Posted by psgels on 27 November 2010 with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope



Okay, perhaps last week would have been a better time for me to blog an episode of Index, but I did not know that that arc would just take up two measly episodes. And besides, this episode was pretty much was as interesting as it was terrible, which is pretty much what Index is all about.

So far, the second season of Index has been a huge mixed bag, but that’s part of its charms: the first arc was rather dull, the second arc was surprisingly good for being the lost chapters of Railgun (I really liked how they just cut the crap there and went straight to the point instead of dragging on). The current third arc is definitely enjoyable: it’s not the most ambitious arc, but it puts a lot of emphasis on the chemistry within the cast, which was quite enjoyable.

But really… there is fanservice, and there’s taking these dull romantic cliches way too far. How many times did Touma walk into a naked girl? How many times did his face get planted in someone’s bosom? Why did the creators suddenly introduced yet another random girl for Touma’s harem? It makes no sense, it feels lazy and it was completely pointless, making it seem like Touma can’t be friends with a girl unless he gets some romantic tension with her or something…

Either way though, this episode wasn’t a complete waste. I liked Touma in the rest of the episode, where there were a ton of different things that were going on. That’s how I like these sports festival episodes: we’ve seen them done to death by now, but this episode made well use of it to show some good antics. Another piece of criticism that I can give here is that the magical items in this show are starting to become mere McGuffins: especially in this episode, you could have replaced that Stab Sword with for example the “magical pizza of the annihilation of something very important”, and it wouldn’t have changed this episode in any way.
Rating: * (Good)

21 Responses

  1. Azule says:

    What did you think of last week? The previous two episodes seem to have sparked the feeling that people prefer Railgun to Index from the several forums and blogs i’ve looked over. I find it a little bit strange that you’ll watch Index but not Railgun, but that might just be me..seeing as I obviously think Railgun is ten times better than Index.

  2. Solaris says:

    Thank you very much for blogging an episode of Index in your weekly random episode pickup post.
    I know you missed various key-points here and there, so expect some essays very soon cause it will be a long lecture this time.

  3. Murderface says:

    The second arc wasn´t lost chapters of railgun, it was novel 8 from Index…

  4. Solaris says:

    First lecture: Chapter organization.
    Index stories are divided in chapters, each having an argument as a main theme. Chapters require from 2 episodes up to be told.
    Touma is usually the main char, but last time it was Kuroko.
    The main lead of the chapter usually drag his/her own life nicely at start, but at a certain time something happens.
    So starting episodes appear usually rather dull cause they focus on uninteresting or comedic antics. Fanservice is always stuffed in these episodes, and it usually is meant for lightening the mood, to mask dangerous events to come and let the audience relax a bit before the true start of the chapter.
    Now if you dislike fanservice it’s your own problem, but please refrain from calling this a fanservice show, as it’s not the case here.
    At some point an event occurs that changed the mood eventually.
    Last arc Kuroko was attacked by a powerful teleporter that spoke about Mikoto by chance.
    She ended in that situation cause of her normal work as a Judgement officer, following the lead of a normal theft. Eventually that occurrence dragged her in a risky business about the dark side of Academy City she’d never suspected ever happening.
    This time, during the normal execution in the sport festival with Touma being busy with his own harem (and this is told in a comedic way, as having an harem here is more than a drama for poor Touma, as opposed to a canon Harem show), he incidentally happened to shake hands with a beautiful foreigner girl who he bumped into by chance. This caused a reaction by his Imagine Breaker. This is the true start of the chapter.
    This episode cleverly adds informations without the audience even noticing them, while it distracted them with boobs. Yes: You look at the boobs and don’t even notice trouble approaching by the appearence of a beautiful blonde girl.
    This is how Index really is. A subtle game about situations…

  5. Solaris says:

    Addendum:
    Watch out calling Stab Word like that. Nothing is what it’s like at start, and Stab Sword is no exception…

  6. Murderface says:

    Yep…there are some pretty neat plot twists regarding the Stab Sword…

  7. Ransom says:

    Aisa Himegami said so: Touma’s life is like a dating sim where he is continually unlock more paths to more girls… With the exception that he only gets misfortune out of it XD

  8. Dthiswhtuseek says:

    But then again, really, the cleavage of that committee member girl, sorry can’t remember her name at the moment, is just inexcusable, they were ridiculous even by the overly-endowed-in-anime standards.

  9. psgels psgels says:

    Azule: my view of Railgun is that I fail to see the point of it. I liked the previous arc, but to watch an entire series built around nothing but that is just too much. Index instead builds a ton of things around them, and they’re just a small part of something really large, while Railgun mostly felt like a waste of time to me.

