Negima!? 8 — first sighting of the “Zetsubou-shita!” visual trope

by dm00

11:26 into episode 8 of Negima!?, suddenly:

I like to think of this visual trope as the Zetsubou-sweat-drop.

Negima!? aired from October 4, 2006 to March 28, 2007; the first season of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei followed a few months later, starting July 7, 2007.  Maybe I should take another look at Pani poni dash — perhaps there’s one there, too.

Ages ago, Love Hina so disappointed me that I’ve avoided anything Akamatsu, particularly Harem Potter, but the lure of Shinbo being Shinbo tempted me to take a look at this series.  From the very first moments, Shinbo makes it worthwhile.  It may be some of his finest visual work.  It’s more relaxed than either Pani poni dash or Zetsubou Sensei, and more sparing in its Shinboisms than Soultaker.  And it’s actually animated!  I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying this series.  Are the characters as charming as this in the manga?

7 Responses to “Negima!? 8 — first sighting of the “Zetsubou-shita!” visual trope”


  1. 1 maria November 15, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    it’s zetsubou-shita xD (i’m in despair)

  2. 3 21stcenturydigitalboy November 15, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Supposedly Negima gets great but takes a while to get there, long story about how Akamatsu wanted to do a shounen action manga and they wouldn’t let him so he made a harem and transitioned it slowly. Some of my friends call it their favorite shuonen action manga, but they aren’t my most trusted friends.

    Also, supposedly the Shinbo version falls apart and gets boring about halfway through. As wah likes to put it, ‘Shinbo loses interest.’

    I’ve never been willing to stomach the early parts of the manga to get to the supposedly good part since the first volume is unfathomably terrible.

  3. 5 TheBigN November 16, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    As someone who’s read up to the most current chapter, I’d say that the characters are pretty charming in their own way. But after the first major arc is when the characters really start to shine, as well as the story and the action. I really like the manga, though when it does bug me are the times when it’s silly “rom-com” antics, which isn’t often, and fairly jarring sometimes.

  4. 6 numbersandspace November 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    The Negima manga starts out like your typical Love Hina anthem and it lasts 2 entire volumes. By the third volume we get to see a good inkling of the epic to come. Volumes 3-6 cover the first big arc and from there on out it’s climax over climax but never too rushed. Negima and thereby its author proves itself intelligent and cunning with an eye for detail and a love for back stories. Especially these latter two add a great deal in both fleshing out characters and the series’ world building capacities.

    It is however still an Akamatsu work and will include the harem antics we are all familiar with but judge not this grand epic by its first two volumes. I would go as far as to tell you to skip them if you’re turned off by, say, the first few chapters (and judging by your response to Love Hina you most likely will). They are at the very least not really important for the overall scheme of things.

    The Del Rey translation of these first volumes in particular are just screwed up with rewrites everywhere. Which they fortunately fix in later volumes but with the many changes in translators and setbacks in quality.

    I cannot speak in anything but hyperboles about this series and of course many would disagree. But I find that it is well worth it.

    • 7 dm00 November 17, 2010 at 10:59 am

      That’s pretty convincing (and TheBigN’s comments help, too). When I get a little further through my backlog, I’ll see if I can’t pick up the series starting at volume 3 or so.

      Thanks for the recommendation of where to start.


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