A Certain Scientific Railgun S – 13

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S Episode 13 REVIEW
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:

Accelerator and Misaka-10031 begin the latest experiment while a depressed Mikoto wonders what she’s going to do now that her plans have been foiled thanks to Tree Diagram’s destruction. She notices that she’s at one of the facilities that the Level 6 Shift project had been outsourced to, so she decides to launch an attack on the place to destroy it. Meanwhile, Touma leaves the bookstore and discovers the black kitten all alone but Misaka Imouto no where to be found. On a whim, he decides to start exploring one of the alleyways nearby, where he sees evidence of Accelerator’s and Misaka-10031’s recent combat actions. Following on, he finds one of Misaka Imouto’s shoes and hears gunfire.

Back at the research facility, Mikoto is destroying everything, having her very sanity tested by recent events. Making her way to the control room, reason starts to kick in, angering Mikoto as she lashes out with her power, causing more destruction.  On one of the surviving monitors, she sees a live feed of Misaka-10032’s fight with Accelerator as Accelerator goes in for the kill by reversing her blood flow. The camera is covered in blood as Accelerator leaves the scene, where he recalls his first fight with Misaka-00001.  Accelerator has no problem taking her down, but he’s told he has to kill the clones for the project to work. He’s told that by the end, the Sisters may provide a challenge since they learn from each encounter.

Meanwhile, Mikoto, having witnessed Misaka-10032’s slaughter, collapses in tears. Back in the alleyway, Touma comes across the remains of Misaka-10032 and notifies the authorities. However, when they get there, the place has been cleaned and the cops are not happy to have their time wasted. Misaka-10032 arrives with the body of Misaka-10031 in a body bag. Misaka-10032 won’t confirm what she’s carrying, but she does relay information about herself and Misaka-10031. She’s joined by a large number of Sisters, all of whom carry on the conversation at different intervals. After expounding some non-classified details of their project, the Sisters apologize, leave the kitten in Touma’s care, then depart the area with the body of Misaka-10031.

Back at the facility, Mikoto wonders what to do and then comes upon a new plan of action.  Meanwhile, Touma goes to take a seat and digest this information. He remembers Mikoto’s reaction to one of the Sisters and wonders how much Mikoto knows about what is going on. He decides to take the bus to the Tokiwadai Student Dormitories to ask her in person.  Arriving at her dorm building, Touma discovers she’s in room 208. Before ringing her room from the lobby, he wonders what he should ask her or how much of the gory details he should tell her about this cloning project Misaka Imouto told him about. Elsewhere, Mikoto heads for her destination.

Thoughts/Review:

For the record, this episode is adapted from the first half of chapter 34 and eleven pages from chapter 37 of volume 6 of the original manga. Parts were also adapted from A Certain Magical Index Volume 3.

I have to say that this part of the Sister’s arc is being adapted beautifully. I really am glad that the anime is combining the Sister’s story told in the Index novel (from Touma’s perspective) with Mikoto’s perspective from the Railgun manga.  I remember when I read the Sister’s arc in the manga, I was glad to get the bigger picture, but seeing this combined with stuff from Index, it really is quite amazing work. This is how anime adaptations should be.

Just for the fun of it, I again went back to the Index anime (since I haven’t read the Index novels) to see how the stuff plays out. While it was certainly dark in the Index anime, the Railgun version is even darker and gorier in terms of Misaka-10031’s death. Also, I have really come to appreciate the fact that the Railgun anime decides to make the Sister’s eyes appear normal rather than have them used as an identifying feature to say, “CLONE!” That really helps the negative impact hit home when Accelerator slaughters Misaka-10031 so cruelly.

Another aspect that I liked in the Railgun version is Touma’s bringing in law enforcement and his subsequent encounter with Misaka-10032 and the other Sisters. In the Index anime, Touma runs ahead from the cops after discovering the body of Misaka-10031 missing, where he then encounters Misaka-10032. In Railgun, the cops accusing Touma of wasting their time, combined with them reporting that security cameras in the area showed nothing, gives the moment such a sinister feel. The evil of the coverup of this constant slaughter of Sisters really comes through.

