Ah, here we go…
1. the route
It’s a bit hard to make out, but the 6-lane road the three were travelling on after the hot spring is the Meishin Expressway. The sign on the right points to Kyoto and Osaka.
The sign on the left is too blurry, so I have no idea. It LOOKS kind of like ‘Tokyo Harbor Bypass’? …Yeah, screw that. Ask someone who lives near the expressway.
PS: I guess Shinobu does have a chance of reappearing at some point if Akamatsu is still bringing her up.
2. the UQ Holders and Yukihime
So, it’s been properly revealed that ‘UQ Holder’ refers to a family of undying that Eva and ‘someone’ created. Said someone thought to use immortality for the sake of the world… given the lack of options at this point, Negi is a pretty solid choice, I guess?
The Fate-alike called Yukihime ミストレル which I am going to assume is a typo of ミストレス. I haven’t been able to find anything on the former which links it to the Japanese 女主人, or ‘Mistress’ (which is what I’ll go with). Unless Akamatsu specifically notes elsewhere that there’s an actual meaning, or he really meant to call her a ‘mistral/maestrale’…
3. Different forms of immortality
Of course, the details that Yuki gives on different immortals are the big draw here.
Vampires, especially the ‘Nobles’ among them
Obviously. As for ‘Nobles’, probably somewhere along of lines of Dead Apostle Ancestors, Red Court/White Court, the Masquerade, etc.
Divine, demonic and phantasmal ones that possess the same level of undeath as vampires
Another easy one… other creatures as indestructible as vampires. Negima had several (shown and mentioned) that couldn’t be physically destroyed and needed soul-killing spells to off completely.
Users of the drinks of gods, miracle drugs, philosophers’ stones, etc.
The first one, 神酒 miki means ‘wine of gods’ but apparently refers to the word ‘nectar’ as well, itself derived from the Greek nektar, meaning ‘drink of the Gods’… or, more literally, ‘that which overcomes death’. We might be looking at a new lexicon entry here…
The second one, 霊薬 reiyaku might be a familiar term for those of you who play Japanese games, but it basically refers to any sort of divine substance taken to become ageless and undying. Funnily enough, both an example of this (al-iksir/elixir) and the next item (philosophers’ stone) have been mentioned in Negima, though the ‘elixir’ lexicon entry did not mention immortality.
Computerized brains and robotization – undeath that comes from science
Chachamaru. Ghost in the Shell. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a ‘cyberbrain’ reference later.
A stock of lives, a lives system
A living video game character? As Yuki says, ‘iunno’. Presumably something like Herakles and God Hand from Fate, but with visible damage counters.
A twist of causality, a curse of undeath
You have to admit, this is starting to sound more Nasu than Akamatsu. For those not familiar, there is a character in Nasu’s verse who is immortal because she was the former host of a baddie who can reincarnate, except said baddie reincarnated when she wasn’t really-totally-absolutely dead, so now the world itself refuses to let her die because she is technically still ‘him’ and thus alive. Or something, it’s been a long time since I’ve read Tsukihime.
—– g. 「死ぬと転生、セーブポイントの設置」
Rebirth from death at a set save-point
Another game-like mechanic… this time, a respawn point.
—– h. 「人体改造」
This is pointedly in reference to Kuroumaru, but it’s hard to say what it means. And this is a wild stab in the dark, but I wonder if this might also be referring to High Daylight Walkers, as they are mages who became immortal through some sort of secret technique (or techniques). Back during the battle in the Gravekeeper’s Palace, Eva did mention that the Life-Maker was ‘some old mage’ who used her to research immortality.
But I’m probably just grasping at straws here.