A Certain Scientific Railgun T Review

Railgun’s definitely had a great track record so far to the point where it has even been crushing the main series and the spinoff led by Accelerator. To this day I still say that Railgun S was the best season for any of the Raildex shows so far. T comes pretty close and I would put it in second but ultimately I give S the slight edge. It’s just really difficult to take that one down for the count. There are quite a lot of story arcs and characters here to prepare yourself for quite the long review.

The first story arc takes place at the Festival and it’s certainly the longest story arc here. With the festival at play all of the classes are participating so they can prove that they are the best. During this there is a group that is trying to capture Misaka as well as the Misaka clones in order to gather information on the Misaka network and get the Level 6 project ready. Meanwhile Misaka’s friends have all forgotten about her and she suspects that Shokuhou is responsible for this. The tricky part is actually confronting her since it’s difficult to reverse the mind wipe and of course without proof it’ll look like she’s attacking another student without provocation. As her friends begin to get targeted though, Misaka grows less reluctant to cause a scene.

This arc was a solid jumping on point since it continues the Sisters plot and introduces a quite a lot of characters who would be important down the road. It also gave Misaka’s friends a chance to shine before she intervened and had some pretty intense moments. One of the scientists beating up on Misaka’s friends was intense because it took her so long to get there. If anything I thought that guy got off incredibly easy since he basically just got to escape after being threatened and didn’t even get beaten up a lot. I feel like after everything he did they should have at least taken him down officially and shut down the group before handing him over to the cops. I suppose with the threats that should be it for him though.

Kongo and her clique had their first really serious fight in this arc and it was nice to see what they were capable of. All 3 of them seem reasonably powerful but Kongo in particular has a great power set with air. If the circumstances had been just a little bit different then I dare say she would have been able to come out on top. I was glad she got her respect here because she has always been a very loyal ally to Misaka but rarely gets a lot of recognition. Kongo definitely had a very solid role here though.

Then you have the villain Mitori who is pretty interesting with her ability to create a metal version of herself that attacks and defends on its own. Naturally she’s not very tough when you take the clone away but getting past it is quite troublesome. It seems like she will be appearing more in the future but under Shokuhou’s watchful eye I don’t see her trying anything crazy.

With the Level 6 project completed here it feels like we ended a plot line that had been going on since forever. Even in the original days of Index people were trying to get Espers up to Level 6. I don’t doubt that more people will try in the future of course but now that we’ve actually seen Level 6 I feel like it won’t be as much of a focus. We now know what it can do after all so it’s no longer some kind of huge mystery.

As always Misaka is an excellent main character here. One of the reasons why she is so likable is that she is never afraid to just jump in and get on the action. She’s a very pro active character and if the red tape looks like it’ll take too long to go through then she just skips it and goes undercover with her baseball cap. It may not be much of a disguise but it works, particularly due to the fact that she tends to short-circuit the cameras and hide from building to building anyway. I didn’t expect we’d see Misaka acting as a renegade so soon after S so that was nice to see. If only her friends were more understanding she probably wouldn’t even need to hide this from them but until then I definitely agree with her decision to be low key about it. You never know quite how the others will respond.

Of course Touma shows up in this arc as well and it keeps showing me why the guy works even better as a side character than as the lead. He always looks really good in the Railgun titles such as him being able to help Misaka even as she’s a Level 6. The fact that he’s mastered his right arm here more than even in Season 3 of the Index show is pretty telling. He just launched those dragons out without a care in the world and it worked out. He’s just brimming with confidence here even with his arm canceling out good luck. If Touma was always like this then he would probably be one of the best characters.

Touma got to team up with a new character named Gunha who also stands out as an excellent character. He’s one of the other Level 5 Espers from Academy City but didn’t really get to appear much until now. Well, they definitely ended up saving one of the best characters for last because this guy really stands out. He’s just an excellent character all told. Gunha is all about fighting with guts and that allows him to really surpass his limits and get to the next level. It’s clear that his raw power would even rival that of Misaka’s and I would imagine that he could put up a decent fight against any of the fighters that we had previously seen in the series. The show hasn’t gone out of its way to explain his abilities yet but it seems to involve wind manipulation. That would be my guess at least and it helps him display feats of speed and strength as a result.

