Wednesday 3 October 2012

Magi Charms (Movic)

What's this?  Still no figure review from Suich?  Heck, it's not even an art book this time!

Well my dearest readers, this time I bring you the set of Magi phone charms I imported from Animate!  They're shiny, like glorious fake bling, and they represent.  They represent the characters from Shinobu Ohtaka's manga series: Magi -The Labyrinth of Magic, that is.  Since the Magi anime debut is just around the corner I thought I'd bring these babies out for a review!

I honestly didn't expect much from Movic ever since I purchased the Tales of Series Mascot Charms because I found myself disappointed in the quality of their work.  I'm not going to lie; I'm glad I kept my expectations low.  I'm currently a huge fan of Magi -The Labyrinth of Magic so I'm happy with the charms I purchased, but I have to say, the quality of said charms isn't the best out there.  In fact, when I lifted one from the chain, I felt like the chain itself was going to break,  It felt so light and, dare I say it?  Cheap.  That's why I'm just going to hang these babies off my shelf in the future and leave it at that.  Hopefully one won't just snap and fall onto the floor one day.  God forbid the charm itself shatters while I'm out of the room...And knowing my poor luck, if it ever does happen, it'll probably be my favourite one.

I'd like to point out that each charm is about 525 yen if purchased individually, so I can somewhat see why the quality isn't very great.  It's a shame because these could have been amazing.

The box that all my charms came in is extremely small, but it fits all 12 charms, plus the bonus perfectly!  Here we have an adorable manga illustration of Aladdin, one of the main characters of Magi, on top of the box.  With all these ingredients surrounding him, it almost looks as though he's the little magician making the charms.  It truly paints an adorable image in my head, so good job, Movic.

On the sides, they show you what charms are available inside the box.  You can get Aladdin, Ugo-kun, Ali Baba, Morgiana, Sindbad, Ja'far, Masrur, Judal, Yamuraiha, Sharrkan, Hakuryuu, and a secret charm in this set.  If you buy an entire box from Animate, you receive an extra charm, which is the black and white Rukh.  It isn't available to anyone who purchases charms individually.  You would definitely have to purchase an entire box to get it.

Each charm comes with a nifty little tin container, so if you think you'll never use your charms then just store them away!  The tins themselves are small, but designed to match the box and the charms.  I like them a lot better than the usual cardboard boxes figures come in. There's no wear-and-tear with tin containers.  Plus the design is unique.

In terms of design, I'd say most of Movic's charms are accurate.  I think maybe two are three of them are underwhelming, but which ones are they?  Let's find out!

*Warning: There will be some spoilers up ahead*

Aladdin's Charm:

Aladdin's flute charm is probably the best charm in the entire set, mainly because it's three-dimensional.  If you look closely you'll actually see the 8-point insignia on the flute as well, which is great because it would otherwise be a normal flute.  The star shows that Ugo-kun is inside!

I do love that the entire object is gold because it matches very well with the official artwork!  Plus the pure-gold shine just looks beautiful under natural light.  I can't really say much else except Aladdin only gets one charm while everyone else (except Judal) gets two or three.  I think Movic made this charm three-dimensional because Aladdin only got one charm.  If that's the case, then good job, Movic.  I like it!  The charm as a whole lacks flaws, making it one of my favourites in the entire set.


Now we have Ugo-kun, the adorably shy and lovable headless blue giant!  For those of you who haven't read Magi, Ugo is a djinn that resides in Aladdin's flute.  When Aladdin blows into the flute, Ugo takes on a physical form, but the only thing missing is his head because, for some unexplained reason, only his body is able to leave the metal container.

The poses given to Ugo on these charms are wonderful because it looks like he's trying to explain a situation to his friends through gestures.  No head means no voice for Ugo-kun, so seeing him make silly gestures just makes me giggle.  Movic got Ugo-kun down quite nicely.

Judal's Charm

I know most of the charms are flat and one-sided but I think Judal's wand could have been double-sided.  Both sides of his actual wand are exactly the same so Movic actually could have made this charm better by making it three dimensional.

