Episode 3 is here!
I’ve said it in the last two posts as well I think, but the cinematography, writing, and direction of the episodes in this season are fucking outstanding. This episode in particular felt incredibly different from the entirety of season 1 and the past two eps, being very dark and the atmosphere made well to get across almost a creepy feeling.
The manga at this part felt kind of cool, but not very dark – but this really made it feel much more foreboding and darker, in a very good way. The camera angles and zoomed in shots this whole season have really changed the feeling too, it feels more like a movie every episode than a TV show, because that’s the way they are ‘filming’ it. Obviously, it’s all drawn and animated, but they still have to do that in the same way you’d film a movie – only without actors, but the ideology behind it is the same, and it really shows this season how good they are at using perspective, lighting, and so on to get a feeling across to the viewer and also make the show overall look and feel like a much higher budget production. Not only that, but by using more film oriented techniques it makes the show feel very unique from everything else airing – giving it an air of a feature film rather than a TV anime and making the entire experience feel that way for the full 24 minutes.
At the same time, it’s making it feel much more ominous – even in the happy scenes in episode 1 and 2 we got a LOT of scenes showing just from Mikoto’s mouth to her neck, or like this or that, just very zoomed in shots never really showing her eyes or lower than her chest in them, or cutting out random parts by having them just out of the frame (like directly above with part of her eye not showing) – while the further away shots are always from odd angles you’d typically see in suspense thrillers or horror films. We also get a lot of really zoomed in shots, which aren’t all that typical to have THIS often in anime, but moreso in real movies and such. Not always, we of course get our usual happy go lucky stuff – but that’s exactly what I mean. They really know what they are doing with every single shot, every single way it’s directed and designed, and every detail to it. Each scene carries an overall feeling that just from the shot alone and how it’s shown tells the viewer a lot even if only subconsciously. You can go from a serious scene to a light hearted one smoothly, they didn’t do it clumsily.
This episode is probably the darkest one in the entirety of Railgun yet, there was barely anything lighthearted and almost every scene was literally barely lit or shown with a top and bottom border, the only rest from that being the couple minutes with Uiharu and Saten (who had a new hair style!), and the like 30 seconds we got of Kuroko. The ominous and foreboding feeling was lacking in the manga, but you can already tell things aren’t going to be happy at this point in the show even if you have no idea what’s coming – you just know something IS coming – and oh, it is. This arc is plenty fucked up and rather horrible on Mikoto, but it really fleshes out her character even more and helps her develop as a person, plus showcases how amazing she ALREADY is.
Speaking of Kuroko, she very literally and blatantly is using Mikoto’s kirugamar plush as a sex toy, the doujins write themselves! But you better not look at any of Biribiri or I won’t forgive you.
We haven’t gotten a lot of Kuroko lately and this episode was the worst about it, with her only showing up maybe a full minute just for that scene. I feel bad for Kuroko fans, but it’s a good thing, if she was around more it’d imply she’ll be having a bigger part in this arc, which she shouldn’t because that’d go against the entire point of the story of this arc, or rather Buiribiri’s views in it. Don’t worry, Kuroko will get plenty of time soon enough I’m sure.
Well, I say it was all mostly dark and serious – but they did make sure to have some playful more lighthearted stuff mixed in even during that – to keep it from feeling GRIMDARK or too heavy, it made it MUCH more fitting of Railgun.
Aside those side scenes, we get a lot of plot progress – finding out about the Sisters and getting more info on them after Mikoto sneaks her way in to a research facility, and getting one line from one of the sisters for the first time in the whole show! I like this arc and I like how it’s being animated very much, not only is it great in all these other ways – but first and foremost it’s a VERY heavily biribiri-filled and focused arc even compared to the entirety of the first season, meaning there’s lots and lots and lots of Biribiri!
My favorite part of the episode had to be, well, my favorite part of the manga for this arc as well. It’s only one frame in the manga, and it’s just a little note saying something along the lines of, “she’s so spoiled and rich she gets a hotel room instead of a coin locker”. I don’t know why but I found that incredibly cute the first time I read it and realized how true it is, she’s a spoiled little rich girl who doesn’t even realize it herself and it’s adorable. And that’s only AFTER spending almost $400 on the new outfit to begin with (in CASH) – and she doesn’t even bat an eye at any of this because it’s just so normal to her. The show did it well too, with her mentioning it herself instead – well, not being spoiled, but using a hotel room just as a changing room being kind of ridiculous, even paying for a bigger more luxurious room because they didn’t have any of the single rooms available.
I do have one big complaint about this episode though: WHERE WAS HER BASEBALL HAT? Come on JC Staff, that’s the cutest part about her new outfit and you didn’t put it in! Or does that not come in until later? I was pretty sure she had it right away after changing. **Apparently it really does come in later in the arc, my mistake! I’ll wait patiently for it!
With all that said, the show is progressing pretty fast in terms of the Sisters arc. I have a strong feeling once we meet one of the sisters that we’ll get episodes stretching out the manga a bit – because there’s some slice of life stuff at that point in the manga as well, and the show can expand on that very easily. I sure hope so too, because as much as I love Railgun when it’s got it’s focus on story, I really love the other side of it too. That’s one of the best parts of the show – the perfect balance between story, action, and slice of life.
Anyway, until next week – be power smart and conserve electricity ~biribiri!