English: A Certain Scientific Railgun
Synonyms: Toaru Kagaku no Choudenjihou
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 3, 2009 to Mar 20, 2010
Producers: J.C. Staff, Geneon Universal Entertainment, FUNimation EntertainmentL, Movic, AT-X, ASCII Media Works, Project Railgun
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 7.961 (scored by 56134 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Mar 19, 2010
Academy City is a city that thrives on those who are espers -- who are special -- whether they already have powers or are trying to attain them. Everyone is reaching towards their ideal self, but some people don’t care what methods get used. The pursuit of the “next level” is absolute. If our limitations only exist so we can surpass them, should there be a limit to how far we can go to get there?
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, or A Certain Scientific Railgun, follows the events around Misaka Mikoto and her core group of friends and their exploits within the City. They are students, aiming to better their powers as espers. But in a city with a concentrated amount of people with special abilities, it’s only natural for the criminally-minded to try to carve out their own bit of power at the expense of others. To combat such an element and maintain civil order, the organization Judgment exists. Having a free-willed, ace-in-the-hole player like Misaka who keeps people in line all by herself doesn’t hurt either.
Misaka (affectionately dubbed “Biribiri”) is one of the most powerful espers in Academy City. Her ability to generate and manipulate electricity makes her a force that most overconfident thugs learn too late shouldn’t have been reckoned with. Kuroko is her best friend, a crazy and hyperactive girl whose yuri-obsession with her beloved “Onee-sama” is hilarious despite constant rejection. Teleportation of objects (herself included) is her esper proficiency, making her one of the more menacing opponents to come up against, despite the diminutive and cute appearance. Uiharu is the demure techie: easily embarrassed, but a wizard at hacking or culling information from any network. As a member of Judgment, she is often the “eye-in-the-sky” for Kuroko when they take action.
In a place brimming with espers, Saten is the most fascinating of the four. Her official designation is Level 0. She has no powers at all. Nevertheless, she attends classes and learns all there is to learn about being an esper. The teachers explain to the Level 0s like her that it’s possible to reach Level 1… but Saten always has a wistful look when the topic comes up. It’s clear she doesn’t have that kind of optimism. What does it mean to be that kind of outsider looking in? And how much worse is it to be in the middle of this incredible city, surrounded by so many exceptional people she’d love to be?
Academy City is almost a character in itself. It’s hard not to fall in love with it. Clean, stylish, dotted with wind generators, a near-futuristic center of learning and advanced scientific research, all the while supersaturated with technology. The juxtaposition of seemingly sentient trash-collector robots and soda machines that only work if you kick them appears to point out that we’ll always have some low-tech around.
Railgun fixes most every glaring problem that tripped up Toaru Majutsu no Index. Gone are Index’s occasional -- albeit entirely useless -- scenes where those involved in the higher echelons of running Academy City were up to some sinister, boring machinations. Fortunately, Railgun is much more down-to-earth. It also wisely limits the amount of talking that occurs during fight sequences. The action is left to unfold naturally, instead of cramming in reams of idealistic soliloquies that the Index villains probably weren’t even listening to. Finally, it does away with Index’s tendency to tell one mini-arc, followed by another mini-arc, followed by another mini-arc… ad nauseam that tended to make the show’s overall narrative out of focus and its pace too breakneck.
The structure of this show, however, is a bit of an odd thing and does deserve to be mulled over. It begins largely episodic with only a scattering of episodes focused entirely on the more serious arc that concludes at the halfway point. The second half is much the same. I say ‘odd’ because it’s a unique structure I’ve rarely come across. Most non-episodic anime tend to follow the same format as any other narrative medium: an identifiable conflict or targeted goal at the outset; gradual complications along the way; an ending with the inevitable climax and resolution.
Railgun mostly ignores that age-old wisdom. Twice.
The four or five episodes that precede each climax are strong, focused, and exciting. So if the creators were so capable, why not follow the arcs in every episode? Simply put, it seems to be a stylistic choice -- and one that is as refreshing as it is surprisingly effective. It frees up the story, allows our perspective of Academy City to expand by degrees and the characters a chance to breathe. The importance of the latter cannot be stressed enough. After all, our heroines are living here primarily to learn. It’s a given that attending classes and socializing are going to make up no small portion of their day-to-day lives.
That said, Kuroko and Uiharu’s work at Judgment comprises the larger portion. Most of the fun is watching them work on cases and hunt down perpetrators. Even though Misaka isn’t a part of Judgment, she often forces herself into the role of unofficial member. That she has this proclivity for beating up criminals isn’t so much that she’s a do-gooder, but rather that’s how she finds it easiest to protect her friends. She has an active investment in their well-being and specific meaningful relationships to lose if something goes wrong. This is, of course, all to say that it’s vastly more engaging to watch her and her cohorts, as opposed to a certain bed-headed, misfortunate guy with a chronic Helper Monkey Complex.
I usually don’t mention voice acting, but the consistent excellence is such that I can’t avoid it. Toyosaki Aki easily hits her highest note yet here and in one pivotal moment gives an amazing, touching performance. Even the always-talented Tanaka Atsuko creates a character that is very special. So to avoid a laundry list of names, let me simply say that if some of your favorite seiyuu are involved, it probably wouldn’t be an exaggeration to urge you to check it out for that reason alone.
The OPs are as highly-charged as Misaka’s railgun and the EDs are catchy outros after all the excitement. In fact, the songs that bookend the show’s second half are as good as -- if not better than -- the first half’s. And here I thought it was some sort of sadistic tradition in anime for second-half OPs and EDs to be lacklustre.
The overall soundtrack is just as fantastic. Not only the music itself, but also its skillful use. At one point, a solitary piano begins playing, making us realize that since the episode started there hasn’t been any music. Instead of merely reinforcing the mood, it becomes the subtext that the characters can’t say. Later on when they connect to each other, a similar piano begins. As they are finally able to talk, more and more instruments are woven into the song as they become more and more desperate to express everything they wanted to say earlier.
Sound effects are another design element that truly shine. There is something so perfect in the execution of Biribiri’s electricity and Kuroko’s teleportation. It isn’t that Index’s sound effects for these abilities were bad at all, but rather that in Railgun they have been refined enough to be a little addicting to listen to. Likewise, the action of the fight scenes is as much aural as it is visual. Impact is visceral, whether against concrete or someone’s face.
The art is crisp and beautiful. The visual design is such that your eyes get drawn in, from a particularly huge parfait to some spellbinding fight choreography. Some close-up expressions of the characters are priceless. Unfortunately, certain distance shots of them can dip in quality. It’s a pity given the polished look of everything else around them, but comparatively speaking it’s easy to forgive as it doesn’t occur often.
Railgun is an anime that starts with a cast of memorable characters, tells a very entertaining story, and has the privilege of doing so with laudable production values. The questions it raises are thought-provoking and relevant. Even when the story meanders into a stand-alone episode that has no real bearing on the plot, it is always with a sense of how it fits into the overarching frame. Like its characters, the story breathes. At times it runs; at times it walks. And yes, also like its characters, sometimes it takes that random detour and ends up discovering something wholly unexpected. While science plays a large role in the show, all its elements end up filled with quite a bit of magic.
And that’s a certain kind of awesome. read more
Sep 1, 2013
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun isn't your average supernatural, action anime. It's a supernatural, action anime that has cute high school girls doing girly things, featuring our favourite tsundere... Misaka Mikoto!!! Now Toaru Kagaku no Railgun is a very girly anime, but at the same time, it could be filled with perfectly animation action scenes that will leave you in awe. It's definitely not the best anime around town, but it's one of my favourite anime in terms of story.
The story of Toaru Kagaku no Railgun could be considered of my favourite storties of all the anime I've watched. The story follows our favourite tsundere, Misaka Mikoto. Misaka and her friends are just normal high school students that have esper powers, well some of them have powers, the others that don't are usually useless. When trouble strikes, they will be there to clean up the mess. The story is fairly simple and is more than well done. Now I could of gave the story a 10 out of 10 but it was filled with so much fillers. The fillers could literally bore a person to death, I mean almost half the show had boring fillers. But what Toaru Kagaku no Railgun lacks, it more than makes up for it with it's great way of telling the story, not to mention the ending is probably one of the best endings I've ever seen in anime, for those who have a heart, the ending will make you happy and glad you watched this anime.
