much larger puzzle. It seems that way in the closing scenes, as Ali Baba and Aladdin are transported to what seems like another dimension. All I know is that I am ready to go on more adventures with both of them.