Saturday, 24 June 2017

Not Teaching: Week 51

January is terrible. January 2016 marks the last time I was caught up on all serials, hence why “Catch up with web serials I’ve enjoyed” has been perpetually on the TO DO list. No more! I’ve been pretty good at keeping up within a few weeks of “The Soul Blade”, “Legion of Nothing”, “Redwood Crossing”, "Sanctioned" and “Fantasia”. Now I finally got back to “Twicebound” (the author’s vanished, I hope he’s okay) and “Under Darkening Skies”.
Previous INDEX Next

Also delved into reading comics for the Thursday “Comic Tea Party” chat by StArt Faire. I think if I get get my social media (I’m now on reddit) in order, I’ll cross off “Actually market some of my creative stuff” (another long runner) off as well, because I’ll have done all I can. Ditto for “Weed through/organize emails” as I have slotted in some new folders over the past months, and it’s becoming as good as it’ll get.

One week left. Time flies.

*
Item counts run Sunday (June 18) to Saturday (June 24).

Step Count: About 55,400. 22 stars.
Wed/Thu/Fri were all limping to reach 7500, but no days under that.

School Email Count: 38 New (2 sent)
Probably too busy for much mailing to occur.


Writing/Art Related Items:
 -Drew, inked and coloured strip for last Monday
 -Wrote “Epsilon Project” serial entry
 -Wrote a song parody “We’ll Want Stats”
 -Wrote, drew, inked and coloured strip for next Monday
 -Watched 5 “Magical Index” + 9 “Railgun S” eps and multi-blogged

Non-Writing Items:
 -Tea with friend Sunday
 -Dinner with friends Monday
 -Medical appointment Wednesday


POSSIBLE NEXT ITEMS:
 -Medical appointment Wednesday
 -Canada Day something something?
 -Post recap about CanCon 2016 (from Sept)
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Organize all the paper clutter from school
 -Organize all the electronic clutter from school
 -Weed through/organize emails
 -Do another Parody Math Video
 -French Citizenship project
 -Actually market some of my creative stuff
 -Binging Anime (Magical Index)
 -Binging Anime (RWBY borrowed from Scott)
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

Signed back up for yoga. Let’s face it, I’m not working on my core otherwise.
Previous INDEX Next

Friday, 23 June 2017

MT Series Scan: Raildex Sisters

I am a SLOW binge-watcher (and reader). Two hours is about my limit, after which I need processing time. At the same time, I enjoy watching online reviewers, and reactions to things that I’ve previously watched, so why not take the time during a slow binge to chronicle my own reactions and speculations?

Today we’re looking at A Certain Scientific Railgun S (Disc 3) with A Certain Magical Index (Discs 2 & 3). I’m watching this universe chronologically, because I can. Previously, we’ve been heading towards this Mikoto/Accelerator/Toma showdown, the climax of the "Sisters" arc.

I’m resuming here with Railgun first, since I feel that, as it was released later, it is thus the “true” chronology (in revisionist history fashion). Also, the Kuroko scene in the ep is needed to catch us back up to “Index”. Then, we’ll bounce back and forth. All my predictions have tended to be wrong lately, so there’s not much more to say.


