You all gave your opinions and I listened intently. The top 3 were Berserk, Magi, and Mardock Scramble, followed closely by Blood+. I wasn’t necessarily going to watch the one that received the most votes. I simply needed some shows to be elevated in priority, and then I would choose which to start with from those top picks. And as the title tells you, I selected Magi as my starting point. So let me hand out my verdict:
The Magi series takes place in a world not unlike our own, but with magic. Towers known as Dungeons appeared all across the globe and those who capture one gain wealth and power. A young man named Alibaba seeks this wealth in order to elevate himself, but he alone lacks the confidence to clear a Dungeon. So it is by fate that he meets a young boy named Aladdin who lends his strength to Alibaba and together they set out on an incredible journey.
I must say that the story of Labyrinth of Magic surprised me. It was far better than I expected it to be, and just as I was told, it really was Aladdin on crack. And it really did not slack on the grim dark at times, hoo boy. The characters were also a high point. They were relatable in their own ways and that makes them compelling. I can’t really say I have a favorite character though. This is more of an ensemble cast where one character typically doesn’t stand out too far from the rest, sharing the spotlight. That’s not a bad thing of course, merely an observation.
The Story - Spoiler Section
Gotta get this off my chest: Judar is an ass. I definitely wouldn’t wanna hang out with that guy. Not to say I’d hang out with Sinbad either. He seems like a fun guy, but you can tell he has ulterior motives out the wazzoo.
Oh, and speaking of stupid characters, I gotta point a lot of fingers at Abhmad. The guy is short, fat, and definitely can’t fight. So its a wonder how no one raised a sword to his throat sooner considering how simple it would be. The only thing stopping people was his title of King, but that was more or less ornamental by this point in the story because he had signed everything away to the Ko Empire, he literally had zero in the way of power. And THAT brings me to my biggest grievance: The Balbuud arc took way too freaking long. It was so drawn out that it made Haruhi’s Endless Eight look like the best summer vacation ever(Okay, that’s an exaggeration, I don’t wish Endless Eight on anybody, that’s just cruel and inhumane punishment, but you get my point.). I was so relieved when it finally ended. Took me a few days to pick the series back up again because I needed some time to recuperate.
And Aladdin is so goddamn lucky. He gets all the beautiful women. Poor Alibaba.
The artistry of Magi is pretty simple to be honest. Nothing truly stands out as being absolutely breathtaking. The characters are drawn sharply and cleanly, the sky looks nice, the backgrounds are nicely detailed. It is what it needs to be and nothing more than that. I will say that the animation can be pretty fluid at times which really lends itself to the occasional spectacle.
Now, while I may not have the greatest of praise for the artwork, I will definitely praise the soundtrack. Shiro Sagisu creates some great tracks to go with whatever series he works on and Magi is no slouch. The above track, Enfin Apparu, is the “shits getting real” kind of track. When it comes on, you know you’re in for a great fight scene. I looked forward to it every time and I was never disappointed.
Magi: Labyrinth of Magic is a series filled with secrets, political drama, and character development. It is everything a great series should be, even if it drags on for a little too long at times. All that said, I can’t wait to start the second season, Magi: Kingdom of Magic, followed shortly thereafter by the prequel Magi: Adventures of Sinbad, which should be finished airing by the time I finish Kingdom of Magic.