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Negima! Magister Negi Magi #1

Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Vol. 1

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Ten-year-old prodigy Negi Springfield, has just graduated from magic academy. He dreams of becoming a master wizard. Instead he’s sent to Japan to teach English . . . at an all-girls high school! All the students are delighted with their cute new teacher—except for Asuna, who resents Negi for replacing the teacher she secretly has a crush on.

Although he is forbidden to display his magical powers, sometimes Negi can’t resist. And when Asuna discovers Negi’s secret, she vows to make his life as difficult as possible— just the thing to prepare Negi for the challenges of life as a master wizard!

Includes special extras after the story!

190 pages, Paperback

First published July 17, 2003

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About the author

Ken Akamatsu

639 books228 followers
Ken Akamatsu (赤松 健, Akamatsu Ken, July 5, 1968 -) is a Japanese mangaka from Tokyo.

In his teenage years, Akamatsu failed the entrance exam to Tokyo University, and applied for Film Study instead (it is speculated that this is where he got the idea for Love Hina). Eventually, he became famous as an illustrator featured in Comiket (short for Comic Market, a comic convention bi-annually held in Japan). He used the pen name Awa Mizuno (水野 亜和, MIZUNO Awa). Akamatsu, still in college, then proceeded to win the Weekly Shonen Magazine award twice. His "A Kid's Game for One Summer" was awarded the coveted 50th Shonen Magazine Newcomer's Award soon after he graduated.

After a big hit with A.I. Love You, he finally made a grand success with his new manga, Love Hina. The series appeared in Weekly Shonen Magazine and has been collected in eleven volumes (with fourteen volumes in total), which have sold over 6 million copies in Japan, and received the Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen in 2001.
Akamatsu had added elements of his own life experiences to the story, and this was said to have induced a unique feeling to the manga especially for Western readers, whose lack of familiarity with Japanese culture for the most part added to the effect. The series, published in America in 2002, was especially well received in many overseas countries - Akamatsu was surprised that even foreign readers found Love Hina to be "cute" and to their liking.

He is now married to his wife 'Kanon' Akamatsu, who was previously a singer/idol. He is currently working on his latest manga series, Negima!: Magister Negi Magi, which is his longest running manga so far. Like Love Hina, has also been made into an anime series. A second independent retelling of Negima was made called Negima!?. Both series were produced by XEBEC (Negima!? was produced by SHAFT).

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Profile Image for Seth T..
Author 4 books872 followers
May 1, 2013

[These take up a lot of space]

There are very few books I read any more that I'm partially embarrassed by. For the most part I've either abandoned the stuff that shames me or grown confident enough in my enjoyment that I can feel no guilt for reading something others might not understand. And yet, there remains that small number of works that I demur to recommend—or even admit I read.1 Negima: Magister Negi Magi is one of those. It's highly embarrassing to me, but I can't stop. Because for all the ways it's really bad, there are as many ways in which it's really good.

[Magic, yo!]

I came to Negima through another guilty pleasure. In 2001 or 2002, I decided I needed to check out all these books that were importing from Japan in the freshly minted manga wave. I had read Akira way back when Marvel was releasing it through Epic and scattered issues of Viz's Area 88 and First Comics' Lone Wolf and Cub, but that was all more than a decade earlier. Coming to manga at that time just after the turn of the millennium was, for me, daunting. There were a lot of titles available and a lot more coming out every month. And despite the internet, it was still pretty difficult to find legitimate critical sources from which to find recommendations. After combing through forums and blogs (2002 was pretty much the zenith of the blogging phenomenon2), I saw the title Love Hina crop up often enough that I began to recognize it when walking through Walden Books or Suncoast Video (remember those!). I figured what the heck and picked up Love Hina volume 1 as my first foray into modern manga imports.

The book was bizarre, rather offensive, and kind of intriguing. I was immediately confronted with blatant pandering to a decidedly lascivious male gaze, sexism, and probably even misogyny. My memory of the series is a bit spotty, but I do recall not being comfortable with the book. Still, in the interest of not prejudging cultural expression foreign to my own, I wanted to give Love Hina a fair shake. I picked up the second book, confident that reading two volumes would fulfill Due Diligence and then I could abandon the series. Only, I grew attached to the characters. For all their fulfillment of sexist tropes and promotion of female objectification, these were characters whose plot I became invested in. So I begrudgingly finished off the series.

