Well, as any follower of Chizumatic or Bridgebunnies knows (I do still have more than two followers, right?), I’ve been somewhat upset with the abrupt ending of Mahou Sensei Negima. I am not exaggerating or engaging in hyperbole when I say that the ending was a complete abortion. Right up until about six issues ago, it was obvious that Akamatsu-sensei was still plotting the series through a multi-year run, and he had plenty of stories to tell. The number of loose ends and new plots unfolding were enough to keep the manga going for at least another 3-5 years. I did see signs that he was getting tired of it — Negima has been going for nine years now, after all.
But why the sudden truncation, the “well, I’m ending it in March, you get three more issues, guys!”? My pet theory, which I hope is not true, is that Akamatsu has an incurable disease. I’d much rather believe that he simply got tired, and instead of taking a few months off to recharge, he just ended the series. Nine years is long for a manga, it’s not long for novels; David Weber has been writing Honor Harrington books since the mid-90′s. On the other hand, novels are a “write once and out” proposition, compared to a manga, which is more of a long, continuous grind. So maybe he’s just tired.
Or is it simply a well-earned retirement? A movie, half a dozen OVA’s (one or two were quite good), and three TV series… the royalties from all that should have added up to a nice piece of change over the years, even if there never were any figurines. Oh, wait… chibis count, right? Maybe he’s just getting old and decided to take his money and enjoy life, not arthritis in his fingers.
(By the way, I saw the movie, un-subbed. VERY disappointed. I had an idea to do a post with joke dialog that I started making up on the fly to entertain myself, but I got lazy.)
There is a “new project” faction among the fans who think he’s got a new series in mind; I guess that would mean he’s no Kim Dal Il. Personally, I doubt that one…. the time to announce it would have been when he announced the end of Negima. At least drop some hints! A favorite theory until the last two chapters came out was that the prospective new series would be a sequel to Negima under a different name, especially since a seven year time jump meant he wouldn’t be their teacher any more. I’d say the last issue, with everyone’s futures, pretty much put paid to that.
One of the lesser reasons I’m going to miss Negima is that it was always fun to play guessing games with it. Although it didn’t have the logic and rigor that mark Shingu and Moretsu Space Pirates, it’s nine-year run gave it quite a lot of background. So, for one last time, I’m going to engage in some speculation and deduction, a.k.a. wild mass guessing. Only without the mass, because, you know, I’m only one person.
Well, I suppose I could just guess a whole lot, that would qualify… so here’s ten:
1. My guess that “Negi’s sister was actually his mother in disguise” is correct. Granted this was supposed to be “Ala Rubria meets Ala Alba” but seriously, no mention of his sister? That’s odd. Of course, someone might make the counterpoint that there was no mention of Anya either; the whole future destiny thing was strictly about the class. Of course that could be because…
2. Anya was never really an eleven year old mage; she was an agent of the Megalosembrian Senate, using age-altering drugs and a glamour spell to keep anyone from paying attention to the fact that she was remarkably graduating at almost as young an age as Negi. Notice that she’s the only other survivor of the attack on Negi’s village, as she just happened to be “out of town” with relatives that night. Her insistence on keeping Negi from going to Mahora and attempts to bring him home from there prior to the Magic World arc had to do with her orders to keep him away from anything that might spark his dormant interest in following his father. It was planned (by the Senate, possibly even Kurt Godel) that she would pursue him romantically as she got older; as his wife, she’d be perfectly positioned to influence him to be a stay-at-home wizard.
3. Chisame was Negi’s “favorite.” Negi seems to have a thing for fiery, assertive women. Anya, Asuna, Evangeline, Chisame…he seemed to have a thing for each of them. Poor Nodoka never had a chance. Since Akamatsu-sensei didn’t have the time to set the stage properly, he came up with an off-the-cuff, and thereby crappy destiny for Chisame rather than reveal it and match them up.
4. Chao was right all along. She wanted to reveal magic to the world, and notice that in the last two issues it had. The success of the orbital elevator is due to Hakase’s fusion of technology and magic. Obviously, this is less speculation than recognizing what was there.
5. Later, the Daemonic realms open up diplomatic relations with Earth. (see Zazie’s write-up).
6. Paio Two-san is a wanted woman on two worlds. And persona non grata at every topless and nudie bar in both of them. Like that’s hard to figure out… and now I’m getting silly.
7. Kurt Godel had a lolicon. Who knew? Well, at the very least, he was a cradle robber. Hakase? Seriously, Hakase? Didn’t see that one coming.
8. Konoka wasn’t yuri for Setsuna after all. Damn!
9. Fate developed a crush (not involving the Stone Pillars of Hades) on Sakurako. Say what? Didn’t see that one either. His ability to summon the stone pillars made him popular with construction companies everywhere. She affected the economy of the world by developing a speculative market around the supply of age-altering drugs imported from the magic world. With a market in the billions, world benchmark prices came to include the American dollar, gold, West Texas Light crude oil, and Age Formula 16. This is what sparked Fate’s concern about making her use her powers for good.
(Note: New York passed a law banning possession of age-increasing drugs after it was discovered that most of the purchases were by high-school kids in order to obtain beer. California placed a tax on the age-reducing formula. Proceeds from Hollywood alone solved the state’s perennial deficits.)
10. Ayaka, (Incho) became the secret mistress of an important world leader, thanks to her peerless ability to come and go unnoticed. Hey, that card came in pretty handy for more than just scheduling meetings, you know.
And that will do it for now… Too bad you quit on us Akamatsu, and don’t expect me to get involved with your next series, if there is one. It will just end bitterly, again.