Negima!? – 18
Although Nekane isn’t aware, the entire class now knows that she’s the Black Rose Baron. Konoka and Setsuna go to meet with Takamichi at the same time that Negi is having a talk with Eva, and the two conversations parallel each other. It seems that Takamichi and Eva knew all along about Nekane and hadn’t said anything because they felt she must have had a reason for everything. Konoka and Setsuna had thought the same way and had gotten the rest of the class not to say anything about it. Takamichi is relieved to hear that Nekane isn’t aware yet because he feels that she probably knows the important facts about the series of events concerning the darkness that’s been appearing. And it’s certain that these facts that Nekane is trying to hide have some connection to Negi. Both Takamichi and Eva believe that Nekane will talk when the time comes, so for now it’s better not to do anything.
Dinner with Nekane goes fairly smoothly for the class until Asuna comes in and starts asking her questions. What causes everyone to do a spit-take is when Asuna wonders if Nekane likes the Black Rose Baron. After Nekane says that she does, Konoka and Setsuna drag Asuna off and remind her that they’re not supposed to talk with Nekane about the Baron. Asuna says that it’s ok and that she understands, but Konoka and Setsuna know better than that, so they decide to get Takamichi to help them stop Asuna. Konoka reveals that Asuna forgets about other things when she’s concentrating on one thing, so they want to turn Asuna’s interest towards Takamichi – since she likes him – to get her off Nekane. Takamichi agrees to do it, so Konoka goes to get Asuna, who is at that moment looking for something around Nekane’s room despite Negi’s protests.
Konoka brings Asuna and Negi outside, but then takes Negi somewhere and leaves Asuna alone. Konoka and Negi didn’t go far and are actually watching from nearby as Takamichi appears to woo Asuna. They are shocked to see her slap him, but it turns out that she was just swatting a bug on his cheek. Much to everyone’s dismay though, Asuna then asks Takamichi if he knows that Nekane is the Black Rose Baron. With Asuna’s mind still on Nekane, Konoka decides to declare this operation a failure and they try a more drastic measure: tie Asuna up while she’s sleeping so she can’t do anything the next morning. Negi and the girls then try to figure out what to do about her, and Konoka decides to use a Chupacabra as their last resort. The girls all insist that there’s no such thing as a Chupacabra, so Konoka takes them to Hakase’s lab. In fact, Hakase has constructed a Mecha-cabra, but it requires a someone inside controlling it, so Konoka chooses Negi.
However, Mecha-cabra turns out to be a failure after Hakase launches it and it explodes. Negi gets out ok with a parachute, but on his way down, he spots Asuna – who had escaped – being pulled into the ground by a patch of darkness. He tries to save her by activating Konoka and Setsuna’s contracts, but he manages to get the bad cards that turn them into small animals. Asuna is fortunately temporarily saved when Nodoka, Yue, and Haruka band together to try to keep her from being pulled in. However, the three girls’ strength is not enough to pull her out, and it’s the Black Rose Baron who finally comes to the rescue with a rope. After pulling Asuna out, the Baron uses her magic to suppress the darkness so that Negi can finish it off. With the threat gone, the Baron starts to leave, but Asuna scares everyone by stopping her. To everyone’s relief though, Asuna actually only cares about the Black Rose Baron’s clothes, and doesn’t mention Nekane at all.
I had thought that with the Nekane revelation, they’d do more with her this week, but the story today actually featured more Konoka and Setsuna with more comedy and less innuendo between the two. So while the story was a bit lacking, this episode was still pretty funny with Takamichi and the Mecha-cabra scenes. I’m beginning to think that it’s probably better if just I stop looking for plot development and simply enjoy the show for mindless fun from now on.