Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Negima Season Two Part One |
Re-imagined and Uncut
Actors: Luci Christian, Greg Ayres
Director: Jamie Marchi
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Funimation Prod Inc Release Date: 12/16/2008
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E. A Solinas | MD USA | 12/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Technically, there's already been an anime series -- "Negima" -- about preteen wizard/schoolteacher Negi Springfield.
But apparently that isn't stopping them from creating another parallel series, rebooting and revamping Ken Akamatsu's bestselling manga into the visually lush, fantastical "Negima!?" (see, the question and exclaimation mark mean it's a different show!). And this series is a vastly different creation -- while it's rarely faithful to the original manga's storylines, it's still a solid fantasy story sprinkled with some fun comic relief. And chupacabras.
Negi has been assigned to all-girls Mahora Academy in Japan... but things start going wrong before he even starts, since his half-asleep student Asuna sees him doing magic. Even worse, the vampire Evangeline and her robotic partner Chachamaru -- both his students -- are targeting Negi, since the boy is Evangeline's only ticket out of a curse that binds her to Mahora. And at the full moon, the vampire will come back into her magical powers...
And there's another problem arising -- the legendary Star Crystal has been stolen, and it may be related to happenings at Mahora. While dealing with weird problems in his class (ghosts, camping trips, Library Island), supernatural goings-on plague Mahora -- and the school is shifted into a series of surreal other worlds, where "Dark Seeds" attack on a regular basis. The Star Crystal is being awakened by a sinister force, and Negi may be the only one who can stop it.
For the record, "Negima!?" isn't very faithful to Ken Akamatsu's original manga -- the first few episodes loosely follow one of his storylines, before spinning off in a totally different direction with the whole Star Crystal storyline. It's basically split down the middle between fantastical goings-on and slapsticky comedy -- transformations, spells, enslavement, vampires, aerial battles and chupacabras. Well, sort of.
Fortunately "Negima!?" never feels overstuffed, even though there's plenty going on here on many levels (personal, magical, and Pactiowise), although a few feel like they were made just to fill a quota (the giant Evangeline episode). It's full of spectacular magical battles (ice tsunami!), goofy comedy (Setsuna skids right into a dish cupboard), and the occasional bit of romantic entanglement. But we never quite forget that there's something malevolent is approaching -- and the ending is nothing short of brilliant.
And the animation deserves a special shout-out -- the entire series is soaked in dark jewel tones and swirling magical spells, with erupting jungles of ice and hedgey mazes where evil creatures lurk. Mahora is a shadowy, vaguely gothic place with lots of dim streets and a city filled with starlike lights.
Negi proves to be a likable little hero -- earnest, courageous, unselfish and a bit tightly wound, while Asuna proves to be stubborn, brash, eccentric and sometimes quite ditzy (chupacabras!). There's also a wide cast of likable supporting characters, including the sweet Konoka, hard-nosed Setsuna, the serene ninja Kaede, bookish Nodoka, and the tragic child-vampire Evangeline (whose sad, lonely history is briefly explored).
"Negima!?" is a stunningly animated revamp Negi Springfield's adventures -- and while not terribly faithful to the manga, these dark-edged magical adventures are definitely worth watching."
Alex Vogeler | 06/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This season was great. It contained more action and a better plot line than its counterpart. It was funnier and a lot more fast paced. Overall I think it's a great addition to any Negima lovers collection."
Fun show. Painfully addictive ending theme song.
Timothy Riley | 03/29/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Negima!? is the second series loosely based off of Ken Akamatsu's manga of the same name (thought without the question mark). This series is a complete reboot, beginning anew and taking the plot in a totally different direction than the first anime.
This time it's brought to us from the fine people at Studio Shaft, makers of such anime as Pani Poni Dash, Maria Holic and Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei. As any viewer of these series can tell you, they have a very distinct animation style which often features stylistic changes during specific events which could be anything from a color change to complete transformation of the drawing style. This may annoy some viewers, but fans of the studio would be disappointed without it (I know I sure would).
I won't go into much of the details on the plot, as it has already been well described by another reviewer, but I will say that the series is very funny, enjoyable and at times rather clever. Having never read the manga, but knowing that many details were changed, I can not say whether this is due to Ken Akamatsu or the studio. Probably a combination of the two.
The high point for me though is actually the ending theme song. I've honestly put on the DVD just to listen to it again and it's interesting to compare the different versions (each closing credits is sung by a different group of students).
So in closing, fun show, delightful ending theme... though I would suggest avoiding the dub."