Magic is the spiritual power to collect all the natural energies that are full in the atmosphere and bring it under the control of one's own body.
Western Mages and Eastern Mages
In Negima, the two main divisions of magic shown are Western (European) and Eastern (Asian). Western magic is largely based on real-life Western fantasy myths and lore, with monsters and spiritual entities such as dragons, salamanders, and valkyries. Western magic is commonly invoked through the chanting of Latinite incantations, though incantations in Ancient Greek and Sanskrit have been demonstrated, and future storylines may include others. However, skilled mages have been shown to use magic without incantations, eliminating one of the greatest vulnerabilities of a magic-user.
What has been seen of Negima's Eastern magic so far is that it is largely based on traditional Far-Eastern religion and folk belief. Eastern Mages often exclusively utilize talismans and charms to invoke magic and summon demons, although incantations to activate them are common as well.
There are also significant differences between Western and Eastern schools in how mages typically apply magic in the field. The Western school of mages emphasizes the mage as a part of a team; the mage casts spells, whilst the partner or allies provide support, protecting the magician. In this way, many of the spells have a focus on two main sections: support powers, such as magic barriers, healing, and precognition, and assault powers, designed to either fire too many attacks to dodge, or to make an extremely powerful attack to break through any magic barriers. Even in this grouping however, many of these spells are designed for sealing, capture, and disarming rather than for outright destruction of the enemy.
On the other hand, Eastern Mage schools emphasize the mage as a lone operative, with many of the spells devised to disrupt and confuse rather than to play a role in direct combat. In addition, the Eastern mage's talismans are highly specific. An assault demon, for example, will last until it is either destroyed, or until no more enemies remain, and then dissipate. In much the same way, a defensive demon will only last until it defends the mage from an assault. Once there are no possible threats, they dissipate. Talisman monsters, such as the assault (zenki) and protective (goki) demons, are an exception; these talisman monsters last until their purpose is accomplished, or until they are destroyed. In the case that no orders are given to talismans, they will take whatever task they are first given, and attempt to complete that. Once that task is completed, they return to paper.
All Western Mages use an activation keyword or phrase, usually the latter, before chanting a spell. According to Chamo, the keyword unlocks the mage's magical pathways and can considered to be like a focal point. The keyword can be any kind of phrase or even nonsense, as long it feels comfortable and natural to the user. The ceremony for finalizing it is described as long and complex, so Chamo had suggested to Yue to put some thought into deciding on hers. Some of the known activation keys are as follows:
- Negi Springfield: Ras tel Ma Scir Magister
- Nagi Springfield, "The Thousand Master": Man Man Terro Terro
- Evangeline A.K. McDowell: Lic Lac La Lac Lilac
- Chao Lingshen: Last Tale My Magic Skill Magister
- Mei Sakura: Maple Naple À La Mode
- Natsume Megumi, "Nutmeg": Lapp Chapp La Chapp Lugpool
- Kataragi: Dig Dir Dilic Volholl
- Fate Averruncus: висю тал ли сютал вангэит (Visju Tal Li Sjutal Vangèit)
- Thurdonzi: Nettos Natos Nayatos
- Mitsuru Nijuin: Nicman Pizaman Fuchahireman! (Nikuman (steamed pork bun), pizaman (pizza-like steamed bun), fukahireman (steamed shark-fin bun))
- Yue Ayase: Foa Zo Cratica Socratica (apparent reference to herself as a philosopher) []
- Collette Farandole: Annet Ti Net Garnet
- Emily Sevensheep: Tarot Carrot Charlotte
- J Von Katze: Haiti Mighty Wendy
- S Du Chat: Pacnam Tinuts Coconuts
- Anya Cocolova: Fortis La Tius Lilith Lilioth
- Beatrix Monroe: Mintir Mintis Freesia
- Nii: Mera Lega Mera Sad Nasi Goreng
- Septendecim: Aquari Eterna Dead Sea
- Konoemon Konoe: Murakumo Rurakumo Yakumotatsu
- Albireo Imma: Papryus Tarpis Ron Jinkou
Magic Barriers and Augmentions
While not an actual spell, most mages and magical beings use magic to augment their physical abilities and for protection. For example, the ten-year-old Negi Springfield is, with the help of his magic, slightly more physically capable than a normal adult male. Mages can also increase this boost deliberately, for protection or to increase combat abilities, if a combat mage. Negi has discovered two methods of doing this. The first is by essentially invoking a pactio with himself, giving himself a timed boost of energy. The second is with a spell called Cantus Bellax. The first method, however, causes physical pain after a few seconds of use, therefore is not recommended.
