Mahou Sensei Negima – Finale

Negima 355

This is one post I didn’t think I would have to write for a long time. Mahou Sensei Negima was one of the series that got me into manga to begin with, and I was sure it would be around for so much longer. Of course a part of that is because the ending felt so rushed and there was so much left unexplained. A lot has been said about this ending, most of it negative. I can see where all of that comes from, since I know I wanted so much more from the conclusion. How come we didn’t see Nagi come back? Why don’t we know who Negi liked? These are some of the building blocks of the whole series and they didn’t get the resolution they deserved. Clearly this series doesn’t know how to end things.

But you know what? I’m not gonna talk about that. This kind of post is something I’ve had planned for a long time, and I knew that I wanted to do a retrospective on the whole story. Regardless of how it ended, this is going to be my last post for the series before the eventual review, and I don’t want it to be a negative one. I wanted to talk about the series I’ve been reading for over two years, not the one I read for a month or so. Because there is still a lot to say, and even in this chapter the manga I love can still be seen.

Let’s start with our protagonist, Negi Springfield. He was always a fascinating character because it was clear from early on that he was smart and had serious issues to deal with, which was a far cry from most shonen heroes. That intelligence was one of his greatest assets and, quite often, his biggest weakness as his tendency to overthink led to a lot of self loathing. As much as his students grew a lot by being around him, it was their companionship and guidance that led him down the path of a true hero. This series wouldn’t have worked nearly as well if not for a lead like Negi, who always knew how to solve his problems no matter how complicated they got.

And while we’re here, let me just say that my biggest regret with this manga is that I still can’t pronounce his name right! I’ve always say it like “regime” or “Neji Hyuga” because the proper way sounds too much like “Eggman”. Sorry, Negi.

Negima 355

The characters have all grown up a lot since the humble beginnings of the story. Nodoka went from a shy little bookworm to a hardened adventurer. She became wiser, more outgoing, and her bosom would make you dream. Yue started out as something of a side character, but eventually she gained her own story, her own dreams, and the power to stand up for herself. While I would have liked either of these two to have ended up with Negi, the fact that they still have each other makes their personal ends still have weight to them. And Haruna…is still Haruna, albeit a little less insane.

I still remember when Setsuna went out of her way to avoid Konoka, since she never saw herself as worthy of friendship or affection. It was thanks to Negi that she was able to start down the path of “redemption”, as she would say, but Konoka was really the one doing the work. Not only was Setsuna able to believe in her own ability to protect those close to her, she was able to see Konoka as capable of being on the battlefield next to her. For someone who devoted her life to combat, that’s love right there. The endings they get are also rather interesting. Setsuna ended up marrying someone in the year 2017. Konoka, in an amazing coincidence, also married someone that year. Heh, nicely played.

Chisame’s ending is easily the most confusing. A big part of her character development is how she slowly became more involved with the magical side of the series, and how deep down she liked all the stuff she was in the middle of. To go from that to a hikikomori doesn’t feel appropriate for her. Hell, this steady development was a big part of why I wanted her to be the one Negi liked. If something like a love confession were presented to her, it could be the sudden push she would need to be true to herself. Still, I suppose it’s better for someone like her to be a hikikomori than a NEET, since she still does get involved in her own little way.

Hakase married Kurt Godel?! Wow, did not see that one coming.

In a way, Chachamaru is the big winner in the “Who gets Negi?” competition. Several of the other ending openly state that the girl in question did not wind up with Negi and probably never would. With Chachamaru, it openly states that she worked with him constantly and got wound up all the time. Of course with Negi at the age of 17 in the final chapter, I assume he eventually found out how the winding makes Chachamaru feel. Can we assume he kept doing it even after finding out? I know this isn’t much, but I see it like a poker game where she got a pair and everyone else got nothing. It isn’t much, but it’s still a win. Not bad for a girl who started out rather mindless. If we were to consider her the winner in any capacity, then I think her journey to becoming a girl with real feelings and a soul earned it for her.

I just want to briefly say that if someone made a series centered around Mana, I’d read it. She’s much more interesting than her overall importance would suggest, being a freedom fighter with a lengthy past and future of combat. She’s also one of the least fetishized characters, which pleases me far more then it should.

People love to talk about Evangeline, don’t they? Of all the badass, curb-stomping vampires out there, she’s easily my favourite (and that’s including Alucard, Inner Moka, everyone from Vampire Knight…). She didn’t get too much screentime, but what time she did get was more memorable because of it. She even has a good amount of character development, starting out much more antagonistic and impersonal before personally seeing to the growth of Negi and many of his students.

Also, it just occurred to me that Eva was the final opponent of the series, just like she said she’d be.

Awwwwwww.

Can you believe the boy who was once lapdog to a minor villain could turn into not just a hero, but the love interest for someone as human as Natsumi? I think it’s very nice how things ended up, and while I would have liked to actually see that eventual confession, I’m glad Natsumi was able to get it accomplished herself. She was always someone practically invisible, as people joked when she got her artifact, and for some time she was the token human character, whose fear clearly demonstrated the situations she was in. So to not only become more confident, but to gain the skills needed to punch Kotarou seven times (from a blind spot), is very impressive.

Chao really should have been around more. We only discovered after she left how important she really was, and I feel like she could have been much more directly involved in things.

