New Proposed Japanese Law the Reason Ken Akamatsu Ended "Negima!"?

Hey everyone.  Akamatsu-sensei’s ending of the popular Negima! manga has left a bad taste in the mouths of many fans, especially since there are so many unresolved plot threads.  While many fans have focused their anger on Akamatsu-sensei for what they feel is his giving them the shaft, I’ve always felt there was something else at work.  Since his exclusive contract with Kodansha had come to an end, culminating with Akamatsu-sensei having ALL of his manga shipped from Kodansha to his home, I figured that was the sole reason for his ending Negima! so abruptly.  However, it appears that there are more things going on, which you all should be aware of.

Negima! fan Hata, who’s long been an excellent source of information from Japan, noted that in addition to Akamatsu-sensei taking a much needed rest, he’s also fighting a newly proposed copyright law in Japan.  From Hata:

right now the biggest thing that occupied most of Ken’s time (at least on twitter) is his fight against publishers, which including Kodansha, in trying to impose a new law by creating “neighboring copyright”, for people who are not creator but has a hand in “helping” the creation of the work gets automatic right, meaning editors, researchers, printers, etc. or plain speaking, a power grab by the publishers to take right away from the author, this is something VERY SERIOUS and has long unforeseen consequences if pass through, (the publisher can and will go after second hand creation/dojin without need to ask the permission of the author, etc. (it was one of the state benefits of this law) meaning the end of dojinshi as we know it., or after a serial is over the author can not retain exclusive right to it while the publisher can hold onto to it forever to keep making money for itself, etc.) and Japanese works readers (be it novel or manga) need to pay attention to this development just like the Tokyo Child Protection law, [sic]

Akamatsu-sensei wrote more about this on his Tumblr site.

Hata provides a “quick translation of a quick Chinese translation” of what Akamatsu-sensei said.

[sic] there were two Kodansha editors for the showdown debate with Ken in “explaining” the neighboring copyright law, Ken brought George Morikawa, the author of Hajime no Ippo with him in case he needs some muscle backup. one of the editor were together with Ken in opposing the Tokyo Child Protection Law.

Kodansha’s position:

publisher will share “equal” copyright with author. because it helps the mangaka to promo, typeset, proofread, research, edit, and printing the manga, and by having the right automatically, the publisher can:

1. when there is going to be an e-book release of the same paper product, no longer need a second negotiation one by one again for the right, which can speed things up.

2. the publisher can go after pirate and 2nd creation violator without spend time consulting the author in the first place, again speed things up.

Ken’s reply for #1 is the current contract model works fast enough, no need to give publisher extra right, for #2 all it takes is a phone call between publisher and author.

and the danger for #2 of course is all dojinsh and all 2nd hand creation will cease to exist, Kodansha did say clearly, that it is their goal with this law to go after places like PIXIV and Toranoana, (basically, like how Disney operates.) but what happen as in the case of Ken, who gives his approval and don’t want them to be sued?

Ken’s position:

1. what happen if the publisher went under, and the right falls into some strange debtor?

2. if an old manga is to be republished (paper or e-book) on another publisher than the original one, what would happen if there is interference from the old publisher?
(Kodansha guarantees this won’t happen, but of course Kodansha cannot promise the same for all the other publishers, this is quite important for Ken when you consider the nature of J-Comi.)

3. even with this law, there is no way to stop the pirating.

4. too many people who own the same right will only complicate things

Kodansha’s reply: they can’t answer Ken’s questions, they admit, while this law would be convenient for the publisher, they can’t find a reasonable argument to convince all authors,

the truth is, the original proposal is not from the manga industry, but pushed by the literature fiction sector to Japanese culture ministry, or course then you have unforeseen problem developed across the board, Ken’s argument is this law’s benefits can be achieved with current model, and to give the publisher the extra right is too dangerous.

I happen to agree with Ken on this. Japanese (or substitute any other nations under the sun) government officials and legislators are a bunch of idiots.

