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Old 2020-07-11, 03:51   Link #7021
Shippuu
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Join Date: Jan 2017
The visit to the Magic World annoyed me because it really felt hollow. This was an opportunity for more worldbuilding. To see new places and learn more about it. We did get to see the Shinmeiryu base but its mostly just Ostia again. And not just Ostia but the exact same streets and the exact same bath. Why now show some new places? At least there was the aquarium but it mostly makes the place feel like a cardboard cutout where nothing else actually exist behind the thin facade.

I've voiced my displeasure about harem elements numerous times not just in this series but even Negima and others stories. I like the concept of it but it's never executed in a way that even remotely satisfies me. I think that despite the genre's prevalence you can probably count the number of true harem endings on one hand. Most of the time it's just a bunch of girls getting along with a guy and most authors expect you to be satisfied with that even though the relationships are shallow and devoid of any depth and development aside from a few stock moments and phrases. Personally I've never seen the appeal of such half-assed "relationships" and wish people would just stop bothering entirely. It's a waste of pages that really could've been used for better things. Not to mention in a story that's supposed to be a bit more serious and doesn't have much time remaining it's downright infuriating. If you're going to do it do it properly or don't do it at all.

Ultimately I just don't "get" UQ Holder. Akamatsu seems to have been planning it, or a story like it, already at the time of Negima's ending if you read the afterword of the final volume. This must've been what he wanted to do but I highly doubt it really turned out the way he wanted it to. Sometimes I wonder if the only reason Negima was any decent was because of his assistants and all those other people working on it.

As far as I'm concerned he should have done either:
1. A direct sequel to Negima.
2. Asuna's sacrifice is not undone. She wakes up a 100 years later and Negi or Nagi is (still) possessed by the Lifemaker. Asuna finally gets to be the main character of her own story without having to live in Negi's shadow.
3. A new story. It could have even been just UQ Holder without the Lifemaker plot, set in the far future of Negima's happy ending.
4. Do nothing and retire after Negima. Still would've been better than what we got. UQ Holder is so frustrating it's actually starting to retroactively poison my affection for Negima.
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Old 2020-07-11, 22:50   Link #7022
Endscape
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Originally Posted by Akira Theia View Post
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.
An Ala Rubra prequel does sound like a nice idea (maybe he'll actually write it one day), but it doesn't solve the issue of not resolving the Lifemaker plot.

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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.
Isn't this like the second or third time you've said you were done with this series?

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Originally Posted by Shippuu View Post
The visit to the Magic World annoyed me because it really felt hollow. This was an opportunity for more worldbuilding. To see new places and learn more about it. We did get to see the Shinmeiryu base but its mostly just Ostia again. And not just Ostia but the exact same streets and the exact same bath. Why now show some new places? At least there was the aquarium but it mostly makes the place feel like a cardboard cutout where nothing else actually exist behind the thin facade.
It was obviously Akamatsu going for a 'going to see the old stomping grounds' kind of feel. Sure we could have gone elsewhere, but then it'd be an issue of it not being developed.

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I've voiced my displeasure about harem elements numerous times not just in this series but even Negima and others stories. I like the concept of it but it's never executed in a way that even remotely satisfies me. I think that despite the genre's prevalence you can probably count the number of true harem endings on one hand. Most of the time it's just a bunch of girls getting along with a guy and most authors expect you to be satisfied with that even though the relationships are shallow and devoid of any depth and development aside from a few stock moments and phrases. Personally I've never seen the appeal of such half-assed "relationships" and wish people would just stop bothering entirely. It's a waste of pages that really could've been used for better things. Not to mention in a story that's supposed to be a bit more serious and doesn't have much time remaining it's downright infuriating. If you're going to do it do it properly or don't do it at all.
Harems generally exist as a way to market cute girls to male readers, or to create drama to prolong a romantic endgame. You almost never see a true harem end unless it's a series with a little more lewdness than is usual, like High School DXD. So if you're after a true harem end, you should modify your expectations a little.


