Magi: Sinbad No Bouken OVA

December 11, 2015

I once figured this was inevitable one way or another. Because how can you have one of the coolest and most beloved characters in a series without giving him a spin-off series on his own? And therefore it was timely that Sinbad of the Magi series has been given his own spin-off although the mini OVA series, Magi: Sinbad No Bouken is an origin series as it details the early and younger days of Sinbad as he journeys around the globe to conquer Dungeons and makes allies. And that is why Sinbad has become such a famous and synonymous name as the famous sailor in Arabic tales of sailing the seven seas. No? Well, then just watch and see this then.

Episode 1
Yunan narrates the battle between Reim and Partevia to conquer the Dungeon and obtain power. But all 10,000 over men sent in perished. But a miracle child born during a stormy night will bring about a change. A group of army renegades turned bandits rob an old guy and his young female family members. Till Sinbad beats the hell up of them singlehandedly. He offers to be their bodyguard after learning the males in their family have been drafted into the army. But since they are going by sea, they don’t need him (albeit the ladies were really charmed by his charisma). Instead they give him some fruits but when they open the barrel, Yunan is inside! Sinbad brings Yunan back to his home where he lives with his sick mother, Ezra. Next day after Sinbad leaves for a job, Ezra talks to Yunan and blames herself for making him stuck in this village. For she remembers her late husband told her he had a special strength. That is why she is asking a favour if anything happens to her, please lead him to the right path. Bad news comes when Sinbad is beaten up by Dragl, leader of the western platoon. Sinbad has repeatedly ignore letters for is draft into the military. He must enlist and has no right to refuse. Sinbad objects to his thinking that people are like tools of war and should work for the country’s sake. His father and the rest of the men died of sickness. That is why he will never join the army. With the villagers supporting Sinbad, Dragl reminds him of his mother. This refusal is equivalent to being a state crime and will affect her too. There is great power in the Dungeon in which Reim must obtain as ordered by the highest imperial order.

Later Sinbad talks to Yunan about his catch-22 situation. Enlist or not, he will die either way. The country is done for. Yunan then suggests to become king and change the world with his own hands. That Dungeon contains the power he needs to become king. Sinbad wonders who Yunan is. An immortal traveller. Dragl is being told by his superior to lead another expedition to the Dungeon. He knows that leading civilians this time is to calm the masses as long as a Dragl family member is victimized since 1,000 elite troops that were sent earlier on has been annihilated. First Princess Serendine gives him encouragement and he vows to bring success and protect her. Next day as the troop is preparing to head into the Dungeon, it seems Sinbad is the only one who didn’t turn up. Dragl doesn’t think a missing civilian or two will affect the mission but surprise, here is Sinbad. He claims this Dungeon’s power is his and will never let him have it. Sinbad dashes in, fuelled with the motivation from Ezra. She gave him his father’s sword and hopes he would go forth and do what he has to instead of holding himself back for her sake. Yunan is excited but also scared to see what kind of man Sinbad will turn out to be. Sinbad is now inside the Dungeon. Welcome to level 1.

Episode 2
Dragl’s men are dying like ants. Dragons are smart enough to take and dump them in an abyss of thorns. Dragl is ultimately saved by Sinbad but he is not grateful. Instead, he brags about his Partevia lineage and because his real name is so freaking ass long, Sinbad just doesn’t care for all that and just calls him Drakon (and so shall I). They arrive before a large door believed to take them to the next level. A huge dragon king guards it. Drakon wants Sinbad to be the decoy while he goes to the door. Sinbad is not pleased of his military mindset that has caused casualties. Drakon makes his own way to the door but it doesn’t open. Dragon king spots him. He is about to die. He panics and fears death. He doesn’t want to die yet. Again he is saved by Sinbad. But this time he wants to die for being a failure as a soldier! Make up your mind! Sinbad lectures him about some lessons in life like it is natural to fear death for he is a human before a soldier. He then goes into his awesome kick ass mode to kill the dragon king. It dropped dragon balls that enable them to open the door. They make their way through the various Dungeon traps as Drakon agrees to cooperate with him so as to observe him and make his decision when the time is right. In the deepest Dungeon room, Sinbad touches a magic lamp and appearing before them is the genie Baal. He wants to know which of them is to become king. As both proclaim they are the one, looks like they’ll have to settle the score. Although Drakon is adept with the sword, Sinbad is better streetwise and his fist fighting is better. Drakon takes a beating as he remembers about Serendine. Her words give him the strength to fight on because he made a promise he can’t die. But it is heartbreak when he remembers after Serendine was married to his older brother, Barbarossa he found out it was just political marriage and it was devastating he never got to told her his feelings. Eventually Drakon loses. Baal accepts Sinbad as his new king.

