UQ Holder Chapter 21 Manga Review (“Because I’m the main character, that’s why!”)

ユーキューホルダー! Manga Review
UQ Holder Chapter 21

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: 

UQ Holder Chapter 21Young Ruki-kun does a futile attack on Kaito to try to defend his home and friends, demanding to know why their home is being destroyed. Nagumo explains various crises since the middle of the 21st century caused multi-generation refugees. As such, Powerful Hand was hired by the original owners of the land, most returning from Mars, who want these squatters out. Ruki says his dad pays taxes and they rent from the church. Nagumo says that in Ruki’s case, they’ll get compensation.

Since they’ve decided to kill Ruki, Kaito is going for the kill when somehow, Kuromaru manages to launch through the air and save Kuki, despite the bottom half of Kuroumaru’s body still being absent. Kaito moves in for the kill, but Touta stands up, his arms and hands looking like demonic gauntlets.

Kaito and Nagumo are stunned that Touta was able to overcome the Crucifix Coffin seal, meaning Touta isn’t a normal vampire. When they point out his arms, Touta is surprised as well by this transformation. Nagumo thinks this is Magia Erebea, but in normal fashion, Touta doesn’t care about that. He does care that his friends have been hurt, so he attacks Kaito with a punch that comes off like a rocket punch. Kaito is hit so hard, he flies back into Nagumo before Nagumo can even react. The two are then propelled backward, slamming into multiple cars and things along the way.

Thoughts/Review:

*sigh* Well, it happened, just as expected. Touta overcomes the seal, then saves the day.

The unexpected part is the apparent Magia Erebea being used by Touta so that he has those gauntlet arms. What’s weird is that he had no magical powers, so how he can use Magia Erebea is anyone’s guess.

A popular theory is that his magic as well as his memories were sealed away, possibly like Asuna. That would work, but if that’s the case, then we need to start unlocking Touta’s past. Otherwise, Touta is just some main character that can do anything without effort just because he’s the main character.

Touta is supposed to be cool, but the heroes here are Ruki-kun, for standing up for what he believes despite his young age, and Kuroumaru, for trying to save Ruki-kun despite not having a bottom half.

UQ Holder Chapter 21

(As an aside, I wonder if losing everything below the waste is what turns Kuroumaru into a woman on  the regeneration? Probably not, but considering how Akamatsu-sensei is doing things with this manga, he might decide to do something whacky like that just because he can.)

With Chao’s shadow mechanoids still around, I guess Karin didn’t do enough damage on him. Now I smell Touta having to save her as well, ’cause he’s the main character, dagnabit!

I do like the notion that Negi’s pie in the sky plan had all kinds of negative, unintended consequences. (I say this as I stare at Negima! Volume 38, which I’ve yet to review.)  I was in that school that wanted the future that Chao from Negima! tried to prevent coming to pass anyway.

Oh well. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see where things go from here.

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36 Responses to “UQ Holder Chapter 21 Manga Review (“Because I’m the main character, that’s why!”)”

  1. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Heh! I see my page snag from Crunchyroll left in the navigation text. ^_^;

  2. NoLastName says:

    The reason I’m reading this series is because I’m a massive of fan Negima.
    Negi was a very original main character, especially for a shonen manga, we saw him training throughout the manga, and he was dealing with a lot of inner turmoil.
    Touta, on the other hand, is your average, cliched, shonen protagonist who runs head-first into every situation and gains random powers- up when he needs them.
    I think I’m gonna take a break from this series.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      The reason I’m reading this series is because I’m a massive of fan Negima.

      Yeah, that’s me as well. I did like Love Hina a lot and A.I. Love You was OK.

      Touta, on the other hand, is your average, cliched, shonen protagonist who runs head-first into every situation and gains random powers- up when he needs them.

      I think it is a bit worse than that. At least in cliched shounen titles that I’ve read, the protagonist has to at least do something to get his power. (Granted, I haven’t read or watched that many of this type of shounen series.) I was thinking about Inuyasha, which got VERY boring by the end of its run. Every power-up that Inuyasha got was due to completing some quest. Initially that was interesting, but then it got boring.

      With Touta, he doesn’t even have to do that much. He see something, then he can magically do it without training or going through some kind of quest to get it. OK, technically, I guess his initiation into UQ Holder was a type of quest, but even there, it took him a month to complete out of an eight year time limit. Not only that, he’d not only mastered the Gravity Blade, but he’d gotten so strong physically (without displaying any muscles), he could probably easily toss an aircraft carrier and not even blink. *_*

      I think I’m gonna take a break from this series.

