UQ Holder chapter 001

UQ Holder ch1 - Evangeline

キタ━━━━(゚∀゚)━━━━!!

It’s here! Akamatsu’s new manga is here! A year and a half after Negima’s demise I finally get to see his new work. All is well in the world. I’m gonna dot down some observations on the first chapter.

First page starts right off with Eva and makes it clear UQ Holder is a sequel set in the same world. But she’s talking about more personal stuff, not on the epic scale Negima ended in. It looks like she’s going to play an even bigger role in this series.

UQ Holder ch1 splash page

There’re a lot of swords on the splash page. The pactio in Negima gave Akamatsu a lot of oddly shaped peripherals to work with, but UQ Holder reveals a more classic approach to battle so far. Of course, it could change later in the course. Even Eva wields a short sword. The largest weapon I can remember her wielding is a fan.

As for characters we see from left to right:

  • Some scientist looking dude. Probably related to Hakase, maybe to Chao? Wears a power suit(?)
  • Setsuna 2.0. This one’s already my favourite.
  • This guy sports Nagi/Negi’s hairstyle. Blood-related? His eyes look different though.
  • Tsukuyomi 2.0… maybe. I can’t tell if that’s a yandere look, or a childhood friend look (hoping for the former).
  • The only glasses character of importance so far. Dual wielder to boot.
  • Hammer wielding girl. Wears a Mahora uniform.
  • …male version of Yukihime?
  • Our main character. Pretty typical for a main character in this chapter.
  • Tanned guy, reminds me of Tatsumiya. Also wields a sword though.
  • Fate? Reminds me more of Filius Zect though.
  • Yukihime, but really Evangeline Anastasia Katherine McDowell in disguise. One of my favourite characters.
  • Some blonde guy. That coat’s way too flashy. Also reminds me of Zect.

UQ Holder ch1 gravestones

This page is a total tease, since nothing is actually definitive. The Japanese じいちゃん can mean both grandpa or casually addressing an old guy. Negi doesn’t even need to be dead (no body, not dead), though he probably is since he’d overshadow Touta. It does mean Touta and Negi know each other though. Some flashback potential.

Also keep in mind that around the end, Negima introduced multiple dimensions. So Akamatsu may or may not retcon some things. Yeah, multiple dimensions suck.

UQ Holder ch1 Eva parental moe

This part shows a really sweet side of Eva (one might dare to say: moe). It’s only a bit interesting given how the chapter started out with Eva’s little monologue. Later on, she’ll talk about her selfishness and whatnot. A good insight into her character.

UQ Holder ch1 Eva looking at her bracelet

A bit on the bracelet. I’m guessing it’s somewhat similar to what Negi applies to himself in the second volume, the underground library arc. It’s hard for me to believe that a mere bracelet can really nullify all magic, so I’m guessing a big part of it is that the user willingly puts it on. Negi used an explicit incantation however. I’m not really sure how far Akamatsu is going to take the details on magic in UQ Holder. You could already tell in the later stages of Negima that it really took a backseat compared to earlier volumes. A shame, since it was a big part of my enjoyment. More than just Harry Potter “sounds kinda like Latin” spells, everything had actual roots in culture found in our world. I hope Akamatsu takes a lot of research breaks again.

No words can describe how happy I am Akamatsu is starting a new manga, even happier that it’s set in the same world as Negima. Negima’s ending left me with a bitter taste, but here’s a chance for redemption, right?

Right, well, I wonder about that. UQ Holder also has to prove itself as its own manga. Just like how Negima started out as a harem comedy and ended up as a harem comedy DBZ-style battle manga. I guess the theme of immortality/invincibility will come up a lot. I wonder if Akamatsu will ever attempt to tie up the loose threads from Negima. Personally, although I love Negima with all my heart, I hope to mention it as few as possible. However it will turn out, the only way to find out is to read on.

(by the by, I remember something about rereading Negima, but you know how it goes: real life happened – I’ll get around to it)

You should really follow Canonrap’s Negima (and now UQ Holder I guess) blog for more interesting stuff, especially on the Japanese being used.

8 thoughts on “UQ Holder chapter 001

  1. Lorhand

    A bit on the bracelet. […] It’s hard for me to believe that a mere bracelet can really nullify all magic, so I’m guessing a big part of it is that the user willingly puts it on.

