Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mahou Sensei Negima! - Anime Final

The announcement for this movie was soooo long ago that I pretty much forgot about it until it popped up by UTW and Commie today. This time I think I will do the full review that this adaptation deserves instead of just half-assed comments like I do for episodic shows.

The first ten minutes skipped through the climatic last battle from the manga pretty fast. I was really quite disappointed as I was quite anticipating the Negi X Fate fight and especially that last "handshake of death." I'm sure that falls under the "all time fight scenes that would look awesome if animated list" like the Rakan X Negi fight. Also before that was the epic entrance and instant defeat of Quartum, Quintum, Septum and what not; following that was the even more epic entrance of the Mahora Academy teachers plus Eva-chan being completely badass. Well, here's hoping that ANIME FINAL does not mean that they will stop animating anything else.

Anyway, this movie is suppose to be an alternate ending to the manga ending that is currently still in progress. The action starts off with the familiar setup of everyone chasing after Negi like a pack of wolves hunting the last sheep in the field. The reason this time is the overheard ultimatum that Negi's provisional contracts with all the girls are expiring and Negi must choose one partner from his harem. The fallout is that the non-chosen maidens will have their memories of magic wiped. Right off the bat this whole deal sounds fishy and way too tragic. Nagi/Thousand Master had multiple formal contracts of his own, so I do doubt the excuse that the provisional contracts can expire. Then again, this adaptation seems to have a few inconsistencies with the manga already. For one, Asuna did not have to do anything further to stabilize the magical world of Mars. Also, Negi did not seem to have turned into an immortal lightning elemental entity during/prior to his fight with Fate as he still needed to chant the Magic Erebea incantations during the fight with Kaede. Well, it's the tiny details they skipped over in the first ten minute section that let them get away with these discrepancies.
For now, I'm just glad the Chizuru still seems to have her pactio and the most hilarious artifact ever. It's the little things that matter.

Most of the rest of this movie are the fair maidens of Class 3-A reflecting deeply about losing their memories of Negi and magic. Everybody had their own way of "reflecting".

The strongest fighter Ku Fei, Kaede and Mana request fights from Negi.
Nodoka and Yue go for a daring simultaneous kiss as recognized rival friends.
The other girls...take a bath of course...and plan a Yobai (Night Visit).

The drama transitions to actual danger when Negi's plans for merging the magical world on Mars goes horribly wrong, and it approaches a collision with Earth. For some reason, some earthquake barrier on Mars is interfering with merging the Magical World with Earth. The barrier is apparently powerful enough to withstand Rakan's full power Rakan Impact (which is totally BS, the man can break through dimensions with pure kiai).
Here is where most anime adaptations seem to fail by pretty much pulling developments out of nowhere.

Chain of deus ex machina:
Negi comes to the conclusion that only the power of a Magister Magi can destroy the barrier preventing the fusion the Magical World and Earth. So, (Deus ex machina #1) he goes on to Formal Contract ALL 30 of his students at once (which pretty much subverts all the students' worries), and even the ones that did not get contracts in the manga. 

Everyone shoots off their pactio's special super attack. Eva shoots a Snowstorm of Darkness. Negi shoots off a simple Thousand Thunderbolts (most powerful lightning spell he has, but he usually uses it to charge his Magic Erebea Lightning God Form). 
Their haphazard attacks manage to break the weird barrier, but the merging spell is still on the fritz. Mars is still heading toward Earth and causing worldwide gravitational disasters. When all seems lost...
(Deus ex machina #2) Chao Bao Zi returns from the future to save her granddaddy. The Cassiopeia time machine apparently works just because of the combined magical powers of the 3-A harem. 
Now that Negi's full 31 harem-ettes have assembled, they combine their powers once again to shoot off a Kamehame-, er no, Spirit Bo-, er no, Giga Drill Bre-, er no, Gattai, da!-, er no, wait maybe, yeah, Magic Rainbow Merging BEAM!! (Deus ex machina #3) The world disaster is averted; the Magical World has seamlessly melded with Earth. Negi is promoted to a High School teacher to follow Class 3-A. The anime can avoid the pedophilic crime-like trouble of having a 10, 11 year old shota single out his life-mate from an envious record harem of 31 young ladies.

I would have to say this anime original ending was not particularly satisfying in terms of all Negima is. The drama was forced, the action was dull, and the animation itself was far from movie quality. I think I will still look forward to the manga ending instead. After so many tries at animating the Negima series, I really hope animators will rethink their strategy of rewriting an already reasonable and awesome plot. However, after so many failures, the future of a faithful Negima animation adaptation seems bleak indeed.

1 comment:

  1. no its possible i know it seems cheasy but we have to try and believe in order to get it a full animated series now i have watched tons of anime and when i say this is the best one ever made i really mean it if we can just plan something to get them put episodes in which it covers almost all of the manga then we shall have our dream come true it should be the best anime ever