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EP. REVIEW: A Certain Scientific Railgun T


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Key
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 2:56 pm Reply with quote
we love lain wrote:
On a side note, I find your criticism about exploring more about Dolly's past in the next episode as being a narrative structure issue to be puzzling. Exploring Dolly's through Mitori's eyes simply serves as an epilogue to this entire arc. From a storytelling standpoint, I could see why placing it here might be more cathartic considering the underlying goals of our two seemingly antagonistic characters (one of them actually being an antagonist) and how their motivations were influenced by the apathetic and morally corrupt machinations of To aru's science side.

It's possible that I will change my mind on that impression after seeing how next episode is handled, and if so then I will say something about it in next week's review. However, without knowing what's coming, putting a crucial character's motivational backstory after the climax AND denouement just seems like an odd placement unless it's being used to set something else up. Just feels like it would have been better dealt with this episode, with the post-climax content pushed into next episode.
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we love lain



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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 3:05 pm Reply with quote
killjoy_the wrote:
Animation-wise, the dragons were underwhelming to me. They're nice and impactful on those manga spreads, but seeing them all moving they didn't feel nearly as threatening or powerful. Gunha carried the sakuga, and that was great too. Wish his content wasn't cut from Index III, or maybe gets adapted later in some form (very small hopes though).


Gunha's scenes are always a joy to see animated and makes me wish we can see him in action some more (Kenichiro Aoki and Takeshi Morita go in). The sound design whenever he's using his power is impeccable. That being said, I get being underwhelmed by the animation on the dragon strike scene. For me, my feelings are mixed: one the one hand there are certain moments in the cut where Hironori Tanaka delivers on the intensity, particular when the green dragon quickly chomps shit out of an arm-shaped projectile emanating out of black mass of otherworldly energy, but then I'm instantly distracted by the hazy color compositing on the dragons or parts of the cut where their movement feels sluggish without any real communication of the monstrous weight/inertia their presence should have to compensate, which comes off as a limitation in the craft rather than a deliberate decision. Ultimately, I found the scene effective moreso due to its imagery rather than the technicality of it
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Zaiu



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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 3:22 pm Reply with quote
OH&S wrote:
Anneyuno1 wrote:
<snip>

Yikes. This opinion reflects a very poor understanding of the franchise. Or maybe the inconsistencies brought about by the anime adaptations are just that pervasive? Let’s get to it in order then:

  • Regarding Misaka: You’re being too hard on her. She honestly didn’t do anything wrong in this arc. She just had the bad luck of being caught in a trap in which she had no idea what the true aim was. The issue of not relying on her friends from the Sisters Arc (and the repetition of ideas in the anime only arcs) didn’t really apply here because she actively relied on her friends in this arc and those friends ended up having a major role in rescuing her; in fact Shokuhou was the main reason she couldn’t immediately rely on them. This arc along with the Remnant Arc from Index II have given her a greater appreciation of her friends and on relying on them. You’ve also misunderstood her role in Index III (or rather her minor role) as the WWIII arc was entirely focused on the trials of the 3 male MCs. There was meaning in her arriving to rescue Touma from the Star of Bethlehem but he couldn’t leave with her without finishing the original task of rescuing Index as well safely downing the flying fortress. But ironically, the idea that Misaka could generally be a nuisance/burden to Touma rather than help is an idea that is explored later in New Testament. But the question is: nuisance/burden in what way? Its definitely not what you’re insinuating.

  • Regarding Touma: As for Kamijou’s role in Railgun, see my previous post where I go in depth on that matter. As for general comments on him, you’re just objectively wrong. He does rush in on his own but he rarely ever solves or wins his battles just by himself. How you came to this conclusion I have no idea; maybe it was the poor anime adaptation or maybe it shows a poor ability to keep track of what’s going on. But also ironically, the same character flaws that Misaka has also show up in Kamijou as well and are only dealt with in New Testament. Key’s description of Misaka’s character equally applies to Kamijou (all you have to do is switch the names). The two characters are actually really similar to each other. They also generally cover for each other when they are at their most emotionally fragile. Maybe that’s why the ship is so popular.

