「超電磁砲(レールガン)」 (Cho denji ho (Reru gan))
“Electromagnetic (Railgun)”

It’s been a long wait—three years to be precise—but Railgun’s finally back, and it doesn’t miss a beat. Because this is Academy City and as Touma says it himself: “(there’s) never a dull moment in this city.”

Indeed, those words couldn’t be more true, as things start off with their usual BIRI BIRI flourish. It’s like that quote from Mr. T: “I pity the fool” (special thanks to Takaii for making that)—except in this case, it pertains to a bunch of fools who think they’d get away with chasing Saten down dark alleyways. Granted, it’s her fault for going down those alleyways herself though… so I guess the lesson here’s just basically to steer clear of dark alleyways. This is of course, unless you have teleporting espers and electromasters as your friends—in which case, you can just keep calm and carry on (responsibly please).

But yeah, for the most part, the debut of Railgun S is your standard affair—both in terms of being an introductory episode, as well as in comparison to its prequel. We get the standard recap of what Academy City is—2.3 million inhabitants w/ 80% of its population students—to start things off, followed by a gradual re-introduction of the characters we grew to love in the original series in Misaka, Kuroko, Saten, and Uiharu. Kongou, Harrue, Edasaki, Tessou, Yomikawa also make their respective returns—and we get a glimpse into Tokiwadai’s other level 5 in Shokuhou Misaki too. Topping things off in the end is a quick appearance of Touma, who’s busy surveying…

…the havoc wrecked by Misaka against the other fools that tried to take her friend hostage AND keep her bag. I pity the fool indeed—especially considering it was purely coincidental they ran into her at all. But if it’s any consolation though, they at least knew what was coming the second they realized who Misaka was… though in the end, I suppose that’s not that much consolation. Heh. Well, whatever. Either way, it’s definitely quite the life being a level 5—especially when you end up getting involved in a bunch of things voluntarily to add to the things life throws at you—but I guess that’s why they say the middle/high school years are the high points of your life (at least, in anime).

Ultimately, the bottom line is this: it’s definitely been too darn long since the last Railgun. There just ain’t no real substitute for a weekly dose of Misaka Mikoto and it’s pretty darn nice to finally see her (and the rest of the gang) back in action—especially when you got Iuchi Maiko and fripSide returning to compose the music/OP song respectively. Looking forward, it just looks like it’ll be a fun ride—2 whole cours!—and well, what can I say? I’m darn excited. Admittedly though, I would’ve preferred an OP sequence that didn’t quite show as much spoilers as this one seemed to show, but yeah… that ain’t a real big deal though. Until next week!

**Please refrain from discussing anything beyond the scope of what’s been covered by the anime.

 

OP Sequence

OP: 「sister’s noise」 by fripSide

Preview

147 Comments

  1. Finally after waiting for what seemed forever we get more Railgun action. I feel that this is a great season opener bringing us back what appears to be just a small amount of time just after the Level Upper incident. Showing us yet another Level 5 esper Misaki Shokuhou (Mental Out) who is the “Queen” of Tokiwadai which we can’t forget has sparkles in the eyes. I can’t wait to see Accelerator again and some sisters. More importantly we get more of Saten-san and her level 0 resourcefulness like checking on Uriharu’s pantsu…I mean having a keen eye on things that no one else sees.

    If you didn’t see it the Anti-Skill security guard was actually reading oreimo novel which one can see can Kirino on the cover. Don’t believe me check it out at 12 mins and 24 seconds in. xD

    SilentCid
  2. Watching this ep, I thought there was a jump in animation quality from the previous series, though this could just be the result of watching them in SD. I love the characters, I love the show already, but there was one thing bugging the heck out of me:

    Misaka flips her coin in the air while falling, and it somehow manages to fall back down at such a speed that it could catch up with her so she could fire her railgun.

    WHUT.

