Negima has a complicated history when it comes to the various bits of censoring, mistakes, and other changes upon release. There's been quite a few stories, rumors, and differences fans have saw throughout the course of the series, especially early on. Here we will look at the various issues the manga's endured through its release and localization.
Censorship may not seem very surprising for Negima, given the amount of nudity present featuring school girls. Though the mass majority find the act of censorship to be a blight on the original content, there was concern upon the original English licensing of the manga by publisher Del Rey.
Before the first volume was released in English, Del Rey had announced there were going to be changes made to the original artwork and text, reporting 10 panels would be changed. Ken Akamatsu, the creator of Negima, reported on his web blog that Del Ray was going to make an effort to hide nudity in the manga and while he stated he was "amused" by this decision, there were rumors he was appalled by the censorship. This led to an outcry to Del Rey and before the first volume was to be released in April of 2004, the publisher reported that the original panels would stay intact and instead the books would be shrink-wrapped with a label reading "Contains Explicit Content, Ages 16+".
That decision also did not go over so well with buyers, as many complaints filed in about damage the wrap did to the books. As a result, later volumes would come out normally. However, the cover art was subject to slight censorship.
For instance, while it might be slight, the English version of volume 16 sports an Ayaka in an altered costume. Her undergarments were changed to a solid color and her outfit was changed to cover more of her cleavage.
In addition, none of the limited edition volumes or their altered, usually more risque covers, made their way to the West.
Though Del Rey felt the need to censor some of the artwork, it came to the dismay of fans to discover dialogue had been altered from the original to add more adult-oriented jokes. The first few volumes of the series ended up being re-released after outcry from fans about the quality of the work. While they did fix some mistranslations, these extra changes were not edited and would remain intact until the release of the omnibus. The translators were replaced after the first few volumes or so and it is the general consensus the following adaptation was far more faithful.
Below are a few examples, one taken directly from Del Rey's initial volume release and the other is the revised omnibus release.
As early as the first chapter of Negima do we see the changes Del Rey added in. In these cases, the fan's translation is more accurate to the original material rather than the profession official release. A casual scene where two schoolgirls ask Negi what he's doing at an all-girl's school is changed to Negi taking off a stop later to set up a sex joke.
This is another example in chapter one. Del Rey goes out of their way to make jokes about Shizuna's breasts. While this may seem innocent enough, there is an argument that having Negi say such a thing goes against his gentleman personality.
A prime example of these changes can be seen in volume three. Following Negi and Asuna's official pactio, this exchange occurs. As you can see, Del Rey decided to change a normal kiss to a french kiss. Considering how hesitant Asuna was to even share a normal kiss with Negi, this comes out of left field. Later in the manga, a french actually occurs between two other individuals, but arguably, it was to convey deep feelings and was canon to the plot. Unfortunately, this particular change is not canon to the story and fans argue it negatively effects the characters.
The first six volumes are known to be riddled with errors, changes, etc. from the publisher. The translators were replaced after the first few volumes or so and it is the general consensus the following adaptation was far more faithful in future releases.