UQ Holder Chapter 97 Manga Review (“Love Hina” Redux!)

ユーキューホルダー! Manga Review
UQ Holder Chapter 97

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: 

UQ Holder Chapter 97Kirie drags Kuroumaru with her and Karin to the open air onsen at Senkyoukan. As they clean themselves, Karin negatively remarks on how Touta proposed to Yukihime. Kirie remarks on how Touta coming right out and proposing improved her opinion of him, even if Yukihime dumped him. Kuroumaru wonders if Yukihime actually dumped Touta, to which Kirie says she did, which means there’s a chance for Kuroumaru. Karin claims to not understand why anyone would be interested in Touta, leading Kirie to remark on how Touta might be a better fighter than her.

Yukihime shows up, so Kirie decides to press her on her feelings for Touta. Yukihime turns the tables on Kirie, pointing out she seems to have Touta on her mind. Kirie stutters and denies having feelings for Touta, so Yukihime presses her “attack” on Kirie regarding her denial. Kirie is still flustered, but remarks that Yukihime turning the tables on her is just as suspicious regarding Yukihime’s feelings for Touta.

Yukihime comments on how immortals don’t normally go for a quick proposal. Unlike humans who have finite lifespans, immortals have forever and thus procrastinate, usually out of fear of rejection. She then tells Karin, Kuroumaru, and Kirie that they need to get their act together or a human girl may steal him from them.

As if on cue, Shinobu has a message from Touta with his address at the Senkyoukan. However, folks indicate the area is haunted. Since Shinobu has no money, she decides to take her Segway and luggage and transports across the ocean to the island, where she find the inn. No one greets her at the front door and Shinobu wonders if they’ll let her work here since she doesn’t have much money. She sees a sign pointing to the onsen with its ¥80 cost, so she decides to take a bath and get clean.

While she’s relaxing in the onsen, a huge oni joins her, then realizes that she’s human and shouldn’t be there. Shinobu fleets and runs into the naked Karin. The oni shows up, so Shinobu flees into more of the UQH staff. She eludes them and wonders if this place is really haunted. She’s surrounded when Touta shows up, sending everyone, including Shinobu, into the air. He catches her, then realizes for the first time that she’s a girl. Because she’s naked and being held by Touta, she whacks him, causing others to laugh as Kirie and Kuroumaru observe from a distance.

Thoughts/Review:

Heh!heh!heh! It’s Love Hina redux.

UQ Holder Chapter 97

I think (and really hope) that this chapter starts Kuroumaru on the road to becoming the lovely girl. Kuroumaru may have protested some about being a boy (without a winkle), but in the end, came along with Kirie and Karin and bathed with them with no problem. (Well, other than Kirie groping Kuroumaru’s chest, but that’s another issue.) Kuroumaru does come off as more comfortable around the girls than the boys. And with Shinobu arriving and the discussion or Touta being taken by a human girl, this might be enough to get Kuroumaru to either outright choose female, or naturally become female. And that should be happening soon, by my reckoning.

I loved how Eva turned tables on Kirie to basically cause her to give up the fact that she does like Touta without admitting it. Eva also showed her superior skills in conversation by successfully ducking Kirie’s attempt to learn her true feelings for Touta, despite having rejected his proposal.

I did find Eva’s remarks on romance and immortals to be interesting. While this is done in part to help continue to lay the harem groundwork, it did make me think about some of the recent discussions on Eva and Negi and their possible relationship. We know from Negima that Eva liked Negi, especially in the ero department. I’ve believed that Eva might have been the one Negi liked. And certainly, we know that Eva went from being a passive member of Ala Alba to an active member, thanks to Negi. But as might be rightly pointed out, that doesn’t mean they had any kind of romantic relationship.

That being said, when Eva spoke of how immortals mostly don’t propose and even if they like someone, they put off saying something forever (or nearly so), it made me think that with Negi being immortal and Eva being immortal, even if Eva’s feelings for Negi had increased on the all fronts (and I can see that happening as they would be close combat partners in arms), it is very doubtful that she’d confess her feelings for him. And Negi, with his battle harem, might not wish to confess to any one girl so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings.

