English: A Certain Scientific Railgun
Synonyms: To Aru Kagaku no Choudenjihou, Toaru Jihanki no Sonzai Shoumei, A Certain Vending Machine's Proof of Existence, Toaru Jihanki no Fanfare
Published: May 27, 2007 to ?
Score: 8.291 (scored by 3621 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
SynopsisWelcome to a world where mysticism and science collide, and supernatural powers are derived from either science or religion. At the heart of this world is Academy City, an advanced metropolis whose population is comprised mostly of students The majority of students are enrolled in the city's "Power Curriculum Program," where they must learn to master their latent psychic powers. Out of several million students, only seven are deemed powerful enough to have Level 5 status.
Meet Mikoto Misaka, the third most powerful Level 5 esper in Academy City. Together with her best friends Kuroko Shirai and the other members of Judgment, a student-run law enforcement agency, Mikoto delves deep into the dark heart of the scientific sprawl she calls home, and uncovers secrets she wishes she hadn't!
(Source: Seven Seas Entertainment)
The special edition of the 5th volume includes the mini-novel Toaru Jihanki no Fanfare.
Related MangaAdaptation: Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S
Parent story: Toaru Majutsu no Index
Side story: Toaru Kagaku no Railgun SS, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun SS: Dasoku, Mata wa Toaru Jiken no Shuusoku, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun SS2, Toaru Jihanki no Fanfare, Toaru Majutsu no Index SP
Other: 4-koma Koushiki Anthology: Toaru Kagaku no Railgun x Toaru Majutsu no Index
Let's state the first important fact about this manga: it isn't the same as the Railgun anime. I mean there isn't that much of cute girls doing cute stuff. In fact it's much more like parent story - Toaru majutsu no index, but with only the science involved and story resolving around Misaka Mikoto.
Railgun side story is happening next to Index LN, at the same time and place. Many events are just going on next to each other and it's good to read both, since storylines are made by the same author and you can see protagonist of the light novel appearing here quite a lot, as he meets the magic side for the first time.
First 18 chapters are the material covered by the anime and they are mostly about dealing with aftereffects from experiments on espers. Since Kuroko, who is Mikoto's roommate works in Judgement (one of the groups maintaining order in the city) they get themselves involved in these dangerous cases and we get to know a little more about dark side of the city. The rest of the currently released manga chapters are about origins of the Misaka clones and level 6 experiment seen from Mikoto's point of view and it shows other people who were involved in the experiment. This part of the manga is much more serious, violent (Accelerator tearing limbs apart from sisters) and sad than the first chapters of manga. The ending is of course the same as the original, since it's the same story just shown from the other point of view.
Art: Not much to say here, besides that it is very good and well drawn. It keeps high quality level from the beggining and maintains it through all the chapters.
Characters: A tsundere-like girl able to create electricity and a thousands of her clones, a certain homosexual teleporter and her two friends, a badass guy controling vector and the protagonist from the parent story. They are the most appearing characters here. One of the groups from dark side of Academy City is also involved, if you've read the parent story - you'll see many of characters from science side from it appear here. Noone from magic side tho.
Enjoyment: Just after few pages you can recognize the style of writing from the original, if you have enjoyed the main story, you will enjoy this and the same goes other way around. The Accelerator arc is really good, when Misaka finds out that someone has her DNA and uses it in the crazy experiments. At some point she meets her own self as an other person. There's quite a lot of comedy thrown between the events, usually Misaka having an argument with a level 0 esper.
Overall:For everyone who enjoyed the universe created by Kamachi Kazuma - it's a must read. What about the rest? A very good manga, maybe equal in terms of quality to the original, with the only difference in main characters and it being a manga instead of light novel.
8 for chapters 1-18, 10 for Acc arc.
On the side note - manga version of Index is much worse than the railgun one, since the author isn't the same. So if you think that the Index manga wasn't any good, that doesn't mean that Railgun is also bad.
Both series center around high leveled esper girls. While Mikoto is one of Academy City's seven Level 5's, The Children are the only Level 7's in Japan. The Children start off as 10-year-olds but eventually become middle school students like Mikoto and friends. ZKC can be more lighthearted than Railgun, especially in the beginning, but it has its serious, dramatic moments as well. Esper cloning has also been recently introduced into ZKC's story.
Well both focus on elite ESPers who have tremendous power. While Kaoru has telekinesis, Misaka has electrokinesis. Both of them have relatively short tempers and tend to fly off the handle a bit, though Misaka is a bit more mature in a number of respects. Overall though, they both focus on a world trying to grow accustomed to the introduction of people with abnormal powers that can do things normal people can't. Both sets have good support groups who manage to not seem like complete lackies to the main character and manage to do things right.
Both are really rare kinda shonen titles with little Slice of Life side on them. Both have many main characters and story developing in many different point of view. The City plays big part in both mangas. Atmosphere is really similar, characters are extremely likeable, story is actually great unlike many typical shonen titles and both are really enjoyable to read.
I see it impossible to not like the other when liking the another.
A premise based on characters with special abilities. Yozakura Quartet and Railgun are about characters with superhuman powers beyond normalcy. There's a slice of life feeling on some cases but also story development involving our characters as revelations are unraveled.
The main female character is tough and independent. She is also dedicated with her duties and loyal to her friends. And on a more technical note, both series' action features clash of super powers.
Related ClubsAcademy City, ►English Licensed Manga Club - PART 2◄, Braids and Curls club, Dere Girls Alliance, Hamazura Shiage Fan Club!, Index Love, ITEM Fan Club, Judgment, Kamijou Touma Fanclub, Kaori Kanzaki Forever!, Kazari Uiharu Fanclub, Kiyama Harumi Fanclub, Kuroko Shirai, Last Order x Accelerator Fanclub, LOVE misaka mikoto , MAL anonymous, Manga-hasa, Mikoto X Touma Fansclub, Misaka Mikoto Club, Misaka Mikoto"BiriBiri" Fanclub, Monthly Dengeki Daioh 電撃大王 Club, Please Separate Purists and Franchise Lovers!, Queen of Tokiwadai - Shokuhou Misaki, Rikudou-Sennin Clan, Ruiko Saten Fanclub, Scary Girls Club, Shizuri "Meltdowner" Mugino Fanclub, Super-Powers Anime Club, The Heros, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun Fan Club, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Fc, Toaru lovers, Toaru Majutsu no Index, Tsuchimikado Motoharu Fanclub, Yumin's Posse, Yuri is the Ultimate <3
External LinksOfficial Site, MangaUpdates, Wikipedia