UQ Holder Episode 3: Immortal Girls and Monsters

Review:

I have to wonder what this show actually thinks is its selling point. The action, while fun and all, isn’t particularly well animated and since pretty much every character of note is an immortal there is pretty much zero tension or reason to actually be concerned about the outcome. They try to alleviate the lack of tension by adding an artificial time limit for a test, but really given the basic narrative structure there was no other way for the test to end, so again, zero tension.

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If we looked at it from a comedy point of view, to be honest it is somewhat lacking. Not dreadful mind you, but there’s definitely better action/comedy shows out there if that’s what you are after. And the fan-service this week kind of vanished, so if that was your draw you are going to be out of luck.

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Mind you, none of this stops the episode being watchable enough. It just isn’t anything special and the show as a whole isn’t anything special. As I’m deciding my final watch list over the weekend, I seriously question whether this one will stay on it.


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UQ Holder Episode 2: Stupid but Fun

Review:

Right, so the MA15+ rating this show was given on AnimeLab makes a lot more sense. The first episode other than the sneeze blowing girls clothes off was kind of tame (you know except that whole slicing and dicing a kid to near death thing and drinking blood – amazing what I define as tame these days) but this episode steps it up a notch with nudity (cartoonishly censored) and yet more violence (new kid gets hand through chest – good thing apparently no one we’ve met yet can die).

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If I’m honest, I had a lot of fun watching. It isn’t well written with stuff just kind of happening and characters neglecting to mention important things and then just throwing it in as a by-the-way. The main character is seriously irritating in that he just ignores questions he should ask, forgets about important things, and doesn’t concern himself with other matters; he’s also hopelessly naive and optimistic about things and I’m pretty sure would walk up to a flaming dragon and ask to be friends with some expectation that the situation would end well.

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Still, there is something stupidly charming about how this show just kind of knows exactly what it is and it isn’t trying to dress it up or cover over it. I’m torn in that the logical side of my brain kept picking the plot and characters to pieces where the rest of me just wanted to laugh at some of the antics. I think the laughing side is winning because I’m kind of looking forward to seeing what this does for episode 3.

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There’s still the potential for me to drop this. I’m not exactly caring what the whole UQ Holder thing is or anything else to do with the plot. However, if it manages to remain light enough this might do me for a brain break each week.


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UQ Holder Episode 1: Not A Total Disaster

Overview:

In the decade since the world became aware of the existence of magic, the world has undergone massive upheaval. However, a boy named Tōta 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.

– From AnimeLab

Review:

This show opens with a scene of a group of school girls greeting a male teacher. The male teacher sneezes and magically blows the girls clothes off. Then we see some other blonde girl acting all smug who starts a monologue about being a 700 year old vampire. Then we get an opening sequence before we meet an entirely different group of boys who are trying to defeat their teacher so that they can go to the capital.

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Honestly, this introduction is a mess. I’m not exactly sure who that opening sequence was attempting to appeal to but it is just a confused mess of ambiguous, dull, or generic tropes and none of it really screamed keep watching me. As the episode progressed, things got better but Touta, the main character, is pretty much your stock standard shonen hero. He’s training to beat his teacher to achieve some nebulous goal that doesn’t seem well thought through, his parents are dead and he’s raised by his mentor, turns out he’s also lost his memory, and by the way, after nearly dying his mentor reveals that she turned him into an immortal to save his life.

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The episode ends with teacher and boy heading off to the capital and from the opening and ending it looks like we’ll meet a whole new cast of characters so no reason to really care about anyone we’ve met so far.

This is not a great introduction to a series, but there’s been worse opening episodes. I’ll give this one a couple more to see if it can settle in to something that might eventually come up with an original idea (seriously, this show has an orbital elevator which they keep referring to as a tower that he wants to climb – how many other anime just flashed through your mind). Or even if this show can find a way to present a generic story in an interesting manner given it kind of failed completely at that in this first episode.

If you checked out the first episode, let me know your thoughts.


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