Negima! Magister Negi Magi
|Negima! Magister Negi Magi|
Cover of Negima! Magister Negi Magi volume 1, as published by Kodansha.
(Mahō Sensei Negima!)
|Genre||Adventure, fantasy, harem|
|Written by||Ken Akamatsu|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Magazine|
|Original run||February 26, 2003 – March 14, 2012|
|Original video animation|
|Mahō Sensei Negima! Introduction Film|
|Directed by||Hiroshi Nishikiori|
|Released||August 25, 2004 – March 24, 2005|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Nagisa Miyazaki|
|Music by||Shinkichi Mitsumune|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original run||January 6, 2005 – June 29, 2005|
|Original video animation|
|Mahō Sensei Negima!: Spring (Haru)|
|Music by||Kei Haneoka|
|Released||October 25, 2006|
|Original video animation|
|Mahō Sensei Negima!: Summer (Natsu)|
|Music by||Kei Haneoka|
|Released||November 22, 2006|
|Magister Negi Magi Mahō Sensei Negima!|
|Directed by||Ryu Kaneda|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original run||October 4, 2007 – March 27, 2008|
|Original video animation|
|Mahō Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba|
|Directed by||Akiyuki Shinbo|
|Music by||Hajime Kikuchi|
|Released||August 17, 2008 – February 17, 2009|
|Original video animation|
|Mahō Sensei Negima!: Mō Hitotsu no Sekai|
|Directed by||Akiyuki Shinbo|
|Music by||Kei Haneoka|
|Released||September 17, 2009 – November 17, 2010|
|Mahō Sensei Negima! Anime Final|
|Directed by||Akiyuki Shinbo|
|Music by||Kei Haneoka|
|Released||August 27, 2011|
Negima! Magister Negi Magi, known in Japan as Magical Teacher Negima! (Japanese: 魔法先生ネギま! Hepburn: Mahō Sensei Negima!), is a manga series written and illustrated by Ken Akamatsu, known for his best-selling title Love Hina. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from 2003 to 2012, with the chapters collected into 38 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha.
Negima! has been adapted into two anime television series, the first created by Xebec aired in the first half of 2005 and followed the manga, while the second is an alternate retelling of the series by Shaft titled Negima!?. In addition to four different sets of original video animations and an animated movie, a live-action television series has also been produced. The manga was being translated into English and published by Del Rey Manga in the United States and Canada until Kodansha established a U.S. division in 2010 and finished the release, while the series is licensed for distribution in the United Kingdom by Tanoshimi. Both anime and the second OVAs were licensed and dubbed in English by Funimation in North America. Sentai Filmworks has now licensed the series.
Akamatsu collaborated with an artist named Yui to write the spin-off Negiho in 2010. In 2013, Akamatsu began a sequel/spin off titled UQ Holder! that focuses on Negi's grandson, Tōta Konoe, and follows a more science fiction-/action-oriented plot.
Negi Springfield, a ten-year-old wizard, aspires to become a "Magister Magi", a special wizard who, under the guise of working under a NGO, uses his powers to help normal people. After graduating from the Merdiana Magic Academy in Wales, he is assigned the task of teaching English at Mahora Academy's middle school, where his homeroom class consists of 31 girls, each very special in her own way. The series details his time and adventures in Japan as he gains acceptance and respect from his students, helps them in their problems, and faces magical threats from inside and outside Mahora Academy. Although each of the girls has her own back story and personality, Negi's main relationship is with Asuna Kagurazaka, his student and roommate, who dislikes him initially but later accepts him as a friend and becomes his partner. He is also searching for his father who is known as the Thousand Master.
The series, while initially appearing to be another romantic comedy work featuring numerous bishōjo characters like Love Hina, has progressed into a mix of shōnen action, fantasy, horror, romance and comedy. Akamatsu stated that he specifically wanted to do something "different" from Love Hina. Negi himself is prepubescent, and many of his scenes with Asuna are specific subversions of the "awkward romantic scene" tendency of harem manga, quickly defused and only played for laughs. In addition, many of the girls are able to fawn over him in a childish sense without any romantic expectations from the reader.[original research?]
In keeping with this style, Negi himself is seen as a contrast to Love Hina's Keitaro Urashima and other typical male leads of manga. He is hardworking, capable, and treated kindly, but due to his appearance and age (well below most of his students), he feels completely non-threatening and finds it difficult to be taken seriously as a teacher; many of his students treat him as a cute little kid, if not a playmate (or plaything).[original research?]
