UQ Holder Chapter 130 Manga Review (Surprise, surprise.)

ユーキューホルダー! 魔法先生 ネギま!2 Manga Review
UQ Holder! Mahou Sensei Negima 2
UQ Holder!: Magister Negi Magi! 2 Chapter 130
UQ Holder Chapter 130

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: 

UQ Holder Chapter 130The injured Eva has a flashback to when Touta broke the barrier of time and came to see her. She laments not having talked with Touta. Touta tells “Kitty” that he’ll stay with her forever, though she feels unworthy. The Mage of the Beginning (Ialda) siezes upon this, but is shushed by Touta, who challenges her. She accepts and shows her incredible power by destroying Eva’s tower resort with strands of her robes.

Eva regains her composure as her Yukihime mind is now in the Phantasmagoria. Eva quickly explains things, then goes to attack MotB, who changes her form to that of Nagi Springfield. This causes Eva to fluster, allowing Al to get a surprise attack on Eva. As Nagi, MotB beats down Touta. Touta scolds Eva for not taking this seriously when Negi shows up and confesses his love for Eva. Eva is taken aback by Negi kissing her, so Touta attacks. Negi schools Touta on the differences in their power levels.

Touta again scolds Eva for losing focus. She gets angry with Touta because there have only been three men she’s ever loved in 700 years, making her chaste. MotB sneaks in and attacks Eva, getting through Eva’s barrier and shattering her body except for part of Eva’s hand that Touta was holding. MotB remarks on Eva’s weakness as a girl as Jack, Negi, and Al attack Touta. Touta’s immortality is all that keeps him alive as he has no defenses.

Touta finds himself grabbed by a naked Karin, two versions of Kuroumaru, Kirie, and Santa. In addition, grotesque clones of his comrades are there, pulling Touta down into black goo. Touta comes to understand that MotB is similar to Sayoko, only massively more powerful. Asuna shows up to rescue Touta. She introduces herself, then takes Eva’s finger and causes Eva to be recreated.

Thoughts/Review:

Wow. There’s a lot for me to digest here, all the while trying to continue work on projects for my job.

Eva’s Tale

I liked that we got to see the aftermath of Touta coming through the time barrier to see Eva in the past. Eva’s always been a bit of a tsundere. As such, it is nice to see that for a moment, she apparently allowed herself to break down for a moment and be honest with herself. If Eva had someone who had walked by her side, her life would have been vastly different. She likely wouldn’t have to do as many dark things to survive. I guess this human side of Eva is something that I’ve always seen in the character. Add this to her badarse side and she’s awesomeness. 😀

That said, despite her feelings for Touta and despite Touta’s feeling for Eva, I will NEVER get on board the Touta x Eva ship. 😛 I am locked into the Eva x Negi ship for life. ;-)\

Defeating Eva

The Mage of the Beginning certainly knew Eva quite well. The question is, why pull Eva into the Phantasmagoria in the first place? If I had to guess, I’d say it was to defeat Eva forever. Eva is a threat to MotB and her goals.

That aside, once within the Phantasmagoria, MotB pushed all of Eva’s buttons. First, she took on Nagi’s appearance, knowing Eva’s love for the Thousand Master. It certainly worked as Al snuck in and put the hammer down on her. Then Negi shows up and causes Eva to freeze up because she loves him too. Sadly, she has feelings for Touta. As such, brainless Touta distracts her long enough for MotB to finish off Eva and apparently kill her, at least in the Phantasmagoria. I wonder what this did to her in the real world.

Regardless, it shows an interesting power that MotB has — tapping into the human heart.

The Temptation of Touta: Kuroumaru

I know some folks complained about how the previous chapter had none of the UQ Holder gang in it. Akamatsu-sensei corrected that with this chapter by having Kuroumaru, Karin, Kirie, and Santa pulled into the Phantasmagoria.

I mentioned earlier that one of MotB’s powers is the ability to tap into a person’s heart and discover their feelings. This became apparent in Touta’s battle comrades (Shinobu and Mizore being absent as they don’t have battle skills, even if they are in Touta’s harem) emergence. I base this on the fact that there are TWO Kuroumaru figures — the male and the female. Kuroumaru’s male persona takes a position behind Touta along with Santa. Kuroumaru’s female persona takes a position in front of Touta with Karin and Kirie.

As seen when Asuna comes in for her deus ex machina (more on that in a bit), there aren’t two Kuroumaru figures in the aftermath. There’s only the one. Thus, as I see it, MotB tapped into Kuroumaru’s heart and discovered the two hearts (figuratively speaking) that reside inside. There’s Kuroumaru’s male heart who respects and adores Touta, seeing him as a trusted brother in arms. This part of Kuroumaru loves Touta, but not in a romantic, sexual way.

Then there’s the female heart of Kuroumaru. She loves Touta in a completely different way. Kuroumaru wants to be the attractive girl in the blonde hair. She wants to love him in the way that a girl loves a boy, which to me, includes bearing children. This Kuroumaru would lay aside the sword for motherhood, but would pick it up if her family were threatened.

For this reason, I believe we are seeing MotB’s ability to tap into the heart and make discoveries there.

The Temptation of Touta: Of Santa, Karin, and Kirie

Let’s start with Santa. There’s no way that Santa is romantically or sexually attracted to Touta. His love is Sayoko and should she come back to life, it is Sayoko and Santa for life. 🙂 But Santa is devoted to Touta and adores Touta. This has been evidenced by the fact that Santa addressed Touta as “Touta-niichan” or just “Niichan.” So that’s why I see him coming up behind Touta along with male Kuroumaru.

For Kirie, her feelings have been known for a while. I found her positioning before Touta to be symbolic. In addition to being in front of with the other girls and expressing her love, she’s also revealing a submissive side. She wants Touta to be with her and take care of her.  She’s showing her fear of abandonment and her desperate desire for Touta to never leave her.

For Karin, she’s the most aggressive of the girls in going for Touta here. She’s directly in front of him, setting herself above the other girls. She’s been the one who’s been the most resistant outwardly to being in Touta’s harem. But this suggests to me that in her heart, she’s saying that she’s where he’s always belonged. Her feelings for Touta are much stronger than we knew, the seed being planted when Eva mentioned she and Touta would be well suited together.

