You saw the fun-loving ruler of the seven seas in the two previous Magi titles. You watched him, judged him, questioned his motives and maybe even gave him a hotness rating out of 10. Whether you loved or hated him you couldn’t deny you felt a little bit of intrigue, kind of like when someone tells you they like watching golf (sorry, golf fans). Magi: the Adventures of Sinbad takes that intrigue and starts giving you answers to your subconscious questions. How did Sinbad rise to his glory? Well, this is the start of that tale.
Yet I can’t help but think. Why is someone with a name made up of both ‘sin’ and ‘bad’ so undeniably good. Heck, Sinbad is portrayed so nicely that he makes the Dalai Lama look bad. And while i’m definitely a sucker for the good guy it does get to the point where I think ‘really now, no normal person would do what you’re doing.’ But Sinbad isn’t normal, as the start of the anime exclaims someone of his calibre is born once in a thousand years. And while I like to keep this in mind it becomes a hard pill to swallow. Reality strikes and you realise that rather than one in a thousand he’s really one of a thousand archetypal hero characters… So maybe his characterisation isn’t anything too special. But it’s not all bad. He still comes across as a cool kick-ass fighter and if nothing else, his long luscious purple hair will win you over.
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While the rest of the cast receive minimal development they still present as characters which assist in a smooth progression of the storyline. And being realistic, it can’t be expected to have a full cast of fleshed out characters in just five episodes. That would be like asking Katy Perry to attend Tay Swizzle’s birthday party. It just isn’t going to happen. However I did enjoy getting to see a little insight into Hina, as well as the mystifying magi Yunan himself.
Update: Post OVA character progression does improve. However in 13 episodes we still learn surprisingly little. Yes, the lamp is still very much struggling to illuminate the whole room. This being said some characters, namely Ja’far and Mystras (once he is eventually introduced) do get some cool character development. It’s also worth noting that you’ll probably take to liking the characters like a mouse takes to liking cheese.
For a short series the storyline is what you would expect. You learn a little but you’re kind of left hanging. No, not on the edge of a cliff for dear life. It’s not that dramatic. But it feels incomplete. So don’t expect too tidy of a finish, the ending is as open (and almost as unsatisfying) as a cardboard box with no bottom. Individual aspects of the story, however, are enjoyable. And the animation and sound are both done really well, sporting some top-notch action scenes and music which actually made me feel deep concern for the characters. All things considered, with just five episodes in the OVA and 13 in the TV series, Magi: The Adventures of Sinbad (Magi: Sinbad no Bouken) does a reasonable job of doing what it set out to do – tell us the crux of Sinbad’s coming into being.
Thank you for reading my review!