When they return outside the Dungeon, it is gone. The army praise Sinbad and wants him to hand over the treasure and power. However Sinbad will not. They take this as a sign of betrayal and ready to kill him. Yunan assists Sinbad in calling forth Baal’s power to roast those soldiers. Yunan then gives free service to him by flying him back to his home. Although Sinbad is glad to be back, the villagers are worried. Where has he been for 2 weeks? Because Ezra is dying. Sinbad goes to see her and she is happy to see her son one last time before she breathes her last breath. In the aftermath, Sinbad’s success has encouraged the villagers to turn against the army. His name is well spread throughout the land whereas Drakon has become some sort of an eyesore to the royalty. Naturally they cannot let Sinbad do as he please so an order was set up to capture him. Serendine leads her troops for this and she does not hesitate to attack Sinbad. She reveals her nickname as Poison Spider Princess because her sword is laced with the poison of some desert spider. However Sinbad had stolen her antidote earlier on and is just doing fine. He also destroyed her breast plate to immobilize her. Then he takes her hostage on his little dinghy. Don’t worry princess. He isn’t the kind of guy who would defile a woman like you. After a safe distance, he puts her in a barrel for her men to get her. I’m sure she won’t let this embarrassing incident slide. But Sinbad couldn’t care. Because he has greater things to do and that is to change the world by his own hands.

Episode 3
After Sinbad conquered the first Dungeon, many others mysteriously popped up and this started the craze worldwide to conquer Dungeons. Sinbad’s quest has taken him up north to the icy cold seas. He encounters Hina and his younger sister, Pipirika of the Imuchakk tribe trying to hunt and kill a sea dragon as passage rite to adulthood for the former. He fails and almost got killed till Sinbad shows up and zaps the creature. When Sinbad gets acquainted with them, Pipirika thinks Hina did the killing all by himself but the latter although feels guilty about it cannot bring himself to tell the truth. Meanwhile Drakon is been summoned by his superior. Normally his failure would have meant him exiled from the army but his brother negotiated with the king for a second chance. He is also given Partevia’s secret assassin unit, Sham Lash to retrieve Sinbad’s Metal Vessel. Sinbad wants to follow them to their village although was warned they do not welcome outsiders. Sinbad wants to see what the world has to offer and change it with his own hands. Naturally, Hina and Pipirika’s father who is also the tribe chief does not welcome Sinbad to the village and remains suspicious. He praises his son for a job well done and wants him to explore a strange monument that appeared up north. Consider this a step closer to be a true warrior. However Sinbad doesn’t want father to do that because that structure is a Dungeon. He shows proof he is a conqueror and father naturally welcomes him because it shows that he is strongest. He agrees to heed Sinbad’s words not to explore it.

The tribe celebrates Hina’s victory although he himself is ridden with guilt. Especially of the past when he is taunted by many of being unable to do the impossible. One of the Sham Lash assassins, Jafar tries to kill Sinbad in his sleep but thanks to his sleepwalking, the plan is clumsily foiled. Sinbad easily defeats him. Sinbad politely interrogates him but his mouth is tightly zipped. Till he starts badmouthing his own parents and how he killed them that Sinbad slaps him. Please don’t say such pitiful things with pride again. But he manages to break free and with the help of his comrades escape the village. Right before the dawn of the ceremony, Pipirika is devastated when she learns Hina has left a note that he is going to conquer the Dungeon. He believes obtaining its powers, he can become like Sinbad. Sinbad makes his haste to go after him as he explains the many who have died in order to achieve their dream in the Dungeon. Although he cannot guarantee if Hina can come back alive or not, but what he can guarantee is that he won’t be dying. Hina has already entered the Dungeon. Drakon and Sham Lash are also before the Dungeon and Jafar who is also the boss of the assassins has a score to settle with Sinbad.

