Another week, another episode of UQ Holder! to write about. With the conclusion of the First Mission arc, UQ Holder!‘s gearing up to bigger things, but did it properly set up the foundation?
How much was adapted?
Episode 5 of UQ Holder! adapted roughly all of volume 3 of the original manga. Granted much of it was cut, including all of the parts of the arc that were included in volume 4. Despite lots getting cut, I’d still consider it a decent truncating of the original material. Much of what was cut from the ending of the arc was reasonable, as it didn’t add a ton to the overall story. Of course, there was still more confusing cuts, once again mostly relating to Tota and Kuromaru’s characters. The fact that this has happened in two episodes in a row is a problem.
Tota and Kuromaru are important characters, and we as viewers need to know more about them. The UQ Holder! anime is showing events from the manga, but lacking to include the aspects of it that lead people to care about the characters. The UQ Holder! anime is the same story on the surface, but it rings hollow without it’s more personal moments. I hope that this can be fixed somewhat in future episodes, but some of the damage has already been done.
The Staff and Action of UQ Holder! Episode 5
Once again this episode was written by Yuichiro Takeda (scripts on Desert Punk). The episode was storyboarded by Yasutaka Yamamoto (Actually, I Am) and directed by Kana Kawana (episode director on Mr. Osomatsu). Animation-wise, UQ Holder! still isn’t anything to write home about. The fights at least have enough punch that they’re a little worthwhile. Anyone wanting to see the fights from the manga in motion won’t be disappointed. Anybody very interested in the craft of animation and direction will probably not have much to get from this episode.
As I have stated, Kuromaru’s character development and revelations from this arc have been removed. This is disappointing, to say the least. Tota and Kuromaru’s friendship is a pretty important aspect of UQ Holder!, as is Kuromaru’s insecurities. Removing them takes away one of the primary purposes of the arc! The point of the characters going on a mission isn’t to have them go on a mission, it’s for the readers to learn about the world, the characters and the themes of the story.
It looks like the next episode is going to cover the reveals about Kuromaru that were skipped over. Something to note is that the episode title is quite similar to the title of chapter … 101. This raises some issues. First of all, the anime is roughly at chapter 30 so far. As a result of that, I am quite sceptical at the abilities of the staff to adapt chapter 101 into the current story. If the episode is an adaptation of that story, it will have to be heavily altered. The contents of that chapter are reliant on all that has happened to Kuromaru to that point. We shall have to see next week I suppose.
Time Is Running Out For UQ Holder!
Unless UQ Holder! turns out to be two cour, time is running out. Next week is a Kuromaru episode, and we got a cameo by Fate at the end of this episode. This means most likely we’ll be seeing the Fate arc adapted, which needs at least two episodes. That leaves four episodes. Not a lot of time for this show. Seems like a lot to do if they want to adapt the stuff from the poster. I wanted to write these posts to understand the choices made by the staff. The more confused I get the more interested I am to see how this anomaly of an adaptation will turn out. Let’s see what next week brings.