It is PURE speculation on my part, but if that’s all correct, then I can see it giving Eva an added motivation to find and rescue Negi. Having been given a second chance, it is time for love confessions, courtesy of Chamo. 😉

At this point, I feel fairly confident that Shinobu will become a regular part of the UQ Holder cast and that Eva will give her a job at Senkyoukan. For one thing, it helps with the harem thing. For another, it gives us a character that could give us an outsider’s perspective on immortals.

As to the rest of the chapter, everything about it felt like it was from Love Hina rather than Negima. When we first saw the Senkyoukan, a lot of folks remarks on how similar it was to Hinata-sou, the inn turned into a girls dorm in Love Hina.  This chapter really evoked the Love Hina feeling from Shinobu’s arrival at the front door, then her entrance. Of course the onsen itself had a strong Love Hina feel to it. And of course Shinobu of UQ Holder looks very much like Shinobu of Love Hina.

The entire chapter was set up like a Love Hina chapter, starting with the girls bathing and talking about Touta. It could easily have been the girls of Love Hina talking about Keitaro. Poor Shinobu took the place of Keitaro from Love Hina in this chapter, first by helping herself to the onsen, then by being found out in the onsen as an intruder, then being chased while naked and running into another naked girl, then ultimately sent flying into the air. I actually enjoyed that quite a bit, but maybe it is just Love Hina nostalgia on my part.

Finally, while I often slam Crunchyroll for different things, I do appreciate the fact that for this chapter, they actually made an effort on the awesome 2-page spread to line it up properly. I won’t comment on how the shading between the two pages doesn’t match, but doing that would likely have been more work than Crunchyroll could afford. At least the page meshes up fairly well.

In the end, I liked this chapter, mainly because of the Love Hina vibes it gave off. I do hope that Shinobu becomes a regular part of the UQ Holder cast of characters, at least when they are at the Senkyoukan.

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37 Responses to “UQ Holder Chapter 97 Manga Review (“Love Hina” Redux!)”

  1. D-Omen says:

    They weren’t just Love Hina “vibes”, it was an almost panel-for-panel recreation of Keitaro’s disastrous first meeting with each of the girls from the first chapter. Same framings, same reactions and even same or similar lines, like Kitsune/Karin telling the guest they don’t look familiar, Naru/the oni (now that’s a funny parallel) calling them a pervert/a human and Su/the mob of immortals calling them an exhibitionist.

  2. Mattcgw says:

    Daymm is karin stacked, way stacked then Evangline.

    So Akamatsu has regressed? From a guy who was forced to do Harem to a guy who was forced to do shounen.

    I’m imagining going forward that the series will be like carnival phantasm.
    Expect the subject of character Bisexuality is tiptoed around, even with the twins with the two grandma’s and maybe king.

    I still don’t care for the Evaxtouta ship, only konosetsu.

    • Seimei says:

      No, no and NO! Akamatsu clearly said in his interview in the Japan-expo he WANTED to the shounen and UQ was his way to finally achieve it and do what he wanted. We did not shonen forced to do the opposite. However nothing prevents the introduction of comedy and romance elements, especially that unlike Negima, the main cast is much more mixed in terms of gender and since now he can write as he entand, so it can dosing action and romance as he wishes.

      I mean, as good proportion Negima was wrong because the first half of the work was almost exclusively a harem and the fact that even during the shonen part the cast was composed almost entirely of girls, which, whatever people say, could ask immertion problem at times.

      Moreover NO members of the future potential harem Tota do are part of main cast, except Karin and Kirie, which was not the case of Negima and Love-Hina.

      Here the main cast is made up almost equally of boys and girls. According to me is an indication that the more we will avencer more manga will attaindre a perfect proportion between romance and action.

      Viewing inuyasha for example, had to kind of manga. Idem with Nurarihyon no mago, if you know it. Well I think UQ will be the same.