As usual in these copyright debates (whether in Japan or the U.S.), it is all about control, with the giant publishing companies using the pretense of concern over piracy to in fact dictate how, when, and where a product is delivered.  The author is on the losing end, as is the consumer.  No wonder Akamatsu-sensei had no desire to sign a new contract with Kodansha, and made sure to get all of his works out of Kodansha’s archives.  It would also explain why he was willing to end Negima! in the way he did, just to protect his copyright claim.

Whether that’s the reason Negima! ended the way it did or not, I had no idea that this new law was even in the pipeline in Japan.  Unlike the Tokyo Child Protection law, which received a lot of attention among us Western anime/manga fans, the new “Neighboring Copyright Law” doesn’t appear to have generated much of any notice outside of Japan.  This is kind of surprising, since this new law would pretty much kill the doujinshi market in Japan.  No doubt if this law passes, Japanese publishers will come after us Western bloggers too, for any number of reasons (screen captures; sharing promo art; providing detailed summaries, etc.).

Hopefully, this post will help raise awareness of this proposed new law.  If someone wants to provide a complete translation from the Japanese of what Akamatsu-sensei on Tumblr, I’d be grateful.

Thanks to Hata and Burnpsy for the information. ^_^

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95 Responses to “New Proposed Japanese Law the Reason Ken Akamatsu Ended "Negima!"?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    i linked this page to my deviantart comment to let people know. here’s the link.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Reminds me alittle bit to “ACTA”. There nowbody has known anything for quite a long time, too.
    I din´t knew there was such massive s**t underway. But if this is correct, than Akamatsu has done the right thing.

  3. I fully agree with Akamatsu-sensei’s decision. I believe in the absolute protection for authors.

  4. Justin says:

    Huh. Very interesting…But it’s not exactly something I want to hear. Why? Because again it’s another way publishers who are apparently trying to fight piracy are…not really fighting piracy O.o

    Seems Akamatsu did himself a favor, but more information will come soon I’d assume.

  5. Copyright law has gotten way too strong. Here in the United States, it’s gone far beyond what I think the Founders intended when they wrote the Copyright Clause in Article I, Section 8. The first copyright law in America was the Copyright Act of 1790, which, among other provisions, allowed for a 14-year copyright term, which could be renewed for a second 14-year term for 28 years total. Imagine that. Something created when you were a grade schooler could easily become public domain before your 40s, whereas today it takes over a century for copyrights to expire.

    When they granted Congress the power “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries,” I doubt they had the DMCA, the “Sonny Bono” Act, and SOPA on their minds. Nowadays it’s not about promoting the progress of “useful arts,” but rather it’s a money and power grab. Most of the most powerful, far-reaching, restrictive, and convoluted copyright laws in America and elsewhere were enacted within the last century with the increasingly large influence of corporate media and concentration of media ownership. You can be damn sure that Mickey Mouse will never, ever become public domain… ever. Many if not most copyright holders, especially the multinational media conglomerates, if they had their way, would probably have everyone who creates “derivative works,” from Weird Al to the 20-year-old girl who writes Twilight fanfiction, sued for everything they have and thrown in the slammer. They’d also have every used game, book, and movie store shut down and the First Sale Doctrine repealed. And because in order to have anything published and reach a large audience, you invariably have to go through the big publishers and studios, which means you the author can no longer claim sole ownership of your own creation. The author is no longer “the author” defined by law like they were in centuries past. Modern copyright law also results in the crap you get from software developers who say that you don’t own your copy of Call of Duty; you’re merely paying for a nebulous “license” that can be revoked at any time.

    Of course, there’s not a whole lot any of us can do about it. The regular Joe doesn’t have an army of lawyers and lobbyists at their disposal. But maybe, just maybe the authors can do something about it. Publishers really should have no other rights besides the right to publish and distribute a work in a manner as granted by the authors, and the authors have total control and ownership of their work and can decide for themselves such things as if derivative works like doujinshi or fanfiction are allowed. At least Akamatsu-sensei is getting out while he can, and I assume he keeps control of his own creations.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I’m doing some research on some stuff for a series of “Piracy Wars” articles, coming later (next month probably). However, it is interesting to me to see how the whole copyright/piracy fight has been going on for a long time.

      As to what we can do about this, for the U.S., we can be annoying to our representatives in Congress and express our displeasure at the direction they are pushing copyright laws.

