I’ve been a fan of Ken Akamatsu’s for years now. I still remember reading Love Hina and Mahou Sensei Negima. I picked up reading his current series UQ Holder! and saw that it was a sequel to Negima! Now, here in 2017, UQ Holder! has been given an anime adaptation and I couldn’t be happier! After watching the first episode, I have my thoughts on this long-awaited series!
First Episode Impressions
UQ Holder!’s first episode started out with a nice flashback to Negi Springfield’s teaching days in Negima. We get his classic gag where he sneezes and all of the girls’ clothes go flying off. After that, our main story kicks in with Tota Konoe. He lost his parents and his memories and was taken in by his teacher, Yukihime, who may look a bit familiar. If she does, it’s because she is Evangeline McDowell from the Negima series. One of the instructors at school, Tachibana, promises to teach Tota and his friends magic so they could stand toe to toe with Evangeline. This was just an elaborate scheme to trap Evangeline as the Tachbana is a bounty hunter who was sent to kill her.
When Evangeline is attacked, Tota comes to the rescue, but is powerless to do anything. In fact, he ends up getting his arm severed and then pierced through his abdomen. On the verge of death, he drinks Evangeline’s blood to re-energize himself. Evangeline also tells Tota that he cannot die and that she made him an immortal a while ago. Stunned by these words, Tota quickly realizes he has no time to spare and jumps into action. Of course, Tachibana is defeated and Tota begins his journey to the tower, which he desperately wants to climb.
So far, the adaptation is spot on, but there was one difference that kind of bothered me. He visited the graves of his parents and his grandfather, Negi Springfield. Negi’s ghost appears and is leading Tota to the tower. That didn’t really happen in the manga and I’m quite surprised that they would go ahead and reveal that plot point right out of the gate. It makes me wonder if this series is going to only last for 12-13 episodes. Also, Tota’s voice kind of bothered me a bit. I didn’t imagine him having such a high-pitched voice when reading the manga, but it kind of makes sense given how high-pitched Negi was in the Negima adaptation. It’s just something I’ll have to get used to, I suppose.
OP & ED Impressions
“Happy☆Material” by Tota Konoe (Yuka Takakura), Kuroumaru Tokisaka (Yuuki Hirose), Kirie Sakurame (Ai Kayano), Karin Yuuki (Yui Ogura), Shinobu Yuuki (Sayaka Harada), and Mizore Yukihiro (Akari Kito)…. (takes deep breath) serves as the opening and this is one I am going to completely pass on. The voice actors singing to your typical upbeat electronic theme is getting really, really old. I’m not a fan of this style of music and very rarely does it hold my attention. If that’s your kind of thing then, more power to you. I hope you go out and buy a copy of the album when it drops. As for me, I’ll pass.
“Steady→GO!!” by Tota Konoe (Yuka Takakura), Kuroumaru Tokisaka (Yuuki Hirose), Kirie Sakurame (Ai Kayano), Karin Yuuki (Yui Ogura), Shinobu Yuuki (Sayaka Harada), and Mizore Yukihiro (Akari Kito)… (takes another deep breath) serves as the ending and if you’ve seen one polka dot background with chibi characters running to an unknown destination set to an upbeat electronic theme sung by voice actors, then you’ve seen this already. Again, for me, it’s nothing special and I won’t be picking up the full version of this one either.
MAYBE – For me, it’s a resounding YES. I loved Mahou Sensei Negima and I am really looking forward to what this show will bring to the table, but I’m labeling this as a maybe because while you don’t really need to see Negima in order to enjoy UQ Holder!, it’s still written in a way that you have an understanding of the Negima universe. There will be more and more characters from the Negima series appearing in upcoming episodes and while I have no doubt that they will give a brief rundown of who they are, seeing (or reading) Negima will give you a much better understanding. Because of that, some people may not want to invest the time to brush up on Negima and might write this show off even though you should give it a try.