Negima! Magister Negi Magi, known in Japan as Magical Teacher Negima! (魔法 先生 ネギま! Mahō Sensei Negima!?) is a manga series written and illustrated by Ken Akamatsu.
Published by Kodansha and serialized in Shōnen Magazine in Japan, it was translated into English and published by Del Rey Manga in the United States and Canada prior to Kodansha establishing a U.S. division.
While looking for clues about his missing father Nagi, Negi Springfield becomes the English and homeroom teacher for Mahora Academy Class 2A (later 3A). It does not take much time for him to become acquainted with most of his new students including his room mates Asuna Kagurazaka and Konoka Konoe. Negi faces his first real challenge in his student Evangeline A.K. McDowell who is actually an immortal vampiress and one of his father's enemies. To help Negi confront Eva, Asuna agrees to become his temporary partner by performing a "Pactio", a kind of magical contract sealed with a kiss.
After dealing with Evangeline, Negi takes the class on a trip to Kyoto while searching for more information on his father's whereabouts but is forced to fight against Eastern mages aiming to kidnap Konoka with the help of other students who also become his partners including Nodoka Miyazaki, Konoka's childhood friend Setsuna Sakurazaki, and lastly with Konoka herself. The arc also introduces Fate Averruncus, another mage who looks to be around Negi's age but proves himself to be far stronger than him. Seeing his own weakness after the events in Kyoto, Negi begins to train with several students in order to become stronger while Kotaro Inugami, one of the foes he confronted there unexpectedly reappears and finds himself a family with Negi's students Natsumi and Chizuru. Kotaro also joins Negi against Wilheim, an old evil from the past who just like Fate Averruncus, seems to be a pawn of an even stronger enemy.
During Mahora's cultural festival, Negi manages to partake in many simultaneous events thanks to his student Chao Lingshen's latest invention, the time machine Casseopeia. One of the events he participate in is the "Mahora Martial Arts Tournament" where he confronts a series of increasingly stronger enemies including a former member of "Ala Rubra" (Crimson Wing), a legendary brigade led by his father. After the tournament, Negi takes part in more activities at the festival until Chao makes her move as she reveals herself as a time-traveler who claims she must change the present to avert a great catastrophe in the future. Despite that, Negi and his allies confront her and manage to stop her ambitions. After giving up on changing the present by herself, Chao bids farewell to her classmates before returning to her own time.
With the festival finally over, Negi decides to set for the Mundus Magicus (Magic World) to look for his father. His partners decide to accompany him and together they form their own brigade, the Ala Alba (White Wing). They are joined by Negi's childhood friend Anya and accidentally by other students who are oblivious to his secret. As they arrive, the team is ambushed by a group of mysterious enemies led by Fate Averruncus, leaving Negi and his group defeated and scattered across Mundus Magicus. After meeting Jack Rakan, another member of Ala Rubra, Negi decides to train in order to become stronger and specializes in Dark Magic, just like Evangeline. Meanwhile, Negi's lost companions start to learn the ropes of their new environment and eventually reunited with him.
During another clash with Fate and his companions, Asuna is captured by the enemy and held captive along with Anya, with a body double posing as the real Asuna. Later Negi has an encounter with Kurt Gödel, a former member of Ala Rubra who reveals to him the story of his parents including how his mother was unjustly tried and sentenced to death before being saved by Nagi at the brink of her execution. He also learns that the Magic World is actually a magically created, inhabitable version of Mars, and just like the world itself, the majority of its inhabitants are created by magic. During another clash with Fate, Negi also learns that the main objective of his group "Cosmo Entelecheia" is to make use of Asuna's secret powers to erase the magically created inhabitants of Mundus Magicus and transfer the rest of its population to Earth before it eventually collapses.
By joining forces with the various armies of the Magic World, the members of Ala Alba storm Cosmo Entelecheia's stronghold where Asuna and Anya are being held captive, to stop their plans. During the confrontation a magic gate is opened to Earth just above Mahora, having Negi's remaining students who stayed behind along with the Academy's faculty members joining the fight. Having succeeded in rescuing Asuna and convincing Fate to accept a plan he devised to save the people of the Magic World without the need of any sacrifices, Negi discovers that the true leader of Cosmo Entelecheia is none other than his father Nagi, possessed by the Mage of the Beginning, who vanishes not before asking his son to look for him and release him once and for all.
After being celebrated as heroes for stopping Cosmo Entelecheia, Negi and his friends return to the Academy, but instead of resuming his duties as a teacher, Negi leaves Fate as his substitute and with the help of some of his students he starts working on his ambitious plan to terraform Mars for the people of the decaying Magic World to relocate there. However, the plan involves sealing Asuna's body for one hundred years, and she bids farewell to Negi and the other students after she graduates from middle school. Waking up 30 years after the estimated time, Asuna finds that Negi's plan was a success and that Negi and all her classmates had happy and bountiful lives but had long passed away except for Evangeline and Chao who appear before her to take her back to the present and live happily with Negi and the others.
An anime adaptation of the manga series, produced by Xebec, aired in Japan in the first half of 2005 and was released in the US by Funimation Entertainment. The anime began airing in Japan on January 6, 2005 and ended June 29, 2005. The anime follows the story of the manga to a certain degree but also creates its own reasons for certain events happening - most of which take place towards the end of the series - which differ from the original story, as the situations addressed had yet to occur in the source material. These differences between the manga and anime are extraordinary, and most events in the manga never occur in the anime, due in part to the manga being incomplete during the series' production.
A second series was announced on May 9, 2006 by Shaft and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo. It started airing in Japan on October 4, 2006, titled Negima!?. The series is an alternate story with different character designs and an all new storyline, albeit with the same characters. The show also focuses more towards breaking the fourth wall, action, and comedy, and less on the original series' fanservice.
Additionally, two OVAs were been released in 2008, produced by Shaft and GANSIS; a Spring OVA (Negima!? Haru ) and a Summer OVA (Negima!? Natsu). Both OVA's were released on DVD in English dub on October 14, 2008.
The third set of OVAs, called Mahō Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba was bundled with manga volumes 23, 24 and 25 and spanned from chapters 176 to 183 of the original manga.
The fourth set of OVAs, covering the Journey to Magic World arc, was bundled with the original manga starting with volume 27 on September 17, 2009. An animated theatrical movie feature called Mahō Sensei Negima! Anime Final was released in Japanese theaters on August 27, 2011 as a double-bill with Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven Is a Place on Earth. The movie concludes the Journey to Magic World arc.
Live Action SeriesEdit
A live-action series, titled Negima!! was announced and a roster of the cast of all of the 31 girls was released on July 2007. The show started in TV Tokyo's late-night timeslot on October 3, 2007 and ran for 25 episodes. The 26th announced episode was a DVD exclusive.
Like Negima!?, the live-action series has an entirely different storyline from the manga and the first anime series.
- Negima! was involved in a controversy surrounding the censorship of the English-translated manga in North America, typical of Akamatsu's penchant for fanservice and risqué humor. Fans fell upon initial rumors of potential edits by Del Rey, and upon receiving news of this, immediately began fighting against the changes. The compromise reached was to release the book uncensored but shrink-wrapped, which some collectors feel can cause damage to the books. Since Volume 14, the books have been released without the shrink-wrap.
- Due to protests against the animation in Mahōu Sensei Negima!, the DVD release has been revised from the TV version. Various episodes have redrawn characters, expressions, scenes, and even a few episodes have been redrawn completely. The redraws are minor, and fix errors like in episode 16 Makie has six fingers in a scene. Funimation used this version for their English release of the series.