A Certain Magical Index Season 3 Episode 9 Review
Let’s be real, I haven’t been overly thrilled by the return of A Certain Magical Index at all this season. The first arc was mostly nonsense that even on going back to season two it is still fairly hard to figure out what was going on or why. The second arc ditched the protagonist altogether. Now we’re in this third arc and the glaring issues with this narrative are becoming almost impossible to ignore. It isn’t a case of being fun anymore surrounded by exposition dumps. It is now a case of tired attempts to recapture something of the spirit that drew people to the show being crammed in amongst nonsensical dialogue just to ensure the audience hasn’t cracked their nose on the keyboard when the dozed off.
Alright, that was pretty harsh and actually not true.
At heart the lightning, the movement lines, the cheesily delivered lines mid-fight all still actually work for me, but – and this is a huge but – now these feel like inserted filler to a narrative about characters I don’t care about in a world that has become increasingly random.
Maybe it is all a byproduct of the long gap between seasons. Maybe it is a result of my being much older now and less easily impressed with shiny, pretty things (who am I kidding, I love shiny pretty, things), but I just know that I almost forgot this even came out yesterday and when I did watch it I found myself really just kind of nodding along to the expected beats.
Kanzaki turned up as the last minute hero of last episode and lasted less than five minutes before she was coughing up blood. I’ll admit, they were a cool five minutes. Actually, I’ll fix that. There was about a cool minute in those five minutes of actual fight, meanwhile the two saints prattled various bits of nonsense at one another that I guess passes for plot or exposition at this point but honestly, who could care.
Then we have Acqua more or less pounding Kanzaki while pointing out how stupid she is and her church for even fighting if they are that weak, blah, blah, blah… More big hits, more property damage, where the hell is anyone from Academy City while the churches are fighting it out destroying entire levels? Nope, no answer to that one.
And then there’s the revelation. Team work. Kanzaki calls on all the glorified extras who were beaten down in last week’s bit of filler and they all jump down an entire level and then proceed to more or less just stand totally still while Kanzaki and Itsuwa try a repeat of the saint spell they used last week and they still would have lost except that Touma manages to arrive, at that precise moment, in the middle of the battlefield and blocks Acqua’s attack with his hand.
While watching this, it occurred to me, that not even the shiny, pretty action is that shiny anymore. During that final strike we didn’t get to see the characters in relation to one another once. We had close up of Kanzaki, close up of Itsuwa, close up of Acqua, one very brief panning shot of the scene that didn’t even make it down to Touma, and then back to close ups. There was no chance to get a sense of what was actually happening and all the characters had more or less identical pained looks on their faces so if they were going for revealing emotions, they kind of failed.
I’m giving this one to episode 12. At that point, I’m almost positive I am done. It is going to need to do something pretty spectacular in the next three episodes though because to be honest, this was just bad.
Or, use one of my product affiliate links.
Rubber PlayMat Collection “To Aru Majutsu no Index III” Ver. A
- Episodes 1 + 2 – That Time Something Happened to Kamijou
- Episode 3 – More Jargon More Punching
- Episode 4 – Ditch the Main Cast and Go For A Ride
- Episode 5 – I’m Glad I’m Not The Only One Confused
- Episodes 6 + 7 – A Certain Villainous Laugh and a Meandering Plot Line
- Episode 8 – A Fight Between Saints Should Be Exciting, Right?
- Episode 9 – The Moment You Know The Magic Is Gone
- Episode 10 – Exposition on A Plane With Index and the Terrorist
- Episode 11 – Dropping A Certain Magical Index