To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S – 21
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…