A Certain Scientific Railgun S – 09

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S Episode 09
To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

MUGINO Shizuri has arrived with Rikou to save Frenda, so Mikoto attacks Shizuri with a large, metal container, only to see it disintegrate. Shizuri blasts Mikoto, who eludes the attack by scampering up a pillar. Mikoto sends several large metal panels at Shizuri, but she disintegrates them all. Tossing a box of pills at Rikou, Rikou then uses them to activate her ability. Mikoto immediately senses the danger, so she creates a smoke screen with an explosion and flees. Despite randomly running down corridors, Mikoto discovers they are able to track her. This is thanks to Rikou’s AIM Stalker ability, allowing Shizuri to use her meltdowner ability without having to see the target.

Meanwhile, Shinobu, recalling her chat with Mikoto and her decision to do something to help, has accessed the control room for clones at this facility. She begins uploading a program to give the Sisters basic emotions, which she hopes is enough to thwart the plans of the researchers and even give Accelerator pause. Saiai discovers Shinobu and apprehends her. Realizing that Shinobu is doing something to the computer, she releases Shinobu to destroy the flash drive. However, Shinobu’s program has already installed, but Last Order prevents it from going to the other clones in the Misaka Network. Shinobu grabs a gun from one of the male helpers there, shooting Saiai. However, she is unharmed thanks to her ability. She knocks Shinobu out and has her taken away, reflecting that if Shinobu is allowed to live, she won’t like her life.

Since Mikoto is dodging all of Shizuri’s attacks, she has Frenda set off some more bombs. These too fail. Since Rikou is rapidly becoming exhausted and Frenda is injured from her fight with Mikoto, Shizuri decides that since Mikoto is moving slower and slower, but is not trying to escape, she’ll wait for Mikoto at her final destination. She launches one final attack on Mikoto’s location, only this time, the exhausted Mikoto doesn’t dodge it, but merely deflects it, thanks to seeing how Shizuri deflected her lightning attack earlier. Shizuri then realizes she’s up against Railgun, so she sends her two comrades to join Saiai


This episode was adapted from volume 5, the remaining pages of chapter 28 and most of chapter 29, save for a few pages at the end of the chapter.

Changes to the original manga story are flashback scenes with Shinobu, both with her chat with Mikoto, and showing her making her decision to help Mikoto just prior to showing up at the facility.

I really like Shinobu’s character.  While she may be a genius and even be gifted with some athletic abilities, I don’t think she’s an actual esper. So in my mind, her actions are more heroic than Mikoto’s since Shinobu is just an ordinary girl physically. She put her life on the line and though she failed to give the Sisters emotions (I suppose Last Order got them instead), she is still worthy of respect.

In the manga released so far in the U.S., Shinobu hasn’t returned to the story. It would be nice if Mikoto found out about what Shinobu did and then went out and rescued her. Even if this hasn’t been done in the manga or the Index novels, a future Railgun anime could insert that into the canon.

The battle between Shizuri and Mikoto was pretty awesome. I liked how the anime made certain parts of the fight much more clear than they had been in the manga, which is how it should be.

I was also intrigued that Rikou had to keep taking the pills to keep her AIM Stalker power going at full strength. That’s rather jacked up to have to take chemicals to produce a power. I wonder if there are negative side effects for Rikou, other than exhausting her.

As I’ve said before, I’m really loving how this anime is adapting the manga story. The production team is being faithful to the manga, and the additions made only enhance the story, such as giving Shinobu even more depth as a character.

Next episode should wrap up ITEM’s part in the Sister’s arc. I’m looking forward to seeing it. ^_^

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4 Responses to “A Certain Scientific Railgun S – 09”

  1. ghostbeetle says:

    I don’t disagree with your evaluation of the anime so far but I have to say that I need to see Mikoto kick some serious ass right about now, instead of just surviving. The progress of these fights makes perfect sense but the level of humungous monstrosity that is the Sisters project makes me want to scream for the blood of the perpetrators. And to such an extent, too, that anything else – or less – than that only serves to frustrate. Now I only know this chapter from the side of the first Index anime, so I know that Accelerator at least is let off with the equivalent of a black eye and I know that this isn’t the kind of story to condone wholesale slaughter by the main characters. (Besides, I like the later Accelerator stories. It’s just the contrast to his first appearances that is ridulously stupid.) But this really points to one of my main problems with the entire ‘To Aru..’ line: There is such an enormous unevenness of tone in most of the plots, it makes those series strictly one-off entertainment. I can watch that shit strictly one time – because I get drawn in by the characters and the humor – but the events are so halfassed and unconnected and mired in bad, bad melodrama that I am extremly loath to go through that again.
    It makes me angry because they did get me to care, first.
    Rant over.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I can’t speak to the Index novels, so I don’t know how bad the tonal unevenness is. I will say that having moments of humor or the like doesn’t bother me.

