Like many extensive or lengthy manga and anime, Magi directs its story through a series of grand story arcs. With virtually all the problems of Balbadd resolved, the antagonists fleeing back to whatever darkness they emerged from and our heroes arriving in a new setting with new characters and a vast, untold potential, it’s obvious that we’re in the transition between arcs with the closure shown in Balbadd and the introductions starting in Sindria. And with the conclusion of one arc, it might be fun to take a look at how this method of storytelling affects various story and plot aspects of Magi.
In regards to the plot, having a system story arcs gives each major event in Magi its own individual story within the story. Although these events are all loosely connected with each other through a central, main storyline, each story is given its own arc to explain and express itself keeping them distinctive and separate from each other. Each story arc has ample time to keep its focus and attention on whatever specific issues, characters and challenges are present. When everything is completed and concluded, Magi is free to move on to its next set of problems and obstacles for the characters. Not only that but the various arcs continue to build off each other with the characters growing and maturing through each one. However, this also means is the audience goes on a rollercoaster of highs and lows with each one seeing as each story has its own build-up, climax and conclusion. And while this may be a good thing for each individual story, this method of storytelling, however, has a different effect on the flow of the story.
The flow within each story arc is able to take on its own style to fit the story, which means it’s ideal for the arc at hand, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the flow transitions well between arcs or even from arc to arc. It’s clear-cut whenever one story arc ends and the next one begins. The flow of the story can feels a bit jumpy or jittery at times, especially when comparing arcs to each other. With this episode of Magi, there’s been an evident change in the style and flow of the story between the end of Balbadd and the beginning of Sindria. It’s like we’ve just finished one journey and now we’re beginning a new one. So while there are a number of positives of the story arc system for the individual stories, it is a bit murky when examining how it impacts the flow of the series. It’s like driving in a car down a gorgeous scenic highway but constantly having to stop, start, stop, start, stop, and start again along the way. It isn’t necessarily a problem inherit with the story arc system but it is a bit awkward in Magi given how distinctive these two arcs have been. Hopefully as the series continues and the story progresses, the transition between arcs becomes smooth, seamless and unnoticeable since that would erase the troubles Magi has with flow between the arcs and keep the anime on a nice, smooth ride.
I am very curious about the biology of the Southern Creature that terrorized Sindria momentarily in this episode. No, no, I’m not merely interested in its anatomy and physiology, but more interested in the ecology surrounding the island nation and how such a beast could grow into existence. What exactly does it eat and how does this food chain supply itself with numerous creatures to support the gargantuan size of the monster. Not only that, but I’m curious as to why it attacked the town. You’d figure the sea serpent would have a reason, such as looking for food or protecting its kin or something, but it seemed rather berserk and aimless in its rampage. Maybe I’m overthinking things here but I’d love to learn more about the world and the setting of Magi with each new location visited.