In honor of today's Throwback Thursday, I wanted to do a loving shout-out to the manga that got my anime-loving life started way back in ~2004.
The manga is called Mahou Sensei Negima!
It's a fantasy/magic/harem/ecchi manga that follows Negi Springfield, a 10-year-old Welsh Magician who is sent to Japan to teach English as the final part of his magical education.
He takes charge of an all-girl class of high school students at a boarding school. The manga follows their misadventures, the main motivator being Negi's finishing of his training as well as finding his long-lost father.
It has a really diverse and interesting batch of characters, with there being 30 different girls in the classroom, all with their own dynamic peronality and relevance to the progressing arcs of the narrative.
I love Ku Fei a whole lot. She taught Negi hand-to-hand combat and is an amazing sensei. (She's up there on the right.)
I also loved Kaede (I think that was her name) the's the girl on the left up there and she was a bona-fide ninja, though not like the ninjas of Naruto. She was a quiet and effective assassin type, though also always content seeming.
The manga takes a whole lot of twists and turns in it's relatively short run (it has 355 chapters total). The arcs get impressively big and the stakes grow with them. This manga was a grea introduction to manga and anime for me because it showed me a great example of a couple different genres. Shonen for sure, but also harem and ecchi and a little romance.
It showed me the potential depth of narratives in manga and anime, and also the unbridled awesomeness that can occur from it.