Magic hides in the shadows in Negima!? Master Negi Magi by Ken Akamatsu. Here, mages live and learn separate from modern world. Once they graduate, however, they all must undergo a final task to be a true Master Magi. They all must keep their identity as a mage hidden, or face deportation. Mahora Academy is where our story starts. This giant Academic Complex houses dorms, cafeterias, giant baths, and a school from 1-12 grades. The complex
Mages in this universe work in the shadows, away from prying eyes. Mages must not reveal themselves to the public, or face extreme punishment. While most mages work to keep order in the world, there are those who do what they want, ignoring order. These mages have bounties on them, and are not to be trifled with, as they are deadly strong. Luckily, Negi is a good mage, working hard to become a great magi.
We start with Negi Springfield, a fresh out of school 12 year old kid who has completed his higher education. Now a graduate, Negi is assigned one final task before becoming a Master Magi, to become a teacher at Mahora Academy. Despite being a graduate, Negi is still very much a child, having trouble keeping his class in order due to this. However, as teacher he tries his best, and doesn’t like seeing his students hurt or bullied. His will to help others is strong enough for him to risk being revealed as a mage if need be. He cherishes his students, and dares not hurt them.
Asuna is a student of Mahora, and Negi. She dislikes Negi due to his transfer moving Takahata (her crush) to teach another class. She knows of Negi being a magi, and keeps it a secret in return for his help in capturing Takahata’s heart. Out of all the Baka Rangers, Asuna is considered the most stupid as she has the lowest grades of them all. While initially despising Negi, she warms up to him after seeing his willingness to help those in need, and his determination to raise their grades. While she has a bad relationship with Ayaka due to name calling and fighting, they get along well.
The class Negi teaches is 2-E later 3-A, the worst class in terms of academics. Here we have a variety of characters, adding some spice with them. They each have their own unique personalities, as we see them interact. For the most part, they are support characters, but they don’t always ‘support’. Some, like the Narutaki twins, are mischievous, and love causing scenes. Ayaka, the class president who is straitlaced and diligent, goes crazy over Negi. But them again, so does 90% of the class. There’s a ninja in the class, a internet idol, a vampire, a robot, and the mysterious Number 1, Aizaka Sayo. With these interesting characters floating around, you won’t be bored.
Another troublemaker is Evangeline A.K. McDowell, Number 26, who is a vampire, and a Shinso at that. She’s a strong one even while under a seal, and is after Negi’s blood to undo the seal. Karakuri Chachamaru, her partner, is a robot who defends Evangeline during battle. While Chahamaru is a robot and thus follows any orders, she has a personality of her own and helps any in need when she can. While Evangeline is hostile toward Negi, after their duel is over she warms up to him just a bit.
This story quick smacks you with a barrage of characters, but each time they appear, you learn a little bit more of them. Negi’s class book is a quick look at how unique each student is. Each character’s personality is reflected by their club choices, such as Ayaka being in the Equestrian club, as she is diligent student.
Something to note, however, is that the first two volumes are not representative of the story. Volume three, which is up to where this review goes, is more in line. Negima! is more of a action story, with the cool down parts being very slice of life. So if you liked the action in volume 3, keep reading as it’ll only get better.