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Ultimately I just don't "get" UQ Holder. Akamatsu seems to have been planning it, or a story like it, already at the time of Negima's ending if you read the afterword of the final volume. This must've been what he wanted to do but I highly doubt it really turned out the way he wanted it to. Sometimes I wonder if the only reason Negima was any decent was because of his assistants and all those other people working on it.
I'm enjoying UQ Holder well enough as it is, but I do think Akamatsu should have left the Negima stuff for later on. I always imagined UQ Holder would be dealing with Negima issues since Touta was billed as Negi's grandson from jump, but I do think he rushed it a bit.

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2. Asuna's sacrifice is not undone. She wakes up a 100 years later and Negi or Nagi is (still) possessed by the Lifemaker. Asuna finally gets to be the main character of her own story without having to live in Negi's shadow.
A great idea. The seeds were there, but I suppose Akamatsu didn't want to write an Asuna story without Negi and 3-A for her to bounce off of.

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3. A new story. It could have even been just UQ Holder without the Lifemaker plot, set in the far future of Negima's happy ending.
Also a great idea, but it would mean dropping the Lifemaker plot.

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4. Do nothing and retire after Negima. Still would've been better than what we got. UQ Holder is so frustrating it's actually starting to retroactively poison my affection for Negima.
I've heard people say stuff like this about other series , but no offense meant, it never made sense to me. If you let sequels mess with your appreciation of the original, did you actually like the original that much to begin with?
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Old 2020-07-13, 19:52   Link #7023
NapoleonDeCheese
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Originally Posted by Endscape View Post
I've heard people say stuff like this about other series , but no offense meant, it never made sense to me. If you let sequels mess with your appreciation of the original, did you actually like the original that much to begin with?
My problems with UQ Holder haven't affected my love for Negima, but then I don't consider UQ Holder a sequel but a parallel universe future's spinoff.

Negima, as such, led to the events of the Good End, and UQ Holder takes place in another timeline, so I don't really mind UQ Holder, for instance, killed 'its own' version of Chisame and ruined the lives of 'its own' versions of Ala Alba, and so on. Fair enough, it's like being pissed off because one of those alternate universe Batman comics or What Ifs turned Batman into a vampire and killed everyone, who cares, the 'real' Batman is still alive and healthy and you can keep reading him no problem.

That being said, had UQ Holder been the One True Outcome of the events of Negima, yeah, I couldn't blame anyone who would be pissed off every struggle the characters had ended up with 'everyone but enough characters to count with the fingers of both hands and be left with several fingers available died screaming and the world went to pot. Thanks for your YEARS of devoted reading!' Which would be a perfectly fine capper to, you know, a dark and gritty dystopia story, but hardly fitting a romantic action comedy.
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Old 2020-08-06, 16:22   Link #7024
Shippuu
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That was an odd one. When I saw that the White of Mars training is happening completely offscreen and he wastes yet another chapter on harem garbage at this point I was about to blow but it turned out surprisingly decent. I'm mildly astonished that Touta's friends haven't been forgotten. I kept hoping there was some kind of twist here (when meeting them Fate seemed to imply they were clones as well) but nothing came of it. Still that was about as decent an "eve before battle" episode as it perhaps could be.
Mizore and Touta also revisit the subject of what it means to save the world. Something that's been bothering me for a long time. Their idea of a hard work eventually leading to utopia is nonsense. It requires however many billions of humans/aliens/mages/demons etc. in the solar system to be flawless, guiltless, painless and perfect at all times. If even a single individual ever decides it's more fun to not make the perfect socialist choice at any given time it ruins the whole thing. It's therefore unsustainable and/or inherently impossible since a single defect causes failure.
Even though Akamatsu insists on this being the right way (and no doubt the manga will end with "everything's super" just like the description of the happy end timeline, conveniently ignoring the reality of the situation) everything we've seen of the state of the world so far shows it's anything but fine. Their plan to throw money and technology at the problem won't solve shit. The root cause of all suffering is human nature, and human nature will never change. It cannot. Otherwise they wouldn't be humans anymore. But that's also why things will never change. Even if the most common problems like hunger and poverty are reduced, maybe even defeated entirely, war will never stop and people have plenty of other reasons to bring ruin to each other. And will find many new ones.
Negi's/Touta's path doesn't "save the world." It upholds the status quo while billions of sacrificial lambs are burned as fuel to sustain their endless quest for their vague concept of "saving the world." Who cares how many die and live in misery, now and in the past and future, if sometime in the vague and distant future things may work out?

