The Summer 2019 Anime Preview Guide
A Certain Scientific Accelerator
How would you rate episode 1 of
A Certain Scientific Accelerator ?
What is this?
How was the first episode?
This spin-off series is akin to A Certain Scientific Railgun: it parallels the main story but is not directly part of it. Its first episode is also set sometime in early September, so it takes place early during the second season of A Certain Magical Index happens; hence you do not need to have seen the most recent season in order to understand the events going on here.
I'll be frank: of the four main protagonists featured in the A Certain Magical Index franchise, Accelerator is easily my least favorite. Even so, I can understand his appeal: a cocky, slightly reformed Bad Boy whose nasty side is tempered by the soft spot that he has developed for Last Order (aka the last – and only underaged – Mikoto clone) and his regrets over having been involved in the Level 6 project. He also has the irrepressibly cute Last Order to play off of and look out for. Hence him getting his own long-running manga spin-off – and that now getting adapted into an anime – is only natural. Based on the first episode, I don't see him losing any of his fanbase here.
The production team involved was some cause for concern, as the director's previous lead outing was the woeful Big Order and person behind the series composition only has limited prior experience with the franchise. However, the end result is a production whose artistry and style points are every bit in line with previous installments in the franchise. Action scenes are crisp and dynamic, with lots of impressive effects and character quirks are portrayed exactly the same; even the franchise's habit of giving characters annoying speech mannerisms (the villain here entirely overuses “radical,” for instance) unfortunately remains intact. The overall production looks at least as impressive as the best episodes of the third season of the main series, and the music by the returning Maiko Iuchi is at least as strong as ever.
In terms of actual plot, whether or not the business with the stolen weapon is actually connected to any greater scheme is unclear, but this seems like an independent effort. The bigger plot will spin off of the necromancer-like girl shown in the episode's epilogue. The episode is also significant for marking what I believe is the first chronological meeting between Yomikawa Aiho and Accelerator. Overall, it's a sharp enough addition to the franchise that it should not disappoint any established fan of the franchise.
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