Having Misaka-10032 appear in the distance with Touma not moving at all carries more impact as well.  After all, she and the Sisters would be nearby, having scrubbed the place clean (it was not so clean in the Index anime, though the blood and body were removed).  It also makes their willingness to impart information to Touma carry a different weight, as if they knew he was there and wanted to tell him as much as they could get away with as a kind of cry for help. In the Index anime, it was more like he stumbled on them, and they just blathered some things.

I liked that the audience also got the explanation with Touma so that Touma understood that he had met both Misaka-10031 and Misaka-10032.  That was something the Railgun manga had to do as a joke comic strip extra.

We’ve now gotten the entire Accelerator flashback sequence that was to happen later on in the immediate story. I’m curious to see what the production team will do once Accelerator reaches the point where he has this flashback in the manga.

In terms of actual plot, the only thing I have a problem with is the fact that after 10030 losing fights with Accelerator, the Sisters still haven’t learned that using a gun on him directly is useless. Since the episode made a big deal of pointing out that the Sisters learn and grow every time, thanks to the Misaka Network, it seems to me that they would have learned ages ago that bullets are never getting to Accelerator and only get reflected by to them.  So why use a gun at all?

With eleven episodes to go, I have no fear of Sisters arc being done right through its conclusion.  I really am glad to see a properly adapted anime series taken from an original sources.

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6 Responses to “A Certain Scientific Railgun S – 13”

  1. arimareiji says:

    (My apologies if this is something that’s elaborated upon later – I haven’t read the light novels or the manga yet.)

    Watching the episode, it does give a very sinister feel to the coverup, but later it occurred to me: What if the only coverup is that which the Sisters themselves are doing? The feeling you get from what we know so far (something which Mikoto herself echoes) is that it must be a massive conspiracy – but what if the only reason the organization has been able to cover their tracks is because the Sisters have the same ability Mikoto has to manipulate electronic equipment? Thinking back, this would seem to be consistent what happens with the police – they’re not ordered away by their superiors, they walk away because they see no evidence.

    It would be vaguely reminiscent of what happens with human trafficking. The reason it can go on right under the noses of the authorities isn’t because the authorities are complicit… it’s because the malefactors have convinced their victims that no help is coming, so they not only don’t try to seek help, they assist in the charade that nothing wrong is going on.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I’m likely allowing myself to be influenced by the Index anime titles when it comes to the sinister aspects.

      >What if the only coverup is that which the Sisters themselves are doing?

      Well, the coverup is the entire Level 6 Shift project, unless you are suggesting the Sisters are doing the coverup without instructions to do so. That wouldn’t be in character as they tend to do what they are ordered to do. Even when speaking with Touma, they do so only to the extent with which they are allowed to do so.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That its anime follows “A Certain Scientific Railgun” very closely is excellent news — a precedent, I hope. Animating a famous manga accurately should return huge bucks in th US, it seems to me. By seeking the big$US, producers would thus be motivated to give us the best transfer! What a concept.

    I’ve only read the “Railgun” manga, but I can extrapolate a lot from it and your commentary about “Index.” Don’t have the anime yet, but will soon. Can’t wait to watch Mikoto put 10 trillion watts of EMF behind a coin-token. Does she?

    Hint: there’s another great manga waiting for a faithful, hence lucrative, anime. Hint: “Mahou Sensei Negima” obviously has legions of adult followers, not just teenagers. Hint, hint. (WMC)

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      The manga is the official source for this anime series, so I’m glad that it was licensed for the U.S. ^_^

      As for Negima!, that was very much on my mind as I praise the anime production company for their work on Railgun. I really wish Negima! had gotten a proper adaptation instead of what we got.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Any hope? Or does kodansha generate too much headwind?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I’m sorry, I’m not quite following the question here. I’m guessing you meant to respond to my remark about Negima in the other comment thread. If so, I don’t think there’s any real desire to do any more Negima anime titles.

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