UQ Holder Chapter 102 Manga Review (A lovely girl gets a lovely date.)

ユーキューホルダー! Manga Review
UQ Holder Chapter 102

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: 

UQ Holder Chapter 102Kuroumaru braces herself to face the truth that she’ll have to tell Touta everything as Kirie panics over Touta apparently seeing through Kuroumaru’s disguise. Kuroumaru is shocked to see her normal self show up and introduce the disguised Kuroumaru as TOKISAKA Kuryuu, a distant relative. As the fake Kuroumaru leaves “Kuryuu” in Touta’s hands, Ikkuu comes up to Kirie, scolding her for nearly doing a time reset when her plans seemed to go astray. He explains that the fake Kuroumaru is a robot.

Kuroumaru is amazed by getting a suite. After Touta explains a few things, he’s about to leave, so Kuroumaru asks him to be her guide around Shin-Tokyo. Touta agrees and gets the yacht ready. He’s happy to be able to get off the island and vows to be a good guide. When Kuroumaru (Kuryuu) asks what Touta thinks of Kuroumaru, Touta says Kuroumaru is his best friend and that they’ll be together forever.

Kuroumaru and Touta ago around and have fun, leading Kuroumaru to wonder if this could be considered a date. She’s not paying attention and trips, hurting her ankle. As he attends to her ankle, she finds her heart is racing. The two then make their way to the tower, were Touta says his goal is to go to the top. Kuroumaru (Kuryuu) decides to ask Touta if he’s interested in a girl. He asks if she’s referring to herself, which she denies, saying she’s not pretty. Touta rejects that, saying she’s beautiful. This causes Kuroumaru to think that maybe she can be with Touta as a girl and grabs his apron. She starts to say something, but is interrupted by people talking about the clouds.

As the two look at the clouds, CHAO Xinxai comes up behind Touta and puts a blade to his neck, but instinctively, Touta smashes him in the face. Xinxai is impressed, but has Touta trapped by using shadow magic. Kuroumaru pulls her sword and is attacked by a six-armed giant man and finds herself pushed down.

Thoughts/Review:

You know, I am going to be angry as all get out if this chapter is the excuse Kuroumaru uses to switch to male. When I read Kuroumaru’s surprised thoughts in the final panel about not having strength, I could suddenly see Akamatsu-sensei writing that so as to give Kuroumaru the thoughts that as a girl, she won’t be strong enough to stand by Touta and so must reverse things and become a male. That’s the very last thing I want to see.

While it is true that the bulk majority of women will be weaker than men in terms of strength, in this case, that shouldn’t matter. We’ve already seen in previous Akamatsu-sensei manga that the women of the Shinmeiryuu can kick most men’s rear. It is true that a Shinmeiryuu girl falling in love can become flustered a bit (Motoko from Love Hina, for example), but they overcome and become even stronger in terms of their skills. What I hope for is that at the end of this combat (or arc, or whatever it is), Kuroumaru comes to realize she can be a girl, be strong in a whole other way, and still be by Touta’s side.

Now that I’ve gotten that rant over, lets move on to the ever so convenient Kuroumaru-bot that Ikkuu just happened to have made. That really made me roll my eyes because it was clearly a McGuffin to prevent Touta from immediately learning the truth. There’s no doubt in my mind that Touta realized who Kuroumaru was, but then the Kuroumaru-bot showed up with the “distant relative” excuse to muddy the waters enough for him to question himself.

Kuroumaru looked ultra cute on the “date” with Touta. Their time together was really sweet and it would have been awesome to have allowed things to continue. However, the cloud distraction to keep Kuroumaru from speaking was just so weak.

UQ Holder Chapter 102

As for the return of Xinxai, isn’t it convenient that his shadow magic covered Touta’s eyes so he couldn’t see Kuroumaru brandish a sword? I suspect that Kirie and Ikkuu could be somewhere nearby. Although they should be banned from leaving the island, if Ikkuu can make a Kuroumaru-bot, he can make one for Kirie as well. And we know he has a spare body of his own, all of which could be remote controlled or the like to mask their departure from the island.

