To Aru Majutsu no Index – 16
Tsuchimikado admits to being not only a mage, but also a spy sent to Academy City because science is the enemy of magic. However, as a result of the esper curriculum, he lost the ability to use magic. Regardless of this, because they suspect that the person responsible for Angel Fall is close to Touma, Kaori, Tsuchimikado, and Misha decide to stick with him. They join Touma’s family at the inn, but Tsuchimikado stays out of view because the spell he and Kaori cast on themselves to prevent themselves from being affected by Angel Fall wasn’t perfect – the people who have switched bodies still see them as someone else. In Tsuchimikado’s case, it’s a famous singer, and in Kaori’s case, it’s Stiyl. Upon hearing this, Touma points out that Tsuchimikado shouldn’t be able to use magic, so Tsuchimikado shows the injury he got from doing so, and he knows that he risks death if he does it again. Tsuchimikado then advises Touma not to use the misfortune phrase that he often says in front of Kaori because she’s sensitive about her own good fortune. Kaori holds great power and is the leader of an organization by birth, but she can’t forgive herself for what she’s been blessed with.
Kaori then comes looking for Touma because she wants to take a bath, but the fact that everyone sees her as Stiyl forces her to use the men’s side. She makes him guard the men’s bath, but Touma isn’t able to stop his father from going in, and they catch Kaori naked. She chases them out, though afterward, Tsuchimikado scolds her for not being more gracious to Touma since he saved Index. Touma and his father meanwhile run far away, and as they’re catching their breath, Touma realizes that the look of his father right now is really that of a stranger. This causes him to stare wistfully at the sky, and his father comments on how he resembles his mother. Touma’s father then notices that Misha is standing by herself in the nearby woods, and he urges Touma to go talk to her. Touma tries to joke with her, but when she doesn’t respond to that, he just offers her some gum. She carefully takes it from his hand, and because he asks about Angel Fall, she explains that it’s incomplete. If it were complete, a great disaster would occur, so they have to find the person responsible before that.
The next morning, Touma’s mother realizes that she forgot to lock the front door and heads home to do it. Misha volunteers to go with her, and in trying to figure out why, Touma’s father points out how Misha had avoided touching Touma’s right hand last night. Combining this with how Misha had known about Angel Fall being incomplete, Touma begins to suspect her. He and Tsuchimikado decided to take a taxi to his house after getting a map from his father, and they manage to get there before the train that his mother and Misha are taking. The house is full of various items his father has brought back from his travels, but Touma notices in particular a set of photos of his father and mother. What’s strange about it is that although his mother looks different, his father looks the same in the picture as he does right now, meaning that his appearance never got changed by Angel Fall. Since the only other unaffected person should be the one who cast the original spell, that means that Touma’s father is responsible. At this moment, however, Touma’s mother and Misha arrive back, and Misha immediately notices the picture. She rushes off to go kill Touma’s father, leaving Touma no choice but to head back to the inn as well.
Touma beats Misha there by getting a ride from a truck driver whose appearance got switched with Himegami’s. After filling Kaori in on what’s going on, he insists on settling this himself and goes to confront his father on the beach.
That was a pretty good episode, though much of what I liked was due to the comedy and not necessarily the plot or the Kaori fanservice. As I suspected, Touma’s father is the one behind this (or so it appears right now), but we still don’t know his motivation for all this. My guess is that it might have something to do with his travels or the items he brings home, otherwise there’d be no reason for them to keep pointing those out. Because of the comedy though, I have a hard time right now seeing him as a bad guy and am more inclined to think that there’s something else at play here. Conversely, I still see Misha as a suspicious character because of how much she knows and how her appearance seems not to have been changed by Angel Fall – is that why she didn’t want to touch Touma’s right hand? Regardless, she and Touma’s father look to be the major players in the preview for next week.
I’m also curious about that random bit about Kaori’s background this episode. I’m not complaining about her getting more character development, but this would seem to imply that either she or something related to her past is going to play a big role in how this arc ends, or it’s setting up for something in a future arc.