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Old 2020-01-10, 15:15   Link #6961
NapoleonDeCheese
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Oh wow. A single person or a handful getting a fleeting glimpse while fleeing for dear life or right before being turned to stone. Sure more than enough as to make her a public celebrity across two worlds for decades, for sure! Such a huge celebrity, as a matter of fact, no one even recognizes her when she's in a public bath!

And regarding her role as a school headmistress, its' not like she's going with a false name. She's still going under the same name she used when she was with Ala Alba. If she were so well known, people would already have put two and two together at some point, but then again most people in UQ Holder are as dumb as fish.
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Old 2020-02-06, 22:28   Link #6962
Akira Theia
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Just read the new chapter. Might be the first time I have taken my time to read a full UQ Holder chapter in years. All because it's a ToutaxKuroumaru chapter.

As I stated before, my expectations of UQ Holder were already in the dust. But this chapter.... This chapter gave me all I have been wanting to see from UQ Holder since the first chapters! We're finally getting more information on Kuroumaru's clan, their brother and their form of immortality. And what do you know? Turns out Kuroumaru's body is the vessel of some artifact that could defeat the Lifemaker! We're getting into an 'Immortals vs. Immortal Hunters' arc I had long given up we would get.

It's also nice that the blind guy with the moon express attack and robot Tsukuyomi are back. I was annoyed that Akamatsu was only bringing back the creepy shadow molester from the early villains.

As I had guessed so long ago, Kuroumaru's brother sent them away to protect them and hopefully let them be free on Earth. There's other immortal hunter clans that only care to use Kuroumaru as a tool to destroy the Lifemaker. I could somehow sense that brother did care about Kuroumaru in a distant sort of way.

The ToutaxKuroumaru moments are actually nice when Kuroumaru isn't left getting flustered about Touta by themself and Touta isn't in oblivious shonen lead mode. I had resigned to ToutaxKirie being the endgame because she had stolen so much of the manga's spotlight for so many chapters and Kuroumaru has been such an irrelevant satellite to Touta with a seriously mishandled gender issue for so long. But now... I'm almost hoping Touta will realize his feelings for Kuroumaru go deeper than he realized and choose them as his partner both in battle and romance. That he's taking Kuroumaru on a date, calling their girly self pretty and is interested in learning more about them right after Yukihime told him she and him aren't meant to be in a romantic relationship and pushed him into choosing who he likes the most is very telling, in my opinion.

I always knew Kuroumaru was the character with the most potential for a good character arc out of Touta's harem. Kirie is a plot device and a bad joke of a tsundere. Karin is, well, I guess she has some cool stuff, but she orbits way too much around Yukihime to the point she barely feels like a character of her own and her little flashback arc felt more like a Yukihime flashback narrated by Karin to let Touta know more about Yukihime than about Karin. The human girls aren't even worth my consideration. Kuroumaru, on the other hand, comes from a big group that fights immortals, has this brother with a complicated relationship and their relationship with Touta opens up a lot of character development for both of them (Touta kind of feels stuck with everyone else in his harem, in my opinion).

All in all, this is the first time I'm really looking forward to the next UQ Holder chapter to see more of this Kuroumaru arc. This could be the first arc I'm honestly enjoying from UQ Holder ever since the Santa arc, so you better don't blow it Akamatsu (at least not too hard, okay?)

Last edited by Akira Theia; 2020-10-20 at 11:08.
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Old 2020-02-07, 00:17   Link #6963
AP24
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The author still won't officially confirm whether Konoka and Setsuna became together or not
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Old 2020-02-07, 06:14   Link #6964
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The author still won't officially confirm whether Konoka and Setsuna became together or not
It's as good as confirmed already. Does he really need to spell it out?
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Old 2020-02-07, 12:40   Link #6965
NapoleonDeCheese
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It's weird to see Tsukuyomi not having any actual specific reaction to finally seeing the twins in the flesh, while the Tsukuyomi from Negima would go ballistic and shout out an insane rant lasting several panels at least upon seeing a pair of Setsuna and Konoka loli clones. So I suppose this isn't the same Tsukuyomi from Negima after all, but a successor or would be using her name.

