Friday, February 21, 2014

Reaction: Toaru Majutsu no Index New Testament – Volume 9

Because the full picture would have made you cry!

Yep, reaction. Not spotlight.

See, if it were a Spotlight I’d have to ease you into it, by giving you background and all that useless stuff. Reaction is, as the name implies, just my reaction.

You can say this post is not friendly to people not already familiar with the material.

Now, as we all know ever since Index entered New Testament, things haven’t been going all that well for Touma. Guy has been accumulating a bit too many loses and the bad guys have been achieving their goals… ah, screw it! This volume was awesome.

The entire volume is Touma vs Othinus.

Not a full on brawl, but rather a battle of wills (of course there is a brawl too). This was not the standard Index volume. This was Man vs God, and Kamachi came up with one hell of a way to portray it!

Othinus putting Touma through an endless number of alternate worlds to make him suffer showed just how beyond him she was. Touma going through all that without breaking showed his immense strength of will.
As far as ways of portraying fights where the protagonist is vastly weaker than his foe yet perseveres go this was kind of perfect.

Othinus could have killed Touma at any time, but she needs him. She needs the Image Breaker. She wants Touma to break. The only thing left for Touma to do is not give up. The only thing he can do is not defeat her but convince her to change his mind.

A human praying to a god. Figures that Touma’s way of praying would involve punching.

Now all this is not to say the fight wasn’t epic, because it was. Seriously, Touma’s devotion to speech making is something else. Deliver few words. Go through endless hell. Continue speech where he left it.

That’s kind of amazing. 

Create vs Break

More than that, Touma’s character really developed here. Touma’s a reactive guy most of the time. He runs into trouble and he fixes it. He likes to help people. Here the person who needed help was himself. Othinus cruelly uses his own character against him by showing him a world where everyone is happy.

That’s a kick in the balls. Just think about it. Usually when the guy goes “I wish I had never been born” he gets shown a crap world, because he’s not there. Here we have “Yep, I fixed everything better than you did. Have fun being irrelevant and die.”

I mean damn.

This is why Touma’s decision to finally fight for his own happiness is so important. He’s not a perfect guy, you know? Being self-sacrificing for everyone’s happiness is fine and all, but in the words of Yamada Raizo “what’s the use of Everyone if you are not part of that everyone”?

Thunder should have been a poet but I digress.

Touma has taken a step. I’m not sure if it is forward or sideways, but it’s a step all the same. He raised his fist for his own sake and his own happiness.

Should be interesting to see how that trait shows in later volumes, especially given his decision at the end of the volume.

I am immensely hopeful for the sequel. It was not something I expected, but I am not complaining.

For the smile of a girl you should hate, fight against the World!

Touma/Othinus FTW!!!             

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