ANIME MONDAY: Magi: Labyrinth of Magic – “A Promise That Can’t Be Kept” Review

Previously on Magi:

Aladdin & Morgiana make it to the city of Balbadd, however they are soon roped into helping a man named Sinbad fight off a group of thieves called “The Fog Troop”. Spoilers Ahead.

Morgiana & Jafar are at the Fog Troops mercy until Aladdin arrives atop Ugo. He looks poised to stop the thieves but stops when the cloaked leader of the Troop is revealed to be Alibaba! Aladdin is initially overjoyed to see his friend, but Alibaba brushes him off, saying that he can’t “keep their promise anymore”. After leaving the scene, Morgiana finds Alibaba and kidnaps him so he can talk to Aladdin about his actions. After the three are properly reunited, Alibaba tells the two of his past and why he joined the Fog Troop.

Alibaba & his mother

Here we finally shed some light on Alibaba’s backstory, well only about his connection to the REAL leader of the Fog Troop, Cassim; not about how he ended up in the town he met Aladdin. As with a good majority of anime protagonists Alibaba had a rough childhood, but even this one threw a curve ball at me. He grew up in the slums of Balbadd with his beautiful mother Anis, who was a prostitute (never heard of that in an anime, but it does fit with story setting). He & Cassim were friendly rivals in the slums and eventually began living together when Anis took him and his sister Miriam in after their abusive father disappeared.

Alibaba’s “Family” (Left to Right), Mariam, Anis, Alibaba, & Cassim

Soon after, Anis was stricken by illness and died leaving the children on their own and forcing Cassim to assume responsibility. Cassim then begins to slowly engage in theviery in order to help his family, and tells Alibaba that he doesn’t want him doing these things. Alibaba soon finds out that he is the son of the king of Balbadd when it is revealed his mother used to be a housemaid there. These scenes are nice as we shed some light on Alibaba as well how he sees Cassim. Cassim was a responsible elder sibling but grew desperate in order to protect his family, even telling Alibaba to go with the king so he could have a better life. However, Cassim was the orchestrator in the “incident” that caused Alibaba to leave Balbadd, so it will be good to see what happened between them and why he joined him again.

Alibaba meeting Cassim again after leaving the slums

Aladdin also gets some development as we see that he is happy Alibaba is doing well but still doesn’t understand why he became a thief. Although he knows he wouldn’t do it without a good reason, it shows the unshakeable he has in his friend. Morgiana on the other has none of Alibaba’s crap and is angry for what he did. We also get so see Alibaba’s Djinn in action when he summons Amon’s power in his dagger, creating a huge flame that covered the Fog Troop’s escape. We see more of Sinbad and his retainers but they don’t contribute much to the plot, but we also see that the thieves that stole his vessels (items that store Djinns) in town so that may come up later.

“A Promise That Can’t Be Kept” is a pretty somber episode that explores Alibaba’s character as well as expanding some more on the Fog Troop. A couple funny moments in the beginning help keep the tone pretty light until the heavy stuff starts rolling. The magic continues next week as Cassim mounts a force to take back Alibaba.