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Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic Vol. 3 by Shinobu Ohtaka (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

November 24, 2013 by  



magi-3

“Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic” vol. 3 is an entertaining, yet heartbreaking storyline but it’s part of the process of Aladdin getting to learn more about himself.  If you enjoyed the first two volumes, you will no doubt enjoy volume three of “Magi”. Recommended!

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Image courtesy of © 2009 Shinobu Ohtaka. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic Vol. 3

STORY AND ART BY: Shinobu Ohtaka

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Sunday

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: December 10, 2013

Aladdin finds himself among the Kouga tribe, who live deep in the desert far from Qishan. An emissary from the Kou Empire arrives offering peace, but when it turns out to be an offer they can’t refuse, things take a turn for the worse. Aladdin learns more about the legend of the Magi and the Rukh, bird-like beings of light, with whom he appears to share a deep connection…

With their last battle separating Aladdin and Alibaba, Aladdin wakes up in the care of the Kouga Clan, a horse tribe in the Far Easter Plains that have survived without being assimilated by the Kou Empire of the East.

But with the Kou Empire wanting to integrate the Kouga Clan to their empire, but as the Princess wants to integrate them through diplomatic means, her general Ryosai wants to do it by force.

Can Aladdin use his power to protect the Kouga Clan from harm?  Find out in  Shinobu Ohtaka’s popular hit manga series “Magi: The Laybrinth of Magic” vol. 3!

What is “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic”?

When it comes to opportunities of becoming a manga writer/artist (mangaka), Shinobu Ohtaka’s story.

She has written about her story of how she became a manga artist, as a person who was the person who would sit quietly in the corner of class and was not really great at anything and often playing a supporting role. But if there was one thing that she was confident in, it was drawing pictures.

Her first year in high school, she was submitting manga manuscripts because it was her dream to become a manga author. And like many writers, her submissions were denied and this continued through high school and college. And when she was about to call it quits, she was given the opportunity to do a one-shot and it led to the creation of the series “Sumomo Momomo” in 2004 which would eventually become 22 volume manga series and also a 22-episode anime series.

After completing “Sumomo Momomo”, Shinobu then created “Magi” which would be serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday in 2009 and to this day, the series is till ongoing (currently, at 17 volumes) and an anime adaptation which was aired in Japan in Oct. 2012 – March 2013 and a new second season set to air this fall.

But in August 2013, the manga series titled “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic” will be released in the US courtesy of Viz Media.

“Magi” vol. 1 begins with a boy begging for water and food but the bandits that captured him want to strip the young boy of everything he has. Immediately, massive arms is seen coming out and defeating all bandits.

While at the Oasis of Utan, the boy named Aladdin meets a merchant named Laylah and Sahsa, the daughter of a caravan leader. He introduces them to his friend Ugo, which appears to be a flute. When Aladdin blows into the flute, massive arms come out of the flute. Ugo is a Djinn, spirits that appear in myth and not many people thought it was a real thing, but we learn through a flashback that Aladdin was given three wishes in which he could have fortune, fame and eternal life. But instead, he just wants one wish and that is for Ugo to be his friend. And since then, the two have been together.

Aladdin has the ability to extra Ugo which is a massive body without a head. As Aladdin goes on trips with various people, we learn that Aladdin must be well fed and have had a lot to drink in order to use Ugo, but also Ugo is shy if a girl touches him.

And in Aladdin’s adventure, he meets a boy named Alibaba. Alibaba’s wish is to be rich and find treasure inside buildings that have shown up all over the world. And treasures with wonderful powers are the most valuable, the one that Alibaba seeks is the Djinn’s metal vessel. At first Alibaba’s intention was to use Aladdin and his power to gain wealth, but instead, the two have become best friends and now both want to protect each other and travel together on adventures.

But as Alibaba was given a chance to rule a land and had wealth, without Aladdin, he chooses to abandon it all to find his friend.  Meanwhile, Morgianna also wonders what has happened to both Alibaba and Aladdin.

In vol. 3, somehow Aladdin has landed many miles away from where he was last spotted with Alibaba and he has been under the care of the Kouga Horse Tribe, a once proud warrior tribe.  But now the horse tribe are a big family that is led by their elder, Baba who immediately sees promise in Aladdin and is familiar with his power.

And because she sees the good in Aladdin’s heart, she takes him in as part of her family and as one of her children which makes Aladdin happy.

But the Kou Empire is planning to expand and grow a significant empire but their leader, the Princess of the Kou Empire wants to handle things diplomatically, while her General wants to handle things by force.

And with the Kouga Empire not wanting to be assimilated to the Kou Empire, Ryosai intends to work behind the princess and hurt the Kou Empire by kidnapping the women and making them slaves.

Can Aladdin protect his new family?

With the third volume of “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic”, we get a heartfelt story about Aladdin meeting a tribe who are kindhearted and take him in as one of their own.  But most of all, developing a connection with the village elder, Baba, who takes him in as one of her own kids and treats him with love and kindness.

But for Aladdin, he sees trouble in the horizon when the Kou Empire threatens to assimilate the Kouga Empire.  While the Princess tries to reason with them kindly through diplomatic means, her general has other ideas in mind and that is by assimilating these tribes to the Kou Empire by force but also doing despicable things behind the Princess’ back.

But with the help of Aladdin, will his power be enough to protect the Kouga Clan?

With this latest volume, Aladdin gets a few more answers on what a “Magi” is and we also are introduced to a new Djinn.

But what makes this volume so enjoyable is its sad storyline because no matter how much power Aladdin has, magical power may not be enough to protect the people he loves.

And with this volume, the naive Aladdin learns an important lesson with his time with the Kouga Clan.

As with each volume, the story and artwork by Shinobu Ohtaka is enjoyable to read and see.  He has his own art style and while backgrounds are not as prominent in Ohtaka’s work, it’s the close-ups and the ability to capture emotion that he does quite effectively but most importantly, it’s the storyline that he features that makes “Magi: The Labyrinth” so entertaining and addictive.

Overall, “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic” vol. 3 is an entertaining, yet heartbreaking storyline but it’s part of the process of Aladdin getting to learn more about himself.

If you enjoyed the first two volumes, you will no doubt enjoy volume three of “Magi”. Recommended!

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