  • Regarding Touma’s “nonsense power-up”: This’ll take too long to explain so I’ll keep it brief. The central mystery of the entire franchise is just what Imagine Breaker (IB) actually is. IB’s lack of explanation sticks out compared to all other abilities (even Sogiita’s as least we know he’s a gemstone esper) as everything in the magic and science side has an explanation; its actually one of the key characteristics of this series that everything has an explanation and that you can count the number of actual asspulls in one hand. There have been more than enough clues beforehand in both the light novels and the anime about there being something else beyond IB that make Kamijou Touma special (though many of these clues were omitted from the Index anime or not given a strong focus). In short, as soon as his arm went flying you, should have known exactly what was going to come out; or rather that ‘something’ was going to come out. Sure it was more of a spectacle than anyone could have expected but the basic fact of there being a dragon behind IB has been alluded to from the very beginning of the series. Here are the earliest hints:

    1. IB was associated with dragons in the very first encounter with magicians. The very first magic that IB negates is Index’s Walking Church outfit which was said to have been “...impossible to destroy unless the legendary dragon of St.George appeared.” Also the first direct magical attack in the series which IB couldn’t properly negate as it overcome by pure attrition was Index’s Dragon Breath; “...the strike of the legendary dragon of St. George”.

    2. The most obvious imagery was in the Index anime’s most famous scene with the battle against the alchemist; where right after Touma’s right hand was cut off, Aureolus’ anxieties and Ars Magna spell supposedly conjured up a dragon head from Touma’s bleeding wound. The novel also mention Touma’s eyes glowing red while this was happening. Sound familiar? This was handwaved away by the narration as just a result of Aureolus’ anxieties, but in the novels Touma speculated that the dragon was far too specific of an image to have been formed. Heaven Canceller also mentions something about Touma having a fantasy-like body.

  • Surprise, surprise. The dragon was real (with the first dragon coming out of Touma this episode being exactly the same as from the Index scene). This is one of the franchise’s best usage of the Chekov’s Gun trope and it first fired at the climax of WWIII when the invisible spectre came out and pulled the rug from under Fiamma’s feet. That was a HUGE revelation that was simply glossed over in Index III. His eyes were also glowing when during this in the novels. The big thing of note is that whatever it is, it showed superiority over Fiamma who raised his position something beyond what a Level 5 could achieve and honestly beyond whatever level Misaka achieved during this arc. Fiamma would've wrecked her; and Fiamma got wrecked. Why wouldn't Misaka?

  • Now the bigger takeaway from all this isn’t the fact that there are dragons; that’s far too shallow for this series and doesn’t explain anything. The big question is why dragons? What do dragons in the Raildex franchise represent symbolically and thematically? Why does that apply to Touma? Who is the only other character in the franchise to be referred to as a dragon? Why is that character referred to as a dragon? What specific thing did he say about Touma when describing him? Hm? What’s that? They omitted his words from Index III? Christ, I hate Index III.


  • There's two things here I have a problem with, perhaps you're remembering something completely different, but first off in WW3, Touma's eye did not glow red in the Fiamma fight, at least not during the portion you specified. Also in OT2 his glare is what was specified as so intense that a red light could come from them. Also, the IT scene really wasn't as downplayed as you say it was, that's a bit of a exaggeration considering that part is almost entirely word for word.

    As for what he said about Touma? Wht exactly are you referring to? Because Fiamma called Touma a lot of things, but if you're referring to him calling him a dragon of sorts, that did not happen in OT22
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    SilverTalon01



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    PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 4:05 pm Reply with quote
    OH&S wrote:
    The big thing of note is that whatever it is, it showed superiority over Fiamma who raised his position something beyond what a Level 5 could achieve and honestly beyond whatever level Misaka achieved during this arc. Fiamma would've wrecked her; and Fiamma got wrecked. Why wouldn't Misaka?


    Beyond what Mikoto could/did achieve sure, but beyond what a level 5 could achieve? It seems to me like Accel's spoiler[silver wings] are above the power Fiamma reached at his height.

