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Feb 03

Fall Anime – Week X

Its Autumn somewhere damnit

Once upon a time, we did weekly reviews of shows. Not since the accident. But now, by sheer witchcraft, we’ve managed to cough up a few more reviews for your reading pleasure. So enjoy Alexe giving her thoughts on another couple of Magi episodes in her usual gif format, while I wrap up Galilei Donna once and for all. And I promise I’ll make up for the lack of recent content from moi soon. In the meantime though, go check out The Reaf Debrief written by… Reaf (dun dun duuuuuun). Buncha stuff on there you’ll never see on this blog, so give him some love.

Right, enough shilling and stalling for word counts so that image to the right doesn’t muck up the formatting, into the reviews proper!

Alexe on… Magi: The Kingdom of Magic (eps 11 and 12)

As Aladdin studies in Magnostadd and Alibaba trains in the Leam Empire Morgiana arrives in her homeland the kingdom of Katarg.

Her initial excitement soon fades when she realises how deserted the place is, she travels to a small run-down town and discovers that it used to be a prosperous place (and has connection to the slave trade) but over time that prosperity has faded.

She visits a local inn to eat and think of what to do next, whilst she is there some local men begin planning to capture her to sell. Naturally she can hear them but as they approach her they are stopped by two men in strange clothing. Morgiana thanks them for helping her even though she’s a stranger but the taller stranger points out that they have met before.

As it turns out they are Ahbmad and Sahbmad, Alibaba’s half brothers from Balbaad (for those who can’t remember Ahbmad was Balbaad’s tyrannical king that Alibaba dethroned). Morgiana discovers that the two of them are researching the Toran people together (thanks to Sinbad) and Sahbmad mentions that they may know something about the Fanalis.

Now this is a bit different to what happened in the manga, but to be honest I don’t mind so much. Now if the anime always followed the manga then we would have seen Ahbmad and Sahbmad as researchers in season 1 when the group went to Zagan’s dungeon but it was cut out for whatever reason. Bringing them into the anime now links it to the manga and I personally think it’s better this way as now it seems like there has been more time for Ahbmad’s personality to change whereas in the manga it seemed a little quick.

Anyway Morgiana visits the Toran village with them and finds out from the village elder that Fanalis may still live on the opposite side of the canyon known as the ‘Great Rift’ which splits the Dark Continent in two however no one that has ever crossed it has come back.

That night Morgiana and Sahbmad talk about ‘the place a person belongs’ and Morgiana remembers her friends encouragement which leads her to decide and travel across the great rift, though she says she will return.

The next day Morgiana overlooks the Dark Continent, she remarks how it looks like the world ends right there, she says goodbye to Sahbmad and Ahbmad and heads down into the canyon using her household vessel Amol Seilsera to attach herself to the canyon wall.

She then begins heading down. This takes a very long time, as she descends further and further the canyon grows dark even though there is nothing blocking the sun. As she goes further she begins to worry if there even is a bottom to the canyon, this worry turns into panic and she begins to remember her days as a slave and becomes scared. When she does her household vessel stops working and she falls.

And then lands on the floor and second later.

She collects herself and looks around, the canyon floor is pitch black, she could use her household vessel to light it but decides to save her magoi and instead lets out a high-pitched roar that allows her to see her surroundings kind of like a bat. She then begins to head forwards.

She runs for what seems miles before coming across a house with lights on, the door opens and Rukh fly out before revealing a man with long blond hair and a big green hat who tells her that she did well to reach this place.

The man turns out to be Yunan who introduces himself as the guardian of the canyon, he’s actually one of the Magi (I think Sinbad might have talked about him in episode 1, he’s referred to as the Wandering Magi). He serves Morgiana tea and confirms that there are other Fanalis living on the opposite side of the canyon and in much better conditions. However he also tells her that if she goes she cannot come back and he mentions that it might be a good idea since war is going to break out soon. Confused Morgiana asks him what he means and he tells her that the Emperor of the Kou Empire has died.

Meanwhile in Magnostadd Kouha Ren’s talk with Magnostadds leader Matal Mogmett is interrupted by the same news and Kouha leaves, though before he goes he tells Mogmett to heed his warning as the Kou Empire will probably invade Magnostadd soon and they can either surrender to them or be killed by them.

And lastly in the Kou Empire General Hakuei Ren (remember her?  Seriously it’s been so long, season 1 episode 4) returns to the Kou Empire’s palace with her band of 100 Kouga Clans men (also from season 1 episode 4) which all have household vessels due to her Djinn Paimon being quite a fertile Djinn. She is greeted by Koumei Ren (though I don’t think his name was mentioned) and asked about her brother Hakuryuu.

