A Certain Magical Index III
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 13 of
Certain Magical Index III ?
This episode features the conclusion of one high-powered battle sequence without Touma, another battle sequence that does feature him, a villain helping the heroes for reasons so nebulous that they seem to just be giving the two an excuse to work together, cameos of major characters, the focus shifting around to a half-dozen different scenes to incorporate an incredibly broad collection of characters, discussions about sexy outfits, and Index getting hungry and pigging out. In other words, it's a totally typical episode for the franchise.
I'm not necessarily saying that's a bad thing, as unlike in previous arcs, the frenetic activity is coherent enough that anime-only viewers can mostly follow what's going on, even if a scorecard might be needed to keep track of all the characters who pop up. Still there are gaps, such as the case of Floris, who chews Touma out for the method of their escape from the train last episode and then disappears without explanation after that; I guess we can assume that she went with the Amakusa when they picked up Green Princess, but no mention being made of her after this point is a careless omission. Whatever confrontation Oriana had with Sherry, which resulted in the latter being in the counter-coup camp late in the episode, is also left out, though I can't be as critical there since those details probably would have broken up the episode's flow. There are just too many active characters in play right now, so someone's bound to get short-changed.
Besides, you have to leave room for a Mikoto cameo with more laments about breast size, right? At least she's finally ended up in a certain familiar restaurant, though I find it remarkable that this is her first time there. A couple of other Academy City cameos sneak in too, but what's going on in Britain is much more important, so the story doesn't dwell on that. Instead it focuses more on Touma's relatively brief fight with another golem-type creature (with some assistance from Index and, surprisingly, the pacifistic Green Princess) and how Acqua winds up winning a duel against a foe who can use magic that negates anything he actively perceives as a weapon. Though it's an indomitable defense against recognized threats, the big weakness is that it only works as long as you can track everything that's being used as a weapon against you. Acqua doesn't give the impression of being the type who can come at you from enough different angles to exploit that weakness, yet he's able to pull it off by the end. In the process, we also get at least some sense of his loyalty to Green Princess; he just wants a united Britain, and that's what Green Princess stands for.
Amidst all of this action, there are also some shenanigans about a mystical train, Red Princess showing that her use of the sword isn't without its drawbacks, and the Queen and Laura Stuart have somehow linked up with Blue Princess. Whatever they're talking about as their ace in the hole will have to wait for next episode, which will presumably be this arc's finale.
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