Negima! Omnibus Volume 04 Manga Review

魔法先生 ネギま!Omnibus Volume 04
Negima! Omnibus Volume 04

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Negima! Omnibus Volume 04With the disappointment I felt at Negima! being brought to a rapid halt, I had vocalized my belief that the series would still be good for new readers, and that I didn’t consider the years of reading the manga and speculating on the plot to have been a waste. In reading this fourth omnibus, I was in fact re-reading volumes 10, 11, and 12, and in so doing, was reminded of why I loved Negima! so much as a manga.

In terms of what this volume covers story-wise, the Mahora Festival, as well as the Mahora Budokai begin.  Thanks to the time machine of Chao, Negi is able to repeat the first day of the festival multiple times to view many of his student’s activities.  In addition, he’s able to view the festival with Setsuna, then with Kotaro.  He gets a date with Nodoka, and even gets to spend time with Yue and Ayaka, on top of helping with his class’s haunted house. (As an aside, re-reading this volume where Chao is not only revealed to be a time traveler, but also a manipulator of space has me convinced that she is in fact a TIME LORD! ^_~  That’s a Doctor Who reference for those who aren’t aware.)

While those stories are nice, and allow other characters, such as Mana, to get some screen time, the main action stuff comes from the Mahora Budokai tournament, where Negi, Kotaro, and others have to fight.  It is here that the main plot moves forward as we are introduced to another of Nagi’s former companions, Al.  It is also here that we are told that Eva spent a great deal of time with Nagi and company, including Al and Takahata, both of whom appear to consider her a friend.  Although we get a brief glimpse of how Eva became a shinso vampire, it is a shame that we never really learned much more than this over the rest of Negima!‘s run.

Still, there’s a lot of fun, action, and some plot advancement throughout these original three volumes.

On the Kodansha side of things, there are improvements. The cover art is clear, unlike last time. I’m not sure where it is from, as I’m unaware of having seen it before. Too bad there wasn’t a clean version of the cover on the inside, along with color versions of the original volume covers.

I didn’t notice any major QC issues this volume, but I could have missed some. I noticed a couple of things here and there, but minor.

The extras are all there, INCLUDING the original cover line art and notes from Akamatsu-sensei for all three volumes! I was STUNNED when I saw them, and I hope that Kodansha Comics has them included in the reprints of the first three omnibus volumes.  This also gives me hope that future regular volumes will have the notes included. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many translator notes, but then again, I don’t remember how many there were originally (and obviously, I haven’t gotten up to look).

The Nibley Twins retranslated the stuff here, showing that translations and adaptations are an art, not a science. I like that they decided to use the Japanese title “-senshu” for the competitors in the budokai rather than the word “Contestant.”  Just a personal preference.  On the other hand, some instances of “oneesan” when a character referred to an older lady were translated. Don’t worry though; Mei still refers to Takane as “Oneesama.”  Also, some attacks were pure translated and others weren’t. I would have liked the romaji attack names and a translated name, but that’s just me.  Some of the localization stuff is removed in favor of a more accurate depiction of what is said, especially with Chachazero.  I also thought that the wording of Eva’s recounting of her past is much clearer in the omnibus than the original volume.

Still, I can’t deny the pure joy I felt at reading this latest omnibus volume of the manga. I really do hope that Akamatsu-sensei will pick things back up and fill in all the missing gaps in the future.  Until then, I say that this volume is a “buy,” and Kodansha Comics appears to be listening to fans, even if they give no sign of it.

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5 Responses to “Negima! Omnibus Volume 04 Manga Review”

  1. Ultimaniac says:

    For a while now, whenever I went back to re-read the Mahora Tournament arc I would always say “-senshu” in my mind. It’s nice to have the words on paper actually reflect it.

    I always hate when they translate technique names. Sometimes it sounds good in english (Thunder Flower Fist) but sometimes it just sounds goofy. I think “Raiten Taisou” sounds a lot more pleasing to the ear than “Thunder in Heaven Great Vigor.”

    • I think that this review has helped me shape what should happen in Kodansha. I do like some of the things that they included, and redid. So with that in mind, I may just start getting KC stuff again =]

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      @Ultimaniac – They were inconsistent on when the Japanese attack names were used and when they weren’t. I’d like them left in, but a translation to the side (or something).

      @Yakitatefreak – Hopefully, KC will continue to improve.

  2. burnpsy says:

    Oh, they fixed that stuff? Great!

    Though this cover and the one for Omnibus 5 should have been swapped, TBQH.

    Oh, and I recognize this cover art, but it was a wider image and the background wasn’t pink.

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