Posted by psgels on 2 April 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews

Despite its faults, I liked the first season of Index. It had an interesting backstory that looked at science versus magic, It was a bit inconsistent, but that was parrt of its charm. Every arc was different and interesting in its own way, which always made me guess what it would focus on next. The second season, though… I just can’t call it as good as the first. There were just too many things that feel half-assed.

Index II still follows the format of various arcs, ranging from two to six episodes. It’s just that the short arcs feel too short, and the long arcs feel way too long. This show has become completely unbalanced in the process, and it somehow lost its ability to determine how much time each arc needs. The short arcs still have their own charms in the way that they are concise and to the point. The problem really lies in the long arcs.

In order to fill up space the creators bring up endless strings of fanservice. The fanservice in this series in particular is terrible because it just keeps repeating itself with exactly the same set-up over and over. In just about every episode we are forced to sit through some horribly forced set-up where a guy (most often the male lead Touma) walks into a naked girl. It’s completely pointless, and even worse these scenes are so numerous, poorly timed and written that they just keep destroying the atmosphere that the rest of this show was trying to build up.

Beyond that, though, when you look at the big picture I also just can’t help but wonder what the entire point of this second season was. During most of its arcs, I just get the feeling like the creators are stalling or time and waiting for a hypothetical third season to wrap everything up. The different arcs all accomplish relatively little in both character and setting development. After this series, we hardly learned anything new about the cast of characters, aside from some introductions. Meanwhile, the purpose of most of the arcs in terms of the setting was establishing that the Roman Catholic Church is the enemy. It has completely lost the variety of the first season as well.

It does have its moments where it redeems itself, though. A few arcs are actually quite good, especially the shorter ones, but also near the final episodes the show picks itself up again. Index remains an action series, and when the action does pop up, it can get really good and creative. Purely interms of suspense, there’s nothing wrong with this show. It just fails at telling its story. Have I also mentioned the way that it tends to resort to Deus ex Machina with wrapping up its stories?

Storytelling: 7/10 – As a thriller it can work pretty well. It just is completely unbalanced, way too long and way too repetitive.
Characters: 7/10 – Doesn’t really add much upon the cast. Plus, they can get really annoying and repetitive during their “light hearted antics”.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Not as good as in the first season, but it still has a number of excellent-looking action scenes.
Setting: 8/10 – It doesn’t do much with it, but granted: when it does it shows that research was spent on making this into an original and unique setting here.

Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu
Armed Librarians – The Book of Bantorra
Shikabane Hime

33 Responses

  1. Avatar Azule says:

    About half way through this series, it became clear that this series was only for entertaining light novel fans.

  2. Avatar Nayrael says:

    As Azule said, this show was targeted SOLELY on LN readers. Since the LN’s are very popular in Japan, it is enough to make quite a nice profit (which it did).

    The downside of that is the fact that non-LN readers (and most of Fansub watchers are not ones) will not find it as likable. I really hope S3 is executed in a better way.

  3. Avatar Hogart says:

    I think everyone’s being way too forgiving of Index 2. I’ve read the light novels to this point, and I don’t know why it’s fans would be happy with this. The production is just so lazy and bland that you’d have to be REALLY hardcore to want to watch this instead of just re-reading the novels.

  4. Avatar Rintaro says:

    “During most of its arcs, I just get the feeling like the creators are stalling or time and waiting for a hypothetical third season to wrap everything up.”

    Not really. You have to remember this is an adaptation, not an original anime. This second season just happened to cover a batch of novels where it seemed like the author didn’t know where to take the plot, or rather spent too much time trying to set up the RCC as the villain and have Touma piss them off numerous times. This season covers novels 7-13+SS1, and 7-11 (episodes 2-16) are pretty much just set up arcs ti have Touma piss off the RCC, while the “latter episodes” you speak of are volumes 12-13+SS1 (episodes 17-24), where the author finally has the RCC take direct action against Academy City and Touma rather than using covert plans and puts Accelerator in the spot light. Basically, the author found his footing around 12-13, and we were just unlucky enough that this second season covered the batch of novels where the series was in limbo as far as plot progression goes. The theoretical third season would keep up the tempo set by vol 13 and SS1, covering a particularly intense part of the novels where the plot really kicks into overdrive and becomes really exciting to read, even more so than the first 6 novels.