Now that I think about it, we might see a situation where if Kirie came along and is forced to reset time, the whole date thing won’t have happened. We could see Kuroumaru retaining her memories if she goes back with Kirie so that she retains the experience of the date, which then gives her something to lament over (and look for a reason to shift to become a male).

In the end, it is amazing how the final panel of the chapter put a massive negative light on what would have been a very enjoyable, very sweet, very romantic chapter. I really hope I’m wrong in my fears on what Akamatsu-sensei might do with Kuroumaru.

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56 Responses to “UQ Holder Chapter 102 Manga Review (A lovely girl gets a lovely date.)”

  1. Dhdhd says:

    Awww poor Kuro… but your ship will never beat my mother ship, the Eva x Touta ship!!!

    Yeah!!~~~

  2. sanchi says:

    I agree in the idea Kirie is around in the background spying on Touta and Kuromaru, to be sure everything is going to her plan, but not set the return to all the way back to when Kuromaru got dressed at the very beginning, but closer to when they leave the island and start the tour, and enter the tower, with some backup to fight. I would like to see Karin with ‘Team Kuro’ which is Ikku, Kirie, Karin, and Santa, and have Karin have a re-match to fight Xinxai when she is ready and prepared and not while taking a shower. Kirie and Santa has had their powers increased by Dana, and would like to see all of them in action with their new found confidence and abilities. Since the ‘front’ is Kuryuu who is a distant relative to Kuro, the excuse can be that she was trained at the same school so the sword and similar techniques can be explained, and Kuro’s secret remains intact. I hope this ‘weakness’ is a temporary thing that deals with the physical changes in becoming a female.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I agree in the idea Kirie is around in the background spying on Touta and Kuromaru, to be sure everything is going to her plan, but not set the return to all the way back to when Kuromaru got dressed at the very beginning, but closer to when they leave the island and start the tour, and enter the tower, with some backup to fight

      I was thinking that she might not have set a new reset point, but she could have done while Touta was getting the boat ready.

      I hope this ‘weakness’ is a temporary thing that deals with the physical changes in becoming a female.

      Ditto. Kuroumaru can be female and still kick most everyone’s tail.

  3. Clyde says:

    Ah, hell no! Seeing Kuroumarou giving up her true nature in order to gain strenght would be depressing.
    Plus, this doesn’t make any sense: if Kuroumarou was neither male or female, wouldn’t this mean that (s)he didn’t have the “benefits” of a male’s strenght and thus, that all his/her strenght (s)he gained until now should have remained the same ?
    Are we to assume that being gender neutral, (s)he had all the benefits of both genders without the disadvantages ?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Plus, this doesn’t make any sense: if Kuroumarou was neither male or female, wouldn’t this mean that (s)he didn’t have the “benefits” of a male’s strenght and thus, that all his/her strenght (s)he gained until now should have remained the same ?

      I agree there. In my mind, Kuroumaru shouldn’t be any weaker physically as a person because she has the same body structure now as then. Six-armed mummy likely has a ton of physical strength and could overpower a lot of people on that basis alone. As a swordsman, Kuroumaru shouldn’t be about massive physical strength. She needs to be strong to wield her blade and have the chi (ki) to use special techniques. She needs to be agile and have a massive stamina reserve.

  4. Marcusss says:

    Well, you voiced the exact “fear” I felt at the end of the chapter.
    It would by mighty stupid for Akamatsu-sensei to make Kuroumaru decide to be male only because he “felt weak”. And also it would be outside of his character (Akamatsu’s) to argue women are weaker than men given the number of strong female characters he made in the past. So I still hope he won’t do such a horse-manure move.