The conflict within me was real, but I've always been fairly good at sifting wheat from chaff. Being a thinking person whose ideological foundations are constantly evolving with the acquisition of new information, it's rare to encounter a work from any author that doesn't contradict some aspect of my paradigm-shifting belief system. I became, then, accustomed early on to reading books and encountering art that said things oppositional to what I believed. Sometimes those things would be deeply confrontational with the way I perceived the world. So I learned not to be entirely put off by such encounters but to instead compartmentalize for evaluation after reading. It's been a helpful system for me and allows a level of critical involvement impossible were I to simply react in the midst of a text. So that's how I read Love Hina. And that's how I read Ken Akamatsu's following work, Negima.


Not long after I finished with Love Hina, I discovered that Akamatsu would be releasing a new series, featuring a ten-year-old British wizard teaching a class in Japan. I figured I'd give it a shot and hoped that the author had gotten the fan service out of his system.3 He, as it turned out, had not. And in several substantial ways, Negima is a much more objectionable work than Love Hina is. But it also paints a much more compelling portrait of the women it horribly objectifies.

Negi Springfield is ten years old (almost) and has just graduated from his school of wizardcraft and witchery and the sorting hat has decided that he will be employed at an all-girls junior high in Japan. The girls junior high at Mahora Academy is part of a much larger academic complex, with attached elementary and high schools and university. Its headmaster and several teachers are wizards, so Negi's not completely on his own. Because Negi's only ten and not quite capable of caring for himself (because he's ten), the headmaster installs the boy in the room of Asuna and Konoe (the headmaster's granddaughter). Hijinks, of course, ensue.


Not only are there plenty of opportunities for naive and innocent Negi to accidentally stumble into his students topless, bottomless, and any other assortment of awkward pseudo-sexual situations,4 but the author forces the point regularly. In the beginning, while the series flounders for a few volumes, Negi is given a flaw by which if he is criticized too sharply, he'll sneeze. And if he sneezes, he'll disintegrate the clothing of anyone around him. (Note: he teaches at a girls' school.) Beyond this, several of his students develop feelings for him even though—as Asuna continuously reminds everyone—he's only ten and this makes the whoops-I'm-naked scenes still more awkward.

[Scenes like this are not uncommon, like, at all.]

Like Love Hina, the nudity in Negima is coy and silly. The girls are unashamedly drawn fully nude but are nippleless. Either strands of hair or amazing tricks of light work to obscure their nipples so that we never need worry about seeing too much (as if nude fifteen year-olds weren't already too much). Groins are always hidden by legs or other props. The whole thing reminds me of that Mormon bubble-porn meme that was circling the drain a few years back. In the end, I'm not at all sure what to make of this stuff. The girls are drawn like twenty-three-year-olds but their ages put them well below the age of consent, thrusting them into the spotlight of awkward fantasies for I'm sure any number of the title's readership. (Maybe it's all some subtle commentary on the arbitrary nature of social rules like ages of consent vs evolutionary instinct.5 Or maybe it doesn't matter since the target demographic is fifteen years old anyway? Actually, I don't know who the target age for the book really is.) At any rate, Negi's students are regularly objectified in blatantly sexual manner and not (usually) in service to the plot. It's stale and old and often misogynistic. And I'm sure it does nothing to foster an environment of care and comfort for girls in Japan—or from the guys who read the book over here.

So why bother, right?

[That this is an actual outfit worn by a fifteen-year-old girl is pretty much indefensible.]

The strange fact of the matter is that for all that (and actually in opposition to all that), these books—like Love Hina before them—are curiously enjoyable. The real joy of Negima lies beyond its building of anticipation and pacing out of scheduled reveals. Those are all good and fine and keep things moving in the narrative department, but the greatest abundance of Negima's strengths is in its character building. The book begins with Negi Springfield and his class of thirty-one girls, and while some of them only get passing personalities, it's pretty impressive how many of them (an easy majority) Akamatsu explores in better-than-average detail. Through revealing these girls' characters, Akamatsu engages the reader's empathy for their circumstances, bringing greater tension and involvement in their struggles and trials. More than that, by turning these girls into full-orbed characters, Akamatsu actually begins subverting his sexual objectification of them.

