Monday, October 31, 2011

Negima! Magister Negi Magi Volume 10

VOL. 10
081 – MahoraFest Begins
La la la la...

The Mahora Festival begins, yay, it’s going to get quite interesting now. The haunted house by Class 3A was okay, but the special ability of the watch was pretty easy to guess. It reverses time, still, it’ll make for some good events later on I guess, not a spectacular start to the festival arc, but not too shabby.

082 – MahoraFest Begins… Again?!
so angelic

The time travel aspect reminds quite a bit of Harry Potter and the Prisoner from Azkaban for some reason. Though I like the way this works theoretically, in that the person time travelling has to avoid his past self and everything. Anyway, not too much has happened other than the fact that we see Negi acting like a proper 10 year old kid, and a different, more gentle side of Setsuna (who actually smiled properly!). The identity of Chao is displayed as a mystery at this time, quite funny when she said she was an alien, as a matter of fact, the whole chapter was funny, a nice chapter.

083 – Date With a Bookstore
such a happy accident

As the title may suggest, Negi has his date with Nodoka, and it’s another fun and lighthearted chapter to read. It never really occurred to me that Nodoka may be under the effect of the World Tree. An enjoyable read, a few laughs, especially with Nodoka’s imaginings, in contrast to her conservative nature.

"why do you act so surprised?"

084 – Kiss Machine’ Negi?!
this is funny... death by a kiss

This chapter was hilarious!!! Negi turns into a slightly perverted version of himself, bent on kissing Nodoka. He surprisingly gets very strong (so the next time an enemy appears, he shouldn't be helpless like all the previous ones… hopefully), but just when the two other mages appear to fight him, that was good. Burst out laughing when Nodoka imagined kissing with Negi, and it ending with her death.

085 – So What is a Grown-Up Kiss Like??
just blame is on the heat of the moment...

The humor continues, and Asuna wants in on the action, burst out laughing when she said that line. In the end, Negi kissed with Asuna, and somehow that feels appropriate. However, when Nodoka kissed Negi, I was thinking, this is kinda wrong, he is only 10 years old, Nodoka isn’t that much better before 15 or something (can't remember). If only Negi was older, at least a teenager, then the mood would have been so much better. I still liked the chapter however, good entertainment.

086 – The Object of One’s Long-Ago Love
talk about overkill

Another good chapter with laughs, although more of a filler chapter than anything, since it focuses on a character we hadn’t seen much, and it doesn't seem to be leading somewhere. That isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with it, love Negi’s reactions though.

087 – That Lovin’ Feeling That Just Won’t Hide
words over fist

I liked the start, felt bored by the middle, but it picked up again in the end. The logical arguments of Yue against Katarou, rendering him speechless was funny, as was when Kamo annoyed Yue about her feelings for Negi. Confirmed now that Yue likes Negi, and she also finds out about the time machine. During the middle, where it was boring, I was thinking, this is another chapter where nothing much happens, but it worked out in the end and was not a terrible chapter.

088 – Return of the Ver-r-ry Dangerous Martial-Arts Tournament
the mastermind

Can't the fight start already!??! I kinda hate how it always takes forever for the main event in an arc to start, it’s like there are a few chapters preceding it that sets it up, dragging it along. I guess its part of the hyping up. Anyway, a few good moments here, but mainly, I just want to get to the start of the fight. It seemed that all the students who had fought before are going to be in the tournament, I do wonder how it will turn out, especially when it was revealed the last tournament 25 years ago was won by Negi’s dad.

nicely drawn

089 – The “Ba-Bump! Nuthin’-But-the-Strongest” Battle Royal
and first off in the comedic techniques round

Finally the tournament starts, and I like it. Even though it is the preliminary round, pretty much the people you expect to win, does win. They all go to the second round, at least the preliminary was over in one chapter, I don't think it would have been as absorbing if it was split into more chapters. Most of the ways the students win are humorous, since all the (more powerful looking) opponents underestimate them, but also coz they are not that good themselves. It ends with a match table, just the way I like this stuff to be done, in knockout matches!!! What’s more, it’s Negi versus Takamitchi, nice… Although, the apparently of a hooded figure causes some suspicion…

if there's ever a sub-theme for this volume, it's kissing

Focusing on the start of the MahoraFest, although the time travelling element is nothing new, and could have been utilized better, it was a good volume. It’s not the very best, but it’s one of the better ones, in terms of direction and story content. At the very least, I didn't get confused at what was happening.


