English: Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
Synonyms: Magi - Labyrinth of Magic
Japanese: マギ The Labyrinth of Magic
Published: Jun 3, 2009 to ?
Authors: Ohtaka, Shinobu (Story & Art)
Serialization: Shounen Sunday (Weekly)
Score: 8.671 (scored by 7908 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.
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Jun 1, 2013
Magi Labyrinth of Magic is something unique in the popular long-running shounen manga category alongside such renowned works like One Piece, Bleach, Naruto, and Fairy Tail. I may not be the best person to compare Magi to those works, but I must say that from what I know about all of them, none of them come anywhere near being as intellectual as Magi is. Despite not being a psychological manga, Magi still manages to look at what is right or wrong and what is good or evil through a historical perspective. In my mind it stands alongside psychological manga and anime such as Death Note, Shinsekai Yori, and Shiki by asking the real important questions about humans and society. This is not a story about who can beat the shit out of who by becoming the strongest in the world. It uses social issues from human history such as discrimination, slavery, monarchy vs. republicanism, and many more topics. At around 180 chapters, this manga does not have a clear end in sight, but it sure as hell knew what it was trying to accomplish right the first few chapters even before the central conflict was ever mentioned.
Story – 10/10
Wait, this is a shounen/action manga with no end in sight, how can it earn a 10/10 for story? Magi is all about the story. Characters come together from all across the known world (and even farther) to join together in this ever-growing tale. Characters who seem to be just be there for filler end up serving a purpose and even show up later (the trio of thieves in the Balbadd arc for example).
The story of Magi begins with Aladdin, who is a Magi which is a human who can draw in the Rukh (the energy that creates everything in the world) from around him and use it as magic. Normal humans can only use the rukh from within themselves to use whatever powers they have (magic, the power of metal vessels given to them by Djinns, etc.). Aladdin meets a boy, Alibaba, who is working for an oppressive boss. Alibaba dreams of one day being able to capture a dungeon (these mysterious “buildings” that began appearing in random places all over the world a little over a decade ago) and becoming rich. But Alibaba does not want to be rich just to become rich unlike most of the people who are wealthy and greedy. He has personal reason that I won’t give away involving his home country and his childhood friend. At first Alibaba just wants to use Aladdin’s amazing Magi powers to achieve his goal, but, along with the Fanalis (red-pink haired people with incredible physical strength) Morgiana who was a slave that the two of them helped free from her sadistic master, they eventually become friends and agree to travel the world together (yeah that plan still hasn’t really happened because of a lot of stuff that gets in the way). But that stuff that gets in the way is all very interesting and is really what the story is all about: how the main characters Alibaba, Aladdin, Morgiana and eventually the prince Ren Hakuryuu, come together with everyone they meet in order to protect this world that is being threatened by a mysterious group known as Al-Tharmen. Al-Tharmen is causing chaos all around the world by influencing people and helping struggling countries either by offering them weapons, money, power, or all of the above.
From there, the world unfolds and the great story that Magi has only just begun becomes a fantastic tale of rebellion, magic, war, and friendship (well it is a shounen/action manga of course it has friendship as a strong aspect).
Art – 10/10
One great thing about Magi is the emotions, whether comedic or dark. I really love the way the art portrays the characters during the humorous scenes (they get scarcer and scarcer as the story progresses though if you’re looking for a lot of comedy then try Fairy Tail not Magi). This manga (as well as the anime) really do an amazing job with the darker aspects of this story, and trust me there are a lot. This manga is actually pretty gruesome at times (Morgiana can kick straight through huge mutant animals and come out the other side). This manga has plenty of blood and the author is not afraid to show it all. The action scenes are also very well done, but of course with any action manga suffer a little in ways that the anime can portray a bit better. Still it’s not a problem at all and I am definitely not saying they are poorly drawn by any means. Most characters (especially Aladdin, Judal, Cassim, Jafar, etc.) have really great and unique characters designs. Some characters look a little similar, but mostly just because of the lack of color. The only ones I can think of (like Sinbad and Mu Alexius) have not actually appeared together so far so it does not pose a problem.