    I think this scene is really more about how crazy the dragons are anyway. Even though Mikoto wasn't at full power Fiamma level, hearing imagine breaker trigger then seeing the entire arm pretty much instantly blown away shows how strong the attack was. It flows into why Fiamma would nearly crap himself when he sensed it. Also, the first guy to see it was basically traumatized for life. I definitely don't think it is an ass pull for the dragons to just trivialize her city destroying blast considering Fiamma was going to nuke a continent with one of his blasts.
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    Treecko Tempo



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    PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 4:12 pm Reply with quote
    So I believe Kongo's name is spelled Mitsuki all throughout the review instead of Mitsuko. I'm guessing this is just a mistake from the I key being next to the O key.
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    LooseTac



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    PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 5:11 pm Reply with quote
    If I remember correctly dragons symbolize the devil, at least from a historical standpoint.
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    Key
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    PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 6:11 pm Reply with quote
    Treecko Tempo wrote:
    So I believe Kongo's name is spelled Mitsuki all throughout the review instead of Mitsuko. I'm guessing this is just a mistake from the I key being next to the O key.

    Or it could just be that there are too many Japanese names common in anime that are all spelled very close to the same way in English. Rolling Eyes (Don't even get me started on having to stop and think each time to be sure that I am using Misaki and Misaka correctly.)

    I'll correct that one.
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    Stiles



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    PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 7:11 pm Reply with quote
    I like that you're asking all the right questions Key, but try not to let it bog you down. There's supposed to be mystery and foreshadowing here, Kamachi is only teasing the reader/viewer for future events.

    This is the first appearance of the seventh-ranked, you don't really need to know the true identity of his power to appreciate it (and speculate on it). As for Touma, we already knew that there was something beyond the Imagine Breaker and this arc just does away with all pretense without giving everything away.

    If you (the viewer) are surprised, then great! You're supposed to be, but there were definitely hints leading up to all of this, including the otherworldly power of a theoretical level six. For anything else, you can probably just refer to OH&S's posts.

    Honestly, I thought the whole episode was strong. If it's messy, it's because the pacing is bad. The beginning of this episode should've been the climax of the previous one.
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    SilverTalon01



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    PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 9:53 pm Reply with quote
    Stiles wrote:
    Honestly, I thought the whole episode was strong. If it's messy, it's because the pacing is bad. The beginning of this episode should've been the climax of the previous one.


    So much this. They should have pushed episode 13 back to do it properly
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    nargun



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    PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 10:46 pm Reply with quote
    Key wrote:
    (Don't even get me started on having to stop and think each time to be sure that I am using Misaki and Misaka correctly.)


    One day there will be a show with characters called Tsugumi and Tsumugi.
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    OH&S



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    PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 11:07 pm Reply with quote
    There’s a lot to reply to so I’ll respond to valid criticisms of my post first:

    @Zaiu: I’ll concede that I was remembering incorrectly about the glowing eyes in the climax of WWIII. Point for Index III, I guess. I still maintain that it wasn’t the complete ‘stop the presses; moment it should have been due to the terrible pacing and other inherent qualities of that adaptation. As for OT2, you’re also right but that doesn’t disprove what I was saying as that interpretation was from Aureolus’ point of view. An alternate interpretation is that his eyes were actually glowing. A valid enough interpretation, that I wasn’t surprised when Kamijou’s eye turned red in this episode as well as in the manga.

    Also, I wasn’t talking about Fiamma. I was talking about Aiwass (aka DRAGON) in his dialogue with Aleister in the epilogue of OT19 or just before the WWIII arc began.

    @SilverTalon01: That’s not fair bringing up Accelerator and his spoiler[powers gained by accessing the third tree, Clonoth]. I will concede that maybe I wasn’t giving Misaka’s death ball a fair rap; it probably falls into the same class as Accelerator’s black wings and Fiamma’s Holy Right: sufficiently large or powerful supernatural phenomena that Imagine Breaker can’t immediately negate. I do think that Kamijou could have tackled it differently knowing the death ball’s real strength but at this stage he had not mastered his disruption abilities or know that there exist phenomena he could even do such a thing to. I agree that the focus of that scene was definitely the almighty strength of the dragons; who we already know could BTFO Fiamma rather effortlessly.

