Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Review | Anime | Mahou Sensei Negima

MAHOU SENSEI NEGIMA! : Precocious 10-year-old Negi
Springfield transfers from Wales to Mahora Academy in Japan as an English
teacher in order to complete his wizard training. His class is made up of middle
school girls who are immediately affectionate towards him due to how "adorable"
he is. He cannot, however, gain respect from Asuna Kagurazaka, who just sees him as an ignorant child. Upon discovering Negi's secret of being a wizard, Asuna
and Negi ultimately team up and combine their abilities to protect their school
and classmates from strange happenings.

I had heard great things about this show from different locations and decided to try it out. I discovered many interesting facts about this series, including the fact that it was created by the same talents that brought us the ever-popular Love Hina. I was also excited to hear they had made the series into a live action (which I can't seem to enjoy as much as the anime.)

In contrast to the typical 'Magical Girl' animes is this eccentric 'Magical Boy' series that illustrates Professor Negi Springfield's past and present and his honest relationships with his students. Though he'll discover through his career at the school that many of his students have crushes on him (some more obvious than others) his dedication to his art and skill filter any feelings he may have had into a desire for merely teacher-student relationships. Negi offers as much comic relief as he does dramatic climaxes when his magic goes awry which lands Asuna smack in the middle of it, only increasing her dislike of him. Asuna does, however, show her pity towards Negi due to his never knowing his father, being an orphan herself. Though their relationship is unclear at the beginning, towards the end they begin to realize their friendship.

Asuna's partnership with him does prove useful at times because of an unexplained immunity to magical barriers and spells that should otherwise be effective towards humans. This is indirectly explained near the end of the series. Using the pactio magic that was obligated by pactio-starved ermine Chamo, Asuma attains magic powers that enables her to fight alongside Negi whenever enemies of the Magical World appear to take students they believe possess special abilities.

Parents may want to know about the elaborate fantasies of the students, with Negi as the subject of their affection. Japanese anime is known for targeting mature children as the love interests of much older characters, which is magnified more so in this series. The girls harbor an almost unhealthy obsession with Negi and/or his love life, even tricking Negi into entering the school at night, unaware that the girls had put on a game to see who could find Negi in the building and kiss him first. The pactios of magic require a kiss from a female in order to complete the pactio; Near the end of the series Negi is kissed by all the students in his class. Even when Negi is outside of his class, we may still worry about Chamo, who himself is under arrested for stealing hundreds of women's underwear.

The energy of this series is always high, and if you enjoyed Love Hina or AzuManga Daioh, you may not want to miss Negima!

Overall Rating:
/ 5


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