Negima! Omnibus Volume 02 Manga Review

魔法先生 ネギま!Omnibus Volume 02
Negima! Omnibus Volume 02

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Negima! Omnibus Volume 02For this second Negima! omnibus release for Kodansha Comics, volumes four, five, and six are covered,which is the entire Kyoto arc.  This is such a good arc and I’m glad we are getting some much-needed fixes to the original releases.  I will now discuss the ones that really stood out to me.

During the original Del Rey release, there were some issues with the adaptation.  While not a problem, Chamo’s extensive use of just about every brother and sister honorific was removed for generic, English translations in volumes four and five.  That was fixed in volume six.  In the omnibus release, all of the honorific usage is now like volume six.  I did notice that “cook-san” was just changed to “cook” but I’ll live with that.

In the original release, the translator had trouble dealing with the gokiburi joke Asuna made, although a translator note was added to explain things.  For the omnibus, the Twins have still used “gokiburi” (cockroach), but they set things up better by using the prior explanation of of the summoned demons to actually use the term “goki.”  In their translator notes, they go into greater depth on joke, which is much appreciated.

In the original release, Setsuna was described as originating from the “bird tribe.”  Now, if one knows no better, one just accepts it.  However, some astute reader noted that the actual kanji being used was not for “bird” (鳥) but for “crow/raven” (烏).  As you can see, the kanji are VERY similar, so it was likely just a mistake, but it is great that the omnibus now has Setsuna accurately being half-crow tribe. ^_^

When Del Rey released volume 6, Trish Ledoux took over as adapter and her influence (I believe) was to have Chamo go ahead and use all of his brother/sister honorifics. I think she was also responsible for having the manga adaptation go ahead and use Japanese attack names.  I believe she’s the one who had Eva start using the transliterate “boya” instead of “boy” (because it does give Eva that accurate amount of sass that seems lost with “boy”).  Those are all things I highly approve of.  However, I believe she is also responsible for lines like, “Cr-crazy much, Eva-chan” or having characters say, “WTF!!!” I didn’t like these obvious attempts at cool speak, but I forgave them simply because I was being given what I wanted elsewhere.

Now that the Twins are in charge, I get the other stuff I want, but the crazy line becomes a more accurate, “Did she hate losing to Negi that much.”  The “It’s…DWAH?! OMG! WTF~~~?!” becomes, “Er, GYAAAA! What the heck is that?!”

The ever awesome Chachazero has her speech at the end of the Kyoto arc modified to be more accurate and bloodthirsty. “Die, writhing on the ground like the insect you are” certainly brings out that bloodthirsty nature more than the original adaptation did (which also included a fair amount of extra text not stated by Chachazero in the Japanese release).

Overall, the omnibus release is a much more accurate adaptation while retaining the otaku things that folks like me loved so much.  By making it more accurate, the manga story becomes more understandable at times and at others, better reflects the story Akamatsu-sensei is trying to tell.

One small thing that is lost in the Kodansha Comics release are a better use of font.  The original Del Rey releases made a much better use of different fonts and even text that varied in size within a speech bubble or curved within the speech bubble.

I wish the original, color cover art would have been included in the release.  Unfortunately, Kodansha doesn’t go the Dark Horse route when it comes to omnibus releases with the color art extras.

The original extras are all included (as far as I can tell).  The Twins have fresh translator notes and a lot of nifty additional information that wasn’t included in the original.  I liked that.

So, if you are wondering if the the omnibus volumes are worth double dipping for, the answer is, “absolutely.”  A more accurate story certainly helps with the foreshadowing of future stories and makes the current stories more understandable in places.

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4 Responses to “Negima! Omnibus Volume 02 Manga Review”

  1. Chii says:

    I agree with the fact that DAWH and WTF translations were absolute crap. It was like, what am i reading? I understand not using straight up formal english, but its like, the WTF element of it gave a very childish feel to it. Also, Honorifics FTW

  2. burnpsy says:

    Mine still hasn’t arrived in the mail. :/

    From what I can tell, unless this has the same lettering issues as Omnibus 1 did, my only complaint will be that the cover they chose for this would have fit perfectly with Omnibus 1.

    That, and the original covers not being included, like you mentioned.

  3. xtroguyver says:

    fully agree have got both omnibuses, and improved translations are a joy to read. I may just have to collect the rest of the omnibuses until the twins took over translating the series. The lack of the original covers is probably the only reason the original volumes are still on my shelf

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I understand not using straight up formal english, but its like, the WTF element of it gave a very childish feel to it.

    I think it was an attempt to be hip. To be honest, I think the increased honorific usage was as well, but since I like honorifics retains (and not for hip reasons), I didn’t complain about that. In fact, I praised the Del Rey staff at the time for doing this.

    Mine still hasn’t arrived in the mail. :/

    Sorry to hear that. Hopefully by this point, you have it. ^_^;;;

    From what I can tell, unless this has the same lettering issues as Omnibus 1 did, my only complaint will be that the cover they chose for this would have fit perfectly with Omnibus 1.

    I’m not sure what goes into the decision process on the omnibus versions. I’ve not looked at Japan and seen if they are releasing omnibus editions there.

    The lack of the original covers is probably the only reason the original volumes are still on my shelf

    Mine are off the shelf, but I do still have them in a plastic storage container.

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