Ayaka was also someone I felt was underutilized. Even though I admit I found her antics to be a little annoying, she came across as the sort of figure you’re sure will become important one day. I had a few theories regarding what she might turn out to be, but thinking back on it, it was likely never anything so extravagant. She’s just your regular, everyday ultra-rich businesswoman with a crush on a ten-year-old.

Last, but not least, we come to Asuna. Once a tsundere schoolgirl, now a princess with the power to erase the magic world at her fingertips. As much as I didn’t want an ending where she got together with Negi, it was great to see them together. They clearly had a lot of respect for each other even beyond their bickering, and it showed more and more as the series went on. Their fight with Evangeline was a great example of this, as she was perfectly willing to jump into battle against one of the fiercest creatures in the world for his sake, no questions asked. They weren’t around each other very much in the Magic World arc, but we still got to see the lengths they would go to for one another. Somehow I don’t see Naru doing the same for Keitaro.

As much as I hate to wrap things up, it has to end sooner or later. I’ve been with this series for a long time, and it’s very sad to see it leave. I could never have expected it would be cut short like this (dear GOD, did I not expect it), but I know that I’m always going to remember it. Even with the rushed ending, it shows that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination. And what a journey it was. I’ll be keeping an eye on whatever Ken Akamatsu has planned next, though I can’t make any promises what will happen in terms of blogging.

About these ads

Posted on March 17, 2012, in Chapter Discussions, Mahou Sensei Negima, Series and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Nice article! I particularly loved the amazing coincidence of Setsuna and Konoka both marrying someone in the same year.

    While I’m disappointed that there wasn’t a more concrete resolution to Negi’s romantic interests, that might be because the story isn’t finished. You may be interested in Akamatsu’s latest blog post, translated by Heiji of Manga-News:

    ネギま最終回(355話目)、無事に描き終わりました!
    I just finished drawing the last chapter (355) of Negima!

    9年間の長きにわたり、応援ありがとうございました。
    For these nine years, thank you for your support.

    ・・・別に引退するわけでは全然ありませんので^^、次回作や続編(?)にご期待下さい。
    …I will not retire at all^^、I hope you continue to support me for my next work or so Negima sequel (?).

    赤松スタジオは、しばらくお休みに入らせていただいます。m(_ _)m
    Akamatsu Studio will take a vacation.

    Obviously that isn’t a guarantee, but it’s an interesting thought. I’d be a bit surprised if he was planning on a sequel all along, though, since he could have left this ending more open-ended in that case.

    • I have no idea how a Negima sequel would actually work, but it’s an interesting thought. Maybe it might switch over to a monthly style, like some series do.

  2. Well, at least they got an happy ending. Now I need to catch up and read all the missing books…:P

  3. It’ll be interesting to see where Ken goes after this. Will he go back to his harem roots as a breather, or power on through to more action/adventure? Or will he pull another switch and do an entirely NEW genre?

    • I’m not sure, but i would hope he sticks to action. He’s much better at it than the romance stuff.

      • Yeah. Love Hina was fun but, from what I can see, this was better.

        I say “from what I can see” because I sorta wrote this series off after the breast expansion clip I saw from the anime. I figured, until I was corrected later, that he’d just made a series even MORE blatantly fanservicey. You can forgive me; I mean, a 12 year old teaching a whole class of high school students, many of whom have some sort of interest in him?

        Of course, I know the bait and switch Ken pulled. All the better, for making what seems like a compelling action/supernatural series out of THAT setup.

        • That sounds like how many people began this series. Luckily, I knew about the change in genres beforehand, but it was still tough to get through those first few volumes.

  4. So it finally ends. Guess I can read the rest with no regrets then. Already brought up Vol.20 (on 15 currently), so this should be exciting. Was wondering if Akamatsu was ever going to end this decently.

  5. A little question from the ending…
    It was explained that asuna woke up and jumped into another timeline where the asuna in the new timeline just left. Then what will happen when the asuna in the new timeline wake up?

    • I’m not sure, but since there’s an Asuna in this timeline, she most likely won’t wake up to the same tragedy as that Asuna. I’m sure Eva will come up with something for her to do.

  6. How about Negi is gay and the person he likes is Fate. After all if you read the chapter where he says to Asuna who he likes she replies to him to confess while the graduation and Fate should be there too like the teacher of 3.A. And Asuna says that Negi and that person are the same kind of persons (male). I know it isn’t Fate but that would be the biggest troll ending in a harem genre manga.

    • I can’t tell if that would be more or less or a troll than the ending we got, but I agree that it would be something special if that happened.

  7. I realy like this manga because the quotes they realy inspired me in some way. I hate every ending because you know after you read the last chapter you will never see the characters you like in action and new adventures but in the same time I am happy because I know that everything has ended happy and that you have been by the side of that character. It seems i have to find a manga similar to this and start reading.

    • I can’t say for sure if there are any manga exactly like this. I started getting really into Hayate after this ended, but it was never quite the same thing. If anything can give me the same feeling, I’ll be sure to let people know about it.

  8. By now i have read Inyujasha, Bakuman, 666Satan, Naruto, Love Hina and Ranma1/2. I have read Aflame Inferno but it is paused on chp. 50 and I am thinking about reading One piece and Detective Conan but its to long so i dont know when to start them. I dont have much time because i go to school.

  9. Read the writers latest manga
    It hints that the final love interest

  1. Pingback: Open House for Aniblog Tourney Voters « Shades of Grey

  2. Pingback: 12 Days of Christmas – Day 4 – Where the Hell is Arika?! « Shades of Grey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: