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Old 2020-04-10, 18:36   Link #7001
Ligerleon89
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I've been a persistent one with these kinds of manga. UQ Holder had some promise, but goes all over the place. It's crazy to think that you'd think you get something worth the investment for the characters, but then the story just boost straight past that and leaves you wondering when is this manga ever going to get around to actually investing characters enough to make us feel something for them when it all gets serious, maybe I missed it, but even I didn't feel the author didn't do the job enough. It's like it's rushing past one of the crucial things about telling a story, making sure other characters have their time as well.

I'll stick around for until the end at least, there's a lot of manga and anime I can still check out in the meantime though. As for the chapter, I did enjoy Touta losing himself for a moment before he regains his composure before going nuts on another level of his power. And it's always something with another group of people who also wants to take down the Lifemaker, but does things heavily different to radical levels enough to question their methods. It takes a certain amount of jerkish behavior among other things to cut up a guy whose still getting into touch with his abilities, and goes and pulls that out on him, out of impatient behavior to rid themselves of the Lifemaker, it's going to take more than a blade that could damage the Lifemaker to take that person out.

All they did was give Touta a reason to become even more ridiculous than he already was before.
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Old 2020-04-17, 06:08   Link #7002
silenceblade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ligerleon89 View Post
I've been a persistent one with these kinds of manga. UQ Holder had some promise, but goes all over the place. It's crazy to think that you'd think you get something worth the investment for the characters, but then the story just boost straight past that and leaves you wondering when is this manga ever going to get around to actually investing characters enough to make us feel something for them when it all gets serious, maybe I missed it, but even I didn't feel the author didn't do the job enough. It's like it's rushing past one of the crucial things about telling a story, making sure other characters have their time as well.

I'll stick around for until the end at least, there's a lot of manga and anime I can still check out in the meantime though. As for the chapter, I did enjoy Touta losing himself for a moment before he regains his composure before going nuts on another level of his power. And it's always something with another group of people who also wants to take down the Lifemaker, but does things heavily different to radical levels enough to question their methods. It takes a certain amount of jerkish behavior among other things to cut up a guy whose still getting into touch with his abilities, and goes and pulls that out on him, out of impatient behavior to rid themselves of the Lifemaker, it's going to take more than a blade that could damage the Lifemaker to take that person out.

All they did was give Touta a reason to become even more ridiculous than he already was before.
The author really messed out on this one. The time travel erase all tension in the book while the noble vampire destroy the power balance.

Although the author was forcing too much at the end of Negima, resolving all the inconsistency with this garbage...
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Old 2020-06-08, 20:49   Link #7003
XFire
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So Kuromaru is a sword god now. Guess that answers how s/he's going to keep pace with Touta in the future.

Also lol at that freudian slip
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Old 2020-06-09, 10:09   Link #7004
NapoleonDeCheese
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So Kuromaru is a sword god now. Guess that answers how s/he's going to keep pace with Touta in the future.
Eh, just like every other good guy, she'll still find a way to job whenever Touta needs to play the big hero saving everyone. That is, pretty much always.

The chapter was not badly crafted, on its own, but it didn't do anything remarkable either. Competent for UQ Holder standards but nothing that makes one take notice.
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Old 2020-06-09, 10:18   Link #7005
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Meh, apparently everyone is a high daylight walker now
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Old 2020-06-11, 02:11   Link #7006
Shippuu
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And the LORD saith: More wings! And so it was done.
Because you can never have enough apparently. It's a bit odd how everyone and their mother looks more like a divine being than than faux-god Ialda who despite having wings and halo of her own looks like an inferior, deformed Bizarro version of one.

It wasn't a bad chapter but really underwhelming after all the wait.
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Old 2020-07-08, 01:15   Link #7007
wuhugm
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Old 2020-07-08, 10:45   Link #7008
Shippuu
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Well, now it's undeniable. The end is not far off. It's about as rushed and sudden of an introduction to the finale as I expected. I find it curious that the final battle will happen on Pluto. I always thought if Ialda had a Pactio card she would probably be aligned with Pluto because extra material describes it as named after the god of the underworld as well as representing the dark side of society, the underground and being connected to those seeking salvation.

The upcoming White of Mars training, if it isn't skipped over entirely, is probably the very last opportunity in this story to shed some light on Asuna's much neglected character. Of course it isn't going to happen but one may hope against certainty.

