Thursday, February 19, 2009

Negima 242, or "Thousand Bolts vs. Thousand Blades"

I'm listening to "Beautiful Wild Green Beast" off the Naruto soundtrack as I type this. That's the song that gets played whenever Rock Lee starts busting out a can of whoopass. And that's precisely what Negi did this week. I was reminded of nothing so much as Lee busting out the Fourth Gate on Gaara. Rakan's sitting there, bold as brass, and then Negi, just like Lee when he took his weights off, starts moving at another level. It's due to his Magic Ereba and the "Thousand Bolts" spell he's taken in. And he. is. fast. So fast that Rakan can't keep up. There's one panel that shows Negi rocketing around the arena to hit Rakan from all different angles. It's not quite the same as Lee doing it to Gaara in midair, but I get the feeling that one of these punches from Negi would just break Gaara's back right there. So Rakan's holding on, but then Negi goes for the finisher. He gives a few details on the technique- apparently he is almost literally transformed into lightning-, then performs a basic charging punch attack- +2 to attack, -2 to AC!- and sends Rakan flying into the air. He then flash steps right next to him in what TV Tropes so succinctly describes as a Meteor Move and slams him into the center of the arena. Any typical Shonen protagonist would think "I got him, right? I had to have gotten him!", let the opponent get up, etc. Not Negi. He follows up with an incredibly powerful attack that blasts the ever-loving shit out of Rakan. Rakan goes down on one knee, complaining how that hurt...and Negi doesn't stop. He knows this guy's tougher than anything he's ever seen and blasts him point-blank with Tempestas Fulgrenis, which, I think, is his most powerful wind spell. I don't know, I can't read whatever language the various spells are in. And Rakan. Goes. Down. They're waiting on the count.

So that'd just leave Kagetarou, right? Nope. He's fighting Kotarou, who suddenly shifts into his demonic form- this is the first time I think we've really seen it for more than 2 seconds, and wails on Kagetarou, taking him down in an instant, too. I would have loved to see more of that fight, because Kotarou's one of my favorite characters, but I'll take all the awesomeness above. Oh, and they still have time to reveal that Ako's finally figured out that Negi is Nagi. Now, the way I see it, there are a few ways this can go. Best-case scenario- she gets over it, doesn't fall for Negi-kun proper, and we all go home. Worst case is that she angsts considerably. Most likely case is that she just joins the harem, which would put it up to...let's see...Nodoka, Anya, Yue, Ayaka, Makie, Chachamaru, and I guess we can put Ku Fei in there as well. That's...8 total. Wow. That's a lot better than Urashima ever pulled off. At his best he had what, 4? 5 if you count Kitsune, who was just horny? Lucky little bastard. I've seen a theory over on the Wild Mass Guessing page for TV Tropes that Akamatsu's deliberately using all the time-extending devices like Eva's resort not so much for training but to age Negi faster. He catches up to his harem and it's no longer squick, it's your typical harem scenario.

I feel like an unpleaseable fanbase for this, but I can't help but feel like God Mode Negi (Literally, he's called "Thunder God Negi" in this chapter, which is awesome.) is just leaving everyone in the dust. One of the cool things about Negima was how for a good portion of the manga, Kaede, Ku Fei, Setsuna, and a few others were actually a hell of a lot stronger than Negi. Now...not so much. I mean, look at what this boyo's doing! It's unreal! I love it, but...I dunno, the best thing about Negima by far is all the awesome characters, and if it just becomes Negi being awesome, it'll be kinda eh. Ten bucks says that this is a Dangerous Forbidden Technique, and it'll do to Negi what the gates do to Lee. But, take those complaints as the small bit of sour on what is otherwise an epic helping of pure, pure awesome and win.

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