A Certain Scientific Accelerator
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 5 of
A Certain Scientific Accelerator ?
For an episode that has at least a little of nearly everything that the franchise embodies, it doesn't actually accomplish much beyond setting up the protagonist to return to the fray.
Of course, that's still pretty important. Accelerator was in bad shape at the end of last episode, and this week only further emphasizes how incapacitated he's become without that little stimulator box on the side of his neck. (On the other hand, his current condition is also what keeps him from being too overpowered as a protagonist.) Allowing him to recuperate with Last Order's help opens the door for others to get in on the action as well. Esther and her helper arrive on the scene, and the cleaner squad also eventually gets involved, but for half or more of the episode, this is a battle between the outnumbered DA and the ultimately outgunned Anti-Skill.
As nice as it is to see adults fighting adults for a change in this franchise, the Anti-Skill/DA battle raises a whole host of issues. It starts out fine, with a good sense of tactical organization on Anti-Skill's part, but it quickly devolves into a boring exchange of heavy small arms fire. Why Yomikawa and certain other named Anti-Skill members are not wearing helmets like everyone else on their team makes a certain amount of storytelling sense (they need to distinguish themselves from the disposable characters) but no real practical sense, making it an incongruous detail. Why DA waited so long to pull out their ridiculously-powerful trump card also works for dramatic buildup but makes little sense; bringing that piece of hardware up to crush the Anti-Skill line right from the start would have saved them a lot of trouble. I also found Yomikawa's leap up to the level where the DA guys were carrying away 10046 to be beyond credibility; even if she's in great shape and had a boost, that jump was well beyond human abilities. On the plus side, she does get to show off at least as much as she ever has before, getting in some respectable action in the process. The tank also has some nasty new toys that inflict violent enough damage for censoring to be involved. However, if something is making that much of a mess, why don't we see evidence of it in other shots of the battlefield?
The group of cleaner girls is also still failing to impress me, even though the powers some of them have are no joke. If there is such a thing as “ordinary” for preteen sociopaths, these girls fit the bill, though I do have to wonder about the plush-like exoskeleton that looks like it has an erect penis and contains a girl who's just barely covered decently. That seems far too open to all sorts of unsavory interpretations.) Since Accelerator is now heading to the scene, more conflict seems imminent, so perhaps they will get more interesting later on.
The visuals were struggling at times to keep up with what the series' animation goals, but the music throughout was seriously nailing it, and the series still finds unobtrusive ways to work in Last Order, making for a decent episode overall.
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