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EP. REVIEW: A Certain Scientific Railgun T


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micah007



Joined: 25 Jan 2017
Posts: 154
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:20 pm Reply with quote
OH&S wrote:
Also worth mentioning is that Kamijou is the only character in the franchise that has met with, interacted or worked with all of the revealed Level 5s.


When does he interact with Kakine and Mugino? I assume sometime in NT? (I'm quite behind with the novels)
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OH&S



Joined: 15 Jul 2013
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Location: Sydney, Australia
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:22 am Reply with quote
micah007 wrote:
OH&S wrote:
Also worth mentioning is that Kamijou is the only character in the franchise that has met with, interacted or worked with all of the revealed Level 5s.

When does he interact with Kakine and Mugino? I assume sometime in NT? (I'm quite behind with the novels)

There's a big asterisk on his interaction with those two, but yes, it happens in NT Volume 7 (spoiler[where he sees the surviving members of ITEM for the first time and negates the Meltdowner beam aimed at him; and partners with Kakine Teitoku to take down the esper villain for the novel]) and NT Volume 12 (spoiler[where he, Index and ITEM work together to defeat magician antagonist of the novel]).
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micah007



Joined: 25 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:40 am Reply with quote
Quote:
There's a big asterisk on his interaction with those two, but yes, it happens in NT Volume 7 (spoiler[where he sees the surviving members of ITEM for the first time and negates the Meltdowner beam aimed at him; and partners with Kakine Teitoku to take down the esper villain for the novel]) and NT Volume 12 (spoiler[where he, Index and ITEM work together to defeat magician antagonist of the novel]).


Thank you. I look forward to reading those volumes.
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myskaros



Joined: 13 Jun 2011
Posts: 562
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:14 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The fact that she's unathletic... also once again works against her.

I was actually really delighted to see that she was clearly animated as running very slow compared to typical "desperate anime running" haha.
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FilthyCasual



Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 1392
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:22 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
though I do have to wonder what the practical limit is on how often she can teleport
She has to wait a second between each teleport.
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Izanagi009



Joined: 20 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:01 pm Reply with quote
OH&S wrote:

Stiles wrote:
Railgun is definitely at its best when it's focused on the Index plot.

I'll go one step further and state that the objective best episodes of the entire Railgun anime are the ones where the titular hyper-competent female MC is the damsel-in-distress and the "boring" MC that everyone loves to hate on steals the leading role. Truth hurts sometimes. Razz


I am admittedly quite curious why this is the case. While yes, Misaka is hyper competent and what not, I find Touma's ideology and behavior to be grating and his personal supporting cast to be less engaging.

Main issue with Touma's ideology is how obnoxious he feels. that fact that the LNs had a line where he said he will "learn english to talk people down" just feels so boggling at points. It feels like the author trying to make a character that goes "you are wrong here is why" instead of an active debate.

And before people say "he gets development in NT", i'm sorry but he should have had this development earlier in the original LN series.

His Supporting cast don't help as i find too many of them are involved with him because of harem antics or because of his hero complex. Not many of them are involved with him by force of personality.

Misaka in comparison may restrain her powers most times but she can go all out if needed (the mantis bot and Mugino as two big examples) and her supporting cast are more friends and colleagues than mere love interests or people who have been saved by her.
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Stiles



Joined: 21 Oct 2014
Posts: 97
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:23 pm Reply with quote
Izanagi009 wrote:
I am admittedly quite curious why this is the case. While yes, Misaka is hyper competent and what not, I find Touma's ideology and behavior to be grating and his personal supporting cast to be less engaging.

Main issue with Touma's ideology is how obnoxious he feels. that fact that the LNs had a line where he said he will "learn english to talk people down" just feels so boggling at points. It feels like the author trying to make a character that goes "you are wrong here is why" instead of an active debate.

And before people say "he gets development in NT", i'm sorry but he should have had this development earlier in the original LN series.

His Supporting cast don't help as i find too many of them are involved with him because of harem antics or because of his hero complex. Not many of them are involved with him by force of personality.

Misaka in comparison may restrain her powers most times but she can go all out if needed (the mantis bot and Mugino as two big examples) and her supporting cast are more friends and colleagues than mere love interests or people who have been saved by her.

