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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Negima: Spring & Summer OVA
Negima: Spring & Summer OVA
FUNimation // Unrated // October 14, 2008
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Todd Douglass Jr. | posted October 20, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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The Show:

Created by Ken Akamatsu (Love Hina), Negima was a popular little series that came out a few years back. The concept originally started out in manga form in 2003 and is still going with over 20 volumes having been released. In 2005 an animated version of the franchise came out with 26 episodes, all being sold here in the States by FUNimation. After that there was a spin-off second season and even a live action version. Not only that, but some time later two OVA were assembled, Spring and Summer, and it may have taken a while for them to come to our shores, but Negima fans finally have something to look forward to.

The show itself was a riotous harem comedy with quite a bit of fan service and ecchi moments. Following the exploits of ten-year-old wizard extraordinaire Negi Springfield, the series takes him on a quest to find his father, Nagi. In an effort to do so, he becomes a Magister Magi and is assigned the task of teaching an English class at Mahora Academy in Japan as a form of cover. Imagine his displeasure when he realizes that the class he's assigned to include over thirty girls, who are all very unique to say the least.

Included in the gaggle of students are some rather busty beauties, kung fu masters, ninja, a vampire, a ghost, a robot, a demon, an idol, and a time traveler. If Negi wanted to keep a low profile in the real world, he definitely picked the wrong class to teach. Throughout the course of the show Negi develops a relationship of sorts with each of the girls, and in good harem fashion they reciprocate in some form. For the most part though, you can expect to see Negi get involved in situations that will lead to embarrassment for either himself or one of the females. That same pattern follows through with the Spring and Summer special OVAs.

What you get with each of these 25 minute episodes are small doses of Negima centered loosely around something resembling a plot. In the Spring episode, Negi and the girls head to a beach getaway where Negi hopes to connect a little more with Asuna and make up with her in the process. Naturally with the rest of the girls there, this doesn't necessarily happen. What transpires after the initial introduction of the plot is a whole bunch of moments involving the girls posing, playing with each other, and unabashedly strolling around in revealing bikinis and outfits. It's basically just a collection of gags in the long-run, so if you're looking for anything resembling a story, rather than a smattering of boobs, you're going to be disappointed.

The second episode here is more or less the same thing, but the sexy bits are toned down slightly. In this episode Negi becomes connected to Nodoka by a red string of fate, and the episode follows the pair as they are forced to live with each other. It's amusing, and there are many more moments where the humor is a tad more intelligent than in the Spring episode. Despite that, this is still a light effort to say the least, and it's something that only true Negima fans will really appreciate.

At the end of the day, FUNimation's OVA release is another fine way to continue the adventures of Negi and company. Sure both of these episodes are extremely light on story, but the fun elements are there that made the series so enjoyable. If you have never seen the show before, then I wouldn't start here. This isn't a real representation of what the series was like, and there's nothing in terms of introductions featured here.

The DVD:

Video:

Negima!? Spring & Summer Specials is presented on DVD with its original 1.78:1 widescreen ratio and presented with an anamorphic display. Despite the high level of production values in terms of animation and quality of art, there are some problems with the transfer here. For starters there is some noticeable grain at times, as well as compression artifacts, and cross-coloration. It's a shame really, because this is such a bright colorful show that offers some very clean artwork. Despite that, it's hard to tell if these flaws are a result of FUNimation's transfer or if they were a part of the original source. In the end the show looks "decent", but it's nothing to write home about.

Audio:

Both the English and Japanese languages are presented here with 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo. This is a show that would strongly benefit from a 5.1 mix, what with all the goofy actions by its crew and sound effects. As it stands the show feels somewhat flat with all of the dialogue, music, and effects coming from the front channels. There's very little in terms of separation there, and in the end the soundtrack is merely passable, rather than something that leaves a strong impression.

Extras:

As you'd expect there are some trailers and textless animations included in the extras menu. There is an English commentary track with the girls of the show, which definitely holds some appeal. It's an entertaining track with a lot of energy and laughs, so if you're looking for a retrospective of the show, you might be disappointed. Despite that, if you enjoy the episodes, this track definitely deserves a watch/listen.

Final Thoughts:

The Negima series has been out for some time now, and undoubtedly there are plenty of fans looking for something else to satisfy their Negi cravings. This OVA release offers two episodes that more or less do just that. Without beating around the bush, the storylines for each of these adventures is very weak and virtually nonexistent. What these two episodes do offer, is more of the same from the show with silly adventures, gobs of fan service, and a twisted sense of humor. If you're looking for more Negima then consider this recommended, but if you're new to the franchise, definitely go check out the first season of the show itself.


Check out more of my reviews here. Head on over to my anime blog as well for random musings and reviews of anime, manga, and stuff from Japan!

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