A Certain Scientific Railgun T
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 17 of
A Certain Scientific Railgun T (TV 3) ?
Though the Railgun side of the franchise has stayed more consistently focused on Mikoto than the Index side has stayed on Touma and Index, this season has had a couple of previous episodes where Mikoto was not involved at all. This is another one, and it's all for Kuroko fans. (If such individuals actually exist?)
Of course, Mikoto, at least, has distractions of her own during this time. The time period in the Index timeline that this episode covers – from September 27th through October 5th – also encompasses Mikoto's Penalty Game date with Touma, as well as Vento of the Right's assault on Academy City, which are collectively referred to as the September 30th Incident and the Academy City Invasion Arc; all of this is detailed in episodes 17-23 of A Certain Magical Index II. The events here leave just enough time gap to explain how Kuroko could have also been shadowing Mikoto's “date” (see episode 17 of ACM II), though most other signs of the chaos that followed have been ignored. Only a TV broadcast referring to a “mass unconsciousness” incident, which refers to Vento of the Front's use of her Divine Punishment (see episode 20 of ACM II), stands as testament to that major event.
The events here instead entirely focus on Kuroko (and to a lesser extent Uiharu) working with Shaei Miyama to thwart various accidents predicted by Shaei's Precognition ability. Shaei had despaired that his predictions could not be prevented, but in a very pseudoscience-y twist, it turns out that someone whose power operates in more dimensions than his can interfere in the causal effects of his ability. And since Kuroko's Teleportation operates in 11 dimensions. . . yeah, best not to think too hard about any of this. (We are, after all, talking about a setting where body piercings enable someone to liken themselves to Jesus's crucifixion and thus generate an ability related to that.) The important thing is that they are able to work together to thwart a number of misfortunes, some of which range up to the comical (sorry, Takkun, but you reap what you sow there, man) to the ridiculous (transporting a crocodile through town?).
At first this does not seem to have anything to do with Indian Poker and the Dream Ranker business, but that connection comes in toward the end of the episode. While not directly involved with Shaei's predictions, the big, multiple-event fire in the park links directly back to the scene last episode where the girl injects the ampule at the base of the sakura tree based on something she learned from Indian Poker. While the ampule did, indeed, make the sakura tree bloom out of season, it also made the tree explosively combustible. That indicates that someone out there is using the Indian Poker scheme for insidious purposes, which is hardly surprising; it is a form of mental influencing that might bypass normal defenses since it operates through dreams. That means that even Mikoto, who can inherently deflect Misaki's use of Mental Out, might be susceptible. But the next stage of this are seems to be moving in a more playful direction based on the Next Episode title, so we'll see.
This incident also allows the little-used Mii Kurono to get in on the action just a bit and once again highlights Uiharu's almost terrifyingly good hacking skills. Also, I feel embarrassed to have to acknowledge that I missed the blatant character reference last episode: the Dream Ranker addressed as BLAU who was offering to sell erotic dreams of Mikoto and Misaki was actually Aogami Pierce, one of the “idiot trio” (with Touma and Tsuchimikado) in Touma's class. To my knowledge his esper ability and level have never been revealed, but perhaps it is something conducive to being good at erotic dreams? Or perhaps it's just all an irony that one of Touma's friends is involved.
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