A Certain Scientific Railgun Vol. 10 Manga Review

とある科学の超電磁砲(レールガン)/Toaru Kagaku no Railgun
A Certain Scientific Railgun Vol. 10 (manga review) 

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SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:  

A Certain Scientific Railgun Vol. 10A Certain Scientific Railgun Vol. 10Mitori encourages Mikoto to attempt to target the “evil” of this city as she continues to power up. Misaki drafts Touma to help try to bring Mikoto under control. Touma is aided by Level 5 psychic, Sogita, as Mikoto continues powering up and going out of control. Misaki drafts Kuroko, who’s memories are still altered, to pursue Mitori. Kuroko gets remote help from Uiharu and Saten to help her track down and ultimately defeat Mitori. Misaki engages in a battle of wits against Kihara Gensei, who is using Level Upper to have supernatural powers. She ultimately defeats the old man via brilliant trickery.

After failed attempts to stop Mikoto, Touma gets to her newly evolved and out of control form. His Image Breaker arm is ripped off as Mikoto, unable to do anything, witnesses in horror. However, number of serpent-dragons emerge from what remains of his arm, destroying the “shell” around Mikoto, allowing Touma to free her. His arm is then restored.

The defeated Mitori lays in the sewer, remembering her time with the clone Dolly and how Mitori learning the ugly truth behind Dolly’s “treatment” subsequently lead her to ultimately be recruited by Kihara Gensei. Misaki, having found her and learned this info, recruits Mitori to go free Dolly’s clone twin, who shares the original Dolly’s memories. Mikoto pays a visit to Mitsuko at the hospital to thank her. Misaki restores Kuroko’s, Saten’s, and Uiharu’s memories of Mikoto, with some modifications to not reveal the truth of what happened. Saten arranges things so that Mikoto has to dance with Touma.

Thoughts/Review:

And so comes an end to the Daihasei Festival Arc, and it was certainly an interesting and entertaining story.

The revelation that Mitori was the “Mii-chan” that Dolly knew, and who’s place young Misaki took was one that I should have seen coming a mile away. And yet, up until that was revealed, I had no clue. Initially, when Mitori started having her flashback, I started thinking, “Yeah, right. This sure is convenient.” But then as the flashback played out, I realized, “Actually, this makes a lot of sense.” It wasn’t just some hat pull, but it was clearly designed going back to the start of the story arc.

Even Misaki’s not probing Dolly’s mind as a child regarding Mii-chan made sense because at the time, Misaki was (1) still a child and (2) had other, more pressing concerns.

I loved how Misaki drafted Mitori to help her. It seemed pretty clear that Misaki did a mind probe of Mitori to learn the truth. In the end, I loved how they were able to save the other Dolly clone, though for how long is another question. Misaki seems to have access to medical facilities, so she might put her resources together to help extend Dolly’s life.

I also note with interest that Dolly’s emergence seems to have gotten her into the Misaka Network, at least to some degree as Misaka-10032 senses Dolly’s desires and feelings.

Misaki’s strategy against Kihara Gensei is pretty brilliant. I couldn’t think of how she would overcome Gensei since he had multiple powers thanks to Level Upper, including clairvoyance. Changing stuff her her own mind so that she believed certain things worked well and was very believable. I’m guessing Gensei died, but considering how he’d modified himself so much, it wouldn’t surprise me if he had his consciousness installed in a computer somewhere so that he could get a new body at some point.

As to Touma, he now appears to have some new supernatural power, that in the form of eight serpent-type dragons emerging from where his right arm was removed. Good thing the dragons were only interested in Mikoto’s out of control powers and nothing else. I suppose that makes sense, seeing as how his Imagine Breaker negates powers of all sorts.

The whole thing with Mikoto’s powers was kinda weird. It appeared that this was the Railgun half of the franchise attempting to bring in a bit of the Index half in with the talk of Mikoto’s mind transforming to something from another dimension.