I'm pretty sure that the reason Touma wanted to learn English was so that he wouldn't be a burden on those helping him while overseas, not because he feels a need to tell everyone and their mother that they're living their lives wrong.

In terms of in-universe chronology, I would say at this point both Touma and Mikoto share a similar amount of lacking character development. You say not to mention Touma's NT character development, but the irony is that Mikoto's best character development is yet to come, and all of it in NT.

What's more, as OH&S already pointed out, this arc was concluding around the time of NT8-10, and by this time Touma was the clear winner in terms of character development.

Mikoto shares Touma's hero complex, ideals, and his 'force of personality' and is chasing his shadow due to both, but I don't see many calling her on it. I would go so far as to say that Mikoto is one of less than five girls that is actively chasing Touma around that is also legitimately romantically interested. So if you're going to call him on harem antics (which I honestly think is absurd and yes, I know how many girls Kamachi has written in at this point), I once again present to you one Mikoto Misaka.

I just feel like whatever one can leverage against Touma's character can be applied to Misaka as well. Sure, she doesn't pontificate at people, but that shouldn't suggest that she wouldn't think the things that Touma says to the people he defeats or saves.

Mikoto can be hot-headed, irresponsible, and naive. She lashes out regularly at Touma for the littlest things: pettiness. I would call those character traits obnoxious. But, like Touma, I still like her just fine. Just seems strange to me that she's held in this sort of weird reverence with certain anime-onlys who don't seem to understand or even care about the real plot.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:50 pm Reply with quote
Izanagi009 wrote:
I am admittedly quite curious why this is the case. While yes, Misaka is hyper competent and what not, I find Touma's ideology and behavior to be grating and his personal supporting cast to be less engaging.


I've always felt that Touma has really benefited from NT's "three protagonists whose respective harems occasionally bump into each other" structure. The story always manages to switch to a different protagonist right before I'm about to roll my eyes at him. I feel the same way about the other two protagonists, too: I like that the author lets Hamazura's particular part of the story build up for a while before checking back in with him (he's at his best when he's overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff going on around him, but manages to power through anyway just by sheer force of will), and as for Accelerator... well, let's just say that I enjoy the whole Accelerator-Last Order-Worst dynamic, but only in very small doses. Laughing
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Izanagi009



Joined: 20 Oct 2014
Posts: 424
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:09 am Reply with quote
Stiles wrote:
Izanagi009 wrote:
I am admittedly quite curious why this is the case. While yes, Misaka is hyper competent and what not, I find Touma's ideology and behavior to be grating and his personal supporting cast to be less engaging.

Main issue with Touma's ideology is how obnoxious he feels. that fact that the LNs had a line where he said he will "learn english to talk people down" just feels so boggling at points. It feels like the author trying to make a character that goes "you are wrong here is why" instead of an active debate.

And before people say "he gets development in NT", i'm sorry but he should have had this development earlier in the original LN series.

His Supporting cast don't help as i find too many of them are involved with him because of harem antics or because of his hero complex. Not many of them are involved with him by force of personality.

Misaka in comparison may restrain her powers most times but she can go all out if needed (the mantis bot and Mugino as two big examples) and her supporting cast are more friends and colleagues than mere love interests or people who have been saved by her.

I'm pretty sure that the reason Touma wanted to learn English was so that he wouldn't be a burden on those helping him while overseas, not because he feels a need to tell everyone and their mother that they're living their lives wrong.

In terms of in-universe chronology, I would say at this point both Touma and Mikoto share a similar amount of lacking character development. You say not to mention Touma's NT character development, but the irony is that Mikoto's best character development is yet to come, and all of it in NT.

What's more, as OH&S already pointed out, this arc was concluding around the time of NT8-10, and by this time Touma was the clear winner in terms of character development.

Mikoto shares Touma's hero complex, ideals, and his 'force of personality' and is chasing his shadow due to both, but I don't see many calling her on it. I would go so far as to say that Mikoto is one of less than five girls that is actively chasing Touma around that is also legitimately romantically interested. So if you're going to call him on harem antics (which I honestly think is absurd and yes, I know how many girls Kamachi has written in at this point), I once again present to you one Mikoto Misaka.