    As for Ikkuu having convenient Kuroumaru robot at hand… well… what if he has more of them? And not only of Kuroumaru, but of everyone? That would be interesting creepy factor…:)

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      It would by mighty stupid for Akamatsu-sensei to make Kuroumaru decide to be male only because he “felt weak”. And also it would be outside of his character (Akamatsu’s) to argue women are weaker than men given the number of strong female characters he made in the past. So I still hope he won’t do such a horse-manure move.

      I hope so too.

      As for Ikkuu having convenient Kuroumaru robot at hand… well… what if he has more of them? And not only of Kuroumaru, but of everyone? That would be interesting creepy factor…:)

      At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if he did have more. ^_^;

  5. Mattcgw says:

    Since Fairy tail zero got an anime, it may explain Sensei’s drunken twitter escapades.
    A series about lesbian blond loli that is immortal cursed by a divine like being, that sees her loved ones die around her. Then founds an organisation doing work for mages.

    Eva and mavis are interchangeable in this anecdote, content wise zero has about the same as the end of the Fate fight.

    Clearly Kodansha has thrown Akamatsu under the bus, well the marketing department at least. Counter argument is that akamatsu isn’t working hard and looks lazy/inconsequential when compared to Mashima-senpai’s recent 9 chapter 30+ pages with 5 colour pages blitz while working on the monthly Fairy tail Zero.

    Fairy tail as a series has quite a few problems, but Mashima-senpai’s track record work ethic puts all major players to shame, except the exalted Karou Mori. Thus, is a shining example. That may even tempt Weekly Jump top brass into a Hideo Kojima bidding and signal the bust of their industrys bubble.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Since Fairy tail zero got an anime, it may explain Sensei’s drunken twitter escapades.

      What did he do? (I follow him on Twitter, but I’m usually not on that long.)

      As to Kajishima-sensei’s output, he’s in his mid-fourties and so I know it isn’t as easy to do things like one used to. Of course, Mashima-sensei is now 38, but I imagine that by the time he hits 40, he won’t be able to continue this mad rate of production. (Someone I know in the business proposed the theory that Mashima-sensei is being super productive now so as to lay the financial foundation so that when Fairy Tail is done, he can retire.)

      • mattcgw says:

        It’s more the fact, that 1/3 of his twiiter involves alcohol or wishing he could get drunk, while the final 1/3 is TTP. The mentioning of alcohol has increased over the last 6 weeks, Sensei has reached his second/third year serialization; based on trends I have previously mentioned.

        Instead of his series UQ Holder getting an anime, Mashima’s completed monthly series zero gets one instead. Therefore, the explanation/conclusion I can draw; is that no studio was interested/production committee could be drawn up. So Kodansha Went with IP awareness with Zero.
        It basicly means UQ Holder is doomed, and that Akamatsu Sensei (may be depressed or disappointed, hence the escapades) really needs to up his page count to 18-20, in order for UQ holder to have improved fortune for an adaptation. More pages means less chapters per a volume which means more volumes which equates to more gross profit for Kodansha.

        A really strange thing about Zero’s anime, is that A1-Pictures are not associated with it, So either they’re busy with Black butler anime final movie and fairy tail movie 2 and the studio that did the first FT movie are doing Zero or A1 is just sorting it out now.

  6. Kurusu Kimihito says:

    Finally some fighting again. While i do like harems, this is still first and foremost supposed to be an action shounen.

    Totally off topic but Astro are you gonna do a blog on RHS and other groups shutting down because of those recent arrests of raw providers in Japan.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I only learned of RHS shutting down today. They aren’t citing the lack of a raw provider as a reason (at least, not that I’ve seen). I’m not aware of any other groups shutting down, but then I’m not reading a whole lot of manga titles.

      I was aware of of the arrests though. These happen periodically from time to time in Japan. I remember a big arrest a few years ago where there was a lot of chatter about whether this would impact scan sites. In the end, it had minor impact other than maybe causing us to not get Negima spoiler images at all.

      Will I write about it? I might.

