The Amakusa Church Strikes Back
If Tatemiya thought he was going to motivate Itsuwa by giving her a harsh rebuke, little did he know that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! I knew that she wasn’t a pushover but I was truly stunned that Itsuwa actually stood her ground against a Saint – a member of God’s Right Seat no less who individually exceeded the collective capabilities of the Amakusa Church. Her unwavering courage in the face of an unstoppable force pretty much consolidated her status as best girl in my books. That said, it wasn’t like the group mounted a suicide attack without a plan. It certainly helped that Itsuwa had the Saint Destroyer hidden up her sleeve. In Pokemon terminologies, it’s super effective! When she utilised it against Acqua, I initially thought that they’d managed to defeat him, given the shock and paralysis he seemed to suffer. Divine energy crackling furiously through the air, I was under the impression the Saint Destroyer was meant to mimic the Longinus Spear that pierced Jesus, since symbols pertaining to the death of Christ severely weaken Saints. And Acqua concedes that this is precisely the weakness Saints have, since such interference would chaotically throw off the balance of divine energies in their bodies, potentially resulting in self-destruction.
But it turned out that was rather wishful thinking. Acqua dispels the Saint Destroyer as if it was mere child’s play then proceeds to singlehandedly wipe out the Amakusa Church’s members by tearing a rift into Academy City’s quasi-reality. How is that fair? Admittedly that left me rather disappointed because the Amakusa’s best efforts were nevertheless futile. But it did set up the field for bigger players to make waves and there’s no doubt it was worth the wait.
Swordswoman of the East
Like me, you might have been wondering what all the rush for the past few episodes have been about. Why gloss over the events in Avignon? Why dedicate a mere half episode to the clash between the two strongest espers in Academy City? Well, it seems like the production team focused their efforts around this specific arc. Flaunting her 8.0 vision score, Kanzaki Kaori enters the scene, causing Acqua to back off from massacring the Amakusa Church to deal with the overwhelming threat she presents. The last time I recall Saints meeting in an anime, they got along really nicely and made quite the comedic duo. There’s clearly no love lost between Kanzaki and Acqua though, and the mere tension from their standoff charged the air with frenetic energy.
When Kanzaki finally drew her sword, all hell broke loose as the embodiment of opposing affinities clashed. East against West. Kanzaki’s fire against Acqua’s water. The katana, a killing instrument of deadly precision versus the mace, a mighty weapon exuding raw power. You could easily gauge the sheer weight behind each swing in their flurry of exchanges, an indicator of quality animation, and you better believe that their fighting spirits were fierce. But we end on a cliffhanger with weapons locked in a stalemate. The outcome of the fight is far from decided and it seems like neither combatant has taken to demonstrating what they are truly capable of. But next week promises to dive deeper into this epic confrontation between two saints, and I can’t wait to see them showcase the extent of their exponential talents.
To be honest, I’d been waiting for this moment where Index III would really pick up and deliver true on the promise shown by its predecessors many years ago. After a rough start, we’ve finally struck diamonds and the next episode looks to be absolutely crazy. Finally, we get a glimpse of the earnest potential within the source material that readers have been hyping about, and I hope that this episode proves to be the first in a line of sustained quality from this point onwards. While it would be nice to see the resolution next week, I’d be perfectly happy seeing this ordeal drag on for more episodes. After all, when the amazing moments arrive, it’s natural that people would want them to last for longer. Anyway, that’s everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading my post and see you next week!