English Dub Review: A Certain Magical Index “British Labyrinth”

Anarchy in the UK!

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

Toma and Index meet Kanzaki at the airport, then head to Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elizard, the Knight Leader, and the three princesses: First Princess Rimea, the snotty one, Third Princess Villian, the nice one, and Second Princess Carissa, the Definitely Not Evil one. They’re all meeting to discuss whether or not magic was used in the recent Eurotunnel attack, and Index is the best at scoping out both if magic was used and, if so, what type of magic and where it came from. Kind of like a magical CSI. In addition, there seems to have been some inference with last episode’s landing of the hijacked flight which originated from Scotland, meaning there are forces within the country working against the crown as well. Said interference is reportedly from a group of four called “New Light”.

So, while Toma, Kanzaki, and newly reformed Oriana Thompson find New Light, the knights will investigate the Eurotunnel matter, while Index will stay behind to do her thing. New Light’s members, Bayloupe, Lancis, Floris, and Lessar, begin the make their move involving multiple identical suitcases that transmit some sort of special magic. Lessar is eventually caught by Toma and Oriana, Bayloupe is tracked down and beaten by Itsuwa, and Floris is swiftly defeated by Kanzaki. However, it’s soon revealed that the suitcases act as relays for the object they were transported, and Lancis uses her suitcase to send it through Lessar’s to a secret fifth case. Lessar is then nearly killed by a sniper using special arrows made only for knights working under Carissa. The item was Curtana Original, a special magical sword once used in coronations.

Once the sword makes its way to Carissa, she declares herself the new head of state and puts into action her coup.

OUR TAKE

Okay, now we’re at the REAL beginning of the arc, it seems. And once again, we’re getting close to a dozen new characters dropped on us in a single episode which feels a bit rushed and overstuffed. It was probably assumed that the story would be pretty boring if it didn’t throw in a bunch of cute girls…and they were right, I have to admit. This series has an…interesting interpretation of the royal family, though I suppose getting three new waifus beats having to look at an animated version of Prince Williams’ receding hairline. They definitely wasted no time establishing some key differences between Carissa and Villian, since it looks like they’ll be our key factions for this Civil War. We’ve actually seen Villian before now in a flashback from Acqua’s perspective about his resignation from knighthood, and it seems she’s still holding a torch for him which will not go unnoticed if the previews are to be believed.

New Light, meanwhile, seem like they just come and go, being properly introduced and all but defeated in the same episode. This does not seem like a job that required putting in four new characters just to give everyone a thing to do. The suitcase trick was pretty neat, however, and it DID end up working in the end, so hats off to that. And I suppose it was nice to see Oriana again seeing as it’s been awhile since the Daihasei Festival arc. I’m just that, after the Battle Royale Arc, I’m starting to get kind of overwhelmed by how bloated the cast is continuing to get, especially for pretty superfluous new additions like these four. I’m really hoping that the rest of the season starts working with the cast it has already instead of just throwing in new people as the plot demands.

But luckily, we do have the plot worked out for us now. We know who our bad guy is, we know that we’ll be bringing back more bad guys on the good guy side, and we have a clear scope of the stakes and who the key players are. As long as we can continue keeping things this coherent, I’m eager to see how this arc plays out. Yet once again, I am saddened that they didn’t commit to British accents. C’mon, Funimation, it’s not like it’s a coin toss between Baccano and Dies Irae! I believe in your actors’ accent work!

Score
7/10

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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