Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Mahou Sensei Negima (Negima! Magister Negi Magi) Manga

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Parental Guidance Recommended
2003 Ken Akamatsu , Kodansha

Negima DVDs
Negima Art and Manga
Negima Games
Negima Toys
Negima Original Soundtrack
Negima Fashion
Negima Merchandise
lensman's Description:
Negi Springfield has just graduated from the magic academy. His first task as a magician is to become a teacher in the Japanese Mahora Academy. He is assigned to class 2-A which has 31 girl pupils. Most of the girls in the class are thrilled that their sensei is a cute ten-year-old kid, but Asuna Kagurazaka is not, because Negi replaced her homeroom teacher that she had a crush on. Pretty soon, she finds out that he is a wizard, a fact that he is supposed to keep under wraps. How will Negi deal with her? And, even if he does manage to get her by his side, will he be strong enough to face the troubles ahead?

(14 tankubon)

Throw the anime away! >>> by lensman
(Yeah, it sounds as a stark contrast with my "normal" anime review of Negima. The fact is, it is a good series. It is a good introduction and supplement to the manga, but doesn't even come close to being as good, and is a huge letdown for fans of Akamatsu's original work.)

I don't believe this! I can't believe what has happened to my favorite manga series! After going through the final episode, I had a burning desire to save up 1200 dollars, travel up to Japan, and show up at Studio Xebec's door with a shotgun.

Story arcs that were a joy to read in the manga were literally messed up in their anime version. Crucial events and character development, even beloved secondary characters were completely omitted or had their part reduced to a poor shadow of what they were in the original piece of work.

I guess part of the disappointment was due to the fact that I had high aspirations for the show. Prior to watching it I had watched some great introductory videos that had some good gags, some very recognizable voices (among them Kikouko "Belldandy" Inoue and Horie "Naru" Yui) and kept true to the overall spirit of the manga. They were greatly directed and animated and hyped me up about the quality of the upcoming show.

Seriously, what the (censored) happened? All they had to do was to faithfully adapt the first five arcs of the manga series, and you'd have a highly enjoyable TV Show with a great pace, nice characters, as well as a climactic and action-filled finalle.

Instead they mangled the story beyond repair and took away a significant amount of charm that made me fall in love with the Negima Universe.

To give credit where credit is due, a couple of stories were better handled in the anime version than in the manga. But all in all, I have to say that, for the most part, the animated version of Negima is a pale imitation of the comic-book greatness.

And the ending... OK, I liked the more serious direction, the animation and the voice acting was great, but in all honesty, it was a bit too-little-too-late, and it felt really awkward, especially when you compared it to the uplifting spirit of the rest of the show.

The tragedy of Negima is that this could have been a great show. It could have been a classic, if the had just payed the proper respect to the source material. Instead it's just merely "good". If something positive came out of this tragedy, is that plenty more people will get to know the Negima manga through the anime and will hopefully pick it up to see what the big deal is and what they have been missing.

But seriously, Studio Xebec should not be allowed to touch another Ken Akamatsu title with a ten foot pole.

Individual Rating: Art 10; Story 8; Characters 9

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