A Certain Scientific Railgun T
Episode 23

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 23 of
A Certain Scientific Railgun T (TV 3) ?

When the Scavengers first appeared in A Certain Scientific Accelerator, I commented that they seemed to be a wannabe-Dark Side team; they were acting like how they thought evil people should act rather than wholeheartedly being evil. That impression has not changed with this appearance. In fact, if anything, they're almost sympathetic here. When Leader mentions near the end of the episode that their loyalty has to be to the Dark Side, she actually feels like she is saying it reluctantly. Whether because of Mikoto's expressed appreciation for Gekota, because Mikoto saved her more than once without a second thought, or because Mikoto said she can trust Leader, she seems to think that they should be working with Mikoto rather than against her. Or maybe I am giving her too much credit and that was all just self-preservation instincts talking.

In any case, Leader is as much the star of this episode as Mikoto. This episode clearly shows why she is the team's leader: she is remarkably quick-thinking in coming up with ways to try to convince Mikoto that they aren't the bad guys in this situation. The amusing aspect of this is the way that she completely misjudges Mikoto, expecting her to be a ruthless terror like Accelerator is, and yet still manages to pull off the deception because the desperate fliers she takes – the ones that she believes Mikoto couldn't possibly accept – actually play perfectly into Mikoto's personality and situation. Identifying herself as a member of Judgment and explaining Seike's behavior last episode as her being an overzealous civilian working with Judgment? It would be a preposterous lie to anyone else, except that Mikoto is the “civilian” who commonly works with Judgment members as young as Leader looks to be. Not wanting Misaki to come join them because her psi abilities might interfere with Leader's search abilities? That makes a certain amount of sense, or at least enough to convince the non-mentally-based Mikoto. Then the blind luck of the clincher: that the communication device which Leader is sure is too childish just happens to be a Gekota item.

Convincing Mikoto – a surprise, since last episode's Next Episode previews suggested a fight between Mikoto and the Scavengers – was a slick trick, but not the only thing that falls just right for the Scavengers this episode. Leader's even bigger feat is in managing to direct the Mikoto/Doppelganger fight towards the warehouse where they were supposed to be delivering her, thus technically completing their contract. Yakumaru, the chemical user, also gets credit for the way she played the “pretty girl in distress” act to convince the Skill Outs to vamoose out of the area where the Mikoto/Doppelganger fight was going. Naru using her paper-manipulating ability to make the vehicle that they escape the scene on is also pretty cool, especially giving how much of an idiot she is otherwise.

But this wouldn't be an Index title without some action, and the Mikoto/Doppelganger head-to-head (or rather, the first stage of it) certainly provides that. The bursts of action are short but very well-animated, including some of the best CG use to date in the franchise. They also show that Kuriba was not exaggerating when she insisted that the Doppelganger's possession ability, when unleashed, could be a threat to the whole city. Certainly seems like the scientists are no longer doubting her, either! On another note, the details about the flying cloaked ship which serves as a data depository are interesting, though the whole thing seems impractical. That also feels like a teaser for future story content, given that only one episode remains.

Given all that is shown in the Next Episode preview, I am curious to see how the series is going to resolve all of this in the limited time left.


A Certain Scientific Railgun T is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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