This arc also brought Shokuhou back into the mix. She would end up being a main character in most future arcs as well so get ready for that. Fortunately it works out because she is just a great character. Pretty much any scene that involves her ends with Shokuhou completely stealing the spotlight. Her memory manipulation ability is incredibly handy, especially mixed in with the fact that she has absolutely no qualms about using it. As a result she’s really got the city in the palm of her hands. Whenever she is in a jam she can just mind control someone to help her out. Shokuhou can be a bit spoiled as a result but she also uses her personality as a clever way to prevent other characters from realizing just how smart she really is.

Her ability involves a lot of mental mathematics and using her abilities super creatively. Her 1 on 1 battle with Gensei was a super intellectual battle and she held her own quite well. It’s effectively a battle of traps both physical and mental the entire time. There was a ton of back and forth with a lot of fake outs as well. Then we eventually see Shokuhou’s emotional backstory. As the show goes on and we learn more about her, Shokuhou goes from being a very good character to an excellent one. It seems like she will be sticking around as a supporting character down the road and that definitely sounds good to me. You also can’t help but like the fact that she never missed an opportunity to mess with Misaka. The fact that she has memory altering abilities makes it too easy. Misaka is just super lucky that her electrical abilities prevent such abilities from working on her as things would definitely get ugly otherwise. Low key her butler is also a great character. I do like that he actually knows how to fight and understands military strategy. He’s out of his league in this season but handled the situation as well as possible.

Gensei was surprisingly a solid villain as well. Usually with a guy like this you’d expect him to be a fairly boring villain who is just here for the plans and such but he surpassed my expectations. His goal was actually really well thought out and the fact that he even gave himself super abilities was impressive. He planned things down to a T and has to be one of the best mad scientists I’ve seen in a very long time. He’s a villain through and through but one who plans for every contingency. Usually you see heroes having to overcome great odds but in this case he was the underdog. Who’d have thought that an extremely old man with no way to really be able to fight physically could take on two Level 5s the way that he did.

Time for a mini arc about Indian Poker. This was definitely an odd little thing that has a lot of plot relevance to the rest of the season and even the future beyond that. It’s going for more of an emotional saga as opposed to being the next big thing. The first two episodes focus on Kuroko’s team. Saten as usual is trying to pick up on more hobbies to tease Uiharu about. Well, this new Poker system allows you to buy a card where you pick up on someone’s dreams. So for example, as the recorder you would go to bed and dream about eating pizza. Well, the dream is now recorded so putting it on your head will allow you to keep reliving the dream. You can also sell the dream so others can experience it.

In this way you can learn someone’s secrets or even their talents. The idea is that if you’re an expert at juggling you may dream about juggling as well and then when someone roleplays as you during the dream then you’ll be an expert by the end of the dream. I don’t think picking up a hobby would be so easy just from a few dreams but I guess if you do it enough you can become an expert. Naturally that also means a lot of people have rather sketchy dreams which they turn around for a considerable profit. The sketchiest dreams tend to be the most lucrative.

Now, the success of Indian Poker will depend on users actually controlling their dream so they sell a good product. That part seems easy enough though as controlling your dreams isn’t that hard once you actually try it out. For example I find that an easy way to target your dreams is to pick a scenario to think about and then as you slowly fade into sleep it’ll continue as your dream until you wake up. I use it quite extensively as I reimagine tournaments in Smash Bros going a bit differently or I win the lottery and have fun spending the money. It’s a good mental exercise as you retire for the night and then it’s also a positive dream which is fun.

Back to the arc though. One episode is mostly just a comedic one with Misaka fighting over cards and is forced to relive a lot of dreams to find the right one. The whole adventure ended up being a bust though. I’d have to put that as one of the weaker episodes. It had some fun moments of course but does take the low hanging fruit here at times with the dreams. The other two episodes have Kuroko and Uiharu meet up with a kid who can see the future. He uses the cards and his camera to record the dreams and hopes that Kuroko will be able to stop them. He only tends to see disasters after all. The heroes help him out and it leads to an emotional journey to save his dog as well.

These episodes can feel like filler to an extent and in the grand scheme I would say it’s fair to call them that. There are technically elements that make these episodes important though so it would depend on your definition there. The episode involving the dog could have gotten dicey for sure but fortunately things turned out well. I’m still not a fan of Uiharu or Saten so I don’t mind that they’ve had a very small role in the season.