    Solaris: my main problem is that this second season has been a little too full of those fanservice moments, though this episode was indeed the worst in that regard. It’s the fact that it uses these fanservice cliches that have been done to death by now over and over that I don’t like. If it did it once or twice I wouldn’t mind, but that comittee member in this episode or that panty-scene with Index were just completely pointless and unneccesary.

  10. Solaris says:

    Psgels: Just bear with it. It’s a real pity to take down this show for some pointless fanservice scenes.
    It’s just like Letter Bees panty bond between Lag and NIchi. I recall people angry about that little joke they wanted to quit it.
    It would have been a real mistake, as it’s a big mistake to think Index is just another stupid harem fanservice show. Believe me.

  11. Spike says:

    The festival arc lends itself to fanservice because you have basically ALL the main characters interacting with each other when they normally wouldn’t. Some of the scenes with index and mikoto interacting are gold.

    And when psgels says he’s glad they cut ‘the crap’ and got straight to the action I think he’s not appreciating the world building. novels like index and denetsu no densutsu want to immerse you in the world they are building. It’s like reading lord of the rings and not caring a bit about Middle-Earth.

  12. psgels psgels says:

    Spike: I can actually enjoy world building quite a bit. My problem is when series put everything behind this world building, to the point where the building up becomes boring and uninteresting to watch. The biggest reason for this is that I’ve become a bit tired of series that spend so much time building up, only to not use the things they built up for.

  13. akani says:

    Don’t worry, the Stab Sword isn’t what it looks like. This is the last time in Index that there will be a crisis involving a magical artifact this season (unless you count the arc after this, but I wouldn’t really view it as an “artifact”…)

    The rest of Index will be epic, especially the end. The season is focusing on tensions building between the magic and the science side, and take note of the word “war” used in this episode.

    And I totally agree on your viewpoint of Railgun. It’s a waste of time and Mikoto is an annoying character. There are some important details here and there but they’re not enough to watch 24 episodes of Mikoto acting cute and stubbornly rushing into situations without regards to her surroundings.

    I’d recommend you check out the Index light novels, since the anime glosses over important details and cut great parts out when the light novel fully explores the history and details behind the setting of Index and it doesn’t rush things like the anime does.

  14. Tsuki says:

    The thing with the “world building” is that I think it doesn’t translate well from light novel to anime. I’ve read the light novels, and I can say for sure that the world the author built is intricate and pretty well thought out, but the big issue here is when it’s turned into an anime.

    The sheer amount of explanation needed to properly flesh out the significance of certain key details (sometimes small, but important) would make this anime very dialogue heavy if everything was fully explained.

    I guess, in the end, the issue at heart is how to balance the right amount of exposition in an anime.

  15. Frost says:

    Index is one of those animes that makes me shake my head in disappointment… The setting had so much potential and they just throw it down the toilet with stupid cliches and annoying characters

    Reason why I dropped the first season halfway and dont plan on watching this

  16. Spike says:

    totally agree with Tsuki, the anime amps up the action but the novels play up tension and connecting the dots. A lot of the ‘magic’ pardon the pun, is lost in the transition to tv.

    Railgun series is pure fanservice. They turned ir into a generic high/middle school show. The railgun manga has some great arcs too though so there’s hope for a strong second series (which is definitely coming)

  17. Nightyy says:

    Most of your criticisms towards Index in general are valid, but I find it misperceived that you are most quick to just label the new girl as another harem addition when all her scenes thus far with Touma, while fanservicy in nature, has been less than romantic or implies so.

  18. Solaris says:

    Tsuki said it right: Index needs a lot of exposition to build up good. And they did put exposition in the first serie.
    But, alas, exposition was the reason people disliked it, and appreciated lighteharthed Railgun more.
    Put into JCstaff shoes now: Given these signlas how’d you translate Index now?
    Just axe down exposition and hilight commedy, and keep fanservice for god’s sake.
    All of JCstaff recent anime were just fanservice crap. Look at Ookamisan, the first experiment on what do people look anime for: Just give them likeable thin paper char and a bit of fanservice and they’re happy.
    Why even to bother with such a difficult setting like thet of Index? Axe it, and give them boobs and explosions. That’ll make it.

    Of course i’m not happy with it, but at least i’m happy they’re keeping it right close to the novel happenings. That is something good to begin with.

