The Mahora Budokai is in full force, the tournament is proving an excellent testing ground for Negiís powers. As the super human feats continue, could the very secret of the magical world be blown open as footage is leaked to the internet? Just who will get through the tournament in tact?
Volume twelve continues the coverage of the Mahora festival in particular the Budokai martial art tournament. It kicks of with Setsuna versus Asuna, of course being Negima there has to be plenty of fan service so both girls are given maid outfits to wear into battle, along with some very suggestive underwear. Negima delights in these moments of fan service, despite protesting about the outfits both girls still march into battle in them.
Throughout the fights there are plenty of references to the characterís pasts including Negi, Evangeline and Asuna. This means whilst there are quite a lot of flashbacks the pace is kept high as the manga switches back to the tournament. As is often the case whilst these little revelations do answer questions and propel the story forwards, they often raise more questions that they solve.
The fights give the opportunity for some stunning artwork, which makes full use of digital technology and for once the use of computer enhances the art and the storytelling. The downside of course is that this particular plotline despite the pace as a whole is really starting to drag, on top of the groundhog style happenings of the rest of the festival it feels like the festival wonít actually end. Itís just a good job that within this wider plot arc, some genuinely interesting character development is going on.
Negima is a many sided manga, on one side it can be extremely shallow . It is after all a gigantic wish fulfilment harem manga, about a young boy with magical powers and almost an entire class of cute girls pining after him. On the other hand Negi is an endearing hero unlike many other heroes of the genre, the main cast is well rounded and it really feels like Akamatsu has planned out the back stories of the characters well so that each has a strong motivation. The fact that this is volume twelve already and itís still a compelling read literally speaks volumes.