There's a delicious6 clash between contradictory purposes that actually mirrors how many inhabitants of our paternalistic world are happy to behave. The book posits that these young women are foremost people with strengths and dreams and goals that exist wholly apart from their genetic sexual disposition. They are individuated apart from their relationship to the series' male lead (this is solidified in the series epilogue in volume 38). And yet, for all that—for all their character strength both tied to and independent from their femaleness—Akamatsu always returns to their position as object for sexual fetishment. This is really how most men (and a fair number of women) treat the real-life women who inhabit their lives, mixing sensible well-regard with a careless desire to sexualize without consequence. That Negima does this so blatantly deserves, I think, at least bookclub-level consideration; and while Akamatsu may not have intended any net good from his creative decisions along these lines, I think the opportunity here for the reader to critically examine their own understanding and treatment of the female person is worthwhile and should not be overlooked in the face of disgust for the surface of objectification.

Negima: Magister Negi Magi by Ken Akamatsu
[What's being a girl have to do with...?]

The most curious thing about Negima is that Akamatsu first establishes his female characters as sexual objects and then reestablishes them as non-object persons. And while he ping-pongs between their object and non-object states (sometimes within space of a single panel), the title's final statement is in support of these women not as objects but as wonderful, full-fledged characters. This is not to justify the book's rather gross and awkward use of sexuality, but to merely recognize its complexity.

And now because we all7 approach texts containing disagreeable content with a sense of nuance and find ourselves able to appreciate quality and value even while disapproving of aesthetic or moral deficits, let's talk about what makes Negima something I rate well despite my deep conflicts over the book's material.

I've already mentioned Akamatsu's character work, but here are some specifics. Negi, the book's hero, is only ever okay. He's a bit of a Mary Sue but never really gets in the way of the book's true characters, the students. Negi begins the book as a fledgling magician, fresh from the academy and ready to prove himself. He's rather singleminded and so as much as he takes his role as teacher (and eventually protector) to these thirty-one girls seriously, he always struggles with his need to prioritize his true goal of locating his missing father. He's self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-absorbed. If his character has an arc, it's wrapped up in his struggles 1) to put his students first and 2) to learn to rely on the powerful, wise, and intelligent friends who are happy to help him out.

Negima: Magister Negi Magi by Ken Akamatsu
[But at least this happens at one point, right?]

But as I've implied, Negi may not even really be the main character in his own book. It's fun to watch him grow up a bit, even if he never really has to strain to do so. The real protagonist is his class of thirty-one girls. While the book seems to think it's the story of how Negi becomes the Best Wizard Ever, actually sitting down and reading the thing it becomes clear that this is really the tale of a bunch of girls who gradually discover the world is full of magic and how they'll interact with that knowledge. And while, as a class, there's never really any grave conflict over these girls' acceptance of the magical world (and a character arc with no conflict is generally dimly viewed under most rules of narrative critique), the charm of the individuals who make up Negi's class is so winning that it's hard not to consider their story worthwhile.

The girls are varied in temperament, skills, backgrounds, interests. Asuna has mysterious abilities and amnesia. Evangeline is centuries old and has millions of dollars in bounties on her head (and a crush on Negi's father). Nodoka is bookish in the extreme and her primary skill seems to be her courage in overcoming her shyness. Another girl is Negi's descendant from the future. Another is trying to be a good gymnast. Another wants to draw manga. Another died in 1941. Another is a scientist. Another is a chef. Another is a robot. Another is an orphan adopted by the church. Another has trained for years to protect the life of another student, who is the headmaster's grand-daughter. Only a handful of these girls have full arcs, but out of the thirty-one, each gets narrative spotlight for at least a short time and most are given distinct personalities and stories. That by series' end I can identify and tell you about almost all of them is, to me, pretty amazing.

