A Certain Magical Index III
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 11 of
Certain Magical Index III ?
Touma and Index arriving in Great Britain and Index changing back into her nun robes signals a departure from the low-key nature of last episode and a return to what passes for normal for this series. It's time for another lively affair involving superpowers, all sorts of new characters, and plenty of twists. That's not totally meant as a positive, but no one who's been following the series so far is going to be surprised by the tenor of this episode. (Though the twist at the end might be another story for anime-only viewers.)
For reasons that still have yet to be explained to both Touma and the viewer, he and Index been sent to get involved in the troubles of Great Britain's royals. Index's presence makes total sense, as she would be invaluable at determining whether or not magic was involved in the Eurotunnel's collapse and perhaps ferreting out the problem in their own midst, and I'm also happy to see that little thread about the illusion being interfered with on the plane is having consequences. The way things play out though, the problems run deeper than even the queen realizes.
Speaking of her, this franchise has a well-established history of flaky characters, but the Queen is one of the rare cases that I find truly problematic. Her goofiness clashes sharply with the generally serious demeanor of the situation, to the point that she's more a distraction than comedy relief. At least the widely-varied attitudes and dispositions of the princesses makes up for that, with the Red Princess's aside about how maybe the Green Princess could find a better solution becoming a loaded statement given how the end of the episode plays out. That implies that Red Princess's actions aren't so much a selfish power grab as something that she genuinely feels needs to be done for the betterment of the country. Given the behavior of the Queen, it makes sense that she would come to that conclusion, although I'm sure that there's more going on here too; when Academy City is even peripherally involved, things are never that simple.
Although the gimmick with the cases that can teleport items between them is a cool one, as are those Norse-themed grabbing poles, the sorceresses themselves are wholly unimpressive, more effective at being cute than convincing as a competent threat. I get the impression that we aren't done with them yet, so maybe they'll show a little more appeal going forward, but I'm doubtful. The episode also has a sprinkling of guest appearances, including Kanzaki and a reappearance of Oriana (the main antagonist in the Dauhasei Festival arc in season 2) popping up again as an ally, so at least it finds other ways to be entertaining.
Overall it's a decent but unimpressive episode, though it does offer promise for bigger things next episode.
A Certain Magical Index III is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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