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DVD Review

DVD cover

Series 2 - Part 2


Starring (voice): Akemi Kanda, Rina Satou, Ai Nonaka and Akeno Watanabe
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 07 September 2009

Negima Springfield is a young welsh wizard who is sent off to teach in an exclusive Japanese, all girl, school. As the son of a Nagi, the powerful mage of a thousand spells, Negima has power of his own, but he has also inherited his father enemies. When he starts at the school he runs into a powerful vampire whom his father had restricted to the school for all of time...

Negima!?: Series 2 - Part 2 (2007) continues the tales of school and magic. The show also continues its tradition of having unbelievably long episode titles. Like the first set this two disc collection contains a reasonable amount of episodes. The basic premise of the show has not changed with Negima having to take a job as a school master, an odd job for a preteen admittedly, but this sets up his rivalry with schoolgirl Asuna Kagurazaka, with whom he eventually forges an uneasy alliance when various attacks on the school begin. Although the show contains a number of internal story arcs the overall arc find Negima looking for his father.

From the look of the character and the setting it is little wonder that any have considered that the show tapped into the same fan base as Harry Potter, in fact there are many similarities between Harry and Negima, including the search for a wizard father who is potentially not really dead.

Disc one holds seven episodes, fourteen to twenty, and for anyone interested in the very long title names, they are:-

14: Frankly Speaking, in the Face of Magic, Scientific Theory Might as Well be Nonexistent.

15: The Class is Growing Disquiet at the Unexpected Turn of Events. So They're Getting Louder. 15 Points.

16: Yesterday's Foe is Today's Friend. Good Enough Friends to Have Fights. No Doesn't Always Mean No.

17: Natsumi, Family Will Always be the Home Run King of Bonds. Don't You Agree? I Don't Understand What You Meant at all, Chizuru.

18: There's a Bastard Who Gets all Happy With Secrets, Then Reveals Them, and it Really Pisses Me off. Chiu-Chiu is Going to Get Angry too! Really Mad!

19: It's Great to Go Back to Being a Kid Again and Having Fun. Although, I Can Have Fun Without Going Back to Being a Kid, too.

20: They Say, Bigger the blander; But That's Not Necessarily True in Actuality.

The disc opens with the continuation of the story from the first DVD set with Negima and the class having survived an attack and being split up. Negima is finally restored to human form, but on their escape the group find themselves in the old abandoned Mahora Academy. Seems like reality has jumped a track, stranding them all in an alternative reality. There is fun to be had here and over the coming stories, the class turn into babies forcing Negima to baby sit, Eva becomes gigantic and there are various magical tests to endure. The show continues with its combination of light comedy and, as they say at the cinema, mild peril, which makes the show an easy watch, though it does start to get a little bogged down as far as the overall arc is concerned.

The audio is the same for the two discs with options for either English or Japanese stereo, with optional subtitles. The extra on disc one is a full length audio commentary for episode 19 - and no I’m not going to type the title again - which starts with a raucous cacophony of laughter and general fun with Luci Christian (voice of Asuna), Chris Cason (Chamo) and Trina Nishimura (Lingshen Chao), honestly is more fun than informative.

Disc two contains the final six episodes of the show, episodes twenty-one to twenty-six:-

21: A Man Silently Eats His Ramen Takamichi. 'What the Hell Does That Even Mean?

22: Aiya! Something Strange is Beginning to Happen! This Must Surely be the End of the World!

23: Wait, You Can't do That, Negi. That's Right, Because We're Your Partners!

24: Professor Negi, it Appears This is the Climax. 'Let's all Go Home Together, Negi!

25: And With That, the Case is Closed!

26: I Will Not Say That I am Lonely! Because, I Have Faith That We Will Surely Meet Again!

Not sure what happened with the brevity of episode twenty-five's title, even the makers must have started to get tired. The Star Crystal story continues, this time with Anya becoming possessed and of course Negi has to confront this new peril. Although the class eventually escape the magic realm in which they were trapped Negi is still convinced that his father is still alive, especially when a black rose mysteriously appears.

As a bit of fluffy nonsense the show was pretty good, I’m just not sure that there was enough originality in the writing or in the character design. Perhaps having thirty-one supporting characters was a little over ambitious? On the plus side the show is well animated with a crisp sharp feel to the picture and enough laughs to keep the show ploughing forward.

The second disc does contain a number of extras, including Go Mahora Rangers (1 min, 38 sec) which has pictures of the English vocal cast, an odd extra but surprisingly well received as you never usually get a look at what the vocal actors look like. Next up is Notes For The Classroom, Okay I’ll admit I’m not really sure what this is about. I think that it is instructions for reading mangas and some information about use of language, but the picture is way too small to create any real desire to watch this section. The disc wraps up with the two textless songs.

So it’s not a bad series, if a little light on drama, but it will appeal to fans of Harry Potter.


Charles Packer

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