Negima! Chapters 155-159 *SPOILERS*

Time for some chapter reviews of Negima! from Japan. Be warned, there will be TONS of spoilers here. I’ve included a single page from each chapter (with an English translation from AQS). The poor quality of the scans is due to the poor quality of paper used for the weekly manga publications in Japan. And feel free to leave comments if you are of a mind to do so. ^_^

Chapter 155

Summary: Kaede closes in on Mana to finish their battle once and for all. Meanwhile, the ruse which has the various school members engaged in this “mock” battle against the Martian robots continues with the giant robot making its way through the defenders. Negi shows up and using his magic, blasts the giant robot into two pieces. Using the excuse that they are using CG to his shocked students who don’t know his secret, he flies to where Chao is hiding to confront her while Yue watches from a distance.

Thoughts: The final battle between Mana and Kaede is certainly most interesting. They are both exceptional fighters and after having teamed up during the Kyoto Arc, it is kinda sad that they had to battle here. But I’m sure the shounen crowd loved it. Too bad the final results of the battle aren’t shown (though I assume it is a draw).

Initially, using the various school students to battle the droids that Chao dispatched on the school was a bit clever. Actually, the clever part was how Akamatsu-sensei came up with a semi-plausible means of having hundreds of students fighting and attempting to explain away all the magic and stuff they were seeing. However, by chapter 155, it has become wearisome. When some of his students see Negi fly up, his “its CG” excuse had me roll my eyes and realize just how out of hand the finale of the School Festival Arc has become.

Chapter 156

Summary: Asakura continues her narration of what the various students think is a massive production/game in which they are taking part. As such, she sets up the Chao vs. Negi final battle. As Negi battles various battle droids, including versions of Chachamaru, the upper-half of the giant robot continues to press forward. Negi’s battle prevents him from advancing on Chao’s airship, so Kotarou-kun, Asuna, Setsuna, Mei (using a broom in Sakura-chan fashion from Cardcaptor Sakura), and others jump into take care of the droids. Negi presses on to the airship where Chao and Hakase are. Hakase is performing magic to activate the giant spell that will change history while Negi and Chao prepare to do battle.

Thoughts: There’s not much here to discuss. Akamatsu-sensei does a cool drawing of Setsuna and Asuna in battle garb just before they launch into the droids. Unfortunately, there’s just not much that happens to advance the story. Its mainly a lot of shounen fare with battles, pretty girls, and yacking about proceeding on.

Chapter 157

Summary: Negi, using the time travel device (the pocket watch known as Cassiopeia) with amazing skill to thwart Chao’s advantage, since she has a similar device in her battle costume. Hakase and Chao are both impressed by this, with Hakase revealing that it took them two years of simulations before they were able to use it properly. However, Negi isn’t using science to control the device, but magic, specifically mini spirit creatures that give him the control he needs. Negi demands Chao stop her plan, but instead, she instructs Hakase to proceed. Chao figures out that Negi’s Cassiopeia is only good for three more uses at best. Chao asks Negi to join her in a fight for justice against evil.

Here, we get a flashback to Negi with Yue and Chamo-kun where they discuss Chao’s plan to change history. Negi is having some difficulties with stopping Chao’s plan because the idea of changing things in the past so that there is good in the future is appealing. Yue appeals for him to think of his students, especially Nodoka. It is here as Negi remembers this conversation that Chao strikes.

Thoughts: We have a much more interesting chapter here. There’s plenty of action to satisfy those shounen action cravings, but we also get more of a look at the workings of Cassiopeia. The fact that Negi is using small spirit creatures reminded me of early Ah! My Goddess chapters where such creatures were a part of everyday life even if we humans couldn’t see them.

The conversation Negi had with Yue about the possible rights and wrongs of Chao’s plan was interesting, even if incomplete. Its little touches like that which give things a bit more depth and some drama in wondering what will Negi ultimately do, even if you really know what he’ll do. Throwing the question out there is enough.

Chapter 158

Summary: Negi destroys Chao’s Cassiopeia and as he does, we get a flashback to his continued conversation with Yue. Yue has slapped him and Negi accepts this. He knows that no matter how much good Yue intends, he still has to stop her. He understands why Mana and others may have joined her side, but he must do an “evil” and stop Chao no matter what. Yue has a message from Takahata-sensei from when they were sent one week into the future, which she relays to Negi.

Back in the present, the students watch the battle progress on giant TV screens. Yue and Chamo-kun have a conversation about the closeness of Negi’s choice. Chao and Negi continue to battle and no matter what she does, she’s unable to overcome Negi. Since Chao isn’t a magic user, Negi is confident she cannot win. However, Chao is not done using her advanced tech, she is able to access high level magic to Negi’s surprise. Her response is that she is the decendant of both Negi and the Thousand Master.

Thoughts: The conclusion of the conversation between Yue and Negi was interesting, if somewhat clichéd. The conversation between Yue and Chamo-kun was more clichéd in my opinion, but this is a shounen title so some of that is to be expected. The chapter ending with Chao accessing magic was the highlight though. I’m sure that in Japan, Negima! fans were going bonkers about that and chomping at the bit for the next chapter to come out the following week.

Chapter 159

Summary: The school’s headmaster, Eva, and Chachazero observe Chao and Negi’s battle. Eva prevents the headmaster from intervening in the battle and the choice Negi made. Meanwhile, Negi discovers how it is that Chao is able to use magic. She has a spell patters (for lack of a better term) on her body with which she uses to access the magic, though it causes her great pain to do so. The battle continues while the students from the various schools watch from the ground and Hakase continues her spell incantations. Chao wants the son of the Thousand Master to come at her with everything he’s got if he wants to stop her plan. Negi knows that talk won’t change Chao’s mind, but he asks what her class meant to her. She confesses that she’d not calculated on the two years spent with her class being so fun. However, that is not a consideration and the fight continues with the two of them reciting the incantations for incredibly powerful spells. Chao’s battle costume appears to be unable to handle the strain of such magical energies and Chao’s headband shatters causing her to apparently go unconscious.

Thoughts: Another more interesting chapter despite it being mostly filled with shounen action. Eva’s actions were of keen interest to me. I can’t wait to see where that goes. Seeing how Chao did her magic was interesting. And I admit, the buildup to the final “whatever” was well executed in a very shounen way.

I’m guessing we are near the end of the Negi-Chao battle and I hope this means we are near the end of the School Festival Arc. This thing, which Del Rey has only recently gotten into with the releases of volumes 11 and 12, is now completing material for volume 17 (chapter 159 should be the last chapter of that tankoubon when released). That means that we’ll still have at least one more volume with the conclusion of the School Arc, assuming Akamatsu-sensei doesn’t find another way to drag it out. I don’t think that will happen, but we do have the Sander’s story to tell and the date between Eva and Negi in adult form promised (Whoops! That had already been canceled and I thank a commenter for reminding me!). ^_^ Not counting whatever chapters Akamatsu-sensei uses to wrap up the battle for good, he can easily fill volume 18 with aftermath materials.

Well, do post your thoughts on the chapters (especially if you’ve read them). If you have any problems posting, let me know (just hit the Tenchi Muyo! FAQ site to get my e-mail).

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2 Responses to “Negima! Chapters 155-159 *SPOILERS*”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I thought Eva cancelled the date?

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    No, you’re right. For some reason at the time, I was thinking it was still supposed to happen. Thanks for the correction. ^_^

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