*Railgun S Disc 3*


14 The Promise


Stream of Consciousness:
-Kuroko wants to act, also said she’d wait. I guess that’s a good reason for being on Mikoto’s bed. She gets video feed this time? They used similar voices in “Index”. OP. LOTS of Kuroko headspace here to justify the continuity, though it’s not a hard sell for me. She NAMES him this time.
-Hentai talk with flutes and bicycles is the same. Her being conflicted about knowing feels new. Faking Mikoto in the bed IS new! They leave to track down noise, not to dinner. Toma has info here for Clone 10030 and on? Weird. So he COULD still think he’s being played, but now has a time frame (20:30). Yeah, the airship flashback shows weather here, not the companies, good point. NOW we’re caught up to "Index".
-Mikoto on a bridge. He’s found her. Defensiveness. Calls him a detective (very “Index”) while only THINKING how he wouldn’t approve since she volunteered her DNA (very “Railgun”). (So, I presume in “Index” he convinces her what she’s doing is wrong, while in “Railgun” we’ll see he convinces her that he can be trusted?) Yeah, who are you, dude, learning all this in one day, some Gary Stu? ;) She tells all.
-“Can you beat him”? Predicted dead in 185 moves. She agrees. But OH so THAT’S her plan, to die sooner than predicted and cast everything into doubt? (As there’s no “Tree” to recalculate?) Oh golly. Now she’s explaining what I just worked out... oh, Toma knows there’s no “Tree” too huh?? Cat runs off. Intense music. She’s determined. He won’t fight. (I feel like the “tells all” and “185 moves” was eliminated from “Index”, putting us here with them fighting.) She HIT him this time. Wow, surprised he allowed that, but makes sense. One life to spare 10,000 daaaaamn. In theory she could jump over him. Gah, a blast? 
-Meow. Mikoto stayed with him, that’s nice, I thought she’d leave. (She still might, this could be “Railgun only”.) NOW he tells her about his Imagine Breaker. Interesting point, about Accelerator being ranked #1 for the experiment to work. So he’ll stand in for her? Oh, offers to work together over the ED. And he runs off first. New ED, just them. NEXT: The big fight.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Makes a LOT of sense not to have their talk be at a critical episode or climax for the “Railgun S” series, what with Mikoto (our protagonist) doing a hand off. This is actually a really interesting crossroads. I didn’t realize the battle wouldn’t start here. It must last a full episode in “Railgun”, but only a half episode in “Index” (where everything is compressed)? So, do I jump to “Index” to confirm my above thoughts, which would also show the battle in its original form? Or stick with “Railgun”, to see what Mikoto might be doing behind the scenes of the “Index” battle? Eh, let’s have the epic revision second this time; this post will be spastically jumping back and forth later too.

 Regarding how the fight will go... I’m not sure how the nullification will work on Accelerator’s vectors (Toma will have to touch Accel to negate it?). But oh, OHHH, Kuroko’s teleport didn’t work on him. So the “vectors” thing likely won’t work either. Toma simply has to get close enough to Accelerator to pound on him, and the guy will feel pain for possibly the first time in his life. He may give in then, but can he be trusted? Doubt it. I suppose there’s also the off chance Accel retreats to prolong things into the subsequent arc.


*Magical Index Disc 2*


12 Level Six


Stream of Consciousness:
-Oh NO, back to the beef brigade. ESP is about Schrodinger? I like how Aisa’s just eating the beef, like whatever. Puns are good. Believing in something so much it becomes reality? I thought that was the previous arc. (Well, that wasn’t a reality only for Izzard.) Why did we care about that scene?
-Mikoto bridge, thinks back not to her mom, but to “Railgun” Ep 2, with more scientists and d’awww music. They kept “help me”. Toma reads the whole report here (as we don’t have 12 prior eps of info). Same exchange, with no Mikoto head voice. Now asks about laboratories. She shut them down. New illegal cloning mention. Mikoto explains about governing conspiracy.
-She hopes Accelerator will disappear this time? Toma’s logic power (seriously, he IS good at that) points out she would have tried that plan earlier if she could. She evades the friends question. Feels worthless? She brings up the 185 moves this time. So THAT plan is still active. As is the “Tree” issue. (I was wrong again.)
-“You want to die.” “Yeah.” That’s more blunt. Mikoto is calmer this time. Shifting more to angry than desperate. He pockets the papers this time, they’re not burned. His arms are outstretched, not held up. (Y’know, this is going longer than I thought. Maybe we’ll be mid-battle when the ep ends.)
-Warning shot. And he’s down. She realizes about his hand? He doesn’t have his better idea this time. “Happy world” lines again. She blasts him AGAIN in this continuity. Accused of holding back? Zapper zaps a third time. Then holds the cat?? MMmkay. She doesn’t hold Toma in her lap this time, she moves BACK. And that’s it, huh? Oh, no, also a glittery bridge, and him thinking of his other new option. NEXT: Accelerator starts fighting a clone (it’s not even them??).

