「学園都市最強能力者 (アクセラレータ)」 (Gakuen Toshi Akuserareeta)
“Academy City Accelerator”
The Index franchise certainly hasn’t had the best of times of late. After a six year period following the release of Railgun II, we finally got a continuation in Index III which turned into arguably the biggest and crudest adaptation hatchet job to date. For even Index fans it was an acquired taste at the best of times, and though the promise of more Railgun and Accelerator here helped salve the wounds, doubt is par the course for the Index universe these days. The good news however is that Accelerator looks set to make up for some of that major missed opportunity, and while first impressions are never a good predictor of future success, it’s hard seeing how this one could seriously screw up.
Much like Railgun, Accelerator falls inside the main Index timeline and deals with events uncovered by the main season. In this case things start off just after Accelerator (Okamoto Nobuhiko) got his bullet to the brain (Index I episode 20) and is recovering in hospital—with a little help from everyone’s favourite chibi Misaka Last Order (Hidaka Rina). If you can remember back that far there should be no surprises here: Last Order is just as adorable and verbal tic repeating as ever, Accelerator is as brooding and uncaring (on the surface, you know exactly what lies underneath), and plenty of the other science side characters look like they never left—at least outside some art updates. The real satisfaction (at least for me) is in the personalities and attitudes at play in this series; given the period of time in which we’re working there’s a lot of the starting opinions and beliefs lost and grown out of during Index II and III, which considering the latter’s implosion makes for some very fun and nostalgic viewing. Sure it may all be relatively simplistic, but you could give me Misaka clone and Last Order banter with Accelerator any day of the week and I will forever be a happy man.
Outside of the return of quintessential Index characters as well is Accelerator’s premise, and for anyone familiar with Railgun there will be no surprises here either. Science-based conspiracies are going to be the name of the game, with the first one this week with our high school trio being more or less an introduction to the greater shenanigans to come. Accelerator, even in his physical state, has a great deal of power, Last Order’s origins and abilities are incredibly useful, and we all know just how many plots and schemes are perpetually at work under the surface of Academy City. May take a while before the primary story rears its esper influenced head, but you can bet on some serious crazy before all is said and done. The science side of the Index franchise after all has never pulled its punches.
It may only be early days, but Accelerator is certainly off on the right foot. Now we just have to see whether it can keep it up.
OP: 「Shadow is the Light」by THE SIXTH LIE