Mahou Sensei Negima! Vol. #15 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Translated by:Toshifumi Yoshida
Adapted by:Ikoi Hiroe
What They Say
Boy wizard Negi Springfield has met some tough challenges. After all, he's an English teacher at an all-girls high school. But now he must face one of his own students in battle... without relying on his magical powers!
If I had to describe this volume of Negima (and I do), I’d say it’s powerful, explosive, and a real competitor. It’s truly an excellent installment of a series which has wormed its way into this cold, dead heart of mine. There’s plenty of action, not always a given in Negima, and while it may not measure up to the over-the-top sequences Akamatsu often uses to close story arcs, it is nevertheless quite intense. The real attraction, however, is the story and character developments which take place.
And that makes this volume very difficult to review; while excellent, most of the entertaining moments come from story revelations and character interactions – moments so good, in fact, that I fear spoiling them and the ensuing wrath I would receive. The solution, after much soul-searching and 8-ball shaking, is to be maddeningly vague. So please, bear with me.
A few characters get simply amazing segments all to themselves. Asuna and Takimichi’s first date provides a lot of laughs, and issues are cleared up that some, particularly those who know the genre well, may have expected to drag on for much longer. Ayaka, the indomitable Class Rep, has some fantastic scenes with Asuna here, which only lend credence to my view that she is the most criminally underused character in the series. Chao gets to ham it up as the Cheerfully Condescending Bad Guy, but it’s obvious that she’s not quite as merrily diabolical as she appears. The notion that the protagonists may actually be “the bad guys” from a historical perspective is introduced as perhaps the most destructive part of Chao’s revelations. While the definition of good and evil is not a new theme for manga to tackle, rarely is it handled this well.
Evangeline is one of the few characters who has oscillated back and forth in prominence throughout the series. While sometimes getting choice action and dialog, often she’s relegated to the background as Negi’s comically sinister ‘Master’. Towards the end of this volume she gets a chapter alone with Negi and it is truly one of the highlights of the series up to this point. Even if you don’t think she’s a great character, you will enjoy her here.
Regardless of what kind of manga fan you are, if you enjoy Negima at all, this volume should be your cup of tea. The ending is the culmination of a plan that’s been in the works since before the School Festival arc began – if any of you can remember that far back – and I can honestly say the direction Akamatsu took caught me by surprise. Which may not seem like a big deal, but once you’ve read enough manga it takes quite a twist to surprise you without resorting to deus ex machine sigh-fests. If you’re not sweating bullets by the last page, you may be legally dead.
It seems like a big brouhaha is on the horizon for Negi & Co., which will surely satisfy the action fans in the audience. However, regardless of what’s to come, any and all Negima lovers should be able to agree that this is one hell of a release.
Mania Grade: A+
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Del Rey
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Mahou Sensei Negima!