Saturday, 2 April 2011

To Aru Majutsu no Index II - Episode 24 (Completed)

After a distinctly messy previous episode, To Aru Majutsu no Index II hits its finale whilst feeling not at all like we're in a position to actually end the series - a view this instalment seems to share as it seems all set to lead into a third season of the show.

Still, we're getting ahead of ourselves here, as this episode begins with first Awaki Musujime, and then Accelerator, taking on Skillout's leader Ritoku Komaba.  In the former's case even her teleportation powers aren't enough to even come close to matching Ritoku's ability, while things even get a little hairy for Accelerator for a while before he manages to pull through despite the stolen technology at his disposal which more than makes up for his Level 0 abilities.  Before finishing the job however, Ritoku shares his raison d'etre with Accelerator, with what seems to be a similar mission to protect someone close to him no matter that cost as Accelerator's own current motivation.

As Accelerator makes his way home from his hard day's work, first himself and then Touma run into a rather drunk Misuzu Misaka who, amongst other things, is looking to find the Dangai University database centre - a search which, we later learn, is part of an attempt for her to remove Mikoto and others like her from the perceived danger of Academy City before war breaks out.  Such dangers soon appear closer to home than even she would imagine however, as GROUP attack the university and send Skillout members to put paid to Misaka's efforts before she can have some of Academy City's more prestigious students leave.  It's up to a mixture of Accelerator and Touma to save her (although you can hardly say they're working together), which they achieve successfully, and so it goes that Academy City and its various forces all live to fight another day.

So, there we have it, a half-decent episode to what has largely been a disappointing series, and a finale that feels like anything but a final episode.  In a way, this is a perfect example of everything that has been wrong with To Aru Majutsu no Index II - some great set pieces, stories and possibilities, all frittered away by poor pacing more often than not.  Come these final few episodes, I feel like I'm not even included as a valid viewer of the show as the series has rushed away with itself and taken way too much for granted whilst ignoring the fact that not everybody has read its source materials - a huge oversight for any novel to anime adaptation in my book.  Will I be on-board for what seems like an inevitable third season given these criticisms?  Probably, but only because I'm a sucker for punishment.

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