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Title:
  Negima!? Spring & Summer Specials OVA

UK Distributor:  Manga Entertainment

BBFC Certificate:  15

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  14.99

Running Time: 80 mins (approx.)

Audio Options:  English 2.0 & Japanese 2.0

Subtitles:  English

Reviewer:  Amichan

 

Fan service, fan service and more fan service.  This was pretty much the only hint of content on the cover of the DVD case, with most of the cast being in a variety of scantly clad swimsuits.  Anyway.. without judging a DVD by its cover I quickly popped it into my player and began watching.  The first episode, which was the Spring special, shows the class heading off to Southern island for a well deserved break.  This special was based on volume 7 of the original manga.  The storyline overall is quite simplistic and shows how the main character Negi overcomes a misunderstanding between himself and Asuna (Negi's student and roommate).
 

The opening sequence is quite impressive; for a start the art style compared to the original Negima!? series has jumped up a notch in terms of quality.  It shows the girls parachuting out of an aeroplane, which is a good introduction to the rather large cast.  In the sequence you pretty much see every girl in the series with a slight snapshot of each of their personalities.  The opening was also well complemented with a happy J-pop theme tune which goes well with the anime.


Unfortunately the story is overbalanced with fan service moments, such as Setsuna being embarrassed by the clothing and the positions that Konoka gets into.  This though is the tip of the iceberg, as there are also scenes where Asuna looses all of her clothes and entire shots where instead of seeing a character talking you see her pants instead!

The second episode, the Summer special, has a slight better story with Nadoka and Yue practising magic in order to find their true love.  Unfortunately, this backfires and poor shy Nadoka ends up being linked to Negi by a red ribbon.  For those who don't know, the red ribbon in Asian culture represents the bond between two people or soul mates.  The spell in Negima!? though is just a party trick and does not show who will be Negi's pactio partner in the end!
 

For a second time though the cute story was overwhelmed by fan service, such as Setsuna being unable to wash Konoka and the Asuna mecha "rape" scene where she gets attacked by a robot that goes haywire.  These scenes seem perfectly innocent though when compared to a scene between Nadoka and Negi.  This involved close up shots of blushing faces with waling and moaning.  It was at this point of the episode where I wanted to stop the DVD as it was insinuating that these under aged children were having sex.  However, this

was just a misdirection as they were simply hiding in the Sauna room and had passed out because of the heat.  This scene though was totally unnecessary and just left me feeling dirty after watching it.

One element, which was quite good in both of the specials, were the snapshots of each of Negi's class.  Each shot provides a brief piece of information on each of the cast such as their likes and dislikes.  This adds a quirky element to the show and helps to break up the episodes.  Furthermore, the ending of the Spring special and the opening of the Summer special uses many of the artwork pieces used for the front covers of the manga.

Overall, these specials were disappointing.  From reading this review you may feel that I am not a fan of the series.  However, this could not be further from the truth as I have watched the first series of Negima!? and read most of the manga available in the UK.  I am also well aware that Ken Akamatsu, the creator, enjoys adding a fan service element to his mangas.  However, one thing he does not allow is for the fan service to overtake the story that he is trying to tell.  This is where these specials fail as the adult fan service overshadows the stories being told and beautiful art work that the episodes provide.

Extras:

The DVD box has reversible covers, the first having Asuna skydiving on the front and the second with Nadoka and Yue together.  Other then that the usual extras are included, such as clean opening and closing titles.

Ratings

Feature:   Extras:
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