In the end, the Medium was dispatched fairly smoothly! For a finale, I must say I didn’t get as excited as I thought I would – in the end, the combined efforts of all the metal vessel users (through using their Extreme Magics simultaneously) turned out to be slightly underwhelming. I suppose the same could be applied to Scheherazade’s sacrifice – while I sort of grasped that it was supposed to be an emotional moment, it just seemed like a matter-of-fact occurrence to me (and dare I say it, perhaps even arbitrary). But hey, in many ways this episode shouldn’t just be judged on how the final battle played out, as there was lots happening in the aftermath too.
After having disappeared, it seems like Titus has been latching himself onto Mogamett’s magoi all along, as the rukh of someone who hasn’t fallen into depravity – while he might have died some episodes ago, his sacrifice turned out to be crucial all along in forcing the Medium to hesitate. While Mogamett’s ostensibly doomed for all eternity (and there’s a strong argument for making him repent for all his sins throughout the years) it’s good to know that he’s acknowledged the error of his ways, and will stay with the people whose fate he’s cursed. We don’t know much about Mogamett’s past with Yamuraiha other than what’s been mentioned in passing, but it looks like they really did care for each other – and of course, he cared about a lot of other people, too (although it just so happened that they were all magicians). It’s actually really sad that so many of the fallen souls Aladdin comes into contact with end up doomed, because so many of them tend to repent once they’re on the other side – we’ve seen that with Kassim, Dunya and now Mogamett. I wonder what would happen if Aladdin tried using Solomon’s Wisdom on Gyokuen…
It’s interesting how the screen focused on Sinbad when Mogamett talked about not entrusting everything to a single person, no matter how powerful they are – and Sinbad definitely fits that definition with his country, international alliance and seven djinn. Although he went on about protecting the world last episode, he’s actually benefited from this conflict with hardly any losses through allying Sindria with Reim and pledging to “reconstruct” (i.e. control and politically influence) Magnostadt, who is now without a leader. And he’s also enjoying the happy side effect of pissing off the Kou Empire and Ren Kouen. He really is a crafty bastard – and I’m wondering just how much of that was planned beforehand, especially as Sindria wasn’t even involved in the Magnostadt-Reim-Kou conflict.
Two other loose ends were addressed in this finale, and first one of them involved Titus. It was nice seeing both Ugo and those strange Rukh blobs once more, who decided to accept Titus as the new Magi instead of Scheherazade. Sucks to be you, Gyokuen! I think there wasn’t much doubt that Titus would end up surviving somehow, although some may have genuinely believed in his death after he attempted to stop Mogamett. At the very least, the new Magi is someone firmly on Aladdin’s (and thus Solomon’s) side, with little chance of Al-Thamen rearing their ugly heads like they did with Judal. And speaking of Judal, we have our second loose end in Hakuryuu. I think there’s not much hope for him at this point – it might just be me, but I don’t remember his djinn equip having looked so… dark before. He really looks like he’s fully fallen, and embraced depravity, becoming exactly what his bitch of a mother wanted him to be. Even at this moment in the manga, we don’t know his fate nor what Judal intends to do with the remnants of the Medium – but neither of them seem good.
Overall, this wasn’t too bad a show – I definitely enjoyed it, and it was a cut above the mess A-1 Pictures produced for Season 1. While there were areas I did enjoy seeing animated, including Aladdin’s magic battles in school and the early parts of the war, I found that the manga did a better job of portraying other sections. And this season needed more Kougyoku (although that was no fault of the anime). To be honest, I think I’ve primarily viewed this adaptation as exactly that – an adaptation – and a happy complement to the manga rather than treating it as a stand-alone work, which tends to happen with familiarity with the source material – so I’d be interested in hearing the perspective of an anime-only fan. That being said, I’m still quite sad to see this go! The manga has only recently begun its current arc, and so there’s not really much scope for a further adaptation in the near future. I’d say there’s less than a couple dozen chapters left to animate as of now. That scope will probably widen in a couple of years or so, so we might get a Season 3 announcement or something later on (assuming this series’ continued popularity). Although we won’t be getting any of the main storyline animated soon, do look forward to the Sinbad no Bouken spinoff later this year, which is being animated into a set of 3 OVAs. The first one’s coming out in May!