  6. hughroe says:

    Hmmm, looks almost like the publishers in Japan are going to try to get the same “rights” as the cimics publishers in the U.S., turning manga from a persons property into a company’s franchise.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Hey! Long time, no see.

      I hadn’t considered this point, but you may be right. Japanese publishers could become like Marvel or DC and publish a series ad nauseam.

    • DeltaResilience says:

      Naturally a fan would get p**sed when finding out one of the possible reasons to a series premature end. But right now, I’d still like more info.

      Marvel comics indeed owns the character rights to many of its character, though they are credited to their respective creators (Namely Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Joe Simons for many of the classics such as Iron man, Spiderman and Cap.America) but with this piece of news, I never thought about how much ‘rights’ does a creator have with their artistic creations.

      It seems Stan Lee has had some lawsuit cases with Marvel concerning characters being used for today’s films a while back (you can google it) though I’m not too aware of the exact details. Either way, Mr.Lee is still actively appearing as an awesome cameo in the marvel films.

      My real beef however is that Japan and American comic, while both comics in genre, have completely different ways of running their business. You don’t see Japan ‘continuously’ rebooting their characters/series to the point that it’s lasted more then 40 years in the business like marvel has. Not only that, the Marvel stories have been extended by ‘multiple’ authors during it’s life time.

      There is also that fact of doujin/fanmade works being made in convention (which seems to be a japanese trend), and this practice is also being made in anime conventions outside japan, including america, europe and australia, which could be affected if this law gets pass, though even I still dont know enough on just what sort of repercussion this would make.

      It might be cool to see Japan slowly pull off that sort of business if they ever wanted to try that sort of approach, but I don’t think it would work out for something like Negima, as it is told in the simple fashion of a story that needs to eventually end, just like the Harry Potter books, which is what I’m trying to get at.

      Makes me wonder more about the reality of the author & publisher business relationships, in any country and in all forms of works.

    • Anonymous says:

      The other side of this is that Japanese companies get their talent FROM these doujin communities. Basically, what this law could allow them to do, is hold a doujin artist hostage. ‘Toe the line, come work for us, or you won’t work for anybody.’

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmm, that would be cool! Have Bleach rebooted with someone who can write, do a different spin on a classic manga. Reminds me of Pluto, Kenji Urasawa’s take on Astro Boy. Stuff like that would be cool!

      But other than that, this law is complete bullshit.

  7. Zeether says:

    Would this affect Ken trying to make a new series or spinoff of Negima? Since this is involving a lot of publishers in Japan, this could make it hard for him to get stuff published even in a magazine…

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Assuming the law passed and doesn’t have some sort of retroactive component, then I’d say he’s safe. He now has all of his source materials in his possession, so Kodansha wouldn’t be able to do anything, at least that’s how I see it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hey if Ken decides to he could always make a doujin alternate end now that he’s out of the system! -char

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      *lol* Well, that’s true, but I rather think he’d use his own J-Comi site to publish anything new.

    • Anonymous says:

      that’d actually be a very good idea, because it would be a way for fans of negima to continue the series, it would also inform people of his site, as well as bring in new readers to the site,leading to some of them reading the other completed series on the site. in my opinion doing a doujin or just even a continuation/follow-up would only be a win-win for him and the other authors hosting their works on the site.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ugh, can someone explain to me why people are running around screaming about a “new proposed Japanese law”? I get that Japanese publishers would like to get more rights and that there’s been some discussion about this in some circles somewhere, but I didn’t see anything in the article (meaning both this and Akamatsu’s Japanese original) about any new law being anywhere close to introduction, much less passing.

    Ken Akamatsu is just talking about this because he’s an activist of sorts. It’s great that people like him are keeping a watchful eye out and participating in discussions and starting opposition early on so there’s less shit around like ACTA or SOPA; I just don’t see what’s the point in us ranting about this one right now when there’s nothing tangible in motion yet and we can’t do anything about it from outside Japan anyway.

