WOW. JUST WOW. JC staff has really outdone themselves with this ep. Despite the fact everything we are seeing has been done before, the more personal presentation ive been praising about over and over reaches an emotional state neither Index nor Railgun has ever managed to reach.
Well it’s finally reaching the climax to the Sister’s Arc. Touma has now learned about the Level 6 Shift Project and Misaka’s terrorist actions throughout Academy City. Misaka has reached the conclusion that having Accelerator kill her will throw off the calculations for the entire experiment, thus freeing the sisters. And with her current mindset, she’s not about to forgive anyone that gets in her way. But Touma isn’t about to let her die, as he takes several fatal shots from Misaka before suggesting his solution to it all: beating Accelerator himself.
It’s at this point where the personal relationship between Misaka and Touma fully develops, and this is a much more appropriate set-up than in Index. This was the point where Misaka had literally no more options, and also mentally unstable. Witnessing countless deaths, a humiliating loss, and constant obstacles led to a gradual sense of dread that clearly needed more focus. On the other hand, Touma was undeniably an outsider, getting involved in this whole mess by sheer chance. So by focusing more on Misaka’s side while simply adding in Touma’s involvement, we got a more complex backstory and deeper understanding of the overall situation.
The direction this takes shows stark contrast even in similar events. In Index, Misaka solely showed a hard exterior that predictably crumbled after Touma takes a few hits and spouted his ideals. Here, they add in several inner monologues and facial expressions that emphasize the impact of having Touma at her side. Even Touma comes off as less idealistic by opting for honest feelings of friendship with Misaka, which is helped by the fact that we see more interaction between the two than in Index. This along with the pacing and an AMAZING performance by Misaka’s VA(Satou Rina) led to an emotionally moving scene that is extremely rare in anime, especially this series.
The next ep will get to the final battle between Touma and Accelerator. I’m kind of worried that this will make it fully centered on Touma, which is bad considering this spin-off is focused on Misaka. However, considering she mostly stays on the sidelines during that fight, solely focusing on her might get boring. It’ll be difficult to pull off, but I hope they can pull it off on both sides.