The art and animation was a splendid masterpiece. The art perfectly matched the anime and the animation was truly perfection. The action scenes look fantastic and was done to look like not even a single frame was left out. Anyone watching Toaru Kagaku no Railgun could easily have an eye-gasm in the middle of it's battles.
The sound was good but not the best, and it isn't bad either. Aside from the highly addictive opening theme songs and the great ending theme songs, everything else is fine. The sound was fine, it wasn't bad but there wasn't really any to stand out in my opinion.
The characters were not bad, but they were far from great. Most character do serve a purpose, but only few actually really develop. Throughout the whole series, you see very little development from the characters, especially from Misaka's friends. Shirai Kuroko is a very funny character but receives no development and is sometimes annoying. Saten Ruiko and Uiharu, Kazari, although they are pretty decent characters, they're sometimes useless. And as much as I love tsunderes and think that Misaka is a great character, she is not the best character in the show, that award goes to Kiyama Harumi who's back-story was unforgettable and her desire shines and is what makes the story of Toaru Kagaku no Railgun so amazing.
I enjoyed almost every bit of Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, even the characters were pretty funny and enjoyed them, but the one thing I could not stand is the filler. I did NOT enjoy the fillers at all, only in a few moments in the fillers are decent and funny. But the fillers did nothing but make me want to see more of the epic story or the awesome battles. The fillers bored me to sleep and kept me asleep as if I was on sleeping pills. But other than that, I really enjoyed Toaru Kagaku no Railgun.
Overall, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun is a great series to watch and if you enjoy cute high school girls beating up criminals with esper powers (and fan-service), then I highly recommend this anime to you. That's if you can get past the fillers. I'm ohhenry2, and I give Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, a great 8/10 read more
Sep 13, 2013
A Certain Scientific Railgun is a J.C. Staff (of Shakugan no Shana, Shigofumi, and Toradora! fame) anime adaptation of a manga of the same name conceived by manga artist Motoi Fuyukama and light novel author Kazuma Kamachi. With direction by Tatsuyuki Nagai, script by Miya Asakawa and Michiko Ito, and character designs, original and anime, by Kiyotaka Haimura and Yuichi Tanaka, respectively, we follow the adventures of Misaka, an important supporting character in the series' parent, Kamachi's A Certain Magical Index (which later became its own anime and manga), the most powerful electromaster as well as one of the strongest espers in Academy City, and her friends, Kuroko Shirai, Kazari Uiharu, and Ruiko Saten. Emphasis on her companions, being that while the show is named after Misaka's nicknames, it covers them quite a bit as well, who they are, what they're feeling, and the bonds of friendship they strike. Nevertheless, the show doesn't forget its roots, making numerous references and cameos to people and events from Index itself. Touma Kamijou, Index's main protagonist, takes the similar role as Misaka did in his series by makes his recurring rounds as support. And to be perfectly honest, I like how he's shown here rather than there, where his goofiness doesn't seem so exclusive from his solid moral stances. The story is divided into one portion directly from the source, the Level Upper Arc, and anime original stuff, the Big Spider Arc, the Poltergeist Arc, and all the character specific episodes in between, to provide some breathing room for the next big arc in the manga, presumably to prevent an exhaustion of future adaptive material while leaving enough time to give the existing unadapted print some justice on screen, among other things. Particularly notable of this series is its constant use of foreshadow to create a sense of escalating tension and commitment to every character introduced. Minor, yet deliberate details, seemingly out-of-place snapshots, suspicious after-thought abnormalities, throwaway characters that don't seem all that throw away, develop to become something major in the future. Speaking of throwaways, aside for child errors, this show has few, if any. Many a side character is given a considerable degree of spotlight despite their status and are either retired properly, rather than abruptly, or go on to become relevant in future events, laying the groundwork for an overwhelming amount of potential and immersion. The backgrounds are beautiful to look at and contribute a necessary sense of scale to the world building that's evidently being sought for, but also adding a personal note, localized enough to be able to share, in sincerity and intimacy, the experiences of our main heroines. The animation is solid, funny in that exaggerated sort of way when a joke or gag is being played, and thrilling when the story calls for it.
The likelihood of whether or not you'll like this show will probably weigh heavily on whether or not you are able to enjoy slice of life and its slow paced nature. Railgun is both important parts this and action, the latter more saturated in Index. If you don't find slice of life in general boring, if you're dispositionally inclined in taste or open-minded enough to enjoy it, the next issue that needs to be addressed with this show before taking the next step forward to actually watching it is whether or not the everyday feel of these segments have a purpose. The more famous and infamous instances of slice of life in this medium fall under the category of “cute girls doing cute things,” and while it may be alright for those shows to feature such, it isn't for Railgun. It presents itself as something more. The purpose is to show characterization taking place, not tell, from how it is to how it evolves, something that sees the main cast, plus much of the supporting cast, as persons, instead of one word to one sentence stereotypes, something that Index, the anime and the character, has trouble illustrating properly. In spite of their abilities, espers are people too, with all their flaws. Same goes with this show's namesake Misaka, who, in addition to being the Railgun, the 3rd ranked Level 5, and yes, tsundere, is also very much a person of many facets: independent, proud, sometimes to the point of headstrong and hot-tempered, child-like in her tastes, yet fussily contrarian when she's called on it, and fiercely loyal. She has a heart of gold and lightening, but foremost, she's a girl who wants nothing more than a relatively normal life (as normal as it can get for someone with esper powers) with the people she treasures. These traits of hers slowly, but surely, are put inside a crucible and put to the flame as much as they are gradually built up as the city's darkness becomes more and more manifest. A similarly impressive level of characterization occurs with Saten, who happens to be Level 0.
Then there's the city itself, the show's setting, which is a character in and of itself, its breathtakingly advanced central core and its seedier outliers and underbellies that mirror the metropolis' own host of social successes and failures as well as science's accolades and excesses. Evident, for example, is Academy City's own brand of class discrimination and human experimentation. It's a utopia and dystopia, all in one... never a dull moment in this city, to say the least.
Aside for a slice of life, which is more or less you have to take or leave, the issue I have with Railgun is the disparity in the quality of the script. While it may be said that Kamachi had a hand in creating every story angle, it's evident that the writing that is “direct from source” is stronger and more confident than the writing that is “anime original” or, using a more connotationally derogatory term, “filler,” often relying on the aforementioned numerous Index cameos to carry it through at times. It's always welcome, but its never a substitute for decent storytelling, though it doesn't go overboard. However, the main problem lies in the anime original plot threads rather than the episodic pieces. A lot of interesting ideas are juggled, to be sure, using the universe and previous happenings to its advantage, but the content, probably a mixture of time restraints and less talented authors, are unquestionably more straightforward and convenient in its execution and conclusions compared to the manga material, to the point not capitalizing on the potential of certain aspects of the story and overlooking others in spite of the show's diligence in keeping everything tight and focused, examples being the identity and backstory of Poltergeist arc's major antagonist and the functionality of a railgun. A railgun isn't a particle beam cannon. A particle accelerator, on the other hand, can... no, I'm getting ahead of myself.
The OPs “only my railgun” and “Level 5 -judgelight-” follows Index's lead of techno inspired music, electronic embellishments and synthetics to complement the melody which, this time around, is fist-pumping awesome... I mean, upbeat, and band, this time around by J-Pop group fripSide, who made their debut and fame with this anime. The audible transitions synchronize perfectly with the animation sequences, which always seem to be bustling with activity and energy as scene after scene, flipping character, setting, and plot device, saying so much about everyone and everything shown without a need for a single word. Noteworthy in some positive ways is the musical introduction to OP1 and the scene with Misaka firing her Railgun. For the former when the noise drops for suspense and black turns to a vibrant, electric color before the music kicks into full throttle. For the latter, when it mirrors her mixture of concentration and confidence at performing her signature move. Noteworthy in a negative way is the spoiler for the villain of the final arc. The EDs “Dear My Friend -Mada Minu Mirai He-” or “Dear My Friend -Towards an Unseen Future-” and “Real Force,” the latter more upbeat than the other, by one of my favorite Japanese singers, ELISA, in my opinion, an amazing singer who with an equally amazing sense of range. My only contention about her at times is that she likes a lot of Engrish in her songs, which shake me up whenever she puts it as a point for emphasis. The exception is a special insert ending song also performed by ELISA, “SMILE -You & Me-” re-purposes ED1's melody while replacing the original lyrics entirely with English while discarding all the extra background music for a soul crushing classic guitar, soul suspending cello, and soul sublimating keyboard accompaniment with an equally impressive vocal. Never mind the heavy Japanese accent (the words are still pretty comprehensible by ear regardless), this level of elegant, yet evocative expression is exactly why I'm such a fan.