    Right now, I’d be much more concerned with the way our government is trying to export the worst of our idiotic draconian copyright shit to Japan and other countries via TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). This shit looks to be much worse than ACTA and if you’re worried about stuff like doujinshi, it’d kill them off with much more certainty than this pretty nebulous Japanese thing here. TPP is something we can maybe actually do a little something about from over here if we put some pressure on our elected officials to cut this shit out.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >Ugh, can someone explain to me why people are running around screaming about a “new proposed Japanese law”?

      Because awareness is important.

      >Right now, I’d be much more concerned with the way our government is trying to export the worst of our idiotic draconian copyright shit to Japan and other countries via TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). This shit looks to be much worse than ACTA and if you’re worried about stuff like doujinshi, it’d kill them off with much more certainty than this pretty nebulous Japanese thing here. TPP is something we can maybe actually do a little something about from over here if we put some pressure on our elected officials to cut this shit out.

      I agree that we should put pressure on our elected leaders regarding this, or any of these crappy laws they consider passing (or deem passed).

  10. Anonymous says:

    > Because awareness is important.

    You misunderstand my point. I’m all for raising awareness on copyright issues, but in this case there’s no “law” anywhere I can see. It’s a good thing you wrote about this, but there’s no need for the kind of alarmist mode some people seem to be getting into after reading the article. In Congress, plenty of bills never get off the ground even after they’ve been officially introduced, and it’s no different in Japan. And this thing hasn’t even been introduced yet, so it’s not exactly in the pipeline the way you’ve interpreted it. That’s why hardly anyone has been talking about this. I hasn’t flown by under the radar; it hasn’t really taxied to the runway yet.

    So my point was that instead of worrying about this thing that’s out of our hands and not imminent, we should focus on what we can influence. The left always screamed about all kinds of secret agendas with Bush but the shit Obama has going on is no better. I’m telling you, if the U.S. gets the shit that was pulled from ACTA into TPP, it’ll mean the end of stuff like doujinshi either way. And it’s much easier for them to get it into TPP, because Japan and the other participants there are a lot more prone to bowing to U.S. demands than the EU has been on ACTA. Especially if Japanese publishers get to conveniently grab more power while shifting the responsibility onto the U.S. who “forced” the changes. It’d be much harder for them to get all this shit in on their own, because as you can see they wouldn’t be able to hide the process if it was just about Japanese legislation.

  11. Anonymous says:

    speaking of ad nauseam, I’d rather have Negima end on Ken’s own terms than turn into an American style comic you wish someone would just kill off already.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The irony behind this copyright law the publishers are trying to pass comes from the reason copyright was created in the first place. Back in Britain the publishers tried saying they owned exclusive right to publish a book once it was published under there title and the author didn’t have any rights. The people who were in charge said that a publishing company can’t own a publishing right indefinetly because it isn’t the original author and it should not have the same privlages as said author.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Today in the U.S., a publishing company like Disney pretty much does have indefinite rights. Anytime Steamboat Willey is about to go into the public domain, Disney bribes the lawmakers to further extend the copyright length of time.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It’s really too bad that things turned out like they did. Either way, I really hope Akamatsu continues the series on his site, his way. There’s one thing about it that bugs me though: one J-comi’s wikipedia page it says “J-Comi is limited to out of print titles so that quality of the work is assured and so that J-Comi does not compete with publishers.” Though I’m sure they could probably change this business model, just how long will it take them to possibly change it?

    Either way, if it does continue, I really hope Ken Akamatsu gets a professional charity staff (that can quit or be switched out at anytime) to translate it into many other languages. That way no one complains about them doing it for the money, and thus the people with the mentality that free fan translations are better will be satisfied, and there wont be any scanlator competition in that area. The only other big thing keeping scanlators doing their thing for Negima would be those people obsessed with quality (the people who you see all the time on 4chan who hate Mangafox and other readers because they shrink the pages). That could be fixed by offering fullscreen mode with enlarged images. The only people left would be the people who rip the images off the site and put it on to manga readers so people could conveniently view it on there (possibly without ads). But you’d have to be a HUGE douchebag to do that. It’s kind of like the mentality Minecraft’s userbase has. Notice how they heavily shun anyone who pirates the game, since Mojang is an indie game company, and not a money hungry publisher (and the game is only $25)? If it works like that for them, maybe it could work for J-Comi since Negima would be translated (professionally) out of charity and be offered completely free with some ads, and they could block the unsafe ads and scripts with noscript if they really wanted to. It may not completely end piracy of Negima, but it would definitely reduce it by a gigantic percent. That’s my two cents on this if Akamatsu decides to do this.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Sweet Jesus! It’s the end of the Doujinshi world as we know it!!! I take every bad thing that I had said to Akamatsu-sensei! I fucking knew it was the god damn publishers, they are the only people who would pull this kind of shit just to fuck over the authors!