      I’ll take one for the team and plow on…at least for now. ^_~

      • Aki says:

        I agree most modern ain stream manga does show bits of training in the form of training starts then go off screen to main battle field, back to hero back to battle… Oh no hero rushes to field ends fight with random power up…. Enemy boss to strong miracle power up!

        Dragonball use to have logical train and get sufficient power up… Until buu saga where super saiyan 3 came out of nowhere tho we though we did have a 7 year time skip.

        Bleach rarely has one proper training arc… Hitman reborn had a training arc in future arc but ended with gain random power up and adjust to using power with no training from shimon arc onwards.

        Naruto does show training but it not logical… Power differences are huge… Negima was one of modern mainstream mangas to consistently show all of negi training as a protagonist

  3. Random Lurker says:

    “A popular theory is that his magic as well as his memories were sealed away, possibly by Asuna”
    Did you mean “like Asuna”? Otherwise that sentence doesn’t make sense ^^;

    Anyways, what I’ve seen some people theorize is that Touta, as Negi’s descendant, is partially whatever race Negi became after being revived by Magia Erebea. Although a point was made that Negi wasn’t human after that, I’m not sure how literally that was meant.

    Also, just staying, apart from Touta’s existent I would personally put this series above standard cliched shounen battle series.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      “A popular theory is that his magic as well as his memories were sealed away, possibly by Asuna”
      Did you mean “like Asuna”? Otherwise that sentence doesn’t make sense ^^;

      WHAAAAH! Thanks for catching that. My brain, eyes, and fingers don’t always work together. ^_^;;;

      Also, just staying, apart from Touta’s existent I would personally put this series above standard cliched shounen battle series.

      Just so I understand where you are coming from, can you elaborate further on this? What is it that puts it above in your opinion? I just haven’t read or watched enough shounen action series to make a judgement call on the cliched element.

      • Random Lurker says:

        It’s… Kind of hard to explain. I think it’s a sum of several small things such as gorier action and somewhat deeper themes.
        Also, the characters and their situations seem more interesting and complex than what I’m used to in shounen (although we’ve been introduced to only small part of the cast this far). Well, Touta is on the other end of the spectrum, being less interesting than most shounen heroes though.

        Hope that helps at all ^^;

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          It’s… Kind of hard to explain. I think it’s a sum of several small things such as gorier action and somewhat deeper themes.

          Ah, the near seinen elements of this manga.

          Anyway, thanks for the info. That does help me to understand. ^_^

  4. […] chapter 21, courtesy of the VERY gracious Southrop. (My review of UQ Holder chapter 21 can be found HERE for those […]

  5. CC06 says:

    I would note that the one that broke Touta out of the seal and granted him access to Magia Erebrea might not be Touta himself, but some embedded personality from Eva? Note how the eyes are drawn in the panel after Kuroumaru wonders how he broke from the seal (which looks more similar to Eva, and very different than how they are drawn in the panel at the bottom of the page). Further, the following panel also show Kuroumaru registering confusion. This suggests to me that it may not be all Touta’s doing to break out of the seal.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Note how the eyes are drawn in the panel after Kuroumaru wonders how he broke from the seal (which looks more similar to Eva, and very different than how they are drawn in the panel at the bottom of the page).

      I took another look. I’m not saying your theory is wrong, but due to Akamatsu-sensei’s limited character design abilities (something he’s admitted himself), some of his characters look like other of his characters. As such, when I saw that smirk look on Touta, I figured that this is just Akamatsu-sensei’s one limitation when it comes to drawing. That being said, we’ll have to wait and see how the story progresses to see if you theory is correct or not.

      Even if it isn’t an embedded personality from Eva, Eva still may be responsible somehow for Touta’s hybrid condition that allowed him to escape the seal.

      • Aki says:

        Wasn’t Eva a high daylight walker in negima? One of the highest class monsters in the magical world and since touta is her kin and her creation as a vampire… Would he be a high daylight walker or extreme high class vampire?

        I don’t know if we can call Eva a vampire she has the element of a vampire but she not a true vampire… She was an experiment of the Mage of beginning who research immortality and gain body hopping abilities… Eva is a magical being created by the Mage, with the Mage vision of what immortality is.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          Wasn’t Eva a high daylight walker in negima?

          Yes, that was her English title (even in the Japanese version).

          Regardless, the stuff you mention is why I so want Eva’s past explored. If Akamatsu-sensei is going to look at immortality, then going into her past, including her creation as a shinso vampire, would be most interesting to me.

  6. WMC says:

    One kind of psychosis obssessively creates voluminous, elaborate alternate realities in which careful, valid logic, proceeding from nonsensical assumptions, shoves reality all the way across the bordor of sanity. The creator wakes up one day competely nuts! Are we seeing this phenomenon playing out in front of us here?

