It's the first time Negi is actually breaking from his father's shadow. His dad's a Light mage, he'll be a Dark one like Eva. Gosh only knows how much horrible stuff he's gone through, his optimism is just too WEIRD.
Latest Negima! was concentrated win; Yue/Patch evolution and Negi going black. The RAW for the next was pretty great as well.
Rankan is thus far the most awesome of all Nagi's compatriots. FABULOUS-san was pretty weak, Takahata is always trying to let Negi find his own way even if he's inferior, but Rankan? No, he just gives Negi destructive knowledge just 'cause he likes him (and) for kicks!