So via MotB looking into the hearts of these girls, she’s able to manipulate their feelings to try to tempt Touta into just giving up. Touta didn’t think the girls were real, but in fact, they really were real in terms of showing Touta their heart and feelings for him. I loved the symbolism, even if it was rather erotic fanservice.

The Mage of the Beginning

I have to admit that I chuckled at Touta shutting up MotB. For the most part, MotB is smug and confident. Why shouldn’t she be? After all, she cannot be killed and if you kill the one she possesses, she takes over the one who killed the host. (Though I suspect Nagi is still alive somehow. More on that in a bit.) Thus the look on her face was priceless to me when Touta told her off.

I found it interesting that when MotB adopted Nagi’s form, MotB basically became Nagi. She fought as Nagi. She acted like Nagi. MotB didn’t keep Nagi’s form for long, but I have a feeling that she might have even cast spells like Nagi had it come to that.

We also got to see more of MotB’s power. The ease with which she destroyed the tower resort building of Eva’s with the fabric of her clothing is impressive. The way she blew through Eva’s barrier apparently killed her is impressive. OK, everything about her is impressive. I really hope that we learn a great deal more about her as time goes on.

Father and Son

From what we know about the Mage of the Beginning, she possesses people who’ve defeated her host body. One of the people who is believed to have slain her host and been possessed is Nagi. Thus when Negi became possessed, he had to have killed Nagi, right?

UQ Holder Chapter 130

Despite this, when Eva and company first encountered MotB, who did they see first? Both Negi and Nagi. By all rights, this shouldn’t be. However, it caused me to think that maybe Negi didn’t kill Nagi, but came up with some kind of deal. To that end, Nagi is still alive and working with MotB.

I think that with UQ Holder chapter 130. we’ve seen evidence that may back up this theory. After MotB briefly took Nagi’s form, Negi appears. On my first reading, I thought that it was Negi from then on. However, after Touta unsuccessfully fights Negi and MotB kills Eva, I noticed that she had TWO figures on either side of her — Negi and Nagi. Negi does a Lightning Shundo on Touta. Al hits Touta with gravity magic. Jack comes in with his sword. Then it is Nagi that comes in with the ball of lightning, not Negi. It was the spell book that made me pause and go, “Wait! That’s not Negi!”

Looking closer, I saw that after Nagi those down his bomb of a spell, there are four observers — Negi, Nagi, Jack, and Al. Then before Touta’s group attempts to tempt him into giving in, there are five in shot — Al, Nagi, MotB, Negi (just seeing the lightning from him) and Jack.

I honestly think that Nagi is alive and helping MotB, much as Al and Jack are.

Deus Ex Asuna

The one part of UQ Holder chapter 130 that makes no sense to me is Asuna showing up. When the spoilers came out, I assumed that maybe she was part of the Phantasmagoria come to life. However, now that I’ve read the chapter, that cannot be.

UQ Holder Chapter 130

So where the heck did Asuna come from? Why does she still look like her teenage self? How does she know Touta at all? How did she come into the Phantasmagoria? How’d she know Touta had Eva’s finger? How did she bring Eva back to life?

I think that it is highly possible that Asuna is the anti-MotB. We know Asuna was used as a weapon as a young child. We know that Fate needed her power to wipe out the Magic World in lieu of MotB. Asuna is the one who caused MotB to be defeated on the Magic World (without being possessed in the process). And Asuna is the one who caused the Magic World and all of the magical creatures and humanoids therein to be brought back to life.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

I’ve written a ton, and after the nutty day and night I’ve had, I’m sure this is full of errors. (Feel free to let me know about them.) So I’ll wrap this up with a few final thoughts.

  • I know Touta is opposed to Magia Erebea, but I was surprised he didn’t go there after Eva’s death.
  • Negi had Al, Jack, and even Nagi helping him. What happened to Yue and Nodoka? With Asuna now appearing, I wonder if they’ll show up.
  • Santa, Karin, Kuroumaru, and Kirie were all rendered unconscious after Asuna showed up. What happened to Shinobu, Mizore, Isana, and Honoka?

In the end, UQ Holder chapter 130 ended up being a very interesting and enjoyable chapter for me. Shame we have to wait another month to find out where things go from here.

 

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57 Responses to “UQ Holder Chapter 130 Manga Review (Surprise, surprise.)”

  1. andmeuths says:

    “I know Touta is opposed to Magia Erebea, but I was surprised he didn’t go there after Eva’s death.”

    I suspect it’s because Dana drilled into Touta’s very soul, of the fact that immortals are able to regenerate from very little. So that likely sub-consciously stopped Touta from going Magia Erebea,

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I guess that’s possible. But I figure ME is going to have some role. Otherwise, why give it to Touta? But we’ll see.

  2. Yue Ayase says:

    Kind of a meh chapter. Touta (and to a lesser extent Eva) aren’t strong enough characters to completely hold up a monthly series. Asuna’s appearance is interesting. Maybe they’re in the world that Asuna was sleeping in the whole time?

    Also we really could use an explanation for the Lifemaker’s comrades. Seduced? Illusions? Time displaced? Just something.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I think Eva could hold a monthly series, but the Touta element is the weakness.

      Also we really could use an explanation for the Lifemaker’s comrades. Seduced? Illusions? Time displaced? Just something.

      True. We could use answers.

    • sanchi says:

      The whole Alberio field trip to the past was supposed to have explained to Tota and bring him up to the current understanding on why the MotB and team are on Earth. We aren’t even getting any of that information. So far it hasn’t been hinted to, nor shown, nothing to explain what is going on, and just moved the battle to another venue.

      The only little information is a illusion, biased view of the MotB, of scenes of Mahora, about Asuna, and Eva’s past. That’s it. The story hasn’t moved much at all, and as expected pages of female nudity. Eva finally had some clothes on her, but by the end of the chapter she was naked once again.

      With the Sayoko arc, and now we see more illustrations of skeletons and macabre scenes of hell or pain and suffering and death. There hasn’t been anything shown to give Tota a explanation why the MotB is on Earth nor his team, nor about Negi.

