The creators really splurged the budget on this episode. I remember the previous prime-time series that A-1 pictures did: Ao no Exorcist. And when you compare those two series, I really have to say that Magi is a huge improvement. The action here was so much better than what Ao no Exorcist showed me: the art was messy, yet fluid. Not to mention the awesome camera angles. Yes, this show definitely made the wait during the new year time-skip worth it.
The interesting thing also is that Abhmad is completely weak and unsuited for fighting. That’s not something you see often in a fighting series like this, and it had a nice side-effect: this episode was full of action, but as soon as the focus went to Abhmad the action toned down, Alibaba became powerless and instead we got to see a much more personal conflict. I quite liked seeing him being pushed into a corner like that.
This series also has a new OP. I don’t really like the song, but I do like how much the creators managed to stuff into it. I think that that also strikes the animation of this episode: it had a ton of detail stuffed into it, both the character-designs and the backgrounds. There were a lot of shots with huge crowds, and still the creators managed to keep up a pretty good framerate.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)