UQ Holder Chapter 17 Manga Review (Is this really a shounen manga?)

ユーキューホルダー! Manga Review
UQ Holder Chapter 17


SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: 

UQ Holder Chapter 17UQ Holder members Zenki and Sabu are on patrol in the slums when Touta and some of the kids bring them food and cigarettes. After eating, the two discuss the situation on how UQ Holder is planning to use the slum as a stepping stone to the capital by helping the residence. Some hooded kids approach them, but they are actually (mechanical?) assassins of some kind. They easily take down the two, filling them with lead from silenced guns, all of which is seen by Meg, who’d fallen behind Touta and the others.

Karin is enjoying a shower, though she worries about about the water usage, though Sister Kasuga assures her it is OK. Karin says that she owes Kasuga’s grandmother a lot when a man with an eye patch enters the shower and shoots her in the head, shattering her barrier. She easily takes the gun from him and blasts him, but he deflects the bullets with a knife. Karin realizes how very skilled this man is and demands to know what happened to Sister Kasuga and the little girl outside. He doesn’t answer her question but does address her as Saintess of Steel, which triggers a reaction from Karin.

Karin tries shooting the guy, but again, his knife deflects the bullet. He disarms her, so she starts beating him in the face. He slices her across the throat, then several times on her arm. The man gets excited as felt the knife penetrate her flesh even though she is still undamaged. She gut punches him into the wall, causing an impact crater, then is upon him with a kick to his neck, saying he should leave if he values his life since he’s only human.

The man simply laughs and brandishes another gun which he puts into her mouth and shoots. Karin is sent back into a shower stall because of the shot, causing the man to understand Karin’s type of immortality. He believes she feels the pain and introduces himself as Chao XinzQai, a member of the PMSCS’ special force unit known as Powerful Hand. Karin realizes the trouble she in as she grabs a towel and tells him she doesn’t have time to deal with him.

Thoughts/Review:

Wow.  This chapter of UQ Holder certainly turns up the ecchi and the violence factors!  I think Akamatsu-sensei may have actually wanted to do a seinen manga title rather than a shounen manga.

On the ecchi front, Karin is naked for almost her entire onscreen time. Akamatsu-sensei pushed things as far as he could, considering the restraints on the shounen genre. I sometimes wonder if he’ll try to push things even further, considering his origins in the manga business.

That being said, I notice that Karin’s back tattoo was absent at the start of things. No doubt, that’s a pain in the rear to do, so either Akamatsu-sensei will have a story reason for it being MIA, or it will be added back in for the tankoubon release.

Moving to Karin’s fight, the combat itself, while not bloody, was certainly very violent, but very good as well. This is another one of those things where Akamatsu-sensei is pushing the shounen boundary line.  Much as I think that Akamatsu-sensei is using UQ Holder to explore immortality and isolation (Kuromaru), I think he’s also doing the increased level of violence he would have wanted to do in Negima! that he was not allowed to do.

The disarming techniques used in this chapter really caught my eye. Recently, a friend of mine had me record a run through of disarming techniques with one of our coworkers. As such, Karin getting the gun from her attacker as she did came off as pretty real to me.  Karin getting subsequently disarmed was also pretty real, though knocking the weapon out of one’s hand is a bit riskier if it doesn’t go off in a direction that the one disarmed can’t easily reach it again.

I liked the implied reference to Misora made by Karin. I hope that gets explicitly stated and that at some point, we learn about past with Mahora.  Considering Karin’s name was Saintess of Steel, she may have worked with Misora at the church.

As to Karin’s immortality, the chapter suggests that she feels the pain when she’s hit with a bullet or sliced with a blade. I’m not 100% sold on this, based on Karin’s reactions during the fight. After all, getting shot in the mouth would have to be very painful. Granted, Karin was sent back from the impact, but she’s not showing signs that she feels high levels of pain as if she’s been shot and sliced.

I tend to suspect that Touta may be the one to come in and rescue her just so he has a Brownie point from her.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

So, a really good chapter this week, which I am glad to see. ^_^

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6 Responses to “UQ Holder Chapter 17 Manga Review (Is this really a shounen manga?)”

  1. CC06 says:

    Just a quick note that the gun he uses to shoot Karin in the mouth is actually the same gun that he had snatched out from Karin’s hand. You can see it hit the bathroom door when he was kicked by Karin (then shown as having been dropped right in front of him in a later cell).

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      You are absolutely right. *lol* Man, for some reason (likely my haste), I overlooked the fact that though the dude had knocked the gun out of Karin’s hand, the fight moved so fast that he ended up catching it. Then again, it may have been levitating a bit too, presuming some sort of magic was used.

      Thanks for pointing that out. It actually goes to show why knocking the weapon out of the person’s hand is not the preferred disarming technique. ^_^

  2. nickspals says:

    So Karin is still affected by blunt force to some degree… wonder if that means she can still be knocked out?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Hmmmm…that is an interesting thought. It would give her an Achilles’ heel since she could be knocked out and captured, or otherwise removed from combat.

  3. chaosprophet says:

    It does seems to me that her tattoo may only appear when she takes damage. We will have to see more though.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Interesting. I’ll have to remember to pay attention to that. No doubt, Akamatsu-sensei will have Karin naked again for some future battle. ^_^;

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