「残骸 (レムナント)」 (Zangai (Remunanto))
So we’re back this week for the sixth installment of Toaru Majutsu no Railgun II. It was great seeing Kuroko-neesama and Mikoto-chin back for another episode complete Uiharu-chwan, but where’s my Saten!? She still hasn’t shown up in this season of Railgun’s run and I’m starting to get antsy. That aside, we had a more serious episode of Railgun than usual, with Kuroko-neesama getting the beat down from Musujime Awaki (Sakurai Harumi), a fellow teleporter who uses the ability Move Point to teleport any object she wishes. I wonder if after the issue with all this remnant stuff is resolved will she join the side of Judgement desu no and enjoy Crêpe with Mikoto-chin and the others while living a fun and carefree life in the average days of Academy City?
Okay, now that I have that out of my system, I must say that I enjoyed this episode. While I know some people have complaints of the extremely fast pacing, which is to be expected as J.C.Staff is adopting one novel in only two episodes, I found that it’s better to look at the anime for what it is, an anime; it’s not a novel with moving pictures, and basing your opinion of an episode solely on whether J.C.Staff adapted the novels word-per-word is a bit narrow-minded. Everything that needed to be explained was, and following the plot was simple enough even if little details were glazed over. Also, in J.C.Staff’s defense, volume 8 is the shortest Index novel written thus far with only 245 pages in all, so they are somewhat justified in cutting the volume down to two episodes, especially considering that they need the space for the upcoming arcs and we already had an entire 24 episode anime dedicated to Mikoto and Kuroko. That said, I must admit that the pacing did feel fairly disorienting, going from Mikoto and Kuroko in the bath at one moment to them suddenly in the shopping district to Kuroko taking on a case, with pretty much no transitional scenes separating these events. Even looking at it purely from an anime-only viewer’s perspective, the episode will come off as feeling extremely rushed and will take at least a second sit through to get a feeling for what exactly happened. Still, like I said, I enjoyed the episode a lot despite that, mostly because we get to see a very brief taste of the darker side of Academy City, which deals in underground affairs. Seeing more of moe Mikoto never hurts either, and this time with her new flower hair clip.
And of course I can’t forget to mention the first appearance of Last Order and Accelerator this season, which isn’t how a lot of people were expecting his grand re-entrance to play out, I’m sure. Still, the Accelerator fan girls will be pleased to get a full body nude shot of Accelerator (NO I’M NOT PANNING THAT SHUT UP) and whenever Last Order is around you can expect a HNNNNNG attack, especially as Misaka as Misaka takes a bath while splashing in the water. Now if they would just GET RID OF THAT FUCKING TOWEL. I expect its removal in my BD releases. Last Order: Biggest piece of jailbait ever. For those wondering why Accelerator is in a bath with Last Order, and at Yomikawa’s apartment no less, if you remember back in the last episode of season one Yoshikawa Kikyou asked Yomikawa to take care of Accelerator and Last Order for her. It was easy to forget and I’m sure a lot of people did, so go rewatch the end of episode 24 of the first season if you need a refresher.
Also, I don’t want to sound redundant by commenting on the production values of the show each episode, but they’re so varying that I feel like I have to. This episode was, without a doubt, the best animated episode of Index II so far, at the very least on par with episode 1. The lighting, shading, and character designs were all on point and absolutely gorgeous, and while background art has never been an issue this season, this episode in particular had some beautifully animated buildings and roads, with buildings in Kuroko’s acrobatic scenes looking as if they were all animated window by window. Next episode seems to out do even this one in terms of production values, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how the final showdown between Kuroko and Awaki is animated. Oh, and I just have to mention Awaki’s seiyuu, Sakurai Harumi, who performed the voice of Yurippe in Angel Beats!. It was great hearing that sexy voice again, and I’m hoping she does her epic “hohoho” laugh next episode.
*This episode covers volume 8 Chapter 1 to Chapter 3 “Between the Lines 3” (pages 20-142). The prologue of volume 8 was skipped, as it was covered in the first episode of Railgun. Also, J.C.Staff kind of bounced around some scenes that are important to the set up of the conclusion of this arc, which causes me to believe certain things that were skipped this episode may be animated next episode; we’ll see.