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      The good news is that this is only a proposed law, not enacted. Therefore, Akamatsu-sensei is using his fame to help alert folks to the possibility of this law and that they should oppose it.

  15. Twi™ says:

    The ending.
    When all this shit about copyright and publisers and laws comes to pass,

    Ken Akamatsu better remake his ending or something to the best potential Negima can become, just like what he did in the starting and middle of the series.

    Then, the world will stay silent to read it.
    And world peace would be known.

  16. Anonymous says:

    A bridging manga from graduation-to-the-end-of-negima would probably be the best bet, there is a massive 12ish year gap left for it. Once again, once the laws are shot down, of course.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thanx for the info on the impending copyright battle. ‘Splains a lot. My affection and hope go to KA and his team for future success. Negima! has given me much enjoyment during my retirement and will continue to do so. I just reread Omnibus 4 again for the fourth time. (William Carhart)

  18. Dark Chirano says:

    I am getting so sick of this- the media companies are getting so self-entitled and want more power to their copyright due to the recent economic crisis, all whilst the possibility exists that breath-constraining copyright law and enforcement is part of the reason the crisis happened in the first place.

    Also, this creates a vicious cycle where the companies make the world much harder for no good reason at all, the customers and fans stop buying their stuff as the only real form of retaliation, companies make things even harder, customers buy even less, repeat ad nauseum.

    In reality, the companies should be working with the customers and fans to propogate their brand, not creating bad public relations. I mean, good writing wasn’t the only reason that the franchises with no fanwork ban became world renowned.

    I swear, in my lifetime, that I’ll do what I can to shorten copyright lifespan and power-reach. The customers and fans, as well as what they create, are the most valuable assets a company can have, after all, and selflessness is rewarded more often.

    Oh, and thanks for sticking to the heart of art, Ken. You’re a hero in my book.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Why, why, why don’t they learn! I can’t take it anymore! Somebody stop the madness please!

  20. Anonymous says:

    kodansha is a greedy publisher. Hope no mangaka go to them anymore, new publisher is needed. Tyranny must be stop.

  21. Lethalrose says:

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the latest chapter of Claymore which claimed that the manga ends, completely out of the blue :S
    Just gotta hope it’s just a beginning for a new sequel…

  22. Anonymous says:

    Wow. This is the first I’ve heard of this. I’m glad I stumbled upon this article from a forum post. Does anyone know if there has been much public outcry in Japan about this proposed law? SOPA had a great deal of online opposition, which led to it being shelved, even though mutant forms of the bill are still unfortunately being pushed through Congress. Still, this could be for the better if it helps get something done.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Watch this pass and they start demanding a percentage from every bundled volume sold, yet offer no increase in revenue from weekly serializations.

    Which is really what this is about, because otherwise they would not be trying to stake a claim on IPs they do not have any legal claim to after their print cycle ends.

    And as usual, they blame ‘piracy’ for the reason they supposedly need these new laws in place. What a bunch of scumbags, they make me wish there really was a hell, just so I could take comfort in knowing they’ll be roasting in there for an eternity.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also by having any legal claim to the author’s work, they can control what media type it is later redistributed on. As in to prevent them from ever surfacing on J-Comi and other legitimate online reader services, which we all know the print magazines want to do.

  24. Anonymous says:

    It appears that Claymore has abruptly ended too… hopefullyprofis a form of protest and will continue later on…

  25. Anonymous says:

    i hope that there will be a sequel of mahou sensei negima!

