Manga Review: Magi Volume 14
Magi Volume 14 features Aladdin, a young man who is a Magi and has the ability to gather the Magoi of Rukh to power his magic.
Magi Volume 14
Written by: Shinobu Ohtaka
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Volume 14 picks right back up from where Volume 13 ended. Madaura, the woman who has the ability to make children think she’s their mother, appears to have all of the protagonists under her control. But Aladdin is able to avoid being tricked since he never knew his mother, and it’s up to him to save the others. But Hakuryu doesn’t respond to Aladdin and the others, and instead begins attacking Alibaba.
This portion of Magi Volume 14 includes quite a bit of backstory for Hakuryu. While some of it had been mentioned in passing in earlier volumes, we get to see complete flashbacks here. It turns out he has a rather tragic past, and as he realizes the truth about something, his personality changes to the point where he’s hardly anything like the Hakuryu we’d come to know up until now. He becomes obsessed over both revenge and Morgiana. Around halfway through the volume, Hakuryu and the other go their separate ways, but his confession to Morgiana has an effect on her. The flashbacks were riveting to read, and I appreciated all the backstory they contained for Hakuryu.
Not too long after this, Aladdin, Alibaba, and Morgiana go off in three different directions in order to try to accomplish the missions that they have been given. The remainder of the volume focuses on Aladdin as he heads to Magnoshutatt in order to study magic at the academy there.
During Aladdin’s travels, the audience is introduced to a new character named Koha Ren. Koha is the third prince of the Kou Empire. Not surprisingly, Koha is a stuck up and pampered prince, and doesn’t seem to think much of Aladdin. The only reason Koha spends time with him is due to the fact that they’re traveling in the same carriage and heading to the same location. In the end, we don’t see Koha for very long in this volume, but I suspect he’ll likely reappear at some later point in the series.
When Aladdin makes it to Magnoshutatt, he finds himself being placed in the lowest class for the first years at the academy, since he has to hide the fact that he’s a Magi and can gather Rukh. To start off, Aladdin and his class are put through a lot of physical training, and it’s run almost like a military boot camp. Some of what happens during Aladdin’s physical training is amusing. And it turns out that it’s not too surprising what ultimately motivates Aladdin to keep going during all of the physical training. But Aladdin is amazed to see how all of the physical training helps him to improve his magic without the Rukh.
A lot of character development and plot progression takes place over the course of Magi Volume 14. Hakuryu gets the character development, and Aladdin sees the plot progression. This ended up being an enjoyable read, and the story kept my interest throughout the volume. But with the way Volume 14 ends, it looks like the series will be shifting its focus away from Aladdin and onto another one of the protagonists for Volume 15.
When it comes to the art, there are some very impressive action panels during the fight between Hakuryu and Alibaba. And after Hakuryu goes through his change in attitude, I can see that Ohtaka made changes to the way his expressions are drawn. You can just tell by looking at Hakuryu’s face that his demeanor has changed. I thought this was a very nice touch.
Fans of the series won’t want to miss Magi Volume 14, because it introduces several changes for the characters and their situations. Readers will appreciate seeing Hakuryu’s backstory, as well as seeing Aladdin going through all of the rigors of the magic academy.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media