Thoughts and Theories:
 I have no idea if you’re entertained by my constant fails here. What with thinking the Aisa arc in “Index” would be longer, and yet this one would be two related arcs of equal length. Nope. Six ep arc. OKAY, so the battle with Accelerator will continue for two more complete episodes, with still other things happening in the background in the middle of it. (Because we gotta see some Index and Kuroko, eyeroll.) There’s my new prediction! For what it’s worth.
 I already speculated on the coming battle above. Might as well switch back to Railgun for it. I wonder, how can you make a battle interesting for your protagonist, when they’re not actually the protagonist of the battle?


*Railgun S Disc 3*


15 Kamijo Toma


Stream of Consciousness:
-Toma’s bad luck. Jolted or spooked? His phone’s wrong, natch. Accelerator mentions giving the “spoiler” of his power, heh. Oooh, called him a third-string. OP.
-Damn, nice catch Toma. Clone logic. But there’s only one of YOU. Accelerator’s got the windup doll thing in his head. Yeah, he can affect ground particles; this is a problem if Toma can’t get his hand in there and touch him. Rail beam attack. Mikoto at bridge thinks he can do it, now holds the cat... the SAME cat from first Clone contact?? Can’t tell cats apart, that’s a NICE parallel. She’s worked through her feelings.
-Ahh, Accel was testing him for an esper power. Doesn’t like that Toma’s cocky without one. Flour? Dust explosion? Ohhhh well then. I suppose oxygen deprivation is the only thing that might work, huh? Mikoto tracks the explosion, leaves the cat behind (good, I was like, why bring the cat even that far?). Oooh, his ‘reflection’ doesn’t work as well against non-espers? And now, overconfidence hands.
-Hahahaha, “why am I on the ground”. As I thought, he hasn’t felt pain. He thinks maybe he focussed too much on his palms, error. Right hand man. BAM. Heh, “and he’s on the offensive”. Hand-to-hand. A second hit. Ooop, Accelerator’s figured it out. But Toma can still target, daaamn. Accelerator never saw the clones as human, right. Wants Toma to shut up. Summoning wind. Ohhh, he’s lost it.
-OUCH. Accel thinks he can destroy the world, yeah, he’s a megalomaniac. Wants Toma to stay alive to watch this excuse! And Mikoto jumps in. Toma says don’t. She’ll trade her life for his. Wind compression makes plasma?? His “new power”. She can do something - with her Sisters? Oh, sweet. Something only you can do. The music sells this. The Clone’s awake.
-Accelerator’s plasma is diffusing. He wasn’t close enough to Level 6? No, it’s the wind turbines, because Misakas, ooooh! Mikoto will make an opening. Misaka says she will. Mikoto says it’s the big sister job, awwww. The Misaka Net in action, hahaha. Toma’s still kind of conscious. (He’ll save Mikoto as she saves the clones?) Oh, back to the first ED. (With all the wind turbines, niiiiice foreshadow.) NEXT: Accelerator has one more trick.

Thoughts and Theories:
 I’m actually digging the revisionist history thing. It’s probably the writer/editor in me. So what happened in the “original” history of “Index”? Guessing we won’t get the Mikoto asides (or Accelerator thoughts) as we flip back, that screen time will be filled with Index or something instead. We’ll also get Toma thoughts to plug the gaps, and a more first hand account of the dust explosion, plus him in the tornado. (Oh yeah, and Accel started by fighting a clone, more time gone.) Prediction made! *WOW*, seeing now Episodes 13 for both DVDs are called “Accelerator”. That HAD to be intentional.