    Rasen
      1. It’s been a while since I flexed me physics muscles, but I believe that in theory, Mikoto may not have had to use magnetism when she flipped the coin while on top of the car. Even though she flipped the coin straight up, the coin would also have vertical motion imparted to it by Mikoto being on the car. At the very least, this should hold true in a vacuum.

        Granted, I think there’s a good chance that air resistance would cause the coin to fall behind, so magnetism would have been used to take care of that, or Kiyama could have just slowed down the car.

        Rasen
    1. If I’m not mistaken from watching the scene again, she flips it up from her perspective while diving down, meaning to say she flips it downwards. She is the one who then catches up to the coin (as the coin is seen moving upwards to line up with her hand) before the railgun shoot.

      1. I’m surprised you guys are discussing this and not the backhanded 20+ feet throw that the thug did with Haruue. xD

        I mean, she was thrown so far and so high up and that Misaka had to dash, leap and still have roof to cover the stunt 😛

        Aerione
      1. While my original complaint has been addressed by Actar (sorry Stylaa, order does matter), I thought I’d address the other theory in the room.

        I’ve been giving the magnetism argument some thought, and I actually have some doubts.

        1st – Misaka likes to use game center tokens. To be attracted by magnetism, they would have to be ferromagnetic. For some reason, I seem to recall tokens being specifically NOT made from a magnetic material. Something to do with fraud, or making sure they don’t jam up machines.

        2nd – This is further reinforced by the episode where Misaka is dealing with the graviton bomber, and she drops her tokens and doesn’t try to attract them back to her hand, instead realizing she “won’t make it.” This is indicative of that she either doesn’t use magnetism on the coins, and/or she can’t.

        3rd – Even if the coins were made of a magnetic material, as soon as she started trying to attract it, that pretty spin the coin makes would most likely stop. The coin would continue to spin, yes, but in an irregular manner due to the axis in the material continually changing its orientation because of the magnetic field and its own spinning. While I suppose as a Level 5, Misaka could probably calculate all that out, what a waste of calculation power and such a pointless distraction that would be, especially during a critical moment.

        Rasen
      2. she doesnt use magnetism to flip the coin, but in the case of her falling, i think we are just assuming she used magnetism to control the coin at that point. On a side note i dont think intrinsic ferrous matters when it comes to Mikoto; she creates her own magnetic charge and theefore creates magnetic attraction between objects through her electrical currents whether they are ferromagnetic or not.

        sonicsenryaku
      3. @sonicsenryaku

        I suppose it’s possible, but why bother? As someone mentioned, Mikoto just flipped the coin up (from her perspective) towards the ground, and due to air resistance, she fell faster than the coin and caught up to it in time to fire her railgun.

        And of course, there’s also her failure to use magnetism to attract the tokens to her hand back in the first season of Railgun, so…*shrugs*

        Rasen
    2. Of cours this works – think over again – she is falling head down accelerates the coin to the ground but through her own acceleration the coin comes up to her again.
      While she shoot she was head down 🙂

      Stylaa
  3. why toumaXmisaka is so popular i will never know but I do love mikoto as a character and the science side of academy sister can be very interesting. On a side note this season got a nice face-lift in animation in comparison to last season (which already had good animation) characters move fluidly and there’s much better lighting effects this time around.

    sonicsenryaku
    1. My take on it is because the alternatives are less viable. Mikoto is part-tsundere and part-inexperienced, but she’s relatively honest with herself.

      ToumaxIndex is something of a bad joke. ToumaxItsuwaxKanzaki don’t have the history that Mikoto & the Sisters do.