    So yeah, just wait for the third season to get what you want, although I doubt the series ends at the third season. A third season would ideally cover novels 14-19, which would leave it on a huge cliffhanger for the pivotal arc that is in vols 20-22, which in turn would leave us on a cliffhanger for the new “Shinyaku” (New Testament) Index series that just started. So yeah, if they keep producing the anime, which is likely given the series’ BD/DVD and novel sales, we won’t be seeing the conclusion at a third, or even a fourth season. Finally:

    “This show has become completely unbalanced in the process, and it somehow lost its ability to determine how much time each arc needs.”

    You’re right about that; that’s what cramming 8.3 novels into a 24 episode series will get you.

  5. Avatar Watcherzero says:

    I agree with Rintaro, its often hard to adapt light novels into a series as their too short to base a whole series on and leave awkward edges where a series ends but the books dont. Look at the innovative temporaral mix and match the Haruhi series did.

  6. Avatar Azule says:

    I’d have to agree everyone’s been too forgiving of it. It felt like a real waste of time; Railgun and S1 were better than this mess by miles. Hell, the best episode were the ones which revolved around Biribiri. The science side just feels much more interesting when we can’t solve everything with a god moded character who just needs to punch things to solve them, when compared to the magic side. And thats a shame, because Index could be such an interesting lead character, instead of being reduced to the supporting rule she got here.

    Everyone’s been too nice about Index 2. Hell, I gave it 55/100, it’s just…so lacking and so incomplete. It’s really sad.

  7. Avatar Solaris says:

    Yeah, whatever. This series doesn’t deserve such a criticism when it’s clear fanservice was the only thing you couldn’t stomach and blurred your overall judgement there.
    Especially how you excused the very same fanservice in other show that had no other to balance it out.
    They are telling a story, and it’s so damn long 3 series won’t suffice. They introduced chars in the first, the villain in the second and next time they go to full scale war. The direction is rather spot on, if you ask me.
    There are issues, but none of what you say was. Deus ex machina? Inconsistencies? Where?
    Issues came from cutting down exposition for fanservice. So the serie became much less deep and understandable unless you knew the novels. Fans blamed exposition and the got what they wanted: A less complicated and compelling action serie. So just blame the fans unless you found it as witty as the first one.

  8. psgels psgels says:

    Solaris. How many more times do I need to tell you that fanservice was not the only thing that turned me off from watching this series? How many more times do I need to repeat that the fanservice in Index is much worse than in other series because of how repetitive it is and how never fails at getting in the way of both the characters and the storylines? I entirely meant this review to be an explanation of all of the reasons that caused me to like this show less than the first season.

    Also, as for the deus ex machinas, the most blatant one was the one with the fireworks, in the middle of the series.

  9. Avatar Nayrael says:

    Fireworks? Knowing Crowley (the guy in the tube), it went just as planned for the Academy City :P

    IMO, Both Lidvia and Vent made the mistake of underestimating that scheming bastard.

  10. Avatar Solaris says:

    You have to repeat it one more time, because I am not persuaded that there is more than fanservice you don’t like there. Actually all of the issue except fanservice aren’t really there. You speak of inconsistencies, deus ex machina, lack of focus and unbalance to support your hypothesis of the series being bad. That only highlights you didn’t get it at all. You got Index relies on a kind of backstory, which you fail to catch in the long run. So except the impression you got from (bad) fanservice, everything else is just a kind of big misunderstanding. But still you don’t want to find what’s more about it, for how much I tried to explain before.
    Of course it’s not your you’re stupid or anything, but, as I read the novel I can actually understand more than who didn’t.
    Not that this animated version hadn’t got its own flaws, but Azule was indeed the first to point out the actual biggest issue of Index 2. I also told you where the other issues are.
    If you want, I can explain it to you better, but I’m kind of tired to struggle to no avail. I could also tell how and why the fireworks was everything but a deux and machina, and how all of the sports festival arc was something more than a meaningles hide and seek game.
    So if you mind, just drop me a call… the usual way.

  11. psgels psgels says:

    Ah, of course. That guy’s plans. Should have realized that.

  12. Avatar Rintaro says:

    @psgels: I think what Solaris is trying to get at is that it seems like you’re coming at Index from the perspective of it being an original anime, criticizing it for putting in fanservice or “stalling for time” when it was really just being faithful to the original material. Fanservice aside, if you want to say the director should have made the decision to cut out (more) stuff in this season to move the plot along to the novels where there is progression, he couldn’t do that without creating massive plot holes, because every novel in Index has an effect on later novels even if the arcs themselves aren’t connected. Concepts and characters introduced play a pivotol role later on, and J.C.Staff would basically have to create its own version of the story to keep everything coherent.