Despite the title's rocky start, most of the stories end up being a lot of fun. After two volumes, I had given up on the book. Negima, in those volumes, just seemed an endless stream of disconnected school-daze stories and excuses to showcase nude teens. I took a long break from the series and then somehow got the third volume (maybe from the library). That volume was a distinct step in a better direction. The entire volume presents a single narrative arc (prior volumes never had stories longer than two chapters) and introduces the first hints that there might be some driving story behind the series. Volumes four through six offer a still longer arc and build more characterization and history into the series. As well, the fan service gets scaled back a bit, allowing the story to breathe on its own merits. By this point, I was invested enough in the story and characters that seeing where they'd go convinced me to stick with the series.

Akamatsu seemed to have trouble deciding what kind of series Negima would be. The first couple books seem to aim for Harry Potter crossed with harem comedy. After volume two, however, the harem aspect is relegated to occasional filler episodes scattered across the thirty-six remaining volumes. With volume three, the series seems to transform into supernatural adventure. Then, around volume eleven or so, the book becomes a tournament book for about three volumes. Then it becomes an otherworldly adventure, then tournament book, and then a kind of world-shattering epic adventure. Scattered throughout are chapters that seem to want to transform the book into a romance comedy. If the reader pays too close attention, a kind of literary whiplash may result, prompting frustration in those who want the book to be a single thing. Personally, I found the constant evolution of the series endearing—as it's hard to stay mad at the mistakes when the status quo is shattered with such alacrity and ease.

[Annnnnd: fight.]

There remain a couple more things to talk about. Foremost perhaps, if one can minimize concern for the book's sexuality, most readers will want to know about the title's premature conclusion. For reasons I'm not yet aware of, Akamatsu elected to end the series before the principal story actually wrapped. The conclusion is moderately satisfying. With chapter 353 (of 355), all the story points are tied up save for Negi's quest for his father. This was the reason behind Negi's entire mission and so it's kind of the most important piece of the story. Chapters 354 and 355 zip the reader ten or more years into the future to a reunion of Negi's classmates where we are given a brief summary of how Negi's quest concluded. The series ends with an epilogue giving biographical synopses of each of Negi's students. It's a little bit underwhelming—but less so if one considers the series to be the story of Negi than that of his students. It's problematic, but could be worse.

The other thing is the sexuality. I've talked about it a bit already, but it may be worthwhile to discuss the age problem just a bit.

These girls are 14 and 15 years old according to their plot points and so, by fetishizing them, Akamatsu promotes a sort of statutory objectification. But then again, not really? These girls don't carry the awkward sexuality, physical proportionality, or carriage of a young teenager, but are instead mature women that the plot simply decides must be junior high students.8 Still, no matter how old these girls appear, Negima encourages the readers' acceptance of them as junior-high-aged (even while confusingly depicting them as being much older).

I'm conflicted on this point somewhat. I think it's good to recognize that women, even young women, are sexual beings as much as anyone else—that they might have all the desires, curiosities, and kinks that you may have and plenty you don't. Negima recognizes that and pursues it (doggedly). The problem of course is that it does so with a camera lodged distinctly and completely within the cleft of the male gaze. Akamatsu presents strong female characters that are sexual and don't (often) apologize for their sexual natures—but he does so with the goal of titillizing his male audience (at least I presume his motive and audience here). It's one thing to present a mature and thoughtful depiction of a woman and her natural appetites. It's another to do so in order that a man can turn that woman into a sexual object. Too much, I'm afraid, Akamatsu's work is fueled by this latter prompt. And whether that's his intent or his editors', the result is pretty gross and kind of reprehensible.

[The girl here remarking on Negi's small penis is hundreds of years old but trapped in a ten-year-old's body.]

As I've suggested, it's rare that a single ideological element (or even a collection of such elements) is enough to cause me to judge a book's quality in one way or another. Case in point...