Kuroko’s a fun character but ironically only tends to not be quite as enjoyable when Misaka is around. Kuroko’s always been a far better protagonist when she’s on her own. Some heroes are just like that I guess as being around others reduces their character personality to one note. So on the whole I would say Kuroko’s okay. At least in these episodes she did well. Teleporting is always a useful ability to have and when Kuroko’s serious she does get some good wins in this season. Her battle of wits with the living metal user in the mall was also very solid.

Next up is a 2 episode mini arc featuring Frenda and Saten as the main characters. They make for a very unlikely lead duo and the saga works out quite well. Frenda is a ruthless assassin after all but part of how she copes with this is by being a fairly cheerful teenager otherwise. She really likes her canned mackerel and that’s what leads her to Saten. Frenda repays the favor by saving Saten from being kidnapped but is then attacked by the assassin Yumiya. Frenda could win easily in most circumstances but they are fighting inside of a crowded mall and Frenda was already injured prior to the battle.

Now these two episodes were exceptionally good. It’s really the ideal mini arc as it’s a self contained story with characters who don’t get to appear a lot. It’s easily Frenda’s best appearance in the entire franchise to be sure. We really get to see her mastery of bombs and hand to hand combat as well as her solid strategy tactics when cornered. Saten may just hold her back the whole time but Frenda still doesn’t run away or anything. If anything the whole situation feels all the more tragic since you know what happens to Frenda in Index season 3. This way we at least got to see her a little longer.

Yumiya was also a pretty solid character. She’s a very delusional villain to be sure and has a complex personality. She wants to be popular at school and tends to misread everything. Her job as an assassin is also very inconvenient of course since it gets in the way of being at school. While she is very shy and timid at school, she is a vicious murderer otherwise who will use any means at her disposal in order to win. It’s a solid character contrast and it would be fun to see her return someday. Of course she will need to heal quite a bit in order to be as much of a threat as she used to be since Frenda did quite a number on her.

The final 5 episodes take us to the final arc and it was a great way to close everything out. We are introduced to Kuriba, a scientist of great renown. She has been experimenting with the idea of splitting a person’s soul in two and proving if one really exists. Well, she accomplished this but it may have been more of a dangerous experiment than she anticipated. There now exists a Doppelganger who has all of the same knowledge and experiences as Kuriba. When Doppelganger finds out that she is the fake she does not take it so well and is now threatening to blow up Academy City as well as murder Kuriba. A team of assassins’ are sent after her but they won’t be enough. Fortunately Misaka is also on the case and ready to take this foe down.

There are a few twists in store as with any big arc. The climax is also really high end as the Doppelganger continues to upgrade from form to form. She even brings out a giant Kaiju mode at one point which was really cool. Now, you can sometimes worry about a giant opponent taking on someone who’s human sized since it can devolve into 0 choreography where they whack at each other but this fight was handled really well and also animated on point. Misaka gets to unleash one of her largest Railguns in the series. I also liked that in this arc Misaka made more use of her black iron ability. I find it to be one of the most versatile weapons at her disposal but she rarely ever uses it in combat. I suppose she prefers to use electricity through her Railguns but I think long-term she may find even more success with this.

The Doppelganger made for a great character. It’s always tough finding out you’re not the real thing after all. It’s pretty understandable that she would go off the deep end. Additionally Academy City is so corrupt and we learn more and more with each arc. It becomes increasingly harder to defend them and if the villain were to destroy the city they would take out a lot of bad guys instantly. Of course they can never truly win because we would also lose a lot of heroes. Doppelganger’s plan is solid though and she’s also a terrific fighter with how quickly she can adapt and learn new techniques. She works out quite nicely as the final boss.

For the assassin group Scavenger, it’s fun to see them after they got trounced in the Accelerator series. Unfortunately for them they are once again completely out of their league here. There’s never a doubt in your mind that Misaka or Doppelganger could take them out. I’ll give props to the kinetic energy girl for actually trying but of course she was dispatched like an after thought. The group is very lucky that Misaka bought into all of their excuses because she would have been able to take down the rest of the group with ease. If anything they get off a little too easy here.

The final episode nicely wraps up all of the various subplots and gives the characters one last scene. Naturally there are still a ton of ongoing plots occurring in the background. Some of these would likely get wrapped up in other titles but I’m sure some will make it for the next Railgun series. It’s part of the fun of being an interconnected series. You really need to see all of the titles to get the complete context. Some characters show up here with direct repercussions from the Accelerator and Index series so if you came here directly from Railgun S there would probably be a bit of a disconnect there. You can just watch all 3 seasons of Railgun on their own and be okay of course but checking out the rest really helps to give you that extra context.