You know I have been wondering why, in the Happy End timeline, Negi would go fight Ialda by himself ahead of Asuna and company (aside from giving him solo time to be awesome of course). Considering he's basically their best asset this seemed to be an incredibly stupid move. But I suppose it would make sense if Ialda was preparing a spell like that to make such haste a necessity. I think Mizore even talked about it when the battle in 2065 is mentioned.
That said there are two problems with this. In the UQ Holder timeline Ialda apparently did not attempt to use this spell during the same year for some reason and waited until 2065. Maybe she hurried in the Happy End timeline because Asuna was there but doesn't she have to wait for magical currents to gather or whatever? And most importantly: What about the White of Mars? Why the obsession with Touta and Asuna (and ignoring her own supposed possession of this ability) when she can apparently use this spell just fine without them? I often wonder whether this man has any grasp of his own story.

And I'm tired of the boring harem elements. They're so bad. I wish he'd just stop it. It's such a waste of pages.

Last edited by Shippuu; 2020-07-08 at 11:01.
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Old 2020-07-08, 11:01   Link #7009
Endscape
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That said there are two problems with this. In the UQ Holder timeline Ialda apparently did not attempt to use this spell during the same year for some reason and waited until 2065. Maybe she hurried in the Happy End timeline because Asuna was there but doesn't she have to wait for magical currents to gather or whatever?
It could simply be that the magical convergence only happens at set times, such as back then and in six months.

Quote:
And most importantly: What about the White of Mars? Why the obsession with Touta and Asuna (and ignoring her own supposed possession of this ability) when she can apparently use this spell just fine without them? I often wonder whether this man has any grasp of his own story.

Can she even use the White of Mars with her current body?
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Old 2020-07-08, 11:08   Link #7010
Shippuu
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Can she even use the White of Mars with her current body?
Even if she can't in her current body (a concept I never liked since it would mean these powers have a physical presence in the body which always struck be a bit silly considering its magic) she still insisted on using Asuna even in her original body. The reason for this, or why she has never used the Black of Venus despite supposedly creating it, was never explained.

It is one of the questions that bothers me the most. This isn't some minor mystery like the origin of Ako's scar or even the question of what happened to Arika. The entire plot hinges on it.

Last edited by Shippuu; 2020-07-08 at 11:32.
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Old 2020-07-08, 11:31   Link #7011
NapoleonDeCheese
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And I'm tired of the boring harem elements. They're so bad. I wish he'd just stop it. It's such a waste of pages.
If it's any comfort I think this is their last hurrah, what with the endgame being pointed at with such huge neon signs now.

Also marked with a huge neon sign? Karin's death flag comments, which surely already were old hat back when she hung with Jesus... Who's gonna 'die' I have no idea, but I imagine Touta might 'sacrifice' himself just to return in the epilogue, as if we hadn't learned anything from Asuna's stunt in Negima 353.
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Old 2020-07-08, 11:33   Link #7012
Endscape
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Even if she can't in her current body (a concept I never liked since it would mean these powers have a physical presence in the body which always struck be a bit silly considering its magic) she still insisted on using Asuna even in her original body. The reason for this, or why she has never used the Black of Venus despite supposedly creating it, was never explained.

It is one of the questions that bothers me the most. This isn't some minor mystery like the origin of Ako's scar or something more important like what happened to Arika. The entire plot hinges on it.
There was always a bloodline component to both the Black of Venus and the White of Mars. Even with Magia Erebea, which was a derived technique of the latter, Negi only managed to escape getting turned into a mindless monster because he was of the right bloodline.

Not quite sure what you mean about using Asuna in her original body.
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Old 2020-07-08, 11:44   Link #7013
Shippuu
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There was always a bloodline component to both the Black of Venus and the White of Mars.
That's also something that has always puzzled me. The White of Mars is inherited but the Black of Venus isn't. The Black of Venus can be learned from scratch as demonstrated by Negi, Evangeline and even Rakan but simultaneously it seems to have some sort of copyright protection on it that prevents people outside Ialda's bloodline to use it as though the universe itself somehow hard-coded it into her bloodline. I know it's literal magic but it bothers me.

