In his search for Oriana, Touma receives a call from Tsuchimikado which leads him to ask just why Oriana is running around the city.
He then forwards Orsola’s message to Tsuchimikado who finds that it concerns the cleaning procedures of the St. Peter’s Cross. Mainly concerning how they must be complete during the day which leads him to suspect that it may activate using the stars, reminding Touma of the Angel Fall incident and leading Tsuchimikado to believe that she must be searching for somewhere to activate it. With all of this in mind they realise that they have until sunset to stop her. Elsewhere Oriana steps off the bus and talks with Lidvia who informs her that the girl she just attacked was completely innocent, she also seems to refer to the people of Academy City as lost sheep and as the very reason they need to succeed.
Meanwhile Touma has been found by Index who demands to know why he hasn’t been participating in the events and in order to throw her off he has to lie to her. Not long after this Touma finds himself in a crowd where he hears a girl refer to herself as “Misaka as Misaka” just as Stiyl calls him to tell him that he was able to keep Himegami alive long enough for help to arrive, however he’s now faced with Komoe who can’t seem to thank him enough. After tidying himself up Tsuchimikado confirms that they do plan to use the stars but can’t see how. At the hospital Seiri appears to be recovering well and is still concerned about Daihasesai going well as she talks with Komoe.
Eventually Touma and Tsuchimikado meet up with the latter still trying to figure out just how Oriana plans to use the constellations, even if it may have been a mistake on her behalf Orsola unintentionally calls them mistaking their number for Stiyl’s. And just like when Touma met her at the bus stop, she doesn’t appear to be paying all that much attention to what they’re saying as she tells them about some of the things that have happened to her since she came to London, but also tells them how the St. Peter’s Cross can be used anywhere at anytime as long as the user is able to use the constellations properly. With the 29th of June only corresponding to when it can be used at the Vatican, and luckily she also knows where it can be used in Japan on the 19th of September, the 23rd District.
At a nearby shopping mall Mikoto is currently dealing with her mother’s fascination or otherwise meaningless things when she feels Kuroko behind her, who upon learning that Misuzu is Mikoto’s mother becomes infatuated with her as well. On the bottom floor Touma and Tsuchimikado are able to meet up with Stiyl, who’s been having trouble trying to get away from Komoe, and in order to get into the 23rd District easily Tsuchimikado makes a phonecall to one of Academy City’s higher ups. Elsewhere Oriana and Lidvia are preparing to make the final arrangements to their plan as the sun starts to set, and are using the 23rd District due to the low chance of innocent people becoming involved.
In order for them to be able to slip through Tsuchimikado made a call about switching the 23rd District’s security around a bit, overall though they’ll only have twenty five minutes to stop them. Their train arrives and just as they’re about to step a board Stiyl reminds Touma that there will be no going back after they step through that door with him responding how he doesn’t intend to end it all there. Meanwhile Komoe is apologising to Touma’s parents for losing track of their son, however Touya believes that what Touma is doing must be more important than the events.
Lidvia makes her move by erecting the cross and preparing to activate it while Touma, Tsuchimikado, and Stiyl prepare to slip through the airport through the gaps left by the surveillance planes changing schedules. But just as they’re about to go over a fence Tsuchimikado activates the flashcard Oriana left on it and is flung back, he bids them to go on where they find Oriana waiting for them on the other side of the fence with flashcards in hand. And even though they’re working together, Touma and Stiyl don’t exactly make a good combo as she’s able to handle them with ease, despite just being kicked down though Touma gets right back up and tells her how he won’t let her ruin Daihasesai and how she has no right to do so, also remind her of what she did to Seiri and Himegami as he prepares to break her illusion.
Not only did this episode manage to pull away from the amount of QUALITY that the last two episodes have had but in typical Index fashion there was something nice about the amount of exposition in it. Aside from that there was also that feeling that things were heading for what would be the climax of this arc, as the focus on finding Oriana not only changed through her and Lidvia’s exact motives being revealed, but the fight with her that all of it had built up to had began. And even if did it make the episode slightly disjointed it wasn’t that bad to see some of the extra sort of scenes included as well.
While the exposition may be kind of hard to bare with at times I must admit that Index wouldn’t the way it is without it, there would just be something that would feel out of place. So to see it back was something that I thought was somewhat nice to see, and in this case it served to show the sudden realisation to what Oriana and Lidvia were up to. Where just what Oriana was doing was truly revealed, even with a reason for how she was running around the city before she bumped into Touma which had originally suspected as her transporting something. As after it was revealed to be a farce there wasn’t really any reason for it, so having her be looking for a place to activate the St. Peter’s Cross simply made sense.
Aside from that there was also another startling find, where how the Cross could be used at anywhere as long as the user is familiar with the constellations in the area made all of Touma, Tsuchimikado and Stiyl’s efforts a lot more desperate. As if the odds against them had been stacked higher, with it simply coming down to how they had to stop them at all costs and that there would be no going back, since as soon as the sun set it would all be over for them. If anything the way that the Cross was shown able to be used definitely seemed kind of overpowered, in how the Roman Catholic Church could effectively take over any area of their choosing as long as the constellations could be used. And even though there may be other weapons like this on the magic side it’s something that just seemed to stand out. If anything also making me curious as to what other things that not only they have, but also the other various sects and factions would have to match it.
It was also nice to see things like the brief Last Order cameo and Orsola make a brief return, and while the former may have seemed kind of disjointed in how it appeared out of nowhere with Last Order herself nowhere to be seen. It showed how the world the story takes place in doesn’t completely revolve around Touma and the crazy adventures he and his friends get themselves into, where while he was desperately trying to track down Oriana on the other side of the spectrum Last Order was running around the city most likely accompanied by Accelerator. It was also nice to see Orsola show up again and not only act like she had when she first met Touma, but also prove to be pretty useful as well. Where she and Sherry had found out just how the Cross did and could work. Other than that seeing things like Kuroko have the same feelings towards Misuzu as she had to Mikoto was kind of funny, and how Touya had complete faith in what his son was doing must be far more important than the events was nice as well. Showing that while he may not know the full extent about the stuff his son gets involved in, he would still have faith in him and support him.
Finally seeing the start of what would be the final showdown between Oriana and Touma and co was great to see, showing that things were beginning to head towards the climax of an arc that’s already spanned five episodes and two novels. With all of that just building up to this, and that everyone who had gotten hurt or every time that Daihasesai could have been ruined simply adding to how Touma must defeat Oriana. Someone who was shown to have gone easy on him the last time they fought and wouldn’t hold back this time. So taking this into account it seemed like beating her was out of his hands, let alone in the twenty five minutes before sunset. While it also may have been brief and implied it was also great to see Tsuchimikado call in a favour from Crowley and while Tsuchimikado himself being taken out before the fight even began may have felt like a cop out, it was probably for the best given the state he’s in at the moment.