To Aru Majutsu no Index II – 17
Just like the production staff announced on Twitter, included with this episode was the new opening sequence. I didn’t think much of Kawada Mami’s “See visionS” as an opening theme due to its mellow start, and even felt that they should have swapped it with Kurosaki Maon’s more upbeat “Memories Last” ending theme, but it works well with the sequence they made to go with it.
「罰ゲーム」 (Batsu Geemu)
This has to be one of the few series where the character interactions provide a lot more entertainment than the actual plot, and Touma’s return to Academy City made this one of the best episodes this sequel in that regard. The huge cast of characters are a lot of fun to watch, especially when they all come together with their various nuances. In a very cliche sense, I dare say it doesn’t even matter what they’re doing, as long as they’re doing it together, and I’ll be thoroughly entertained.
Having Mikoto around is always a big plus, though I’m finding that it’s infinitely better when Kuroko is also around to both join in and break things up. I’d definitely like to see more of Uiharu though, especially after Kuroko hunted her down, as well as the very unlikely possibility of Saten making a cameo. There’s good reason they got their own side story, even though some of the best moments come from the Touma x Mikoto pairing that a lot of viewers like to see (myself included). It was nothing but good laughs all around, with a couple of my favorite scenes being the aforementioned one with Kuroko hauling Uiharu off, and Touma getting Mikoto’s expectations up by asking if she really like tormenting him that much. I think it’s about time Touma put that Imagine Breaker to use on his own head. There must be some sort of spell on him impeding his understanding of girls.
As this was only a setup episode of sorts, I’m almost certain I’ll come off as “unappreciative” of this series when I say it was far better than when the actual plot kicks in, but I have to say, it was far better than when the actual plot kicks in. After all, we saw the return of Accelerator, Last Order, and a handful of the remaining Sisters, the latter of whom fought amongst themselves about a certain 19090 watching her weight. Getting some lighthearted developments from them was refreshing, and helped balance out the Index raging that I’m all too familiar with now. Then there was Touma receiving not one punch to the face, but two at the same time for no real reason whatsoever. Misunderstandings are great too, particularly ones that involve Seiri and her abnormally large breasts.
Interestingly enough, the episode left off on what felt like a cliffhanger yet surely didn’t seem like one when Last Order stole 10032′s goggles. I wasn’t even sure what to make from the serious air things closed out on, as the next episode looks like we’ll get to see more of Kaori, Agnese, Sherry, and Hyouka. Also, we have a wet Laura, which I doubt many people will be opposed to seeing. I gather Hyouka will be the focus though, much like the new opening sequence is foreshadowing.