A Certain Scientific Railgun S – 07

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S Episode 07
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 hacks into several research facilities and causes their destruction before her actions are discovered and communication lines are cut. Now, Mikoto sets out to start taking down facilities in person, staying out all night and coming home exhausted as she makes her plans for her next attack. Kuroko, despite not being privy to Mikoto’s plans, covers for Mikoto’s absence. Kuroko is pleased to see Mikoto in their room when she arrives and offers some mizu manju since Mikoto had wanted to try them. Mikoto passes, requesting Kuroko cover for her absence again. Kuroko is a little depressed that Mikoto won’t ask her for help in shouldering whatever burden Mikoto is carrying.

Saten visits Uiharu and Kuroko at their Judgement office, where Kuroko ends up offering them the mizu manju. The group eats, joined by Konori, where she mentions the recent mysterious fires at research labs, not knowing Mikoto was the cause. Kuroko decides to go on patrol where she finds three young girls in an alley who’ve just discovered a money card. The girls aren’t looking for money, but chasing the rumor about certain cards being lucky. Kuroko confiscates the card and sends the girls on their way, though one of them, Minori, is depressed by this. Kuroko is later joined by Saten and Uiharu, where they discuss this urban luck legend, which Kuroko finds to be silly.

The head of the Level 6 Shift project, Kites Knockraven, receives a report on the terrorist attacks on his research facilities. The facts cause him to suspect Mikoto though he does not name her. Meanwhile, Kuroko comes home to find Mikoto passed out on her bed. Kuroko briefly entertains “attacking” Mikoto, but then restrains herself and pulls a blanket over Mikoto. The next morning, Kuroko awakens to find Mikoto gone. So, Kuroko heads out, where she finds Minori looking for lucky cards. Minori explains that she’s being forced to move away, so she wanted to give her friends lucky cards.

Saten shows up with Uiharu, looking for cards themselves, so the group heads to the alleys again to try to look for money cards. Uiharu and Kuroko discuss things and realize that even if they find a card, they’d have to turn it in. Konori happens by, and after hearing Minori-chan’s story, she agrees with Uiharu’s and Kuroko’s assessment. So, she has the group go down by the river to look for lucky, four leaf clovers. During this, Saten and Uiharu reveal they know Kuroko is worried so they want her to know they are there for her. Kuroko finds a small four leaf cover, but Minori and Konori have found a bunch.

That evening, Kuroko returns to her dorm room to find Mikoto getting ready to leave again. Kuroko wants to say more, but instead, uses the standard Japanese departure greeting. Mikoto seems to understand and acknowledges the greeting before thanking Kuroko and leaving the room. Kuroko looks at the lucky clover and quietly promises to be there when Mikoto returns. Mikoto changes out of her school uniform and infiltrates another facility, destroying it and three other labs that night. Kite gets informed of this, and he knows, as does Mikoto, that there are only to more lab facilities left.

Thoughts/Review:

For those keeping score, this episode covered the latter half of chapter 25 from volume 5 of the manga.

Since very little of the manga was adapted, this episode is mostly original materials from Kuroko finding Mikoto sleeping to Kuroko, Uiharu, and Saten helping the little girl find a four leaf clover.

Despite the fact that so little of the original manga was adapted for this episode, I found that I really enjoyed this episode quite a lot. The manga doesn’t take time to smell the roses during the Sister’s arc, and that makes sense considering the nature of manga and the need to press on with the central plot.

For the anime, the plot was pressed forward as we saw Mikoto doing her thing. However, because the anime took its time, we get a much better sense of Mikoto’s actions and thus a much greater understanding of her weariness. In the manga, everything Mikoto does against the research facility covers half a chapter. Through away lines are used to say, “It has been three days” or to convey Mikoto’s exhaustion. Here, no lines are needed because we see time passing and Mikoto’s nightly absences.

This leads me to another aspect of the anime that I like. When I read the Sister’s arc in the manga, one of the things that I pondered was how an anime production would treat Saten, Uiharu, and Kuroko, all of whom get very little face time throughout the arc. So far, the anime production team has done a superb job in working those characters in without changing the story.  It means for a more leisurely stroll through the Sister’s arc, but frankly, that doesn’t bother me. As I said, I’m liking seeing things at this pace and the impact Mikoto is unintentionally having on her friends.

That takes me to Kuroko. Oftentimes, her cries of “Oneesama!”, followed by her desperate attempts to play scissor-scissor with Mikoto can be very annoying.  As I said last episode, Kuroko is genuinely concerned for Mikoto. Thus, although she is tempted to assault the sleeping Mikoto, she refrains and does the right thing by pulling the covers up over Mikoto’s body.  I loved that moment, as I also loved the moment when she sees Mikoto off, wanting to help Mikoto but realizing that Mikoto has to do this alone.

That being said, it is immature of Mikoto not to enlist the help of Kuroko, since another powerful esper would be helpful, but I understand why Mikoto didn’t do so; she doesn’t want to put anyone else in jeopardy.

All of this has me cautiously optimistic that the anime production team won’t have Kuroko nor Touma show up in the battle that is to come, which they did not in the manga.

Regardless, I’m looking forward to the start of Mikoto’s fight with ITEM.

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