So far there are fewer girls but who knows for how long!

What do you mean this is a Negima sequel?

 

Despite having seen multiple people talking about this series online, I, a person who thinks she read a tiny bit of Negima back in high school, had no idea that this was a sequel to a very long-running harem series. Having looked around online after reading the first volume, it sounds like a Ken Akamatsu newbie can rest easy and jump into this series blind. This is a direct sequel (not a companion series) and while there are some cross-over characters and ideas the story lays everything out quiet clearly and you can jump in easily.

It’s quite a slow series so far, however. I know that this is gearing up to be a long running, battle-heavy shounen series but the story take the entire first volume to even work the title in, and it turns out to be a pun that doesn’t translate very well — “uq” is a homonym for the Japanese word “eternal.” The story actually spends a remarkable amount of its time just flaffing around too. Middle school aged lead Tota Konoe doesn’t seem to have a really strong dream or end goal in mind when he finally makes it out of his hometown — we see him bounce between half a dozen potential career paths but none of these ideas ever seem serious — and frankly the story doesn’t seem to have a really clear idea of where it’s going either. The world-building is fleshed out rather naturally but a setting without plot or compelling characters is dull, and nothing here really grabbed me.

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I also found a few of the fight sequences tricky to follow (the paneling was fine but sometimes the action inside each individual panel was overly crowded) and while it’s a far cry from the worst fight scenes I’ve tried to decipher, I do hope that Akamatsu loosens up in his art a bit. Unfortunately I don’t think I will be sticking around to find out. Sure, I know that the series is going to introduce more characters and I might connect with some of them, but if the series was going to grab me if should have done so already. The quickest way to sum up the story is “inoffensive shounen” — it’s not bad but it’s not clever either.