|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Mahou Sensei Negima! Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba
After watching every particular Negima anime that has been made, I believe that this one is certainly worth the rent. As explained by AstroNerdBoy, this short series was mainly intended for the fans of the Negima manga. I haven't read any of the manga and yet I'm still satisfied on how things work out. So, I guess you can let this review be for the ones who haven't followed the manga side to it. Probably, the only drawback is for anyone who has never seen Negima (or even read). To watch this without any background is just going to be too confusing...obviously. I do suggest that you watch at least the US second release of Negima to get some background into this new series. For those who have watched and either have read the manga or not, here's my take on it.|
In the manga, this series takes place after the Mahora festival. In the anime (2nd US released version) it ended before the festival ever began. Plus, in this series, a new character is shown. Of course, myself not following the manga was a bit surprised but didn't deter me. The series is really the preparation to find Negi's father, the thousand master (Nagi). In order to prepare, the 'Ala Alba' chapter of the Negima club was formed. Of course, some of Negi's students were not part of this club and found out that they were going to Wales to find Negi's father. That in turn creates a whole new problem for the "Ala Alba" and mostly for Asuna. Again, I not having read the manga but looked up the information ahead of time, it put me in a slightly confused position. I didn't know who that new character was, why the whole thing about the Mahora festival was not introduced as a series but as a intro to the series in a few scenes, etc. For manga readers, I'd be upset too if I haven't seen anything that would at least give me a sense of continuity. To me, if this was the intent of the writers, then I guess I can't complain. As a fan of the anime, I really don't mind if it was close to or too far out of the manga. Since I don't have the desire to read the manga (or to read at all) I don't feel disappointed too much. Sure, things could have been better explained, but then that would mean I would have to read the manga. Personally, I'd rather cut my losses and get the main parts of the manga so I can at least understand where the anime is going.
The art and animation are still the same like the 2nd US released version. No changes so no big deal. The story meshes well but without the Mahora festival arc, it just creates a gigantic hole in the anime. It's like watching the first few episodes of Naruto and then jumping into the latest Naruto Shippudden episode. The gap in time without any explanation is really uncalled for. That's why it doesn't deserve a buy rating. If it was anything close to the manga, at least fill in the void. To me, that's either a company issue or sheer laziness. In any case, it's not enough for me to give it anything less than a rent rating. It was easy enough for me to follow (even though some scenes I didn't see as being logical after watching the 2nd US version) and still was enjoyable. Had there been a reason for the gap in time, then I'd probably would give it a higher rating. Overall, watch it to your leisure. However, without any earlier background, don't watch it until you see the previous series before this one.
Last updated Sunday, April 19 2009. Created Sunday, April 19 2009.
Mahou Sensei Negima! Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba
I love the Negima! manga. Akamatsu-sensei has crafted a well-written story with interesting characters and fun to boot. So when an anime adaptation was announced, I was happy. However, the Negima! adaptation ended up falling well short of the mark for a whole slew of reasons. Then SHAFT got involved and made up their own version of Negima! with Negima!?. I accepted that for what it was but it really wasn't what I wanted -- I wanted a faithful adaptation of the Negima! manga. With this thee-episode OAD/OVA series, we get just that.|
The anime starts with the tail-end of the Mahora Festival main arc before moving onto the creation of Negima-dan (soon to be Ala Alba), which is around Volume 19, chapter 176 and continues to chapter 177, which has Eva's test of Ala Alba at the summer festival. It is a shame that the Mahora Festival arc from the manga is skipped, but that would likely take an entire season's worth of anime episodes to properly produce. So the anime writers skip this AND they skip the very important Asuna Training mini-arc. Oh well, at least we have something.
Episode 2 basically covers chapters 178-180 (volume 20) which is the Anya introduction mini-arc. Things pretty much play like the manga, but seeing things come to life made the episode enjoyable just the same. I couldn't help but laugh again at some of Anya's antics and her rivalry with Ayaka. The episode having a brief glimpse at Asuna's training reminded me of how I would have liked to have seen that as an episode.
Episode 3 basically covers chapters 175, 183, then 181 - 182. This is mostly the little shorts Akamatsu-sensei did as well as the final preparations for the trip to Wales by Ala Alba. The good is seeing all this in anime form. Plus, the anime team added one story about Misora and Satsuna. The negatives here were that one Sayo story showing her getting her mini doll to possess is dropped and the episode has a distinct feeling of Negima!?, which was a bit unnerving.
There are weaknesses in art and animation which are mostly corrected by episode 3, but then that also helped give that episode its Negima!? feel. However, this focus on fun over substance may harm the next OAD/OVA series, which is supposed to be 4-episodes in length and take place after Ala Alba gets to the Magic World. So all the important stuff about Asuna, Ako, etc. are all missing. However, this is where the Japanese fall back to their standard possition in such cases -- this anime is designed for fans of the manga and therefore we expect them to fill in the blanks for the stuff we skip. That's truly unfortunate but there's nothing we can do about it. For those who've yet to read the manga, just do that. ^_^;;;
Bottom line: I think Negima!manga fans got what they wanted -- a fairly faithful adaptation of some more low-key anime chapters that focus more on fun than on substance. After two failed TV series (in manga fan's mind at least) as well as two blah OVA's, this OAD series is a breath of fresh air. As such, I'd give it a Buy, but only for fans of the manga. If you haven't read the manga, at best you might get a Rent for this.
Last updated Sunday, April 19 2009. Created Friday, August 22 2008.
|Official (Japanese) Series Web Site||http://negima.kc.kodansha.co.jp/|