UQ Holder Chapter 34 Manga Review (“Ohh, not done yet, young’un. That’s going to cost you an eye.”)

ユーキューホルダー! Manga Review
UQ Holder Chapter 34

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: 

UQ Holder Chapter 34 Manga ReviewKirie is somewhat impressed with Touta’s taking out Xinzi in one kick, but Xinzi is suddenly behind her, forcing Touta to act to drive him back. Xinzi is surprised by this, but continues to go after Kirie as Touta increases the weight of Gravity Blade to drive off Xinzi. Xinzi hurls several knives at Kirie, but Touta manages to get there in time to deflect or take the blade hits himself. He increases Gravity Blade by 1000 and narrowly misses Xinzi, slicing through the steps Xinzi was on. This impresses Xinzi, who stops going after Kirie to go full on with Touta, taking his eye in the process.

Touta manages to get a non-blade hit on Xinzi, knocking him to the ground. Touta springs on top of him, holding Gravity Blade at Xinzi’s head. After demanding information, Xinzi introduces himself as a member of Powerful Hand who battled Karin the other day. When Xinzi learns that Touta considers Karin to be his senpai, Xinzi thinks himself lucky.

Kirie, who apparently had no clue about the fight that just happened, approaches to tell Touta she still considers him incompetent. Touta warns her off while holding Gravity Blade to Xinzi’s neck. Touta demands to know why Xinzi would want to kill a kid. Xinzi says he was there to greet Karin, but when he spotted the Numbers, he felt compelled to see if she was immortal as well.  Touta says he’s turning the psychopath to the police, then asks how everyone in Powerful Hand got away in their last encounter. Xinzi shows him by shadow gating to under Kirie’s mantle.

Holding Kirie hostage, Xinzi decides to set Touta straight — he’s not killing a little girl, but rather he’s killing an immortal monster and enemy to humanity.

Xinzi gets tapped on the shoulder, then finds himself launched into the air as Ikkuu gut punches him. Ikkuu then rapidly pummels Xinzi as he falls, driving him back into the air, where Ikkuu then uses his laser eye to cause an explosion around Xinzi, to the amazement of Kirie, Touta, and Kuroumaru.

Thoughts/Review:

I’m calling hogwash (to put it VERY politely) on Akamatsu-sensei’s after the fact addressing of what happened with Powerful Hand.  To quote myself from chapter 30,

As to the story, what happened to Nagumo and Kaito? Seriously, they were completely forgotten here, save for a flashback image when Ikkuu praises Touta. I would have liked some information on what happened to them.

I’m actually MORE offended at learning what happened to Nagumo, Kaito, and Xinzi as well as the others from Powerful Hand.  Seriously, the actions of EVERYONE after the fight wasn’t one of, “our quarry just vanished, so we need to be on our guard.” Nope, it is “let’s party, and there are no worries. WOO!HOO! Touta is the awesomeness ’cause he don’t care about no Magia Erebea!”  Instead, you’ve got someone who mass shadow gated an entire military force AND apparently their equipment.  That’s pretty scary, considering that if Xinzi can mass teleport people and things like this, he could easily snag members of UQ Holder or anyone else whenever he feels like it.

Now that I know what I know, it makes the whole “good times” element afterward, and even Kuroumaru’s and Touta’s walk back where they DIDN’T discuss it, more infuriating.  I’m not sure what the heck has happened to Akamatsu-sensei as a writer, but for me, he’s really failing lately in a key element of writing. I think he’s trying too hard to be different and put in surprises, so he’s purposefully not revealing things to get a surprise. However, in doing so, he has to have people ACT like these surprises didn’t happen, which comes off as unnatural.

Now that I’ve ranted, the fight between Touta and Xinzi was interesting, but mainly from a standpoint of Touta’s being a more sensible fighter, at least when Xinzi revealed that he wasn’t done yet. I guess Kirie telling him he’d failed to save her life six previous times must have registered somewhere, ’cause his fighting style shifted to protecting Kirie at whatever costs. Even when he moved away from Kirie, it didn’t come off as a hot headed move, but rather a move to drive Xinzi away from Kirie. Further, Touta tried to get information from Xinzi after pinning him, which I approved of as well.