Overall, if you don't mind watching girls living their lives while being badass to the side, then by all means, watch it. There's that aspect, the wonderfully thorough characterization, Academy City, and whole lot more to conceivably enjoy. And while it helps, as it does its best to come off as its own tale (the cameos, save Kamijou, are mostly just cameos, a superficial bit of appreciation for people in the know) you don't need to watch Index to understand the substantial bits of it. It just adds some extra world building, scale, immersion... what have you.
I give A Certain Scientific Railgun an 8 out of 10. read more
Mar 31, 2010
All is not lost though, as while it is rare that a spinoff can proclaim itself to be as good as, if not better than, the original work, there are some shows that do fit the bill. Frasier (Cheers), CSI: NY and Miami, Torchwood (Dr. Who), Mork & Mindy (Happy Days), and a small number of other titles are widely regarded as at least equal to the original works.
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun can also add its name to that list..
Unlike Toaru Majutsu no Index this series is not actually based on the light novels by Kamachi Kazuma, but is instead based on a spinoff manga by Fuyukawa Motoi. Unlike the Index series the spinoff focuses on Misaka Mikoto, the "Railgun" from the original series. Once more the action takes place in Academy City as Mikoto and her friends are beset by strange earthquakes, conspiracies, friendship issues, and all manner of hijinks.
Like the original series the format of Railgun uses an amalgamation of episodic and multi-chapter arcs however, much like Index, the series is also flawed in terms of its plot because of this. While the series has a reasonably enjoyable story, the tendency to jump from one focus to another like frog on a hot rock is detrimental to the flow of the plot. It's unfortunate as the format is similar to that adopted by GitS: SAC, however the big difference between the two shows is that where GitS: SAC provided food for thought, Railgun neglects this in favour of audience pleasing fillers (if the audience is juvenile that is).
That said, the plot has some interesting aspects to it, however the lack of a timeframe means that viewers may become a tad confused as to the ordering of events, especially if one tries to correlate the occurences in Index with those in Railgun.
The biggest downside to the format of Railgun though, is the fact that the more interesting aspects of the show are never fully explored due to the lack of focus, something which would have given this show the edge that it really needs.
While the plot may have its issues, the art and animation for Railgun is definitely a step up from Index. The characters follow the design of the manga and the original series, and while this may promote a certain sense of continuity, it's also a downside as well, as the character design becomes a little stale over the course of the show (i.e. too much of the same).
Backgrounds and settings are generally bright and colourful, and the scenery is very much in keeping with the style of the original series. The animation is generally smooth, however there are moments when the characters move in a truly ludicrous manner, something which can ruin a good action scene.
The one thing I do question is the fanservice, as it's clearly surplus to requirements. Granted the series is nowhere near the same level as some I could mention, however this is a showthat didn't really need to go that extra mile just to please the fans, and the story would have been more enjoyable without all the pandering.
Railgun is generally well served in the acting department. Satou Rina and Arai Satomi reprise their roles from Index as Mikoto and Kuroko, and they are joined by Itou Kanae and Toyosaki Aki (Saten Ruiko and Uiharu Kazari respectively), to form the main core of characters. However, while the actresses are all experienced, there are occasions when the roles are really "hammed up", particularly when it comes to relationship issues.
As for the music, the show has a decent variety of thematic tracks which are generally well used when required, however there are also occasions where the music is clearly at odds with the on screen action. The generally upbeat style of music is reflected in the two OPs and two of the EDs used in the series. The ED for episode 12 is more melodic and has a slightly bittersweet sentiment to it which serves as a nice counterpoint to the ending of that particular arc.
The biggest surprise of this series is the characters. In a strange irony, they are both the best aspect of Railgun, but also its worst. The lack of plot focus is, in part, made up for by the development of the main cast, especially Ruiko who, in terms of actual character growth, is developed more than the other three girls. Now many fans may argue with that perspective, however I will point out that of the four main girls, it's Ruiko who not only changes the most, but also endures the most.
Now, I did mention that the characters were also the worst part of Railgun didn't I? Well, the reason for this is that while the characters do receive a degree of development, it simply isn't enough to justify their actions. The lack of plot focus only exacerbates the problem, and the show is littered with semi developed characters. In addition to this, the usage of comic relief based fanservice (e.g. Kuroko's behaviour towards Mikoto), washes away what little development had gone before. While the characters are engaging enough in their own way, the show could have done with putting more effort into the plot and characters, and less into making money from the hormone crazed masses.
With all of the problems I've mentioned, many might think that I didin't enjoy Railgun, when in actuality, I did. The show is entertaining as a no brain action romp, and had the potential, along with Index, to be something truly great. While I may regard Railgun as a wasted opportunity, it isn't actually a bad show at all, and many people may find something to keep them insterested.
In all honesty though, Railgun, like Index, had a great deal more potential than it actually delivers. The concept of both series is inventive and imaginative, however the execution, especially in Railgun, falls flat due to the desire to make money.The biggest example of how this impacts the show is the level of fanservice throughout the series (one whole episode, for example, is nothing more than a swimsuit buffet). It rapidly becomes obvious that the one of the main purposes of this series is to pander to hordes who love Mikoto, and while giving the public what they want isn't a bad thing, sometimes a show is better off not doing so.
On the plus side though, at least Toaru Kagaku no Railgun is one of the few spinoffs that's as good as the original story. read more
Apr 14, 2013
The Story (9/10)
Now let me say that the scientific side of this world is a lot more easier to follow then the Magical side. Academy City is a city in which it's technology is three decades ahead of the rest of the world, where many people come to train to be espers. Some of which were born with such powers, whiles others were originally ordinary folk who had the potential to develop them. The ranks range from Levels 0 to 5. 0 being the lowest (As in, have no powers) while 5 being the highest, in which there are only 7 espers ranked Level 5. One of them being our main heroine, Mikoto Misaka. She is joined by three other friends, including her best friend and roomate Kuroko Shirai, Ruiko Saten, and Uiharu Kazari. All four of them go on action packed adventures exploring the more darker aspects of Academy City, as well as having their friendship for each other help them get by.
This side-story does a very good job explaining the basics and details of being an esper in this scientific city. Not only that, but it also explores the more psychological side of being an esper. If you replace the esper dream these girls have and replace them with your own, you would know how many of the characters would feel. You relate with working hard for your goals, or the fact that while you may try your best, you would still be stuck at square one. But that's were I talk about the themes of this show, and let me tell you, they're REALLY good. The main one being the power of friendship. The lessons of relying on one another, no matter how empowered you are, you will always need help. Or how your true friendships are much more important then things that you think are more important, but they really aren't. Not only that, but it has strong messages of "Working hard for your goals", "Never giving up", "Be true to yourself", "Try again", and "Always stand up for your friends." All of which are very helpful in life.
I even give credit to the fact that the fanservice does take a back seat in this. Okay it's STILL there, but it's actually treated as a small part of the show. The bigger part being the characters, their relationships with one another, and their inner hardships that they fight to overcome. Not to mention the story arcs having unique ideas that rely on sci-fi complexity, and have a subtle connection with one another. Filled with twists, backstories, and some very sentimental moments. And because that this is a slice-of-life show with a lot of sci fi elements, it really has that Haruhi Suzumiya-vibe to it. Achieving on every aspect Magical Index only did "Okay" on, makes this show one of the most surprisingly deep I've seen in any medium.