Most mages have a low-level barrier that protects them against physical blows, letting only a fraction of the force behind them pass through to strike the mage. This barrier is not a perfect defense, as it can be worn down by repeated blows, or can be broken by a spell as a prelude to an attack. In addition, some people are capable of breaking or bypassing barriers altogether. Asuna Kagurazaka (in various situations - see Magic Canceller below) and Chizuru Naba (when striking a demon with her hand) have both been shown capable of getting past barriers, often completely by accident. (Though it is likely, especially in Chizuru's case, that this natural barrier is only 'active' if the magic user is aware of any danger.)
In addition, a popular form of barrier is an area-effect shield used to prevent mundanes from getting in an area where mages battle or otherwise conduct business in the open. This barrier works to mask sound, to prevent overhearing, and causes a desire of anyone outside the barrier to want to leave the area. This is more of a suggestion than outright mental control, as a person can choose to fight the feeling if they are aware of it. This is unknowingly demonstrated when Asakura Kazumi tries to visit the World Tree plaza when such a magical barrier was put up; she felt the effects of the barrier, but went on anyways.
- see also: Magia Erebea
A forbidden technique created by Evangeline A.K. McDowell over a period of 10 years, in which the user absorbs offensive magic designed to harm the enemy into his own body, to the point where it fuses with their very soul. The technique feeds on the user's body and soul, but in return the user gains power many times that of any ordinary person.
Erebea is a reference to Erebus, the offspring of Chaos and the Greco-Roman god of darkness and shadow; in later myths, Erebus became synonymous with Hades, as well as the underworld itself. As such, "Magia Erebea" would roughly translate as "Dark Magic".
When the user is able to utilize this technique, as a sign of that ability, a series of flowing tattoo-like designs appear over their arms whenever they channel magical power to them. When the technique itself is active, the user's skin will turn pitch black, and in some cases, their clothing and even their eyes will invert in color. Any special properties of the spell that is absorbed will also transfer to the user.
Magia Erebea has two forms. The first is that the user will completely absorb the magical attack into themselves, thereby gaining its properties. First casting the spell that they wish to absorb, they then chant the following phrases:
- Latin: "Stagnet. Complexio, Supplementum pro Armationem!"
English: "Fixate. Seize. Load magic, 'Armament'!"
This technique is apparently a three-stage process. As the attack spell is cast, the user will initiate the Magia Erebea with the command "Stagnet," which causes the spell to compact itself down into a sphere, rather than being launched outward as an attack. Then upon "Complexio", the user will seemingly crush the spell into their fist in order to absorb it. "Supplementum pro Armationem" then follows, which facilitates the absorption process itself.
The user can also apparently specify what form the absorbed properties of the spell will take – in 219th Period, Negi used Magia Erebea to absorb Jovis Tempestas Fulguriens, to greatly heighten his speed and agility, which he calls "Agilitas Fulminis," or "Lightning Speed". In Period 225, Negi integrates Rakan's demonstration spell, Incendium Gehennae, a Dark and Flame element spell, into Magia Erebea, aptly naming it "Sim Fabricatus Ab Incendo," or "Tempered by Hellfire".
Magia Erebea can also be activated without requiring that the user absorb a magical attack, by the incantation:
- Latin: "Actus Noctis Erebeae"
English: "Form of the Dark Night"
The second form of the technique is that the user can store magical spells within themselves without canceling the previous Magia Erebea. By incanting "Supplementum", they will absorb the magic into themselves, but not merge with it, where they can release it at a later time. The actual syntax varies slightly, depending upon the nature of the command given.
- Dextra Emittam: Right Arm Release
Dextra Emissa Stagnet: Right Arm Release and Fixate
Dextra Stagnans: Right Arm Fixate
- Sinistra Emittam: Left Arm Release
Sinistra Emissa Stagnet: Left Arm Release and Fixate
Sinistra Stagnans: Left Arm Fixate
- Duplex Complexio: Both Arms Seize
Duabus Emissae: Both Arms Release
The secondary ability of Magia Erebea. Users are able to completely absorb a spell, thus gaining its various properties and strengths.
- Lightning Speed
- [AGILITAS FULMINIS]
- Direct attacks become electrical in nature and is capable of electrocuting or incapacitating an enemy. Provides an atmospheric barrier against airborne attacks. Specialized for mobility, but with less defensive properties than Sim Fabricatus Ab Incendo.
- "Hell's Refining Fire"
- (sim fabricatus ab incendio)
- Direct attacks are augmented with dark flames. Enemy's magical powers are absorbed. Specialized for attack and defense.
- "Thunder in Heaven, Great Vigor"
- Ê ASTRAPÊ UPER OURANOU MEGA DUNAMENÊ
- (Ἡ ἈΣΤΡΑΠΗ' ΎΠE'P OΥ'PANO'Υ MEΓA ΔΥNA'MENH)
- "Great Vigor" is one of the practical uses of dark magic, which transmogrify the mage's physical composition with the magic from "Thousand Lightning Bolts (Kilipl Astrapê)" and becomes a mass of electrically charged particles. In this state, the caster can achieve extraordinary speeds via the electrical discharge, by exploiting the tremendous attraction between negatively charged particles (composing the caster's body) to the separated positively charged particle they've situated from their body as an electrical field.