I just feel like whatever one can leverage against Touma's character can be applied to Misaka as well. Sure, she doesn't pontificate at people, but that shouldn't suggest that she wouldn't think the things that Touma says to the people he defeats or saves.

Mikoto can be hot-headed, irresponsible, and naive. She lashes out regularly at Touma for the littlest things: pettiness. I would call those character traits obnoxious. But, like Touma, I still like her just fine. Just seems strange to me that she's held in this sort of weird reverence with certain anime-onlys who don't seem to understand or even care about the real plot.


Oh I agree, talking to people, yeah. Compared to what i've seen in media or hell, out of Emiya Kiritsugu, Index and Railgun are growing tired to me.

While I do think like Misaka more than Touma, ultimately, i'm finding both of them to be quite poor in the grand scheme of critical analysis.

That being said, i do find the "anime-only" sentiment odd. A show must stand on it's own at times. While yes, the source material matters, ultimately, the show itself must have merit on its own. Also, assuming that the people who like Misaka don't understand or care about the real plot feels a bit snobbish to me
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SilverTalon01



Joined: 02 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:32 pm Reply with quote
Izanagi009 wrote:
Misaka in comparison may restrain her powers most times but she can go all out if needed (the mantis bot and Mugino as two big examples) and her supporting cast are more friends and colleagues than mere love interests or people who have been saved by her.


She didn't really go all out on either of those. She was so worn out when she fought Mugino that she could barely use her powers because she had been running around destroying labs without food or sleep for quite a while by the time she got to the one Frenda was guarding.
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OH&S



Joined: 15 Jul 2013
Posts: 254
Location: Sydney, Australia
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:32 am Reply with quote
Izanagi009 wrote:
OH&S wrote:
Stiles wrote:
Railgun is definitely at its best when it's focused on the Index plot.

I'll go one step further and state that the objective best episodes of the entire Railgun anime are the ones where the titular hyper-competent female MC is the damsel-in-distress and the "boring" MC that everyone loves to hate on steals the leading role. Truth hurts sometimes. Razz

I am admittedly quite curious why this is the case. ...yada yada...

As I’m mostly satisfied with Stiles’ rebuttal (and not wanting to turn this post into a whole essay on Kamijou), I’ll address the specific question that remains unanswered:

Why are the best episodes of Railgun the ones where Kamijou Touma steals leading the role from Misaka Mikoto?

The answer requires a somewhat nuanced understanding of how Kamijou’s role and perception in the story differs between Index and Railgun.

In Index, Kamijou Touma is the stereotypical sci-fi protagonist: a relatable everyman who is down on his luck before encountering a supernatural phenomenon which breaks the routine of his everyday life. Naturally, there’s plenty of twists to this premise within the opening act itself as well as the setting; but in spirit, it still holds true. Spending enough time with Kamijou, its clear he’s winging it through his adventures and struggling to maintain a fine balance between the chaotic and calm moments so that he can at least try to continue on with his everyday life (usually at the cost of his own studies and health due to being frequently sent to the hospital). More importantly, the series has repeatedly characterized him as someone who is neither inherently good or evil despite his actions’ outward portrayal appearing to be good. This, of course, will be debated by Kamijou haters; but that’s what the series is saying in no uncertain terms.

Now come to Railgun, where Kamijou Touma is the ultimate personification of all that is good this side of the franchise; even above Misaka Mikoto herself. By being that ultimate personification, his primary role is to directly relieve the stress and tension that is built up in the series where the MCs are unable to do so. The catharsis that comes from relieving the stress and tension at the emotional and narrative climax of the story arc, with an irregular power, and doing it with good presentation, easily surpasses every other moment of the series; it just has all of the right ingredients to propel it above even the competently animated action scenes with Misaka. This is also helped on a numerical score basis because novel readers and Kamijou lovers will be upvoting those specific episodes which have a good showing for him as a character but are otherwise ambivalent about the Railgun anime.

