To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S – 06

Misaka Mikoto, Accelerator

Mikoto attacks the boy who killed MISAKA 9982, but he is able to neutralize all of her esper powers. An army of MISAKA clones arrives and stops the fight, and the boy introduces himself as Accelerator. Mikoto spends the night on a bench, and Shinobu approaches her. She tells her that she’s come to see the MISAKA clones as human, but can’t do anything about stopping the Level 6 Shift project. Mikoto vows that she won’t let the scientists involved get away with it. She takes her friends to a cafe to apologize for worrying them, but doesn’t tell them what she was up to.

When she was a little girl, Mikoto was told her DNA map could help in the fight against muscular distropy. She was lied to, but was too young and too inexperienced with deception to realize it. Even if she shouldn’t blame herself for what followed…she does. And in her typical hard-headed Misaka way, she’s committed to cleaning up the mess she started, and doing so alone. Neither a swift ass-kicking by Accelerator nor the complete willingness of the MISAKA clones to sacrifice themselves for the experiment will deter her.

Nunotaba Shinobu, MISAKA Clone

We liked Shinobu showing up again, telling her the story of when she stopped thinking of the clones as mere guinea pigs. You see, all of the MISAKAs are linked together in a vast network of shared memories and experiences, which would be passed on to all new MISAKA clones. In effect, this makes her immortal, but at the same time, the price is her being murdered over and over, thousands of times. As Shinobu says, “Life is life,” whether its guinea pigs, humans, or the clones of humans who have amassed lifetimes worth of knowledge.

That scene, in which MISAKA seemed to express an emotional response to seeing the sky for the first time, is as sad as it is beautiful, since we can be reasonably certain that individual MISAKA is long dead. But she, and all her sisters are still in the heads of those who survive. The last MISAKA there is will have the personalities of all who proceeded her. But despite these metaphysical considerations, Mikoto won’t accept their slaughter. Shinobu may not have the power to stop the project, but Mikoto just might.

Rating: 8 

Stray Observations:

  • Apparently Shinobu’s a fan of randomly inserting English into her speech.
  • The series so far has focused on Mikoto – a good thing – but also known exactly where and when to use Kuroko, Saten, and Uiharu. They’ve been used sparingly but effectively.
  • We loved Saten’s promise that they’ll be there for her, if she ever needs help with whatever she’s dealing with.
  • This week they finally rolled out the “Misaka surrounded by naked bloody clones of herself” image, via her nightmare.
  • We’ll see how long Mikoto will last going it alone before her friends start to get involved.

Usagi Drop 5

“Am I raising Rin or is she raising me?” So asks Daikichi, in the midst of Rin, who seems wise beyond her years. The answer of course, is both. This week he decides to adopt her, which would give Rin his surname, avoiding teasing at school. But Rin declines. She doesn’t want a new name or a new father, she wants “Daikichi.”

It was her mother Misaka’s idea. Daikichi finally meets up with her in a restaurant – in a scene where cell phone lag echo is used for a little extra suspense. She is indeed quite young; her early twenties tops. She’s beautiful like Rin, but a little spacy, but logical, and fiddles with her hair constantly as she talks. She’s also ultimately selfish; having given up Rin so she could further a manga-drawing career. Unlike Daikichi, who put the welfare of his six-year-old aunt’s above that of his career.

She also went out late at night when Rin was a baby. Daikichi believes this is the cause of Rin’s nightmares and bed-wetting. Learning this upsets Misaka, and rightly so. But even if she no longer considers herself a mother, Rin will have a family, and will be loved, no matter what her name is. That’s all that matters. Really heartwarming episode.

Rating: 4

To Aru Majutsu no Index II 7

For the second straight week, Index II outdoes itself. This episode is a veritable smorgasbord of shattered glass, wood, bullets, and electricity, of course. starts with a vicious follow-up battle between Shirai and Awaki, in which they both kick the shit out of each other. Awaki even pulls out a gun an shoots Shirai, who’s already had a restaurant full of furniture dropped on her. Shirai’s seemingly superhuman endurance is stretched to the limit of credulity, but more important than how she’s still going is why she’s still going.

That reason is the same reason Touma and Misaka come to Shirai’s aid: love for and unwavering devotion to one’s friends. In the case of MISAKA, the one who warns Touma (who then warns Misaka when he bumps into her) she is acting to protect her original. The most important thing to MISAKA is Misaka, so in her own un-emotive way, she’s a friend too. Same with Last Order. She either pokes Accelerator to dispatch Awaki (who is easy pickins’ once he intercepts her) or he does it on his own, for the Misaka mini-me: It would seem the troubled gent has taken a shine to her.

As I said, the action hardly ever quits, with just about everyone (save Index, which is okay) running all over the place and heavily involved. The Tree Diagram remnant Awaki stole is busted to pieces by Accel, so this two-episode dilemma is wrapped up convincingly. Touma has shown he will protect not only people he cares about, but the people they care about as well (e.g. Shirai, whom he barely knows). Despite all the wounds and trauma she endured, it’s clear Shirai would do it all again in a heartbeat. More importantly, Misaka needs to get used to the fact that her friends won’t let her fight alone. Rating: 4