Without a doubt, Magi seems considerably more interested in dabbling in politics than your average shounen.
Magi continues to slowly unveil its truly massive cast in relatively coherent and entertaining fashion, following the trend of giving us a brief look at the new character, then focusing elsewhere for a while before showing us what they’re truly made of. This was clearly the episode for Sinbad to step up and prove he was more than a part of the background, and he did just that. But while his prowess with a blade – and his magically-aided fists – was expected, more interesting was his practicality and political acumen.
One thing that’s surely been obvious to Sinbad since he rode a bottle into Balabadd was that this is a regime on the way out – a bloated, corrupt despot loathed by the people at its head, those people ready to turn against it given the first opportunity. Which, of course, the Fog Troupe provided. Given that Sin – with some help from Masrur and Ja’far – made mincemeat of the Troupe in battle, including Alibaba and his djinn, he could easily have turned them over to the King in exchange for reopening trade. But seeing the big picture, he figured Alibaba represented a better long-term bet – and promptly asked the vanquished Alibaba to “allow” him to join the troupe.
I found Alibaba’s rationale for agreeing to lead the bandits to be a bit weak, to be honest, but I suppose it’s admirable on some level that he was unwilling to write off the folk of his childhood. Kassim is clearly bad news in every respect, but it was interesting to see that when it came to Sinbad fighting Alibaba, the Rukh clearly sided against Aladdin’s friend – and the little magi did nothing to interfere. Of course with common foes to do battle with they have common ground – against the corrupt King, and against Judal (who we saw a few episodes ago) who appears to have black Rukh surrounding him. I can only assume that signals he’s a major baddie, and a bigger threat than some fat, gout-riddled King of slums who has a very short lease on power.