2006/11/10

Negima!(?)



I like Mahou Sensei Negima a lot. Love Hina was the manga that got me really into buying the small pocket sized sort of manga they sell in the book stores instead of the floppy comic versions I had been getting through regular comic shops. Part of the reason I prefer the collected manga rather than a 22 page monthly release is because manga is not paced out to be read once every four weeks. In Japan those telephone book manga anthologies come out like every other week, so you're constantly getting updates. That system doesn't work in the US for some reason... As much as I wish it did, so the next best thing is to wait for a Tankoban(sp?) or trade paperback to come out, and then you get a nice chunk of story. That was infinitely more appealing to me. That, and the nearest comic shop that carries the eclectic range of titles that I enjoy is in another county, in Pasadena. Of course, now that I'm not going to the comic shop, I'm missing out on a lot of locally created books, and I do feel bad about that.

But that has nothing to do with Negima. I liked Love Hina because I'm a perv and I liked the fan service and the over the top silliness of the book. I had to read through it a couple times, and listen to a friend of mine analyze the series before I actually came to like Keitaro. But I didn't have that problem with Negima; I immediately liked Negi, and each time Akamatsu would put the spotlight on a new girl in the class (of 30) I found reasons to like that character as well. I also enjoy Negima, because it's not just a harem fan service anime; sure those aspects are there, but he's also spliced in some real fun and intense action scenes, especially in the later volumes (the ones Del Rey is going to be publishing soon) and so when I had heard way back when that there was going to be an anime, I was really excited.

See, unlike many Love Hina fans, I saw the anime and the manga around the same time, and I actually liked them both. I felt the anime had a much more stable storyline and didn't deviate from the plot as much as the manga did. But the manga is fun BECAUSE there's so much more deviation in it. I would not be happy without the other. Unfortunately, that was NOT the same feeling I got watching the Negima! anime; the animation was crappy, the colors were pastel and often times just WRONG (Chisame went from light reddish-Orange colored hair to DARK green) and the fan service was handled VERY strangely. It was like, they were putting in all the fan service that was mentioned in the manga... Without servicing the fans. Case in point, the library island adventure underground when the Baka Rangers and Negi are escaping the Golem, the elevator is over the weight limit, and so they get the bright idea to strip naked, thinking the excess weight of the clothes is putting them over the limit. The manga gives you the service along with the absurdity of the situation, but the anime only shows the side of the elevator and their clothes being thrown out. And then of course, the biggest problem with the anime is the ending, and for anyone who is watching it, enjoying it, and does not want it spoiled, I will say no more.

So does this mean I think Negima HAS to have fan service to be good? Absolutely not! The new series, Negima!? (with a question mark) is INCREDIBLY well animated, well paced (so far) and has NO panty shots, and so far no bath scenes. Yet it's incredibly enjoyable and fun to watch. It's taking the events of the manga and mixing them up, obviously changing around a few things, but that's all right by me. It's not an insult to the manga to do that, in my mind. I mean, I liked the Love Hina anime and that was altered from the manga quite a bit. And if you want fan service, well, just get the OAV "Negima!?: Haru" (Spring). That thing is choked FULL of fan service, and is still animated incredibly well and funny, too. On a side note, the new Negima anime is being done by a lot of the crew that did Pani Poni Dash, which was one of my favorite anime of last season and is coming to the US by ADV, I think. (Yes!) And oddly enough, Pani Poni Dash was ALSO about a ten year old teacher. o_o;

Anyway, I must prepare for work now, I felt like making a post for some reason, and to also try out blogging about anime and manga, which is something I think I might do from time to time. Take care.

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