A Certain Scientific Railgun
A review by Robert K. Patterson
I never thought the escapades of four middle-school girls would be very interesting but in this case I was wrong. I was so captivated that I ended up watching all forty-eight episodes twice.
The story is a spin-off of A Certain Magical Index which I was also quite fond of. It focuses more on everyday life of four 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, also their self-expectations of themselves.
The characters are very well-developed, and I really connected with the four 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 Kuroko Shirai exceptionally well-done and memorable.
The story centers around Academy City with a population of 2.3 million (80% students) where it is thought they are thirty years ahead of the rest of the world. It is where they develop espers (humans with very special abilities). They are ranked from level zero to level five which makes their battles interesting.
The main heroine, Mikoto Misaka, is one of seven level five espers. Her nickname is railgun. She is an electromancer and the third highest ranked esper with a designation of level 5. She controls electricity. Her roommate Kuroko Sharai is a level 4 teleporter.
There are several arcs but the best ones are the Sister’s arc and the final arc. Misika gave some scientists of dubious intentions her DNA map when she was very young. These people cloned twenty thousand and one of her. The clones are a fascinating story by themselves. Accelerator was the highest ranked level 5 esper in Academy City and these scientists thought if Accelerator battled and killed them all, he would become a level six.
In the final arc, a group of scientists with no esper ability are plotting to destroy Academy City. However, the entire city bands together to defeat them.
“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 a cheesy storyline and cornier villains, but overall, this is an excellent everyday-life/drama anime.” This paragraph from a review by J.C. Staff.