Ten-year-old prodigy Negi Springfield, has just graduated from magic academy, and in order to become a master mage he is sent to Japan to teach English at an all-girls middle school. But Negi has a bigger dream than just becoming a master mage. He wants to find his missing father, “The Thousand Master”, the strongest mage that has ever lived. And he soon finds that searching for his father wont be as easy as he first hoped. In fact, it pushes him and his students into life-or-death battles that decides the fate of millions.
And throughout all this, Negi finds out some of the secrets hidden in Mahora Acedemy Class 3-A. Are these girls, truly, what they seem?” - Mangafox.com
This is a great example of a manga that looked like it was leaning in one direction at first, than changed directions completely*. At first I thought this would be an ecchi, harem, comedy, romance, school life type manga. But a couple of volumes in and I see an ecchi, harem, comedy, romance, action, fantasy, supernatural, martial arts, sci-fi, adventure type deal. Basically, as the story progressed we stopped having a school life manga and we get an action, adventure, fantasy manga. The ecchi, harem, comedy, and romance stayed mostly constant, although some went under minor changes. I will now address these changes while loosely explaining the manga as a whole (as to not give too much away).
The ecchi switched from being panty shots in the beginning to a representation of damage. Instead of being KO’ed in one shot the (female) characters lose their clothing… It sounds stupid but it actually works nicely once you get over how unrealistic it is. But then again this is a manga about a ten-year-old professor/magi who is trying to save the world with his students who, coincidentally, are all female. The last time I checked that was not very realistic.
As far as the harem genre goes I think the mangaka wanted a to have a harem manga but then changed his mind and slowly converted it into an action manga. Fortunately or unfortunately, he was now stuck with a lot of female characters. I think this explains why we now have two male characters in the party rather than just Negi. This also explain why instead of having a harem we have more of a romance manga with relationships going in many different directions. But since Negi has more than one girl with feelings for him this is still technically a harem manga.
I have hinted at a lot in this review, some of which I will now clarify. We start off with a manga of the school life, harem, romance variety. In this segment we see little hard core action. No all out battles, no huge onslaughts of raw magical power and no tournaments with crazy trump cards, those come later. Once things start picking up you are in for a treat. That’s the catch for this manga. If you are reading this for the action you have to wait for a while, that is until the setting changes. Personally, I think this manga is good without the action but that’s just me. In case you need a reason to read until the pace picks up know that Negi’s students all develop fantasy, supernatural, martial arts, and sci-fi esque powers. Think about that for a second.
*As such this review will be twice as long as usual.
Sources: Mangafox.com animethemes.net minitokyo.net