UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 – 01 (And so it begins.)

ユーキューホルダー! 魔法先生 ネギま!2 Anime Review
UQ Holder! Mahou Sensei Negima 2
UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 – 01
UQ Holder Episode 01

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: 

UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 - 01Evangeline A.K. McDowell (Eva) recalls a moment from her middle school days quite some time in the past. In the present, Eva goes by the name Yukihime, having adopted an orphaned boy named KONOE Touta. They live in the Japanese countryside, where Yukihime is a teacher at the local school. Touta and his friends dream of leaving the country to head to the new capital, Shin Tokyo. To do this, they must defeat Yukihime in combat. However, her use of magic makes the boys’ efforts meaningless and they are punished.

UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 - 01One day, Touta visits the graves of his parents and his famous grandfather, Negi Springfield. He sees Negi’s ghost. That night, Touta cooks a meal, but is frustrated that Yukihime won’t teach him magic. The following day, Touta and his friends are again thwarted by Yukihime. Tachibana-sensei offers to help them, giving them wands, magic apps, and teaching them a bit about magic. Touta can’t use any of them, so Tachibana-sensei gives Touta a bracelet to give to Yukihime to wear. That evening, Touta does this, causing Yukihime to be touched by the gift.

UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 - 01The following day, Touta’s friends use magic to ambush Yukihime and bind her. Touta is left behind to try to catch them. When he gets there, Tachibana-sensei is revealed to be a bounty hunter looking for Eva. He knocks out Touta’s friends and easily knocks Touta aside. Yukihime manages to save Touta at the cost of her own body. Touta loses his arm, but at Yukihime’s encouragement, he drinks her blood. This turns him into a vampire, thus allowing him to regenerate.

UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 - 01After defeating Tachibana-sensei in a moment of rage, Touta passes out. He awakens with his head on Yukihime’s lap. She has put her body back together and regenerated. She tells him the truth about herself and a little more of the truth about his parents. They weren’t killed in an accident, but were assassinated. Because of the bounty hunter, Yukihime and Touta have to leave the village. Yukihime asks why Touta wants to go to the tower in Shin Tokyo. Touta sees the adult Negi’s ghost, but doesn’t tell Yukihime that. Instead, he makes up a meaningless reason, which she doesn’t buy.

Thoughts/Review:

Despite not having a PC (again), I did manage to get my laptop working so that I could do video reviews on it again. As such, I was finally able to watch UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 – 01. The results left me with mixed feelings.

UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 - 01

A Change of Perspective

Similar the UQ Holder OAD, UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 – 01 was presented in part from Eva’s (Yukihime’s) point of view. In order to get the Negima! elements in from the start, it makes sense for Eva to be the presenter there. The anime simply took part of the Negima! flashback from around the time when the manga switched to its monthly format and refashioned it to be Eva’s flashback of sorts. It worked as a way to further expound on the sense of nostalgia Eva felt about those times and emphasize how it was to leave those friends behind due to her immortality.

UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 - 01

After that, the episode mostly followed the first chapter of the UQ Holder manga. I had forgotten that in the first chapter, both Eva and Touta shared lead time to help found the story. No wonder I enjoyed the first chapter so much. It wasn’t strictly tied to Touta. Eva had her time and story too. It is a shame that Eva’s story has been dropped and I doubt the anime touches it. What I mean is that Eva was nearly killed by a bounty hunter. That element has never been touched since, which is unfortunate.

UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 - 01

Other Anime Changes

One of the things from the UQ Holder manga was that Touta’s reason for going to Shin Tokyo and getting to the top of the tower (the space elevator) were insanely stupid. He wanted to be a backup singer for one of his buddies, or something like that. As a motivational factor, it never made any sense to me. It certainly doesn’t seem like some goal worthy of spending hours of time training to defeat your magic-powered guardian in a fight.

UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 - 01

For the anime adaptation, Touta gives a vague public reason to get to the top of the tower. In reality, he has seen the “ghost” of his grandfather Negi, both in kid form and in adult form. That “ghost” (for lack of a better term) is the one who put the bug in Touta’s ear to get to the top of the tower. So Touta’s motivation in the anime now makes sense, even if he is embarrassed to tell folks the real reason. I can totally believe this, though how Negi is communicating with Touta is another mystery.

UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 - 01

Art, Animation, Music, Voice Acting

For me, the art and animation of UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 – 01 were just OK. At times, the character design work fails for me in its ugliness. Certainly, it doesn’t have the niceness of Akamatsu-sensei’s art, but then I guess that’s to be excepted of most anime adaptations of manga. The fight scenes weren’t bad, but were certainly no ufotable. 😉

UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 - 01

The incidental music in the episode is pretty nice. The OP is “Happy☆Material,” and has been recycled from the Negima! anime. I think the ED song “Steady → GO!!” is new.

As to the voice acting, I think I would have preferred Touta to have been voiced by a man, but I got used to it. The other voices were fine. It has been too long since I watched any Negima! animated series, so I really didn’t remember how the voices originally were.

English Adaptation — Sanitized for Your Protection

One thing for sure came out of watching UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 – 01; I won’t be buying Sentai’s video release. When I saw “Professor Negi” on the screen, I wanted to line up the decision makers at Sentai and punch them repeatedly in the face for being racist Nazis. I’m told this is what one does to a Nazi is punch them in the face. And they are clearly racists ’cause how else do you describe the removal of Japanese honorifics from the English subtitles when Western honorifics (even if not English) would be left in? Must be racism. 😉

In all seriousness, it does annoy me that in 2017, there’s still this attitude that insists on sanitizing something basic like Japanese honorifics ’cause “reasons.” Everyone has their little quibbles and quirks, and one of mine are the removal of Japanese honorifics, followed by rewriting text to have characters say things that aren’t in the Japanese. I didn’t really notice anything objectionable on the later element, but the removal of Japanese honorifics from subtitles is an immediate non-starter for me.

Conclusion

In the end, UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 – 01 does a good job of adapting the first chapter of the UQ Holder manga. I’ll be interested to see how the anime adapts the rest.

UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 - 01

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23 Responses to “UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 – 01 (And so it begins.)”

  1. Mz says:

    Decent start but looks like a LOT is going to be getting cut ?

  2. Efrain64 says:

    I’m not going to lie, the character designs weren’t as bad as the key visual lead me to believe. The only ones that really bothered me were the adult version of Negi which just looks really off to me for some reason and Evangeline’s design. Its not just how the anime adapted her design but at some point in UQ holder Ken Akamatsu decided to round out her eyes to make her look softer and more sympathetic but to me it just makes her design look so bland. Whenever I see her I’m just reminded of how watered down and warped her character was made in uq holder and now her design even matches my thoughts. I was flipping through the manga as I was watching the episode and was slightly annoyed when they completely messed up the reveal of Negi’s tombstone. When I saw it I looked at the manga and noticed that the framing was exactly the same but for some reason they decided not to cut it off at his name. At the end of the day it isn’t that big of a deal but it just felt lazy to me, also the ed was cheap and generic as hell. Any thoughts on Santa being cut out of the anime, I saw people say that he might still appear later and that they can just add him into the op but Mizore shows up after him and shes in the op so I don’t think we’ll be seeing him. I’m interested to see what they choose to adapt for the anime and how Touta seeing the ghost version of Negi will change things in the story, I’ll continue to remain optimistic.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Any thoughts on Santa being cut out of the anime

      I’m not a fan of this. Granted, outside of his arc, Santa has just become a cameo character, which is very unfortunate. So I guess I can understand why the anime writers felt he’s not needed. (And I think Akamatsu-sensei is helping with the story, but I’m not 100% sure there. If so, he may have told them to skip Santa’s arc and thus Santa as he doesn’t work in a series where you are trying to push a harem for Touta.)

      I’m interested to see what they choose to adapt for the anime and how Touta seeing the ghost version of Negi will change things in the story

      As am I. 🙂

  3. Yue Ayase says:

    Compared to most of Akamatsu’s adaptations this episode wasn’t so bad. I followed along with the manga and they didn’t really cut anything too important. Really enjoyed Touta punching the bounty hunter into the van (I don’t think we saw him hit anything in the manga).

    The second episode didn’t seem to drop a whole lot (besides Shinobu’s chapter), but the third episode features Shinobu already at UQ headquarters, so there’s your first major change.

    The promotional image leads me to believe that we’ll likely skip over Santa’s arc entirely which is a damn shame because I like him a lot as a character and found that arc to be very enjoyable since mystery isn’t something Akamatsu tends to do. It just weird me out that Mizore and Shinobu are featured far more prominently than him when neither really have any kind of impact in the story.

    Also even the cameo 3-A girls retain their original voices. It’s still incredibly odd to me that Makie’s VA was announced far before most of the main cast and even Albiero/Rakan.

