「追跡封じ（ルートディスターブ）」 (Tsuiseki Fuuji (Ruuto Disutaabu))
“Pursuit Prevention (Route Disturb)”
Whether you care for long expositions not, they’re one of the defining points of this series and we’re given a big dose of it this week. Personally, I’m not a fan of it being overused for story progression, but surprisingly didn’t mind when a good chunk of this episode was devoted to explaining Oriana’s abilities and why she has the nickname “Route Disturb”. Admittedly, that’s mostly attributed to the fact that she had just shown up recently though. It may be hard to believe, but I was actually curious about her character beyond her scant choice of clothing. The way the story played up the Stab Sword that she’s transporting helped in that regard, considering that both Stiyl and Tsuchimikado didn’t hesitate to use some extreme methods as professionals to locate Oriana. Leading up to the latter’s use of a Senjutsu Enjin circle to help locate her autonomous counter spells, a.k.a. Shorthand, I did get a good laugh from seeing them make use of Touma’s Imagine Breaker as they pleased. Neither Stiyl nor Tsuchimikado hesitated to throw him right in front of Oriana’s traps, which just goes to show how “professional” they are when it comes to using a civilian as a human shield. While I’m sure Touma is more than willing to help out in this operation, it was pretty hilarious to see how pissed off he was because they didn’t run it by him first. Instead, it was just a shove from behind with a blast coming at his face, and Stiyl telling him it’s his turn. Such misfortune.
Incidentally, I do like how Touma’s become an integral part of this operation. This includes how he dispelled the Shorthand effects from Stiyl and how he was the one they banked on to destroy to magic inscription once it was found. Rather than just being thrown into one mess after another, Touma’s a bit more privy to what’s actually going on from the start this time, so that’s a nice little change of pace. Still, it didn’t save him from surprises like being shoved into the mud in order to sneak into the middle school where the Shorthand was, for those who actually like to see Touma get abused every now and then. Ultimately, that comedic turn of events did pave way for the most enjoyable portion of this episode. As I’m still suspect of how Touma and Tsuchimikado could ever pass off as middle schoolers, the sight of Mikoto irked over exactly what he was doing there was absolutely hilarious. I can’t quite say the same thing about the cut-throat ball-toss game between Tokiwadai and Minamisawa that followed suit, but in terms of more Touma x Mikoto misunderstandings, this had to be one of the better moments to date. Given all the time he spent confusing her with his misleading words, he could have just as easily told her not to touch that pole because it’s rigged with a trap and spared her from all those thoughts. As such, I would’ve been ripping on Touma for bringing any potential electric punishment upon himself, had I not been enjoying Mikoto’s flustered face at all the stuff he was spouting out about protecting her.
In light of that, sensibility can go out the window for all I care, since Mikoto’s dere side made up for it almost immediately. Unfortunately, Seiri ends up being the victim because the two of them were rolling around in the dirt together for too long, which by the looks of it, suggests that Touma’s ready to punch Oriana in the face. It still amuses me how Touma will always preach about all this righteous stuff, but hitting girls is never one of them. To his credit, it looks like he’s a true believer in “equality” between sexes.
Blogging Note: Much like STAR DRIVER, I’ll be covering this series from now on. This should translate to much more timely posts on a consistent basis.