Credits: due to it being faster and more efficient I just took these pictures from scans online instead of scanning the tankobons themselves. These were scanned by the groups "Red Hawk Scanalations" and "Mahora-Manga"

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Book Review: The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow

Book: #101
Title: The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow
Series: N/A
Author: Andy Griffiths
Read Before: no
My Comments: A book that doesn't have much text, probably all the text in the whole book could fit onto two pages (if not one). The book has a couple of rhymes that tell a very very short pointless story, the main attraction and focus of the book is on the illustrations. A couple of places where it is worth a laugh, and it’s a tad better than The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming, but not really worth reading.
Rating: 3/10

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Review: The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming

Book: #100
Title: The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming
Series: N/A
Author: Lemony Snicket
Read Before: no
My Comments: To be honest, I wasn't expecting much, so I can't say that I was disappointed. Definitely a book for small children, and I found it quite boring. A few places in the book where it was ok and was slightly funny, overall, not an entertaining book.
Rating: 3/10

Monday, October 24, 2011

Negima! Magister Negi Magi Volume 9

VOL. 9
072 – The Merry Month of Maids
I swear maid costumes are overused...

This was a funny chapter; straight away I knew it wasn't part of something bigger. It is a little uneventful, however, it wasn't totally boring, the maid cafe idea is a well used one though, but just a lot of frames here that’ll give you a chuckle.

073 – Soft on the Outside, Clever on the Inside
"This is not what it looks like!  It's all a misunderstanding!!!"

I found this to be quite amusing, sure, we get the usual lamentation of his own uselessness by Negi, but it focused on another class member, and Yotsuba was a more interesting one. The reflection of Negi over how bad he was in various areas was kinda annoying, I mean, yes, you may be bad, but just accept it… it’s a bit overdone now, no need to dwell on it.

074 – Here, There, and Nowhere
A ghost???  Another overused element

A fairly random chapter in which it gets revealed a class member is a ghost (seriously, this is the weirdest class ever). The final part was pretty funny when they thought the ghost had moved on, but she only shifted places. While the class was trying to catch the ‘evil’ ghosts (total misunderstanding), a characters shows they have some special ability with their eyes… I think this is a pretty irrational chapter, not because of the ghost, but how things panned out.

075 – The Logic of Illogic
Heh, this one reminds me of a creator of monsters...

A chapter focusing on Chachamaru, surprisingly she develops human emotions, unsurprisingly, she falls for Negi. I was surprised that her creator was Hakase, and somehow or all rather, Chachamaru becomes Evangeline’s partner; I do wonder how that had happened. A lighthearted chapter, it was quite funny since it’s loaded with gags.

076 – Strange But True! Love’s Practice Run
no privacy

Didn't really see where this was going until around half way, not terribly interesting, but it’s bearable. Okay, it’s not too bad, and we do get to see an older Negi (15 year old in fact, and might I say, much better than the 10 year old look). Asuna’s slowly starting to like Negi I think, since he’s having so much influence onto her (even dreaming of him). Actually, the title is really appropriate for this chapter (especially the first three words).

077 – Strange But True! Love’s Practice Run
wow, handsome Negi (way better than the annoying 10 yr old kid look)

Finishing what was started in the previous chapter, this one’s pretty funny. Loved all the ‘fail’ moments and Negi getting smashed by Asuna, and how Kamo was the mastermind behind all the gestures, getting Negi to make his moves. I think it was a bit of a shock to Asuna (and the reader) that her crush, Takahata, is in a relationship.