    I have low expectations for the anime so I’m not displeased with what I’ve seen so far, though that could change depending on how far off the rails they go.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Compared to how Negima! started, I recall chapter 1 of UQ Holder being a very strong open for a series.

      I have low expectations for the anime so I’m not displeased with what I’ve seen so far,

      Haha! Low expectations are always best.

  4. Rob C says:

    The anime was ok so far as episode 1, they essentially went though the first chapter. The ghost of negi is interesting twist. Its like sensei trying make his light handedness of the early parts UQ Holder have a deeper arc meaning, when he was trying avoid Negi’s complex and strict story arch. I wish he had done that, though i like the original version of the manga when it was just adventure manga.

    I think so far, with compactness of the anime, that were going see the beginning to where they fought Negi at the Tournament. Likely change things there. Frankly, given this only a 12-episode series, it make sense unless they think they will get movie sort adaption out of it, or 2nd season as ova or something. I’ve seen the 2nd episode, its skipped one of the Shinobu Yuuki’s story arcs before they ran into Kurōmaru Tokisaka.

    To me this is a Advertising Anime. If they do too much, people will not have interest in the series since they already watched it. Adding that “Love Love Love” stuff in the intro does not make me feel so good. It makes look like RomCom with action.

    Check this out from ANN
    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2017-10-13/uq-holder-and-the-troubled-history-of-negima/.122639

    • Rob C says:

      To add on, i just thought of something. The multiple timeline thing could be also dropped just to make this less complicated to viewers who don’t follow the manga series.

    • OverMaster says:

      Looks like Makie will have another cameo in Episode 3, which for some reason will include a flashback of Negi’s test of strenght against Chachamaru from volume 7 of Negima. I’m kinda glad about that since that bit was never adapted for animation before, and they’re getting as much mileage from Horie Yui as they can. I still think that out of all Negima VAs returning so far she’s the one keeping up the best with her character.

      Edit: Whoops, this was meant as a reply to Yue’s post above. Sorry about that.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Thanks for the link.

      To me this is a Advertising Anime.

      That’s very true. Most anime are, but I think UQH is more than most.

  5. Yuuki says:

    Touta’s goal being vague in the manga was clearly intentional. Akamatsu wanted to subvert Shounen MC tropes like having a clear goal from the beginning (Becoming Hokage/Pirate King/Magister Magi etc.). He also didnt care about fighting and refused when Yukihime offered to train him in the beginning unlike most Shounen MCs.

    His character arc was about him wanting a big goal like his friends from the village so he wouldnt be left behind but unfortunately that seems to have been pushed aside when the Negima elements started creeping in.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Akamatsu wanted to subvert Shounen MC tropes like having a clear goal from the beginning

      Touta had a clear goal of sorts. It was just a BS goal and not one that would motivate anyone, even with a low IQ. That said, your points are valid. These are the things that led me to believe that Akamatsu-sensei wanted to follow Mashima-sensei’s approach with Fairy Tail. The MC has a specific goal, but nothing that really pushes that along. Stories are only drafted on an arc-by-arc basis. There’s no real thought to the overall goal and retconning is fine. Mashima-sensei gets away with it for the most part. Akamatsu-sensei does not.

  6. NullApostle says:

    Seeing as I dropped the manga a long time ago, I’m not likely to watch this. There is much better anime this season for me to get excited about (e.g. Juuni Taisen, Kino 2, Houseki no Kuni).
    I wish it success, but – skipping through the first episode – anyone not already interested in Negima will likely drop it, because the story seems generic as hell and the animation is bland at best. Nothing about UQH anime stands out, at all – action scenes, cute girls, etc. are all done better elsewere.

  7. Mattcgw says:

    It’s humorous, at this point how far Akamatsu-Sensei is to make Eva French, despite her name being Scottish and all he had to do was add D'(de) McDowell as a small rectcon; everything would’ve being above board. Or that she’s Scottish immigrant, Akamatsu-Sensei doesn’t seem to be to rectify his internal cognitive dissonance, because Japan. (Ainu have no rights.)
    Although, chapter 141 fucks up this inane adamancy, by giving Eva a Mac, instead of Mc, one which is irrefutable is Scottish, the latter ambiguously Scottish or Irish. (I’m going to blame the nonexistent Kodansha, QC, that doesn’t exist, why is proof reading, such an impossibility for the Twins, assuming that they are still translating, of course.)
    It’s like having a Chinese general called nobunaga Oda. You can insist all you want that the character is Chinese, but his name says differently. (and this, chapter makes Karin more gay, but with homophobic Undertones, tpyical Kodansha;because the translation keeps using man instead of, person. So it’s it looks like Nagi made her straight, and ignored Karin because of him, unless the Japanese is continuously explicit)