*Magical Index Disc 3*


13 Accelerator


Stream of Consciousness:
-This is more than Toma’s usual quickie recap visually (but less narratively). OP. MisakaClone approaches battle. Odd X/Y coordinates. Thinks of Toma, she’s not sure why. (Cuz protagonist?)
-Oh, now Komoe is talking poltergeisting (from “Railgun Season One”) sure. What?! THIS IS THE DUMBEST SCENE. Seriously, backwashing fan service? (I guess it’s good to get this out of the way, not to interrupt the battle, but still.) NO, NO TEACHER. I don’t care if you’re 40 and look 10, that face makes it more wrong. Um, Toma is God sent, being beyond esper powers?! Sure. Oh thank God we’re done with towel girls.
-NOW the bit where he’s in Mikoto’s lap, with the heart stop conversation (this "original" history had extra zaps). Toma’s clever plan, Accelerator is weak. Mikoto admits to facing off with Accel once (so nice continuity throwback caught by “Railgun”). She explains about his ability. (And he didn’t introduce himself until after they fought, so plausible.) Toma doesn’t know where Accelerator IS in this continuity??
-Heh, password check on Accel. Accelerator talks about “throwing her life away” in this continuity. So he DOES consider her life (negating “Railgun”), even as he implies he cares (supporting empathy in a new way). He's still a megalomaniac. Hah, Misaka tosses back the reason Accelerator initially dismissed the project in “Railgun”, cute. He feels he’s not taken seriously? Now he calls her a “factory reject”, that’s more in line. Toma’s running while Mikoto’s on the bridge.
-Ah, he told her not to follow, to not mess up the Level 0 vs 5 thing. Yet she follows him EARLIER this time, interesting. (It’s like how Toma was early into the alley.) Toma’s not dealing with his phone time in this version. Misaka mentions no wind? Oh, she’s turning oxygen into ozone, that’s different! “Never a dull moment” is rather a change for Accelerator though, he’s usually bored. Knockdown. We’re synching up to “Railgun” (start of prior ep only!). Accel REACTS to “third string” in this continuity.
-Flashback on Toma, and Misaka gets to talk here. Kick incoming... or not? Toma gets his speech here, NOT after catching her? Guess so, now Toma’s knocked back, and the rails. This becomes a guy vs guy thing. Reaches out, hand slapped away, HAHAHAHA, I love that reaction. (This didn’t happen in “Railgun” though, Toma hadn’t got a touch in yet when we reached the flour.) Dust explosion. Maniacal laughter. NEXT: Toma can’t get near him, but Mikoto comes in.

Thoughts and Theories:
 We’ve fallen behind “Railgun” by half an episode. Largely due to a larger buildup to the meeting, and oh God, that baths scene. I like to think I can appreciate fan service, but here they’re all lolis, and the timing sucks. Explanations (for me) would work a little better AFTER the climactic battle, rather than interrupting the flow, crowbarring religion into a science arc. The time delay means it’s (AGAIN) tempting for me to stick with Index, except I bet the rest of the battle will only go half an episode now, then we switch back to Komoe And Friends. “Railgun”, which is already ahead, will also do half an episode, but more will actually happen in the aftermath. So we switch.

 I do wonder why they revise history in certain places. Like changing when conversations or events occurred (earlier, seemingly never happens later), or Accelerator kicking Misaka in “Railgun” but not here. I suppose the battle DOES work better when it’s retooled, but Railgun’s “improvements” are at war with my “continuity” self. I’d say “Index” isn’t as polished, but it’s unfair to pick on the original when I haven’t even read the manga. Oh, a stroke of nice continuity I just caught is how they were talking at the same bridge to start this episode as from “Index 1” though. On to the knockout blow.


