Sevens: Index II, Fortune Arterial

A Certain Magical Index II 7 finishes its arc sooner than expected. Aside from some pointless lecturing it’s quite fun.

Okay, Kuroko's lecture wasn't bad.

Kuroko goes off alone to face Awaki in their rematch. How she knows where Awaki is I have no idea, but the point is made again that when Index/Railgun characters try to solve all the problems alone they usually meet with misfortune. Also, it’s too early in the episode for a final fight. Kuroko should get her timing straight. After Awako buries her under a pile of furniture, it’s explanation time. Typically for this franchise the bad guy’s motives make next to no sense. Turns out Awaki wants to use the Remnants to rebuild the Tree Diagram in order to give powers to creatures other than humans. Why would she possibly want to do that? Because, we are told, she is ashamed of her special abilities. Why not refuse to use or negate her abilities, then? I told you it makes no sense.

After Kuroko’s rebuttal, basically, “I don’t care what your motives are, you’re still a shithead who hurts people,” Awaki concedes the point by shooting her (well, Kuroko was swinging a lampstand at her, but still …) and uses her abilities to make the building collapse. Improbable though it was, the subsequent scene is the series’ best yet. Misaka clone 10032 has rousted Touma, who meets up with the real Misaka, and it’s cavalry time. It works partly because the action is terrific, also because I thought for a second that Kuroko was actually going to die (at which point we see a hand holding a coin, and I knew it would be all right).

And then we get a satisfying coda. Though Awaki has escaped, Accelerator confronts her and beats her up. I guess the Misaka clone he shares a bedroom with filled him in. Good to see him in action again. At the moment I forget what side he’s on; in this episode he just seems pissed off. And so the arc ends after only two episodes. I could have done without the crazy lectures, but the action scenes were great.

So I figure someone on the staff of Fortune Arterial said “Wait, isn’t there supposed to be supernatural stuff in this series?” and the others said “Oh, yeah,” and the result is episode 7. The school comedy angle only takes up nine-tenths of the episode.

We can break down the story into two parts with the same conclusion. In the first, Kohei discovers that it’s Erika’s birthday, and though immortal vampires are blasé about such things, he rushes out to get her some flowers. She’s touched by the gift, and later, admiring them in her room, she has the same sort of attack she had in episode one. I was wondering if they’d ever come back to that. I suppose you could call it a metaphor for the chest-tightening of adolescent love as well. In spite of her decision not to date anyone, she doesn’t seem immune to romance.

Then it’s as if it never happened. The big swim meet arrives and everyone happily behaves the way they did during the sports fest. Erika is perfectly fine. I wonder if she even bothered to mention her little interlude to Lori. The episode is called “Omen,” and I was beginning to think we’d already gotten one earlier. Would the rest be all swimming pool hijinks? Would there be another attack? Later on, Erika and Kohei have a swimming match. She holds out her hand to help him out of the pool. Aha! I thought, but no. She just slips. But then their faces get too close, and we see the aftermath.

Really, Erika, you should see a doctor.

Now if all we’re going to get is Erika squirming in her bed clutching her breast, I’d get irritated. However, they do feed us another clue. “I want blood! No … I promised …” but that’s all we get. Well, at least it’s SOMETHING. Maybe next week they’ll actually give us a little more. But the way this show works it’ll probably have to do with the annual culture festival. They haven’t used that cliché yet.

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