I would have prefer if Sinbad sticked to his principles or simply said screw it rather than come up with some strange explanation why he is screwing his own rule. Really not a fan of the 7 seas alliance engaging in civil war.
Anyway, Now I wonder what will save the Kou army from total defeat. Kind of funny how the tides turned in a mere 2 chapter.
A bit late to this, sorry. I already finished my complete re-read, and I gave my 5 (or was it 50?) cents on the matter, unless you're referring specifically to my opinion of the Balbadd arc after a second read.
If it's that, well, I gotta say I liked Balbadd as much as the first time. If I were to nitpick, I'd say the ending back-and-forth between Alibaba and Cassim is a bit long, but overall it's a fantastic arc, it builds-up in an awesome manner, the stakes are big, it's dramatic without being hopeless, and it has a bittersweet ending were Alibaba has to come back sometime in the future to lead his country again, this time for real. If anything, I'd say the worst thing about Balbadd is how much Alibaba has stayed stuck in his position of being eternally powerless till now, played as a tool by the Kou Empire or Sinbad or what have you. I really expected Alibaba taking back Balbadd to be a huge part of the manga but it kinda died out. A shame.
But the arc itself is still my favorite by far. Magnostadt is a close runner up if not for the battle against the big blob of Cthulu hands taking so much and being so poorly coreographed, but read in bulk it wasn't nearly as terrible as reading it on a weekly manner. But Balbadd still wins.
Yeah I wanted Balbadd specifically, thanks. I always picture it as the best arc of the manga and wanted to have someone else opinion on it.
I really love this arc because it has everything:
-Sinbad is simply a badass but a funny character which has one of the greatest introduction possible. He has great interaction with both Jafar by how much he pissed him off with his attitude and Morgiana he keeps trying to protect. Even his cockiness is played for laugh and he is an adventurer at heart. He cares for the people and is willing to take chances to help them. He actually doesn't fall for Alibaba until he proves himself at the palace, avoiding the "I just sensed something special" everyone find in the main character usually. He is useful but ultimately let the main characters shine. This balanced with the little flashback of what happened to Sindria makes him my favorite character.
- Morgiana actually plays an active role in the arc. I like how she refuses to refuse to listen to Sinbad or Alibaba when they want to push her away and just do what has to be done. Wether it his making sure Alibaba and Aladdin talk, Participating in the fog battle, helping prevent casualties or kicking monkey's ass. She is always around and it actually her choice (opposing even the main cast). This really made her my second favorite character and she simply gets better with the Zagan arc.
-Alibaba I can't say he impressed me much that arc. That is until the last portion of the arc of course. Then when forced by his friend, he man up. He doesn't simply beat the crap out of everyone. He actually has a decent plan so the situation don't have to go to hell. Sure he helped by the water princess disgust but it was an impressive showing. The kind that makes me feel satisfied when he catch Sinbad's eyes. I can't say he ever impressed me as much as that time.
UGO Never realized how much I loved him until he went all the way to protect Aladdin all the way and had to leave his side.
-The villains We really have a great introduction to the Al-Tharmen organization. We have the oppressive entrance with Judar impression on Aladdin and the bad vibes from banker. We see their crazy influence and size with the weapon selling to the fog troops , their manipulation of the economy of Balbaad and their council. We are introduced to concept of black rukh and djinns. This arc really lay the foundation for everything to come. We see their power and influence, and we know they will be dangerous in the future and must be destroyed. The only grip I have being Judar was destroyed so badly by Ugo, I had a hard time taking him seriously afterwards.
-The conflict I appreciate the conflict was something that couldn't be resolved simply by force. I like that it wasn't really resolved by the fighting. Sure there was a dramatic entrance for Alibaba and the part with the black djinn, but the real resolution was Alibaba's idea. I love seeing how the politics plays in the matter with the importance of one's position or how bad your economy can turn, I like how each character has to decide what is the right side to be in(even if done fast), having even a king become part of a band of bandits. I like the character of Cassim and how even while helping the slums, he also wants to be king, but even being an ass, he also had a shitty life and is an a shitty situation explaining how he came down to that.