      Rasen
      1. That definetly makes sense, but id have to disagree on tomaxindex being a bad joke; index’s affection for toma is very genuine and real and he truly cares for her in return (though whether it is romantic is debatable). I know most people find her annoying but to me what matters is the bond they share, a bond that doesnt quite exist between toma and mikoto. Besides, index is older than Mikoto so ironically she’s closer within toma’s age range(as unbelievable as that may seem). As much as i love mikoto, i just dont find her interactions with toma that interesting or exciting, which doesnt have anything to do with my preference as im not that emotionally invested as to who toma has feelings for. Anywho, I hope this season doesnt hold back on showing the dark times mikoto will be going through during the sister’s arc

        sonicsenryaku
      2. I agree that Index and Touma have a caring relationship, but it’s more like one between a brother and his slightly feral younger sister. And while she may be older than Mikoto, in terms of maturity, she’s behind….EVERYONE.

        Rasen
      3. i agree and the moments when Index does act like a girl, you get some very tender moments between her and toma. I mean toma does find her beautiful as elaborated in the novels and he has shown to have some physical attraction to her (but then again its like toma is physically attracted to everyone is his insanely huge harem).

        sonicsenryaku
      4. @sonicsenryaku: While Index is older (despite appearances) than Misaka but it’s only one year. Touma’s only two years older than Misaka so I don’t think age is a factor between the two.

        I agree w/Rasen regarding Itsuwa and Kanzaki (<3 a LOT) – they simply are not around enough for Touma to develop a deeper relationship.

        Both Index and Misaka care for Touma – not just Index. As for Index, I see her and Touma's relationship as guardianship or normal imouto more than anything romantic. Index often acts like a little girl (ex. FEED ME Touma) whereas Misaka is a peer (both intellectually and in terms of ability). Misaka has a lot of positive qualities, and while she may be a little tsundere, it's not all that surprising that she's having trouble coping with her feelings at her age.

        @SilentCid: Regarding Stiyl – I have a hard time remembering he's 14-15 rather than 18+ given his appearance.

        daikama
      5. @daikama:

        Sure Mikoto is toma’s equal as a peer both intellectually and combat-wise and i am absolutely with you on the fact that Mikoto deeply cares for toma, although her tsun side gets in the way (to which i personally dont like tsun personalities unless they are done right aka subtlety). But the major difference between her relationship with toma vs index’s is that Toma actually has a bond with Index. From what ive seen and from what has been shown so far, Toma may go the mile for mikoto, but he would do that for anyone; she still hasnt struck a cord with him where he actually has a bond with her. She is just another person to him. I would understand if Toma and Mikoto had great chemistry and their interactions were witty and compelling but they are not; (not to say Index and Toma have scene-stealing chemistry) Their interactions are generic and typical of its genre. Though i gotta say i do love seeing them kick ass together, which to me is the only major plus of having them both on screen. Even on her own, Mikoto’s powers are very versatile and the railgun series really puts that to use. Looking forward to seeing her shine against meltdowner.

        sonicsenryaku
      6. I seem to remember that Touma was developing a relationship of sorts with one of the Sisters. He gave her a necklace(?) so that he could tell her apart from the others. It actually seems like there might be something there. But then they’re not trying to fry him half the time like Biri Biri.

        Bear
    2. Just face it guys, there is no special bond between Mikoto and Touma like the one Touma and Index share together (I clearly remember Touma describes Index’s smile as perfect even after losing his memories) so I find it moot to debate. Of course people will deny it by making it fraternal love.

      If there is no progress with Mikoto is because of her character being the tsundere.

      Birdway
      1. If one is to use a “perfect smile” as a measure of romantic love, everyone in the world is in love with all the models and cover girls we see.

        I agree that Touma admits that Index is important to him, and I am certainly open to the idea that Index is in love/will be in love with Touma after she matures, but I don’t think the same can be said of the reverse. And in fairness, her daily actions are not the kind that make a person go “I want to marry this person.”

        While Touma has admitted that even without his memories, he sensed that Index was an important person to him, he’s said the exact same thing about Mikoto as well. So…*shrugs*

        Again to be fair, I dunno if Touma is in love with Mikoto either. I’m just saying that as far as viability goes, ToumaxMikoto stands heads and shoulders above the others.