[Goodreads character limit on reviews cuts this one short. For full review, see the original on Good Ok Bad]
Profile Image for Lord.
551 reviews20 followers
April 22, 2010
Don't believe the bad reviews from readers who read just the first volume and dare to rate this series. Akamatsu sensei succeeded in creating the whole class of girls with distinctive characters and that's no easy task. Add a sweet harem-like story that evenutally evolves, at least for a few volumes, into a shonen faito manga, and you have a manga that you will want to re-read several times. And believe me, everytime you read this series again, it gets better because you now remember the characters (there are really many girls, mostly good looking, of course) and you will get attached to them. All in all very good manga, maybe not for everyone, but deffinitely surpassing Ai Ga Tomaranai and Love Hina, earlier series from the same author.
11 reviews5 followers
October 6, 2014
Must Read Manga - School Harem/Comedy/Magic

If you enjoy magic, comedy and harem in a manga this series is worth reading at least a few times. Most books I enjoy best the first reading, but with this series each time you read it you get more out of it and enjoy it even more than the last time. Of course even the first time it is a great read. Despite the many characters they are all very well developed in this series. This is one of the best manga series ever.
Profile Image for Marija.
441 reviews89 followers
January 28, 2015
I think that this was intended as a introduction to the series and that's the reason why I gave it three stars. It was a fun read and that's it, there's no action or drama that would make it a little bit more interesting. It has some funny moments but only where you smile and think "this is insane" not where you laugh out loud. I will definitely continue reading this and I'm sure the next volumes get better.
Profile Image for Daniel.
754 reviews74 followers
March 13, 2016
Guilty pleasure :P

U sustini vrlo tesko za opisati manga. Sa jedne strane imamo harem mangu sa gomilom devojaka koje stalno upadaju u neke polu ecchi situacije sa glavnim likom (10-togodisnji carobnjak) Sa druge strane ipak ima dosta srca u svemu i ume da bude cak tuzna ili teska. Ali to tek u kasnijim knjigama, ovde na pocetku vise upoznajemo devojke ovog razreda i uzivamo u interakciji i reakcijama usled bezvezne postavke.

Ja volim ovaku vrestu bezveznih prica ali to je stvarno stvar ukusa tako da svako mora za sebe da odluci.
Profile Image for Nick.
259 reviews20 followers
May 13, 2008
Overall Rating: F
Synopsis: 10 year old child wizard/genius Negi Springfield has to teach English at an all-girls boarding school. Magic and fan-service ensue.

Both the manga and the anime seem to focus more on fan-service involving middle school girls than on plot or magic. I was tempted to rate it a D, but I have only seen the first disc of the anime, and read the first volume of manga, so maybe it gets better. I wouldn't count on it though.

Both seem to be closer to a male's first wet dream than anything resembling plot, with panty shots and barely clad schoolgirls thrown in at every opportunity. I originally picked up the series because I like magic, and I like manga, and I thought this might be along the lines of Harry Potter. It was closer to being along the lines of a bad romance novel. A bad romance novel that makes you feel like a dirty old man.

For example, one novel side-effect of Negi's magic is that it tends to eradicate clothing. When he tries to erase the memories of the female lead, Asuna, he instead erases her clothes...huh? To top it off, one can only assume Negi has a severe allergy problem, because he sneezes a lot. What relevance does that have, you might ask? Well, apparently, his sneezes cause skirts to fly up, resulting in much fan-service.

Fortunately, the manga is rated 18+, so people kind of know what they're in for, but be forewarned, do not read this in a store. The last thing most people want is to stumble over someone in a Dragonball Z shirt that's looking at middle school girls' underwear. Trust me, it's creepy, and you'll end up dying alone.

