Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic Vol. 5 by Shinobu Ohtaka (a J!-ENT Manga Review)
April 1, 2014 by Dennis Amith
“Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic” vol. 5 is an entertaining and action-packed volume that reveals Alibaba’s past but also sets up a battle against the evil Magi known as Judar. Recommended!
Image courtesy of © 2009 Shinobu Ohtaka. All Rights Reserved.
MANGA TITLE: Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic Vol. 5
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: April 8, 2014
After many adventures, Aladdin finally reaches the great city of Balbadd. There he reunites with his friend Alibaba hoping to once again capture a dungeon together. However, a more cruel destiny lies ahead…
Why is Alibaba working with the city of Balbadd’s insurgents and what is his relationship with Cassim, the leader of the Fog Troop?
Meanwhile, what happens when Aladdin comes across another Magi, and evil person named Judar?
Find out in Shinobu Ohtaka’s popular hit manga series “Magi: The Laybrinth of Magic” vol. 5!
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 which has aired in Japan.
And the manga series titled “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic” has been released in the US courtesy of Viz Media and here we are with its fifth volume.
In vol. 5, as Aladdin, Alibaba and Morgiana have been separated for nearly six months and when Aladdin and Morgiana arrive in the city of Balbadd, they finally run into Alibaba but to find out that he is in league with the Fog Troop, a group of insurgents fighting against the current royal regime of the city.
But why would Alibaba align himself with a group such as the Fog Troop? Alibaba’s past is revealed!
Meanwhile, an evil Magi has arrived and his name is Judar and after discovering Aladdin, Judar wants nothing more than to cause trouble and make life harder for Aladdin and friends!
Hilarious and fun, Shinobu Ohtaka’s “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic” has turned out to be a pretty enjoyable series.
The main protagonist Aladdin is rather interesting because he has an appearance of a little boy who possesses a flute that houses a headless giant named Ugo. But there are quirks with Alibaba, for one, he’s often hungry and thirsty, which helps with activating Ugo. He’s also somewhat of a pervert as he is often wanting to rub his head on a woman’s breast.
But most importantly, it’s his strong desire to find and have friends which makes him a bit naive when people pretend to be his friend but they have ulterior motives.
One of these friends that he does make is Alibaba, a boy who is in severe debt and people who owe debts, end up being slaves for a wealthy owner (most often a tyrant). He desires wealth but most of all a Djinn, similar to Aladdin and hopes that with partnering with him, he can obtain treasure and a Djinn.
And then there is Morgiana, a former slave who was helped by Aladdin and Alibaba and has been given her freedom. And now, she wants to repay them by joining them in their adventures but most importantly to help them out when in need.
As the earlier storylines focused on the friendship of Aladdin and Alibaba, we start to see some secrets of Alibaba’s past and perhaps he has a ties with royalty, which makes us wonder how he became a thief.
And after being separated from each other for six months, Aladdin and Morgiana have found Alibaba but to their surprise, he has aligned himself with the Balbadd’s insurgents known as the Fog Troop. And for some reason, he is staying and telling Aladdin and Morgiana to leave.
Of course, for Aladdin and Morgiana, they want to get to the bottom of what is happening and learn why their friend has become what he is.
With this latest volume, we learn about Alibaba and his relationship to the Fog Troop leader, Cassim. We also learn about the identity of the man who is giving shelter to Aladdin and Morgiana, his name….Sinbad.
And also, we learn there is an evil Magi out there….Judar. And when he finds out that Aladdin is a Magi, all hell breaks loose!
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. 5 is an entertaining and action-packed volume that reveals Alibaba’s past but also sets up a battle against the evil Magi known as Judar.
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