UQ Holder! has a little bit of everything. It has ecchi, magic, violence, and a likable protagonist – but is that enough?
Creator: Ken Akamatsu/J.C.Staff
It has been two years since Tota’s parents died and Yukihime adopted him. Ever since, his, and his four other friends, seemingly have made it their goal to defeat Yukihime. Not because they see her as evil or anything, but because if they can defeat the strongest person they know, they believe they’ll make it at the capital.
However, unbeknownst to them, Yukihime, real name Evangeline, is a 700-year-old vampire. That is, until a bounty hunter named Tachibana comes after her and Tota gets in the way. Leading to what would seemingly be the end for those two – until Tota drinks Yukihime’s blood. With that, he too becomes immortal, perhaps a vampire, and defeats Tachibana.
But, with it being clear that Yukihime and Tota are no longer safe in the village, especially with there being a 600 million yen bounty on Yukihime, they are forced to leave.
Up until Tachibana reveals himself, and the show gets quite violent, it seemed that we were going to get an oddly mixed show. One which has your usual fan service of naked teenaged, or undisclosed aged, girls. That paired with your usual heavy breasted female lead and this boy with big dreams.
Which would have been fine. It isn’t my taste, but not everything is for everyone. However, with Tachibana revealing himself, so comes blood and gore and I felt put on notice. For what seemed to be a slice of life show featuring a vampire and their overzealous kid, it became a possible action show. One that might just be interesting after all.
On The Fence
It Isn’t What You May Have Originally Thought
Though, I have to admit, I would have been absolutely fine if this was about a 700-year-old vampire repenting for maybe causing an accident, trying to experiment with motherhood or maybe, after so many eons, actually growing close to someone again. If only because, when it deals with the various legendary monsters, violence or a potentially sexual romance is what dominates their stories. And I don’t know if Queen of the Damned memories are triggering this or not, but there is something interesting about the idea of a maternal vampire who raises someone and watches them, and mothers them, from the beginning to end. Sort of like The Age of Adaline or Forever where there is this beauty in getting to spend your whole life healthy and watching this person grow, but then eventually deal with their unavoidable death.
There is such an interesting dynamic there not often played out that I would love to see. Especially minus all the action and romance but the heartache that comes with knowing that person’s life won’t be permanent unless you turn them into what you are. A choice that they’ll never understand the pain involved and the weight of what they may ask.
The Way Forward
With saying that, I am kind of iffy on what is to come. I read the Wikipedia page and now have spoiled everything for myself. Making it so, the idea of this dual persona being in Tota which Yukihime has to look out for not sounding that interesting. At least because of my own preconceived notions of where this could go. For while there isn’t a doubt in my mind the action scenes on that journey will be well done, I just am kind of tired of seeing the same thing over and over again with legendary monsters.
Not to imply I ever want to watch something like Demi-chan wa Kataritai (Interviews with Monster Girls) again, but the potential that show had in the first episode I would love to see realized.
Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)
I don’t doubt UQ Holder! can become an interesting series, maybe even one of the top of the season. My problem is that it downplays certain angles which could be interesting and pursues what we have often seen before. A maternal vampire taking care of someone else’s kid, there is so much that can be done there we rarely get to see. They could even add them both on the run and her helping him adapt to being a vampire. Something they may very well do to a certain degree.
But, per the Wikipedia Page, there is something slightly convoluted that will go down and no matter how many times I re-read it, I find myself with a disinterested look.