Mahou Sensei Negima! Vol. #06 -

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Mania Grade: A

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Del Rey
  • MSRP: 10.95
  • Pages: 218
  • ISBN: 0-345-47786-3
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Mahou Sensei Negima! Vol. #06

By Mike Dungan     November 24, 2005
Release Date: June 15, 2005

Mahou Sensei Negima! Vol.#06
© Del Rey

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Ken Akamatsu
Translated by:Toshifumi Yoshida
Adapted by:

What They Say
Kidnapped in Kansai! The chaotic class trip continues as Negi Springfield and his thirty-one beautiful female students explore the historic cities of Kyoto and Nara. Negi’s special headache is Konoka, the headmaster’s granddaughter, who turns out to have her own magical abilities! Although she’s not aware of them, others certainly are… and Konoka is kidnapped by a group of wizards who plan to corrupt her budding talents. Negi going to need all the help he can get – even if it comes from a former foe...

The Review
The first multi-volume story arc of Negima concludes with some of the most breathtaking action sequences Akamatsu has ever penned.

The cover is a dramatic pose by Setsuna, Asuna and Negi, all wielding their weapons. In the background is a small group of the students and one foe who all feature prominently in this volume. It’s a great cover that perfectly captures the excitement of the story within. The back cover is mostly green with white text, and an image of Konoka looking quite lovely in a kimono. The extras are two pages explaining the many different honorifics used in the books, 4 pages of initial character sketches fully translated, 4 pages of translator’s notes, and 12 pages of cover art rough sketches with complete translations of Ken Akamatsu’s explanatory notes.

Any discussion of Akamatsu’s artwork has to start with the fanservice. After all, there’s just so much of it. In this volume alone, Asuna has to fight naked in one scene, without panties under her miniskirt in another, and topless in a third. Every opportunity is taken to show the girls in the nude or in sexy underwear. It would be excessive if it wasn’t so darned good. But the fanservice is just the sizzle. The meat of his artwork’s success is the brilliantly rendered fight scenes. Dramatic battles are perfectly set up with excellent pacing, flowing panels and strong composition. With a squadron of assistants helping out, his backgrounds are some of the most complete and detailed of any book on the market.

Del Rey uses a mixture of small translations next to the Japanese sound effects, and editing of the artwork to replace Japanese sound effects with English. Someone was obviously having a bit too much fun with the small sound effects. On page 182, the “chee chee chee” sound effect of cicadas is translated at “cheeebur-ger-ger.” The magical spells of this volume are especially complex. Some are spoken in Japanese, some in Latin, some in Greek and even some in Sanskrit. They are all left as is, with an explanation of the spoken spells at the end of each chapter. The English adaptation is now handled by veteran writer Trish Ledoux. There are still a few lines that make me raise an eyebrow, but there’s nothing truly excessive in her adaptation. I noticed a couple of minor typos, but again, it was nothing on the order of previous volumes.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the narrow escape from Cinema Village in the last volume, everyone decides the only choice is to make it to the house of Konoka’s family. This is a little worrisome to the gang, as Konoka’s family is the head of the Kansai Magic Association, and it is Kansai magicians who are after them. Konoka’s family house turns out to be a grand temple on a large estate, and they are treated warmly. Negi is able to deliver the message he was entrusted with by his headmaster, and Konoka is delivered safely to her father. Since it’s so late, everyone is invited to spend the night, with paper dolls sent back to the hotel to take their places.
Unfortunately, the estate of the head of the Kansai Magic Association isn’t as secure as was hoped. A young boy with white hair is able to penetrate the estate and uses petrifaction magic which allows him to kidnap Konoka. Negi, Setsuna and Asuka go after her, but are stopped by the summoning of an army of 150 ogres. A Pactio contract with Setsuna gives her as much power as Asuna, and the two of them take on the evil (and hilarious) horde by themselves, while Negi continues on to rescue Konoka.

Konoka’s immense untapped magical abilities are being used by the mysterious girl with large round glasses who has been hounding the group since they arrived in Kyoto. Her name is Chigusa, and she wants to use Konoka’s power to summon a powerful demon and with him, take control of both the Kansai and Kantou Magic Associations. To get to Konoka, Negi must face several adversaries. Fortunately for him, he has several girls of exceptional abilities on his side. But the final act of rescuing Konoka falls to her friends and protector, Setsuna. To do so, though, she must reveal a secret about herself that she has kept hidden from everyone, even her beloved Konoka.

People may dismiss Ken Akamatsu as little more than a harem fanservice artist, but they’re getting only half the story. His real strength is as an action/adventure artist. The three volumes that comprise the Kyoto story arc are some of the most exciting I’ve ever read in manga. The humor and fanservice just add to the visual impact. This volume builds the tension and the consequences with each chapter and then ends it with a terrific finale. Negima continues to be one of my most eagerly anticipated titles, and Del Rey continues to tighten up the translation and adaptation with each volume.


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