*Railgun S Disc 3*


16 Sisterhood


Stream of Consciousness:
-Recap on windmills versus Accelerator. OP. Kitty exists. Accel tries to figure out Mikoto’s motivations. “These girls are my sisters.” Toma’s back up. Accelerator goes in for the kill, Mikoto fumbles a coin (yeah, THAT won’t be in Index), Toma’s hand is in the right place. Flashback - tanks and everything were after Accelerator when he was young?? He wants to be normal. Second hit. The windmills stop. (Done, halfway through, called the end for once.)
-Toma’s in the hospital again, room 1028. A Misaka’s there. Mikoto arrives when he’s asleep. (Way to revise hist-- oh he wakes up.) Cookies. Shocking him (literally). Misaka had told Toma about experiment suspension. Be glad clones exist? Imprinted “lab animals” as blank slate, now it's different. Clone chat... on swings. “Pushing the brainwashing so it starts young”, heh! Index in background. Haha, young due to Gekota. Aww, Misaka. “We are unemployed.” Huh. That is awkward. Still with the “On Hold” kitty?
-Saten and Uiharu scene. Why is Mikoto using their oven? Ohh, she took Toma’s remarks to heart. That’s one way of getting the friends back in. Heh, he’s already out on crutches. Index reference. Now we get tsundere here. She tries to say thank you, he sees ants. Toma, you’re an idiot. Learn her name, heh, aw, and he says it. Okay then. Kuroko is back, Mikoto will need an excuse for her nights out. Also, that face? Aw, and Mikoto got the metal pin this time. NEXT: Cooking, or maybe a restaurant.

Thoughts and Theories:
 I thought there would be actual bad news at the end, to launch the next (last?) arc here. That being something with Mikoto’s friends. But not yet. Moreover, since we have both Mugino and Misaki as set up to play a role over only 8 eps... hm, could they be in the same arc? But her friends are dealing with Misaki, while Mikoto takes on Mugino? Also, Shinobu’s fate is unknown too! As is Accelerator’s, in a sense!
 So much out there, and there isn’t enough data for me to predict. So, back to “Index” then, for a new look at all that. Is it possible the entire “plasma & wind” won’t even take place, given how Toma was kinda knocked out by the tornado initially??


*Magical Index Disc 3*


14 Weakest vs Strongest


Stream of Consciousness:
-Dust explosion rerun. Oxygen remarks, “Railgun” connection. Accel goes out with one hand, not both. First knockdown. No pain surprise. OHH, there’s a lot more hits here. Accelerator’s shifted to avoidance. “There’s no way you know how to fight” is a good point by Toma.
-Toma uses the rail to jump off at him; that’s vaguely familiar. Accelerator speaks in tongues now?? (Magic? No, he can’t, he’s esper.) Some sort of wind killshot? Air compression distracts him from firing again, I guess. Mikoto now has her railgun coin out. Toma says don’t do it, this was NOT in “Railgun”, he was flattened and bleeding before she came in. Now the plasma realization.
-Mikoto needs to manipulate the wind. (It’s implied that plasma isn’t a NEW thing for him here...) That CAT?! (That sure got revised, she left it BEHIND! Clone cat?) Mikoto going to Misaka is valid though. “Preserve his dream”, speech isn’t quite the same. Also Misaka isn’t bleeding so much. Cat, really? Mikoto standing to prevent Accelerator is valid. But he walks past her here, humph. (Nice heads image though.) Toma is really not bleeding much here. Now the punch. And Toma falls over. Lots less bandages in the hospital this time.
-His hand is on her... this isn’t funny. Ugh. Why is that cat there?! Experiment’s being cancelled, but Misaka’s body is on rapid growth, and will have a short life? Unless they’re adjusted, okay. Doc’s back, “fond of this room”, heh. Now Mikoto as he awakes. The homemade cookies comments. (So parallels, except she doesn’t totally shock him this time around.)
-Horror music for Index, well, that’s apt. Why is she biting him?! Ah, she was worried (and she’s toooo weird). She wants him to get help too. And a silent scene with Kuroko and Mikoto which must happen before the homemade cookies thing. NEXT: Oh no, a beach ep. With his parents?

Thoughts and Theories:
 Underwhelming. I see why it was massively jazzed up in “Railgun”... in fact, I think the biggest changes in the arc came from during this battle. Toma and Misaka were MUCH more beaten up in the revised “Railgun” - yet it’s not like “Index” had shied away from severing limbs before this. (So why downplay?) Here, Toma takes some hits, is in danger briefly from plasma (even as Accel holds back his shot), then he finishes the job. So the “plasma & wind” took place, it was the initial TORNADO that didn’t, I wouldn’t have called that. Mikoto’s coin drop from “Railgun” was moved to earlier (always earlier) and her attack was negated in favour of the wind power idea. 

