Story/Art: Shinobu Ohtaka
Translation & English Adaptation: John Werry
Touch-Up Art & Lettering: Stephen Dutro
Editor: Mike Montesa
What They Say:
When the Al-Thamen organization threatens Sindria, Sinbad and his retainers, the Eight Generals, move to repel them. The battle lines form in a struggle that may engulf the world as a great mystery starts to become clear. How many Magi are there? How many of them can the world hold at one time, and what will happen when the natural balance is upset? Aladdin’s quest for knowledge may hold the answers.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Out of Zagan’s dungeon and back in Sindria, Aladdin, Alibaba, Morgiana, and Hakuryu find themselves at an impasse. They may have defeated the dungeon, but, in their weakened state, they’re immediately defeated again by dark metal vessel users. Since Balbadd, they’ve largely been relaying on the strength of others, but no longer. The fight against the three dark metal vessel users was the last straw. They need to get stronger for themselves.
This is, I believe, where the manga has taken a slight divergence from the anime. This book’s first moments and final moments were the ending of the first season (Labyrinth of Magic) and beginning of the second season (Kingdom of Magic) respectively. Likely to speed things up around the end of a season, they compressed some story elements (to no detriment of the story itself). Hakuryu’s arm was restored in the dungeon of Zagan and Sinbad’s ailment was thought to only be curable by Zagan, not by only by the one who cast the spell. The anime’s changes actually bring a sense of stakes into Zagan’s dungeon, so I think it makes it more interesting, instead of it merely being a training exercise for the four protagonists.
But this is the manga, and in the manga they’ve already defeated Zagan’s dungeon and returned. In this timeline, the evil magician Ithnan had been hiding in a fake version of Hakuryu’s arm, and he corrupts both Sinbad and Alibaba with the curse. With Hakuryu armless and Alibaba succumbs to its powers, Sinbad goes off to confront Ithnan.
This is a display of power from both Hakuryu and Sinbad. First, Hakuryu has to cope with the loss of his arm. But he can create wood and manipulate plants like none other now, thanks to Zagan, and creates a fake left arm made of wood to replace the one he lost in the dungeon. On the other hand, there’s the terrifying and overwhelming display of the man who commands seven djinns. He has one that controls both light and dark rukh and he instantly removes the curse from himself. From his usage on himself and not on Alibaba, I presume it only works on himself.
Against the strongest enemies, Aladdin, Alibaba, Morgiana, and Hakuryu barely prevailed. It was only pushing themselves beyond their own limits that made them victorious. They have a lot to learn and they can’t do it as the puppet of Sinbad. Aladdin is the first to realize that he must venture out, and decides to go to the magic academy, Magnoshutatt. Alibaba is, as of yet, undecided, Morgiana wants to visit her home country, and Hakuryu is going to his sister in Tenzan.
Magi has always been a solid comic, but I recall its second season being where I really fell in love with the series as a whole. It takes a world rich in history and adds in political intrigue on top of its existing social commentaries. This volume only builds up to it. It’s a slow volume overall, but there’s a transition period between what was happening and what will happen; there always is, and it’d be awkward without it.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: June 9, 2015