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.
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.
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.
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.
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)