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To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S – 22 »« To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S – 20

To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S – 21

「闇」 (Yami)

As we continue further into the Febri Arc, the one thing I can’t shake at this point is how it’s essentially a supplementary chapter based on the Sisters’ Arc (and some of the previous arcs as well). The whole bit about artificially created humans, the references to researchers and shady underground organizations hiding in the shadows, the mention of the same Testament-based program being used on Febri… they’re all references to the previous arc, and I’m admittedly quite torn as to what to think about this “filler arc” at this point.

Because if you look at it from one angle, they’re doing a decent job mixing in these references among the past few episodes in relevant ways. The MISAKA Sister’s return (and her subsequent revelation of some key facts regarding the Testament program) was a nice touch for instance, as was the whole bit where Misaka considers going against the Underworld alone, but decides not to as a result of Kongou’s wise words (“True friends share both joys and dangers alike.”).

At the same time though, the fact that there are so many obvious references to the past somewhat reduces the natural feel that the non-filler arcs had, and it arguably makes this arc’s experience a measure less fulfilling—especially when one considers how well the Sisters’ Arc was done. Toward this end, it’s starting to feel like they’re referencing more so for the sake of referencing than anything, and it’s detracting from the main plot line they’re trying to give us here with this arc. Of course, this doesn’t make the Febri Arc bad at all, but I just feel like there are some things that could’ve been done better, and that it’s a pity because this arc seems to actually have had quite a bit of thought put into it.

Either way, the theme of the week seems to be “progress”. For one, we’re starting to get some additional factoids regarding Febri (an artificial human who relies on those lollipops to survive), along with more information in regards to the people behind this whole thing. In addition, we’re also getting a little bit of character progression as well—especially with regards to Misaka’s decision to consult everyone before doing anything this time around. It’s still admittedly odd to see Kongou being the medium that helped foster this revelation, but in the end, that pales in comparison to the surprise I got at seeing Therestina again. I guess though, considering her involvement with the whole Capacity Down thing way back in the original Railgun, it’s not… that surprising. In any case, her reappearance brings quite a bit of variables to the equation, which combines with the notion that Shinobu may yet be on Misaka’s side after all (the bit where Febri knows who Misaka is seems too coincidental not to be by design) to make things pretty interesting for the future. Time’s ticking though, as it looks like Febri’s got some 72 hours to live at this point…

Author’s Note:

  • I am currently working on the Index movie post as we speak. It should be out by tomorrow night EDT (or earlier).

    ED4 Sequence


    September 7, 2013 at 10:25 am
    • September 7, 2013 at 10:30 amCybersteel

      awesome next week ITEM fanservice

      • September 7, 2013 at 1:11 pmL002

        For some reason, I feel that Fremea looks hotter than Kuroko, yet they seem to be similar in personality. Maybe it’s the swimsuit, does that swimsuit have a name?

        • September 7, 2013 at 1:51 pmKen James

          You mean Frenda

        • September 10, 2013 at 1:06 amBlackShock_

          - swimsuit
          - blonde hair
          - loli stature
          - innocent nature
          - dat pose and expression

    • September 7, 2013 at 10:30 amSilentCid

      Looks like the story comes full circle with last season’s evil chick comes back in the spotlight.

      • September 7, 2013 at 12:09 pmewok40k

        twisted scientist behind twisted bars… looks like we will have a Hannibal Lecter style interrogation!

      • September 7, 2013 at 1:09 pmHPC

        Only she wasn’t actually evil, or anything of sort, she was just interested in the outcome and had means to help, after witnessing it and realizing what she had done, she did everything she could to redeem herself and stop the project, then as a conclusion she was meant to disappear after a path of redemption, but this filler completely rewritten her purpose and ambition making the like Sister’s Arc redundant. Unless of course she’s there undercover after finding out they used her technology without her permission. Poor Shinobu.

        • September 7, 2013 at 5:56 pmWanderer

          I think they’re talking about Therestina, not Shinobu. Shinobu’s intentions here are ambiguous. Therestina was obviously evil.

      • September 7, 2013 at 3:47 pmPeTdo

        her family is the Epitome of Evil! there blood run deep!

      • September 12, 2013 at 8:46 amiron2000

        Makes me think of the Thor 2 movie where Thor looks to Loki for help.

    • September 7, 2013 at 11:49 amWanderer

      Zephyr, I think you linked to the wrong image with your “Therestina” link… since the image it links to isn’t of Therestina.

      I’ll comment more once I get a chance to watch this episode.

    • September 7, 2013 at 12:13 pmewok40k

      Speculation: Shinobu might have helped Febri escape and “programmed” her to seek out Mikoto?
      Confirmation: The mysterious object withint he robots was indeed DNA sample in the form of hair. Denial: It was not, however of Febri but her as yet unseen “older sister”.

