24 November 2019 | MidnightSerpent
Magi: A jack of all trades, but a master of none
Before I get into this, keep in mind that this is a review for all of Magi up to this point, not just season 2.
When I was first introduced to Magi, I could only think, "great, an anime ripoff of Disney's Aladdin." Like come on. It's in an Arabian desert setting, it has magical blue wish-granting genies, and to top it off, one of the main characters is even named Aladdin. How they didn't run into copyright issues for this I will never know. But the more I watched Magi, the more I saw it grow into its own. I watched it meet, and often exceed, all of my expectations of what constitutes a good piece of entertainment. But looking back, I can't say I can pinpoint any aspect of the show that truly wowed me.
STORY - 7.7/10
There's no doubt that Magi has a very good storyline. It follows a journey through a surprisingly well fleshed out world filled with both dream-like fantasy and well-defined realism. Through this world, some genuinely interesting ideas about fate, class, and friendship are explored, and it's not afraid to get into the darker side of things. One of its most impressive features is its vast number of kingdoms, each with fully functioning governments and economies that really help showcase all the major themes of the show. But in general, the storyline seems to just wander around its world without any major focus or backbone, and it's often hard to see what it's really trying to accomplish. This also lets it drag at times, like in the middle of season 1 and and the beginning of season 2, where the pacing takes a hit. But overall, Magi tells a very impressive story, especially in the second half of season 2 where all its strengths culminate.
CHARACTERS - 7.3/10
Characters are a bit of a mixed bag for the show. On one hand you have characters like Titus, Hakuryuu, Morgiana, and Matal, who all have very engaging arcs and motives over the course of Magi. But on the other, main characters like Alibaba and Aladdin seem to pale in comparison. Alibaba's not too bad, but his characterization's pretty stale and it never really feels like he changes much throughout the story. And Aladdin, while fun for a lot of comic relief, doesn't really have much depth to his character at all. Side characters are similarly mixed, with some being really interesting, like Gyokuen, and others being comically bad, like Abhmad. All in all though, there's definitely more good than bad going on in the character department.
ART - 6.4/10
As far as the art goes, it's pretty good. Like I said earlier, the world has some interesting settings which look nice and colorful. There's nothing mind-blowing going on here though. The fights generally look pretty average, with some being better and some being worse. It does the job and it's more than good enough.
SOUNTRACK - 5.3/10
The soundtrack also does the trick, but it definitely leans towards a more average quality. It isn't very memorable at all and listening to it alone doesn't do much for me. I'll give it some points for matching the Arabian aesthetic and for combining a lot of different instruments and voices. The voice acting is also sufficient, but nothing really stood out there either. Same for its openings and endings.
OVERALL ENJOYMENT - 7.4/10
So in the end, did Magi end up being a diamond in the rough? (Heh, see what I did there Aladdin fans?). I'd certainly say so. It's really got no bad aspects, and for what little it may lack in art and sound, it more than makes up for with its gripping storyline and broad range of well developed characters. While I can't say that its ideas changed my life or that its moments moved me to tears, I'm confident that it'll satisfy anyone who's looking for some high quality entertainment.