Anime Reporter indulges in some, if not actually Arabian Nights, then certainly Arabian-themed episodes with Magi: the Kingdom of Magic Part 01 (episodes 01-13). Kingdom of Magic is the direct sequel to the series Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic (reviewed here and here, but if you don’t feel like reading up on it, just consider it highly recommended).
While I’ll do my best to avoid major spoilers, I’m going to have reference some things that happened during/after the first series, so watch if your step if you’re entirely new to this world and these characters.
Things follow on pretty neatly from the ending of the last series with the people of Sindria celebrating after a hard-won victory, but there are still many sinister elements afoot. Our trio of young adventurers, Aladdin, Morgianna and Alibaba, have some pretty big quests ahead of them. They’re all journeying to become stronger, to learn more about their abilities and though this time they may have to go it alone. Following a magical attack on one of his friends, Aladdin takes off for a distant land to study magic at… I don’t want to say ‘Hogwarts’, but I already have so now you’ve got the picture. Up until now, Aladdin’s been relying on his magi abilities for his magical powers, but in this land, where magic is everywhere, those without it are condemned and nobody must learn that he’s a magi. That means it’s back to basics and our beloved blue-haired wunderkind is essentially going undercover to magical bootcamp.
Morgianna’s quest is a more straightforward, though by no means easy, one. She’s travelling in search of her ancestral homeland, to see where her people came from, and learn about her culture outside of the terrible slavery which defined so much of her life. Her journey won’t be easy, as her people haven’t been seen in their homeland for a long time and there are many who would love to put her back in chains.
Alibaba’s journey is another easier-said-than-done one. He’s off to join a troupe (is ‘troupe’ the right word? Probably not. It’s certainly not ‘team’…) of gladiators in the hope of honing his Djinn equip abilities.
Their searches won’t be quick and there will be more danger than they perhaps realise at first. This series definitely takes things to a little bit of a darker place in terms of content, but it still manages to maintain the humour and charm that made it stand out from the beginning. Aladdin is still strangely obsessed with fondling breasts despite his otherwise angelic nature and Alibaba still can’t quite pull off looking cool for more than five seconds without falling flat on his face.
The imagination and scale of the magical world are as impressive as before but there’s a more mature feeling to the characters and their challenges after the escalating conflict and emotional fallout of last season’s finale. There are certain elements in this series that remind me of the series Avatar- The Last Airbender(or The Legend of Aang, if you prefer), blending a vivid world, wonderful characters and humour, action and a well-paced, satisfying plot. I can’t recommend this series highly enough.
Magi- the Kingdom of Magic Part 01 is available on DVD and Blul-ray in the UK and Ireland from Manga Entertainment from Monday October 5th 2015. If you enjoyed the first series, then you’ll absolutely want to get your hands on this collection.