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The pactio (Latin for "Contract") system in the series enables the magician casting the spell, the Magister Magi, to transfer some of his/her magic power to the other person involved in the pactio, the Minister Magi (Latin for servant wizard), improving the Ministra's natural capabilities, and providing a magical barrier against physical attacks. The Minister also receives a special magical item called "Artifact", which reflects the Minister's abilities and personality. The Minister, in turn, has to protect the Magister from any dangers and assist him/her in any way possible. Since most Western Mages are vulnerable while chanting spells, a Minister primary duty is to protect the mage in combat situations. Although it is not necessary that the Magister and Minister are of different sexes, its by far the most common setup, and usually pactio partners end up marrying each other.
When a pactio is established, a card (Charta Ministralis) is created as proof of the contract, depicting the Minister with his Artifact, surrounded by several magic signs and a "title" related to his/her personality. The Magister keeps the original card with him/herself, though copies can be made for the Minister. The card allows the Magister to communicate telepathically with his/her Minister (By touching the card to one's forehead and chanting Telephatia) and summon him/her across great distances, within a limit of 10 km. Additionally, the card may be used by the Minister to with the words "Adeat" (Latin for "Let it come forth"), and "Abeat" (Latin for "Let it return") to summon and recall his Artifact respectively. An additional function allows the partner to store different costumes "within" it, for later use.
While there are many ways to form a pactio, the most common is having both participants enter a magic circle and share a mouth-to-mouth kiss. Another known form of pactio formation is through exchange of blood, also referred to as a 'blood contract.' Any mishaps result in a "Mistake Pactio", which only grants a badly drawn card. If one of the participant's does not want to commit to a lifelong partnership, or is too young to make a "Permanent Pactio", a "Probationary Pactio" is created. Probationary pactio work like a permanent ones, except that there's a time limit to the activation of the contract and the contract can be broken at will. Permanent Pactio, on the other hand are lifelong, always active, and the number of contracts is limited by the Magisters power.
As of now, the main character Negi Springfield has formed nineteen pactios. In order, they are Asuna Kagurazaka, Nodoka Miyazaki, Setsuna Sakurazaki, Konoka Konoe, Yue Ayase, Haruna Saotome, Chisame Hasegawa, Kazumi Asakura, Kaede Nagase, Theodora, Ku Fei, Chachamaru Karakuri, Shiori (real name Luna), Ako Izumi, Yūna Akashi, Makie Sasaki, Ayaka Yukihiro, Chizuru Naba, and Akira Okochi .
Negima! includes a wide array of characters, including the 31 students from Class 2-A (later 3-A). Negi's students consist of a wide array of smart students, academically challenged, athletes, and cheerleaders. The class also includes martial artists, a ninja, a vampire, a robot, a ghost, at least one half-demon, a web idol, and a time-traveling Martian. Most of the students are associated with school clubs or sports teams. Many of these girls are eventually drawn into Negi's world of magic or were already involved with the magic world. Through interaction, Negi learns about his students in depth. Some students also make a probationary "contract" with Negi which will make them a partner and give them additional powers.
In addition to the class, more characters are introduced and become Negi's problem beyond the classroom. These characters come from magic schools, demons, and other sorts of chaos.
Early in the production of the manga, Akamatsu began using CG background elements, for things such as crowds, buildings, and some objects. Many buildings are drawn from real-life structures all over the world, such as the Brooklyn Bridge and the Belfast City Hall. These are rendered in 3D, then characters are drawn in and around them for the panels. Many of these models are detailed in the appendix in the back of the books.
In the US and Canada, the manga was licensed and published in English by Del Rey Manga for the first 28 volumes. Newer volumes were published by Kodansha Comics and distributed through Random House Publisher Services. Publishers in other countries and languages include Tong Li Comics in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Chuang Yi in Singapore, Play Press Publishing (formerly) and Star Comics (current) in Italy, Pika Édition in France, Egmont Manga & Anime in Germany, Schibsted Forlag in Norway, Glénat in Spain, Editora JBC in Brazil, Tanoshimi in the UK, and Algoritam in Croatia.
In Malaysia, the Malay version of the Negima books, named 'Magic Teacher! Ahli Magik Negi Magi', are retranslations of the Chinese edition. Evidence shows the names of the characters in Chinese style, such as Asuna as Shenlao Asuna and Konoka as Munai Xiang. Instead of printing "Ken Akamatsu" as the author, the name "Chesong Jian" is used – actually a Mandarin translation of Akamatsu's name in kanji. The characters' names were corrected in volume 15.
