15 years ago, a vampire girl named Evangeline faced off against the famous Magister Magi “Thousand Master.” He had offered his hand to her, but she slapped it away and proceeded to attack him. Now, in the present, Negi Springfield graduates from magic academy and gets assigned to teach in Japan as part of his training to be a mage. On Negi’s arm is a chain just like the one the Thousand Master wore in that battle against Evangeline. In Japan, perched on a cross on top of a building, a younger-looking Evangeline knows that the Thousand Master’s son is coming. But since she’s weak from lack of blood, she tracks down her prey in the form of a girl jogging on the school grounds.
Negi and his ermine companion Kamo meanwhile make their way to Japan via plane. When he gets there, he remembers how his friend Anya back in magic school didn’t think he could do this assignment, but his cousin Nekane had urged him to do his best. Negi and Kamo arrive in front of the school, but soon get caught up in a stampede of girls. This is Mahora Academy, which is its own city and is an educational establishment with schools from kindergarten up to university. It has over 30,000 students and includes a transportation system, public institutions, a hospital, a huge arcade, and restaurants. Incidentally, the junior high girls live in a dormitory.
That dormitory is where Konoe Konoka is trying to wake up her roommate Kagurazaka Asuna. Asuna keeps asking for a few more minutes to sleep, even after sword wielding Sakurazaki Setsuna comes by. With the school bells ringing, Konoka decides to leave without Asuna. By now, Negi and Kamo have escaped the stampede of girls, though not without some injuries. Kamo in particular seems to have broken is front tooth, so Negi decides to use his magic to restore it. With one spell from Negi, Kamo’s tooth returns to how it used to be. Unfortunately, Asuna is now standing beside them, having come out of the dormitory that Negi and Kamo stopped to rest in front of.
The two panic because they think she’s seen him use his magic, but Asuna doesn’t react to them at all. Kamo suggests that Negi erase her memory with magic, but Negi never gets a chance to do so because Konoka comes back with Setsuna. Negi and Kamo hide in the nearby bushes while Konoka figures out that Asuna’s mind isn’t really awake, only her body is. After the two girls drag Asuna off to class, Kamo thinks that there’s no problem since Asuna was only half awake at the time. Negi’s eyes start to tear up, but then a familiar voice wonders if Negi is crying again. The voice belongs to a man Negi recognizes as Takahata T. Takamichi. He is also a mage and thinks that Negi hasn’t changed because Negi is still a crybaby. Negi looks ready to cry from this statement until Takamichi pats him on the head and claims that he’s joking.
Over in the junior high class 2-A, the girls are talking about a rumored Dracula attacking students. One of the students, Sasaki Makie, got attacked while jogging one night and has the neck bite marks to prove it. The class representative Yukihiro Ayaka doesn’t believe this and thinks that Makie just saw a dream. Asuna, Konoka, and Setsuna arrive just in time before the last bell and join in on the Dracula conversation. Asuna doesn’t agree with Dracula interpretation and instead thinks that it was a Chupacabra. Looking at the picture that Saotome Haruna drew, Makie remembers something different.
Asuna and Ayaka start arguing about the existence of the Chupacabra, and Ayaka then points out that Asuna is dressed incorrectly. Ayase Yue thinks that it’s good that Asuna didn’t get seen by Takahata, whom Asuna has a crush on. Unfortunately for Asuna, Takahata chooses this moment to come into the classroom with Negi, causing her to faint briefly from embarrassment. Everyone is surprised when Takahata introduces Negi as the class’ new teacher, though Asuna feels that she’s met Negi before but can’t remember the details. Her staring causes Negi to panic, though Takahata calms him back down. After Negi introduces himself as the new homeroom and English teacher, the girls fawn over how cute he is. When neither Negi nor Takahata can make the class be quiet, it’s Ayaka who shuts everyone up and insists that Negi call her by her given name instead of “Yukihiro-san.”
While trying to memorize all 31 students’ names later that day, Negi realizes that the girl named Evangeline A.K. McDowell was absent from class. Meanwhile, Konoka is visiting the headmaster of Mahora, her grandfather, who has a request for her. Around the same time, Asuna is walking back home when she suddenly remembers seeing Negi cast that spell from earlier. Back at her dorm room that night, Konoka shows Negi in because her grandfather’s request was to allow Negi to live with her and Asuna until a room frees up. After Konoka goes to get some tea, Negi hears a scream come from outside. When he rushes out to investigate, he finds her body lying on the ground with a bite mark on her neck. Kamo notices that above them is a tall blonde female feeding on another girl with a red moon in the background. The woman – Evangeline – explains that she’s been waiting for this day, for Negi Springfield, the son of the Thousand Master.
Oh…My…God…That is the most impressive piece of work I’ve seen all season, no contest. I had heard this was going to be more fighting oriented, but I had no idea it’d be like this. The opening two minutes had my jaw on the floor because of how good it was. It almost felt like it was the finale or something, and I got goosebumps watching it. Both animation quality and background music so far are amazing, and that level of quality carried through the entire first episode. I personally have no problems whatsoever with the character designs. They look different from the manga, but they’re not ugly by any means, and everyone still generally looks like their manga counterparts. I’m just glad that Chisame’s hair is no longer f-ugly green like it was in the previous series. On that note, I’d say that this series in general is probably more appreciated if you’ve seen the quality (or lack thereof) of original anime. That one just can’t compare at all to how good this is.
As many of you know, this is the GANSIS/SHAFT version of the Negima story, and if this first episode is any indicator, it’s an alternate re-telling. If you go by the manga, they’re taking some huge liberties in the plot, mainly pushing up the Evangeline stuff to right when Negi arrives. This would seem to make her a much more central character than she was in the early parts of the manga. To me though, that’s a good thing because they’re basically skipping a lot of the fairly boring introduction stuff that preceded Evangeline.
Incidentally, there was no real OP/ED this episode. After the first two or so minutes, there was only an instrumental opening showing Negi going to Japan. The ending credits came on as the episode itself was ending, and there was even a Baka Ranger extra at the end of the episode. I can’t wait to see what the OP and ED are like, and what the next episode will bring. There’s no doubt in my mind that I will continue blogging this.