    Speaking of which, have I got a treat for you. The Railgun manga editor recently revealed on his twitter account that each of the dragons have their own specific abilities. This is new previously unrevealed info and the contents are spicy:
    1. First dragon (white) - specializes in decursing and psychological attacks. If it bites you, you could have your memories destroyed. Which was exactly what happened to Aureolus!! What a confirmation!
    2. Blind dragon (black) - a darkness-attributed dragon. It too has a powerful psychological effect, so you'll be overcome with terror and confusion when it's nearby.
    3. One-eyed Cobra dragon (light blue) - a water dragon that summons rainstorms. Its fangs contain the undiluted concept of poison, so anything living it bites will either die or experience a fate worse than death.
    4. Four-Eyed dragon (green) - has multiple eye powers. It has illusion and hypnotism powers that can blur the line between dreams and reality. It is also a singer with a beautiful voice that can shatter even Shadow Metal.
    5. Corpse Flame dragon (red) - an undead fire dragon with flames erupting from its bones. It damages things with an energy drain that seemingly burns life force itself.
    6. Ice crystal dragon (blue) - as tough and solid as the planet itself and it breaths ice.
    7. Spear Head dragon (yellow) - releases lightning from its body and fires lasers from its mouth.
    8. Angel dragon's traits and powers are kept secret for spoiler reasons.

    The original illustrator and designer of the dragons, Kiya Shii, also recently released a brand new 4K colour illustration of the full Dragon Strike it might just be the best and most unique illustration to come out of this entire franchise! Its definitely my new favorite image alongside NT9’s illustration jackets.

    Now to address everything else:

    @Key: I’m honestly on the same page as you regarding the state of the animated franchise. It didn’t feel like Index I/II made any major adaptation error aside from brushing past Kamijou’s character building moments as well as not giving some sort of focus to the finer details of the magic system that make the franchise truly unique (and the bland direction compared to Railgun). But Index III (as well the 7-ish year gap between seasons) flat out broke my heart. Because the potential was there for material that is genuinely superior to what came before it (as well as Railgun) and instead it was such a monumental catastrophe that it may have permanently ruined any anime cred that Index previously had and became the definitive case study in how not to adapt a massively popular LN series to anime.

    As for dragon clues, admittedly the dragon references from the very first arc are so obscure that it would only make sense on a reread/rewatch after knowing the fact. I was merely pointing out that they were there. But I take personal umbrage with you forgetting the scene with the dragon coming out Kamijou’s arm. For all the crazy things that happen in this series, that moment still takes the cake as being the most wacko and iconic moment in early Index; even more so than the AIM Burst.

    Regarding Dolly’s conclusion, that’s just the anime being weird. In the manga, we get the full reveal of Kouzaku’s connection to her immediately after the Dragon Strike with a proper epilogue after the events of Episode 14. It really is bizarre how things have been split up this time around; maybe there was no other way to do it due to the ongoing issues resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Lastly, there are many long and firmly held beliefs about Kamijou Touma in the general anime community that I’ve flat out never agreed with or are demonstrably false (which is different from saying that you can’t end up hating Kamijou even if you know everything about him; different strokes for different folks after all). But Kamijou being a uniquely dense harem protagonist is beyond ridiculous. Putting aside the fact that Index doesn’t neatly classify as a harem series, this is a guy suffering an identity crisis due to having his memory erased and having a power not firmly fitting into any of the two worlds he knows of getting constantly embroiled and hospitalized in violent events that affect the entire city as well as the entire world in a very short timeframe. He’s low on money due to the freeloader living in his apartment which forces him to be frugal at every turn. He’s missed so much school that he’s in danger of being held back. You’re telling me this guy who’s cursed with bad luck and conditioned to not expect good things to happen to him is suddenly supposed to go: “Oh hey, maybe that violent girl who keeps firing friggin lightning spears at me actually has a crush on me!” To. Hell. With. That. This is all on Misaka for not making her romantic feelings clear.

