Reflect the Darkness
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Supernatural, Sci-Fi, Action
- Airing Date : July 2019 – September 2019
- Producers : J.C.Staff, A.C.G.T.
Toaru Kagaku no Accelerator (A Certain Scientific Accelerator) Introduction and Story
Another side-story within the hugely popular Toaru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index) series, Toaru Kagaku no Accelerator (A Certain Scientific Accelerator) follows the titular villain-turned-antihero Accelerator, the strongest Level 5 esper in Academy City with the incredibly versatile ability to manipulate the vectors of anything around him.
The story follows the Necromancer Arc. A mysterious rogue faction within Academy City’s security force Anti-Skill known as DA has emerged. Made up of officers who received disciplinary action (DA) for their extreme methods and overzealous pursuit of justice, the organization has grown into a powerful secret society with support from influential members of society, including Nakimoto Rizou who is on the city’s Board of Directors. This has allowed them access to experimental military technology and funded the work of deranged neuroscientist Hishigata Mikihiko in amplifying esper abilities from dead bodies using specialized machines modeled after magical techniques developed by the Rosenthal family of necromancers.
Accelerator finds himself in the middle of this conflict as family head Esther Rosenthal tries to escape from DA, leading to a battle with one of DA’s experimental Coffin devices at the hospital he was recovering in and, later, an investigation into DA when he discovers they’re also after Last Order.
1. Darker Story
Like fellow Index side story Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun), Accelerator focuses on the dark side of Academy City, even more so than Railgun. Besides some brief moments of levity, Accelerator has an overall serious tone and edginess that comes through with its antihero protagonist, spotlight on the corrupt and evil elements of Academy City’s underworld, and rather grim storytelling in general that deals with trauma, suicide, obsession, and necromancy/death. While maybe not always successful, this does add greater depth and variety to the overall series.
2. Good Character Moments
With Accelerator getting more screen time than ever before, fans of his character will definitely enjoy getting to see more of him in action with his trademark laugh and gritty personality. His interactions with Last Order continue to be very cute, saving the series from becoming completely downcast, and the new character Esther Rosenthal was also handled well. Anti-Skill member (and P.E. teacher) Aiho Yomikawa is also given solid attention in this series and has some great moments, including a sweet action sequence where she does a huge boosted jump up a wall and then attacks a bunch of DA soldiers with her shield.
3. Solid Soundwork
The Index series is known for having good music and A Certain Scientific Accelerator is no exception. The opening "Shadow is the Light" by THE SIXTH LIE, in particular, is a perfect fit for the tone of the series and Accelerator as a character and the OST as a whole is well done and memorable, especially the energetic rock used in many battles. The voice work is likewise strong with plenty of intense Accelerator monologues, Last Order antics, and other solids performances like Yurika Kubo as Esther.
A Certain Scientific Accelerator Opening
1. “Just Okay” Animation
While there were still some strong sequences in Accelerator, it was not a sakuga tour de force by any means and arguably relied a bit too much on 3DCG and effects for some of its battle sequences. It would have been awesome to see some of these fights animated to super-high modern production values like some other action series this season but we still enjoyed what we got for what it was.
2. Character Development Mixed Bag
The characterization of returning characters is perfectly fine in Accelerator and we also thought the development of some of the new characters, particularly Esther Rosenthal, was good as well. However, there isn’t any substantial change seen in main character Accelerator at all, which feels a bit like a missed opportunity to delve more deeply into the titular character’s personality and growth.
3. Reliant on Previous Series
This is a pretty minor complaint considering this is how all side-stories work to some extent but it seems like Accelerator is more reliant on the viewer having seen the overall Index series than with other series, including A Certain Scientific Railgun. Many elements of the backstory and world are not explained well enough for a new viewer to really understand. This is better than over-explaining, though, and probably not important to the intended audience.
Overall, A Certain Scientific Accelerator is a good entry in ‘a certain magical/scientific series’ that many fans will enjoy for its showcase of a fan-favorite character, memorable music, and exploration of the unseemly corners of the larger series’ world. It may be held back a bit by certain production values and limited time to delve deeper into certain characters, but is also commendable for being much less convoluted than other entries in the series. If you’re an Index and/or Railgun fan, it’s worth checking out!
Let us know what you think in the comments section below and be sure to stick around Honey’s for more of all things awesome, anime and otherwise! We’re definitely excited for the upcoming Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T. Until then, see ya~!