Magi – 7

The setting of an anime is visually expressed through the various architectures and environments.  Magi has featured a number of diverse physical settings thus far and has done well communicating these to us through its use of dazzling and detailed backgrounds and sceneries.

Through these first seven episodes, Magi has seen its characters visit the sun-scorched desert kingdom of Qishan, the Kouga settlement in the sweeping highlands, and Balbadd, the picturesque port city laying restless on the ocean’s edge.  Beyond these locations, we’ve also seen the majestic and mysterious interior of the Amon Dungeon and the foreboding thieves’ hideaway on the highway between Qishan and Balbadd.  The adventures of Aladdin and his friends have allowed us to discover only a mere fraction of this expansive world but, from what we’ve seen, the setting of this anime is rich and diverse in its specific locations.  And one of the ways this is conveyed to us is visually, through the varied backgrounds and environments that the characters explore.

The geographies and cultures of each city and region are primarily shown through the vivid artwork of Magi, often showing meticulous detail in the aspects of architecture, vegetation, and various other specifics.  Although some of these choice settings appear to be similar or even the same, each has illustrated enough to show how each is individualized and unique.  For example, the sandstone structures of Qishan and Balbadd might blur their distinctiveness but the two cities are quite different; Qishan shows square, stonework buildings topped with either a domed- or flat-roof whereas Balbadd features more brick façades, angled-roofs, and exterior pillars.  The floras in each setting are wildly different, too, ranging from an arid desert, to calm grasslands, to a thriving, vibrant wilderness.  And while there has been little time spent on the plant-life in this anime, the background vegetation does help indicate the climate and help pinpoint the specific cultures of the world that Magi is based on.  It’s the same with the food, too, which helps reinforce the themes and ideas of each culture in each setting, too.  And the clothing and interior décor are no different, too.  Every visual aspect of the anime plays some part in helping to identify and enrich the setting of Magi.  And with many more settings to go, these details are certain to change except with respect to the quality and detail they are given by the animators of Magi.  With such comprehensive and careful detail placed into these aspects of the setting of Magi, each new setting from here on out is certain to be engrossing and enjoyable.

It is our understanding that Sinbad got drunk (could smell the alcohol on him) and passed out in the shade of some palm trees on his journey back to Balbadd.  However, when he awoke from his drunken slumber, he seemed to be completely sober and surprisingly rational.  He wasn’t suffering from any hangover nor did he wake-up drunk; he was perfectly normal or what’s considered normal for Sinbad.  Now I know the anime doesn’t want to spend time having a drunk and naked Sinbad wandering around, but couldn’t there have been some transition so that we see Sinbad somewhat drunk?  I mean, the evidence is there in what the thieves smelled off him but, come on, if he were drunk enough to pass out, at least show some more of that.  Or perhaps he was like that for hours before me managed to run into Aladdin and Morgiana?  That’d be my guess since no one is really pleasant or smiling after waking up from blacking out.  Still, I would’ve liked to see Sinbad drunk (drunk and not naked, oh please spare me), so hopefully this isn’t the last time something like this happens.


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