To Aru Kagaku no Railgun – 10
While Saten and her friends are off enjoying their newly developed powers, Kuroko and Uiharu have their hands full dealing with all the other people who have used the Level Upper. Uiharu has been in contact with Kiyama Harumi, and she passes along the idea put forth by Kuroko and Mikoto that synesthesia is how the Level Upper works. While on her way to meet the scientist, Uiharu gets a phone call from Saten who is in shock after one of her friends had suddenly collapsed while using her powers. Saten confesses everything that she did with the Level Upper, and she blames herself for everything that’s happened. Hearing the shock and fear in her friend’s voice, Uiharu reassures her that things will be okay and that she personally will wake her up if something happens. Uiharu feels that, with or without an ability, Saten is still Saten and her friend. All of this makes Saten feel better, but by the time Uiharu arrives at her apartment, Saten is unconscious.
Uiharu ends up taking Saten to the hospital and leaving Mikoto and Kuroko to watch over their friend while she personally goes to see Kiyama. Mikoto in particular feels guilty about not being able to respond correctly during her last talk with Saten, and she wants to help out in the Level Upper investigation. By chance, the two are approached by the frog-faced Heaven Canceler who has noticed that there’s been a common brainwave pattern in all the Level Upper victims so far, and he thinks this is what’s affecting them. Based on this, Kuroko and Mikoto return to their Judgment office and get Konori Mii’s help in searching the data banks for a match. In the process, they theorize that the Level Upper actually connects ability users in a sort of brain network, and joining such a network brings an improvement in performance. Their database search eventually gives them a hit too: Kiyama Harumi. At that very moment, Uiharu is in Kiyama’s office and notices a bunch of research on synesthesia even though the scientist had earlier claimed to have overlooked the subject. When Kiyama finds Uiharu snooping, she handcuffs her and takes her somewhere in her car.
I’m a bit apathetic about this episode. It was interesting to see what Saten’s special ability was – it appears to be wind control of some sort – but that was very brief, and she was soon panicking. The then theoretically touching scene between her and Uiharu didn’t really do anything for me. I mean, I could tell they were going for that emotional punch, and I can’t really say that they did anything poorly, so maybe I just wasn’t as invested enough in their characters to care that much (and this is after I thought they did a good job developing Saten’s character last episode).
The later segment where the girls theorized the scientific workings of the Level Upper went a little too long as well, reminding me a lot of the kinds of complex discussions and explanations that seemed all too common in Index, and I don’t consider that a good thing. It still only sort of makes sense to me how the Level Upper works, but at least now the real antagonist has been introduced (or so I assume), and things are starting to heat up. Come to think of it, the preview was probably the only thing this episode that got a significant reaction out of me, and I’m very interested in seeing what Kiyama can do.