Characters – 10/10
Alibaba, Jafar, and Aladdin are my personal favorites so far, but the character cast keeps expanding and amazing characters and added into the story. At 182 chapters, Magi does have a damn large character cast. One thing this manga does well is not focusing too much on the main quartet. In fact, only a couple arcs have even had all four main characters (Alibaba, Aladdin, Morgiana, and Hakuryuu) all together. In most arcs they go their separate ways and it is their interactions with the people they meet they is really important. Do not expect Alibaba or Aladdin to be like Luffy or Natsu and just steal the show and defeat the main villain in each arc, because that’s not how this manga goes. It’s a joint effort from everyone that wins. The minor characters in this manga are great: Sinbad and his eight generals (Jafar is in them and I love how he keeps Sinbad, one of the most overpowered people in the world, in check and actually scares Sinbad), the Ren family (aside from Hakuryuu there are several other extremely powerful men and women who have all captured dungeons), and the people of the many other nations like Reim (obviously based off the Roman empire), Mognastadt, Balbadd, etc. This manga gives an equal amount of time to all of the minor characters whether they are recurring or not, allowing you to connect with all of the interesting and unique characters that this story has in its vast world.
Enjoyment – 10/10
This manga is just amazing. It’s amazing to me how it can deviate from the usual shounen/action genre and become so intellectual (it’s not deviating to the point where it becomes something like Evangelion in the mecha genre but still…). All of the characters are intelligent and unique, and the art allows the deep emotions they are feeling through loss and despair, as well as happiness and success to be shown to their fullest. Magi the Labyrinth of Magic is something I recommend to anyone who enjoys intelligent manga about society or anyone who enjoys shounen/action manga as I don’t think most people from either group will be disappointed. If you like things like Fairy Tail, One Piece, or Blue Exorcist or if you enjoy things like Shiki, Code Geass, or Shinsekai Yori, then I fully recommend Magi to you, and you may want to check out the anime as well. read more
Mar 6, 2012
Magi begins as an episodic story of the individuals affected or touched by Aladdin, an enigmatic child with a headless djinn/genie and an omnipresent childlike innocence. Yet author Ohtaka Shinobu's ambitiously aims to weave the characters of these short stories together on a setting that ranges from the Middle Eastern Coast of what is clearly an allegory of the Roman Empire to Arabia, the Central Asian Steppe and as far East as the Chinese Kou/Huang empire. Characters present in each story remain present, returning to later relevance far later into the story. The main focus of the story, though, is on Aladdin and Ali Baba, a boy who starts out as a low-ranked merchant but slowly discovers his potential as Aladdin's candidate for the Heir to King Solomon. Based loosely on the Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Magi's story is primarily based in Arabia and Persia, but explores locales such as Balbadd (an allegory for India), the nomads of Central Asia and hints to later inroads into Africa and the Chinese Huang Empire, exploring issues such as imperialism, internal politics, economics and slavery. The strange thing about Magi is that many of the issues are not in fact resolved through fighting. Though many of the plot resolutions can be shounen-esque, there have only been one or two truly Shounen fight scenes, with many conflicts resolved through politics, mediation or economics, all of which play a role in the many nations of the continent. Plot strings seemingly left behind are in fact picked up later, and Magi's narrative flows smoothly and logically while providing an ample amount of humor. If there were any problem to the story, it would be simply that the mangaka seems to be either too afraid or unwilling to sometimes let go of characters, even when their death would be expedient for the plot. Overall, Magi's plot, while stereotypical in one or two instances, is gently surprising and shows a shounen manga that nevertheless does not always try to resolve every insurmountable problem with hot bloodedness and fighting.
Magi's artwork comes off as deceptively cute on the onset. The characters are drawn gently in a style that comes closer to that of a slice of life manga than an anime that seeks to confront serious issues. Yet Mangaka Shinobu has demonstrated the ability to draw out a darker tone while preserving the overall artistic integrity of the text. While Aladdin always retains his usual adorableness, the increasing grimness of characters such as Ali Baba serve to show not only their increasing maturity but also the results of the crises that they have been forced to confront. Magi's Art is endearing and charming when it wants to, but serious and grim when it needs to.
