A Certain Magical Index II – Episodes 23 – 24 [END]

So episode 23 was kind of a “calm before the storm” episode before the final episode.  Going after a group like Skillout seems like a lame way to end the series, so it seemed odd that’s what episode 24 was about, so I figured there was more to it than that, but it looks like it was just a set up for an obvious 3rd season at some point.

It's not that easy to defeat Accelerator

It's not that easy to defeat Accelerator

I thought only having one episode for some sort of war was a stretch, and it was, as it looks like “the war” will be the next season, whenever it airs.  Accelerator appears to have joined a group called, well, GROUP, along with Tsuchimikado and Awaki to protect Academy City from the inside, though their targets don’t exactly to all be that great (such as wanting to kill Mikoto’s mother for leading a group who wanted to pull their children out of Academy City).  As to why they are against students leaving, perhaps it has something to do with Kazakiri since, I would presume, the fewer espers that are present, the weaker she becomes.

I presume Index will hold a vital role by the end of this franchise, but I’m not sure when I saw a series where the title character was so out of the way.  Sure, she does things now and then, but she isn’t even present half the time, and most of the time when she is, she’s just annoying such as being hungry or being jealous over Touma.  I mean, if you like a lot of action, this series has been OK, but I still can’t get too excited over it.  I may watch the 3rd season whenever it comes out just to see it to the end, but I’m still kind of meh about it.

A Certain Magical Index II – Episodes 20 – 22

A lot of things are going in these three episodes.  There looks to be three different sides trying to do things, and I’m still not entirely clear on what each of their goals are.  First, there is Kihara and Hound Dog who captured Last Order, there is Vento, who is making everyone in the city (and suggestions are around the world) unconscious while a glowing dude is preparing to impale everyone in the city, and then there is Aleister (Mr. Upside Down guy), who is using Last Order to organize the city’s AIM field to force Kazakiri to run a spell called Testament which harms anyone who uses magic within the city.

The Church apparently only hires psychopaths

The Church apparently only hires psychopaths

It seems apparent that Aleister’s goal is just to defend the city, even if he is using Kazakiri to do it.  However, one question I had was whether Hound Dog is working for him, since they were the ones who captured Last Order, and when they did, that’s when Testament started.  That would definitely suggest that the two are working together.  As for what the Church’s goal is, I guess it’s the usual goal of destroying Academy City.  Vento says she was sent to deal with Touma, which definitely means they see him as a threat to their plans (and they have good reason to).  I guess the question is whether there is still more to be revealed as part of the Church’s plan.

Now that Accelerator is connected to the MISAKA network, I guess it’s not surprising that he somehow awoke once Index started to “free” Last Order from whatever was happening to her, though I”m not sure what that exactly entails yet.  Obviously he can operate without his connection now, and it was suggested that he was able to defeat Kihara’s countermeasures against him.

It seemed like the MISAKAs were preparing to do something as well, though I don’t know if they couldn’t because of what was happening to Last Order or if they just haven’t gotten around to it yet.  Mikoto, meanwhile, has been relegated to talking on the phone to Index.  Meanwhile, we still have Tsuchimikado out there fighting the glowy being who is using Ancient Greek magic.

This has been an action packed, if confusing, trio of episodes.  It looks like Last Order is on the verge of being saved, Accelerator won his battle against Kihara and Vento is defeated, which leaves glowy dude, this new Acqua of the Rear guy who showed up at the very end, and possibly Aleister (and anyone else yet to be revealed) to deal with.

A Certain Magical Index II – Episodes 17 – 19

I thought I might get back to watching some of the series I had abandoned earlier in the year, so I’m starting with A Certain Magical Index II.  We get back to having lots of Mikoto action with her being all nervous around Touma, unfortunately for him, Kuroko is ever on the lookout for rivals. That along with Mikoto’s tsundere-ness results in much trouble for him.