Judal's charm is probably one of the plainer charms in the set.  Judal's an excellent crazy character, and his wand is actually really nice as you can plainly see above, but it's really underwhelming in charm form.  The red doesn't even seem to have the same sparkle as Masrur's lip ring (see below).  A lip ring beat out Judal's wand.  Sorry, Movic, but I'm just not impressed with this charm.  Judal deserves better and you could have tried harder.

Ali Baba's Charm:

I will never understand why Ali Baba wears a red rope around his neck.  It seems like such a hazard, even in the desert, and it's not something I'd consider fashionable either!

Sure, it has a nice shade of red, but it just looks awkward hanging from Ali Baba's neck.  It almost looks like it's choking him!

Okay, okay, I'll talk about the quality of the rope on the charm now rather than rant about how ridiculous that attachment is.  Since it is the only item that doesn't have a hint of gold on it in this collection, I have to say it's nothing special.  It's a rope. It lacks design.  It is also apparently an item that helps identify Ali Baba, so I have to suck it up and say Movic didn't exactly make the wrong choice when they selected it as one of the two items for Ali Baba's charm.

Fortunately the charm also comes with his first sword.  Yes, weapons are splendid in the Magi series, so I'm delighted that it was included with Ali Baba's charm.  If you look closely, you can see there's a nice hint of green on the sheath and you can also see the djinn insignia.

I think it's great that Ali Baba's charm includes a sword, but I find it strange how Movic didn't use Ali Baba's royal sword instead.  It's implied that the objects/weapons/creatures in this collection have shown up within the first 100 chapters of the manga.  Since Hakuryuu's charm is included in the set, and since Morgiana has her household/familiar vessel cuffs, I figured Ali Baba would have his royal sword.  It just makes more sense since Morgiana literally gets her cuffs right after Ali Baba gets his new sword in the manga.  I have no actual complaints about the sword itself of course.  It's wonderful!  But I just have to wonder why Movic chose his first sword.

Morgiana's Charm:

Morgiana's household/familiar vessel cuffs are actually quite pretty, despite being flat and oddly angled in charm form.  I think this is particularly good for anyone who wants to cosplay as Morgiana because the charms can actually provide some details!  I love how wings were carved into Morgiana's cuffs because they really represent her as a character as well as her household vessel.  Very well-planned, Ohtaka!

What would have made these charms even more impressive is if they were silver.  They would stand out nicely from the rest of the gold charms in this set and at the same time they'd be accurate to the actual cuffs, minus the flatness.  Other than those points, Mor's charms are lovely!  They're chained together as well!

Sindbad's Charms:

Now, Sin's charms are probably the most hilarious ones in the entire set because these items were all he had on him after he was robbed early in the manga series.  That glorious, giant green leaf was the only piece of "clothing" on Sin's body, and let's face it, that leaf probably didn't actually exist because it was merely floating in front of his crotch.  There was no support whatsoever.  This censorship leaf gained a tremendous amount of popularity ever since, so much that it has it's own charm now.  And apparently there a few clear files and tote bags in Japan, but let's not go there...

Handsome, isn't he?

I have to admit, Movic got the leaf down quite nicely.  I can't really say much about the earrings since they look like the keyrings that are usually attached to keychains, so I'll stick to the famous, and strangely coveted crotch leaf. I'm happy they used green for this charm.  Somehow I feel it wouldn't have been as entertaining if the charm was gold.  There's just something...authentic about it being green.  I probably shouldn't think too hard on this item.  I mean, it is a crotch leaf, right?

All in all, I'm happy with Sin's charm because it reminds me of how ridiculous and humorous this series is and why it owns half my soul.  Sure, it would have been cool to have Sin's sword, bracelet, or necklace, because they're his metal vessels, but we got something that actually seems much better, and I love it.

Remember children, don't look at the leaf too long...In fact, don't look directly at it.  You'll be scarred for life.

