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Old 2020-02-10, 21:50   Link #6981
Malicre
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This is definitely NOT going to end in a touta x eva relationship. Go back and reread the chapter slowly, there are a TON of flags getting thrown around. This was a jebait chapter for the fandom, ill be here to tell you i told you so when the next issue drops.
I bet good money that this novel ends with him ending up with everyone except eva.
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Old 2020-02-16, 18:40   Link #6982
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Old 2020-02-19, 21:52   Link #6983
Akira Theia
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Alright, for a long time I have wanted to lay out my thoughts in regards to Kuroumaru's character because they're the main reason I ever had interest in this manga. I'll do it now to give my mind some rest in the topic.

Kuroumaru was the only character in UQ Holder that I thought could bring something interesting to the table. However, the way Akamatsu has handled them left VERY mixed feelings in me. I mean, Kuroumaru isn't an unlikable character. I personally find Kuroumaru way more likable, cuter and endearing than all the rest of Touta's "harem" combined. The issue is early on, they went from a potentially cool character based on Setsuna to literally being Setsuna with another name.

And why is Kuroumaru even sexless? Whenever that detail comes out, everyone treats Kuroumaru like a girl just because they are thristy as hell for Touta. They do know gender identity and sexual orientation are two entirely different things, right?

Maybe I would be more comfortable with it if Kuroumaru ever took the initiative in exploring their girly side and proved if they like being a girl. Instead, it's Karin and Kirie telling Kuroumaru 'You like Touta, so be a girl! You already look like one anyway!' and putting Kuroumaru in girl's clothes like if they were a dress up doll. Hell, even Touta's first private interaction with Kuroumaru after Kuroumaru revealed their sexless state was to put them in a dress... Again, why? Being sexless isn't the same as being female, but somehow, all the characters don't seem to grasp that.

I would say Kuroumaru does act like a girl, if only because they act exactly the same as Setsuna did. Yet, Kuroumaru is such a pushover yes-person that I find it hard to determine how much of their girly behavior is driven by their own will and how much it's them being influenced by others. As of late, Kuroumaru's responses and interactions with Touta are basically the same as Kirie's as if they're now the same character in terms of the harem, except Kuroumaru isn't a tsundere loli.

I think the manga should have gone for the angle of showing how Kuroumaru feels about their gender by themself instead of questioning their gender solely based on what relationship Kuroumaru wants from Touta because I find that super cringey. Could it be they always wanted to be female, but their clan only presented them with the male option? Letting us see things like that could make me feel I understand Kuroumaru more. Although, that goes back to my argument that Kuroumaru could have been made into the stereotype of the girl who was raised as a male because her family wanted a warrior. Kuroumaru only gets that treatment by both the characters and narrative, so Akamatsu instantly made the sexless trait pointless.

Looking back on the early chapters of UQ Holder, I have the feeling Akamatsu did have the idea of making Kuroumaru a main character with more equal prominence to Touta. Unlike Kirie whose status as a main character always felt very forced. The first big mistake Akamatsu made with Kuroumaru wasn't really the 'you look like a girl' running gag, but the fact that ever since Touta forced Kuroumaru to be their best friend, Kuroumaru does nothing but follow Touta and get hot and bothered around him. If Kuroumaru's personality, views and actions had been fleshed out properly, Kuroumaru would feel like an actual character instead of Touta's haremette. And this is taking in mind that these problems with Kuroumaru were present long before the manga went full-on harem.

Even now, the plot with the immortal hunters isn't something that is giving Kuroumaru agency. It's just forcing Kuroumaru into the center stage by turning them into a plot tool that needs to be protected from some last minute villains. Also, surely to add more shipping with Touta because Kuroumaru is by far the most behind in the "harem" (and it's Kuroumaru's own fault for being so wishy-washy about their feelings). So, since Kirie has been at the top ever since the naked water race, I guess Akamatsu wants to even it out a bit by forcing this damsel in distress scenario for ToutaxKuroumaru.

Given how this manga deals with romance, I kind of already expect that this Kuroumaru arc will turn out similar to what we already saw with ToutaxKirie. For several chapters, Kirie was treated like the main girl out of nowhere, everyone acted like if she really was Touta's love interest, Touta even admitted that he likes Kirie romantically... And instead of going all the way with it by making Touta and Kirie a real couple, they don't because the ToutaxYukihime BS apparently must be a thing until the manga ends and Kirie doesn't try anything else despite having everything in her favor, claiming she settles for being Touta's 'Onee-san' no matter who he chooses (not that she ever acts like an onee-san).

So, this arc could very well end with Touta confessing he returns Kuroumaru's feelings, but then they won't make the next step because Touta still has Yukihime and Kirie hanging until Lifemaker Negi is done with.

