Recap: Mikoto is out of ideas and begins desperately destroying more facilities. Touma accidentally discovers the brutality of the Level 6 project.
Jel’s Thoughts: For a franchise that can be very big and dumb and silly, there’s a limit to how serious I can take the Index/Railgun universe. This was far and away the series’ most concerted effort to appeal to your emotions and they may have finally crossed that line. Some scenes did end up very effective, particularly Mikoto witnessing the brutal murder of 10031. It made for a powerful turning point in her story, pushing her to the next level of desperation. But overall there were a lot of presentation choices like dipping into full orchestra background music and cinematic style directing that just seemed oddly out of place. It’s not they were wrong to use given the circumstances, but for this particular series it felt very strange to be asked to dig that deep into the emotional well.
Without question though the worst part of the episode is another flashback to Accelerator’s early days with the project. I keep saying this every time it happens, but it keeps getting worse: STOP TRYING TO MAKE US SYMPATHIZE WITH HIM. Showing his sadistic brutality in one scene and then trying to explain it away a few scenes later is just mind boggling. What’s worse is it doesn’t work at all, especially this episode when we’re expected to believe Accelerator’s descent into serial killer-hood practically started by accident. Of course he just thinks the clones are blobs of SCIENCE, that’s what the hilariously evil scientist man told him they were! I know they need to push him as their anti-hero or whatever, but do that later. Even in the original Index Sisters arc he was always depicted as an irredeemable monster. It made it that much more satisfying when Touma finally got to imagine break his face. I feel like I keep repeating myself on this topic, but this episode was by far the worst example.
The other issue I have is we as the audience have already established time and again that killing the clones is wrong. While it may have been necessary to push Mikoto to the next level, we do not need further convincing. I understand that is the emotional crux of this entire story arc, but I think it’s been established well enough to finish the job. Honestly had they cut out the Accelerator bits over the last couple of episodes, we probably could have wrapped up this part of the story by now.
Basically this arc is starting to overstay its welcome, and now that the plot has pretty aligned itself with Index I think its time to wrap this up and move on. I will again mention they’ve done a good job getting Touma involved with the story and his discovery of 10031’s body had a lot more impact here than in Index. But the fact that I just mentioned that last week is probably telling. Let’s just get this thing done.
Zigg’s Thoughts: Mostly just going to back up Jel here. This is a competently written and decently executed episode that doesn’t really have a reason to exist. The one major plot machination that gets sorted out here is that Touma discovers the existence of the project. It’s a nicely handled scene that again plays well with the hive mind mentality of the MISAKAs but it doesn’t really add a lot. Otherwise this is mostly padding, including the seriously dumb Accelerator bits. There’s also Mikoto’s anguished attack on the facility, which actually manages to be surprisingly effective in communicating her cold fury but then goes on a little bit too long and borders on being drama for the sake of drama.
I think the real issue here is that we’re simply dragging everything out for too long, especially considering we’re now well into material that I’ve already seen in Index. Like I said, this is not a bad episode, but it feels flabby and needlessly inflated for time. There’s been some quality storytelling in this arc but it’s on the verge of outstaying its welcome, so I do hope we pick up and get to the punch quickly.