A Certain Scientific Accelerator
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 4 of
A Certain Scientific Accelerator ?
What's even worse for a villain group than provoking the hero to go all-out against them? Ticking off their boss enough that they are considered expendable. Villain groups who get in that situation tend to find things going badly for them very quickly, and that looks like the road that DA (which we now know stands for “Disciplinary Action”) is going down. After all, they not only have Accelerator, Esther, and her undead ally against them, and their underground dealings exposed to Anti-Skill in an untimely fashion, but the governing board member who had been using them just sent a new kill squad against them. They're well-equipped and extremely determined, but I do not like their chances.
This episode also finally lays bare the exact nature of DA. They are extremists, actual Anti-Skill members who have gone off the deep end into their own warped definition of “justice.” No surprise there, given their aesthetic and choice of equipment. Unlike most other groups operating in the setting of Academy City, they do not seem to have any real goals beyond their ideological purity. While that makes them less compelling in terms of purpose, it also makes them more difficult to deal with. The next episode is titled after them, but I have to think that's going to be their final stand, especially since the one guy seizing one of the Misaka clones is only going to rile up Accelerator more.
There's lots of other stuff going on as well. The former Hasami is now calling herself Rosenthal Third Number Huotou and referring to Esther by a Hebrew name for God; Esther even calls her a “person.” So this is an artificial spirit utilizing a corpse, I guess? The way it seems to operate is rather interesting, and that offsets the lame excuse for this new group of hunters that's been taken out of cryosleep or whatever. Seriously, does this world need yet another group of underaged mercenary killers? At least the DA guys are actual adults. (And that does raise an interesting point: there are no female members of DA, when Anti-Skill and related groups have been shown to have significant female memberships?) I am dubious that the series can do anything fresh with that lot, but we'll see. As for Nakimoto and his “subway train that never stops,” I have to question the wisdom of that choice. There are too many different (and relatively easy) ways that it could be stopped if someone with ill intent finds out about it.
That brings up this episode's guest appearance: Uihara and Saten from the Railgun branch randomly pop up just to set the context for the urban legend about the subway train. It doesn't look like they're getting directly involved with these events, but I have always liked them as supporting cast members, so their cameo is welcome. And is Accelerator's seemingly-urgent need to be seen as a villain starting to wear thin? The guy should just give up and admit that he's not a bad guy anymore, though Index III showed that such a development is not going to happen in this series. Still, it contributes to an episode that is generally solid but nothing special.
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