A Certain Scientific Railgun S – 21

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S Episode 21
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 has a hard time believing the frog-faced doctor’s statement that Febri is an artificial being until he subtly reminds her of the Sisters. He further states that because of how Febri is composed, her body poisons itself, thus the only thing keeping her alive are the lollipops Febri is always consuming. The doctor doesn’t know if this poisoning is intentional or an unforeseen happenstance, but the only ones who could fix this are Febri’s creators. Mikoto gets angry and asks if the powers that run Academy City are behind this. The doctor says there were rumors years ago, but there are more current rumors about dark, underground organizations interested in this kind of research, causing Mikoto to remember the words of Frenda and Shizuri regarding the darkness of Academy City when she battled them.

On their way out of the hospital with Febri, Kuroko notices Mikoto is down. Mikoto sees Misaka Imouto’s kitten, so she goes off to meet Misaka-10032. There, Misaka-10032 tells Mikoto of her visit with Febri during the night, where she learned that Febri has an older sister, and that Febri’s knowledge came from Testament. Misaka-10032 reasons that the person that set up Febri’s program was the same one who set up the Sisters’ program and the one who introduced the Sisters to milk tea. Mikoto figures this must be Shinobu.  Leaving Misaka Imouto, Mikoto is pondering things when Mitsuko calls. During the conversation, Mikoto starts rethinking her plan to leave Kuroko and the others out of helping Febri.

After coming home with Kuroko, Mikoto initially decides to go at things alone, but when Kuroko sees her off and offers support if needed, Mikoto again remembers Mitsuko’s words and changes her mind. At Uiharu’s apartment, where Febri is taking a nap, the four girls meet and Mikoto fills them in. Despite the dangers, the other three are all into helping Febri. Uiharu uses Judgement’s resources to do research. Saten goes about to learn ore about the lollipops and discovers they will be difficult to analyze and harder to reproduce. Mikoto and Kuroko visit Yomikawa at Anti-Skill regarding the power suits where they learn all of the evidence has been taken by HQ except for the hair in the glass container, which she gives them.

As STUDY meets to discuss how they’ve removed Anti-Skill from the investigation and the forthcoming death of Febri, Mikoto and the three girls meet and discuss the dead end as well as the item given to them by Yomikawa. Mitsuko calls to report she hasn’t tracked down the male student after Febri, but since her family are involved with the making of power suits, she says she’ll pursue that investigation. Mikoto recalls Febri knowing her name on their first meeting, so she tries to find Shinobu, only to discover she’s been expelled from Nagatenjouki Academy. Mikoto visits the frog-faced doctor, who determines that the hair in the capsule is similar to Febri’s, meaning another artificial person. The doctor further says that Febri only has enough candy to last 72 hours. Mikoto is determined to help Febri no matter what, so the doctor arranges for Mikoto to visit Therestina Kihara Lifeline in prison.

Thoughts/Review:

One of the nice things about most of the Railgun anime franchise “filler” is that it is considered mostly canon, and it is done in such a way to make sure not to interfere with Railgun manga or Index novel stories, not doubt thanks to Kamachi-sensei’s influence. As a result, this new, anime-original story arc is quite good so far.

The impression the writers are leaving with me is that Shinobu is Febri’s “oneechan”, which would mean that Shinobu is an artificial person too. Well, they both do have purple eyes and a sort of goth appearance to them.  Also, Febri is considered a backup option, so she may have been created after Shinobu got involved with the Sisters arc in case something happened to her, which happened when ITEM captured her. Also, if Shinobu were also “programmed” by Testament, it would explain a great deal, starting with her being involved with the Sisters project at a very early age. It may also suggest that she in fact does have powers of some kind, on top of the other things she does.  We’ll see.

The situation for Febri keeps getting worse, especially now that a 72 hour limit has been set on her life. There’s a part of me that hates this obvious, melodramatic element to the story, mostly because having a cute, innocent, young girl set up to die always works on me. Plus, the fact that they make the frog-faced doctor helpless in this situation makes it worse somehow.

It wasn’t surprising to see Mikoto bring in the other girls for this anime-only arc, especially since the Sisters arc had so little of them, thanks to the source manga having Mikoto deal with things alone. I do like Mikoto’s thought process on deciding to bring Kuroko, Saten, and Uiharu up to speed as well as Mitsuko (and by proxy, Wannai and Awatsuki). The writers have been careful to make sure that Mikoto doesn’t let her friends know of her battles with ITEM on a specific level, which I appreciate.

I’ve said this before, but the other thing this anime-only arc has been good for is the reconciliation of Mitsuko’s anime character with her manga character. At this point in the anime, Mitsuko is where she would be had the anime done her character properly in the first series. I’m really glad J.C. Staff took the time to do this because it needed to be done for the next anime series, once the manga concludes the  Daihasei Festival Arc.

I liked how Misaka-10032 was used in a meaningful way to advance the plot. Plus, her involvement didn’t feel forced or faked. It felt natural since she was already in the same hospital as Febri, she knew of Mikoto’s involvement with Febri, and having gained her knowledge from Testament, what better person to notice things that would indicate another person had received the same Testament upload.

Finally, there’s the return of Therestina Kihara Lifeline, an anime-only character from the first series. Seeing her was completely unexpected, but it works so well considering the character’s early childhood and her working with power suits as well as her underground connections. It will be interesting to see how Mikoto’s meeting with her goes.

So, this was a really good episode. Can’t wait for next week.

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4 Responses to “A Certain Scientific Railgun S – 21”

  1. Random_Passerby_612 says:

    Huh… If I recall correctly, Shinobu took part in developing Testament so she shouldn’t be programmed by it. Then again, it’s not like that information couldn’t have been false.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      She may have. I’m not an Index/Railgun expert so I was just fathoming a guess. ^_^;

    • Gamen says:

      While I did get the same impression as you early on that when Febri spoke of Onee-chan she was talking about Shinobu, that notion was dispelled later on once it was revealed the older sister was anothr artificial human. For one, that strand of hair belongs to her older sister and is the same color as Febri’s; Shinobu isn’t blond.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Shinobu could have dyed her hair. ^_~

      But you are probably right, which would mean there might be another Febri-type out there.

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