Similar to Agilitas Fulminis, but with a tremendous boost in mobility. Described as allowing Negi to "transform himself into lightning" for instantaneous periods, enabling him to move at speeds of up to 150 km/s, as well use Raisoku Shundou (Lightning-Speed Instant Movement). While in this form, physcial attacks against the user are rendered ineffective, although they are still capable of disrupting the body's now-loose composition. However, while the user's physical speed is significantly increased, their reflexes and mental processing speed are not. In addition, identical to natural lightning, a positive streamer must now precede their every movement, effectively telegraphing the user's every action and making them especially vulnerable to a successful counterattack.
A simultaneous second layer of this ability, however, dubbed "Raiten Taisou 2" or "Ê Astrapê Uper Ouranou Mega Dunamenê" by Negi, eliminates most of this weakness, accelerating the user's perceptions to where they can succesfully react to and avoid said counterattack, and thus counter-counterattack themselves.
Of note is the fact that while Evangeline A.K. McDowell does not have any of the weaknesses of a vampire; she still makes use of vampirism to empower herself. Before being cursed, she wielded immense magical power, which was likely what prevented any aging. However, the Infernus Scholacticus curse placed upon her by Nagi sealed most of that magic power away, leaving her extremely vulnerable. Judging by her physical weaknesses, it can probably be assumed that Evangeline's magical powers probably boosted her physical capabilities. However, upon losing them, her body, which was now more dependent on magic, became far more susceptible to disease than that of an ordinary human, evident in her constant bouts of allergies and hayfever. In fact, it appears the only thing the remaining magic seems to do is prevent her from aging.
In an attempt to counter this, Evangeline has taken to many different techniques to boost her magical capabilities. The first is her use of catalysts that reduce the drain each spell cast has upon her. The second is vampirism, in which the magical power within the blood is consumed, rather than the blood itself. Thus, Evangeline can keep herself from becoming sick, and allow herself to use stronger magic by drinking the blood of someone with significant magic power. This can also explain why Evangeline is significantly healthier and capable of stronger magic later on in the series.
Magic Cancel is a rare ability that completely nullifies magic. Certain magic cast or used on a person with this ability has no effect. However, not all types of magic are nullified. Magic that harms the person is stopped, (excluding spells not directly harming but disabling such as a disarm spell) while magic that helps the person is not. It is unclear how one gets this ability, as it is rare. The only person known to have this ability is Asuna, which may have something to do with her and the Thousand Master, Nagi Springfield. In the anime storyline, she received the ability as the result of a pact with a demon. However, Chizuru was able to actually hurt Graf Wilhelm when she slapped him in volume 8, suggesting that she may have a similar ability, though it is more likely she took him by surprise.
Magical Cancel does not explain all events, such as Asuna not being able to protect herself from Fate Averruncus's magically produced monster. A possible explanation for this is that magical spells are stopped by magic neutralization but they do not stop physical attacks, so even if the attacker is a demon, monster or a person powered by magic any attack that is physical like punching, kicking or using a weapon will not be stopped.
Asuna's weapon is generally a harisen. When Asuna mentions it, a flustered Chamo says that on the card is written "Hamanotsurugi" (which means Demon Banishing Blade). Her ability to banish demons and onmyou monsters in one hit is due to her weapon, not her magic canceling abilities.
The use of love potions with Magic Cancel is not entirely understood. If another person drinks a love potion that causes anyone who sees them to be affected, a person with Magic Cancel would not be affected. However, if someone with Magic Cancel were to drink a love potion that causes them to fall in love with the first person they see, they will be affected. An example is in chapter 54 when Asuna accidentally ate a chocolate that contained such a love potion; fans were confused because Asuna was falling in love with Negi even though she had Magic Cancel. Likely, the potion bypassed cancellation through her eating of it, while the previous potion was an effect coming from the person who drank it.
It is possible that because Magic Cancel does not block helpful magic that it only effects magic that the possessor would not want to happen, such as attacks on their person. But in eating the candy it could be said that Asuna accepted the candy, and the spell on it, into herself in a way that bent whatever rules stipulate the effects of her power. Her ignorance of the spell could explain its weakened power over her because of the fact that she did not understand totally what she had accepted and thus she could not totally accept it.
