Wednesday, 20 August 2014


Misaka goes up against STUDY and 'no' that is not an acronym for a really tough exam!

When we last left Misaka, she resorted to drastic measures to help her 'sisters' by targeting the supercomputer Tree Diagram orbiting the planet. Her plan involved programming it to say something like 'no matter how many Misaka clones he kills, Accelerator will never reach Level-6' before blowing it up so that the scientists in charge of the Level-6 Project couldn't do anything but follow the last given instructions. Unfortunately, she discovered that Tree Diagram had already been destroyed (by Index and Touma) and it wasn't in charge of the project, meaning that there was nothing she could do to stop it from happening.

"What's your name little girl? More importantly, are you going to drag us into 8 episodes of unwanted troubles?"

Part 2 is two fold when it comes to Railgun S plots. The first is the continuation and ultimate climax of the Sisters Arc. The second involves Misaka and company meeting a little girl named Febri  (not the plush toy, that one is called Furby) and battle against the rogue group STUDY that is responsible for creating the child. See? Academy City is all kinds of immoral! 

 "Just look at all that plot!"

Whereas Part 1 started off slow and gradually built up speed, Part 2 starts off with a bang, then chills out for like an episode before getting right back to business. Although, the Silent Party arc feels very much like a filler arc. It's not as intense and as dark as the stuff with ITEM and Accelerator, but it's still great fun. The Sisters Arc takes up about a 1/3 of the episodes with the STUDY plot taking up the other 2/3s, but what's really nice is that the aftermath of the Sisters Arc isn't completely wiped clean. Elements like ITEM return. Misaka checks up on her 'sisters'. It feels intertwined which is very refreshing. Something people might get upset at would be that Accelerator isn't even mentioned after he is defeated afterwards. Though he makes a two second cameo near the very end of the series which reveals that time has now jumped forward to the point where he has met Last Order and had his accident. Chronologically, his next appearance is in episode 18 of A Certain Magical Index season 1 which explains the above scene. Remember I told you the series has one tricked out shared timeline?

I was expecting a literal repeat of the Sisters Arc just from Misaka's POV, but seeing it from Accelerator's POV and his reasons was very refreshing. However, I will not dawdle on the Sisters Arc. I feel I did enough of that in the previous review. The main story here is STUDY. When watching both series - Index which deals with the magic side and Railgun which focuses on the science side of things - I often have trouble reading which side is worse. Just when I think I found my pick, the other side raises the bar. It's like some kind of competition to see just which side is more morally corrupt. However, STUDY's motives are not too far off from one of the main themes dealt with on Railgun, namely the fantastic racism that goes on about how Academy City treats it's population based on their powers. As much as STUDY's plans and schemes rush up my blood pressure, empathy still leaks through and I understand why they resolve to go to such extreme measure.

"I can't believe we're only allowed one filler episode after all the shit that just went down!"

While Part 1 mostly involved Misaka raging a one-woman war against Academy City, going to various extreme lengths such as avoiding going back to the dorms and instead booking private hotel rooms so that she (and her wounds) wouldn't arouse the suspicion of her friends, Part 2 has the gang back together again. I don't mind the previous route as it really gave Misaka some great development. Call it what it is: She went to hell and back, but I also miss the foursome taking on Academy City's worst. From Saten flipping up Uhiaru's skirt to workaholic Mii Konori's lectures. Even the proud Mitsuko Kongou was back and boastful as ever! It's all welcomed. Seriously, I love Kongou and how she becomes even more involved with Team Railgun this season. We seriously need to convince someone to give her her own show: A Certain Scientific Aero Hand? Jamie Marchi steals every scene Kongou is in. Love that!

This series ends on a very high note in my opinion. Episode 24 was literally just 23 minutes of continuous crowning moments of awesome. Pacing was fantastic, plot wise it was similar to the season finale of the first season, but hearing all the old Fripside songs again just blew my mind. Shame though we couldn't have Only My Railgun too.

"Oh look it's Meltdowner! Let's go poke her with a stick and piss her off - see what she does." 

I also love how the plot elements with Shinobu came back and we finally got to see what happened to her after she was captured by ITEM. On the topic of ITEM, what partly annoyed me was their cameo appearances from time to time that made them look like fools. This all vanished when they showed up in the finale for revenge. Loved that. Still don't know why anyone who has knowledge of Level-5 Espers would see it as a good idea to mess with Meltdowner. Lydia Mackay really brings Mugino to life. I'm used to her voicing such kind and gentle characters, so hearing her as the psychopathic Meltdowner was so surreal - in a good way!

Part of Raildex's charm has always been the staff's ability to remember where and what all their characters are up to and not just leave things unresolved. Because let's be honest - this series has SO MANY characters that it's hard to keep track off sometimes. But the finale really succeeded in bringing together all these strands and elements and making the last episode of Railgun S a success, even if people don't agree with the rest of the arc.

"There is only one way to end Railgun S off properly."

After finishing Railgun S, I really want J.C Staff to animate a third season. I've already gone outside my comfort zone and read the mangas and novels that deal with the Liberal City Arc and Daihasei Festival Arc and it is fantastic. It is so surreal to think that as dark as Railgun has been portrayed before, there is still so much room left to explore the vast darkness in Academy City. Here's to one day watching A Certain Scientific Railgun SS!

Rating this part: 8/10. While not as strong as the first half, Railgun S still manages to deliver quite the show!

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