Talking a bit about my feelings for ToutaxKuroumaru, a part of me does still think they look good together and Kuroumaru's introvert could be a good counterbalance to Touta's extrovert. However, I recognize my attachment to the ship is based on what it could have been, not what it is. As the way the characters are right now, they're not quite compatible. Touta's only defined trait is that he values himself according to how important and needed he's to Yukihime, while Kuroumaru's entire identity is focused on being Touta's enamored sidekick. Both really would need to go through a character arc that gives them more depth to create a good relationship potential there and the manga doesn't have the time for that. As of now, I don't see any reason why they're shippeable other than the possibility of doing a KonoexShinmeiryuu swordswoman rehash.

I feel conflicted about this because Kuroumaru is the only haremette I really want to like in this manga. However, the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that Kuroumaru should have been the main character in a manga where the gender topic was at the center. I have read one gender bender manga where a girly dude turns into a girl, comes to like it because she always wanted to be feminine only for her father to forbide it and she hooks up with her male best friend from when she was a guy. I found that very well done. In comparison, the treatment Kuroumaru has gotten, especially during their date as "Kuryu", is offensive in my eyes. But I know that's not Kuroumaru's fault; it's Akamatsu's for writing himself into this mess.
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Old 2020-02-20, 14:51   Link #6984
NapoleonDeCheese
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Originally Posted by Akira Theia View Post
They do know gender identity and sexual orientation are two entirely different things, right?
Quote:
Being sexless isn't the same as being female, but somehow, all the characters don't seem to grasp that.
Shounen manga in general is not... let us say the best place to look for enlightened gender positions and discourses.

What slays me is that UQ Holder takes place several decades into the future. Akamatsu doesn't even make an effort to imagine a future where society carries different gender and sexual views than those seen in Negima's time. Another example of this series' lazy worldbuilding.

Quote:
Given how this manga deals with romance, I kind of already expect that this Kuroumaru arc will turn out similar to what we already saw with ToutaxKirie. For several chapters, Kirie was treated like the main girl out of nowhere, everyone acted like if she really was Touta's love interest, Touta even admitted that he likes Kirie romantically... And instead of going all the way with it by making Touta and Kirie a real couple, they don't because the ToutaxYukihime BS apparently must be a thing until the manga ends and Kirie doesn't try anything else despite having everything in her favor, claiming she settles for being Touta's 'Onee-san' no matter who he chooses (not that she ever acts like an onee-san).
This is because Akamatsu can't/doesn't want to advance romantic relationships all the way until literally the last minute (when not shoving resolutions to be dealt with offscreen in a timekip instead). He's so busy teasing and stalling to keep people guessing that development for relationships suffer because all of them must remain in the same will they or won't they status quo until the end line is literally at hand's reach.

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As of now, I don't see any reason why they're shippeable other than the possibility of doing a KonoexShinmeiryuu swordswoman rehash.
Eh. Touta is nothing at all like Konoka, and their shared family name amounts to pretty much nothing narratively, so their relationship doesn't feel like a rehash of Konosetsu, for better or worse. Konoka was always very clear on how she wanted to jump on Setsuna, while Touta's always cycling back and forth between being aware of attraction and completely oblivious because he's so awfully and inconsistently written.
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Old 2020-03-06, 08:19   Link #6985
Akira Theia
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Found some early spoilers for chap 170 somewhere.

Spoiler for Manga pre-realese spoiler:


Color me surprised. Akamatsu really seems to be retaking the Kuroumaru route into the endgame path. In a sense, it's not that weird since Kuroumaru was the only one treated as a potential love interest in early UQ Holder. Yukihime, Kirie, Karin and the human harem bait always felt very shoehorned in the romance aspect as it obviously only happened because the manga needed to up the sales. Still, narratively speaking, it's very silly to do this with a character that spent 90% of the manga being a useless and almost nonexistent sidekick while you built up another girl who has a broken superpower that makes the plot center around it and overall had much more of a consistent prominence as main waifu.

Well, I never liked Kirie anyway and vastly preferred Kuroumaru as main love interest, so I can't say I'm against this; just find it unexpected that Akamatsu decided to go for the Shinmei-ryuu swordswoman Setsuna stand-in instead of the meganekko tsundere Naru/Chisame stand-in as Touta's waifu towards the end. In fact, I find it hilarious because all major events ToutaxKuroumaru had before (the Kuryu date and Kuroumaru's confession) only happened because Kirie forced Kuroumaru into it. If she had minded her own business and let Kuroumaru stay as a wishy-washy chicken, she would have kept Touta to herself XD! Akamatsu will surely pull a Kishimoto and tell the fans ToutaxKuroumaru was always meant to be endgame and ToutaxKirie was all red herring (although this one is way more tedious than NarutoxSakura because Sakura was always obsessed with Sasuke while Kirie is clearly smitten with Touta).

