After celebrating their victory against Al-Thamen, Aladdin and his friends depart the land of Sindria. With the end of the battle, however, comes the time for each of them to go their separate ways. Hakuryuu and Kougyoku are ordered to go back to their home country, the Kou Empire. Meanwhile Aladdin announces he needs to head for Magnostadt—a mysterious country ruled by magicians—to investigate the mysterious events occurring in this new kingdom and become more proficient in magic. For their part, encouraged by Aladdin's words, Alibaba and Morgiana also set off in pursuit of their own goals: training and going to her homeland, respectively.
Magi: The Kingdom of Magic follows these friends as they all go about their separate adventures, each facing their own challenges. However, a new threat begins to rise as a great war looms over the horizon...
How are you feeling today? Upbeat? Or perhaps a little down? Maybe you've had a long day at work and you just want an anime to take your mind off things. Well, grab your cup of tea and look no further my friend - Magi: The Kingdom of Magic is the anime you've been searching for!
Magi: The Kingdom of Magic has everything you look for in an anime. Pleasing sounds (not in a dirty way!), bright (pun intended) characters who develop nicely throughout the duration of the anime and beautiful art. The characters are interesting, have depth and will make you feel for them, so prepare for a little emotional tug! A little bit of humour helps compliment the slower aspects of the story, and ensures theres never a dull moment - however, if you lack a funny bone you may find an early episode here and there a tad slow. But don't stop, because things get fast, fascinating and ferocious and before you know it you'll be looking at the screen like it's the last piece of chocolate cake on earth...What? You don't like chocolate cake? What's wrong with you!?
Now. You may be thinking, "Great! Time to go watch!" But wait. I promise I won't overwhelm you with 2,000 words of ramble. But there is a little more you should know...
Firstly, don't be retarded like me and at least be aware of the prequel, 'Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic' before you start. I was not, and felt really overwhelmed at the beginning of the anime, with thoughts running through my head such as, "wow, whoever wrote this expects us to understand this new world instantly", "So. Many. New. Characters" and my personal favourite thought, "I'm not quite sure what's happening right now...but it's cool!" Long story short, maybe watch the prequel first...but I didn't so I can't really talk. If you choose not to don't worry, you will catch on and you will still love this anime, as I did.
Secondly, have faith in the plot! I was wondering how a meaningful ending was going to ensure around the episode 12 mark, but just know you won't be disappointed and that things ramp up fast! That's not to say the first episodes were meaningless or unrelated, so don't skip them or you may be confuzzled.
Lastly, why are you still here! Go watch it. Now! (And thank you very much for reading my review, I know it's a bit out there but I wanted to make it fun!)
If I had to describe Magi, it would be more than just about magic. Sure, there are wands, hats, and spells along with magical kingdoms of witchcraft and wizardry. What sets Magi a bit different is its conventional way of presenting the series in a world building form. From the start, it’s easy to notice that Magi takes the tone of an adventurous tone following protagonists Alibaba, Aladdin, Morgania, and. Hakuryuu Ren. No exception is the fact that these characters all have gone through hardships and became who they are today. Magi: Kingdom of Magic explores not only the identities of these characters but also their journey in a land of the unknown as they face challenges and struggles like never before.
Magi: Kingdom of Magic is sequel of its predecessor Magi: Labyrinth of Magic based off the manga of the same name. It’s important to note that the series is a direct sequel hence watching the first season is imperative to get an understanding and appreciation. The first season concentrated its style on adventures, politics, and personal intuitions. This season instead focuses on discovery with our main characters as they go on separate journeys of development while major conflicts that developed from its backgrounds erupts and escalates into warfare.
Discovery is only a simple word to describe Magi but it focuses on that aspect centering our main protagonist, Aladdin. As young as he is, Aladdin is a kind boy with full of potential. He is a Magi, a character of great power that is known to “shape the world". For Aladdin, he is still young and trying to climb the ladder to adolescence. His first steps involves going to the kingdom of magic known as Magnostadt. From there, he learns about the true essence of magic. Through training, he discovers exactly what is a Magi and its purpose. At the same time, Aladdin earns the respect of his friends, classmates, and instructors. Among these new characters are Titus Alexius, a bishounen with great potential and his roommate Sphintus. The sequel focuses on their relationships from rivals to great friends. They also discover secrets that can change the world they know forever. At the same time, it’s surprising that watching this anime almost feel like you’re a kid again. Aladdin is studying at a magical academy where he learns magic. Although vastly different from what you may have learned during your school years, the effort that Aladdin puts through can be admirable. His die-heard attitude to not give up and become a stronger person sets a great example for a character. At the same time, people wants to see Aladdin succeed. They want to see him make a difference. Magi or not, Aladdin is a boy that has influenced others for the better and that’s appreciable on many scales.
