The reason I’m combining episode posts into one is because 10 just had nothing to talk about. Actually, it had much less than the previous two. All worth mentioning was summarizing rather than commenting and all I really had to say was “I’m glad ITEM’s bit is over with (for now at least)” because I had no interest in them and they kind of were just annoying rather than interesting on any level. As much as I hate Touma as a lead, he’s at least okay as a side-character (again, Index shoulda been the spinoff, Railgun shoulda been the main…but oh well) so I mind him much less than I minded ITEM, so this trade off is alright to me.
As for episode 11, it was just great. First off we’ve got Biribiri feeling much better and being cheerful which is something I’ve been hoping for since this entire season started. It’s just been so dark and unhappy, it sucks watching her stuck going through it without any sort of escape from it at all. She hasn’t even been able to spend time with her friends, in season 1 one the biggest ally she had was all of them and just being able to work together but also just feel at home and less strained around them even during the serious stuff. This time though, she’s completely alone and hasn’t had a moment’s respite. I do dislike Touma, but I’m glad he was around because you could really see just how much it helped her to see him. It probably would have been fine if it was one of the girls too, but given how she feels about Touma and can be different with him it was probably for the best that it wasn’t one of them. She tries too hard to put up a barrier lately with Kuroko and the others to avoid getting them in trouble and to avoid making them worry, she would have felt like she had to again, but Touma is the only person who wouldn’t ask about what’s been going on so she could just relax.
But of course Railgun S is as unforgiving as always. Like I said episode 10 was the last I know of the story and from here on it’s new for me, so I expected that to be the end of the arc for now. I knew the Sisters project was still going, but not on what level. I thought it’d take a back seat and be awhile for them to start the project back up again, I was expecting a more Railgun season 1 break, like the episode of Biribiri going around with the kids hunting down the Gekota pin earlier this season. It’s about halfway through the season too, so it seemed like prime time for a bunch of great tv-only material.
Instead it’s only willing to give Mikoto a well deserved rest for half the episode before slamming more shit in her face and ruining the only cheerfulness she’s got to have in awhile. I was actually really looking forward to some nice slice of life episodes, so this was unexpected and I’d like to say disappointing – but it wasn’t that at all. It was more of a “…fuck” – and for me, a legitimate unexpected one, which is much better in terms of a series than just taking a cool down time and going the predictable route.
For those who knew what was coming it may not have mattered much, but in the case of watching it blind at this point they really handled tricking the viewer well with this episode. There wasn’t a single sign that I noticed pointing towards anything but a few nice laid back episodes before something more starting up, and they even have the first half of the episode lead you on. That is, until you realize just seconds before it happens – “wait, this is familiar…” and you remember who is about to show up, and I don’t mean Kuroko.
This part also goes a lot towards some early episodes of Index, which I entirely forgot actually happened – easy for me as I only watched a handful of scattered episodes. But it was kind of cool to see that big of a crossover of material, we see a pretty long scene from Index but now in Railgun with Biribiri’s perspective (and better art). With how much I hate Index it might not be super obvious but I do love that Index EXISTS because of shit like this. The depth of the ‘universe’ this show takes place in is just so great, and knowing there’s so many stories going on at once and even intertwining makes everything so much more interesting than it would be by itself. It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen Index or not – just knowing it’s happening at the same time as Railgun makes Railgun’s entire world feel that much more detailed and alive.
I’m actually surprised and a little disappointed that Kamachi hasn’t extended into more and more side stories – hell, I’d take some for unrelated entirely characters even, but he has such a massive cast of great characters from both Index and Railgun that there’s no limit to the spinoffs and genres he could cover. Plus, if he actually did go that direction, it would make this world even MORE real feeling because of just how many lives and stories are truly happening in it. This is one of the only series out there like this and that’s definitely something I love about it. I’ll never be happier than Railgun existing – but it’d be great to see more from this world and story some day.
Anyway, back to the episode;
Seeing another Sister gave me kind of mixed feelings. I was glad to see one because, hey, she’s not torn to bits yet, maybe the experiment is on hold and she’s just out and about still training to continue. But then they explain the program is going along like always. I don’t exactly know this Sister’s fate – but I know she had a story arc in Index and befriends Touma, I just hope she manages to survive somehow.
