Friday, 25 March 2011

To Aru Majutsu no Index II - Episode 23

With Vento of the Front defeated and Kazakiri saved, it appears that Kamijou Touma has won the day once again - an event which leads us rather bizarrely to the episode beginning with what is practically the end of its story arc (complete with emotional climax) before moving on to other things.

In fairness, these "other things" are indeed all part of the fallout from the incident in question, with the destruction brought upon Academy City leading to a lot of talk and much concern about the possibility of a war breaking out.  While this worry offers practical and borderline irrelevant concerns for the students of Academy City (i.e. the cost and availability of good food, for starters), Touma is of course already thinking ahead to what he might need to do (and, I assume, what women he may have to punch) to protect the city and its inhabitants in the future.

Meanwhile, Accelerator finds himself with a new job offer to consider in the immediate aftermath of those earlier proceedings, leading him to a role of seemingly defending Academy City himself - in the first instance from those ruffians within the group known as Skillout; a job which also serves him up some competition to relish in the process.

To be honest, this episode has left me wondering just where To Aru Majutsu no Index II's pacing went so horribly wrong - a couple of episodes ago we were all set up for something truly epic, yet now we seem to have blown past a big chunk of that story line without anything much of interest happening, taking us in turn to this penultimate episode which felt rushed and clumsy from that out of place opening sequence (that felt like it should be closing out an instalment) onwards.  From that point on it was difficult to really "feel" anything for this episode, giving me the impression that it was just going through the motions towards its natural finale as quickly and uneventfully as possible.  That isn't really the kind of climax you want to see to a series like this, and I don't know whether post-earthquake disruption has gone some way towards shredding the work schedule on the show, but something definitely feels like it's gone wrong here - a sad to end to what has been a sub-par second season throughout, if we're completely blunt about it.

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