Negima! 9, at first glance, appears to be a rather uneventful volume. We get introductions to four girls (well, three and a half), a couple of others are developed a bit, there’s lots of wacky comedy of errors, gratuitous nudity, and people getting punched for being perverts. All very typical.
Of course, this is probably one of the most important volumes, for several reasons.
First of all, this volume sets up the School Festival. As of March 2006, Negima is about to finish Volume 14 in Japan, and we’re still only in Day 2 of 3 of this Festival. It’s a HUGE arc, and this volume starts it up.
Secondly, we meet Chao Lingshen, even if we don’t find out much about her (she’s the one-half). She’s brilliant and mysterious, and also wanted by most of the school for various crimes. I suspect her plot will end up being one of the ‘end games’ in the entire manga. Plus, she’s Chinese and wears her hair in odangos, but has a small bust and an IQ in the 200s, which makes a nice change from the Shampoo stereotype. :)
In terms of yuri, we continue to have some amusing bits with our favorite canonical half-couple, Konoka and Setsuna. Setsuna is blushing and stammering, Konoka is oblivious. Setsuna sees Konoka in underwear, she gets very embarrassed. We’re
sort of in a comedy holding pattern here.
Of interest, though, is another ‘non-canon’ couple. We meet the class’s resident ghost, Sayo, a cute yet klutzy girl who was murdered in the 1940s but who still haunts the classroom. After being ‘outed’ by the class, she finds that she can actually be seen by reporter girl Kazumi, possibly as they sit next to each other. The interaction between the two is cute, and naturally since Kazumi’s the one who can see her, Sayo rarely leaves her side after this. Many fans like these two as a yuri couple, despite the obvious problems (such as one partner being non-corporeal), but it’s pure fan speculation.
This is a good if not great volume of Negima, but it does set up the Festival, and there are some very good stories coming up in that. Recommended.
Thanks Sean! The way you describe this almost makes me want to read it – which is quite a feat, let me tell you! :-)