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Title: Magi - Labyrinth of Magic a.k.a マギ, เมไจ, 魔笛, MAGI魔奇少年
Genres:Shounen, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Publication: Shokakugan serialized in Shonen Sunday
Start Date: 2009
End Date: N/A
Number of chapters at review: 48
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 48
Much beloved are the magi by the Rukhs. They are endued with great powers from on high. With a great commission, the magi go forth to seek out those worthy enough to be elected into positions of Kings and Queens. These Kings and Queens will either usher in peace and prosperity or plunge the world into chaos and tyranny.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
Fantastic art. I adore Ohtaka Shinobu's art style. There is something about it that makes it entertaining to read. One could tell that his sense of body composition is good. So far, his visual presentation of his story is well done. I couldn't ask for more.
Adventure all around. It's definitely for shonen but yet carries this profound deepness. There is this optimism that could only be found in children's stories yet it also carries a profound lesson also found in fables. Take for example the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Though it takes about a young girl and wolves, there is a profound lesson. Young women should beware of men/wolves that seek to devour them through deceit.
I strongly feel that with Magi - LoM, the lesson is that rulers are responsible for their people. Without great wisdom, the power to rule people will be abused.
The characters are lovable. As each one is based off the original characters from the "Arabian Nights," the abilities of each person seemed to have been expanded to fit their roles. That's how best I could explain it.
There is Aladdin, the main protagonist of the story. He is somehow locked in a mysterious room with Ugo-kun. Aladdin can't escape nor go outside until the appointed time is reached.
Alibaba, a man of humble beginnings. The first thing that came to mind was "Alibaba and His Forty Thieves." Though seemingly greedy and subservient to the rich, when push comes to shove, Alibaba comes through. He's also quite the smart one due to his upbringing.
Sinbad, a renown hero. Many should be acquainted with just hearing the name Sinbad. It should stir up the imagination of a renown sailor who journeyed far and wide.
Lastly, there's Morgiana. She's a slave girl that eventually joined up with Alibaba. Her bloodline enables her with great physical prowess even as a woman. I'm scared to think what the males of her kind could do?
Dungeons, magic artifacts, powerful spiritual beings, and an unknown potential. We've seen plenty enough but the shade that Magi - LoM brings has that much more depth to it. There is also a personal issue related to the role that Aladdin plays as well as the power that it brings. Usually, great power means the fate of the world is at hand. Yet, in other great works, the impact of such dangers cannot relate to the current sufferings of the mass. I think this the most appealing part about Magi - LoM.
I can't recall reading a manga that has placed so much desired responsibility upon its main protagonist. The responsibility I'm talking about is the power to make people kings and queens of nations or even the world. With this great power, the world could either be swept up in the wings of light or drowned in thick of darkness.
Rukh is used to mean the primordial energies or spirits. I'm wondering if Ohtaka Shinobu's use might be referring to ruach or even ruakh? Ruach/ruakh is a Hebrew/Aramaic term for spirit, so I'm wondering whether rukh is a Arabic term for spirit? As anyone with interested in the ancient spiritualities and religions of the Middle East, one would also know that there are holy rukhs and evil rukhs.
Another interesting point is how Ohtaka Shinobu connects the plot with King Solomon - third king of Ancient Israel. King Solomon is still regard as one of the most wisest person that ever lived. Those in the occult esteem King Solomon as a magician that could manifest that which is mystical into the physical and wield it.
Back to Magi - LoM. I'm not sure if the Djinns are related to Solomon's capturing of demons and sealing them into vases but there are similarities. The dungeons that sprawled up everywhere in the story of Magi - LoM seems to have some sort of connection to Solomon also. Then again, I'm not sure if Solomon might even make an appearance?
It all basically comes down to wealth and power are most appreciated by those that seek it to protect their ties of friendship, while others use wealth and power with reckless abandon.
After doing a bit of more research, or to be more precise, I just haplessly happen upon A Thousand and One Night (a.k.a Arabian Nights, Thousand Nights or Thousand Tales) which provided much of the base elements for Magi -LoM. I suppose I should've remembered about Arabian Nights, but I have yet read the book in which case, Arabian Nights didn't come to mind at all. I don't know how stumbling across more background information happens, but it's for the good of the review. More material and more insight.
The main characters from Magi - LoM was based off from the more popular tales from the Arabian Nights. Ohtaka Shinobu used them to recreate a new story but with a similar backdrop which is the Middle East or Western Asia for the most part. Aladdin, jinnies, Alibaba and Morgiana, Sindbad the Sailor and etc. Sadly, since never ever reading "Arabian Nights," I'm not sure how many elements Ohtaka Shinobu borrowed to create his work though?
But, I could say that since stories and fables weren't just for entertainment only but to also teach a lesson, Magi - LoM seems to incorporate this into its' narrative.
Again, Solomon also has a place in the tales of the Arabian Nights. Yet again, he only leaves traces of himself which build even more of an intrigue for this sage king.
It's a wonderful and entertaining read. It does have a few perverted scenes. So far, the plot has just been building with introductions to what amount to be the main cast. As of chapter 48, a real meaningful plot behind Aladdin is beginning to come together.
So far, Magi - LoM has just alluded to what Aladdin is but nothing concrete. One could also say that Aladdin's destiny is falling into place.
For those that like a simple story to follow, an intriguing blend for a cast, and adventure, I would recommend this.
Last edited by segua; November 05, 2012 at 11:07 AM. Reason: Corrections
ahhh an original 1001 nights themed manga, this by itself is a huge bonus to the story and since its not a common theme it dont lose on the tipical shonen plots.
The art is great but the biggest quality of Shinobu's art is his portrait of the characters emotions, it's like you can feel them.
The downside is the slow pacing start of the series, but once it gets going things just get better.
I have huge hopes on the upcomming magnoshutat arc and the anime adaptation.
10 of 10.
nice review ...
i would say that i think its a little too overrated , but thats just me .. Magi story plot for now is very simple and not much is going on , it a overly repetitive , and fairly predictable... always this aladin saying to alibaba "you can do it" ! "you are the best" ! i find it a little annoying... but its still interesting ...
as for the art , a 10 would mean that its distinguish itself , but to me magi art is good but nothing different from most other titles ... anyhow will see how it becomes and thanks for the review.
Last edited by apellon; April 17, 2013 at 07:44 PM.