Review: A Certain Magical Index II

When science and magic collide, a story is born.

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Review copies of both parts 1 and 2 were provided by FUNimation Entertainment

Evening, Moar Powah readers. The Inverseman here with yet another review. Tonight I’ll be reviewing the second season of A Certain Magical Index. With the first season of the old school light novel adaptation already reviewed, does second season continue to carry the torch? Let’s dig in.

Whereas season one felt very disjointed like a series of non-related vignettes, season two’s arcs are far more connected. Right away in the early episodes we see one of the bigger enemies of the season, the Roman Orthodox Church and their machinations. Tensions within sects of the church as well as Academy City are rising; this provides a very clear and natural link between each story arc. The world of Index continues to expand, we finally start getting answers to a lot of the questions posed in season one, and I do mean “start” because there are still many answers to be found in tandem with new questions that arise through the season.

Index - Kamijou in battle

The characters continue to develop even past season one, which is very welcome in a battle shonen-esque series like this. For instance, Index actually proves far more useful in this season to the storyline and the far-better-protagonist-than Touma, Accelerator, becomes quite the anti-hero. Then there are a few surprises in characters you thought were mere throwaways actually becoming relevant, but I won’t spoil that. Even Kamijou becomes slightly more interesting, but hearing him complain about his bad luck in light of his every burgeoning harem and his deus ex machina hand still creates many groans. Overall, the cast, namely side characters, continue to win over the audience, maintaining the momentum from season one.

Index - Accelerator meets Index

The story, while more polished than last season, still has its fair share of issues though in spite of fewer plotholes and deus ex machina. Some critical parts of the last arc left out a few details and perspectives. A couple times, I checked the episode I was on in case I accidentally skipped one. Granted, you still do get the gist of what’s going on easily, but the gaps are noticeable as if some side material intends to fill them. The end of the season is most egregious though. We don’t receive a resolution to a forthcoming battle, but instead the season wraps itself up abruptly as if to say, “check out season 3”. Unfortunately, since its completion in April 2011, we’ve only had side stories despite the novel series being very far ahead. When we’ll return to the main plot, I still do not know.

Index - Misaka's penalty game

The production continues to be decent. Animation quality has gone neither up nor down and the voice actors continue to put on their best performances. So production-wise there’s no real change between the seasons. The DVDs come with some usual commentary and textless OPs and EDs. A Certain Magical Index II took what did well from season one and gave it a slight boost. With a slightly stronger story and consistent characters, it gets a half point increase from first season to a “B”. It’s not a boost that would necessarily earn a legion of new converts but if you enjoyed first season, I say you will enjoy second season.  Join me next time when I punch things.

Pros

– Plot is far more cohesive across arcs

– Character development continues to strengthen

– Voice performances are still strong

Cons

– Kamijou is still the usual Gary Stu

– Some plot threads are still ill-explained or have odd gaps probably intended for side stories

– Ends on a massive cliffhanger hook for season 3

Rating: 4/5

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Inverseman

The Inverseman is an evil overlord from an alternate dimension representing humanity's anti-existence who wound up becoming a modest civil servant.

Inverseman

The Inverseman is an evil overlord from an alternate dimension representing humanity's anti-existence who wound up becoming a modest civil servant.

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