Unaware of everything that’s going on with Touma, Komoe explains to Index and Himegami how espers acquire powers by separating from the proper reality and obtaining their own reality. Academy City helps with artificially creating this reality and awakening abilities. The fact that there are Level 0s like Touma indicates that there are still rules that are not yet understood, and she suggests that this could be the key to SYSTEM. Along those lines, she claims that if someone with a status greater than humans appears, then this person could understand God’s answers. Touma meanwhile wakes up in Mikoto’s lap, and she’s crying because she’s concerned about him. He responds by telling her that he’s figured out how to stop the experiment: demonstrate to the researchers that their assumption of Accelerator being the strongest is incorrect by defeating him. In addition, it has to be him who defeats Accelerator because he’s the weakest Level 0. Mikoto tries to convince him that this will be impossible, especially given his current condition, but Touma ignores all this and just gets her to tell him where Accelerator is supposed to be. Mikoto has no choice but to point him to the right direction, and although he leaves her behind, she eventually decides not to stand around doing nothing.
By the time Touma arrives at the site, the battle between the clone and Accelerator has already begun. Accelerator is winning and is in the process of kicking the clone while she’s down when Touma finally appears. Remembering all her experiences with Touma, the clone tries to dissuade him from getting involved since she can be simply manufactured, but all Touma cares about is saving her. However, the fight with Accelerator is anything but easy. When Touma tries to throw a punch, Accelerator forces him away and then tosses steel rail after steel rail at him. Touma manages to emerge from this bombardment without any major injuries, and as Accelerator tries to reach for him, Touma slaps Accelerator’s hand away. The Imagine Breaker activates for a brief moment on contact, and this leaves Accelerator momentarily surprised. He responds by unearthing the ground under Touma to toss him away again, but Touma is subsequently fast enough to stay on the run as Accelerator continues the assault. Their fight results in the destruction of a container containing wheat flour, and with all that powder floating through the air, Accelerator decides to set off a dust explosion.
And here I thought that this episode would finish this arc, but Komoe’s speech at the beginning sucked up some time and things were drawn out a bit more, so they were able to end on a good cliffhanger and leave what appears to be the really exciting stuff for next time (more on that in a moment). From this and last week’s episode though, I can definitely see how Mikoto can develop feelings for Touma, however I also have to say that his shounen bravado shtick is getting a bit old. I’d love to see him get completely humiliated at some point and be forced to evolve more as a character. I suspect that’s not going to happen here though since Accelerator has already shown a sign of weakness with his reaction to being touched by Touma’s right hand.
That aside, the fights were still fun to watch, and it’s good to see that the Misaka clones use different tactics against Accelerator. It made me wonder about the possibility in the thousands of battles of them eventually just outwitting him. Outwitting Accelerator is probably what Touma is going to have to do as well if he’s going to win because it doesn’t look like his arm will help much against Accelerator’s power (on the other hand, I guess he’s managed to find a way to use it in all of the previous fights). We’ll have to wait a while to see the conclusion to the battle though because there’s no episode next week due to it being that time of year again. The difference, however, between this and most of the other series taking a break is that there is one channel here – AT-X – that does not appear to be stopping with all the others. AT-X is currently one episode behind the other channels, but it airs new episodes on Thursdays instead of Saturdays. What this means is that the earliest airing of this show will now be on Thursdays, and more specifically, episode 14 will air Thursday, January 8th, 2009.