      Update: I read up a bit more on this, and the Chinese guys were uploading to MangaPanda, which is an aggregation site that for some ultra popular titles (like One Piece), have been getting into the scanlation game to try to get stuff out there days in advance and then capitalize on the revenue from that. There is a theory that the Chinese guys involved might be MangaPanda employees.

      • Kurusu Kimihito says:

        There was another arrest of 2 people who are being accused of providing raws of Nanatsu no Taizai. In the articles about this, RHS was specifically named as the site where these raws were sent to. From what i’ve read in a Reddit post about this, apparently these guys also we’re connected to the Chinese scanlation team behind Mangapanda. It sure seems to be a big coincidence that that after those arrests took place, RHS immediately decided to close up shop.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          That might have been the final nail in the coffin. They sometimes would really be delayed on scanlating Hayate the Combat Butler, leading me to suspect they didn’t have the fire and staff they used to. Having one of their early raw providers may well have just made them decide to close shop rather than start losing money on massive server expenses.

          Way back in the days of Negima, I used to negatively remark on how the manga was sometimes showing up six days before it was released in Japan and I read the scans. I wouldn’t post a review until the chapter was released in Japan though. That’s why there were changes to how manga magazines were distributed.

          • Kurusu Kimihito says:

            The only really big series they still did we’re Nisekoi and Fuuka and since the official simulpub translations are available through Viz and CR, the only advantage they still had was that they we’re able to release them earlier because of those raw providers. With that advantage gone, there indeed wouldn’t be any need to continue. And i bet the chances of possible legal action also had something to do with the decision, especially with the TPP looming on the horizon, this was probably for the best.

          • AstroNerdBoy says:

            And i bet the chances of possible legal action also had something to do with the decision, especially with the TPP looming on the horizon, this was probably for the best.

            Yeah, that TPP could be really bad news in more ways than one.

        • mattcgw says:

          God rest the souls of the greatest Scanlation group ever and screw crunchyroll. I still redhawk to the omnibuses.

  7. NT says:

    If she’s worried about being strong, she need to learn about setsuna and them haha

  8. OriginalPineapple says:

    It’s the exact same fear I have – that Kuro will decide that she has to become male to be strong enough to fight with Tota. Women, especially in Akamatsu’s worlds, are strong – stay the course Kuro! Become the badass lady you were meant to be!

  9. Setsuyume Edenfault says:

    …damn it.

    You said all I wanted to say, Astro… now it’s the “I can’t be strong enough as a girl” excuse… oh dear. Indeed, quite the negative ending… and I think your prediction was spot on.

    Even so, since it’s an Akamatsu work, we can be SURE Kuro will be female in the end!

    P.S. The Kuromaru bot talks in such a strange way, I am almost 100% sure Touta learned the truth right there!

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Without having looked at the original Japanese, I suspect that Kuroumaru-bot was speaking in old Japanese, thus the usage of old English.

  10. sanchi says:

    This could also be the set-up and maybe the introduction to the Konoe twins too. Last seen going back to earth or down the tower to investigate who Touta is with the same last name. Maybe they or one of them has magister or mage ability, and could begin the pactio contracts with Touta, and show their abilities by joining in to battle this new threat. I’m just speculating. New members to the growing harem.

    • sanchi says:

      I’m hoping the possibility of Isana Konoe (one that looks like Setsuna) and maybe — maybe — was also trained like Setsuna at the same school Kuro was — the Kyoto Shinmei-ryū sword style — would engage in fighting with Kuryuu against that big guy with alot of arms. With Honoka too as a possible magister magi like her mom, with Kirie who is now a wizard to battle Xinxai….. wait — that knife guy’s last name is Chao??? I hope this is NOT a descendant or relative before the time of Chao Lingshen — please NO!

      • sanchi says:

        I hope Chao is the first name …

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        I’d love to see both girls having been trained in the Shinmeiryuu arts. Having a Konoka-looking girl brandishing a blade with a Setsuna-looking girl appeals to me. 😀

        …Xinxai….. wait — that knife guy’s last name is Chao??? I hope this is NOT a descendant or relative before the time of Chao Lingshen — please NO!