    I’ve tried because I loved “Love Hina” and the first half of “Negima!”, but UQH holds NO interest for this fan of fantasy. :o\

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I’ve tried because I loved “Love Hina” and the first half of “Negima!”, but UQH holds NO interest for this fan of fantasy. :o\

      I hear ya. While I will keep reading, it isn’t doing much for me after the huge start it got. I was so looking forward to seeing Eva as a main character, but as usual, Akamatsu-sensei stuffs her back on the shelf. 🙁

      • Aki says:

        Eva is a final or secret boss material character… She did come along and endless white nine heavens the entire cosmos entelecheia organisation , kept up with raiton taishou 2 or thunder in great heaven 2 negi whilst in base form and one sided him using her queen of ice form which fired low to mid level ice spells with no chant.

        And all those time she was never serious with the intent to kill… Bringing her in would be to much at the early stages of the series I mean karin is already proving to be formidable… I don’t know if she rakan/negi/nagi/fate level yet…

        Touta would be pre vs rakan level negi right now… Before gaining magia erebea… Actually given the face he made… He likely rakan ver.2 the hack/cheat in the game that hey I stab him so many times but it doesn’t do a thing… Thing

  7. Dunk Johnson says:

    Negima in it is great . i am a great fan of read manga and Negima is my facourite cahracter because it looks great always . Thank you for this story .

  8. Setsuyume says:

    Hmmmm… I can understand where you come from, I really do. But. I’ll tell you of this idea I posted while checking my Orkut community (yes, Orkut still DOES exist! lol I probably have the only UQH community there, haha. And ppl POST on it! Raaaaarrrrh! ; )

    I saw this notion in another fórum, actually: this is not a story of getting the gift of life, but what you do after getting it.

    So it made me think: that statement reflects perfectly on Touta! Just think, what’s important to him? His friends, both at home and at UQH. He shows no interest at becoming strong like typical boys of his age. After the memory loss, the most important thing to Touta seems to be the time he spends with his important people. From now, if he shows interest in getting stronger (which of course he will do), it will be simply to protect his newly found “family”.

    But, Touta’s inmortal. What will be of him, watching his friends grow up, get married/children/ old… the exact questions one would ask at the end of Negima! UQH Holder is a continuation in the sense of Negi”s own dilemas! Tha’s why, by making Touta so overpower (Springfield + Konoe = FTW), he is putting all the pointless (in this concept, at least) training aside, focusing on emotional and personal issues (you can easily see that with Kuroumaru and Karin).

    Long story short, this is not a typical shounen to me, in the sense the MC doesn’t end up a super being by the end. He comes from a supreme linage, and now has all the time of the world to become supreme above supreme. So. What will do with that now? This must be the main point of this title, which we might all be missing?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      From now, if he shows interest in getting stronger (which of course he will do), it will be simply to protect his newly found “family”.

      That would, the very least, give Touta focus, Right now, he’s just adrift with no real goals to speak of (yeah, I remember the singing bit, but that was more pipe dream speak in my mind). Giving him focus would improve Touta’s character.

      Long story short, this is not a typical shounen to me, in the sense the MC doesn’t end up a super being by the end. He comes from a supreme linage, and now has all the time of the world to become supreme above supreme.

      Some might argue he’s already a super being. ^_~

      So. What will do with that now? This must be the main point of this title, which we might all be missing?

      You may be right and maybe that is the main point of the manga. It is just that as it is being presented to date, Touta isn’t an interesting character to me.

      I’ll keep reading and hopefully we’ll see improvements. Akamatsu-sensei is a good writer, but at the moment, it just seems that he’s using substitute Negima! characters, free of the shackles of Negima! to tell things he would have liked to have told in Negia! but felt the story wouldn’t allow him to do so.

  9. fg7dragon says:

    yes, this guy is rather disappointing. And not just in the way he gains super powers just at the right time without any effort. When I started reading this, it was due to it being a Negima sequel and… well, It had Evengeline on the right there on the cover. Touta though… he’s like a bad combination of Nagi and Kotarou. Not good Akamatsu-sensei, not good at all.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I agree totally. And it is disappointing that Eva has been put back on the shelf because I want her past explored in much greater detail.

      I’ll keep reading the manga and see if Akamatsu-sensei can pull this one out.

    • Aki says:

      Yeah would have been better to do complete reset current cast is at magic world arc level that negi was at in negima

  10. WMC says:

    “Supreme above supreme?” There are no degrees of supreme, although Mr. Akamatsu constantly tries to portray it. Like with Touta. Nagi. Jack Raken. The Life Maker. And after she had evolved, my darling, the magnificent Asuna.