    I don’t want to spoil you since it seems like you don’t do any research into the novel material for better insight, but just trust me when I say that every single arc this season has a purpose later on, just like ever single arc last season has a purpose. I believe you said this yourself one time, but in Index every arc works towards a grand purpose even if you can’t see it on the surface. What’s important is not the contents of the arc, such as rescuing girl A (in Touma’s case) or killing target B (in Accelerator’s case). What’s really important and the purpose of the arcs is to introduce certain concepts that hint at what that bigger purpose is. If you notice, Aleister isn’t particularly concerned about the events that happen within AC, because he’s already thought out every possibility. What he looks at is a greater purpose. I suggest you keep that in mind and come at this series from that perspective. The action and fanservice are just redherrings.

  13. Avatar Solaris says:

    … not the Guys’ plan. But the fact Lidvia didn’t take in account they’re in the 21st century and a city can cover the sky with its own light. Lidvia’s plan to defile Academy City’s by setting up Oriana as a bait, failed cause they did not take ‘science’ and its implications into account.
    This translate to saying Academy City, and therefore science side wins over old school and traditions that don’t take in account news and progress. Just notice how they also portrait Lidvia to wear an old and worn off robe, telling us she’s an old relic of a past and archaic totalitarism.
    Which, in turn, is why the Church wants to defeat Academy City no matter what.

  14. Avatar Hogart says:

    Anyone who can forgive this series for wasting our time should really re-evaluate the need for this adaptation in the first place (we all know WHY they made it).

    @Solaris. The pacing isn’t “spot on” if the amount of material they cover didn’t NEED four seasons to begin with. This season’s pacing was atrocious no matter how you sugarcoat it.

    @Rintaro. If the action and fanservice are just red herrings, then why not reduce them in favor of actually making some sense? I mean we already had Railgun, which is almost purely for fanservice. Why not focus Index 2 on the interesting bits?

    I think anyone who likes the novels should be furious at how bad this season was. It won’t win any new fans, and it’s turned those fans into pathetic apologists.

    I’d rate the novels quite well, from what I recall.
    But the anime franchise does a rotten job of selling that.. as a stand-alone product it’s not even half-baked. It deserves to be skewered, and psgels was VERY gracious with his commentary and scores.

  15. Avatar Solaris says:

    Hogart, seriously, you never end to amuse me. Wasn’t yesterday the troll day?
    So, as you seem you know anything,
    tell us how many episodes they need to fit 22 + 2 extra novels in your opinion?
    And how do you adapt something that’s explanations based unless you try to transform into some kind of action show, which they actually did quite successfully?
    You can blame it all on the fanservice, but Index does not come down to that only. But I guess you won’t notice it unless it was written bold with big flashing arrow lights pointing at it.

  16. Solaris. you are a dick. Anyone that doesn’t agree with you gets an insult ridden post from you.

    why don’t you just gtfo?

  17. Avatar Hogart says:

    Wow Solaris, I’m glad I know we’re just troll-slapping each other here :)

    But yeah, you are still apologizing for what is essentially a poor adaptation. There is really no point in doing that. It might not be the worst adaptation ever, but I won’t be giving JC Staff any awards for phoning this one in.

    The fact is, you are explaining things for the show in some of your comments that really shouldn’t need to be explained. Given how much time the show had to explain that stuff, and how easily it flowed in the novels when I read those, you really can’t tell me it reflects well on the adaptation when you have to explain the entire point of things to other viewers.

    And it’s not like I’m the only person who says they stretched out the most boring and pointless arcs, and made the exciting ones too short and confusing. Almost all of the bloggers I’ve read agree on that one, so I won’t back down on my viewpoint.

  18. psgels psgels says:

    Solaris: you say that the first season was meant to introduce the main characters, and the second was meant to introduce the villains. My question to you is: did this show really need 24 episodes, just to introduce some villains? To me, it seemed that they could have put everything they added to the big picture in 13 episodes, and my big problem with this series is how lazy it was filling up the space. I agree that this show has potential in the big picture (I didn’t give it a low rating for a reason), but to me, this second season spent just too little time on that.

  19. Avatar Solaris says:

    Hogart, your last comment is finally worth of some considerations, so thank you. Why can’t you always speak like this instead of trying to troll telling stupidities?
    I agree the adaptation was rather poor, but not for the same reasons you gave before and especially Psgel’s ones. Actually blaming it of bad pace and inconsistencies where there aren’t, is not right.
    They actually cut a lot from the novels and didn’t know how to mix comedy and drama and exasperated with fanservice too. They did a poor job on the chars and all, but still they adapted it the best they could. The biggest praise was they always stayed close to the reference books. The longer arcs came from 2 court long novels. Usually the first whole novel of the two was comedic too. They shrank every novel to 2-3 episodes, with 5-6 episodes for the couple long ones, so they actually keep the pace for real.
    Now I really don’t see where they actually stretched anything, beside some chapters were almost too cramped in just 2-3 episodes instead.

