I hate episode posts and I stopped bothering with them years ago – but, this will be a special case because my Railgun is back for a new season!
Back in the day, before years and years worth of my blog posts were deleted by my host (don’t ever use godaddy), way back when Honey & Clover was just airing and we were all little toddlers prancing around the telly, I did this sort of thing often. I never did the whole “post pics and just summarize the episode” thing, and these will follow the style I used to post in – these will not be ‘episode summaries’, but episode reviews I guess. There might be some summary mixed in just for context, but most of it will focus on my opinions of the episode/events in it/what happened with the characters and so on. Less “here’s what you just watched why am I telling you” and more “hey man, I saw that too, here’s what I thought about it” – which, if you ask me, is what episode posts should be. Okay, I guess a lot of it will be fanboying and pics too (if you click the pics they get BIGGER!), but there’s no problem with that.
For the record, I’m a big fan of JC Staff in general, they’ve made a shit ton of classics and masterpieces, things that not only are must-sees – but also a lot that defined entire genres and styles in the industry. Aside that, I also am just as massive a fan of their adaptation of Railgun, they took a pretty good manga – didn’t REMOVE a single thing, and managed to add in a shit ton of story and character development on top of keeping everything from the manga and adapting it well, making it at least twice as good as the original source; from “pretty good” to “awesome”. So, seeing the same crew and all working on this season? I couldn’t be happier.
Also, sorry if this isn’t up to par with my usual posts in terms of writing. I’m not used to this style of posting and I pretty literally ended up too busy being a fanboy to try and form proper sentences at times.
Anyway, with that out of the way;
Right off the bat, I really liked how they basically took episode 1 from season 1 and, in a large part, just updated it to fit this season – in order to get across that feeling of the girls being back after so long. It wasn’t cheap or lazy writing, it was very much a purposeful throwback to the first run of the show, and it made it feel really nice, almost like it was welcoming you back. There are even scenes like Kuroko’s Judgment pose being showcased from the original episode 1, clearly on purpose, that just get you really excited for the show. It’s been a while since season 1 finished airing, and they did a fantastic job of giving you that nostalgic and “we’re back!” feeling. Pretty much the first thing you hear is a little grumpy moan from Mikoto, very reminiscent of her humming intro to the first episode 1. Another throwback can be found in the scene my new main blog banner is from – in which the art goes from the normal art to the style of the first season’s ending animations for a few seconds.
I’m not sure if it’s in a good or bad way, but the art has changed slightly. It still looks the same overall, and the style is the exact same, but sometimes the lines and coloring felt a little more like the OP visuals from season 1 rather than the episodes, which is actually kind of nice. At times it felt a little blobby, like Uiharu’s flowers being just a pink shape in some scenes and her skirt changing drastically in size every now and then, and a few other parts felt a bit skimped on – while the rest actually looked a little higher quality than the first season and the animation seems a lot more fluid now.
Another issue that isn’t necessarily a big deal is that everyone’s heights were inconsistent. In some scenes you’d have Saten being as tall as Biribiri – which is just hilariously wrong. Saten is taller than Uiharu and Kuroko, but she’s shorter than Misaka – who is by far the tallest at a western girl’s average size of almost 5’3″ even though she’s a young Japanese one. Some scenes, Uiharu and Kuroko were almost the same height as those two as well, which is even more wrong.
On the topic of things being different – I have a genuine question if anyone knows the answer: did they change Kongou Mitsuko’s seiyuu? She sounded extremely different to my ears. I didn’t hate it or anything, it was kind of cute – a lot more mannish than before, but at the same time it felt a little less ojou-sama-esque and I always liked what a stereotype she was, so some of her moe is hanging in the balance.We got a lot of TV-only material, and I’m extremely happy with JC Staff for sticking with the style of season 1. Like I mentioned earlier, they did amazingly well at putting the ENTIRE source material in while adding, expanding, and ACTUALLY concluding the arc’s story – unlike what Kamachi wrote originally, wherein it just abruptly ends. This season looks like it’ll follow in those footsteps, especially when episode 1 was almost entirely made up – but we did get one hint to the true story of this season! The fact this is ALL WE GOT remotely hinting at the coming arc makes me feel pretty certain that the show will probably focus on expanding it (again, like season 1) rather than finishing that arc and moving on to the next.