078 – Draw Curtain: The Negi Gran-‘n’-Run

I thought this would be a typical chapter and it began that way, not interesting me that much. As the chapter progressed though, it was quite cool, and funny at how Negi’s schedule for the school festival became more and more packed. In the end, I quite liked this chapter, it’s lighthearted, and there are quite a few good moments, and it seems to make the school festival (when it finally happens) going to be quite good.

079 – The Sweet Truth of the World-Tree Legend
run away!

This chapter explains the World Tree Legend and that it’s true, but a bit hard to understand the legend, I couldn't really make head or tail of it. It seemed scattered and unfocused, as such, the chapter was confusing and wasn't that great.

080 – Signs & Portents at the Pre-festival Gala

Kinda a mess of a chapter, but it seems that there are some hidden agendas from many people, from students in Negi’s class to the mages of the school. This chapter focuses on Chao, a character we haven’t seen much before, it would be good if we found out more stuff, but most of them are still being kept in the dark…


A lighthearted volume, but this is not a bad thing, as I enjoyed most of the chapters. It promises that the next chapter will be the start of the school festival, so I can't wait for that one as it seems quite interesting. Not a bad volume, even though it seems that it doesn't really go anywhere.


Credits: due to it being faster and more efficient I just took these pictures from scans online instead of scanning the tankobons themselves. These were scanned by the groups "Red Hawk Scanalations", "Mahora-Manga" and "AquaStar Fansubs"

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Book Review: Percy Jackson The Demigod Files

Book: #99
Title: Percy Jackson The Demigod Files
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians - companion book
Author: Rick Riordan
Read Before: yes
My Comments: The second time reading this was a lot better, probably coz I knew what to expect. It was a disappointment the first time around as I had expected more, but The Demigod Files contains three short stories (well, one really short one, one not as short, and one that is a decent length). The Stolen Chariot is a so so story, it wasn't too interesting and is the worse of the three. The Bronze Dragon is more interesting, but still lacks the charm of the mainstream books. The Sword of Hades, while sounding cool and showing promising, is only an average read, it doesn't have enough ‘personality’, lacking that ‘touch’ that makes the Percy Jackson series so great. The extras aren’t that great either, with some that are just there to make up the extra pages (such as the crossword and word-find). The interviews were ok and had a few good tongue-in-cheek jokes, but unless you’re a die hard fan, I wouldn't recommend this.
Rating: 5.5/10

Friday, October 21, 2011

Negima! Magister Negi Magi Volume 8

VOL. 8
063 – (Secret) Tower for Two
They can do it another hundred times and it still wouldn't get old
At first I thought it was another typical chapter where nothing much happens, but it was better than I had initially expected. I liked the part where it was explained how Negi’s daily worked, I liked the idea of fitting two days into one (although, it creates a paradox of how much Negi ages, two days or only one?).

064 – After That Magic-Teacher!
Fist of power!

Continuing on with the previous chapter, the class members start to learn magic too, which shouldn't really surprise me. Anyway, Kotarou had appeared at the end of the last chapter, and I thought his aim to was fight Negi again, turns out he was here to warn him of an approaching danger, it’s getting interesting yet again.

065 – My Very Own Superhero
Nodoka's going to get a shock when she turns around to find Evangeline right beside her...

We learn about Negi’s past, and it’s something new, not just the scene of the night where the Thousand Master appears in front of Negi like I thought. Even though it was a flashback, it was really interesting and I was hooked into the chapter. The exchange between Negi and Nodoka was pretty funny (and love how Chachazero only ever thinks of killing or people dying), a good chapter that ended too quick.

066 – The Truth of That Snowy Day

This scene is hilarious, everyone's so emotional...

Finishing off the flashback story of Negi’s past, we arrive at the very familiar scene where Negi meets his father in the night. Not too bad, and it was funny when the flashback was over and everyone had listened in (complete with tears in their eyes), typical, but funny. Skipping back to the real world, Kotarou forgets his purpose of arriving here, which is stupid, and now that I think about it, the mysterious shadow at the end of chapter 64 looks like one of the monsters in these two chapters.