      There might be a way out … with Eva saying that its a mental fight. With the current trend I’m expecting Tota to find a resolution, since Eva may not be able to do much — sorta what Dana told Tota what he had to be for Eva.

  3. Seimei says:

    Astro :

    I have some theories :

    For the appearance of Asuna, two possibilities :

    1. Let the Asuna was the timeline of epilogue which postally far (if dreams in works like Clamp, dreams would then all inter-connected, and the world of dreams would be out of time and from space)
    2. Let it comes to Asuna Timeline of UQ, which, because it sleeps, is able to travel in dreams.

    Anyway I hope they do not overthrow Iolda now (as Eva thought) with the help of Asuna (because Yes, I remember that there is currently present in the same place, two owners of Mars white, the only thing that can neutralize the final (since it would seem that even the white of Mars can not destroy it, in fact nobody did anything to Tota objected when his plane seal Iolda after having driven from Negi, has therefore implied that souls have simply indestructible) and following the manga will be with another antagonist, no I think not.

    After all, Iolda is too emblematic for mahoravers as a cosmic threat spanning two manga for being defeated before the end of UQ and replace her with a new antagonist.
    Even if you assemble entire team of “goods guys” and “bad guys “in the phantasmagoria to the general fight. For me is too early.

    Anyway, I think that Asuna could not attract other people in the phantasmagoria with it (especially if Asuna was the UQ. It could move between dreams because she sleeps, but I do think not able to influence the outside world to invoke other people).
    And of course, it is also unlikely that the manga is about to be completed, at least I hope he does not end now!

    But from the fact that these two possibilities are in my opinion fortunately unlikely, here’s what I attands.

    I think either Asuna will manage to “hurt” Iolda (but not kill), or she will actually destroy his dream form, but contrary to what thinks Eva, it will not be enough to neutralize permanently or exorcise Iolda.

    HOWEVER, in one case as in the other, “Negi Baoth” will feel the effects. So when Eva and Tota will return to the real world, they apperceveront that Negi is weakening. Neo-cosmo-Entelekeia will have to retreat, and Cutlass will be forced to renew his challenge to Tota and Negi Baoth will accept the fight against UQ and Tota, in the tournament with the help of his other allies of Neo Cosmo-Entelekeia.
    That would justify the conduct of the tournament.

    Plus I just reread the chapter in French Version and alot of things seem clearer to me:

    1. Overcoming life-maker in the dream does not mean defeat for good in either it seems. Eva talks to “break her spirit,” not to “destroy her spirit,” was an impotent shade.
    2. In addition to Eva herself has been broken by an attack, yet Asuna needed only one finger to reinvoke.
    3. So long as it is a fragment of the dream body, it can be regenerated. So even if iolda was defeated here, a likely regeneration of her soul may well have places.
    4. It is likely that “break” Iolda, means only to make her inactive for a few moments in the real world, leaving the field open to Tota to achieve “Negi Baoth” more easily.

    But I think anyway, Asuna can’t invoque other people in the phantasmagorie like Iolda do. The final battle will not probably begin now.
    And Asuna will probably only “damage” partially the spirit of Iolda, which will temporarily weaken Negi Baoth, forcing him to retreat, and paving the ideal justification to legitimize the tournament without present Negi Baoth like a reckless arrogant.

    And if not I wonder if Asuna, from now on, could not appear frequently in the dreams of Tota for train him to master the White of Mars in anticipation of future combat against Baoth Negi and his band, in the same way that Haruka Domeki with watanuki in XXX Holic, for those who know. I would find it cool! ^^

    Wow! It was VERY long comment!^^

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I saw another, unofficial English version that talked about killing MotB. So I tend to go with the official English version that says they are going to destroy MotB. Remember, the goal has always been to ultimately defeat MotB. Destroying MotB’s spirit is the only way to accomplish this.

      I suspect that Akamatsu-sensei wants to clear the table of the last major Negima plotline, then if he still wants to continue UQ Holder, he’ll go back to doing stories like he was doing, only hopefully better.

  4. OverMaster says:

    “Why does she still look like her teenage self?”

    This part should be easy. By now I suppose Asuna simply can’t grow physically older past a certain point, what with her most likely being some sort of artificial creation somehow related to the Ostian Royal Family.

    If so, and if she sticks around, which is a much bigger if in my opinion, it might help her fit in with UQ Holder’s (the organization’s) overall motif.

    I hope Kuromaru’s dilemma isn’t solved by physically splitting him in two, which would be a cheap copout. It worked more or less well in To Love Ru because Ren and Run were two different people sharing a single body, and because To Love Ru is more farcical in the first place, but not so much here.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      By now I suppose Asuna simply can’t grow physically older past a certain point, what with her most likely being some sort of artificial creation somehow related to the Ostian Royal Family.

      Possibly. But she’s also wearing her Mahora uniform.

      If so, and if she sticks around, which is a much bigger if in my opinion, it might help her fit in with UQ Holder’s (the organization’s) overall motif.

      Well, if she ends up being a permanent fixture, she’s the ultimate deus ex machina being with her magic cancel.

      I hope Kuromaru’s dilemma isn’t solved by physically splitting him in two, which would be a cheap copout.

      I don’t think that will happen. I think Akamatsu-sensei is going to tease us on this for ages though. In the end, I suspect Kuroumaru will become a girl in the Touta harem. But who knows if Akamatsu-sensei will go that route.

  5. Mattcgw says:

    Reads chapter, shrugs. Thinks, as expected.

  6. Rob C. says:

    I think this was done all for shock value by the our author of the manga.

    I do speculate To make sense of why Asuna can appear here; I think Asuna appearance here seems to me that she either able to connect to this artificial reality from where-ever she sleeping to stabilize Mars’s magic world.

    I do speculate why MoTB trying put all this effort to cage Eve: Is MotB is infact Eve’s mother? The Real one. Likely not, but she was the wizard/vampire who was playing games/experimenting on people thus resulted in Eve.

    Asuna was the Princess of Twilight, she likely can bring up the end for MotB, her title suggests she is the end.

