Alakou

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Pairing
Pairing: Alakou
Alternative name(s):
Gender category: M/F
Fandom: Magi
Canonical?: One-sided confirmed
Prevalence: Uncommon (English-speaking fandom)
Common (Japanese-speaking fandom)
Archives: Works at AO3, Works at FF.net
Other:
Aladdin kissing Kougyoku on the cheek, made by daisy-pooh.
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Alakou is a het ship from Magi between Aladdin and Kougyoku Ren.

Canon

The two met under unfortunate circumstances when Kougyoku showed up to save Judar, seemingly "killing" Aladdin's djinn friend Ugo in the process. When the two met later in Sindria, they tried to be civil, although they still held a bit of a grudge against each other.

When Aladdin had grown to the age of 15 and hit puberty, he developed a crush on Kougyoku. However, it's never confirmed if Kougyoku feels the same or not.

Fandom

The ship is known as Alakou, or in Japanese, アラ紅 (Arakou). A rarer tag Alagyoku (アラ玉, Aragyoku) also exists.

Tropes

A lot of Alakou work includes depictions of Aladdin dealing with his crush and trying to confess to Kougyoku, Kougyoku sometimes being oblivious to it.

Emergence and controversy

The Alakou fandom came into existence as suddenly as the ship itself. Aladdin's feelings for Kougyoku were subtly revealed in chapter 315 with no clear hinting beforehands. The previous week, the fandom had been going wild over the canon confirmation of Alimor, and now people were outraged and excited over the canon hinting of a new ship. The ship had not had a fandom before this event.

Over in the Japanese fandom, people jumped on the Alakou train immediately, producing a lot of artwork for it quickly. Alakou is the youngest ship in the fandom that only emerged at a late point in the series when it was close to its ending, and when the peak popularity of the series had already passed. Despite this, by 2021 on Pixiv, the ship has become one of the most active ship tags for the fandom, still being actively updated despite the manga being over. While it is not among the most popular ships in the total amount of fanwork due to its young age, the tag growth has a faster momentum than most Magi ships have anymore.

The reception was a bit different over in the English-speaking fandom. While the ship does have its fans, it is quite controversial in some circles. The reason for this is the seven year age gap between the characters, and the fact that they met when Aladdin was 10 and Kougyoku 17. The suddenness of the reveal of Aladdin's crush was also seen as an issue. Some people are cautiously fine with the ship as long as both characters are portrayed as over 18, while others are against the ship regardless. In the English-speaking fandom the ship has a small amount of art but very few fics.

The popularity and reactions to Alakou were discussed on 4chan in June 2017:

I also have a lot of Aladdin/Fish saved. You would not believe the amount of art this gets.[1]
It got popular fast. Guess JP Magi fans really wanted a canon ship for both Aladdin and Fish.[2]
I swear it has more fanart that Fishbaba ever did. It exploded over there.[3]
I've already seen some of them post about the new extra where Aladdin says he's interested in a girl. It's obviously Fish so this is just gonna make the amount of art explode again.[4]
I haven't checked their reactions yet but I am sure they are happy. I wonder if they have the trouble the western fandom has at least in that shit website: age difference because Aladdin is 15 and Fish is what? 22? I know Ohtaka doesn't give a fuck and if she wants to make them canon now she will, but I wanna see reactions mostly because of the asspain.[5]

After the release of the final chapter, a 4chan user collected an updated Hall of Anal Devastation imgur album about (mainly) Alikou and Hakumor shippers' angry reactions towards Alimor being canon and Alakou being hinted at being canon.

More Comments

To a certain extent. I’m a huge fan of couples that started off on the wrong foot and slowly become friends and later lovers. I especially like Alibaba isn’t the only person that Kougyoku has confided in, and it’s Aladdin who she first revealed her shaky relationship with her family, as well as her feelings for Alibaba. So yeah, they have the potential to be a really nice couple. I’ve headcanon’d a few things and thought of possible hook ups for them, sadly though I’m not as passionate about this ship as some of the other ones.

If only Ohtaka had given them more interactions on panel.
chyemmi-chimi on "Do u ship Alakou?", May 29, 2017.[6]
Alakou
right now: NO..after a good development and a few years from now: maybe. Still, I would have chosen someone else for my baby girl
nana-aniki, September 20, 2017.[7]
As cute as it is, I say no. Kougyoku is too "bitchy" for Aladdin. It's cute if they're friends or if she's with Alibaba 'cause Alibaba is closer to her. Most people are against AlaKou bc "muh age difference", yet they ship SinKou which has a 12-year age gap, twice that of AlaKou. Now, if only it showed Aladdin courting Alibaba....
CitrusCinnamon, March 4, 2020.[8]
ALAKOU IS MY GUILTIEST SHIP FOR YEARS NOW. I had no plans shipping anyone in Magi really, but Aladdin and Kougyoku befriended each other, they hit my top three shipping kinks and ever since then YES I AM GUILTY. I do understand why people don't, they have this massive eight year age difference, and Aladdin is a minor.

To be honest I... totally don't ship them right now. They still both need to see more of the world and grow as people. But when Aladdin grows older and more mature, and if Kougyoku has broadened her horizons... maybe there's a chance? Maybe not. I'm happy if they stay platonic, but if it turns romantic many years later... who knows what might happen.
violetheart08 on "You like AlaKou right? owo", August 7, 2020.[9]
I don't hate it, but I dislike them because: 1) they're basically like Aladdin's parents (and I hate Aladdin's father lmao), blue haired man with amazing magical power and a pink haired woman who is kinda childish, 2) they just... got together. Like, no lead up or anything, only couple of small moments that could easily be taken as two unlikely friends having a nice time.
hyvinvointivaltio on "Honest thoughts on this pair? I personally like them together.", September 24, 2021.[10]

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Fanart

Meta

Archives and Communities

Other Resources

  • Alakou ⁠— A Tumblr blog full of reblogs of Alakou posts

References

  1. ^ Post No.158742141 on Desuarchive.
  2. ^ Post No.158742187 on Desuarchive.
  3. ^ Post No.158742233 on Desuarchive.
  4. ^ Post No.158742455 on Desuarchive.
  5. ^ Post No.158743000 on Desuarchive.
  6. ^ Do u ship Alakou? by chyemmi-chimi.
  7. ^ Post by nana-aniki.
  8. ^ CitrusCinnamon on "I can show you the world".
  9. ^ Answer by violetheart08.
  10. ^ hyvinvointivaltio on Honest thoughts on this pair? I personally like them together.