In contrast Ialda's Kosmo Entelekheia is basically "shortcut" Heaven. It's basically the Matrix. However, it IS possible, and it IS sustainable. Why? Because humanity doesn't get a say in it. It simply happens, they are unaware.
The downside is the loss of free will and the end of human history. Humanoid sentient life in the solar system stagnates. The upside is the best possible life that person could live to the point of basically perfection. It is a miracle on a scope beyond what the power of any man could achieve in reality no matter how hard or how long they try. In fact, Kosmo Entelekheia saves not only humanity, but frees the various planets of their anthropodic cancer.

Negima was all about the fact that the idiot hero who just explodes everything and hopes it will work out didn't solve shit. In fact his and Ala Rubra's decision to take Asuna to Earth to give her a normal life would have been a guaranteed death sentence for the Magic World if she didn't end up going back there by sheer luck. Now it was up to the not-idiot to try for a real lasting solution with a proper plan. There was a big emphasis on Negi not being like his father, not being an idiot, and following "dark" path instead of "light", and that's why Ala Alba was suited to solve the issues that Ala Rubra ignored.
But in the end Negi didn't "save the world." He preserved the Magic World but didn't save the people. He was so focused on his blind obsession with his father he ignored the actual issue. Even his visualization of a perfect world is not one where everyone is saved, but one where his parents are alive. And now comes Touta who doesn't even try and is basically Nagi 2.0.

It's not like I necessarily agree with Ialda or don't want the guys to win but the shallow way the what is arguably the main conflict of the story is treated bothers me. No one even bothers with Ialda's side of the argument and she's just reduced to EVIL LAST BOSS XD. The same thing happens in every single story that uses this Lotus Eater Machine plot.

Also, that foreshadowing. IS Touta going to die, get sealed or be otherwise absent?

Last edited by Shippuu; 2020-08-06 at 16:52.
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Old 2020-08-06, 17:31   Link #7025
Endscape
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Originally Posted by Shippuu View Post
Negima was all about the fact that the idiot hero who just explodes everything and hopes it will work out didn't solve shit. In fact his and Ala Rubra's decision to take Asuna to Earth to give her a normal life would have been a guaranteed death sentence for the Magic World if she didn't end up going back there by sheer luck. Now it was up to the not-idiot to try for a real lasting solution with a proper plan. There was a big emphasis on Negi not being like his father, not being an idiot, and following "dark" path instead of "light", and that's why Ala Alba was suited to solve the issues that Ala Rubra ignored.
Nagi didn't have a solution but doesn't mean he should have stood back and let Ialda lobotomize millions of people without their consent.

If Nagi hadn't stopped Ialda then all the millions of people born on Mundus Magicus since then would have never been born.

The whole point was that real solutions don't come about because of one person' will but via the consensus of everyone. Negi solved the issue (something Ialda could have also done, mind you), by actually working with other people and finding a way forward together.

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It's not like I necessarily agree with Ialda or don't want the guys to win but the shallow way the what is arguably the main conflict of the story is treated bothers me. No one even bothers with Ialda's side of the argument and she's just reduced to EVIL LAST BOSS XD. The same thing happens in every single story that uses this Lotus Eater Machine plot.
That's because Ialda is insanely arrogant, like villains of her ilk usually are. The onus is not on other people to consider Ialda's argument but for Ialda to actually construct an argument that starts with soething other than 'mess with the free will of billions'

I mean, if Ialda had decided to simply offer the mercy of Cosmo Entelecheia freely to people who needed it, then it wouldn't even be an issue. Then they could have discussion about all the things you mentioned.

Also, that foreshadowing. IS Touta going to die, get sealed or be otherwise absent?[/QUOTE]
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Old 2020-08-07, 02:46   Link #7026
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Damn... The entire chapter was a HUGE bad flag...
I already started suspecting it, but being this upfront...
And I kinda dislike those kinds of endings...
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Old 2020-08-07, 08:13   Link #7027
NapoleonDeCheese
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Originally Posted by Endscape View Post
Nagi didn't have a solution but doesn't mean he should have stood back and let Ialda lobotomize millions of people without their consent.

