A Certain Scientific Railgun T
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 7 of
A Certain Scientific Railgun T (TV 3) ?
After a week off for coronavirus-related production issues, the series promptly picks up where it left off, with Mikoto having effectively disposed of Baba and his robotic minions and now having her sights firmly set on rescuing 10032. The result is an episode which, for the first time in a while, mostly focuses on Mikoto.
That being said, the other members of her (currently memory-addled) posse haven't been forgotten about. This is one case where Saten's obsession with conspiracy theories benefits her personally as opposed to the storyline. Why wouldn't someone like that start putting two and two together when considering that Mikoto approached them earlier and knew her and Uiharu's names even though they didn't go to the same school, or that Kinuho and Maaya asked her to call Mikoto as if they expect Saten to be able to, or that she has Mikoto's phone number? Add into that knowledge that there is a mind-controlling esper at Tokiwadai and her brain is certain to get working, memory loss or not. Uiharu has a lesser role here in meeting (and then getting taken unconscious hostage along with) Mikoto's mother, but Kuroko is the most interesting case.
We know from previous animation that, prior to A Certain Scientific Railgun, Kuroko was interested enough in Mikoto to sneak into Mikoto's room and then manipulate circumstances so that she could become Mikoto's roommate, but I don't recall if the circumstances leading up to Kuroko getting obsessed with Mikoto have ever been animated. This episode makes up for that, as we see Kuroko's interest and attraction start to build all over again. The most ironic line in the episode is Kuroko's claim when interacting with Mikoto that she doesn't swing “that way,” when everything in previous installments of the franchise has made it quite clear that she actively lusts after Mikoto. Seeing the level of trust and understanding that Mikoto has toward Kuroko is also a welcome touch.
The feature scene is, of course, the confrontation Mikoto has with Mitori Kouzaku (who still has yet to be formally named in the animation). The use of a liquid metal puppet duplicate is an interesting ability, though presumably that is just an extension of whatever her real ability actually is. What's more interesting is that Mitori seems to believe, based on eyewitness accounts, that Mikoto attacked “their villas” and stole information. I'm pretty sure that the animated content hasn't explained what this is referring to, so perhaps it's some detail from the manga or books? That further suggests that Mitori may have been misled into going after Mikoto as a further effort to slow the latter down – and thus Mitori isn't working with Shokuhou – but there's too much going on behind the scenes which hasn't been revealed yet to be sure about that. Whatever is going on there, seeing Mikoto both creatively use her powers and also rely on an ally to finish the job of rescuing Uiharu and her mother were very satisfying. The end of the episode, where the girls investigate the website, also has intriguing implications, especially the conspicuous mention of the “DNA computer,” which is presumably responsible for power distributions among students.
As a final thought for this week, I realized that I haven't praised the music of this series much, but longtime franchise music director Maiko Iuchi is doing some excellent work here with the series' signature electronica sound. Here it's very precise and effective at ramping up and sustaining tension, and the series wouldn't be as good as it is without it.
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