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Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Vol. 2 Paperback – August 3, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
Negi is an entirely likeable character, charming and in over his head, yet determined to do his best in an overwhelming situation. His dream is to become the Magister, a sort of wandering Master Magician who helps those in trouble. This being an Akamatsu comic, Negi has the habit of a powerful sneeze which blows girls skirts up, or blasts their clothes off entirely. His naivety presents this habit from being too silly, and he is always quite shy and embarrassed afterward.
He is joined in the regular cast by Asuna Kagurazaka, a 14 year old jr. high school student in Negi's class. She is a bit of a tom boy, with a powerful kick that can send Negi flying. Not so much a romantic interest, but a friendly foil for Negi. Asuna is the only one who knows that Negi is a magician, a fact which must be kept secret.
Of course, the Mahora school is no ordinary school, and is filled with all sorts of oddities such as a legendary bath that holds 100 people. Akamatsu also seems to have a thing for the baths in his comics! The large cast of characters sets the stage for a variety of adventures, although do to the young age of the characters these adventures are much less romance-orientated than "Love Hina."
This is my favorite Japanese comic being produced right now, and it is nice to see it getting an English release. Fans of "Love Hina" will find the same kind of humor, with a bit of a Harry Potter sling to it.
If you enjoyed Love Hina, this title definitely has a lot of the same elements going for it that made Love Hina so popular. On occasion, there are even some references in Negima to that series. 31 girls each with different personalities, interests, and backgrounds at Mahora Academy turn out to be an adventure in teaching and fun for Negi Springfield. And just like Love Hina, there are many hints at romance which really add to the charm of this series. Currently, this series is still going with more chapters in Japan, along with character voice CDs and an anime series planned. Overall, an excellent series that will leave you wanting more as you get to know the students of Negi's class and the young mage himself.
The concept behind Negima is very clever. A young Welsh boy, training to be a great magician, gets shipped off to Japan to teach English at an all-girls junior high school. It could be said that it's Love Hina mixed with Harry Potter, but that would be doing it a disservice in describing the story.
There are a lot of strengths already shown right off the bat. Negima doesn't waste time and dives right into the story which clips along at a good pace without dragging out plot points. The artwork is beautiful, you can sense Akamatsu getting better with each pencil mark. Even introducing a whopping 31 girls into the mix, we still get a sense that we'll see enough of each one. Asuna makes a great foil to Negi. And of course, it's extremely funny.
A few things did bug me about Negima though. The fanservice was evenly spread through Love Hina, though here we get quite a few instances where clothes are blown off (by Negi's sneezes, of course) and with the characters being in junior high, comes off a little creepier. Plus, there's already a sense of some characters and events that fall into romantic-manga cliche such as Asuna's adoration of Takahata-sensei and the evil upper-classmen.
But then again, I wasn't crazy about Love Hina until a few volumes in. Small complaints aside, Negima volume 1 is a great start to a promising and fun-filled series. If only we didn't have to wait until August to get volume 2.