Story/Art: Ken Akamatsu
Translation: Aletha Nibley and Athena Nibley
Lettering: James Dashiell
What They Say:
To get the drop on UQ Holder’s true enemy, Fate Averruncus, Tota and the other head for Ama no Mihashira. At first, UQ Holder feels helpless before Fate’s overwhelming strength, but then, with some help from Kirie’s abilities, they manage to seize him! At last, for the first time in 20 years, Fate and Evangeline meet again. The moment their eyes lock in confrontation, the two hurl themselves into battle!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The plotline from the previous volume wrapped up rather quickly, within the first two chapters of this one, and I can’t say I’m very pleased about it. There was a lot of information dropped into the story all at once, which I liked because it was done in a well-worn, but well executed, fashion. Negi is still alive and captured or sealed somewhere and Tota is the only one who can release him. He can also save the 20 billion lives in the universe, so whatever. Also what.
This plot is kind of joke-y and also puts Tota at the literal center of the universe if what Averruncus is saying is true. As it is right now, I can’t really take it seriously. The thing is Akamatsu has been doing this for a while and gets how characters should interact and the question and answer (aforementioned “information dropped into the story all at once”) was pretty cute and said things about the characters while still being revealing in other ways. Like that Tota is willing to sacrifice the lives of humanity if he can settle the score between his parents’ killer, or that Karin is incredibly selfish, or that Kuromaru is increasingly logical in his thinking.
The rest of the book is spent on another mystery of the series where murders are taking place by seemingly magical means and no one knows how. A resolution hasn’t been reached as of the end of this volume, but I’m not quite sure why this story is going on, besides it actually is pretty cool.
An actual dead person who doesn’t know he’s dead and claiming he’s a psion is seemingly going on a killing spree throughout the school because he was bullied when he was alive and that’s all he remembers, basically. He keeps to himself otherwise until his then-unknown benefactor in Sayoko steps in and brings Tota and Kuromaru to his room to stay during their infiltration of the school. And that’s it. There’s no learning of moves or furthering of character. I’m not particularly angry about it since it was very, very entertaining to read (but I am also a sucker for mystery stories) and I only noticed in hindsight that nothing was really happening.
UQ Holder could be a lot better, but it doesn’t really need to be. UQ Holder isn’t a manga that will take the world by storm, but it is certainly very solid and fun shonen stuff. Not everything you read has to be the best thing you’ve ever read, but all of it should be entertaining in some way to you. This is entertaining and the characters are extremely likeable. I haven’t read Love Hina, but I’ve watched Negima. If Akamatsu can make 30+ characters interesting and funny for that long, he can certainly do the same for a smaller cast.
Content Grade: B-
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: July 7th, 2015