It was hard not to get excited about a To Aru Majutsu no Index story arc that revolved around Mikoto Misaka (as they tend to bring out the best in this show), and so last week's instalment duly managed to put together a far more fascinating storyline than the arc which preceded it managed overall.
While the wider picture for this arc is all about Misaka as she works to prevent the resumption of the cloning and related experiments which featured so prominently in this show's first season, the sharper focus here is really on Shirai Kuroko as she takes the battle forth on her room-mate's behalf. Thus, much of this episode concerns Kuroko's rematch with fellow teleport ability holder Awaki Musujime, as the former tries to stop the latter's plan to make a new Tree Diagram supercomputer. Indeed, the dialogue (yes, there is a lot of it) goes some what towards explaining why Musujime is so keen for this to happen, as the two teleporters go face to face in an occasionally impressive and often painful battle.
While all of this is going, we see the third-person narrative spouting Misaka sister tracking down Touma, allowing him to find Mikoto Misaka so that they can join forces and rescue Kuroko from her current predicament. To round things off, Accelerator appears back on the scene, using his reduced but not inconsiderable powers to put paid to Musujime's efforts in relatively spectacular fashion. So, the danger has passed, but there are still a lot of threads left unresolved, hinting to further developments in this particular aspect of the series further down the line.
As is to be expected of this series by now, this episode of To Aru Majutsu no Index II did find itself bogged down in its own dialogue during the pivotal scenes between Kuroko and Musujime, although thankfully they were at least pretty interested and added relevant details to the plot which, when blended with some quick bursts of half-decent action, actually worked quite well. What didn't really work so well was the second half of the episode, where Touma's introduction felt rushed and his subsequent rescue mission with Misaka felt inadequately covered and altogether too convenient... just a little more build-up would have worked wonders for both these moments and Accelerator's part in proceedings. I hope this is just a case of J.C. Staff keeping their powder dry for later in the series, but it certainly made this episode feel clumsy in places, enjoyable though it was overall. Again, such criticism just serve to remind me how much slicker much of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun was at making the most of its assets in comparison to this show, even though I still enjoyed this particular story arc overall.