Magi: the Kingdom of Magic and the balance of power

Whose side is Aladdin on this time?

If you’ve read my brief commentary on Magi: the Labyrinth of Magic, you’ll know that the only reason I actually sat down to watch this sequel was the character of Ren Kouen. And I’d say it was worth it just for him — I always loved the scenes in the manga where he scares Aladdin with his great thirst for knowledge, and though the animation wasn’t always top-notch, hearing Nakamura Yuuichi bringing that out in Kouen was even more amusing than I imagined:

However, there were several other points where the anime increased my appreciation of certain scenes and developments in the manga. In particular, I thought that the fight between Alibaba and Toto was extremely well done, and I also came to feel the sorrow of Titus’s situation far more than I had when I read the manga. Finally, I felt that the show was able to drive home the fact that Matal Morgamett and his magicians weren’t evil — they just wanted to protect what they cared about. In essence, this is probably what defines every living thing. The only question, really, is whether what they care about is really worth protecting or not, and it is arguably only with humans that it may not be.

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And the political maneuvering is also pretty interesting…

All up, I would say that I probably enjoyed the second season of Magi more than the first. The biggest reason is probably that there were no significant changes from a manga story that hit all the right notes in the first place. Even though there were still patches where I felt that production quality dropped off a little, not having particularly high expectations – possibly due to a few debacles during the first season – really helped.

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It will be interesting to see exactly how the wheel turns next…

Still, as anyone reading the manga will know, the really heavy stuff, of course, is yet to come. Kingdom ends with the Seven Seas Alliance (of which Sinbad’s Sindria is a part) allying with the Reim Empire in order to frustrate the Kou Empire’s goal of taking over the entire world. The titular kingdom of magic, Magnostatt, was to remain neutral, though Sinbad declared his intentions to help rebuild it. Thus, the balance of power has clearly shifted. However, within the Kou Empire itself, trouble is also brewing…where do those dark desires portend…? The third season of the anime, whenever they decide to make one, will undoubtedly cover it. Otherwise, there’s always the manga. ^^

About karice
MAG fan, freelance translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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