The only thing to say against the show would be that it has a decent amount of fanservice. Certainly the dream episodes have fun with that and Misaka’s ongoing insecurities are only magnified by having Shokuhou appear all the time. There’s a consistent level of this to an extent but the show always keeps this aspect reigned in well. It doesn’t really hold the show back much. It would be nice of course if the show side stepped this entirely but it seems almost inevitable that some fanservice would appear. As long as it’s always overshadowed and outnumbered by the high quality scenes here then we should be good.

As always the animation here is most excellent. The animation may have even gone up from the first two seasons. There are a number of excellently animated fights here like Misaka vs the robotic Kaiju, Touma and the new Level 5 taking on Misaka, and low key the battle with Frenda and the assassin. It never really lets up and makes for a very consistent experience throughout the show. There are no poorly animated episodes which is always great since it shows that a good amount of time and effort was put into the show.

Next up we have the soundtrack which is unsurprisingly very good. You’ve got a lot of the classic tunes here along with new ones. The new intro to the season is also very solid. I would definitely take the first one over the second but they both sound very good. The battle themes are on point and so on a technical level Railgun does really well as expected. The writing is on point and Railgun gives so many characters so much development that it’s just really impressive. I’ll definitely be ready for the next season. Each episode is just handled in a way where you’re always interested in what happens next. Even the bust upper episode which I consider to be the weakest one still has a lot of very solid humor moments. The sign of a great show is when every episode is engaging in its own way and Railgun T pulls that off.

One thing that the Raildex series has always done well is throw a lot of fancy terminology and lingo at you. I always love seeing characters babbel on about their crazy abilities and plans. Railgun T is no exception to that with a lot of great concepts thrown in there. It’s willing to tackle any idea or premise no matter how crazy and it works. I just really enjoy a good speech and the villains and heroes both make a lot of those. It all just ends up being very compelling and the series is so fleshed out now with over 10-20 groups running around that you never really know what’ll happen next.

While a big reason as to why the show is so fantastic is the fight scenes, it does manage to blend together a lot of different emotional moments as well. For example, Shokuhou’s backstory ties in with one of the sisters and another character. The 3 of them have a lot of pretty emotional moments there since they all grew up with rather tough backgrounds. To go from there to having a very light hearted episode would be tough for some shows but Railgun pulls it off. All of the characters get satisfying endings to their stories and so the sad moments have great payoffs. Then of course we have the action episodes where it goes without saying that those are really satisfying. The single best fight scene here would likely be Gungha and Touma’s team up against Misaka but I would put Frenda vs Yumiya and Misaka vs Doppleganger as close runner ups. There’s a lot of good action here to be sure.

Overall, Railgun T is a great successor to Railgun S and shows that the series has still got it. Not that there was ever any reason to doubt this after how good Railgun S was though. I’m wondering if the next season will be called Railgun U or if they’ll just switch to another letter. If we assume that each one meant S (Second) T (Third) then maybe Railgun F makes sense for Fourth. Either way I can’t imagine that they would want to wait too long before continuing the adaption but it is pretty cool how they keep on adapting more of the franchise. So whether we get more of the main series, Accelerator, Railgun, or another spinoff, it’ll be fun to see how that turns out. If you haven’t seen Railgun T yet then you definitely need to change that asap!

Overall 8/10

Frenda vs Misaka

Frenda has her explosive abilities which are pretty handy in some matchups but I don’t think they’ll be very good here. Misaka showed in the past that her electricity is the perfect counter to the explosives since she can effectively short charge them instantly. You can’t have explosives without electricity after all so this means Frenda is basically powerless here. It’s to be expected when taking on one of the legendary Level 5 Espers though. Misaka wins this with very low difficulty. Misaka wins.

Jason Lee Scott vs Misaka

This is a tribute to the Power Rangers film. Jason didn’t look all that good in this movie as he made quite a lot of mistakes and never really came off as a sympathetic guy. You just couldn’t feel all that bad for him since he really created the situations that he got himself into. He has some decent super strength and speed, but nothing that Misaka hasn’t dealt with before. She will be able to overwhelm him with ease. No Ranger can handle an electromaster. Misaka wins.