For more manga and anime reviews, please check out Hobotaku.
Profile Image for Fugo Feedback.
4,337 reviews150 followers
April 26, 2011
No me suelen molestar los lugares comunes de por sí, pero cuando se acumulan a lo largo de 200 páginas, raramente me convencen. Ni dibujo ni historia me parecieron malos, se dejan ver y leer con comodidad. Tampoco me molesta particularmente el sub-género de "harem manga", ya que Ranma 1/2 entra en esta categoría y es uno de mis comics ponjas favoritos. Pero en cuanto a este Negima #1, hay tantos pero tantos clichés en este primer tomo, que me cuesta mucho verle algún tipo de gracia individual a la historia. Hay chistes y escenas muy bien logradas, pero padecen ante la predecibilidad y tontería de otras. Supongo que si tengo chance le daré un par de tomos más de margen para ver si me convence. Si no, que pase la siguiente.
Profile Image for Jade  Vidal.
20 reviews
February 23, 2013
Negi-Sensei is a 10-year- old wizard who was just assigned a job after graduating from the wizard school. He is assigned a job as a middle school teacher! Due to his "cuteness", the majority of his students fall in love with him. One student, Asuna, finds out that he is a wizard, but she can't tell anyone. He is searching for a "partner" so he can upgrade his wizard abilities. But in order to do that, he has to kiss someone! Asuna, didn't care since he is 10, kissed him to help him and she also upgrades (when she says "adeat" she gets a weapon of a giant fan, which later changes to a giant sword).
Profile Image for Melissa Martinez.
117 reviews7 followers
March 16, 2019
Creo que Love Hina del mismo autor me llamo mas la atención en su momento. Ahora siento que ya el Harem manga me causa algo de molestia, en cuanto a que no veo un desarrollo de los personajes femeninos en comparación con el protagonista masculino principal (Negi)
Creo que igual pase un buen rato riéndome de como le sale mal todo a este personaje y debo destacar además el talento artístico de Ken Akamatsu.
Profile Image for Elinor.
1,303 reviews32 followers
June 4, 2019
Re-re-re-re-lecture (et cette fois il faut que j'aille au bout de la série)
Profile Image for Miss Ryoko.
2,614 reviews131 followers
June 18, 2016
Negima seems like it'll have some real good potential. There are many characters, it is hard to keep them straight. But Negi is sweet and I'm curious to find out how he gets a handle on his classroom of students who are older than he is.

Edit 6/18/16
Wow... I can't believe I started reading this series 11 years ago! I have finally decided to read the entire Negima series! I have collected nearly half the volumes, but the library has the other half so I'm embarking on the long journey to finally get around to reading this series.

It's a cute series, though very Japan... the fact that Negi is 10 and sneezes off girls clothing is of course not a surprising coming out of Japan... and the over sexualization of the junior high school girls... all very classic Japan. Despite that, the relationships forming are fun and entertaining... though I do fear that Negi and Asuna will become a love interest which just makes it all even more awkward and Japan. Oh well.

Let's see what kind of shenanigans Negi and his class of 31 girls get into!
Profile Image for Trip.
231 reviews5 followers
October 27, 2008
It's by the creator of Love Hina so you know what to expect: wacky high jinks and a harem of teenaged girls without their clothes. This time, the boy is a ten-year-old British wizard sent to teach at a girls' school in Japan and the harem is an entire class of 14-year-old girls. Negi Springfield is much less of a schmoe than whatsisname from Love Hina, though.

None of the fan service shows more than you could see by undressing a Barbie doll, but I have to admit there's something dubious about a manga where the age advisory on the back would exclude most of the major characters.
Profile Image for Akihisa Carriosn.
3 reviews2 followers
November 9, 2014
Ken Akamastsu is a master at making harems, I really enjoyed this series, it has a good line of characters but I prefer the Negima!? Edition because it focuses more on character development and comedy than just straight up perverted content.
Profile Image for Emily.
206 reviews9 followers
December 28, 2013
Fun story, although there was more nudity than I thought I was getting into. have the second one, well see if I stick with this series.
Profile Image for Ανδρέας Μιχαηλίδης.
Author 53 books72 followers
March 29, 2018
Let us first get a few things out of the way: this is a harem manga, which means one main male character, fawned over by a populous female cast (those would be his 31 students). Secondly, it is kind of a shota manga, which is to say the opposite of lolita, as this professor, Negi Springfield, is a 10-year-old prodigy, who teaches a class of 14-year-old girls who come in all shapes and sizes, from similar to his own diminutive figure, to full-blown curvacious babes.

HOWEVER, this is just a premise, because fanservice sells and has been selling since the late '90s (and it is what Akamatsu, of Love Hina fame, does best).

In truth, the story begins as a very HarryPotteresque boy's quest to become a Master Wizard and locate his famous father, known as the Thousand Master. This leads to all sorts of fantastic quests, in an all-girls' school that harbors more secrets than Hogwarts. Still, this is another premise, since Negi, for all his power and precociousness, remains a 10-year-old boy, a fact never forgotten or ignored throughout the series. In turn, this leads to his often being helped along, counseled and supported by a number of his 31 students, many of which are not normal in any way at all (master ninjas, master swordswomen, oni, a time traveler, a ghost, an immortal vampire etc etc).