The Dub (7/10)
Now we get into the more...."Controversial" side of this. At least in it's overseas release. Ever since the dub's trailer, it's gotten a lot of hate towards dub haters. (Which is not surprising) Me? Well, I actually tolerated it, though that's not to say I think it's perfect. Brittney Karbowski I thought was terrific as Mikoto Misaka. Capturing her tom-boyish attitude fairly well. Plus it's funny to hear her as Ayu Tsukymia and then as Mikoto. Kuroko Shirai was actually the first time I heard Alison Viktorin's voice. Now her english voice for Shirai might not be as funny to listen to as her sub voice, it still suites her character just fine. Plus, changing "One-sama" for "Sissy" was because the latter sounded more familiar towards American and European countries. Also, it means the same freaking thing, so calm your tits dub haters! Then there's Cherami Leigh as Uiharu. Now she is a character type that Leigh would usually play, just changing the little girl to a teenager, and she does an okay job as Uiharu. At least to a point where I can tolerate it. Plus, is it me, or does her Uiharu voice kinda sounds like Lisa Simpson at times? Last but not least is Brina Palencia as Saten, which is where I think most of the complaints come from. People complained that she sounded like a tomboy just like Mikoto. While I can somewhat see where they're coming from, I think there might be a reason to this. I think Saten's personality is in the middle of girly-girl and tomboy. She's not to much of one side, but not to much on the other either. Now Brina........only did a good job on it. Not great, but her voice for Saten can be fun to listen too. Funimation isn't always perfect with their dubs, but they STILL work hard on them. And their work here does show. At least to me.
The Characters (10/10)
Now here is where we get into the strongest aspect of the show. Or in some cases, the heart of it. You see, the problem with Index's cast is, (While they are okay) they're for the most part copy/paste anime archetypes. Ones that we're use to seeing all the time at this point. Railgun's characters on the other hand, (While having their tropes) are a lot more 3 dimensional and relatable.
Let's start out with our main character, Mikoto Misaka. Who on the outside, looks like your typical stuck-up girl due to her high ranks as an esper. But on the inside, we learn that she's really nice, flawed, and very identifiable. We learn that she was originally a Level One esper, but thanks to hard work, got to where she is now. Plus, her personalities very unique for anime standards. Sure tomboys are fairly common, but she's given reasons to act like that which can be seen for yourself while watching. Also, just because she's one of the most powerful espers in Academy City, doesn't mean she'll prevail. Which makes the action scenes more intense, and her friends very useful when the times right.
There's Kuroko Shirai, who's Mikoto's best friend and might have a possible love for her. Which could get annoying to some people, (And is mostly there to turn on the male watchers) but there is more to her character then that. We learn that she's very devoted to her role in life, her friends, and everything else that's important to her.
Kazari Uiharu is the Judgment officer along with Kuroko. Which is basically a junior police force in some cases. She does have the look of your typical moe girl (With a bouquet of flowers on her head to boot) but she's still just like the other characters. She's the voice of reason to Saten, and the straight girl to Kuroko's shenanigans. Plus, she's very devoted to every friend she makes, and I'm not just talking about the other main three.
And last but not least is Ruiko Saten, who has to be my second favorite character. Why? Well, I feel that she's the one that's the most relatable of the four. She's known to be a Level 0 esper, which causes her to think that she's insignificant compared to her friends. Not only that, but no matter how hard she would try, she would always get little payoff to her hard work. Which causes her to make some decisions that would go against what's right. You know what? That makes her a very great character. She does make mistakes, and she does get into trouble for them (Mostly for the first story arc), but I can connect with her, understand her, and really care for her that way. I mean, I would do the same thing. But it's her growth as a character that makes you very happy when something good happens to her.
Because the main 4 girls are so colorful and unique (Only relying on one familiar character trait) and their friendship with each other makes the heart of the series, there are many times that I'm looking at a genuine soul. Now there are other characters in the series, but I feel that you just have to see them for yourself due to spoilers, and they aren't as worth mentioning as the main four. But other then that, this is a near-perfect cast of characters.
The Music (8/10)
This has some very catchy opening and ending theme music. "Only my Railgun" and "LEVEL 5 -Judgelight-" really due capture the esper and scientific feel of the show, while "Dear My Friend" captures the shows theme of friendship. "Real Force" has to be my second favorite song from this, the first being "Dear My Friend". Plus, there's also a special ending song for episode 12, but I wouldn't dare spoil it for you. You just have to listen for yourself. Every opening and ending theme has great visuals making you feel pumped up for what you're about to see. Not only that, but it does reflect on some of the aspects and themes of the show.
A Certain Scientific Railgun managed to live up to my expectations, and more. Proving to be much more entertaining than the series it spun off of. With it's more interesting and easier to follow side of the world and ideas they create, inventive ideas filled to the brim with sci-fi complexity, a lovable cast of charming characters, and some of the best themes that could be taught through anime. It's like "Haruhi Suzumiya" meets "Azumanga Daioh", and I do highly recommend this to anyone who's a fan of those two shows, or at least is a fan of slice of life animes. Now, it's kinda required to watch A Certain Magical Index first, just so you can understand the cameos from that series, as well as the fact it makes a good introduction to the character of Mikoto Misaka. Plus, a second season of this just started 2 days ago, and it's suppose to focus more on the Sister Arc from Mikoto's point of view. Which sounds VERY interesting, since she IS the heart and soul of that messed up project.....which you just have to see for yourself that is. Overall, it's one of my new favorites. read more
Jul 19, 2013
When it comes to educational anime series, Railgun is one of the finest and most logical ones. Down-to-earth is the word. Railgun follows the simple saying; you live and you learn. Unless you are already perfect, like Misaka, of course.
Why is Misaka so perfect, one could ask. Well, you see, there is no plot, but the story is still just perfect. Why is it perfect? Because the characters are perfect. By characters, I mean Misaka. There is no character development, but the characters are still perfect. Why are they perfect then? Because Misaka is perfect. In case you are now wondering "why is Misaka so perfect?", just start this paragraph from the beginning. Simple, but true.
What I enjoyed beyond my own understanding, is the dialog of this anime. The witty, never-before-seen comedic way to break down the ice which has been born by the insane amount of depth and philosophy.
Kuroko: Oniiiii-sama, let me massage those breasts.
Misaka: Nooo, baka. *hits the lesbian*
When it comes to this funny line, you could say it is completely comedic and maybe even a little bit fanservice-ish, but what most people seem to not notice is the hidden message in this. I was deeply impressed by the philosophy in this situation. The morality from Misaka's part is pure awe. It's okay to bang your big sister, but only if... Only if it's okay to bang your little sister. This is where you watch OreImo.
Other than seeing the same lesbian jokes every 5 minutes, I didn't have any problems with the greativity in this series. The bd is eatable, voice acting and music is good and I can totally identify. I'm also into incest and J.C.Staff is epic. I also have zero problems on seeing the same things repeated for 24 episodes without any development. This anime is pointless and so is everything. Deep and depressing message, but I can handle the truth and appreciate a series like this. read more
Mar 17, 2010
The story in Railgun is centered around the daily life of young girl named Misaka Mikoto and her friends, and how they handle some incidents that happened around them.
Some of early episodes just centered around their daily life and how they handle some incidents that happened around. But I found this "prologue" entertaining because there're lots of hilarious moments and some cool actions. It also help us understand the characteristics of our main heroines.
The plot is increased in episode 6 till 12, where we can call this as "level upper" arc. This arc is the continuation from the early episodes as they still have some connections. This level upper" arc still provides you with lots of actions but still have some of funny moments. But after this arc, the story itself didn't have much progress, mainly because it was filled with filler episodes. Although I must admit some of this filler is pretty entertaining. It regained some progress again in episode 20 till 24, you can say this arc is the continuation of "level upper" arc .
The art in this anime looks great. They drew the character and their surrounding very well. I also like how they make the action scene looks great. The OP and ED is good too. I think it suitable with the anime. Also, the voice actor are great, they doing a very good job in voicing their role.
The cast are pretty likeable. You will laugh a lot watching their interaction especially in the beginning of the series. As the series progress there are some of character development, like Kuroko became a little bit mature in handling and facing some problem. Saten became less obsess with her "level" and realized that she has more precious thing other than that. But my major disappointment is with Uiharu development where at first she was a character that wants and always tries her best to be a good judgement member but in the latest arc her attitude is completely change as she acted so naive and selfish which I considered it to be a downgrade in her character development.
I found this anime is really entertaining in first half season because of lots of funny scenes and actions. But after that this series is going downhill because of the filler. At first the filler doesn't seem so bad but as the series progress, this series became a little bit boring because instead of some progress in the story, they just filled the episode with a filler. The story regained some progress again in episode 20, but maybe because of series of the fillers. I didn't find this arc very entertaining.
While the filler episode made some enjoyment in this anime decrease. It certainly isn't a bad one and has some of good moments, fans of sci-fi action anime can check this one out.
