To Aru Majutsu no Index II – 18

What do you know – that was an absolutely delightful episode where not much happened. Lots of Misaka and Last Order hi-jinks, Index cuteness, Accelerator tsundere-ness and best of all, no Kuroko whatsoever!

I had forgotten just how amusing the clones could be, though they’ve made brief appearances this season. I think they need to be the focus for an entire episode to really wear down resistance or something, but by the first eyecatch I was babbling with laughter every time 10032 or Mini-Misaka uttered their unique stage-direction dialogue. The wonderful thing is that the clones really are subtly different in personality, and that’s another thing that really only becomes obvious as you watch them in action for a while.

There was some actual plot here, too, as nearly everyone made an appearance. It was mostly of the foreshadowing variety, starting with Stiyl’s rather startling confrontation with the Archbishop. Even Hyouka showed up briefly, in a real blast from the past. And of course the goggles mystery played out a little farther as well, with more hints that it would play a significant role in the drama to come.

Really though, this was all about relentlessly silly slice-of-life and damn, it did it well. The sequence with Kaori and the Sisters with the washing machine was a riot (and like the Stiyl/Archbishop moment, some bonus service). Misaka 10032’s little courtship moment with Touma was charming, as was Biribiri’s reaction to it. And while I feel I should loathe Last Order as a moeblob, I can’t help but like her – which I’m guessing is how Accelerator feels. And he’s the other key player in this episode – as Yomikawa gently prodded him about his past and he wrestled with his own current feelings. The scenes between he and Index were surprisingly effective, and besides giving Index a chance to be adorable were a nice juxtaposition of the relationships they shared with Last Order and Touma, respectively.

Clearly, based on the PV this little interlude of peace is over and we’re headed back towards real action next week, with Accelerator at the center of it. It’s funny how last week’s episode fell flat, feeling like a weak “Railgun-lite” episode, while this one – though superficially similar – totally worked. I find that with this series a lot – it’s like a chemistry experiment that either explodes or fizzles in any given week.

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