A fanservice chapter with plot.
“Magic Lantern Circus”
Picking up from 295: Zazie activates her Artifact, and everything fades to white…. and Negi wakes up, in Mahora, in the girl’s dorm, in Asuna’s bed, helping himself to high school girl cleavage. “Something is really soft…” indeed.
Konoka comes by:
“By the way, do you know what day today is?”
“Ah, right! It’s September 1st! It’s the new trimester!”
“Did you seriously forgot? You’re a teacher, Negi-kun…”
“No, um, actually, it felt like I just had a very long and incredible dream, so my sense of time is a little…”
(That’s one epic dream I would like to have.)
Something strange on the news…
“…experts continue to investigate the mysterious unidentified object which suddenly appeared on the Academy Main Street yesterday. Thousands of attending students have been affected…”
“It’s probably just another practical joke by the students, or perhaps some sort of unauthorised filming.”
“I don’t think so. This is an astoundingly intricate piece if it really came from the Engineering Club or Movie Society.
Even the interior is completely furbished. This object appears to be a vehicle, but according to experts…”
Negi, Asuna and Konoka partake in the daily ritual of ‘running to school even though they’re not late’. (Is it just the angle, or is Negi actually taller?)
Yuuna and Makie ambush Negi en-route as they generally do, and Negi’s ‘sneezing disarmament’ makes a surprise appearance.
I was kinda joking before, but this really is a fanservice chapter, isn’t it?
Konoka spots Setsuna, who is back to her old, reserved self. Negi still calls her “Setsuna-san”, but Asuna uses “Sakurazaki-san”… which is a big enough clue just how far back Negi’s been pulled back.
(Still) en-route to school, Takamichi calls out to Negi:
“The flight from England was delayed, so they’ll be a bit late, apparently. I’ll contact you when they arrive, so don’t worry, and focus on your work.”
“Eh…? What’s he talking about…? From England… oh, right, is Onee-chan supposed to come over…?”
Negi asks his class about their summer homework, and the resounding response is somewhere along the lines of “do not want”. Meanwhile, Ayaka self-destructs:
“How disgraceful, all of you! As students of Negi-sensei, to be unable to present even your summer homework with a composed air, how -!”
“That’s right! Those of you who’ve forgotten will be punished by me! Personally!”
Sensei! This is the failure of the lifetime for Yukihiro Ayaka! In fact, I have entirely forgotten about homework in this summer period…
(“Liar!” “Run, sensei!”)
Now please, let us quickly begin the punishment…”
“That’s as far as you go, you pervert! Stop stripping!”
Setsuna’s not the only one.
“Ah… Master… a-and Chao-san…?”
“Hm? What’s wrong, Negi-bouzu? You look like you just saw a ghost.”
“‘Master’…? What makes you call me by that name and talk to me so intimately?”
Zazie is watching…
“I just don’t understand why Eva-san treated me like an enemy…”
It’s all right… I’m sure you two will get along in this world too -yo…
Negi is spending some time with the sports girls, but feels something is missing… something important he forgot, something he was searching for, something he was being guided by…
“Heeey! Hahah, that’s where you are, Negi. The plane got here sooner than we expected. We thought we’d go straight to your room and give you a surprise, but… well.
You doing well, son?”
Yuuna and Makie butt in as they generally do…
“And she is? Can she be?!”
“Yep, she’s my wife! My sweet honey, Arika!”
“Don’t call me ‘honey’, fool.”
“Why’re you hiding, anyway? How can you be embarrassed in front of your own son?”
“Well, no… um… how are you doing, my son? I mean, Negi… Are you in good health? No colds or heat fatigue or the like…
(Negi starts crying)
Wh-wh-wh-what’s wrong, Negi?! Does it hurt somewhere?! Is it your stomach? Or your head?”
“Hey, what’s wrong? We finally came to visit you. Do you hate it that much?”
“He’s crying because he’s happy! Isn’t that obvious, you stupid idiot dad?!”
Okay, I sorta lol’d.
Zazie is still watching…
Once you have fallen in… you can never return…
This is the eternal garden… where all ties are broken.
A pure paradise.
The becoming world (Kosmo Entelekheia).
Yep… this is, apparently, what Fate wanted to give to everyone – the ideal world. Complete happiness.
(Still waiting for the catch…)
Aside from the Eva vibes this really reminds me of Angel Beats, mostly because of Zazie’s monologue at the end. It also has very little in common with the actual source of my post title, but whatever.
In any case, Ala Alba is once again trapped in an illusion world, and I’m wondering if there’ll be some sort of Tengen Toppa-esque escape via all-in-all willpower and camaraderie.