Having survived the explosion, Touma manages to avoid Accelerator’s next attack and counters with a punch with his right hand. Realizing that he can keep doing this, Touma finds ways to continue pounding Accelerator with that hand until Accelerator uses his own power to manipulate the air into a powerful projectile attack. It is at this point that Mikoto shows up, and even though Touma doesn’t want her to get involved, she apologizes and wants him to live. Mikoto prepares to fire her railgun, but she pauses when she realizes that Accelerator is creating a plasma attack by controlling the direction of the wind and collecting it in one place. She figures out that she can counter this by controlling the wind, and the way to do it lies in all the Misakas. With the desire to protect Touma’s dream, Mikoto wakes up the Misaka who was knocked out while fighting Accelerator earlier, and she gets the Misakas across the city to change the direction of the wind by controlling all the wind turbines. This prevents Accelerator from finishing forming his attack, and when he approaches Mikoto and Misaka, Touma stops him. Accelerator tries to make one final lunge at Touma, but Touma dodges it and delivers the knock-out punch.
Touma loses consciousness soon after, and when he wakes back up, he’s in the hospital again. He’s being watched over by Misaka, and she’s holding his hand at her chest so that she can measure his brain waves and heart rate. She explains that although the experiment has been called off, there is still the problem of the bodies of all the clones. They have shortened lifespans due to their earlier rapid growth, and so they have to be taken to a research facility for some adjustments. Misaka promises that they’ll see each other again soon before leaving his room. Later that day, Touma wakes up to find Mikoto in his hospital room, and she’s brought him some cookies. After she finds out that Misaka had come by and what Misaka had revealed, Mikoto turns to leave, but Touma tells her that she should be proud that the Sisters were born based on her DNA map. And even though so many were killed, he knows that the Sisters don’t bear a grudge against Mikoto because if they hadn’t been born, then they wouldn’t have been able to feel happiness or sadness. Touma feels that it’s okay for Mikoto to smile and points out that the ones Mikoto wanted to protect aren’t the kind to satisfy themselves by forcing their pain on others.
Sometime after Mikoto leaves, Index finally arrives at the hospital room and bites Touma on the head. She had been worried about him and doesn’t want him always dealing with problems on his own. When she finally asks him what he was fighting for this time, he pauses for a moment before answering that it was for himself.
Now that I think about it, I really can’t believe that Accelerator lost that fight. For someone who’s been through so many battles, you’d think he’d have better instincts than to fight Touma at close range where Touma has a small but distinct advantage. That entire plasma thing was a waste of time too when a quicker and less elaborate solution – such as continuing to throw steel rails from a distance – would have been much more effective. That is, of course, assuming that Touma doesn’t continue to magically live through the onslaught like he did in episode 13. In any case, I’m kind of amazed that Touma won that battle and am curious what happens to Accelerator now. He’s not exactly dead, and his powers are still there, so you’d think he’d be back with a vengeance.
Despite all that though, I still enjoyed the episode and the story arc in general. The pacing was a lot better than the previous arcs, and they seemed to cut down on the unnecessarily long exposition. I like Mikoto as a support character too (more so than say, Himegami) and hope she sticks around in the story. It looks like she will if the preview is any indicator. The main problem I have with the series now isn’t with the series itself but with the first channel that airs it, AT-X. AT-X’s broadcast quality is subpar, so I’ll probably stick with the Saturday airings on MBS and CTC unless there turns out to be some really exciting episode that I have to see a little early.