Negima Volume 19 (manga)

Negima!: Magister Negi Magi, Volume 19

Volume 19 has a lot of good stuff, pre-staging the forthcoming Magic World arc, exploring Asuna, and picking up some small stories for different characters as well.

The first half of the manga is dedicated to Asuna. For starters, we get to see how Nagi and Ala Rubra first met Asuna during the war on the Magic World and rescued her (learning her real name is Asuna Vesperina Theotanasia Entheofushia) and then some time later in what appears to be Istanbul, Turkey (Asuna still appears to be the same age). These tidbits about Asuna’s past have always been most interesting to me. Fans translated Asuna’s title from the Magic World as “Twilight Imperial Princess” (after much debate on the proper choice) but Del Rey has chosen “Princess-Priestess of Twilight.” “Priestess” never even entered the discussions when these chapters came out of Japan so I question where the translator or adapter came up with that.

While the stuff about Asuna’s past is always good, I rather liked seeing how Asuna survived Eva’s week of training in the snow training realm. While it is unfortunate that we didn’t get to see everything Al told Eva about Asuna (Akamatsu-sensei is clearly going to continue to give us this information in bits and pieces), I found it interesting how Eva looks at Asuna after learning what she learned. After all, Asuna has what I think Eva wouldn’t mind having — peace and freedom. Even though Eva may not like to admit it, the two have a lot in common. Still, Asuna survived the test and now Eva is training her along with Negi.

Of course, the time in Eva’s resort also gives Negi’s “Battle Harem” time to train as well, so even though its not gone over in detail, we know that Yue and Nodoka are advancing in mage training, Konoka is advancing as a mage-healer, Paru is advancing in her artifact usage, and Ku Fei, Kaede, and Setsuna (along with Negi and Kotaro) continue to advance. Having the resort is a convenient way for Akamatsu-sensei to make these people more powerful before encountering whatever they encounter when the Magic World arc starts.

As to the side stories, I enjoyed getting a story about Yuuna and her father (a mage teacher). I wonder what happened to Yuuna’s mother. The rivarly between Kaede and Mana is a hoot, especially with both being denied the student price for a movie. The cheerleaders getting a bunny girl picture of Ako for “Nagi-san” (Negi’s 15-year old form) was fun. Seeing more of how Sayo passes time when Asakura is interesting, especially when Zazie and “friends” show up to keep her company. I wonder when we will learn more about Zazie.

The summer festival story at the end of the manga is where the new Ala Alba OVA takes for its first episode. Eva’s test of the Ala Alba group by giving them badges to protect while wearing them is great. It not only provided an opportunity for others like Yuuna, Ako, Ayaka, the twins, Akira, Makie, and others in the class to have some “screen time,” but it gave us an opportunity to see how Asuna, Yue, Nodoka, and the others have improved thanks to their training.

So while there’s nothing major in the advancement of the plot in this volume, Akamatsu-sensei provides some table setting of the upcoming Magic World arc (the training of Ala Alba), provides interesting tidbits about Asuna’s past, and gives us some general fun chapters and pages about the different characters. As such, I rather enjoy this volume.

One final thing — Del Rey has a rather nice extra for this volume of the manga. They have a page of color pactio cards (in sticker form) for Konoka, Asuna, Setsuna, and Nodoka. Since the Japanese will never allow Del Rey or anyone else to license producing pactio cards for the U.S., this is the best we are going to get. I’m glad to have it.

Originally posted at

astronerdboy.blogspot.com

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