Still, Xinzi did get himself an eye from Touta. I’m still keep hoping that the smegger will finally learn his lesson and stop being a mindless pap.

UQ Holder Chapter 34 Manga Review

As for Kirie, this chapter shows that she’s not a fighting member of UQ Holder. Other than her wealth, I’m not sure what she brings to the table. It makes her mission to encounter Fate even more of a mystery since there’s no way she could defeat him in battle unless she has some trick up her sleeve to accomplish this.

This leads me to a theory of mine. As I see it now, the only way Kirie could have known that Fate was going to be at the base of the space elevator by himself was that she’d already born witness to it. If this is the case, then it is reasonable to assume that she died as a result of whatever happened during that encounter (I don’t see her taking her own life, but she might have). Now armed with the information that Fate will appear solo at a certain time, it makes sense to me that she doesn’t want to change things too much because Fate might get wind of a battle and bail on making his journey down (or worse).

Of course, this still doesn’t excuse Kirie’s actions with Touta before Xinzi assassinated her for the sixth (plus?) time.  That’s still bad writing on Akamatsu-sensei’s part. She could have been angry with Touta, but told him, “Stick close to me” or something. Instead, she wastes time so we can get the surprise “I’ve been killed six or more times before, Mr. Incompetent!”

But I digress again…

I’m going to predict that Kirie will probably die again before this arc is out, and that she’ll again bring Touta back. Armed with additional knowledge, Touta could then easily defeat Xinzi because he’d have battle experience with him, then he’d have his eye back and he and Kirie could proceed from there.

Here’s a question though — why did Ikkuu and Kuroumaru return when they did?  What do you want to bet that they (or at least Ikkuu) were informed about things ahead of time, explaining why they weren’t gone long, certainly not long enough to get Karin?  It would fit with Akamatsu-sensei’s current, “Oh, let’s go for another surprise” style of writing.

Anyway, I was again very harsh with the chapter, mainly because Akamatsu-sensei’s style of writing appears to have degraded. However, there were interesting elements and a good fight. Plus, I loved the Ikkuu save at the end.

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28 Responses to “UQ Holder Chapter 34 Manga Review (“Ohh, not done yet, young’un. That’s going to cost you an eye.”)”

  1. LGM says:

    You know, there is always that other horrible reason for the somewhat bad writing; he is just old now.

    I mean, seriously, he’s pushing 50 now, the fact he still tries to do this weekly is admirable. Though it is very obvious he’s failing that (delaying a week or two) more compare to his Negima days.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      He’s actually 45, but I do get your point. So far, his only delays in the manga were one after nine weeks and one for Golden Week, which is when Weekly Shounen Magazine isn’t published.

      I’ll keep reading because I do want to know where he takes things and if he improves.

  2. Setsuyume says:

    Don’t be too harsh on him, Astro…it was a good chapter overall.

    1- Indeed, Kirie knew about Fate’s arrival with exceptional precision. It’s reasonable to assume she lived up to that point before reseting. Or, it could just be her financial influence somehow, getting control of information networks and such…she is a hikikimori after all lol

    1.1. On the other hand, I didn’t like much the fact she can’t fight. Being a loli doesn’t stop Eva-chan AT ALL, does it now?

    2- Xinzi didn’t mass teleport PA. He only did it to himself. He even tells Touta that’s secret of the profession.

    3- Oh, and I liked Touta’s fight, you can see some improvement there. When Ikku arrives and punches, it reminded me of Godel lol

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      On the other hand, I didn’t like much the fact she can’t fight. Being a loli doesn’t stop Eva-chan AT ALL, does it now?

      No, but Eva decided to learn to fight on her own whereas Kirie did not. But it does make Kirie a liability in a combat situation.

      Xinzi didn’t mass teleport PA. He only did it to himself. He even tells Touta that’s secret of the profession.