Also, UQ Holder sure are boneheaded in going in public, without even disguise glasses or anything, right after they've made so many enemies and they should know they can be attacked at any time. Not only they split for no good reason while there's still an ongoing conflict and war campaign going on, just so they can have their recycled romcom hijinks, but they're basically endangering all defenseless civilians around them.

It's also kind of hard to buy Nagumo, almost a starting enemy, as a real threat now after Touta has undergone so many gigantic powerups and gained so many monstrously overpowered allies, many of whom can be instantly summoned with a Pactio card. This feels like bringing Chigusa back and then pitting her against Mundus Magicus Negi.
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Old 2020-02-07, 13:06   Link #6966
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Originally Posted by NapoleonDeCheese View Post
It's weird to see Tsukuyomi not having any actual specific reaction to finally seeing the twins in the flesh, while the Tsukuyomi from Negima would go ballistic and shout out an insane rant lasting several panels at least upon seeing a pair of Setsuna and Konoka loli clones. So I suppose this isn't the same Tsukuyomi from Negima after all, but a successor or would be using her name.
Or.. decades after the fact, she's not going to go crazy over someone she knows isn't Setsuna.
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Old 2020-02-07, 13:10   Link #6967
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Was Tsukuyomi not human? I dont see how she'd still be alive at this point.
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Old 2020-02-07, 13:35   Link #6968
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Dear god, that got ugly fast
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Old 2020-02-07, 13:37   Link #6969
Endscape
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Was Tsukuyomi not human? I dont see how she'd still be alive at this point.
She's turned into a full body cyborg over the years.
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Old 2020-02-07, 14:06   Link #6970
NapoleonDeCheese
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Or.. decades after the fact, she's not going to go crazy over someone she knows isn't Setsuna.
They might as well just put another generic swordswoman then.

The fact Isana and Honoka would be a blatant reminder Setsuna and Konoka got a happy life together despite all her best efforts should be a wound that wouldn't go away easily, and it's pretty obvious that, while not as deranged as Negima's Tsukuyomi, this is still not a well person.
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Old 2020-02-07, 14:21   Link #6971
Endscape
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Originally Posted by NapoleonDeCheese View Post
They might as well just put another generic swordswoman then.

The fact Isana and Honoka would be a blatant reminder Setsuna and Konoka got a happy life together despite all her best efforts should be a wound that wouldn't go away easily, and it's pretty obvious that, while not as deranged as Negima's Tsukuyomi, this is still not a well person.
She probably ran into them again over the years and managed to learn not to go crazy over it. She did manage to do her job without going mad, and she got to attack them as well anyways.
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Old 2020-02-07, 15:12   Link #6972
Akira Theia
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Alright, last night I let my long suppressed and disconsolate ToutaxKuroumaru shipper take over me after seeing a chapter actually dealing with Kuroumaru's brother and origins instead of the cringing gender issue and wangsting over their unrequited crush on Touta. Now, I'll give a more objective commentary.

This chapter does give me the Kuroumaru material I wanted for years... But at this point of the narrative there's way too many things that make it lose effectiveness. The main ones, of course, are the insane power escalation and the position of Kuroumaru in Touta's "harem".

The immortal hunters, including Kuroumaru's brother, would have been exciting if this happened after Santa's arc, back when so many characters weren't this broken.

Trying to push Kuroumaru to the center as a serious romantic option for Touta at this point is very hard because Yukihime/Kitty and Kirie are so ahead of everyone else in this poorly written "harem" that Touta crushing harder on someone else by now is quite a bit hard to make believable. As we see here, Kuroumaru is a character so irrelevant and with zero agency that the narrative has to pull this 'Kuroumaru's body houses something that can kill the final boss' out of nowhere to create a serious plotline centered on them.

