English Dub Review: A Certain Scientific Accelerator “Numbers (Charms of the Four Perils)”

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

Accelerator takes Esther to a DA warehouse, where they find the disposed of corpses of the minions they fought last time, as well as a giant robot Esther identifies as “Qiong qi”, and the voice that comes out of it as Mikihiko Hishigata. The two of them had worked on Qiong qi and she had taught DA about her brand of necromancy, which Hishigata is more than happy to remind her responsibility in. Accelerator tries fighting him, but the Qiong qi evades his attacks and makes a retreat, so the two head back to Accelerator’s hospital room. There, Esther meets Last Order, though she keeps quiet about her real business. This makes Last Order suspicious, but she warms up to Esther pretty quickly once they have lunch together.

Accelerator pesters Yoshikawa for info about DA, but while she can’t come up with anything, she plans to look into it. Heaven Canceller finds the symbol found in the mouth of Hasami’s corpse, which Esther notes as a low-level spiritual charm. She and Accelerator look over the body and try dispelling the false soul that Esther’s necromancy had placed in it. Doing so reveals a projection of Hasami’s brain, but Accelerator touches it and is flooded with Hasami’s memories, including her disappointment with her low-level abilities that drove her to suicide and her death at the hands of DA. But before they can mull this over, more DA agents come to dispose of the evidence, and Hasami’s body opens its eyes.

OUR TAKE

This episode sheds a bit more light on Esther’s personality, involvement with DA, and how her powers work. As a Necromancer, she’s definitely a type of sorcerer, meaning that this show with “Scientific” in the title is a bit misleading, but it’ll be interesting seeing how Accelerator (who’s been completely on the scientific side of Academy City up until this point in the timeline) will view all of this. Esper powers are already pretty supernatural, so he already has some sort of rationalizations for why the heck this blonde girl is talking about “false souls” and “spiritual charms” while summoning glowing circles and floating brains, but it’s also a bit of a shame that he can’t canonically just have an epiphany about magic by the end of this.

Regarding Esther, she seems to have a mild case of the “Born Sexy Yesterday”, though while it seems she isn’t a chronological infant in the body of a full-grown girl (like most of the Misaka Clones, actually), she does have a few eyebrow-raising moments that point to her not having had much experience in the outside world, like when she has no idea what any of the stuff on the menu is or rather casually standing around in her underwear so we can have the typical “male lead walks in on hot girl changing scene” to keep the audience from getting bored. I guess it’s kind of expected with this franchise and it’s not as repetitive as it is when it happens to Toma, but the more I see it, the more I feel like studios should be better than that by now.

DA also continues to be pretty enigmatic for the time being, with their grand plan involving the captured Espers still a mystery, though they do have this giant dog robot so that’s bound to accomplish something. We also get a look at Hasami’s memories, which further elaborate at consistent anxiety that many characters with low level or no powers at all share, which is determining their worth by the ability level they’re given. This is more prominent in the Railgun spin-off than in Index (at least for now), but it’s more pronounced in the “Scientific” stories that Academy City basically treats these levels as a social hierarchy, meaning that if you’re sometimes seen as lesser than if you’re a Level 1 or 2, and pretty much ignored if you’ve got no powers at all (unless you’re in Anti-Skill). Considering this specific series stars the most powerful Level 5 and seems to be diving more into magic than Espers, we might not see this touched on again, but it’s worth mentioning I think.

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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