A Certain Magical Index moves to a new story and exchanges cult-babble with techno-babble. But it starts innocently enough.
We start with some typical Touma/Index/Sphinx hijinks, apparently there to establish that the weather reports have gotten faulty lately, and then we don’t see them again for the rest of the episode. We get some typical Misaka/Kuroko hijinks (naked drop-kicks in the shower, bra padding, nothing new), and finally the story starts in earnest. Something to do with the theft of some destroyed satellite remnants. Kuroko gets involved and runs into a more formidable teleporter than herself.
So you figure eventually the two will duke it out a second time; it’s good to keep it on a personal level because the story becomes confusing. Something to do with all those Misaka clones they created in the first series, a supercomputer (I think) called Tree Diagram, and starting some project up all over again. More Misaka clones? I’m working with vague memories and Wikipedia to get my head around it all.
What’s more, Misaka knows all about the intentions of teleporter Awaki, and feels personally responsible for whatever the hell is going on. And she didn’t tell Kuroko about it. Typical of her. In Railgun she was always going off on her own and sometimes paid the price for it. I was more surprised by Kuroko’s reaction. She isn’t angry that Misaka kept something from her; instead she expresses concern and secretly vows to get involved herself. And I learn the lesson again: let the babble flow by and pay attention to the character interactions instead. Oh, and at least one Misaka clone decides to do something, too, but apart from disrobing we don’t know what. I can’t remember, but did the first Index series have this much fanservice?
Another good episode of Kuragehime. We learn some more about Tsukimi’s past and the plot gets stirred a little more.
The key to the plot-stirring is seen in a flashback Tsukimi has while the girls roast sweet potatoes over a fire. At a similar fire her mother collapsed. Her love for her late mother can still upset her. We’ll be getting back to this. But for now they introduce the problem of the building being demolished in two years (the girls are either fine about it or hysterical), set that side as a future plot point, and move on to this week’s actual story. Tsukimi wants to go to a big aquarium to see the jellyfish, Kuranosuke invites himself, and Shou invites himself, too. It’s his car, after all. At first it’s a lovely scene. Surrounded by jellyfish and dressed in one of Chieko’s kimonos, Tsukimi is radiant and happy. Then it gets cheerfully odd when Kuranosuke returns from the bathroom (the ladies’) and sees a shocking event.
It’s sort of innocent. The jellyfish triggered more memories of her mother, and Shou was simply acting out of compassion. Nevertheless it triggers jealousy in Kuranosuke, much to his surprise. He could have just about any woman he wanted, but when nerd-girl gets hugged by someone else he grows furious! And another thing. Tsukimi might have a thing for Shou, but she can’t talk or act normally around him unless she doesn’t have her glasses on. If she can actually see the world, she is afraid of it.
So we know pretty much what Tsukimi and Kuranosuke are thinking, but what about 30 year-old virgin Shou? We know he likes the dolled-up Tsukimi, but did not recognize the usual nerdy one. We get a possible answer when he sees Tsukimi in sort of a transitional state, half kimono, half nerd clothes. Tsukimi is convinced he’s now disgusted with her, but his reaction is quite different, and leads to the best gag of the episode, and that’s saying something. Just discussing the plot and characters like I’m doing shouldn’t obscure the fact that the show is loaded with funny little moments: Tsukimi’s “ole!” chant, the two nosebleeds, Kuranosuke in the ladies room. There is almost always something interesting going on, and then there are moments where you can just sit there and watch Tsukimi watch the jellyfish with joy.