Yagate Kimi finale, Index goes ever on …

yagatekimi13-1I had some predictions for the Yagate Kimi ni Naru finale, all of them resulting in Touko’s breakdown as her determination to be the perfect person crumbles under reality. Either during the play’s performance, or when she is presented with the rewritten script. However, the finale sidesteps these possibilities by not even getting to the performance, the finished rewrites, or even summer vacation. What we get instead is couples hanging out together. First it’s Yuu and Koyomi at the cafe, working on the script, then Touko and Sayaka, the latter wanting to know how Touko’s sister appeared to Touko, then Miyako and Riko with a question about how the other feels, a shocking question, but they’re both adults. Really, all of these scenes are time-killers, with little scenes in between that suggest that Touko is closer to breaking than we expected, as it hits her that after the show, finishing her late sister’s work, she has no idea what to do next. All she can think of is Yuu.

yagatekimi13-2Yuu’s interest in Touko often seems indifferent. Indeed, it’s one of the things Touko needs, that Yuu doesn’t fall in love with a girl who doesn’t even know herself. But I think Yuu subliminally knows what Touko needs and reaches out when Touko needs her the most. Hence the invitation to hang out at the aquarium, where the episode dallies until the end. Apart from a quick rehearsal of their scene together, where Yuu casually mentions that there are rewrites going on, very little happens except that Touko has a wonderful time, and Yuu … is happy that Touko is having it. So they get splashed by dolphins, look at jellyfish and penguins, and say little meaningful things from time to time. Touko is still emotionally lost, but at this moment Yuu is guiding her along until the end, where Yuu says it’s time to switch trains, and so the episode ends with a metaphor.

yagatekimi13-3The manga, I’m told, is ongoing but there’s little left. Whether it actually gets to the school play I don’t know. Perhaps the whole story revolves around Touko’s crisis, which would be fine, but then I would wonder “What happens to them after that?” I had hoped that we would see other aspects of the two and watch their relationship develop further. No matter, it’s still a good story. It took its time and gently examined the characters’ minds from the perspective of their own heads and how others see them, which of course is the main point. I would have wanted more from Koyomi, stuck as she was in “smart, nerdy side character” mode, but I get the impression that if the show had wanted to, she would have been just as introspective as the others. Maki, on the other hand, could have become a meddling little jerk, but after the show established his character he was put on the sidelines and not allowed to interfere. All of the characters were capable of intelligent thoughts, except for the kid with the glasses, and it all was delicately and perfectly balanced. Very good work. I hope there’s more.

One more of Touko and Yuu, sharing a happy moment with no emotional overtones.
Carissa being evil.

As for To aru Majutsu no Index III, it’s a midseason development episode. We see that Touma and whoever that is are safe from their fall (we didn’t get to see the landing), and they’re miraculously met by Villian, still riding William Orwell’s mechanical horse. Then it’s back to William vs Blond guy (actually known as Knight Leader). KL has a cool spell based on Thororm’s ability to dull the opponent’s attack when recognized as one. But he’s freaked out by William’s sword, which can launch sneak attacks, so the battle turns out anticlimactic. Then it’s Touma vs Carissa and the Curtana Original, with Touma/Index rescued by William, who’s everywhere this week. And then a breather while plans are made and we see how Misaka is doing.

Index being evil.

Rather than continue a plot synopsis, which I often find myself doing in a post when I don’t really have anything to say, I’ll just say that everyone’s now headed to Buckingham Palace via its underground magical subway system–of course it has one. The heroes are planning to exploit Curtana Original’s instability somehow. The weirdest part for me, apart from a pre-battle feast where a lot of the girls, including nuns, consider changing into sexy clothes, for Touma’s benefit I suppose, was William and KL, after the battle, talking strategy on the phone like they were on the same side. Jeez, with this franchise you don’t know who to root for, except Touma maybe.

Slime 12-13, Yagate and IndexIII 12

This is not good.

