Negima! Manga Vol 26 (Ch 237) *SPOILERS*

魔法先生 ネギま!Volume 26 Chapter 237 (manga)
Mahou Sensei Negima! Manga Chapter 237

Summary/Synopsis: After Negi and Kotaro have won their latest match, they are met by Ako and Natsumi. Ako asks if “Nagi-san” (Negi’s fighting form) can win the tournament. Negi tells her not to worry, then thinks back to a conversation with Jack Rakan just after Rakan played the movie on Paru’s ship. Back then, they discussed the need to keep Asuna safe and out of Fate’s hands since she seems to be the key to Fate’s plans. Also, Jack discussed Negi’s progress. Negi had rated 500 (Chisame’s strength being a 1) before training with Jack and now is over 700. When Negi uses his Dark Mode, his power level goes up to 1100 and with Magia Erebia Armationem, Negi jumps to 2200. That’s still below where Fate had been initially rated, which was 3000. However, Jack figures his initial estimate of Fate’s strength is off and now has Fate rated at well over 8000 but with an unknown ceiling.

Jack looks at Negi’s two battle forms. The Armationem Agilitas Fulminis form gives Negi an 1800 offense, an 800 defense, and a 4800 mobility. The Armationem Sim Fabricatus Ab Incendo form has Negi with a 3800 offense, a 2200 defense and a 1200 mobility. That means that no matter what, Negi is still way weaker than Fate. However, Jack figures the tournament should be easy for Negi. Kagetarou will be a tough opponent but no Fate. So, Jack tells Negi to conentrate on the tournament and they’ll worry about Fate later.

Back in the present, Negi and Kotaro (in their teen forms) join Ako and Natsumi to watch Kagetarou’s match. Natsumi is horrified to learn that this is the person who cut Negi’s arm off and calls him a bad guy. Kotaro disagrees with this “idiotic” statement, saying that a fight between men doesn’t go into “right and wrong” but “difference in position” and “debt and repayment.” Natsumi argues that anyone cutting off another person’s arm is a bad guy and since Kotaro is pissing her off, she tells him his shades look stupid.

Negi is glad that his encounter with Kagetarou is what made him as strong as he is now, but Negi has no intention of going easy on him in their match. However, Negi and Kotaro are in for a shock when Kagetarou now has a partner and that’s none other than Jack Rakan. Negi’s only explanation is that this must be a fake Jack but when Jack uses an attack that causes a giant fist mark to be in the sand where their opponents were, that means this Jack is no fake. In the arena, Jack gives the thumb up, saying he went easy on his opponents since they are still alive.

Negi, Kotaro, and a chibi-Chisame rush to the suite where Jack is and confront him about entering the contest AND partnering with Kagetarou. Jack laughs and says that after talking with Kagetarou, he found the shadow user to be his kind of guy. Negi is frustrated, feeling there is no way he can win now. Jack expresses disappointment at Negi giving up so quickly, leading Kotaro to figure that what Jack is doing is some kind of final exam. Chiame figures that even if Jack wins, that means he’ll hand over the money, but Jack has no intention of doing such a thing. If Negi can’t win, he’ll have to come up with some other way to free Ako, Natsumi, and Akira.

Negi is not happy with this, so Jack tells him to calm down and think things over. Since Jack and Nagi were close to the same level and Fate and Nage were close to the same level, then Negi saying he can’t beat Jack is the same as saying he can’t beat Fate nor catch his father. Negi protests, saying that Jack’s strength has a different feel to it, which Jack rejects as his strength is no different. If Negi is after true strength such as Nagi, Eva, and Fate have, then Negi is going to have to go through Jack. With that, Jack is done talking, ready to get it on.

Thoughts/Review: We get a look at Negi’s power levels and a greater look at how he uses the different techniques to boost his base power, then uses other techniques to get the most out of what he needs (fighting or speed). I swear, it almost feels like Dragonball Z, except I’ve never read nor watched that franchise. Still, I do understand the importance of doing this kind of chart, not only for shounen chatter sessions, but also to show Negi’s progress and how far he has yet to go.

As I read this chapter, I thought about Negi in volume 3 of the manga (which I just reread) and how much he’s matured as a character and a fighter, but he still has a fault — he’s quick to give up and say, “I can’t win!” He did that with his fight with Eva but then ended up conceeding he needed Asuna’s help and “won” (though Eva was mostly toying with Negi and lost due to the barrier coming up faster than expected). Negi has done that with other fights too where he panics and thinks he can’t win, but somehow digs deeper and with the help of others, wins — mostly. I think to the Mahora Tournament where he defeated Takahata, but again, that’s a case of Takahata not going all out against Negi (as Eva pointed out).

So, how does Kotaro and Negi defeat Jack and Kagetarou? I don’t think they do. I think Jack goes on to win the tournament, keeps the money, and Negi is forced to do something else to free the girls. However, this triggers Negi to a new level of power.

There’s also the possibility that during the fight, the scout team runs into Fate and discovers a captured Asuna, meaning a change of direction for focus. While freeing the slaves is very important, rescuing Asuna would be more important.

When one thinks of it, it is amazing how much power Negi has. After all, thanks to the pactio cards, he’s fronting power to all of his partners.

Hopefully, I’ll have some spoiler images from the next chapter up on Saturday for you guys.

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