Thanks to Saten’s pesterings, Uiharu ends up helping her search an abandoned stadium for “Shadow Metal”, a supposed substance that forms when many espers combine their powers. It seems this is all a hoax, but then Saten is apprehended by men in hazmat suits. Misaka and Kuroko teleport over to rescue her…only to find out that it’s just people who clean up the grounds and lockers in case someone wants to take Level 5 esper DNA. Still, Uiharu does try to recreate the site that spawned the rumor, which seems to get the attention of Misaki, who gets her to delete the findings and erase her memories of it.
The next day, after the fireworks display at the end of the first day of the festival, Misaka gets word that 10032 hasn’t returned with Wannai’s gym clothes. She tries to track her down and Spider-Mans around the city, finding footage of her being taken in an ambulance and questioning the EMTs, but then gets led to a hospital where she isn’t at. Things start feeling suspicious, especially when they don’t remember much about where she went. Using her powers, Misaka notices that they actually took her to an underground lot, but they still have no idea what happened. Things get worse when her identity is revealed, catching the attention of the authorities. She soon puts two and two together and realizes that the EMTs have had their memories altered, likely by Misaki. She’s then taken by a teacher to a location full of Misaki’s friends who are tasked with keeping an eye on her. When she tries to get away and talk to Kuroko, Uiharu, and Saten, they’re revealed to have their memories of her erased.
With that scene with the fireworks, this arc has officially made its way past the events of the Index arc covering the same period of time. Going back and re-watching those episodes, it’s pretty amusing knowing what almost world ending antics were happening right outside the city at the same time. Also a bit of a shame that these two arcs didn’t interact a bit more, but then the magic stuff would most likely clash with what was happening in this. Still, I wonder if someone will do like a super-cut of events in both in chronological order. Would be cool!
But it looks like the real menace of the arc, Misaki, is starting to fully reveal her capabilities and ensnaring Misaka very quickly. Having mental manipulation powers is certainly no joke, especially when you can lead anyone even remotely suspicious of you on a wild goose chase and then trap them, as well as remove her allies with taking away their memories of her or controlling just about everyone around her. I guess Misaki was always this much of a threat from the start, which they DID establish awhile back in the start of Railgun’s second season where she showed off her ability to control many people at once. I guess it just didn’t fully register to me at the time since she wasn’t really in the rest of that season…and then we had to wait quite awhile for this season so I guess that got lost in the shuffle until now. But it’s definitely there now!
The mystery is definitely escalating very quickly, increasing my interest in where this season is heading about ten fold. Heck, if this goes where I think it might be, it might just surpass the Index version (which, now that I have re-watched it recently, doesn’t really hold up very well anyway, so that might be a pretty low bar to surpass). And considering we’re barely a few chapters worth of material in this thing, it really should start escalating now if we want to mke the wait for this season worth it. This will be Misaka’s first real showdown with another Level 5, especially one who should be weaker than her in rank, but I guess we’ll find out how she manages to face it once we get back to it next week.
But man that last scene…pretty scary stuff overall, I tell you what.