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  • Warning: Spoilers
    "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.
  • There was the potential for serious depth in this spin off series and it flirts with it in the first season, but in the end seems to shy away from taking it to the next level, because it's trying to maintain the upbeat tempo.

    The first two seasons are overall enjoyable and worth watching but I'm undecided on the current third season. It seems weaker which is a shame as it deals with a "foe" and the associated powers that could go down a dark and thought provoking path
  • Its very good job design character! ! Very Very good story line ! Every scene of this animate best on large Screen ! Just finish watch its season 3 on 2/10/2020 , i wish they made it to season 4 !
  • Season 1 is a solid, well-made magic academy anime. Fan service right off the bat. Maybe that was a good decision. Skip the modeling episode (E13). Kuroka has other great (fight) scenes early on but underutilized thereafter; Misaka is pretty much center stage. Cheesy ending boss. 7.5/10

    Season 2 is that much better. Darker, much darker. Blood and gore too. More intense and drawn-out battles. As Misaka becomes more exposed to Academy City's underworld, the baddies become stronger and she realizes she can't go it alone. 10032 is a scene-stealer every time she's on; was disappointed the Sisters didn't have a bigger role during the revolution. Kamijo fans will be delighted he fulfills his mission. 9.5/10
  • This is a rare occasion where I find myself actually preferring the spinoff over the original. In this version you don't have the mandated minutes-long scene every episode where Toma Kamijo lectures the villain of the week on how what they're doing is wrong, while you're rolling your eyes and wishing he would just shut up.

    The tradeoff is Kuroko Shirai freaking out and screaming at you about once or twice an episode, and the drama is a bunch of high school girls instead of a 14-year-old boy whining about morality. Railgun tends to be more direct and less philosophical, as the titular character usually just blasts stuff instead of talking her enemies to death...but that's understandable given their difference in powers.

    There's some plot problems later on where you wonder where the heck Railgun's parents are, that she's being asked to make ethical decisions for herself as an 8-year-old in flashbacks, too, but maybe that's just an anime thing? The plot arc enemies they fight can also strain suspension of disbelief at times (especially considering this is supposed to be the more scientific and less fantasy of the two shows), but if you've watched Index already, that's old hat.

    Still a fun show if you're willing to wobble over and back across that line of whether you should take it halfway seriously, or just sit back and enjoy the nonsense.

    Disclaimer: Oh, apparently there's a third season now. I've only seen the first 2 so far.
  • garycofield28 April 2020
    I would really like to give this show a perfect 10. There are a number of elements that make A Certain Scientific Railgun an excellent viewing experience. Everything from all that is Academy City, the characters and supporting cast, (English dub) voice acting, soundtrack/score, character design, animation and the lore are all fantastic. I really love the script & the way it's written, there are just so many lines and moments that stick with you. Similarly, I love the characters and the strong convictions they hold, they have such strong wills, it's impressive.

    There *really* aren't a lot of things I can complain about when it comes to this show. With that being said, making your way through the series can get confusing.

    First off, being someone that watched the other shows based in Academy City, there are episodic storylines that are revisited and almost copied completely. Second, season two almost takes the way of loosely rebooting. I'm not too sure why the show was written in this way. I understand wanting to explain Mikoto's hardships, because when we met her in A Certain Magical Index, it was almost at the climax of her complication. But with creating the sister series, was it not decided to do backstory initially? It feels a lot like backtracking, or like someone wrote an entire story and got a lot of pages mixed up.

    All in all, even with the timeline choppiness, I would still recommend this show to anyone that was looking for a good anime. It checks a lot of boxes in terms of genre in my opinion, and it's a good time, genuinely. I'm looking forward to more Railgun.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was introduced to this anime by a quiz comparing Asuka from Neon Genesis and Mikoto from Railgun. A lot of people said that they liked Mikoto better so I decided why not check it out. This anime looks kind of cute.

    It's a shame that the series had a lot of potential and I really wanted to enjoy it, but the writing and characters needed work and there are parts where the drama just doesn't work. This has some of the worst writing I have ever seen. There is not much interesting characters to be found here, they're all pretty archetypal and overwritten.

    Railgun could've been put in my favorites had it not disappointed me the way it did. I liked the concept behind it but it wasn't executed very well.

    Story

    Mikoto is a young girl who has been training to be an esper since she was like seven. Now, she has incredible electricity powers and along with her friends, Kuroko, a lesbian girl, Saten, an angsty girl, and Uiharu, a bashful girl must battle off monsters, espers, and bullying men that come their way. The characters are all archetypes of other anime characters and there is nothing too special about them. They are unoriginal clichés. I am actually quite in disbelief of what J.C. Staff has come to. They gave me Azumanga Daioh and now this? What actually has anime come to?

    Characters

    There are some complexity to the series and a lot of character development, but I still did not care much for the characters as their fight scenes were pretty lame and they can change from acting in-character to out of character. The dialogue is not obvious but it's weird. The only good thing about them is that I can empathize with the protagonist and there are some funny moments but they can also be annoying and unlikeable.

    Sound

    The shows' songs are too relaxing for this series' tone. And what I mean by that is that there is a lot of slow and emotional songs and are not totally fitting. The show has a friendly atmosphere so they may sound nice at first but then they start to get worse hearing them over and over again. Overall, not repeatable songs. Except for the opening and ending songs, the intensity in them fits the action of the series.

    Now the voice acting compared to the dub was less whiny, though Kuroko's voice sounded too sarcastic and snarky but otherwise deep and strong. But I love that stripper woman's sexy voice! The skill put into it was imaginative. And the director for the voice actors and the series itself was pretty good.

    But the writing, ugh, the characterization was stupid and it had one of the most uninteresting writing in anime. This show was quite annoying to sit through and at one episode, it made me want to flip the table. It is so mundane and it is not for people looking for very creative work. Also, that OP for the second half made me want to scream.

    Overall, a pretty bad series. Do not watch.