067 – Rub-a-Dub-Dub, There’s Slime in the Tub
Made from shadows...

Whenever a title like this one appears, I’m a bit wary on the chapter plot. This one isn’t too bad, carrying on from the mysterious blob like things appearing in the previous few chapters, they form into three, strangely familiar, shapes. Don't know their intentions just yet, but it wasn't a “waste of my time” chapter.

068 – It Was a Dark and Stormy Visitor
Chop!  (why...?)

Things move at a faster pace, but nothing is revealed yet. A fight ensues between Kotarou and a mysterious (not to mention strong) old guy. This chapter ends with Negi and Kotarou teaming up heading towards a fight, I guess the good bit’s in the next chapter.

069 – The Attack Begins! Negi and Kotaro
We finally see them clearly, seriously, they remind me of other characters in this manga

Don't know why Asuna gets all surprised at what she’s wearing, thought she would have gotten used to it or expected it by now… The fight was okay, but it was just that, a fight, however, at least Negi’s training is paying off, he’s more powerful and less useless now.

070 – A Reason to Fight
fighting a demon now (*sigh*)

Turns out the old man was a demon (and using Asuna’s magic nullification powers to his advantage), I can forgive Negi for being subdued by the demon since it is really powerful. I liked how the chapter turned out, it was frustrating when things were still kept in suspense but not that some of it is out, it was enjoyable.

071 – Negi’s Choice
Axe of Thunder!

The battle ends, not really that exciting or worth it. This story arcs feels bloated anyway, it takes so long for it to take off, but what actually happens isn’t worth the hype and tension built up. We never got to find out what the demon’s intention was when he came to fight Negi.

So powerful... so mysterious

A mediocre chapter, I liked the arc where we learnt the daily regime of Negi, but the demon part afterwards was so so. It wasn't bad per se, I wouldn't say it’s great though. I wished the pacing is faster.


Credits: due to it being faster and more efficient I just took these pictures from scans online instead of scanning the tankobons themselves. These were scanned by the group "Meow"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Review: The Composer Is Dead

Book: #98
Title: The Composer Is Dead
Series: N/A
Author: Lemony Snicket
Read Before: no
My Comments: It is an average book, although better than I had anticipated. There was a joke at the beginning that I thought was quite good, but then it was kinda downhill from there. Maybe it’s better with the music but I can't be bothered checking out the CD, but story wise, it was very simple and the ending wasn't that great.
Rating: 4/10

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Negima! Magister Negi Magi Volume 7

VOL. 7
054 – Le Map, L’Amour, Le Chocolat
Asuna is Evangeline's worst nightmare...

Things are back to normal, that is, the way they were a few volumes ago. I was surprised that Negi went ahead and became an apprentice to Evangeline, and it finally clicked with me in this chapter that the reason why Asuna is able to hit Evangeline even when she’s got a magic barrier is that Asuna is immune to magic. It was mentioned in one of the previous chapters but it’s only now that I put this and that together. I think the rest of the chapter is fairly boring too, but I fell for it when I thought Asuna did fall in love with Negi, went it turns out it was just a love potion she accidentally took in the form of a chocolate…

055 – Three-Way Action

I swear the chapter titles can be so misleading. It’s another substandard plot, where the class members of 3-A mistaking Negi falling in love with someone else. I guess the point is that the reader knows what’s going on (Negi asking Ku-Fei to teach him how to fight) but the characters don’t. Some fairly comedic moments, so it’s not a loss, but it’s a very very typical plot for this genre.

056 – Negi, Makie, and the Disciple Test

Somehow, Makie got involved into this, well, this is a chapter that stars her I guess. Building upon when Evangeline said she will test Negi to see if he can become her apprentice, it seems like Makie had speeded up the process. This chapter feels average, however, I liked the part where Negi gets fat and then in the next frame (after following a suggestion by Makie) becomes all skinny again, that was funny.

057 – Bring It Home
This part was pretty funny.

A continuation from the previous chapter with the same things happening in the first half, more focus on Makie, more training by Negi, and more outrageous things by Ku-Fei (for comedic relief). The last few pages of the comments by Makie were hilarious.

