A Certain Magical Index II 8 is an even bigger mess than usual.
It’s the Daihaseisai, an annual athletic festival that all the schools in Academy City participate in. We start with some adults looking for Misaka, who also know Touma. Once they see them walking together (placing a bet) they’re satisfied and we never see them again. Then some weirdness with Touma’s team, and the competitions begin. No need to describe them, because they make no sense whatsoever.
Besides, we don’t see much of them. The show is too busy reintroducing us to obscure characters from the past (well, they’re not really reintroduced, they just show up, usually to bug Touma) and setting up the new convoluted story arc. Two magicians have snuck into Academy City to transfer a “Stab Sword,” which can kill saints. There’s more to it, but I got tired of taking notes. Touma gets this info from Stiyr and Motoharu while looking for Index because they became separated while looking for a way across the street which is blocked for a parade. Then, seconds later, he’s in a giant ball-rolling competition, then he’s back with the two men, then back to the giant balls, where he is run over. So the episode goes. Oh, he sees Index naked again, but that bit I don’t want to have to explain, as it has to do with a future event, and involves more characters from the original series I’ve forgotten about. I told you, this episode is a mess.
Let’s just say Touma is concerned, not only because of this sword thing, but because for some reason they can’t let Index find out. She will attract magicians or something like that. And then there are more pointless side scenes. Only with a minute to go does the plot ramps up, as Touma naturally runs into Oriana Thomson, the carrier (we know in an instant because she’s carrying a long object draped in cloth), grows suspicious and starts to tail her. And that’s it. I know Index likes to go off on tangents but this episode takes the cake.
Amagami SS 21 also introduces a new arc. Let’s see, who can we get to be Junichi’s girl this time?
Actually, Tsukasa is merely volunteering to run the annual founders festival, an event that Junichi has avoided because of his Christmas heartbreak two years ago. It’s this thought that maybe he should do something to change his luck that causes him to volunteer as well. It’s not just to spend time with Tsukasa, honest! And so the latest amiable Amagami story arc begins—with lots of scenes of festival preparations. Tsukasa is organized and tireless, and Junichi is not, but he does his best to help, including a little scene in a storeroom that can’t be opened from the inside, and guess what happens? But they’re not at the stage to start kissing belly buttons yet.
Tsukasa is a little TOO perfect, and I worried for a while if this was going to make her too uninteresting, but things pop up. Her reticence and instant foul mood when they encounter her sister on the street, and then there’s the bit where Junichi discovers Tsukasa’s dropped notebook. He looks around in it for a name, and then she shows up.
So, Tsukasa has a mysterious, perhaps sinister side to her. Guess I don’t have to worry. Not much more is accomplished this episode, just the usual side scenes with Umehara, other Junichi victims (I loved the bit where Haruka peeps at the swimmers), and Miya (I have fallen in love with her “Mui-shi-shi-shi!” laugh). Everyone happily going through their lives in a happy anime series.