Mikoto wants that Frog

Mikoto wants that Frog

These episodes had a lot of fun interaction between characters, some of which we haven’t really seen together before.  We had Last Order and Accelerator go to stay with Aiho, then Last Order ran off and hung out with Touma (after one of the MISAKAs had) and then while Accelerator was out looking for her, he ran into the ever-hungry Index.

We get back to a big arc again in episode 19 as someone who claims to have given Accelerator his power attacks him and is immune to his attacks, while also trying to get Last Order for some reason.  Meanwhile, Mr. Floaty upside down guy wants Last Order too in order to fight someone from the Catholic Church (of course) named Vento of the Front.  I’m guessing this is the next to last arc, or perhaps the final arc lasting a full 6 episodes (which would be rather long, though I guess appropriate for the final one, especially since the guy behind Academy City appears to be finally getting involved).

A Certain Magical Index II – Episode 16

Apparently the Roman Catholic Church is obsessed with destroying Academy City.  First, the Cross of St. Peter and now they’re trying to use The Rosary of the Appointed Time and Queen of the Adriatic Sea spells to erase Academy City from history.  They really are going all out now, though one has to ask why they are being so insistent on trying to eliminate their scientific adversaries right now.

Many people probably wish to punch their local Bishop like this as well

Many people probably wish to punch their local Bishop like this as well

So, anyway, Touma’s right hand saves the world (or at least Academy City) once again, though the Catholic Church is now going so far as the Pope himself signing an order of inquisition against Touma.  While the Roman Catholic Church was kinda seen as a villain before, they’ve come to be the front and center bad guy here in the second season.  I’m also liking this second season a bit more, if for no other reason than they’re actually using Index.  Her using her powers to help out Touma have occurred quite a bit more frequently recently.

One would expect maybe one or two lighter episodes after two straight near apocalyptic arcs have finished.  A good first step would be Touma having to play his “penalty game” for Mikoto.  After all, more Mikoto is definitely better.

A Certain Magical Index II – Episodes 14 and 15

So Touma wins a trip to Italy which, predictably, ends up with him getting mix up with trouble with the Roman Catholic Church again, after running into Orsola, who is moving from Italy to London, with the help of the Amakusas.  Except the Roman Catholics seem to be up to something really big this time, considering that they are sailing with a fleet of ice ships, where Touma and Orsola are trapped.

Return of the (other) Loli-Nun

Return of the (other) Loli-Nun

As I alluded to above, I knew the instant he said he won a trip to Italy that he’d get into something with the Roman Catholics.  At least Index was actually useful this time getting in the way of some Roman Catholic guys trying to cause some trouble, and in fetching the Amakusas so they could save Touma’s ass.

Whatever is going on, it seems like Agnese knows what she’s doing, though I’m still not sure we know the full story of what the Roman Catholic’s goal is.  All we really know is that the spell they want to use can not only destroy a city, but erase it’s entire history.  They were facing a lot of battle nuns, though they apparently didn’t seem to take too kindly to being sacrificed by the flagship, so I wouldn’t be shocked if they helped Touma and friends in the end.

Other than that…I’m not sure what more to say.  There seems to be a Amakusa girl who, I guess, has a thing for Touma and keeps handing him towels.  Somehow I don’t think she’s going to get much attention, though she’s cute enough to deserve some lol.  Also, this show once again portrays the Roman Catholics as pretty brutal, basically declaring Agnese and her entire unit heretics for, I’m assuming, failing during the Orsola ordeal earlier in the season.

A Certain Magical Index II: Episodes 12 and 13

So somewhat expectantly, I guess, Oriana was both a decoy and a pawn, used to throw the scent completely off of St. Peter’s Cross while in a way being duped into helping Lidvia who, sadly, sounds too much like today’s religious fanatics, trying to use the cross as a way to make science subservient to religion once and for all by claiming control over Academy City.  In the end, she was foiled by the Night Parade’s fireworks, and then sucked out of a plane by Archbishop Laura who was rather ruthless in her dealing with Lidvia.