Possible explanations have been offered for various seeming discrepancies. If Magic Cancel is a protective field that surrounds its source, it would ideally be able to hold out any foreign influence trying to enter said source. Also, the source might use it as an augmentation to physical attacks, allowing it to batter through magical fields, such as Asuna has been seen to do to Evangeline several times, kicking her despite the presence of Eva's defensive shield magic. Any influence working out from the inside, such as a love potion ingested or essence of a Magi absorbed through a kiss or exchange of blood, would not be affected however. Most recently, Asuna was able to break open a "100% Unbreakable Seal" placed on a box by Magic Police, suggesting that her Magic-Cancel ability may behave much like Superboy's tactile telekinesis. It would theoretically allow her to be impervious to magic directed at her, and also allow her to nullify any magic that she touches. This explains instances when Asuna was riding with someone on a broom, like when Negi tried to help her with her newspaper delivery and when she landed on Misora Kasuga's broom during the final battle at the Mahora Festival. When coming into contact with a broom in use, Asuna's magic cancellation disrupts the magic that keeps it afloat.
Count Herrmann's ability to usurp Asuna's Magic Cancel-ability by placing a charm on her seems to indicate that this power has a radius of effect; any power that is already within the radius is apparently able to do its work unopposed. Alternatively, it is possible the Magic Cancel-field is only set to protect its source, not itself.
Eva has apparently figured out how to bypass the Magic Cancel when she freezes Asuna in a block of ice in one last training session with both Negi and Asuna. This may be connected with Magic Cancel not being able to deal with physical attacks. Also, since Eva now knows Asuna's entire history and likely of how magic cancellation relates to her, this gives her an advantage in knowing what works against it and what will not. Eva is pleasantly surprised that Asuna manages to free herself from the ice after only a few minutes, and commends her.
Main article: Pactio
Pactio is a magically binding "Contract" between a Magister/Magistra Magus and his Minister/Ministra Magus. The pactio enables the Magister casting the spell to transfer some of his/her magic power to the other person involved in the "pactio", improving the Ministra's natural capabilities, by an average of ten times their normal capacity, according to Chamo. Another advantage included in having a pactio is the ability for the Ministra to summon a "magic artifact". Each magic artifact reflects the Ministra summoning it, and as such, the vast majority of magic artifacts will be quite different. In the case of Nodoka, she received a magic picture diary, which reflects her title as a librarian. With Haruna, she received a magic quill and sketchbook, which ties in with her personality as an artist. As Chamo stated, there is no real way of determining just what kind of artifact is given to each new Ministra, but one can assume that the artifact will reflect an aspect of the Ministra's personality.
When a pactio is established, a card is created as proof of the contract. Copies can be made (the Magister keeps hold over the originals), and these cards allow for telepathic communication between the Magister and Ministra by using the incantation Telepathia. It also allows the Magister to summon the Ministra at any time. This ability has so far been shown four times in the Manga series, when Negi called Asuna and Setsuna in Kyoto, when he summoned Asuna later in chapter 60 (much to her horror since she was taking a bath at the time), when he summoned Setsuna, and when Fate Averruncus summoned his Ministra in chapter 215. Apparently, there is a limit as to how far away a magister can summon his/her ministra. According to Chachamaru in chapter 189, the maximum distance is around 10 km.
If the Ministra should be left to his/her own wits, he/she can use the copy of the "pactio" card to borrow magical energy from the Magister, or to summon his/her artifacts. To summon forth the artifact, the Ministra invokes the phrase Adeat, meaning to "bring forth" in Latin. This causes the copy card to transform into the artifact. To return the artifact to its card form, the phrase Abeat is used. The Magister can also make the artifact to appear by using the Master Copy.
Based around the Chinese concept of Suo Di (縮地, lit. "To shrink the earth" or "Ground Contraction", Shukuchi in Japanese), the legendary ability of telportation attributed to sennin and xian, Shundō (瞬動, "Instant Movement") refers to a non-magical method of rapid movement used in the Negima universe.
So far, multiple different variations of Shundō have been seen: Instant Movement, Hakkyokuken's Vital Step, and Kaede Nagase's self-created version which is specifically called "Shukuchi".
Other higher-level variations include: Kokū Shundō (虚空瞬動, "Empty Sky Instant Movement", also called "Mid-air Shundō"), which does not require contact with a solid surface to initiate, and an extreme long-range version of Shukuchi, called Shukuchi Mukyō (縮地無疆, "Boundless Ground Contraction").
Several characters in the series are able to interpret and recognize each Shundō in many respects. Of the three, Shundō, along with the Vital Step, are considered to have a significant vulnerability unless performed masterfully, namely that they are unidirectional only and can thus be predicted and interrupted. Shukuchi does not appear to have that same weakness, however, making it closer to the mythical Shukuchi, with the idea of compressing space between two points. Although, it is possible to perform Shukuchi-like levels with Shundō through proficiency and understanding of both Instant Movement and Vital Step.
Other improved variations of Shundō are also possible; using the Raiten Taisō form granted by Magia Erebea, Negi has been able to transform his entire body into lightning using Raisoku Shundō (雷速瞬動, "Lightning-Speed Instant Movement") for multiple instances.