Every week, I save To Aru Kagaku no Railgun for last. Yes, I am definitely the kind of person who saves the best for last. (Sasamekikoto isn’t on the same queue as Railgun, in case you wondered that doesn’t have the position of honor. It does, on an alternate viewing day.)
I know that Railgun is a side story from To Aru Majutsu no Index, a series about which I know nothing and care not at all. (This does not mean I don’t like it, or I am implying in *any* way that liking it is bad. Please don’t read meaning into this statement in a tiresome way. Thank you in advance.)
As with most anime, I had no expectations for Railgun. In this case it all worked out and I think that it is really good goofball fun.
In Academia City, where the major industry is education, students are ranked from 1-5 according to their “abilities.” These abilities are of the extranormal kind and, in keeping with Arthur C. Clarke’s third law, we’ll just call it magic and get it over with. ^_^
Railgun follows the unlikely friendship of the least powerful and the most powerful in the city. The least powerful is represented by Uiharu Kazari (who is rated at a 1) and her friend Saten Ruiko (rated 0). Uiharu is with Judgement, the city’s self-police force with Shirai Kuroko, (who is rated at a 4) and her in/famous, incredibly powerful roommate and object of desire, Misaka Mikoto, one of the city’s few Level 5s.
When Uiharu and Saten are introduced to Mikoto, they – and we – are surprised to find that she’s a really nice, down-to-earth person. And this simple fact, and the fact that being Level 1 and 0
in abilities does not mean that Uiharu or Saten is in any other way ineffective, makes this series totally watchable.
Uiharu’s special abilities might be low, but her computer skills are aces. Saten is a Level 0, but she has guts and sense. Misaka’s only real flaw is her desire to test her incredibly dangerous electrical power against someone in power-to-power combat. Which brings us to Shirai Kuroko, who is indubitably the real star of this series.
Kuroko is an annoying-voiced ojou-sama with a heart of gold and a sincere, if hyperactive, desire for Mikoto. She’s a scream. Again, what makes it all work is that for all that she’s powerful and rich and all that, she’s a nice person. She’s friends with Uiharu and there’s no “buts” at the end of that sentence. Levels of power, money, status, none of that matters to Kuroko. She’s a nutball, but in a good way.
So far the anime has been fun. There’s a plot developing, with a crazy, amoral, over-stressed, no one understands me-they all have to die bad guy, and I’m content to let it take me wherever it goes. I’m cool with watching Uiharu and her companions keep Academia city safe for students of all levels.
Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – A lopsided 9
Service – 2 One of the bits I love best – the self-satisfied smirk the anime wears when viewers *don’t* get panty shots.
Overall – Sold at 8. Don’t bother wrapping it up, I’ll watch it on the way out.