Combustion Man vs Misaka

The Combustion Man is a powerful fighter. He has a lot of raw strength in addition to his mastery over fire. That being said, Misaka is quite fast and she has mastered all applications of her electric abilities. Her Railgun is stronger than any of Combustion Man’s attacks and she will be able to zap away at his health in small chunks or keep going for finishing blows. Her supply of electricity will last long enough for victory to be guaranteed. Misaka wins.

Misaka vs Accelerator

Accelerator is one of the strongest characters in the Index franchise and I would say that he really is the best fighter there. Misaka had a big fight against him back in the day and even her legendary Level 5 abilities were no match against his power. Accelerator’s control over vectors has become very precise and he can level a city with ease. A rematch wouldn’t go any better than their first fight. Accelerator wins.

Therestina vs Misaka

To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S - 22 - Large 09
Terestina is no match for the boundless might of Misaka. One Railgun attack would take Terestina down for the count. She just wouldn’t be able to cope with Misaka’s long range abilities and she would lose rather quickly. Therestina is just not a really good fighter and Misaka is basically made for combat. The power disadvantage is just too great. Misaka wins.

Erii Haruue vs Misaka

Erii Haruue was an addition to the Railgun series that I didn’t care for. She really didn’t add anything to the show. She’s not a downright unlikable character, but she feels like filler and that instinctively makes me avoid her during the episodes. She’s not a fighter and Misaka could win this battle with a single bolt of lightning. After all, Level 5 Espers are not to be trifled with! Misaka wins.

Shinobu vs Misaka

Shinobu is a character who gets a little too confident in the heat of battle. She lands a few good hits on Misaka, but it’s only because the Level 5 Esper was not really fighting back. This isn’t a fair fight by any means and Misaka would crush Shinobu. Shinobu’s arrogance really helps me to dislike her and I can’t say that I ever warmed up to the character. Maybe she’ll get a power up someday to help turn the tides. Misaka wins.

Shirai Kuroko vs Misaka

Shirai Kuroko is a skilled fighter with her teleporting skills and she is more skilled in combat than she lets on. Against another opponent, Kuroko’s hit and run tactics would do very well. It’s just not an efficient strategy when your opponent can emit electric sparks and zap anyone who gets near her. That really takes away any strategy that Kuroko could think up, which ends the match. Misaka wins.

A Certain Scientific Railgun S Review

The first Railgun show was pretty fun and one would likely expect the sequel to be even better. Luckily, this is the case with Railgun S and it amps up the stakes in every way. That can be a good thing for some and it may be too different for others. All I can say is that action fans will definitely approve! Time to see why Railgun S is so great!

The first Railgun show was very lighthearted and I’d call it a slice of life with some action. Railgun S has two arcs and the first one is complete action with some drama and emotional moments. It’s a lot darker than anything we saw in the first show and the violence is also heightened. The best part about this is the fact that most of the fanservice has been eliminated from the show, which is terrific! The second arc goes back to Railgun’s roots and the show becomes a lot happier once again. After the amazing first arc this may be a disappointment, but it’s still fun.

Before the first arc begins, we get a quick stand alone episode where Misaka gets to show off her abilities and she takes down some villains. After that, the arc quickly starts and it takes up most of the series. When Misaka was a little girl, some researchers took some of her DNA and they decided to illegally clone her. They want to create a Level 6 fighter that can surpass all others. They approach the world’s strongest Esper, Accelerator, who accepts their terms since he wants this power. He has to destroy 20000 clones of Misaka to unlock level 6. Accelerator isn’t fazed by this and the massacre begins. The clones are to fight him in one on one battles and they don’t mind the fact that they will be destroyed since it’s just what they do.

The real Misaka finds out about this and decides to stop Accelerator, but she has no chance in a physical fight. She will have to destroy all of the facilities in the city so that the researchers cannot continue their experiment. The problem is that these researchers have hired a group of powerful Espers to take Misaka down…and one of them is another Level 5! Misaka has never faced such a large scale fight before and (since her friends won’t help at all) she may need the help of Academy City’s strongest Level 0….Touma! This arc was awesome and I’ll continue to talk about it in the later parts of the review.

Arc 2 lowers the stakes so it’s more of a happy mystery, but things still get tense at times. Febri is a mysterious girl that the heroes find in the park one day. There’s something off about this occurrence and meanwhile, some scientists want to defeat the Espers. They’re mad because they are some of the smartest students around, but nobody wants to recognize their true greatness. To get back at them, these students are going to use their mecha army to wreck havok on the city and destroy everyone. Looks like a job for Misaka and pals!

