UQ Holder Manga Chapter 9 Review (Of naivety and more Negima! tie-ins.)

ユーキューホルダー!/UQ Holder Chapter 9 Review

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: 

Touta is all ready to accept Jinbee to train up, but Kuroumaru is suspicious of Jinbee, becoming irritated at being addressed as “ojouchan” by him. Kuroumaru attacks and Jinbee loses his robes, revealing a massively scarred body. Kuroumaru scolds Touta for being so trusting without knowing anything about Jinbee. Kuroumaru’s sword ends up in Jinbee’s hand somehow, thwarting Kuroumaru’s sword attack. Kuroumaru shifts to a flying kick instead as Jinbee tosses the sword aside, leading to an unarmed fight. Despite only having one arm, Touta jumps into the fight, performing a shundou move to reach Jinbee in a flash. The two are quickly defeated by Jinbee, who refers to Kuroumaru as “ojouchan” again, causing Kuroumaru to try to deny being a woman again.

Jinbee takes the two to his residence in this underground place, which he hasn’t been to in six months. The place is filled with books and the three have nabe. Kuroumaru and Touta speak briefly of their immortality. Jinbee tells them he’s a 1400 year old immortal, having become one from consuming the flesh of a merperson.  Kuroumaru has to explain to Touta about the Japanese legend of merpeople, and how mermaids and the like did not have the positive image in Japan prior to the popularization of Western mermaid stories.

Jinbee continues by saying how his immortality is actually weak, which is why he is so scarred. Further, he had comrades, but he’s the only one still alive. Touta is impressed with Jinbee’s story and is about to scold Kuroumaru for not trusting Jinbee, only to discover Kuroumaru has been moved to tears. Kuroumaru starts to address Jinbee as “senpai”, then shifts to “jinsei no sensei” (life master), shocking Touta, who then reminds Kuroumaru of the scolding given to Touta for going gaga for Jinbee.

Jinbee is amused by the pair of them, so he sends them to deal with the monster seals. The two excitedly go to do so, but once there, Touta realizes there’s not much he can do with only one arm. Kuroumaru uses incredible sword skills to wipe out one of the monster seals, impressing Touta greatly. However, both Kuroumaru and Touta are forced to flee when a herd of monster seals charge them.

Returning to Jinbee’s lair, both apologize. Jinbee figures that Touta could watch Kuroumaru’s back, but he needs a weapon. Jinbee takes them to the tower hideout of an “evil mage” that has been abandoned for thirty years. Going up to massive deck extending from this tower, Jinbee shows them a sword the mage created, which is lodged in a stone and called Gravity Blade.

Thoughts/Review:

Those of us reading this manga know that Touta is desperately in need of some schooling to get him off this path of blind stupidity. However, although Kuroumaru may be more cautious and highly skilled, even Kuroumaru is in need of education in this regard.  Both characters are pretty naive.

It is interesting how Akamatsu-sensei brings in the Japanese legend of obtaining immortality via the flesh of a merperson. I know Takahashi-sensei did a manga about this years ago (Mermaid Saga, aka: Ningyo Shiriizu (人魚シリーズ)).  I like how Akamatsu-sensei is reminding folks that merpeople were not considered to be attractive half-human/half fish creatures, but rather more monster-like.

It looks like Akamatsu-sensei is going to run the “Is Kuroumaru a girl or a boy” joke into the ground. Jinbee calling Kuroumaru “ojouchan” adds to that, as does Kuroumaru’s girlish, negative reaction.

Onto more substantive stuff, Akamatsu-sensei made a big point of having Touta blatantly reject Eva’s offer to teach him the shundou-jitsu arts. Despite this, it appears that Touta has acquired the skill after only observing Kuroumaru use it. That’s way faster than even Negi learned it, and Negi had some actual training in it. This suggests to me that Touta may have already known it, but we’ll see.  Akamatsu-sensei may be suggesting that Touta can learn anything he’s exposed to.

Since Touta has been shown to reject using a sword, other than the boken Touta used in the beginning of the series, yet was shown with a sword in the promotional art, I guess having Touta lose an arm is Akamatsu-sensei’s way of getting Touta to use a weapon rather than just rely on his fists. I suppose it isn’t too much to say that Touta will get this Gravity Blade in the stone.