      What Xinzi said was, “That’s what you might call a trade secret. Goes a little like this.” Then he shadow gates. As I read the scene, he’s telling Touta he used a shadow gate to get the others out. I’m now recalling that Kotaro did something similar in Negima!, only Kotaro had the people he was rescuing in hand. To start teleporting so many people and their equipment away would seemingly have to be done on a massive scale. After all, it was Eva who put out the fires (though Akamatsu-sensei seems to be retconning things a bit by having Touta say that “they” were putting out the fires).

      • seimei says:

        Uh, astro, The Eye of Tota has already regenerated ( white smoke that covers ) .

        For kirie I think as our colleague earlier in the discussion kirie has obtained its information from espionage and even if she had lived the events , I do not think it will re- die. It would STILL all over again, but certainly accelerated agaceant remain here .

        I think the “bugs” Akamatsu have nothing to do with age. Already like you said , sensei 45 not 50, it is not that old . And even if he was 50 years would change nothing, Tezuka manga has almost until his last breath , leaving even his work “Phoenix” unfinished and I think he died very old. ^ ^ Do not forget Araki author of ” jojo bizarre adventure ” continues to draw his manga still in court for 20 years ! Anyway 50 years ( especially since it has enn 45 ) I think we can still follow a weekly eythme and then he has his assistants to help him. ^ ^

        I especially think it is so eager to get into the nitty-gritty ( averruncus Fate and ESPECIALLY the life- maker) he made ​​some wrong notes in his symphony . Myself when I write fanfiction happen to me “hey I forgot this character , oops . ” ^ ^ .

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          Uh, astro, The Eye of Tota has already regenerated ( white smoke that covers ) .

          Only if his eye was destroyed. He had to re-attach his arm before that regenerated.

          Anyway, we’ll see how everything pans out with the manga. ^_^

      • Setsuyume says:

        I think we’ve read different translations… mine was: “Well, that’s a trade secret. This is what I did”. So I think he was talking about himself only…it would be dumb to reveal escape techniques to the oponent, right? Of course, considering the number of puppets he controls, he should have enough power to teleport everyone…

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          What I quoted was from Crunchyroll. Regardless, even in Southrop’s translation, it comes off to me as a reveal of what he did. However, Xinzi is taunting Touta by telling him this. After all, what can Touta do to stop Xinzi from teleporting?

  3. WindRasengan says:

    I really enjoy your reviews. Very insightful and you do pose some really good questions, once you get past the diatribe and you stop whining like someone stole something from you.

    Keep it going. It’s a highlight for me.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Diatribes and ranting are my specialty, especially after dealing with issues at work all day. ^_~ Thanks for coming by and writing. ^_^

    • OverMaster says:

      “and you stop whining like someone stole something from you. “

      Better that than whining about people doing a fair critic of a fictional work’s flaws.

      What did you expect, an endless sea of praise? ANB can and does point out the good when he sees it. As a matter of fact, he’s far more benevolent with this than I’d be, but I’m not calling him an apologist fanboy or anything when his views are softer than mine. There’s no need to be so thin-skinned when someone dares going against the sacred cow.

      • WMC says:

        Right. On, OM. As usual, I agree.

      • WindRasengan says:

        I like it all. The whining is part of what makes the review a highlight. My point is the balance is more personal than subjective. Despite my post coming off a bit harsh, I thoroughly enjoy reading the reviews. It’s personal and I like that as it’s astro’s point of view.

        Keep it going i say

  4. WMC says:

    Are others complaining about signal reception from your site? My PC’s word processor has so many bleeps I can’t send a response from it. This from my cell phone; pictures OK but text is so faint it’s very hard to read. Worse than before. If you made no changes, then I’ll have to tweek my server AGAIN. Sorry for the hassle, but I do not want to lose your site.

  5. Aki says:

    One of the reasons for his poor writing skills could be the fact he prematurely ended negima… And whilst he start a new series…. It is nothing more than a continuation of negima.