      • Seimei says:

        PS : As proof of what I say, ther is what a friend told me about the conference to japan-expo:

        “There was also a question of Akamatsu, who preferred to find romance in public and who preferred the fight, it made a kind of 50/50.

        And then we asked who wants both simultaneously and then everyone raised their hands. So Akamatsu laughed and said he will continue to do both then lol. ”

        So Akamatsu has REALLY provided mixing action and romance but this time it will not have the frustration of having an editor obsessed with harem behind his back. It may therefore use a more harmonious fusion of genres that in negima. This is already in the making. ^^

        I said that if I had been present at the conference, I would have made use of the 50% who preferred action. But I would have is also part of the 00% who like mélenge both. ^^

        Indeed if I have to choose between romance / arem and Action / Nekketsu, I will choose the action. But if I get the possibility to have both, I choose to have both ^^.

      • ghostbeetle says:

        having mostly girls in an ‘action’ story (yes I know that ‘shounen’ means ‘boy/young man’) is causing you ‘immersion problems’!?
        Dude! The 19th century called and it wants its double-standard back!

        • Seimei says:

          I love it, the guy who reads a comment to half lol!

          I say I do not like the heroic teams composed 90% girls schoolgirls, and I am accused of being a Puritan, wishing to return women to their deplorable condition of slaves? O pity, stop extreme okay!??

          Know that I could say the same for the opposite! I always found dérengeant hindsight works like Reborn who were desperately short of main female characters! The only there was Chrome Dokuro (a vase) moreover totally eclipsed by me charism of Mukuro and Lal-mich. Was very poor, was too insufficient TOO!

          What did I say? What precisely UQ was perfect at this level, the cast is in good proportion of genres. Even the main group (Tota, Kari, Kirie Santa Ikku) is composed of 3 boys and 3 girls (I take the bet that will not kuro girl). Was just PERFECT!

          I also gave the example of Nurarihyon no mago, manga where there are many important and charismatic female characters (starting with my favorite character all confused manga, hagoromo-Gitsune! ^^)

          I’m just saying that if it was not because some shonens menquent women, it was necessary to go from one extreme to the other, is robbing Peter to pay Paul, lol!

          So that does not distort my words PLEASE !!!

      • sanchi says:

        UQ is a shouen – but added immortals – that changes how a character is supposed to behave where the appearance at a certain age doesn’t define behavior. Shinobu – if she’s human is at her normal age, while Kirie, Karin, Yukihime, and even Dana are many years older but doesn’t physically age, and also behave differently. A interesting twist to a shouen. So, if how they look are removed – we actually have older women interested in Tōta. Same for Negi too. The fun is in the interactions of the personalities, and individual characteristics, that somehow in the end work together as a team to resolve/battle the main villain that hasn’t had much reveal time as yet.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          Well, UQ Holder is basically the Negima story continued, only with Touta replacing Negi and the loss of a massive harem.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      So Akamatsu has regressed? From a guy who was forced to do Harem to a guy who was forced to do shounen.

      I think Akamatsu-sensei has always been a harem guy. Its just that with Negima, he was forced to take the harem stuff to the extreme. With UQ Holder, I think we are going to see the harem level he would have preferred had he had his way in Negima.

      • Seimei says:

        I think the same, as I said I think that mixing “romance / action” will be much more harmonious, like Inuyasha for example.

        Negima had in the first half Harem 70% and 30% share (and still it had during the tournament mahora before had rather Harem 90%, 10% share, and in the second sonen 90%, 10% romance. The manga was NEVER good proportion at this level.

        With UQ there is a chance that it is better now mix. Evidament, it is impossible to achieve complete equality between the two genders, there are bound to be one that will prevail. But one can expect a similar ratio in the tournament mahora I think (70% share, 30% romance) for much of the manga.

        I say, if I have to choose, I prefer action to romance, but if I can have both I seized my chance! ^^

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          Shounen series rarely have any kind of decent romance stories, which is unfortunate, but I guess understandable.