It’s nice to see Tensei Shitara Slime Datta ken moving away from minor and easily-resolved conflicts to something bigger and more complicated. We start with the dryad Treyni asking for Rimuru’s help, which is more of a time-killer because we know he’ll agree. Things get more interesting when we then turn to Gabiru’s group. After they hilariously decide that Gobta must be the goblin leader, some nut named LaPlace talks Gabiru into going back to the marshes and take power from his father. Meanwhile Souei has met the Lizardman leader and they agree to join forces, the Lizardmen playing a defensive role until Rimuru’s army shows up to help. But Gabiru comes back, does the seizing power thing, and soon they’re fighting, unaware that the Orcs gain strength from eating corpses. And there you have it for this episode. Again, bigger and more interesting than what’s been going on (though that stuff was fine, too), but still kind of simple and childish from a real epic fantasy point of view. Silly though it be, I’m still keen on finding out what happens next …

Rimuru just watches.

Episode 13 continues the split story, but the events in each are pretty straightforward and triumphant. First, of course, we need to get a crisis going as the lizardmen are surrounded by hungry orcs. It looks dire and goes on a bit long, but I guess they wanted show Gabiru in a positive light. Whatever else you can say about him, he’s brave, taking on an orc general and fighting well until he starts getting his ass kicked. But that’s the end of the crisis, because mighty Gobta shows up to help, and soon Ranga and the Kijin are exploding things everywhere, each one getting a chance to show their TRUE POWER, and the orc army shrinks. Meanwhile, Souei and the lizard daughter have no trouble at all defeating all the orcs in the dungeon and rescuing the chieftain, and Treyni the dryad makes Gelmud flee to the impressive-looking castle where the guy who started this smirks. As for Rimuru, he’s floating on bat wings above it all, doing nothing but saying “Sugei!” a lot. A little disappointing, because I’d have loved to see him mess with the orcs a little. Well, next week it will be him and the goblin lord, so we have that to look forward to.

yagatekimi12-1Yagate Kimi ni Naru 12 inches toward the season’s conclusion, but I’m not sure they have the time to do it properly. We watch the kids continue to rehearse, and see Touko lose it a little when her character announces that she will be the character her lover remembers, and not the others. I might be reading too much into it, but I wonder if that’s partially a reaction to the fact that Sayaka is playing her lover … Probably not, but there’s some friction between Sayaka and Yuu over who gets to hang out with Touko when she’s had her life shaken up a little. Well, if Yuu is jealous it’s surely dispelled when she invites Touko to her room and they get snuggly. Nothing further on the romance front, however.

yagatekimi12-2And why should there be? Far more important than the snuggles is Touko’s admission that she hates herself, and that’s partly why she doesn’t want Yuu to fall in love with her. “I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have me has a member,” and all that. Yuu’s delayed reaction is not really romantic, not in the snuggles sense. It’s realization what has to be done, and her determination to do it–to help Touko–change the play’s ending so that Touko’s character doesn’t choose a past personality based on other people, but to live on as the person she is now. Excellent thought, but boy is it going to be a pain in the ass for everyone involved! The boys won’t like learning new lines. Sayaka is going to be seriously pissed. And goodness knows how Touko is going to take it. A lot to manage, and I believe there’s only one episode to go.

I don’t remember who they are.

There are upsides and downsides to To aru Majutsu no Index having such a rich backlog of story and characters. On on hand, it means you can bring in old characters, both good and evil, and have them fight on either side, depending on their alliances or backstory now. So we get a few surprising characters this week, to add to Oriana from last week. On the other hand, I don’t always remember these characters and either look them up or say “screw it” and let it ride. I chose the latter with Sherry and her Golem Ellis. Not to mention that the organizations and churches and whatnot is downright confusing even when you do the research. So we got Carissa’s knights battling witches, Golem Ellis battling knights, and nuns running from knights. Meanwhile, the more important characters are busy running around or away from others. The most interesting being Villian’s flight to Folkeston, I think, which is interrupted by that blond guy, who’s ready to execute her, when another surprise character shows up.

I remember him all right.

Okay, William Orwell is a jerk, but in this story arc he’s dedicated to protecting Villian (her personal feelings about abandonment aside), so he’s our jerk. You’d think it’d be one sided but the blond guy somehow has archangel power thanks to, er, “the Church of the Cross Rules” (which allowed him to defeat Kaori earlier) So that fight is probably going to last to the finish. Meanwhile, let’s see, the queen and the third princess are stranded in the country but the queen finds a horse. And Touma and one of the evil sorcerer girls escape from a train but are plunging toward certain death, though it’s done for a laugh, and we’re talking about Touma after all. Oh, and Index seems to be a Carissa’s hostage. Did I forget anything? What a mess, and great fun all around.