In this day and age, you can't throw a stone without hitting some monster / supernatural school manga or anime, yet none are as well planned as Negima. Every character is meticulously fleshed out, nothing (meaningful) happens by accident and the sheer design of the school and other environments is simply gorgeous.

One of the main appeals (yes, beyond often scantily clad / nude drawn girls - let us get past that) is of course the whole shounen "get stronger" trope, which combines western and eastern magic, martial arts and science.

Furthermore, all of the above is yet another premise that helps explore what ordinary (or semi-ordinary) girls would do when faced with the reality of magic. Having a cast which encompasses all manner of teenage personality (from the very adult-like to the completely childish, from the daydreamer to the hard cynic), all fleshed out in advance, allows for an ALMOST realistic (this is a fantasy manga, after all) portrayal of this supposed scenario. Negi is the lynch-pin or perhaps the trigger, but the true protagonists are the girls.

I could go on, but the main point is, this is a really fun action series. On a final note (that is a pretty obscure marker for quality), not even most of the monsters involved are just "paper targets" but rather, they have personalities, which marks a careful planning on behalf of the creator.

I am fast-rereading the series before storing it away for lack of space, and 15 years later it is still enjoyable.

Edit: an added value to the series, which I nearly forgot about, is the fact that as spells, rituals, legendary monsters etc appear in the story, there are expletive pages on the inspiration and source for each, from Buddhist sacred texts to Greek and Byzantine mythology! Akamatsu really did his research on this one.
Profile Image for Sonia.
62 reviews7 followers
April 22, 2021
bored and i feel like writing a review for one of my favorite manga series ever. i never recommend negima to anyone because it gets off to kind of an embarrassing start - absurd and inappropriate harem situation with a 10 y/o welsh boy wizard teacher and his japanese middle school (14-15 y/o) female students, all who have debilitating crushes on him. lots of panty shots and fan service, esp in the first 10 volumes.

BUT... the art style is SO cute and perfect and evolves/matures with the story as the series goes on. this is a nearly 40-volume series and it’s just so fun and creative. over time, the story grows away from the harem school story into a shonen story in a magical world. we get fights and love and friendship and magic and evil and training montages and magical girl costumes and .... idk this series just checks all the boxes. also lol the cast of characters is mind-bogglingly large, but somehow they’re memorable and lovable! with the 30 girls in the class plus negi, kotaro, and every goddamn person they meet in the human and magical world, every reader is bound to find someone they love. the story also does a good job of balancing serious stuff with some cute comedy and lightheartedness!

negima’s faults are... well... mostly involving some gaping plot holes related to the ambitious world-building and story pacing. there’s some stuff that doesn’t end up rly being resolved, and the last chapter in the series is supremely disappointing and we do not acknowledge it. sometimes it gets hard to keep track of all the characters, and i found myself at times missing the simple schoolgirl stuff of the early story as some parts later in the series get a little dark and dreary and filler-y.

i have many fond memories of hearing of a new negima chapter update back in like 2012 or something and ripping through it on mangafox. this will always be a series i hold dear to my heart. the anime is garbage do not watch it.

anyway natsumi/kotaro 4evr 💞💞💞
Profile Image for Mabbcha.
111 reviews
August 31, 2018
Manga sorti en France - à l'époque où j'étais au lycée ? ... et jamais lu jusqu'à présent !

( Je ne connais l'auteur que de loin - quelques un des personnages de Love Hina inspiraient mes petits gribouillages sur des carnets. )

Je l'ai emprunté ... il me rappelle - très, très, trèèèès vaguement - GTO ( je suis partie très loin dans la comparaison ), mais avec un prof/mage de 10 ans qui déshabille ses élèves ( collégiennes, uniquement ) quand il éternue ( ok, la critique était facile, les mangas qui ne contiennent pas au moins une page avec de jeunes filles/femmes qui finissent nues ou en culotte de façon " involontaire " ne sont pas très courants non plus) ; 'fin là, c'est quasi, voire tous les chapitres que je tombe sur une nana de 14 ans en culotte/à poil/avec les seins qui grossissent, c'est vraiment lourd.