Last edited by Akira Theia; 2020-03-06 at 10:53.
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Old 2020-03-06, 20:30   Link #6986
NapoleonDeCheese
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Originally Posted by Akira Theia View Post
Color me surprised. Akamatsu really seems to be retaking the Kuroumaru route into the endgame path.
It's all just one feint after another, we all should know better by now.

Akamatsu will keep teasing from all sides and not giving a definite winner until the very end, if even then. You just wait, after this miniarc is over he'll go back to teasing Kirie or Eva again and people will say once again they're the winner now, and so on, taking turns until the freaking thing finally ends.
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Old 2020-03-08, 19:53   Link #6987
SilverGlavenus
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Hmmm... very kinky stuff.

Touta might awake some new powers after he somehow heals himself.
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Old 2020-03-09, 01:01   Link #6988
Akira Theia
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Well, Akamatsu isn’t walking around anything. The cover image of this arc and these two starting chapters make clear we’re in for the ToutaxKuroumaru arc.

I know there’s many who’ll still say this will be just a temporary tease before moving on to teasing more parts of the harem, but I’m getting a very different feeling this time. This is the first time an enemy group is being introduced with the precise purpose of threatening to take away the love interest and setting Touta out in the quest of rescuing the damsel in distress.

With Yukihime, we got a training/quasi-time travel arc that felt taken out of a fanfiction. Not to mention this ship is the result of some major derailment to the point the story now sort of ignores the two years they lived together like mother and son in the country and acts as if the time travel BS is the entire basis of their relationship.
With Kirie, we got dragged-out chapters full of awful romcom antics and lolicon fanservice.

With Karin, we got a mini arc that really was nothing but her sitting down with Touta and talking about Yukihime’s past.

In comparison, this Kuroumaru arc is feeling like a standard plot in a shonen where the MC must get his girl back. Since the manga is already going to end either this or next year, there should be no reason for Akamatsu to do this if he didn’t intend to do some serious progress for ToutaxKuroumaru before the manga goes into the final battle.

I do have highly mixed feelings about this arc happening now. First of all, Kuroumaru needed to be a better character before this point. She barely had a significant presence throughout the entire manga despite being one of the first characters introduced and has been way too stuck as a pointless extension of Touta. Also, ToutaxKuroumaru is the most stagnant ship in the manga and was painfully one-sided. Therefore, Touta’s feelings are coming off kind of out of the blue here. Not that I find it that impossible to believe he had unrealized feelings for Kuroumaru before, but he only treated her as a friend until the previous chapter. Maybe if there had been some clear change in Touta’s behavior towards Kuroumaru after their Pactio chapter, there could have been a better build up to mutual romantic tension, but eh, Akamatsu is clearly scrambling way too many ideas that went unused before this mess of a manga finally ends. Just look at the massive catastrophe the last arc with those three last minute Numbers was.

To talk a bit about the chapter itself, I think I’m starting to understand why I can’t help but kinda like ToutaxKuroumaru despite its glaring problems. So far, Touta’s events with all the other “haremettes” were the result of the plot or the characters forcing him into romcom antics with them. Kuroumaru is the only love interest, outside of Kitty, that ever makes Touta act proactively.

At the beginning, he fought Kuroumaru and forced her to become his buddy because he wanted to keep her around him. He told her he wants to travel to space with her, turning her into part of his dream. When she’s potentially dying of an unhealable wound, he takes charge of the situation to put her back together despite Kuroumaru’s protests. Now that she’s abducted and in danger of being killed, he swears to go save her.

As for Kuroumaru, well, I would say her big problem is that the way she’s written makes her impossible to properly work in a story unless she’s the main love interest, which is happening until now in the finishing line. Therefore, Kuroumaru fell terribly flat when Touta was the annoyingly dense shonen MC or ignored Kuroumaru in favor of his adoptive mom and the resident loli tsundere. With chapters like these last two, it shows Kuroumaru does need someone who cares for her, sees her value and gets angry for her sake given that she clearly never had anyone like that before. I would argue the person who cares about Kuroumaru the most next to Touta is Kiroumaru who callously told her to go die in a ditch and when he sees she’s back, cuts her in two without explaining himself.

Their relationship still has a lot of issues, mainly that Touta is the one completely in control and always calling the shots while Kuroumaru subserviently follows him in return and is frankly quite obsessive towards Touta. That doesn’t really make for an equal, heathy relationship even if no one can deny they care about each other. But, whatever, Akamatsu was never a very good romance writer even in Love Hina and I’ll still be relieved if Akamatsu leaves Touta with Kuroumaru instead of any other of those “haremettes”.

Now moving on. Touta may have been pulling one of those “you’re not taking my waifu from me” moments, but it’s impossible for me to take it seriously when he looks like some ugly Alien design reject in that armor.

Oh, and since Kuroumaru is now pretty much officially a girl and grew wings, there’s nothing keeping me from just calling her Setsuna 2.0 from now on, right?