If Nagi hadn't stopped Ialda then all the millions of people born on Mundus Magicus since then would have never been born.

The whole point was that real solutions don't come about because of one person' will but via the consensus of everyone. Negi solved the issue (something Ialda could have also done, mind you), by actually working with other people and finding a way forward together.



That's because Ialda is insanely arrogant, like villains of her ilk usually are. The onus is not on other people to consider Ialda's argument but for Ialda to actually construct an argument that starts with soething other than 'mess with the free will of billions'

I mean, if Ialda had decided to simply offer the mercy of Cosmo Entelecheia freely to people who needed it, then it wouldn't even be an issue. Then they could have discussion about all the things you mentioned.
If we were realistic about this whole thing, there'd be another major reason to oppose Ialda's plans, namely that basically nobody knows for sure they would work in the first place. It's not like putting all of mankind into Magical Lobotomized Paradise has been tried before (the closest thing was throwing a kid and a bunch of schoolgirls into a bargain bit discount version they escaped from with a little willpower, which isn't the most starling endorsement), but so far we only have the word of the villains and their allies like Poyo (hardly a nonbiased voice on the subject of the very thing they're pushing for) that this totes really works, no prob, like forever.

And given that we're talking about an immortal, unbeatable being who still finds ways to be beaten back constantly every time she pokes her nose out and can't be bothered to keep tabs on the key to her defeat as said bunch of schoolgirls is waking her up, I wouldn't take much of what she says at face value. She's basically a curvaceous all powerful magical Wile E. Coyote.

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Also, that foreshadowing. IS Touta going to die, get sealed or be otherwise absent?
I mean, I've always said this will tie into the end of Negima. If that Future Eva was Yukihime, it always was clear she and Touta wouldn't end up together for some reason.
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Old 2020-08-07, 10:11   Link #7028
Shippuu
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Originally Posted by NapoleonDeCheese View Post
If we were realistic about this whole thing, there'd be another major reason to oppose Ialda's plans, namely that basically nobody knows for sure they would work in the first place.

I mean, I've always said this will tie into the end of Negima. If that Future Eva was Yukihime, it always was clear she and Touta wouldn't end up together for some reason.
I'm throwing her a bone here and assume that everything would work out perfectly. The exact workings of Kosmo Entelekheia are another can of worms entirely. The story and side material made it quite clear that spirit worlds need to be anchored onto physical space yet also makes clear that such worlds are doomed to inevitable collapse. Except the various spirit worlds that already exist on Earth. And the demon realm. I suppose only artificial ones are doomed? But wasn't the demon world created as a prison? Who the fuck knows? Akamatsu clearly doesn't. So unless Ialda somehow managed to create an actual heaven outside the physical universe I just don't know what to make of it. In fact, even after two stories I'm still not entirely sure if Kosmo Entelekheia already exists or still has to be created because the story refuses to make the matter clear. On one hand you have Baal saying all souls who lose their flesh eventually end up there (how do you even configure souls to automatically go to your artificial heaven instead of the various other afterlives?) but pretty much everyone else talks like it hasn't been created yet. And if it already exists why would you need Asuna/Touta?
Even Naruto managed to give a perfectly valid (no matter how silly) explanation for the Infinite Tsukuyomi.

Nodoka's and Yue's physical appearance doesn't match across timelines. I suppose it's possible they'll survive and start aging again if Negi dies and their Pactios are terminated.
But then again Negi supposedly died in 2065, the year he got possessed. And his gravestone is in different locations. Oh, there is no point. Akamatsu does whatever he wants to.
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Old 2020-08-07, 13:42   Link #7029
Endscape
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The story and side material made it quite clear that spirit worlds need to be anchored onto physical space yet also makes clear that such worlds are doomed to inevitable collapse. Except the various spirit worlds that already exist on Earth. And the demon realm. I suppose only artificial ones are doomed? But wasn't the demon world created as a prison? Who the fuck knows? Akamatsu clearly doesn't.
Negima made it clear that the reason Mundus Magicus failed was because it could not get mana from Mars, since the planet was devoid of life.