    @we love lain: Regarding Misaka’s relationship, I don’t feel like I’m exaggerating given what I know of future developments. By the end of NT, I feel Misaka has become just as important of a pillar in Kamijou’s life as he is to her. It’s a wholly unique kind of pillar/relationship than with Index and spoiler[Othinus]; but also adding its not like one pillar trumps the other. I don’t want to discuss this further because I’m at the very least entitled to my opinion on this.

    @Izanagi009: Let’s start with an off-topic point of agreement: Kaguya-sama might just be the greatest rom-com manga I’ve ever consumed. Its truly a series where I don’t have a single negative thing to say about it and there are no bad chapters. I’m glad the series has an anime adaptation that gives its material justice. Not sure why you’d be comparing its romantic chemistry to a heavily plot and action-oriented sci-fi magic fantasy battle series like Index but to each his own, I guess.

    Now to the more disagreeable point about the climax, I’m on two minds about this. Consuming the Railgun anime in a vacuum, I absolutely understand how annoying (and potentially deflating) this would be for the viewer. It came out of nowhere; asspull; deus ex machina; Misaka needs to be saved again; boy character saves the day again; yada yada. I get it; these dragons are practically the eagles from the Lord of the Rings climax...
    ...
    ...
    ...but only in a Railgun vacuum.

    Knowing that Railgun does not exist in a vacuum, I cannot for the life of me understand how you expected things to end any other way and be disappointed in this revelation/outcome. After Shokuhou and Kuroko did their part, all that was left was for Kamijou to negate the transformation and end the incident. What were you expecting? A more climactic negation? What’s more climactic than the unexpected WTF spectacle of 8 friggin dragons flying out of a severed arm, each with their own specialized designs, colours and abilities eating away a god-like transformation in a science-fiction series while also tripling as a confirmation of a decade old theory, a further revelation of the absolute core mystery of the franchise and the gazillion implications it has on the speculation of future events as well as the characters who witnessed it!? These are nothing remotely similar to the LotR eagles. Please tell me. This criticism of the climax is genuinely alien to me. I’ve never come across such a thing in the 5+ years since this chapter was published.
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    Renasviel



    Joined: 24 Oct 2015
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    PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 11:31 pm Reply with quote
    Key wrote:

    This explains a lot that I wasn't understanding from watching the episode. (Including incorrectly identifying who was generating the dragons, but whatever.) Those previous hints you mentioned are so nebulous and buried so far back in the series that I'm not sure how an anime-only viewer can be reasonably expected to pick up on them. That's the thing that probably irritates me the most about the franchise: that you can't fully appreciate everything it's doing without also keeping up with the dozens of novels and manga. Too little of the franchise can stand well enough on its own in animated form.

    Buried? I mean, even in anime it's pretty obvious there is more to Imagine Breaker than what first seems. For instance, the fact we know Touma had it before undergoing esper development thanks to his bad luck as a kid. The only expectation for anime-only viewers is that they pay enough attention to what's going on so they can recall major developments later on. You don't need to have read A Certain Scientific Astral Buddy, or Dark Matter, to understand what goes on here. Just some basic knowledge from the original series. And if you don't have that, then I'm not sure why you'd watch a spin off. If you just prefer the spin off, sure, but then complaining about not everything being made obvious to you doesn't make much sense either.
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    Key
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    PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 12:55 am Reply with quote
    Renasviel wrote:
    Buried? I mean, even in anime it's pretty obvious there is more to Imagine Breaker than what first seems. For instance, the fact we know Touma had it before undergoing esper development thanks to his bad luck as a kid. The only expectation for anime-only viewers is that they pay enough attention to what's going on so they can recall major developments later on. You don't need to have read A Certain Scientific Astral Buddy, or Dark Matter, to understand what goes on here. Just some basic knowledge from the original series. And if you don't have that, then I'm not sure why you'd watch a spin off. If you just prefer the spin off, sure, but then complaining about not everything being made obvious to you doesn't make much sense either.