    Frankly this artificial world thing bit annoying, but i totally agree with the other posters that this was done to break Eve’s mentally like Negi before her to add her body to the MoTB’s need for new physical form she keep burning out.

    Touta is caught in the middle, frankly i don’t think he’s found his nitch yet. If he truly was able to control his powers, he could have turn his power to absorb attacks and use them against the Negi/MoTB. Heck his sword could have been used against him because Sanders is under MoTB’s control.

    I think Sensei has lost his way thru his plot he didn’t fully develop, trying deal with lagging sales and rushing alot things. This chapter feels like the harbinger of the end of the Manga.
    This artificial reality which kinda defuses everything. So anything epic here, may not count at all but to test Touta powers which i think he did bad job.

    I wonder how this next chapter (if it not entire series) going to end.

    • minopop says:

      we’ve only been in the phantasmagoria for 1 1/2 (if that) chapters including ch. 130.

      we’ll see what happens from here. I’d bet mr. akamatsu will deliver something epic.
      not sure how far ahead he plans his stories, but i’d bet he didn’t plan very far into negima before he started catching up and had to begin thinking of ideas on the fly

      my favorite moments of ch. 130 were when evangeline charged the MOTB weilding double ensis exsequens and when negi used lei hua beng quan attack while in the martial arts stance he’d learned from kei fu. and the reintroduction of asuna ofc

      http://imgur.com/a/PxVKT <<< dbl ensis exsequens panel

    • Seimei says:

      “Rob C.” : I do not think MOTB will be really defeated at the end of this arc and that will be the end of the manga. I could be wrong, but I think (and hope) that the end is still in a long time (at least 30 oor 40 monthly chapters).

      As I say, I think Asuna, Tota and Eva will only “hurt” MOTB. Thus Negi Baoth will weaken in real world, but NOT defeated, and neo-Entelekeia Cosmo will retreat. This will give the perfect justification to legitimize the tournaments arc (which probably will, the REAL final arc^^). And only at the end of the tournament, the real final showdown against Negi / MOTB will take place.

      So no, I think sensei has NOT lost in his screenplay, it’s thet opposite, in fact, I think. ^^ This confrontation in a dream, was for me, only a taste of the real final battle that will happen more later.

      And as I say, I hope that property Asuna regularly appear in the dreams of Tota, to train and prepare him to his future real final fight against MOTB.

      In addition, it would make no sense to make an anime (or add the subtitle “Negima 2” to the manga!), If the manga was about to be completed (anime are use, as promotional tools for manga they adapt).

      Let us add to this that the end of mangas are almost every time, announced, property in advance. And here is not the end of UQ Holder, which was announced, but in the contrary, its splendid comeback (adding a subtitle formalizing its deep links with Negima, animated adaptation, cross-media projects linking Negima and UQ ect)…

    • arimareiji says:

      I think Sensei has lost his way thru his plot he didn’t fully develop, trying deal with lagging sales and rushing alot things. This chapter feels like the harbinger of the end of the Manga.

      Hammer, meet head of nail.
      There’s also this reason. (^_~)

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I do speculate To make sense of why Asuna can appear here; I think Asuna appearance here seems to me that she either able to connect to this artificial reality from where-ever she sleeping to stabilize Mars’s magic world.

      I thought about that, and this may be true. However, what little we saw of her there, Asuna’s child form (the true Asuna persona) seemed to do everything and somehow, the teen Asuna persona managed to stay together, but barely. So I would think that Asuna’s true persona would be the one coming from the dreamscape. But I could be wrong. Still so much we don’t know.

      I do speculate why MoTB trying put all this effort to cage Eve: Is MotB is infact Eve’s mother? The Real one. Likely not, but she was the wizard/vampire who was playing games/experimenting on people thus resulted in Eve.

      Interesting. Too bad MotB didn’t mention that aspect. Maybe she will in the next chapter.

      Asuna was the Princess of Twilight, she likely can bring up the end for MotB, her title suggests she is the end.

      I agree.

      Frankly this artificial world thing bit annoying, but i totally agree with the other posters that this was done to break Eve’s mentally like Negi before her to add her body to the MoTB’s need for new physical form she keep burning out.

      Well, the Phantasmagoria allows Akamatsu-sensei to do anything he wants and not have to worry about damaging the “real world” of his universe. Does that make sense? It doesn’t bother me at this point.

      Touta is caught in the middle, frankly i don’t think he’s found his nitch yet. If he truly was able to control his powers, he could have turn his power to absorb attacks and use them against the Negi/MoTB. Heck his sword could have been used against him because Sanders is under MoTB’s control.

      Kurobo is an entity all to itself. It is not under MotB’s control nor Al’s. I believe it accepted Touta as its master. As an aside, it is always silent at times when you’d think it would say something.

      I think Sensei has lost his way thru his plot he didn’t fully develop, trying deal with lagging sales and rushing alot things. This chapter feels like the harbinger of the end of the Manga.

      I’ve speculated for a long time that Akamatsu-sensei didn’t want to bother with a massive, overarching plot. He wanted to be like Mashima-sensei (Fairy Tail) and just do action-adventure tales without worrying about a big picture.

      That being said, I think that Akamatsu-sensei is going to wrap up the MotB storyline once and for all. If sales of UQ Holder are good, then he’ll continue from there. If not, he’ll end the manga with the conclusion of the last, major Negima plot thread.

      I wonder how this next chapter (if it not entire series) going to end.

      I don’t think the next chapter ends things, but it will be interesting to see where things go. 🙂

  7. OverMaster says:

    “its splendid comeback (adding a subtitle formalizing its deep links with Negima, animated adaptation, cross-media projects linking Negima and UQ ect)…”

    It’s not a certified ‘splendid’ comeback until the reception numbers for the relaunch start arriving. It’s getting a major promotional push, yes, but it remains to see whether it’ll be effective. On one hand, anime projects inject life on pretty much any property unless the anime is abysmal, but then again, not that many of those promotional boosts have a very long lasting effect in this day and age, where ongoing anime series are a rarity instead of a common thing. On the other, even if phrased in a way that tries to make it look like a promotion, going from weekly to monthly is an overall risky move very few series can get around (To Love Ru only got around it by exaggerating the pandering fanservice and actually being released more like twice a month, considering all of the extra chapters). All in all, shifting your periodicity through your series’ run is an indicator things hadn’t been working the way you expected them to at first.

