A Certain Scientific Railgun S – 18 (Time for a new, non-manga arc.)

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S Episode 18
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:

ITEM is hired to stop an arms shipment, but discover mecha (power suit) units instead. One of the defeated units manages to reactivate and hurl an iron girder at the group, which Mugino destroys, but she takes a cut in the process. Their actions are observed by a group led by Aritomi, who’s pleased with the results, though the warehouse this event was staged in catches on fire.  This fire is observed by a blonde girl on the balcony of a high rise.  At the same time in Uiharu’s apartment, she and Erii recount the fun had at the study session earlier that evening and about Banri’s imminent discharge from the hospital.

The following day, Saten and Mikoto are in the lobby waiting, giving Saten time to tease Mikoto about the cookies. When Uiharu, Erii, and Kuroko arrive, Mikoto hurries everyone into the elevator to keep Saten from blabbing. In Erii’s room, Saten, Mikoto, and Kuroko are surprised to hear that Erii is moving out of Uiharu’s apartment and moving into a place with Erii. After their visit, they leave Erii there and as they walk home, the group reflects on when Erii first moved in with Uiharu. Uiharu reminds Kuroko that it is time for them to do their Judgement work for the forthcoming Academy City Research Exhibit Assembly, done to celebrate academic achievements.

Elsewhere, Mitsuko is out with Wannai and Awatsuki when a purse snatcher is knocked down thanks to Mitsuko’s Aero Hand ability, causing the crowds to applaud her. Mitsuko sends the two girls to fetch Anti-Skill officers from a nearby station.  A guy in a high school uniform and glasses scolds Mitsuko for using her powers as she did, citing all of the possible negative outcomes that could have happened since the criminal had a switchblade. The crowd starts turning on Mitsuko when Wannai and Awatsuki return, telling the guy he’s said too much. The guy takes a moment to slip away in the confusion before Mitsuko can address him again.

Uiharu returns from her Judgement work all exhausted, but she perks up when Mikoto offers to give her a massage. Saten is waiting for Uiharu to walk her home, where they talk about Erii’s forthcoming move. On the day Banri is discharged, she wears her school uniform for the first time, to the delight of Mikoto and the others. Before they can head to a restaurant for celebratory cake, Kuroko gets a call from Konori, recalling her to work as a massive power outage (which Mikoto swears wasn’t her doing) has caused traffic problems. She and Uiharu head off to help with traffic control.

Mikoto, Saten, Banri, and Erii head to the reserved room at the restaurant and start without Kuroko and Uiharu. Banri thinks that Uiharu has been so kind because she’s part of Judgement, but Mikoto assures her that Judgement had nothing to do with it as this is who Uiharu is and because they are all friends. After their work is over, a desperate Uiharu has Kuroko take her someplace before they go to the restaurant. They arrive after Banri has had to leave for one more checkup.  The gift Uiharu purchased was taiyaki, which puzzles Saten and Mikoto, but Erii remembers Uiharu bought those for her back when she first came to live with Uiharu and cries because she’s moving.

After leaving the restaurant, Saten has the group take a shortcut, which leads them to a park. There, they discover a young blonde girl sleeping in one of the flower beds, the same girl who’d been on the balcony. They take her to a bench where she wakes up. However, she doesn’t respond to their questions, so Saten shows how to get the girl to open up by getting down to her eye level. The girl says her name is Febli. She looks at Mikoto and somehow knows she is MISAKA Mikoto. Elsewhere, Aritomi is meeting with other members of STUDY in discussing the results from their experiment with ITEM. The group votes to proceed with their plans, the final vote cast by someone resembling Shinobu.

Thoughts/Review:

With this episode, the Railgun S series completely breaks away from the manga, which is expected since it was clear the anime wouldn’t be going into the Daihasei Festival Arc as it isn’t finished in the manga from what I understand.

I don’t know if we have a red herring or not, but it looked like Shinobu is a member of STUDY (the name was shown on their laptops). One of the problems with the source manga is that it is compelled to not worry a lot about aftermath. For example, after the Level Upper arc, the manga doesn’t take the time to see what happened with Kiyama-sensei’s students (the Child Errors). The first Railgun anime series addressed this, thus we are able to learn what happened with Banri and Erii even into Railgun S.

In that same light, after her part was over in the Sister’s arc, Shinobu was taken into custody and the manga hasn’t said another word about her. I really hope this is Shinobu because it would again allow the anime series to fill in gaps and let fans know what happened to her.

I’m told that the computer screen showing ITEM’s members on it confirms that Frenda is a Level 4 esper.  Previously, I think it was assumed that she wasn’t a esper, but was highly skilled at bomb making.

