Originally a manga started by Ken Akamatsu
of Love Hina
is an Urban Fantasy
series revolving around ten-year old wizard Negi and his budding harem. Known for combining the Harem Genre
with fighting shonen
elements, many adaptations and spin-off material have been produced.
Works in this franchise:
- The original manga, Mahou Sensei Negima!.
- The first anime, Negima! (take note of the punctuation; it becomes important), concluded in late 2005 after only 26 episodes. Understandably, the plot was tremendously telescoped — the anime parallels the volumes one through six of the manga in its first 20 episodes or so, and then hurtles into a sudden and somewhat hasty Grand Finale arc, in the process skipping over a vast landscape of storyline and character development and abandoning several plot threads just set in motion. It would appear that the studio had planned for more than one season to tell the full manga story, and then were disabused of that notion with less than a third of season left to tie things up. The result is a conclusion that, while dramatic and fulfilling the promise of the show's premise, is abrupt and seems to come out of left field with no warning — especially the shocking event that sets the concluding action in motion. The FUNimation adaptation took nearly all of the studio's most frequently-used voice actresses, some of them playing two or three of the girls at a time.
- Negima!?, a new series released in the autumn of 2006: It is a Reboot of the storyline, with a earlier time slot (leaving the Fanservice packed off to the OVAs until later in the story), a more obvious shounen bent, and a distinct flavor of humor courtesy of Studio Shaft, the production company that made Pani Poni Dash!. A manga adaptation loosely based on this reboot, titled Negima!? Neo, began running in late 2006, taking plot points from both the original manga and the Negima!? anime and running through both in very different ways than its predecessors.
- In October 2007, a Live-Action Adaptation called Negima!! was aired. Like Negima!? before it, the plot is a Reboot of the basic storyline. And like most Live Action Adaptations of anime, it tries to pull off the same kind of manic visual humour (and Fanservice) that its animated counterparts have, which sometimes succeeds but often comes off as awkward.
- Beginning in 2008, a new animated project was released: a three-episode OVA called Mahou Sensei Negima!: White Wing/Ala Alba, covering the brief breather arc between the Mahora Festival and the trip to the Magic World (chapters 176-183, specifically). These were released alongside limited edition variants of manga volumes 23-25 and, in a refreshing change to the franchise's history of animation, were a faithful adaptation of the chapters it adapted. These were followed up in 2009 by a four-episode (plus one extra) OVA titled Mahou Sensei Negima!: Another World. These were released in limited edition variants of manga volumes 27-28 and 30-32, and cover the beginning of the Magic World arc. The same studio that handled Negima!? is in charge of this adaptation, but this time it feels like the manga — only with added sound, color and movement.
- Another spin-off, titled Negima (Ito) Bun (a.k.a.: Negima Little Girls), which reversed the age gap: Negi as a young man teaching a kindergarten class.
- An anime movie, entitled Mahou Sensei Negima! Anime Final, was released on August 27th, 2011, continuing after the Another World OVAs, and having a different ending than the manga.
- UQ Holder, a sequel set decades later.