A Certain Magical Index II 2 begins its first story arc. I had forgotten how confusing this world can be.
I spent much of the time going “Hey, I remember him … er, who is he again?” and scribbling a lot of notes concerning people and factions. Happily, the show goes from Archbishop Laura Stewart filling in Steyr about his new mission to a silly scene where Index and Maika the maid (rotating on a robot) talk about nothing at all. The fact that Steyr kidnaps Index while Maika just turns around and around is amusing enough, but more so when she delivers the ransom note (still rotating) and Touma sighs. It’s just Steyr.
We need the silliness because the actual story requires a reference tome larger than any that Index has in her head. Let’s see … There’s a book of incredible power called the “Liber AL vel Legis,” which can only be translated by one person, Orsola Acquinas of the Roman Catholic Church. But a renegade group called the Amakusa Catholics have both stolen the book and Orsola. Steyr is out to rescue both, using the Liborum Prohibitorum if need be, which Archbishop Laura Stewart has given him, even though he may have to go against the dreaded Kaori Kanzaki, one of the twenty living saints on the planet. Agnese Sanctis is also there to assist him (Meanwhile Touma just happens to run into Orsola on the street). Anyway, everyone’s now waiting for the stars to align so that the Amakusa Catholics can move using the vortices of the Miniturized Pilgrimage. Got that?
Oh, and Touma accidentally walks in and sees Index and Agnese naked, so he gets bitten a lot. This fills out the episode. A typical story arc begins, Index-style.
In Amagami SS the Ai story arc continues on its unhurried, amiable way. Junichi gets tickets to an amusement park and invites Ai and her little brother along, but the brother falls sick, meaning it’s just the two of them. Funny how that happens. We get typical amusement park scenes, well, at least until we hit the haunted house. I think they slipped Junichi a little LSD. He starts seeing things he shouldn’t see in such a place, and Ai gets … transformed.
What’s fun about it is Junichi’s reaction. I mean, what would you do your possible girlfriend became a bowl of delicious, piping-hot miso ramen, especially if you also had melted butter? It’s one of the weirdest erotic scenes I’ve ever come across. And it’s never explained. The next thing you Junichi is sucking on Ai’s finger. She’s a bit peeved about being eaten. Later she kisses him. Such is the way the Amagami romances roll.
We move to more serious things. Ai is not chosen to represent the swim team in a certain race and gets upset. Once again Junichi shows his own, odd way of showing concern. He should have at least taken his shoes off. So at this point they’ve bonded, even kissed. What’s left for the arc finale? The preview scenes look very interesting indeed.
Shinryaku! Ika Musume 2 is about the same as the first. Ika goes around either being naïve or bratty. Oh, we meet a couple new characters.
First, Goro, whom she bonds and un-bonds with, misinterpreting what a lifeguard does. It does force her to rescue a human when he can’t (namely because she’s stopping him), the closest thing this aquatic invader gets to a moral conundrum this episode. It’s not much. We don’t even get an answer to the question: how the hell could Ika possibly drown, anyway? The second story isn’t much better. Ika insists that they throw her a birthday party, and they humor her. Her bratty side comes out this time. But it DOES have fireworks.
In the third story we meet Sanae, who takes an instant liking to Ika in the worst way. It’s basically an excuse to dress Ika up in various costumes for you fans out there who are into looking at cosplaying squid girls. You know who you are. But Sanae has a cute dog who bites Ika’s tentacle, so it’s not all bad.