In the time since the fight with Oriana ended Touma has been unlucky as always, walking in on Komoe changing, being headbutted by Seiri, hit by a rubber ball when he went to visit Himegami in the hospital, and when Mikoto forced him to dance with her at the end of Daihasesai he received a dropkick to the back of the head from Kuroko. With all of this having happened he never would have guessed that he would win a trip for two for a week in Italy.
For something like this to have happened to him he suspects that something little will come along to snatch it away, like not having a passport, however he’s surprised when he finds one his bag. Index also happens to have a passport which surprisingly has her name registered as Index Librorum Probitorum and doesn’t even contain a single stamp, because of this she asks if she can go with him. Things have continued to go well by the time they’ve arrived at the airport yet Touma remains pessimistic about it all, and the only unfortunate thing that happens to him is a 1.5 km run to the shopping area so that Index can board the plane.
They finally arrive in the town of Chioggia, located in Northern Italy surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, of course when they get there Index drools over the restaurants along the streets which eventually separates her Touma. Who in his search for her frantically flicks through his guidebook when a kind Italian lady notices that he might be lost, luckily Orsola arrives and thanks her for helping find her friend. It also turns out that she’s there to pick up her belongings with the help of the Amakusa before she completely moves to London, and she had found Index not too long ago.
So Touma goes to her house to help with packing away her belongings where the Amakusa there see him with a mix of respect and fear, considering that he had took on the Roman Catholic forces alone and had even seen Kanzaki naked and lived to tell the tale. When it’s time for lunch the same girl who had cleared a way for him before, Itsuwa returns to blushingly offer him a napkin, after which he overhears the others asking how her plan went.
As he helps pack away Orsola’s things he finds himself in a hallway with two doors to either side, one of the doors leads to a bathroom where Index is showering and the other to a pile of newspapers. However he can hear the sound of running water and humming on both sides, after some careful thought he bursts through the door to his right, only now does he ask himself. Why didn’t he knock to begin with?
Behind this door he finds Orsola, also showering and not too long after Index bursts out surprised by the hairdryer, and of course she tries to bite his head again. Once they finish packing Orsola decides to take one last look around the town and turns down their offer to join them in sightseeing, using the excuse that she would be one too many for them, something that goes completely over Index’s head. However just as they’re about to part ways, Index senses a magician and uses her spell intercept to stop their attacks long enough to incapacitate the one sniping them and allow Touma to take out the one attacking at close range. With their attempt to kill Orsola having failed they decide to retreat, calling up a giant ship of ice from the waterway.
The ship pulls up Touma and Orsola, separating them from Index as it quickly makes its way down the waterway with brute force before heading out to Sea. Where it meets up with more ships of ice, revealing that it’s only one in an entire fleet with members of the Roman Catholic Church on board. It’s too high for Touma and Orsola to jump so they decide to hide in one of the cabins, he tries to contact Index but as always her phone is either off or the battery is dead. They hear someone on the other side of the door and when it opens they’re met with familiar face, Agnese.
“Memories Last” by Maon Kurosaki, download.
If anything this was probably my favourite episode of the second season so far, it just seemed to flow nicely and didn’t seem rushed at all while still providing a good amount of comedy with it. That for the most part I thought was actually pretty good, ranging from the stuff just after Daihasesai to when they were in Italy. While I was disappointed to see that there wasn’t a new opening for this episode, how there was a new ending theme almost made up for it.
The way that Touma’s misfortune worked and how he perceived it in this episode was really something that I liked about it, starting off by showing all the things that had happened to him during it and while dancing with Mikoto probably wasn’t something unlucky for him, being drop kicked by Kuroko in the middle of it probably would have been. But what it showed was that he always expected something like that to happen when something lucky presented itself to him, where just after he had one two tickets for a week in Italy he had expected it to be pulled away by something random like not having a passport. So it actually must have come as a surprise to him when just about everything went well for him.
It should also be noted that this is the first arc that we’ve seen really centered outside of Japan, as while the characters from outside of Academy City come from just about all over the world and we’ve seen what’s going on in some parts regarding them, such as Stiyl and Laura in London. It hasn’t really taken that extra step to have Touma go on an adventure there, so if anything it’s also something that made this episode stand out and what we saw of Chioggia was beautiful. With this it was also great to hear some of the characters speaking in the languages they would actually speak, like how Orsola spoke in Italian at one point. As while there have been a few hints here and there it was almost as if for some reason that every character could somehow speak Japanese and would only speak in it.
The humour in this episode was also one of my favourite parts about it, with a fair bit of it coming from little things like Index’s passport. Which despite how she had traveled all around the world memorising grimoires, remained stamp-less, possessing not even a stamp for how she got into Japan in the first place. And if that wasn’t enough her name on it was Index Librorum Prohibitorum, something that would have gotten some odd looks, and how Touma was shown packing multiple copies of the same shirt he always wears into his suitcase. While there was some fanservice in this episode it seemed to work out pretty well in itself, allowing us to see just what was going on in Touma’s head as he was placed in the middle of two rooms while running water and humming could be heard all around him, the funniest part about it though was that he actually realised that something like knocking would have avoided it entirely.
It was also great to see some of the characters from the first arc of the second season return, and with a few more to return in the next episode it almost makes this arc a sequel to that one in the same way that the Remnant Arc was for the Sisters Arc. Starting with Orsola returning to help the clueless Touma out of the situation he was in, in a way like how he had helped her at first, before they went on to join up with the Amakusa. Which led to us seeing Itsuwa again who appeared to have taken quite the liking to him, while the others both helped her in her advances and saw him with fear and respect for the things he had went through. What seemed to top it off though was Agnese’s appearance on the boat, and whether it fits in with Touma’s words to Kaori by reversing her role as the damsel in distress from the antagonist is something that I’m interested in seeing.
While I was kind of disappointed that there wasn’t a new opening theme for this episode, at the same time I was relieved to see a new ending theme once again by Maon Kurosaki. Which in itself is pretty nice in how the animation features what can be considered an ordinary day in Index’s life when Touma is at school, aside from that it also provides a chance to show off Touma’s winter uniform before he changes into it for the final arc of this season. Not to mention that the song itself has a nice beat to it, in all I kind of prefer it over Magic∞world. However at the same time I’m sort of disappointed by how there wasn’t a new opening theme for this episode, primarily because the one we have now is completely obsolete aside from how it shows off the characters that will be returning from the first arc. Odds are that when it is included it will even contain things from this arc, which by then will also be obsolete.