My biggest chagrin is that if Akamatsu had never done that pointless gender thing with Kuroumaru, made them a girl who just has problems accepting her femininity because of misconceived misogynist views and let Kuroumaru shine instead of being the butt of the joke and punching bag again and again, an arc like this one would actually feel rewarding. Instead it feels like a 'Oh yeah, this character actually had cool stuff set up in their backstory. Might as well throw it at the end like I did with those three immortals.'

Similar to the previous arc with Juuzo, Sept and Nikitis, this UQ Holder vs Immortal Hunters arc feels like something Akamatsu had in his mind when he started the manga and introduced Kuroumaru, but he wasn't sure how to go about it and ended up wasting time that could have been used to build up Kuromaru's past and clan.

That said, I do honestly think this sort of arc works much better than the never seen before Mega OP immortals attack, Kirie's gratuitous lolicon fanservice chapters and Karin's Eva worship flashback. You could argue Karin's flashback was good, but I felt that it focused way too much on showing how awesome Eva was in the past (making her look even more like a sad shadow now) and Ba'al being a badly inserted secondary villain, to the point Karin ended up looking like a spectator of a part of Eva's past instead of a real and significant part of it. It didn't make me believe Yukihime, Karin and Jinbei are the war buddies they should be. And in the end, the only outcome of that flashback arc was Karin and Touta being blasted naked by their Pactio, so it didn't really contribute to anything for the characters or the plot.

Kuromaru's arc doesn't feel like its derailing or bringing more padding to the manga. It's taking its time to bring decent world building by explaining how the Shinmeiryuu has a branch in the other world. UQ Holder and the immortal hunters do have a common enemy in the Lifemaker so I guess the point of this is to make the two groups form an alliance at the end of the arc. It's also expanding on aspects of a main character that were set up early on, but left untouched for way too long. Frankly, the one thing that makes me interested in this arc is Kiroumaru and finding out how his sibling relationship with Kuroumaru is like because that will finally give Kuroumaru's character something that isn't about Touta.

I wonder how long Akamatsu will keep this arc going. As everyone knows, UQ Holder now has way too many OP monsters, the MC included, these immortal hunters and mercenaries really need a Diabolus ex Machina or the immortals being REALLY stupid to not get maimed in a microsecond. I'm even having doubts that the Lifemaker can be a menacing final boss anymore, no matter all the hype Akamatsu gives her through lip service. I would give this arc 3-4 chapters... 5-6 in the best of cases.

As a side note, I think Akamatsu already confirmed that UQ Holder Tsukuyomi is the same one of Negima. He posted a twitter stating he got the same seiyuu that voiced Tsukuyomi in the Magic World OVAs because they're one and the same.
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Old 2020-02-07, 15:58   Link #6973
Shippuu
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I find it rather baffling Akamatsu has the nerve to pretend the final battle is going to be anything but a total landslide victory for UQ Holder. These people are so broken and Ialda keeps falling more and more behind because she's constantly inactive and has never really demonstrated any unusual magic (especially the ones she's known for) and indeed seems to have absolutely nothing going for her save a lot of energy, and Touta's solar system reservoir has her now beat in that regard as well.
Simultaneously the story even mentions that there is people just as strong or even stronger than Ialda out there which not only makes her even less impressive, it's also infuriating because Akamatsu is unlikely to elaborate any further on this matter.

While I'm glad we're getting some more world-building and characterization for Kuroumaru I wish it would happen more sincerely. All this tiresome harem garbage just devalues him/her and makes it hard to take seriously. Pretty much any conversation Touta ever has with anyone only happens in a harem context these days. I guess normal friends don't exist in this universe.
At least Evangeline is out of the running. For now anyway. Hopefully it sticks.
As for Isana and Honoka I'm once again wondering why they're even in this story. Akamatsu should've just used the originals instead of this nonsense. Setsuna lives longer because she's a hanyo and Konoka lives longer because she has a proper Pactio with Setsuna. There Akamatsu, I'm doing your job for you. My headcanon is better than your fanfiction. Then again they might have died in the battle against Ialda or of old age but then where did their DNA for the clones come from? Better not think about it too much. Otherwise I'm going to wonder how they got material from Kagurazaka "Human Popsicle" Asuna. Did they just poke a needle into the ice and remove some eggs?