    Akatmatsu sensei most likely wanted to carry on the story of negima as long as possible and honestly things got really interesting in the magic world arc and thing were getting interesting with the aftermaths until that sudden ending which left many fans confused over the sudden ending.

    So with his so called new series, akatmatsu sensei had two options… Start fresh with something new or create a sequel and he choose the latter.

    With UQ holder there was that sense of oh it set in the world of negima but he going start fresh and begin at square one.

    So like all typical adventure/manga series you would expect touta and yukihime to be travelling for an entire arc meeting monsters, immortals, mages, swordsman, assassins, martial artist and etc and touta would learn stuff, train, make rivals… Fight a hard opponent, develop and train and beat them on round two.

    But with powerful hand and fate being brought in… None of this was possible because touta had to be like 50-100 standard chapters more powerful than he was.

    Currently I’m grinding the Chinese drama journey to the west and in my opinion… This would be the best adventure series… Whilst sun wukong is virtual god tier, we at least see his development before begining his journey with the monk tang 500 years after his imprisonment.

    Where as touta only spent three months lifting a heavy sword and can apparently do anything on a one glance basis.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I agree that Akamatsu-sensei is doing a carrying on of Negima! with UQ Holder, only he’s having to substitute new characters for old in some cases.

      Anyway, you make a good point. ^_^

    • Nickspals says:

      So in a sense Touta is getting ‘hyper levelled’ in order to get upto the point where Akamatsu can pick up the pieces from Negima…

      ….I kinda get why he wants to do that, BUT in that case he might as well have just skipped the really colourful opening chapter in favour of just starting at UQ holder HQ with Touta already a member with uber-powers.

      Trying to combine such in depth character development with ‘skipping to where the previous series left off’ just doesn’t work (can have one or the other but not both.)

      ((Side tangent now)) Reminds me of a D&D campaign I was in once where the DM tried to level us up fast so he could get to his core plot rather than letting our characters evolve to that point naturally – was a bit jarring to go from ‘struggled to defeat a goblin’ to ‘broke a demi-god’ in just 2 months… and it’s becomming jarring here too (as has already been said.)

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        So in a sense Touta is getting ‘hyper levelled’ in order to get upto the point where Akamatsu can pick up the pieces from Negima…

        ….I kinda get why he wants to do that, BUT in that case he might as well have just skipped the really colourful opening chapter in favour of just starting at UQ holder HQ with Touta already a member with uber-powers.

        Well, he is picking up the pieces with an entirely new manga with mostly new characters. Even Eva is in a new form as Yukihime. So he was forced to set the stage. The real problem is that he didn’t want to take the time to do a proper setup of Eva, Touta and Kuroumaru. He started doing that, then said, “To heck with this, let’s just get to UQ Holder HQ and go from there.”

        ((Side tangent now)) Reminds me of a D&D campaign I was in once where the DM tried to level us up fast so he could get to his core plot rather than letting our characters evolve to that point naturally – was a bit jarring to go from ‘struggled to defeat a goblin’ to ‘broke a demi-god’ in just 2 months… and it’s becomming jarring here too (as has already been said.)

        I think your citation is perfect for the situation in UQ Holder. ^_^

  6. NullApostle says:

    I think I’ve resigned myself to the series’ mediocrity. I definitely won’t stop reading it, but it occupies a fairly low point in my ‘must read’ list.

    It could have been so much better, y’know?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      It could have been so much better, y’know?

      Yeah, I know. ^_^; Well, Akamatsu-sensei could still pull it out.

  7. WMC says:

    Check comment from cell phone. Your signal or my servers have revitalized. Thanks so much for your extraordinary patience.

  8. WMC says:

    Okay. I just picked up a new computer with new software and a lot faster processing. Talked to a “tech rep” from my server, and they’re a lot happier now. My sincere apologies for your trouble. Isn’t technology just wonderful?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      My sincere apologies for your trouble.

      No trouble on my end. I hope the new computer and software work a lot better. ^_^

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