    And here’s where we must remember, IIRC, UQ Holder sells overall shortly below the 100,000 line, while Negima used to sell above that. Overall, sequels tend to do worse than originals. There are exceptions, like with everything, but they mostly exist to confirm the rule.

    I think Akamatsu is sort of stalling, what with the shift to a monthly and the ‘much bombastic action happens, but overall we are only getting more questions instead of more answers’ feel of these chapters, to see if the anime is successful and keeps the franchise economically viable. If it works, then he can move past this with a new arc or Negima flashback. If it doesn’t, the final battle with the Myth Arc villain is a sort of fitting (although still horribly rushed and clumsily executed) point to end the series. Although I don’t think Akamatsu wants to end just yet since Fate is conspicuously absent so far, and you can’t finish the conflict between Eva, Negi and MOTB without also pulling Fate in. Then again, UQ Holder makes an art out of randomly pulling characters in and out, so I won’t be surprised if the next chapter has Fate riding a Mecha-Tama into the fight or something like that.

    But make no mistake, Akamatsu might be betting his whole career here. After sinking a series (regardless of it was his fault or not; the market doesn’t care about that), stumbling his way through a stealth sequel to an open if still INO sequel with a much less market-friendly schedule (monthlies can succeed, but weeklies have a much higher success rate overall), growing older and all, losing face with a final collapse for the franchise would mean he’d have an extremely difficult time climbing back with an all new property, in a market dominated by younger and more active competitors, one that rarely gives second, much less third chances. If he’s any smart, he must be realizing at this point he must play safe by sticking to an already proved former success.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I think Akamatsu is sort of stalling, what with the shift to a monthly and the ‘much bombastic action happens, but overall we are only getting more questions instead of more answers’ feel of these chapters, to see if the anime is successful and keeps the franchise economically viable.

      I think driving questions is to get folks speculating about the manga as we used to for Negima. When there were lots of unanswered questions in Negima, we would chat and speculate a lot. So I think Akamatsu-sensei is attempting to bring this back to life via the Negima element.

      But I think you are right in one area. If sales of the manga (and anime) are good, then UQH will continue in whatever new form. If not, then I suspect that Akamatsu-sensei will be allowed to wrap up the final Negima plotline and then end UQH.

  8. sanchi says:

    Thank you for taking the time for writing a very well thought out review ANB!

  9. sanchi says:

    OK had time to digest the chapter.

    One minor typo I saw, in “The Temptation of Touta: Kuromaru” you have for the first sentence – 2nd to the last paragraph:

    Then there’s the female heart of Touta.

    I’m sure you meant the female heart of Kuromaru and not Touta.

    This is the MotB’s phantasmagoria, yet there appears to be weaknesses where Eva regains her mind, stating she was being controlled or under the MotB illusion’s influence.

    Now after stating that, Nodoka, Yue, Jack, Al, Kirie, Kuromaru, Santa may be the real thing too, but also controlled in that same way Eva was too.

    How is it that the MotB can be both Negi and Nagi? Or this is possible only in the phantasmagoria, and also control or become Alberio and Jack. Seems she can be any one of them one at a time. Can she switch back to earlier forms that she took over before they died?

    If Eva is truly Eva, and her insight on the MotB is correct, its a mental battle, and not a physical one. So Tota needs to change how he is fighting and doesn’t have to be as physically powerful but mentally powerful. This may be the key to defeating the MotB, and not by magical and physical strength. Convenient too – destroying a imaginary world be keeping reality and earth safe. This can be the thing that levels the abilities, and maybe freeing the minds that the MotB controls.

    Another weakness is Asuna breaking into this illusion, if it is really her. The thing is we don’t know if this is the real person or another illusion based on the real character. If the MotB is tapping the minds of Negi, Nagi, and Eva, it might be from Negi’s mind, that may not be completely controlled by the MotB too, giving the illusion of Asuna and since Negi still has some of his mind left, it might have been enough to giving her ability to fight what the MotB is doing. Since they just showed Asuna from Negi’s time, the illusion hasn’t aged.

    I’m wondering if the UQ team is there or a illusion to weaken Tota, like how Eva was distracted with the MotB becoming Negi and then Nagi. I would imagine they are also being mentally controlled as Eva had been but tapping Tota’s mind to show them in a way to distract Tota.

    Also what happened to Cutlass? Seems she is out of it along with Shinobu. Mizore, and the Konoe Twins.

    Why hasn’t Eva used her Ice Princess power level as she did against Fate? Also as mentioned Tota hasn’t gone berserk and used his ME side either.

    • OverMaster says:

      The whole manga will turn out to be an illusion, and the last panel will be Chamo waking up and, like in a Chinese fable, wondering if he was dreaming Touta or Touta was dreaming him.

      Seriously, though, no manga should have you wondering for months if 90% of the people interacting with each other at the time are even real or not. How can you feel at all for characters who aren’t real in the context of the story? There’s no emotional payoff on that.

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        The whole manga will turn out to be an illusion, and the last panel will be Chamo waking up and, like in a Chinese fable, wondering if he was dreaming Touta or Touta was dreaming him.

        😆

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I’m sure you meant the female heart of Kuromaru and not Touta.

      Heh! Yes. Fixed. Plus, I fixed Kuroumaru’s name misspelling in the next sentence.

      This is the MotB’s phantasmagoria, yet there appears to be weaknesses where Eva regains her mind, stating she was being controlled or under the MotB illusion’s influence.

      That might be because of Touta having some of Asuna’s abilities. But that’s a wild speculation on my part.

      How is it that the MotB can be both Negi and Nagi?

      I don’t think she is. I think she has Nagi and Negi working with her. The evidence to date seems to indicate that she has control of both of them. MotB can mimic them though.

      I’m wondering if the UQ team is there or a illusion to weaken Tota

      I think it is both. It is the real team, but they are in a Phantasmagoria. So their real bodies are elsewhere, but their minds are in the Phantasmagoria and have substance there.

