Someone asked me my half baked opinion of the anime MAGI: THE MAGIC LABYRINTH, and, unfortunately, I decided to answer.
I say, unfortunately, because it is foolish of me to give an opinion on something I have not finished yet.
So the reader is warned that these opinions are subject to change as I learn more.
Also, spoiler warnings. Some of the plot twists mentioned below are clever, and I do not want anyone who has not seen the show to have them spoiled.
I do not recommend it, but I do not think it is bad. I have not seen enough to say.
So far it has not really grabbed me — but I am entertained and interested enough to keep watching.
Let me mention the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Good points first:
The soundtrack is top-notch. The music director here has a good ear. He is not Joe Hisaichi, but he is good.
The conceit of the story, frankly, is brilliant: Mysterious, exo-dimensional trap-filled and monster-filled labyrinths of magic have appeared inexplicably at random spots throughout the world to bestow magic superpowers and the crown of kingship on the adventurer-survivors who conquer the labyrinth. But to enter them is nearly certain death.
The hero Aladdin is a seven-year-old with a very appealing personality. When offered one wish from an all-powerful genie, he wishes for the genie not to be his slave, but his friend. It is similar to the conceit in AH MY GODDESS but here, because it is innocent, it is sweet.
Aladdin is also an amnesiac. This is one of my favorite types of character, because the mystery of discovering one’s forgotten self is a perfect metaphor for the entire human condition.
One of the characters is secretly the bastard child of royalty, and, after the evil prince is overthrown in an early plot arc, does not take the throne, but elects to install a republic.
This, I thought, was a great idea, especially since the villain of that arc was a French-style Revolutionary and the hero was an America-style Revolutionary. The hero wanted freedom and equality, and the villain wanted revenge against the rich and powerful.