Based loosely on tales from A Thousand and One Arabian Nights, the characters of Magi are, while outwardly similar, quite different in execution. Aladdin, the cherubic "magi," comes off not as either the confused boy of the original narrative or the mildly immature man-boy of the Disney adaptation, but a talented boy whose initial lack of skill never affects his immovable faith in the goodness of humanity. Ali Baba, meanwhile, changes from a greedy boy who exploits Aladdin for his gifts to a tortured individual both haunted by the past he has left behind and inspired to improve the futures of those around him. Other characters, such as legendary hero Sinbad, stick slightly closer to their original counterparts, with Sinbad's tendency to lose whatever he gained in his last adventure sometime before his next illustrated in a comedic light. Author Ohtaka, however, bolsters her story with a host of original characters, all of which have their pasts and motivations, from Balbaddian street urchin (and Ali Baba's childhood friend) Kassim to the two aesthetically similar but ideologically divergent princesses (the highborn, idealistic pacifist Hakuei and the politically unsteady and pragmatic Kougyoku) of the Huang Empire. Furthermore, the mangaka makes an effort to humanize even those who are clearly in the wrong, keeping them from simply becoming caricatures--a slave trader is revealed to once have been a slave him/herself (I really couldn't tell); a cruel master whose innocence was once subverted by his master; the Dual Salujas, kings of the oppressed citizenry of Balbadd. Each individual in Magi's narrative comes off as their own character, with stories that the average reader can sympathize with, even a little bit.
=Enjoyment and Overall=
I was absolutely surprised by the depth of Magi's narrative and characters and liked it immensely. After reading realistic seinin manga full of grimdark suffering and gore and reading idealistic shounen stories of hotblooded (but improbable) problem resolutions, Magi's idealistic tone but realistic mindset was a welcome alternative that really allowed me to keep smiling from chapter to chapter. I do not often rate 10s for enjoyment, but Magi definitely deserves this praise. An underrated manga that is willing to confront real issues without giving up its optimism. read more
Jun 7, 2013
Combining the elements of Magic and characteristics of Monarchy, Shinobu creates what is a must read manga for all the fans who want something thought provoking at their plate. Magi gives the readers what other mainstream series have failed to do in last couple of years i.e. sense of purpose.
The two core problems faced by mainstream shonen series currently are plot and character handling. Many mangaka just bore the readers to death by introducing vague concepts and plot devices that appear to be an “escape route” rather than a planned move. That is no exception to the series involving magic. It is a convenient tool which can be successfully used by anyone against any baddie aiming for world domination. While in these cases, the fights may appear to look good, the plot and characters end up suffering a lot.
Magi gives us a world that where the class difference is at its extreme. We see the weak yet innocent getting devoured by the status quo. Racial Discrimination, Slavery, Wagging wars to obtain resources, Causing Civil Wars, Dark Justice, Famine, and Poverty are all present. We also see revenge breading more revenge and causing nothing but chaos. Dark Powers of paper money, human mentality of self-submission and dependence on others are also some interesting concepts that we rarely get to see in shonen manga. However Shinobu’s greatness lies in the fact that while playing with such extreme elements she hasn’t ignored basic shonen ingredients rather used them to great effect. So we get to see the evil organizations at work, Nakama Power, good guys bouncing back from the jaws of defeat, cool and attractive powerups, mysterious men like Urahara, revenge seeking vampires like Sasuke, great and timely dosages of comedy, bits of fan service here and there and a story which leaves a lot of room for discussion and theory making.
The only reason why I haven’t given this series is a perfect score is because it is currently ongoing and lots can happen with a shonen manga. But like many others, I’m certain that Shinobu will keep up the great work that she has been doing thus far.