I loved Mikoto’s visit to Mitsuko in the hospital. Should this part of the Railgun get animated, I really hope that Mitsuko is now completely shifted to her manga persona. She’s a much better character in the manga. I don’t know why the first anime series made her so annoying, other than as a comedy element. The second anime series started reconciling the character to make her more in line with her manga version, but in order to get this touching hospital scene, the anime version needs to completely abandon their original concept of the character in favor of the manga version.

Finally, even though I’m not a Touma fan, I did find Saten setting up things so that Mikoto danced with Touma at the folk dance mixer that night. Saten and Uiharu were so awesome in how they got on the same page so quickly to stop Kuroko. I loved how Touma teased Mikoto, and I got a laugh at Kuroko losing it.

On the Seven Seas side of things, Japanese honorifics are retained. There are no translator notes. It appears the omake stuff from the Japanese tankoubon is all there.

So, while we had a long wait for this volume, which was delayed in Japan as well, it was worth the wait to wrap up this story arc. I can’t wait to see how the next story arc goes.

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19 Responses to “A Certain Scientific Railgun Vol. 10 Manga Review”

  1. WMC says:

    Ya. All good stuff. But I like Touma. I especially like his pretend-to-be clueless teasing of Mikoto. Is he radically different in the manga from the prior anime?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      In the Index series, he’s the hero, so he’s always front and center, and since he’s a one trick wonder horse in the Index animes I’ve seen (I’ve not read any of the light novels), so he annoys the crap out of me there. He does love teasing Mikoto there though, calling her Biri-biri as he does in the manga.

      In the manga, Touma is an occasional supporting character, so he’s a lot more tolerable.

      • WMC says:

        The only “A Certain” I’ve read is “Railgun,” so my interp is thus skewed. Unnerving sometimes to find a favorite character much different in derivative work.

  2. Hiss13 says:

    The thing about Touma is that his character was translated well from the novels to the other media. Part of the issue is born from the fact that, as LazyHunter on the wikia said:

    “Index’s anime cuts most of the thoughts of the characters and explanations provided by the narration (basically anything that’s not directly stated by the characters in their spoken dialogue has good chances of being cut). This works in some adaptations but for novels like Index where the explanations are an integral part of the fight it does make it so that Touma seems to just run and punch the enemy with no effort on his part.”

    Let’s take the first two arcs of Index for example. In the first arc, or Volume 01, Touma’s character development centers around breaking out of a heavily self-defeating attitude which culminates in him saving Index. Touma’s character development in the second arc centers around him coming to terms with his memory loss which ultimately culminates in one of my favorite scenes in early Index:

    Spoiler Inside SelectShow

    This is something one would never notice if you watched the anime on its own.

    I’m surprised you didn’t notice the connection to a certain incident that happened in the Deep Blood Arc of Index or the out of place things mentioned within one of the character design pages for Misaka’s Level 5 transition states, though.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      This is something one would never notice if you watched the anime on its own.

      And I didn’t.

      I’m surprised you didn’t notice the connection to a certain incident that happened in the Deep Blood Arc of Index or the out of place things mentioned within one of the character design pages for Misaka’s Level 5 transition states, though.

      I will need to review because my memory stinks. ^_^;

      • Hiss13 says:

        I will need to review because my memory stinks. ^_^;

        I don’t really expect you to notice the latter since it’s more of a thing that has yet to happen in anime…but the mentions of Thelema should come off as a bit odd since it has never been touched in Railgun and only once in the Index anime in season 2 with talk of the Liber AL Vel Legis.

        The former…pay attention to that first dragon head that popped out after Touma’s arm was blown off. Does it seem familiar?

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          The former…pay attention to that first dragon head that popped out after Touma’s arm was blown off. Does it seem familiar?

          I’ve looked at it for a while…not ringing any bells. 🙁

          • Hiss13 says:

            This scene from Index Season 1’s Deep Blood Arc should jog your memory:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTCNwL032GY

            Something that was cut out of the anime, however, was this little bit here from the novels that foreshadowed the dragons:

            Spoiler Inside SelectShow
          • AstroNerdBoy says:

            Thanks for that video link. I had totally forgotten that scene from Index.

