A Certain Magical Index III
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 23 of
Certain Magical Index III ?
Two episodes ago, Mikoto had a spectacular escape from a plane that got shot down. Since then, the only thing that she's accomplished is meeting one of her Sisters. Last episode's suggestion that she might have an urgent mission of her own has just lost out on priority to everything else going on, though she is talking about hijacking a vehicle now. The way things are going, I can't see her getting much more screen time unless reaching the nuke turns out to be a pivotal part of this whole scenario with Bethlehem.
In fact, there are so many bases to cover that this episode ultimately doesn't accomplish much in terms of plot progression. Stiyl is still struggling to not get killed by Index on autopilot, but that can only be spared a minute or two because Accelerator and Hyouka are off fighting Misha in the feature fight, a battle that proves troublesome even for such powerful individuals until William decides to stick it to Fiamma by showing how he can fight without actually going into battle. Touma and Sasha are heading towards Fiamma, with Touma figuring out that the whole place is being used to summon and control Misha, so using his right hand on the structure actually does enough damage to get Fiamma's attention. The sets up the showdown between the two for next episode. In another corner, Hamazura is once again trying to prove that he's an action star, in total Touma wannabe mode as he improbably rouses the badly-injured William (who must not have been as badly hurt as he was claiming if that speech was all it took to solve the problem) and rushes with Takitsubo to go after the biological warfare item, even though he's so enormously outgunned that he gets bailed out by unexpected help. As a side note, the walkie talkie dropped for him by the Academy City people was a pretty smarmy play. Amidst all this, Fiamma and William have time for a telepathic (?) conversation too.
I have to think that some details got lost in translation from novel form. Fiamma mentions that he doesn't need the Accelerator's diagram anymore because he got a look at it through Misha's eyes, but I don't see how or when that could have happened, as Accelerator was never shown having it out where Misha could have seen it. Fiamma having an actual clear motive for why he's going through all this trouble to instigate the war and secure Touma's right arm would also be nice, though based on spoilers that I've seen, this should finally become clearer next episode. The Misha/Hyouka swordfighting could use some more dynamism, as they're largely just bashing each other rather than employing any actual skill, but otherwise the action is decent enough. The way Misha's voice is handled continues to impress, and the musical score is a strong point throughout.
Overall, the episode does a good job of keeping things lively and a competent job of covering its bases, even if it doesn't accomplish much. At least A Certain Magical Index is never short on entertainment value.
A Certain Magical Index III is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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