      Also what happened to Cutlass? Seems she is out of it along with Shinobu. Mizore, and the Konoe Twins.

      Oh yeah. I forgot about her.

      Why hasn’t Eva used her Ice Princess power level as she did against Fate? Also as mentioned Tota hasn’t gone berserk and used his ME side either.

      Another great point.

  10. Rob C. says:

    I think the whole thing so maddeningly slow. Maybe I’m used to reading volumes of Negmia vs chapter-to-chapter releases. Frankly I wonder if the sales of the manga through the magazine maybe a reflection of it. I’d rather multiple-months to get whole story arc or at least half of one verses get snap shots of it. Is this possibly reflection of how interactive fandom is and how it effects Akamatsu-sensei. In the old days like early 2000s,i don’t think Akamatsu-sensei would completely steer off his story line to accommodate monthly sales figures. I think if he is responding, it’s causing the story to seem so distorted. The early chapters/story arcs prior to Touta leaving UQ Holder seem well structured and had purpose while still making the over-all story enjoyable. Now it’s jumble, i know sensei has gone to a monthly publishing format, but its seems not to be enough. If he has a plan, he should execute it without changing it in-mid writing/illustrating it. Manga drawning not done instantly, it’s painstaking slow.

    UQ Holder is such mixed up beast from all the retooling he had to do now. Some really epic potential story arc are being distorted and lost with all the re-juggling of things.

    If it were older times and sales were bad, the whole thing would have been cancelled. I’m grateful it’s still around but i wish Akamatsu-sensei stick with his guns and plow though a story arc and overarching story. This Fairy Tail style story telling doesn’t work.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I think the whole thing so maddeningly slow. Maybe I’m used to reading volumes of Negmia vs chapter-to-chapter releases.

      In some ways, you are correct. There were only 40 pages for this chapter. That’s the equivalent of 2.5 weekly chapters. So for a month period, things are going slow in terms of total number of pages. 🙂

      The early chapters/story arcs prior to Touta leaving UQ Holder seem well structured and had purpose while still making the over-all story enjoyable.

      I never really saw a purpose early on, other than having Touta irritate me to no end. 😛

      If it were older times and sales were bad, the whole thing would have been cancelled. I’m grateful it’s still around but i wish Akamatsu-sensei stick with his guns and plow though a story arc and overarching story. This Fairy Tail style story telling doesn’t work.

      I think that early on, he was doing the Fairy Tail stuff. Right now, he’s trying to go back to the big story arc, only he’s pulled it from Negima to wrap that story up.

      Sales of UQH aren’t as good as Negima or Love Hina. The reason Kodansha isn’t just cutting him is that he’s been a proven asset for years. So this is the last chance to make god on thing, as I see it.

      Weekly manga and monthly manga are somewhat different beasts. So hopefully, Akamatsu-sensei will find his rhythm in the new format.

  11. Leonard E. Norwood Jr. says:

    Tapping into the human heart…that can be dangerous in the hands of a person who can mess with a person in and out if they know how to twist it up. Touta may have his days still, but where it counts, at least he and Eva had to keep it together as long as they could. It bugs me that MotB can just change forms like that just throw them off. But as things stands, even with Asuna coming in, unfortunately this battle with conclude without MotB being taken down just yet. They’ll merely fight it off for now, and find a another method of attack. And possibly there will be another training session. Because Touta just can’t do it just yet, he got destroyed without getting one hit in, which is a battle in itself. And it’s more of mental battle than physical, so rules are a bit different.

    Well, at least it was interesting, and how Asuna came into this will be answered soon. All I know is that this fight may not get to the end of the conclusion just yet. And Touta getting beat like this, just tells me that he’s not yet ready to back everything up just yet. One more not about Eva: Yeah it is true she’s done a lot that makes life just feel so heavy and more than just rough, she found people she loves, but things happened, and she feels like she can just rough it out alone if I’m getting it down. Immortality does have its cons. Life can end up sucking at times, because there are some people and other things out there that makes it suck. Makes things seem impossible, and it doesn’t help that the people you talked to, and stuff, they have a finite life compared to immortals, and they go through the pain of losing them. Still there’s a bit of positivity within such a life, you just gotta find it. MotB talks and backs it up, but whatever it its, it’s been down there in a dark place way too long. In fact, there’s something about this thing, that makes it feel so drawn out that it’s predictable.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      It bugs me that MotB can just change forms like that just throw them off.

      But this power is not surprising. Al’s pactio artifact ability is based on this magic to some degree.

  12. Izayoi Arashi says:

    A bit late to reply, so imma get straight to the point. So many things to ponder on in this chapter. But first let me say my thoughts on this: What a very one sided beatdown chapter. I’m not saying that it’s rushed, since some or one of the characters showcased in the first chapter were not yet introduced, plus there are plot holes to fill. So i guess this is just MOTB or Ialda’s aim to get Touta to break down since Her aim is to have him captured and brought to her side since he holds the “White of Mars”. This is just a speculation, since Asuna suddenly appeared outa nowhere . And to address an important point:

    Monthly vs weekly issues: It depends. As i have been to Japan about a month ago, i took the time and took a look at a monthly and a weekly series. Turns out, that in some aspects that monthly tend to cost higher while weekly tend to be in the middle. I may be wrong, but since i was just traveling all around japan starting from Tokyo, Prices vary. So i guess Akamatsu’s movement of UQ to a monthly series displays that in order for the anime to happen, he needed to make it a monthly series. I might be wrong, but its a good theory showing that it really depends when it comes down to a weekly or monthly manga.

    Now, back to the chapter. Astro, i noticed a few things i can theorize or speculate from your review, so let me just put it all down:

    1. Asuna being still in her teens. From Negima’s scene where Negi reawakens from Magia Erebea’s curse and gets reborn as an immortal, I remembered one person stepping in to help him. The Gravekeeper. She looked like Asuna except with her eyebrows being different, plus she was much smaller than her. Negi did guess who she was then, so regarding Asuna, similarly to Asuna’s “mom”, she might’ve had stayed like that regardless of time passing by due to The Royal family’s unique magic or gene, since after all these years in Negima, the gravekeeper, possibly Asuna’s mom, still regains her youthful appearance.

