Why 'Magi: Labyrinth of Magic' Works

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Magi: The Labyrinth of MagicMagi: Labyrinth of Magic 

Studio: A-1 Pictures
Producer: AniplexDentsu,Shogakukan ProductionsMainichi BroadcastingMovic
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Magic, Shounen
Episodes: 25
Episode Length: 24 minutes per episode

Dispersed around the world, there are several bizarre labyrinths hiding incredible treasures within them. These mysterious places, known as "Dungeons," are said to be the work of Magi, a class of rare magicians, who also help people build their empires by guiding them to a dungeon. Djinns, supernatural beings that rule over the labyrinths, grant successful conquerors access to their immense power and choose them as potential king candidates to rule the world.

Having spent life in isolation, Aladdin, a kind and young magician, is eager to explore the world upon finally leaving his home behind. He begins his journey only accompanied by his mentor Ugo—a djinn that Aladdin can summon with his flute. However, Aladdin soon becomes friends with the courageous Alibaba Saluja after causing the destruction of a local merchant's supply cart. In order to pay for the damages, Alibaba suggests that they attempt to conquer the nearest dungeon, taking the first step in an epic adventure that will decide the fate of the world itself.


I recently finished the amazing anime that is 'Magi: Labyrinth of Magic'. This anime is really popular. (I mean...there are Aladdin and Alibaba plushies out there!) I've heard about it before (Many times over.) But I never really got into it. (I went through a 'No mainstream ANYTHING' phase. Yeah, that was not fun...)
So, basically, this summer is 'Wren catches up with popular animes'. Derp. ~(._.)~
But, gosh, this is an amazing anime. It's so amazing. I can't stop gushing about it. (Well...I'll stop as soon as I start 'Your Lie in April'. Then ALL my Tweets will be GIFs of me crying. Can't wait for that, am I right?)
Even though I wasn't a huge fan at first. (Truth.)

This anime blew me away. (Which is another way to say 'I LOVE MAGI' subtly. Subtle.) You're probably wondering why. I mean, that's what this review is for! And you're obviously reading this review. Sooo. You know.

1) I actually felt something. 
In my cold, stone heart, I felt something. This anime seems like a lighthearted shounen until it slams you in the gut and screams "NO" really loudly. And flips the table. And steals your drink. (This anime is very cruel at times.)
I had so many feels while watching this. Okay...I'll admit the first half or so with the 'Morgiana and Alibaba and Aladdin are separated. Oh no!' stuff, I got bored. Very so. But I persevered! That's when I hit the jackpot. 

This anime turns into a ball of deadly kill-your-feels scenes with a little dash of tears. Okay...more like a lot of tears. 

(I'm going to direct you to my analysis of episode 17. Ehem. Episode 17 Crying and laughing at the same time is a sign of madness...I meant an amazing anime. Hahahaha...ha.)
My emotions were constantly on a rollercoaster once this anime started to pick up. This really happened with the Balbadd episodes. And, man, was that a good arc... 
But really. The emotions behind Alibaba's decisions and his rough past were really moving. And then the whole light and dark thing in the Zagan/the Organization arc? WOW. That was gorgeous. 

There were also many scenes that made you root for the underdogs. All the fight scenes for example. You cheered for Alibaba and Aladdin and Morgiana. I might have actually shouted loudly...once...or twice...or thrice... Yeah, this anime got me really riled up. (Not to mention all the times I yelled 'Democracy!')

So, yes, this anime will make you cry. And scream. And cheer. But it's great because of it.

2) The power of light is tainted with lies and deceit but ultimately gets through it all.
Yes, this is a typical shounen with the light versus dark theme. But this anime does it better than I've seen before. The rukh symbolizes the light and dark (As does the Sindria arc's growing purple-ish bruise-ish thing.) 

The fight between light and dark is fantastic, and it starts when Judal is introduced really. (Which is really early on.) The Sindria arc focuses more on the dark and light, but the Balbadd arc touches upon it (With Kassim. You can hear my wailing now.)

I want to talk about the Organization instead. I talked about Kassim in my episode analysis. (Another shameless plug.) 
This is a group of bad guys. As typical of a shounen anime. But they infuse themselves with 'depravity'. In case you need to know the definition, I've pasted it below:

"Depravity: noun
moral corruption; wickedness."

Thanks, Google.
This is really interesting. The Organization has good intentions. (They want to avoid something...that seems unavoidable. Yup, no spoilers!) And they just chose the wrong way to do it. Then they try to bring everyone else to the dark side (Which I am a member of. I have fun here. We have cookies. And Darth Vader. And Victor Vale. WOOT WOOT.) 
But while the Organization is very stereotypical, the approach is different. This is focused on depravity and infecting people with darkness. Which is very interesting. Most 'organizations' just want to destroy everything. But this one doesn't. Hm. Interesting, no?

3) Alibaba isn't your stereotypical hero. 
He debates between light and dark. He falters. 
I would say a spoiler here...but I won't. You're welcome. But I'll SHOW a spoiler instead! -evil laughter-

Constantly, he's teased by the dark side. But he has friendship and hope. And this brings out the best in him. He doesn't succumb to darkness (Or depravity as in this anime.) He fights through it. And that's amazing. He's not this insane hero of the light. He's a hero of the gray. 
And that makes him real. Not every real life hero has the most amazing scruples. They might fall. Maybe a little smoke or a little drink. Or, in Alibaba's case, a little DESTRUCTION OF AN ENTIRE KINGDOM. You know, small stuff. But they bounce back. And so did Alibaba. 

I admire him. That's for sure.

4) Aladdin and Alibaba are FRIENDSHIP GOALS.
The two of them are so close. They barely know each other in the beginning, but, by the end, they're best friends forever and ever and ever. They go through so much together. And they grow a connection because of it.

And, the thing is, Aladdin is Alibaba's light. He saves Alibaba many times. Sure, this gets a bit awkward if Aladdin was, say, Alibaba's love interesting, but this anime pulls the friendship card. And this works really well. 
You get invested in their friendship. And you just want them to be together. Forever. 

And last, but not least, the best reason of all.

5) Cute boys.
Yes, this is petty, I know. But still! These boys were very attractive. And that's a nice touch for a viewer. And I will now rate them on their level of attractiveness. The results are surprising.

Numbah One: Ugo

He's blue and cute. And really helpful. The first glimpse of him is deceiving, but his face is extremely attractive.

Numbah Two: Hakuryuu

I mean...brooding, distant prince is attractive. Plus, that scar, though. It reminds me of Zuko from 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'.

Numbah Three: Alibaba

Alibaba is awesome. He's cool even without his childish, chubby face. But the face tops things off.

Numbah Four: Sinbad

You're probably wondering why he isn't higher on this list. It's because UGO IS LIFE. Sinbad isn't that bad. He's really ripped, though. But you know...I like Romano and all. So.

So have you seen this anime? What did you think?And how cute is Ugo? SUPER DUPER RIGHT?

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