Negima?! Watch: Let's grumble some more about things
So the first 2 episodes of the remake of the adaptation of the manga of the idea formulated have leapt off the starters block with a pretty heavy tone. Write us down as a little worried that they'll continue this once the Negi Genesis Evangelion malarky is out the way, because while removing the light hearted tone of the series isn't necessarily an outright awful idea (you get more drama and action out of it after all), I do think these characters won't end up as likeable as they are in other forms with such a serious air bearing down on everything.
Ah yes, but there's still gags in the series Mr Rockwell. That's true, but for some confounding reason, the comedy in Negima?! is just. not. working. I'm as confused as the next person because I enjoyed PPD!... but the timing or performances just seem completely off. Perhaps they're suffering from the tone of the show, I dunno.
Let's get back to the direction which I've criticized previously... It's a spiffy looking anime, and things are always interesting. But the more quirky stuff like 24'esque sliding panels, and schoolbook voiceovers feels out of place with the rest of the show. And the stuff which is more arty (such as the longshots that the director appears to have an enormous tentpole for) certainly look nice but tends to take away from the overall energy or emotion of a scene. The direction ends up competing with the story for viewer attention. That's not a good thing.
You can know all the fancy tricks in the book, but the skilled part is knowing when NOT to use them. I can't believe that I'm wishing for more generic direction in an anime, but here I am.
Actually, the OP to this is pretty much a good indicator of my whole problem. I love the concept and look of it, but does it really compliment the following show? Going even further, does the music(?) even fit the animation? Negima may wind up being one of those series where the parts are actually greater than the sum of it's whole.
And final gripe; some of the character designs just don't seem right. But it's not really as if their proportions are wrong.. it's almost as if the problem is in the final inking or shading stage or something. I just can't quite put my finger on it (Ichino and Takahata are the two that constantly make my eyebrow twitch).
But, I do really love how they're condensing the storyline down while keeping the important information in there. I'd go so far to say they've done a pretty expert job so far.
So in summary, episode 2 was much better than episode 1 but consider me "scared shitless" till further notice.