Saturday, 18 December 2010

To Aru Majutsu no Index II - Episode 11

Academy City is potentially in a great deal of danger... but never mind that, first Touma has to worry about surviving a lunch sat between Index and Misaka!  In fact, Touma's immediate worries seem to revolve almost entirely around the bevy of girls which flock around him before we finally get back to the serious business of tracking down Oriana and Croce Di Pietro before it's too late.

With Oriana finally on the move again, finding their target is exactly what Tsuchimikado sets out to do as the only person capable of doing so despite the risks associated with it for him.  Indeed, simply using magic isn't the only risk he has to concern himself with, as the spell used to find Oriana also makes it obvious to her where Tsuchimikado is located, and thus it's no surprise when she moves to shut down the source of who is tracking her rather than continuing to make her escape.  Cue a brief and somewhat one-sided fight between the two characters, before a bluff on Tsuchimikado's part allows him to escape with his life.

Despite ensuring his own surival, Oriana remains at large and one step ahead of her pursuers; a fact which has disastrous and unforeseen consequences when she bumps into Himegami and, mistaking her for an enemy on account of the cross she wears, attacks her.  Of course, Touma and Stiyl turn up just minutes later to find a gravely injured Himegama, leaving Touma feeling understandably upset, frustrated and unable to do anything to help his friend.  Stiyl appears similarly helpless, although a bright idea on his part inspired by Komoe leaves him deciding to help Himegama, meaning that Touma is seemingly going to have to face-off against Oriana and her not inconsiderable powers alone.

I'm a little bit torn on what to make of this episode of To Aru Majutsu no Index II for some reason - perhaps its because its blend of harem-esque comedy hijinks and more serious action felt a little clumsy, or perhaps because the "serious business" side of the episode felt almost bolted on in deference to that comedy, but something didn't quite work for me here until we reached the final scenes of Himegami's fate and its fallout.  This stronger ending perhaps bodes well for the next episode, but I wonder if too many instalments have been spent on this particular story now - I'm sure it could have been trimmed and tidied down to a more manageable level without losing too much of the more pertinent points of the plot, and similarly without ruining its more worthwhile moments of humour.

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