While looking for clues about his missing father Nagi, Negi Springfield becomes the English and homeroom teacher for Mahora Academy Class 2A (later 3A). Negi soon becomes acquainted with most of his new students including his roommates Asuna Kagurazaka and Konoka Konoe. Negi faces his first real challenge in his student Evangeline A.K. McDowell who is an immortal vampiress and one of his father's enemies. To help Negi confront Eva, Asuna agrees to become his temporary partner by performing a "Pactio", a kind of magical contract sealed with a kiss.
After dealing with Evangeline, Negi takes the class on a trip to Kyoto while searching for more information on his father's whereabouts but is forced to fight against Eastern mages aiming to kidnap Konoka with the help of other students who also become his partners including Nodoka Miyazaki, Konoka's childhood friend Setsuna Sakurazaki, and lastly with Konoka herself. The arc also introduces Fate Averruncus, another mage who looks to be around Negi's age but proves himself to be far stronger than him. Seeing his own weakness after the events in Kyoto, Negi begins to train with several students in order to become stronger while Kotaro Inugami, one of the foes he confronted there unexpectedly reappears and finds himself a family with Negi's students Natsumi and Chizuru. Kotaro also joins Negi against Wilheim, an old evil from the past who like Fate Averruncus, seems to be a pawn of an even stronger enemy.
During Mahora's cultural festival, Negi manages to partake in simultaneous events thanks to his student Chao Lingshen's latest invention, the time machine Casseopeia. One of these events is the "Mahora Martial Arts Tournament" where he confronts a series of increasingly stronger enemies including a former member of "Ala Rubra" (Crimson Wing), a legendary brigade led by his father. After the tournament, Negi takes part in more activities at the festival until Chao she reveals herself as a time-traveler who claims she must change the present to avert a great catastrophe in the future. Despite that, Negi and his allies confront Chao and stop her. After giving, Chao bids farewell before returning to her own time.
After the festival, Negi decides to go to the Mundus Magicus (Magic World) to look for his father. His partners decide to accompany him and together they form their own brigade, the Ala Alba (White Wing). They are joined by Negi's childhood friend Anya and accidentally by other students who are oblivious to his secret. As they arrive, the team is ambushed by a group of mysterious enemies led by Fate Averruncus, leaving Negi and his group defeated and scattered across Mundus Magicus. After meeting Jack Rakan, another member of Ala Rubra, Negi decides to train in order to become stronger and specializes in Dark Magic, like Evangeline. Meanwhile, Negi's lost companions start to learn the ropes of their new environment and eventually reunite with him.
During another clash with Fate and his companions, Asuna is captured by the enemy and held captive along with Anya, with a body double posing as the real Asuna. Later Negi has an encounter with Kurt Gödel, a former member of Ala Rubra who reveals to him the story of his parents including how his mother was unjustly tried and sentenced to death before being saved by Nagi at the brink of her execution. He also learns that the Magic World is actually a magically created, inhabitable version of Mars, and just like the world itself, the majority of its inhabitants are created by magic. During another clash with Fate, Negi also learns that the main objective of his group "Cosmo Entelecheia" is to make use of Asuna's secret powers to erase the magically created inhabitants of Mundus Magicus and transfer the rest of its population to Earth before it eventually collapses.
By joining forces with the various armies of the Magic World, the members of Ala Alba storm Cosmo Entelecheia's stronghold where Asuna and Anya are being held captive, to stop their plans. During the confrontation a magic gate is opened to Earth just above Mahora, having Negi's remaining students who stayed behind along with the Academy's faculty members joining the fight. After rescuing Asuna and convincing Fate to accept a plan to save the people of the Magic World without the need of any sacrifices, Negi discovers that the true leader of Cosmo Entelecheia is none other than his father Nagi, possessed by the Mage of the Beginning, who vanishes after asking his son to look for him and release him once and for all.
After being celebrated as heroes for stopping Cosmo Entelecheia, Negi and his friends return to the Academy, but instead of resuming his duties as a teacher, Negi leaves Fate as his substitute and with the help of some of his students he starts working on his plan to terraform Mars for the people of the decaying Magic World to relocate there. The plan involves sealing Asuna's body for one hundred years, and she bids farewell to Negi and the other students after she graduates from middle school. Waking up 30 years after the estimated time, Asuna finds that Negi's plan was a success and that Negi and all her classmates had happy and bountiful lives, but had long since died, all except for the immortal Evangeline, and Chao who exists in this time and has since invented a device to jump between realities. These two appear before Asuna to take her back to the present so she can live out her days with Negi and the others.
