"To Aru Kagaku no Railgun" (A Certain Scientific Railgun) is a spin off series of "To Aru Majutsu no Index" (A Certain Magical Index). The story is centered around a 'Level 5' power user Misaka Mikoto AKA "Railgun", who was a supporting character in the original anime series.
The original series for me was very average, but this series just blew me away. The pace is MUCH slower, and focuses more on everyday life of 4 friends and what it means to be special, to have power above all others or having no power at all when it's expected of you. The direction for the series was absolutely phenomenal. In fact, it felt like a Japanese movie rather than a sci-fi super power action anime. By far the best I've seen in any anime series thus far. The characters are very well-developed, and I really connected with the 4 main girls in the story.
The sound was also very impressive. Musical score was wonderful, perfectly matching peaceful everyday scenes to exciting action scenes, making abrupt pace change possible. Voice acting was stunning, especially with Misaka and Saten exceptionally well-done and memorable.
I have to admit the villains were plain stupid and some unlikely plot development just like the original, as well as a bit too much fan service in every episode, but the drama and cool action scenes were more than enough to offset the flaws.
One thing that disappointed me a bit was that the episode 18 in "Index" was not reenacted Misaka's point of view in the spin off. I can guess Touma said something in line of "I'll come and save her without the promise" in the silent scene, but I'm curious to what exactly he said. Perhaps it will be revealed in "Index" season 2, but I wished my favorite episode in the original was concluded here.
Needless to say, Misaka Mikoto is by far my favorite character in the "To Aru Majutsu no Index" universe, but this series really met and exceeded my expectations. Be prepared for cheesy storyline and cornier villains, but overall, this is an excellent everyday-life/drama anime by J.C. Staff. I would recommend "Ga-rei:Zero", which is also an action anime with superior drama than action and super powers to those who liked this series.
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