November 14, 2009

To Aru Majutsu no Index -- ep 10

As of the end of ep 9 it's beginning to look a lot like harem territory. Aisu, the one who wears the miko costume, seems to have moved in, though I'm not positive about that.

And in the mean time, it looks like we've reached the part of the series where Railgun becomes a major character. She's shown up briefly a couple of times before, but the beginning of ep 10 is the first time Touma has seen her

Mikoto seems to have some doppelgangers. I'm pretty sure there's at least two, but I could be convinced that there were three of them (to begin with). At this point I'm wondering if they're robots, given how strange they seem to be as soon as they start talking.

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The one up on the top of the stairs is the strange one. She looks and dresses exactly the same as the original. If they don't speak, then this is the way you tell them apart: NSFW the doppelganger wears shimapan.

UPDATE: I've been watching a 1280*720 version, but a couple of days ago I downloaded the full series at 1920*1080, and discovered after it was complete that it wasn't subbed. Which is why I'm watching the smaller one.

I'm not sure if the big one is a BD rip or a broadcast version or is upscaled. Probably it isn't BD; it's a bit soon for the whole series to be out on BD since it only ran last spring.

UPDATE: OK, major geek points for this joke. Alt-Mikoto has found a cat and wants to adopt it. Touma is carrying it for her because she produces a low level magnetic field which causes discomfort to animals. He asks her what she wants to name it, and she says Inu ("dog") and he says the name should be more majestic.

So she says "Tokugawa Ieyasu". That's too majestic. Here's her next choice:

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UPDATE: Unfortunately, shortly after this the story gets stupid again. Where did she get that gun from?

UPDATE: End of ep 12. For a series called To Aru Majutsu no Index Index isn't really a very big part of the story. It's Touma's series, and it looks like Index may not be involved in Railgun's story arc at all.

Or she may end up being a deus ex machina. I sure hope not.

Railgun's situation really is amazing. No wonder she's got a tortured soul.

UPDATE: End of ep 14, and that resolves Railgun's story arc. And Index wasn't part of it, which suits me fine.

The titular character is even less important in this series than was the case in the first two Nanoha series. I tell you true.

I could see that going either way, frankly. I wouldn't want to make any bets on it. What I will give strong odds on is that we will see him again.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 08:11 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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1 The accelerator bit gets extremely wordy - there's a couple eps in there I think you can skip and miss little to nothing, though maybe it just seemed that way. I found it got better afterward, though.

I was disappointed about how the first few eps promised lots of Index, (whose conceit I like) and the later ones didn't follow through. I suspect the original novel was better about this, based on the final eps, the Wikipedia entries, and Sixten's review.

Unfortunately, I found the most evocative thing about the entire show, by a significant margin, was the first intro version. I read all sorts of things into it, (that are decidedly not there) but those things would make one of the best stories ever committed to binary.

Posted by: Alrenous at November 14, 2009 10:04 PM (ZkA/1)

2

Actually, I find Index more annoying than anything and I'm not missing her at all. The potential present in the premise about Index is intriguing, but if it were fully developed she'd be too strong, too overwhelming.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 14, 2009 10:18 PM (+rSRq)

3 I hated them both about equally. Railgun came across as a schoolyard bully, only superpowered: a person likely to abuse her superiority over mere mortals. And Index was plainly annoying.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at November 14, 2009 11:30 PM (/ppBw)

4

Pete, did you watch through to the end of Railgun's arc (that is, the end of ep 14)?

There's a reason Railgun acts the way she does, and it isn't because she's a bully. Now that the reason has been resolved, I'm looking forward to seeing whether she loosens up.

It turns out they had something rather less nice in mind. They wanted to learn to clone her, in order to make an army. And later they used that army for something distinctly unpleasant.

The highest ESPer level theoretically is level 6. At this time there is no one with that level, but Mikoto is one of seven known level 5's. The researcher's super computer told them that another of the level 5's, a kid nicknamed Accelerator, could be trained to achieve level 6 through a series of combat exercises. If he fought against and killed 20,000 clones of Mikoto, then it would happen.

And they're doing it, and the program is a bit over half done. The alt-Mikoto that Touma fell in with is #10032 and in ep 13 it's her turn.

The real Mikoto knows all about this. She's seen the clones and talked to some of them. They aren't all active but quite a large number of them are. Some of the battles have involved many of them at once, and she stumbled onto a battlefield after the fighting was done, and saw maybe a dozen of her clones laying dead on the ground, covered with blood.

She hates what's happening. She hates every bit of it. And she feels responsible for a great evil. She's carrying a pretty big load of emotional baggage.

In ep 13 she decides

A lot of her toughness is put on. She's trying to work herself up to doing that.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 15, 2009 10:22 AM (+rSRq)

5

Speculation about Touma:

Touma supposedly is level 0, but I think it's becoming clear that his power (they call it "imagine break" but I keep thinking of it as "cancellation Alice") really is pretty great. I wonder if he himself is the subject of a secret development program and that he's really considered a level 5 as well.

He's defeated two level 5's now in battle. It's hard to see how that justifies categorizing him as level 0.

In Gakuen Alice, they did that to Mikan, who had the cancellation Alice. They made her a "zero star" but by the end of the series she's ranked much higher than that.

The cancellation Alice by its nature is difficult to rank. It's mostly a matter of how its owner chooses to use it, against whom, when, and how effectively.

It may be that they've ranked Touma as level 0 for his own protection. If they publicly announced him as level 5, they'd be painting a target on him.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 15, 2009 10:34 AM (+rSRq)

6 I'm not so sure...

Posted by: DiGiKerot at November 15, 2009 11:51 AM (AB7vs)

7

This show caught me very much by surprise. I think that mentally I had it confused with Kannagi, which is a pretty big confusion.

What I was expecting was an insipid high school harem show including one magical girl. What I'm actually watching is techno-horror and it's a lot more involved than I had expected.

I also remember reading lots of comments and complaints about how talky the show was, and there definitely have been a couple of episodes where there was too damned much dialogue. But that hasn't been as common or as overwhelming as I had thought it would be, and now I think I'm more tuned to the rhythm of the show, so it isn't as much of an issue.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 15, 2009 12:24 PM (+rSRq)

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