It does appear that Gravity Blade is at Al’s residence under Library Island in the Mahora Academy campus grounds. What happened to Al 30 years ago to cause him to disappear is a mystery (assuming this is Al’s place), though I have read speculation that maybe he got snagged by one of those monster seals, which take 30 years to digest their food. I would be amused by this if Touta and Kuroumaru battle the monster seals and in one of them is Al, waiting to be pooped out.

Finally, the splash page showing Eva in her normal form and her Yukihime form was pretty nifty. ^_^

Akamatsu-sensei takes his first break next week, so we’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to find out where things go.

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7 Responses to “UQ Holder Manga Chapter 9 Review (Of naivety and more Negima! tie-ins.)”

  1. NullApostle says:

    A good chapter. Now I’m interested in Jinbei’s old group – the Seven Samurai LOL. Maybe Akamatsu can draw a gaiden sometime.

    Seems like Jinbei’s eternal youth is the weakest type of immortality, hmmm. I wonder if there’s a “ranking” of immortality?

    ROFL, Kuroumaru has to defend against allegations of being ‘a lady’ again. I wonder how often s/he had to do that.

    Addendum:
    I’m missing CanonRap’s observations. Hopefully he’s gonna do them again at some point.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >Now I’m interested in Jinbei’s old group – the Seven Samurai LOL.

      *LOL* I never even bothered to count them. Totally missed there were seven. ^_^;

      >Seems like Jinbei’s eternal youth is the weakest type of immortality, hmmm. I wonder if there’s a “ranking” of immortality?

      That’s what I’ve been seeing implied since Eva first started speaking of immortal types.

      >ROFL, Kuroumaru has to defend against allegations of being ‘a lady’ again. I wonder how often s/he had to do that.

      My guess is ever since that failed body modification thing.

      >I’m missing CanonRap’s observations. Hopefully he’s gonna do them again at some point.

      Me too.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m enjoying this chapter much more than the last one. It’s strange, though, that I feel like Kuroumaru has gotten so much more characterization than the main character.

  3. OverMaster says:

    “made a big point of having Touta blatantly reject Eva’s offer to teach him the shundou-jitsu arts. Despite this, it appears that Touta has acquired the skill after only observing Kuroumaru use it. That’s way faster than even Negi learned it, and Negi had some actual training in it. This suggests to me that Touta may have already known it, but we’ll see. Akamatsu-sensei may be suggesting that Touta can learn anything he’s exposed to.”

    Today’s Lesson starts, class. Let’s start by checking, can we say ‘Gary Stu’? Bravo! I knew you could!

    Negi at the end of Negima was really pushing it hard, but Touta has an even faster rate of getting plot gimmes so far in only the first handful of chapters, before he even gets a real enemy to fight. And unlike Negi, he, so far, doesn’t even have to work hard for them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well what if he already knew it? He does have a memory loss and we do not know what he knew before hand. Also I think all of Negi kids were battle trained for their own good. I mean Negi had a lot of people hating him in the magic world already and I do not think Negi got rid of them either.

      A good example would be the ordering of Kuroumaru to kill Eva. The previous head(s) of that group let Eva live and forced her to go to school. Just so she could renter civilization without being a threat. Talk about how things change with time.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Sadly, not being up on certain terms, I had to look up Gary Stu. ^_^;;;

      I’m not sure why Akamatsu-sensei made Touta the way he is, but if Touta is going to get a smack-down education, then it could work. Otherwise, Touta will be a drag on UQ Holder.

      >Well what if he already knew it? He does have a memory loss and we do not know what he knew before hand.

      That’s what I’m leaning toward as being the case.

      >A good example would be the ordering of Kuroumaru to kill Eva. The previous head(s) of that group let Eva live and forced her to go to school.

      I’m not sure that Kuroumaru’s clan had anything to do with Eva’s curse. Sadly, we don’t know a great deal about Eva’s time with Ala Rubra, but I think it is fair to say that Nagi recognized that Eva wasn’t pure evil, but did need a course correction and punishment as well. Thus he trapped her and the headmaster at Mahora put her to work so that whenever something penetrated the school’s barrier, she had to go investigate.

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