        Rasen
  4. Awesome song by FripSide. Also ya so many spoilers but thats okay. Also Biri Biri, Accelerator, and Touma been too long guys, been too long. I’m even collecting the DVD’s that are being released here so far only Season 1 of Index is out… and Railgun is coming this month but so overpriced I’ll wait.

    Moridin
  5. Hmm, would I be missing out if I didn’t watch the entirety of the 2nd season of Index? I enjoyed the first Railgun far more than the first Index series, so even though I dropped Index season 2 partway through, I do still want to watch this. I’m just worried I may be missing some points of the story.

    Monks
    1. It looks like this series lands smack dab in the middle of the FIRST Index series, beginning just before ep 10 and probably extending to about ep 18 or 19.

      ANN has it as a single cour, but I don’t believe it. If it is 2 cours, we’re probably going to get past the point where Last Order appeared. But probably not a long way past that. What we’re mainly getting is the “Sisters” arc, from Mikoto’s viewpoint.

      1. Without leaking spoilers and just by observation on what we saw on this one episode only. I almost find it hard to believe ANN has listed all the episodes. It would just seem that they were listing what would be up to the typical end for spring 2013 seasons. I’m only basing this on a particular thing I saw on this episode and by giving only 12 would be a huge crunch on the time frame to get there.

        SilentCid
    2. The second half is where all the shit comes to head. It has one of the best arcs in the series. Also, for your question, you need only to finish up to episode 14 of the first season of Toaru Majutsu no Index to get this Railgun S.

      Gaze of Providence
    1. No you are not; although both index and railgun have their major flaws, railgun has always been more enjoyable to me. Story-wise i prefer index, execution-wise I prefer railgun, which, from an anime standpoint, is very important so railgun wins. If the index anime could have better story telling and overall execution, id rather prefer it over railgun; unfortunately it doesnt.

      sonicsenryaku
    2. I don’t really like the whole flip the coin and flick it in mid-air flair that Misaka uses in all of her railgun shots. Personally, I think it would be cool if we could see her form electronic rails in mid air and fire the coin that way.

      Suppa Tenko
  6. Even if it wont make ‘faithful’ adaption complainers happy, JC Staff did better than expected with this reintroduction.

    And yet another great OP, even if its a bit spoilerific.

    Longhaul
    1. A person who has read everything both manga and novels I’m not at the very least complaining. The manga is so modular that adding more to what is already there is a bonus in my opinion. Even shifting parts around is alright.

      SilentCid
  7. Oh how I’ve missed Railgun! This was a great first episode to get us back in the swing of things and essentially picking up where the first season left off. That beginning part with those punks chasing Ruiko had me grinning since you just knew that it would end with Misaka flattening them all.

    Of course, this intro episode can’t end without having Misaka railgun the crap out of something – which turned out to be a helicopter lol. I must say that I love the teamwork shown between Misaka and Kuroko. They’re such a potent kick ass combo. Also loved Ruiko’s contribution to saving Eri. Very fortunate that she was there to back up Misaka and showing some pretty impressive reflexes as well.

    All in all, really excited to have these characters back.

    RifuloftheWest
      1. No, but you need intelligence or guts at least… I usually hate when the plot is made to make a character fit in so forcibly, which happened with that longthrow since the helicopter. Saten is used too often as a plot device, which makes her lose merit in my eyes.

        I mean they force the plot to have a space where to fit Saten. That’s not the way to do things. She has more potential.