Negima! was involved in a controversy surrounding the censorship of the English-translated manga in North America, typical of Akamatsu's penchant for fanservice and risqué humor. Fans fell upon initial rumors of potential edits by Del Rey, and upon receiving news of this, immediately began fighting against the changes. The compromise reached was to release the book uncensored but shrink-wrapped, which some collectors feel can cause damage to the books. Since Volume 13, the books have been released without the shrink-wrap.
Del Rey's releases contained fully translated versions of the omake(s) found in the Japanese versions (which include character sketches, fan art, and information about spells and related concepts), as well as various notes about Japanese culture and other things of interest not found in the original omake(s).
In 2010, all Kodansha manga licensed in the U.S. was transferred from Del Rey to the new "Kodansha Comics" imprint, under Random House publishing. It was announced that they would decide which series to continue translating on a title-by-title basis. On December 10, 2010, it was announced that Negima! would continue English releases starting in May 2011. Also, Kodansha Comics has started publishing Negima! Omnibus Edition with Volume 1 in June 2011.
Before the beginning of the series, three OVAs were produced to introduce the characters. The first two were released on DVD bundled with two drama CDs, with the third being sold separately. It is unknown if these will be released outside of Japan.
The first OVA is a re-enactment of the first chapter, where Negi first learns of his job as a teacher and is introduced to the students of Mahora Academy 2-A. It ends with profiles of the Baka Rangers (Asuna, Makie, Yue, Ku Fei and Kaede) as well as Ayaka.
The second OVA is a re-enactment of the "love potion" incident of chapter 2, with profiles at the end of Nodoka, Konoka, the cheerleaders (Misa, Madoka, Sakurako) as well as Kazumi.
The third OVA is a re-enactment of chapter 13: Negi's Mahora tour with the Narutaki twins. The tour shows Negi to several of the students (Yuna, Akira, Chao, Satsuki, Satomi, Chizuru, Natsumi, Zazie) as well as others that he ends up missing (Sayo, Evangeline, Chachamaru, Chisame, Misora, Ako). After being chewed out by Haruna for completely skipping her, a final scene introduces Setsuna and Mana.
The anime began airing in Japan on January 6, 2005 and ended June 29, 2005. The anime follows the story of the manga to a certain degree but also creates its own reasons for certain events happening - most of which take place towards the end of the series - which differ from the original story, as the situations addressed had yet to occur in the source material. The differences between the manga and anime are significant, and most events in the manga never occur in the anime, again due in part to the manga being incomplete during the series' production. Starting in episode 22 and continuing until the end of the series, original work was created so the series would have a conclusion. At one time it aired as part of the Funimation programming block on CoLours TV.
A second series was announced on May 9, 2006 by Shaft and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, the director of Pani Poni Dash! and Tsukuyomi -Moon Phase-. It started airing in Japan on October 4, 2006. Negima!? is an alternate story with different character designs and an all new storyline, albeit with the same characters. The show also focuses more towards breaking the fourth wall, action, and comedy, and less on the original series' fanservice.
Spring and Summer OVAs
The Spring OVA called Negima!? Haru was shown to a private audience in Japan in April 2006 and was released for the public in DVD on October 25, 2006. It is based on the trip to the Southern Islands in volume 7 of the manga. The story is about how Negi makes up to Asuna after saying to Asuna that she should not mind his business.
The Summer (Natsu) OVA was also shown to a private audience in September 2006, and the DVD was released on November 22, 2006. The beginning is about Nodoka and Yue practicing casting a spell. While training, Yue convinces Nodoka that they cast a spell of the red string of fate on Nodoka. A spell which shows them who her future partner will be. One end connects to Nodoka and the other end connects to Negi. Unfortunately, this spell is not a fate connection, but just a tie-up. The rest of the OVA are about how Nodoka and Negi spend the rest of the day trying to take their bath while their hands are tied together.
White Wing OADs
A third set of OVAs (officially an "OAD" or "Original Animation Disc" as these are limited edition OVA releases that are only sold with the purchase of specific volumes of the manga) called Magical Teacher Negima! ~The White Wing~ (魔法先生ネギま!〜白き翼 ALA ALBA〜 Mahō Sensei Negima! ~Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba~) was announced by Ken Akamatsu on his website days after the end of the live-action adaptation's airing. Production was handled by Shaft in cooperation with Studio Pastoral and the entire cast from Negima!? reprised their roles. The new OVAs cover chapters 176 to 183, and are shown in three parts:
- The first OAD covers chapters 176 and 177 and was released on August 12, 2008, together with the release of Volume 23 of the manga.