    Annoying, that Akamatsu-Sensei is credited as the chief scriptwriter, (Sentai credits) he is probably working quite intimately with the production staff, creating what is now the directors cuts of the source material. Yet, does nothing for Kuro’s backstory, that desperately needs changing or addressing, and he ignores the opportunity to do so, yet alters Touta’s reason for, his tower goal. (I quite like it, it was pretentious to otherwise, Touta not to, considering how the Chapter opened and his Koneo surname. Bad choice of VA, in this instance; I’m certain that Takakura is a a competent new actor, that will go on to do well like many of Negima’s alumni, but he like Aladdin, sound like girls. Why is it; that only the Dai Junko-Sama, can nail the difference’s and differentiate a shounen from a 5 year old.)

    Although, he maybe using a double entendre, to perhaps change Kuro’s backstory (still hoping for a Wendy illusion backstory) when he use the Eva remissing vision, it’s identical to what he’s done with, Negi and Touta. Also his clan does wear masks, how the bloody hell, are they bird youkai, than? As well as, neither of his patio cards have any wings on them, nor visible artefacts.

    The animation shines when needs be, mizore is central to opening, so I’m buying the
    JP Blu-ray, also the artbook and the negima blu-ray with Konoka and Setsuna art work, (I’m sorry Sensei, I know Asuna is based on your wife, but so is kirie and I really resent all the undo panel time Kirie sucks up, whilst being completely uninteresting, read/watch the Goddess arc in The world God only knows, for female character agency, go shiroi; Kana Hanazawa would be best girl as always, but Yui is there) (still amazed that marina was Kotaro, negima has so many ridiculously high-grade Seiryu, for such an early/old series)
    Shame it’s taken 12 years for a reliable adaptation of negima, just think of everything that’s changed in the last five years, let alone a decade, past 18 month alone has seen Europe let ablaze, and the EU march to a superstate/unification under German banner (so those millions of life’s lost in WWI&II, were for nought, then.) And my country nonchalantly received it second female leader, 35 years after Thatcher. And digital animation and anime is done across the world. Oh, and weekly shonen jump is being infested by the editorial by shallow shounen clichés.

    Karin’s and Kuro’s VA should be switched, much more appropriate for the characters.
    But JC staff seemingly being contrarian by choice, giving the expectations of monster musume, being subverted, like polt not being harsh or Smith having a sexy husky voice instead of a Cornelia from code Geass authoritarian Type Voice or Marina Inoue not being the blonde kansai speaking Gaijin (cough Tsukiumi).

    Assassination classroom is an interesting series, I look forward to seeing high speed shonen movement speeds, in uq holder, JC Staff did it particularly well in Assassination classroom.
    The ‘basic’ overall animation quality leads me to believe that, a second series would be far more likely as it wouldn’t be as expensive, notably if Blu-rays do 1k a volume or so. Fairy tale got a second anime, despite the data from Oricon, indicating a 150 per a volume boost, so it probably meant kodansha hemorrhage money, if you looked at it percentage wise. Because of the surcharge incurred by it being weekly.
    Although, almost certainly not next year because JC staff should be working on Railgun. And OOOOOONNNNNNEEEEE PUUUUNNCH man, that’ll be an interesting potential shitshow.

    Solid transition of magic attacks from manga to animation.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I think you are right about Eva’s name, France, and Scotland. I’m guessing that in Japan, Europe is just Europe, so Eva being French while having a more Scottish name doesn’t mean anything to them. For us, it does mean something.

      Annoying, that Akamatsu-Sensei is credited as the chief scriptwriter, (Sentai credits) he is probably working quite intimately with the production staff, creating what is now the directors cuts of the source material.

      Since Akamatsu-sensei has the copyright to his stuff, so it doesn’t surprise me that he’s involved with the script. I had heard that he was involved, but I didn’t know he was the chief scriptwriter. No wonder he tried to improve one what he’d done before.

  8. magine says:

    Chapter 3 is out.

    Spoiler Inside SelectShow
  9. NullApostle says:

    ANN has weighed in and is, I guess one could call it ‘cautiously optimistc’.
    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/uq-holder-magister-negi-magi-2/episodes-1-3/.122822

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