To Aru Majutsu no Index – 23
Touma is able to dispel the golem with just one touch of his right hand, but Sherry Cromwell easily reforms it. Fortunately for Touma, he’s got the Anti-Skills force backing him up, and they chip away at the golem with their bullets. Cromwell counters by casting a spell to reinforce the golem, and Touma knows what he has to do. Although he doesn’t want Hyouka trying to stop him or touch him due to his ability, Touma reassures her that he’s her friend and promises to return. He then charges at the golem and gets thrown back, but when it tries to smash him, he slides under its arm and reaches Cromwell behind it. While the Anti-Skills keep the golem busy, Touma punches Cromwell to settle the fight, however this doesn’t knock her out. She’s still able to cast a spell that allows her to create a hole in the ground and escape through it. Realizing that Cromwell might be going after Index, Touma wants to get out of the underground shopping center quickly, but he learns from Yomikawa that they’re stuck there for the time being.
When Hyouka takes a moment to thank him, Touma tells her about how Index is in danger, and he considers jumping down through the same hole that Cromwell used to escape. Convinced by Cromwell that she’s a monster, Hyouka knows that there’s another way to save Index by using her own body. Touma tries to tell her that she’s not a monster, but Hyouka wants to use her own power to protect someone she cares about, and she jumps through the hole before Touma can stop her. Hyouka lands safely, and as she runs through the subway tunnel below, she thinks about how she originally existed in a world of heat haze and how meeting Index brought her into the outside world. She thinks that if Index found out that she was a monster, then Index wouldn’t want to be her friend anymore, but Hyouka nevertheless wants to save her.
By this point, Index has left Mikoto’s side to chase after Sphinx, and the cat brings her to a deserted area of the city. Shortly after she gets Sphinx back into her arms, Index is attacked by Cromwell’s golem. Index is able to tell the type of magic being used, and although she can’t use any magic herself, Index has the ability to manipulate the golem’s movements by intercepting the spell and causing confusion in the magic via a set of verbally uttered keywords. Knowing that this isn’t enough, Index also gets the golem to absorb one of the safety pins that she was using to hold her clothes together, and this limits the golem’s movements. Unfortunately, it smashes the ground in front of her, throwing her back, and it then changes from remote control mode to automatic control, meaning that she won’t be able to manipulate the magic governing its movements anymore. As the golem prepares to finish her off, Index hopes for Touma to come save her, and a certain something happens.
Shocking: Index was actually able to do something instead of sitting on the sidelines the entire time, and it was actually pretty cool, thanks in part to the fast-paced insert song jellyfish. Granted, in the end she still has to be saved (which the preview seems to spoil as Hyouka), but in this case the effort counts for something. She actually appears useful for once instead of being a whiny title character who never does anything. Why haven’t we seen more of this Index? If only Mikoto had been with her, then the two wouldn’t have had any problems with the golem. In fact, I’m kind of disappointed that Mikoto has been so close to the action for two episodes now, but hasn’t gotten involved in either of them.
As for the rest of the episode, I enjoyed the action at the beginning, but the parts with Touma and Hyouka were really slow. I also laughed really hard when Touma punched Sherry Cromwell in the face. For someone who spouts as much self-righteous crap as him, I’m amused by how he has no qualms about hitting a girl like that. Then again, I guess you could argue that he believes in equal treatment of all villains, regardless of gender. In any case, it looks like he might get another chance to do it next week in the finale if the preview is any indicator.