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March 31st, 2005

Negima

Well, after being so rocked-to-the-foundations by Love Hina, I naturally turned my attention to Ken Akamatsu's latest project, Negima. Described in a sentence as "Love Hina meets Harry Potter," it's about a 10-year-old (British?) wizard (in a world where wizardry is a secret) named Negi, who is for some unknown reason whisked off to Japan to finish his sorcerous training by teaching English to Japanese middle school girls. The rest of the cast is the some 31 girls he teaches, plus miscellaneous ancillary characters. The promo copy boasts that each of the students has her own story and that they'll all be explored as the series goes forward, but in the first volume at least, there's little to distinguish them between "the angry one," "the library girl," "the teacher's pet," and so on.

Of course, to maximize the comedic potential, Negi is a not-so-hot wizard, whose main ability turns out to be accidentally blasting all the girls' clothes off.

Um, where to start. You remember how disappointed everybody was in The Phantom Menace?

Negima has the same core problem: it feels like the whole thing was done to formula, entirely with the purpose of cashing in on previous success. It's like Mr. Akamatsu approached the project with the mindset of "What's hot right now? I know, Harry Potter! And what was Love Hina's big schtick? Keitaro's bumbling into the harem taking their baths and getting punched into the sky by Naru! So ... we've got a 10-year old wizard (with little round glasses) ... who blasts the clothes off of not just seven or eight women, but 31 underage girls! Oh, yeah!"

Did I mention that Negi is 10 years old? Merf.

There is even a Naru stand-in, whose name eludes me for the moment, so I just call her "the angry one." Of course, she hates Negi at the beginning because he replaces the older teacher that she had a secret crush on, but she discovers early on that he's a wizard, and that secret creates a bond between them yadda yadda yadda. Oh, and of course there's sexual tension between them -- but remember folks, he's 10 years old. I don't remember how old she is, but at the Japanese equivalent of junior high, I'm guessing 12 or 13 at most. So there's supposed to be tension anyway. It's not exactly a spark, so much as going through the motions.

So, Negima. Give it a miss, is my recommendation. But Love Hina is still terrific!

-The Gneech

Goofy Memes (In My Pants)

By now everybody's seen the "snag 20 top random titles from your playlist and add 'in my pants'" to it.

So here we go!

  • Buzzcocks -- "I Believe (In My Pants)" How inspiring!
  • The Venga Boys -- "To Brazil (In My Pants)" Um ... better than going in the buff I suppose...
  • They Might Be Giants -- "Bed Bed Bed (In My Pants)" I thought that was my wallet!
  • The Venga Boys -- "The Venga Beat (In My Pants)" ...
  • TV Soundtracks -- "Maverick (In My Pants)" Who is the tall dark stranger, there?
  • TV Soundtracks -- "I Dream of Jeannie (In My Pants)" So did every '70s kid at some point. 0.o
  • The Seatbelts -- "Tank! (In My Pants)" Whoa, that's a ... big gun!
  • Jazz Butcher Conspiracy -- "Real Men (In My Pants)" Man, I have an incriminating playlist. ^.^'
  • The Venga Boys -- "Up and Down (In My Pants)" Aheheheheh...
  • Smashmouth -- "Diggin' Your Scene (In My Pants)" Er?
  • Buggles -- "Video Killed the Radio Star (In My Pants)" It ran over the radio star with a Tank!
  • The Monkees -- "Last Train to Clarksville (In My Pants)" Stopping at Yakima, Walla-Walla, and COO-camonga!
  • Weird Al Yankovic -- "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi (In My Pants)" Pants! Fly! Get it?
  • Love Hina -- "I'm Fine Every Day (In My Pants)" Sounds like an Old Navy ad.
  • Powerpuff Girls -- "Bubbles (In My Pants)" What am I, Lawrence Welk?
  • Shonen Knife -- "Buttercup -- I'm a Super Girl (In My Pants)" Out of my pants, I'm pretty ordinary.
  • They Might Be Giants -- "Damn Good Times (In My Pants)" Pretty much says it all.
  • DDR -- "Mr. Wonderful (In My Pants)" There are worse pet names, I suppose...
  • Tom Lehrer -- "The Masochism Tango (In My Pants)" *squeak!*
  • Venga Boys -- "We Like to Party! (In My Pants)" Well, at least they're having Damn Good Times... 0.o


Bonus 21st Track! TV Soundtracks -- "The Tick (In My Pants)" They don't call me Da Bomb for nothing, baby!

-The Gneech ("Aheheheheheh...")

Starring Tiffany Tiger

In the month of April, there are thirteen strips in Suburban Jungle, not counting the Saturday Grab Bags. Of those, Tiffany actually appears in four. Tiffany has lines in three, but in one of those, she's having a side conversation not really related to the main thrust of the strip.

Only two have no references to Tiffany at all, and they're standalone gags. In the rest, Tiffany is either directly involved, or people are talking about her. This interests me, because lately I've sorta felt like the storyline has wandered too far off from Tiff, who is theoretically at least the star of the show.

Without wanting to give spoilers, I will say that Tiff is still not the mover and shaker in April -- that's all Leona -- but Leona's behavior is in reaction to Tiffany's presence and past actions. So in this case, Tiffany is more of a catalyst than a participant.

Still, it's better than being the star in absentia!

-The Gneech, putting way too much thought into all this

Colorful Fun™!

Snerked from mooncat...

Join the Dark Side!

-The Gneech

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