Mahou Sensei Negima – Chapter 343

Negima343

I'm not sure which part of this image to explain first...

So there I was, reading the latest chapter of Negima and getting ready to write a post about the way fighting is portrayed in it when something else caught my eye. The last chapter hinted at Asuna and Negi coming up with a concrete plan to defeat Evangeline in a fight. It turned out there was no real plan, but that didn’t stop them from kicking an enormous amount of ass. I know it has nothing to do with what I’m about to discuss, but let me just say that the shot of the two of them frozen in a crystal of ice, both smiling because they’re just that confident they’ll escape, is the sort of thing that made me fall in love with this manga.

So the fight goes on for a bit longer, and just when I’m wondering how long a training fight can last for, Negi accidentally strips both Asuna and Eva naked. Yup. I thought Negi’s sneeze from a few chapters ago was just a call back to the early chapters, but it turns out I was wrong. A big, badass fight scene getting interrupted by gratuitous fanservice, and there’s only one thought that comes to mind.

Why am I not bothered by this?

Seriously, they just interrupted a massive fight scene with pointless fanservice. That’s high up there on the list of things you aren’t supposed to do! Hell, this is a big part of what I got so pissed off at Kenichi about. Yet somehow it only took a few seconds for the shock of it to disappear. I suppose a big part of this is due to how the fanservice in Negima is presented. Having read Kenichi and part of Sekirei, I’ve come to notice that they often rely on awkward angles to get as much skin into the panels as possible, which makes them look a lot more forced. In this chapter, Asuna still didn’t have her clothes on for the last two pages, but it’s very possible to forget that due to how it was presented. That’s how it goes a lot of the time, like when everyone was wearing cat ears for no reason a while ago.

Really, though, I think the biggest reason I wasn’t as annoyed by this fanservice is because the fight itself was basically fanservice. From a purely narrative perspective, there’s no reason Eva couldn’t have tested Negi’s strength by having him punch something and seeing how big the leftover pieces are, and there’s no reason for Asuna to get involved in the first place. Akamatsu just saw the opportunity for a massive battle and took it as far as he could. If the fight had lasted any longer, I’m sure Setsuna would have joined in too, and then Eva would crack a few jokes implying group sex or something. Half the point of these last two chapters was pleasing the audience, and it merely transitioned from one form to another.

I’d really like to see more fights of this caliber in the future – preferably with more of the girls involved – but I won’t go so far as to say this one ended poorly. In any other series it might have been, but there’s something about the way Negima presents itself that makes scenes like this interesting. Come on, look what happened this chapter. We had an impressive battle, humourous fanservice, a personal revelation, and we even got to see a dramatic confrontation between Asuna and Setsuna. Say what you will about Negima, but it doesn’t skimp on content.

Posted on November 17, 2011, in Chapter Discussions, Mahou Sensei Negima, Series and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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