As the day begins Kuroko is forced to listen to her beloved Mikoto talk in her sleep about the Punishment Game and watch as she snuggles against her pillow.
New Opening Theme:
“See visionS” by Mami Kawada, download.
Having been discharged from the hospital Accelerator and Last Order leave with Yoshikawa to go stay with one of her friends, and at a certain high school Touma receives a punch from Aogami and Tsuchimikado when he wishes for a fateful encounter. It should also be noted that they’ve changed into their winter uniforms as Aogami shows them an order form for something to massage his shoulders, and knowing the right person to ask they go to Seiri. However the way they go about it makes her think that they’re there to grope her and she promptly takes them all down, leaving a shocked Komoe with the aftermath. At a certain hospital the frog-faced doctor inspects the sisters for their winter uniforms, and while they should all be the same size Misaka 19090 happens to have lost some weight, something he thinks is natural but the other three clones intend to find out the method behind it no matter what.
Having left school for the afternoon Touma bumps into Mikoto and to his misfortune she intends to carry out the Punishment Game today, and while he appears unwilling at first he quickly changes his attitude and starts fanning her. unintentionally this starts flipping up her skirt and upon seeing it Kuroko intends to prove her worth by outdoing him. Accelerator and Last Order meet up with Yomikawa again where they meet Komoe, who Accelerator thinks is the result of the experiments to stop aging with Last Order completely buying into it. Before they head off to her apartment he questions whether she’s prepared for the dark side of Academy City that comes with him, to her though it’s what she deals with on a daily basis.
Before he could continue the Punishment Game Touma had to return home to cook for Index who isn’t too happy about how they’re having somen again, something that he happens to have received a lot of recently and while he’s frustrated about running out of recipes for it they meet Maika in a particularly good mood. Having made it to Yomikawa’s apartment Yoshikawa sees that she hasn’t changed at all and while Last Order fawns over how many rice cookers she has, Accelerator collapses on the couch. In the middle of waiting for Touma to return Mikoto meets Uiharu who’s interested in how she’s taught to play the violin at Tokiwadai, so she offers to teach her how but Kuroko pops up and drags her away. Touma returns not long after and finds that she had arrived half an hour earlier, taking it as how eager she is.
She ends up dragging up to the underground mall where she wants him to sign up to a new phone system with her as a couple, in doing so they get a Gekota phone strap. So they go about signing up but to finish it they need photographic proof that they’re a couple, but all of their attempts to take it end up looking forced so he pulls her closer and they’re able to get the right shot. However before they take it Kuroko intercepts with a drop kick and tells her that she could just take it with her.
At this point Accelerator wakes up and flicks the switch on his collar, at which point the sound from the television becomes a garbled mess so he flicks it back, he then goes to take a shower and accidentally walks in on Yomikawa, Yoshikawa, and Last Order bathing, something he couldn’t care less about. Last Order goes on to report this to Misaka 10032 but she only laughs at how she’s gotten herself locked outside. She then notices her goggles and since she’s the only clone without them she suddenly wants them, trying to throw a tantrum and finally tricking her into getting them, taunting her to get them back as she runs off. So having had enough Misaka 10032 takes out her rifle to retreive them.
With this episode we enter the final arc of the second season, and what a great start it was, while it looked like there was nothing significant happening it was just a fun ride. Freshening things up by changing everyone into their winter clothes and completing it with some school life scenes at the start before going into the Punishment Game that was eluded to at the end of the last episode. It was just an episode that felt like so much was happening at once.
To start things off the quick scene we saw around the start of the episode made for a great starting point, as while these school life shenanigans may be short and irrelevant to the story at hand most of the time, it’s undeniable that they’re just so great at the same time. Especially in the way that Touma, Tsuchimikado, and Aogami tend to interact with Seiri. Which in this case led Touma, Tsuchimikado, and Aogami going to Seiri in search of a good shoulder massager and having the crap beaten out of them when she took it out of context, all for which Komoe’s reaction was priceless. If anything even though they don’t add much I’d still like to see more of them. However more than anything this served to show off the change to the winter uniforms that Touma wears in the current ending theme.
The thing that stood out the most about this episode though was the Punishment Game itself, something that first came up in the Daihasesai arc which while it may have been a spur of the moment kind of thing it was now something they were either eagerly looking forward to, or desperately trying to avoid. Which combined with Touma missing all of the hints that Mikoto was continually giving off and her own infatuated state around him made for a pretty fun scene when what she had in mind was a cellphone plan for couples with the obvious fake excuse of a Gekota strap. And whether you consider them to be a canon pairing or not what scenes we saw of them together were just that, with Kuroko’s constant interruptions making them more so.
Seeing the Sisters receive some screen time was also pretty nice and while having the four clones run around the city in the same Tokiwadai uniform as Mikoto with only the goggles to distinguish them is still something that I find kind of odd. The point that it led to was great, in that the clones themselves were steadily starting to differentiate themselves and form some piece of individuality, whether it was through physical appearance or personality. Not to mention the way in which Misaka 10032 simply couldn’t careless about Last Order’s plight and actually laughed at her for getting locked outside, however with Last Order on the run and Misaka 10032 without her goggles things don’t look good.
One of the other things would have been the amount of screen time that Accelerator and Last Order received as they were finally discharged from the hospital and made their way to where they would be staying, easily giving the impression that they should be have a fairly important role in this arc. It was also pretty funny to see one of those scenes that Touma always seems to get thrown at him for Accelerator in just how much the reactions from himself, Yomikawa, and Yoshikawa differed from them. If there was one thing that I didn’t like about this extra screen time though it was how just how weak his current state is was completely skimmed over again, as while we saw that he couldn’t even comprehend speech without being connected to the network at the same time he could easily flick the switch back. But in the end seeing the role he played in this episode was pretty fun and I’m interested to see the role he’ll play this time unfold.
It was also great to see the opening theme finally change and while I had joked that it would highlight the events of the previous arc when it was already over it still wasn’t something I minded, if anything I actually liked the way it put it all in hindsight before progressing to what’s at hand with this shot of GROUP also seeming to catch my eye. Aside from that I somehow also liked this shot in the way that it seemed to suggest that Touma still loves the sort of life he lives even with all the hardship he continually faces along the way. The opening itself also not only managed to showcase the change to the winter uniforms but also the things that should be coming up in this arc with even the Punishment Game showing up, but also Touma’s battle with Vento of the Front and Accelerator making his proper ascension to becoming one of the protagonists with his own villain, his ‘teacher’, Kihara Amata.