      For the ITEM part of the Sisters arc, there hasn’t been humor to change the tone of things. There will be humor afterward (which you’ll know if you’ve seen the Index anime), but that’s to allow the audience to breathe. From a writing perspective, good writers understand that there have to be light moments during long, intense storylines. In a movie, there may be a comedic moment, even if dark comedy. In a series, it may be an episode or episodes.

      Now, I think that the Index side of the franchise isn’t handled so well plotwise, based on what I’ve seen from the anime. On the Railgun side, thins are much better, both in the manga and the anime.

    • ghostbeetle says:

      Thats certainly true. I didn’t mean to imply that you shouldn’t mix drama and comedy (Shakespear’d probably rise from his grave to eat my brains if I said something like that;). I also agree that the Railgun series are at least a slight improvement, narratively, on the Index series. And I find it very interesting what you have to say on the slight improvements of the anime from the manga version of Railgun, where the side characters and the clarity of events is concerned. That implies the anime writers are putting some real thought into what they are doing and I love that!

      But the real problem I was trying to explain is that these series (and not just these – this is something you will find in a lot of animes and mangas, unfortunately) will portray the evil actions that produce the main conflicts of the plot in such stark colours that you’d normally expect and demand a similarly severe kind of retribution from the perpetrators/villains to satisfy your own outraged sensibillities (call it ‘sense of justice’ or plain ‘revenge’ – of course these reactions may vary from person to person, but I don’t think they’re arbitrary!) and this almost never happens. The fact that things as bad as the sisters project can happen in this story and after they’re over everything immediately returns to an unproblematic comedy frame while the question of what happens with the people who are really, or partially responsible for those atrocities is ignored or they are suddenly portrayed as sympathetic characters (Magnus Style, Kanzaki and worst of all Accelerator) that is what I call a thematic and tonal unevenness.

      Of course I like Kanzaki (chuu chuu 😉 and even Accelerator as heroes in their own right but the transition from their first appearances to their more positive portrayals is just not earned by the story. It’s neither emotionally believable nor just to let Style and especially Accelerator simply get away with the things they did when their characters were introduced. Their seeming evilness and despicabillity (if that is a word) was ramped up to such a high level to produce cheap drama that it causes the brain severe whiplash when all that is just ignored later on. It just seems like an incredible tone-deafness on the parts of the writers of the series. It’s basically the essence of melodrama. Badly written drama, that is.

      Hope, I managed to make my point a little clearer – though it may, admittedly, be a subtle one.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >The fact that things as bad as the sisters project can happen in this story and after they’re over everything immediately returns to an unproblematic comedy frame while the question of what happens with the people who are really, or partially responsible for those atrocities is ignored or they are suddenly portrayed as sympathetic characters (Magnus Style, Kanzaki and worst of all Accelerator) that is what I call a thematic and tonal unevenness.

      Ah. That makes sense to me.

      I thought about this for a while and I think the writers get away with it for the most part since I think most people want the villain to repent and change course. Magnus Style & Kanzaki were never at the level of Accelerator, so I’ll focus on him.

      Much like Shinobu, Accelerator didn’t see the clones as people, thus he saw nothing wrong with slaughtering them. Shinobu may not have directly killed any of the Sisters, but she was an accomplice. Her mind was changed when one of the Sisters and she went to the roof, as shown in that one flashback. So, Shinobu goes to redeem herself by doing what she could to stop the experiments and building an emotion program for the Sisters. She does appear to have paid for her sins though.

      As to Accelerator, from the Index anime, I already know that he takes Last Order under his wing. After his defeat by Touma, he begins his journey of repentance of sorts, as seen by his protecting Last Order. So his becoming a force for good, while retaining his personality quirks, can be seen as an act of penance. I think audiences for the most part like it when a force for evil changes for a force for good.

      Still, for me, I wasn’t negatively hit by the characters you mention shifting from a negative force to a positive force. I’m not sure how one could better make a transition though. Kanzaki’s and Style’s actions toward Index are worse to me in that they never bothered to question or investigate on their own. They just did what they did and that was that.

      Accelerator, on the other hand, was much more understandable to me. He was already unstable mentally as well as powerful. So he just did whatever because it suited him to do so. Combine that with the fact that he didn’t look at the clones as human, I had an easier time with him than the other two.

      Still, for me, I saw Kanzaki’s and Style’s conversion as being true to themselves finally whereas their bad actions were things they did against their better judgement. As such, I had not problem with the conversion.

      Accelerator’s conversion came more from his defeat by a level 0 person. It was a wake up call for Accelerator, who’d become so arrogant that he believed himself to be untouchable. Then when that illusion was shattered and he ended up injured, it made sense to me that he started looking at things differently. I think about his encounter with Last Order. He was still disdainful and the like, but now that his eyes were opened, he couldn’t ignore a problem when he saw it.

      I can understand your problems with these elements though.

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