To Aru Majutsu no Index II – 13

It really feels like years since I’ve written a blog post on an existing series, but in reality it’s just a bit over a week. Still, this is the first one of 2011 – and the Croce de Pietro arc wraps up after it’s one-week hiatus.

There was a whole lot of “never mind” to this episode. Never mind Oriana being the big villain – she was just a decoy for Lidvia. Never mind the Croce de Pietro being the great human instrumentality project of Academy City – it was foiled by a well-timed fireworks display blocking out the starlight. Never mind the parents – they weren’t really important to the story after all.

I’ll give this credit for being possibly the grimmest episode on either “Index” series so far. The violence this time felt very graphic and brutal – when those icicles hit Stiyl and he went down, I almost felt it in my own gut. When Stiyl and Oriana finally landed the rare double-Falcon punch on Oriana, it almost felt excessive in spite of all she’d done. And what the Anglican Church did to Lidvia and that poor sap of a pilot at the end was downright sadistic.

Whether Lidvia is dead and the Croce truly destroyed are questions left for another time. For now, the arc is concluded and next week it looks like we might get a new arc where the title character is actually involved, as Index and Touma take a trip to Venice. Yes, the little Sister is still on the show – that was her in the hospital room for about 90 seconds biting Touma. I may be in the minority but I actually like having Index involved in the plot – she’s one of the reasons I started watching the series in the first place. We’ll also see the return of Sister Orseola and the Amakusa Catholics, looks like. I think a change of scene will be good for the show, and hopefully a change of tone too as the Croce arc felt rather glum and ponderous to me by the end.

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