Image source: TVアニメ「UQ HOLDER! 」 on Twitter
The main characters in UQ Holder!: Magister Negi Magi 2 are immortal and near-indestructible beings. But, what happens when the people they care about are also immortal?
Our hero Tōta Konoe is a boy in middle school who dreams of going to the big city and making a name for himself. In order to do that, though, he has to defeat his guardian and teacher named Yukihime—an immortal vampire—in combat. The only problem is that Yukihime is far too powerful for Tōta to defeat.
[This article contains spoilers for the first episode of UQ Holder!: Magister Negi Magi 2.]
One of the first themes authors go to with stories about immortal characters is how everyone they loved is no longer with them. It often revolves around how those characters miss their family. UQ Holder!, though, takes this idea and turns it upside down. While there is some reminiscing, we actually see what happens when an immortal character finds a new family. Although this brings its own unique struggles, ultimately it creates an interesting story for the series.
When the first episode of UQ Holder! opens, we’re actually treated to a short montage by the series heroine, Yukihime, about what it means to be immortal. It’s a very thought-provoking scene both artistically and narratively as it shows Yukihime walking down a beach leaving bits of her past behind while she talks about being cursed. This sets a stage for her character as someone who’s experienced 700 years of life and struggles to cope with some very hard losses. While we see that some of her memories are clearly happy ones, it’s easy to tell she’s saddened by the fact that those who were important to her are no longer with her.
Image source: TVアニメ「UQ HOLDER! 」 on Twitter
However, soon after the montage, the series shifts to the protagonist Tōta. At first, this is a stark shift in tone. Yet, what it does is establish that Yukihime is in fact not as lonely as she appears. Every day, she deals with Tōta challenging her to a dual, and every day, she has to punish him for the action. It’s a not the most entertaining life, but one that provides her with a certain amount of excitement. This is where things become exciting about the story. Yukihime is also Tōta’s guardian. This means she actually has a family to care about, unlike how she presented herself in the opening scene. Granted, the two characters aren’t blood-related, but that’s inconsequential to the idea of what family entails. In this case, it means Yukihime takes care of Tōta. Although Yukihime’s methods are harsh, we see it comes from a place of caring and protection. It’s not as though she’s holding Tōta back; she wants the best out him. This is partially why, in order for Tōta to achieve his dream of going to the city, Yukihime stands in his way.
We come to an attention-grabbing twist in Yukihime and Tōta’s relationship in the middle of the first episode, though. While it’s insinuated that the two characters are family, it’s the act of Tōta giving Yukihime a gift that reminds her what he means to her. As in, Yukihime may have adopted Tōta, but they are still mother and son. Yet, through some very well handled plot twists, the mere act of Tōta giving Yukihime a gift leads to a fairly gruesome scene between the two. To put it mildly, both Yukihime and Tōta’s bodies are cleaved into multiple parts. This is actually the most important scene in the first episode of UQ Holder! because it shows us two things. First, it truly solidifies the relationship between Tōta and Yukihime as a family. Consider that for a moment. We’ve seen Yukihime recognize Tōta as her son. But, when faced with the prospect of death, Yukihime understands in her core that Tōta is part of her family.
The second thing the scene shows us is that the struggles of an immortal being isn’t necessarily losing loved ones, but keeping them alive. Remember, Yukihime is immortal and Tōta isn’t. Thus, if she lets Tōta die on her, she’s essentially losing her only family member. This creates the conflict in Yukihime if she should let Tōta die or “curse” him with immortality as well. It’s not an easy question for her to answer as well because she knows the hardships of being immortal. But, this is also her chance to save her only family member’s life. And for Yukihime, the latter is far more important.
Image source: 赤松健@UQホルダーTVアニメ10月開始 on Twitter
Being immortal in UQ Holder! may be a curse in that you’ll lose loved ones. But, Yukihime shows us there are ways to get around this. And, as we meet more characters, her family will only grow.
There is currently no streaming information for UQ Holder!: Magister Negi Magi 2.