The way the immortal hunters show up out of nowhere to progress the plot is also rather poorly done, but that's par for the course for UQ Holder at this point.

Last edited by Shippuu; 2020-02-07 at 16:22.
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Old 2020-02-07, 17:26   Link #6974
Endscape
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I find it rather baffling Akamatsu has the nerve to pretend the final battle is going to be anything but a total landslide victory for UQ Holder. These people are so broken and Ialda keeps falling more and more behind because she's constantly inactive and has never really demonstrated any unusual magic (especially the ones she's known for) and indeed seems to have absolutely nothing going for her save a lot of energy, and Touta's solar system reservoir has her now beat in that regard as well.
Ialda can use that power for all sorts of grand magic and Touta can barely use his at all, so I think she still has the advantage.
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Old 2020-02-07, 17:39   Link #6975
Akira Theia
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I find it rather baffling Akamatsu has the nerve to pretend the final battle is going to be anything but a total landslide victory for UQ Holder.
I will never understand Akamatsu's obsession with trying to make us think the Lifemaker is this almighty being when he never shows her powers aside from bodyjacking the Springfield men and then using her hosts' powers to fight, which let's be real, aren't anything compared to what she's up against.

I mean, man, your heroes are now made of the prime definition of a powerhouse fantasy OP protagonist, a guy who can literally cut through the laws of reality, a man who can teleport and reconstruct anything from another plane of dimension, a godlike Venusian, a girl with hax time powers.

And all you do to tell us Lifemaker has a chance is having characters say "she's so powerful that she could kill us, for real"

Out of the Numbers, I would say Kuroumaru is the only one in real danger because their average fighting style and apparently weak immortality type makes them the low man on the totem pole.

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While I'm glad we're getting some more world-building and characterization for Kuroumaru I wish it would happen more sincerely. All this tiresome harem garbage just devalues him/her and makes it hard to take seriously. Pretty much any conversation Touta ever has with anyone only happens in a harem context these days. I guess normal friends don't exist in this universe.
While there was a bit of harem stuff at the start of the chapter, I would say this time Kuroumaru's interactions with Touta weren't as bad as in the previous Kuroumaru-focused chapters. The difference is that before, Kuroumaru stayed by themself sulking about 'Touta-kun this and that' or being a pathetic chicken who got flustered over every single thing, kept friendzoning themself and supported the lolicon fanservice-overloaded Kirie ship.

Here, Kuroumaru is actually talking to Touta about stuff they know and being relaxed around him. So, their relationship finally is allowed to be executed in a more natural scenario where they can know each other better by sharing things about themselves. Compared to how Kirie and Karin are with Touta (i.e. terrible excuses of tsundere antics and pure fanservice), the Kuroumaru of this chapter did feel like they were developing their bond with Touta at last without falling into awful naked hijinks or bad harem cliches.

I do wonder why Touta decided to directly ask Kuroumaru of all his harem on a date and doll them up. Kuroumaru may have confessed to like him, but they still don't seem to be wanting to get out of the friendzone. Kuroumaru even said so here.

Does Touta view Kuroumaru as a girl now? Is he trying to measure how much he likes Kuroumaru next to Yukihime and Kirie now that Yukihime pushed him into making a final romantic choice?

I always wanted to think Touta had an unrealized attraction to Kuroumaru (he calls them pretty often, after all), but held back because Kuroumaru only ever acted as his male buddy and sidekick.

With Kitty and Kirie, it's like Touta has a White Knight Syndrome combined with a lolicon complex. With Karin and the human girls, he's a generic shonen protagonist. Unlike them, Touta can confide and rely on Kuroumaru for things he can't with the rest of his harem.

