To Aru Kagaku no Railgun – 16
With Kurozuma clearly alive, Konori questions why he didn’t get back in touch with her, but he notices her Judgment armband and tells her that he’ll disappear soon. Konori spends the next few days away from the Judgment office, and since Mikoto and the others are curious about her relationship with Kurozuma, they go to her apartment and meet her roommate. This roommate reveals that Konori used to be a member of Big Spider and had felt that she belonged with them. She was really attached to Kurozuma, and as Mikoto learns later when she finally tracks Konori down, he had disappeared one day long ago after walking into what he knew was a trap. This along with how Kurozuma had felt that Konori didn’t truly belong there had led her to where she is now. As Mikoto is confronting Konori, Kurozuma himself appears and explains that he had been hospitalized and then detained until recently.
Kurozuma now intends to shut down the group that he created, and since Konori can’t stop him, she decides to go after him. Mikoto and Kuroko stop her along the way and give her her Judgment armband, and they go with her to the Big Spider hideout. Kuroko disables the gang’s guns and Mikoto blows up the Capacity Down system, but Konori halts them from doing anything further, and she and Kurozuma take care of all the thugs. A desperate Hebitani then reveals that he’s wearing a dynamite belt and tries to justify what he did by saying that this was the only place they belonged and that he had to become Kurozuma to bring Big Spider together. The real Kurozuma, however, brings down Hebitani with two punches, and he notes that the place where you belong is where you can be yourself. In the aftermath which includes the arrival of the Anti-Skills, Kurozuma lets Konori arrest him, and she feels grateful towards him.
This turned out to be a decent episode, but I have a hard time calling it really good. I mean, I think the J.C.Staff crew did everything right here: I liked how they developed Konori’s past with those scenes that emphasized the color red – shades of Schindler’s List perhaps – and I can appreciate how they based the story around the theme of belonging. It was nice too to see Konori actually make good use of her power and get her own action sequence, brief though it may have been. The problem is that the episode left little impact on me, emotional or otherwise, and given the material and what they’ve been able to do in the past, this could have been more powerful. Of course, it probably doesn’t help that my frame of reference is a story arc much longer than this one, but regardless, this wasn’t as strong as I’d hoped. The one thing I did find interesting though that Hebitani was on the phone with someone about the Capacity Down system, and that person is likely related to the plot in the near future.