I must say, the immortal hunters are looking more like serious heroes than the UQ Holder. They’re focused on taking the actions necessary to save the world from an evil immortal while our immortal “heroes” have time to goof around in public bathhouses and go on dates. And now UQ Holder will go into conflict with them for no reason other that the MC has decided to claim the container of the MacGuffin they need as his waifu (even though he only started treating her like a love interest until literally the previous chapter).

All in all, is getting this ToutaxKuroumaru arc enough to redeem UQ Holder for me? Hell no. The whole thing is a narrative disaster of unbelievable levels and the way Negima has been treated in this series makes it by far one of the worst “sequels” in existence. However, this Kuroumaru arc and the Santa arc are the only ones where I sense I have seen UQ Holder in its “truest” form away from the poorly done Negima and harem stuff that wore it down so much and really focusing on exploring its very own characters and relationships. It’s still not great stuff and lame in lots of ways, but even I can say that if all the series had been like those arcs, it wouldn’t have been a terrible read. Such a pity that tying it to Negima and carrying on its worst problems had to damage it this badly.

I’m already prepared for this Kuroumaru arc to get boring when it inevitably gets to the mindless action that will surely amount to the immortals and immortal hunters competing over who brings out the biggest asspull. I think I’ll read one more chapter, wait until this arc is over to see how it went and officially drop the manga entirely because I find reading a final battle against the Lifemaker to be less interesting than watching paint dry.
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Old 2020-03-10, 03:10   Link #6989
Shippuu
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I find it a bit odd that Ostia, which has been in ruins for some 100 years now, has this strange mixture of magical and modern Earth architecture especially considering there was no hint of the latter in its few appearances in Negima and it looked completely magical. And wasn't it supposed to be a no-magic zone full of monsters? I suppose it wore off and they cleaned it up? Must be a prime destination for looters.

It occurred to me this chapter that Akamatsu really overuses wings in UQ Holder. It feels like any noteworthy character has them these days regardless of how much sense it makes. I guess one could take it as an indicator of spiritual strength but then Sayoko, Karin and Kuroumaru would be near Ialda's level which is ridiculous.
Kuroumaru has at least some excuse, being a Demi-human and all, but i guess it's mostly Rule of Cool and maybe a reminder that Kuroumaru is in fact a demi-human, a fact which is all too easy to forget considering she looks completely human 99% of the time and we never get any insights about her race or the Magic World from her. It's just as pointless as the boy-girl subplot.

There isn't really much to say about the rest of the chapter. More of Touta being Touta and teasing that will never amount to anything other than wasting pages but there's no use complaining at this point. The thing inside Kuroumaru gives me Mimihagi vibes but I doubt it will turn out to be related to Ialda other than it maybe being used against her. Speaking of Ialda I feel more sorry for her with every chapter. With even more people with broken powers showing up the thought of them ganging up on her fills me with immense pity. Why even bother with the White of Mars? Just sever that immortality bro.

Last edited by Shippuu; 2020-03-10 at 05:22.
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Old 2020-03-10, 08:13   Link #6990
NapoleonDeCheese
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It occurred to me this chapter that Akamatsu really overuses wings in UQ Holder. It feels like any noteworthy character has them these days regardless of how much sense it makes. I guess one could take it as an indicator of spiritual strength but then Sayoko, Karin and Kuroumaru would be near Ialda's level which is ridiculous.
Isana also has wings, and Dana hasn't been shown to have any so far (although knowing her she could just sprout a fair if she wanted to. Would be a riot, watching her huge body fly around on tiny wings), so yeah, that's pretty much meaningless to indicate any power levels.

Quote:
I know there’s many who’ll still say this will be just a temporary tease before moving on to teasing more parts of the harem, but I’m getting a very different feeling this time.
The same thing will happen again. Don't do this to yourself.
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Old 2020-03-10, 09:49   Link #6991
Akira Theia
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The same thing will happen again. Don't do this to yourself.
It's not that I'm feeling hopeful or positive about this ToutaxKuroumaru arc. I'm just pointing out the different approach Akamatsu is taking this time. If he wanted to do another fake out or switching turns tease like he did with Kirie's romcom chapters or the Pactios, he could have just made this ToutaxKuroumaru plot about Kirie and Karin once again forcing them to go out on date and Kuroumaru once again running away from her feelings. Instead, Akamatsu is for the first time making Touta take the romantic initiative by having him (not someone else pushing him into it) take Kuroumaru out on a date, dressing her up so he can call her cute, and playing the knight to Kuroumaru's damsel in distress.

With that point of view, the previous chapter kinda made clear the positions Touta has picked for his harem.