I have no idea of what Akamatsu has in mind about the ships he made, but out of all of Touta's options, Kuroumaru feels the most "genuine" because everyone else feels like they were forced to feel attracted to Touta because harem makes this manga sell better. I suppose I just view that Touta and Kuroumaru are the most compatible in terms of attitude, but it only becomes apparent when Kuroumaru drops the Setsuna wangst and Touta acts more aware of Kuroumaru romantically.

Not that I'm getting my hopes up, but I would be interested in seeing Touta's feelings for Kuroumaru becoming more serious in this arc, even if they probably won't be endgame.

Last edited by Akira Theia; 2020-02-19 at 21:55.
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Old 2020-02-07, 18:44   Link #6976
NapoleonDeCheese
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She probably ran into them again over the years and managed to learn not to go crazy over it. She did manage to do her job without going mad, and she got to attack them as well anyways.
Show, don't tell. Or not even telling, in this case, as that's just a whole lot of supposition.

This is why time skips, especially ones as huge as this, are a terrible shortcut for character development that only ruin characterization. If the development is not shown as actually happening then it's useless.

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Otherwise I'm going to wonder how they got material from Kagurazaka "Human Popsicle" Asuna. Did they just poke a needle into the ice and remove some eggs?
This is an easy one, actually. Godel and Co. probably took genetic samples from her, with or without her knowledge, during all the time she spent skipping classes and getting ready for her 'sleeping' as told in the few final Negima chapters. I admit this, too, is a supposition, but it's kinda logical to have it happening in a setting like this.
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Old 2020-02-08, 02:17   Link #6977
Shippuu
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Originally Posted by Akira Theia View Post
apparently weak immortality type
Apparently so. Considering even Kuroumaru can regenerate from near total obliteration these days I wonder.

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This is an easy one, actually. Godel and Co. probably took genetic samples from her, with or without her knowledge, during all the time she spent skipping classes and getting ready for her 'sleeping' as told in the few final Negima chapters. I admit this, too, is a supposition, but it's kinda logical to have it happening in a setting like this.
Back in the day I used to wonder sometimes whether Arika was the result of Ialda's failed attempt to clone Asuna. She has a father and all and I highly doubt a clone could ever become an actual member of the royal family but her odd connection with Asuna (who is at least some odd 100 years older than her and was on ice for most of them) seemed a bit too unusual for coincidence.
I could see Megalo attempting it because of their greed but the idea that Godel would prematurely get some genetic material from her some 60 years before the cloning plan was ever thought of requires far too much suspension of disbelief for me. Does he have a private bank somewhere containing the DNA of various people just in case they might need them? They clearly had no idea they would require Asuna to defeat Ialda (or knew about the Resonance and the fact that they have essentially a time limit before she grows too strong) or they wouldn't have attacked her. With Asuna on ice Ialda has little choice but to chill in space and do nothing until she wakes up anyway.

Last edited by Shippuu; 2020-02-08 at 05:19.
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Old 2020-02-08, 08:38   Link #6978
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I imagine it's one of those things Akamatsu himself never quite figured out right to begin with, or changed along the way, or both. A big deal was also made originally of Asuna looking and even smelling a lot like Nekane, but nothing was ever made out of that either. Either way by now it's clear he's lost all willingness to ever touch on the subject of Arika again. So we'll never know.

I figure they must have taken tests and samples of Asuna during the time they were preparing her for hibernation, even if the original intent was not cloning and that was something that came up later, so they grabbed the already available genetic material.
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Old 2020-02-08, 18:07   Link #6979
Akira Theia
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I have been having something I have noticed about Akamatsu's storytelling over the course I have read UQ Holder and Negima.

I would say Akamatsu can make cool and decent characters... But only on a short-term. I have the impression the good characters he makes are designed to work for a specific story arc. The prime examples are Setsuna, Santa and now Kuroumaru.

Setsuna's case wasn't that bad because after Kyoto, she did have good friendship moments with Negi and Asuna and some cute moments with Konoka that made Setsuna feel like she had a well-defined place in the main cast.