    ‘Supreme’ implies nothing above it. Nuuthing. That’s the trouble with immortal, god-like characters: nothing fructfies; there can be no real plot — only circular, pointless battles with enemies who never figure out that the lead “sagitta magica” is invincible.

    Not credible. Not interesting.

    • WMC says:

      To continue “supreme.” Asuna is an excellent example of the dead end of supreme. Until she escaped the Life Maker’ s dungeon, rescued Negi and resurrected Mundus Magicus, she was powerful, endearing and beautiful — genuinely magnificent. After she “suddenly” becomes an avatar of Ameratasu, and after she swings the white wing sword with Negi in Period 334, she was, is, boring. I’m still mourning her loss.

  11. WMC says:

    Many thanks for your patience. Especially in view of my bad spelling. I think the mother-god of Japan is spelled Ameterasu, phonetically in English. :o)

  12. OverMaster says:

    “I do like the notion that Negi’s pie in the sky plan had all kinds of negative, unintended consequences. (I say this as I stare at Negima! Volume 38, which I’ve yet to review.) I was in that school that wanted the future that Chao from Negima! tried to prevent coming to pass anyway.”

    Yes, sure, let’s show how the actions of the characters we came to love and support for nine years of serialization brought nothing but a disastrous world, ending up in misery and a war between worlds! There’s nothing I love more than wasting more than thirty volumes of buildup into learning all those fights, all those efforts, all that teamwork and all those friendships ultimately did nothing to change the future for the better! That doesn’t make me feel like I’ve followed just a bunch of ‘Losers Because the Plot Said So, No Matter How Hard They Tried’ only to satisfy Akamatsu’s Ideon fetish, no sir!

    Honestly, Astronerdboy, I can’t disagree with you any more on this. Akamatsu already has done far too many disservices to Ala Alba. Making their fights futile because WE NEED DARKNESS AND WAR AND AAAAAANGST is insult on injury, and personally, as a fan of those characters, I feel this to be a spit on my face and a poor thank-you for my support and patience while following this man’s works.

    And please don’t review Volume 38. The time for it passed more than one year ago, and bringing it now can’t do anything but reopening old wounds.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      There’s nothing I love more than wasting more than thirty volumes of buildup into learning all those fights, all those efforts, all that teamwork and all those friendships ultimately did nothing to change the future for the better!

      And I totally understand that, I really do. Manga is an escapist enjoyment for us, so it would not be awesome to have the characters we like end up failing. Normally, I’m all for this where the good guys win and that’s that.

      In the case of Negima!, I kept thinking of three things. First, that sometimes trying to prevent a negative event is what actually causes it. Second, that sometimes it is possible to do everything right and still lose. Third, much like Ala Rubra, Ala Alba does a lot of good, but darkness still remains to return with a vengeance because it always does.

      For me, I thought this would be an interesting take. The manga would have ended with Negi finding his father and so on, so it wouldn’t be completely dark. Ala Alba would have a lot of positives to hang their hats on, much like Ala Rubra did. There would be a positive ending from that aspect, so it wouldn’t be a waste of time. On the other hand, after Negi and Ala Alba have moved on, the bad things Chao wanted to prevent come to pass just the same.

      It seems like UQ Holder is going that route. Despite all the good that Negi and Ala Alba did, look at how things are. Now, Ala Alba has been succeeded by UQ Holder, who carry on what Negi and Nagi were doing — fighting the good fight and trying to help people in need.

      And please don’t review Volume 38. The time for it passed more than one year ago, and bringing it now can’t do anything but reopening old wounds.

      Yeah, it might. That being said, I’m much more dispassionate about how Negima! ended, so I think I can be more objective while still being critical (if that makes sense).

      • OverMaster says:

        The bad things Chao wanted to prevent would still have happened IN HER OWN TIMELINE anyway, because time travel in this universe works by creating an alternate timeline when you change the past. Akamatsu still could have explored Chao’s future without messing up the actions of Ala Alba and their repercusions in the altered past where she did intervene.

        The big question is if Chao knew that or at least suspected it before traveling back in time for the first time, but gave it a chance anyway.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          The big question is if Chao knew that or at least suspected it before traveling back in time for the first time, but gave it a chance anyway.

          And I wonder if that question will be answered.

  13. WMC says:

    Yees, YES! OM’s commentary of 2-7-14 above nails it. I’ve struggled through Vol. 38 twice and probably won’t again. Maybe ever.

    • WMC says:

      I like your three points, ANB, but as a son of the “greatest generation,” who defeated the worst tyrants in history, I’m not embarrassed to expect good always to trump evil. And reading fiction whose author addicts himself to “dark magic” and apparently can’t return to his former positive appeal is repulsive. His train to nowhere has left the station without me.

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