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Not quite sure what you mean about using Asuna in her original body.
I meant that I found it strange that Ialda still needed Asuna to perform the Kosmo Entelekheia ritual even before her defeat at Nagi's hands when she still had her original body which supposedly possessed the White of Mars.
How did she even make the Magic World? Maybe she never actually had the White of Mars herself and it was actually her husband's or even her own parents. The Gnostic demiurge Yaldabaoth is after all the son of Sophia who herself is basically an emanation of the true God. Whatever that means in the context of this setting. I doubt Akamatsu has given it that much thought.
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Old 2020-07-08, 12:00   Link #7014
Endscape
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That's also something that has always puzzled me. The White of Mars is inherited but the Black of Venus isn't. The Black of Venus can be learned from scratch as demonstrated by Negi, Evangeline and even Rakan but simultaneously it seems to have some sort of copyright protection on it that prevents people outside Ialda's bloodline to use it as though the universe itself somehow hard-coded it into her bloodline. I know it's literal magic but it bothers me.
The way I viewed it is that both the White of Mars and the Black of Venus can only be used by the inheritors of Ialda's bloodline.

Eva studied the Black of Venus and created a derived technique based on it, Magia Erebea that could be learnt by anyone.

Quote:
I meant that I found it strange that Ialda still needed Asuna to perform the Kosmo Entelekheia ritual even before her defeat at Nagi's hands when she still had her original body which supposedly possessed the White of Mars.
Was it confirmed that the body she used when fighting Nagi was actually the body she had when she created Mundus Magicus and started the bloodline?
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Old 2020-07-08, 12:15   Link #7015
Shippuu
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Was it confirmed that the body she used when fighting Nagi was actually the body she had when she created Mundus Magicus and started the bloodline?
Another oddity. When Fate explains that Ialda possesses the bodies of her enemies he says that this is how she survived throughout the "ages." However at this point Nagi's and Zect's defeat of Ialda was only some 100 years ago which seems rather short to be called ages. On the other hand whenever Ialda is shown in spiritual form or in a Phantasmagoria she appears in this female form so it seems reasonable to assume that was her true body.

Last edited by Shippuu; 2020-07-08 at 12:27.
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Old 2020-07-08, 12:42   Link #7016
Endscape
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Another oddity. When Fate explains that Ialda possesses the bodies of her enemies he says that this is how she survived throughout the "ages." However at this point Nagi's and Zect's defeat of Ialda was only some 100 years ago which seems rather short to be called ages.
So she probably lost (maybe on purpose) to other people before then.

Quote:
On the other hand whenever Ialda is shown in spiritual form or in a Phantasmagoria she appears in this female form so it seems reasonable to assume that was her true body.
We've seen her appear as Nagi and Negi in Phantasmagoria as well.
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Old 2020-07-08, 12:56   Link #7017
Shippuu
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So she probably lost (maybe on purpose) to other people before then.

We've seen her appear as Nagi and Negi in Phantasmagoria as well.
Yes but she but only used those appearances to mess with Evangeline.
Speaking of Evangeline she actually did defeat, and according to herself even kill, Ialda in the past but for some reason wasn't possessed. But that was stated around halfway through Negima and probably isn't canon anymore. Akamatsu clearly didn't have the plot figured out that far ahead and I'm sure that was just one of many details he wishes he had never written. If he even remembers it.
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Old 2020-07-08, 20:46   Link #7018
Shadow5YA
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Another oddity. When Fate explains that Ialda possesses the bodies of her enemies he says that this is how she survived throughout the "ages." However at this point Nagi's and Zect's defeat of Ialda was only some 100 years ago which seems rather short to be called ages. On the other hand whenever Ialda is shown in spiritual form or in a Phantasmagoria she appears in this female form so it seems reasonable to assume that was her true body.
"Ages" along with other time periods do not have a set time range anyway. They are only labeled as such in retrospect by historians in order to fit a certain narrative.

For example, the Machine Age lasts roughly a century (between the mid 19th and early 20th) and is used to describe the technological innovation that led to the mass production of machines for consumer use.

