Negima! Manga Volume 23 — What Happened With The Cover?

Negima! Manga Volume 23

Volume 23 is now part of omnibus volume 8. As such, links below are for omnibus volume 8, save for the Japanese tankoubon.

–> Purchase from Yes Asia!
(Japanese tankoubon)

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

Negima! Manga Volume 23Story-wise, there are a lot of great things about this volume of the manga. For starters, Akamatsu-sensei took the time to look in on all the other girls, both in the Magic World and on Earth. When reading the volumes as a whole, it doesn’t seem like they were apart that long, but when you read a chapter a week and then Akamatsu-sensei takes a week off to catch up every four weeks (or so), it felt like we hadn’t seen these other characters in ages.

Regardless, even if brief, it was excellent seeing how Kaede took on a dragon while blind folded. Of course the real winner was Konoka who may turn out to be a beast master before the series is over when she calmly touched the dragon and told it to behave. ^_^ Too bad that dragon had to die at the hands of Fate though. Of course, that was done to show that even though Kaede has become strong, she wasn’t exaggerating when she said she needed more training.

Nodoka’s teaming up with a group of treasure hunters was way to short for my tastes, but Akamatsu-sensei couldn’t get too bogged down with that. Still, we got to learn that Nodoka has “leveled up” and with her new artifacts combined with her pactio artifact, she’s a more useful member of Ala Alba. Maybe one day Akamatsu-sensei will do a side story to chronicle Nodoka’s adventures but considering how the manga keeps him so busy, I don’t think that’s in the cards.

While I liked all the little side stories in this volume (loved Eva playing dress up at Mahora and the ever mysterious Zazie getting some face time), obviously Yue’s story was the best and longest. When I read Yue’s sub-arc, her stock went WAY up with me. I’d never had anything negative against the character before now, but here, she just kicked butt and took names. Further, Akamatsu-sensei did it in a way that was believable. Yue has always been gifted but on Earth, she was always not really interested in learning what was required of her (which is why she’s a Baka Ranger). Now, her natural hunger to learn other things combined with her subconscious desire to be a mage like Negi (and remember, before the trip she’d mastered things faster than Negi expected), she has turned into a cool character for me. ^_^

The Negi training is not bad to me at all, especially now that we have a piece of Eva in the scroll. Of course, this is all table setting for what needs to be done in the tournament. ^_^ Slightly more of interest there is Chisame’s dilemma when it came to Negi’s safety.

Now to the Del Rey stuff. I like learning that the “Sword of Conviction” is actually called “Ensis Exsequens.” I did not like that Alethea and Athena went with “Mistress” when it came to Chachamaru-type android on Earth addressing Eva. I guess I should ask them about this but considering the Japanese use the English term “Master” for Eva’s servants to address her, in my mind, that’s how she should be addressed in the English adaptation. They have Negi call her “Master” so why not the others.

Initially, I was bothered by seeing Sayo address Ku Fei as “Kufy-san.” One of the nice things about owning all the tankoubons is that I can see how things were in the original Japanese. To denote her accent, Akamatsu-sensei has Sayo speak Ku’s name as “Kuuhe-san” and written in Hiragana rather than Kanji or Katakana. So it appears that Alethea and Athena were trying to capture Sayo’s accent a bit with the “Kufy-san” whereas fans simply have Sayo say, “Ku Fei-san.” Personally, I would have preferred “Kuuhe-san” but oh well.

Beyond that, I saw no translation issues.

What I do see is a problem with the cover art — it has been edited. *_*

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we need to see Eva’s 10-year old body scantily clad on the cover like that. I understand the concern Del Rey would have about that. When they edited volume 16’s cover (corrected link) to give Ayaka’s breast some cover, I approved of that because inside, we received a completely unedited and text-free color cover art (not that I needed to see a more ecchi picture of Ayaka but it is the principality of the matter, Smoky). This time however, we do not get that cover art. So that you have an easier time of comparing, I have scanned my regular edition volume 23 cover.