    In one of the last chapters, Negi was shot by one of Yuuna’s magic guns, which rendered him powerless. Even Ku Fei could have seriously injured him if she had hit him, (half-)immortality or not. Yes, it’s a rare artifact, but I’m saying it’s very possible to easily weaken magical entities.

    I don’t think Yukihime was in serious trouble in that situation though. She must have known/felt that her magic was useless and that Touta and his friends might attack her. What she didn’t expect was the bounty hunter, who was about to kill them (not her). The situation escalated because of that bastard.

    You could already tell in the later stages of Negima that it really took a backseat compared to earlier volumes. A shame, since it was a big part of my enjoyment. More than just Harry Potter “sounds kinda like Latin” spells, everything had actual roots in culture found in our world. I hope Akamatsu takes a lot of research breaks again.

    Well, personally, I think the main focus was always his father (and later his mother) and then shifted to saving the Magical World, so everything else obviously had to take a backseat. There still were detailed explanations given in the Tankoubons. Though this time, he doesn’t seem to have a foreign language consultant like he did before. I think all his old assistants left for other jobs after Negima’s end. Ken’s “logic” of magic works similar to the one Nasu uses in all Type-Moon works, so I’m sure Ken will take his time for lots of quality again.

    Apropos quality, if this manga gets popular, I expect a studio that can work out a good anime adaptation in terms of quality and faithfulness to the source material. I don’t want to see that bullshit that happened to Negima ever again.

    I guess the theme of immortality/invincibility will come up a lot.

    I agree, it’s even in the title and the clear definitions/distinctions of immortality/invulnerability/invincibility/whatever came up very early. There is a reason, why Ken kept Eva in this. While it seems like the main character is obviously Touta, I think Yukihime will play a just as important role as him. She started the monologue and she already told us that this story is about people “who ended up being so trivial” (immortal), like her.

    Reply
    1. Numbers and Space Post author

      First of all, thanks for your reply!

      I just reread the final volumes of Negima and yeah, totally forgot about that part. This cheat code is too powerful.

      I think one of the beauties of Negima was how varied it ended up being. It could give epic battles, while showing off the logic behind magic, while showing off Asuna’s panties (admittedly I can do without the latter). It did all of this very well. The tankoubon explanations disappeared in my English volumes…

      I don’t think you should interpret trivial as immortal. If anything it’s the reverse.

      Reply
      1. Lorhand

        Oh, I didn’t interpret it as trivial. It’s what Eva meant, what her life has become. The little things she cared about slowly do not matter, even her beloved Chachazero is apparently no longer by her side.

        Ken is also working very well with the lighting of the panels in the color pages.

        1. 3A is alive? Sun is shining very bright and stuff. Eva is having lots of fun and made friends, something she was apparently afraid of for 600 years.
        2. Sun starts to set, she leaves behind 3A.
        3. Chachazero can no longer go on.
        4. Eva keeps moving forward alone. It is already night.

        Now after this, she sees a light in the distance and the new characters of UQ Holder! waiting for her. This is a sign of a new adventure and I also see it as a kind of hope spot. Eva seems to have mellowed after she bonded with Negi and 3A and now she feels lonely again because she is immortal and the rest is (apparently) not. If this is a story about immortals, then she no longer will feel lonely. For the rest of her life.

        This is why I think this is also Eva’s personal story. This is a story in which she will find people that are like her immortal and she no longer has to be lonely. That’s how I interpreted her last line: that this is a story about people who ended up being trivial like her. It’s in this case her own synonym of being immortal. This is also a chance to see her complete backstory, something that was left out in Negima.

        Regarding backstories, Akamatsu had to skip a lot of interesting ones, due to many reasons. One of them being obviously the mass of characters that needed development and the focus being on Negi and everything. Setsuna and Konoka were still main character material, but after the School Festival, their development came to a complete halt. I was very interested in Setsuna’s complete backstory for instance. I also found it annoying that after 200 additional chapters, Setsuna and Konoka were still on the yuri trip and nothing has barely changed. Really, nothing. Something even felt repetitive.