        Ebisu
  8. hmmm… a blonde with big boobs AND permanently sparking shoujo manga eyes? Count me in, sister~~. What a full-on through back clichéd character!! I am your fan, yes siree bob. And to top is all, she is a baaaaad girl~~. It takes a lot to put me off with those “assets” and this “Queen” character is not bitchy/slimy enough to do so; I understand that she is not full-on villain character (unlike that red-haired/brunette girl in the OP), so that’s good enough for me! Looks like this Misaki character has become my favorite Index character. The fact that most will hate her and she will be permanently designated as a side-side character who will lose to main girl, be it Index or BiriBiri, on everything, everywhere makes me prefer her more, LOL.

    deathtogeneric/formulaicshows
      1. Well played, SilentCid, sir!! That’s a good one indeed. ah ha ha~~.

        well, I’ve been known to occasionally like side-side character who has highly limited screen-time and doesn’t matter. I bet this “Queen” character is like “the least important character of so-called level 5 super-humans” and therefore has the least screen time. She must be since she is not the full-on villain (no direct combat skill when the show is about battles) nor full-on good guy (not with that personality) and is equipped with dodgy joker-like power+no combat skills. Yep, I’ve seen enough anime to know she can’t be the important character; the show won’t work with her hogging the screen time.

        And I am NOT “all so negative”~~~!! Cybersteel, Come on~~.
        Read my past comments on shin sekai yori, Zetsuen no Tempest, and Uchuu Kyoudai! Or even Shingeki no Kyojin, which I think is a fairly entertaining shounen show -or Seinen with shounen characters since it’s fairly gory for shounen. I even choose to join in for most clichèd formulaic shows occasionally, though hardly ever. It can’t be helped that I dislike almost every through and through formulaic moe-crap shows with most genetic plots that doesn’t even try~ 😛 And I completely ignore about 80-90% of those to be begin with, I don’t even bother to trash them. And you know you like it when I trash them without holding back, LOL~~! Somebody needs to say why some of them suck. I happened to watch this “Index series” since I liked how the main guy punched everybody with a falcon punch, man or woman, without discriminating while lecturing them with a long, long speech, ah ha ha ha! That’s some funny stuff.

        deathtogeneric/formulaicshows
    1. Well, since the movie sold like hotcakes and that the novels are still going strong I assume it is in the inevitable future, unless something terrible happens.

      Gaze of Providence
      1. Oh please don’t jinx it. I’m still trying to swallow the bad news the LN world had this week and another one might just be too much, especially if it happens to the To Aru Series.

        The Moondoggie
      1. Speaking of authors’ health, Zero no Tsukaima’s author has passed away from cancer. I loved ZnT and it’s too bad the novel series is going to stay unfinished. Rest in peace.

        UDoh
  9. IT IS SO HARD NOT TO CONTAIN MY DAMN EXCITEMENT FOR THIS. I know all the other characters are happy about this with Misaki’s smile, Mugino’s smile and Accelerator’s smile. I think this is going to be a blast, if not electrifying!!!

    Mutare
  10. Mikoto getting overboard with her powers? check1
    Kuroko getting overly friendly with her and suffering for it? check!
    Saten flipping skirts, getting in trouble, and acting as badass normal of the gang? check!
    excellent music to accompany excellent action scenes? check!
    Can’t wait to see the rest of level 5s in action!
    Last but not least, where do Iget a Gekota-phone?

    ewok40k
  11. SHE’S BACK! BIRIBIRIBIRIBIRI……

    It’s good to see the good ol’ slice of life humour mixed in with some serious sci-fi intrigue and action that is Railgun.

    As Shokuhou Misaki, Asakura Azumi shows she isn’t just limited to gentle girls like idolmaster’s Yukiho and ChuniKoi’s Kumin-sempai. In fact, her portrayal of the “awakened Chunnibyou” Kumin-sempai in that series’ last episode showed a glimpse of her diverse set of skills.

    Besides the same stellar cast (even the villains are voiced by the likes of Matsuoka “Kirito” Yoshitsugu), even the same old crew is back, with Nagai Tatsuyuki of AnoHana and Toradora fame back at the helm.

    Personally I found Nagai’s handling of the original arc in the second part of season 1 to be competent, it’s at least good enough to be incorporated into the Index-verse canon compared to “fillers” from other series, and some of the characters and their interactions like Haruue and Edasaki become part of the regular cast.