I'm gonna make everyone happy by making their lives suck! Oh wait...

I'm gonna make everyone happy by making their lives suck! Oh wait...

I thought this arc ended rather lamely.  Oriana was finally done in by a punch, of all things (after she had already taken several) and Lidvia was foiled no thanks to all the events in the past six episodes in this arc.  I mean, it was a somewhat exciting arc, I guess, but I felt kinda cheated that the last 6 episodes led to a conclusion where nothing they did actually stopped the threat.

As for Archbishop Laura, I’ve always kind of found her a creepy kind of sweet, and she showed it here when she just dropped  Lidvia from the plane (along with the pilot), presumably destroying the cross along the way (though I think that part might be in dispute).  Lidvia seemed to be rather crazy, anyway, and rather obsessed with making the Roman Catholics dominant by “denying science” as she put it (not that that’s very different from reality, though the Catholic Church is hardly alone in that regard).

So at the end of this arc, everyone is all happy again.  The main thing that last might be that Himegami may be more involved in the romantic feelings for Touma now.  Of course, this changes things from merely being an Index-Touma-Mikoto triangle to an full on harem for Touma.  Luckily there don’t seem to be any other females that would seem to imminently become romantically interested in him at this point.

A Certain Magical Index II: Episodes 10 and 11

After his first fight with Oriana, Touma and the others discover that the Stab Sword is merely a myth and that the item is actually St. Peter’s Cross, which would allow the Church to claim control over any land it is stuck into.  This means if the Roman Catholic Church claimed Academy City, the balance between science and magic would be swung completely into magic’s favor, allowing the Roman Catholics to essentially take over the world.

Such Misfortune

Such Misfortune

This arc has strayed a long way from it’s school competition beginnings, though I guess that’s fine with me.  Oriana seems to be pretty nasty, though in the sense that she has such a breadth of magical spells and not because her spells are all that powerful, per se (at least to this point).  She’s hard to defend against because you have no idea what’s coming next.  However, Tsuchikimado’s successful bluff suggested that she may be easily deceived or otherwise not all that knowledgeable about the workings of magic.

Otherwise, Oriana’s most brutal attack came against Himegami, whom she mistakes as a magical agent, and attacks her by virtually blowing her up.  Touma now seems to be on his own against Oriana now as Tsuchikimado seems out for the count and Stiyl is staying behind to try to help Himegami, and it seemed like Tsuchikimado’s threat that Kaori might show up really was a bluff (but we’ll see I guess).  We also got a brief glimpse of the other half of the transaction, Lidvia, though that’s all we really know right now.

Otherwise, Mikoto and Index seem to be developing a bit of a rivalry over Touma, and of course Kuroko hates Touma because of her jealousy over Mikoto.  I just wondered why it look this long for Mikoto to ask Touma who, exactly, Index is.  We’re only, what?, 35 episodes into the series now?

We only have one more episode until it heads into the spring season, but this arc doesn’t seem anywhere near ending.  It could end next episode, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it went on into the January episodes at this point.

A Certain Magical Index II: Episodes 8 and 9

So we start a new story arc, with Stiyl, Tsuchimikado, and Touma trying to stop a transaction which would give an item known as the  Stab Sword to an agent of the Roman Catholic Church.  These two episodes mainly deal with their chase after one of the two magicians involved, Oriana Thomson, whom Touma finds by accident when his Imagine Breaker reacts to her when he shakes her hand.  Most of the second episode deals with the three trying to break a spell she has set up which is preventing Stiyl from performing any magic within academy city.

There is so much wrong here, it's almost hard to know where to begin

There is so much wrong here, it's almost hard to know where to begin

We got some information about what the Stab Sword is – it’s a magical item, apparently held by the Anglican Church, that is harmless to most people, but can slay a saint with a single stab.  This makes it equivalent to an item that could neutralize another nation’s nuclear arsenal in ordinary military terms, thus giving whoever had the item a supreme advantage – such an advantage that by even having the advantage, a religious war could break out.