Yagate Kimi and IndexIII 11, Akanesasu finale

It’s summer camp time for Yagate Kimi ni Naru, and it’s partly a drag. Instead of some cool cabin in the mountains or something they have the camp at the school.

yagatekimi11-1As usual the episode has two parts. The first one involves Yuu, Touko, and Sayaka bathing together and sharing the same room. Since Sayaka is in love with Touko, and Touko’s in love with Yuu (who isn’t sure of anything), the bathing scene is full of heavily repressed sexual tensions, so nothing happens. The sleeping scene is the same–Each saying to themselves “I could reach over and touch so-and-so, but it would really screw things up, so I’ll just lie here and suffer on my own.” This being the slow-paced show that it is, it means no one gets to have what they want, but they’re not hurting anyone that way. This is one of the more bittersweet summer camp episodes I’ve seen.

Touko learns that her beloved sister was actually a bit of a flake.

Part 2 is more interesting in that their sensei brings in a guy named Tomoyuki to coach them. Turns out he was on the student council at the same time Touko’s sister was, and so Touko, curious to know more about the person she’s been trying to emulate for five years, asks what she was like … and doesn’t get the answer she expected. Not that there was anything really wrong with her, only that she wasn’t the perfect student council president she let on to be, but the rest of the SC liked her anyway, maybe because she wasn’t perfect. In other words, Touko has outstripped her idol. Interesting idea and you would think she might be happy about that, but instead it puts her in a blue funk that both Sayaka and Yuu pick up on. The episode doesn’t take it further, but it makes you wonder just what Touko’s been trying to emulate all this time, a model of perfection, or her late sister. Also an interesting comment by Koyomi about her script having the amnesiac heroine choose her lover’s version as her personality, as it comes from something she chose, not family obligations, but Koyomi isn’t really happy with that answer …

Her Royal Highness the Queen.

To Aru Majutsu no Index III, having destroyed enough of France, now turns to England. The inevitable infodump is lightened by the behavior of the Queen and the three princesses, all of whom are kind of weird. The queen is holding a sword Curtana the Second and we’re told the first one, which gives you, theoretically, the power of archangel Michael, is lost to history, so we basically know what’s going to happen in this story arc. But there’s also the Eurotunnel explosion and subsequent friction with France to investigate, AND there’s someone working from within, namely in Scotland. Oh, also some terrorists have finished excavating something, so they have to get to the bottom of that. Go to it, guys!

Touma meets another formidable enemy.

Typically, the evil terrorists, four cute girls, natch, are quite capable of screwing up their nefarious plots. It doesn’t help that the retrieved artifacts, er, skidbladnirs, look like any average suitcase with Art Deco stylings, and soon little Lessar is fleeing from Touma and Oriana (remember her? I didn’t. She works for the Crown now). Since it’s not a situation for a righteous punch, Touma is subject to the laws of comedy and they have a hard time getting her. Two of the others aren’t much trouble, thanks to Itsuwa and the Asukasa branch of Necessarium, even though one of them can conjure up the weapons Thor used. Oh, great, now we got Norse mythology mixed in! But the evil plan is still put in effect, and we discover who the traitor is. I really hope the queen is pissed off enough to enter the battle. I like that old broad.

akanesasu12-1One thing Akanesasu Shoujo was not good at was animation in the little scenes. Characters just stood there, not moving, mouths often open, staring off at something not in the scene. My guess is they were saving up their energy for episode 12, the finale.

akanesasu12-3We get one surreal visual after another as Asuka walks with Super-Asuka, having agreed to go with her. Backgrounds turned black and white, fractured into, well, fragments, reformed when a verbal note had been taken. It’s unlike anything else in the series, even the Twilight world. It also gave the long scene an emotional power that the other episodes could never match. Well, that’s partly because this was not a silly alternate world full of forced marriages or western gunfights. Asuka, showing more canniness than I thought her capable of, quietly(!) and slowly wears Super-Asuka down, and allows her to feel the pain of losing Kyo that she had refused up to now. Turns out they each had ways to avoid the pain.

