Anime Vice News

MAGI #8 - - Watch & Learn

The two Al's will set your emotions on fire!

How the hell is a show about a lil’ moffat with magic fluke proving to be one of the more mature takes on friendship I’ve seen in any anime?

Seriously, the moment where Aladdin extends his hand to shake with Alibaba, and the recently-returned prince then passes him by with an underplayed apology about breaking promises? That was real, actual, deep drama, man - - just startling for its emotional honesty.

I always say that a show can get away with any sort of otherwise-irksome ingredients as long as the crew knows exactly what those ingredients do for the audience. In this case, it’s a main character whose naiveté could get head-smacking-ly annoying rather quickly in less skilled hands. Not to take a shot at Oda, but what’s been funny about watching this show alongside old episodes of ONE PIECE is that I’m seeing a lot of my conjecture about Luffy’s psychology getting played out in Aladdin’s predicaments. They’re both Pollyanna’s with an insatiable thirst for adventure - - but MAGI is actually showing how that isn’t always a good thing.

What’s also amazing is that the show seems to have another layer of awareness on top of that. The drama and miscommunication between the two Al’s could’ve been drawn out; but Morgiana pulls a trick much like the one Aladdin did a few episodes back and literally just drops the two into a room together to talk out their problems.

It’s a Gordian Knot approach to conflict that feels very 1,001 ARABIAN NIGHTS, and I continue to be impressed with how this show’s able to have its cake, and eat it too, on so many separate plates. It pays proper homage to the classic folk lore while striking out in its very distinct direction. It presents an archetypal shonen hero with earnest intent, but still pokes a few holes in his persona. And it’s giving all the usual goods we expect from shonen while still also jumping over a lot of the tropes we dislike. Seriously, who else felt relieved when the plot skipped ahead six months and spared us all the filler that might've be in that gap?

Watch this episode, “A Promise That Can't Be Kept" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Marshal Victoryon April 3, 2013 at 4:03 p.m.

One thing you can say about the Magi anime is their seems to be no filler.It has at times its animation quality drops noticably but story wise no fillers.Or at least obvious ones.Its not in top 10 for ratings now but its still a good show .Well worth a look but those 1st 3 episodes will throw many.

takashichea moderator is online on April 5, 2013 at 12:55 p.m.

@Marshal Victory:

It's surprising that they went for a second season next fall given how much they deviated from the manga in the last two episodes of season 1.

I enjoyed the series.

All right, we're getting into Alibaba's arc in this episode!

Marshal Victoryon April 5, 2013 at 4:55 p.m.

@takashichea: well ya i hear it did deviate from the manga .But the anime did creep into the top 10 a few times.So maybe they are looking at world audiance to for it?Bleech sure wasnt faithful to manga either so maybe its not as cut an dry as that these days?

Personaly i would prefer to see "based on" in the title of stuff that goes its own way but uses the same title as the orignal manga/comic.

Dig Deeper into Magi - The Labyrinth of Magic

The story revolves around Aladdin who finds a Djinn. It follows his journey with a group of friends he found, Ugo and Morgianna.

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