Yukihime - She's his adoptive mom/older sister who made Touta want to prove himself to be needed and important to her. Also, he was projecting his feelings for her lonely teenage self onto her, but now he understands that Yukihime isn't that girl anymore and had other people to make her feel happy as he kind of wanted to be the only good thing in her life. It's frustrating that all that BS could have been avoided if Yukihime haven't been a jerk to Touta when Lifemaker first showed up and had sat down to have that talk from two chapters ago right after Touta returned from Dana's training instead of kissing him and leaving him hanging with that Negi is still possessed stuff. She teases Touta about misunderstanding everything, but she didn't make anything clear until Kirie pushed her into it. Anyway, the point is Touta doesn't feel tied down by those misplaced feelings anymore.

Karin - She's the comrade Touta respects as his sempai and wants her cooperation to save the world.

Kirie - She's the little girl Touta wants to spoil and take care of so she doesn't get lonely.

Human girls - They weren't even mentioned because they're lame harem bait and their relationships with Touta won't ever matter.

Kuroumaru - She's the partner Touta wants to take to space with him, take out on dates and see in cute dresses. She's his waifu.

Yet, I'm not putting it past Akamatsu that even if ToutaxKuroumaru do get a proper confession and kiss this arc, he could kill Kuroumaru off or separate her from Touta during the final battle because what happened to Nagi (wife banished to oblivion) and Negi (first love murdered, Ministras turned into mind controlled zombies) this timeline shows the men of the Springfield bloodline must be cursed to have their romantic choices meet tragic endings.

Frankly, Akamatsu must be doing this because he probably always wanted the ToutaxKuroumaru relationship to be more central. It was very clearly set up in the very first chapters of the manga before the direction kept drastically changing. It's possible Kuroumaru ended up relegated to Touta's useless accessory because the weird gender thing didn't work like Akamatsu thought it would and the way he wrote Kuroumaru left her with literally nothing to do but become a girl and hook up with Touta. Also, a girly-looking sexless bird demihuman isn't going to turn on the readers as easily as the loli tsundere and the oppai sempai.

Couple that with Touta's ridiculous power escalation and his character being so completely devoid of direction in the early manga that Akamatsu could think of nothing but making him a lolicon/momcon to give him some kind of motivation, ToutaxKuroumaru ended up practically abandoned until now that the immortal hunters dropping without warning. In short, both Touta and Kuroumaru needed to have more agency and development, both individually and as a duo, for their partnership and potential romance to work. As it is, Kuroumaru doesn't feel like she has earned the position of Touta's love interest when her contribution to the plot has been zero and even though I was always against ToutaxKirie, I must admit that ship now has much more merit with the way the manga turned out than any merit ToutaxKuroumaru can gain from this penultimate arc.

Thinking about it, this KonoexShinmeiryuu swordswoman ship does have things in common with Konosetsu, but mainly its worst parts. The premise and start made it look like a promising ship, but the bird Shinmeiryuu never did anything but deny her feelings and angst, so that good potential was soon wasted and stalled. Even though they're supposed to be a duo, one of them is generally so useless and only used for shipping moments that the other ends up feeling better characterized through other relationships.

I would say the only girl Touta made a legitimate emotional connection with was Kitty, and to a lesser extent, Kirie since they opened up to him about their loneliness and he comforted them. With Kuroumaru, it has been focused on the physical attraction part before anything. They first met and had their first kiss with Touta fondling Kuroumaru in the nude, their first real date has Touta more focused on making Kuroumaru look girly before actually talking to her and this last chapter, they basically had kinky vampire sex. There are moments where their potential emotional bond shines through such as Touta being happy he and Kuroumaru can share a dream of traveling to space together, Touta wanting to know more about Shinmeiryuu because of Kuroumaru and Touta being angry at how the immortal hunters kicked Kuroumaru out and hurted her. Unfortunately, none of those moments has been given enough time to let their bond properly grow. And now that they're surely be separated until the climax of the arc at least, their ground for being a serious ship is still very weak.

In the end, even if I won't ever be against the ship, my feelings for ToutaxKuroumaru are highly mixed and really wish they could have been written in a way that wasn't so awkward. I would say they could work way better in a series without the immortality thing since that has nothing to do with Kuroumaru's gender issues or maybe one where Touta's past as a clone actually was relevant to his characterization instead of a bad excuse for him being stupidly OP. Whatever, this manga was a failure in basically all fundamental aspect so dwelling over this anymore would be pointless. Getting this immortal hunter arc was way more than I expected from this manga by this point and the way it's playing out is okayish compared the disaster the previous arc was, even if it's setting up to be a clichéd as hell rescue arc. At least, I can be sure this arc will give me the Kuroumaru material needed for me to officially move on from this mess of a manga since Kuroumaru was my only attachment to it from the beginning (Santa could have been one during his arc, but now he's so freaking boring and irrelevant that I wish he would pass on already and reunite with Sayoko).