It’s a little hard to try and make Arc 2 exciting because it really wasn’t. A lot of it didn’t make a whole lot of sense and it was hard to take the villains seriously after seeing someone as powerful as Accelerator. Arc 2 also didn’t contain as many fights as Arc 1 and none of them were quite as epic. Ah well…that’s why we have Arc 1!
For example, my favorite part of the series was the gauntlet against ITEM. It even surpasses the Accelerator climax because it’s 2-4 episodes of nonstop action and battling. (Technically Accelerator vs Touma is just one fight after all) The ITEM group really gave Misaka a challenge and it was awesome. It helps that I love the new villain group trope and I had been wanting to see another Level 5 do battle. We got to see Misaka’s determination in that battle as she fought well past her energy limit and she had to think of inventive ways to use her abilities so that she could walk out of there alive.

Misaka is just as likable as in the first show, but we get to see more of her abilities in this show. As I mentioned in my previous review, there wasn’t really anyone that could be a challenge for Misaka. Her electric abilities were too much for her opponents and until we saw the only two Espers in the world who could defeat her; that didn’t seem like it was going to change. Luckily, we got some great fights in Arc 1 so we got to see what Misaka could really do. She’s easily one of the strongest Electric users out there and she’s proven that she can hold her own show as well as Touma…maybe even better.

Touma continues to prove that he’s the perfect side character. As a protagonist he ranged from cool to downright awful. As a side character in Misaka’s show, he’s always awesome. I didn’t really think that he could look better in this show than in the last one, but I quickly changed this view. Touma got a pretty cool cliffhanger where he clenches his fist for no real reason, but things get epic once he joins the fray. He’s decided that he’s going to take down Accelerator so that he can save the clones (One of which became his friend) as well as Misaka. To do this, Touma is going to have to enter the ultimate fight. The Strongest Level 5 vs the Weakest guy in the world. If all characters were as cool as Touma, then the world of media would be much different.

Railgun S continues to have great characters as Accelerator is introduced. Misaka is a perfect main character; Touma is the perfect side character, and Accelerator is the perfect villain. It’s impossible to sympathize with him and you really can’t wait until he’s defeated. I actually became a pretty huge fan of him in Index and he’s my favorite character in the franchise, but for now we’ll have to settle for liking him as a villain. If I were just counting this show, he would be under Touma and Misaka. He’s an incredible villain, but you really can’t root for him while he’s destroying everybody. Accelerator succeeds as a villain because his abilities are very hard to overcome and he’s also very confident. Unlike other villains, Accelerator can back up his tough talk.

Frenda is one of the members of ITEM and she’s the first one to challenge Misaka. She’s actually pretty good at hand to hand fighting, but she specializes in medium to long distance attacks. She can plant her dolls at key areas and then set them to explode once the opponent gets near and triggers the trap. She’s essentially like Batman in the fact that prep time greatly helps her fighting capabilities. She’s one of the better members of the group even if her abilities can’t really stack up in a one on one fight.

Mugino is basically the leader of ITEM when they’re in the field. She is a level 5 and her ability allows her to shoot powerful lasers that can go right through steel walls. She can also use them defensively to protect her from all incoming attacks like Gaara’s Ultimate Defense. She’s definitely a powerful opponent although I’m sure that Misaka would be more than a match for her if they fought on equal terms. Mugino is a decent character, but her abilities are great so I’m glad to have her on the show. Hopefully she gets another fight at some point.
Kinuhata (Super strength) and Riko (Telepathy) don’t get to do a whole lot in the show so it’s harder to talk about them. Riko can sense where an opponent is by their AIM fields so she’s good to have in a group. Unfortunately, that also means that she wouldn’t do very well in a one on one fight. She’s a decent character, but her natural abilities just aren’t that great and she has to augment them artificially. I have a feeling that this won’t help her in the long run. Kinuhata is the most interesting member and she could present a challenge to some of the heroes. Her ability seems to make her body impervious to injury to the point where she can block bullets. It’s not absolute, but a stone wall defense like that is pretty great in a fight and she’s also very fast.

