Manga Review: Magi Volume 10
The story of Magi is set in an alternate recreation of the ancient Old World with several regions and nations bearing some resemblance with their real-life counterparts from that time. This world includes several magic castles full of treasures and traps that are known as “Dungeons,” and each of them is the home of a powerful magic being called a Djinn. Those who overcome the trials of the Dungeon earn the allegiance of its Djinn and gain the ability to use its powers infused in a personal item of theirs.
Magi Volume 10
Written by: Shinobu Ohtaka
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Aladdin and his friends have been sent by King Sinbad to Tran Island to explore the Dungeon known as Zagan. On this quest, Aladdin is joined by Alibaba, Morgiana, and Hakuryu Ren, a prince of the Kou Empire who is visiting Sindria. Their first obstacle is getting the permission of the Tran Village Elder to visit the Dungeon. He refuses at first, until he learns that this is a request from King Sinbad. But the Elder will only agree to let them go if they will take one of his grandchildren to help them navigate the reefs. Three merchants also arrive to get the elder’s blessing, and I swear that these three characters almost looked as if they walked straight out of the Bleach manga series.
One of the elder’s granddaughters guides the group to Zagan and wants to go with them to rescue her parents. Hakuryu says she can’t and that he will either find her parents or avenge her parents’ deaths for her. As soon as I read this scene, I knew that she was going to find some way to enter the Dungeon without their knowledge and somehow cause trouble for the group. Sure enough, I was proven right later in the volume.
As they enter the Dungeon, Alibaba has an encounter with a Djinn named Amon, who offers to lend his strength to his master to help him defeat the twisted Djinn Zagan. When the reader sees the inside of the Dungeon, it looks rather beautiful and awe-inspiring, so it’s hard to believe that there could be anything wrong. But looks are deceiving when some of the flowers and cute critters start saying they want to eat the humans. When one of the creatures becomes angry and attacks, Aladdin and Alibaba defeat it.
And then Zagan suddenly appears, looking so flamboyant that it’s almost frightening. We then see that Zagan truly is as twisted as Amon claimed he was. Zagan takes the Tran Elder’s granddaughter hostage. The others try to rescue her, but the Djinn says he’ll only free her if they can reach the treasure room.
The remainder of Volume 10 focuses on Aladdin and the others trying to make it past the various traps and obstacles that Zagan has put in their way in order to prevent them from reaching the treasure room. During these battles, Hakuryu sees how strong his companions are and feels he has to rely on the others too much. Hakuryu tries asking them to not help him, but Alibaba encourages him to rely on the others. This becomes a point of contention more than once over the course of Volume 10, but Alibaba teaches the prince a lesson that makes him change his stance. As a reader, I appreciated seeing Hakuryu evolve from the proud prince that first enters the dungeon into someone who isn’t afraid to ask for help and rely on his companions.
Near the end of Volume 10, Aladdin and the others learn the fate of the Tran Villagers who disappeared, and their mission becomes more than just capturing a Dungeon. I have to say that Ohtaka did a great job depicting the characters’ disgust at this news in their facial expressions.
This volume of Magi is very action-oriented once Aladdin and his friends enter the Dungeon and begin encountering Zagan’s creatures and traps. But there’s also the occasional character development moment as well. Hakuryu is the primary character with these moments, but an argument can also be made that Morgiana has some development in Volume 10.
While the art in the Magi series may still not be anything terribly special, Ohtaka has made some improvements in her style between Volume One and Volume 10. Newer characters, such as Zagan and Hakuryu, seem to have more detail in their designs than Aladdin and the other characters that have been in the series since the beginning. Her art style isn’t bad, it’s just that there hasn’t been very much that jumps out at me as being something that stands out in comparison to other manga that I’ve read.
For fans of Magi who have been following the series since the very beginning, Volume 10 should be a compelling read, especially when it comes to Hakuryu’s character development.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media