Negima! Manga Vol 26 (Ch 234) *SPOILERS*

魔法先生 ネギま!Volume 26 Chapter 234 (manga)
Mahou Sensei Negima! Manga Chapter 234

Summary/Synopsis: A captive Asuna is told by Homura how Shiori managed to imitate her, thanks to the perfected bookmark artifact of Shiori’s — Signum Bioregens. So Shiori-Asuna heads off to rejoin Negi’s group, even having Asuna’s personality and appearance while the real Asuna is being held captive in the same place as Anya, guarded by Homura. Asuna questions why Homura keeps addressing her as “himesama” (princess). Homura is surprised that Asuna really doesn’t know who she truly is, considering her importance in the Magic World.

Anya insults and threatens Homura, who does not take kindly to this, threatening to kill the girl since her instructions do not say she must keep her alive as they do for Asuna. Fate arrives with Brigitte, Koyomi, Tamaki, & Tsukuyomi, telling Homura that Anya is from Earth and not to be harmed since they don’t want unnessisary casualties, lest they lose the mantle of justice. Homura apologises and Fate receives the reports of the failures of Brigitte, Koyomi, & Tamaki as well as the success of Tsukuyomi. Despite the failures, Fate praises all the girls for their work and gives them the rest of the day off.

Asuna goes off on Fate for doing what he’s doing (including looking down on others) and not even trying to honestly discuss the matter with others such as Negi. Fate decides that the quickest way to have Asuna understand is to have her remember her own role in this situation. He begins using cancelation magic to force Asuna to remember her past, only to discover that the medication she took is still in effect. Fate is not concerned since she’ll remember soon enough. Inside her mind, Asuna meets her younger self, the younger version wondering who the older Asuna is.

On Paru’s ship, Kaede and Negi are in a magic circle getting ready to perform a pactio. After some small talk, Kaede kisses Negi and scores her artifact card. With this done, Kaede acknowledges that she is now Negi’s retainer, thus he is her master. Several of the other girls come busting through the door, wondering how Kaede’s kiss experience was. All the girls have a serious discussion of the matter of their first kiss with Negi before Kaede tries out her artifact. It appears to be nothing more than a tattered cloak, but when she wraps herself in it, the cloak sinks to the ground with nothing in it before disappearing.

The others are amazed at what they see, but then wonder why Kaede would get an artifact to make herself disappear when her shinobi skills are already such that she can make herself invisible now. Kaede reappears from the floor under the cloak and reveals that her artifact somehow has a house in it with a kitchen and everything. Everyone is amazed by this revalation with Chisame and Kotaro realizing how useful this artifact could be.

Paru decides that Ku Fei needs to get an artifact next. She hesitates, stating she wants to rely on her own power. Paru will hear nothing of this, reminding Ku of the movie Raken showed them. Ku says she’ll do it and it is only then that Paru realizes that Ku has feelings for Negi. Ku tries to deny it but Paru and the others are onto her and the chase is on.

Thoughts/Review: Another good chapter as I see it. It is nice seeing what happened to Anya, though I would like to see exactly when she got caught (likely shortly after the dispersion spell Fate cast). Having Asuna’s memories unblocked has me very interested seeing as how we should get to witness more events from the past from Asuna’s point-of-view. The interesting bit is Raken’s foresight in giving Asuna a pill to help block Fate’s cancelation spell. Actually, I know it was to keep Asuna from remembering things naturally, which is what she was doing at the time. However, how did he know this would happen?

I think the pill will give Asuna proper time to assimilate the data of having been a princess in the magic world. She’ll remember her memory-dreams and the like and combined with her training, I think that she’ll be able to accept all this and in the end, will surprise Fate and his group. Had the pill not been there, Asuna would have likely been overwhelmed with her memories and been a tool Fate could more easily use.

It is about time Kaede scored a pactio. Seriously, she’s been involved with Negi since volume 3. I think the original plan may have been for her artifact to have been that large shuriken, but then she’s been using it since volume 3. Fortunately, Akamatsu-sensei simply re-designs the pactio card and now we get her artifact — the tattered cloak. Basically, she has an invisible, portable base for the group to use, assuming she can get everyone inside. That is indeed, useful since they can heal up, get some sleep, and eat in relative safety (assuming the artifact is undetectible once it becomes invisible).

Well, we are heading into the darth month — only two chapters coming out in December from what I understand.

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