        During the Magic World arc, even Asuna was pushed to the side. Akamatsu was writing himself into a corner. At least that’s what I feel. From 3A, only few can now still appear, notably Mana (who participated in the war that delayed Asuna’s return), Asuna herself, depending on which timeline we are, Chao (some even speculated Touta is her father) and maybe some others like Chachamaru and Ayaka. I at first thought this story takes place in the sixties, but then I saw better magazine raws and found out this plays in the eighties*, so most of 3A must be almost 100 years old and I don’t believe this is the case unless they somehow prolonged their lifespans.

        From Class 3A, in my opinion with the biggest chance to get a spinoff, were Chao, Eva and Yue. Yue was well developed, while Chao and Eva had lots of potential. Now Chao can still show up and Eva has been promoted to a main character, so this will be interesting to follow.

        *http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/phpn8huehpm_2497.jpg and

        Touta’s parents apparently died in 2084 and that was two years ago, so this takes place in 2086.

        Reply
  2. Lorhand

    Oh, and about the new characters in the color spread:

    Some scientist looking dude. Probably related to Hakase, maybe to Chao? Wears a power suit(?)

    If you look at the third color page again, you’ll see that at the least his left hand is mechanic. Now this can actually mean anything and he does look like a scientiest, but I also think he is either a cyborg or a robot to replace Chachamaru.

    Setsuna 2.0. This one’s already my favourite.

    I second that. She (?) looks like a Shinmeiryuu to me. Shares #1 with Yukihime on my list.

    This guy sports Nagi/Negi’s hairstyle. Blood-related? His eyes look different though.

    I don’t know why, but he reminded me a bit of Kaede (probably the laid-back look he got and the long hair). And he wields a MOP. He must be awesome.

    Tsukuyomi 2.0… maybe. I can’t tell if that’s a yandere look, or a childhood friend look (hoping for the former).

    She’s one of the few that I see, who don’t wield a weapon as of right now. I think she uses magic. Yue was always one of my favorites because she was the “black mage” of Ala Alba, as in more focusing on magic than anyone else, besides Negi (well, there was Anya too, but she was pretty much left out the entire Magic World arc). Though I must say, I also enjoyed Konoka’s “white mage”/medic role.

    Well, maybe I’m completely wrong and she’s actually a crazy Kenpo girl.

    The only glasses character of importance so far. Dual wielder to boot.

    Does look a bit like Eishun to me.

    Hammer wielding girl. Wears a Mahora uniform. and …male version of Yukihime?

    Uh… no idea what to make of them ^_^.

    Our main character. Pretty typical for a main character in this chapter.

    As of right now, typical main character (and somehow typical backstory), but I will wait and see.

    Tanned guy, reminds me of Tatsumiya. Also wields a sword though.

    First time I saw him, I thought that was a young Dynamis, lol. But him being somehow related to Mana could be a good guess.

    Fate? Reminds me more of Filius Zect though.

    Hm… the gravekeeper of Ostia perhaps…? Just kidding. 😛 Could be another mage, we don’t really see much.

    Yukihime, but really Evangeline Anastasia Katherine McDowell in disguise. One of my favourite characters.

    Ahem, her middle name is Athanasia which apparently means immortality. ^_^ But also easily my favorite character in both personality and design and perhaps the reason why many old Negima fans will keep reading this.

    Some blonde guy. That coat’s way too flashy. Also reminds me of Zect.

    I honestly thought that was either a Fate clone and/or one of Touta’s friends, Shiraishi.

    All in all, the male/female ratio is pretty balanced. Thankfully, we won’t see such a massive harem like in Negima, but there might be romance involved, which is one of Akamatsu’s strengths, anyway. My personal guess for the main love interest would be the one who looks like Motoko/Setsuna to me. Purely assuming from the third color page, I also think she is the character that will be introduced next.

    Reply
    1. Numbers and Space Post author

      I still think it’s a powersuit, similar to what Chao wore in the Festival arc. But anything is possible. It’s mostly the lab coat though.

      Big mistake from me on Anastasia/Athanasia. Athanasia means immortality (a (not) + thanatos (death)), Anastasia means resurrection. They sound similar, but their foundation is quite different.

      I too am happy about the male/female ratio. I think Akamatsu wanted a challenge in having such a big female cast, a challenge he tackled fairly well. I’m also happy we don’t get to see middle schoolers falling in love with a grade schooler. Average age seems to have risen significantly (though still typical shounen).

      Reply
  3. Pingback: UQ Holder chapter 002 | Anime Audiolog

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