  26. Anonymous says:

    If there were a sequel then it would be interesting for it to cover Nagi’s side of this entire story so that we know how Negi finds finds him. lol

  27. Thank god I thoght that he was lazy but with this ken sensei is forgiven

  28. Seantay says:

    Hopefully, that Akamatsu-sensei might come up with a ‘new’ Mahou Sensei Negima that continues from chapter 355, telling us who Negi really like. I really hope that the story can continue as I think that it could still progress. And, telling us that chapter 355 is the final chapter, leaves a terrible taste in my mouth

  29. Anonymous says:

    is there anything new about it? 🙁

  30. Shadownemmy says:

    Thank you AstroNerdBoy for telling posting this. I was randomly wandering on Wikipedia on crap yui horie was on and I randomly clicked on negima… then I noticed that It ended. (I was kinda flipping out because I own all volumes released in america up to date and a big fan of ken akamatsu) Then, I thought that there must have been some reason behind it… Since I read the title names of the last to chapters of Negima and they seemed a bit fast paced considering that it went from detective yui to 3-A forever… I googled ken akamtsu 2012 and came across your blog. I read at least half of the comments and as I read, I got aggravated, sad, disappointed, and happy for Ken Akamatsu. I know i am 7 and a half months late, but i would like to do as much as I can to prevent such a thing from occurring. Yeah sure, it’s not proposed or anything… But still, I would like to increase awareness on this particular subject towards my peers. I’m a Frequent reader on the Japan Times… and I don’t recall reading about this. So, you could imagine how shocked after I read your blog.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Glad to be of assistance. ^_^

    • Mendoza Gomez Kevin says:

      Bro eres de mucha ayuda yo soy un gran fanatico de las obras de ken akamatsu y cuando vi el final del manga me quede mudo de la impresiom, tenia muchas dudas por el final y queria saber por ejemplo de quien se enamoro negi, como es uq eal final sale su padre como si nada y muchas cosas mas. Ojala Akamatsu sensei nos traega nuevas noticias de ete gran trabajo suyo cdt y muchas gracias por el post

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Glad to be of service. ^_^

  31. thank you astronerd boy its really nice and great blog, i appreciated your blog, and i hope that you will keep it up

  32. Anonymous says:

    It is a shame. Fortunately the law can also protect a writer if they are willing to push it. Contractual clause to say that the publisher etc would not be granted copyright control might be the only bypass. Hopefully the writing community can band together and force publishers to agree to those terms. Equal share? Ha ha. It is the artists, writers and fanbase that make a series big. New writers getting their breaks in serializing magazines, etc. The publishers etc only deal with the legal part, printing and the like to which they are paid for.

  33. Anonymous says:

    can i ask you something
    is there any anime version of mahou sensei negima with the exact story like in the manga version? and link where i can watch it
    so far i found only negima neo, haru n natsu ova, ala alba wth only 3 episode, and the one with the story of asuna formed a pact wth a demon in exchange of her life
    sorry for my bad english

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      The short answer is, “No, there’s no anime version that’s a perfect manga adaptation.”

      The different OADs did animate sections of the manga, mostly pretty accurately, but lots was skipped and such.

      As to the story of Asuna and the demon, that was from the first anime series, if I recall correctly. Obviously, those guys went out and did their own thing.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Wow, it’s been a year and Akamatsu still hasn’t mentioned anything about a new series? Does he plan to ever come back to manga?

  35. Anonymous says:

    I just finished Negima and I really liked the manga, but I hated the ending so much. I mean, Akamatsu left too many questions in my mind like who Negi likes for example, and how he found his dad in the end. I got weirded out because of that. Since I read this, I’m hoping there would be a sequel. Oh yeah, do you know any mangas like it? Its a really good manga and its my favorite. I’m also a fan of Akamatsu’s work.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I’d be hard pressed to cite any manga along the lines of Negima. That’s because the story there is a tighter than many titles, like Fairy Tail (which I like).

      Akamatsu-sensei’s friend Hata-sensei does a pretty good manga that I blog, called Hayate the Combat Butler. Viz is slowly releasing the manga in the U.S. It is a comedy first (and a whacky comedy at that), so the fact that it actually has a central plot is easy to miss. But, though it is set in the modern times, it is a fantasy title as we’ve got a Japanese mage, a swordswoman, and Hayate is just an all-around impressive fighter (though action is only a small part of the manga).

