By Keira Troung
Loosely based on One Thousand and One Nights (aka Arabian Nights), Magi blends fantasy, action, and mystery to create a unique storyline and a variety of solidly developed characters that appeal to all audiences. The series focuses on Aladdin, Alibaba, and Morgiana as they search for the cause of the black rukh corrupting lives and the secret to the mysterious dungeons where djinns grant conquerors power.
Aladdin, an unknown child in possession of a djinn, is able to see the normally invisible rukh that guides human life. Black rukh forms when a person falls into depravity and goes against ‘fate’, creating misfortune for all involved. Aladdin stumbles across Alibaba and Morgiana one day and helps Alibaba become a dungeon conqueror, concluding with Alibaba forming a contract with the fire djinn, Amon. While Labyrinth of Magic focuses on Aladdin and Alibaba as they navigate through the port kingdom Balbadd, Kingdom of Magic introduces Sindria—home of the “First Class Singularity” Sinbad—and the countries of Kou, Reim, and Magnostadt. With plenty of conflict between dungeon conquerors and kingdoms, you can be sure that there are copious amounts of magic-flinging battle scenes.
16:9 HD Widescreen
1920 x 1080p
Admittedly, one of the reasons I picked up Magi in the first place was the visuals. With each subsequent version release, I am more and more impressed by how much work was put into animating this series. From the beautiful character designs to the brilliantly constructed battle scenes, there is not a moment where I would cringe. Surprisingly, the production company who created Magi seem to have put in extensive enough effort that the stream and DVD versions are not that much more mediocre compared to Blu-ray.
The Blu-ray offers a crisp and vivid screening of the series. Due to the nature of the storyline, Magi involves a lot of detailed movements, whether from fabrics or flames, and the slightly sharper visuals of Blu-ray make these motions all the more captivating.
Despite these improvements, however, I have doubts that it would markedly increase viewer attention compared to the stream and DVD versions, especially if they’re watching for the plot.
Spoken Language: English & Japanese
Linear PCM Stereo
With voice actors like Yuuki Kaji (Alibaba), Daisuke Ono (Sinbad), Ju Fukuyama (Cassim), Kenichi Suzumura (Koubun), Kensho Ono (Hakuryuu), Nana Mizuki (Hakuei), Ryohei Kimura (Judal), Shinichiro Miki (Ithnan), Takahiro Sakurai (Ja’far), Toshiyuki Morikawa (Ugo), Yui Horie (Yamraiha), and so much more, it is no wonder that Magi has so many dynamic and convincing characters. The English subtitles were pretty on point with the translations, too.
In addition, Magi is one of the few series where I commend the dub casting; so many of the English voice actors sound like the original! Though there are some awkward moments that didn’t translate well and sounded forced, the English dub was pretty good overall.
Special features include the textless openings and endings, and the English version trailers for both Kingdom of Magic and Labyrinth of Magic. There were several textless endings in season 1, alternating between Sinbad’s eight generals in certain parts. Personally, I didn’t find these special features to be particularly unique, as I had to hunt down the differences to notice. It was nice to watch the textless openings and endings and fully enjoy the beautiful visuals characteristic of Magi, however.
Each Blu-ray comes with different iconic cover designs and five Blu-ray discs per season.
Magi is one of my top favorite series to watch due to the captivating storyline, solid characters, and stunning visuals. That said, of course, I highly recommend this series for all. Though the exposition starts off slightly slow, it speeds up quick once you’re oriented to the world of Magi. For the most part, narrative and speech were skillfully incorporated to give just enough information to keep you on the edge of your seat before the action starts again.
For those who desire the crisp visuals and audio characteristic of Blu-ray, these sets are worth a watch.
If you’re a fan, definitely add these to your collection!
Magi The Labyrinth of Magic & The Kingdom of Magic – 4.5 out of 5 Atoms
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