It is less about how much time has passed and more about connecting trends in history into a story.
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Old 2020-07-09, 11:26   Link #7019
cyberdemon
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It’s possible the form is her true appearance but either takes the natural form of the body when it suits her, like to break the morale of her opponents, or she can’t take said form unless she completely dominates the soul of the original owner.
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Old 2020-07-10, 23:43   Link #7020
Akira Theia
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Alright, Kuroumaru mini arc is over and the endgame is coming. I don't think this manga can last more than 2 volumes now, so it should end at the beginnings of next year at the latest. Since Kuroumaru was my only source of big interest in this for all these years, I needed to get out some of my thoughts to reach some closure.

The "immortal hunters" arc, something I was interested in seeing since the first chapters of this manga, started and ended too fast. I mean, even if a single volume is short for an arc, it could have been enough for a decent Kuroumaru story, but it instead ended up focusing waaay too much on weird fanservice (wasting a whole chapter in the blood transfusion pseudo-sex and then the climax being just a naked Kuroumaru rampaging). The immortal hunters were nothing but pathetic fodder to show Touta's new OP power up and give Kuroumaru a last-minute power up, as if the latter part matters when Touta already has both powers needed to beat the final boss, it's not like Negi and Asuna who did need to combine those powers to win. I thought that arc would last two volumes with the pacing of the first two chapters, but Akamatsu clearly just wanted to be done with it and move on to whatever he wants to use his time for after retiring from the manga industry.

Also, I'm left wondering why the hell UQ Holder went to Mars if they're back to Earth without having done anything important or truly exploring Mars and the final battle being about to take place in Pluto. I get Kuroumaru's clan is on Mars, but the immortal hunters could have gone to Earth to fetch Kuroumaru and it would have been the same. I find this the biggest missed opportunity of world building in the manga.

As a general character analysis, what do I think about Kuroumaru? For a long time, I found Kuroumaru appealing because I got the impression she was raised in an isolated and very strict household, so being let out into the world was would let her know freedom and discover her true self. What Akamatsu ended up doing with her was… not that. In the final product, what we got with Kuroumaru is a weak, sheltered kid completely dependent on a powerful man, first her brother and now Touta. And that's not my type of character.

The gender thing has been, ultimately, completely pointless. When you think about it, what would be different about Kuroumaru if she was a normal girl dressing as a boy and hiding her gender from her crush? Nothing. About everything with Kuroumaru would play out the same if you exclude the "genderless until certain point" thing and said she's a girl. If anything, it would make all the crude fanservice around Kuroumaru much less awkward.

I admit that since I liked Akamatsu's previous Shinmeiryuu swordswomen, I ended up projecting those feelings onto Kuroumaru; I liked what Kuroumaru reminded me about Motoko and Setsuna, not Kuroumaru herself. After all, Kuroumaru at her core has always been diet Setsuna with no personal arc or development that could make her feel like a different character. The immortal hunters arc was the one and only chance to give Kuroumaru some proper development that at least made her feel more than a haremette Setsuna. But Kuroumaru really ended up being just that; a pretty face with nice legs and butt that exists to be have naked skinship time with Touta. Kirie, who is used for the same fanservice, is better off than Kuroumaru because the plot does need Kirie's broken reset power all the time.

As for ToutaxKuroumaru, my take on it is Touta does find Kuroumaru physically attractive enough to like seeing her dressed as a girl and kiss her. Also, Kuroumaru is the presence Touta finds the most natural in his life and the one he will seek for favors since he knows Kuroumaru won't ever say no to him. Still, Kuroumaru has always had a vibe that now makes me think she ultimately works better as just a friend because she simply doesn't have the quality of a well-written heroine. This ship definitely needed a better romantic development instead of just going off that naked Pactio before Touta went right into "Let's date!" after his talk with Yukihime. And the last opportunity for their relationship to grow is now lost with anything involving the immortal hunters being rushed and poorly wrapped up.

Hence, it's a stalemate; Touta and Kuroumaru want to be together forever and protect each other, but hell will freeze over before they can even act like a true couple. I do feel this recent arc was meant to make obvious Touta's number 1 is Kuroumaru, but when the chapter with Touta kissing a naked Kuroumaru is immediately followed by a chapter full of super forced harem ecchi fanservice with Kuroumaru, Kirie, and Karin basically molesting Touta in his sleep, it totally ruins any sincere and heartfelt sentiment ToutaxKuroumaru could have. It's quite annoying how these two could already be calling themselves a couple if Kuroumaru didn't have a silly panic attack whenever they're alone together. Every damn time a progress is bound to happen between these two, Kuroumaru ruins it by running away and refusing to face Touta honestly, even when it's clear he's not against being involved with her in that way. And for what? To have even more harem fanservice, of course. Wow, now I realize Kuroumaru is really a non-tsundere Naru in the evasive love interest sense.

