「開戦前」 (Kaisenmae)
“Before War Breaks Out”

Other than the conclusion to the Fuze Kazakiri at the very beginning, this episode felt like a precursor to an all-out war between science and magic. It also came off as the calm before the storm with Touma inadvertently unhooking Himegami’s bra and eating sukiyaki with all this classmates, which was a little odd considering that next week is the finale. It’s as if the producers aren’t concerned about wrapping up this sequel and are content with bridging arcs in expectation of a third season. The opening scene between Touma and Hyouka with IKU’S “Pray ~Inori” insert song probably should’ve been included at the end the previous episode for added effect, while Accelerator getting “recruited” into an underground organization called GROUP serving as the actual start to this next arc.

The episode title itself was more telling than the actual events that took place, as questions surrounding GROUP quickly became the primarily focus. Familiar faces popped up in the Aztec magician still posing as Unabara Mitsuki, i.e. Etzali (Kishio Daisuke), whom Touma defeated back in episode eighteen of season one, as well as Musujime Awaki (Sakurai Harumi), whom Accelerator left in a bloody mess back in episode seven of this season. What came as a surprise was Tsuchimikado’s involvement, as I don’t recall it ever being explicitly stated that he’s been blackmailed into doing the Board of Directors’ bidding. In any case, that is the purpose of GROUP, who’s been ordered to handle internal affairs by taking out Skill-Out’s leader Komaba Ritoku (Miyake Kenta).

From what I gather, the finale will quickly conclude around stopping Academy City’s armed group of Level 0’s, whom viewers of Railgun will probably remember from the arc on Mii and Big Spider. Suffice to say, not quite the direction I was anticipating after hearing Acqua’s talk with fellow member of God’s Right Seat, Terra of the Left (Ootsuka Houchuu), followed by Heaven Canceller’s disagreement over Aleister’s actions. Misleading episode titles are nothing new to Index, but those two scenes did have me eagerly looking forward to the outbreak of war between Academy City and the Roman Catholic Church that never came about. Judging from the progression here, I am somewhat optimistic about getting a glimpse of that next time though. It would be the farthest thing from a conclusive ending, but it would fulfill it’s purpose of building up demand for a third season.

With so much going on story-wise, the lighthearted stuff was a refreshing change of pace as usual, particularly when Seiri’s talking about front-clasp bras as if they’re a deterrent to unhooking them. (More like an ambitious adventure.) I also loved seeing Index’s beastly appetite when it comes to meat, and Tsuchikimado’s priceless reaction to Touma’s new-found determination to learn English. Touma sure has his priorities right. Why fight in a war when you can be a mediator instead! (Granted, he wasn’t even considering that.) Anyway, I still can’t shake the feeling that the series is slated to conclude at a huge crossroad, but I’ll reserve judgement about how it’s done when I actually see it.




  1. What a nice uptake to the series. It had a little comedy and action mixed together. Good episode overall along with Fukiyose coming into the spotlight again. Loved both parts when Touma offered some potatoes.

    1. not this time. Tsuchimikado tells Accelerator: “we both have important people we want to protect.” in other words, they’re using Tsuchimikado’s sister to black mail him into cooperating.

      1. In the SS book when it goes into Tsuchimikado thoughts it not black mail it’s more that his sister that he loves lives and works in Academy City. The last big battle is what pushes him to side more on the Science side than the magic side.

  2. For sure we are gonna be left with a very unsatisfying conclusion to this season and everything as a setup for a 3rd season. I would not be surprised if it even ends on a cliffhanger with some of the lead characters in peril.

  3. Hmmm. I can only hope they make a 3rd season or at least extend the episodes to conclude this “all out war”.

    Nice to see old faces here and this so called GROUP. Did anybody else notice that thing attached on Iwaki’s nape? Seems like she suffered heavily from that fight with Kuroko and had to use something like that of Accelerator’s.

    Also new character at the last episode?

  4. For what it’s worth i really hope that they make season three 4cour there’s just too much to squeeze in other wise, frankly season two would have made much more sense and would have had less pacing issues if it had been a 3cour series. In all seriousness if they screw up what made To Aru Majutsu popular, i don’t know what I’d do. Oh and hurray for Hamazura.

  5. T.T why does all good things have to end so fast….
    Now Everyone has to wait for the next seasons or an new Ova….

    I was reading the LN translation and I really wanted this scene to be animated…..

    Show Spoiler ▼

    cudos to baka tsuki XD

  6. I found the existence of GROUP to be really weird as they are all made of handicapped people. Accelerator limited to 30minutes+gun skills. Musujime has trauma. Tsuchimikado can’t use magic offense without killing himself. Unabara is…useless.

    I guess it’s the overcoming the handicap that makes for good story telling.

    Shiage’s turn.

    1. Fake Unabara being useless…

      Oh wow, an Aztec magician sent to kill the Imagine Breaker and destroy his faction, is called useless. I wish there was a third season because if there was, you would be told so hard they’d rename the show as Show Spoiler ▼

      Gaze of Providence
    1. He lost his ability to make calculations thanks to the headshot he got a few episodes back. That thing around is neck is a connection to the MISAKA network, who does the calculating for him instead.

    2. Did you just pick up this anime in this exact episode?

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Gaze of Providence
  7. IS it just me or are the alliances a bit confusing. Aleister stated that the doctor is actually his enemy, and now he’s out killing level 0 espers. I’ve got a feeling there’re going to be 3 alliances. The magic side, the Aleister side and the side with the doctor. And i think Touma will join the last one. Offcourse these are all specualtions because i haven’t read the manga.

  8. Yes To Aru Majutsu no Index SS book! I remember the start of the last arc if some of us thought it was either going to end on volume 13 or maybe SS. I think we had Gaze of Providence that SS was going to be ova. Glad we got to see this one too for a season finale.

    1. That’s because I would have never predicted JC Staff to cram one of the longest novels along with one of the shortest ones.

      I should’ve expected this since they crammed volume 8 (Tree Diagram Remnant Arc) into two episodes.

      I mad.

      Gaze of Providence
    1. This comes from the SS book. Some people say the SS stand for side stories but to me that means something off the main story. So I believe it’s Short Stories which doesn’t have a huge arc in them but are part of the main story. So you have many of these go by quickly.

  9. The change from volume 13 to SS felt really abrupt, and there was even an insert song at the beginning that felt out of place. SS isn’t a good place to end the season and would have been better off as an OVA, but I suppose it’s necessary to introduce Hamazura Shiage.

    Hamazura, the guy in the preview, Show Spoiler ▼

    Suzushina Yuriko

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