A Certain Scientific Railgun Manga, Volume 3 (English)

March 5th, 2012

In Volume 3 of A Certain Scientific Railgun, the Level Upper Arc comes to a crashing conclusion in which tears are freely shed by many characters and by at least one reader.

Yes, even though I knew what was coming, by virtue of having read this series in Japanese and seen the anime, I bawled at Kiyama-sensei’s horrific backstory, and again when Saten was revived. In Volume 3, we get to see the strength of all three of our protagonists. Kuroko’s tactical mastery, Uiharu’s’s strategic skills and Mikoto’s sheer psychic strength, all in order to save their dear friend and the others, both good and bad, who have fallen victim to the Level Upper.

If the manga stopped here, as the anime did, I’d still consider it worth reading. This was an exceedingly entertaining arc, with pathos, nobility, friendship and even humor (although of all things in the series, it’s weakest at humor.)

Yuri ups a bit with a short side-story that quite specifically follows Kuroko and Mikoto and their relationship. It was this story that made me believe that Kuroko’s feelings for Mikoto are actually quite sincere, in fact.

There’s nothing new to say about this series, except that you should definitely give Volumes 1-3 a try and see what you think. It gets even darker and, IMHO, somewhat less satisfying from this point on  – purely because it  is less about the girls as a group and more about Mikoto as an individual. If the intersection of magic and science appeals to you, however and you like watching female characters with great psychic powers and little temporal power, by all means continue reading this series. I have no doubt that Seven Seas will continue to produce a fine translation, whether I review it or not.


Art – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 5
Service – 4

Overall – 7

Today my sincere thanks and appreciation go out to Okazu Hero Albert L, for his sponsorship of today’s review!

To become an Okazu Hero, sponsor an item from my Yuri Wishlist on Amazon or Amazon JP and you’ll get a badge that proclaims you a Hero, suitable for use on websites and social profiles, mention on our Okazu Hero Roll and my very sincere gratitude. Additionally, if you sponsor an English manga, the item will be donated to the Library, so your gift will allow many other people to enjoy the title. It’s a win-win-win. ^_^

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2 Responses

  1. Mara says:

    Sadly you are right in that Railgun becomes a ‘while Mikoto was out of shot in Index this happened’ series.

    A waste because Saten is the only character out of the four who gets no screen time in index at all (by my count so far). That is a real waste.

    The DVD release of second season of the Index anime does have a bonus showing Saten (her face is obscured for some reason) having a nice normal evening while everyone else is fighting for their lives during the same night. Perhaps a lot of the Index animation team are fans of Saten?

  2. J says:

    Reading this review reminded me of how upsetting I found the manga -> anime conversion. The anime started off with relocated bits of the manga that did not have the same meaning when used at the beginning of the series. To me, it also lost the underlying feeling of “badassery” that the manga had — where you really got a sense of how serious the girls are about what they do, and the guts and effort they put into each and every encounter. I assume one’s perspective is different if one watched the anime first, but for me it was a big letdown.

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