In that sense, you could say this would be the closest thing Akamatsu will do to a harem ending. Touta wants to be with his immortal girls forever and is fine with kissing them whenever, but dating and sex are not something in his mind because shonen MC. The girls have accepted they’ll always orbit around him too because harem clichés and they'll take turns in pushing one of them to have a "moment" with Touta every once in a while. The only "privilege" Kuroumaru has is Touta calling her partner, which I guess is his version of "my number 1".

I do still believe that when Akamatsu first started UQ Holder, he had in mind that if Touta ended up with anyone even in an ambiguous way, it would be Kuroumaru. They have the awkward naked first meeting a la Keitaro and Naru, the super obvious parallels to Konosetsu, and several statements Touta made throughout the manga did give me the feeling of Akamatsu putting hints of Touta liking Kuroumaru in a "special" way even if he didn’t realize it (like Touta saying "my Kuroumaru"). However, when Akamatsu was forced to do harem again, it got changed to "Touta loves everyone and Kuroumaru is his favorite, you can take it as harem ending or eternal nakama ending".

These last two arcs before the final battle against Negi-Lifemaker with the last UQ Numbers who never got introduced and the immortal hunters have felt like Akamatsu saying "I once had all these super cool ideas for this manga about immortals, but since I got forced to do a terrible Negima pseudo-sequel, I'll just throw them as a backdrop to an annoyingly generic power fantasy while putting ridiculous fanservice so I can fill in enough pages to complete a couple more volumes before I'm done making money out of this flop of a last manga and can finally retire". What a shame.

I'll always wonder how this series would have turned out if Akamatsu had been a more responsible author and ended Negima properly. Although, looking at how his first manga A.I. Love You had a rushed nonending with several open plot threads, it doesn't surprise me he thought he could do that with Negima too. What worked against him is that Negima was a bigger work and the manga readership is now much more exigent than in his early manga career.

The immortals, especially Santa, Jinbei, Nikitis and Karin, and the immortal hunters all deserved to be part of a much better manga that let them shine instead of being wasted as background props, fanservice, and tools for Touta's transformation into the prime example of a bland OP MC.

Negima was a smart move from Akamatsu to do both harem he was popular for and the action fantasy series he wanted. UQ Holder was the worst possible move he could have done after the ending of Negima. If you ask me, the smart thing would have been an Ala Rubra prequel. Think about it, that was perfect to have what Akamatsu and the readers wanted, but UQ Holder failed miserably at: a chance to clear up the Negima loose ends, show Asuna's and Evangeline's pasts, develop Lifemaker as a better final boss, reveal how Nagi was possessed and Arika's fate, Nagi as the power fantasy shonen MC, a cast of OP men having cool magic battles, fanservice, and some harem because Nagi had that crazy huge fan club. Finally, it would jump to the Negima ending with the Lifemaker final battle much more naturally than what UQ Holder did. Would an Ala Rubra prequel still need retcons? I don't doubt it, but at least it would have been a more logical and marketable creative choice than UQ Holder.

Despite all I have said, I have no way of knowing what was going through Akamatsu's mind and what circumstances drove him to make the creative choices I dislike so much. I know mangaka is a very exhausting and cynical job unless you're amazingly talented and passionate. I suppose UQ Holder is the sort of series that I'll only remember to appreciate well-written stories on another level.

Anyhow, any expectations I had with this manga are now gone with all the Kuroumaru material being over. The only thing left is beating Negi-Lifemaker to call it a day. UQ Holder is at the top of my personal list in manga that frustrated me and I know I’m not the only one, but I guess I can get how some people can still like stuff in it even if it didn't do it for me. Overall, my opinion of UQ Holder amounts to "it could have been so much better than that mess," but the only one responsible for my own expectations is me. In a way, I'm relieved that I don't have anything to expect of UQ Holder anymore and won't be forcing myself to read it. I can now focus on manga that I truly love and make me feel good.

Last edited by Akira Theia; 2020-10-20 at 11:00.
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