    • September 7, 2013 at 12:33 pmechykr

      Mikoto: It… it’s you!
      Thelestina: Yes, we meet again!
      M: Er… Who’re you again?
      T: It’s Thelestina! Dammit!

      LOL Even if it’s just a preview monologue.

      Being a Level 5 sure comes with special perks, besides being acquainted with the holder of the haxx0r Imagine Breaker, Mikoto now also have a powerful ally in Heaven Canceller, one of the founders of Academy City itself. Though he would be more interested in healing patients than to have anything to do with the Dark Side of the city, something which his “friend” Aleister specializes in, he seems to have enough clout amongst even the Black Ops community to be able to arrange for her to meet Thelestina.

      That said, this original arc also allows Mikoto to mature from her experiences in the Sisters arc and learn to rely on her friends a bit more. (As well as giving Saten and Uiharu much needed screen time. )

      • September 7, 2013 at 2:00 pmsonicsenryaku

        It’s actually nice to see heaven canceler conversing with Mikoto and it shed’s light on her character growth. The thing about Mikoto, and to an extent, why she contrasts with Toma and his life-style (and most likely the reason she doesnt play a big role in Index though NT is giving her more screen time) is because she really doesnt have a difficult life; she’s popular, her parents have good social standing, and she has good friends. On her worse day, she deals with a bunch of level 0 thugs. The sister’s arc was the first calamity to ever fall upon her and look how she handled it; almost to the point of suicide. She loves academy city and to slowly see that the city she loves so much can be this very nasty place is starting to hit her. It is because of that that i loved the scene between her and heaven canceler when he asked her if she is ready to deal with the darkness of academy city. This arc is far from filler (its an original story) because it is truly helming the way for mikoto’s character as a person and depiciting her slow but sure involvement into the dark side of academy city, and what might happen to her mentally as the only sane level 5 when she does so. Other previous arcs have yet to really touch on this subject so Kudos to them for doing that. While this arc is no sister’s arc (i dont think any arc is going to reach that level of story-telling, direction, and execution for a long long while), its nice to see that the themes from that arc are carrying over and are being addressed and quite possibly being dealt with.

    • September 7, 2013 at 1:02 pmmianghuei

      I’m glad they made this original arc. This brings back some of the characters we haven’t seen in some time and ties up some loose ends for the story.

      Could Febri be something like Last Order?

    • September 7, 2013 at 1:49 pmsonicsenryaku

      You bring up a very interesting topic zephyr, what with your mentioning about the references from previous arcs. I know you have expressed your opinion that at times, they feel like references for the sake of being there, but try seeing it from this angle as well: everything that is mentioned like capacity down, clones, dna maps, AIM, testament; they are all very important in the raildex universe. They drive many things in the story, especially the LN’s and show just how ugly this city really is. I understand where you’re coming from with the references, but i feel like the references actually add to the importance of these terms in the dangerous occurrences of academy city and foreshadow some future events.

    • September 7, 2013 at 3:44 pmLonghaul

      While I enjoy the anime original material the contrast between it and the adapted material regarding Mikoto involving her friends in dangerous situations is giving me whiplash.

      • September 7, 2013 at 6:34 pmdaikama

        Same here. IMO, she should have just involved Kuroko (and possibly by extension Uiharu) initially rather than an “all or nothing” type approach.

        • September 8, 2013 at 1:23 pmScruffy

          I disagree. It’s pretty much all or nothing with her group of friends. They’re just like that and the discussion around the table highlighted that. You get one involved then they all will be involved. It’s probably why Misaka was so reluctant to tell horny flatmate.

    • September 7, 2013 at 3:53 pmhuntermad

      Nothing odd about Misaka consults Kongou if The Anime really faithful followed the manga events.In manga, Misaka is actually Kongou’s best friend and she is close to Misaka as least as Uhara and Saten.

    • September 7, 2013 at 3:54 pmPeTdo

      I just fell for Kongou Mitsuko’s cute forehead and her pet snake! She is hella cute and non stereotype rich anime girl( who can’t do shit without money , have no true friend and just spending her day ara ara with her fan) seriously Kongou is hella cute desuyo~(as Hajime from Gatchaman would say.)

    • September 7, 2013 at 4:18 pmgawrshness

      If I am not mistaken there is a ‘real’ Febri in the source material right? I read that there is even a short arc involving her and Last Order where they spend the day doing silly things. That said the ‘Onee-chan’ this Febri is referring to might as well be her original.

      • September 7, 2013 at 9:50 pmdaikama

        If you’re referring to LN New Testament vols 05-06, the girl Index has an adventure with is
        Show Spoiler ▼

        • September 8, 2013 at 3:48 amgawrshness

          They do look alike no?

        • September 8, 2013 at 5:23 pmChaos2Frozen


          Except for both being blond- No?

    • September 7, 2013 at 5:13 pmBear

      Ahhh, a scene with one of the Sisters!. My week is complete.