Santa and Kuroumaru are the only UQ Holder characters that have the merit of having short plotlines not tied to Negima or one of its characters. Unlike say, Karin who would be way more interesting if her characterization didn't sum up to Yukihime's fanatical worshipper and Touta's tsundere 2.0. Hell, even Karin's backstory with Yukihime is ignored in-universe because we saw latest chapter that everyone thinks Yukihime always worked alone with zero recognition to Karin and Jinbei. You would think a female Judas with holy magic and S ranked immortality would be more of the great Dark Evangel's equal, but no because that could knock Yukihime off that pedestal Akamatsu has made for her.

Santa and Kuroumaru have past connections to new characters to make them feel fresh (Sayoko for Santa and Kiroumaru for Kuroumaru). The basis of the relationships Santa and Kuroumaru have with Touta were also not forced compared to all the rest of his "harem" and immortal "friends". However, outside of their own arcs, Santa and Kuroumaru act like cardboard cutouts that only exist to hang around Touta while he goes off to become more OP via convenient new trainer or is being teased with either Yukihime or Kirie again.

As decent as their individual plotlines might be, Santa and Kuroumaru lack distinguished, interesting or funny personality traits that make them stand out on their own. Santa hasn't even mentioned Sayoko ever since she passed on and Kuroumaru never payed mind to Kiroumaru until now that he's being dropped into the plot in the middle of the finishing line. Therefore, the manga needs to temporarily diminish the importance of everyone else, force a situation that pushes them into the center stage (the zombie apocalypse and now the immortal hunters) and put all of Touta's attention on Santa and Kuroumaru to make them relevant.

Although, that's really a problem UQ Holder's cast has as a whole. They're only relevant depending on how much of Touta's attention they have at the time or how contrived their broken superpowers are for whatever the plot needs.

Cases like Asuna are just... weird. I really do think Akamatsu had a character arc in mind for her with the whole thing of the human weapon and Takamichi's mentor's death. But I guess he dropped Asuna's character development when the plot he came up with only needed her Magic Cancel and nothing else. That's the tragedy of Asuna. She stopped being treated like a character the moment the plot entered a setting that should have expanded her backstory and left it as an unresolved mystery.
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Old 2020-02-09, 09:17   Link #6980
NapoleonDeCheese
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Akamatsu has a very hard time taking characters to logical conclusions for their character arcs. Past a certain point he just freezes them and their relationships at points where for every step forward it's two steps back. He likes teasing with multiple romantic options so much that none is ever given a clear lead (Naru in Love Hina being an exception) and in trying to please everybody he ends up pleasing nobody. He's all about the setup but fails at the delivery.

When pressed for a resolution his solution tends to be skipping ahead, do a time jump all over the actual development he couldn't or didn't want to show, and then pretend that fixes everything when it does not. How does Setsuna go from always being stuck in the same wishy-washy attitude towards Konoka, the same self pity and doubt, the same subservience to Konoka, Negi and Asuna shown to the very end of Negima, to suddenly being a captain (a leader, not a follower anymore) in the Negima epilogue and then married to Konoka in UQ Holder's backstory? Who knows, Akamatsu obviously doesn't care. It'll be the same way all over again with Kuromaru, mark my words.

Akamatsu has never seen the need to grow from his pitfalls as a writer and if anything just grows worse at them. It's just his most hardcore followers keep the wool over their eyes on the subject, since he's moderately skilled at teasing and offering the illusion of growth as long as the story is still going and he can keep teasing and promising. Once his stories are over you can see he never could take the whole cast to a satisfying conclusion (again, Love Hina came the closest, being a much simpler kind of story), but even then supporters will latch onto the closest excuse to apologize him over this.

Mind, in this he's hardly alone when it comes to mangaka, and it can't be said that editorials don't also have a hand into this recurring problem. Still, I doubt he could deliver on this even if fully left to his own devices. For starters, without editorial control I'm sure his deadline issues would grow even deeper, and the stories and plotting would further suffer from it. He'd also most likely keep writing himself into corners regarding power levels and enemy escalation.
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