Negima! Manga Volume 23 (tankoubon)
Also disappointing is the fact that the limited edition (LE) cover art was not included. So, I have that scan as well (the entire cover, which was passed to me and forgive me for forgetting your name ^_^;) and am sharing it here.

Negima! Manga Volume 23 (tankoubon)
As you can see, the LE edition is much, MUCH more ecchi. ^_^;

Why didn’t we get the two color images? One thought is costs, though considering Negima! is a cash cow for Del Rey Manga, one would think they’d be more keen on treating it right. That said, it is also possible that Del Rey could not get the license for the LE cover. I’ve been thinking about the whole OAD scheme in Japan (where one gets an exclusive OVA DVD with the purchase of a limited edition manga tankoubon) and I’ve begun to suspect that not only might the Japanese not license out the OAD’s, but they might not license the LE cover art either, much as they will not license the pactio cards. I’m guessing that as far as Kodansha is concerned, that cover is for those who sprang for the LE tankoubon only and everyone else can get stuffed. I hope I end up being proven wrong and that in some future volume, Del Rey published all three of the LE covers.

In the end, volume 23 is full of good character and story stuff as well as fun, fluffy stuff. Outside of the “Master/Mistress” issue, the translations are very good, which helps a lot. The cover issue is the most annoying thing here. However, don’t let that dissuade you from picking up this manga if you’ve been collecting it to date.

Negima omnibus volume 8 (Negima! Manga Volume 23)

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17 Responses to “Negima! Manga Volume 23 — What Happened With The Cover?”

  1. Philip says:

    I’m still reading volume 19 from the DelRey versions…

    I got all the volumes so far, just need to read DelRey volumes 19-23

  2. OMG! In Spain we dont’t have that problem. The volume 23 will be released here on August, and with the uncensored (Not the LE) cover…

  3. arimareiji says:

    Food for thought wrt cover Eva:

    Their decision may save purchasers some serious legal trouble. No, I’m not kidding. (Fair warning – although the article text is SFW, the sidebars are pretty raunchy.)

  4. Evan says:

    I noticed the cover thing, too. Weird.
    @arimareiji, That IS true, however, that’s with sexual themes. Non-sexual nudity is allowed in comics and films. An example of this would be the Simpsons Movie, which showed Bart’s uncensored underage penis with no consequence. Plus, the LE version is covered up by her hair, so that shows it’s not sexual. Honestly, I think it has something to do with the cost of the printing, even if Negima is a cash cow. It’s also probably the licensing problem.

  5. CynicalGamer says:

    Oh wow, why didn’t I notice the cover was edited? >_>

    Thanks for the scan of the LE cover, just like you promised. Scanning the original cover as well was a nice bonus. 🙂

  6. mastermack0 says:

    Wow, I didn’t know that it had been changed!


  7. Anonymous says:

    How long will this Manga run? I always assumed it would go on for 31 volumes and end at graduation day.
    But now we’re up to vol 28 and I don’t see how there is enough space left to bring the story to a conclusion.

  8. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I don’t know how long it will run. I figure that while we are over half-way done with the manga, we still have a ways to go.

  9. arimareiji says:

    Evan – I would very much hope you’re right. But in the link his lawyer claimed the real basis of the charges wasn’t shota, it was yaoi, with the prosecutor creatively interpreting their lack of body hair and effeminate appearance.

    Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know… but I have a pretty low opinion of what ambitious prosecutors will do to make a name for themselves. And Akamatsu-sensei tends to blur the issue on occasion… try rereading the Eva-takes-a-bath-with-Negi chapter, or the Negi-gets-a-bath-from-the-class chapter, with a vengeful eye instead of with the eye of a fan who knows the whole story.

  10. pyth says:

    You wrote ‘Ayaka’ ‘s picture was edited, but you surely meant Eva, no?
    Still, nice article

  11. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Ayaka was edited in volume 16’s cover.

    I had the link to the Amazon page for volume 16 but meant to link it –> HERE.

  12. proscientia says:

    About editing of covers, the side binding has bothered me a little since volume 2 (when it was changed from the Japanese).

