Mania Grade: B+
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- Art Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Text/Translatin Rating: A-
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: Del Rey
- MSRP: 10.95
- Pages: 208
- ISBN: 0-345-49463-6
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
Mahou Sensei Negima! Vol. #12
By Robert Harris
February 28, 2007
Release Date: November 30, 2006
Mahou Sensei Negima! Vol.#12
© Del Rey
Translated by:Toshifumi Yoshida
Adapted by:T. LedouxWhat They Say
At the Mahora Academy Festival, the Budokai Martial-Arts Tournament is well under way - and it seems that all the participants have something to hide. What has awakened inside Asuna during the battle with Setsuna?
Everyone remains in the dark about the true identity of the curious Ku Fei - except Evangeline, a vampire who, not surprisingly, loves the dark. But how exactly did she become a bloodsucker? As for Setsuna, how deeply conflicted is this member of the "Bird Tribe" willing to look within herself? Will she be able to defeat her own worst enemy: herself?The Review
Another volume of Negima, another round of martial arts fisticuffs. It's becoming reliable enough to set your watch on, assuming you have a watch that measures time in months and years. Volume 12 is all about the martial arts tournament, and I do mean all. This makes it a little more dry and less interesting than some of the previous volumes, but there's still enough of a punch here to entertain.
There is some story development, although it comes in bits and pieces and focuses on a few different storylines. We get a few glimpses of Asuna's past, and it definitely waves some tantalizing bits of possibilities in front of us before snatching them back. They're not addressed again for the rest of the volume, and I wouldn't be surprised if they're not touched on for many volumes to come (or at least until the Mahora Festival arc is over). There's also a brief appearance by Chao, where she gets to menace a little before attention is turned back to the tournament. She menaces pretty well for a middle school student, which is great news since it seems she's being set up as the main villain for this arc, and menacing is a must-have skill for all good villains.
The bulk of Volume 12 is made up of fights, and not the red-letter fights from the last volume. No, these tend to be the less important, less interesting battles where either the outcome is clear, or relatively trivial. Now I don't mind a fight or two, or three or maybe even four, but this volume is just battle after battle after battle after battle, with little rest between. Also, since this is a tournament setting, there is little story to string the fights together, which makes it hard to maintain interest between rounds. Even considering how well done the fights are, and how Akamatsu manages to sneak little tidbits of character and plot development in when he can, the proceedings can begin to wear a bit thin.
This isn't a bad volume of Negima; there's currently no such thing. It isn't, however, a great volume; it lacks much of the diversity of previous installments, and the fights don't have as much of an impact as they have had in the past. What it does is illuminate how integral the marriage of harem comedy and action is to the series as a whole, and leaves me looking forward to the next volume in the hope that Negi once again takes center stage and a more even balance is struck between the two halves that comprise Negima.