My favorite part of the ep had to be when Mikoto was explaining her plans of surprising bedridden Ritsu-with-freckles with the present they brought for her. She got extremely silly, yet serious, about it, and you can tell reading all that manga in the convenience stores has made an imprint in her ways of thinking. The whole time she’s just all over the place bouncing from one thing to the next and freaking out over it once she realizes she forgot the present in Rit-chan’s hospital room. It’s just amazingly fucking cute seeing that side of her, all super ditsy-moe and hyperactive. It wasn’t just that, but her whole way of being and talking was so incredibly different from the way she usually is – but entirely in-character and believable for her that it was just too good and was super fun and adorable to watch. I didn’t get a screenshot of it, but Kuroko agrees – she was standing quietly with the biggest smile and two huge round blush marks on her face, just enjoying watching her onee-sama act that way. It’s easy to forget she’s got such a silly teen-girl side to her given she’s usually trying to act like the mature one. It’s probably one of my favorite moments of her ever, including all of season 1 and what I’ve read of the manga. There are a lot of them, but this is no doubt high on the list.
It appears they are giving a little more attention to her girlish, carefree, cute, normal side this time around – and I couldn’t be happier about that because it’s something that was always part of her character but often times felt like it didn’t get enough chances to shine as it deserves to. She IS a child, acting like one is something she should do – and while season 1 had a lot of it scattered about, I felt they kind of forgot about it sometimes. This episode alone was packed full of it though, from the scene I just mentioned to (as someone just reminded me about) a scene of her simply feeling happy and just enjoying herself while sitting super relaxed on top of a windmill. It seems almost like they realized they went JUST a little too focused on her tomboy side in season 1 and tried balancing in her whole personality this time around, and it’s really working well so far.Aside cuteness there was a lot of cool shit too, which I felt was done a little less embarrassingly cheesy as the first episode of season 1. Actually, we even had an SMG and some handguns this time around, which was pretty exciting, as it’s easy to forget not everyone is an esper in Academy City. BUT the best part of all the action was, actually, the two best parts were; Mikoto literally going out the window in this huge hospital and just climbing up the fucking wall using her electricity like it was goddamn nothing (which I just fucking loved the few times she did things like that in season 1) – and seeing her flying around so freely in the sky after having Kuroko teleport her up there, which includes one of the sweetest scenes in the show with Mikoto saying a very sincere “arigatou” to Kuroko while ‘flying’ together, and then eventually doing an upside-down Railgun!
After all that, the ED shows up – which was actually the OP, my second biggest complaint was there and I’d rather get it out of the way first. The entire thing spoils so much (whether it happens this way or not, we’ll have to wait and see) that it’s not even funny, they sit there showing the fights go down for way longer than they need to. Even season 1 had spoilers (most anime ops do, not a big deal), but they flashed them by quickly rather than spending like 30 full seconds showing off an actual fight to come. Oddly enough – we see some of the battles, but not a single sister, which you’d think would be more the thing they’d be showing off.
The biggest complaint is this;
This thing isn’t something I’m up to in the manga yet, but I do know about her; nothing makes her eyes, character design, or personality likeable at all. She’s just a terrible character all around already and she’s been around for maybe 3 minutes. I know she’s not part of the Sister’s arc, but I’m still annoyed especially if they end up getting to her part before the season ends – she also wasted a good chunk of the first half of the episode. What’s really bad about her is that she’s just such a generic boring uninteresting person right off the bat, she feels EXTREMELY shounen-esque, while Railgun typically feels different from that. I don’t like her and I feel like she belongs staying in Index and never stepping out of it. Also, I hate that her name is Misaki because that’s way too close to Misaka, Kamachi is a dipshit and I hate him for writing so terribly so much of the time. The question is – was this just a cameo for fans, or is it implying the series will continue further after the Sisters arc? We’ll just have to wait and see.
One last complaint; Touma showed up already – even if only for a few seconds. I very much hope he doesn’t get forced into this season too much, he’s not even involved in this arc in the manga whatsoever, but I know he’ll ‘be around’ even if only in the tv-only episodes…I just hope it’s not too often, as he’s pretty much the main driving force of why Index is so godawful, having him appear often in Railgun will drag the series down. He’s complete shit, I don’t want him here more than he needs to be.
That’s all I’ve got to complain about! By the way, new main banner for the blog!
Overall, I was a bit worried I was over hyping this for myself since way back when it was announced – but I’m glad to be able to say this ep made me fall in love with the show and with biribiri all over again.
So until next week, be power smart and conserve electricity~biribiri!