Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic Review

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Magi is a Japanese Anime series showing during the Winter 2013 Season.  At first I had avoided this show mainly because its main characters were Aladdin and Alibaba, which was a huge stumbling block for me.  Disney’s Aladdin came to mind and the thought of reliving a genie in a bottle 3 wish thing was not interesting at all.  However, after giving it a shot, I was pleasantly surprised.

Story
magi1The story itself has actually nothing to do with a genie, though they are in the story. Taking more of a backdrop as beings called djinns.  The Djinns are involved via magical objects called Metal Vessels which are powered by energy called Rukh.  Rukh is also referenced as Chi and Magoi as the Magi travels from different isolated locations.

That being said, the settings in this series spans across many cultures. The Magi themselves travel the world to meet people and choose candidates to be king.  As odd as all of this sounds, the story is quite refreshing and has a very unique feel.  There’s a sort of epic quest feel as you don’t stay in one place for very long.  The character development feels thought out and you come to understand what drives them.  For example, as one main character is developed, you feel like you understand him.  At a later point in the show, you see a lot more of this character that storyline-wise does not add up.  However, as things progress things become clear.  This is something a lot of shows fail to flesh out, but Magi pulls it off.

Animation
The animation is above average with an occasional chibi main character that can get distracting and out-of-place.  I highly enjoyed a lot of the fluid feel of the more action oriented scenes.  Especially Morgiana, which really sports how fluid and gorgeous this show can get.  Unfortunately, while Morgiana is a main character, she is not too much of a focus of the show at the moment and takes a back seat.  I bring this up mostly because while watching the show, you start to anticipate what she’ll do in most situations.  She seems to be a favored character to the writers and this translates well to whoever watches the show.  I expect a lot of fan art for her in the future.

magi2Sound
I felt that the sound was well produced and let well to the feel of the show.  You never felt out-of-place and it definitely helped to set the mood.  To put it into perspective, at one point I was flipping through the show to find a fairly tense part to confirm the quality.   I found myself sucked into the emotion due to the exceptional sound.  Which in itself was proof.

Conclusion
To call this an epic (long series) is very likely due to the manga getting close to 200 chapters.  So I’m sure they have plenty of material to work with.  But I want to point out something crucial to this point.  I did not feel like I was watching an epic.  It’s hard to describe, but it was like eating a cake of which I only had a couple of pieces.  I wanted to finish the cake, but could always come back to it later.  I didn’t feel like I had to finish it now, but I enjoyed it so I kept proceeding.

Family Friendliness-Magi contains animated blood and violence. It’s not repetitive but it’s present. There’s very few suggestive scenes but overall the series is fairly clean in that respect.

VERDICT: 4 / 5

Pros:

  • Characters are well thought out and built
  • Refreshingly new plot and progression
  • Epic in length but with a light feel
  • Fluid action scenes

Cons:

  • Bad first impression
  • Distracting main character chibi moments
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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. Chris has been a fan of anime for over 20 years. Once amassing a huge collection of DVDs during the DVD boom, he's consumed hundreds of shows and isn't looking to stop any time soon.