In the decade since the world became aware of the existence of magic, the world has undergone a massive upheaval. However, a boy named Touta lives in seclusion in a rural town far removed from these changes. His ordinary life is highlighted by his magic-using female teacher and his supportive friends. When his tranquil daily life is disrupted, he embarks on a unique adventure.
When this show was slated for the fall season, I was all hyped, ready to sink into the sequel (since Negima was one of my favourite shows, on paper and on screen). But then the show started, and was still excited, but that factor drained out once the episodes finished.
Now, don't get me wrong, this IS a good show, it's just that what its predecessor did was heaps better. Oh, and while it is based on the manga adaptation, note that the pacing skips the unnecessary chit-chatter that's present in the manga and picks up inconsistently while retaining its feel.
Set 80 years after the events
in Negima!, a promising shounen by the name of Touta Konoe (grandson of Negi Springfield) has Yukihime (or the legendary magician Evangeline A.K. McDowell who's a vampire) as his guardian, and due to a fight from a bounty hunter, gets to know her true identity and is introduced to the secret society kniown as UQ Holder.
As much as the story is unchanged from the manga counterpart, the development towards the big screen feels rushed and as mentioned, several scenes from the manga are cut out. But for that reason alone, am I willing to sit through a (somewhat) paltry 12 episodes compared to the substantial 2-cour shows that Negima fans know and love.
Touta Konoe (at this point) is your run-of-the-mill characters, with his strong points being aggressive at what he does, even after Yukihime steps in and creates his vampire persona. He is nothing special (well, if you compare him to Negi, for now) but will keep an eye for now. Oh, and his sword is probably the best part as a weight manipulator strength.
Kuromaru is (undoubtedly) female (but genderless before 16), but originally an assassin to murder Yukihime, she is offered a place alongside Touta, being members of UQ Holder. Her battle style is of the Shinmei-ryu sword technique (similar to Setsuna), and she is quite the person to look into with the interaction from the cast and crew.
As for Yukihime, she's the Evangeline you Negima fans know and love, just with her alias and with her establishment of UQ Holder, raising up Touta after his parents were killed in an accident, and trying her best not to stand out, hanging out with Touta and his friends (only Ep 1) on their adventures.
I was thinking that since production was by J.C.Staff, things are sure to look more modern, and while the art looked cheap, the animation was (surprisingly) consistent. It at least gets the job done, and a bit sad to say that this isn't one of the works that can outshine others out there.
Other than the OP (which Negima fans will know instantly), it's here and there in places. Not to say that the OST is bad, but is more topsy-turvy around the different scenes.
Verdict (after Ep 4):
Do watch if you're a diehard fan or Negima. As for myself, I WILL keep on watching until the end to see how everything turns out, so see you at the end.
So some of the early reviews were taken down (same with mine, but I kinda of wanted to fix my review anyways after cooling my mind on my favorite series), and so is my second review on UQ Holder!. But also please don't mind the low-ish rating I put for my favorite series. As a fan of the Negima series I am disappointed, but the anime itself is overall decent good.
For those who have read the manga of UQ or even also Negima, I'm not going to goin detail about the comparisons between the anime. Why? We all knew they were going to cut
the icing on the cake as usual.
So UQ Holder! by itself is decent shonen anime, probably even good depending how you feel about it. It is true that you "Do not" need to watch the previous Negima! series because the anime didn't even touch the surface of the real story, only in the manga is where you can get the feels and nostalgia of the Negima world. But if you don't have the time to read the manga, then you will be 100% fine watching UQ Holder. UQ is supposed to have a standalone anime vibe that is separate from it's parent anime.
I'm not going to go into depth about characters and the plot. This review is only like a product behind a window that will interest buyers. Tota is your typical shonen boy (its not a shonen main character without have a female VA) who dreams to climb the tower. Of course there will be action, actually pretty good fighting animation throughout the series. However the Negima franchise is widely known for their light ecchi scenes and censored nudity. If you can't stand stuff like that, then by all means look past this review and anime. But as a fan of the Negima series, UQ Holder is a unique and interesting anime that does out best it's parent anime with its faster pacing. Sadly the anime is only going to be 12 episodes long, but I can gurantee UQ Holder! is a good anime for viewers who are unfamiliar to the Negima series.
This ends my second review on UQ Holder! on a better note. But I will always say, I'm sorry for taking your precious minutes with my words.
The rest of the section is for the fans of Negima and UQ Holder:
When the adaption first came out, I'm pretty sure everybody were biting their nails or acted excitedly if we would get a unbutchered adapation of UQ. Sadly we did. But after cooling my head while watching the series, the adapation will always be inferior to the manga, mainly because of the famous people in charge of our beloved Negima!'s offspring. But I mean UQ Holder! isn't bad (even if it is), it's just all the small details were tossed away. It's like a portrait without a picture frame. Those small details played a big part into shaping the whole feel of UQ Holder and without them, there is a sense of emptiness, not as much excitement that you would get from the manga when watching the anime. But all in a day's end, Santa (Clause) ain't real. Don't cry about it cause I'm not (T.T)