Nagi is a ten year old boy and aspiring wizard. Having just graduated the magic academy, he is sent to Japan to teach at a Japanese all girls school because... it's anime. ANYWAY, Nagi has to keep this a secret or he'll be turned into an animal as punishment. There happens to be a loophole around this, as he can form a probationary contract with a girl - as his partner, there's no secret to keep. Unfortunately more and more girls in his class discover the truth and Nagi ends up in with more contracts - he could end up contracted with his entire class at this rate.
Mysterious dark magic has been increasing on the campus. While Nagi has bee doing his best to stamp it out, it's only getting stronger. With two academy agents, some mysterious person named Black Rose Baron showing him up, a stolen magical star crystal, and 30+ teenage girls to teach, Nagi has his hands full.
This is the second series for Nagima. You can tell them apart by the question mark in the title for this one (dumb I know). This show is often described as a retelling of the story, but that would assume it's telling the same thing. It starts the same, but launches into it's own story, and changes many aspects from the source material - including character personalities, and some mechanics of magic. It also sports much different artwork.
The intro animation filled me with dread. All the girls in Nagi's class are shown with their student number over their head. We've reduced harem anime to so many generic girls we have to identify them by numbers? I was tempted to just stop watching when I realized that, but Nagima!?@# does have an interesting trick up its sleeve that's pretty ingenious. Nagi is the main male, but only 10 years old. This puts him out of range as far as romantic interests, so the stupid bumbling and indecisiveness that plagues harem males, doesn't apply to him. Girls take an interest in him, but there's no pressure for it to go anywhere. That turns out to be pretty cool.
Nagi can form "contract" with girls (requiring a kiss of course), that allows them to wield magical abilities for a short period of time. Unlike the first series, there are three possible outcomes when invoking the contract. A "rare" card that is more powerful than usual, the "cosplay" card which imbues the girl with special powers but coincidently also allows her to wear an interesting costume (.. this is anime right), and finally the "dud" card that turns a girl into a mostly worthless small animal. I thought this was a good idea, but it's only used as a plot convenience (particularly with the dud card). That turns out really lame.
Watching comedy failing is really painful, and unfortunate here because Nagima?!&$ is funny at times, so it's not like the script writers are totally clueless. With a little more attention (seriously writers, sit down and ask yourself "is this actually funny?") the show would have improved drastically. About 10-15% is stuff I'd say was worth watching. Most of the time is spent wasted in off the wall segments that have nothing to do with the story. Occasionally it's weird or funny enough to be entertaining, but generally it's not. The size of the cast becomes the biggest problem here. Nagima?!?!? likes to jump from girl to girl to give each "proper air time", even if the writers have no clue what to do with her. Also in the character vein, Asuna is changed in puzzlingly bad ways. She drops half her IQ points, becomes obsessed with chupacabras and does a lot of random stupid stuff just to advance the story. On the plus side, Nagi's loud mouth varmint companion Chamo salvages much of this show by being funny as hell.
Taken as a whole, the main story is ok. The amount of time dealing with that part of the story is very small however.
Is this series better than the first? It's a matter of taste, but they're both weak in different ways. Basically about the same. I'd skip both.
Asuna: At this point you can just do us all at once!
Chamo: Hey Red. You can't just say stuff like that!
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