        A lot of family names from Negima have shown up in UQ Holder. Not sure if he’s related to Lingshen or not.

        • Rob C. says:

          Isn’t it possible one these clone children that Touta is starting to encounter could be Chao Lingshen? Isn’t it roughly the right time for her to appear in some form? I’m not saying the would be assassin who about bump off her “brother”, but another one since last time we checked Chao Lingshen was super Genius and not a magical person.

          • AstroNerdBoy says:

            I’m not sure of Lingshen would show up here or not. We aren’t even sure what timeline we are in (I suspect it is a completely new timeline as it allows Akamatsu-sensei to make changes as desired). And, who knows if we’ll even get information on whether CHAO Xinxai is the same as CHAO Lingshen. :-/

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      New members to the growing harem.

      Unless Akamatsu-sensei follows his current pattern of just being ultra random — introduce something just to introduce it, then walk away from it. As such, the harem stuff may be dropped for some time.

  11. Qbe says:

    I’ll just copypaste what I posted on another board:

    I don’t think Kuromaru will go for male because of power.

    At this point it’s almost a staple by Akamatsu to have the Shinmeiryuu girl have a love-skill crisis and figure out that she can do both. We’ve had it with Motoko and with Setsuna, next is Kuromaru.

  12. Rob C. says:

    Sadly i suspect Kuroumaru theory of reverting to male maybe correct. It was too much of a dream date not to have something terrible happen like this. If she says that “i’m not strong enough” line, its suggests to me there strong chance she will end up going back to male some how. However it’s difficult to say. Really. Akamatsu-sensei has nice twisted sense of humor without admitting it.

    I don’t think Kuroumaru has good chance to of being number 1 contender to being female choice. It would make more sense that Kuroumaru would end up as male again, trying stick with Touta as his friend even if she has to sacrifice chance being with him…as woman. Does Yaoi could be future thing? it’s something that hasn’t been done yet by Akamatsu-sensei and would go against his Harem tradition from his previous mangas.

    Touta been hmm…neutral on relationships, even clueless. Though i would argue he IS still 14-16 mentally, thus may not have strong sense what he wants a relationship with anyone or male/female yet. Remember, prior to Diana forcing the “You will be her man” thing, he wasn’t even interested in looking at Kitty’s adult naked body.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Does Yaoi could be future thing? it’s something that hasn’t been done yet by Akamatsu-sensei and would go against his Harem tradition from his previous mangas.

      Yaoi/BL stuff is considered shoujo/josei material, though it is there somewhat in Genshiken Nidaime. I don’t think there’s a shounen title out there that’s going to go down that road, other than to joke about it (as is done in Hayate the Combat Butler).

    • sanchi says:

      Tōta is clueless on how to develop romantic relationships – short of blindly ignorant of the jealous competition between the females trying to get his attention. His narrow focus and attention is solely on being with Kitty/Eva/Yukihime (ie to marry her), and related to that, is finding his great grandfather Nagi and esp his grandfather Negi, and obviously climbing that tower. So he’s not looking or thinking that other women are looking at him as and potential spouse. Its like he’s wearing blinders to the other women.

      Kuromaru knows this. But he was gender neutral so no physical/emotional/romantic interest in Tōta when they first met. He’s now turning to be a girl. Estrogens are now introduced and overpowering any testosterone if there was any to begin with, making Kuro’s physical parts female, and driving Kuro mentally nuts (i’m wondering if Kuro will really go more nuts during the first menstrual period (ie PMS) if they show this), and his newly found sexuality (ie puberty) is beginning to take its effects on his emotional and physical side, causing all the ‘thump/thump’ sensation along to became a girl, and causing any stronger emotional/physical drives that making Tōta a attractive male through the eyes of a female and Kuro. At least Kuro admits he loves Tōta.