058 – Bring It Home
"There there"

A chapter which is just what you’d expect, Negi did win, but it was coz Chachamaru was distracted, not that I think there was going to be another way for Negi to hit her. As such, he is now the proud apprentice of Evangeline. Makie takes the spotlight again in this chapter, but the whole chapter just seems too contrived and straightforward, like there wasn't much thought put into with the boring speeches and all.

059 – Buying You a Clue

A weird and rushed chapter, Negi finds a clue about his father, after half the chapter has gone with him discussing about how he doesn't want to involve his students, he has to set off with some of them anyway. Then in just a few pages, he went back down to the place where the Secret Library Island arc was situated, AND gone a bit further to some hidden part, and THEN met a dragon to which they run away. Yeah, I don't know about you, but something just doesn't feel right or complete, on the other hand, Yue was pretty funny this chapter.

060 – Cards, How to Use
Suitably evil

A bit better than the last chapter, however, it’s still not great, if only the story was pushed forward faster, rather than wasting time like this. Chachazero is pretty cool though. The ending was to be expected, where Asuna appears in front of Takamichi like that again. Loved the comment where Evangeline just calls Negi a moron (and smashes him) when he speaks of defeating a dragon, otherwise, another bland chapter.

061 – Marshmallow Empire of the South Pacific
Sword of Fury!!!!

Asuna summons a new weapon! Well, the one that's shown on her card, so that’s pretty cool, don't know what it does though. Negi tries to make up to Asuna in this chapter, no success. The comment about the shark knowing kendo was quite a good one, but otherwise, everything in the chapter has been done and tried already.

062 – Lubba-Dub! Not Here, Please
Feels like they're a team on a quest..

Negi finally makes up with Asuna at the end of this chapter, phew, if it was dragged out any longer it would have be extreme boredom. It seems like Negi’s magic group is getting bigger and bigger, pretty soon, the whole class will know about it, and then he’ll be invincible… Again, the title is so misleading…

A boring volume, I should think, not many chapters in here that I could heartedly recommend. Most of them I thought were a waste of time.


Credits: due to it being faster and more efficient I just took these pictures from scans online instead of scanning the tankobons themselves. These were scanned by the group "Meow".

Monday, October 17, 2011

Book Review: Cat O' Nine Tails

Book: #97
Title: Cat O' Nine Tails
Series: Cat Royal (not official name) - 4th book
Author: Julia Golding
Read Before: no
My Comments: Another good addition to the series, the storyline is strong and fairly interesting, there’s a lot more exciting things that happen. There’s more stuff happening since the main character, Cat, goes to a variety of places, which makes it much more entertaining to read. I liked how we get some of the thoughts from Cat (as the book is written in first person), the author tries for a little bit of suspense, but there isn’t really much (not that it matters a lot). Apart from the main cast, pretty much none of the other side characters are likeable. There are quite a few twists involved, to spring upon you something that you’re not expecting, which is great, and as I got towards the end, I couldn't believe how far into the book I was, because it still felt that I hadn’t read enough, so it is a good book overall.
Rating: 7/10

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Negima! Magister Negi Magi Volume 6

VOL. 6
044 – Welcome to the Head Temple!
The best chapter cover yet, sadly, this is the best thing about this chapter

Negi finally finished the task set to him in this chapter, and we learn a bit more about Konoka. I’m glad that this was finally resolved, and knowing Konoka possessed a magic power even more powerful than the Thousand Master is surprising. Otherwise… the chapter is fairly bland.

045 – Silence at the Head Temple?
"I summon... thee!"

A very interesting development, they seemed to have overestimated their own power so the headquarters are being infiltrated. Everyone except Negi, Setsuna, Konoka and Asuna are petrified, can't wait for the confrontation in the next chapter. This chapter ended too fast too, before I knew it, it was at the end, it was that good (as in, better than most of what we were given), and could the back up be Evangeline?? It ends with her, so it’s a possibility (but then, she can't leave the school grounds??).

