It’s summer vacation in the Negima universe, which means it’s time to cart out the ol’ castle dimension for more training. Knowing how to use magic seems like a lot more hassle than it’s worth, honestly.
Writer/Artist: Ken Akamatsu
Translation: Toshifumi Yoshida
Adaptation: Ikoi Hiroe
What They Say
Win or Die!
It's summer break - a time when most kids are getting ready for a vacation full of fun and friends. But not Asuna. She's prepping for the challenge of her life. She's started a new school club that's devoted to helping Negi find his father, but before Asuna can embark on this adventure she has to prove her mettle. The test : a dangerous mission on a snow-covered mountain. Does Asuna have what it takes to survive?
The last time we saw Negi and the girls of 3-A, they were taking it easy and enjoying their summer vacation. For better or worse, not much has changed. Personally, after being bombarded with high-octane action and time traveling hijinks, I welcome a few volumes to decompress before we’re thrown into yet another gargantuan series of Earth-shaking events.
After founding the Negima Club (temporary title), Asuna & Co. decide to begin training for their journey to the Magical World in search of Negi’s father. Restricted to those who know the truth about magic, the club invades Eva’s time compression paradise to train and prepare for the upcoming trip to Wales. The rest of the volume runs through a montage of Negi’s other, less special students. I truly mean that in the kindest way possible.
Much of the first half focuses on Asuna, and shows us some more of her forgotten past. While it doesn’t seem like we’ll be learning the full story anytime soon, throwing us the occasional breadcrumb is a valid way to keep our interest. Or at least remind us that there is something amiss; she’s so energetic and boisterous it can be difficult to remember that yes, she <I>did</I> have a troubled childhood, what with all the magic and blood and whatnot. There’s also a smattering of other students’ summer activities, and while these glimpses are amusing and appreciated, I wish Akamatsu would use the time between arcs to give some of the lesser-known characters their own chapters. Some of us have favorites who aren’t in the main gang!
The artwork remains spectacular, and the extra work Del Rey puts into the series is amazing as always, providing us with four bonus Pactio cards…or stickers. I can’t tell, and I won’t risk any harm to my book in order to find out. I did, however, notice two or three typos, which is two or three more than I have come to expect.
Negima keeps on keepin’ on, and despite nothing of great> importance happening in Volume 19, it remains an enjoyable read. As it always has been and, yea, always shall be. This I decree.