September 19, 2013

UQ Holder 004 Observations

Filed under: Updates — CanonRap @ 12:36 am

Chapter has been out for a long time (to an anomalous degree) so I’m guessing the content’s been talked over several times already. Anyway…

1. Kurourmaru and his clan
So, Kuro was more or less deliberately sent on a suicide mission against Evangeline. His body is ‘accursed’, though whether that refers to his deathlessness as well as/or something else is up to debate. Setsuna was considered ‘taboo’ just for being born white, so again, another possible parallel.

(On another note: Yes, I’m sticking with ‘he’. The ‘Story So Far’ explicitly calls him a ‘boy’, something that did not happen with Shinobu. So unless Akamatsu retcons it… it’s a man, baby.)

As for why those guys were wearing masks… well, who knows, really. They sort of look like theatre masks and some brief Googling told me that there IS a kind of vaguely bird-shaped mask used in traditional dances and variously referred to as ‘bird-helm’ or ‘crow-head’. But that’s looking waaaaaay too deeply into something Akamatsu probably just put in to avoid having to come up with faces for background characters nobody care about.

Finally, Kuro calls the guy ‘Nii-sama’. Again, it’s hard to say if he’s really an older brother or not.

2. Yukihime’s retort
When Touta panics and calls Yuki ‘Grandma’, she responds by calling him ジャリ or 砂利 jari – literally ‘pebble(s)’ and a term I’ve never seen used this way before. This is apparently a stage jargon (and insult), used to refer to the kids in the audience. It’s saying that, looking down from the stage, the kids are so tiny they look like pebbles.

…Nice to see the jibes getting more sophisticated while still carrying the same general meaning. Poor Touta.

3. Kuroumaru’s Shinmei
So… Zanmaken Ni-No-Tachi. That was a bit unexpected. As I remember, Ni-No-Tachi techniques are supposed to be taught only to those related to the founding family of Shinmei (ie. Aoyama). Is Kuro’s clan Aoyama, after all?

As has been noted elsewhere, ‘Ni-No-Tachi’ is now 弐乃太刀 instead of 弐の太刀 from Love Hina and Negima (the ‘No’ is now more archaic). I doubt it actually means anything, though. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a typo.

By the way, it doesn’t actually say ‘Achievement Unlocked’ – that would be 実績解除 in Japanese.* Still, that’s a very funny way to put it!

* What do you know, you do learn stuff watching NND game commentaries!



  1. Re: 3, Touta’s surname is Konoe, so he must be related, seeing as Eishun knew the technique (and taught it to Kurt).

    Re: Achievement Unlocked: that was just me having fun 😛

    Comment by southrop — September 19, 2013 @ 1:00 am

    • Wow sorry I don’t know what I was thinking. Mixed up Kuroumaru and Touta somehow o_O Ignore my brainfart

      Comment by southrop — September 19, 2013 @ 3:07 am

    • I got a good laugh out of it ^^

      Comment by CanonRap — September 19, 2013 @ 10:26 am

  2. Interesting on the use of the male vernacular for the recap. I wouldn’t consider it a retcon if Kuroumaru turns out to be a woman (or genderless). The presumption in the story is that Kuroumaru is male, but there’s still doubt, as seen by Touta trying to see Kuroumaru’s goods.

    >Finally, Kuro calls the guy ‘Nii-sama’. Again, it’s hard to say if he’s really an older brother or not.

    I had asked about this on the AQS forums because I was curious. I actually expected “aniki” so I was somewhat surprised by the (o)niisama term. But I agree with you that the use of the term does not mean kinship. Indeed, it wouldn’t surprise me if Kuroumaru was not related to anyone in the clan and was an orphan like Touta.

    Anyway, always glad to read your insights into the series. ^_^

    Comment by astronerdboy — September 19, 2013 @ 3:46 am

    • Well, I guess it isn’t decided until it’s made completely explicit within dialogue. Still, this seems more like Akamatsu extending the joke…

      Comment by CanonRap — September 19, 2013 @ 7:57 am

      • Yeah, I think so too.

        As to keeping Kuroumaru’s gender a mystery, beyond the joke, I think there’s a reason for Akamatsu-sensei to keep things secret. He can have Touta go all out against Kuroumaru while a “he” but should Touta turn out to be a “she,” then the fight they had might not be so well received. I know Akamatsu-sensei has had male vs. female fights in Negima, but the fight between Touta and Kuroumaru had more on the line. I don’t know, maybe I’m reading into it too much.

        Comment by astronerdboy — September 19, 2013 @ 10:20 am

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