Negima! Manga Volume 22 (Bring On the Nibley Twins!)

Negima!: Magister Negi Magi, Vol. 22
Negima! Manga Volume 22

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

Negima! Manga Volume 22The one great thing about reading all nine chapters that comprise a tankoubon/volume of Negima! is remembering how things felt when reading one chapter a week with a break every 3 or 4 chapters (depending on circumstances). One thing people feared greatly was another long tournament arc with Negi and Kotaro battling fools and rising in power. I didn’t feel Akamatsu-sensei would do this because there wasn’t anything to be gained from a story perspective and although Negima! is a shounen manga, Akamatsu-sensei sticks to good writing rather than sheer fan service (whether naked girls or massive action). Sure enough, while the tournament is acknowledged and will proceed in the background, Akamatsu-sensei moves the story elsewhere.

That brings us to Negi’s training with Jack. Again, people decried another boring training arc where Negi gets more powerful. Certainly I can understand the fear especially in light of this volume not really having Negi learn much to improve himself. That’s because Akamatsu-sensei is not only establishing the character of Jack Rakan, he also provides some additional tease information about Nagi and Ala Rubra; he provides a tease for Fate’s potential involvement with Ala Rubra; and he provides a map showing how far Negi has to go to obtain the power he wants in a short period of time, thus paving the road for Negi’s choice. For me, these aren’t boring at all when read in the manga volume, but I could see why people reading this week-to-week might get a bit impatient and want to move on.

One nice thing about this volume was the look-in on some of the other characters such as Asuna and Setsuna. I’ve no doubt that there were many males who’s eye nearly popped out of their head seeing Setsuna naked and bathing with her feathers fully extended. Then add to that Asuna preening Setsuna’s feathers and Setsuna’s reaction to it. Yeah, Akamatsu-sensei loves his ecchi, doesn’t he?

Yue finally shows up and of course that’s all good. One begins to see the further table setting that Akamatsu-sensei is doing by having Yue learning to become a mage. ^_^ I’m glad she’s becoming a useful character while off on her own. That’s not to say she wasn’t useful before, but now she’ll add additional firepower for whenever Negi and company finds her. I’m glad to see that Akamatsu-sensei gave an answer as to why Yue hadn’t been arrested since she too is a wanted girl. ^_^

Now to Del Rey’s treatment of this volume of Negima! As many of you know, recently I have NOT been happy with Ikoi Hiroe’s translation/adaptation of the manga and my dislike of this person’s work (whom I still don’t know if they are a man or a woman) goes back to Pumpkin Scissors. To be honest, I felt that we’d be stuck with Ikoi for a long while and that did not please me, especially with all the stupid changes and poor adaptation choices used of late. Even though there have been a whole slew of people working the translations and adaptations over the years, I didn’t think we’d get a change for a while.

That in mind, when I opened up this volume of the manga and saw the wonder twins of Alethea and Athena Nibley as being the translators and adapters of this volume, I almost cried. After all, they’ve done such excellent work such as on Fruits Basket and Ai Yori Aoshi. I know they will not have a problem with keeping Negima! on the right track when it comes to the translations and adaptations.

Back are the Japanese attack names as well as the Latin and Greek ones. YES! Sometimes, the small English translations are with the attacks/moves/whatever and sometimes their explanations are reserved for the section in the back of the manga which goes into things in greater detail.

Still, to be fair, I’ll cite two small issues. For starters, the little fairy doesn’t say “I surrender! I surrender” at the end of the fight. Instead, she says “Niisan! Niisan” and is addressing her knocked out comrade. I can see why “I surrender” is used because that looks right but that’s not what was said in the Japanese.

Second, it appears that Alethea and Athena aren’t aware of “Aegis warships” because they have erroneously identified “Aegis” as a ship name and not an advanced, powerful combat system that is installed on some different cruiser classes of modern day warships. On Jack’s blackboard, an “Aegis cruiser” is drawn. In the original Japanese, it is labeled as “Aegis-kan” — “Aegis warship.” So Alethea and Athena appear to have assumed that this was a ship name and they ran with this through the volume.

That’s it as far as translation issues that I noticed. I confess that the “Niisan” one was pointed out to me by a regular blog reader because I would have missed it otherwise. This is a welcome relief from the various changes that had been a part of recent volumes. So here’s hoping that Alethea and Athena are on the manga from here on out.

As an aside, I noticed that the fruit boxes had their Japanese text removed in favor of English text. I’m not sure if I’ve seen Del Rey do this before (if they have, I wasn’t paying attention) but it caught my eye for some reason. Maybe because they were already being forced to work the blackboard with all Jack’s text there, they decided to just do the fruit boxes too.

So Negima! is back on track when it comes to Del Rey and the table is being set for future fun in the Magic World. ^_^

By the way, those who haven’t been reading ahead, have you identified the Magic World yet? ^_~

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14 Responses to “Negima! Manga Volume 22 (Bring On the Nibley Twins!)”