      • September 7, 2013 at 6:42 pmdaikama

        Totally agree. The Sisters are great. I never get tired of “Misaka says as she tries to look sad in order to persuade you to…” Their interaction with the original and others adds a lot of fun to the series (Index or Railgun).

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 8, 2013 at 4:40 pmYuhsaku

        It’s interesting that MISAKA 10032 is somewhat sulking because of Febri.

    • September 7, 2013 at 6:26 pmdaikama

      At the same time though, the fact that there are so many obvious references to the past somewhat reduces the natural feel that the non-filler arcs had, and it arguably makes this arc’s experience a measure less fulfilling—especially when one considers how well the Sisters’ Arc was done.

      ^This. Agree entirely with Zephyr. IMO, the timing isn’t good. You just had the “artificial human in trouble” story immediately before this. Had this been the filler for Railgun Season 3, I think it would feel less stale. Also, as I mentioned last EP, by choosing a very similar story, the filler is set up for direct comparison with the Sisters’ arc which is not in its favor. I honestly wonder if the writers never thought of these factors when creating the filler story-line.

      Like others I’m conflicted as to my overall impression. In many aspects, the story fits well within the Railgun world. Nice bit of character development for Misaka to rely upon her friends. Yet it feels odd that she tells everyone (except a certain spiky haired boy). I could see Kuroko given her powers, skill and experience. Maybe Uiharu as well (Judgement member and stays out of combat), but Saten and all the rest? You’re going up against people like ITEM. That’s not a good match up – something Misaka knows all too well.

      The foreshadowing has been too heavy as well. Febri needs the lolipops to live? Uh, thanks – pretty much figured that out already. Lastly, this episode raised a couple in-universe credibility issues. Heaven Canceler can’t help Febri, but has no trouble helping adjust the Sisters? He (or someone he knows) can’t create a temporary anti-dote for the poison? Seems too much of a forced plot – especially the latter and resulting “XX hours to live” deadline.

      For me the Febri arc is something where the sum total is less than the parts. As a big Index/Railgun fan, the parts are very good so the arc end up as “decent/pretty good”. As I mentioned before, I’ve watched worse.
      Show Spoiler ▼


    • September 7, 2013 at 6:44 pmRadiosonde

      Heaven Canceller once again dishes out his advice to the MCs. Correct me
      if I’m wrong but this means that only Touma hasn’t received any advice from the frog doctor ? Or has Show Spoiler ▼

      received it too?

    • September 7, 2013 at 9:10 pmGaze of Providence

      Febri needs lollipops to survive? Well, since this is Raildex and I have read some pretty weird shit from that universe I am not at all perturbed by this.

      Oh, and hey! Apart from Febri sucking on big balls of lollipops, nobody is eating. It must mean shit is about to go down. And finally, a REAL villain, a Kihara to boot, instead of the SMUG Squad.

      Good episode… Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 8, 2013 at 4:31 amSheapy

      Any chance we’ll get a Miracle of Endymion review?

      • September 8, 2013 at 4:52 am╬ Dai san Wakusei ☆ Kurīmī Croos-kun-chan ╬

        Since Zephyr already watched it, chances are, there might be one.

    • September 8, 2013 at 4:50 am╬ Dai san Wakusei ☆ Kurīmī ☆ Croos-kun-chan ╬

      We really need to have a Saten side story of the ”To aru” series:
      A Certain Urban Legend Hunter High Schooler “(Toaru toshi densetsu hantā no kōkōsei ,とある都市伝説ハンターの高校生)

      • September 9, 2013 at 7:44 amEnigma

        She’s a middle schooler 0.0

        • September 10, 2013 at 2:26 am✚Dai san Wakusei ☆ Kurīmī Croos-kun-chan✚

          ok then….

          “A Certain Urban Legend Hunter Middle Schooler “ (Toaru toshi densetsu hantā no chūgakusei,とある都市伝説ハンターの中学生)


          “A Certain Urban Legend Detective” (Toaru toshi densetsu no tantei, とある都市伝説ハンターの探偵)

          Thx for reminding me that they’re still in middle school.

    • September 8, 2013 at 9:18 amMagoiichi

      I forgot about Therestina too. I thought it’d be the Stripper Lady, I miss her ;/.

      I wish i was that snake :3

    • September 8, 2013 at 4:34 pmYuhsaku

      The woman with the maniacal laughter is back.

    • September 9, 2013 at 7:04 amc2710

      Mugino bikini…. Can’t wait

    • September 12, 2013 at 8:54 amiron2000

      Janie, Febri.
      Is STUDY planning to make 12 of them?

      So they are fully artificial?
      Fully original DNA design?
      That mean they are different from the Sisters which are clones.

      Shinobu did the best she could…
      Any separate meanings?
      Janie has some ‘extra’ knowledge?