Continuing from the same lunch scene that the last episode ended on everyone is surprised at how Misuzu is taking college classes and things steadily change, when Misuzu brings out a fondue set for herself and her daughter, teasing her about her bust size. And when Touma comments on this Index is still too embarrassed to bite his head.
Elsewhere Oriana helps a child reach his balloon while she talks with her employer, Lidvia who’s waiting in a hotel lobby and though they’re working together, their views and morals appear to conflict quite a bit. Touma and Index leave the restaurant with Touma telling her how she’ll get fat if she eats too much and her believing that she won’t, even suggesting that he uses his arms to measure her waist. Not too far away Kuroko meets up with Mikoto and spots Touma measuring Index’s waist, so Mikoto sends him flying, accidentally tearing off Index’s skirt, for which the two espers chase him for. In a nearby park Stiyl converses with Sherry Cromwell and Orsola Aquinas for information, that former of which isn’t too happy with Orsola spreading crumbs around her workplace. And just when he goes to light a cigarette Komoe appears to confiscate them and lecture him on how smoking is forbidden.
Upon seeing this Himegami went to find Touma to help settle the matter with Stiyl now juggling multiple packets outside of Komoe’s reach, he then receives a call from Tsuchimikado about Oriana so with Himegami restraining Komoe he and Stiyl take action. While Touma just has to slide his wallet for a train ticket Stiyl has to manually pay for one if he’s to avoid an incident, and on their way to where she was sighted he shows Touma the information he received, it just happens to be in Italian. When they finally arrive at their destination they find that the bus that Tsuchimikado is on is stuck in traffic, leaving no other choice than for him to use the All-Direction Rational Formation himself.
With Stiyl’s smoking out of the way Komoe and Himegami drink juice together, with Himegami talking about her feelings towards Touma and Komoe suggesting that she goes on something known as the Night Parade with him, yet she feels that she can’t and changing her mind about it after Komoe manages to convince her. Even though he’s located Oriana, Tsuchimikado notices something strange in movements and his cellphone cuts off before he can say. Leading Stiyl to believe that Oriana has chosen the easiest option to avoid her pursuers, as once Tsuchimikado has been taken care of they won’t be able to use magic to find her.
His suspicions are proven to be correct with Tsuchimikado now faced with Oriana who’s here to take care of him once and for all, so he declares his sorcery name Fallere825 and her responding with her own Basis104, something usually done only before a battle to the death. He then proceeds to take her on in physical combat as she uses her flashcards and proves to be more of a match, countering him each time, and taking his refusal to use magic to mean that he would die if he did. She then rips another flashcard to raise some pillars up just as he uses an Origami Crane to use it, and though the pillars fell on him he succeeds in breaking the barrier she set up. Oriana then prepares to finish him once and for all, however Tsuchimikado has one more trump card up his sleeve threatening that there are more Necessarius members in the city, and how he holds something that could summon Kanzaki Kaori. When she’s gone this is revealed to have all been a bluff but using magic has taken it’s toll as he sends his coordinates to Stiyl and Touma.
Having made her escape Oriana exits the subway and accidentally bumps into Komoe, spilling Himegami’s juice all over her shirt. With the cross that Necessarius gave her in order to suppress her ability, Deep Blood now visible Oriana panics, tearing a flashcard causing blood to explode out of Himegami.
Stiyl and Touma then notice a crowd just ahead and find Komoe with Himegami deep in a puddle of her own blood, with Stiyl explaining that Oriana had mistook her for an enemy magician. He then dispels the bystanders and intends to keep going, however Touma believes that they can’t just leave her like that so he has to show him that there’s nothing he can do. Just as he prepares to head off he spots Komoe desperately attempting to use the healing magic that Index had taught her in the first story arc, and moved by this he tells Touma to go on alone and that while it’s not his expertise he’ll do his best to save her. So promising to visit her before the Night Parade, Touma goes on.
In all I thought that this was a pretty decent episode, as though once again the animation and the amount of detail that went into it didn’t quite pull out of the dip that the last episode left it in, it still managed to cover some of the fun antics happening on the side. Along with the fight Tsuchimikado had with Oriana and helped force Touma to realise that despite how much he wants to play the hero and save everyone, there’s still limits to what he can do. Meaning that sometimes he’ll have to accept that can’t always be able to help someone.
To start with it was great to see the lunch scene that the last episode left off on continued at the start, with Misuzu trolling her daughter based on what appears to be a common belief in anime that lots of dairy products will increase a girl’s bust size. When in reality she was just talking about healthy bones and the like, after which it didn’t take long to get to how Mikoto and Kuroko caught Touma in a rather compromising position where the context couldn’t easily be guessed at all, and if anything their interference simply made matters worse for him. Being able to see Sherry and Orsola again was also something nice and it’s kind of funny how they’re now forced to share a workplace. It was also great to see Komoe trying to confiscate Stiyl’s cigarettes only for him to apathetically pull out more and more before juggling them, as it’s a pretty fun scene and there’s something ironic about a binge-drinking chain-smoker trying to confiscate someones cigarettes while lecturing him about it. If there was one problem about it though it would be how the context was apparently changed, making the anime even more vague-as-fuck than Kamachi himself is with ages.
Tsuchimikado’s badass one on one fight with Oriana was also quite fun to see, even though the animation for it was weird at some points. As it was basically him standing up with no real way to take her on fairly, given that using magic just before would have injured him enough, but still he would keep going. How he essentially bluffed his way through it was also great as he attempted to cover up how he couldn’t use magic without possibly dying in the process, and convince Oriana to believe that there were more people out there after her, even Kaori if he called her in. Which would have seriously messed up her plans, as while she would have looked forward to taking on a saint there wouldn’t be a way she could walk away in one piece from it. With the latter just being something he scribbled on a piece of paper and made up, so in retrospect it was actually pretty awesome to see him do all this.
It was also great to see some focus placed on Himegami, as though she isn’t exactly relevant to the story at the moment and stands as a reminder to how Kamachi decided not to include vampires in his story. She’s still one of my favourite heroines in the series, being voiced by Mamiko Noto and her scenes and blunt attitude usually turn out to be pretty fun. It was also pretty nice to see the focus she received be about the feelings she found herself having for Touma after how he had saved her, eventually Komoe to suggest that she asks him out to see the Night Parade with her. However while it may have been sad enough for her to feel that she couldn’t do that, things took a far more tragic turn when Tsuchimikado’s bluff lead Oriana to panic when she saw her cross.
How the location for this was shifted out into the open from the alleyway shortcut between the buildings wasn’t really something that I was fond of all that much. As how Oriana had bumped into them there made a little more sense as there was less space to move around in so bumping into someone would have been more likely. But to take it further there was also the impression that no matter what Touma couldn’t go around this, so to keep going he would have had to accept what had happened to her and step over her. Something he felt he couldn’t do despite how Stiyl still intended to keep going even though Himegami had been someone he had saved as well, which for such made it a pretty powerful scene so it was kind of disappointing to see some of the weight that it had lost.
What I liked the most about this episode however was how it continuously forced Touma to realise his own limits, and how there will be times when he can’t do anything at all. With Stiyl taking the role of the one to try to get him to accept it, telling him how he couldn’t save Tsuchimikado from Oriana because he didn’t know where he was. Also making it incredibly clear that he can’t do anything for Himegami in her condition by forcing him to see what was in front of him. It was just something that seemed to stand out as despite how he always runs off to save people, he hasn’t really reached a point when he couldn’t do anything. So to see him reach this point and steadily accept it was something that was great to see.