Around the outskirts of Academy City, Tsuchimikado deduces that the magic used for the spikes is Greek, something surprising considering who they’re up against however he still finds it’s weak point with ease and dispels it.
Having eliminated the Hound Dogs on his tail Accelerator realises that he only has four minutes of esper mode left and swears to rescue that brat from the darkness, and after this the Hound Dogs infiltrate the hospital where the Frog-faced Doctor tells them to run or they will be crushed by Accelerator. Even as she coughs up blood, Vento finds that her spell is spreading across Japan, and back at the hospital Accelerator receives call from Last Order’s phone. However while he’s sure he’s heard it before he can’t recognise Touma’s voice, who having picked up her phone has called to offer his help, so he sends him to their meet up point while he warns him about Vento and apologises for leaving Last Order alone. Something Accelerator also feels he’s guilty of.
As he receives a report about how his underlings collapsed before the woman in yellow, Kihara tries to make sense of it as another one falls just as he was about to curse her. He then calls Accelerator just as he found a piece of Last Order’s clothing and bragged about a machine called Testament that makes it possible to install viruses into someone’s brain. Despite hearing this Accelerator calls him a coward for not even hurting her, and from his lack of retaliation he finds that he’s just a pawn on the chessboard. So he activates esper mode and flings a building at the windowless building, only for it to bounce off with Crowely completely unphased by it and more preoccupied with the activation of the Imaginary Number’s Fifth Facility.
Having made it to the meeting place, Touma finds himself faced with Vento again however instead of facing him she flees, when the sky lights up, something Touma recognises as an angel. Still concerned about Last Order he calls ‘that person’ again who can’t believe that he actually went to the bridge and tells him to leave Last Order to him, seeing what appears to be an angel Touma feels that he can’t leave it be, telling him not to die as he sets off to stop it. In his search to find out what’s going on, Accelerator attacks one of the members of the General Board of Directors and using his computer, he finds out just what’s happening to Last Order.
As Mikoto watches on Index passes by recognising the movement of the wings to belong to Hyouka, they eventually both meet up with Touma again who makes it clear to Index that he intends to save Hyouka and will need her help to do so. Even though she doesn’t know much about what’s going on, Mikoto decides to help out by fighting the Hound Dogs behind them, making saving Hyouka a part of the punishment game. As they run on Index explains that Vento’s magic worked by having people hate her and though the information about what’s happening to Hyouka is in her grimoires, it’s not exactly clear. So to clear things up Touma calls Mikoto.
Kihara watches the scene before him in awe thinking that Crowely really outdid himself this time around, however soon after this Accelerator smashes through the window and through a combination of using the shotgun and his powers he retrieves Last Order, preparing to settle things with Kihara. Just as he makes it to Hyouka, Touma is faced once again with Vento who intends to eliminate that ‘fallen angel’, and can’t stand the way she’s treating his friend.
With the way that the last episode was going I was starting to think that this arc had found it’s peak and it would only be a matter of setting up the final battles and concluding it, however instead it seemed to reach higher than that by further entwining the plot points and lifting the scale once more. As it set these final battles up though, it was great to see Hyouka again and it was nice to see Mikoto show up to cover Touma.
The phone calls between Touma and Accelerator were really one of the parts that I loved about this episode, they just seem to represent how the two sides of the story, magic and science spiral closer to one another yet at the same time they never meet at this point. So due to that these close calls where they’ve been so close to meeting but somehow haven’t have been one of the parts that I’ve liked about this arc the most so far. Given the slur that Accelerator has, Touma not recognising him made sense, however on Accelerator’s side it was kind of surprising that he couldn’t recognise the voice of the one who was able to beat him down with only his right fist, the one who ultimately made him reconsider what he was doing. It was just the sort of thing that you would think he would have remembered, however I still think it works best that he couldn’t recognise him.
As brief as it was seeing Tsuchimikado take out the spell that was going to skewer everybody was pretty fun, as he went about dodging spike after spike before breaking the spell, lightening the situation a bit and at the same time he appears to know quite a bit about what’s going on. Something surprising given just how mixed up it all is. Due to the way he acts I’m also kind of surprised that he hasn’t been placed in the position of one of the protagonists yet, because if anything he would be perfect as a magic side protagonist. Knowing a fair bit about it and using his wits, his limits making for some good fights, someone to fight for (Maika), and is also a pretty interesting character to boot. However at the same time I can see how this could contradict with how he acts as a double/triple sort of agent.
Having Hyouka appear again was also great, as after the last arc of the first season she just seemed to completely disappear, and it was kind of sad to see that happen just as Index had made a friend. Which at the same time made that point where Index was able to recognise her and wanted to save her kind of nice. So for her to be able to show up in another arc was kind of nice to see and by being an ‘artificial angel’ she seems to have gained some importance as well.
While at this point in the arc she may not exactly be all that relevant, for Mikoto to appear to cover Touma’s back by holding off the Hound Dogs was pretty awesome. With there being few questions asked before she started and how she made it part of the Punishment game simply adding to that. This badass side to her was also a nice change of pace for her character, as while she gets a fair amount of time to act like this in the railgun manga, she hasn’t really had a lot of chances to act like this in the main story. So as brief as it was it was also good to see.
The way that the final battles were set up was also kind of neat for what it was, with Accelerator making an explosive entrance to save Last Order and Touma resolving to protect Hyouka from Vento no matter what. However given the way Acclerator is preparing to fight Kihara those feelings that something bad would happen to Last Order just got even worse, especially since the amount of time his battery has left was already pretty low and he’s been spamming his powers left and right. It’s just the sort of thing that gives the impression that it’s going to run out at the worst possible time and that he’ll be completely powerless when it really matters. On Touma’s side of things it’s kind of the opposite, as even though he’ll be fighting one of his toughest opponents yet, Vento already appears to have been nerfed a bit thanks to Hyouka.