    • Avatar bena1 says:

      I realy like your coment
      they did the best they could but failed a litle… BUT STILL! hopfully everyting w’ll fall to place when the time comes

      @Hogart if you are so good att storys why don’t you do 1 and see how far you w’ll get. -_-

  20. Avatar Taka says:

    I guess I was the only one who liked this season better than the first?

    I’m not entirely sure why. Probably because it had an arc devoted to Biri Biri/Kuroko, more accelerator screen-time, and shorter Touma speeches. I never felt like season 1 was all that greatly paced. I also enjoyed the introductions of new characters even if some older characters fell by the wayside. (Oh how many times I was expecting Kaori to sweep in and rain hell.) In the end, I’m just waiting for the Railgun 2nd season announcement.

    • Avatar bena1 says:

      I feel exacly like you but I whant more Misaka and Touma love time
      still I don’t think railgun 2nd sesion w’ll come out
      it wold be betther whit a love story of Misaka and Touma hope it w’ll be one.

  21. Avatar Hogart says:

    >> Why can’t you always speak like this instead of trying to troll telling stupidities?

    Because I have better things to do, and just want to share my opinion like everyone else does? If you don’t think my opinions are worth considering, then why do you troll me about them?

    I don’t come here specifically to piss you off or troll anyone, nor to reply to people who treat me an idiot just for sharing a negative opinion. It’s not like you aren’t negative in your criticism, I just prefer to criticize the anime and not the people watching them.

    Besides, I don’t always have the time to pretentiously treat my opinions like they’re worth a long post no one else will read. Especially when it’s about such a childish show.

    >> Actually blaming it of bad pace and inconsistencies where there aren’t, is not right.

    It appears we won’t come to a consensus about this so I’ll just say that I feel that if they are going to cut anything from an action shounen, they shouldn’t cut the most relevant and exciting parts of the story.

    If you feel the Orsola Aquinas and Croce de Pietro arcs deserved all of those episodes, and that the last arc deserved to be weaker because of that, then fine. I don’t.

  22. Avatar Solaris says:

    Blame yourself if you got treated like an Idiot while you actually behaved like one.
    If you don’t have time to waste on discussing about what you don’t love, why do you post in the first place?
    I don’t usually hammer whoever has different opinions, but only those who sell their cheap ones like stupid, something you usually do quite often. And you’re just not the only one, which is why I’m so pissed off.
    I just want people to talk seriously. Even in childish show like this (and that actually aren’t that childish after all) Is that pretending too much?

  23. Avatar m says:

    Solaris, your comments are almost always inchoate and abusively written. Even when I happen to sympathize with your perspective I am frequently amused by your commentary, because it appears that you have some kind of untreated personality disorder. Your considered opinion shines so brightly that I suspect that if you started your own blog, no one would bother reading it.

  24. Avatar Hogart says:

    >> Blame yourself if you got treated like an Idiot while you actually behaved like one.

    Aw. Now you’re just being a transparent troll. I was really hoping for more.

    Anyone, sorry, psgels. This is quite out of hand now. I’ll let him get his final word in and stop this trollathon.

    >> If you don’t have time to waste on discussing about what you don’t love, why do you post in the first place?

    Because I don’t just comment on what I love. When I invest the time into a show and feel disappointed in it, I often voice my opinion. Feel free to consider that “idiocy”.

    >> I don’t usually hammer whoever has different opinions

    I beg to differ. I usually let it slide because it spices up the conversation, but now you’re just being closed-minded.

    >> only those who sell their cheap ones like stupid, something you usually do quite often.

    Fine, I get it: you take things way too seriously. Someone on the Internet disagreeing with you about a children’s show? God forbid. They should at least give you a detailed explanation of why they think it’s crap, otherwise they are “idiots”. And when they do present an explanation, they’re still being unfair because they don’t agree with you.

    >> I just want people to talk seriously. Even in childish show like this (and that actually aren’t that childish after all) Is that pretending too much?

    Yes, it is. If you are saying you think this show isn’t childish, then I don’t know what else to say. It seems what really bothers you is that I am almost always serious, yet don’t always qualify my opinions. If that’s true, then chill out.. you realize you are arguing with some random “idiot” on the Internet about Index 2, right? We’re hardly picking a presidential candidate or solving the AIDS problem here.