 What probably helps “Railgun” to work better is that it does come across as more of a true partnership, whereas for “Index” it’s more the girls supporting their protagonist. (The new flashes of Accelerator backstory are nice too, and I liked “why am I on the ground”.) Also, less pointless loli fan service interjected. In fact, I feel like these few episodes would be a REALLY good way of showing an “early draft” versus “polished version”, towards an author/editor learning experience (I wonder how good they work stand-alone, or with manga context).

 All that said - it's probably better to see it the other way though? By watching “Railgun” first, I got “underwhelming” on this viewing - going the other way you get “amped up”. Still, I’m not upset I did see it this way, and maybe I’m proof of concept, or something. As to where we’re going, uggh, looks like swimsuit filler mixed in with Toma’s parents perhaps confusing Misaka for Index in terms of their son’s dating life. Backstory on his magic cancellation might be too much to hope for. I hope Kanzaki returns before the end.


***
That’s six eps and basically the To Aru “Sisters Arc”. I’ll be continuing on next post, watching mostly “Railgun S”, as there’s a number of episodes before the two series’ start synching back up towards the end... yeah, there’s GOT to be a bunch of Mikoto’s friends in the next few episodes. Both since they’ve been absent for a bit, and since we won’t get them as much at the end for "Index" (except via revision).

How did you see this arc? “Index” first? (“Index” only? I think you’re missing out.) Feel free to comment. Either way, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

MT Series Scan: Raildex S 2 & 2

I am a SLOW binge-watcher (and reader). Two hours is about my limit, after which I need processing time. At the same time, I enjoy watching online reviewers, and reactions to things that I’ve previously watched, so why not take the time during a slow binge to chronicle my own reactions and speculations?

Today we’re looking at A Certain Scientific Railgun S (Discs 2 & 3) with A Certain Magical Index (Disc 2). I’ve been watching this universe chronologically, because I can. Last time, I looked at Railgun S leading up to this point of the Sisters Arc, where both series overlap. Now we’re headed deep into it.

I’ve got clone sympathy, Accelerator is a megalomaniac, and Mugino/Meltdowner is, ehh, feeling like a distraction/warmup, really. Evil seems more united than good right now. Incidentally, I seem to call The Original “Mikoto” and her clones “Misaka”, for whatever reason. Onwards.


*Railgun S Disc 2*


10 Meltdowner


Stream of Consciousness:
-Ooh, Mikoto using the enemies tools? (Why blow up yourself what others can blow up for you?) OP. More mercenary scening. Heh, boardroom time. Yeah, knew that wouldn’t work. Haha, magnet bomb, clever. So many dolls?? Whoa! “Silicon Burn”, so she can magnify one strike to many with prisms, nice. Ohh, she’s bitter over being 4th, not 3rd. I didn’t clue in that it was a hierarchy. Deflection! So they can both do that. Down, but not out. These level 5s are big on property damage. OW.
-Can Mikoto escape? Maybe, but will be pursued. It's her turn for analysis, but Meltdowner can strategize too. HAhahaha, cell phone call now? This girl’s UltraWeird. Okay, Mugino needs to chill. (Why is there no Level 5 duelling ring?) OWW. Mikoto’s gambling on Frenda then. I don’t think Mugino’s dead. Heck yeah, she’s tough. Well, I’m glad that battle ended in this ep. Ooh, beating up scientist, so is Mugino going friend or foe? Uhh, foe.
-“S Processor” is the last place then, but they’ve already moved on. You’re going in NOW?! Level 5s is all crazy. Gone? Yeah, very unrealistic, but maybe take a break. Cue flashback to not being able to take a break. Except, no, optimism. And Saten flashback! Oh, theeeerrrre’s Toma. NEXT: Toma takes over?