Shinobu is a researcher who was involved in the cloning operation that was taking place in Academy City. She didn’t mind them at first because she thought of the clones as inorganic. They weren’t really alive and they didn’t have emotions because they were linked through a network. Eventually, she realized that they were just as real as normal people and she made it her life’s goal to save them. Unfortunately, she is only a mere mortal and that’s not good in this show. She looks very bad in Arc 2 and her plans don’t really help in Arc 1 either. She has good intentions, but her methods are pretty ineffective and I really didn’t care for her. She just wasn’t that likable.

Kuroko doesn’t get a particularly large role in this show. She’s as unlikable as ever, but the show also gives her a subplot where she decides that she won’t try to find out what Misaka is up too. (Misaka is going around blowing up government facilities to stop the experiments) The show plays it off as a good thing and Kuroko gets to show Misaka that she trusts her judgment and everything. Misaka even indirectly asks Kuroko if she would try to stop her if Misaka did something to wreck the city. Kuroko said that she would and Misaka had to leave her out of her plans. (Although she already had been)

The problem is that Kuroko should have tried to find out what Misaka was up too. Misaka definitely could have used some backup in her fight against ITEM and having Kuroko along would have helped a lot. A true friend would have made sure that Misaka was okay. Especially after Misaka kept coming home with injuries and fatigue. This is just one of the many reasons as to why I don’t like Kuroko and it’ll be hard for her to bounce back from these moments.

Kongou gets a slightly larger role in this show than the last one. She still doesn’t get along with Kuroko that much, but she does get along with Misaka. Along the way, Kongou has pretty much joined the main characters as one of the mainstays for the battles. In Arc 2, she’s around for most of it and she joins in the help Febri. She also finally gets to use her abilities a lot and we see that she can make things launch. (If she hits a truck, then it will zoom forward with rocket power) She’s a decently likable character, but she would never become one of my favorites due to her personality. She’s a nice person, but she can’t show it since it would wreck her image. Ah well, at least she tries to help out.

Saten, Uiharu, Banri, and Harrue don’t really get to do much in this series. They’re around as supporting characters of course, but you likely won’t miss them as the episodes go by. If you liked them in the previous show, then you likely still will. If you didn’t like them before; I don’t see why you would change your mind here. Saten can still be inconsiderate of Uiharu and I can’t take her seriously. That’s part of why the climax in the second arc felt forced and there were a lot of moments that were cheesy. Things shouldn’t have turned out so well for the heroes once these 4 got involved. I’m not going to mention the villains from Arc 2 because they are barely characters. They’re just generic scientists who don’t realize that they are outclassed and they want to make other people as sad as them. (They also get an extremely cheesy moment in the last minutes of the final episode, which was pretty laughable)
While I did mention that Railgun S is a lot more violent than the original Railgun, it’s mainly due to a few select scenes. They all take place in the first arc and the second one really has little to no violence. Accelerator is able to blow people up by making contact with them and he does this to one person, but a security camera shields the viewer from seeing this. Someone’s leg is also taken in another scene and those are really the two big violent moments. The leg yank is easily the most disturbing scene since it’s pretty unexpected. This isn’t anything to turn you off from the show though because aside from those two episodes, the violence is minimal. The whole first arc is dark, but not necessarily violent. There is a lot of action so the heroes/villains get injured, but nothing really graphic aside from those moments.

Luckily, this also meant that there was no time for fanservice. The anime still manages to sneak some in once in a while, but it’s a dramatic step down from the first series. I’m glad that they did this and it makes the rest of the anime easier to appreciate. Fanservice sucks the life out of all anime and it forces you to drop some of the all stars like Gurren Lagann and Bleach down a few pegs. Hopefully the next show in the Railgun franchise can continue with this.

The soundtrack in Railgun S is excellent! I liked Railgun’s soundtrack, but Railgun S takes it to a whole new level. The ending theme when Misaka goes off to fight Accelerator in their first round was incredible and it felt like something that you would hear at the theater. The battle music was also a lot more intense and the overall soundtrack was phenomenal. The two openings were pretty fun, but opening 1 was definitely the best since it had a lot of action to go alongside the fun music. We even got some fake foreshadowing to trick the fans and I always like that because it gives us hypothetical battles. Railgun S definitely hit it out of the park with the music and the final episode gets some guest star music from the first show. That episode was filled with music that kept on playing right after that others.

