Welp, late on this one, but that shouldn’t be normal; there was just some stuff I was busy with this time around (which is unusual).
Anyway, to the episode;
This episode was great – the entirety of it was just Mikoto being incredibly cute with bits and pieces of something else going on. It felt like they took that short 30 seconds or so from the first episode of the season (of her acting all goofy and girly about making the present a surprise) and turned it into 20 minutes. For the record, this does happen in the manga too, and it’s relevant to the story – so I don’t want to hear any complaints about that. Besides, even if it was TV-only material it’d still be amazing.
It was also the lightest feeling episode so far; that is, up until the post-credits extra scene which threw it right back into the dark feeling that the past couple ones had. The cinematography and overall atmosphere of this ep was far more upbeat and done in a way to get across that more relaxed feeling that Mikoto herself was feeling after finding out the clone program was shut down. She’s got a whole weight off her chest and the episode gets that across by making the viewer feel the same way through everything from the camera angles and lighting to every little bit of the writing and line delivery.
It’s a great setup for what’s to come because, just like biribiri probably will soon, the viewer gets that nice feeling like this;
and then gets thrown right into, well, this;
Even knowing what’s to come the way they are doing it is outstanding. The cinematography, which I know I mention a lot, is just fucking incredibly well done. This is some top-notch hollywood shit being done here, not TV series anime stuff. It’s extremely professionally done and makes the whole show feel more exciting, suspenseful, fun, and most importantly immersive and atmospheric than most other shows ever manage. Cinematography is something EXTREMELY important in visual mediums, getting across so much to the viewer and making the viewer feel things (sometimes without them even realizing why) in such subtle ways, and yet is something most anime just do the very basics of – Railgun is definitely doing something far above and beyond the usual and it sure as fuck is making the show that much better for it. So, sorry if I talk about that a lot, I’m just genuinely blown away by how well crafted and directed this is by the staff. The pacing is also some of the best I’ve seen in any recent show. Knowing what’s coming or not is irrelevant, the way they are getting it across in the show keeps it from feeling too lighthearted, forced, or heavy handed, instead it feels much more like a natural progression of events.
On the happier side of things, watching biribiri interact with the kids was extremely cute and fun. Kuroko says her onee-sama isn’t THAT pure at the start of the episode, but I think the way she was the whole ep proves she was wrong! Just like the cinematography being something I mention a lot – I gotta mention the way they are really fleshing out Mikoto’s character and her more prominent natural personality this season. Watching her flip out over Gekota shit and generally being really kind, silly, and a cute dummy just makes her all the better and really helps reinforce the fact that she’s far from any generic stereotype or overdone archetype – which also explains why she’s such an amazingly popular character in the world of anime/manga/light novels.As much as I love Biribiri doing whatever and being however – this episode really showcased her at her very best, and I love it for that. I’ve already re-watched it 3 times.
With as much slice of life stuff that was in season 1 – both the stuff from the manga and the stuff they did for the anime version – there was never actually an episode just showing a normal day for Biribiri. This was the first time we really see her just being herself, a normal day in her normal life, and her being her normal self (with a little bit of an extra added happy during the first half). It’s something that always felt like it was missing and it’s just awesome to finally see and makes this one of my top favorite episodes of the entire franchise. Just watching her be her was just so nice. I especially liked seeing her interact with the kids and the small stuff, like letting the one swing on her arm and playing kick the can with them. We got so many different expressions and moods, and we got to see her just react to her normal every day. Eating breakfast (late, which shows another aspect to her personality we haven’t seen before at all! The only time we got a hint at her laziness was in the episode where she plays violin in season 1) and talking to Maika, reading manga in the convenience store, hanging out at the park, hunting for gekota merch, see how she is with her friends just shopping and hanging out, see how she is spending time with kids, watch her waste shit tons of money without batting an eye because she’s spoiled (which we’ve seen multiple times this season!), and so on. There’s just so much it was just so great.
It was also nice seeing Maika again, who only got a short cameo in season 1 as well. She’s definitely one of the cutest maids ever. I had no idea they used the maids to work at the school as such for training, but I guess it makes sense. Biribiri would just hire one if they didn’t provide one anyway.
I’m surprised the sister has normal eyes though. I don’t entirely remember, but don’t they all have the dead-eyes in Index and in the manga? I think this makes more sense, but it also kinda bugs me as it makes them even more like her and I don’t like that. Why? Because, the sisters do some pretty terrible things borrowing her body – and it’s not theirs to be doing that with. Sure, it’s not ACTUALLY her, but Touma groping on one of the Sisters is him feeling the exact 1:1 body of Mikoto Misaka, and that will never stop bothering me. They also give her a bad rep by doing stupid shit like pulling their skirt down in public. They are important for the story, but there is a lot – in Index – that was thrown in entirely for fanservice of Mikoto, given she has almost none (as it doesn’t fit her character at all). They are there for a real reason, but those bits in Index of them being abused for fanservice have no fucking reason to exist aside pandering to the shittiest of the fanbase. But yeah – I’m surprised she had normal eyes. Maybe this one did in the manga too…but I really don’t think that was the case.
I want to say, I actually REALLY LIKE this change. The sister’s having more normal eyes makes them feel more real and connectable to. It makes them matter much more than they did with the dead raped-looking eyes. This gives them life rather than looking like nonliving dolls. So don’t get the wrong idea. It’s a definite good thing.One thing I don’t understand and would like if someone knows could explain; why do the Sisters have to look like Misaka? Clones or not, they still put them in the same exact clothing and hairstyle, plus hairpin. I’ve read this part in the manga and I don’t recall them EVER mentioning a reason for this. Hell, it’s counter intuitive to have them look like her because it’d make it obvious something is up to the general public. Chances of the sisters becoming known about goes up like a thousand percent when you go out of your way to make them look identical to the original in every single way possible. They could at least give them different hair or even just a different shirt. The way they do it makes no fucking sense whatsoever unless I’m missing something.
Oh, and I thought this was kind of silly, given how meta it is for Biribiri fans like myself, who own so much random merch from bags and microfiber screen cleaners to towels, pvc figures, nendos, video games, keychains, stickers, charms, and so on and so forth of her specifically.
Well, it won’t be a week this time, but until next time – be power smart and conserve electricity ~biribiri!
Good point about the twins. I haven’t read the manga yet, so there isn’t a whole lot I can come up with right now. It does make sense as to why the sisters would have Misaka’s base appearance seeing how they were made from her DNA, but that still doesn’t excuse the fact that their hair had to be cut to the same length or why they have to dress similarly. I don’t think hair dye would be applied either due to the costs of mass production (the scientist did mention something about a budget). Perhaps the people in charge of this want to make it obvious? Hard to say without knowing the objective behind this whole project, but that could possibly be the case.
I’m hoping they at least touch on the reasons a little, even just a few sentences in passing would be nice. The further you get into the arc the less sense it’ll make too, it always bugged me – but JC Staff with Season 1 built hugely on the Level Upper story over the small bit the manga had, so I’m hoping they will do the same with the Sister’s arc now that it’s finally being animated.