ユーキューホルダー!/UQ Holder Chapter 9 Review
Jinbee takes the two to his residence in this underground place, which he hasn't been to in six months. The place is filled with books and the three have nabe. Kuroumaru and Touta speak briefly of their immortality. Jinbee tells them he's a 1400 year old immortal, having become one from consuming the flesh of a merperson. Kuroumaru has to explain to Touta about the Japanese legend of merpeople, and how mermaids and the like did not have the positive image in Japan prior to the popularization of Western mermaid stories.
Jinbee continues by saying how his immortality is actually weak, which is why he is so scarred. Further, he had comrades, but he's the only one still alive. Touta is impressed with Jinbee's story and is about to scold Kuroumaru for not trusting Jinbee, only to discover Kuroumaru has been moved to tears. Kuroumaru starts to address Jinbee as "senpai", then shifts to "jinsei no sensei" (life master), shocking Touta, who then reminds Kuroumaru of the scolding given to Touta for going gaga for Jinbee.
Jinbee is amused by the pair of them, so he sends them to deal with the monster seals. The two excitedly go to do so, but once there, Touta realizes there's not much he can do with only one arm. Kuroumaru uses incredible sword skills to wipe out one of the monster seals, impressing Touta greatly. However, both Kuroumaru and Touta are forced to flee when a herd of monster seals charge them.
Returning to Jinbee's lair, both apologize. Jinbee figures that Touta could watch Kuroumaru's back, but he needs a weapon. Jinbee takes them to the tower hideout of an "evil mage" that has been abandoned for thirty years. Going up to massive deck extending from this tower, Jinbee shows them a sword the mage created, which is lodged in a stone and called Gravity Blade.
Those of us reading this manga know that Touta is desperately in need of some schooling to get him off this path of blind stupidity. However, although Kuroumaru may be more cautious and highly skilled, even Kuroumaru is in need of education in this regard. Both characters are pretty naive.
It is interesting how Akamatsu-sensei brings in the Japanese legend of obtaining immortality via the flesh of a merperson. I know Takahashi-sensei did a manga about this years ago (Mermaid Saga, aka: Ningyo Shiriizu (人魚シリーズ)). I like how Akamatsu-sensei is reminding folks that merpeople were not considered to be attractive half-human/half fish creatures, but rather more monster-like.
It looks like Akamatsu-sensei is going to run the "Is Kuroumaru a girl or a boy" joke into the ground. Jinbee calling Kuroumaru "ojouchan" adds to that, as does Kuroumaru's girlish, negative reaction.
Onto more substantive stuff, Akamatsu-sensei made a big point of having Touta blatantly reject Eva's offer to teach him the shundou-jitsu arts. Despite this, it appears that Touta has acquired the skill after only observing Kuroumaru use it. That's way faster than even Negi learned it, and Negi had some actual training in it. This suggests to me that Touta may have already known it, but we'll see. Akamatsu-sensei may be suggesting that Touta can learn anything he's exposed to.
Since Touta has been shown to reject using a sword, other than the boken Touta used in the beginning of the series, yet was shown with a sword in the promotional art, I guess having Touta lose an arm is Akamatsu-sensei's way of getting Touta to use a weapon rather than just rely on his fists. I suppose it isn't too much to say that Touta will get this Gravity Blade in the stone.
It does appear that Gravity Blade is at Al's residence under Library Island in the Mahora Academy campus grounds. What happened to Al 30 years ago to cause him to disappear is a mystery (assuming this is Al's place), though I have read speculation that maybe he got snagged by one of those monster seals, which take 30 years to digest their food. I would be amused by this if Touta and Kuroumaru battle the monster seals and in one of them is Al, waiting to be pooped out.
Finally, the splash page showing Eva in her normal form and her Yukihime form was pretty nifty. ^_^
Akamatsu-sensei takes his first break next week, so we'll have to wait a couple of weeks to find out where things go.