akanesasu12-2It’s a lovely scene, even if what happens afterwards doesn’t make much sense. Asuka returns to her world, Super-Asuka to wherever, and the Twilight attack just isn’t there any more. But Super-Asuka hadn’t been responsible for it, she had joined the dark side, so what happened to it? Not only that, there’s a ridiculous episode-filler scene where they find a new recruit for their club, even though we didn’t really care.

akanesasu12-4Oh, well. The series wasn’t all that great overall, to be honest. It had great moments, like the sheer absurdity of the alternate worlds, and I remember discovering that this show was going to be somewhat weird and absurd with a smile. And it did have some striking visual moments. The battles were almost always good to look at, if a little bright at times. The first half of episode 12 looked superb. Some of the background art, and the visual direction, was good, though again the clumsy character animation was a distraction. Good and bad. Not the best show I’ve seen, the weakest of the four I watched. On the other hand, I watched it to the end, and I can’t say that for some others.

Yagate and IndexIII 10

yakatekimi10-1The preview for next week’s Yagate Kimi ni Naru has Touko, after a terse comment from her unsmiling father about forcing herself to do this student council play, followed by a memory dream, announce that she’s going to become her late sister. Of course, this is a core issue in Touko’s character, one that she would not really deny to Yuu before, but it was set up in this episode like it was a startling revelation. While I appreciate this character asset, I’m not sure we needed to be reminded of it at this moment, unless they’re setting up a breakdown during summer camp rehearsals. That could be the case, especially when Konomi’s script prods at Touko’s identity issues (Touko plays a woman witn amnesia who has to decide which version of herself the people around her have of her), and, delightfully, casts Sayaka as her lover! I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Elsewhere, we get a nice scene with Yuu and Natsuki, where the latter says she held off inviting Yuu to join the high school club, because she’d have wound up doing it. In other words, having no passion of her own, Yuu gets roped into the passions of others, which is still the case. And yet her indifference is a thing that makes her appealing not only to Touko, but to Natsuki. Not that Natsuki’s going to make a love triangle out of this, but I wonder at how Yuu’s indifference attracts people.

To hell with the terrorists. Index always focuses on the important things.

To Aru Majutsu no Index III, after some goofing around with Misaka, has Touma and Index flying to England aboard a passenger jet where, naturally, there are terrorists. Apparently England/France relations are strained because the “Eurotunnel” got blown up, and the terrorists are French and want some revenge. The terrorists and the crew are equally inept. Well, Touma accidentally damaging a circuit that might get the plane blown up (something that is forgotten moments later) caused the terrorists some trouble. As for how the terrorists were defeated, Touma punches one of them, but the one skulking in the cargo hold with a grenade is harder to explain. Something about hot tea in the duct, which caused a thermal something, distracted the bad guy, but as for Stiyl showing up in stealth jet with magical, fiery cards, I really don’t have a clue. Neither did I really get the point of casting an illusion on the plane’s gauges so it looks like they have a fuel leak … But that’s Index for you. This week was sort of a prelude, a little adventure while magical forces on the ground do little plot things. We don’t have a clear picture of the conflict yet, and with this show, we may never get one. But who cares?

Yagate Kimi and Index III 9

yagatekimi9-1Yagate Kimi ni Naru 9 was about halfway through this sports festival episode when I realized that the show had not featured a race, or showed anyone obsessing about a race. How refreshing! Alas, just then they introduced Serizawa of the basketball team and her long, one-sided rival with Touko, and the big relay event that will guarantee bragging rights! But even with that, it’s not played too seriously. Serizawa and Touko bicker but are friendly, and the big moment of the race is not who wins, but when Yuu is transfixed by watching Touko run her lap. I didn’t think seeing Touko running would be the thing to inspire feelings in Yuu, but there you go.  Indeed, the sports festival is really a sideshow to what would happen afterwards–if Touko manages not to put moves on Yuu until it’s over, Yuu has to kiss HER and not vice-versa. It leads to the second awkward scene in the storage shed. You’d think if Yuu had realized any desire during the race, as she apparently had, she would find the strength to take the initiative, but to my surprise she still can’t, it doesn’t feel right. So once again it’s Touko taking the initiative, with tongue this time, so I guess that’s a step forward, and about the only one. Earlier there was a scene with Maki where Yuu claims she’s fine with not feeling love, and Maki not believing it, but it seemed out of place. So really the episode felt like a race with no winner, everyone running around to no real effect.