    2. Plotholes from the previous series. I’m guessing Akamatsu, with this chapter, gives us an idea of how Touta is 0 to all 4 Overpowered people that the MOTB or Ialda has taken over and controlled, and he aims to have Touta grow through upcoming chapters through reintroducing old characters from the previous series which left plotholes, and at the same time fix and resolve those plotholes as the series goes on.

    Overall, this chapter was good. Touta x Eva was a nice comedic and lightheartening touch to this chapter.(mind you since your a Negi x Eva) but really, i would say the same thing Touta did. 3 guys in 700 years? . I would say that she has no self control. XD

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      A bit late to reply, so imma get straight to the point.

      No such thing as too late. 😉

      So i guess this is just MOTB or Ialda’s aim to get Touta to break down since Her aim is to have him captured and brought to her side since he holds the “White of Mars”.

      I would agree with this assessment.

      3 guys in 700 years? . I would say that she has no self control. XD

      Ha!ha! 😆

      Thanks for writing. ^_^

  13. sanchi says:

    Eva liked or loves three guys in 700 yrs.

    Don’t forget the other record number – how many guys (and girls) were killed while challenging her and trying to kill her? Include many of Kuromaru’s Sword School graduates and classmates, considering her titles and a bounty for her. Its odd that there isn’t a count of people Eva turned into a vampire too. Or that may be something she rarely did, or only for Tota. Maybe Nagi, Negi, and Tota were the only ones that didn’t or weren’t trying to kill her.

    Another stopped storyline is with Kuromaru, and how his sword school reacts to him joining the ranks of their hated enemy, and may also include Isana and possibly Cutlass and Tsukuyomi – that hasn’t been resolved.

    Maybe as a blonde female, and changes his name so that no one will know where he came from …. nah, don’t think so…

  14. Rob C. says:

    Side Question: There a UQ Holder Anime being made. I’d imagine it’s going to be a at best 12-episode series. Now typically from what i understand this is done to promote the manga form of the franchise.

    Has there been an word aside from their making it? Are they going to do a completely different anime based on UQ Holder since there isn’t alot books to begin with incomparison to Negima?

  15. minopop says:

    I’m browsing over ch.93 now; vol 9 was just released in the US and i’m re-reading it.

    after touta and the gang finishes that 1 mission, dana showed touta a vision of eva’s past thru a time observation window. after touta breaks thru the window invading the past eva eventually calls him by first and last name.

    fast forward to the beggining of ch.130 eva sees the end of the same memory of ch. 93 except this time we also get 2 extra pages of eva after touta was extracted from the past.
    after eva acknowledges that the time seal was closed she says: “…who was he, really?”
    “I suppose he’s a boy i’ll meet in the future after decades or centuries have passed”

    anyone have any thoughts on this?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I think that this is Eva acknowledging that she never really knew Touta. He was just some boy who showed up in her life shortly after she’d been made immortal. Then over time, he kept showing up after longer and longer absences. For a long time, he was the only male around, and he served a purpose in helping Eva become what she would eventually become. However, she never knew Touta. And after the time seal was fixed, she wouldn’t see him again until the first chapter of UQ Holder, during the flashback sequence.

      • minopop says:

        “I think that this is Eva acknowledging that she never really knew Touta. He was just some boy who showed up in her life shortly after she’d been made immortal.”

        ok yes that’s very clear now that you mention it. I feel rly dumb for not realizing that.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          The way it is phrased, it could be read as if Eva didn’t know who the heck Touta was. That was my initial reading of it. But then after rereading things, I decided that this was not the correct way to interpret the scene.

    • sanchi says:

      I’m having some difficulty in trying to figure out what is the true story, and not the illusion of the MotB.

      Was Eva herself when she was re-visiting the illusion of the past meeting, or controlled by the MotB to what she said? Eva did state she was being controlled — basically till she got hit on the head with a stone and woke up. While under the MotB, she stated that she didn’t know Tota but wanted Tota to be with her, and was babbling and crying which abruptly ended when a stone hit her on the head, and Eva regained her self control.

      The time Eva spent with Tota was a few minutes, and the length apart was exponential, with longer periods of time between meetings. I can see Eva’s despair in being unable to learn about Tota as a person during this time before UQ started being used by the MotB. It didn’t diminish her feelings for Tota.

      The MotB seems to have the ability to manipulate a person’s past with thoughts of despair and pain, for its advantage to sway or control a person’s thinking and the resulting actions. It kinda explains Negi’s screams when we first saw him, as he was fighting the MotB’s control.

      It makes me wonder is the MotB is doing the same illusion control to Negi and Nagi, as we see the forms of Nodoka, Yue, Al, and Jack, which according to Karin were supposed to have been killed in a previous war. Where the MotB is using her power of illusions to control Negi and Nagi to do what the MotB wants them to do, like a form of brainwashing – it reminds me of the book/movie called “the Manchurian Candidate”. Maybe… this is how the MotB controls the host body it uses. Maybe Tota needs to literally knock some sense into the heads of Negi and Nagi. I can see Tota throwing a stone and hit Negi in the head, but it has to get past the MotB’s crew, which the rest of UQ can keep them occupied.

      Since the physical power levels are so vastly different – this mental war to fight the MotB’s spirit may be the method to equalize the battlefield and defeat the MotB too.

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        I think that initially, the Phantasmagoria that Al took Touta to was simply a recreation of a past event. Then the Phantasmagoria was given substance with the illusionary Eva reacting to Touta in the way she would have if Touta had actually gone back into the past and showed up in her life.

        At some point, I believe MotB pulled the real Eva into the Phantasmagoria along with Karin, Santa, Kuroumaru, and Kirie. Not their physical bodies, but their minds. So Eva’s mind occupied the illusionary body from the Phantasmagoria.

        I still think that Negi came up with a deal with MotB in order to save Nagi. But at the same time, I think you are right in that MotB is doing whatever to weaken Negi. That means that Jack, Al, Nodoka, and Yue could easily be illusionary creations, or even willing helpers under MotB’s control. It will be interesting to see which way Akamatsu-sensei goes.

