So, I love watching a show that is so morally grey that you’re forced to consider the actions of both the canonical good guy and the ones opposing them. Even if it’s clear from the start that the characters have defined sides, I like it when boundaries get blurred, and we have an insight into the villain’s motivations to see how they might play both ends for their gains. But to expect it from a show like Magi: The Labyrinth Of Magic with Sinbad of all people?
So, Sinbad is not technically a villain at all. No, that title goes to David Jehoahaz Abraham, the actual antagonist of Magi. But it’s easy to see where the confusion lies. After all, Sinbad was first thought to be a reincarnation of David, despite him saying otherwise. And his personality is very two-faced, and he appears to be extremely altruistic with some of his actions. But it turns out, he’s not the magnanimous ruler he wants you to believe he is.
And while people might complain about this by stating he’s evil, I think it’s actually a very compelling character trait. Look, good guys in Shonen are a dime a dozen. Being noble is a personality requirement for the characters on the good side. But to see a character play around with what they need and what they show is interesting. You call it being shady, I think it’s multifaceted.
This is why a character like Sinbad adds much-needed nuance and depth to a show like Magi. You can’t just have one-note characters and expect people to enjoy it for the action alone. And so, it’s time for what I like to call, Character Analysis – a segment where we take popular individuals from across the Animesphere to break down what their arc is shaping up to be. Today, it’s the playful High King Of The Seven Seas and his hidden intent!
Sinbad: Good King Or Manipulative Ruler?
I adore characters like Sinbad. His entire thing is being this playful flirt with a heart of gold on the outside while hiding a much colder, secretly conniving side underneath. And that’s not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean he’s inherently evil, but he self-preserves.
Yes, he’s putting on an act so people trust him easier so that they could underestimate him as a ruler. So that when Sinbad would show up as the leader of the 7 Seas Alliance, securing allyship with all of the world’s major nations, he could gain more influence and power. And even when he said he wasn’t technically connected to David at all, that also turned out to be him twisting words. In reality, David did echo within the black Rukh inside of Sinbad.
He’s cunning, and he knows how to play up his strengths of being the handsome but cavalier king. His charm helps him gain an edge over those that oppose him, and he uses that to his full advantage. And due to being able to see destiny flow, he considers himself above the rest. This is where his altruism turns into arrogance.
Is Sinbad The Ultimate Bad Guy?
See, despite how he acts and the motivation behind his actions, it doesn’t automatically mean he’s wicked. He’s playing the game alongside everyone else. This isn’t about who is good or who is bad. It’s about gaining power.
Even Sinbad realizes he’s been kind of a terrible human being after his conversation with Ja’afar. Like, the man didn’t start out being the swindler. He had morals, he just had to forgo them to be a leader. And that isn’t unheard of. Even the best of characters have to act somewhat morally gray when faced with certain choices. That doesn’t erase the good they have done. No one turns evil overnight, not even Sinbad.
And hey, his character was popular enough to get his own show, Adventures Of Sinbad. So, people did enjoy his character and what he brought to the table!