Anime Review: Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun) – season 1

Posted: February 3, 2013 in Series
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Academy City. A city ahead of the rest of the world in terms of technology. A city where 80% of it’s population are students. A city where the students are encouraged and in some cases forced to develop their Esper powers (Psychic powers). These powers are ranked from 0 – 5., with 0 being nothing at all (with pretty much no possibility of ever developing) and 5 being the most powerful (currently there are only 7 level 5’s).

Our heroine of this series is Mikoto Misaka who is currently ranked the third most power esper user in the whole city.Her esper power is the ability to generate and manipulate electricity, her signature move the rapid acceleration of metal objects to supersonic speeds through the use of electromagnetic fields, AKA the infamous “Railgun” from which she takes her nickname. .She is joined in her adventures in the city by 3 friends, one of whom Kuroko Shirai has a severe romantic interest in her.

Right….. I should probably explain that this is a spin-off series of a series named Toaru Majutsu no Index. That series is much darker in tone and focuses more on the conflicts between magic and science. I will say that although not needed to enjoy or even understand this series, it does make for equally amazing viewing. I watched the first half of this series before knowing about ‘Index’ and loved every minute of it. After watching ‘Index’ I rewatched all of ‘Railgun’ from the start and loved it even more.

I don’t really want to give much about the plot away but let me tell you the series covers two arcs, both of which are brilliant and end in amazing fight sequences. The series can go from being action heavy to rather subdued slice of life drama in the matter of a few episodes and it is one of the few series that I’d say pulls it off.

Mikoto Misaka is easily one of my favourite anime characters of all time. She is so well crafted and is such a brilliant character. The supporting characters are strong but never outshine Misaka. The audio and the visuals are among the best I have seen in animation and some of the action sequences need to be seen to be believed.

The only negative I can give the series is that I wanted more when I reached the end. I very rarely think that after a 24 episode series but I can happily watch more. (The series has a great ending, unlike lots of series that feel they should be longer because they don’t end. Railgun does end, it’s just that I want more) They did make an OVA of Railgun and a second series has been commissioned so I can’t really complain.

This, along with Toaru Majutsu no Index ranks as possibly my favourite anime series of all time. I recommend everyone see it as well as Index (as I’ve said this is a more ‘fun’ series that although has some dark themes is ultimately much lighter in tone) 9.9/10

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