Last edited by Akira Theia; 2020-03-10 at 11:51.
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Old 2020-03-10, 14:25   Link #6992
NapoleonDeCheese
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Sorry, but my personal suspicion is that this is leading to Kuromaru being, sort of, what Asuna was for the Mundus Magicus arc, the hostage girl taken by plot purposes and who then gets to do nothing whatsoever until the very end, where she's freed at the last minute to help with the Deus Ex Machina solution. And of course, that didn't help Asuna any with the Negi romantic bets, or to get anywhere with her own character arc for that matter.

Unless Kodansha gave Akamatsu more time to continue a series with pretty much next to no buzz left *and* Akamatsu himself is willing to continue when it's clear his heart's not into this and he just sort of stumbles from one plot point to the next, there's not really any time or room left to use this development to flesh Kuromaru's character and her relationship with Touta through interaction, on top of everything else the story has to juggle.

Most likely this was just a way to take an extra character off the board, thus making the endgame easier to manage, while giving the impression Kuromaru's background is being mined at last and Touta continually stresses how important she's to him and how she has to recover her (much like Negi did with Kidnappped!Asuna, except because there at least we got a lot of previous meaningful Negisuna interaction beforehand) instead of actually showing that relationship growing.

But look at the bright side: unlike Asuna, it's unlikely Kuromaru will be kept hostage for 100 freaking chapters. Or that Touta will then seal her completely alone for a century.
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Old 2020-03-11, 00:00   Link #6993
Sixth
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This manga is still going on? I thought it will end soon. Thr author changed his minds or I got the wrong news.

Last edited by Sixth; 2020-03-11 at 03:06.
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Old 2020-03-11, 00:57   Link #6994
Diluc
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This manga is going on? I thought it will end soon. Thr author changed his minds or I got the wrong news.
He said he will finish this in two years, i recall Ken released the statement in 2018 so this year supposed to be the end.

But who know estimate and reality are two different coin.
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Old 2020-03-11, 11:23   Link #6995
Shippuu
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Originally Posted by NapoleonDeCheese View Post
But look at the bright side: unlike Asuna, it's unlikely Kuromaru will be kept hostage for 100 freaking chapters.
Still one of the more baffling decisions since he replaces her with an impostor anyway. Asuna's abduction should've happened during the ball. Not only would she get a bit more screen time this way but the attack would also make more sense because what was the point of the attack otherwise? They didn't really accomplish anything other than warn the entire world that Cosmo Entelekheia is back and give them plenty of time to prepare.
But of course in reality they should've abducted her when the group first arrived in the Magic World rather than risk her getting injured by throwing her into the middle of nowhere but that's another can of worms entirely.
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Old 2020-04-08, 16:52   Link #6996
Shippuu
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Well, chapter 171 has rolled in and wow.. to say the least.

Just when somewhere in my naive little mind I keep thinking Touta cannot possibly get anymore ridiculous than he already is Akamatsu keeps piling it up anyway. The man is already a God at this point and he's only going to get stronger. How is Ialda, or indeed anyone, supposed to compete at this point? Unfortunately I haven't liked a single one of his transformations so far and this one is arguably worse than the cheap-looking Sentai kiddy suit.

Rather amusing that they're still having problems with what is probably the 50th version of Covid at that point.
I wouldn't be surprised if that's the last we see of Tsukuyomi but I it's astounding enough she appeared again at all. I wonder how they're going to turn Kuroumaru back because you know they will.

Random musings:

The emblem on Touta's chest kind of looks like Ialda's spirit form.
They called Touta's wave form black mud which is reminiscent of Ialda's main body. DOES she have the Black of Venus after all?
Once again the Black of Venus is the only one referred to when it comes to the infinite energy door thing. No such mention has ever been made for the White of Mars. Does it not work under the same principle? Isn't that how Asuna managed to sustain the Magic World?

Last edited by Shippuu; 2020-04-09 at 04:40.
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Old 2020-04-08, 20:55   Link #6997
Akira Theia
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So, finally a chapter that explained more of how Kuroumaru became "cursed" and there was a conversation with her brother. It's what I wanted Akamatsu to do for years since he started the manga and... I feel nothing. The way this is all playing out is too fast and underwhelming, even by the standards I had already placed to this manga. It doesn't help this whole chapter felt like an excuse to show off how Mega OP Touta is now.

While I have never felt like hating him as much as others (because he's way too bland to make me feel he deserves my anger), Touta might have become one of the most unrelatable powerhouse fantasy MC I have ever seen (although I never watch much of that genre anyway). As seen this chapter, he's just supposed to be an immortal monster with next to infinite power sources. It's quite incredible what Akamatsu did to Magia Erebea. As OP as Negi got, at least his Magia Erebea felt more grounded to the magic of the setting. Here, it's just the hyper special superpower that does pretty much whatever the author thinks looks cool at the moment.