Ja'far's charms:

Now we have Ja'far's rope darts, which are my favourite in the entire set.  Mind you, I'm biased towards these because Ja'far's my favourite character in the Magi series, and I just love his weapons.  I honestly really like the pure gold look these darts have because they shine so nicely under natural light.  It's one of the reasons why I love Aladdin's charm as well.  The pure gold really makes both these charms look really clean and sharp.

In any case, if Ja'far didn't get darts for charms, I'm certain he would have gotten a head ornament or some scrolls since he's the head government official in Sindria.  However, I'm extremely happy Movic gave us his weapons.  Weapons are cool!

The best part is that these charms aren't completely flat, and I really appreciate it!  You can see the embossing of the pattern on his darts quite clearly from here.  Until I saw Ja'far's sticker (a bonus for purchasing first prints of manga volumes) and these darts, I wasn't sure what pattern or design was etched in his darts.  It's very simple, but it works nicely.  Oh, how I wish the charms were double-sided.  These darts would have been glorious!

Masrur's charms:

Masrur, Sharrkan, and Yamuraiha all share the same green charm, and that is because all three of them are residents and guardians of Sindria.

I believe Masrur's other charm is his piercing, which is found just under his lip.  I can't think of it being anywhere else...but correct me if I'm wrong. You can barely the piercing in official artwork but you can certainly catch glimpses of it now and then in the manga.

Here's the problem though; Masrur's piercing is actually white in the official artworks, but the charm is showing that it's red.  This one really threw me off.  I actually believed it was red until I looked at some official artwork again.  I suppose having a shiny red charm is better than having a flat white charm. On the other hand, Movic could have chosen Masrur's gold armour or black-sheathed sword.

Suddenly the lip ring seems like the easy way out for them... Come now, Movic, I was just starting to like you (a little)

Secret Bird:

The bird charm took me by surprise because I was honestly expecting another "character" charm, like Kougyouku's gorgeous hairpiece, but I think it's cute that we got this colourful little creature instead.  It's actually the most colourful charm in the set, probably one of the flattest ones as well.

You have to appreciate that mindless expression it's wearing.  The eyes have a way of sucking me in, so I can't look at it too long! This bird only shows up a few times in the manga, but it's featured in a few tegakis on Ohtaka's blog as well.  There is a high chance they live in the tropical areas of Sindria, but they can be seen with Masrur every now and then as well.

I love how there are various colours on this charm.  I don't know if these are the official colours, but I can at least say they make the bird look fabulous.  It's completely gold on the back, but that seems fair considering how colourful this bird is.  It might be strange to say this, but I think the fruit is rather cute as well. The bright yellow spots make it stand out nicely.  It really complements the bird!

Yamuraiha's Charms:

To be completely honest, I've never looked at all the angles of Yamuraiha's shell earrings/ear decorations properly.  Ohtaka doesn't always include all the details of objects and clothing in her manga drawings and there aren't enough official artworks out there showing off Yamuraiha's bling.  However, I can at least say that the design of her shells are certainly unusual on this charm.  I feel like it's on an angle so we can see the details of this decoration.  It's a wonder how Yamuraiha even wears them.  Magic perhaps?  Well, she is a genius magician, so maybe...

The great thing is that the pure gold charm almost matches her actual earrings.  There isn't much else for me to say about these except that I wish the charm wasn't completely flat.  But I sort of wish that for a lot of the charms in this set, so let's move on.

Sharrkan's Charms:

Sharrkan's charm is extremely simple and very plain in terms of colour and design, hence why I believe Movic included three items with his charm instead of two.  Imagine just two charms being there, the green sash being a mandatory piece.  It's rather plain, don't you think?  I suppose I can say the same for Masrur's charm but at least he's got a nice, shiny red gem on his.  Also, at least Yamuraiha's charm has an interesting design with her charm.

Here comes the kicker...and this is why Sharrkan's charm is one of my least favourites.  That four-point charm is actually a small part of Sharrkan's sword.