Biribiri also wasn’t sure how to react. She just spent days of almost no rest, no food, no anything but fighting and blowing shit up to stop this – and here’s proof it’s still going, all while she was finally feeling relieved. It was tough watching her go so quickly from happy silly to almost vomiting from the shock of nothing she did having any impact at all and knowing she was out here fucking around flirting happily with the guy she’s got a crush on while more of her clones were being slaughtered in some alley bit by bit. It makes sense that she’d react so badly towards the sister in that kind of state of mind, but it’s one of those things you can tell where the moment you say it you know it wasn’t something you should have said – and I worry that that’ll stick with her if something happens to this clone.
One thing that was nice to see was the clone doing exactly what Shinobu’s program was trying to install – even if they claimed it got blocked out. She was clearly showing concern for Biribiri and even went back through her shared memories and tried thinking of a way to cheer her up when she realized Biribiri wasn’t okay. It showed that the sisters are actually getting more human and was also cute, though having biribiri suffering right there about to toss up all the shit she was just drinking made it hard to enjoy the moment.
Bigbad McEvil is actually pretty smart and it was kind of hilarious to see bad guys worrying about patents and revenue, but thanks to them actually knowing what they are doing on some level it’s turned out much worse for Mikoto – now being up against a basically endless number of groups and places working on the project. Academy City is a terrible conspiracy-filled shithole, crazy researcher Kiyama tried warning her but Biribiri never really got it. She seems to now though, and it makes me worry AND excited what she’ll do next. All I could think of as a target big enough for what she’s planning would be the one thing that also gave the idea of slaughtering clones; the Tree Diagram.
And just as I was worrying about how fucked it would make her life, she brings it up herself and even asks Kuroko what she’d do in the case of her bringing about a calamity in the city. It’s easy to worry because it’s not just in Academy City, but pretty much anywhere in Japan she’d be on the top wanted lists of the entire government and every law enforcement agency in the country. If she fled and was caught in another country they’d probably deport her back to Japan as a criminal – or even if they let her go freely in some other place, the Japanese and Academy City would no doubt put on a manhunt even more sneaky and likely-to-end-in-death than this NSA leaker guy has right now in real life.
However, I am pretty excited to see her do something crazy. She already has been for 11 episodes now and every time it’s just awesome watching how strong she is – both mentally and physically, and it always makes me happy watching her just wreck people’s shit when she’s such a cute young girl and not some giant Rambo guy making GAINS all day at the gym. But more importantly than that, it’s just so incredible watching her do such big crazy shit. It’s not like stopping some crazy terrorist bullied kid trying to kill Judgment members, it’s not like ending the Level Upper stuff. In this season she’s up against, and has made an enemy of, the ENTIRETY of Academy City and probably along with it the Japanese government. I knew she did some big stuff, but I never really stopped until now to think about the actual scale of some of the stuff she does and how many lives it impacts and how massive some of the things she goes up against really are.
And she does it all because she’s just such a good little moe.
Oh, that’s right. This week we also got a new ending song – but the new animation wasn’t really shown at all because the episode cut through about 90% of the end credits, which was done very well and tastefully. Another sign of a big changing point in a show, so I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen. These past few weeks I wasn’t all that excited about aside for her because, well, it’s Biribiri. I love Railgun, I love Mikoto, but the ITEM fights were just ITEM fights, as much as I was excited to see more Railgun and Biribiri I wasn’t really involved deeply in what was happening. But now I feel like I’m genuinely excited to see what’s going to happen next – and that’s probably thanks in part to stepping into new material for me finally.
Anyway, sorry for continually delaying these posts – to be honest I just don’t want to make it feel like a chore for myself because I really love this show and I do like blogging a lot. I don’t want to ruin either one by forcing any of it and episodes 8/9 I did have stuff to say on but not enough alone without fluffing it up – so I waited and did a group post that worked out nicely, and I did the same this time and I’m glad for having waited a week instead of forcing something out alone for 10. Not only for myself but also because I always try to make my posts the highest quality I can for you guys, and I couldn’t do that without sometimes delaying myself. I think with the new episodes I’ll have much more to comment on though because I’ll be experiencing the story for the first time now – so look forward to it!
Thanks for reading, see you next week – and like always; be power smart and conserve electricity ~biribiri!