A Certain Scientific Railgun T Review

A Certain Scientific Railgun T Review
とある科学の超電磁砲T

I’ve been a big fan of the A Certain Scientific Railgun spinoff from A Certain Magical Index franchise. In fact, I think it is safe to say that Railgun is my favorite aspect of the franchise. As such, I looked forward to watching A Certain Scientific Railgun T.

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The Story, in Brief (Part 1)

Things in A Certain Scientific Railgun T get started with the Daihasei Festival. Mikoto is teamed with Mitsuko for events. Saten gets involved in looking for Shadow metal. Mikoto’s clone sister gets dragged into an event as Mikoto. However, when Imouto gets hurt, Mikoto sets out to find her. Worse, Mikoto’s friends no longer remember her, meaning Misaki is involved somehow. Mikoto confides in Mitsuko, who ends up getting injured as a result.

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A girl named Mitori attacks Mikoto’s mom and friends. Mikoto comes to realize Misaki isn’t working with Mitori’s group and forms an uneasy alliance with her. We learn that as a child, Misaki had befriended Mikoto’s early clone, Dolly. Mitori had also been involved with Dolly. Misaki realizes the giant brain that helps her abilities, Exterior, is being taken over. Further, Mikoto is also being taken over and elevated into something beyond human.

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Touma is forced to deal with Mikoto and defeat her. Meanwhile Misaki has to fend for herself in a desperate situation. After winning her battle, Misaki and a redeemed Mitori rescue Dolly.

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The Story, in Brief (Part 2)

Junko has Mikoto come over for tea. There, she lets Mikoto and an annoyed Misaki know about Indian Poker. Quickly, the two girls come to understand the dangers of Indian poker, in that these Indian Poker cards can let folks experience sexual fetishes as well as learn things. Meanwhile, Kuroko gets involved with a young boy with the power to see bad events in the future.

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Mikoto becomes more involved in Indian Poker, trying to find the legendary card that will increase bust size. Saten becomes the target of a kidnapping plot due to her interest in Indian Poker. She’s saved by Frenda from ITEM, which leads Frenda to become the target of an assassination.

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Meanwhile, Misaki learns more about Indian Poker and forms another alliance with Mikoto. Misaki promises to take care of Mikoto’s clones in exchange for Mikoto’s help. The two find the creator of Indian Poker, a girl named Ryoko. She’s a brilliant teenage scientist who underwent horrific cybernetic experiments. After being put back together, her android copy, Doppelganger, escapes and goes on a rampage.

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A darkside group named Scavenger is hired to get Doppelganger. They end up teaming up with Mikoto. Doppelganger and Mikoto fight. With Misaki’s intel, Mikoto comes to realize that Doppelganger wants to die, but is prevented by her programming. Mikoto reluctantly gives Doppelganger what she wants.

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Daihasei Festival Arc

Part 1 of A Certain Scientific Railgun T covered the Daihasei Festival arc from the manga. The anime’s adaptation of the story events were pretty faithful. There were some puzzling choices to shift how some of the story flowed in the anime as opposed to the manga. And there were some cuts and some additions here and there, but on the whole, nothing too hideous.

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As to the story, I was glad to see the anime production team make Mitsuko like her manga counterpart. When Mitsuko was introduced in the original Railgun anime, the production team thought it would be awesome to turn her into some ojousama rival for Mikoto. That was never who she was in the source manga. As such, it was lovely seeing Mitsuko working with Mikoto as the friends they are in the manga.

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I also really enjoyed Mikoto and Misaki teaming up for the first time. The manga did a better job of making Misaki seem like a villain at first. That aside, we are given more lore as we see the first clone from Mikoto named Dolly. It honestly feels like a retcon for a young Misaki to be involved with Dolly. At the same time, it shows why Misaki has such a keen interest in the Mikoto clones.

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I wasn’t as keen in Mikoto getting “taken over” so that Touma has to save her. But I did love Misaki having to fight for her life without the benefit of using others. I also appreciated Mitori’s redemption arc as we are lead to understand her actions.

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Dream Ranker Arc

For Part 2 of A Certain Scientific Railgun T, we get a very faithful adaptation of the Dream Ranker Arc. There were some minor changes here and there. The biggest thing were the occasional added filler to remind us that Kuroko, Saten, and Uiharu were around (though Saten did get a 2-episode story from the manga). The best of the filler involved cameos with Dolly. Not only do we see Mitori helping Misaki with intel, but she’s become Dolly’s guardian. I loved it, especially the added scene in the final episode of Dolly, Mitori, and Misaki at an aquarium.

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As to the story, Mikoto still has her immature moments, especially dealing with Misaki. However, when it came to Mikoto dealing with Doppelganger, we see Mikoto at her finest. She draws on all of her prior battle experience to be able to not only deal with Doppelganger, but do it in a way that feels earned. Plus, she puts aside her disdain for Misaki in order to gain more intel on dealing with Doppelganger. I loved seeing this more mature side to Mikoto.

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FUNimation/Crunchyroll Subtitle Rubbish

One thing I hated about A Certain Scientific Railgun T was the official, English subtitles. In the previous Railgun series, Crunchyroll/FUNimation had used full honorifics, including Kuroko’s trademark “Oneesama!” Unfortunately, honorifics get stripped completely. Further, “Oneesama” becomes the ultra-cringe “Sissy!” Every time I saw “Sissy” on the screen, I wanted to put by eyes out. I know some whack job thought this was awesome for the dubs, but who thought is was right for the subtitles?

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What’s odd about the subtitles is that while the Japanese honorifics were stripped, Japanese terms sometimes were retained. I’m not complaining about that as I approve of Japanese terms not being forced translated into something they aren’t. But it makes the moronic decision to strip Japanese honorifics and titles from the subs even stupider.

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As an aside, if anyone has purchased the BD/DVD set, let me know how the subtitles are. I’m guessing they might be the same, but I’ve learned that sometimes different companies do the physical copy subs than the digital copy subs.

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Final Thoughts and Conclusion

In the end, A Certain Scientific Railgun T was a pretty good entry in the anime adaptations of the source manga. The stories for part 1 and part 2 were interesting, though I found part 2 better on a personal level. And if you can get past the rubbish subtitles (if you are streaming the series), it is well worth the watch!

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