Mania Grade: B-
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- Art Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B
- Text/Translation Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 13 and Up
- Released By: Del Rey
- MSRP: 10.99
- Pages: 208
- ISBN: 978-0345517913
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
- Series: Negima!? neo
Negima!? neo Vol. #05
Negima!? neo Vol. #05 Manga Review
By Matthew Alexander
September 22, 2010
Release Date: April 27, 2010
© Del Rey Manga
Negi tries to find out what Mana’s demons are, both internal and external.
Writer/Artist: Ken Akamatsu and Takuya Fujima
Translation: Alethea and Athena Nibley
Adaptation: Alethea and Athena Nibley
What They Say
Child genius - and powerful wizard - Negi Springfield has had his share of magical adventures. But not even magic can help Negi with his latest challenge: acting with his students in the school play! It's Cinderella, and with the adorable Negi playing Prince Charming, every girl in the school is vying for the lead role. Who will get to live happily ever after with Negi?
It’s Natsumi’s big chance to make an impression with the Drama Club. She finally has a role in the upcoming play, albeit a small one. She is fine with playing Acorn #3, but scared out of her wits when the Drama Club changes its mind and asks her to put on a one-woman-show for the kindergarten class. Even with help from Negi and some of her classmates, how can Natsumi be the center of attention? She gets too nervous in front of crowds and usually forgets her lines. Seems like an odd fear for someone that wants to be an actress. Can she pull off the role of Cinderalla?
The vacation trip to a tropical island is the funniest chapter, and obviously has the greatest amount of fanservice. Beaches, bikinis, sunscreen, watermelon, and ghosts. Yep, ghosts. Haruna starts a rumor about a nearby church. Anyone that kisses in that church will be bound to each other for eternity because a pair of lovers committed suicide on that site after their love was denied by the locals. Haruna also tells the girls that Negi is already there, and then the mad dash begins as half of the class scrambles to be the first to reach Negi. Only problem is they have to travel through a tiger infested jungle and cross a rickety old bridge to get to the church!
The ghosts show up later that night after Haruna admits the story was made up. So where did the ghosts come from? Are they the ghosts of the two lovers that killed themselves? Was there actually some truth behind Haruna’s tale?
My favorite chapter is Negi’s visit to Mana’s home to find out why she has been skipping school. Mana works as a priestess at the nearby shrine. She’s detached from her classmates and school in general. Add to that the fact that she doesn’t want to talk to Negi, and he has his work cut out for him. The only way he is going to learn anything is by following her. Negi doesn’t know her ultimate destination, but it will prove to be dangerous.
This volume takes a step in the right direction as multiple chapters focus on some of the lesser known characters. A chapter spent in Satomi’s Mad Scientist’s lab shows the reader her single-minded drive for knowledge. We also learn that she built Chachamaru and knows Negi is a magician. Acting out a play with Natsumi not only reveals some of her personality, but also initiates her crush with the other magician Kotaro. I like seeing one of the girls with a crush on someone other than Negi. But my favorite chapter was Negi following around Mana to find out why she has been skipping school. She seems to be like a ghostbuster, but much more interesting is the truth she reveals about why she doesn’t open herself up to her classmates. Mana has had a surprisingly dangerous life and she seems to be one of the characters with the greatest depth. I look forward to seeing more focus spent on Mana and learning more about the other periphery characters.