Original Name: Sinbad no Bouken
This should probably go without saying but these thoughts may contain spoilers for Magi: Labyrinth of the Ancients and Adventures of Sinbad so please continue at your own risk.
Full disclosure, I have always loved the stories about Sinbad. Not just this particular show but his stories in general. I’m going to attribute this to wanting to be a pirate at one point and Sinbad was always portrayed as a roguish playboy with a heart a gold and what girl doesn’t love that XD. So, many moons ago I watched another anime called Magi and was reintroduced to the character of Sinbad in a wonderfully different way. I didn’t even ponder the possibility of their ever being a prequel to this series, Magi does a great job with the character already, so imagine my surprise when I hear Netflix is releasing the complete season. Sign me up.
The Meat of the Series:
This series was to take place 30 years before we meet him in Magi where he is the King of Sindria. We would finally get to hear how he pulled off this amazing feat and meet him before he became the legend he is now. We would even be able to compare if his original reason for founding Sindria actually came to fruition. But on to my thoughts.
We start the story with Sinbad’s mother giving birth to him which is a popular trope to use to be sure. If you’re familiar with the Christian stories of Jesus and the Wise Men you will definitely get vibes that Sinbad’s birth was an event and he would be the next great something in the world. Fast forward we meet young Sinbad who is super mischievous but well loved by his mother and father. And of course this couldn’t be a Sinbad story without him coming from humble beginnings. Sinbad’s father is a former soldier who apparently left the military in a less than graceful way and is currently an outcast in their home village. There are extravagant stories about his Father being a war hero and, even despite the villagers disdain towards him, its obvious that if his Father simply went back to the Military he and his family would be loved again. His father isn’t gonna do that due to his own personal reasons but his Father did observe from an early age that Sinbad was something special that would need to be protected. Fast forward a little bit more, some events happen, people die and Sinbad is now aged 14, left alone to care for his sick mother and keeping close the only heirloom his father leaves him which is a simple but beautifully jeweled sword.
We find that Sinbad has been working in the local port town to earn money as well as defend the villagers from danger due to Military deserters. It was here that Sinbad meets a Magi, Yunan, even though he didn’t know it at the time and everything starts to fall in to place. The story really kicks off when the Reim Military comes to his village to physically serve out draft orders that Sinbad had been evading. The Military needs more soldiers to come and defeat a mysterious
Dungeon that recently appeared in order to get the power of the Djinn left inside. Djinn are the mystical magical beings from Magi that bestow their captures with enormous power. This particular dungeon is the home of Baal who we now know is Sinbad’s first Djinn. Sinbad, in true Sinbad fashion, decides to buck the draft orders again but capture the dungeon for himself so that he can claim the power.
In Magi, we are briefly introduced to dungeons and how their captures work but this story gave a bit more insight into the dangers of capturing them without an over powered Magi coming with you at least for the 1st few dungeons. The story continues on in this fashion introducing you to most of the members of the Seven Seas Alliance with maybe more to come in season 2 (read: Please XD). I loved all of their back stories especially Ja’far and Hinahoho so I won’t spoil those for you here but they are definitely worth a look. All in all, it takes you on a wild adventure that lends itself to one of the questions that Sinbad asked Ja’far before Aladdin, Alibaba and Morg went off on their year long trainings regarding how he has changed since the old days.
Art Style and Music:
I’m no animator so I’m not going to pretend like I know what is good and what is not. With that being said though, after watching this and going back to the original Magi series, the animation quality appears cleaner and up to date with the style in Magi Season 2. It’s impressive during a lot of the fight scenes when the characters are battling the dungeon’s monsters and using Djinn Equips. Anime a style continues to astound me with its growth since the days of Sailor Moon and horrible dubs. I’m also not a music buff but in my humble opinion all of the music fit the mood and tone of the events well. Currently this series is only subtitled so the voice acting is in Japanese. I am used to hearing Japanese voice acting at this point so they appeared to also hit the right beats for the series. I’m not fluent in Japanese so there is no way to say it with 100% clarity but I will say that the voices didn’t grate on my ears on make me want to mute my TV.
I would recommend anyone that is a fan of the original Magi series or the Manga to give this series a try. For anyone who is new to the series check it out because its on Netflix which I believe is the only place you can watch it at the moment and because it’s a good time. Its a fun romp and adventure that can be easily digested in a day or two if you binge watch it. And also watch it if you love pirates, magic and Sinbad because who doesn’t.
If there are some things that anyone knows from the manga adaptation of Magi or this series please feel free to leave comments in this thread. I love hearing the comparisons because I don’t always have the chance to hunt it down.
Until Next Time,