A Certain Scientific Railgun T
Episode 14

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 14 of
A Certain Scientific Railgun T (TV 3) ?

After another week off, A Certain Scientific Railgun T is back to finish the climax that it started in episode 13. The result is a somewhat messy episode which offers a mix of good scenes and decidedly less satisfying parts.

The first eight minutes or so provide brief continuances of Misaki and Kuroko's actions from last episode before refocusing on Mikoto and the ball of energy that she has become enveloped in. While there are some neat artistic and animation effects at work here, too little of what goes on makes much sense. If this energy isn't Mikoto's power (as she insists), then where is it coming from? And what, exactly, is the nature of Sogiita Gunha's power, anyway? He seems able to manifest his will as sheer power, including making giant energy balls? Then there's Touma generating dragon heads which eat away at Mikoto's otherworldly power, something which he did not seem aware himself that he could do? I can appreciate keeping some mysteries floating about these characters, but there seems to be no logic to these powers.

There are other issues here as well. Touma gets his arm blown off, but very shortly, it's back where it should be. Episode 24 of A Certain Magical Index III, which chronologically happens a couple of months after this, showed that Touma can recover his arm if it is severed or destroyed, so this would mark the first time it happened, I guess? That Touma is never later shown wondering about that in A Certain Magical Index II then becomes a gross inconsistency. And speaking of inconsistencies, both he and Mikoto seems uncharacteristically casual about her appearing naked before him. Sure, him being gentlemanly about it is nice, but I cannot recall another case in the animated version of this franchise where something like this happens so nonchalantly. That such a great amount of destruction in the immediate area seems to have no impact on anything also seems inconsistent, if also par for the course for this franchise. The one place where this part of the episode does show some consistency is in the material left on the ground at the end; that would be the Shadow Metal that Saten was obsessed about back at the beginning, I would think.

The remainder of the episode is the Festival arc's wrap-up, and it does better as it covers the necessary bases. The scene with Mikoto visiting the hospitalized Mitsuko Kongo needed to happen, as Mikoto needs to understand that Mitsuko is not the kind of person who would hold anything against Mikoto for the way she got hurt, since it happened while Mitsuko was doing what she chose to do. Likewise, Mitsuko needed to understand that Maaya and Kinuho regard her much more dearly than she realizes. Misaki apparently undid the memory block concerning Mikoto on Uiharu, Saten, and Kuroko, but in a move which seems a perfect representation of her temperament, she got in a final, delicious jab at Mikoto over the memory she left to explain Mikoto's temporary absence from the festival. Saten's gimmick to set Mikoto up for dancing with Touma, and the way Uiharu backed her up by corralling Kuroko, was also priceless, and her dance with Touma after that was a great way to finish the episode.

Ultimately, the stronger finish balances out the weaker earlier parts but does not bury them. This is still an awkwardly-designed episode overall, and it may not even be the completion of the arc's resolution; the Next Episode preview and a brief scene where Misaki finds the handcuffed Mitori suggest that Misaki is going to be probing her memories about why she involved in this incident, hence finishing out the backstory from episode 10 from Mitori's viewpoint. Couldn't there have been a better way to organize all of this?


A Certain Scientific Railgun T is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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