Jul 7, 2013
Oct 15, 2012
the first chapters are kinda surprising because we are introduced to this world where slavery is a common thing. it also taught us a lot about the cruelty of humans toward this slaves but then the story becomes so much more and begins taking big depths. the manga is very original. The One Thousand and One Arabian Nights are a unique source of inspiration and, as such, Magi brings forth new ideas to the table. These ideas include the types of magic used, new ways of fighting, and unique creatures
The art in the manga often takes advantage of the good and evil conflict by using contract between black and white. This theme is prevalent throughout the manga. The excellent use of shading to relay emotion contracts the lack of detail that is, unfortunately, common in the artwork. I have often seen half drawn characters in the background, some have arms in strange, unnatural positions while others are simply missing an arm but its still easy to forget and it isn't that noticeable.
This is where Magi shined for me in the great characters that it has. first we have Aladdin a cheerful main character that at some times can also be a super awesome badass. then Alibaba a boy with a dark past who can be weak but can also be strong at first a coward then a person with a brave heart also filled with royal blood. Then we have Morgiana the only badass tsundere that i've actually liked a character that is pretty original and can kick some serious ass you'll always be happy when shes shown in the manga and shes not the tipical tsundere trust me. the antagonist fits the role perfectly. The other characters are quite good and the other girls in the story are badasses and quite awesome.
Ill give magi a perfect 10 one of my favorite manga of alltime. Read it i promise you wont be dissapointed. Its probably one of the most underatted series out there you could also check out the anime but it has skipped some parts so i reccomend more the manga. pardon me for my bad english if i spelled some thing wrong.
Oct 2, 2012
The couple of chapter in the beginning made me laugh, and stunned. It taught us about the meaning of human rights and slavery in the country. The Baldadd arc made us saw the government from the eyes of the slums. It'll make you pity the poor people and how they struggle from their current economic problem and fought the royalty, to the point of risking their own life. The reason I gave it 8 was because the story is a bit out of the first plot and sometimes the plot ran too fast.
I totally adore the art. It’s really cute, for a shonen manga. The details for the backgrounds are also stunning, and it’s not rare that there are a whole page displaying the view of a city or a dungeon that filled with details and stuffs. Ohtaka Shinobu-sensei (Sumomomo, momomo) also able to make the characters from super cute, too the beyond ugly figure. The expressions of the character are also hilarious, and the clothing of the character matched the theme very well.
Because hard-boiled main character is too mainstream. Ohtaka-sensei made the main character (Aladdin) a cute little boy that can be ridiculous, yet being a gentleman at the same time. Alibaba, being Aladdins first friend, is a man with a dark background, yet can still being cheerful at all time. He’s not the type of a strong man, and yes, he could be really weak. But there are also time where he can be helpful and strong. Morgiana, the manliest girl from the entire series, is a total badass with a poker face. She’s really strong and not the type of clingy, tsundere, and all-talk girl like a typical shonen manga heroine. The other characters had their own unique personality, the antagonists can be a real jerk and fits the role. The girls are badass, and not the weak type princessess who always seeking for help.
Overall, I’ll give Magi a 9 out of 10 for being epic. It’s a really worthy manga to read and you wont dissapointed. Go read it eventhough the chapters are keeping up. Or go watch the anime. Last, I’m sorry if my English is bad.
Sep 28, 2011
"The mysteries hidden in the unknown world, uncountable, meetings and partings, the ultimate treasure that grants one's every wish..."
You can find this quote in almost every book about 'Aladdin and the Magic Lamp' or 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves'. Magi - Labyrinth of Magic is just another story about hidden treasures, but it's not just ordinary tale. The thing that fascinates me the most in this manga is that the mangaka mixed up popular characters from popular tales - Aladdin, Alibaba, even Sinbad and Ja'far.
Story - 8/10
The only reason why I didn't give 9/10 to this series, is because if the cliche story. "A pure hearted little boy travels around the country, gathers friends and together they'll find the greatest treasure in the world" Familiar...?
