Negima!? Spring and Summer Special
As the mornings start earlier and are brighter and the evenings are starting to be light until gone 9 o’clock the Spring and Summer specials will start to slip into the release schedule. Light hearted, quick paced and full of sunshine frolicking, these specials are simply there to entertain and not to fit into the continuity of the series or even to make any sense half of the time. We face this exact situation with an already very complicated series – Negima.
As with the Tenchi Muyo series, there are various iterations of the series created by different people and distributed by different companies. The Spring and Summer Special fits into this weird and confusing series perfectly, and to worry about who made it and the continuity to the series would simply make the mind boil from the anger and confusion it would generate (but for those of you who want to know Negima?! Spring and Summer Special was made by SHAFT who made the OVAs).
Ayaka has decided that Spring is a great time to take Negi to her family’s exclusive resort, unfortunately for her, the rest of Class 2-C tag along as well and it ends up being a class field trip. Of course, this means that there’s plenty of fun on the beach and a whole lot of semi-naked teenagers and situations where the 10-year-old Negi has no idea what to do. Unfortunately for the rest of the class Negi and Ayaka have ended up in an argument and the class do their best to fix their flagging friendship before both of their depressions bring the entire class down.
Of course, in the attempt to lighten the pair’s mood the class manage to actually put more distance between the two. This is mostly due to Ayaka’s behaviour towards Negi who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time the majority of the time. At no point does Ayaka notice this until they manage to find themselves sharing a balcony and making up.
To counter this, during Summer Nodoka has read of the legend of the red string. This string appears throughout many episodes of anime and in Japanese folklore throughout time. This red string is meant to link true lovers together forever; however, love doesn’t necessarily mean lust and this is something that Nodoka has to find out the hard way – just like Ryoko in Tenchi in Tokyo. Unlike Tenchi, this happens in a private spa and the teenage girls everywhere are in swimsuits, towels or just plain naked in public; which apparently happens all the time in Japan.
Throughout Negi is dragged through various spas due to this string, of course Ayaka gets grumpy by his new found interest in Nodoka, as she can’t see this red string. Throughout the entire episode there are plenty of risqué moments and half naked teenagers are abundant and the fan service is too. Naturally this is to be expected as this is the Spring and Summer Special, and due to the very nature of Negima the boob-shots are without a doubt a crucial element to the humour of the show.
There is very little storyline to the Special and makes very little attempt to reference the school, the reason for the magic or pretty much anything else from the main show. This is why it’s important to look at the DVD as something that’s separate to the show, almost like the garlic bread that’s ordered as a side – it’s an added bonus. Unlike the main show itself there’s very little mystery or suspense it is a comedy addon through and through.
The animation is fairly solid, the characters are all somewhat distinct, but all have the same busty impossibleness about them. Fortunately the backgrounds are well drawn and with the decent characters it creates an impressive blend that makes the show easy watching. The English cast is brilliant and the characters suit one another incredibly well, especially when compared against the Japanese cast.
For the English version of the show the humour has been toned down somewhat and some of the subplots have been altered to the point where they are no longer the same as the Japanese. In the same way as what happened to Love Hina, except the English dub is decent. The very experiences are different, but they are both enjoyable ones that are worth watching.
Negima?! Spring and Summer Special is a good way of easing into the Negima?! world without really being told anything. Although the storylines are vastly different to the main show, which is much more spooky and story led, this humour filled, fun packed anime is perfect viewing for a spring and summer time break.