Je n'ai pas été vraiment emballée - j'ai bien/mal vieillie, faut croire - j'attends de me faire un avis plus précis sur les deux/trois tomes suivants ( j'ai entamé le deuxième tome, l'intrigue tourne toujours plus sur " quelle élève va finir en culotte ? " qu'autre chose, c'est mal parti ).

Profile Image for K.
660 reviews
August 6, 2020
The art has actually changed a lot since the first volume. In the beginning it felt more handcrafted with a vintage style to it almost, there was more perspective and photo realistic backgrounds. I remember reading it when I was younger when this came out in May 2004,and finding many of the scenes quite funny and not sexualized. When you’re older and look at it with a newfound perspective it seems odd and creepy to sexualize highschoolers and (middle schoolers) like all current media tends to do. I actually still have the Borders receipt of when I purchased this on 2-16-08 for 10.95. “Books make the greatest gifts”

That aside

The relationships feel genuine and you do form a fondness for every character. The art is really pretty even though it develops a cut and paste same face syndrome eventually.

“True magic results from courage of the heart.”
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
64 reviews
June 6, 2022
This was my first manga, and it's not that i don't like the type of the Book, it's very cool, and i'm probably going to read more of them, i just didn't like this one. The story would be very nice and interresting if it wasn't that sexualized. I mean i'm not suprise because i know that in this type of Book women are a lot sexualized and it was written in 2005 but it's the thing i really don't like at all. I won't read the rest of the serie for that. But i'm definitly going to try other manga because it's nice and fast to read.
Profile Image for Christina.
543 reviews3 followers
October 4, 2020
Blergh!!!! My apologies you guys but I thoroughly disliked this. I think its because there were way too much ecchi and "convenient nudity". This is the same creator as love hina so there's also a harem trope in it which is fine but I just -.- was getting very annoyed by the entire 1st volume. There was 5 volumes of this in this giveaway but I just don't think I can continue. However, if those things don't bother you plus you enjoy magic check this out 2-2.5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brenda (Entre letras y páginas).
212 reviews15 followers
December 12, 2020
Aggg pensé que iba a ser un 4 estrellas :(

Me encantan la historia y la trama pero se me hace insoportable el morbo de la diferencia de edad y que todo el tiempo muestren a chicas en ropa interior o desnudas... ¿qué tienen los asiáticos con que las pibas tengan busto grande?

No sé si quiero leer el segundo tomo. Me había ilusionado con que iba a ser el manga que me iba a conquistar el corazón, pero no lo fue.
Seguiré buscando :(
Profile Image for Chalinviri .
393 reviews
May 22, 2022
Esta interesante esta historia, he de decir que me gustó más que la historia de Love Hina.

Tiene muchisísimos Fan Service, que parece el sello del mangaka (Aunque aquí entre no, no necesita todo eso) la historia, el desarrollo y los personajes me encantaron.

Me declaró una fan mas de Negi, aunque creo que mi personaje favorito son Kotaro y Konoka.

Hay acción, drama escolar, magia, crecimiento, y esta muy bueno, por momentos me reí mucho.

Vale la pena darle una oportunidad.
Profile Image for Leanne.
36 reviews
April 8, 2020
I have loved this manga series since I first watch the anime when I was around 12 years old and decided to give it a re read. It did not disappoint It had been a few years since I read it but my love for these characters is still so strong and I just really enjoy the dramatics of this story.
Profile Image for David Doel.
1,359 reviews3 followers
September 12, 2023
This volume is mostly slapstick comedy and fan service; I enjoy both so I gave it 4 stars. But, I have 37 volumes to go. Slapstick and fan service will not be enough to keep this enjoyable. I hope there is more substance to come.
Profile Image for Karen Hannum.
138 reviews13 followers
July 3, 2017
I wanted to like this, but by the end of this volume, I gave up. Just another harem.
Profile Image for Jessisquishy ➰.
198 reviews
February 16, 2018
Me ha gustado bastante la historia, no obstante ha habido partes que no me han gustado demasiado. Lo que menos me ha gustado probablemente es el problemilla de Negi.
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