Blu-ray Review: Magi: The Kingdom of Magic – Part 2
21/12/2015 Leave a comment
In our latest Blu-ray Review we take a look at KAZE’s release of Magi: The Kingdom of Magic – Part 2.; but is it Harry Potter meets the Arabian nights or something different entirely? Well truth be told it is the former but it has some good moments to share.
Aladdin, Alibaba, and Morgiana’s adventures continue in the magical Kingdom of Magnostadt, a country ruled by magicians, and the Reim Empire, which is protected by the Magi Scheherazade.
Everything we once knew about this anime is practically out the window; instead of dungeons, magic tools and selected kings from mysterious magical beings known as Magi we find ourselves thrown into the magical school of Magnostadt that feels more like something out of a Harry Potter novel than an anime series. There is a plot to be found here; be it the secrets of Magnostadt’s leader or the impending war between three nations and a fight for survival but unfortunately it has been overshadowed by anything else that so happens to take place that it makes it rather pointless to follow rather than difficult.
Why exactly do i say this? Well the whole purpose of Aladdin being at the school was to not only gain new magical abilities but to too see if Magnostadt had any connection with Al Thamen but after spending a year there discovers that the magic tools the city wields is powered by over two-hundred-thousand citizens living underground and being drained of their Magoi. Does either party do anything about it; no. Instead Aladdin, along with his new-found-friends Titus and Sphintus, are forgiven for discovering Mogamett’s secret of his nation and are instead given free-reign of visiting the area filled with citizens in order to cater for a young girl – a feat which is even more surprising Mogamett knows the intentions of both Aladdin and Titus.
It’s a relatively strange scenario of events that – other than character building and bonding between notable characters – serves no real purpose to the progression of the story; but it does highlight the factors that made Mogamett create a nation based around magic – as he despises humans. This ‘hatred’ for humans is what leads to the continuous fighting-finale of the series and it sees a three-way-duel between Magnostadt, Kou and Reim empies. In hindsight the episodes contained within this half of the series is nothing more than a long-winded-fight that could even rival the longest fights found within Dragon Ball Z. What Starts as a simple battle between Magicians and the army of the Reim Empire soon transforms into a brutal massacre when Mogamett summons dark gjinns to defend his nation from the Kou Empire; but when the will of Al Thamen makes its move the fate of the entire world rests on the shoulders of a few. Cue Sinbad and the arrival of magi.
As you can imagine this is the final fight; and yet it’s somewhat extensive, dreary and not how i expected to end; which is a real disappointment. In retrospect the whole pacing of this half of the show feels terrible; its starts off great with a variety between discovering secrets and exploring characters origin stories – including Titus and Mogamett; but once the Reim Empire come knocking on the door all story progression is lost and thrown out the window for simplistic, but relatively awesome, fights that see no-one giving up until the bitter end.
When it comes to KAZE authored discs then there’s not a lot to look forward to when it comes to bonus content; and sadly the same can be said again here on Magi: The Kingdom of Magic – Part 2 as the only extras on offer are textless songs and a trailer before on the disc menu on each disc.
What i do find slightly interesting is that KAZE have opted to put the bonus content on the first disc, which features eight episodes, as opposed to the second disc which only featured four episodes; as obviously the second disc would have more room spare for the bonus material.
Media: BD 50 x1, BD 25×1
Running Time: 3:15:40 (Disc 1), 1:36:57 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: LPCM 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English & French (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps
Magi: The Kingdom of Magic – Part 2 brings the relatively comical and interesting anime series to an explosive conclusion that sees the entire world unify together – so to speak – in order to defeat an evil that has plagued the world from the shadows; it’s a swift end to a fight that spans half of this collection and yet i still find myself unsatisfied. The events in this particular release see Aladdin, Titus and Sphintus uncover the secret of Magnostadt and learn of Mogamett’s true intentions for the people of the world. Elsewhere the Reim, and then later Kou, empires begin their advance on Magnostadt which leads Mogamett to defend his nation with everything he has; including the Dark Gjinn’s. As a result it’s a destructive battle that sees Magicians against Fanalis, Magi against and army and then finally every chosen king and household vessel against an unspeakable evil that brings destruction to the world.
An exact purpose or plot is not entirely found here within these selection of episodes and as such events which led to this, such as the selection of kings candidates, household vessels, magical items and the real identity of Al Thamen, as well as Judau’s true objective all remain on the back-burner while instead a massive fight between nations breaks out. Personally i would have preferred the afore mentioned stories to be finished off rather than left, to some extent, unfinished but i guess thats just the way it goes. Another pet-peeve i found with the progression of this series is that while we see Aladdin become stronger in the kingdom of Magic we never see his friends (namely Morgiana and Alibaba) take part in their training; other than when they arrive at the destination in the previous half of the series– so to see them arrive with new found abilities that, in the past have seem unreachable, just leaves more questions to be answered; but of course a one-year-time gap does take place while Aladdin is at the school.
Overall its a mixed mash of a series and the same came also be said for this Blu-ray release by KAZE Entertainment. The Blu-ray discs are as you would expected them to be; a high quality of standard with twelve episodes spread across the two discs each of which feature Japanese and English audio with English and French subtitles. The presentation of the disc menu leaves much to be desired but remains consistent with previous releases; and as such annoyances still remain. These annoyances include using the pop-up menu instead of title menu to access the disc menu itself and that only one episode at a time can be played unless choosing Play All. Of course you could class these as personal complaints; but they are issues that have remained consistent in all KAZE releases.
The conclusion to Magi: The Kingdom of Magic is a sketchy conclusion; sure enough it brings everyone together to display their powers for one final showdown but at the same time storyline elements that have been building up throughout the franchise remain relatively unanswered and for the questions that have been answered they are overshadowed by the events of the episodes themselves. Great animation, great characters and plenty of action is whats in store but it all feels too familiar that its hard to love it; but definitely worth watching if you’ve been following the series so far.
Magi: The Kingdom of Magic – Part 2 is now available on DVD and Blu-ray within the UK.