Mikoto decides to sacrifice her life in a fight with Accelerator and prove one of the Tree Diagram predictions wrong about her in order to save the Sisters. However, Touma finds her, having been helped by Kuroko, and refuses to allow her to kill herself since he knows it won't save the clones. Mikoto attacks, but Touma refuses to defend himself, thus takes great damage from her. She's shocked and horrified by this, thus she stops and helps him. He tells her that in order to really jack with the predictions, he'll fight Accelerator. If he wins, the fact that a Level 0 defeated the most powerful Level 5 psychic would be enough to make the scientist question the predictions.
Touma comes on the scene where Accelerator has defeated one of the Sisters, whom had met Touma, but Accelerator has not killed her yet. Touma challenges Accelerator, who accepts. Accelerator can't go all out on Touma since Touma officially has no esper abilities, thus negating some of Accelerator's advantages, but the fight is going his way until Touma lands a punch thanks to his Imagine Breaker. Touma proceeds to give Accelerator a bloody beating, causing the latter to recall how he was drafted into the Level 6 project. Accelerator goes nuts, knocking Touma out of the way, then creating a massive plasma ball in the atmosphere. Mikoto, having arrived earlier, sees that her own powers cannot stop this. However, she goes to the injured clone for help, who then contacts her fellow sisters to manipulate Academy City's wind turbines.
For the most part, the events in this volume were covered in the Index storyline, though this volume of the manga helped flesh things out more.
I liked the flashback to Mikoto's mother, who's anime appearances really didn't contribute much to the stories. Here, we see how when Mikoto tore her frog plushie, her mom fixed it and made everything right while Mikoto slept. Mikoto reflecting on the fact that she doesn't have her mother to fix everything for her was a nice moment of maturity.
On the other hand, Mikoto showed her age when she decided that the only way to end things would be to fight Accelerator, but rather than go the predicted number of rounds as Tree Diagram suggested, allow Accelerator to just kill her outright. Well, she was trying to solve this whole problem on her own rather than get others to help her, which would have been the better option.
While Touma hasn't been a favorite character of mine, being such a one-trick wonder horse in the Index anime, I did like him in this manga. For starters, he had a clearer head when it came to dealing with Accelerator, understanding that Mikoto's self sacrifice would not help the Sisters. He also understood how to reach Mikoto, though at great risk to himself.
Touma's fight with Accelerator is one place where his one trick wonder horse routine doesn't bother me. After all, Accelerator is used to using his abilities to counter other espers, not Level 0, seemingly normal humans. So, Accelerator couldn't go all out, and because Touma's non-ability ability caused Accelerator to not fail in an attack, the whole thing worked, especially since it drove Accelerator off the deep end.
On a lighter note, I enjoyed seeing how Kuroko found Mikoto and Touma together, simply by tracking the alarming vending machine. Further, it was funny seeing Saten's speculation that Mikoto was in love affect Kuroko the way it did. Still, Saten makes a good point - Mikoto would be interested in a guy who didn't treat her as special, which is Touma. Indeed, while others would be in awe of Mikoto, Touma often finds dealing with her to be a pain, which is why she keeps coming back to him. If I had to guess, Touma and Mikoto would make a good couple, though on the Index side, they've tried to build him a pseudo harem.
Although it will mean nothing to those who've not watched the A Certain Magical Index anime, or read the light novels, I did like the splash page that showed Touma and Misaka-10032 arriving outside of his apartment where Index and Aisa with the cat. Also, I liked the omake manga page that helped explain how Touma interacted with both Misaka-10031 and Misaka-10032.
On the Seven Seas side of things, the usual Japanese honorifics are here, including "oneesama" ('cause lets face it, Kuroko wouldn't be nearly as humorous if she were saying anything other than "oneesama" when addressing or referring to Mikoto). There isn't as much omake content this time around, though the manga is still fairly thick. The preview this time is for the Haganai! manga, which I've started blogging.
My only complaint is in the addressing of Accelerator. For some reason, the decision was made to mostly refer to him as "the Accelerator". I don't understand why this is. It would be like calling Superman, "the Superman," or Spider-man as "the Spider-man". Accelerator isn't his birth name, but it is the name he goes by, thus adding "the" in front of his name makes no sense to me. They didn't always add "the" in front of his name, which made it more puzzling to me.
In the end, we have a good volume which further fleshes out events already seen in the Index series.