2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Apparently Ken Akamatsu has decided to have some fun with the cast of "Negima," right before flinging them into an action-packed magical arc that hasn't yet concluded waaaaayyyyy over in Japan.
And while the twentieth volume of "Negima!" Magister Negi Magi" is mostly fanservicey goofing, beachside fun, Anya's jealousy and some random hijinks from Negi's high-spirited students, it starts growing soberer and more haunting when our many myriad heroes finally get to Wales. The last third is undoubtedly the most brilliant -- and Akamatsu is obviously thrilled to take readers into the Magic World at last.
With only a few days before the trip starts, Negi and his friends decide to have some fun -- they frolic on the beach (cue obligatory shot of Negi going to "marshmallow-hell"), go to a manga/anime convention (where Negi innocent flips through an explicit yaoi manga), and have a sleepover where the assorted girls feud over who gets to sleep next to their dead-to-the-world teacher, and end up tossing him around like a teddy bear ("What happened here?" "I don't know, but I ache all over").
Throughout all of this, Negi's childhood friend Anya is getting a bit jealous of Negi's many new friends and their spectacular powers. He assures her that he hasn't forgotten where he came from, or the people who were petrified in their village -- but that doesn't stop her from attempting a disastrous breast-enhancing spell on herself and Nodoka. Cue a mixture of fanservice and deranged slapstick -- the spell causes them to float away on hot-air boobs.
And when they arrive in Wales, Negi's students get to see firsthand where he's lived and worked, as well as his older sister Nekane. But the wonders of his old home are nothing compared to those of the Magic World, which they are transported to early in the morning (with some stowaways, of course). Unfortunately an old enemy is lurking there...
Ken Akamatsu usually has some flirty, fluffy fun (with plenty of fanservice, to cap off the alliteration) before he starts something really serious in "Negima." Things turn quite serious in the last third of "Negima Volume 20," so every page up until that point, Akamatsu focuses mostly on getting the gags, flirting, jealous catfighting mostly generated by he bombastic Anya ("It's all about the boobs!") and assorted slapstick (Asuna's turn as an "angel") out of his system.
As a result, the first couple thirds of this volume are rather fragmented -- Negi and Co. dart here and there, thither and yon as they deal with assorted stuff they want to do before going on a dangerous quest -- with a few moments of general comedy (poor Asuna gets encased in ice for making Eva bleed). But things take a darker and more bittersweet turn after the gang arrives in Wales, and Negi pays a visit to the vast chamber holding the petrified villagers. It's a nice little reminder of what he's working so hard for.
And Akamatsu outdoes himself with our first glimpse of the Magic World -- a vast shimmering megapolis, which looks like half a child's fantasy (flying passenger wales and floating lights) and half a futuristic city (comlete with domes and railways). Unfortunately, he also ends it on a nail-biting cliffhanger, with the reappearance of an old villain whose identity and goals are still a mystery.
Negi gets to show how much he's grown in this volume -- and not just physically, although he demonstrates that he's done that too. For the first time he seems both happy with his remaining family and friends, even as he reflects on the terrible events of the past and sets out to right them. And though Anya continues to be rather immature and short-fused, Akamatsu shows how she became that way, with a bittersweet scene where she goes to her petrified mother and lovingly dusts her off.
The twentieth volume of "Negima!: Magister Negi Magi" is the hubbub before a storm -- some comedy, fanservice and random hijinks before things get really nasty. Too bad it ends on such a cliffhanger...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2008
As always great Akamatsu art work with tons of comedy a little bit of ecchi and lovable characters. This is another transitional volume from the school festival arc to the magical world arc but still an enjoyable volume... if the translation was a little better.
I noticed that Ikoi Hiroe handled the adaption and translation (rather than just the adaptation) this time around and I have to say...I was not impressed by the effort or quality of the work. To sum it up in a word...I have to say its rough. No polish on this volume and it shows...Fans who have been following this series will most likely have a hard time with this volume not due to the content but due to irregular flow of the translations and a couple of errors...
The only reason I gave this volume 4 stars is due to the fact that the original is so much better than this...
For those who doubt my review I suggest you re-read volume 19 and then 20 again...you can easily see the drop in quality of the translations from 19 to 20.
Overall I have been happy with Del-Ray's translations but I have to say this release gets a failing grade...
on March 11, 2009
This is the 20th volume of the ongoing manga series. This time around, we are introduced to Negi's childhood friend, Anya. She comes to Japan to bring Negi back home to Wales for the summer. She gets jealous of the older girls, especially the ones with the big boobs, which results in a lot of comedy. Negi and his friends do go back to Wales, and enter the magical world at the end of the book. The battle episodes begin with the next volume!