Sep 9, 2011
As a person who watching Toaru Kagaku no Railgun's parent story Index first, I understand that my review might be biased and compare the two a little too much. I loved Index - the story, the characters, the music - and since Mikoto was one of my favourite characters, I had high hopes of Railgun being an entertaining story full of scientific abilities - something I loved about Index.
Unfortunately, Railgun didn't live up to my expectations. The story line was good at some points, boring at others, and too ecchi for my liking at times. Kuroko's perverted behaviour towards Mikoto, which wasn't so obvious in Index, was blatent to the point of being disgusting at some instances.
This isn't to say I don't like Railgun. I do. But as someone who adores Kazuma Kamachi's works, I find this spin off no-where near as good as Index.
So, overall, I give Toaru Majutsu no Index a 10, and Railgun a 6.
Please remember this is just my opinion; I am aware that there are a great many people out there who love Railgun. read more
Apr 1, 2010
The Level Upper storyline was great and all, but it only consisted of a few episodes and relied on a lot of single episodes at the beginning to set the scene. The episodes that followed afterwards weren’t that great and were average at best, except for the last episode which I think ended strongly, despite some clichés.
There are only two things that prevent me from giving this show a 6: Saten and Kiyama. Saten is quite easily the best character in the series for me and is definitely on my favourite character list. It’s not just her warm bubbly and quirky personality. I sympathised with her easily in her struggles in the Level arc thanks to how unbelievably human she was and it produced one of the most emotional scenes I’ve ever watched: her breakdown over the phone with Uiharu and Uiharu’s following encouragement. And what’s more was that, unlike other anime, it was followed up on, even after the Level Upper arc, showing that psychological problems can’t be solved so easily with Epiphany Therapies and the like. Kiyama didn’t win my heart as much as Saten but she came close. Her closure in the end was wonderful.
This comes as a bit of a problem now, because I suspect that if there is a second season of Railgun that follows on to the Sisters arc, we won’t be seeing much of Saten nor Kiyama anymore. Nonetheless, though the science side of the ToAruVerse isn’t my favourite side, it’s still a side I like a lot and it’ll be interesting to see how Misaka become so broken as she did in Majutsu. Kind of irritating how they didn’t announce a second series for either Majutsu or Railgun, but Railgun has proved quite popular so I’m sure it’s bound to happen. Here’s hoping.
Mar 20, 2010
Once upon a time I was looking for some Shana-like sci-fi action and this is how I got my hands on Toaru Majutsu no Index. It has cool setting so I like that show. Then Toaru Kagaku no Railgun came which I was looking forward to. Indeed, the same setting, more Misaka and no Index, who I think was annoying sometimes; so yeah, that’d be great series, it seemed.
Now I can tell you what, Railgun’s not great. Well, it’s not bad either, it’s pretty much average show about magi… I mean, esper girls. So does it deserve watching? If you have free time, then yes, because Railgun is one of the best average shows I ever saw.
The good art, catchy opening themes and the whole conception of the series are the strongest points here. Characters… well, they’re a bit stereotypical with moe elements and a bit of yuri fanservice but basically that is not bad (there’s Misaka, guys) plus we have nice character development throughout the series.
So why is it not great? The first point is that the plot progresses really slow. It’s viscous like nougat. In one episode you can see a lot of action with some epic battles, which drives you excited, but then you get three episodes of some random back stories, centred on a side characters and stuff. It’s pretty rough and enjoyment level shakes like sinusoid, so I think this anime would be better if it was in 12 series format.
The second point is a subjective thing, so it can mean nothing to you. Well, y’know, I’m one of those people, who think that Railgun lacks Kamijō for tsundere Misaka. Yeah. I’m not too fond of harem anime but for me it seems that Railgun needs some kind of male lead or something. That’s why I like Toaru Majutsu no Index more and that’s why the moments when Kamijō appears on screen were one of the most awesome parts here.
Personally I really enjoyed this anime but I think that it’d be better if JC Staff released more Shakugan no Shana or Majutsu no Index instead of Railgun. Am I right or not, it’s for you, guys, to judge, so you can always watch the series and decide yourselves.
I rate this four points for visual and sound parts, plus two points for setting and plot, and plus one more for Pika-chan… I mean, Misaka. So seven points out of ten in total. That’s it. read more
Aug 29, 2010
Story- Railgun had a pretty interesting story. Of course I'm not going to go into much detail here I don't want to spoil any of it. It really reminded me of an RPG. There were a few arcs in the anime which were later tied together.
Art- The art was beautiful, very vivid and bright colors. the sceneries were very detailed and the characters were well done, not too over the top but also not too bland.
Sound- This anime has an amazing soundtrack. Only thing I can say I didn't enjoy about the soundtrack was the Op1 and Op2 sound the same lol.
Characters- The characters could have used a little more development but I'm not really complaining. I think it was wonderful how they all had their own personalities, and none of them seemed boring to me. I'm a little bias i'm a sucker for these types of relationships (I'm a huge fan of anime's similar to K-ON). The interaction between the girls was warm and welcoming. all of the personalities were a little cliche but call me crazy for saying this, i like cliche's. there were alot of cute moments between them as well, as well as serious ones and comedic ones.
Enjoyment- Like I said, I'm not going to over analyze this anime. I kinda feel like that will take away some factor of the enjoyment for some. This anime was very easygoing for the most part and there were some action packed moments which will leave you on the edge. It was interesting seeing all the different abilities, would have been nice to see more of them though.
Overall I think that anyone can find enjoyment in this anime. I didn't find much wrong with it, I was skeptical to watch it at first because I read somewhere that it had Yuri undertones, which was wrong imo. The yuri moments were more for comedy it appeared. read more
Mar 20, 2010
This is saying a lot because for the most part, I can turn my nose up to Index if I want to. It certainly wasn't a bad show, but as I said in my review of it, it was disposable eye candy. Nothing particularly memorable. For the most part, Railgun would have been the same if it hadn't made up where Index failed.
The character interactions alone make this series worth the watch. I love a good "four girls doing nothing" anime when the four girls all have their own different ways of interacting with each other and when none of the girls are stereotypical archetypes. Even though Kuroko is batshit lesbo for Misaka, that's only one side of her personality and we see many different forms of interaction with the other girls. With Uiharu, she plays a capable mentor to her lack of confidence, and so long as she's not around Misaka, she's as normal as any of the other girls. Likewise, Misaka goes totally tsundere when Touma makes a cameo, but she is not ruled by her tsundere qualities. She has a strong sense of justice that makes her narrow-minded in certain situations, and she keeps a lot of her personal preferences guarded from the others. As a "four girls doing nothing" series, it works, but it doesn't stop there.
Once in a while, Railgun decides it wants to have a plot, and when it does, it goes into it heart and soul. This is even more fascinating because the final stretch is 100% filler and yet it brings all the character growth and final revelations to the table that one expects from a solid conclusion. If no one had told me I was watching filler, I would have believed this was canon material. It is just that good, so good that in fact I'd say it makes up for the consecutive standalone fanservice filler that preceded it.
The technical qualities are still as good as Index, with the voice acting being even better. The voices were unique and done well enough that they felt like genuine performances and not just throwaway roles, especially Uiharu's from Aki Toyosaki, a seiyuu who I am genuinely starting to warm up to despite a rocky introduction to her work. But I digress.
Railgun isn't the best anime. It doesn't have the best anything for that matter, but it does have a lot of heart. It cares about seeing the relationships of the four girls grow. It cares about having a plot that's always there, though not always the focus, and tying up all the loose ends rather than saying "LOL WAIT FOR SEASON 2" at the end. But above all, it asks for nothing more than to be enjoyed and it does so without excessive pandering. Given how much anime is tailor-made these days to certain fetishes and archetypes, that is nothing short of wonderful.
Overall, I give To Aru Kagaku no Railgun an 8 out of 10. read more
Nov 30, 2013
Power is something that every human being has dreamt of having at least once, being it the power of money, strength or simple influence. It is something that helps people change things around them and makes it possible for life to be a lot easier. However, Power does not come without a certain price tag, sticking onto it. With whatever power you obtain, you get the chance to not only change your life but that of others as well. A huge responsibility lies upon the shoulders of those ruling and having the powers that others long for and there are several ways to handle this responsibility and for everyone there are good examples for it. You can simply abuse your power, oppressing everyone that is weaker. You can simply ignore everyone around you and don't care about anyone but yourself. Society though in this age, sees it as the duty of anyone having power to help the ones that have less and speak up for them. Ladies and Gentlemen, todays Anime deals with the issue of obtaining power and having power. Today's topic shall be Index' first Spin-Off To Aru Kagaku no Railgun!
