Ken Akamatsu and His Cast

I should warn you….nah never mind, you’ll see for yourself.

Is it just me, or do all of Ken Akamatsu’s characters seem to be almost the same?

First of all. What’s up with that name? Ken. It’s just weird to me. I mean, think about it….Yuji, Saito, Yoichi, Katsu, Takamichi…..Ken. I just always felt like it never matched all of the other Japanese names…..anyway, this may sadly be the only real point I make in this post (that’s what I was going to warn you about).

I have been taking a break from Negima! (and pretty much everything these past two or three weeks) after I reached a good stopping point. I have just recently picked up Love Hina, which was an enjoyable anime, but IMO, had a rushed ending in the form of the OVAs. I’ve heard that the ending is a bit better manga (it’s the same result, but there’s more of it). After pausing on Mahou Sensei Negima, taking up Love Hina just re-affirmed what I had already thought:

Ken Akamatsu’s characters are all pretty much the same. Sometimes in appearance, sometimes in personality.

Part I: Specifics

Naru (Love Hina) = Asuna (Negi)

Naru from Love Hina and Asuna from Negima are pretty much exactly the same. Okay, so they don’t really look the same, but they both of them have the same body type (I’ll get into generalities later, which is really what the post is about), enjoy to punch, and have obsessions of men older than them. Speaking of….

Seta (Love Hina) = Takamichi (Negi)

The older men that Naru and Asuma have initial crushes on respectively. Both of them, I noticed, have distinct similarities. Not only do both of them smoke, but they both wear glasses, and have the same look that reminds me of a father figure looking down on the progress of a child. I mean, they even have the same smiles. (again, generalities, I’ll get into later).

Ayaka (Negi) = Mei Sakura (Negi)

Here’s two characters fromt he same manga that confused the shit out of me. I thought that Ayaka put on a nun’s uniform or something. I had no idea what was going on. In fact, I still don’t fully know who any of the nuns from Negima are or where they came from. I probably got confused because the hair is so similar.

I’m going to stop the comparisons there I think, because I could go all day comparing different characters. Although you could say that Suu (Love Hina) and Mei (Negima) look a bit the same because of their cheeks, and that Mizune (Love Hina) and Kaede (Negima) look the same because of their eyes. But the only thing really odd about this is that each manga only has one of each type of character.

Part II: Generalities

Well, so far I haven’t proved my point that his characters from his two manga are very similar. Here’s what I’ve said (or thought to myself) so far:

  • Both manga each have one samurai wielding girl. Just one for each.
  • Both manga each have one girl with closed eyes. Just one for each.
  • Both manga each have one girl with cheek marks (small ovals), and both of these girls are foreign. Just one for each (I think).
  • Both manga each have lead female characters that get angry at the make lead characters, and both female leads are capable of strong acts of violence. One of the only differences in personality, in fact, is that one is really smart, and one is really dumb. Otherwise their personalities are almost the same.
  • Both manga each have one dark skinned foreign girl. Just one for each (at least so far for me).

This post is sucking a lot more than I thought it would. So I’ll leave the generalities down to two pictures:

Love Hina


Mahou Sensei Negima!?

Okay, I will say this: All of the girls have the same body. Same waist, same tit size in proportion to height. Everything anatomically is pretty much always proportional and to me, almost stenciled? Does that make sense to anyone? Why the fuck is this in bold? Whatever, I’m not changing it. Bold it stays.

Akamatsu also (okay the bold is gone now for some reason) seems to have three different sets of eyes: the wide eye, the narrow eye, and the closed eye. To better illustrate what I’m trying to say, proceed to the next part.

Part III: Just Look At This One

Okay, one more picture that actually gets across my point. Click to enlarge:

Farther Reading

This posts SUCKED.

Even Farther Reading

Let it be known, I am an avid fan of Ken Akamatsu. I love the Negima series, and I’ve been pretty much obsessed with the Love Hina series for whatever reason. I’m not at all saying that his artistic talents are bad, nor are his methods. I’m just making an observation, and choosing to waste all of your time by making it a post. God knows I probably can’t draw these (only because I don’t have the patience).