  3. sanchi says:

    Kirie’s scheme to figure out Kuromaru’s gender preference is definitely exposed, and now hard to deny it. It was fun to see it happen. With Kuromaru going with the girls, even if its a mixed sex bath, washing right next to them (two naked women) and not reacting as a ‘male’ (ie embarrassed) and Kirie’s keen sense of observation is hard to go against it. She says “deny it all you want, but your failure to react to our (complete) nudity is all the proof I need!”

    We had two in this chapter – Shinobu now confirmed is a girl, totally naked running away when surrounded by males (and ghosts), and caught by Tota/Touta totally naked, with her response of hitting him, which is typical and a expected normal reaction for a girl. Shinobu also squeezed Karin’s boob.

    The other would be a male should run away when surrounded by naked females (ie Negi given a bath by Asuna and the other girls enter the bath and he is totally naked in the pool). However Kuromaru didn’t run, and joined them. Even Yukihime’s naked body didn’t affect Kuromaru, and had no reaction. I think the selection has been done, and its female, now to see the transformation of Kuromaru. Kuromary looked good in that female school uniform several chapters back when Karin forced it on Kuromaru.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      She says “deny it all you want, but your failure to react to our (complete) nudity is all the proof I need!”

      And that’s very true. Kuroumaru was all freaked out about bathing with Touta, even covering that non-female chest in a way a female would if they had breast. Kuroumaru wasn’t freaked about bathing with the girls, despite some mild, initial protests.

      I do think (and hope) that Akamatsu-sensei uses Shinobu’s arrival to get Kuroumaru to turn into the lovely girl.

  4. Fwahm says:

    I’m still hoping Kuromaru chooses male, myself. Right now, Ikkuu is the only male immortal that can call a friend with, but he doesn’t show up nearly as much as Kirie, Eva, Kuromaro, or even Karin.

    In my opinion, Touta could use another Kotaro-esque battle buddy instead of another potential harem member.

    • Seimei says:

      The “kotaro-like” will probably the Vampire-Boy for me.^^

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      The problem with Kuroumaru choosing male is that Kuroumaru doesn’t act male. Kuroumaru acts like a babe with a blade. As such, Kuroumaru would fail as a Kotaro-esque battle buddy. Santa could have played that role, but despite the fact that Santa is older than Touta, Santa takes the lesser role and calls Touta “niichan.” So that isn’t there.

      Touta will have some male role models though, assuming they spend time at UQH HQ.

  5. Rob C. says:

    Nice beginning of a comedy story arc of the HQ Holder. All action and no funny doesn’t make things as amusing to me to read.

    I think Karin’s lack of response to Eve’s nudity is because she been around her for hundreds of years, frankly I think she’s been properly been beat up/broken in a comical fashion to remedy her of opening show her self being drool after her while undressed.

    I read Love Hina a while go, however I’m not worried about it being a creation. Just different romcom situation while action is on hold.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I think Karin’s lack of response to Eve’s nudity is because she been around her for hundreds of years, frankly I think she’s been properly been beat up/broken in a comical fashion to remedy her of opening show her self being drool after her while undressed.

      Well, Karin is also not some scissor-obsessed maniac who addresses Eva as “oneesama” and is always looking to try to scissor-scissor. Karin is mostly mature (when it comes to Eva) and respectful in that she addresses Eva as Yukihime-sama, and she’s OK being a maid at the inn. Somehow, I can’t see Karin getting all stupid over Eva. Protective and such, you bet, which is where she lets her obsession come out.

      I read Love Hina a while go, however I’m not worried about it being a creation. Just different romcom situation while action is on hold.

      I don’t have any problems with the Love Hina tribute at all. I rather enjoyed it.

