A quick, short post while I try to decide what to write about today. It’s about Negima! Magister Negi Magi‘s ending and how people have been hating on it. You may know the series under its Japanese title Mahou Sensei Negima!, which translates as either Magical Teacher Negima! or Magic Master Negima!.
Now, first off, people are assuming Akamatsu himself chose to end the series the way he did, and have been calling him a bad writer for it. I present my counter-argument: the large amount of series ending in Weekly Shōnen Magazine as of late, as well as other magazines published by Kodansha. In fact, right after Negima’s sudden conclusion, Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (translates as Farewell, Mr. Despair, but released under the untranslated name) announced that it would end in 9 chapters. Something was going on behind the scenes what we didn’t know about, and AstroNerdBoy covered it in his blog after I found out and informed him when we finally got a big hint as to what it was.
If more people knew about this, would they still be angry at the manga and Ken Akamatsu? Well, this blog is too green to do much about it, but it’s still something to think about.
And, as a writer, I honestly don’t see anything inherently wrong with choosing to end a series with many unanswered questions. At worst, it’s fanfic fuel. At best, it’s letting you speculate indefinitely without disappointing fans who have come to expect a whole bunch of different things from the answers to the questions in question. The questions existing without showing us answers can even make the fictional world of the series feel alive, and that can’t be a bad thing.
To be perfectly honest, at the end of the day, I can only fault Negima for a weak, almost trollish beginning, not telling up what happened to Arika, and skipping the climactic battle and all buildup to get to the ending. I would have loved to see the rest of the school year and the fight against the Lifemaker. But, as some have said in response to this whole mess, there’s something to be said when your main gripe with a series is that there’s not enough of it.
Negima remains my favourite series, and I cried manly tears when it ended. I bid thee farewell, my favourite manga.