            Spoiler Inside SelectShow
  3. WMC says:

    Volume 11 out now. Same great work. Their plot jumps, which make this manga so great, are excellent. Details, references, and continuity link all over the place, but consistently. Still fascinating after the fifth reading. Enter a new character, Miyama, a ten year old boy who can see the future. Sort of. The usual scientifically plausible explanations abide. Using this ability physically stresses him so much he must take a long time out, but he will team up with Kuroko and Uiharu to rescue people.

  4. WMC says:

    In “A Certain Scientific Railgun” remember Konori, Kuroko’s sempei from Vol. 1, when she protects Kuroko by tackling her to avoid the bank robber’s “equal speed” balls? Konori gets hit by debris from the explosion and appears later with her roommate, who rubs salve on her back at home. These two, Konori and her roommate, appear again in Vol. 11 during the forest fire! They work together to check IDs, Konori X-rays the people to see if they’re carrying incendiaries. Then, Kuroko drags Konori along with her as she teleports into the fire to find victims. Konori uses her X-ray vision to see through the smoke. Very cool use of abilities.

    This tool of resurrecting characters for remotely later episodes is most interesting.

    The manga “Wandering Island” raises the bar for subsequent works by doing what I always thought should be done, including pages numbers on every page, complete cover art over the whole fold out, and seamless melding of manual and computer graphics.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      This tool of resurrecting characters for remotely later episodes is most interesting.

      In this case, it is easy for Kamachi-sensei to do this. That’s because the A Certain Magical Index series of light novels were written by him first. I believe those characters have more of a role in the Index stories. I’m glad they aren’t forgotten in the manga.

      • WMC says:

        Yes, I’ve noticed these character from “Index” that have been used in “Railgun.” I like his insertion: he doesn’t try to explain their story; he just puts them in there. Leaves lots of room for conjecture. For example, the girl. The one called “my little Aztec” who can conjure that nasty chainsaw-like stone sword. What’s her back story? Is she the same one who tries to pick up Miyama at the bus stop in Volume 11?

        “Wandering Island” published by Dark Horse in Milwaukie, Oregon, a near south suburb of Portland, for thirty years. I hope they have nudged the field toward better habits, like page numbers.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          Having the Index characters in Railgun also helps bridge the two halves of the same world. 🙂

          • WMC says:

            I’ve read volumes 1 and 2 of “A Certain Magical Index” at the bookstore. You know, standing in customers’ way by the shelves, head bent and lost in another world. “Index” didn’t trip my interest! Way too religious, mystical and magical for me, but I like “Railgun.” Plausible, but slightly skewed science fascinates me.

            Those transfer characters are very interesting. I’d like to know “that girl’s” story.

          • AstroNerdBoy says:

            My disappointment with the Index English novels is that the Japanese honorifics were stripped out. That really irritated me, so I passed on buying more. 🙁

  5. WMC says:

    Among the many great things Miss Winifred Casterline, our Senior English teacher gave us was that unless we knew the EXACT foreign usage, go with the corresponding CORRECT English. Above all, avoid mangling another language. So I have no trouble with “Mr. Miyazaki” or “Sir” or “Ma’am” when the text is in English. But of course I also like the proper Japanese suffix — when it’s used correctly. Japanese translators to English seem to have trouble with participles, especially the past imperfect. They haven’t yet got it most of the time. They use the present tense, which doesn’t give anywhere near the intended meaning. The author of “Paradise Residence” has a very funny sequence about this.

    I might as well give the best of her lessons: Use active, transitive verbs; adverbs and adjectives that start with a vowel; and apposition most of the time. To get in good with the reader always use these in parallel construction. Finally, to punch up your English use a short sentence with a being verb (is, are, was, etc) at the end of a long, complex paragraph. Miss Casterline’s legacy is eternal.

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