Of course, Magi isn’t just about magic or Aladdin. We also can’t forget about Aladdin’s best friend Alibaba, Morgania, or Hakuyuu. The four are like the ingredients of a dish and even leaving one of them out will change the flavor. In this sequel, they go their separate ways in what is known as the “World Exploration arc” that chronicles their discoveries. Alibaba improves his own skills through training and becomes something he always dreamed of. Similar to Aladdin, he earns the respect of his peers as he shows the world who he is. On the other hand, the journey that Morgania and Hakuyuu feels a bit different that doesn’t necessarily follow the ‘growing up’ theme. Instead, they find out about both truth and horrors. Hakuyuu also goes through a drastic change that can leave some sour taste in our characters’ mouths.
Similar the style of most shounen, Magi divides its story into arcs. The first arc in fact feels like the adventurous stories that the audience might be more used to. After all, Magi always felt like a classic with its Arabian Nights Days setting. The story arcs often incorporates a variety of feelings to not just describe but show how the world of Magi is like. Our main characters discover how their world functions after various encounters with adversaries and obstacles. It challenges not only physically but mentally as they realize some grim truths to their world. This shouldn’t be surprising however. Magi always liked to dance around the concept of world building. Take the kingdom of Magnostadt as an example. Its cities is colored with details and magic on the outside but also holds dark secrets in the inside. The sequel adapts a format for the characters to explore kingdoms with their previous experience while writing new chapters to their lives.
As much as adventurous Magi can be, there are also mysteries relating to the whole term itself. Exactly, what is a “Magi”? What is their purpose? Why do they exist? Some of these questions will be explored in depth with focus on not just Aladdin but also other characters. Meanwhile, the audience will also learn about some grim histories relating to our main characters’ past. It’s definitely not something pleasant nor forgettable. Later events also leads to greater struggles between nations as the world of Magi become a battlefield twisted by egos and ideologies. Despite the series takes place in a fantasy setting, there’s also some themes that explores identities and more of the human nature. Discrimination becomes one such theme as Aladdin learns about the dark secrets of Magnostadt and the stories of Fanalis.
Although Magi can be wistful and classic as it sounds, the show sometimes doesn’t take itself seriously. The comedy on most parts is presented well matching the moods while other times feel forced and gets in the way. Thankfully, there isn’t too much fan service that are distracting. Rather, they are usually replaced by humorous dialogues, expressions, and moments where we can’t help but laugh. This could serve as a double edged sword in some cases as the comedy might not suit for everyone’s tastes. Furthermore, some of the dialogues lacks any real feelings and at times feels dragged. Magi does however introduces more focuses on romance. It’s unusual for this series but it occurs early on that may take viewers by surprise. Unfortunately, the romance aspect feels abrupt and lacks any depth because for what it is, there just seems to be a lack of connection. Also for its worth, a few episodes of the story arcs doesn’t fit well together or feel predictable and dragged. The first arc doesn’t feel very attractive or unique in any aspect with its more oceanic setting. Some supporting characters also just seems to be there rather than being main players of the story. Prominent characters introduced previously from season 1 such as Judal and Sinbad also gets lesser role in this sequel that may make fans feel disappointed. There is also hidden maturity themes such as incest subtext and childhood scenes where we might not want to remember for what it is.
Once again, A-1 Pictures handles the visual production. There’s the fun atmosphere with the artwork and accurately depicts the way a magical kingdom should be as. However, the character designs’ face expression at times lacks excitement. Some of it comes off as blend humor. Other times, it seems forceful with the mood. The action scenes on most standards is decent and matches well in coordination to the battle sequences. Most of the character designs also reflects its Arabian theme well. All of them have their own distinctive features whether it’s Titus’ feminine like face, the Felianis tribe’s flamboyant scarlet hair, or Scheherazade’s fairy like stature.