Oriana hasn’t really shown much yet other than a bit of craftiness and the fact that she pre-planned some countermeasures, but we haven’t really seen the full force of what she’s capable of yet, I don’t think.  At least Touma is being useful in that he can easy cut through magical counter-measures without slowing the trio down.

As for other characters, we get a lot of red-faced Mikoto, but that’s about it.  We also get a lot of hungry and lonely Index, though that’s nothing really new, either.  The primary secondary character so far has really been class rep Seiri Fukiyose who seems to be paying a lot of attention to Touma, and ends up getting zapped by one of Oriana’s spells at the end of episode 9.

I have a feeling this arc will go to the end of the fall season for this show (which would be episode 12) since we’re not even done dealing with Oriana, and we haven’t even been introduced to the other half of the transaction yet.

A Certain Magical Index II: Episode 7

Soo…that’s it for the “remnant” arc?  I so thought there would be more to this (and maybe there will be eventually), but this arc basically consisted of Awaki and Kuroko fighting each other (with Kuroko pretty much on the losing end of all of it) and Awaki demonstrating that she’s both crazy and can move heavy things.  In the end, the Misaka’s network together and tell Toma to…catch Kuroko out of midair I guess, because he didn’t do a heck of a lot else.

In Soviet Russia, the Accelerator puts down you

In Soviet Russia, the Accelerator puts down you

As I said before, I wouldn’t be surprised if this Tree Diagram remnant stuff didn’t pop up later, though obviously the suitcase that Awaki was carrying was obliterated, and she (and her comrades) weren’t exactly in the best shape either.  At least we got to see some Accelerator action, though he still seems to be sore about losing to Toma, so I’m guessing that will come back eventually.

As for what Awaki wanted the remnants for…I still don’t get it.  She basically wanted to ask it if animals could gain abilities which, while a fascinating question I guess, I find it difficult to find out it’s relevant.  She had issues accepting being an ability user, so perhaps she was trying to find some meaning as to why she was by having that question answered.

Overall, with a lack of any obvious future extension of this arc, I found this arc to be pretty lame, with a somewhat lame premise, lame battles, and a lame conclusion.  Again, if we come back to it again later, then maybe this episode and the last one will become more important, but as they stand now, they seem kind of pointless to me.

A Certain Magical Index II: Episodes 4 – 6

Ha, now the cross (and why Stiyl gave it to Toma, and why Toma giving it to Orsola Aquinas) makes sense.  I had forgotten that Stiyl was part of the Anglican Church (*makes note*) and not the Roman Catholic church, so my concerns about him after the last episodes were probably mostly unfounded.  I’d think that people would notice if a huge battle was suddenly taking place at a Catholic Church, though.  But wow, two episodes in a row where Index does something!  Maybe this season will be better than the first after all.

Look Ma! I'm Actually Useful!

Look Ma! I'm Actually Useful!

Naturally, the Anglican’s  motivations in all this (not that Stiyl was aware of it) weren’t exactly totally pure either.  It seems like the group that came out the best in all of this were the Amakusa, who were initially portrayed as the enemy (shocking, I know).

In any case, we ended the Orsola Aquinas arc, which seems kind of pointless unless it’s part of a larger storyline through the story, which is probably the case.  It looks like the next arc will be about the Tree Diagram satellite that Index accidentally destroyed with her St. George’s Sanctuary spell way back in episode 6 of the first season.  It also seems that Kuroko has finally met her match (well, someone like Mikoto could probably already beat her, but outside the main group of protagonists).  I wonder what affect that might have on Kuroko’s arrogance in her abilities.  Anyway, having Accelerator (apparently) on their side can’t hurt their chances, though it’s still rather mysterious exactly what’s going on.

I tend to like the Academy City/esper story arcs better than the Church/magic arcs, so I might like this next story arc better than I did the first one.