Nice moment, cool image, but it didn’t have the effect it should.

The Acqua arc finishes in To Aru Majutsu no Index III, and to no one’s surprise, it’s almost incomprehensible. We start with Kaori’s battle with Acqua, which before long turns one-sided. See, Acqua’s got not only his Saint powers, but the Right Hand of God’s, and also the Holy Mother’s though maybe there’s some overlap. After getting battered around a lot and realizing a weakness, Kaori calls on the other Amakusians to help her, seeing that her big mistake was thinking they needed her protection, a realization that might have had more power in the books but in the show is too brief to have any effect. And there’s a quick line in there about Acqua using basic magic in certain circumstances … Hmm. Anyway, even with everyone attacking, Acqua shrugs it off, mutters some more letters … and is stopped by Touma and his Imagine Breaker. Right on time. Then it’s a finishing blow and we switch to Touma’s hospital bed, and, er, the usual head-biting hijinks and Kaori talked into wearing a maid outfit, that sort of thing.

Not to mention the meat of the next story arc.

Plenty of time left, so they set up the new arc, in Rome, with Fiamma of the Right’s new plan to do, er, something in England. Normally it would be the usual cult-babble talk, but Fiamma’s talking about HIS right arm, which is St. Michael’s, and naturally we think about Touma’s right arm and what he doesn’t know about it. I’m curious myself to be honest; are the two arms’ powers incomplete? However. this looks to be a fight away from Academy City, so I’m not sure why Touma and some buddies are rushing to England in the previews. Oh, and Misaka tells Touma she knows about his amnesia, but since it’s during the battle they don’t make anything more of it. And what IS there to make of it? It happened so long ago that it doesn’t change much. One more thing: I loved Itsuwa handing Touma a towel. I wasn’t sure, but I suspected it was the same girl.

Yagate Kimi and Index III episode dump

Sayaka’s serious look.

Yagate Kimi ni Naru 7 dives into the life and heart of Sayaka. Fairly typical story. A girl confesses to her in middle school, they’re happy, then the girl decides relationships for girls isn’t for her after all, just a phase, leaving poor Sayaka, whose feelings were awoken by that girl, alone and confused. Then she meets Touko, and the unrequited relationship begins. It’s sad because of the nature of their friendship. We at home know that Touko is in reality a typical high school girl, full of insecurities, which she only reveals to Yuu. But Sayaka needs Touko to keep up her “perfect” persona, not let anyone else get close, otherwise it would damage the friendship she has with her. This is of course a bad idea, especially for Touko, who needs love as much as anyone else. Things settle down a little later when Sayaka says all this to an understanding cafe shop owner (who’s in a relationship with one of their teachers to boot!). It’s not great to sacrifice your feelings to maintain a friendship–it’ll cost you in the end, but Sayaka has no other option right now. So for now the equilibrium is maintained, but Sayaka’s story is unfinished. I’m sure the show will follow up on it sometime. It’s a love story, meaning somebody’s heart is gonna break sooner or later.

yagatekimi8-1Episode 8 doesn’t give us any serious move forward in the main love story, though the two girls share an umbrella and Yuu thinks to herself that she wanted a little of Touko’s warmth as they sit and wait out the rain. It seems that this show can make anything into a metaphor, even bickering under the umbrella and not noticing that the light had turned green. It makes me want to over-analyze the “what color do you like” with the flowers repeating bit that they do. There is also a very satisfying moment when Sayaka meets the girl who dumped her before. Touko shows up and Sayaka grabs her arm. So there, dumping girl! Of course Sayaka and Touko aren’t really like that, and I wonder what the other girl would say if she learned that Sayaka’s “girlfriend” is just an unrequited love thing. Finally, Sayaka and Yuu put aside their differences a little (a baton exchange metaphor this time) and both wonder what Touko will be like when the play is finished. Will she relax a little. I’m with Sayaka on this one–not bloody likely.

Brave, ineffectual Itsuwa.

