Update: So, apparently, it’s been revealed since I wrote this that Tota Konoe is not actually Negi’s grandson, but a clone. This erases a LOT of the work I did, so keep that in mind, but I will not be altering the post to reflect this news. It shall be preserved in it’s original format anyway.
Now that I’ve counted down my favorite Negima characters and given my thoughts on all of it’s derivations, I’ve come to what might be the most important topic one can possibly explore in regards to the Negima franchise; Which romantic option did Negi wind up with in the long run?
Now, for the record, I’m not much of a shipper. I believe characters are far more than just pairings waiting to happen, and that their arcs depend on far more important things than coupling. But this is Negima, and the idea of the title character falling in love with one of his students has been an important one ever since the series began. The manga left the issue unresolved, but the good news is that it did leave a lot of clues for us to decipher, and those clues are what I’ll be using to decode this riddle once and for all!
Now, before we begin, let me clarify a few things: Yes, none of what I’m about to say is airtight. The evidence we’ve been given is circumstantial at best, and any one of these clues could be a red herring, proven wrong by events we’ve never seen that may have happened in the time gap. Yes, a married character could have divorced. Yes, Negi could change his mind about things. Yes, UQ Holder could take place in one of the alternate universes that Evangeline spoke of visiting. But since these variables are unproven, I’m going to be ignoring them. I’m going to take every single clue at face value, as deviating from that method will just separate us even farther from the answers we want.
To start, I’m going to be giving Negi all of his students as options, plus Kotaro and Fate(for the yaoi fans) and Anya. This makes for thirty four options.
To find out which one Negi picked, we’ll first have to eliminate the ones he didn’t pick, which the final volume of the manga was really generous about. We’re told in no unclear terms that Negi rejected both of the frontrunners, Nodoka and Yue, and that he didn’t pick Asuna either. Konoka, Setsuna, the twins, Natsume, Kotaro, and (presumably)Hakase have all gotten married, which takes them off the market. Evangeline still considers Nagi her beloved.
Since Negi has a child in the future, we can eliminate any characters that can’t reproduce, meaning Chachamaru and Sayo. Taking UQ Holder into account, we meet a descendant of Misora’s who doesn’t seem to recognize Tota as family, so she’s out. Likewise, Ayaka and Mana are still alive in UQ Holder’s time, but there’s no mention of Tota having a living grandmother. They’re out.
Also, Chau is his relative. So, with these eliminations, we’re left with…
17 characters, or exactly half of what we started with. Now, this is the part where things are going to get purely speculative.
For this part, we’ll remove any characters who aren’t acknowledged as potential options in the manga… In other words, the characters who never show interest in Negi(outside of saying he’s cute) or receive any interest from him. This leaves us with only 7 characters.
And now, we’ll examine each option individually to see how likely they are to have wed Negi in the future, as well as how they stack up against the various clues both mangas give us.
Clue 1: Asuna is shocked upon hearing their name, until it dawns on her that Negi’s come full circle with a partner who’s ‘birds of a feather’ with him.
Clue 2: Misora found the choice hilarious, thus acceptable.
Akira Okochi: The two of them have a few brief interactions, and there’s some hint of affection between them, but I find it highly unlikely that she’d be the one, since she’s the only category C character to make it this far. She’s cut.
Ako Izumi: She was in love with Negi’s older form, and Negi did seem to acknowledge this… Also, her training as a nurse doesn’t sound like the worst life to be living throughout pregnancy and childbirth… Not easy by any means, but more likely than the next entry. In any case, there’s really no evidence to support her, and I don’t think she matches up to either clue. She’s out.
Ku Fei: There’s some definite Negi-love going on here, but if they wound up in love, I highly doubt that she’d have a tradition of fighting him once every year. That sounds like something Negi would do to keep in touch with someone who otherwise wasn’t still involved with his life. She’s out.
