English Dub Review: A Certain Magical Index “Sky Bus 365”

I’ve had it with these monkey flying French guys on this Monday to Friday plane!

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

While Itsuwa plans a flirty counterattack to Kanzaki’s fallen angel outfit, Kanzaki herself is meeting with the Knight Leader in the UK to discuss rising aggressions between them and the French, as well as organizations within Britain that want to stir the pot. And next on the list of Toma’s harem, Misaka is still coming to terms with her newly realized feelings for him when he approaches her about keeping the amnesia thing quiet, leading her to freak out and zap him accidently. Toma then heads home, hoping for a quiet and cheap meal with Index, but these hopes are dashed when Tsuchimikado gases them unconscious and puts them on a flight to Britain without explaining the details.

They end up taking a later flight to save money, which unfortunately delays their meal and makes Index cranky (probably the first time I’ve ever seen someone desperate for airline food). Seems the mission directly involves Index this time, acting as a “state official” for the Anglican Church. But soon enough, trouble arises as a French terrorist takes the plane staff hostage to cut off paths to Britain or else he’ll crash the plane. The staff try getting Toma to keep quiet, but that only leads to Index getting hurt, so they go on the hunt. Things only get more chaotic when Laura Stewart, archbishop of the Anglican Church, casts an illusion to force a prepared landing in the middle of a highway.

Eventually, this lures out the terrorist on the plane so Toma can give him the five finger discount…only to realize that guy wasn’t the only terrorist. Using a trick with thermal expansion, Toma tricks the other guy into being distracted. He almost uses a grenade when Styil Magnus arrives to save the plane’s bacon.

Meanwhile, in Britain, four girls plan to “break up the very paradigm that is Britain”. Can’t be any worse than Brexit.

OUR TAKE

The first (dubbed) Index of the New Year kicks off a double length arc, as well as another road trip for our leads. This time actually involving the title character! I mean, as much as her name IS in the title, the story hasn’t really been ABOUT Index for a long time now, much like it isn’t always about Toma, but I am glad she’s getting some focus for once. Previous arcs have shown she has plenty of tricks up her sleeve when she’s able to use them, which would make sense for someone who is her church’s equivalent of a walking flash drive of forbidden magic. That apparently was enough to bring her along on this trip (or at least be the only one worthy of salvaging if the plane went down), so here’s hoping she gets a chance to shine.

Also unique about this episode, besides it taking place almost entirely on a plane, is that this is probably the least special ability use I’ve seen on this show, magic or otherwise. Besides Index, whose powers are almost always in standby, Toma’s only power is negating other powers, so he’s got nothing to use it on. Styil’s fire tricks at the end are basically it for this week, in terms of spectacle. This gives things a chance to be pretty grounded for once and forces everyone to think on their toes to prevent a crisis. Unfortunately, maybe due to the budget or whatever they may have cut from the novels, the actual plot to stop the terrorists is pretty flavorless. They’re just kinda bland angry radicals, but from France. Part of me is sorta glad the producers didn’t give them silly French accents, but…another part really wishes they did. Or at least berets and baguettes. Have some pride!

Looking ahead, it seems this is just a rather odd prelude to the rest of the arc, which is going to get into this series’ take on British Royalty. I am both terrified and thrilled as hell to see where they take that, but I still have to wonder how much of this is going to end up comprehensible. I’m hoping we can have a situation like the last arc that more or less shook out fine, but we’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I’m going to try and come up with what lines from the “Airplane” movies would go great being said by Micah Solusod.

Score
6/10

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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