Episode 4
Hina gets a taste of his first Dungeon. Or rather, the Dungeon is tasting him because those cute butterflies are eating him! Using his strength, he fends off monsters after monsters. But the final crab boss was defeated by Sham Lash. They ignore this weakling and it makes Hina mad. He fights them so Jafar’s subordinates, Vittel and Mahad transform into monsters to take him on. Again he is saved by Sinbad. Jafar instantly goes into killing mode but Sinbad can still best him. Before they are cornered, Hina takes Sinbad and escape into the lake. The mage advisor, Falan freezes the lake although the duo are able to escape. Falan then mocks the Sham Lash for not being great as she thought and has them drink a special potion that heals all their wounds. Drakon and co reach the final room where the wolf-like Valefor appears before them. He can sense Falan’s body is fake and gets rid of her. All that is left for her is just a little doll as the real one is by Barbarossa’s side. When Drakon mentions his intention to bring back this power for his king, Valefor loses interests and reverts to his true cute and docile form. He believes with that kind of answer, Drakon isn’t fit to be king. When Sinbad and Hina finally arrive, Valefor decides to make it interesting by having them compete in a game. All of them have an equal chance to become king. The game is whoever catches this little cat of his, Minifor will become the next king. Sounds like a joke, right? Well, if you consider how hard it is to catch this little cat. If nobody catches it before the time is up, nobody leaves this Dungeon.

Sinbad then proposes the only way is to cooperate. They will surround Minifor and when the signal is given, everyone will jump to grab it. Whoever does, becomes king. But this gives the signaller a disadvantage. Who will it be? Sinbad offers to be that since he already has Baal. His primary concern is to get out of here alive. Everybody agrees with his plan and when they corner Minifor, it jumps up in the air. Drakon has suspected something amiss and his worst fears come true because Sinbad grabs it. So he tricked them? Had he not done this, nobody would have left the Dungeon. Therefore it isn’t about who is right or wrong but who is most suitable to become king, which is him. Sinbad wants Valefor the most because he wants to create a country to unite people around the world. Drakon shoots down his ideal as it only exists in dreams. That is why Sinbad tells him he is doing it. He will establish a new nation to change the world and wants all of them to be his allies and join him. Hina feels inspired to follow him. Even Sham Lash is inspired because they sense true freedom. However Jafar under the fake pretence tries to kill him. Sinbad of course saw this coming. Suddenly the Sham Lock trio start feeling pain. They start transforming into a monster. Drakon prepares to kill them but Sinbad will not allow his comrades to die.

Episode 5
Sinbad fights the raging monster. So it is kill or be killed? Valefor believes there is another option. As the trio form the core of the monster, if they can separate them in one shot, they will be saved. Falan materializes herself via the doll and steals Sinbad’s sword. She announces Drakon has been promoted to lieutenant due to special circumstances. Killed in action, that is. A special broadcast from Barbarossa himself says he has failed to capture a Dungeon and Sinbad. Worst of all, he also knows about his feelings for his wife, Serendine. That woman is his property. He considers Drakon to be no more of royalty and tells him to go die in some corner. Drakon falls into despair while Hina struggles with the monster. Now he understands why Sinbad has always been doing things his own way. He realizes even if he had the power of a king, he will never become like Sinbad. Hina will use his spear to destroy the core while Sinbad distracts it. Drakon has revived to help. His eyes are now open. He thought it was honourable to die protecting his country but now he knows who he needs to protect. The trio cooperate to destroy the core and send Falan out of this realm (Sinbad reclaims his sword). However shortly, Jafar starts transforming again. Because of his overused body, he is in danger of fusing with the core. When this happens, the only way to stop him is to kill him. Sinbad has not lost faith in him so he is going to forcibly pull him back out. Impossible for a human to do that? Well, you should have known by now that Sinbad does the impossible. He dives into his subconscious to see a couple of Jafar versions contradicting with each other about pain and surviving. Sinbad convinces them with his warmth to stop living this lie. Then he attacks himself using Baal to pull Jafar out. Amazing, no? Valefor now asks who is to be king. Everyone with no doubt agrees Sinbad should be their king. And so with Valefor too recognizing as king, yet another Dungeon is cleared.

