Starring: Yuuki Kaji, Erik Kimerer, Kaori Ishihara, Erica Mendez, Haruka Tomatsu, Cristina Vee, Daisuke Ono, Matthew Mercer, Jun Fukuyuma, Sean Chiplock,
Running Time: 300 minutes
Taking the world of Arabian Nights and adding a distinct visual and story, MAGI: THE LABYRINTH OF MAGIC is a show chock-a-block full of interesting surprises and great adventures. Alibaba becomes an immortal prince and Aladdin becomes a magical being himself, who can summon his Djinn if need be, after making his final wish in which he wished for the genie and himself to always be friends. Most interesting of all though is that Alibaba, Aladdin, and super strong legged slave girl Morgiana, are introduced, go on an adventure, and then quickly split up.
Such a twist to the usual “Getting the band together” arc, means that relationships are formed and chemistry is explored, but then the characters each have their own adventures. It means that by the time the characters do once again join up, there is a very different atmosphere and the characters have changed in slightly. It removes a certain amount of predictability. When paired with retelling such classic stories, the entire show feels very much like an anime, but also relishes in its other influences.
The world of Arabia is beautifully constructed through a delicate balance of colour and lighting, as well as great attention to detail in the costumes of the characters. It becomes clear that strict rules concerning different factions and cultures have been written out and adhered to, resulting in a world that feels lived in.
The show also deals with some more complex themes and delicate tales of corrupt governments, political assassinations, as well as some seemingly JRPG dungeon crawling. I’d go so far as to argue that perhaps the show could have spent more time on the puzzle solving side of things, as time quickly passes by leaving us with complex mythology to sift through. As intriguing as such rich and fleshed out arcs are, we’re also shoved into some darker moments very quickly, with a strong focus on morals and allegiances.
MAGI: THE LABYRINTH OF MAGIC is one of the more accessible animes of recent years. The main characters will be familiar to all, even if they are vastly different than many will remember. The humour is scattered appropriately with only a couple of boob jokes. Strong female and male characters, as well as great mixture of music and vocal performances, means this is certainly an anime worth your time.
[usr=4]MAGI: THE LABYRINTH OF MAGIC is released on DVD and Blu-ray on 24th February via Manga Entertainment.