Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic - 04
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With this episode, I finally start to see the adventure in Magi.
Adventure series tend to start off with an actual adventure, the most common of which is the protagonist leaving his domicile for greener pastures. Magi didn't start of like that so it was hard to view it as an adventure series. The first arc took place in the hometown and was about conquering a dungeon, an act that seems relevant but whose importance we're not fully aware of. This new adventure is not typical either; an emotional adventure as opposed to a physical one.
Aladdin's adventure being of self-discovery happens right at the beginning of the series. In an almost prelude like manner, a few questions about his existence are answered and we finally know what the story behind a Magi is! This takes care of any future moments whereby the issue of his past will be brought up once again and before it becomes a repetitive go-to plot point of the series. Undoubtedly, Aladdin's origins will have to be discussed at a later date but for now this will do.
The episode as a whole was very mellow and calm, which is fine but it doesn't do the story justice. Ren Hakuei's appearance was so downplayed that I almost forgot about her; a real problem that is understood by those who read the manga. Beside Hakuei playing a wallflower role, there was some awkward pacing at times. Not terrible exactly, but it felt like the episode was divided into fifths and on occasion went through them too quickly. So far, my main problem has been with the series composition and it's no surprise when I see who's in charge of the script.
On the plus side, the ending was memorable. There was no sadness with elder Baba's death, because of the fast pace of the episode, and that's a pity because she plays an important role in Aladdin's early character development.
Four episodes in and Magi is still just decent. It's a fine anime and the story is picking up but I feel no extraordinary amount of excitement for it. [Final Note]: The manga scans have caught up to the current Japanese releases.