To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S – 22
Nothing like confronting an old foe to start things off. Therestina Kihara Lifeline is back, and ah, who am I kidding? It’s pretty clear the highlight ain’t more so Therestina as it is us getting to see ITEM again—especially when they’re all in their swimwear. Am I right? No?
With that said, the conversation between Therestina and Misaka does end up being quite important. I can’t say that I approved of the way Misaka approached Therestina, and I’m shocked that she actually got some semblance of an answer from her as a result—but I guess it’s an apt representation of the type of person Misaka is. Indeed, not only does the conversation represent her tendency to be straight forward, but also the fact that she tends to feel so strongly about particular things that she ends up being led by her emotions quite a bit. In many ways though, they’re characteristics that are double-edged swords more than anything, and while they’re great traits to have, they’re also traits that are apt to get you involved in things you normally wouldn’t. Furthermore, when you consider the fact that her being Level 5 is probably the only reason she’s survived up until now (and may be the only reason she has these characteristics in the first place), it becomes even more clear how these traits (and the others that she possesses) belong to Misaka and Misaka alone.
Moving back to the importance of the conversation itself, it also has to be noted how Therestina ends up bringing up the darkness that exists in the city—specifically the darkness that exists in the hearts of the ones without significant powers (“those who can’t even be guinea pigs”). And it’s important not only because it kind of serves as an indication that Misaka is still somewhat “naïve” when it comes to matters like this and because Therestina actually gives us a valid explanation of sorts in regards to why the scientists behind Febri—revealed to be a Chemicaloid—made her in the first place. Granted, the notion of people doing things “just want to show the world they exist” isn’t a great reason when you view it from an outsider’s point of view, but if you look at it from the other side of the equation, it just might be the only thing that keeps you from living a life where no one acknowledges your existence. Still, I gotta say… I’m surprised Therestina even gets access to her box of chocolates (guess life really is like a box of chocolates, ain’t it?) in whatever prison she’s in—even if it does set up a nostalgic “do you want to take the blue pill” scene.
Either way, the general thing this week is that the net starts tightening on Haruki Aritomi and his cohorts at the “Study Corporation”—even if it turned out to be more of a trap than anything, as Misaka and Shinobu (who reveals her true colors this week) both end up fooled by the false data on Febri’s poison neutralizers. To make matters worse, they fell for his other trap too, and now Misaka is down for the count and the real data’s been destroyed as well. I still can’t believe the guys made it so they actually fell for that lie… But yeah, I’m quite sure there’s still extra copies that data elsewhere, so pressing question is how exactly the two of them are going to get out of this. I wouldn’t be surprised if the guys from ITEM end up being the solution to this predicament however, and considering they’re the ones trashing the labs this time around instead of Misaka, it’d be quite ironic to say the least.
Ultimately, things really start ramping up a bit as we reach the penultimate episode of Railgun S. It’s still short of what the previous arc had to offer, but it had much less of the hit/miss nature of the last few weeks, and it looks like we might get a pretty nice send off for the series in the next few weeks. I am a tad worried in regards to it potentially being a rushed ending more than anything though, as we just got the reveal of “Janie,” and there’s just a little more here left to be resolved than I’m feeling comfortable with. Of course, that’s not to say it can’t be done and that it’s not likely they’ll pull it off, but there also seems to be a somewhat realistic chance it falls flat too. Guess we’ll see how it goes.
Full-length images: 4.