I am an unabashed fan of anime and manga, but unfortunately I don’t have time to get deeply involved in more than a few series at a time. Lately I’ve gotten into a new manga called UQ Holder, by Ken Akamatsu, creator of Love Hina and Mahou Sensei Negima (the prequel to UQ Holder). I haven’t read Akamatsu’s previous works, but I started this one because my favorite scanlation group had picked it up, and I trust their judgment. And boy am I glad I did, because it is slowly taking the place of Naruto in my heart as a source for my weekly action shounen fix (believe me, that is high praise). I was drawn to it because its first chapter featured a strong female character and a lot of excitement. Later, the introduction of a gender-ambiguous character made me think the series could be trying to do something super interesting with gender, and I was hooked for good. That’s not to say it is perfect in its representation of gender, however. Beware of spoilers in my summary and analysis below.