    • sanchi says:

      Karin had a tough life in the beginning, and because of this – she is suspicious of any male (just that I cannot remember the chapter that talked about her past) and motives of anyone connected with her boss, Yukihime. She reminds me of old school Japan, with very strong traditions, very conservative, and loyalty. She judges based on honesty too, and doesn’t tolerate anything but the truth, and injustice too. She’s female so she cannot be like a male samurai, but more as a female samurai as a maid or maiden/servent to a Lord – which is Yukihime. She’s a skilled as bodyguard too, having the power of nothing cutting her. The more I look at it, it appears to be like a croquet hammer that she has as a weapon. Her feelings are not to be revealed to just anyone, as a potential of showing a weakness to the enemy. We’ve already seen her fight and most of her clothes gets destroyed or battling when in the shower, so she is eye-candy. At the same time this is in the future, where she doesn’t have to show proper polite etiquette all the time so its not done in the public baths, and she can be herself. She thinks of Tōta, so that is already a sign of her interest i him, but not necessarily a love interest as yet. Its more of a friend, where there is concern and caring and not as close as a best friend. She’s a girl so being around other women has no physical effect on her.

  6. nyaa says:

    there’s always another shinobu stereotype in ken akamatsu’s work (after love hina) lol …I wonder if there’s one after uq holder?

  7. NT says:

    So.. didn’t anyone find it weird how Shinobu was able to avoid getting caught by Oni type people? Normally, humans like her shouldn’t be able to avoid them like that for that long.

    I might be reading too much into it but I wonder if Shinobu is a ordinary girl? i mean, I’m not saying that Evangeline or Ayaka is going to show up and blurt something like ”Oh, she’s so and so’s relative and she’s able to do ‘this ”
    If i read into it alot and forgot the use of comedy, i would say that she was Nodoka’s grandchild(which means a backstory as to why she was on earth) and may have a innate ability to read what someone is going to do next without even realizing it.

    so… yeah. either for comedy or a deeper meaning or both, i still found it weird how she was able to avoid getting caught until touta appeared.

    Still funnay when she showed up just as Eva mentioned something about a human girl taking touta from them.(she might actually like him anyway, and she did meet him first. 😉

    • sanchi says:

      I was given the chance to go catch a single chicken, the only one in a bare open chicken pen – say 15 ft square. The chicken won. I couldn’t catch it. Add the wings that flay out, and its feet has claws makes it more difficult. I think it was a ‘normal’ chicken. Shinobu was scared, and determined to not be caught, add being naked would be very difficult to grab politely and harder to capture than a chicken.

      Yukihime also referred to her as a ‘human’ example to the three Ks. If Shinobu has a special ability, its yet to be revealed, but that would make her more interesting, and I like the idea she might be another Negima sibling. Shinobu’s motive is to see Tota, but its not determined if she is visiting for several chapters or to stay. There were two other friends of Tota that appeared earlier too, and were pawns for Fate, but was saved by Tota and friends, and totally dropped by Kirie’s time reset power. Shinobu could be the next victim of being ‘dropped’ too, but could also bring another facet to the diversity of the female harem.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I might be reading too much into it but I wonder if Shinobu is a ordinary girl?

      She might have some skill of some sort. But for the most part, I suspect she’ll be an ordinary girl.

    • Setsuyume Edenfault says:

      Yeah, I thought it was strange for a moment as well… but aren’t these guys useless for battles anyway?

  8. sanchi says:

    I was thinking about Tōta’s last name of Konoe, since this now getting more complicated with the two new Konoe siblings and they were wondering on how they had the last name too. Up to now, I’ve only looked and considered the idea that Tōta was the result of a possible connection with Negi and Konoka. But I forgot about the other Konoe or Konoemon Konoe – the school dean and Konoka Konoe’s grandfather. He was also the chief of the Kantō Magic Association, and he or maybe also the magic association could have been involved with creating the clones of Negi. I don’t know if he is still the true headmaster, and Mana is his temporary replacement, but interesting that he is also not around. This is total speculation.

    • sanchi says:

      It could also mean he’s gone due to age too. The other is the two magic issues inside of Tōta which was something Asuna had which was magic cancellation and something that Eva created and Negi perfected which is Magia Erebea, but no healing powers that Konoka had. So inside of Tōta is magic, and Tōta is told he’s a imperfect clone too, which give me some idea that the headmaster ‘Konoe’ and the magic school might have been involved with this at some time in the past. This other clone of Tōta that is supposed to battle Tōta at the end of the tournament, may also be standing in the UQ Holder group image too to the far right, so that story has yet to be revealed too.