Speaking of ITEM, I enjoyed seeing them in a non-antagonistic role. After all, they are a mercenary group and as such, shouldn’t just be some group that Mikoto battles. I loved the implication that Shizuri burned down the warehouse where the experiment on her group was conducted. Mikoto must be wearing off on her. ^_~

I wonder how Febli knew who Mikoto was. I get the feeling she’s tied to this STUDY group.

Speaking of STUDY, I would guess that they have some sort of agenda against espers. There’s the convenient Academy Assembly about to happen, which is supposed to highlight academic stuff, not esper stuff. Then, there’s STUDY’s experiment against ITEM, who are a group of espers. Finally, there’s Aritomi’s lecture to Mitsuko about all the bad that might have happened since she used her powers in public, turning the crowd against her somewhat.

So while the episode was mostly filler dealing with Banri getting out of the hospital and Erii moving out of Uiharu’s place to live with Banri, I like the groundwork being laid out for this new arc.

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8 Responses to “A Certain Scientific Railgun S – 18 (Time for a new, non-manga arc.)”

  1. Cube says:

    I could swear Frenda’s whole point is that she’s a non-esper that can keep up with espers.

    Making her a level 4 is… inconsistent, to say the least.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      For me, it was more surprising that an esper group would have a non-esper with them. After all, where does such a young girl with now powers get combat training like she had to be a mercenary? Sure, it made Frenda special, and that’s lost with her apparently being a level 4 esper, but for me, it made it more consistent with the established world of Index/Railgun.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Pretty sure she isn’t one, most espers would base their tactics on their powers, rather than bombs. Unless she has some kind of heightened cognition power, or bomb making power, it doesn’t fit.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      From what I’m told, ITEM gets its name from the fact that all of its members are espers who use items to aide them in conjunction with their powers.

      Shizuri: uses silicon cards to give her more versatility in her esper attacks.
      Rikou – needs the drug to bring out her esper ability.
      Saiai – in the Index novels, it is revealed she carries nitrogen around with her (I don’t know why).
      Frenda – uses bombs

      Right now, I’ve no clue what Frenda’s power could be. However, we may have been given clues. For starters, Frenda seemed to have the one medical facility set up for Mikoto in fairly short time. That’s a lot of work to do, based on the sheer size of the facility and the fact that she had it rigged everywhere with explosives. So her esper abilities may have assisted her in that.

      Another clue may come from Shizuri. She comes in to save Frenda from Mikoto and eventually sends her and Rikou on their way to face Mikoto alone. Frenda later panics because she realizes she hadn’t cleaned up the place and when Mikoto uses Frenda’s bombs against Shizuri, Shizuri gets angry with Frenda for not having cleaned up. How Frenda could so easily clean up after herself during the middle of a fight is beyond me unless her esper ability would help her do so in rapid fashion.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rikou’s power needs nitrogen to work. The more the better. It’s a bit of a spoiler, but nothing major:
      Evxbh’f cbjre vf n fcrpvnyvmrq sbez bs nrebxvarfvf gung bayl jbexf ba avgebtra tnf, ohg fur unf na rkgerzryl uvtu yriry bs pbageby bire avgebtra gung vf va pbagnpg jvgu ure obql, nyybjvat ure gb sbez n arne-cresrpg, fxva gvtug oneevre gung eraqref ure vzzhar gb unez naq onfvpnyyl tvirf ure fhcre-fgeratgu. Fur pneevrf avgebtra tnf gb znxr vg zber cbjreshy ol vapernfvat gur cebcbegvba bs avgebtra va gur nve.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Ah. That clarifies a lot. Thanks for the info. ^_^

  3. Anonymous says:

    One little nod to the index canon that I liked was at the start of the episode Mikoto complains to Saten that the person she had juat been talking to (off screen) had been stalking her.

    This is almost certainly Etzali who according to the timeline had disguised himself as Unabara Mitsuki a short time before the events of this episode (see Index series 1 episode 18).

    One thing I am wondering is if this is going to be a throwaway reference or if it is leading up to we seeing the events of August 31st (Index s1e18 & s2e1) from Mikoto’s perspective possibly as the closing episode of the season.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >One little nod to the index canon that I liked was at the start of the episode Mikoto complains to Saten that the person she had juat been talking to (off screen) had been stalking her.

      Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about that.

      >One thing I am wondering is if this is going to be a throwaway reference or if it is leading up to we seeing the events of August 31st (Index s1e18 & s2e1) from Mikoto’s perspective possibly as the closing episode of the season.

      I wonder as well.

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