To Aru Majutsu no Index – 21
It’s time to head back to school for Touma, which means that Index will be at home all alone. He promises to do something fun with her once he returns, but Index realizes after he leaves that she doesn’t have anything for lunch. Unaware of Index’s dismay, Touma walks to school and runs into Mikoto along the way. He manages to get her all flustered by saying that he’s tired and that she’s the only one who would ask him to do such an embarrassing thing as pretending to be lovers. At the entrance of the school, he sees Komoe parking her car and learns that she’s collecting some materials on something called the AIM dispersion field. She explains that this is also known as An Involuntary Movement, and it’s the field of power that espers emit which theoretically could be detected.
Meanwhile, Tsuchimikado gets himself transported to Aleister Crowley’s place because he’s concerned about a mage who has entered the city. That person in question is Sherry Cromwell, a member of Necessarius, and Tsuchimikado worries that relations will worsen between the church and the city if she’s defeated carelessly. Tsuchimikado volunteers to do it since he’s a mage himself, but Crowley indicates that he’s planning on having Touma do it. Back at the school, Komoe tries to introduce a new transfer student, but Index shows up instead. Komoe kicks Index out and gives her some money to go home, and it turns out that the real transfer student is actually Himegami.
Rather than going home though, Index wanders around the school hungry until she comes across a vending machine. Unable to figure out how to use it, she finally gets some help from a girl with glasses who introduces herself as Kazakiri Hyouka, another transfer student. The two start chatting, and Hyouka points out that Index’s clothes stand out too much for her to stay at the school, so the two go and change. It just so happens that Touma is walking past the classroom they’re changing in and barges in on them, not realizing that what they’re doing. After suffering Index’s wrath, Touma explains that today was just the school’s opening ceremony, so he would have returned home by noon. He gets introduced to Hyouka, but the group is then found by Komoe who’s angry that Touma is skipping the opening ceremony. What’s strange is that Hyouka suddenly disappears soon after Komoe shows up.
Index ends up waiting for Touma outside of school, but she worries that he is angry and hates her. Hyouka reappears and suggests that the friends who can fight are the ones who are close, and Index’s mood improves after Touma emerges from the school building and proposes going out for lunch. Hyouka agrees to join them, but Touma needs to first withdraw some money. While he’s doing this, he’s approached by Himegami who reveals that she used to know a Kazakiri Hyouka from her old school. This Hyouka was a top student, but no one ever saw her, so Himegami did some investigating and learned that Hyouka was called Counter Stop. What’s more, Hyouka is the key to understanding something called the Imaginary Number District – Five Elements Institution, so Himegami questions why someone like her is here and warns Touma to be careful. For the time being though, Touma still takes Index and Hyouka to an underground shopping area for lunch.
Back at Touma’s school, Komoe is chatting with her colleague Yomikawa Aiho who is a member of the Anti-Skills security forces. After Yomikawa gets called away because of Anti-Skill work, Himegami brings Komoe the book she wanted and takes the chance to ask Komoe if there’s a student named Kazakiri Hyouka at their school. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the city, Sherry Cromwell is found and cornered by Kuroko because she’s an intruder, but Kuroko underestimates her opponent and almost gets crushed by a golem. She’s fortunately saved by Mikoto, however Sherry Cromwell is long gone. Cromwell has appeared in a different part of the city and writes the words “Golem Ellis” all over the place. With one clap of the hand, each instance of writing turns into an eyeball, and she sends them out in all directions.
As someone who hasn’t been paying close attention to all the terminology, I spent a lot of time looking stuff up because there’s so much introduced this episode that would have been terribly confusing otherwise. I think this is the exposition problem rearing its ugly head again. I understand that they’re trying to set things up for the rest of this (probably) final arc, but throwing out all this technobabble is far from the ideal way of doing that. Still, at least the episode managed have some cute moments for Index, Mikoto, and the other female characters (which incidentally we got four more of this week, not including Himegami). It also ended in a fairly exciting way with the fight between Kuroko and Sherry Cromwell, though even that was rather brief and probably inconsequential. Whether or not Touma gets to face Sherry Cromwell next week, I’m hoping that at least the general battle shown in the preview will be interesting.