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!
I personally prefer Index (novels) as the main story than railgun. I mean seriously Railgun wouldn’t even look good as the main series. It would just feel an anime which has more slice of life than action, the main girl usually spending most of the time with her friends (except the sister’s arc) many people other people would already be upset thinking that such a series is the main series and Index is the spin off , I mean seriously it’s like some kind of april fool’s joke. I would prefer a badass,action one than that i.e Index, it has some good comedy in it too. Index novels is really better than Railgun. But Misaka is the most awesome character in Railgun otherwise in the whole To aru series she’s my fourth fav.
Haimura is the illustrator for the novels.
From the wiki of Misaka’s page, character design section :-
Mikoto’s design has changed little over time, only becoming more deformed to fit with the light novel format illustrations. Mikoto’s design, most specifically the loose socks, is derived from the dated kogyaru culture, which Haimura did as to try to capture the gaps in the trends that populate Academy City in contrast with the outside world.
Due to Mikoto’s increasing prominence in the series, and due to Haimura’s preference, Mikoto’s hairpin changes during volume 6, to mark the change of her position in the series, this is carried over to all media adaptations. By volume 12, the deformed look has become more apparent, with Mikoto, and along with other characters, getting bigger heads, and shorter arms and legs. For her winter outfit, Haimura drawn her design to contrast with Takitsubo Rikou, her traditional look in contrast to Rikou’s fancy look, as well as the concept that Mikoto just chosen clothes for winter arbitrarily without thinking.
For her appearance in the 3rd New Testament volume, Haimura had her wear the outfit hat he drew for him in Pixiv, along with Hamazura Shiage.
For her appearance in the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga, Haimura gave out details to Mikoto’s design. From her clothes, hairstyles, up to her expressions that are common in manga.
”With how much I hate Index it might not be super obvious but I do love that Index EXISTS because of shit like this”
More of a like, Railgun exists because of Index’s shit!
Honestly I really never liked the Index anime, except for a few science arcs which were a bit good. But then I read the novels I was like ” Is this the same Index which I had watched? Too much details had been skipped in the anime. But everything made more sense in the novels.” And made me think thank god they made Touma (I’m still not that interested in his character but he’s far better in the novels) , Accelerator and Shiage the protagonists than misaka (Although she does is the main heroine) in the novels
Episode 11 is my favourite episode, simply because of how powerful it really is. If you don’t know it’s coming, it works really well. Not only that, but the scene with Kuroko at the end is one of my all time favourite scenes in any anime. It surprised me. I thought Kuroko would say like “well, if it was you…”, but instead she stuck with her principles. And just the line “whether it be you or anyone else, my duty wouldn’t change.” is just so great to me.
The Sisters arc really is continuously the best arc in Index or Railgun. If not simply because it makes it all the more moving and triumphant, when after all of this shit goes down, after all of her struggling, kicking, screaming, fighting and even losing, she can finally rest knowing that her Sisters are safe.
My second favourite scene is the one where Mikoto says “Why? Because they’re my sisters. That’s all there is to it.” which is not only a great fucking line, but also because it allows 10032 to know that she doesn’t hate her. The last thing a Sister heard from her was “Don’t show your face to me”, so that’s the closest she can come to apologizing to 10031.
I fucking love this show.
Yeah. :) Even though in reality, there are even intense,better arcs later in the novels. The sister’s arc doesn’t seem anything much in front of the later arcs in the novels.
I definitely agree with you on how Railgun should be the main series. Railgun seemed far more interesting after watching Index because of how much more the universe was fleshed out, even if I found 90% of Index terribly boring. Plus, the duo of Misaka and Shirai is leagues better than Touma and Index. I also don’t want to spoil what’s coming up soon, but depending on how much of Index you watched, you may have already seen the gist of what will be in the next few episodes.
I don’t know much, just that the Sister that showed up becomes an important character for awhile and befriends Touma and a cat. I know Accel eventually becomes a good character, but I don’t think that happens for a long time even after this arc. I also feel like I remember a little bit about Biribiri’s next fight with him, but not much – just a few random bits of it.
So for the most part this’ll all be new for me so I’m definitely excited. Season 1 was entirely new to me because back then I had avoided Railgun – thinking it was just more Index. I literally had no idea it wasn’t starring Touma or involved Biribiri at all (this was years and years ago). So when I finally gave it a shot, I first watched it then read the manga a bit later up till that last episode’s part of it. So I look forward to feeling that excitement of wondering what’s to come again.
And yeah, you know I mean Index is basically very much just a battle shounen with how it uses the setting, how the characters and their interactions are, how the story progresses, etc. Railgun does a way better job of creating a lively believable “world” rather than just a “setting” and really delves into the characters and develops them. Touma and Index (the character) are fine – but they really shouldn’t be the leads of anything, they serve better as support cast rather than main. They really hold back the whole evolution of the To Aru franchise, it’s such a good thing Railgun ended up getting it’s own spin off manga and series. What’s great really is that Railgun has since blown Index out of the water in terms of popularity and viewership, which makes me happy and might show Kamachi that he should focus more on things that aren’t Touma. Especially when not only Railgun is doing better and more popular – but when Mikoto Misaka herself is basically THE MOST POPULAR character in ALL fiction in Japan right now – and has been for a few years.
