Star Rating: 5 Stars
Overall Precise Rating: 9/10
If unique, almost previously unintroduced settings were ever an indication of a manga's potential, then it comes to no surprise that "Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic" is a success.
To be blunt, the main thing that's new about "Magi" compared to previous stories is that it takes place in an entirely middle-eastern themed world. But what else in addition flows nicer with all this, then the elements of magic. Yes, "Magi" is about magic. The story also focuses on a mix of treasure, justice, slavery, political issues and freedom.
Before I go into detail with the Anime, I'll start by mentioning the manga. I've been reading it over a year prior to anime being released in late 2012. Although I haven't finished it, I was very pleased with the plot and grew hopeful that eventually, the creators would develop an anime.
When I gave the anime a shot, I almost immediately noticed that things were more summarised then I expected. True, this does happen with anime, but I was a tad displeased. Nevertheless, as I kept watching it, I found myself increasingly immersed as I was able to understand the characters better than ever before.
More onto all this below.
All living beings possess a sort of magical essence called "Rukh", and when people die, the Rukh returns to a huge flow of Rukh that gives life to all subsequent beings.
Magicians can manipulate the Rukh in their bodies to create "Magoi" - magical energy that lets them use magic. At the top of the magic hierarchy is a rare class of magicians called the titular "Magi" (litreally pronounced Ma-gi, NOT Ma-ji or Mei-Ji), who can manipulate Rukh from around them as well as in themselves. Magi are also tasked with choosing dungeon caputurers to offer guidance in making them king/queen candidates.
Most of the action comes from the "Dungeons", which are magic castle-like structures filled with dangerous traps, both magical and non-magical. Those who overcome the obstacles and reach the treasure, succeed in conquering the dungeon and allying with it's respective magical demi-god, a "Djinn".
Besides dungeon capturing, Magi focuses on the noticeable cast making a stand to put an end to the slavery and evil that threatens the innocent but the weak and poor. It all becomes possible from the moment that Aladdin, Alibaba and Morgiana meet.
At the start, Aladdin is a friendly, curious yet very level-headed young boy who desires to learn more about himself and about Magi and about magic. Alibaba's a young man who dreams on conquering every dungeon to become super rich, and Morgiana's a slave with superhuman strength, being seemingly Alibaba's age. But as I said, this is only the start. Shortly after is when we realise more about these three and their backstories. They also start working together to save others. This shows that Magic is an anime that has a good sense of adventure.
The main downfall with the storyline is unfortunately, the ending. It was too rushed in my opinion, and I'm convinced that there were bits missing that the manga had. Not to mention, there were several side stories which I felt were left out. Finally, I couldn't help but pick out several plot holes from a few episodes.
Lets just hope that the next Magi anime series (which will start in late 2013) will make up for it.
I'm not entirely sure why I haven't given this a perfect score. :S It most certainly does fit the show, I find it awesome to see some colourful members of the cast in a middle-eastern anime. And better yet, there are darker themes that stops Magi from being too "cuddly" and non-serious. There's a fair amount of blood, tortue and mentions of rape. (especially when we look into the slavery aspects) There is some other creepy stuff too as a result of magic... :S
I can't really say anything about this section. :S But I do know for a fact that the voice acting and music themes suit the show. I usually skip the intros and outros because I'm inpatient at times, but rest assured, they aren't too corny or anything. :)
For once, I'll start by mentioning the downfall. What I didn't like was how the vast majority of the villains didn't have any redeeming qualities, whereas most of the good characters did.
Putting that aside, I am pretty pleased with the overall cast. Aladdin is a cool kid when you get to know him (even if he's not completly pure as you'd find out!), Alibaba may seem a little annoyingly indecisive a couple of times but he's a brave person with a kind heart. :) Morgiana is badass too - she has superhuman agility and strength.
There are other cool characters, like Sinbad, Jafar, Kassim (despite being a sort of villain but also one we can feel empathy for) and more. :3 Allow me to quickly add that Yamraiha is f*cking hot. :3 *drools*
Speaking of sex appeal, the camera also doesn't seem to miss any occasional opportunities for fan service. Sometimes you get young, beautiful, curvy women...and damn they're sexy. XD I get jealous of King Sinbad because he has his own big group of sari-dressed women. >_< I want my own dammit. You do get to see a fair amount of bare legs and breasts. :D
The big flaw with "Magi" was the rushed ending. Deep down, I wished that they would make the series last for at least 100 episodes, because I thought that seemed right. The good news is that as mentioned previously, there will be a sequel series. Lets hope that it'll be longer, deeper, and better overall.
Once again, lets shove that aside for now. I was again, finding myself enjoying every episode of the anime. The cast kick ass, and I'm most certainly happy to see something magical in a middle-eastern setting. It's unique to many themes I've witnessed before, save for a few minor exceptions.