Negima! Manga Vol 25 (Ch 231) *SPOILERS*

魔法先生 ネギま!Volume 25 Chapter 231 (manga)
Mahou Sensei Negima! Manga Chapter 231

Summary/Synopsis: Jack Rakan continues his trip down memory lane by recounting how Arika-ojou had seemed flirty with Nagi compared to how she is with him. Princess Arika had tried to mediate between the Confederation and the Empire over the war but had failed, hence why she came to Ala Rubra for assistance. She’s not Asuna’s sister but won’t talk about Princess Asuna (who is not actually named in the story). Ala Rubra does an investigation Cosmo Entelecheia’s involvement in both sides of the war, sans Nagi and Rakan who would not be good at it. Thus Nagi spends a lot of time with Arika, and doesn’t appear to enjoy it that much since he keeps getting slapped.

Gatou uncovers things that suggests that Consul (the 2nd ranking person in Megalomesembria) has ties to Cosmo, but they need actual proof. At that time nearby, Arika and Nagi get attacked by a massive spell, though Nagi can’t be sure who was the target. So, she and he take out an enemy base as a result of this attack. The following morning, Nagi is being scolded by Eishun for dragging the princess around until young Takamichi and the Mystery Kid report that Arika is smiling and wanting to thank Nagi.

Nagi has the proof of the Consul’s involvement, so Gatou reports it to Senator McGill. The senator is pleased with this since this can end the war and summons them to bring their proof as the Praetor will be there as well. However, when Nagi, Gatou, and Rakan arrive, Senator McGill has other ideas. Instead of stopping the war, he wants to defeat the Empire, so has not informed the Praetor. Nagi states that the Senator is a fake and blasts him, revealing a teenaged-looking Fate (Fate 2.0 maybe?) .

Fate is impressed that Nagi saw through his disguise and realizes that he’ll have to investigate how this happened further as he holds a bookmarker. He informs them that the real senator has been tossed into Megalo Bay. Fate summons two male fighters to hold Nagi and company at bay while he reports that Ala Rubra are in fact traitors to the Confederation. So now the team is wanted by both the Empire and the Confederation and Princess Arika is captured and is now held at Noctis Labyrinthus.

As Rakan takes a break telling this story, Negi has a vision of Nagi, Princess Arika, and Princess Asuna and wonders.

Thoughts/Review: An interesting chapter to be sure. Chapter 231 confirms that Mundus Magicus (Magic World) is in fact Mars. Well, fans had already worked that bit out, but that gives extra meaning to Chao (1) being a Martian and (2) being from the future. ^_^ Additional — SigmasonicX asked for some clarification of this so I’ll explain. The new Magic World map used this week shows Martian regions such as Olympus Mons, Noctis Labyrinthus, & Tempe Terra.

Regarding Princess Arika, I still don’t think she’s Negi’s mother. Asuna’s mother? Maybe. However, there’s not enough context in Negi’s thought image to clearly see what he is thinking. I’m sure speculation will be that Asuna and Negi are now related somehow but I don’t buy that. I can believe Nagi and Arika were in a relationship of some kind though.

Fate — well now, well now. In this flashback, he certainly appears more like Spider-Zero did in A.I. Love You (as a teenager). His use of a bookmark to be a disguise is interesting because one of the girl’s that attacked Asuna is named Shiori which means “bookmark.” Al uses bookmarks as part of his artifact, but he is limited in the amount of time he can spend as another person. Fate appears to have no such limitations in the past. Based on this information, the theory that Asuna may have been replaced by one of Fate’s people in disguise (Shiori likely) now holds water for me. I can see this being a viable theory with Negi going to rescue Asuna as Nagi rescued Arika years earlier (well, assuming they rescued Arika safely).

So the unanswered questions are (1) exactly who is Arika and what is her relationship to Asuna, (2) is this Fate an earlier model, and (3) is Senator McGill dead or just petrified and tossed into the bay? Oh yeah, and who are the bijin guys? ^_~

I’m enjoying this flashback sequence (of which Akamatsu-sensei says there will be one more chapter of). Unlike certain other (unnamed) manga-ka who’ve gotten lost in flashbacks, Akamatsu-sensei has packed a fair amount into his and clearly has no plans of getting lost in flashback if he’s only going to allow three chapters of it.

Note: The marks the last chapter for volume 25. As such, Akamatsu-sensei will take his traditional “break” to get ahead of the curve on producing the manga, meaning Negima! chapter 232 will not be out next week (it goes on sale November 12). I should have spoiler pics up on the 8th or 9th though (assuming the Japanese come through).

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