- The second OAD covers chapters 178 to 180 and was released on November 17, 2008, together with the release of Volume 24 of the manga.
- A limited edition Negima audio drama CD was released on December 19, 2008, and covers chapter 181.
- The third OAD shows chapters 181 to 183 and was released on February 17, 2009, together with the release of Volume 25 of the manga.
Just like previous Negima adaptations by Shaft, Akiyuki Shinbo served as the director, together with the same staff as his previous works.
From the Negi no Ochakai event that was held on May 2008, Ken Akamatsu mentioned that if pre-orders for the first of the OADs exceed 50,000 the staff would consider a film adaptation, and if it exceeded 100,000 views, the staff would consider a third animated series. The counter on the official website reached 82,581 before the first OAD was released. The total sales of three volumes was 245,000 copies.
Another World OADs
A fourth set of OADs was announced in the Mahō Sensei Negima: Ala Alba event held on February 11, 2009. The series is officially titled Magical Teacher Negima! ~Another World~ (魔法先生ネギま！もうひとつの世界 Mahō Sensei Negima: Mō Hitotsu no Sekai). This OAD series, covering the Journey to Magic World arc, was exclusively bundled with the manga starting with volume 27. The first episode, adapting chapters 184 through 188, was released on September 17, 2009; the second, which adapts chapters 189 through 192, was released on December 17, 2009. The third, covering chapters 193-204, was released on May 17, 2010, the fourth on August 17, 2010 and the fifth was released on November 17, 2010. Just like the previous OAD adaption, this series is produced by Shaft in cooperation with Studio Pastoral.
Akamatsu announced in his web diary that they can now initiate "the project" freely because the number of the pre-orders of the new OAD Mahou Sensei Negima! Mō Hitotsu no Sekai was large enough. He said he could not explicitly disclose what "the project" is from now since the sales data turned Akamatsu's personal desire into a real project. He had been saying that the final chapter of the OAD series will be released as a movie if the sales are successful. Weekly Shōnen Magazine announced a "full-length" anime that would be premiered in 2011 and used the term "Negima Saga Final".
On May 17, 2011 the official site opened with the new title Mahō Sensei Negima: Anime Final and was released in Japanese theaters on August 27, 2011 as a double-bill with Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven Is a Place on Earth. The movie provided an alternate ending to the Journey to Magic World arc. A CD was released on August 24, 2011 featuring the theme songs of the movie along with the off vocal versions.
A live-action series of Mahō Sensei Negima!, distinguished from the manga, first anime television series (Negima!, having an exclamation mark) and the second anime television series (Negima!?, having the equivalent of an interrobang) by having two exclamation marks joined at the dot (or, Negima!!). The cast of all of the 31 girls was released on July 2007, while it is announced later that actress Yukina Kashiwa would play Negi, Hiroshi would portray Takamichi T. Takahata, former AV star Nao Oikawa as Shizuna Minamoto, and Gajirō Satō as the school dean. It started in TV Tokyo's late-night timeslot on October 3, 2007 and ran for 25 episodes. The 26th announced episode was a DVD exclusive.
Like Negima!?, the live-action series has an entirely different storyline from the manga and the first anime series.
A large amount of music related to Negima! has been released. Aside from the numerous opening and ending theme songs used in the two anime adaptations, four OVA sets and the film, several character songs have been released.
- Brenner 2007, p. 89
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- Mahou Sensei Negima! Manga, Chapter 39, Page 15
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- Mahou Sensei Negima! Manga, Chapter 35, Page 5
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- Official Negima!? website (in Japanese)
- Kodansha Comics (NA manga publisher)
- TV Tokyo's Negima!! (live-action) website (in Japanese)
- Starchild's Negima!! (live-action) website (in Japanese)
- Konami Japan's PS2 Negima!? game (in Japanese)
- Marvelous Interactive's Mahō Sensei Negima! GBA game (in Japanese)
- Negima: Shiroki Tsubasa (in Japanese)
- Negima: Mō Hitotsu no Sekai (in Japanese)
- Negima: Anima Final (in Japanese)
- Negima! Magister Negi Magi (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia