Kayarath’s Adventures In Railguns

Posted on Apr 11 2013

Kayarath's Adventures In Railguns

I heard you like anime so let’s review one, all right? How about A Certain Scientific Railgun? Yeah, I know the sub has been out for quite a while but they recently just debuted the dub at Katsucon. I was there so I might as well report and review it.

The event showed the first four episodes. It wasn’t much of an event because it didn’t really draw much of a crowd. I assume its fans watched the subs already. The fact that the video room was in a hard to find place didn’t help it either. Katsucon can still use some upgrades in the organization skill tree. There was suppose to be a special announcement of some type but the person never showed up to make it. If I had to wager a guess, it would be that they got the rights to the second season. But what about the show itself?

Do you want a school girl slice of life show? Railgun does it! Do you want it with a side of yuri comedy? Railgun does it! Do you want a sci-fi show about kids with superpowers in a high tech city of the future? Railgun does it! Do you want cop-style drama? Railgun does that too! Do want a spin off series from A Certain Magical Index? Railgun does it with a smile on its face!

Like the right dressing on a fruit salad, Railgun manages to take several solid but different concepts and blends them into a tasty combination. Teenagers fighting crime makes much more sense if they have superpowers and technology at their disposal. And when they aren’t smashing baddies, they just hang out and act like normal (for anime) girls. That’s the perfect time to throw in a sub plot about one girl fangirling over another. The calm and storm mesh like in Negima! instead of like in Code Geass.

A DVD boxset is like a fine woman.  To get your hands on one you'll have to spend money!

A DVD boxset is like a fine woman. To get your hands on one you’ll have to spend money!

If you seen a Certain Magical Index, you probably deduced most of this already. I learned from a reliable source that Railgun is a spin off series from Index. That guy who yelled that out during the Katsucon premiere looked totally trustworthy to me so I see no need for further investigation. That said, I really can’t say how well Railgun relates to Index so this review will examine Railgun as an independent series.

Overall, it just plain works. Railgun is a solid series that delivers on all ends. The animation holds up, weather the characters are blowing stuff up or just eating sweets. I also enjoy the opening “Only My Railgun” by FripSide and the ending theme “Dear My Friend” by Elisa. They’re both good pieces so feel free to request them on the station because we totally have them.

The plot and characters also make a strong showing. Mixing together powers, technology, and crime fighting rarely fails in competent hands. The scientific fiction elements enhance the crime aspect by adding additional mystery to ensure surprise and by adding more explosions to ensure action. The characters also receive a good deal of development so we can understand their desires, motivations, and relationships with each other.

I should have used a picture of them in maid outfits...

I should have used a picture of them in maid outfits…

Misaka Mikoto, the afore mentioned Railgun and title character, is a super powered school girl known for using her electric powers to launch things at high speed. Being a tomboy with powers of the highest class, she finds her fair share of battle. Her aggressiveness is balanced out by her down to earth attitude and childish fashion sense.

Kuroko Shirai is a teleporter, professional crime fighter, and the number one member of the Mikoto fan club. Despite Shirai’s constant attempts to get into Mikoto’s pants, they somehow ended up as roommates. I don’t know how that happened, they became roommates without explaining it! What exactly did happen that would cause Mikoto to accept Shirai as a roommate even though her pants are the last place she would want Shirai in?!? While Shirai’s yuri yearnings serve as the show’s comedic relief, she also has a strong sense of justice and takes her job as a member of Judgment (the show’s police) very seriously.

Uihara Kazari is Shirai’s partner in Judgment, providing logistical and investigative support. Her caution and mousiness is the perfect compliment to Shirai’s gung ho approach. Kazari may be a mastermind in the control room, but her regular personality is quite girly. She wears flowers on her head and gets excited about visiting the elite schools.

Saten Ruiko doesn’t have any cool powers or crime fighting authority. While getting jack in the super power lotto wasn’t her cup of tea, she doesn’t let that stop her from enjoying life. She can still enjoy the nice things in life; like lifting up Kazari’s shirt to antagonize her. While she thinks her lack of powers may cause others to down on her, she quickly become friends with the rest of the cast once they get to know each other.



Now that the boring character descriptions are out of the way, let’s get down to the important part; dub quality. All I say is that I like the dub. I never noticed any off lip syncs and the voice actors were able to display the correct emotion to go with the scene. The only off putting thing is Shirai’s use of the term “sissy” to substitute for onee-sama. However, I’m easily pleased when it comes to dubs so I imagine more picky people will easily find problems to complain about.

I don’t think people will complain about the series though. I watched a few more episodes beyond the four I saw at the Katsucon premiere and I liked what I saw. The major plot arcs were kicking in and I want to see how it ends. If you want to do the same, you can go watch it at the Funimation website or buy the DVDs. In fact, the second season is being simulcasted! I’m willing to bet you won’t be disappointed. Cute girls and super powered action go together like brownies and cheesecake.

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  • MakiMaki April 12, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Good review Kay! I’ve been kicking this around in my Funimation queue for awhile now. Watched episode 1 and got hooked. I suppose I’ll have to deal with their crazy website issues. I managed to finish Haganai there (after many many load errors, etc). Guess this Railgun will be another reason for me to go back there (~_~) I may just end up buying both DVD boxes when they release next week and skip my Funimation issues lol!

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