To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S – 08
「Item (アイテム)」 (Item (Aitemu))
It’s another week of Railgun S and the game of chess between Misaka and those behind the Sisters’ Project continues… with the addition of “ITEM” into the picture. Suffice to say, they make a pretty flashy entrance to start things off—filled with explosions and epic takedowns. It just goes to show though, just how much of a facade the peaceful exterior of Academy City is…
…a facade filled with shady dealings and mercenaries/terrorists that would do anything for the right price. The client’s goals? Good and bad? Psh. As our lively bomber gal Frenda says so aptly herself, the people she kills were born to be killed by her, and it’s some crazy stuff to say the least. I guess in the end, it’s just par for the course though, because the fight between Misaka and Frenda ends up equally crazy as a result… especially when you consider that Frenda doesn’t even seem to have any powers in particular, yet still managed to push Misaka to the lengths she did. Granted, when you’re loaded with an endless supply of bombs, have time to prep, and have an exceptional intellect (at least, it seems she does) it’s the least you can do… though it’s still surprising how much she did end up doing by herself.
Indeed, the fact that she ends up being such a handful by herself really doesn’t bode too well to say the least, because gosh darn, there’s a few others with her in the group—and one capable of blowing through walls with ease no less. At least though, the scientists did end up making one mistake though—as choosing to invite Shinobu back into the fold gives her perhaps the best opportunity she can get to trash the facility herself, even if it doesn’t look like things’ll go that smoothly according to the preview.
Moving on to some deeper aspects to finish things off, this episode notably continues a kind of side commentary on “fate”/”predetermined paths” that’s been going on for a little bit now. Misaka’s heated reaction to Frenda’s comments about people being born to die really ends up highlighting this, and well, it brings up the always interesting question of whether or not one should accept one’s fate readily or try to fight back against it even if it looks futile (or in the sisters’ cases, perhaps not even programmed as a potential outcome). In this context, what Misaka’s essentially doing is fighting their fates in their stead… which makes the act exceptionally symbolic (and emotionally powerful) to say the least. Sure, in many ways she’s just taking responsibility for something she played a part in starting, but it still takes a lot to actually choose to do something about it—especially when it doesn’t seem like those she’s fighting for even want that freedom themselves. One does wonder though, if she wasn’t an Electromaster (and thus not as readily capable of combating the scientists behind the experiment), if she’d go ahead with the plan anyway… Hmmm. I’d like to say she would, but it’d really be a losing battle from the outset.
Either way, Railgun S is stringing together an impressive streak of solid to great episodes, and it definitely looks like the coming ones will be of similar nature. With ITEM on Misaka’s back after all, there’s no room for rest, and it’ll be something to see how things work out and when Kuroko and the others will ultimately involve themselves too. Just some darn exciting stuff to look forward to.