As this is a Review of both Seasons of Railgun, I am going to give two scores for every category! (One for the original and one for Railgun S)
To Aru Kagaku no Railgun's setting is almost exactly the same as Index'. The Anime takes place in Academic City, a fictional town, that dedicated itself to the advance of science. It has amazing technology and almost 80% of the people living there are students. Most of these,didn't come here for the science aspect though, but for the second big objective that the city was found because of. The training of Espers. Espers, to those who don't know, are people that mysteriously obtained power that they now can use for all kind of things, but for the most time for the sake of fighting. They are split into Levels ranging from 0, which indicates that you have no ability at all, to 5. There are only 7 Level 5 Espers and those are counted as the 7 strongest ones in the whole world. In that city, lives our main character Misaka Mikoto. She is pretty popular Esper, since she is known to be the third strongest Level 5, also known as the "Railgun". One day, she gets to know her roommate Kuroko's, a Level 4 Teleporter, acquaintance from her work at Judgment, an organization that focuses on keeping Academic City safe. The acquaintance Uiharu, a Level 1, has always been a huge fan of Misaka and brought her best friend Saten, who doesn't have any powers at all and is of the opinion that probably all Level 5 Espers are arrogant and annoying people. As they meet the "Railgun", a friendship quickly develops and the four of them hang out together more and more often. But at the same time, strange incidents start happening everywhere in the city and even though the four at first seem to have nothing to do with it, they get sucked into it faster than they thought they would...
The Story of Railgun starts of rather weak, presenting a lot of Slice of Life episode to begin with and only a few episodes that really go into the Setting itself. Not to say, that these are bad or anything, it's just not what is to be expected out of a setting that looks this way. After quite some while though, the pacing starts to get faster and more and more incidents start happening. Meanwhile, the show decides to bring in an actual plot. That is to it's better, as the story for Railgun's first season might not be as good as for Index, but it certainly is well done and while there always are a few filler episodes between different arcs, they get back to the actual plot fairly quickly. The strength of the arcs is just as with Index, it's climaxing. When Railgun wants to set it's climax, it gets amazing. Using epic fights great speeches and really well done villains for the sake of ending everything with a big blast.
The first season's story is while certainly not being bad not as good as Index, the second season blows everything out of the water. Entering the second season, we get to see the sisters arc, a part of the Index show that only had 3 episodes over there, from Misaka's point of view. In Index it was a fairly decent part of the show, but now in Railgun, it gets extended to more than a half of the season and a lot of things get shown that people who watched Index didn't know about. It suddenly shifts into a part that is really dark compared to everything Index has ever done and is what I loved about it. That said the first season did something similar but not to the extent that Railgun S did!
Railgun S: 8.7/10
Characters:Even though getting amazing at points, the story of Railgun is not what drives the Anime. The strongest point that the Spin-Off has is in it's characters. Other than it's predecessor, this show uses it's characters a lot more and is working towards their development. While Index often only used them as a plot device, Railgun rather uses both parts to bring each other further. The story advances the characters and the characters advance the story. We have our main protagonist Misaka Mikoto, aka the "Railgun". She is a pretty popular Esper, as she is listed as the third strongest Level 5 in the world. Still, she stays really levelheaded and often doesn't really think that her powers are anything to show off with, but rather sees them as a practical tool. That's what makes her friendship with the other three characters possible. Nonetheless, she is a really strong woman in total while caring for everyone around her. Caring this much for people, often makes her vulnerable though, since she never wants anyone around her to get involved into things happening around her. The next character is Misaka's roommate Shirai Kuroko. Kuroko is a Level 4 Teleporter that is (at least it gets strongly hinted) sexually attracted to Misaka. She has a rather bold personality and is the one that the most comedy relief comes from, mostly using her tries to get close to her roommate. She can get really serious at times, though most of the time being when it is about her work at Judgment, an organization that keeps the streets of Academic City in order. Next up is her Judgment Colleague Uiharu Kazaro. Uiharu is a really quite and kind girl. She is Kuroko's team partner in Judgment, but she normally only sits at their base though, as she is really good with computers. The last one is Saten Ruiko. She is an energetic girl, that has a unique fascination for urban rumors and is Uiharu's best friend. She is a Level 0, meaning that she has no power at all.
The side characters in Railgun are pretty much the same as for Index. While all being fairly interesting to watch, they often lack a little depth and character development. They are all given background and motivation, but they don't seem to stand out as much as they used to in the first instance of the franchise. That is not due to them being bad though, but due to us now having strong lead characters. For Index, the main characters were really generic and didn't have any interesting characteristics. This made the characters shine, since they were a lot better written than Touma and Index themselves. For Railgun, this is not the case. In Railgun, the main characters are really well done, making the side characters only remain in their shadows and not seem as amazing as they were in Index. They still are quite good though.
The characters in Railgun are a lot better as in Index, as Railgun focuses a lot more on them than it's parent story does. It is able to let them grow on you really fast and manages to capture their mentalities really well! This can be seen best, whenever the show enters a darker part of the story, such as middle parts of the Level-Upper incident and the Sisters Arc. They are in no way one-dimensional and everyone has a believable and likeable side to him. Heck, even the villains in the end often turn out to either be pretty cool or just amazingly well written for the most part. There aren't quite as many side characters in Railgun as there were in Index, but the amount of them still is pretty high compared to other shows. They all are well written though and almost none of them is boring.
Railgun S: 9.1/10
The Art in Railgun's first season is pretty good. As expected from J.C. Staff, the animation is pretty well done, while not being outstanding. It is detailed and fluent during the action scenes, but is kept to a rather standard level in the Slice of Life parts. The use of CG-Animation is quite obvious though, as it does stand out quite a bit and does not look good! This gets really annoying, when they start doing the background purely based on CGI. For the second season, the standards of Animation rises quite a bit, as there were several years of a gap between the production of the two shows. The Animation does get more fluent and even though it doesn't get any more detailed it doesn't need to. However compared to other shows of it's time, both are only above average and could've been better. One plus point for Railgun S though is, that they use a lot less CGI than any other Raildex show. The character designs don't look too original, but are nothing to complain about, since they for the most part are bound to the original show. However the ones that are new aren't too original either.
Railgun S: 7.7/10
Railgun's Soundtrack was done by Maiko Iuchi, who is part of the company "I've", that did the OST for Index. He also did the Soundtrack for Ano Natsu de Matteru. The Music in Railgun is really good, having a great variety of tracks, ranging from energetic electronic music for the fight scenes, light hearted tracks for the Slice of Life parts and quite piano OSTs for the sad scenes. It suits the show really well and is really good to get you either hyped up or breaking to the ground. Of course it is not something that a Hiroyuki Sawano (Attack on Titan, Guilty Crown) would have created, but it does it's job. Even outside the Anime, the OST still has an impact, as it is a lot of fun to listen to even while not watching the show. That is an attribute, that makes an amazing OST. The only part that I don't like about it are just as in Index the light hearted tracks, that often annoy the hell out of me. They are fine when not being noticed or really quite, but they don't really sound good to me. The Openings on the other hand are amazing. All four of them capture the show really well and are able to get you hyped for the show itself. The songs are amazing and I've been listening to them on my phone all day long. As for now, there is no dub available and the Japanese voice acting is as always really good (I can't judge too much though since my Japanese is not good enough).
Railgun S: 7,8/10
Despite being part of the same franchise and even being set in the same city as Index, the themes presented in the two Raildex instances are entirely different. While the parent story focuses more on the war between church and science, the church doesn't play any roll in the spin-off. Instead, Railgun is more about Power, how to obtain it and what to do with it. It deals with the lack of power and how the wish of having it can effect people and it deals with the responsibility of having a lot of power and how it can effect people's life. It does so amazingly well, presenting it in the characters in a great way and never disappoints in good and flashy action. The story and setting both are really interesting and both seasons of it are great.
Now as I calculated the scores I gave to To Aru Kagaku no Railgun and To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S (being Story, Characters, Art, Sound and my personal enjoyment) I got to a score of 8.02/10 for Railgun and a score of 8.52/10 for Railgun S. The first season already is good mostly for it's characters, but the second season then proceeds to get lengths better and is simply amazing. As it stands now, both Seasons are currently unlicensed and is available for legal streaming on Crunchyroll.