        • OverMaster says:

          By now I suspect, once again, that plot point will be dropped without the public ever being given clear answers, just like with so many others in Negima. Fans will keep on debating about their personal theories and Akamatsu will just troll about it in future interviews while hiding he probably didn’t even think it well himself.

          Sooo… Volume 12 should’ve been released today in Japan-time. Any news on the exclusives yet?

          • sanchi says:

            Don’t jinx it!

            Yeah, I can see its about time to going to something completely different — its been done before, maybe go see what Fate is doing all this time watching what is happening to everyone else. Its already moving in that direction with Asuna appearing.

            Law-enforcement? They are the ones eating donuts and drinking coffee and the waiting for the all clear signal to be the clean-up crew after the heroes do their work. They were there when Tota became a vampire, arresting the teacher/bounty hunter after Tota stopped him.

            Even the military got whipped when the UQ group fought that syndicate blind swordsman group in the early chapters.

          • AstroNerdBoy says:

            In Negima, some things with the main plot did get addressed, but most character arc items weren’t touched.

            Sooo… Volume 12 should’ve been released today in Japan-time. Any news on the exclusives yet?

            I think I saw something about this. I’ll have to look.

  16. Mattcgw says:

    Upon reflection, I’ve realised that Akamatsu-Sensei is die some credit for this chapter. Due to setting Eva’s fortress, that she most likely spent the majority of her centuries. In Central Asia, it would explain why non of the high magus from western Europe comes after her, she would’ve been rather secluded, yet nowhere near the forces of the ottoman empire or the Russian Orthodox church, until the great game which would’ve promoted her to leave and go the far East (Japan) which wouldn’t’ve been under colonial influence like Burma or Bangladesh would’ve been.

    (This is under the assumption that her bounty would’ve been issued by western Power or religion unsubscribe expansion of terror of overseas territory would increase the jurisdiction of the Bounty) so when Eva came to Japan around 1900, the US invasion of Japan and subsequent Meji restoration, would have made japan a sanctuary for Evangeline.

    Even more so after the Russo-japo war that set in stone the end of Russian autocracy and launch japan into a world power. I wonder what Eva thought about that war or what the Shinto sects did. Remember, the basis of this series is still harem Potter.

    I’m also admittedly biased due to Otoyomegatari being my favourite series.

    The the series is judicial system is in dire need of clarity, by Akamatsu-Sensei. As well as Ostian monarchy political status, did they have any power or were they a figurehead, that happen to have unique magic that gave them influence.

    • OverMaster says:

      Akamatsu’s idea of a law enforcing system includes things like ‘globally wanted terrorists can freely relax in public baths without hiding their appearances because no one wants to arrest people who are just enjoying a bath’. And Akamatsu’s idea of an economic system includes things like ‘poverty can be distributed around the world by governments sitting down to reach an agreement on it’ (when economy doesn’t work that way, at all).

      So I wouldn’t hold my breath for a very elaborate and well thought explanation of the setting’s judicial or political system. We even had something like a major fight breaking out between superpowered beings at the middle of the Space Elevator’s port without any official law enforcement agent ever showing up to at least try to control the situation before being swatted away. Which is like saying terrorists can shoot at each other in Times Square with bazookas and tanks without the police and the army ever bothering to intervene.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Yeah, there are a lot of things that need to be answered.

      • OverMaster says:

        Again, I expect we’ll get shortchanged on answers yet again. If he couldn’t supply answers for a single manga with a weekly format, much less for two interlocked manga with a monthly format that has as many regular pages as two average weekly releases instead of at least four (remember, the first chapter of the relaunch was a special anomaly, and even then it recycled a fair share of old material).

        So, those extras. If Hata is to be believed, they are quite disappointing. The Eva drawing in the card isn’t bad on itself, but the way it’s integrated in the card reminds me of those shoddy fanmade Pactio cards in Deviantart where they put Suzumiya Haruhi or Disney’s Pocahontas in a card and call it a day. The calendar, instead of proper illustrations showcasing the cast as we knew it, is just a sequence of tiny Chibi drawings with generic backgrounds. Haven’t we learned anything from the Negima?! anime? Don’t they remember everyone hated the dumb Suka stuff and tried to forget it as soon as they could?

        The video looks like a waste of money because it’s just a dialogue between mangaka and a single voice actress, which most likely won’t reveal anything important yet (otherwise, the news would surely have told us about it) Just generic prattle with forced shallow laughs, and I say this having watched Akamatsu interview videos and many a seiyuu interview before. I mean, when they include that sort of stuff in something like the Superman and Batman direct to video animated movies, that’s okay because they’re just bonuses packed along, you know, an actual movie. Here, it’s just that and three videos of old songs? Eh.

        But oh, it’s okay because it has an announcement for another video down the way so fans can pay for another overpriced special edition. That’s great, assuming the OAD isn’t just a glorified roll of still frames with dialogue, which we’re then told are nice and artistic because they have a fancy name like ‘Picture Dramas’, of course they’re not that way just to save budget on actual animation, noooooooo.

        And mostly, the whole thing is just preaching to the already converted. You aren’t reaching to the necessary new audience by selling your product again to the same audience supposed to have bought 11 prior volumes of Holder, and presumably 38 of Negima as well (otherwise, why you’d care enough about paying extra to be ripped off on paltry new Negima stuff?) The actual anime will be the real test of fire, but this is just more of rolling around in the same place, trying to squeeze the last yen out of Japanese fans who are sheepish enough as to obsessively buy anything Negima or Holder no matter how actually little-meaning is.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          It will be interesting to see how well the LE version does. But yeah, I agree that it isn’t for new fans so much as it is for established, hardcore fans. But then, that’s what LE volumes are always geared for.

  17. Yue Ayase says:

    Reddit has the volume 12 goodies. Some interesting stuff but the DVD is just an interview between Akamatsu and Eva’s VA.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I didn’t see the Reddit stuff (haven’t had time to look). I’m guessing they are sharing what Hata said. That said, thanks for the alert.

  18. sanchi says:

    hmm with the appearence of Asuna, it would be interesting if Cutlass can finally get involved and fight Asuna – both have the same or similar pactio abilities. Or is this a illusion too to confuse Tota and Eva?

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