Negima!? Summer Special
A spell mishap by Yue causes Negi and Nodoka to be connected together by a red string at the pinkies. Whatever will they do? Also, there's a lot of really, really pointless fan service.
Leave it to SHAFT to take a very cute premise and completely and utterly ruin it. Like the Haru special released a couple of months before this, the Negima!? Natsu OAV is more a test of how much crap you can sit through with characters you actually like rather than a fun, entertaining side-story to the weird, but fun Negima!?.
It starts off good enough: Yue is wondering who Nodoka's fated person is (because she's a good friend like that), so she tries to find out who he is by using magic. When Yue tells Nodoka to think of someone she's honest with her feelings for, she thinks of Negi. A few seconds later Nodoka has a red string attached to her finger that also stretches outside, and Nodoka is literally pulled to an outside window. Thankfully Yue grabs onto her before she falls out of the window, but as a result, Negi, Asuna, and Chamo fly directly into them, which starts this mess of an OAV. Cue lazy opening number that uses pictures from the manga!
Afterwards, for no reason at all, Negi and crew somehow end up at Ayaka's unfinished spa, and with that, the whole OAV goes directly to Hell. Lesbian overtones, panty shots, naked bodies, even pseudo-jiggle...all from girls 15 and younger. Where's my Purple Heart for putting up with this bastardized atrocity of a manga?! Granted, the manga did have fan service, but somehow it manages to be much creepier when you see it animated. Considering how clean all the other animated Negima projects are excluding the OAVs, it's very shocking to see fan service here, especially considering this is the same exact group who produced the recent kid-friendly Negima!?.
Eventually Negi and Nodoka's red string comes off and everything ends happily ever after, but who cares? What could've been a 10-minute short is extended to 28 minutes of pure inanity. Instead of being a cute story about Negi and Nodoka's relationship, it's a stupid story about everything going to a spa resort for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON AT ALL. And like Negima!?, there are lots of pauses in the main story line that focus on other characters. This got fairly annoying often in Negima!?, and it's no less annoying here, especially when almost all the cast is either topless or wearing only a towel to cover up their body. There's one scene involving Negi and Nodoka in a sauna that ranks as one of my absolute least favorite anime scenes of all time. It's less than a minute long, but manages to be very creepy all the same.
About the only positive thing I can say about this OAV is that it has the same high gloss the Negima!? series has. Otherwise, this is a completely forgettable, undeniably regrettable experience. I'm honestly surprised so many Negima fans prefer this to the earlier Spring special: at least the girls had somewhat functioning brains there.
Creepy, pointless, and unnecessary. Even together with the Spring special on FUNi's R1 DVD release, this isn't worth the digital ink wasted on it. Maybe add a star if you enjoy fan service involving teenage girls. — Tim Jones
Recommended Audience: Like I said before, there's panty shots, hints of lesbianism, jiggle, and lots of naked teenage bodies. And a really creepy scene in a sauna. Not for kids, or anyone else really.
Version(s) Viewed: Pre-license digital source
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Negima!? Summer Special © 2006 GANSIS / Shaft
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