Blu-ray Review: Magi – The Labyrinth of Magic – Season 1 Part 2

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It’s time to head back to the kingdom of Balbadd as we take a look at KAZE’s release of Magi – The Labyrinth of Magic – Season 1 Part 2, but what can you expect from this final instalment of Season 1? Find out in our Blu-ray Review.

Synopsis:

Aladdin has yet to regain consciousness from the battle with the fallen magi Judar. Meanwhile, as the third prince of Balbadd, Alibaba tries to stop his older brother King Ahbmad from turning Balbadd into a slave-exporting nation. But his plans are thwarted by none other than Cassim, his childhood friend from the slums, now transformed into a Dark Djinn by the Dark Metal Vessel. Cassim tries to strike down the royal family for causing their citizens to suffer for many years.

Cassim’s attacks crush Aibaba both physically and mentally, but he gets back up again and again. Just then, a friend reaches out a helping hand! With Aladdin’s support once again, can Alibaba rescue his country, people, and Cassim from the darkness? Soon after, Alibaba and Aladdin will learn about Al-Tharmen, the organization that has been causing the Abnormalities of the World.

Our View:

The plot thickens in Magi: The Magic of Labyrinth – Season 1 Part 2 as while Alibaba attempts to persuade Ahbmad in giving up the throne for a more peaceful government , Cassim begins an all-out attack on the castle and its occupants, with devastating results. Cassim isn’t the only opponent attacking the castle though, as shortly after the battle begins Judar reappears onto the battlefield in order to assist Cassim, but when a newly restored and more confident Aladdin appears the battle takes a drastic turn, with Alibaba making the toughest decision of his life.

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With the battle over Alibaba, Aladdin and Morgiana are brought to Sinbad’s kingdom, Sindria, much to the annoyance of Alibaba who wants to create a democratic government in Balbadd, but it’s here where our heroes meet Sinbad’s Eight Generals of Sindria as well as learn the ways of fighting through various magic and swordplay techniques. Training is adruptly cut short when Alibaba’s wound from the previous battle in Balbadd causes an agent of the Al Thamen to appear and curse Sinbad, a curse which left unchecked will result in Sinbads death. To counter it Alibaba, Aladdin and Morgiana head off to the Zagan dungeon in hopes of acquiring the Djinn so that Sinbad can be cured, but in the shadows the agents of Al Thamen are lying in wait and so a final battle takes place with the victor awarded the spoils.

That’s pretty much a summary of what to expect from the thirteen episodes contained within this second instalment of Magi: The Magic of Labyrinth and unlike the previous episodes there is a nice mixture of action, comedy and story progression. For instance when Alibaba’s idea for democratic government is explained a lengthy battle between Cassim, Judar, Alibaba and Aladdin takes place with the conclusion swiftingly moving along into the next story arc which attempts to explain about the Al Thamen organization, the group who were pushing Cassim into taking over Balbadd. It’s not just the storyline which moves forward either, as we also move forward in some character development whereby each character learns new abilities and shares secrets about their past, information which has never been mentioned before, such as Morgiana true reason for continuing to follow Alibaba and Aladdin.

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It’s a highly entertaining collection of episodes that brings the first season of Magi to a close, and when the final curtain falls you are left wanting more – which is what a high quality anime series is meant to do, something which is easily shown through this High Definition Blu-ray release.

Extras:

Those hoping for some additional content will be pleased to know that there is some, and interestingly it’s on the first Blu-ray disc, fortunately it’s only the text less opening and closing songs in Karaoke form.

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No I haven’t mis-typed, the opening and closing songs are both in text less form but they feature un-removable karaoke subtitles. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, its just that’s the whole point of ‘text less’ songs is that there is no text on the video, but at least it can help you learn the words for the song.

Accompanying the ‘karaoke’ songs is the inclusion of a variety of trailers and depending on which side of the disc you choose (English or French) depends on the type of trailers received. If you select the English side you are treated to trailers for Bakuman and Penguindrum, meanwhile by chosing the French side of the disc you’re treated to Garden of Words and Buddah.

As you can see there isn’t a lot of additional content, but it sure is better than having nothing included at all, which is what can sometimes happen with Kaze releases.

Specs:

Media: BD 50 x1, BD 25 x1
Region: B
Running Time: 2:50:32 (Disc 1), 2:02:00 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: LPCM 2.0 (English, French & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Magi: The Magic of Labyrinth – Season 1 Part 2 bring the first season of Magi to a close, with It providing a few laughs, some demonic battles and plenty of magi, you could say it’s the Arabian nights version of Fairy Tail as it has that type of mixture. The episodes contained within this release tend to cover two different Story Arc elements, the first of witch being the Balbadd uprising before swiftly moving onto the Zagan Dungeon story arc which sees one final battle for survival with Alibaba in the middle of it.

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Some action, some fun it’s all inside this set and while some of the English voice actors still fit uncomfortably with me I still prefer it to the Japanese audio, both of which are presented in Japanese Stereo. For me the English Dub uses too much Vic Mignogna, it’s a problem that appeared in the first half as while he provides a voice for Koubun Ka he also provides voices for multiple background characters. Usually this wouldn’t be a problem, but when there is no difference in the tone or pitch they all sound like the same character. It’s not just the English dub I felt uncomfortable with either as the Japanese audio laso didn’t sit comfortable with me, especially when it came to ahbmad, his Japanese voice sounded unbearable but that’s just my take on it.

Personal audio preferences aside the audio languages can only be changed via the on-screen pop-up menu and just like the previous instalment this pop-up menu covers half of the viewing screen. The subtitle or audio options cannot be changed by using the buttons on the remote either, furthermore subtitles are locked to the Japanese audio track so there is no way to watch the series in raw Japanese. The menu layout is exactly like the previous set, so at least some consistency is had between the volumes, but it still features that slow single episode selection instead of a list of episodes like most releases use, furthermore once an episode has ended it you will automatically be taken back to the main menu, it’s not a massive issue (as it’s the same with all Kaze titles) but you do hope that the disc would just continue on to the next episode as opposed to the main menu.

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Overall this final instalment of Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic takes the Arabian adventure to the next level, with a nice blend of comedy, action and storyline that keeps you coming back for more and while the menu layout and lack of additional content is disappointing the main story is nothing but pure entertainment.

Score: review-stars-3

Magi – The Labyrinth of Magic Season 1 Part 2 will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from the 12th May 2014.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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