As proof of his role, here is a list of everything Kamijou does in Railgun:

  • Railgun Ep. 4: Spends his entire night with Misaka chasing after him for a battle. In the morning when she gets back to her dorm and asks Shirai to cover for her, Shirai comments on how satisfied Misaka looks afterwards.
  • Railgun Ep. 7: Kamijou only takes meaningful action to save everyone after a moment of admittedly plot-induced stupidity of Misaka dropping her arcade coin. The key here is that he did it after the MC made an error and essentially covered for her.
  • Railgun S Ep. 11: Brief mention here that Kamijou appears to give Misaka her first relief of stress and tension in 5 days (6 episodes); even if only temporary.
  • Railgun S Ep. 14: It’s the bridge scene. It’s very in your face about how Kamijou is relieving all the pent-up stress that Misaka has built up throughout the Sisters Arc. Extra points for the stellar voice acting by Rina Satou and Kamijou pacifying Misaka by refusing to fight and/or preach.
  • Railgun S Ep. 15: If Ep. 14 was the relief of emotional stress and tension, Ep. 15 was the relief of stress and tension from the core narrative by having the first meaningful development towards bringing the incident to a close: Kamijou landing a solid blow to Accelerator; someone who up to this point had been an untouchable monster. The delivery of said blow could only have been done by someone with such an understated power like Kamijou. It was then followed by Misaka and the Sisters dealing with Accelerator's plasma but everything was set in motion by Kamijou's initial blow. Anime Kamijou was definitely at his coolest here.
  • Railgun S Ep. 16: And finally, the complete relief of all the stress with Kamijou's final blow to Accelerator. Also worth mentioning is the cookie scene which allows Kamijou to leave on a positive note with Misaka and allowing her to finally go back to her everyday life.
  • Railgun T Ep. 11: As there are more characters at play in this climax than in the Sisters Arc (10,000 clones not withstanding), this time there’s a shared role in relieving the stress and tension; but Kamijou and Sogiita get to make the flashiest and most intense contribution to that role. Even Shokuhou’s stress is somewhat relieved to the point where she gives off an uncharacteristically giddy smile upon his arrival (in the manga she’s absolutely beaming).
  • Railgun T Ep. 13: Nothing much to say until the big moment airs/streams.
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Stiles



Joined: 21 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 6:51 pm Reply with quote
Izanagi009 wrote:
Oh I agree, talking to people, yeah. Compared to what i've seen in media or hell, out of Emiya Kiritsugu, Index and Railgun are growing tired to me.

While I do think like Misaka more than Touma, ultimately, i'm finding both of them to be quite poor in the grand scheme of critical analysis.

That being said, i do find the "anime-only" sentiment odd. A show must stand on it's own at times. While yes, the source material matters, ultimately, the show itself must have merit on its own. Also, assuming that the people who like Misaka don't understand or care about the real plot feels a bit snobbish to me

Yeah that was definitely snobbish, sorry about that. It's super difficult to cast my obvious bias aside, but I try. I agree that a show should have its own merit, and to that end I just wish Railgun could be more To Aru and less CGDCT.

The characters aren't perfect, it's true, and Touma deserves some of the scrutiny you mentioned. I really think a strong NT adaptation would help to improve the general opinion of both characters, but it's not for me to say how others will take the next major arc.

Anyway.

The thirteenth episode aired and around a quarter to a third of it was recap/wasted time. That was pretty frustrating. The rest of the episode was solid, but they left off on a terrible cliffhanger and straight up spoiler'd the next episode with the preview. To top it all off, we're getting another delay.

I know there are more important things than anime these days, but that was disappointing.
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FilthyCasual



Joined: 01 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 1:04 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, Mitori has it out for Aleister since he's the man in charge of everything in the city.
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SilverTalon01



Joined: 02 Apr 2012
Posts: 2150
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 5:29 pm Reply with quote
I think covid has finally hurt the production. I was really sad to see that recap in there because that means when I inevitably buy this in bluray that the climax will always be interrupted by it.

Did they skip over Mikoto transforming more? Maybe I looked down to eat a bite of food, but I swear she just suddenly was more transformed.
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Kaysuami



Joined: 29 Apr 2020
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 10:09 pm Reply with quote
OH&S wrote:
Izanagi009 wrote:
OH&S wrote:
Stiles wrote:
Railgun is definitely at its best when it's focused on the Index plot.

I'll go one step further and state that the objective best episodes of the entire Railgun anime are the ones where the titular hyper-competent female MC is the damsel-in-distress and the "boring" MC that everyone loves to hate on steals the leading role. Truth hurts sometimes. Razz

I am admittedly quite curious why this is the case. ...yada yada...