The soundtrack does its job well on most parts. It mixes a Middle Eastern and Arabian theme together to perform a nature that can be appreciable. The OST features a new set of tracks that captures moments of emotions, climatic, or humorous. Both OP songs of Magi also performs well with cases of foreshadowing and montage of its many characters. Similarly the ED songs presents scenarios where our characters look on ahead and faces the world they are in. Finally, the voice acting for most characters expresses well especially for Titus, a character that sometimes can be mistaken for a female.
Magi: Kingdom of Magic is not just a story about witchcraft and wizardry. It’s about a journey that chronicles the stories of our characters. We find out how they progress through by watching rather than reading a form of autobiography. At the same time, it’s easy to understand the story with its basic concepts and world building. There are times the series might seem off balance with its excessive comedy and cheesy dialogues. However, most these cases doesn’t directly disturb the story as a whole. Magi doesn’t just focus on ‘saving the world’ with friendship and power. Instead, it focuses on development and characterization that makes its journey most welcoming. read more
Note: I'm writing this review under the assumption that you've seen Labyrinth of Magic (the first season), so if you haven't, I'd suggest watching that first and then reading this review. There will be minor spoilers from the first season. You have been warned.
Kingdom of Magic had a better story than Labyrinth of Magic in my opinion. Labyrinth of Magic had an arc-based storyline where it was established by definitive arcs (the order being the beginning arc, separation, Balbadd, Sindria, and Zagan) that had some connection to each other, but were mostly standalone. There was some progression from one to the next (characters and character development), but overall there was a disconnect.
Kingdom of Magic, on the other hand, has an overarching story that isn't as clearly defined by arcs, so it's much harder to tell where they end and begin. Or, from the manga standpoint, Kingdom of Magic covers the Magnostadt arc (which is one really long arc) as well as all the mini-arcs leading up to it.
Similarly to Labyrinth of Magic, this show starts off fairly lighthearted, but soon takes a turn for the darker. However, this show got much darker than Labyrinth of Magic did, and I was surprised at the degree to which it did get dark. We're introduced to a corrupt government, the struggle to want to be human, what the concept of humanity really means, and many more ideas.
So when I started Kingdom of Magic, I was expecting the same type of narrative as the first season, but I was pleasantly surprised by how seriously the show took itself and how much worldbuilding was established.
This show also introduced the concept of Djinn Equip (which was only barely introduced in the first season), which essentially lets people with Metal Vessels undergo a magical girl-type transformation where their hair, clothes, and weapons are upgraded for a limited time. I thought that it was awesome to see the characters basically get ubered-up to fight large-scale battles, which actually served more of a purpose in the story than just for the sake of showing the audience epic battle sequences.
The only real problem I have with the story was that, with so many characters, not enough time was given to explain what each of the characters were doing while separated from each other. Aladdin's story was explained in depth, but the same luxury was not given to Alibaba or Morgiana. Alibaba at least got two episodes detailing what he was doing, but I still would've liked to see him studying, fighting, or learning to use his Djinn Equip. And Morgiana? We get about two-thirds of an episode describing her adventures and we're left with a lot of questions about what happened. I was hoping for at least a brief summary, but we get nothing. I was under the assumption that the manga went more into detail, but it unfortunately doesn't. We may never know......
Another minor issue I have with the story is the comic relief. I felt that a lot of times it was rather a moodkiller. It made me rather uncomfortable to be watching a serious part of the show and then suddenly cheap jokes were cracked. It wasn't totally irredeemable (in the manga, the chibis are much funnier), but it wasn't exactly pleasant to watch either.
One of the things I especially liked about the story, however, is that the show opens with a scene from one of the final episodes completely out of context. It leads you to make an assumption about where the characters are going to go, but once you actually get to that scene in order, you realize that you were dead wrong. I think that was a nice choice of placement, since I personally was wondering what was going to come out of that confusing scene for practically the whole show.
The colors are bright and lively, the character designs are stunningly detailed, the animation is on point, and there's subtle CGI at a couple of points. Nothing majorly bad happening, though the budget got slashed toward the end, leading to some fights not being as awesome as they could have been.
No complaints here. The OP's were good, and the second one especially is awesome, though both also had amazing sequences.
