Negima!? – 22
When they go to harvest some of the vegetables in the garden, the girls find the potatoes, carrots, and daikon in the shape of hands playing jankenpon. While the group is trying to figure out this abnormality, Hakase and Chao burst into the room to warn everyone about the Mecha-cabra that’s suddenly started moving on its own. Negi realizes that it’s being controlled by the darkness, and to combat it, he activates his provisional contract with Chao. Because Negi gets her armor card, Chao is able to defeat the Mecha-cabra and shatter it to pieces. Afterwards, Chizuru gathers everyone to inform them of the pattern she found in the girls who got controlled by the fairies. Yuuna, Kaede, and Chisame are all Sagittariuses – not by sun sign astrology but rather by moon sign astrology. Makie, Mana, Ayaka, and Natsumi are thus all Pisces, and Ako, Sakurako, and Satsuki are all Aries. What this all means is that the person behind all this is someone specializing in fortunetelling who has extensive knowledge of astrology. Upon learning this, Negi gets a serious face as he starts to realize something.
As the day goes on, the darkness starts to control various things around school that terrorize the girls. When Motsu and Shichimi privately decide that it’s time for them to contact someone, Nekane catches them in the act and transforms into the Black Rose Baron. She initially accuses them of not actually working for the Magic Academy and thinks that they were contacting the master of the darkness, but after grabbing them, she realizes that she’s wrong. Negi then comes onto the roof to ask the Black Rose Baron about who he suspects is the person behind all this: Anya. The Black Rose Baron tries to tell Negi that he’s mistaken, but Takamichi and Chachamaru then come up to confirm that the master of the darkness is indeed Anya. With the secret out, Nekane takes off her eyepiece and hat and notices that Negi’s not surprised to see her true identity. She goes on to explain that if the remaining fairy fragment is found and the Soulshriek is completed, then the Anya inside the Star Crystal will awaken. The reason that Anya got involved with this was because she was lonely and wasn’t doing well with her training. Since she always thought about Negi and didn’t want to lose to him, she had reached out to the Star Crystal. Nekane blamed herself for this and wanted to save Anya.
Their conversation is soon interrupted by the arrival of the Bonge Bonge. Hearing the cry that it makes, Takamichi realizes that this is the final fairy. After Negi uses his magic to defeat the Bonge Bonge, the fragment from it combines with the other fragments to form the Soulshriek which then turns into the Star Crystal. Flying towards them now is Eva, whom Takamichi sees is being possessed by the darkness, and the Star Crystal gets absorbed into her head. After Eva gathers up all the darkness around the school, she transforms and declares, with Anya’s voice, that she won’t lose to Negi.
The story took off!. I like where it’s going, though that very well may be because there’s been such a lack of any direction until now, so anything is better than nothing. For starters, I found Chizuru’s initial explanation about moon sign astrology rather interesting since I didn’t know such a thing existed. After researching it a bit though, I found that all the birthdays do line up exactly how she said, give or take 24 hours depending on which hour of the day the girls were born. This ultimately led Negi to realize that Anya was behind it all, and everything now seems to be coming together at the end of the episode with Negi having to face off against Eva as the evil avatar. I don’t really care for Eva’s new look (it makes me think of her as some teen superhero), but I did like how they animated the rooftop scene with the moving sky.
In any case, I’m interested in seeing where they take the series now with only four episodes left.