cover image NEGIMA!: Magister Negi Magi

NEGIMA!: Magister Negi Magi

Ken Akamatsu, Author . Del Rey $10.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-345-47046-1

A bespectacled young boy magician enters a new school, where he will learn all about life, love and the extent of his powers—which include his ability to remove girls' clothing just by sneezing. Ten-year-old Negi Springfield is a new graduate from magic school who is sent to Japan to teach English to a class of 31 eighth graders. The twist? It's an all-girls school. Since this is by Akamatsu, the cartoonist behind the extremely popular Love Hina , the story includes page after page of sexual innuendo, panty shots and the odd manga convention of teenaged girls who look cartoony with their clothes on, and like Maxim models when they lose them in some embarrassing manner. Negi himself is adorable, as people keep reminding him ("Damn my charisma!" he says at one point). But that doesn't go far with Asuna, a temperamental student who is in love with 30-year-old Professor Takahata (the only adult within sight). To atone for accidentally removing her clothes on several occasions, Negi agrees to help Asuna by brewing up a love potion. Silly, unsurprising situations ensue, but if readers can get past the idea of teenaged girls pawing a 10-year-old boy, they should enjoy Akamatsu's real fondness for his cast and inventive, energetic cartooning, which is as loopy and manic as the story. A tense dodgeball showdown between Negi's class and the dreaded St. Ursula Girl's High School team showcases both to fine effect. (Apr.)