Negima! (Magic 501: Magic Outside the Classroom)

Chimaera

For ten year old Professor Negi Springfield and Mahora Academy Class 2-A, the class trip to Kyoto takes top priority in everyone’s minds, opening the possibility for mystery, surprise, and danger. A high action volume, the series takes an abrupt turn from the last volume in both tone and speed with excellent results.

This volume answers some early raised questions in the series. As the class prepares for its annual school trip, the class reporter seems stuck for ideas to write about. Narrated by the class ghost, the viewer finally learns all about the most mysterious member of Class 2-A through a series of flashbacks as the reporter unravels the reason why no one has ever seen the girl filling “seat 1”. The episode holds some extremely humor-filled moments (like winding Chachamaru up) to keep this episode from entirely drifting into morose and sentimental territory. Amusingly enough, the girls don’t even bat an eye when their ghostly classmate is revealed to them – instead these generous hearted students do their best to make her feel welcome.

The class trip to Kyoto originally caused the school administration some concern, and after the class arrives it quickly becomes apparent why. There is danger afoot in the big city, and fears come to pass when Konoka is kidnapped. Between elegant strands of piano music in the backdrop secrets are revealed right and left and in a typical fashion for this series, not everything is what it seems initially. Sure, it is important that Negi keeps his wizard powers a secret, but it really is minor in comparison to what the girls of 2-A have been keeping under wraps. The fluffy love factor that dominates the early volumes of Negima is turned way down this time, the friendship factor is turned up, and the action goes into high gear as the series progresses by introducing real enemies for the young professor to deal with. It turns out the vampire thing was just a warm up in terms of danger levels – there are ancient enemies to battle, a set of evil wizards on the warpath, and through it all, Negi realizes he is over his head and enlists help from a surprising source. By the end of the volume everyone’s back in school, but nothing’s ever quite the same since that bittersweet class trip to Kyoto.

The extras on here are a bit on the slim side – no school girls commentary on this disc, for example, but you do get a good description of Kyoto.

Entertainment: 8.5
Simply excellent! Negima is probably not a series for everyone but if you stick with it this volume is a suitable reward for your efforts.

Technical: 8
Similar to volume four, the opening theme vocalizations are awful – as an example, this volume’s first episode has an annoying chipmunk on a carousel sound that is difficult to mentally shake off. The visual shortcuts are very noticeable due to the high amount of action sequences.

Overall: 8.5

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