    I’m surprised that they didn’t put an insert in like they did in Volume 16. There are still hints of the original — in Akamatsu-sensei’s notes and the simplified cover –, so I’m not too bothered by it (the other details on the cover are the same, I think?).

  13. Kevin says:

    As far as the Mistress translation goes… while it is wrong I seem to remember in your interview with them they were going to draft a style sheet or something based on the previous translations. And as I’m sure you remember, they always translated it as Mistress in the previous volumes. Just a thought…

  14. I noticed the thing with the cover art when I got it as well. Well, at least we got a B&W version of the uncensored cover art. I guess that’s something. What’s really weird (or at least inconsistent) with the censoring of the cover art is that Vol. 3 showed off Eva’s leather underpants unedited. Of course, Del Rey released that almost 5 years ago (has it really been that long?), so maybe their standards for acceptable content on the covers have changed since then. That, or they just overlooked Eva’s pantsu on the vol. 3 cover.

    Now that LE cover. O_O “Phantom” Eva did emerge from the scroll naked and started fighting Negi wearing nothing but a tattered old cloak.

    Now, as to the manga itself, this was a pretty solid volume (though they pretty much all are, aren’t they?). Yue definitely is a genius, tactical and otherwise. What she might lack in magical power, she makes up for with brain power. Defeating a dragon with a ceremonial dagger and a simple lightning spell (and some backup from her friends). Definitely a Crowning Moment of Awesome. Also, Nodoka got her two accessories in this volume. Those items combined with her pactio abilities make her a serious threat even though she’s a non-combatant, as we saw a few months back when Fate’s battle harem squared off against the ladies of Ala Alba. Even if you’re lacking in the offense department, there’s not really anything the enemy can do to you if you always know exactly what they’re thinking at all times.

    Also, Kaede and Asuna have some amazing physical strength, carrying around 15-foot dragon horns like it’s nothing. Seriously, Negi and his partners could easily overrun just about any Earthly nation with no problems. Fortunately for everyone else in the series, they’re the good guys. ^_^

    As for Chisame, she’s definitely got it bad for Negi. She might not admit it to anyone, but she does. Poor girl tries to be unlike her classmates, and fails miserably. No girl can resist Negi’s charms. ^_^

    @Anonymous: I remember hearing somewhere that Akamatsu stated that Negima was about halfway over at the start of the magic world arc. If that’s true, then the manga could get up to around 40 volumes long by time it’s finished. In other words, we might still be getting new Negima chapters for at least another 2-½ to 3 years, more than enough time remaining (a bit longer than Love Hina’s 2 years/120 chapters) to finish the current arc, resolve any outstanding story issues, develop any remaining characters that have been largely neglected (a Nightmare Circus mini-arc for Zazie would be nice), and perhaps follow the cast on up to graduation.

  15. Evan says:

    As for the longetivity of the series, I think that although Akamatsu said a while back that it was about halfway through, Negima has seen a tremendous boost in popularity in both the US and Japan. Heck, each new volume gets on the manga bestsellers list when it comes out. An example would be on the New York Times Manga bestsellers list in America:
    That’s the second week Negima 23 had been in the #3 spot on that list. I can’t find the article I was thinking of for the Japanese ranking, but it’s somewhere out there. Not to mention, that’s just the people who buy the manga. There’s a lot more that just read it online. Anyway, my point is that I doubt that they’ll end a series that’s gotten as popular as it has so quickly. However, I could be wrong. But I’m just saying it’s unlikely.

  16. Nemein says:

    lol, thanks for sharing your Japanese cover arts – I never realized they editted down the ecchi-ness. As long as they don’t edit the inside (as in, the actual manga) to reduce it, I don’t mind so much – did they ever tone down the interior? A cover is just a cover.

    And damn, you’re one hero in my mind to have bought all the Tankabons. I keep telling myself I’ll start buying once I’ve got a real job 😛

  17. AstroNerdBoy says:

    No internal editing of artwork, which is good.

    As to the tankoubons, this is the only series that I double dip on, meaning I buy the Japanese tankoubons and the Del Rey releases. Silly I know, but there you go. ^_^;

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