Earth doesn't have that issue and IIRC, the demon world was on Venus, and considering Black of Venus, they seem to have access to unlimited magic there.

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In fact, even after two stories I'm still not entirely sure if Kosmo Entelekheia already exists or still has to be created because the story refuses to make the matter clear.
We see Secundum sending people there in Fate's flashback so it does exist.

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But then again Negi supposedly died in 2065, the year he got possessed. And his gravestone is in different locations. Oh, there is no point. Akamatsu does whatever he wants to.
It's not unheard of for someone to have multiple graves.
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Old 2020-08-07, 19:12   Link #7030
NapoleonDeCheese
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It's not unheard of for someone to have multiple graves.
Right, especially if it's someone famous who 'died' or disappeared under nebulous circumstances. Doesn't Columbus have several different 'resting places' historians can't agree on?

Edit:

Too little, too late for all of the minor characters in this chapter. Akamatsu at least tries to give them a farewell, which is more than what most of Negima's cast could say before their story just stops leaving them hanging, but... it's still not enough. None of them ever got anything relevant or helpful to do, so the 'leaving the future to humans' feeling doesn't ring sincere when humans can't do anything but relying on immortals to solve all their problems for them.

Mizore and Shinobu's Pactios were a complete waste since they never did anything of any importance with them, so why did even get them in the first place? Sadly, Akamatsu wastes his secondary characters too much. They always have these interesting premises and designs but then the delivery and closure always miss the mark.

I always liked Shinobu, and Mizore grew on me, from my finding her obnoxious and unbearable to finding her likable (never funny, but likable). It's a pity we didn't get to see really anything of her relationship with her grandmother and Chachamaru, or who were her parents and why she always was on her own when she was both a millionaire and a minor, which makes no sense. Still, both characters deserved better. Touta's classmates, on the other hand, never amounted to anything at all. Those won't be missed.

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Old 2020-08-08, 16:12   Link #7031
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Sadly, Akamatsu wastes his secondary characters too much. They always have these interesting premises and designs but then the delivery and closure always miss the mark.
This is the big problem that I have with Ako in Negima (especially when it came to the the first half of the Magic World arc).

There's a lot of great potential that could have been done with due to her scar and her uneasiness of seeing blood. Yet, all the focus she got instead went towards her falling for an older version of Negi, with things really getting worse when Negi temporarily receives an item that allows him to use any of his Ministra Magi's Pactio items and instead of having Ako Pactio with her and have her item serve as a trump card, all she does is wish her good luck on her fight with Rakan.
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Old 2020-09-04, 06:34   Link #7032
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Spoiler for W-T-F:


https://www.pika.fr/livre/uq-holder-chapitre-175

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Old 2020-09-06, 16:01   Link #7033
Shippuu
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Yeah I just saw that. I'm still wondering if I'm having a mad fever dream. Curious about the date. 4 years before Asuna wakes up. In fact, this is basically what happened to Asuna.
Was the final battle put on hold or interrupted? Did Touta take a nap in Kosmo Entelekheia and we are about to see a distant continuation or is the absolute madman going to skip the final battle straight to a half-assed epilogue AGAIN?
But I suppose if Akamatsu wanted me to really look forward to a chapter of UQ Holder he probably succeeded for the first time.

Last edited by Shippuu; 2020-09-08 at 02:57.
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Old 2020-09-08, 19:24   Link #7034
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Dammit, Theodora, it's been like a full century now and you're filthy rich.

Get a change of clothes already.
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Old 2020-09-09, 00:26   Link #7035
Shippuu
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I suppose there is no point in asking how Touta is using Asuna's sword, or even a replica of it. I assumed Cutlass' version was just the result of a Pactio but who knows. You might as well ask while Nodoka and Yue were wearing Asuna's dress. Mars Album is a weird term. What's the meaning of it?

Dana being essentially UQ Holder's equivalent of Zelretch still bothers me. What about Dana in other timelines? Does she not exist? Is she not multiversal? The rift between time can only exist once.