The traits that pretend to make Touta appear "human" are shonen MC generic traits that feel like played by the numbers without giving him any personal character. The issues that do cause him distress like his mommy Yukihime complex aren't ones I can bring myself to care about. Things in his backstory that could be interesting like the clones are never used to impact his character. The only thing that has impacted him is the "Yukihime must be unhappy thing so I must make her happy" that had a lackluster resolution a few chapters ago. Now, I suppose this plot with Kuroumaru will make Touta's issue "If I can't save my waifu, I can't hope to save the world", but with this turbo pacing, I'm sure Akamatsu won't take the time to properly flesh out Touta's feelings for Kuroumaru.

I have a feeling that all along, Akamatsu intended to pull that cliche where the MC is fixated on the hot woman who would never return his feelings and in the end, he realizes his best friend who was at his side supporting him since always is the one for him. I got that kind of vibe in the conversation between Touta and Kuroumaru after Cutlass first attacked. Even after the Kitty weird time travel stuff, it was plausible to go for that route. The thing that really got in the way and is making this sudden ToutaxKuroumaru focus come off as disjointed is Kirie.

Ever since the Kuryu date ended up as a fiasco, Kirie was given WAY too much unfair advantage over everyone in the "harem". She was Touta's first kiss, spent months trapped in a world of stopped time completely alone with him, got a special skill that can only be activated when she and Touta kiss, she directly faced Negi-Lifemaker to protect Touta, everyone in UQ Holder suddenly wanted to drop everything to play matchmaker for ToutaxKirie and sent them on a date that went way better than Kuroumaru's, even Kuroumaru openly supported the pairing without any big sign of jealousy.

I do think that the thing Akamatsu is trying to go for here is that Touta and Kirie do have an attraction to each other, but Kirie knows they aren't made for each other and won't last when they have so little in common. So, she knows the one for Touta is Kuroumaru who is always beside Touta and can share his dream of traveling to space. And I don't think that's bad; ToutaxKirie always felt incredibly forced by both the narrative and the characters so Kirie is being sensible by recognizing she just doesn't mesh together with Touta. But... it should have been built up better than it was. Akamatsu devoted too damn much time teasing the Kirie option.

I wonder if that happened because Kirie was absurdly popular when the manga was weekly (I saw she had over 700 votes while Touta, in second place, only had around 300) or maybe Kirie was the editor's favorite? Anyhow, I'm quite convinced that in Akamatsu's initial plans, Kirie wasn't meant to be the spotlight stealer she became. In fact, I have often thought that several of Kirie's shipping interactions with Touta were originally planned for her and Ikkuu, but since the readers wanted Touta's harem, Ikkuu had to fall into the background and not be allowed to interact with the girls because having a good-looking and friendly guy around the harem makes the insecure readers who self-insert feel threatened. That would explain why I have felt Touta so off during the Kirie-focused chapters.

I have figured that the main reason why I believe Touta only gives a kind of good vibe with Kuroumaru is because only with Kuroumaru he acts as his crass self and he can treat Kuroumaru casually. Still, ToutaxKuroumaru has big dysfunctions because Kuroumaru is more of a lackey than a friend or love interest. After thinking more carefully about it, I realized my attachment to Kuroumaru was an extension/result of my liking for her Shinmeiryuu predecessors Setsuna and Motoko who were better developed despite still having their faults. Kuroumaru is like... leftovers of those two, mainly Setsuna, without anything that makes her unique on her own except for maybe her brother who just joined the plot too late.

I still can't say really dislike Kuroumaru by any means, but I have concluded her character would have only worked if Akamatsu had focused on her issues with her brother and the sword spirit from the beginning instead of rushing through it at the end in favor of doing rehash of Setsuna's baggage and that cringey gender thing that in retrospective should have been dropped since the early chapters.

This chapter did prove once again that the Springfield men should stay clueless to romance because the girls they choose always end up screwed. Touta asks Kuroumaru out on a date. The result? Kuroumaru gets turned into a sword.

Oh, Tsukuyomi trained the Konosetsu twins? Umm... Freaky is the only word I can think to describe it. I suppose that was an idea that would have been developed if Fate's faction had ever been allowed to matter past that mini arc after the slums.
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Old 2020-04-08, 21:21   Link #6998
SilverGlavenus
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Touta is having his Gon moment.

It's a little bit rushed, but I'm always ready for some Kuromaru development.
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Old 2020-04-08, 22:26   Link #6999
cyberdemon
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hopefully that is a way to turn Kuro back into a human
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Old 2020-04-10, 11:23   Link #7000
Akira Theia
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I admit I at first expected some decency for this ToutaxKuroumaru arc, but now that Kuroumaru has been turned into a plot tool in a more literal sense than usual, I simply don't care anymore. I wanted to ship ToutaxKuroumaru for a long time, I really did, but now I can't bring myself to do it because of Touta's power escalation spiraling out of control worse than Negi's ever did and Kuroumaru's utter lack of an active role to the point Akamatsu turned her into a sword to make her relevant and give Touta something to angst over. I do believe they could have been a great pairing if the manga had focused on the right things such as their pasts and bonding as battle partners instead of stalling the relationship since the early chapters and only use it for this forced DRAMA at the end. Now, I can see they won't ever represent the level of equality and emotional closeness I hoped to see in them when I first found the manga, but at least, this cuts off my final attachment. It feels liberating.