Not to be outdone, the animation is also a few steps up from Railgun. I can now say that the animation looks pretty incredible. The character designs are effectively the same, but they’re more streamlined, which helps for the fights. Touma’s fight against Accelerator stands out as well as Misaka’s gauntlet against ITEM. Even scenes with less stakes like Misaka’s Railgun against the villains in the first episode looks really good with this animation. Great animation can definitely make a fun show even better.

One of the big questions that may be brought up is whether Railgun did better with the dark toned part of the franchise or if it should have stayed happy and chipper. I’ve never been a fan of everything being grim and that’s one of the enjoyable factors of the first Railgun. Every episode was pretty happy and there was really no dark moments in the show. We had some sad moments, but things tended to work out by the end. Still, that couldn’t last since part of the plot for this series was how Misaka would have to combat the darkness of Academy City. The first arc of Railgun S is dark, but it’s done in a pretty decent way. It’s not gritty for the sake of being gritty and there is still some hope for the heroes. (Although Misaka’s friends don’t help in this) This arc was the best in the franchise so Railgun S definitely succeeded with this huge tone shift. Now, if the whole show had been dark like that, it could have gotten a little dicey. It’s a lot harder to keep a show interesting and good with a dark tone. It’s easy to slip up at some point and just make things too dark with excessive violence or unnecessary sob stories as the series gets longer and longer. That’s why it’s best to just have an arc for it and then it can be a masterpiece like this one.

That’s why I’m glad that Railgun’s light moments stick around. Unfortunately, this also means that they try to play up the friendship angle and it doesn’t work in this case. Aside from Kuroko, Misaka’s main friends are all very weak and they shouldn’t be able to help out. Arc 2 tries to show how helpful they can be, but it was very cheesy. They decide to hold off thousands of robots along with the rest of the students, but they should have been mowed down. The robots were way too powerful for them and realistically there should have been heavy casualties. In that case, it was definitely all right for Misaka to proceed on her own. Every time she has to clue the rest of the characters in; Misaka has to slow down in her investigation. I’m not opposed to telling the other characters and I believe that Misaka should have told Kuroko back in arc 1. Of course, Kuroko may have told the police and that would have wrecked things so it was a gamble either way.

So far, it probably sounds like Arc 2 was downright awful, but it was still all right. There weren’t a whole lot of stakes, but that’s because it had a more personal feel. Mainly, one girl’s life was at stake, but that’s still enough to get Misaka and the gang involved. Eventually, the scope of the threat got larger, but the heroes were already set. I do like the concept of every Esper in the city joining forces to stop the villain, but it could have been executed in a cooler way. All of the insert songs give the scenes a sense of epicness, which helps to overshadow the inaccurate moments. I just don’t think that things would go so smoothly for the heroes. I also wasn’t a fan of the fact that Misaka needed some help against the army of robots since they didn’t seem so impressive.

The first Railgun show rekindled my interest in the franchise and this one rose it to new heights. Railgun S managed to surpass the two series from the main branch of Index and that’s pretty rare. Usually, spinoffs don’t end up beating the main thing. It’s a pretty good feat for Railgun S and it shows that spinoffs always have a shot. (Unlike the Rock Lee show) Railgun S defeats most of the anime that I’ve seen recently including Sword Art Online, Guilty Crown, Gurren Lagann, and Accel World among others, but it does get defeated by another anime that I’m currently watching. What is that anime? Well, you’re going to have to wait to find out. All I can say is that it’s one of the best anime of all time!
Overall, Railgun S is an incredible show. I’d easily say that it’s one of the better anime that I’ve seen. (I would have said one of the best, but that’s stretching it just a little bit since it loses to DBZ, multiple Digimon shows, Naruto (multiple shows), etc) The animation is top notch as well as the soundtrack and we have some really great characters to root for and against. I still can’t get over how epic and awesome Touma was in the climax of Arc 1 and Misaka is a character that everyone can look up too. She had to make the tough call to fight the whole city and she did everything that she could to save the clones. With characters as heroic as this, it’s hard to go back and watch something like Avengers Assemble! The show also expands the universe a little more while throwing in some more plot points for the future. (Academy City is still evil and another one of the Level 5s seems to have some beef with Misaka) I highly recommend this anime to all readers because it appeals to many different crowds. If you want a dark tale revolving around conspiracies and a lone hero against all odds; it’s time for Arc 1. If you want heartwarming tale about friendship, and second chances with some fun action scenes; then it’s time for Arc 2. Either way, it’s a win/win situation! I definitely can’t wait for the sequel to come.

Overall 8/10