Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Vol. 2
written by Ken Akamatsu
When I first picked up Negima! Magister Negi Magi, I knew I had discovered something great, and it is only getting better the more I read!
Last time, Negi needed to help his students see him as a teacher, and not just a little boy trying to exist in a teenage world. Through assorted trials, tribulations … and one intense dodgeball game, Negi has gained his students’ love and their trust. Now, he must face an even greater trial, and there are only two possible results: he must either pull his class out of last place in their grade, or be fired!
Given the several of Negi’s students are among the worst in their grade, Asuna being the lowest scorer among them, there doesn’t seem to be a very high chance of succeeding. That is, until the Baka Rangers, the five dumbest girls in his class, catch wind of a legendary book of sorcery hidden within Mahora Academy’s Library Island, an almost otherworldly library containing untold wonders. If they are able to read from the book, they can boost their intellect so that they can keep their adorable little teacher, who, while acting on his own whims, seals his magical powers in fear of them becoming a crutch for him use rather than his teaching skills. He is determined to help his students as a teacher, not as a mage. Good man, Negi, and he’s only 10 years old.
One night, an expedition team consisting of the entire Baka Rangers team, with Negi in tow, enters Library Island, committed to finding the book and making themselves smarter in time for final exams, while the rest of the class is left to figure out what’s going on and study for the final so they can help Negi stay with them and keep his job. However, in the midst of their search, the Baka & Negi team discovers the book, but unexpected traps leave them stranded deep beneath the school.
Now, with Negi powers still MIA, the Baka Rangers and Negi must not only retrieve the book, but escape the larger-than-life library and make it back to Mahora, or they won’t be able to help Negi, whether they succeed in getting smarter or not! Can they make it to the exams alive, or will Negi’s lack of magic be the final nail in their coffins?
At this early stage in the series, the escapades of Negi and the girls of Class 2-A may seem episodic in nature. However, if you look at the series as a whole, you’ll start to see a trend in the process of Negi becoming a real part of Mahora Academy, not just a British child who’s out of sorts in a faraway land. It’s the kind of situation that really makes me want to get behind Negi and cheer him on all the way! It is really starting to become quite a thrill to read these books, because you truly never know what will happen next. I may just come to call Negima! my favorite manga of all time if this keeps up.