Who proceeds to arrive riding on what looks like a cloud of dragon like creatures which quickly disappear when he lands. At this point Hakuryuu looks to be very much in his ‘I want to destroy everything emo phase’ and glares as the Governor-General of the Kou Empire Kouen Ren arrives.

And that’s it for this week, next week stuff’s happening in the Kou Empire.

This episode we leave Morgiana behind and travel to the Kou Empire. With the death of the Emperor all of the princes and princesses have returned to the capital for his funeral.

Hakuryuu arrives with his sister Hakuei, Hakuei has become worried about Hakuryuu’s violent attitude. They are greeted by Prince Kouen who congratulates Hakuryuu on conquering obtaining a Djinn.

Whilst waiting for Prince Kouha to arrive, Princess Kougyoko goes to talk to Prince Kouen about not invading Sindria. As she goes to talk to him we have an internal monologue from her assistant a Koubun about his first meeting with Kougyoko and his desire to raise his status.

As Kougyoko approaches her brother she sees Hakuei with him and hides, at first she is angry that Hakuei is so close to her older brother but when it turns out Kouen wants to talk to Hakuryuu she calms down and listens in on their conversation.

Kouen asks Hakuryuu if he wants to be Emperor, saying he would rather not fight a blood relative. Kouen then goes on talk about unifying the world under one true King and shares his discoveries with Hakuryuu and Hakuei. He tells them about a world where countries spoke different languages and there was endless war. In their world everyone speaks the same language and Kouen hypothesises that it is so they never die out like the people of the old world did and to make the world one. After this he asks for Kougyoko’s opinion signalling that he knew she was there, Kougyoko doesn’t really understand it but because of his speech she misses her chance to talk to him about Sindria. As she laments that an image of Zepar flashes up briefly and her ears start to ring, she wonders why as it has been happening recently.

The next day all the princes and Princesses attend their father’s funeral. Hakuei tells Hakuryuu that their father also spoke of the same things Kouen did but expresses confidence that unlike their father Kouen will succeed, Hakuryuu tells her he has to talk to her later.

The funeral procession approaches the Emperor’s death bed and they are greeted by his widow and Hakuryuu and Hakuei’s mother (and step mother to the other princes and princesses) Gyokuen Ren. She invites them to say goodbye to their father and we see the Emperors corpse, which is black and covered in bumps. Kouen approaches and asks about his death, according to Gyokuen the Emperor had been ill for some time and unfortunately had succumbed to it. She then begins to fawn over/ flirt with Kouen which disgusts many of the princes and princesses.

As the Emperors will is read everyone is sure that Kouen will be next Emperor, the only other possibility is Hakuryuu becoming Emperor. However in a shocking reveal Gyokuen is named Empress. Half of the court is outraged whilst the priests of Al Tharmen support her. Gyokuen mentions that her position as Empress is only until Kouen no longer has to manage the Western Subjugation Forces. The court begins to argue until Hakuryuu steps up and tells his mother to ascend to the throne and then the followers of Al Tharmen ask her of her the same thing and their voices drown out their arguments.

After the funeral Hakuei approaches Hakuryuu to ask him why he did what he did. Hakuryuu tells her the truth of their father’s and brother’s murders and tells Hakuei it is the perfect time to split the Kou Empire. However Hakuei disagrees with him telling him that there is no way that Kouen will agree to a civil war and that she agrees that the ‘World is one’. She leaves Hakuryuu who begins to sink into despair as the second of two people in the world (the first being Morgiana) abandon him.

As he walks in the rain he is approached by the Kou Empire’s Magi Judal. Hakuryuu refuses to talk to him because he is pawn of his mothers but Judal tells him that his hatred and revenge is all just a result of his mother manipulating him. Gyokuen then appears saying she wants to talk to Hakuryuu as Judal had been praising him. She tries to touch Hakuryuu but he slaps her hand away. Gyokuen tells him he is beginning to look like his elder brothers and that she didn’t care if either he or Hakuei died that day.

She then mentions that maybe she should kill Hakuei and Hakuryuu in his rage Djinn equips however his attacks are held off by Gyokuen’s protective bolg. Gyokuen then tells him ‘that’s enough’ and he is propelled backwards into a wall. Defeated Gyokuen tells him to remain her cute little Hakuryuu and Judal tells him if he wishes to ‘Curse his fate’ he should come and see him.

And as the credits roll we return to Magnostadt Aladdin takes part in one of his exams. He combines heat and water magic to make an illusion of their school building appear in the arena and the judges mention that he is one of the students that are expected to be top students.