  1. Mary-Anne says:

    Hi! I know this is totally unrelated to your post, but I always kinda wondered why Negi didn’t have his specs on when he transformed into his older version. O.o any ideas on why this is so? Contacts?! xD

    Mary-Anne

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Actually, this is a very good point and makes one question whether or not Negi actually needs those spectacles in child form. They seem more an affectation than a useful item and always have to me.

    Personally, I think that when Negi first used magic and became “Nagi,” that’s when the nagging feeling I had that Nagi and Negi were the same person entered my mind and Negi’s not needing spectacles all of the sudden was part of that equation.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It always comes back to that theory of yours, doesn’t it? 😉 I tease. I actually like the theory but I do think you’ll be proven wrong though. :-p

  4. Texarkana says:

    The Magic World is Mars, isn’t it?

  5. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Anon — Yeah, I probably will be proven wrong. That’s fine though. ^_^

    @Tex — Yep, as best as can be told. Akamatsu-sensei has never come out and directly stated this, but the names of places in MW as well as the fact that the MW map inverted matches the Mars geography map pretty much sums it up though.

  6. TomandChez says:

    About the Mars thing- I just kinda figured he liked the names because they sounded like otherworldly names. But I could be wrong.

  7. I picked this volume up the other day, and finished it last night. I also liked the job the Nibleys did. It’s almost identical to the scanlations at OneManga, at least in content and meaning if not exact phrasing. Even the jokes were the same as in the original (e.g., Rakan coming up with examples of embarrasing things like getting caught licking a girl’s recorder). I also hope the Nibleys stick around for as long as possible, though Del Rey seems to change translators every several volumes. 🙁 Since Negima is likely going to last perhaps at least to volume 30 (though I wouldn’t mind it lasting longer so long as Akamatsu can keep it interesting), they probably won’t stick around for more than three or four more volumes, so hopefully whoever takes over after them does as good of a job.

    As to the content of the volume, it was as entertaining as always. Negi’s attempts at making bad faces was hilarious. The action was great, Negi’s fight with Kagetaro being the highlight of course. Negi seems to take getting his arm cut off better than he did getting impaled by Fate. Also, I like how his crazy expression in the fight foreshadowed Rakan’s statement that Negi had an affinity towards dark magic. Finally, there’s the obligatory fan service. O_O at Setsuna in all her winged glory. No wonder both Konoka and Tsukuyomi have the hots for her. X3 Also, Setsuna seems to like having her feathers played with.

    Finally, I identified the Magic World the first time I saw a map of it. It’s Mars. For someone who likes astronomy, it isn’t that tough to see the similarities. Something else I noticed was in one of the several maps interspersed through the current arc, there is a mountain range in the southern part of Mundus Magicus called the Lingshen Mountains. Maybe another of Chao’s ancestors comes from there?

    As an aside, it looks like Del Rey is temporarily increasing production speed for Negima. 22 just came out even though 21 came out in late March, and 23 is coming out on July 7. After that, though, they’re going to be taking longer than the usual three months to release volumes 24 & 25, which are dated Oct. 27 and Feb. 23, respectively. So, I guess we’re still only getting four volumes a year.

  8. AstroNerdBoy says:

    “I also hope the Nibleys stick around for as long as possible, though Del Rey seems to change translators every several volumes.”

    I talked to them and they do plan to stick around for as long as they can. So that’s good news.

    “So, I guess we’re still only getting four volumes a year.”

    Yeah, that’s not surprising. After all, four tankoubons a year is all the Japanese get. I’m not sure why Del Rey made a temporary speed up in production.

  9. ANB: “I talked to them and they do plan to stick around for as long as they can. So that’s good news.”

    Awesome.

    Oh. I found the chapter I was looking for. It was ch. 230, p. 14. However, looking at the HQ raw, it says “Longshan Mon.,” not “Lingshen Mts.” So maybe no connection with Chao. Or maybe it’s a typo and Akamatsu meant “Lingshen” instead of “Longshan”?

  10. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Do any of the maps say Lengshen?

  11. Not that I can recall. The one in ch. 230 is the only thing that came close. There might be other maps labelling something “Lingshen”, but none are in chapters released by Del Rey, as the maps in vols. 21 & 22 don’t have anything labelled as such. I just happened to remember Rakan’s film had a map, and that’s about it. You don’t by any chance recall which other chapters had maps in them, do you, ’cause it’d take me all day to search through 40+ chapters of scanlations?

  12. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I don’t remember and I’m not home where my books and files are.

  13. A&A says:

    Good news! Sort of. We told our boss about the Aegis Cruisers thing and she said they can fix it in reprints!

  14. […] have a review of Del Rey’s release of volume 22 later today, so look forward to it. […]

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