    I have said multiple times that I have seen every minute of the animated franchise that's been released in the States, and even some of it that hasn't. (Don't think I've seen all of the Index-tan and the Railgun specials labeled Special-1 to Special-4 on Wikipedia, but none of those involve actual plot.). That's all 151 episodes to date (including the OVAs) and the movie. So you can drop any insinuation that I don't have a full background for the animated side of this franchise. I wouldn't be doing these episode reviews if I didn't.

    That being said, that viewing has also been spread over at least a decade. So yes, I have knowledge of what's come before in the anime, but expecting anyone short of a superfan of the franchise to keenly remember all those little details which become relevant 100+ episodes and 10+ years later is unrealistic. (And yes, I'm well aware that Touma had Imagine Breaker before he got involved in the esper thing. That much, at least, I do remember off the top of my head.)

    OH&S wrote:
    As for dragon clues, admittedly the dragon references from the very first arc are so obscure that it would only make sense on a reread/rewatch after knowing the fact. I was merely pointing out that they were there. But I take personal umbrage with you forgetting the scene with the dragon coming out Kamijou’s arm. For all the crazy things that happen in this series, that moment still takes the cake as being the most wacko and iconic moment in early Index; even more so than the AIM Burst.

    We'll have to agree to disagree on that, as the scene you're describing didn't stick in my mind at the time at all. I've gone back and rewatched bits and pieces of the first series over the last couple of years as reference for plot callbacks for the recent series, but never that part, so I'm going to make a point to do that sometime before next episode. As much as I got pissy about it earlier in this post, I usually do appreciate when a series buries foreshadowing like that which is only evident on a second view.

    Quote:
    But Kamijou being a uniquely dense harem protagonist is beyond ridiculous.

    You have some valid points in the text that followed this statement, but my "dense" label still stands, as even in calmer times, when he doesn't have immediate stressors, he's oblivious to indicators that numerous people around him pick up on. And I am far from the only person who has had this opinion about Touma over the years. Guess we'll also have to agree to disagree about how fair this label is.

    Quote:

    Regarding Misaka’s relationship, I don’t feel like I’m exaggerating given what I know of future developments. By the end of NT, I feel Misaka has become just as important of a pillar in Kamijou’s life as he is to her. It’s a wholly unique kind of pillar/relationship than with Index and spoiler[Othinus]; but also adding its not like one pillar trumps the other.

    Then I hope NT does eventually get adapted because I'd like to see how this plays out. (I'm following enough other novel series right now that I don't have time to get into all of that.) Through Index III and the Railgun content so far, he's not shown that he gives her much special value or trust - at least not compared to what he gives anyone else, anyway.

    Oh, and if I haven't made this clear before, I do appreciate your regular dialog on the franchise over the years, OH&S. Always good to have an authority around who can pinpoint where all the pertinent details are.
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    steelmirror



    Joined: 22 Oct 2015
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    PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 1:15 am Reply with quote
    My personal opinion is that was the messiest and least satisfying conclusion episode of any arc in the Railgun anime. This arc as a whole was pretty good, above average in my opinion overall. But while several other arcs have been worse, some of them feeling like an active waste of my time on rewatch, the series has typically delivered strong final episodes that get me pumped up and smiling even if they came after an arc of faffing about or clearly filler characters doing filler things.

    This arc as crammed full of what I assume are important characters from Index or whatever (not an Index fan), and the actual arc was pretty good! And then this last episode. This train wreck of an episode.

    The pacing was awful, the end felt like a disconnected asspull. I don't have any sort of feeling that any characters grew in the course of these events, no personal issues were grappled with or demons confronted. Some stuff happened, a bad guy was bad, Misaki got a chance to show off, and then the franchise's resident potato-kun sprouted dragons from his arms to fix everything. Sure.