  36. Anonymous says:

    i post this link in my gaiaonline store so people can read it

  37. WMC says:

    Good thing Mr. Akamatsu separated himself from Kodansha as quickly as he did because of the impending power grab by the publishers. However, after Asuna’s kiss-capture, the direction of “Negima!” had swerved so far down the yellow brick road that there was no way back to sanity. This happened much earlier, so no excuse. (WMC)

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Well, the whole Magic World arc was jacked from a shift in direction, followed by the decision to abandon the series when the rights officially transferred.

  38. WMC says:

    Actually, I want to go back in time before Shiori’s capture kiss of Asuna, which happens near the end of Period 227 (of 355) when Shiori says, “Hello Your Highness.” It’s a little confusing because the panel that actually shows the kiss is later, in Period 233 as a flashback. I want to go all the way back to Vol. 21, sixth page of the 189th Period at the panel in which Asuna and Negi juuust miss catching hands during Fate’s terrible dispersal spell. Negi misses Asuna because he’s more worried about Makie. That idiot!
    I think that’s the swerve. It’s only a little over halfway in the saga, but Asuna and Negi were never the same after that. The plots got messy, magic was WAY over-used, and I started to lose interest! Now, Period 227, the capture-kiss, has a copyright of 2008, so it was probably drawn much before then. Was Mr. Akamatsu planning his escape then? My take is that he wasn’t yet. I don’t mind being wrong; that’s one way you learn, but … (WMC)

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      With Asuna, I think Akamatsu-sensei wanted to remove her from the playing field as she’d become a dues ex machina element. After her awesome save of Setsuna and Kaede, there was nothing she couldn’t cancel magically speaking, so removing her added to the drama, giving Negi a goal when attempting to escape the Magic World.

      I’m not sure when the shift happened, but it was about the time the anime movie was planned IMO.

  39. WMC says:

    Yes. At the time I thought Asuna had been benched so the other girls could play. With her in the game it wouldn’t be fair since she is so strong. But ultimate god-like power, as with Asuna, Jack Raken, and the Life Maker, is a beep, game over. There is no story left. Only if the protagonists have weaknesses to overcome or work around can the game continue. The authors of “A Certain Scientific Railgun” do a great job with this paradox. Each of their heroines and villains has a weakness and the story thunders ahead because of it.

    Not so with the second half of “Negima!” Though some of the subplots in “Magicland” are excellent, Yue and the girls of Ariadne is one, the whole is not cohesive. Negi’s contorted, perverted plot line leads nowhere, only to death, from which Asuna rescues him at the last, ridiculous second. That’s her TENTH rescue of Negi by the way. (The first is Asuna’s crashing of Mahora Academy’s library door to save him from being seduced by Nodoka in the 2nd Period. And yes, for that reason she makes a great DEA ex machina. [couldn’t resist that])

    Until Mr. Akamatsu or his rep. (Mr. Hata maybe?) tells me I’m full of male bovine fertilizer and ‘splains me why, I will stick with my position that “Negima!” failed its flight test when Asuna left the pilot seat. Very regrettable because the first half is epic, beautifully crafted and unforgettable. (WMC)

    • WMC says:

      A much later continuation: I’ve long thought “Negima!” is not about Negi! It’s about Asuna. Maybe in spite of the author’s intentions! Yes, Negi’s absurd obsession with his father’s myth drives the story line, ultimately into the devilishly dysfunctional Mundus Magicus, but he never really evolves as a character. Negi remains a simplistic ten-year-old with great magical power that he can only use correctly when Asuna saves him from his follies — the first time from seduction by Nodoka in Period 1 because he stupidly couldn’t anticipate that Nodoka would succumb to the love potion even though he knew it worked — and the last time when Asuna rescues him from the Life Maker, in Period 334, when he knew the Life Maker was out of his league, in spite of all his misdirected, obsessive “training” in dark magic. Only Asuna, who now has realized her tremendously potent self, can save Negi. She has developed from a clueless, but energetic school girl into the ultimately powerful, light-magic princess of her “destiny.” The very gradual, subtle evolution of Asuna throughout the saga is the real story here. Incidentally, some of her best graphics, of hundreds of excellent ones, appear in Periods 334 and 335. And there, after she resurrects the Magical World at the end of Vol. 36, is the perfect place to terminate “Negima!.” If Mr. Akamatsu had stopped there, he would be forever famous. As it stands now . . .

