The most recent volume of Negima has everything that makes this series great: magic, jealousy, the fog-shrouded moors of Wales, and lots and lots of breasts.
Writer/Artist: Ken Akamatsu
Translation: Ikoi Hiroe
Adaptation: Ikoi Hiroe
What They Say
Blast From the Past
Asuna and her friends want to give Negi some fun in the sun at the beach before they all set out on a dangerous journey to the Magical World. But then Negi's childhood friend Anya crashes the party - and all hell breaks loose when her jealousy goes nuclear!
This volume sees Negima move back into the harem comedy sphere more completely than it has in a long, long time. The arrival of Anya, Negi's young female friend from England, sets off a chain reaction which sees the rivarly of the 3-A girls reach heights the likes of which most men dare not dream. If you're a fan of this brand of manic, slapstick comedy you'll find a lot to like here.
The addition of Anya was a smart move, particularly if the series is about to veer off into Serious Business territory again. Which something tells me is probable. It's nice to see someone Negi can interact with without the mantle of maturity he maintains when around his students and fellow teachers. Anya also brings a whole boatload of insecurities, most of which revolve around the attractiveness of the girls surrounding Negi. It's both an adorable character trait and an excuse to have a few very breast-centric chapters. We all know that's the real reason, but let's pretend we don't.
The non-Anya portions are just as entertaining, and if anything I wish they had remained in Wales for a bit longer. Negi's sister deserved more attention (not in hologram form for once), and I would have loved to meet more of the characters from Negi's village. My favorite part of the volume took place here, with Negi and company face to face with the petrified victims of the demon attack all those years ago. A stark moment which reminds us just what is at stake, and ties together Negi's past and the upcoming journey very nicely.
The ending has quite the cliffhanger, and reintroduces an old, villainous face which promises to make the next story arc interesting. It also signals a drastic change of tone, as the series has been quite laid back since the conclusion of the Mahora Festival. They laid the forshadowing on a bit thickly, though; when every character stresses how absolutely, positively <I>safe</I> this Magical World trip will be, you're practically begging a pack of lunar wolves to come barreling out of a rift in space-time, or...something.
I used to be an avid proponent of the lighter portions of Negima, which this volume (apart from the ending) embodies quite nicely. While I did enjoy it very much, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to see what kind of torture Mr. Akamatsu plans to inflict upon poor Negi. With the last arc he proved he could execute an extended, action-packed storyline very well, and I greatly anticipate the juggling act he'll do with the Magical World and the many, many threads which link it to so many of our characters.