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14 thoughts on “Ken Akamatsu and His Cast

  1. i don’t read/watch negima for the same reason I don’t read/watch love hina. Tried it before but I dunno what’s the big deal about it. Dropped after 2 chapters. If you have read one story, you have read them all.

    • I actually thought of a witty comeback to this earlier in the day, but then I forgot it, so I’ll just reply to your comment by letting you know that I did have something good to write at one point.

  2. In some ways, the large cast of Negima! helps to cover Ken, because you don’t see some of the characters very often and don’t notice the similarities. On the other hand, it gives more room for them to be the same. Also, I totally noticed the same similarity between Asuna and Naru. Could barely focus on Love Hina’s story without thinking of Asuna in this same position.

    Clicking that didn’t enlarge it. 😀

    • Soemtimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by the large cast, but Negima is still one of my favorites.

      I didn’t really compare Asuna to Naru until I read the chapter in Love Hina where they put on a play, and Naru has her hair up almost like Asuna’s hair.

      That picture didn’t enlarge? I wonder why? Usually they do.

  3. haha i feel like you had 100 more similarities in mind when you started righting this… then you said the post sucked cuz you thought you had more. its ok, i do it all the time. and this post wasn’t really that bad. although if i actually read these i would maybe have more to say about this than this paragraph of nothing.

    • Actually, I had a lot, but it was too time consuming to create those comparison pictures. I mean, you have to first find a page from a manga that has the characters in question, then you have to put them in paint, do this, do that….I got lazy, and rightfully so.

  4. i am also a huge fan of negima, and i do agree that a few of the characters do look alot alike if not being borderline the same character design repurposed in a new role.
    but onto my true objective which is to point out that the character you have labled as Mei Sakura is actually Takane Goodman. an honset mistake as they are often pictured together in the same scenes.

  5. I don’t know if you’d read this, since I just stumbled upon this article pretty late, but…

    It’s pretty much like you said. But you should know that generally mangaka would make the lead character some kind of his/her own avatar, sort of representing the mangaka in some way so that it’d be much easier to flesh out the lead character’s personality and behaviour/ reactions.

    Same goes to the love interest (or is it so in Negima?), where she/he would reflect the ideal one in the mangaka’s mind. The ‘one each’ may be because of what he favoured to be in his work, thus having only one of them so not to make it too obvious, perhaps.

    The ‘only six faces’ issue (the lack of more various design) on the other hand, is not to be blamed on him. Many comic artists/ mangaka would have this kind of problem since it is indeed hard to expand your style and forcing it onto the paper when you can just draw your familiar style naturally and without needing to erase multiple times. With the submission deadline in mind, wasting on such trivial matter isn’t that productive.

    …Ah darn, I dunno why am I posting this in the first place anyway. Oh well.

    • I read and respond to every comment, because I’m such a great guy.

      Deadlines suck. There’s enough variety to realize the difference in most cases, but some characters do look exactly the same. Makes it tough to tell wtf is going on sometimes.

      That being said, Negima is a fucking awesome manga, now that I’ve somewhat caught up.

      • That you do. =D

        True enough. It works in general, just not as diverse as the drawing style of other popular mangaka. It wouldn’t have been a problem if his characters in Negima isn’t a freakin’ whole class members + more…

        I saw Yoshihiro Togashi went from Yu Yu Hakusho to Hunter x Hunter, and he made his characters so much more diverse than the previous work. Perhaps it’s doable for him if he intends to, but I wouldn’t expect as much.

        Well, I heard that since vol. 5, he’s been able to do it the Shounen way (as how he intends the series to be initially) and things have become so much more interesting. I might check out the manga later.

        I’m not really a fan of his (but I’ve read/ watch his works in the past) and I only watched the anime version of Negima, so commenting like that is kinda weird. But I sort of understand how hard it is, I used to waste lots of time just doing that…

      • Yeah, there’re so many characters that there’s just an overload of similar looking characters and the characters characterally confuse my character character.

        Character.

        But yeah Negima kicks ass I gotta start up with it again fuck waiting for english volumes there’s so many chapters that are translated online.

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