Now they are back outside the Dungeon with all the riches. The Imuchakk tribe greets them. But Drakon won’t follow back to their village and will head back to his own country instead. There is something he needs to do back there. He knows it is dangerous but I suppose he has his own reservations in following someone else again even if that someone is as great as Sinbad. Drakon is then given a Household Vessel that holds some of the djinn’s power to help serve the king although at this point in time it is not activated yet. Back at the village, the ceremony to turn Hina into a full fledge warrior and adult begins. His father gives him a spear and turban as well as a new name: Hinahoho which means clear as the ocean. Later he speaks to his father for his wish to leave the village because he wants to follow Sinbad in making a country that unites the world. Father couldn’t be happier and gives his blessings. Hinahoho and Sinbad then head to a rival Imuchakk village for the former seeks the tribal leader’s daughter’s hand in marriage. Of course he is asked what he could give his daughter as she already has everything. Father becomes mad thinking he is joking that he cannot give her anything. Hinahoho is unfazed by his threats but continues he can’t give her anything now but can share a dream and help realize it. A dream that belongs to his master Sinbad. Soon, Sinbad establishes a trading monopoly with Imuchakk and his name spreads across the world as a great warrior and merchant. He then forms a merchant fleet known as Sindria Trading Fleet.

Sinbad… Sinfully Good…
Yeah, it was fun as well as interesting. And by judging the way it all ‘ends’, it seems there is so much more potential and stories for Sinbad to be told out there that it could be expanded into a full fledge TV series running for two seasons. Really. It would be a shame not to continue this origin series but since I am not that obsessed fan of the Magi series, if it comes out, it comes out and I’ll watch it then. Simple. Oh wait. They already gave the green light for the TV series! Yahoo! But as far as this mini OVA series is concerned, it still manages to give an interesting glimpse into the early days of Sinbad and how he sets his dream in tone like how we see it in the Magi series proper. It is still a long way off and never ending work. So it is true in what they say that Rome wasn’t built in a day or two. But with Sinbad doing the impossible and his comrades aiding him, I’m sure he’ll be able to pull off this amazing feat while still in his lifetime that even the Gods themselves can’t even do. Yes, really. That is how amazing this Sinbad guy is.

For those who (still) can remember the Magi series, Sinbad had a couple of strong generals known as the Eight Generals. Three already made their appearance here. Hinahoho is the co-star of this mini OVA so he might ring very familiar bells to those who remember this huge Eskimo dude. Drakon wasn’t so obvious because in the Magi series, he was seen in the form of a humanoid dragon! So somewhere along the way something must have happened. He looks so different now. Sinbad’s loyal PA, Jafar interestingly started out his life as an assassin who hated Sinbad before completing a 180 degrees turn. He has physically grown up so much that you didn’t really think this kid was actually him. In fact, his name wasn’t actually mentioned and only said once when Sinbad brought him back out from the depths of darkness. Interesting, aren’t they? See, what did I say about it would be a shame for them not to extend the origin story. And it is a good thing that they did.

Overall, this series stands on par as excellent as the Magi series itself, if not a good series by itself too. Fans who love the Magi series should watch this and especially those who are fans and followers of the great Sinbad. Now that a proper TV series has been, suddenly this OVA series feels like the appetizer before the main course. It whet our appetite so much that I hope we will still have room for more to digest and won’t bite off more than we can chew. Although I sound very enthusiastic about the series, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to be rewatching both seasons of the Magi series again. Many things in life are only worth doing once. I mean, if like Sinbad you have conquered the Dungeon once, would you go through all that hell again? No, right? In this case it is always better to look forward to new adventures :).

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