      All the subsequent machinations, including Vols. 37 & 38 of “Negima!,” by the author to continue the story into time-travel (with the exception of Asuna’s 130-year trip, again signifying that she’s the prime driver of the story), life-forever invincibility are pointless, non-entertaining pablum. If “Negima!” is the major leagues, especially the first half, then “UQ Holder” will never be anything but bush, along with a myriad of others of the same ilk.

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        If Mr. Akamatsu had stopped there, he would be forever famous. As it stands now . . .

        I think he already is forever famous of a sorts. ^_~

        But I understand where you are coming from.

  40. Test comment. (I see no other comments.)

  41. WMC says:

    About test problems: server? browser? I’m pretty net illiterate, and intend to stay that way, but I cured a problem by switching browsers. (WMC)

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      What is going on is that I’ve enabled an element within WordPress called Jetpack, which provides a bunch of additional functions that I can turn on or off individually. I turned on the function for comments, which would allow comment makers on this blog to use other means to log in and make comments. Unfortunately, the theme I’m using is somehow overriding said functionality, so the developers of my theme are researching the problem.

      If you want to get an idea of how it would look, check out this post where Frank and I were testing the function on my personal blog:

  42. WMC says:

    QSL I think. I just go to the base site “AstroNerdBoy’s …” always and hunt from there. Big improvement from before. (WMC)

    • WMC says:

      Or did you solve it while I was switching? Anyway, it looks like you’re rolling now. Congratulations! “Next Browser for Android” faster than “Chrome.” (WMC)

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        The comment problem? I did indeed.

        • WMC says:

          Uh, no. It’s that I always get thrown off the inernet wagon by Google Chrome when I tap a sublink of yous. Just tried it again and same thing. BUT I switched browsers. Now I use “Next Browser for Android” on my Android, and all is good. A little faster and a lot more intuitive. (WMC)

          • AstroNerdBoy says:

            Hmmm…weird. I don’t have a way to personally test mobile functions, unfortunately. I guess I should get one of the guys to do so.

          • WMC says:

            QSL Love that ancient Morse: “heard & understood” (WMC)

  43. sagara14 says:

    Well…well interesting, If ken akamatsu have a problem with kodansha, why the publisher in UQ holder is Kodansha too….
    Wondering if “neighboring copyright” law, is held or dismissed or ??

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      He was able to come to an agreement with Kodansha. Now that he owns the copyright to his material, Kodansha wanted a new revenue stream to replace Negima, so they apparently decided to play ball with Akamatsu-sensei. It is a win-win for both sides.

      • WMC says:

        I’d like to see some hard data on the revenue stream from “UQ Holder” juxtaposed with that of “Negima!” Heck, even some soft data would be welcome. My conjecture, based only on my bookstore’s shelves, is that UQH barely pays the printer’s bill.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          I’ve no doubt that UQ Holder isn’t doing nearly as well as Negima, both in Japan and in the US. However, I suspect it is still profitable, at least in Japan. And in the U.S., having it simulcast on Crunchyroll causes it to make more money than it otherwise would.

  44. WMC says:

    I’ve always liked etymology, so I read every word of the above Wikipedia link. Looks like it’s safe to use “Nippon” for “Japan.” Without actual live-in experience in a country it’s easy to make humorous or insulting mistakes unwittingly. Therefore, I will use “Nippon” carefully. If I make grievous faux-pas’s, I will submit to castigation — if it includes a free trip to all the ancient wooden buildings in Kyoto.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Japanese nationals don’t seem to have a problem with the term “Japan” when it comes to their country. Certainly when I lived in Japan, it was more of a matter of fact thing — the official Japanese name for Japan is Nippon/Nihon, but Japan is OK for us gaijin to use. 🙂

  45. WMC says:

    OK Thanks much. I’ll use “Japan.”

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