|Negi Springfield is a ten-year-old wizard from Wales, who dreams of becoming a Magister Magi (Approximate Latin translation: "Master of Magic" or "Master Mage"), a special wizard who uses his powers to help normal people, using covers such as working for NGOs.
Negi's reason for becoming a Magister Magi is to find his father, Nagi Springfield, the legendary mage also known as the "Thousand Master", who is believed to be dead.
After graduating from the Merdiana Magic Academy in Wales, Negi is given a duty as a cover in the real world, and training, before he actually becomes a Magister Magi. That duty is to become an English teacher at Mahora Academy in Japan. The task will not be easy, however, as Negi will become a teacher to a Middle School class of 31 older girls, each very special in her own way. The series details his time and adventures in Japan as he gains acceptance and respect from his students, helps them in their problems, and faces magical threats from inside and outside Mahora Academy. Although each of the girls has her own back story and personality, Negi's main relationship is with Asuna Kagurazaka, his student and roommate, who dislikes him initially but later accepts him as a friend and becomes his partner, helping find clues about his father and his life.
The series, while initially appearing to be another romantic comedy work featuring numerous bishōjo characters like Love Hina, has progressed into a mix of shōnen action, fantasy, horror, romance and comedy. Akamatsu stated that he specifically wanted to do something "different" than Love Hina. Negi himself is prepubescent, and many of his scenes with Asuna are specific subversions of the "awkward romantic scene" tendency of harem manga, quickly defused and only played for laughs. In addition, many of the girls are able to fawn over him in a childish sense without any romantic expectations from the reader.
In keeping with this style, Negi himself is seen as a contrast to Love Hina's Keitaro and other typical male leads of manga. He is hardworking, capable, and treated kindly, but due to his appearance and age (well below most of his students), he feels completely non-threatening and finds it difficult to be taken seriously as a teacher; many of his students treat him as a cute little kid, if not a playmate (or plaything).