To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S – 16
Sixteen episodes later, the Sisters Arc is over, and what is get is a conclusion that is both fitting and every bit satisfying.
I couldn’t care less about being a God. And I don’t think I can make up for my sins by doing this either. She’s my sister. They’re all my sisters. That’s all there is to it.
As Misaka so aptly says her self this week, you don’t need a grand reason to fight back or defend someone/thing. Sometimes, it all boils down to being as “simple” as being family—even if that term is used loosely in this case—and it’s a notion that highlights both the differences and the similarities between her and Accelerator.
Admittedly, it’s somewhat hard to believe that there are any potential similarities between the two considering their obvious personality differences, but there was definitely one big one and that’s the bit where he too was shown to have been misdirected by scientists in his younger years. With them playing upon his apparent lack of ability to associate with many friends (and a seeming lack of family associations), it’s easy to see how Accelerator ended up the way he did, and ultimately it’s just something at least somewhat similar to what happened to Misaka in the past. Granted, the type of misdirection and the scale are somewhat different, but the fact remains that they were both mislead at some point, and arguably it’s something that highlights how fitting both of them end up being linked via this experiment. In addition, it’s quite notable that it continues the humanization of Accelerator as a person, even if it doesn’t come close to exonerating what he did.
With that said, it was quite interesting to see how they really emphasized the beating that Touma got here (in comparison to what I remember from Index), and one wonders if at some point his intestines were falling out or something. Either way, the added drama really plays in to the whole “the stronger/bigger you are, the harder you fall” bit we get, and seeing Touma finally deliver that last punch to Accelerator really gave me some goosebumps. The shocked faces from Misaka and MISAKA tell a thousand words, and this week really culminates a lot of what’s been developed over the course of this series.
Indeed, in regards to the MISAKA clones especially, the “cycle of development” is arguably now “complete,” and they’re now possessors of genuine emotions from which to live their lives with. I was a bit surprised that they took out the small discussion between the MISAKA sister and Touma at the hospital however, but that slight disappointment was made up with the new scenes added in afterwards. After all, there’s nothing quite like seeing MISAKA pulling her usual antics and facial expressions, or Misaka’s reactions to them as well.
Notably though, it has to be said also that these added scenes continue Railgun S’ subtle interplay between what the scene depicts and what the general theme of the episode was about. We saw it in previous episodes already (such as the bit where the rumors of the clones were spreading around) and it’s been mentioned before, but it’s definitely important to note regardless, as the two sisters in the playground end up being key symbols representing Misaka and MISAKA’s new found relationship. In addition, they serve as the foundation for what’s arguably one of the most important aspects of this episode, which is the perspective that Misaka “should be proud that the sisters were born in the first place.”
And whether or not you’re one that believes in that kind of perspective, it nonetheless shows how there are many ways of looking at things, and that something you consider a negative may indeed harbor some kind of positive element to it all. Looking to Misaka herself, she’s spent the arc cursing machines all this time for causing this, but in the meanwhile, she overlooked the fact that if it weren’t for machines, she wouldn’t have any “sisters” right now. As she says herself, they’re lives born from machines, and the fact that it’s worked out now at least gives the experiment some kind of positive result—one whose importance can be summarized in one of my year’s favorite quotes:
But even so. At this moment, I am still alive.”
Truly, there were few ways this arc’s finale could’ve been done better, and Railgun S is really shining despite being made up of a fair amount of material we’ve seen before. That said, it looks like we’re at a point where everything we see from now on should be virtually new to anime viewers, and while it likely won’t be as great as this first portion, it should at least be worth watching regardless. Until next week!