Negima!? – 04
After class one day, Takamichi asks for Negi’s help because something bad happened. During that time, Nodoka is reading a book detailing how to get the person you like to face towards you by putting a four-leaf clover in your left pocket and reciting the person’s name three times in your mind. Yue catches her reading about this love magic, but she’s actually here to tell Nodoka that she can’t go to the library today and that Haruna is still at the Chupacabra Research Society. Indeed, Haruna is with Asuna, Konoka, and Setsuna in their meeting. She recalls the vampire from last year, which causes Asuna to remember her kiss with Negi during the encounter with Evangeline. In any case, they get interrupted by Kaede and the Narutaki sisters who have seen something strange behind the gymnasium. The girls go to investigate and see something small and dark that’s moving, but when Asuna tries to catch it, it turns out to only be a tanuki statue. In actuality, the darkness is gone because of Negi and Takamichi. Those two then see a pair of red lights floating in the air and chase after them all the way to the Chupacabra Research Society’s room. The lights fall on top of some drawings Haruna did of a frog and a cat, causing them to come to life.
Negi and Takamichi bring the two creatures to the headmaster’s office where the cat introduces itself as Shichimi and the frog as Motsu. They are apparently a special envoy from the magic school who have come here to reveal that the Star Crystal was stolen. Takamichi explains that this Star Crystal is a legendary magic item that infinitely amplifies magic. It is said that even the Thousand Master was not able to master its power. Negi and Takamichi both feel that this might have something to do with the darkness they saw. In fact, Negi detects this darkness again later in a garden and uses his magic to get rid of it. However, he notices too late that Nodoka saw him do it. Nodoka, who had found her four-leaf clover, now knows that Negi is a mage, so Kamo suggests that he erase her memory. Negi once again fails at casting the spell, resulting in Kamo getting hit on the head with a pan again. And to make things worse, the scene gets seen by Motsu and Shichimi, who are ready to report it back to the magic school. Since the punishment for something like this is the offender being turned into an animal, Kamo saves Negi by declaring that Nodoka is actually Negi’s partner, so she’d naturally know about his magic.
Negi later confesses the truth to Nodoka, and she’s happy to have a secret between just the two of them. When Kamo suggests that they enact a real provisional contract, Nodoka agrees to do it, but that’s before she learns that it requires a kiss. As she is getting the courage to do it, the girls of the Chupacabra Research Society run by. They are once again going after the Chupacabra, and Negi thinks that it might have something to do with the darkness, so he goes with them. After they decide to split up to search, Negi finds himself with Asuna and Nodoka. Asuna can tell that Negi knows something, and Nodoka soon realizes that Asuna knows about Negi’s magic. Suddenly, the room they’re in starts filling with a liquid that covers the wall and transforms their surroundings into a forest. Negi recognizes this place as the Wales Forest, and the three of them then see a hostile fairy in the air. Asuna volunteers to fight, so Negi activates her contract and transforms her. Seeing her new get-up, Kamo realizes that this time she got the Cosplay card. He explains that three cards appear in a provisional contract , and each time a random one is chosen.
Before Asuna can do anything, the fairy raises up a giant maze around them and then escapes. Asuna leads the way, but she gets lost and eventually loses her powers. Fortunately, Nodoka steps up and asks Negi to enact a provisional contract with her. The two complete the ritual by kissing, though Kamo has to tell Nodoka that it’s over and she can stop kissing Negi. Asuna wakes up briefly to see the new provisional contract, but falls back asleep soon after. Before Negi can activate Nodoka’s powers, she gets attacked by plant vines that tie her up and raise her into the air. A dark bolt of magic suddenly flies out of nowhere and frees Nodoka, who gets caught by a reawakened Asuna. Evangeline and Chachamaru appear to be the ones who helped, but when Evangeline goes after the fairy, she gets shot in the back and possessed by the darkness. Speaking through Evangeline’s body, it confirms that it took the Star Crystal. It attacks him with darkness, but Negi is able to defend against it. The resulting shockwaves send the darkness out of Evangeline, causing her to fall. As Chachamaru catches her, the forest disappears and the room turns back to normal.
ED2: 「A-LY-YA!」 by 佐藤利奈, 神田朱未, 野中藍, 小林ゆう (Satou Rina, Kanda Akemi, Nonaka Aoi, Kobayashi Yuu)
Watch the ED! Mirror 1 Mirror 2
I’m surprised that they went with a second ending song so quickly, with the first one having aired on a grand total of two episodes. I wish they stuck with the first one because I don’t really like the new one as much. Incidentally though, A-LY-YA is the true ending theme, and what we saw before in the previous episodes was more of a special theme. At least that’s how I interpret it based on the fact that the OP/ED single has only 1000%SPARKING and A-LY-YA! on it.
Well this is definitely an original arc. It’s hard to judge how this’ll turn out, but this episode by itself wasn’t quite as good as the three previous ones. Part of it may be that the humor was a lot more hit or miss for me this week. Or maybe I was just spoiled last night by how entertaining the the Spring OVA was.
The new plot here seems to revolve around the darkness and a Star Crystal. I get the feeling that Negi will somehow come to wield this power that even his father wasn’t able to master (they must have mentioned that for a reason). And although they work in the Chupacabra again, I doubt it’ll be anything more than just a recurring motif. Or who knows, maybe the Chupacabra really is behind everything. Anyway, they do keep Nodoka as the second person Negi makes a provisional contract with, though we haven’t seen if her powers are the same yet because she got grabbed by
tentacles plant vines too quickly. Actually, it seems that they added three different Pactio Cards for each girl, allowing for some more variety.
This episode also introduce two new mascot-style characters in Shichimi and Motsu. I think having just Kamo around is enough, but we’ll see how it turns out. I’m also actually a little disappointed they didn’t go to Kyoto, but given how good a job the director and SHAFT have done so far, I’m very curious to see how they develop this.