Okay, this was probably my favourite episode of Index (of either season) ever! I shit you not; this episode was as if it was tailor-made for me. It’s the episode I’ve been waiting for – packed with all the elements of the Index franchise I love the most, and a completely entertaining combination of fanservice, emotion, tension and action! This is an episode that both gets your fanboy juices flowing with drool-worthy eyecandy, but also gets your heart beating with some moving themes of friendship – what could be healthier than that!? The icing on the cake is a really interesting plot, which was introduced at a brisk, gripping pace. It’s only been one episode but it already feels like we’ve had whole arc’s worth of development (I guess it’s because it builds onto the previous Sister’s arc). So what are those elements I love the most?
- 1. Misaka/Kuroko – I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a yuri fanboy, and after reading a good portion of the Railgun manga (which is amazing, btw), I was thoroughly taken in by their relationship. In that manga, you get a really good feel for their friendship, and for each of their characters individually. Up until now, the anime (both Railgun and Index) has been grossly negligent in this department. Kuroko and Biri-biri never even really felt like friends but were reduced to two girls who occasionally end up in the same room. Kuroko’s feelings for Biri-biri were portrayed a shallow gimmick, and her character overall was trampled all over. In the manga, her perversity and ojou-sama tone were tempered by redeeming qualities: she was deeply honourable, brave, and has an unshakable sense of justice. This episode finally delivers this (even if the Railgun anime already ruined her for most people, I imagine). When Kuroko finds out about all the shit Misaka was out through in that experiment, she feels ashamed that she didn’t realise, and immediately goes to risk her life to help her beloved oneesama. The scene where they were talking through the door to the bathroom was just perfect, because it demonstrated how much they care for each other. I feel vindicated!
2. Last Order/Accelerator – these two are such an interesting pair! They’ve certainly captured the attention of many fan-artists – there are vast amounts of fanart. There’s a sort of innocence to their relationship that you don’t find often in anime. They have a sort of abstract father/daughter relationship and Accelerator can basically be described as tsundere for Last Order! So yeah, I get excited whenever these two appear. A large part of that stems from the obscene cuteness that is everything about Last Order. It wasn’t quite full exposure to her here (damn towels!), but any Last Order we get is fanservice to me!
3. The Sister’s plot. Easily the most memorable storyline from Index so far is the story of the cloning experiment to create a level 6 in Accelerator. It was pretty epic in scope, and had an emotional hook to it. This story follows on from there with the attempted resurrection of the Tree Diagram processor that made it all happen. There’s also a new villain in the picture: Musujime Awaki (voiced by Sakurai Harumi), and she leaves a really good impression, instantly being elevated to among the best characters from Index. She’s got a couple of things going for her: she’s hot, she has a powerful and interesting power, Move Point, which allows her to teleport objects without having to touch them, and she has an exciting nasty streak!
Add all the service shots, and the cool fight sequences (teleporter against teleporter = awesome!), and this was a fantastic ep!