    The last episode (12) felt like a far better climactic experience than this one, as at least Misaki and Kuroko's fights had some personal stakes, comprehensible strategy, and a payoff that worked with what the arc had been setting up in prior episodes. They weren't A tier Railgun material, but they worked on a basic writing level and it was cool to see Kuroko as a capable combatant in her own right and not Misaka's appendage. This episode just felt like the author had reached his word count and wanted to wrap things up in time for his deadline.
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    we love lain



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    PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 2:28 am Reply with quote
    OH&S wrote:
    Regarding Misaka’s relationship, I don’t feel like I’m exaggerating given what I know of future developments. By the end of NT, I feel Misaka has become just as important of a pillar in Kamijou’s life as he is to her. It’s a wholly unique kind of pillar/relationship than with Index and spoiler[Othinus]; but also adding its not like one pillar trumps the other. I don’t want to discuss this further because I’m at the very least entitled to my opinion on this.[


    See, but since I'm also up to date with the novels, that's all the more reason why i disagree with you. Saying Touma and Mikoto's relationship develops to a point where they cover each emotionally is a bit much spoiler[Touma has learned to trust Mikoto as a reliable ally, but that doesn't all of a sudden translate to their relationship having evolved into anything indicating legitimate interpersonal depth, sensitivity, emotional vulnerability or reciprocity for each other's emotional needs. Mikoto often thinks about how she can walk alongside Touma rather than letting him fight battles on his own and aims to be a supportive pillar for him in NT, but a lot the emotional investment in this relationship comes from her. Again, while Touma learns to rely on her more than he did in OT, it's not like his thoughts about her evolve in a similar way or that his dynamic with her changes beyond just that. Mikoto may cherish the things Touma has done for her, with most of her actions being her wanting to support him by any means necessary, but again, all of it is mostly sterile with nothing significant developing in their dynamic beyond Touma continuing to uphold his promise Touma to protect Mikoto......as he would anyone who he had set his mind to protect. In short, most of their interaction in new testament has not been on such a emotional level or developed their relationship with great enough emotional insight to warrant the claim that they emotionally cover one another].

    You're absolutely right that you are entitled to your opinion on this, i just don't think there's enough legitimately poignant, well articulated, emotionally intriguing, concrete,comprehensive, and indubitable empirical support for claim (or at least that the claim you're making isn't explored with enough emotional depth by Kamachi's writing to make that claim feel like it has legitimate consequences on the interpersonal dynamics between Touma and Mikoto)

    "You’re telling me this guy who’s cursed with bad luck and conditioned to not expect good things to happen to him is suddenly supposed to go: “Oh hey, maybe that violent girl who keeps firing friggin lightning spears at me actually has a crush on me!” To. Hell. With. That. This is all on Misaka for not making her romantic feelings clear."

    Having an explanation for why Touma behaves densely doesn't take away from the fact that he still embodies that trope. There are plenty of dense male protagonist in which we can make tons of in-narrative excuses for why they wouldn't be able to pick up on a woman having affection for them. That's kind of the point really: that there will always be some seemingly justifiable reason why a character doesn't recognize the plethora of woman who love him even though on a meta level, this is done simply to push the harem antics that the series wants to indulge in. The main conceit of all this preliminary setup is so the author can abuse the trope; nothing elegant about the reasoning beyond this whatsoever. There's a difference between the author writing a character in a particular fashion to flesh out them out in an interesting way and designing one to purposefully justify a trope or archetype; Touma's persona and hardships fall hard into the latter

    To aru majutsu no Index may not be a harem series through and through, but that doesn't mean it can't or doesn't encapsulate those tired harem traits of old. Your explanation for Touma's outlook on his love life would be valid in absolving him of the negative implications of the dense protag label if his personality trait directly played any kind of meaningful role in his interactions with the cast or if there was any intent from the narrative in exploring this particular outlook of his in an insightful (or at least consequential) way.....but there isn't; and that's because the lack of self-confidence pertaining to his luck (at least in this part of his life) or the woes of Touma's devil may cry life-style is really just gimmick. Nothing more, nothing less. No substance is mined from this, and that's how you can usually discern whether the in-world character excuse even matters in the first place.


    Last edited by we love lain on Mon May 18, 2020 9:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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