My general opinion is this manga should have chosen to be about only one of the two plotlines it presented. Either the Negima Bad End with Negi-Lifemaker or the immortal organization.

The way things went down for the Negima cast in this timeline is too damn depressing. If this was a proper sequel or midquel, the level of drama and angst would be on par or worse than that of Steins;Gate Zero. Instead, we got the adventures of Negi's super duper clone plus the antics of his harem. Eva/Yukihime is the only Negima character whose emotional state resulting from this Bad End is treated as it matters, but that's because it matters to Touta. What about the other 3-A girls who are still alive and also went through this world gone to shit? They only get occasional cameos to introduce an awful joke of a haremette or just be... there so old readers remember them. They're more like cardboard cutouts with Negima's characters designs than legitimate representations of those characters.

The immortal cast gets the short end of the stick too because the manga spends so much time on Touta's ultra specialness and reminding readers of Negima that the immortals all end up underdeveloped, underused and stuck in a place where they don't belong. There can't be any emotional investment in them fighting the Lifemaker because Yukihime is the only one with a connection to the situation. So, they're literally cleaning up a mess that should have been Negima's job, but Akamatsu forced it in here so he didn't need to think of a new final boss, even though it's kinda obvious he never had a clear idea of what to do with the Lifemaker other than the final supervillain who has the MC's parent possessed and does absolutely nothing until the heroes come for the final battle.

UQ Holder up to the 70 chapter or so wasn't exactly what I can call a good manga and the pacing was always a disaster, but at least it did show some promise of going somewhere in a semi cohesive manner with the setup of Touta's past as a clone and the conflict with Fate arguing with Yukihime about who had the best way to save Negi. It began to go off the rails when the Lifemaker was abruptly thrown back in as the final boss again and it really just went into bad wish fulfillment fanfiction territory when ToutaxKitty and the harem stuff became all the manga was about out of nowhere and the tournament never happened despite all that setup. The ratings must have hit rock bottom around the time Dana popped in...

Normally, it would be easy for me to accept when a serialized manga fails in quality because I can appreciate the parts that were satisfying and functional. UQ Holder doesn't really have that. This manga always came off as... confused. The narrative, themes and characters were never felt stabilized and connected enough for me to truly enjoy them; I only saw a lot of potential that was restrained by the manga only wanting to do overly bloody action and criminal fanservice. Santa's arc is the one that came the closest to doing something with its cast while tying a theme to it (in that case, bullying and accepting even a garbage world might be worth saving), but even that arc had glaring problems such as how it made everyone but Santa and Touta completely useless just to let the new character shine and then make that character a background prop for the rest of the series.

At the very least, if there's something this manga will get that Negima didn't is a closure because Akamatsu clearly won't do more serialized manga after this. I can predict the final battle will be lame and unengaging, but really doubt it'll be skipped again. Then there'll be a pretense of inspiration by saying even in this shitty Bad End timeline, there was a Happy Ending (as much as it concerns Touta and his friends, of course). Honestly, that wouldn't leave such a bad taste in the mouth if the Negima Golden Ending wasn't only made possible via time travel Asuna Ex Machina.

A lot of my frustration with this manga came from seeing it basically giving up and resorting to nothing but pandering and cheap nostalgia bait to keep going and get some money in a poor compensation for losing a series that I'm sure earned a lot more. I would have been curious to see how this manga would have been if it didn't get retooled into "Negima leftovers" halfway through and how plotlines like the Numbers that were rushed through, the clones, the immortal hunters and so on would have been executed if Akamatsu haven't shoehorned them at the end, but that's just ruminating on what could have been.

I think everyone knows even Akamatsu isn't that happy with how UQ Holder turned out and he's just tired of doing manga (probably was from around the time he tried to abandon Negima), so I'm not going to use up my precious time and energy criticizing a burned-out man I'll never even meet for his highly questionable writing choices. Do I think he should have been more responsible with Negima by at least giving it a proper climax with Nagi-Lifemaker instead of trying to drop it like a hot potato? Definitely. However, the truth is Negima and UQ Holder are just two manga out millions out there; when looking at the big picture instead of mere details, I don't really feel mad about this. There's tons of good, well-written Japanese series with better authors out there that bring me plenty of joy and satisfaction; Akamatsu simply wasn't a mangaka who could come up with an appealing manga for me and I'm finally accepting that without negative feelings.

Last edited by Akira Theia; 2020-10-20 at 11:39.
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