The ED's are another story though. Not only were the sequences awesome and tear-inducing, the songs themselves were really good. The first ED carried a kind of nostalgic tone to it, amplified by the montage of stills from the first season. The second ED started off echoey and dark, and while I didn't like it as much when it kicked up into a strong beat, it's still my favorite of the ED's.
The only thing I would give as far as an issue is that sometimes the background music was kind of quiet, which is a bit of a shame since it's so awesome, particularly the battle theme, which is my personal favorite.
On the voice acting end, this season had not yet received a dub when I watched it, so I watched it subbed, complete with Netflix's garbage subtitles. I'm not that good a judge of Japanese voice acting, but I didn't notice any big problems going on. I loved Yuki Kaji's performance as Alibaba, and I think he does a great job no matter which character he's voicing, so I think he was the standout for me.
Since I originally wrote this review, I have had a chance to check out the dub of some of the later episodes. While I like the voice acting and casting choices for the most part, I have two big problems with it.
My first big problem with the dub (and something that was in the first season too) is Vic Mignogna and Todd Haberkorn being literally every single background character. This wouldn't be so bad if they both weren't already cast as secondary characters (Ka Kobun and Judar respectively), but on top of that they both have very recognizable voices.
My second big problem is "Teetus." I get that's how they pronounced Titus's name in the Japanese, but honestly, since when do dubs follow the exact pronounciation of every name (Free! dub, I'm looking at "Reen"). And on that note, the same criticism could be applied to the dub's pronounciation of "Magi."
The characters were awesome this season. When the show took a turn for the darker, the characters developed and changed along with it, and I really liked it. There was a lot of development happening (particularly among the new characters) and it was handled well considering the vast amount of characters in Magi.
Aladdin especially changed a lot through the show, and we get to see more of his backstory as well as what's happening to him at the time the show takes place.
One of the problems I did have was that since this season introduced so many new characters, a lot of the characters from Labyrinth of Magic took a backseat. It's a nice thing to hand over the spotlight to some of the newcomers, but I felt kind of underwhelmed since a lot of characters with a large presence (such as Sinbad) didn't appear as much as they should have. Not that I'm particularly mad about it though, since I loved Titus and Sphintus and the other new characters. But this problem is also due to the fact that Magi has a ton of characters interacting and developing simultaneously, so some of the older characters have to step back a bit.
Another problem is that since some of the older characters get less screentime due to the new characters, a lot of development seemingly takes place offscreen. I already mentioned this with Alibaba and Morgiana, and it's even more apparent with Hakuryuu. He isn't present for a large chunk of the show, and when he does reappear, he's changed a lot and it isn't explained. I was left painfully in the dark, so I can only hope this is less vague with the manga.
Once again, the problems are due to the short amount of episodes and are therefore pretty much unavoidable.
Overall I really liked a lot of the new characters, and they made me feel for them, and cry over them when it came to that.
I marathoned this show in two days because Netflix had just put the whole show up, and I had already seen Labyrinth of Magic, so I was able to speed through Kingdom of Magic really quickly. It kept me glued the whole way through, and I definitely shed many tears in the episodes leading up to the ending, as well as the ending itself.
While I did have issues with the moodkilling comic relief moments and the dub, the discomfort it caused me wasn't enough to impact my overall enjoyment.
Some issues and hanging questions, mostly due to the constraint of 25 episodes, but even accounting for those it's a really solid show and impressed me time and time again with the depth of the narrative, the dynamic and varied characters, and the awesome animation.
So if you're still reading this and you haven't seen Labyrinth of Magic, go watch it, and then watch Kingdom of Magic. Magi is overall a really solid and important show that not enough people seem to watch, which is a shame since it's so good. Now all we need is a third season.read more
For this overall anime, I actually really really enjoyed this series.
Both Magi Season tell a great story that can bring you to tears of happiness and tears of feels that strike you right in the heart.
As always, the art and animation was amazing! Story was overall beautifully done.
Even though, this season was mainly focused on Aladdin, I do wish to see Morgiana & Alibaba's training and what happened to them when Aladdin was in Magnoshuttat.
I really hope they make a season 3! This anime series is truly something that I would recommend anyone to watch. The Fan service is mainly based on comedy. So for those who don't really like fan service in anime, I really do recommend this anime! Great story, wonderful character designs, amazing fighting scenes, hilarious moments, this anime has everything in one! read more
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