Touma and Index have arrived at the beach after being advised by Komoe to leave the city. They’re on their own for the first day, but Touma’s parents and cousin are due to join them on the following day. Because of how he lost his memory, Touma doesn’t know his parents and is feeling unsettled. The first person to show up is his father Touya who brings Touma a souvenir, and he seems ordinary enough. What shocks Touma, however, is the arrival of his cousin Otohime and his mother Shiina. Otohime looks and sounds exactly like Mikoto, and his mother looks and sounds exactly like Index. Things start get even weirder when the innkeepers become Misaka and Stiyl, and Index now looks like one of Touma’s classmates. In addition, the hospital doctor is now a TV news anchor and Komoe is now a reporter covering U.S. president Kuroko. Touma finally concludes that something is very wrong when Otohime shows him a photo of herself and him, and the girl in it looks nothing like Mikoto.
While trying to figure things out, Touma comes across an oddly dressed girl, and when he tries to greet her, she pulls out a knife. Kaori and Touma’s other classmate Tsuchimikado Motoharu show up at this moment to stop the girl, and they reveal that they’re here to investigate a distortion. The girl, whose name is Misha Kreuzhev, turns out to be from the Russian church Annihilatus, and she’s intent on finding the mage responsible for this. Kaori and Tsuchimikado eventually explain to Touma that a certain mysterious magic which they’re calling Angel Fall is spreading around the world, and it’s causing the switching of people’s appearances. What’s surprising to Touma is that they claim that he’s at the center of this distortion, making him the main suspect, but Kaori and Tsuchimikado don’t believe that he’s responsible. Misha is less than convinced and has to test Touma’s Imagine Breaker with a water attack before accepting that it is keeping him from being affected by what’s going on. With that out of the way, Tsuchimikado thinks that there’s a good possibility that the person responsible is close to Touma, but what Touma is more concerned about is how Tsuchimikado knows all this, so Tsuchimikado reveals that he’s part of Necessarius.
Well that was unexpected. This episode started out so innocently like it was going to be a beach or hot springs episode with a bunch of fanservice, and then it became amusing and confusing when Mikoto and Index showed up as Touma’s cousin and mother (amusing because of Touma’s reactions), but by the end we’re knee-deep again in another magic-related mystery. I don’t mean that last part in a bad way either: the introduction of Tsuchimikado as a key character (as well as Misha) made things interesting, and they limited the pseudo-religious explanation of what’s going on, so it didn’t feel like unnecessarily long exposition. My current inclination is that Touma’s father is responsible since he doesn’t appear to be affected, plus he’s shown several times in the preview and his name is the title of next week’s episode. Even if it’s not him, he’s still got to be connected to this in some way.
On a different note, this is the third time I’ve seen something Barack Obama make it’s way into an anime. The first was the U.S. election episode of Yatterman, the second was the recent Minami-ke Okaeri commercial, and the third was Kuroko’s “Yes We Can” this episode. Talk about capturing the national imagination…