  25. Avatar Nayrael says:

    Now, now… calm down kids. Your bickering may be worth 1000€ to you, but it is annoying to everyone else.

  26. Avatar Solaris says:

    Great, now I am some kind of psychopath too. And would be I the one calling names others now?
    Just notice how you don’t get bashed from me unless you really mean to. Hogart himself spoke seriously and didn’t got bashed for his last comment, which I don’t agree to, but I can respect somehow. And it’s cause he finally clarified himself instead of sspouting troll like stupid sentences.
    Why are we speaking about me when we should be discussing about the anime here? You always go off topic when pressed on the subject as a kind of reaction to being pressed on. Now, as we’ve been enough off topic like this, how about going back to the topic?
    The topic is Index. It has flaws, but which ones? fanservice? bad adaptation? Lack of direction? I made clear before that most of the story telling related issues are not there, to the contrary of what the blogger said in his review.
    As a matter of fact at the very least Azule, Hogart and I have finally made up a decent dialogue, if you cut all of the crap.
    I started telling that the blogger didn’t actually get the big picture if he speaks of inconsistencies, deus ex machina, lack of focus and unbalance which means he didn’t get most stuff. As a matter of fact the blogger cited the fireworks as one of these inconsistencies. I explained how it was not and Hogart replied how there wouldn’t any need of explanation if the show was actually right. Azule pointed out this show is mostly for LN fans as it lacked many explanations general audience would need to understand it properly. Now THIS IS A FUCKING GOOD POINT. Thare are more, but that’s an excellent example as it actually came down that all of those inconsistencies were a result of a deeper and important issue the review didn’t explain at all.
    This is what I mean by serious discussion. This is my primary objective here, that I could never accomplish on any blog of mine.
    If I really were to make a blog, It’d be filled by people who trust my word as gold (or as empty as anybody would read it for the opposite reason), the same as many do here and now with Psgels.
    Nobody even dare to question the blogger’s opinion in the first place.
    That brings nothing new to knowledge. So even if I’m being called names for that, even If I have to force some damned common sense in that tiny head of yours I’m willing to do it. Of course nobody called for it, but It’s a good exercise that can benefit everybody in the long run. So I ask you, please try to tag along. I know I overdo many times, but I really don’t know how to defend myself when a bunch of little kids attack all at the same time. I’ll try to behave. Maybe.
    Man, this is so tiring.

  27. Avatar Tyler says:

    Love this series, but i agree that its way to unbalanced.

    There’s way to much crap going on and they never really fully explain any of it, also its been awhile since i saw the first season but it seemed like the second one picked up at like halfway through where the first season left off.

    Anyway like i said, i love this series and will continue to watch it, but i have to saw the single most annoying thing about the entire second season is the fact that Touma and accelerater never ran into each other, i mean they come within a few feet of each other and are meeting both of the girls (mini-misaka and index) and yet the writers never put them back in the same scene. Unless you count the last episode where accelerator sees him and then never speaks of it again.

  28. Avatar stupidman says:

    hmm don’t know how stupid here but i think all of u how cannot understand the whole story is stupid cause u cannot even understand the story even after u read the LN, so what can i say for that kind of opinion?.
    anyway i am stupid but at least i can grasp the whole story. /peace/

  29. Avatar bena1 says:

    OMG is it only I who think sesion 2 is good?!
    yes they did somting wrong in the end and its not the best ending -_-
    but still I whant more MISAKA AND TOUMA TIME!!!
    this is bull shit I realy don’t anderstand what people are so mad for?
    I whant a sesion 3
    I w’ll give it 99/100 only for the bad ending

  30. Avatar bena1 says:

    pff unbeliveble people
    the series rocks and I love the carecters

    I can’t only ignore Misakas and Toumas litle love story I whant more to hapen whit thouse 2

  31. Avatar Penwynn says:

    The main issue I found with this series is that it lost focus on it’s target audience. The simplistic plot and dialogue would have fit a younger audience. On the other hand the dark, complex setting along with pointless fan service is clearly meant for an older audience. The result is like sharing a medium steak between 2 people who like rare and well done.

    I realize the anime tries to be faithful to the original light novel, but lets be frank – the source material for this segment lacked direction. When it comes to long epics, Kazuma suffers from the same wandering plot syndrome as RR Martin.

    That said, this author’s works shine when he writes shorter stories and arcs.

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Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]