Mahou Sensei Negima! Vol. #07 -

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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: 10.99
  • Pages: 202
  • ISBN: 0-345-47787-1
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Mahou Sensei Negima! Vol. #07

By Mike Dungan     June 13, 2006
Release Date: September 27, 2005

Mahou Sensei Negima! Vol.#07
© Del Rey

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

What They Say
It's training time! After their adventure on a school trip to Kyoto, you'd think that Negi and his students would want to rest. But now that they're back at Mahoro Academy, relaxation is pretty low on the list! First there are Asuna's dreams, which hint at a deeper relationship between Negi and his father of which she is unaware. Then Negi starts a quest to improve his abilities. To do this, the teacher will need to become a student " and Negi's students will become his teachers. Ku Fei is a master of every martial art imaginable, but can she teach Negi the skill he needs to survive? And there's only one magic user at Mahora Academy with abilities that surpass Negi's own. Dark Evangeline might train him, but only at a price " and does Negi really want to be Evangeline's personal slave?!

The Review
Having just barely survived the field trip to Kyoto, Negi decides it's time to improve his skills, both physically and magically.

This volume's cover is a fun beach scene with Negi and Makie in swimsuits playing in the water, with Asuna, Ayaka and a few other students in the background. The back cover shows Ayaka in a frilly white dress along side the back cover synopsis. As with previous volumes, there is an explanation of honorifics in the front, and cultural and translation notes in the back.

Despite the fact that there aren't any life-and-death fight scenes in this volume, that doesn't mean there's no action. Akamatsu makes Negi's training with both Evangeline and Ku Fei dramatic and fan to watch. His legendary fanservice isn't forgotten, as the students all travel to the beach for a Golden Week vacation. Akamatsu's assistants give this book it's full and detailed backgrounds, something that really fleshes out the scenes.

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. Spells are in Latin, but without any sort of lexicon to translate them in the back this time. Trish Ledoux's adaptation impresses, with just the right amount of natural sounding dialogue for a group of 14- and 15-year-old girls. I didn't notice any glaring typos. All in all, this is probably the best handled volume so far.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers) Everyone has survived the attack of the Kansai Magic Association during the Kyoto field trip, and now they've returned home. Negi is concerned, however. He feels his magic simply isn't up to speed, and he's going to need some serious training. There is only one person he can turn to: Evangeline, who bears him and his father an immense grudge. At the same time, Negi wants to learn martial arts to improve his own fighting abilities. For this he turns to Ku Fei, the adorable Chinese martial arts expert in his class. The rest of the girls misunderstand what's going on between the two of them, however, believing he's fallen in love with her which leads to the expected comedy of errors. When Evangeline sees Negi training with Ku Fei, she decides he must pass a test if he's to become her disciple " he must land a blow on Chachamaru in an all-out fight. With two days to prepare, Ku Fei does her best to prepare him.
All of this coincides with Makie's upcoming preliminary competition in rhythmic gymnastics. She's concerned, because she's overheard her coach talking to another teacher, saying Makie has no chance because she's too immature. Negi and Makie encourage each other, with their big tests coming on the same day. Negi's battle with Chachamaru is what one would expect of Akamatsu " fast, furious and brilliantly executed.
There are two more developments. First, Negi has a map of the Mahora Academy grounds that was his father's, with handwritten notes. Negi believes there are clues on it to help him find his missing father, the Thousand Master. The clever Yue and the timid Nodoka not only find the clue he's looking for, but they confront him about being a wizard. There's no way to hide the truth from them, so he takes them into his confidence. With the two of them assisting him, he attempts a trip into the depths of the underground labyrinth under the school, only to be stopped by a dragon he has no hope of defeating. Asuna learns that he went without her, which makes her very angry, leading to a major fight between the two. A trip to the beach with Ayaka and most of the class only serves to widen the split between Asuna and Negi, and he has to pull out all the stops just to apologize to her.

After the big three-volume Kyoto story arc, it's time to bring the fun back home. With Negi learning to improve both his body through martial arts training with Ku Fei, and his magic through training with Evangeline, the next volumes are being set up well. The focus on Makie through most of this volume nicely parallels his own efforts, with Makie coming through for him at the most opportune time. Having Yue on his side when he is working as a wizard is a welcome addition. Finally, the payoff of the beach episode is what Akamatsu fans look forward to. A nice touch is getting to know Chachamaru better as an individual with her own concerns, rather than just a mechanical doll serving Evangeline. Great action, great fanservice, great characters and a great story make Negima one of my favorites.


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