A Certain Scientific Railgun T
Episode 13

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 13 of
A Certain Scientific Railgun T (TV 3) ?

Coming out of last episode, many (including me) expected episode 13 to be the climax of this story arc. That does not prove to be fully correct. While two of the three branches of the overall problem are resolved, the third and most troublesome part – the transformed and out-of-control Mikoto – continues to be a threat to destroy the city. Assumptions that things would climax here did not account for four minutes of Kuroko-narrated recap at the beginning of the episode or the series wasting a couple of minutes coming out of that very slowly. Nor did it account for a pacing to this series which is distinctly more graduated than in the franchise's other branches. Besides, resolving the matters with Mitori and Gensei provided plenty enough dramatics on their own, to the point that I would rate this episode a step higher if not for the stall tactics.

The Kuroko vs. Mitori case has been a game of cat-and-mouse from the beginning, though who's the cat and who's the mouse has varied. Looking back, the scenes from the last couple of episodes featuring Mitori always were dodgy about showing much background context, and she has been implied before to be doing her dirty work from the sewers, so her ending up being there isn't a big surprise. Nor is it a surprise that she co-opted one of the flying broadcast drones to use as her spy-eye for the battle against Kuroko in the beginning. That her puppet finally nailing Kuroko was a deception was obvious, but the real treat was seeing Kuroko take Mitori out by being willing to take a thrown knife to her hand. In terms of the way it was staged and animated, the scene where she dashes in, slams Mitori in the nose, roundhouse-kicks her, and double-footed back-kicks her is a thing of beauty; it may now be one of my favorite action sequences in the whole series. Kuroko's always been an effective fighter, but I have a whole new level of respect for her now. That sequence also reveals that Dolly, and what happened to her, is also Mitori's motivation, though I'm not clear about who she's referring to about having to die; Aleister, maybe? Feels like a little more remains to be revealed there.

Last episode's end left Misaki in dire straits, but apparently I was too quick to judge that Gensei had outsmarted her. Using Mental Out on herself to switch the activation and self-destruct codes for Exterior in her mind, then make herself forget that she had done it, was a masterful ploy and a perfect failsafe. Yeah, she did take a big gamble there that Gensei did not just off her immediately, but given that he's not the type to directly get his hands dirty, it probably wasn't as big a risk as she feared. And while she's made it clear before that she isn't concerned about Mikoto's survival, she does seem to care about her clones, presumably because Dolly was the prototype for them. That Misaki and Mitori have similar impetuses for their actions and yet are on totally opposing sides in this conflict is a neat irony.

That just leaves the matter of Mikoto, who finally shows signs of collecting herself once the outside interference has ended, but she's also clearly past the point of stopping herself without outside help. I'm guessing that she and Touma are going to end up working together (wittingly or not) on that issue, and I look forward to see how that gets resolved next episode. For now, I will just appreciate the visual effects being used here. COVID-19 might be causing delays in getting the episodes out, but they are stilling putting on quite a visual show.

Rating:

A Certain Scientific Railgun T is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.


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