Negima! Manga Volume 21 (Now With More Adaptation Changes)

Negima! Manga Volume 21 (Now With More Adaptation Changes)

Buy Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Vol. 21 from!

For detailed chapter summaries with review, those can be found here.

As I read this volume for the first time, I laughed at the memory of reading the different chapters when they came out in Japan in late 2007 to early 2008. After the battle at the gate port, we speculated on whom Negi and Chachamaru would find first, then after they found Chisame, what next. In the end, it took about three months of real time to get through these nine chapters but in many ways I remember it feeling a lot longer. Reading it through now as an entire volume for the first time, the fact that I completed this in an hour is what made me laugh. I also am reminded that what we week-to-week readers sometimes see as dragging when it comes to story really doesn’t drag when it is placed in with the rest of the chapters in the volume and read as a whole.

From a story perspective, Akamatsu-sensei does the one logical thing he can do to simplify the story — split up Ala Alba and force Negi to find them all. In doing so, Akamatsu-sensei can focus on a few characters rather than the whole lot that came over with Negi. Of course as time passes, more and more of Ala Alba will be found, but in the short term, it did make things a bit easier on Sensei. It also provides a means for Negi and company to get stronger while coming together especially since they know that Fate and company are on the Magic World.

Speaking of which, have any of you guys who are only reading the Del Rey releases noticed anything special about the Magic World maps? ^_^

Now for the tournament. I’m sure there are a few people thinking, “oh man, not another tournament for Negi to enter.” After all, we had the big Mahora Budokai where Negi took 2nd place. I won’t spoil anything for those of you who haven’t read ahead, but I will say what I said back then the tournament was revealed which is basically that it won’t be the same as the Mahora Budokai. ^_^ That’s a reason that I like Akamatsu-sensei’s stuff so much — he doesn’t follow the same path twice even if initially it appears he might do so.

Now onto those ever so lovely changes to the adaptation. I had praised Ikoi Hiroe in volume 20 about having Chachamaru, Chachazero, and Eva’s other servants address her as “Master.” All that is gone as Ikoi has decided that everyone should address Eva as “Mistress” except for one place where apparently Ikoi forgot and accidentally left in “Master.” Why can’t they just leave this as “Master” and be done with it? Negi calls her “Master” and so does Chachamaru, Chachazero, and the others of Eva’s staff of automatons.

Another strange change with the way Eva is addressed is that now Ikoi has Negi and Chachamaru say “the Master” or “the Mistress” when talking about Eva. So rather than say something like, “Master said that this would be an easy trip,” that would become, “The Master said this would be an easy trip.” Technically it may not be wrong to do the 2nd sentence, but it is not correct IMO. Negi and Chachamaru use the term “Master” in place of Eva’s name. Since you wouldn’t say, “The Eva said…,” why then have them say, “The Master said…?”

Next on the list is a small but I feel important name removal. When Negi winds Chachamaru and she’s left a quivering mess on the ground, she calls out for “Master” and “Chao.” Ikoi has Chachamaru call out for “Mistress” only and that is terrible. In removing Chao’s name (and I think that we will see Chao again before the manga runs its course), Ikoi has effectively changed Chachamaru. It is such a small thing, but think about it — Chao is revealed to be someone VERY important to Chachamaru, even more important than Hakuse. Why? Because Eva called out for “Master” (Eva) and “Chao,” not Hakuse, thus revealing the two most important women in Chachamaru’s life. Now for the Del Rey release, there is no Chao, only “Mistress.” *_*

Another drop is during the gate fight scene when Asuna is warned of an immenant attack and is able to defend against it with her artifact. In the original Japanese, the telepathic message addresses Asuna as “Neechan” but that’s gone from the Del Rey release. Again, this seems like a minor point, but the term “neechan” is believed to have come from Kotaro because that’s how he addresses Asuna and other girls — “neechan.” While I give Ikoi props for keeping *most* (but certainly not all) of Kotaro’s use of “neechan” as an honorific, losing the term during the fight removes an aspect of the story that clues the reader into the fact that Kotaro is about to re-appear. Otherwise, the call could have been from anyone, including the person they were going to meet in the Magic World.

I almost forgot another name change. Ikoi obviously only reads whatever volume he/she is given to translate and does not read ahead or anything else. Despite this, there is NO reason to change the way Tosaka (and others) address the female bear-humanoid from “Mama” to “Mistress.” Ugh. “Mama” is not a “Mistress.” At the risk of spoiling things, she’s not even the owner of the three girls! Further, Tosaka’s releationship with Mama is gone into in a future volume and guess what — you’ll find out that the term “Mama” is a term of endearment. However, that possibility doesn’t exist in Ikoi’s world view. Nope, Ikoi has to change things to what they think is a better choice. So “Mama” (and that IS the term used in the Japanese) is now “Mistress.” GAAAAHHH! Stop changing things, Ikoi!

