“The Right Seat of God”
Qui verus papam?
Not long after returning to Academy City, we’ve made an instant departure, straying into the unfamiliar French territory of Avignon, where the next piece of our puzzle can be found. Many of us might have been wondering, what relevance does Avignon have in regards to the Roman Catholic Church? After all, that’s hardly close to the Vatican now, isn’t it? Fortunately, Tsuchimikaido gives us a quick history lesson, shedding light on the significance on Avignon. And a sinister conjecture becomes apparent, wherein Avignon could serve as a location where the Documents of C might be used to exert control over the European populace. Going back to the 14th Century, the French King at the time kidnapped the Pope after a series of disputes, and imprisoned him in Avignon. Subsequent French kings went on to set up seven successive popes between 1309 to 1376 in the dominion of Avignon, before a religious Council declared this lineage to be invalid. Though Rome is accepted to be the pope’s dominion by and large, this minor technicality is what allows the Right Hand of God to enact the next part of their scheme in waging holy war on Academy City.
I absolutely love the way that the authour seamlessly ties in actual history with the world-building behind the Raildex universe. The foundations of Raildex are very much rooted in our reality, providing structure and authenticity. And that’s not to say that it makes the series more realistic. But it reinforces this suspension of disbelief that in a parallel universe where magic and espers existed on a widescale, these events that are playing out could very much be a thing.
To the Left of God’s Right Seat
Touma experiences a rough arrival and almost drowns if not for the timely intervention of Itsuwa, who rescues him out of the river and rather conveniently is forced to dress in skimpier attire. Let me just say this. More Itsuwa can never ever be bad, and the Church of Amakusa certainly have some fine ladies! Anyway, after avoiding anti-Academy City mobs on the way, they figure out that they need to infiltrate and disable key leyline points across the city. How? By using the Church of Amakusa’s ritual to deactivate the magical terminal linking Avignon to the Vatican. Where does Touma fit into this equation? Well… turns out he’s not essential to the outcome of preventing this occurrence. The Document of C itself is heavily guarded, not to mention his Imagine Breaker might be a liability, since he could bring the whole place collapsing down. So Tsuchimikaido requests that Itsuwa go at it with her own speciality spells. But once an unforeseen interruption takes place, our question is answered. Touma fits into this equation by doing what he’s best at doing, punching the lights out of villains. On this occasion, Terra of God’s Right Seat confronts these meddling kids. He looks pretty creepy and gives me vibes not dissimilar to Caster from Fate/Zero, which likely doesn’t bode well. I can also vaguely recall from Index II that these folks have a connection to an archangel and are capable of using incredible spells, meaning that this battle will be extremely difficult. And following a brief skirmish, we arrive at an impasse. Touma cannot make any advances against Terra whilst simultaneously protecting Itsuwa, yet Terra cannot get through Imagine Breaker’s magic nullification.
While the pacing stumbled a bit mid-episode, where I felt they could have dwelt less on the anti-Academy City mobs, this episode did a fantastic job of laying down the groundwork for our upcoming arc. High stakes are properly established. If the Roman Catholic Church possess a document that can alter truth to fit a specific narrative, no doubt the kind of magical power any politician would want, this could be seriously bad news for Academy City. When push comes to shove, I’m expecting the power of friendship to triumph but you can never be so sure. So I wonder, who will come out ahead, and what implications will it have on the mission to stop the Documents of C from nefariously interfering with global politics? On a side note, it looks like Accelerator will be returning in the next episode. Exciting times lie ahead! Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. Thank you very much for reading my post and look forwards to seeing y’all next week!