Chisame Hasegawa: This is one that I want to believe, as… Like I said a few weeks ago… She’s made great strides in adapting to the magical world and it’s culture, and marrying a mage would probably be the next big step. Unfortunately, I highly doubt her hikkikkomori lifestyle would have yielded a life of marital bliss with one of the most famous mages alive, and she doesn’t fit the clues either. She’s out.
Makie Sasaki: This one’s the closest we’ve come so far. She’s been in love with Negi longer than most of her classmates, and since she’s an idiot, Asuna would make the comment that they’re like birds of a feather. Misora would probably laugh, too. Her blurb in the epilogue says that even in the future, she still only has eyes for Negi, which would be both creepy and depressing if they weren’t an item at that point. I can’t eliminate her, but the odds are still not great.
Anya Cocolova: This one makes a ridiculous amount of sense. First of all, she’s suspiciously absent from the epilogue. Staying at home and minding the kid, maybe? She also fits the clues. Asuna is shocked because she was expecting Negi to pick one of her classmates. By ‘coming full circle,’ she means that while Negi went all the way to Japan to find a lover, he wound up picking someone from Wales anyway. This is pretty much why Misora laughs… Condescendingly, probably. It’s the most likely choice, but the next one is by far the most interesting choice.
Fate Averruncus: Okay, for this entry, you’ll have to picture Negi as being gay… Which isn’t too hard a thing to do, since he’s on the verge of puberty and the constant sight of naked older girls does nothing but embarrass him. Jeez, I’m asexual and even *I* had a more natural reaction to that kind of thing at his age. There’s no hard evidence, but it is entirely possible. It’s also possible that he confused feelings of closeness for romantic interest when he gave a female crush’s name to Asuna at the end of the series. He was young, didn’t fully understand himself yet.
This entry is based entirely on circumstantial evidence, and is nowhere near as likely as the Anya outcome, but I still find it to be the most interesting option for two reasons. First of all, in UQ Holder, Fate’s devotion to Negi seems to go way beyond the boundaries of normal friendship and into Setsuna territory. Negi dies/disappears, so fate kills Negi’s kid… For some reason, which I’m sure will make sense when it’s explained… And decides to pull out all the stops to try and get him back.
And the other reason is that it offers a really intriguing solution to one of the other problems that UQ Holder creates. See, in UQ Holder, Negi’s grandson is named Tota… Tota Konoe. On first glance, you’d think this meant that Negi married Konoka… Which we know didn’t happen, because a world where Kono/Setsu didn’t happen is a world nobody would want to read about. But I’m willing to lean towards the idea that Negi’s kid married Konoka’s kid.
But wait… Konoka’s married to a woman. Which means they can’t have a kid, right? This is the problem I was talking about. How could Konoka and Setsuna have a kid?
Well, there are some easy explanations, chief among them being that they adopted. Then again, Tota looks very much like what a biological grandson of Negi and Konoka would look like, so I’m not sure that’s the case. There’s the possibility that this magical world has some spell that can give biological babies to same sex couples, I mean hell, it’s a magical world, so why not.
But the Fate outcome creates what’s probably my favorite possibility out of all of them. Negi and Konoka are in the same boat. They’re involved in same-sex relationships, but for mutually exclusive reasons, they need to reproduce. Konoka needs to create an heir to the Konoe family, and Negi needs to start the blood line that will produce Chao Lingshen. So, with the consent of their lovers, Negi and Konoka sleep together to create a child. That child winds up in the custody of Konoka and Setsuna, because Negi lives too dangerous a life style.
Then again, Setsuna might be genderless like Kuromaru… No, never mind. She’s in so many bath scenes that somebody would have pointed that kind of thing out by now.
Well, the Fate route is my favorite one, but the Anya pairing is still probably the true one, if we’re to go by the methods I used in this post. Nothing’s set in stone, and a theory’s just a theory. But I’d love to hear your theory on this! If you have one, post it below!