Finally, for some strange reason, the explaination about Chachamaru having a loli body is changed to drop the “loli” reference. Its a minor thing I know, but Akamatsu-sensei made sure to remove all doubt by stressing that the loli body was because of the powerful illusion magic. Akamatsu-sensei did NOT say that Chachamaru didn’t bring over a spare robot body. He only said she didn’t bring over a loli body. It may well be that Chachamaru didn’t bring a spare body of any type, but what if she did? Now Ikoi has changed things that ought not be changed. It seems small on the surface until other things happen that make your tiny change to the script become a plot hole (as we saw with Peter David’s adaptations).

Assuming Ikoi will be in charge of things again (Ugh!), I really hope this person will stop changing things just because they think they can do a better job than Akamatsu-sensei. Just translate the story, make it readable, leave in ALL the honorifics and titles, and don’t remove of change things and we’ll all be much happier.

Otherwise, this beginning of another long story-arc gets off to a bang and it is a good one. ^_^




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8 Responses to “Negima! Manga Volume 21 (Now With More Adaptation Changes)”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never understood why the terms Mama and Papa are often translated at all. It’s like the translators think we are dumb or something.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I give Del Rey props for taking in the series and keeping it uncensored… but all these translation mistakes and altering/omitting and not catching the jokes from the scripts is what gripes me the most. Of course, not just in this volume, but throughout the previous volumes as well.

    I felt the lexicon in the back for this volume was poor, too. Don’t know why, it felt sloppy.

    They really need to hire a better translator that knows the series, and not just some stiff who is given a task at translating what’s in front of them. The last few volumes was wall bang inducing.

  3. orion says:

    I personally found it ironic how Del Rey’s main polcy is to keep the honorifics, which Ikoi drops. It is a bit aggravating if one has to look at the scanlations simply because the official translation is leaving things out or changing them. I agree, Del Rey really needs a better translator, or at least one that sticks closer to the story.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was seriously pissed when I saw Chao’s name was not mentioned by Chachamaru. You are right that these are little things, but this Ikoi person is supposed to be a professional and shouldn’t be doing crappy stuff like this.

  5. Ultimaniac says:

    I haven’t gotten ahold of my copy yet though I’m starting to look forward to it a little less… Probably just as bad as when they take stuff out is when they add unnecessary stuff as well. I remember how mad I was back in vol. 11 when they had Chisame say “I’jits” (idiots). I RAGED so hard. Can you imagine anyone in negima saying something as dumb as “i’jits?” Sure it’s a small little add-on but I think we’re all in agreement here about how bad small changes can be.

  6. GhostStalker says:

    I also felt that the lexicon in the back of the volume was pretty sloppy, because of the fact that they left off the English translations of the names of the techniques they explained. The previous volumes had them, this one didn’t. It doesn’t help when you explain the references in the name or chant of a technique if you don’t translate them in the first place.

    The thing about Tocasa and crew addressing the Teddy Bear as “Mistress” instead of “Mama” irked me as well. She isn’t in some sort of superior position to Tocasa, so why should she be addressed as such? “Mama” as the term of endearment works much better, especially with the backstory revealed in chapter 245.

    Something else I caught that kinda bothered me was the fact that Negi and crew never once addressed the person behind the counter of the bar that they were in as a barkeeper or something similar. Instead, they just say “Excuse me” instead of addressing him by title. Neither did the bartender himself ever acknowledge that the building that they were in was a tavern or bar. He just refers to it as his “shop”. Pretty damn obvious what your chop is selling there isn’t it? Bah, I guess they can’t acknowledge that underage kids were in a bar or something stupid like that.

    One more thing that bothered me about this volume was the fact that the 3 times Sagitta Magica was used (twice by Negi against the dragon and Kotaro, once by Vargus), it was misspelled as “Magita Magica”. The funny thing is that when they explain Vargus’ sand arrows in the lexicon in the back, “Sagitta Magica” is correctly spelled again. In the same vein, the battle song that Vargus uses to power up is referred to as “Melodia Bellax” in the lexicon (also bringing back memories of Negi himself using a similar battle song called “Cantus Bellax”), but in the actual chapter, it’s incorrectly written as “Melodia Veracrus”. Is that supposed to evoke some sort of connection with Spain or something? That’s just poor proofreading right there. I’m surprised I’m the first person in all the reviews of Volume 21 that I’ve read to catch this…

  7. Subfan says:

    ANB, since you always like to talk about these issues, you should definitely watch “The Rise and Fall of Anime Fansubs” video and post a rebuttal article here. That should make for an interesting read, because what that guy has there is a very pointed and somewhat exaggerated, yet also very entertaining ridicule of your position on how to translate anime and manga ;;eg;; Most importantly however, it’s a real hoot to watch, regardless of on which side we all are in this eternal debate. ^_^ I was literally ROTFLMAO at the end of part 2.

    Here are the links to the 5 parts on Youtube, it lasts about 36 minutes in total.


  8. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I guess I will need to do a rebuttal. ^_~

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