In To Aru Majutsu no Index III 7 we learn that there’s a whole other level of Academy City, underground. Rather pretty, too, but it looks expensive. Besides that we get the late threat of Acqua showing up to beat up Touma and take his right arm away, though he’s going to wait a day for the latter bit, because he admired Touma’s courage while getting beat up. Before that it looked like a filler episode, with Itsuwa showing up to be Touma’s bodyguard and be a perfect wife of sorts. And we get bits with Misaka, meaning a lot of misunderstandings. Maika makes a brief appearance, and there’s school antics with trying to get lunch. RailDex’s filler episodes are usually pretty good, so I was sorry they had to throw in a story arc at the end.

Hey, look who’s back! It’s, er, whatshername!

As expected, episode 8 doesn’t finish the fight, but it’s still entertaining. The Amakusa Church regroups and Tatemiya gives Itsuwa a pep talk (this is an episode after he performs an experiment to test her bust size) that works TOO well. And that’s all the humor filler we get this episode. We get background on Acqua, he was a British Knight, etc, and then the fight resumes, complete with long speeches about the trap the Amakusas just set for him and Acqua’s considered explanation on why they didn’t work. Back and forth. Acqua can use both angelic magic and human magic, he explains more than once, and also he’s a right seat of God, so he’s a triple threat. Nonetheless, some of the attacks come close, and it was nice to see the unbeatable near-saint taken by surprise once or twice. Then he walks off because another threat has appeared, and I’d completely forgotten who she is … Had to look it up. Kanzaki Kaori, who hasn’t much in the series that I can remember apart from talking Touma to death and vice versa in season one. But she’s here now, looking fabulous in her new hair decs. That battle will be next week, with Touma staggering out of bed, so he has some more to do too. I wonder if he’ll get to punch Acqua …

Yagate and Index III 4-6

Maki has seen something he shouldn’t.

Yagate Kimi ni Naru 4 sets up a new surface plot, involving a student council stage show, an abandoned tradition which Yuu and Maki oppose, and around it continues the real story. It looked like it was going to be a little more of the same–Touko gets Yuu alone and comes onto her while Yuu tries to figure out her feelings, but this time they’re seen by Maki. Being a gentle show, he has no intention of telling anyone, except Yuu. It’s a nice sequence. We go inside Maki’s brain a little and learn, though an appropriate metaphor of a stage, that he likes helping from the sidelines and observing, to the point that when one of the people he once watched confesses to him, he walks away from it. I wonder if the show will give him another opportunity to star in his own love story? Anyway, he provides another little plot-push when he informs Yuu that he can see that she likes Touko, forcing Yuu to confront her feelings.  Maki apparently likes to sneak onstage to meddle from time to time.

yagatekimi5-1In episode 5 the student council plot stuff is put aside so we can have a “studying for midterms together” story instead. Oh, Maki pokes his nose in a couple times but that’s because he can’t help himself. At first it’s Yuu being nervous that Touko is studying with her, but things are switched around when the tests get nearer, the library is too crowded, and Yuu invites Touko to her house. Touko becomes a nervous wreck, and Yuu perversely takes advantage. That honestly surprised me. I didn’t think Yuu was capable of that, but maybe she’s just doing the same thing that Touko is, trying to know the other person better. At the same time, it’s become clear now that Yuu is actually the stronger of the two. Well, Touko has not kept her feelings hidden, and Yuu’s current inability to return those feelings might give that impression. A minor subplot involving Koyomi and the novel she’s written helps to reveal one of Yuu’s weaknesses: she feels she has no direction, no goal in her life. Koyomi wants to write, Maki knows at least that he belongs on the support staff of whatever he winds up doing; Yuu feels she is behind them.

yagatekimi6-1Episode 6 came in moments after I wrote the above, so while I thought a break from these heavy, uncertain emotions would be good, I couldn’t resist watching it right away. Yes, the emotional twists are heavier than ever, but plot-wise we return to the stage show, where Yuu lies about knowing someone who could write a script, gets called out by Sayaka about it (that emotional subplot is still simmering away–Sayaka considers Touko’s hidden weaknesses her responsibility and resents Yuu taking her place). Meanwhile we get a Hyouka-type mystery about why the student council records are missing for one year, the one where they stopped doing the stage show, but the answer’s simple–Touko’s older sister was the SC prez but died tragically. Basically, Touko’s been imitating her sister ever since. Yuu won’t have it, she thinks it’s bad for Touko, but she won’t go back. In the end, in yet another sunset scene, the two sort of agree to lie. Yuu is lonely too and has decided to need Touko, because Touko’s the same, yet Touko is afraid of what will happen if Yuu finally falls in love. Episodes like these make you think the whole thing will end in tragedy, unless both girls wise up and knock off the over-thinking.

