Anime Reporter returns to Magnostadt, for another lesson in wizardry and witchcraft, (Hogwarts, as it turns out, wants nothing to do with me), for the second half of Magi: The Kingdom of Magic (episodes 14-25). Kingdom of Magic is the direct sequel to the first season of Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, so you can expect one or two spoilers if you’re not familiar with the series.
Well, the second half certainly ups the ante, focusing primarily on Aladdin and his covert mission in Magnostadt. As viewers will recall, the first half of the season (reviewed here) saw Aladdin accept a mission to investigate some dubious goings on in the magical city, while also taking the opportunity to hone his magical abilities without using his magi powers. The first half of the season focused on the challenge of using magic without his reserves of energy, now we’re on to the dubiousness of it all.
Aladdin and his new friend, Titus, have newly graduated to the second level of the Academy and this grants them more access to the city. Magnostadt is a city famed for its magical prowess and it shows on every street. However, there is a dark and tragic secret underground which may force Aladdin to take action against the Academy itself.
That’s not all that’s going on though. As the first half of the season showed, Aladdin isn’t the only student with something to hide. He and Titus have more in common than he may have originally thought, though Titus’ secret is tinged with tragedy and pain.
This is put into pretty stern perspective, though, when war breaks out between Magnostadt and the nation of Reim. Reim is the place where Ali Baba went to hone his own skills in the gladiator arena to fully access the power of his Djinn equip, so don’t be too surprised if he makes an appearance.
All in all, this collection of episodes makes for great viewing, with wonderful, magical action and imagination, intense, character-driven plotlines and more personal storylines. The first season of Magi leaned on humour as one of its main features and that has been reined in somewhat in this instalment. The feeling is of a series that has grown and become more mature and balanced.
Humour is still there, but it’s much rarer than it used to be. Instead, we get a focus on the history and diversity of the world of the series. Supporting characters are given much more significant roles to play and are more complex beings than their predecessors. This series deserves to be watched. It’s not the light hearted affair that the first season was capable of being, but it’s damned good anime.
Magi: The Kingdom of Magic Part 2 is currently available on DVD and Bluray in English from the stellar folks at Manga Entertainment. Check out the Manga UK website for more information on upcoming releases.