      Kuromaru knows as far as Tōta is concerned, from Tōta’s statement, that Kuro is his best and closest MALE friend, as Kuro is a male but that is now questionable.

      Kuromaru knows as a female, the competition for Tōta, and Tōta’s focus on Kitty/Eva/Yukihime too (hiding outside the office but hearing what Tōta is saying), and his usual over-thinking the situation creates alot of possible complications by being a female and a very much uncertainty on how close will Kuro end up in pursuing Tōta romantically or just remain as a best friend.

      I hope we have seen the last ‘I am not a girl’ response. I think we may see ‘But weren’t you a guy?’ jokes.

  13. dominic says:

    Is this another try to capure touta or are they too in the tounament

  14. enjinks says:

    I’ve always been shipping Kirie and Ikku, so I’m so happy they got to interract! (and if my shipping heart, I see Ikku helping Kuro as a way to get Kirie – yes I know that’s not it but whatever).
    I like Kuro better as a guy… I don’t think he needs to change for Touta! Touta is open minded right ?

  15. Robert says:

    I will rather see Kuromaru checking on what is like to be a girl. By checking on what’s like being a girl, Kuromaru is helping himself to make a critical decision regarding his gender. Kuromaru’ does not want to become a girl, but he is starting to change into one. Touta has inherited the trait which makes him attractive to a lot of girls and some boys as well. Touta’s great-grandfather Nagi was aware of Evangeline finding him attractive.

    Kuromaru is confused over what is happening to him. Kirie and Ikkou have given Kuromaru a chance to study how Touta relates to girls. Touta has to be aware of what romance is. Yet since he is a four-year-old clone, Touta has some degree of immaturity. Touta is supposed to be a fourteen-year-old boy trap in the body of a twelve-year-old boy. Overall, Touta is basically a late bloomer.

    I didn’t like the end of the chapter. Yet, Ken A. is a master of the twist. We did not expect Chao X. and his partner to attack Touta. and Kuromaru. Ken A. ahs created a situation which will help Kuromaru and Touta. When Touta ahd met Kuromaru, he was fourteen while Kuromaru was s fifteen. Now as Kuromaru is coming to his sixteenth birthbay, he still has to make a critical decision. I will let Ken A. make the final decision. In some way, I wished that Kuromaru was starting to transform into a boy,.

    • sanchi says:

      I’ve always had problems with physical age and how the character is drawn and behaves doesn’t match. A example is Ichigo from Bleach is supposed to be in high school age but battles as a adult amongst adult shinigami and the adult and child characters treat him as if he is a grown up adult. Negi was a 10yr old with a PhD or professor college degree, high school teacher, and also a mage becoming a magister, behaving as a adult. Kirie and Eva are the opposite, where they look young by appearance but much older because they don’t age. Luffy from One Piece shows more maturity and wisdom than some of the other older adult pirates he encounters on his voyage to be pirate king, and even his female nakama doesn’t spark any romantic/love interest. The series Cage of Eden, were high school kids that survive better than the surviving adults.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Well, I suspect that we’ll get gender shifting for a while.

  16. Mattcgw says:

    Picked up UQ holder volume 6 (shrugs shoulders for the majority of the volume, uuntilonsen and Mana). So one lpieceof negima bait per a volume I gander. Also Kodansha USA needs to be stripped of the English rights for UQ Holder, they do not care for it, France got volume 6 2 months ago, Yen press would be an amazing choice of new publisher.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Considering Kodansha has the rights in Japan, Kodansha Comics isn’t going to be stripped of the rights. What might be happening (and I stress, “might”) is that they are pulling a Viz with Hayate the Combat Butler. They’ll keep selling UQ Holder, but at a slowed rate due to poor sales, which of course will cause sales to fall even further.

  17. shadowofthevoid says:

    Yeah. That last part of the chapter was a bit of a buzzkill. I really hope this doesn’t result in the Touta/Kuro ship getting sunk right when it was about to take sail. Seeing the two of them spend some quality time together was quite sweet.

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