  19. Solaris says:

    2) Is it Harem?
    Index novels use the damesel in distress cliche to put Touma into action. Touma is rather passive element on his own. He’d rather live his plesant life as a student than fighting magic wars on top of it.
    But, as he’s got a great sense for justice he’d fight for good without rest and that’s where the damesel in distress triggers the change of mood for Touma to resolve to fight!
    Can’t say more cause i’d spoil but Boob girl and Himegami are there for a reason other than being object of pointless fanservice.
    Of course, given the good hint for harem, why not to play a bit with it?
    How many novels are there up now? 10? It means a little squadron of girls who have feelings for Touma saving their lives.
    This was hinted several times in Index: In the 3rd arc, the sister, Touma brings home Misaka Imouto and Both Himegami and Index complain about him hanging out with yet another girl other than them.
    Touma’s Harem is something unwanted and reflects a bit of Touma proverbial “Fuko-da”, simply meaning more trouble for his wannabe quiet ordinary ulucky student life.
    Eh, you know, women are such a hassle, but how to live without them? ;)
    So fanservice or not, that is just a play and it’s unrelated to the main theme of Index, that is war between Magic and Science. It’s not a mistery why fanservice and commedy are just packed at start, as an unrelated prologue to each novel events.
    It’s like keeping a light mood just before the storm arrives.

  20. Solaris says:

    3) Themed Novels
    Every novel, or arc if you like, keeps a theme used for building up Index-universe.
    Novels usually are about one of the two magic sides, and explain some keypoint.
    Let aside the first novel that introduced the whole universe, we’d been introduced to Aleister Crowley plans in the second novel, the dirty face of Academy City in the third, What’s Angel Power and Idol theory in the fourth, The weird experiments of Academy city and the embodyment of esp power with the sixt. The fifth novel looks unrelated but an old villain got promoted to hero, and you’ll see more of his doing. With the new serie, most of the building up was done and the seventh novel, the nun arc teach you about the power balance between magic factions, with Touma undirectly involved. The last arc, kuroko’s little adventure teach you about esp-powers, where they come from and what they are for. This comes from Kuroko confronting herself with a much powerful teleporter, that is afraid of her own power and thinks power are evil, blaming all of her evildoing to them. This arc was awesome indeed and i would like to write more about it later.
    Thus said, Index is something like a big puzzle and you’re told it piece by piece, and every arc uravels one piece that fits perfectly into the big plan of Aleister.
    I am aware they can’t do 1:1 perfect job adapting it to an anime, which is a media that’s mad up more for action than for connecting strings in some njn linear storytelling, but i hate how everything must be thrashed cause of minsurderstanding this for plain crap fanservice.

  21. Unentschieden says:

    While there are apparently boatloads of random magical mcguffins in Index they actually DO come up again in the novels. You couldn´t just replace the Stab sword or even the book of the law – if the anime gets that far…

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  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:58 AM)
    @Bam He’d probably find some dumbass way to make it into shonen. Maybe Raskolnikov battles Alyona Ivanovna before he kills her.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:55 AM)
    Whoever made Aku no Hana should totally make a Catcher in the Rye adaptation tho, as they’re both fittingly pretentious and empty.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:52 AM)
    @K-off: and that was the great Tezuka, now imagine whoever’s writing Akame ga Kill attempting that lol
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:49 AM)
    There used to be a long-running and widely internationally syndicated anime series known as World Masterpiece Theater, which adapted many famous stories and novels into anime format. Interesting some stories such as Jean Webster’s Daddy-Long-Legs turned into a pretty decent Shoujo.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:49 AM)
    *make that Dostoevsky’s great-grandson.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:48 AM)
    @Bam the famous Osamu Tezuka made one that was so shit that even Dostoevsky’s own grandson called it blasphemous, and Ochiai Naoyuki’s modern adaptation makes me want to kill him.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:43 AM)
    @K-off: how does one go about making a manga adaptation of a Dostoyevsky novel? That guy must’ve been clearly over his head.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:39 AM)
    I’ll probably try it over Christmas if I can, we’ll see. But the title, obviously a reference to Crime and Punishment, reminds me of a conversation I had with Emma concerning the novel where she said she only read the manga. I should make it clear that I absolutely HATE manga adaptation of literary classics. The art style doesn't fit, and they're just mostly awful.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:35 AM)
    @Bam If someone is a neocon, they usually have a bible open on their desk, a library full of Ayn Rand and Chuck Smith, a picture of Thomas Jefferson on one side of the room, and one of Ronald Reagan on the other.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:34 AM)
    @K-off: try it m8, this is genuinely different then most adventure games that I’ve played, and I’ve played a lot. It also helps immensely that the game looks really good and the character models are based off the Granada series’ actors. The new voice-actors take a bit to get used to tho.

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