Mania Grade: B+
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- Art Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Text/Translatin Rating: D
- Age Rating: 16 & Up
- Released By: Del Rey
- MSRP: 10.95
- Pages: 218
- ISBN: 0-345-47180-62
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
Mahou Sensei Negima! Vol. #03
By Mike Dungan
November 09, 2004
Release Date: November 01, 2004
Mahou Sensei Negima! Vol.#03
© Del Rey
Translated by:Peter David and Kathleen O'Shea David
Adapted by:What They Say
Blood Feud With A Vampire! There is a vampire stalking the night! Normally, ten-year-old teacher/magician Negi Springfield would have no problem despatching such a villian, but this vampire has a magic-enhancing partner - and worse, the vampire is a student in his own class! Now he must find a partner of his own, but with a class full of beautiful girls all vying for the position, it won't be an easy task. Add in Negi's old friend, a skirt-chasing, wisecracking weasel from Wales, and the nice, orderly chaos of Negi's life turns into a hilarious melee of sirens and sorcery!The Review
The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Volume 3 of Negima gives us a fully self-contained story arc, this time involving a vampire. But first up, it's body measurement day, which means plenty of fanservice to start the book off with. As the girls stand around getting measured, they talk about the apparent vampire who's been stalking the girls. Makie is absent, and everyone believes it's the vampire who got her. When Negi visits her in the hospital, he senses the magic that put her there. Later that night, Negi stops the vampire from taking another victim, and is suprised to learn it's one of his own students, Evangeline A.K. McDowell, a quiet but intense girl who sits at the back of his class. They fight, but Negi is immediately at a disadvantage, as Evangeline has a partner. Chachamaru Karakuri is one of the oddest girls in Negi's class. She is apparently not human at all, but a clockwork machine. As Evangeline's partner, she launches physical attacks against Negi, making it impossible for him to cast his spells, and leaving Evangeline free to cast hers.
Evangeline has been purposefully trying to draw out Negi so she can fight him. It turns out she's been the same age for 15 years, and the person who put this curse on her is none other than Negi's father, the Thousand Master. If she drinks Negi's blood, the curse will be lifted. Negi is saved at the last minute by the timely arrival of Asuna.
The battle with Asuna has left Negi frightened and unwilling to face her. However, it's Evangeline who stops going to school. While this saves Negi the awkwardness of facing a student who is trying to kill him, he still has his duty as her teacher to fulfill. The other students, seeing how depressed Negi is looking these days, decide to hold a swim party in the huge baths to cheer him up. The party takes a strange twist when girls start losing swimsuits left and right. The culprit is Albert Chamomile, a panty-thieving lecherous talking weasel from Wales. Negi saved him from a hunter's trap a few years ago, and Chamo-kun has been indebted to him ever since.
Learning of Negi's troubles with Evangeline, Chamo-kun immediately sets about hooking Negi up with a partner. When a wizard enters a contract with a partner, that partner gains tremendous strength, and acts both as the wizard's guard and champion. Fortunately, there is a probationary contract, and Chamo-kun tries to trick Negi into entering one with Nodoka, the adorable little library girl from his class. The contract is activated by a kiss, but before it can happen, Asuna breaks it up.
Negi is reluctant to enter into a contract with any of his students, since he doesn't want to put any of his girls in trouble, but Chamo-kun explains it all to Asuna, and she agrees to enter a probationary contract with Negi. She activates it with a little peck on Negi's forehead, and they go looking for Chachamaru. Eliminating her will allow Negi to take on Evangeline one on one. However, as they follow Chachamaru around, they see a kind person helping children, rescuing kittens and generally being an all around good guy. They steel their resolve and fight her, but at the moment of Negi's victory, he stops. He can't bring himself to hurt one of his students.
Disappointed in himself, he leaves the school and heads for the mountains. He gets stranded and is discovered by Kaede Nagase, another of his students. She's a tall, beautiful girl with an amazing figure who loves to live in the wild. She's a ninja in training, and she takes Negi under her wing. She can see he's depressed about something, and does her best to cheer him up, including taking a bath with him. Her efforts are rewarded with Negi regaining confidence in himself and returning to to school.
When Negi arrives at school the next day, Evangeline is absent again. This time he decides to do something about it, and discovers she's actually sick. With Chachamaru's assistance, he helps nurse Evangeline back to health. He also uses his magic to learn what happened in the past between Evangeline and his father. In grudging gratitude, Evangeline returns to school. But this is all a diversion until Evangeline is ready to launch her final battle against Negi.Comments
Ken Akamatsu continues to give his fans plenty of what they want: fanservice, and lots of it. The book-length story involving Evangeline adds more substance to Negima, creating plenty of backstory and and confrontation for Negi to overcome. As always, there is plenty of saucy humor and action everywhere, as well as some good character development. The addition of Albert Chamomile, whom Asuna constantly refers to as "vermin ermine", gives us a catalyst for getting Negi into even more trouble. The chapter with Kaede Nagase in the moutains was an especially clever way of introducing one more character while still advancing the plot. Evangeline herself is a great protagonist for Negi. She's both very tough and very sympathetic. Continued antagonism between them should provide plenty of comedic fodder in future volumes.
Akamatsu's art is gorgeous as ever. Evangeline is a bit like Sara from Love Hina in that she's a blonde foreigner with a grudge against the protagonist. However, Akamatsu gives her two different looks. One is her present form, and the other is a much older and very sexy looking older form from her past. Akamatsu is a big believer in using computers and an army of assistants to help him produce an impressive amount of detail in a short amount of time. It's a lot of fun just to look at the mad train station splash page that covers pages 12 and 13, taking in the sheer size and scope of the scene. Having so much help allows Akamatsu to take time on the two things he excels at; cute girls and gags. Some of the best gags are quiet little jokes, such as seeing Chachamaru, who is a spring-driven automaton, with a windup key in the back of her head. And the girls? Just open the book anywhere and enjoy until your eyes have had their fill.
Extras include several pages explaining the spells, which for this volume, are left as is, rather than the latin used in the previous two volumes. There are several pages of early character design concepts by Akamatsu, translator's notes, and a preview in Japanese of the next volume. In the front of the book are a couple of pages explaining several of the honorifics which are all retained in the English adaptation by Peter David and Kathleen O'Shea David. Their adaptation continues to improve, with very few of the excesses seen in the first volume, while still sounding smooth and natural.
Despite the impoving adaptation, this volume is riddled with mistakes. The biggest concerns Negi's father, the Thousand Master. His name comes from the fact that he allegedly knows one thousand spells. His name is translated as "Southern Master" instead. Granted, "thousand" and "southern" are very similar when written in katakana, but the fact that it was translated correctly in the first book makes this mistake difficult to explain. There is another mistake when we see the flashback to the battle between Evangeline and Negi's father fifteen years ago. Evangeline is using a marionette by the name of Chachazero as her partner, but it's translated as Chachamaru. This can be confusing, since one would assume the marionette became the Chachamaru we see in the present story, but in fact, they are not related. There is a word balloon mistake in the last panel on page 48. Asuna should be saying something about Negi disappearing, but instead, she's talking about a bath, which is actually Negi's dialogue from page 49. Albert Chamomile refers to Asuna as "ane-san" (big sister), but refers to Negi as "big brother" instead of "aniki". It's not a mistake as much as an odd inconsistancy.
Try as I might, I can't find the name of the editor of this volume anywhere. However, it's the unnamed editor's job to make sure mistakes of this magnitude don't make it to the bookstand. My feeling is that the mistakes are important enough that a reprint should be made immediately.