In all actuality, however, I really don’t think it would be fitting for Railgun to be the main series if you were to understand Index from the LN. If you’re looking at only the anime series and the Railgun manga, then yes, it’d be far more convincing that the spin-off deserves a greater role than the main story. I have just recently finished volume 2 of Index, and it really does go without saying that the anime doesn’t do it much justice, but that is understandable. As I’ve said in the past, manga is much easier to adapt into anime because they both share many similar qualities as compared to mediums such as LNs and VNs. And what really makes Index a hassle to adapt is its narrative complexities that would be difficult to carry over, ultimately leading to a clipped version of the original storyline. Granted, it was still as faithful as it could have been, but the anime really only scratched the surface of what was in the source material. And believe me, I know the anime did a horrible job when it came to “fleshing out the world”, but the LN goes into such a great amount of detail that you wouldn’t even recognize it at all if you had watched either of the anime series. Well, that’s to be expected anyways since Railgun focuses more on the science side of the setting, and the Index anime was suppose to expand on magic… but failed. Still, Index shouldn’t be counted short just because of how it was adapted, I really do believe that it deserves to succeed Railgun as the main storyline. Also, Touma is a much better protagonist than he appears to be in the anime, it’s just that his characterization shines more through the use of monologue and didn’t carry over quite so well in the anime. I still don’t care about Index’s character though, she’s about as bratty in the LN as she is in the anime and I still haven’t seen any character development from what I’ve read so far. Now, I won’t be so bold as to say Touma’s better than Misaka (based on what I’ve read so far), but he’s still a very suitable protagonist.
I actually planned on trying out the novels in the near future. Well, to be completely honest I’m mostly just interested in reading how Kamachi originally introduced and first showed Biribiri in the novels. She was just plain-text before ever having a thought out drawn down design, and as someone aspiring to write actual novels, and as someone who loves Mikoto, I really want to see how he managed to create such an amazing girl and describe her so that the artist could pull off just the most perfect character design possible. And, well, I’d love to just see how she originally came to be because she’s her so that sort of thing is something I’d like to know. Even if I’m only seeing it through the translation and localization of fans, it’d be close enough. I figured since I’d be doing that, I’d probably try reading some of the novel in general too – so the day may come where I can actually discuss that side of things with you properly.
I wrote a lot more than this but I started realizing, again, I can’t really comment on what would be better without having experience with the LN. As an anime I don’t doubt for a second that it would have been much better if Railgun was the flagship of the franchise, but as far as the original source goes I can’t really say. And the LN is kind of very relevant to that whole point and I don’t want to throw around assumptions based on nothing.
So as for Kamachi writing Railgun as the original first stuff instead of Index – I’ll say “I think this would have been better, but I’m not completely sure”. As much as I’d like to argue against Index being the main story and Touma being the lead I don’t want to patronize someone who takes the time to read my stuff and even make comments, so I won’t pretend to know more than I do. I’ve opened up lately towards Index a bit more anyway thanks to just how incredibly good Railgun is. It’s made me a little more interested in giving Index another shot – be it the anime or, more likely, the LN. And if it’s as good as you say compared to the godawful anime adaptation, I’ll think about reading it sooner rather than later.
But as far as the anime goes? I have zero doubt Railgun should have been the main series for so many reasons ranging from business ones to more important ones relating to the quality of the franchise and quality of the overall world, characters, and story. In terms of just the anime versions, Railgun is a vastly superior series. The writing has much more depth and flow to it, the characters are extremely well made and developed, the directing is fucking incredibly good and – in S – some of the best I’ve seen in anime, and the whole world of the story feels so much more alive, real, and full of people living their lives in Academy City and the outside world. Index just felt extremely flat and very much completely like a standard battle shounen in every single aspect – from the sub-par writing to the annoyingly surprised-he-is-invincible MC (oh wait that’s still the shit writing), to the completely empty characters. I hate to say it but even Mikoto is handled poorly in Index and treated like a generic tomboy tsundere rather than the extremely well crafted character she is. They sucked out all personality and uniqueness and just made it a series of Touma being a fucking immortal god of man with capabilities surpassing even – literally – some of the strongest people on the planet with ease out of nowhere suddenly.
If this was just a bad adaptation issue in Index – fine, but it’s still a SHIT anime that shouldn’t have been the main anime series. It is quite literally just another Naruto or Bleach with a paint job and a new setting. While Railgun is something very special and unique but also something that handles it’s cast and setting and the medium it’s in extraordinarily well and to their full potential.
edit – also keep in mind the reply trees are broken on this shitty layout – so while I managed through the admin panel to reply directly to you, if you want to reply just reply to main post again or something so that it’ll actually let you. Otherwise just keep it in mind in the future, I feel bad when this system makes people think I don’t reply because I can’t reply to their actual comment half the time. Maybe I’ll change the look of the blog soon so I can fix that.
That’s true. And sorry if I came across as a little aggressive in that post, I was probably just a little rustled up with how you were wording it. Yes, I probably wouldn’t have any interest in Index if it weren’t for Railgun either. As an anime, it really does outshine its parent story by a long-shot and gives much more depth and development to the plot and characters. I also have a great interest in seeing more of Biribiri in the novels. Supposedly, the Touma x Misaka moments are really well handled and I know a friend that absolutely loves the pairing development between them. My main drive for starting the read was my interest with the setting. The anime may not have done much with it, but the mere introduction of the premise was more than enough to convince me that the source material had as much potential to be as good the readers claimed. I mean, shoot, the To Aru series has such an amazing premise.
Thanks for the really thoughtful response. I was kinda worried about how you’d take to my comment, and I was really like how you replied.
I’d definitely like to get back to this subject once you have read it too. It’d make for a really interesting discussion. I’ve just started reading at a pace of 1 volume per day (might push for 2), so I’ll likely have it finished within 3 weeks or so.
Didn’t catch the edit message the first time. But that’s fine. I usually stick around a blog post for a day or two if I made a comment in it for just in case.