Though often overlooked or disregarded in anime, we should be thankful for death in Magi. Not only does death play a crucial role in the setting of the anime, considering the significance of the Rukh as the souls of mortals, but it carries substantial weight in the story with a number of character deaths thus far. And, with death as a realistic outcome from these battles and conflicts, it helps strengthen the anime because then we’re not left with characters who are really, really hurt and turn into good guys in the next story arc. Yeah, death is pretty awesome in Magi.
Throughout these first five episodes, we’ve seen numerous characters die, both good and bad alike. Not only has it been an effective means of heightening emotion and removing a character from the story, but there’s also the connection to the Rukh which has bedazzled young Aladdin for the longest time. After hearing Baba’s explanation that the Rukh are the manifestation of souls that provide guidance toward fate or destiny, the complex role of death, especially that of Baba, becomes more apparent in the setting and in the anime. Knowing that these opaque butterflies are the life-force of human souls around Aladdin (and around everyone else), we’re able to imagine that people like Baba and all those that have died before Aladdin are guiding him on his life journey from beyond the grave. So in a sense, death is only able to remove the physical aspect of characters from the series and we’re free to believe that all those who have perished are still with Aladdin, assisting him in his life as a Magi.
The other aspect of death that has been positive thus far is that it is a satisfying outcome to the fights of Magi. With death comes the ultimate price to characters, showing significance to these conflicts and showing that the protagonists are just as serious as the antagonists. Just as Jamil was content with killing Aladdin and Alibaba or Ryosai was with Hakuei, our heroes are content with killing them, too, though as a means to prevent further bloodshed and irrational murder. Still, seeing a character die as we’ve seen a few times thus far is a more satisfying or rewarding end because then we can assume closure on a subject or matter present. There isn’t the chance that just because a character is really, really beat up that they can come back and revive their conflict or enlist the help of bigger baddies or join the good guys like what happens with so many shounen stories. Because characters on either side can die in Magi, it really puts some meaning into the fights because the final result might be one less character walking around in the next episode. Couple that with the significance of death to the setting and story and you’ve got quite an interesting and respectable scheme of death in this anime. And though it is always somewhat sad to see a character go in anime, especially if that character is beloved like Baba was, I’m ready for more death in Magi.
Ugo’s head always seems to be hiding within Aladdin’s magic flute and whenever we have flashbacks to Aladdin in the dungeon with Ugo, his hair covers his eyes. As a result, we’re never fully able to see his entire face and often are left with him as an inaudible character as we saw from the conversation with the busty and seductive Paimon. At first, I thought it was just a means to show that Aladdin did not have the sufficient strength to summon all of Ugo (hence why the head never comes out) but the idea falls short given the few appearances we’ve had of Ugo where his hair covers his face or it is otherwise hidden due to perspective and lighting. And because we’ve seen the heads of two other djinn, Amon and Paimon, it leaves me to wonder if there’s something significant about Ugo’s face that carries some meaning behind it for later in the story. I suppose this query won’t be answered until far later in the series should the situation ever arise, but it’s something that has caught my interest these past few episodes, especially now with the conversations with Amon and Paimon.