Art - 7/10
As expected from Ohtaka Shinobu (Sumomomo Momomo). The art is okay, but I wouldn't mind if she make it a little more shounen-is, after all this is adventure manga. The art would be fine if the manga was romance one...
Characters - 7/10
A carefree main character, a thief and a slave. Good, but not enough...
Enjoyment - 8/10
Something is special about this series to me... It may be a cliche, or whatever, but I'm not going not drop it soon. I wouldn't mind if this manga gets an anime adaptation.
Overall - 8/10
Read it. Now. Go! read more
Oct 3, 2013
Magi is based on the one hundred and one nights, arabic stories from western and souther asia collected in arabic in the Islamic golden age (you can read ore on the wikipedia page for this collection of writings). The most popular and adapted are the three "Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp", "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" and "The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor" which were actually added by Antoine Galland and other European translators (wikipedia). They're actually middle east folk tales. Now we certainly can recognize the names of three very important characters in the manga. Ohtaka has definitely done her research and there are several references for these three tales in the manga. And for a fan of these cultural treasures I was pleased with the mangaka's imagination and use of the 'names' and 'items' brought into the story which flourished magnificently up to its 199 chapter.
The characters all differ in both status and upbringing all which is heavily emphasized in the manga and allows a lot of the main characters as well as very important minor characters to flourish and grow. It is also pleasant to read a manga which does remember its minor characters from time to time especially those involved with the plot. The art is very diverse from anything I have laid eyes upon but in time although at first I was a bit skeptic finding it too 'sketchy' at certain points but I learned to love it and also realized that the artist is slowly improving. Ohtaka's covers for the volumes are one of the most intense i have ever scene and I do love her used of colours, never had any complaints for them or the colour spreads which are gorgeous.
All in all Magi is a manga that everyone can enjoy and it is worth a try at the least.
Nov 19, 2012
Story - 10
A young boy, Aladdin, referred to 'Magi' by the villagers, is setting off in an adventure to find out about himself. Along with Ugo, a djinn he once found and his friends, he travels around the deserts and villages. He must bypass thieves, knights, lords and oh, so evil kings.
Simple, good. The effects may need extra detail but all good!
Now Aladdin is not your ordinary, wanting to know who he is, depressed boy - He is a happy youngster enjoying his adventures with his friends. No matter the danger, Aladdin will be there for you even if you just lost a coin! He is there to make others happy and under peace. I'm sure everyone would like him.
Other characters such as Ali-Baba, Judal, etc. I may do another time. I'll make sure to update and make a best description w/out spoilers.
Final thoughts - This is a magical adventure for everyone to enjoy! Though if you intend to rush, go for the (ongoing from Oct 2012) anime. Still good either way!
Will Aladdin know himself? Will he make everyone and his "family" happy for a lifetime? Let's set off!
Overall 10/10 read more
Oct 19, 2012
I really think the idea being in the desert is very unique and the story about some treasure seems pretty interesting. I think it is funny through how the names of the main characters are ones of famous people like Aladdin and Alibaba from Alibaba and the 40 thieves, look him up, he's real.
Story - 9 Great:
I like the story so far and I think it is very funny how at first Alibaba turns Aladdin into his slave at first, but as he sees how useful this kid is he decides to become friends with him to go in search of some treasure.
Art - 9 Great:
I like the art, it feels like I am reading an anime, but I don't like the people with overly exaggererated body proportions like that fat rich guy had. It just doesn't appeal to me unless everybody is a little off then I consider it normal.
Character - 9 Great:
They feel like an older brother little brother relationship kind of like Kamina and Simon from Gurren Lagann. I think they are funny and Aladdin's friend is a little weird but I am expecting a very interesting character from him. Other than that I don't know of any enemies of girls yet.
Enjoyment 7 Good:
Okay, so as you saw I thought this manga was interesting, but it has yet to make me enjoy it at first glance, so I will be reading on waiting for it to impress, I have high expectations for it.
Overall 9 Great:
Can't wait to read on and dive into this one. I love the idea of this and it will be exciting to see where this one goes. read more