Good to see Theodora again, even if she didn't get any lines. And is that Ricardo? How the blazes is he still alive? Also glad for the minor (Magic) Worldbuilding and confirmation that the public in the Magic World at least seems to be in the know about the whole Ialda thing. By the time of Negima that stuff was still top secret. I wanted so much more of it but oh well.

And suddenly there is an attack on the station. Is it Ialda? He did say he was waiting at the top of the tower, not Pluto, but it probably wasn't meant literally. Is it the unknown terrorist organization which already attacked the tower before and then was never mentioned again? I suppose it's an opportunity to make them actually relevant because that seemed really out of place. Still doesn't explain why Touta was out for 43 years.

And what's up with that mysterious disease? I doubt it's another Covid reference. Is it related to Kosmo Entelekheia? Seems a bit of an unusual approach than just throwing everyone in at once as per Ialda's original plan.

Looks like they might save Negi after all thanks to a Sayoko Ex Machina. I hope not because I want some sacrifices to matter and Akamatsu already shat over everyone else from Negima.

Last edited by Shippuu; 2020-09-09 at 00:44.
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Old 2020-09-09, 17:56   Link #7036
NapoleonDeCheese
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The Lifemaker appears to have taken all of her enemies off the board at once, hasn't taken over/whatever she wants to do now in 43 years with no major opposition.

Ayyyyyyyy.

Unless the next chapter starts with Dana walking into Touta's apartment, telling him "Ah yeah, don't worry, while you were away I soloed everyone off panel, that was it. Because... I felt like it." Cue the end.

Or, the Lifemaker has trapped Touta in an illusion... but she did it the WRONG way and instead of putting him in a pleasant illusion he wouldn't want to escape, she put him in an unplesant illusion he'd want to break free from as soon as he regained his bearings.

Either way, the Lifemaker is an idiot.

Last edited by NapoleonDeCheese; 2020-09-10 at 18:11.
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Old 2020-09-09, 23:26   Link #7037
Endscape
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Mars Album is a weird term. What's the meaning of it?
Probably a reference to the Beatles' White Album.

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Originally Posted by NapoleonDeCheese View Post
Or, the Lifemaker has trapped Touta in an illusion... but she did it the WRONG way and instead of putting him in a pleasant illusion he wouldn't want to escape, she put him in an unplesant illusion he'd want to break free from as soon as he regained his bearings.

Either way, the Lifemaker is an idiot.
Considering the pleasant illusion thing didn't actually work on Negi, maybe this time she's going for something a little more realistic in order to fool Touta?
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Old 2020-09-10, 01:48   Link #7038
Shippuu
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It didn't work on Negi because that wasn't Kosmo Entelekheia but a lesser imitation by Poyo's/Zazie's artifact. It even had an escape route built into it. There is no escape from the real Kosmo Entelekheia.

That said, Ialda IS an idiot. Easily one of the worst antagonists I have ever seen. Really disappointed how she was handled.
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Old 2020-09-11, 05:34   Link #7039
Anh_Minh
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Mars Album is a weird term. What's the meaning of it?
White of Mars. In Latin.

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Still doesn't explain why Touta was out for 43 years.
Maybe that's how long he stayed in orbit. Or maybe the whole thing isn't real.
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Old 2020-09-11, 12:59   Link #7040
Shippuu
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White of Mars. In Latin.
That... well now I feel silly. I thought it referred to an actual album. It also makes me see the "White Album" franchise in a new light. And the Beatles.

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Maybe that's how long he stayed in orbit. Or maybe the whole thing isn't real.
He would have to sustain some serious damage for him to remain unconscious for this long. Even if the entire station exploded he would have regenerated immediately. His wounds still haven't healed after all this time so he probably did, but the only one who has demonstrated this ability so far are the Fushi-Gari, which makes no sense. Or maybe Cutlass made a miraculous comeback with her Ensis Exorcizans replica. Or maybe Ialda, by which I mean Akamatsu, decided she actually CAN use the White of Mars for once.

I highly doubt it's an illusion. It's not happy enough.

Last edited by Shippuu; 2020-09-12 at 02:11.
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