I would have preferred Sharrkan's entire sword over the ball and a piece of his sword.  Heck, throw away the green piece if you need to as well!  Movic, you were just plain lazy this time!  You could have tossed aside the ball and the star near the hilt his sword and given us the actual sword!  I mean, Sharrkan's sword is actually pretty darn cool.  It's got a nice shape and a sleek design!  After Movic gave us one sword (Ali Baba's) I couldn't help but want more shiny weapons.  Yes, that sounds a tad violent, but hey, they're designed really well, and they're certainly more interesting than a tiny black ball and a piece of a sword.

Well...if I have to say something positive about this charm then I suppose it'll be that the black ball isn't flat.   How sad is that?  That would have officially made this charm the most boring in the set.  Poor Sharrkan.  He deserves so much better.

Hakuryuu's Charms:

I'm going to be blunt and say I'm not very fond of Hakuryuu's charm.  The one huge flaw with the Magi series is the inconsistent artwork.  Sometimes it can confuse the hell out of me and in the end I just find myself frustrated.  So, after doing some extra research, I learned that the ribbon hanging from Hakuryuu's headpiece can be either black or white.  In the manga, it's not shaded in, giving readers the idea that it's actually white.  Most of the time, in the the official coloured pieces, it's black, but there are a maybe 2 or 3 out there showing us that it's white.  I would like to think that the editors and artists just forgot to shade it in, but who knows?  I can't even ask them!  It's a question that may never be answered!

To be completely honest though, I'm convinced it it is black.

Hakuryuu's Movic charm includes his hair ornament and an item with the "煌" character on it (meaning "brilliant" in Chinese I believe).  The gold hair ornament is good.  It isn't three dimensional (which it could have been), but that's all right because it is to be expected from most of the Magi charms in this set anyway.

I feel as though Movic could have added the black ribbon to the end of the hair piece, because that just seems more accurate after looking at lots of official artwork.  I also wish they chose to include Hakuryuu's spear because it would have made his charm far more interesting.  A character on a plain gold coin seems really boring, right?  It's not even Hakuryuu's name, and no matter how you look at it, it's still just a character on a circle.  Sorry, Movic, but this charm just failed to impress me.

I suppose I can't expect too much from charms that are meant to be sold for 525 yen a piece.  The size of each charm is about 3 - 4 centimetres in length.  That's pretty darn small, but they'd have to be if they're meant to be phone charms, right? As mentioned earlier, if you purchase a box of 12, you receive an extra charm that you cannot get at random and that is the black and white (gold) Rukh charm.

I have yet to open this one.  It's too pretty to open.  It was definitely the first one I saw when I opened up the box of charms, but I felt compelled to keep it inside its package.  The collector in me wouldn't allow me to open it up, sorry.

All in all, I'm pleased with my purchase, despite the flaws I pointed out.  I'd say Movic's Magi charms definitely had its ups and downs, but overall I think they all right.  I certainly liked these more than the Tales of Mascot Charms, probably because of the lack of paint spills and odd seamlines.  Had they put in a little more effort, Movic could have given some of the charms a three-dimensional shape like Aladdin's charm.

For the Magi fans out there, I recommend purchasing some of these charms if you can find them.  The shimmering gold certainly makes them stand out, so they're hard to lose, and they're nice little attachments for phones, keys, and bags.  Also, there isn't much Magi merch available at the moment, so these will have to do until the anime comes out!

Short Summary:
Quality: 7.5/10 (The gold is really beautiful under natural light, but beware if you ever take them out with you.  The chains are weak)
Design: 6.5/10 (Half of the charms looked great and the other half seemed boring)
Accuracy: 8/10 (For the most part, Movic did pretty well, even if some of the charms did seem a tad boring)

Manufacturer:  Movic
Purchased from: Animate (Using FromJapan)
Price: 6300 yen for a box of 12 + 1 bonus (before domestic and international shipping fees)


1 comment:

  1. GREAT REVIEW AS ALWAYS!!! Very detailed, and it was fun reading through it despite not knowing much about the series in general. I really like how you looked at each one and told the reader what was good and bad, even if they are supposed to be inexpensive charms.