Well, it certainly has been a while since I made a post. There has not been a whole lot to discuss, until now. Recently, I ordered three books from Barnes & Noble. Today, I will be reviewing one of those titles, which is called Negima! Magister Negi Magi Volume 34 by Ken Akamatsu.
As I gave a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
In this volume, Negi's party finds Anya, only to discover that Cosmo Entelekheia has taken Asuna to start the ritual that will fulfill their objective. Elsewhere, Negi tries to retreat from the battle with Dynamis but he is struck down. Later, while Negi's party tries to take back Asuna and the Great Grandmaster Key, three beings, which are similar to Fate, show up to put an end to the hindrance caused by Negi's party. Now, not only must the ritual be stopped but the new Fate-like enemies must also be stopped.
I got to say that I enjoyed this volume. Things are progressing nicely. After all, the series has already finished with 38 volumes in Japan. However, I will say right now that this is not the last arc. Things still seem to be pretty funny, but action is the main focus of this volume and there was a lot of it. That would especially make sense due to how many video games references were present up to now. I have not played very many video games recently, but I do know that the final stages tend to have a lot of fighting, from minions popping up that are stronger than one is used to fighting to power boss characters. It was also nice to see that somebody other than Negi, the boy genius of the series, can make good plans to achieve things, even though it failed. However, what was most interesting was that one of the enemy group called Negi her progeny. For something that sure seems like the final arc, at least to those who have not been following the Japanese release, this sure does leave a loose end, albeit probably not very important. The other thing that I liked is that there were no previews for the next volume. In my review of Bloody Monday Volume 3, I complained about the preview showing up unannounced and in Japanese, even though this is not Bloody Monday, this is definitely what should have been done. The fact that things are progressing nicely and things are coming keep the work good in the story department and the volume itself gets a plus for not having anything next volume previews, instead of previews that go into Japanese unannounced.
Even though I did enjoy the volume there were things that bothered me. There still is not the suffix definition list of old, but at least no suffixes are defined, so that is not an issue here. The biggest issue I have is with the Table of Contents. Man, what a terrible job was done with it, as it misled me to what was actually contained. In this area, there are two issues. First, the Table of Contents is not exactly in order. It starts at chapter 305 and the list ends at chapter 312. This led me to think that the volume ended at chapter 312, but after 312, in the content, I saw chapter 313. When I looked back at the Table of Contents, chapter 313 was listed before 312. If that was all that was wrong, I could deal with it, but chapter 313 is also listed as a starting on a page earlier than 312, even though 312 comes before 313 in the actual content. If chapter are not listed right, at least list the right page. I thought books were now done on computers and programs that did the Table of Contents automatically generated the right page next to the chapter. Either Kodansha did not do it right or their program does not do that. Second, the Table Contents lists chapters 305 to 313, but the volume ends at 314. As a reader, I never came across across a book that does not list every chapter within its pages. Then again, I am not surprised, as Kodansha does not list extras like the translation notes page(s) in the Table of Contents. In any case this just decreases the quality of the book. Books that have a TOC do not need to list all of the extras, but it does need to list all chapters with correct page numbers. While there are not any issues that make story bad, the poor quality of the TOC takes away from the volume's quality.
Despite the issues, it was a nice read. Issues of the past were not entirely present, at least that I could notice, as some things were done right. On the Other hand, the issues with the TOC do put a damper on the quality of the release. I would still recommend the series to fans of Ken Akamatsu or those that enjoy harem comedy. Everyone else might want to skip this series.
What is your opinion of Negima! Volume 34? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.
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