Uiharu has gotten sick recently, and while going to deliver some medicine, Saten runs into Mikoto and Kuroko. All three of them go to visit their sick friend, and Uiharu ends up asking about if there’s been any progress on the graviton case. The mystery still is how a Level 2 was able to use Level 4 powers, and Mikoto is reminded of how Saten told her about the Level Upper. Since Saten doesn’t know the exact details of it, they refer to a related BBS, and Mikoto and Kuroko go to investigate a gathering spot to learn more about it. While those two are gone, Saten takes care of Uiharu and wonders what would happen if she herself used the Level Upper. She laments her own lack of power, especially compared to her friends, and while Uiharu can relate to that, she reminds Saten of how much fun they all have together.
Mikoto and Kuroko meanwhile arrive at the restaurant gathering spot, and Mikoto pretends to be an innocent girl who wants to learn about the Level Upper. Her act attracts the attention of a group of thugs, and they take her to a back alley to take advantage of her. Mikoto finds herself with no choice but to fry all of them with her electricity, and she’s then faced with the female leader of the group. This new girl has the ability to control the viscosity of asphalt, but it’s still no match for Mikoto’s ability. Unfortunately, not only does Mikoto not learn anything useful, but she also realizes too late that she unleashed a huge blast right next door to a power station, and it took out power across the city. The next day, Kuroko alerts Mikoto to how the culprit from the previous case has suddenly lost consciousness, and the baffled hospital doctors have brought in an outside specialist: Kiyama Harumi. Back in her own apartment, Saten is still trying to find the Level Upper and stumbles upon a hidden link pointing to it.
This wasn’t a bad episode by any means, but the main question on my mind after seeing it was why Touma was completely taken out. As those of you who have read the manga might remember, Touma was supposed to appear and end up facing Mikoto’s wrath in a bridge scene that mirrors the one in the very beginning of Index. I always really appreciated that as a sign of how the two series are connected and parallel, but unless they’ve decided to move it to later (which would feel awkward given the potential need to repeat the circumstances and blackout aftermath), it looks like that connection might be gone. Instead we had here a random girl who made for a decent fight, but that scene didn’t carry anywhere near the same weight as the Touma one would have.
On a different note, I also found it odd that Judgment didn’t have more smart people working on the level mismatch problem in the graviton case. It seems like the kind of thing that would raise a lot of red flags, and surely someone else in Judgment or Anti-Skills has heard of the Level Upper urban legend and put two and two together. And yet here we are, and it’s always Uiharu, Saten, Kuroko, or Mikoto in the lead. It’s not a bad thing because obviously they’re the main characters, and it’s fun to watch them in action, as Mikoto’s innocent act and Kuroko’s reaction this episode clearly showed, but it still bothers me a bit. Oh well… On the plus side, the story is really getting going now, and it looks like next episode should have a lot of Saten and Kuroko.