Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S Episode 1: Railgun [First Impression]
“Tokiwadai’s electromaster is the strongest electro esper in the city! She’s the Level 5…Railgun!”
“Total population: 2.3 million. 80% of which are students. And those students of Academy City work hard every day to improve their esper abilities.”
Welcome back to Academy City! It’s been a good few years since the original Toaru Kagaku no Railgun anime aired, but this first episode brought me straight back to those good old days – in between the first and second seasons of Index. While Index had Touma involve himself with both the science and magic side (Imagine Breaker working against both), Railgun’s only focus is on the science faction. I’m perfectly fine with that, if it means greater elaboration and a more intricate plot instead of the back-and-forth jumping we had with Index. Anyway, I digress.
One strong feature I really love about Railgun is its characters. Or more specifically, it’s lead cast of four girls, whose antics I found much more entertaining than Index herself. They’re memorable – from Uiharu and her reactions to Saten-san’s skirt flipping (we didn’t get a live show this time, unfortunately) to Saten’s own casual lack of care, even when getting chased down a dark alleyway as a Level 0. And who can forget our resident lesbian stalker? Oh god, Kuroko’s voice is like…ear sex…though I know that’s a very controversial statement in itself xD You have fans who watch the show for Kuroko alone, and you have haters who despise her with a burning passion. Everyone else ends up falling somewhere in between. Personally, I think her yuri antics are hilarious – she’s got an attractive voice for sure, and though I haven’t seen the PV for Railgun’s dub, I doubt anyone can pull off Kuroko as well as Arai Satomi can. And you’ve gotta admit, that “Judgement desu no!” is pretty cool ^_^
Meanwhile, Misaka is Misaka – still obsessed over Gekota, and still ridiculously strong as the 3rd Level 5 esper in Academy City. Kuroko’s absolutely right when she says that people envy Misaka’s powers as much as they admire them, especially at Level 5 where her manipulation over electricity easily lets her climb walls or interfere with a helicopter’s movement. And the Railgun she performed this episode looked pretty weak to me – I’m sure she can perform a much stronger one, especially if provoked…by someone like Touma :D I’m surprised there was another Level 5 at Tokiwadai, as the girls there (like Kuroko) seemed completely devoted to Misaka onee-sama as Tokiwadai’s pride and joy, never giving off any indication of revering Shokuhou Misaki as well. That was easily explained – her telepathy powers involve either controlling or brainwashing targets, interfering with their normal brainwaves and forcing them to submit to her. So Misaki’s group of “friends” are more like her slave minions, with her esper powers gathering her company for her. It’s actually pretty creepy – and as a Level 5, she was easily able to have the entire library’s population (bar Misaka) obey her every command. It’s no wonder Misaka doesn’t like her…though she seems like the type of person to randomly act on her whims, and it’ll be hard to tell how much trouble she’ll be. Oh, and her boobs do hint she’s not really a middle-school student. I’m sure Misaka was very observant about that xD
There were various references to Season 1, from all those classic Railgun OSTs to Haruue and Banri, those two girls who were caught up in Kiyama’s experiments. And on the flip side, the OP foreshadows some future events that will occur in the Sisters Arc (more evil Accelerator!) – supposedly expanded much more from how it was portrayed back in Index, and a fair bit darker than the original Railgun series. I can only imagine Misaka’s despair at learning about the thousands of clones created for Accelerator to kill off one by one. Just, uh…don’t let Kuroko find one of them.
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