As I said in my review of Detective Conan (Case Closed) movie 6, everything has to come to an end at some point.
While this is certainly not the case for Detective Conan (Case Closed) and Cage of Eden's US release, there are one or two series that drawing to a close.
One by one, I have been reading each volume of Negima! that has been released, both when Del Rey Manga still did releases and when Kondansha took over, even though my first review for the series was quite late to game, until two volumes remain. Today, I will be reviewing the penultimate book in the series, which is called Negima! Volume 37 by Ken Akumatsu.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
With the book finally closed on their adventures in the Magical World, everyone is trying to readjust to life at Mahora Academy, though some of the group is busy. However, with the commencement of the Mahora Athletics Festival starting, Negi's students are determined to not let him go unscathed.
I really enjoyed this book. It almost made me forget the disappointment in the series that I have experienced. The battle between Eva and Negi was quite interesting, because we get to see how much he has improved. I also liked how we got a reminder of the fact that the Mage of the Beginning was the one responsible for Eva's immortality, via experiments. However, I am curious as to why somebody who was suggested to be indestructible in volume 35 would be interested in immortality. What is even crazier though is that the previous volume suggested that Eva was his daughter. I am not sure about you guys, but anyone who uses their own child for experiments, like gain immortality, has got to be pretty messed up in the mind. Unfortunately, since this is the penultimate volume, I am afraid that only Ken Akumatsu knows the answer to that one. Another nice thing about this volume is that there are quite a bit of hilarious stuff that more than makes up for the understandable lack of action. After all, starting another arc that is as action-packed as the Magical World arc just to end it in the next volume would probably makes things worse than they actually were. For example, when the girls start saying that Negi is becoming the enemy of womankind, they start thinking of headlines, saying that the issue would be talked about for at least a week. I was laughing pretty hard because they keep forgetting that they are talking about a kid. Honestly, if the stuff they were talking about did get out, the media would probably call for the girls to be brought to justice, not Negi. Fortunately, I am not the only one who thought this, as Akira even brought up that point. Besides, as far as our society is concerned, children are the least likely to be blamed for any wrong doing, as we expect adolescents and adults to be the ones responsible for the most crimes committed. Of course, that was not as funny as Asuna freaking out about Negi, Kotaro, and Fate letting girls pick them up to go on a group date, without finding out with whom. Funny, she freaks out that and not about the other thing that happened to Negi. Considering that she and Konoka have been taking care of him throughout most of his stay at Mahora Academy, I would say that she should be freaking out about anything that happens to Negi, just like a big sister would normally react to anything that happens to her younger sibling. Still, that and the countless other funny parts pale in comparison to the one involving Ayaka getting her pactio. Usually, the girls are nervous, since it is essentially their first kiss. Ayaka, on the other hand, though we kind of expect it at this point, just jumps right in and almost reverses the pactio so that the one getting a pactio card would be Negi, while Ayaka would get the master's copy. That had me laughing hysterically, even into the later chapters in book. If anyone wanted to look for a pedophile to arrest, Ayaka would certainly be at the top of my list. Outside of the content itself, Kodanha did a nice job of including the honorifics definition list, which they omit a lot in Cage of Eden and Bloody Monday. After all, those that already follow the Japanese releases of various manga series. I also liked how there was a next volume preview, unlike Cage of Eden Volume 8, that was in English. I definitely got me excited for the final volume, even though I still remember how horrible the ending is going to be. Another thing that I liked was that like Cage of Eden Volume 9, which I mistakenly said did not have one and recently corrected it, there were some translation notes. Since I am not so familiar with the Japanese culture, outside of manga and anime, I really like having something explaining things to me, instead of looking through sources that are possibly false. At least, they are not assuming that everyone reading Negima! is familiar with every aspect concerning Japan, like they seemed to have done in Cage of Eden Volume 8. As AstroNerdBoy pointed out in his review, there are also at least a few other extras that I at least decided to look through and did enjoy seeing them. It looks like Kodansha is definitely giving people more to look at than just emptiness, but until they can do this for all of their series, I cannot really say that things are looking up for Kodansha.
Although I liked the book, there are certainly some issues. However, aside from what AstroNerdBoy expresses he would have liked to see, as well as my disappointment with the end of the Magical World arc in the previous volume and the disappointing ending that I expect to come in the next volume, I cannot really find anything wrong, except for maybe a few minor typos. Because of that fact, I would have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.
Considering that I could not think of anything really wrong, I would say this was worth reading. I recommend this to fans of Negima!, harem comedy, and Ken Akamatsu. As for everyone else, I cannot recommend this particular volume without having read any of the previous ones, since this is the penultimate volume.
What are your thoughts on Negima! Volume 37? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.
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