Anime You Should Be Watching: Toaru Kagaku no Railgun


Hello again all.  Technically I’ve been away for awhile.  On the other technical hand, anything anime posted here has been because of me since I am Arleigh’s primary anime supply source.  So, since I love taking credit without doing any actual work, yay me for bringing all those great AMVs and other anime recommendations.  (Also, don’t believe everything I write, especially in these opening bits since they’re usually alcohol influenced) So, even though it’s my birthday today, I’ll be giving you all the gift of a new anime recommendation, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, or in English, A Certain Scientific Railgun.

to-aru-kuguaku-no-railgun

I debated recommending this particular title not because it isn’t any good.  It’s a very good title that’s quite worthy of being watched.  Rather, this is a spinoff from another franchise, Toaru Majutsu no Index, or A Certain Magical Index, and in explores a character from that show, Misaka Mikoto, more in depth.  However, while I feel that this show can be easily enjoyed without having seen the main franchise, at some points it does assume that the viewer has seen Index and is familiar with the world that they both share.  In both worlds, certain people are born with special esper powers that grant them certain abilities.  The protagonist here, Misaka (her first name is actually Mikoto, but I’ve heard it said the Japanese way of family name first so often that it just sounds better to call her by her last name of Misaka) is one of only seven level 5 espers in Academy City, which is where all people who have the potential to become espers are brought.  Her particular talent is manipulating electricity and electromagnetic waves, hence she is often referred to as the Railgun.  She often uses this power much the same way you’d expect a 14 year old to use a power like that, rather selfishly, such as zapping soda machines to get free drinks.  But even though she often does minor things like that, she is a Level 5, and as such is quite capable of doing large scale things, like even controlling every wind turbine in the city!

One of the big draws to this show is definitely the humor, and Misaka’s roommate Kuroko brings a lot of that.  Kuroko is a Level 4 esper, so while not quite as powerful as Misaka, she’s still plenty strong in her own right.  Her ability is teleportation, not only of her self but of anyone or anything she touches.  Kuroko also has a bit of an unhealthy obsession with Misaka.  She goes about showing her love in some rather, well, here is a fine example:

And that’s fairly mild, for Kuroko.  Yes, she’s that kind of girl, but she is capable of getting serious since this show isn’t all about comedy.  In fact, it gets downright dark, especially with the Sisters Arc in the second season.  Even events in the first season aren’t all fun and games, but there is certainly a lot more comedy in that one than the second.  The first season also see a lot more of two characters who are I believe exclusive to the Railgun series, Uiharu and Saten.  They both get a good amount of screen time during the Level Upper Arc, while Misaka takes a bit of a back seat for some of that and their characters are fleshed out more than you’d expect from supporting characters.  Saten and Uiharu are also responsible for another of the running gags in the show, where Saten can’t seem to start her day without giving Uiharu a skirt flip.

At its heart though, it definitely gives off more of an action vibe than a pure comedy one, so if juvenile humor isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of other stuff to enjoy, like watching Kuroko use her teleportation abilities to warp spikes at people, or Misaka showing why you shouldn’t piss off a level 5 electromaster.  Once you get a feel for the world they’re in, the show is very accessible to anyone, but there are also plenty of little nods to the Index world that fans of both can get a lot of enjoyment out of them too.  If you like action, drama, and comedy, then this is the anime for you.  If not, then I suppose go watch K-ON.  But I’ll tell you this much, K-ON doesn’t have scenes like this!

And I think we can all agree, that that’s just a crying shame.

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