UQ Holder Chapter 161 Manga Review (OP is OP)

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 161
UQ Holder Chapter 161

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: 

UQ Holder Chapter 161Jinbee recalls how he met Juuzou some 800 years earlier. Juuzou was already an immortal, thanks to the Elixir of Life. However, he looked like a scrawny kid and had no skills other than being able to cut things with a blade. Since Juuzou was an easy target for bandits, and since Jinbee rescued him, Juuzou asked Jinbee to train him. And Jinbee agreed.

In the present, Jinbee sees the others attempting to fight Juuzou is futile. He teleports his comrades and Sept away, instructing them to handle Sept. He telepathically lets them know that Sept is akin to Santa, only a high-level spirit. Karin, Kuroumaru, Santa, and Gengorou immediately discover that Sept can move at the speed of light, meaning their fight won’t be easy.

Elsewhere, Ikkuu encounters Basago, where they quickly discuss the situation. Meanwhile, Jinbee decides to forgo the use of a sword and use an unarmed, iron-arm technique. Juuzou is stunned that Jinbee can block his attacks, but then discovers how Jinbee is doing it. He comes after Jinbee full force, eventually stabbing him through the back. However, this was what Jinbee needed in order to teleport Juuzou’s sword arm off him at the cost of Jinbee’s arm.

 



Thoughts/Review:

Pretty much non-stop seinen battle action in UQ Holder chapter 161, even though this is a shounen manga. Still, the lack of proper setup for Sept and Juuzou makes things less interesting than they should be.

Proper Use of OP

Juuzou’s actual arrival in UQ Holder (not his teased moments from flash images to show he existed) and subsequent OP abilities really bothered me. So I thought back to Negima! and to that series’ OP boss, Fate. Initially, Fate was rather low-key, but his calm attitude helped relay a sense of confidence, which in turn indicated he was probably pretty powerful, even if his job was merely to assist the main bad guy of the story arc.

Before we saw Fate in combat, we got tastes of his power. We were shown that Fate was indeed pretty powerful, and likely more powerful than he was letting on. By the time Negi confronted Fate, we knew Negi was in for a fight. And indeed, he had to be saved by Eva. And even in Fate’s exit from combat with Eva, we were left with a sense that Fate could have taken her on and possibly defeated her. Its just that this was a battle he wasn’t willing to fight at this time.

To me, this is the proper use of establishing an OP enemy character.

Improper Use of Ops

Akamatsu-sensei did not properly establish Juuzou’s OP propertied. The few times Juuzou was mentioned in UQ Holder, we are told he’s pretty powerful, but only in the most general of ways. We never are shown his power in action. There’s nothing done to establish Juuzou as the OP monster we are shown in UQ Holder chapter 161 or any of the earlier chapters.

UQ Holder Chapter 161

Throughout UQ Holder, we’ve come to understand the powers of the UQ Holder members. For example, Karin’s immortally and powers are from God, as is the fact that while she may feel pain, she cannot be harmed. But Juuzou came along, and just because he swung a blade for over 800 years, he can overcome God and cut through something that cannot be cut through. Why? Because Akamatsu-sensei needed a threat that could harm even Karin. And even in a world filled with people with insane abilities and such, Juuzou breaks the rules of that world.

Further, Jinbee’s method for “blocking” Juuzou’s sword made no real sense. No matter what spatial tear trick Jinbee is using, a sword’s moment will carry it forward. The hilarious thing is that in order to block Jinbee’s sword, it has to connect with something. But saying, “My blade gets confused ’cause there’s apparently already a cut due to the spatial tear”, but then it immediately encounters material that can be cut and not being able to cut it is laughable in the extreme. To me, it goes to show how poorly thought out Juuzou’s OP ability is.

Jinbee

Jinbee’s about to go OP on us as well. With Jinbee, his ability to do insane things will come off as somewhat more believable. Why? Well for a start, despite being lazy as well as laid back, Jinbee has survived all of these centuries. Further, we’ve seen him in action and know that he only does the bare minimum he is forced to do in order to get the job done.

I don’t know what kind of new crazy stuff Jinbee is about to pull out of his hat, but he at least has a better foundation to carry it. Juuzou had none.

As an aside, I don’t think Jinbee will be able to actually win. I think that’s being reserved for Super Touta.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

In the end, UQ Holder chapter 161 is full of the seinen battle action we’ve come to expect from this shounen manga title. However, Juuzou’s lack of proper setup takes a lot of the enjoyment out of the chapter for me.

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10 Responses to “UQ Holder Chapter 161 Manga Review (OP is OP)”

  1. OverMaster says:

    This is another chapter where the monthly pace really hurts the series, as it makes the current conflict feel a lot longer than it really is. By the time this is over it’ll have taken months out of a short deadline for the end of the series in a single major action sequence, something a weekly would already have done with.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      That is true. I don’t think I’ve read a monthly action piece before, at least not one quite like this.

      • Rob C. says:

        Waiting for this stuff come out is kinda killing me. UQ Holder one of few mangas i follow that seem to be action pack as it is and still have amazing art as well for current releases.

  2. Yue Ayase says:

    I think you’re trying to read into things a bit too much. Karin’s been the “Worf” of the series for awhile now, and every time she gets cocky she gets bitten for it.

    Just enjoy the Touta-less action while it lasts. I personally prefer these chapters over some of the other ones we’ve gotten as of recent.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Karin’s been the “Worf” of the series for awhile now, and every time she gets cocky she gets bitten for it.

      Hahahaha! That made me laugh a lot. 😂

      Still, even within the scope of the world Akamatsu-sensei started with Negima, I can’t buy into someone who just swung a sword for 800 years being able to defy God. At the same time, Jinbee seems to call BS on Juuzou’s power with how he stopped Juuzou. But that’s just me.

      Just enjoy the Touta-less action while it lasts.

      Hahaha! You are on a roll! Yeah, no Touta is nice for sure. But at thje same time, I know he’ll be the one to come in and save the day.

      • Rob C. says:

        I’d like note that couple chapters ago, Akamatsu-sensei was suggesting power of god was a collective will of Human prayer/spiritual will or something like that.

        So if your defying “God” in this setting, your actually flipping your middle finger up to bunch of collective people.

        At least that was my impression after that chapter of Touta and Karin.

        I’d be happy if we’d get into something else than UQ Holder (Self-Destructs) story arc.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          So if your defying “God” in this setting, your actually flipping your middle finger up to bunch of collective people.

          That may be, but it still rubs me the wrong way that Juuzou swinging a sword for 800 years means he can cut through Karin’s God-given invulnerability. I’d be fine if Juuzou could cause Karin insane levels of pain. But him being able to cut that which cannot be cut is a bridge too far for me.

  3. Kiboujin says:

    I was really hoping that, since Karen has yet to experience her limbs being cut off, they actually couldn’t reattach. She would then get some awesome, but not divinely protected, prosthetics. I’m not surprised that they did reattach though:)

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I was really hoping that, since Karen has yet to experience her limbs being cut off, they actually couldn’t reattach.

      That would have been an amazing, unexpected twist.

      I’m not surprised that they did reattach though

      Yeah, that’s Akamatsu-sensei’s crutch to be ultra violent, but then limbs just reattach and viola, all’s well.

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