As I’m mostly satisfied with Stiles’ rebuttal (and not wanting to turn this post into a whole essay on Kamijou), I’ll address the specific question that remains unanswered:

Why are the best episodes of Railgun the ones where Kamijou Touma steals leading the role from Misaka Mikoto?

The answer requires a somewhat nuanced understanding of how Kamijou’s role and perception in the story differs between Index and Railgun.

In Index, Kamijou Touma is the stereotypical sci-fi protagonist: a relatable everyman who is down on his luck before encountering a supernatural phenomenon which breaks the routine of his everyday life. Naturally, there’s plenty of twists to this premise within the opening act itself as well as the setting; but in spirit, it still holds true. Spending enough time with Kamijou, its clear he’s winging it through his adventures and struggling to maintain a fine balance between the chaotic and calm moments so that he can at least try to continue on with his everyday life (usually at the cost of his own studies and health due to being frequently sent to the hospital). More importantly, the series has repeatedly characterized him as someone who is neither inherently good or evil despite his actions’ outward portrayal appearing to be good. This, of course, will be debated by Kamijou haters; but that’s what the series is saying in no uncertain terms.

Now come to Railgun, where Kamijou Touma is the ultimate personification of all that is good this side of the franchise; even above Misaka Mikoto herself. By being that ultimate personification, his primary role is to directly relieve the stress and tension that is built up in the series where the MCs are unable to do so. The catharsis that comes from relieving the stress and tension at the emotional and narrative climax of the story arc, with an irregular power, and doing it with good presentation, easily surpasses every other moment of the series; it just has all of the right ingredients to propel it above even the competently animated action scenes with Misaka. This is also helped on a numerical score basis because novel readers and Kamijou lovers will be upvoting those specific episodes which have a good showing for him as a character but are otherwise ambivalent about the Railgun anime.

As proof of his role, here is a list of everything Kamijou does in Railgun:

  • Railgun Ep. 4: Spends his entire night with Misaka chasing after him for a battle. In the morning when she gets back to her dorm and asks Shirai to cover for her, Shirai comments on how satisfied Misaka looks afterwards.
  • Railgun Ep. 7: Kamijou only takes meaningful action to save everyone after a moment of admittedly plot-induced stupidity of Misaka dropping her arcade coin. The key here is that he did it after the MC made an error and essentially covered for her.
  • Railgun S Ep. 11: Brief mention here that Kamijou appears to give Misaka her first relief of stress and tension in 5 days (6 episodes); even if only temporary.
  • Railgun S Ep. 14: It’s the bridge scene. It’s very in your face about how Kamijou is relieving all the pent-up stress that Misaka has built up throughout the Sisters Arc. Extra points for the stellar voice acting by Rina Satou and Kamijou pacifying Misaka by refusing to fight and/or preach.
  • Railgun S Ep. 15: If Ep. 14 was the relief of emotional stress and tension, Ep. 15 was the relief of stress and tension from the core narrative by having the first meaningful development towards bringing the incident to a close: Kamijou landing a solid blow to Accelerator; someone who up to this point had been an untouchable monster. The delivery of said blow could only have been done by someone with such an understated power like Kamijou. It was then followed by Misaka and the Sisters dealing with Accelerator's plasma but everything was set in motion by Kamijou's initial blow. Anime Kamijou was definitely at his coolest here.
  • Railgun S Ep. 16: And finally, the complete relief of all the stress with Kamijou's final blow to Accelerator. Also worth mentioning is the cookie scene which allows Kamijou to leave on a positive note with Misaka and allowing her to finally go back to her everyday life.
  • Railgun T Ep. 11: As there are more characters at play in this climax than in the Sisters Arc (10,000 clones not withstanding), this time there’s a shared role in relieving the stress and tension; but Kamijou and Sogiita get to make the flashiest and most intense contribution to that role. Even Shokuhou’s stress is somewhat relieved to the point where she gives off an uncharacteristically giddy smile upon his arrival (in the manga she’s absolutely beaming).
  • Railgun T Ep. 13: Nothing much to say until the big moment airs/streams.


Isn't that the blog you post on Toaru Wiki, OH&S?
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