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Spoilers, obviously, since this concerns the end of the Negima manga.

There were many confusing aspects of the ending of the Negima manga. Many, many confusing aspects. For a series that started out as Harry Potter crossed with Love Hina, it's amazing how many were the confusing aspects of the ending.

Nagi's appearances towards the end were possibly the most confusing. In 334th Period at the end of Volume 36, the group defeats the Averrunci, only to find that their leader, in the black robe, is apparently Nagi. He tells Negi: "Kill me. Then it will all be over…I'll be waiting" (KC USA translation), then disappears.

In Volumes 37 and 38, we go through the wrap-up to miscellaneous other plots, and it seems that no one says anything at all about Nagi, as the focus is mostly on Asuna. Then, in Volume 38, 355th Period, the story skips ahead seven years to the day of the Ala Alba reunion. And there's Nagi, sitting right there drinking tea with Albireo, Rakan, Eishun, and Evangeline. Nodoka, Yue, Makie, and Ku Fei are surprised to see him, but Konoka and Setsuna are just surprised to see him up and about, and make some remarks about his health.

What happened? Is there any supplemental material that explains how we went from the events of 334th Period to what we see in 355th Period? I read a blog saying there was some kind of legal issue going on at the time Akamatsu finished Negima, which may have led him to finish it early. Did that have anything to do with this? The entire story began with Negi wanting to find his father, so it seems pretty odd to go through 37 volumes of material, set up the story where'd he'd finally accomplish this goal, and then totally skip it.

  • I think you might want to clarify your wording on contractual and legal dispute, since I don't think that it is the case at all, from the article you are citing. It's more of him getting involved in the fight against the new law and stuffs so he needed some time to rest. – nhahtdh Jun 24 '15 at 1:17
  • As for the ending, we probably will get a flashback in UQ Holder. Currently, we know nothing about why it ends that way. – nhahtdh Jun 24 '15 at 1:21
  • @nhahtdh I've changed the wording. – Torisuda Jun 24 '15 at 1:48
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Yes, in the real-world, there was a law set to be passed that would, in principle, give editors and the magazine substantially more control over the individual manga. In the end not much came of it, but Akamatsu took it pretty seriously at the time and suddenly ended the manga in three chapters, seemingly in part to avoid and protest the perceived legal issues. He has subsequently said that the ending was nevertheless the ending he had wanted and envisioned.

There is an ongoing sequel of sorts called UQ Holder that may resolve some of the unresolved plot threads. It's set about 80 years after the end of Negima; Negi and Nagi have made cameo appearances in recent events; and Eva appears fairly regularly (probably about the same as in Negima). It isn't entirely clear exactly where this fits into the full plot of Negima. Some fans think this is the timeline Asuna hadn't returned in, and/or that the Eva we see was the one we saw heading off with Chao Lingshen to find someone, or any number of other possibilities. Exactly which, if any, of these is true hasn't been settled.

As for how Nagi was seen as The Lifemaker (aka The Mage of the Beginning), this is part of a number of events that indicate the Lifemaker is something that cannot be killed in a normal way, and gets "passed on" to anyone who kills the current Lifemaker. Why this happens is uncertain. It could be a possessing spirit, with a goal to take over ever more powerful hosts to some unknown end; a sort of parasite (with much the same goal, just not a spirit per se); or maybe the Lifemaker serves some major and important function that those who best it find out about and cannot find any way to resolve other than to take on its mantle for itself. The latter seems favored to me by what we know of what Nagi did between defeating the Lifemaker and the last time Negi, or anyone else, saw him, and the overall plot themes that are emerging in UQ Holder. But that's just my opinion.

  • The Lifemaker was possibly the second most confusing part of the final story arc, but your theory on its true nature is plausible. I guess I should start following UQ Holder if I want to know more. – Torisuda Jun 24 '15 at 6:25

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