index3-4So let’s leave these confused, earnest kids trying to sort out their feelings and their futures together and return to Toaru Majiutsu no Index III, where the adolescents usually have super-powers, or at least guns, and aren’t afraid to use them for, er, whatever they’re up to. In episode 4 we learn about several “informal” groups of mostly villains, known as GROUP (Accelerator’s group), ITEM (those girls from Railgun 2), also SCHOOL, MEMBER, and BLOCK. SCHOOL hires a hitman to snipe Monoka, that nice old lady who got shot in ep1 but got better, I guess, but it fails. ITEM gets involved, chasing SCHOOL and its nasty killer kid around, while a member of GROUP infiltrates BLOCK, rather on the fly, to figure out what they’re after. Turns out it’s a telescope controlling a satellite which has an air-to-surface laser. So after a story arc with all sorts of magic, we now get one which is purely science and espers–but not a single look at Touma or Misaka, so it’s not all that fun, in spite of Accelerator. Well, we do get to see Dr. Frog …

The story has become incomprehensible, so let’s enjoy a moment with Accelerator.

Episode 5 is so confusing that I have no idea who is working for who anymore. We start with MEMBER making a move on two guys, Accelerator and that evil blonde guy. Both attempts don’t fare well. Meanwhile 5000 mercenaries are ready to attack either the satellite facility, or the prison where Awaki, or Move Point’s old comrades are being held. Turns out she’s the target because she can transport into the “Windowless Building” where Alesteir lives. Helicopters show up and kill a lot of mercenaries. GROUP goes into the reformatory, an Aztec magician shows up to fight what’s his name out of revenge, but her attempt to meld with a grimoire before undoes her. Awaki is almost done in by a soldier but manages to overcome her hangups over telporting, even when she finds her leg stuck in the concrete, and defeats her. So GROUP wraps things up. However, the evil blonde roughs up an ITEM member and gets the info as to where they can be found, so the story arc will go on awhile. I went to an Index wiki to try to figure this all out, and it seems we’re getting a very brief version of a much more complicated story. I suppose they can’t do all the stuff from the books, but it makes it more confusing to us. Oh well, it’s fun to watch something where you have no idea what’s going on, sometimes. Just give us familiar characters and that excellent BGM, please.

Didn’t know Hamazura had it in him.

I’m such an idiot that while Last Order was babbling to Uiharu about the “lost child,” it didn’t occur to me that she was referring to Accelerator (says Peter, knocking himself on the head). But I’m also glad, because it made the episode’s grand climax much more powerful. Indeed, as fun as the confusing storylines can be, the show’s great power comes when it boils down to two familiar characters duking it out. We start with Hamazura, trying to protect Takitsubo from first Kakine (or Dark Matter) and then Mukino. This hapless, failed villain from Index II takes a lesson from Touma’s old speech and shows some gumption and care for another’s life. The confrontation with Mukino was effective; he stopped running and charged headlong at Mukino, and he deserved the victory.

index36-2But it’s almost forgotten when we switch to Kakine trying to find Last Order to draw out Accelerator, which indeed happens. Now it’s a battle between Accelerator’s vectors and Kakine’s dark matter, with lectures on the true nature of villainy laced through it. Accelerator has been going on about how no one is the villain he is, but I wrote it off as a comment on style. After all, he does his best not to hurt any of the people in the vicinity of this Level 5 on 5 battle. But when Kakine injures Aiho, who had almost forced Accelerator to calm down, Accelerator goes beserk and becomes an actual “villain,” that is to say, insane. Then comes Last Order’s great appearance. After some fruitless raging, Accelerator again becomes a villain in style, not of substance. Oh, there is some stuff in the end about Alesteir’s “Underline,” a nano-communication system in Academy City’s very air, but that’s while the credits roll. Good enough, I think everyone could use a rest now.