To Aru Majutsu no Index II 24

The finale of Index II had some very nicely-animated combat scenes and plenty of cameos from all of the characters introduced throughout the series’ run, but ultimately it wasn’t very satisfying. The predictability of the outcome of this season’s arcs got a bit tiring, and by this, the fifteenth or so instance of Touma saving the world by punching someone, was both anti-climatic and a tad boring.

That defragmented montage of cameos at the end kinda said it all: all of these dozens of characters made appearences, but they never seemed to play any real crucial part to the story. It’s as if once their one of two episodes of fame were used up, they kept showing up in episodes, as if no one had told them they weren’t needed anymore. Index II tried to stuff as many people and as many layers of intrigue it possibly could, and ended up with an unfocused, muddled mess.

Iif there will be a second season of Index II to continue all of the stories and conflicts left open-ended at the end of this first season, I may not be troubled to watch it. So much of this series was wasted with the inclusion of excessive characters with schemes and motives that usually boiled down to they’re bad guys Touma needs to punch. Perhaps the unnecessary window dressing jaded me. Splitting up Touma and Mikoto (who IMO have the best chemistry of any other pair) didn’t help matters, nor did giving Accelerator so much friggin’ screen time (he’s a psychotic, invincible mass murderer, and I yet I still don’t find him interesting). Rating: 3

Series Mean Ranking: 3.312

To Aru Majutsu no Index II 23

The war for Academy City apparently experienced a false start, as Kazakiri’s angel transformation is halted and the Right Hand of God temporarily withdraws. No sooner does Accelerator regain consciousness is he recruited by some prettyboy in suit who apparently has a fake name and face.

There are brief moments with Index, Last Order and Misaka, but the majority of the episode is one last taste of school slice-of-life before the war starts in earnest. Touma has lunch with Hinamori, who starts to choke on a potato. When he rubs her back, it breaks her bra. Then Fukiyose takes her place, and before you know it, the entire class elects to hit up a sukiyaki joint. I have to say, after so much needlessly convoluted intrigue and saber-rattling between the magical and scientific factions in this impending war, this kind of calming episode suits me at this time.

While this isn’t a complete break from all of the political shit, it’s enough of one. I also didn’t mind Awaki Musujime returning, if only briefly. Still, I’m wondering if the climactic battle will make any sense, or the layers of muddled intrigue will collapse like a kind of anime souffle. One thing’s for sure: Touma will be punching a few more baddies before all’s said and done. Rating: 3

To Aru Majutsu no Index II 22

Hmm…not much to say here. Touma fights Vento and inevitably punches her after she reveals why she hates science so much (and it’s a fairly flimsy one…the hospital didn’t have enough blood to save both her and her brother after an amusement park ride accident? Really?) Naturally, an even more powerful member of God’s Right Hand shows up to collect her; Touma barks at him, and yet another future duel is set up. Can’t Touma lose occasionally, just to spice things up?

Meanwhile, back in some office where Kihara has Last Order hostage, Accelerator fights him until he “runs out of juice”, then fights some more. The stamina of this guy, seriously. He also lets out a few Niizuma Eiji-esque adolescent squeals for good measure, refusing to go down even when Kihara tosses a grenade on his face (!). Accelerator is so hell-bent on protecting the munchkin, he even grows black wings and launches himself and Kihara into the stratosphere like a rocket…though that may have had something to do with Index’s singing…I’m not quite sure.

And as Mikoto Misaka was fighting off Hound Dog, the whole trio had stuff to do. I just wish I cared more about it now that so much has been built up. Sadly, listening to Index try to understand what’s going on herself while on the phone with Misaka kind of justifies my bemused indifference to the events of this episode. A whole lot of stuff happens, but the impact is sadly lacking. I guess all the complex factional wrangling and all the religious, magical and scientific mumbo-jumbo is starting to jade me. Rating: 3

To Aru Majutsu no Index II 21

Okay, so let’s sort all this madness out: Crowley is bad, because he’s hurting Kazakiri; Vento is bad because she’s trying to kill Touma, and Kihara’s bad because she’s trying to use Last Order and kill Accelerator. Touma finally hooks up with both Index and Misaka to try to sift through all the chaos these bad guys are causing.

It’s here where it isn’t really and issue whose “side” you’re on; magical or scientific. Touma has friends on both sides, and there are good people on both sides. He’s not interested in either side dominating the other; he just doesn’t want people messing with his friends. And a lot of people are messing with his friends…and his city.

Accelerator is doing things his own way, taking out a board director to find out what the seedy underbelly of Academy City has planned for the church invaders. He also seems to be having quite a lot of fun killing people in the process. And punching a building, moving it several blocks, and smashing it into another? Nice trick! Rating: 3.5