Sean on… Galilei Donna (eps 10 and 11)

I had to read my reviews to remind myself of what’s happening. So. Yes. When we last left our lil damsel in distress, she was in the past trying to build a plane with Galileo to sail into a time travel cloud which she controls using the Tesoro but for the benefit of this time travel plot has no control over. Cool? Cool.

These being the final two episodes, a lot of the nagging questions of the show are answered, and there’s reveals galore. Some obvious, some not (to me anyway). So spoiler warning, I guess.

Oh goddamnit lil that’s like the first rule of time travel. Episode ten sees our two favourite Galileo’s iteratively designing planes to fly into the cloud, ignoring the fact they’ve both built working planes prior to this. As the two spend more time together, we see Galileo drawing sketches of the moon and eating that candy lil’s been munching throughout the show, as the two enjoy their last moments together before the flight and lil opens up about who she is and the crisis of their current world, thus explaining why Galileo bothered to make an energy-saving device in the first place.

With that all full circled (totally a phrase, shut up), we go to the big day, as the untested plane invariably succeeds. This leads into a drawn-out scene where the two talk about what an impact they’ve had on each other and how great it is to find people with the same interests and you and lil realise all that lovely romantic poetry on the sketches was in fact dedicated to Hocchibi herself. D’aaaawwwww. Sadly though all episodes must come to an end at some point, not to mention the time limit the Tesoro has that they seem to completely forget, as they hit the cloud and the two are tearfully separated forever.

Which brings me to a point. Galileo is the most developed guy in this entire show. He’s referenced throughout and built up as the all-knowing super genius, as you’d expect, but then throughout timey wimey nonsense you meet him and he’s… actually human. Just another guy with worries and feelings and theories who’s never had a true friend to let it all out with until he meets Hocchibi. He goes through the most development and has the most backstory even though he’s been in this show for less than 2 episodes.

Where was I? Back in the future, the time travel jaunt buys our heroes… no time or protection whatsoever, as its down to the sky pirate to save them from imminent death, thus rendering the Tesoro’s reaction almost completely irrelevant. Thankfully, the show retains common sense with the goldfish being shot down again in record time and the trio arrested to be put on trial.

Phoenix Wright eat your heart out

And so our final episode isn’t an all guns blazing battle, but a court trial! I joked about words instead of violence being an interesting way to end the series, but… never expected it to actually happen.

As you’d expect, the bad guys in Adnimoon twist all the events of the series in their favour, showing lil’s ship being the instigator of all the damage and loss of life which they’d been pulling the strings of all along. We also learn that the prosecutor is the only one who actually understand law, with the elder law student sister and the judge himself apparently clueless.

A world before Havard Law School, I guess

And then with all seeming lost, it’s the parents that come in to save the day, with both father and a very good at faking brain damage mother (I fell for it, welp) showcasing all the corruptness of Adnimoon and redeeming the sisters of all their crimes. Including the ones they actually did commit and confessed to. Er.

This is followed by more and more reveals, like the old codger of a defense attorney they had actually being our sky pirate friend, who nicks the Tesoro and runs off. But not to worry, the moon sketches had had the calculations for making Tesoro’s on them all along thanks to lil’s time travelling shenanigans inspiring him. Begging the question of how they never spotted them to begin with.

Seriously, when is this set? Old tricks, new tech…

The other stories are all wrapped up in quick fashion, as the suited psycho kills his surrogate father to be committed, and Anna, having helped save the day, is also arrested for… wait, what crime did she commit? Whatever, the sisters go to find the seventh and final sketch, showing it to be a picture of Hocchibi. D’aaawwwww.

And so our lead family run off into the sunset, all issues resolved (mid’s boyfriend got dumped by the way, for the crime of believing evidence) to live happily ever after, because we needed to have the happiest possible ending.

Nobody questions how she time travelled

Okay, maybe I’ve been a bit harsh on this retroactively, but certainly when it started I expected a far more character driven show. It never descended into the pure mcguffin quest I feared, but it never really went into any kind of depth, and while the last episode did catch me off guard a little with its reveals, they were negated by the sheer dumbness the show regularly exhibited. When a girl who falls several stories onto a car catches a fever because of it instead of real injuries, you know the writing is never going to be all there.

But still, it tried. It had plenty of redeeming moments, and I already praised the job it did at making Galileo himself an interesting character. To sum up Galilei Donna in a word then?

——

Will this continue? Who knows, I should probably rally the troops. At the very least, I’ll conclude my Kyousougiga reviews in the coming weeks, and aim to write up some stuff about the current Winter season, along with an Anime of the Year post in the near future. What was the best show of 2013? Stay tuned to this blog and you’ll find out. ;D