And with that, I hoped you enjoyed this Review and until the next post!
Follow me on Twitter: @korigaming ; Hummingbird: Kori
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Sep 13, 2013
The art and animation were of very good late 2000's to early 2010's style. Attention to detail particularly evident in Railgun S. Great OP's and ED's.
Railgun is an enjoyable mix of Japanese Slice of Life and Neo-(Pseudo)Scientific based action. "Academic City" is very interesting, and the series provides an improved exploration compared to Index, the franchise starter. There is at one point an interesting overlap with the Index timeline, and the Railgun series clearly shows greater flair.
The plotline involves ability users, or "espers", which are students who each have a certain type of science-justified super power, such as controlling electricity or teleportation. And they all live in the same super-guarded, highly-advanced and modern city, which as a result can get quite chaotic and even dangerous, despite the strict rules and law enforcement. This is also due to the competition between espers based on their ability level, some of them having little or no power. There are quite a lot of near-catastrophes and stressful conflicts in the different story Arcs, which provide some good fun for the viewer.
The cast are highly lovable, and the characters are very well explored with a good and varied plot. There is a somewhat unnerving abundance of malicious characters, particularly in Railgun S, when the dark (and powerful) side of the city starts to come out quite a lot further than in the first season. Thankfully, the main characters exude a constant positive aura which counters well for those meanies. The breather episodes are a welcome source of calmer enjoyment and laughter.
A great franchise. Suspension of disbelief occasionally required, but otherwise the action wouldn't be possible, after all. There are good morals and interesting aspects to the series, but it doesn't really have that much depth to it, so that's why I've given it a solid 8 rather than a 9. read more
Apr 21, 2010
This anime caught my attention because of the art. From the first 2-3 minutes I saw before my anime club's video player spazzed, I thought something along the lines of "looks nice...I kinda wanna watch it."
So, purely on a whim, I went home, pulled up YouTube on my iPod (because I don't often have access to a computer) and started watching it. 1 week later, I've watched 20 episodes of it. I would have finished it a long time ago, but schoolwork is a b*tch.
Personally, I don't really care if there is or isn't a story going on, mostly because this is a spin-off from To Aru Majutsu no Index, and spin-offs don't really need much of a plot (See: Full Metal Panic?! Fumoffu). Sure there are story arcs here and there that were enjoyable, but I really like comedies, so the single-episode "arcs" are what I like. I personally think that I would have liked this anime if it did follow more of a plot though. It seems like it's good either way.
The characters are awesome. Theres so much variety among them, I don't get bored. Ruiko is cute in one way, Misaka is cute in another way, Kuroko is cute in yet another way, etc. Basically, the characters are very well done, in my opinion.
If I didn't enjoy this anime, I would have stopped by episode 10, but obviously I haven't. Which means that I liked this anime. It made me laugh, it made me think (a bit...there's only so much thinking I can do when I've a) got 6 hours of homework ahead of me, or b) got only about 3-4 hours until I need to wake up for school), it made my day (more than once), etc. It's not difficult to get me to like an anime, but only the ones I really like get 10s.
The openings are among my favorites. "only my railgun" and "LEVEL 5~Judgelight~ are among my favorite songs. The endings, while I don't like them as much, are still pretty good.
Oh yeah, even if you haven't seen To Aru Majutsu no Index, you can still enjoy the series. I would know, because I haven't seen Index yet. I plan to, though. read more
Apr 17, 2012
Having watched To aru majutsu no index and enjoyed it, I went into this with relatively high expectations, especially considering how likeable Mikoto is in Index.
Unfortunately, like that neighbour who you always thought was a nice person but who'd actually been poisoning your plants these last few years and leaving dog shit on your doorstep, Mikoto is not all she seems, or perhaps she was in index and they just wanted to create a character who could out-self righteous the main character from index (to the point that it would make the characters from freezing seem open minded) in the spin off.
Whatever you want to believe one thing is for sure. Mikoto is not a likeable character in railgun. But we'll get to that in the character segment.
The plot of this show is arc based, like Index, with an overarching plot that revolves around a teacher/scientist with a chronic condition that causes her to get the impulse to strip suddenly without warning and usually in public (whom I will henceforth refer to as stripper teach) and her quest to save the kids she unwittingly sold to a doctor death type scientist who enjoys human experiments that go bad simply because it gets him up in the morning... OK maybe that last one was a bit exaggerated but it is essentially the gist of the problem.
Like in index, those rascally scientists are still trying to create the elusive lvl 6 super esper and like in index they've taken a less than moral approach to it and it's up to Mikoto and her chums to save the day and stop the bad guys.
now don't get me wrong, I'm quite fond of science tbh and I'm also in favour of a little morality in science and thus I enjoy a show which prizes itself on highlighting the dangers of abusing science for your own gain. And while this show is just such a thing, it does it incredibly badly.
The level of immorality in the science in this show is just damn awful and unbelievable, and considering how strict and highly regulated this city is they sure get away with a tremendous amount of mass murder. But perhaps we should address the regulators in this city.
the police force are divided into two groups, the SWAT like group and the main investigation and minor arrest group called judgement, the latter of which is almost entirely run by....kids. Whose great idea was that. And it just so happens that Mikoto's sexually frustrated lesbian friend Kuroko (whose suicidally unrestrained lust for Mikoto is only marginally shown in index) just happens to be a member. With kids running intelligence no wonder the cities full of lunatic eugenicists.
All in all, whil;e index had a ridiculous plot of it's own this show outdoes itself to the point where it becomes an "are you kidding me" kind of series. but never the less it'll get your emotions boiling which is to its credit, however most of your anger and outrage will be directed at how poorly this city is run.
The art and animation in the show much like in index is superb and very modern without adding the obvious 3D effects in. It's highly polished and fluidic so it is a sight to behold, the battles between Mikoto and her enemies are quite breathtaking but I feel that the animators didn't experiment enough with her ability and end up making it seem somewhat underwhelming at times.
The sound effects where pretty good and the crackling sound of Mikoto's lightening is visceral and realistic. The music is modern and has that electronic rock sort of feel however while the main theme is good and works as a finisher song for when Mikoto finally decides to do what she could have done at the beginning of the fight to finish them off, the rest of the music is barely noticeable and relatively uninteresting.
Now to get back to my panning of Mikoto as a character. She was likeable in index because she had that Yankee quality to her mixed in with a cute personality that sort of came through beneath the surface which coupled with her insecurity about her tastes (many of which indicated her childish character) made her seem genuine and cute, but once you drag her character into the main heroine chair she quickly cuts the appeal away. As a side character whose childish attitude conflicts nicely with Touma's realist and defeatist attitude but as a main character her childishness just makes her irritating.
Especially when she's spouting her self righteous, "quite complaining about being weak and try to become strong" speech...sheesh, she sounds just like another group of people I've heard about, hmm, who where they?, oh yeah it's the republican party in America who always like to say "why don't quit complaining about being poor and just work harder", I digress, but you can see the similarities and I'm not entirely convinced that her character wasn't created to draw attention to this problem with governments around the world, since she's just as hypocritical.
During the anime we get a glimpse of how Mikoto's path toward god-like power began with a scientist helping her raise her power to the max when she was a kid because her power could save lives....uh huh...right. So basically she talks about working hard, but like the republicans she was given the advantage over everyone else, in this case, help from an expert to get where she needed to be. Never the less she tries to tell people off for saying they can't do things cause their lvl 0 that with her power she finds easy (usually fighting more powerful opponents).
Basically Mikoto is naive to a stupendous degree, since she believes that people without power shouldn't complain and work harder despite living in a city where having esper powers is everything and if you have none to speak of you're basically cast aside as useless cannon fodder for the various people who abuse that power. (only about half way through the show do they actually start helping these people develop their abilities, or develop abilities period) and Mikoto tends to come save these people by using her electric power to kick the bully's ass then turns around and basically says see how easy it was for me you should be able to do the same....see how unlike-able she is?
