In this volume, Asuna gets a revealing, er, I mean powered up battlesuit!
Writer/Aritist: Ken Akamatsu and Takua Fujima
Translation: Alethea and Athena Nibley
Adaptation: Alethea and Athena Nibley
What They Say
Negi Springfield is a ten-year-old boy wizard with big dreams: He hopes to become a great wizard like his father, the legendary Thousand Master. But to do so, Negi must take a huge risk. He must study under the mysterious Evangeline, a dark mage as powerful as she is delightfully wicked!
The first few chapters of this volume follows standard ‘Negima’ fare with Asuna tricking Negi into doing her chores for her and Ayaka trying to monopolize Negi’s time. All this is mildly enjoyable, and the kind of story that ‘Negima’ fans have come to expect. There is even enjoyable character development when Asuna and some other girls follow Ayaka and Negi on their date. Asuna thinks Ayaka’s obsession with Negi is in poor taste until she remembers how Ayaka lost her little brother when they were in elementary school. A touching development that makes Ayaka more likeable to fans that may think she’s boorish.
Then everything erupts into chaos as a golem creature appears to attack Negi. These little battles have pretty much sputtered in impact for me. I don’t think Negi’s spell casting is very exciting or interesting. Normally the enjoyable aspect of these battles is waiting to see which girl Negi is going to form a contract with and then which battle card they might draw. Unfortunately, this volume focuses mostly on Negi, especially when he goes to Evangeline to become her pupil. Training ensues, along with spell casting and my general boredom.
This volume manages to salvage itself when Negi and his usual posse discover Chisame’s net idol secret. Chisame is definitely one of the more interesting characters with her double life. She acts so aloof around her classmates and seems to despise the idea of befriending anyone. Then once she is alone she cosplays and posts her pics all over the net. When she realizes Negi knows her secret, she immediately thinks he is going to blackmail her, which is probably because that’s what she would do if the roles were reversed. Chisame is going to need some help getting over her mistrust of others and general public shyness. Eventually, they are all sucked into Chisame’s videogame by another golem. And again the story goes down hill.
I understand the life’s lesson about working together that this volume is trying to illustrate, unfortunately it just isn’t that interesting. I’m sure diehard ‘Negima’ fans can find things to like about this incarnation, but the weak ‘difficulties’ Negi faces just tax my patience. If Negi would just lose a battle and have to come back again for another go, that would make this story more interesting. For me, the entertaining portions of this story remain the character development of the students, like Chisame and Ayaka in this volume. This volume does signal the end of the Sprite/Crystals arc, so perhaps the next arc will be better.