Not only are Mikoto’s attacks against the fetus ineffective, it also starts to grow in size. She’s eventually forced to run from it, and it turns its attention elsewhere, continuing to grow as the Anti-Skills open fire on it. Kiyama meanwhile has regained consciousness, and after seeing what’s going on, she feels that the network is out of her hands and that she won’t be able to save those children. Uiharu, however, tells her not to give up, so Kiyama explains to the girls that they’re up against what she calls an AIM Burst where 10,000 people’s AIM dispersion fields acted as catalysts to create this subconscious monster. With Uiharu placing her faith in Kiyama, the scientist reveals that they can stop the monster by destroying the network, and Uiharu realizes that they can use the Level Upper treatment program. She thus heads to the Anti-Skills truck while Mikoto fights to keep the monster busy.
With the Anti-Skills help, Uiharu has the music file of the treatment program broadcast all over Academy City. The first noticeable effect Mikoto sees is that it stops the monster’s regeneration, so she proceeds to fry it with her electricity. To her surprise, it gets back up, and Kiyama instructs Mikoto to look for the monster’s core. At the same time, Mikoto starts to hear the voices of the 10,000, including Saten’s. After getting Kiyama to back off, Mikoto first uses her electricity to burn the monster, and she then finishes it off with a railgun blast that destroys the core. In the aftermath, Kiyama is taken into custody by the Anti-Skills, but she tells Mikoto and Uiharu that she’s not giving up on the children. Kuroko also arrives and reveals that the Level Upper users have all woken back up, so Uiharu heads to the hospital and finds Saten on the rooftop. Seeing Uiharu’s injuries, Saten apologizes and has realized that she was on the verge of losing something more important than an ability, but she proves that she’s okay now by lifting Uiharu’s skirt again.
And here I thought last week’s episode was good – this was one was even better. It almost goes without saying that the battle scenes were awesome, but you’d think that in such an action heavy conclusion episode, there wouldn’t have been as much emotion as in the Kiyama’s background story from last week. It was definitely there though: I loved how Mikoto spoke to Saten and the others in the monster right before she fired at its core, and then the slow, English version of the ED, SMILE -You & Me-, playing over the final scene made for a great end to the episode and to the story arc. The song made this feel like it could have been a series finale, and it was perfect for the Saten and Uiharu moment. I’ve even gotten it stuck in my head now.
Having said all that, I did think that using the opening song during the final part of the battle created a bit of sensory overload (in a bad way), but I guess it worked to give that battle and the episode as a whole that special feel. Their explanation for how the monster came to be also tested the limits of believability, but I think that’s partly because the whole concept of AIM dispersion fields is still kind of like voodoo to me. In any case, I’m curious now about Oohara Sayaka‘s new character since she appeared briefly after the battle. The kind of camera focus they put on her seems to imply that she’ll play a significant part in the episodes to come. Next week appears to be a swimsuit episode though, so I’m not expecting too much right away.