Following on from last episode's cliffhanger, we find it's actually not much of a cliffhanger at all. I was expecting Haruue to continue speaking, but she just passes out instead.
This however does not stop plot development (yay!). Predicting a connection between Haruue and the Poltergeist incidents, Misaka and Kuroko investigate Haruue - much to the disgust of Uiharu who has become fiercely protective of Haruue. Misaka shows off some impressive hacking skills - apparently giving a laptop an electric shock is enough to make it retreive secure data from a remote server ...
Thankfully, Haruue [spoiler]isn't the instigator of the poltergeist incidents, just a victim[/spoiler]. However, despite the fact I knew whose picture would be in Haruue's locket ([spoiler]we see it breifly when Haruue makes an appearance in Episode 17[/spoiler]) it still sent a chill down my spine due to the awesome combination of background music and memories of what happened to Edasaki Banri, a child error who seemingly died as a result of a nasty experiment (Episode 11). The fact that Haruue can telepathically hear Edasaki must mean that the subjects of that experiment are 'asleep' as implied by Harumi in Episode 11 rather than truly dead. I hope one of the remaining episodes features their revival, which would probably make both Haruue and Harumi very happy.
I'm looking forward to the next episode, entitled Level 6 - super powers please?
The earthquakes which have been occurring in previous episodes are now attracting serious concern from the Anti Skills. However, it seems that they are not actually earthquakes, rather when an esper looses control of their powers they exhibit the Poltergeist phenomenon. Normally, this isn't a problem, however large numbers of espers exhibiting this can cause earthquakes. [spoiler]It's later revealed that someone else can trigger these poltergeist events to happen, and hence trigger earthquakes[/spoiler].
We also get introduced to a new character, Haruue, a transfer student from another school who is assigned as Uiharu's room-mate. However, those with good memories will realise that [spoiler]she's not actually new as she featured in Episode 17 (Spelling the Summer Holidays) where she lost her locket[/spoiler]. To help Haruue settle in, the girls go to the arcade and fireworks with her, whereupon everything goes badly wrong! Unusually in Railgun, we actually have a cliffhanger ending, I am very much looking forward to Episode 21.
This is definately one of the better episodes, hopefully we've now got an interesting Poltergeist arc to see us through to Railgun's end, which is rapidly approaching 🙁
On the surface, this seems like another filler episode, and overall it is. However, the lack of plot is substituted with a fair amount of humour.
It's the Midsummer Festival, and the Tokiwadai dorms (where Misaka and Kuroko live) is holding an open day. It's strange that they are holding an open day of the dorms rather than something more interesting such as the school, but it seems there is plenty to see nevertheless. At various points we have crossovers between previous episodes and A Certain Magical Index. We see the kids from Cypress Park (Railgun Episode 18), Tsuchimikado (A Certain Magical Index), Index (A Certain Magical Index), Touma (A Certain Magical Index) and many more.
Thought the episode we see Misaka becoming increasingly nervous about a performance that she will be doing later on. While I was expecting a demonstration of her awesome power, we actually get to see her [spoiler]playing the violin. The tune she plays sounds somewhat similar to Real Force, the 2nd ending[/spoiler].
The next episode preview seems to focus on earthquakes, something that has occurred in quite a few previous episodes. I speculated that this may form part of a future plot and it seems Episode 20 will unveil who/what is causing these earthquakes.
In this episode, Kuroko decides to help the dorm supervisor get the man of her dreams - Diago, the homeroom teacher of Saten and Uiharu. Lets go over this again, Kuroko is giving relationship advice - this can only end badly and/or humously.
It turns out that the dorm supervisor helps out at a faculty for "Child Errors", i.e an orphanage, where Diago also helps out. Coincidentally, Saten and Uiharu are also helping out, due to low test scores. Surprisingly, Kuroko's plan and advice actually work quite well. However, the ending ([spoiler]Diago is actually interested in another woman, despite not showing any interest for her at any point in the episode![/spoiler]) is somewhat anticlimactic and doesn't really fit in too well with the rest of the episode.
At one point, Misaka has a breif flashback to an episode within the Level Upper arc where another set of "Child Errors" are used in a not so nice experiment. Due to her knowledge of this, it seems she gets on well with the children and plays a lot with them, while the others idle and advance Kuroko's plan.
Overall this was a fairly interesting episode, it was certainly amusing to see Kuroko arrange a relationship for someone other than Misaka for once!
I came across the preview for Angel Beats the other day, this looks like it's going to be a fantastic anime. It is set in a world between the real world and heaven, where people who have "lingering attachments" end up after they die in the real world. The protagonist, Otonashi, quickly becomes involved with the SSS who lead a fight against God. Trying to stop them is the student council and associated angel members which will make for some interesting fight scenes.
The music that accompanies the preview fits perfectly, hopefully this will carry over into the actual anime. The opening is apparently sung by Lia, who sung Tori no Uta, Air's beautiful opening song therefore I think we can expect another spectacular opening song. Character design is done by visual novel company Key who are renowned for their amazing character designs.
Angel Beats starts airing during April 2010, I will definitely be watching this.
Preview video at the bottom of the page.