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        Well, I suspect the headmaster during Negi’s time has long passed away.

        Touta isn’t a clone so much as he is homunculus, from everything we’ve seen. That makes more sense. If he were Negi’s clone, he’d look like Negi. As a homunculus, he had Negi’s skills, but Asuna’s magic cancel and who knows what all else.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Touta does have black hair, so he may have some Konoe genes in him.

  9. Setsuyume Edenfault says:

    LOOOOOOOOOL

    Touta only noticed Shinobu is a girl NOW?!

    And for Kuroumaru its getting harder and harder to proclaim herself a man XDDD let the harem battle begin!

    • Setsuyume Edenfault says:

      Speaking of which, isn’t UQH HQ 10 km off coast? And Shinobu went that far in the ocean on that little machine? That’s some courage/confidence in mechanic skill right there.

      …and Touta can’t do anything without a hoop?! LOL

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        …and Touta can’t do anything without a hoop?! LOL

        Apparently not, though how he’s getting the hoop is more of a question that’s being swept under the rug.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Touta only noticed Shinobu is a girl NOW?!

      That’s why I’m so glad that the Twins translated chapter two the way they did. The Japanese version of the chapter never gives Shinobu a gender, and the name Shinobu is apparently used by males and females. Touta back then just assumed a lot of things and seeing someone working on a bike, just assumed Shinobu was male.

  10. magine says:

    Poor Kuroumaru, Kirie doesn’t let him calm XD
    She doesn’t stop of groping his breasts. It seems that Karin doesn’t like Touta by what she said. But, I don’t know if it is true.
    Why nearly always Evangeline shows up, around her show up petals?

    I found it strange that Karin to see Evangeline, she said nothing, I suppose she is too serious or proud as for make a scene to see Evangeline.

    The conversation they had about Evangeline’s feelings for Touta. She wanted to divert the matter, (Maybe, as always, she doesn’t want to tell anyone her true feelings) and for it, she diverted the matter to Kirie.

    “They’re afraid of getting turned down, so they put it off until tomorrow, and then the next day. And nothing changes, for eternity” Then, Does she also have fear about it?

    The sign of the bath “80 yen” I thought ” it is very cheap lol”

    Poor shinobu, she entered at UQ Holder, she thought to work at UQ Holder (I was thinking about it. Will she really work at UQ Holder? She will be the only human there. Well, I suppose she is going to be the exception) then, she sees the sign for take a bath and then, suddenly, she found herself naked running and she being chased for a lot of members of UQ Holder and they saying her “monkey and exhibitionist” and I remembered the price, then, I thought “cheap things can work out more expensive in the end” and “I have the sensation of that the nakedness and the embarrassment it doesn’t matter here…” Also, when Shinobu grabbed the Karin’s breasts, I thought “what the- But it’s just… Is there nothing that doesn’t happen to this poor girl?” XD

    And then, the superhero Touta showed up and he sent them into the air, even, the poor Shinobu, I thought “Negi 2.0”

    When I saw Kirie and Kuroumaru at the end of the chapter I thought “I feel a disturbance in the Force… ” XD

    Seriously, Did Touta think that Shinobu was a boy?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      It seems that Karin doesn’t like Touta by what she said. But, I don’t know if it is true.

      Kirie is being a bit tsundere. She’s interested in Touta for sure.

      I found it strange that Karin to see Evangeline, she said nothing, I suppose she is too serious or proud as for make a scene to see Evangeline.

      I just saw that as her being mature. Karin is several hundred years old as well. She’s obsessively protective of Eva, but she’s not Kuroko (from the Index and Railgun franchises) obsessive. 😉

      And then, the superhero Touta showed up and he sent them into the air, even, the poor Shinobu, I thought “Negi 2.0”

      Heh! Well, Touta is for all practical purposes Negi 2.0. 😛

      Seriously, Did Touta think that Shinobu was a boy?

      Remember, Touta’s an idiot, and was more so early on in the manga. He’s still an idiot, but now he has more experience and so is not quite as idiotic.

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