Released early this year and finally available in Blu-ray, viewers might be quite divided with Endymion no Kiseki, depending on what they are looking for in a movie featuring the cast of A Certain Magical Index.
The events of the movie occur after those of the second Index anime series, and like most movie adaptations, this could be considered a standalone film. However, keeping up-to-date with the anime prior to watching the movie would be beneficial to the user as the movie doesn’t spend all that much time re-introducing the characters and their relations, so it isn’t a show I’d recommend to those new to the Index series.
Kamijou Touma is the unlucky lead protagonist of the show, accompanied by the ever-hungry Index and her biting tendencies. The movie introduces a new character, Arisa, a level-0 singer who is pursued by multiple organisations for reasons unknown.
Not that the plot actually matters, because it’s in complete shambles when you reach the end. Many elements of the story felt hastily stitched together, with little to no coherence linking one part to the next. Parts of the show use CG-styled concerts (reminiscent of Macross Frontier), which could be pretty distracting whenever there is a stark contrast between the character designs of the CG and anime.
For the sake of fanservice, to allow as many characters to appear as possible (mostly as a cameo with a few lines of dialogue), certain events that have absolutely no impact on the final outcome were introduced. Take for instance the saint Kanzaki Kaori, who could now magically breathe in space, perform ranged sword skills and fall back towards Earth under zero-gravity conditions. Just…because she’s a saint (if you seen how she normally is during the anime series, this would feel like a very convenient “Because I’m Batman” excuse).
Or when Accelerator, Mikoto and Stiyl worked together (unknowingly) to destroy the pillar supporting Endymion (to the delight of fans), it turned out that that was entirely unnecessary. Not to mention the incredibly lazy manner in which the 2nd magical bot was instantly burnt off by Stiyl without so much as putting up her fists. Also, the miracles deus ex machina.
The ending would likely disappoint many viewers, but considering you’d be either disappointed there or with the entire movie, there is little difference.
That isn’t to say there isn’t anything to like about the movie though. The animation is gorgeous, and most of the characters have ample screen time to show off their skills in their full splendor. In terms of adding a good new canon to the Index franchise Endymion no Kiseki is not, but if taken for the action sequences and expansion to the Index universe, as well as seeing all your favorite characters all participating in something together, then it elevates itself from mediocrity.