This is one of the most interesting manga series that I have read recently. It’s sort of a cross between Harry Potter and Ranma 1/2 where a 10-year old British wizard who has just graduated from his magic school is appointed to become a teacher to a Japanese High School as part of his training to become a Master Mage which is one step in searching for his long lost and thought to be deceased famous father. Of course, Negi has to keep his magical abilities on the down low and a secret from his rowdy students. But as the manga progresses, Negi begins to realize that his particular class consists of some fantastically talented, wildly diverse, and pretty unusual students who make him seem rather ordinary and mundane! And with 31 teenagers, there’s a lot of background characters to explore from the Martian time traveler who has come back to conquer the world, the ancient vampire cursed to be a junior high student, the prototype robot, a ninja, a demon hunter/shrine priestess with a fascination with guns and sniper rifles, a ghost who continues to haunt her classroom, and they are just a fraction of the students out there.
Usually such a wide and varied cast would be a detriment to the storyline but Ken Akamatsu manages to make it work somehow. The plotlines vary from the very simple to the overly complex, but all of them are rather high in quality. The later adventures are some of the very best that I have ever read with a fairly detailed plot yet it also shows quite a bit of the backstory that Akamatsu had been building upon from the very beginning of the series. Akamatsu is rather good at comedy while throwing in some drama and romance here and there accompanied by some moments of fan service (for comedic effect). I particularly love the many characters that populate this series; you laugh at their blunders, you worry about the risky situations they find themselves in, and you enjoy their triumphs. That is I think the secret behind Akamatsu’s successful series. He makes you care about these characters.
The art is especially good and there is often incredibly complex and highly detailed sets along with the character designs are marvelous to look upon. The characters are wildly expressive and emotive as well in terms of their body language and facial expression. They’re wonderful to look at and frequently, you enjoy reading it over and over to see things in the background that you missed the first time. The action sequences are also especially great in massive and intricate battles.
The one weakness to the series is that there is a lot going on and so many characters, not everybody gets the chance to get on the stage so to speak and shine. But it’s still one of the very best manga series that I have ever seen. Highly enjoyable and extremely funny.
I have seen some of the other manga and anime series, but I have to say that I'm not quite as big a fan as the plots that they have introduced as being much more childish and simplistic.
RATING: 4 and 1/2 STARS!!!!