That's basically like a tiger going up to a dog that's half dead because he picked a fight with a lion and saying "I could have taken that lion on easy, you're pathetic" despite the fact that the dog is small and at a greater disadvantage. Again I digress, needless to say during the anime Mikoto's fantasy world where everyone can become powerful if they work hard is usually shown to be complete nonsense regularly and she tends to constantly make naive and stupid decisions despite the clear and obvious answer (refer to the last arc, where she has to choose between stripper teach and crazy ponytail chick with a chip on her shoulder.
Mikoto has power but no responsibility, and do you think she learns from her mistake? sorta, but not really. She makes the same damn mistakes over and over again like a rat that still hasn't figured out that the left button gives a shock but not the cheese, and every time she makes a mistake that puts other people in jeopardy she never pays for her mistakes and in fact the very fact she was the one who put them in that position because of her stupidity is never addressed by any of the other characters and they act like it never happened, no one goes up to her at the end and tells her that it's her fault and she should live with the consequences of what happened or could have happened, therefore she doesn't have to feel the weight or guilt of her mistakes and so she doesn't really learn form them. In reality, she would have been slapped and told that she's too stupid to be trusted with big decisions and she tends to always make the big decisions because she's powerful and hat gives her opinions precedence and she does use that power to force her opinions on others. Yet she's fighting the guys abusing their power, how ironic.
Regarding the other characters Kuroko's depravity and obsession with Mikoto was so understated in index, in this show she's essentially a rapist exhibitionist who gladly drops the soap if you catch my drift, she is so disturbingly debauched in this anime that I couldn't believe my eyes, and her character is so all over the place, one minute she's serious and strict the next minute she's salivating at the mouth and man handling Mikoto despite the fact she gets shocked almost every time (seems Mikoto isn't the only rat looking for the illusive cheese that never seems to come from pressing the left button) her level of debauchery and tantamount rape make her equally unlikeable and ultimately disturbing. as for the other two Saten and Uiharu their characters are so weak and overshadowed by the insane and over the top behaviour of Kuroko and your anger at Mikoto that they just seem pretty negligible and only seem to be there to balance the power tables of the group since they have practically no power what so ever.
Whether you can enjoy this anime or not is dependant on how much you like the fight scenes really since their pretty awesome, but the characters just tend to irritate you or in the case of Kuroko disturb you, so it's a matter of preference, and honestly there are only two likeable characters in this show, stripper teach since she seems to be the only character with a decent attitude to the world she lives in, no fairy tale outlooks, no preaching about how she's better than you, and she seems to be the only character that's really had any development in this series, and accelerator since he doesn't take crap from anyone and seems to be somewhat responsible with his power by comparison, (using it to keep everyone from disturbing him rather than using it to get an edge in life).
overall I've ranted quite a bit, but meh, this show isn't as good as index by a mile but there's certainly some enjoyment you can get out of it.
Apr 29, 2010
This is a slightly episodic (with some story arcs, or at least events from multiple episodes tied in) series. However, it really should be approached more like a fusion of slice of life anime, and action. If you don't like slice of life, you probably won't like this anime, or at a bare minimum you will be bothered by the structure of the episodes.
I endorse this anime (as I would any that I personally write a review for) mainly for the fact that it was very enjoyable. I wasn't expecting to be moved to tears, or have some life altering moment watching this series, my only expectation is that the show is interesting enough and entertaining. I have found myself kind of moving away from high octane action shows (which used to be somewhat of a staple), and perhaps it is like an acquired taste. I really ended up liking the supporting characters (since paragons really aren't all that interesting, but unrequited lesbian love is), and got a good many laughs out of this series.
So this is what I guess is a somewhat unpopular view for how to rate things. But on the topic of entertainment (especially when I read what other people have to say about shows like this one) some people tend to have difficulty just watching things and basing them completely on their own merits. Meaning that when I review, I try not to constantly compare one series to the next unless what I feel the "intent" of the shows are consistent. (the intent of this show I feel is somewhat misinterpreted, its not JUST action/super-power, its also slice of life, which got misinterpreted as "filler" in my opinion, but in the entire series a lot of what happens occurs between or within slice of life applications).
To that extent this series I feel is somewhat underrated on MAL since a lot of what I read about on this site referred to this show having filler, a term which I think people like to use all too freely. I felt it was necessary to write a review from the standpoint of someone who does not mind when shows are not necessarily geared to be 100% serious or follow tight story arcs. That being said, I also don't read all the manga/light novels and whatnot, so I don't judge anime based on how it follows the original.
LOL, lastly I don't write any of the plot summery or that kind of bull in my reviews because you can just freaking click on the link and read it yourself if you really need to. Redundancy FTL, I notice how much people like to talk plot specifics in their reviews. I only offer my perspective to highten my own sense of self satisfaction, hah you read it now you can't unread it if you read this far! read more
May 9, 2010
Yes, there are some random filler episodes, but this series was meant to be watched on TV, after all. The storytelling is well-done, since they explore various characters, such as the dorm mistress and the useless Antiskill member, in isolated episodes. For them, this is their moment to shine and shows that the Academy is multi-faceted. Plus, there is some fanservice, which can be annoying but anyone can skip over. I'm really not the one for fanservice, but it's not too overdone.
Moreover, the episodes that might seem isolated are actually connected in some way or another. I liked the Level Upper arc and the Poltergeist arc as well -- they are all connected together as part of a greater conspiracy in the Academy City.
This is where Misaka and her friends get caught up in this. The character development is quite nice, though there isn't a drastic change. Rather, if any, it is quite subtle. The best development shown so far, though, was that of Saten. As a friend of Misaka "Railgun," Saten in contrast has no abilities (Level 0). Yet, as the series progresses, Saten's views towards abilities do change and help further the theme of friendship and relying on one another.
However, there are some characters that can be annoying, such as Kuroko -- that one pink haired girl. Despite being a highly capable Level 4 teleporter and a member of Judgment, she does have her GL moments where she attempts to make Misaka fall in love with her. They can be amusing, but outright ridiculous at times. Saten's habit of flipping Uiharu's skirt, while a part of her personality, comes across as weird for me. It's a quirk, to be sure.
But most of all, most of the main characters are girls. Now, I'm not sure what this means, but most of the criminals shown are typically males. Girls make up a large part of Judgment and Antiskill and so can punish anyone who disrupts the order of the city. Plus, the "final boss" is also female. Railgun, then, gives off that feminist vibe that I can't just ignore.
The art is decent and quite generic, but the animation is slightly better when absolutely necessary, particularly during these action scenes. Misaka's status as a Level 5 is not a hyperbole; in fact, she rightfully deserves it, even though she persists in saying that level doesn't matter. One thing I've noticed is that the characters are not shaded whenever they are under the shade of some building or at night time. I actually like them flat-colored rather than with their hair being so shiny with unnecessary white, but that's anime for you. The animation does stagger at times, but not enough to hinder the enjoyment level.
Speaking of enjoyment, while I thoroughly enjoyed the story and characters' relationships in reaction to the plot, there were some things that I wish the anime would expand on. For instance, Touma appears but is not involved in any action in the second half as much. What is Misaka's relationship with him? I would assume that he is just a random character tossed in, to please the Index viewers even more. I would have liked an expansion on Touma's ability to block the others' abilities. Maybe that's what Index is for.
Overall, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun is good. Nothing far-reaching so as to make this my favorite, nor to have any staying impact on my mind. It is a simple casual and well-told story, with some action and the usual scientific plot mixed in. If you dislike moe (is that the term?), unrealized lesbian relationships, or slice of life, then this might not be for you. Even so, you can skip over them. read more
Jun 7, 2013
Apr 3, 2010
The abilities granted to characters are mostly random, lack any sense of logic, and don't contribute to the story at all, which is already weak.
Every episode, something goes wrong so that the esper team has to deal with. But since the arc of the Strip Lady who tried to save the her Error Children, it's always the protagonist Railgun that has to reap what she sows, handling problems one after another created by fault of her own immaturity, naivety, etc. (I want to say stupidity)
Overall, all characters are weak in all ways, childish, spontaneous, fanatical, etc. even though they presumably possess great skills and knowledge in a futuristic world, e.g. hacking computers (lolz). Moreover, there is no particular growth in their personalities throughout the show. The character Saten may look like playing a triggering role in one or two arc(s) but her contribution to the story remains next to nothing.
For the espers, if you think about it, if you were in their shoes, you could even use those abilities in much better ways, you bet. Therefore, there's no feel of optimism or logic in both the flow and details, thus this isn't worth any entertainment value.
3/10 read more