A Certain Scientific Railgun S – 05

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S Episode 05
とある科学の超電磁砲(レールガン)S
To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Mikoto confronts her doppleganger, but is surprised when the Misaka-9928 reveals she is worried about a kitten in a tree, whom she accidentally frightened while using her abilities to help an infant left in a hot car. Mikoto ends up helping Misaka-9928 save the kitten, caught up in its cuteness, but then realizes that this is not why she came here. Misaka-9928 won’t answer Mikoto’s questions because Mikoto doesn’t have the right passcode, but she does confirm that she is a clone, addressing Mikoto as “Oneesama”.  So, Mikoto tells Misaka-9928 that she’ll tail her to her bosses. The journey proves different than Mikoto expected since her clone often goes into a daze when seeing something.

As Mikoto contemplates things, she recalls the project was called the Sisters project, meaning more than one clone. However, Misaka-9928 is amused by the notion that koneko (kitten) is the the same forward or backward when spelled in hiragana/katakana. Mikoto gets irritated by this, but an ice cream vendor stops the “twins” from fighting and even gives them free ice cream cones because family should take care of each other. Misaka-9928 verbally praises the man for the ice cream, and when he leaves, she manages to snarf Mikoto’s ice cream while Mikoto was distracted. Further, she manages to get Mikoto to buy her mild tea and shortcake.

Night falls and the exhausted Mikoto wonders when her clone will be returning home. Misaka-9928 says she’s not going there, but heading to the experiment, something she didn’t tell Mikoto since her oneesama didn’t ask.  Mikoto puts on the frog flair badge she’d scored earlier to see how she’d look with it on. However, when she goes to retrieve it, Misaka-9928 refuses to give it up, citing it as the first present from her oneesama even if it is a childish thing. Mikoto realizes she’s not getting anywhere, so she leaves, Misaka-9928 giving her a formal farewell. With that, Misaka-9928 goes to a storage locker and retrieves some gear.

Uiharu and Erii are doing summer homework when Mikoto calls about the code Misaka-9928 had given her. Once Uiharu tells her what it means, Mikoto is able to hack into the network, where she learns about the Level 6 Shift project. She discovers that Tree Diagram has determined that only one of the seven level 5 espers could make it to level 6. To do so in a more expedited fashion, the level 6 candidate would have to kill Mikoto (Railgun) in combat some 128 times. As the clones could not reach level 5 and there’s only one Mikoto, Tree Diagram surmises that killing 20,000 Sisters in combat will also cause the candidate to shift to level 6.

Mikoto struggles with this, then remembers Misaka-9928’s formal farewell. She races to the scene of the experiment, which has already started, and discovers her clone’s goggles. She then races to find the battle, which has moved on as the level 5 candidate, Accelerator, is toying with Misaka-9928. He walks into the clone’s trap, but even that has no affect on him. He rips off one of the clone’s leg and knocks off her flair. With her last energy, Misaka-9928 drags herself to the flair before Accelerator squashes her with a rail car. Mikoto witnesses this and becomes enraged, launching a lightning attack and racing to Accelerator.

Thoughts/Review:

For those wanting to know, this episode came from chapters 22 and 23 of volume 4 of the manga.

This episode is pretty spot on with what was in the manga. The only real difference is the inclusion of Erii, which makes sense for the anime since she and Uiharu are roommates.

When I read volume 4 of the manga last summer, the darkness of the Sisters arc hit me, and there was certainly impact by seeing Misaka-9928 being killed, which was aided by the fact that Mikoto had spent an often humorous afternoon with her very frank clone.

In this anime episode, the impact is much greater due to visual and audio mediums employed. As such, Misaka-9928 having her leg ripped off hit me harder, and her desperate attempt to reach the frog flair badge before Accelerator slaughtered her had more meaning. When I read this in the manga, I did want Mikoto to come charging in and kick arse. With the anime, that feeling was doubled at the very least.

To me, this is the mark of a good anime adaptation — be faithful to the source material, then put that extra touch on it to make it even better.

One thing the manga certainly holds over the anime is the 4-koma comic strips that make up the omake portion of the manga. In them, we got to see a bit more of what Misaka-9928 and Mikoto did, which was also pretty humorous.

Regardless, I’m really loving how the anime is adapting the manga to this point.

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