046 – The Head Temple in Flames?!
Typical cool pose of a powerful character, for some reason, the name "Leon" pops into my mind

There’s a bit of a ecchi scene with Asuna in this chapter. I had a good laugh at some of the stuff here, I don’t know why I put so much hope in Negi when most of the time he just fails my expectations (so weak… only when things are really pressuring does he show he true power). It was funny when Kamo proposed that Setsuna makes a contract with Negi. Anyway, the new enemy is a powerful, way out of league amongst the others that Negi had fought so far.

047 – Take Konoka Back
Special slash attack!

Third time’s another charm, nice chapter with the way things are going. I guess it was to be expected that Setsuna would make a contract with Negi. The demon’s comment about the 21st Century was a good one. However, I kinda doubt that Negi would be able to retrieve Konoka when he’s one against like four, each one having more experience than him, but we’ll see…

048 – Time for Action

Another chapter that’s filled with fighting, but this time, Negi has reinforcements. How they came and caught up so fast I do not know, it seemed that Negi’s class is filled with people that’s not who they seem, with special powers here or whatnot. What’s awesome is that Evangeline is trying break out of her magic bounds so she can go and help Negi (it’ll be good if she succeeds). Anyway, this is getting better and better (much better than the related subplots of Volume 4 and 5).

049 – The Hidden Power, Unleashed
Spinning pinwheel attack!

This just gets better; I am finally impressed with Negi’s fighting technique. Usually he doesn't put up a good fight in the beginning of the fight but then gets better, however, this time, straight off the bat he’s executed an unexpected attack. The other parts of the chapter were okay, but not so much different than previous chapters, no more plot twist yet… To be honest though, although I say the last few chapters were good, that’s only relative to the chapter we have been getting, in other words, these recent ones are fairly average overall.

050 – For Konoka’s Sake
Yeah... like having angel wings is such a scary and freaky thing

Another turnout of events, although this chapter wasn't boring, after reading the ending, you realise that again, nothing much has changed. However, and a bit of spoiler from reading the title of the next chapter, it seems that Evangeline would come… awesome. Anyway, Setsuna is not human (go figure), but she has white angel wings, yeah… This chapter was well done, mind you, and Negi had put on a good fight.

051 – Return of Dark Evangeline

A bit below par from previous chapters, but still a great read. It was exciting though, Evangeline didn't appear until the last few pages, and I was surprised at how easy Setsuna managed to just retrieve Konoka, too easy to believe actually. Loved how Evangeline just shadow travelled there, and how powerful she is… she really went easy on Negi in Volume 3 (I just love it when past enemies become your ally).

052 – The Miracle Moment
Vampire special ability #124:  able to look suitable evil

A wrapping up chapter, the first few pages finished off the fight (and Evangeline cannot even die or fatally wounded, wow… very powerful once outside the curse’s proximity). A lot of good humour in this chapter, a decent read, I laughed a lot throughout it. So Negi gets another partner too (damn, that was quick…), a contract with Konoka, and she finally knows what is happening around her, it would have sucked if she was still kept in the dark after this.

053 – Memories of Kyoto
That's it!  We're done!

The final chapter in the Kyoto arc that spanned almost three volumes (around 28 chapters or so), and it’s nothing special. It finishes up on the loose end of Negi visiting his father’s house (totally forgot about that after all that’s happened…), but he doesn't find any clues there (expected). So the next chapter is back in the school of Mahora, but it was a great arc. Compared to the last few chapters, of course this one will feel a bit lacking and boring (not to mention a bit of a filler).

"It was an honour fighting with you... I have no regrets"... wait a sec...

Okay, this volume is officially the most exciting and best volume out of the six so far. It pushes the Kyoto story arc to it’s best moments, and also finishes it up with an epic bang. Eight chapters of awesome, and the others aren’t awful, and most of the characters that make an appearance are pretty cool.


Credits: due to it being faster and more efficient I just took these pictures from scans online instead of scanning the tankobons themselves. These were scanned by the group "Meow", "Ala Atra Scans" and "Procaine"
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