To Aru Majutsu no Index – 12
「絶対能力 （レベル６）」 (Zettai Nouryoku (Reberu 6))
“Absolute Ability (Level 6)”
Episode at a Glance:
While explaining Schrödinger’s Theory and how it relates to esper abilities, Komoe manages to confuse Index to no end. Elsewhere on a bridge, Mikoto recalls how she was once told that her esper ability could potentially be used to save a lot of handicapped people, unaware that her DNA would later be used to produce experimental clones for the military. As she quietly calls for help, Touma arrives with the Sisters project document that he found in her room, demanding to know what the hell she’s doing. After Touma reads how the Tree Diagram super computer forcasted that it would be possible to evolve Accelerator into a Level 6 by getting him to kill 20,000 of Mikoto’s clones (an alternative to killing 128 of her), Mikoto further reveals that she’s been taking out research facilities in an attempt to stop the experiment and save her sisters. However, she’s unable to take the facilities out as quickly as they resurface and the international law against human cloning seems to be conveniently overlooked in this case. With her unable to kill Accelerator, Mikoto reveals her plans to get quickly killed by him instead, thinking that it will throw off the Tree Diagram’s calculations and put a lot of doubt in the experiment. According to Mikoto, they would be unable to recalculate for the experiment since the satellite super computer was destroyed (…by Index not too long ago) and the whole thing would be put to a halt.
Having heard her plan to save the remaining 10,000 clones by dying, Touma stands in Mikoto’s way to prevent her from throwing her life away, but surprisingly adds that he won’t fight her. Failing to heed her warnings, Touma gets blasted by her railgun attack, but manages to get back up from it. Mikoto on the other hand ignores her inner desire for help, claims she doesn’t deserve to have someone worry about her well-being after she’s gotten 10,000 of her clones killed, and attacks again out of frustration. After sustaining a second attack, Touma refutes that Mikoto’s death won’t save her clones and that she’s not really a bad person, otherwise she would’ve killed him already. Frustrated further, Mikoto sets off an electric explosion which seemingly kills Touma, but is shocked and taken back to tears to see him struggling to get up again. Not too long after, Touma passes out while trying to think of alternatives to ending the experiment.
「一方通行 （アクセラレータ）」 (Ippou Tsuukou (Akuserareeta))
“One-way Street (Accelerator)”
If there’s one series from the Fall season that’s fallen “out of line” with my expectations, it has to be To Aru Majutsu no Index. In terms of production values, it’s definitely up there with J.C. Staff and I’ve Sound working on the visuals and music respectively. (Note: I love I’ve Sound’s music.) However, the recent uneventful Deep Blood arc and the pacing at times tend to leave me wondering what’s going on with the series. Personally, I’m not against dialogue heavy episodes (e.g. I enjoyed Nabari no Ou), but this series seems to take that to a different level at times, making me wonder if J.C. Staff is trying to find opportune moments to burn up overall series time. They do it well enough so that scenes don’t feel drawn out or filler-ish, but when an episode ends, I often look back and realize how little actually happened.
Take this episode for example. A good 80-plus percent of the time was used for the scene between Touma and Mikoto on the bridge, where they “heatedly discussed” the Sisters project. During it all, they managed to keep things interesting with Touma standing in Mikoto’s way and trying to save her life, and her firing a bunch of railgun shots at him for his efforts. Aside from the two of them divulging all the background details needed to establish this arc though, that pretty much sums up this week.
With that said, I did like how Touma stood in to try and save Mikoto’s life by putting his own on the line (chivalry at its best), but I couldn’t help but feel how out of place that move was. As things stand now, I really don’t see those two having a relationship that would constitute something like this happening. In addition, I found it hard to believe that Touma would put himself in this you-have-to-kill-me-first situation when he had no idea that Mikoto secretly wanted someone to help her. Given how rational he was in trying to save her life, he didn’t seem the slightest rational about his own. If the two of them were in a life-or-death situation together first or if Touma had shown some sign that he might like Mikoto in the past, this would’ve worked for me. Unfortunately though, it just didn’t feel like the right time for Touma to be doing this to win Mikoto over.
With the foundation set for this arc, it’ll be interesting to see what Touma decides to do to save Mikoto’s sisters. I imagine that he isn’t thinking about helping Mikoto kill Accelerator, but chances are he’ll be forced to do so given how psychotic the potential Level 6 is. Some other possibilities of putting a stop to the experiment would be giving the scientists a Level 6 in another manner, whether it be with Accelerator or even Mikoto herself (…somehow). Whatever Touma decides to do, it should be fun to watch.
Music-wise, “Ame” (Rain) by Kawada Mami – the second track on the OP single – was used as an insert song and set the mood nicely. As stated above, I love I’ve Sound’s music.
…is still sick with the flu, but the headaches have finally subsided after five days straight.