    With the resumption of the manga storyline, the series can only get better.

    Anonymous
  12. Finally it’s here! But why is Mental Out too? Isn’t this the current arc in the manga?

    Anyway I missed the animated Biri-biri. And, fu**, Touma and Accelerator in the OP! That might mean they’ll appear in the anime too, which is totally unavoidable since this show is a spinoff of TMnI.

    The Moondoggie
    1. Kongou Mitsuko part from a certain source was already established in the first season of the anime so having her go through it again would be redundant leaving this part to be modular. Since it is they can move Mental Out and introduce her with some of the other characters we love and know from season 1.

      SilentCid
      1. I cant wait for that to be redone; I was slightly disappointed how the first season of index handled that fight. Hopefully railgun keeps the tension toma felt and the violence in tact this time around.

        sonicsenryaku
  13. Good first episode and really liked the last scene of the OP with Touma protecting Misaka.
    Kuroko’s teleportation skill is as awesome as ever. She can even fly.
    I had actually forgotten about Haruue and Edasaki.

    boingman
  14. Welcome back to Academy City: the place where judgment often involves comes out of nowhere… along with a hefty helping of BIRI BIRI.

    With a little pinch of “fukou da” on the side.
    _

    Welcome back Railgun! I learned a few new things about Misaka and Kuroko, specifically how the former can use electricity to climb walls, and how Kuroko can use her teleportation ablities to practically fly. Looking forward to seeing more of Kuroko too. Whether she’s being a very capable Judgment officer or being simply crazy for Misaka, Kuroko is awesome either way. Awesome save by Saten too…oh and her skirt peeking, man that never gets old. Railgun really is back.

    Zhinvu
    1. I think it would be awesome if kuroko’s abilities got more attention because for a 13 yr old she’s both a skilled fighter and teleporter. I don’t know if she is just lazy or limited at the moment (it’s also up to the author at this point), but it would be cool if she could push her ability into level 5 territory (she’d be one step closer in having her wish of having the power to protect her dear oneesama)

      sonicsenryaku
      1. I wonder about that as well. Kuroko seems “stuck” at level 4 which isn’t unusual, but she does seem quite gifted and I would think near or just barely Level 5 wouldn’t be unlikely. I do not think she’s lazy given how hard she worked with Uiharu to get on Judgment.

        daikama
      2. Kuroko as a Level 5 esper…now that’s an idea! Show Spoiler ▼

        Zhinvu
      3. Perhaps she doesnt know what other values to input into her personal reality…though you’d think her love for mikoto would be enough to push her to the brink. Perhaps in the future of the series, something absolutely terrible might happen to Mikoto that might have her have the epiphany she needs to evolve to level 5 status.

        sonicsenryaku
      4. Kuroko’s only just reached level 4 though. She was at most a level 3 the january before she started rooming with Misaka.

        Uiharu and Saten are the ones who aren’t progressing. Uiharu because she doesn’t care to and Saten apparently because she’s too sensible to develop the necessary state of mind.

        But the manga doesn’t cover much time. This episode should be less than a month after the Level Upper incident.

        Adam
  15. Great to have Railgun back and even better with a 24 eps schedule. Railgun may not be a serious as Index at times, but I enjoy the slice of life/comedy moments just as much. They really add of depth to the characters of the To Aru world. Should be an awesome two cour season.

    daikama
  16. I’ve actually tried to write my first ever blog-like post just now, and now comparing your take and mine on it, I realized how precise and to the point yours was. I learned a lot seeing you write about the same topic as I did. *bow* Great post.

    thenewhorde
  17. I re-watched this episode and doing a frame-by-frame during the helicopter scene, I just saw that Mikoto had a very, very, very close brush with death when that main rotor snips of some of her hair. There’s that worried look on her face as the rotor was approaching and when it barely misses her she just smiled – not minding losing a few hair strands. That’s one cool onee-sama for you.

    yuhsaku

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