I already gave my first impressions of this series and I’ve also reviewed the first series of Magi-the Labyrinth of Magic. With that said, I am going to reveal the end of the series (as much as the end of a prequel can be revealed) during this review so if you haven’t seen it yet or are concerned about spoilers you should probably pass.
My biggest issue going into this series was that it was a prequel about a character I didn’t like all that much from the original Magi series. Sinbad was smug, overbearing, and over-powered compared to the characters we were supposed to be caring about and then kind of took on a mentor/adviser role when he probably could have just wrapped things up without any help. Having now watched the 13 episodes of this on Netflix, that’s still an issue. I still don’t like Sinbad as a character. It’s just hard to get behind a character who is powerful because he is.
However, I now have a much bigger issue with this series and that is where it ends. Okay, it’s a prequel so we do have to align the events from this series with what we already know so cutting things off before he gets too powerful and close to the time period where he encounters Aladdin actually makes perfect sense (both from a story point of view and from a potential release of more prequels and make more money point of view).
But what was with that last episode?
If you read my first impressions of this series you will know I was kind of curious about how Sinbad became as powerful as he was. That was my only real interest going into this and then any hope I had of a decent story-line around that was dashed because within the first few minutes it was revealed that Sinbad was just born special. I got over that, eventually, as Sinbad as someone who was special but still growing into and finding his powers is still more interesting than overpowered adult Sinbad from Labyrinth. And then we get to episode 13.
The big climax and reveal…
Stop reading if you don’t want to know.
Sinbad realises he’s special.
I am seriously not kidding at this point. In took 13 episodes for that smug, self-assured human being to come to a realisation of something that was outright told to the audience in episode 1, and it ultimately means nothing because he isn’t going to change his actions based on this revelation. All it is going to do is make him just that teeny bit more arrogant and that’s what this character really needs (sarcasm).
It was so incredibly frustrating. This prequel has added nothing to the story that we didn’t already know or couldn’t have figured out from watching the original Magi series and while those who like Sinbad a bit more may find some of his adventures compelling, I honestly found his walk in brazenly, hit a setback, suddenly have an epiphany that usually involves intimidation through being overpowered, and then make friends routine really quite predictable and dull (particularly the third time he did it). I’d have really liked to have felt some kind of tension, or just been amused by this, but sadly it missed the mark.
Now, if I get off my high horse long enough to review the show without my prejudice for Sinbad and prequels, what are my thoughts?
This is much the same as watching Magi. The same weird chibi moments of supposed comedy breaking the flow of what is otherwise a fairly serious if predictable adventure story. We get moments of interesting action and occasionally interesting characters show up and then we move on to another part of the world and a new adventure that kind of starts feeling much the same as the last adventure with different backgrounds and colours. It’s fun enough and the battles with the metal vessels are definitely entertaining (and watching Sinbad blow a hole in a mountain was kind of cool though left me wondering why there was no landslide destroying the city next to the mountain). But that’s all it is.
Basically, if you’ve watched the original Magi you’ll watch this and you’ll probably walk away with much the same view you had of the original. There’s nothing here to distinguish it but nothing that will annoy fans of the original either.
And yes, they did manage to get Sinbad naked again and dress him in a leaf. Because, why not.
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BLEACH ILLUSTRATIONS BOOK: JET