Thoughts and Theories:
 Well, knowing that Accelerator and at least one Clone figure into “Index” (from that OP), I imagine “Meltdowner” and her “ITEM” group will be gone for a while, along with Shinobu. (If that’s not the case, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.) We’ll encounter Index next, and Mikoto will probably hit it off with her, because that would be bad luck for Toma. It will also be a pretty “light” episode after all this action, as Mikoto learns about his Imagine Breaker (directly or otherwise), and maybe Sorcery. We STILL won’t see much of the Railgun S cast (maybe Kuroko) until later in Ep 12, once Toma shuffles off to talk with Magnus or something. All at a guess.




11 The Vending Machine


Stream of Consciousness:
-Mikoto flashback to Season 1 (and something Toma likely doesn’t remember, this could be fun). Yup, memory was cleverly done in two continuities. Heh, that’s one way to bond. Oh nice, a scene of the other "Railgun" characters. Saten thinks... (Mikoto’s a clone?) Hahaha, no, has a boy. Just when Toma shows up, this could be more fun. Whoa, Uiharu, don’t think that. Kuroko, too much sugar. Way to transition her to Toma though.
-Mikoto, overkill. (Overkill, another level 5 trait?) Pffft, funny. Thank you for exposition, Mikoto. “What have I been doing”, heh Toma. Hi Kuroko, join the hijinks! Oh man. “Harmless monkey” heh, who is impressed by teleportation. Nice that Mikoto’s still okay with her roomie. Ohh, hello new clone. Who also narrates. They CAN track back to her too. Heh, also calling her Sissy. Aww, the truth comes crashing down. “A complex family”, sure Toma, or something.
-They’re up to 10020? Daaamn. You take on too much, Mikoto. Misaka also has cat memories, huh? Oh no. Now they’ll all know to leave her alone, oh sadness. Uhoh, Toma meets clone. Doctor Amai in the conspiracy? Is this “dividing up” a flashback or not? 183 facilities, oh daaamn. And as I thought, she’s been wiping out the weak ones. Senior Management must know, yes Mikoto. Fight the City?!
-Accelerator, you suck. I guess he’s always been on top. Tree Diagram Computer’s in on it? Good case for why bother, being the mightiest esper already. Decent counterargument, I guess. I doubt I’ll buy Accel being sympathetic. Mass clonage is against the law? Kuroko, your hair is weird. Oooh, Mikoto has to go public instead? THAT’S an interesting tack. From joking to serious, over the ED. So is she still Judgement? Awww, this is sad. She’ll have to go to Toma then? NEXT: Yeah, pretty much, goes to Toma. Plus big computer!

Thoughts and Theories:
 Mikoto can’t get her friends to help, awwww. I can’t believe I didn’t clue in to the Judgement issue. But it is in the Level 5 nature to break the law. Meaning that really didn’t go where I thought. Not even any Index yet.
 I suppose now Mikoto recruits Toma to get evidence of illegal clonage, but the Government closes in on them, and Accelerator can take on Toma without disrupting the experimenting, while Mikoto tries to free the Clone Net? Sheer speculation. We’ll build to that though, as it’s over 3 “Index” eps. I wonder how Sorcery fits in, or if it even does.


12 Tree Diagram


Stream of Consciousness:
-Aw, Mikoto’s Mom! Santa, heh. (“Mama” is my own issue.) Reality is indeed a problem. So this is a 24 hours thing? (Strap in.) OP. Wait, “Tree Diagram” is on Orihime I? (Didn’t Index blow that up or something?) Biribiri/“Zapper” name is back. “The machine sets the policy”. Can she take on a computer in orbit with her power? A clone’s back. HAHA, cat called “Zapper”. Misaka can’t explain simple things. Toma already has cat problems with Index, Misaka. Her defect? Oh, the magnetic field. What is it about cats? (The first clone had the cat in a tree, plus Toma has Sphinx.)
-10031 is showing signs of heartache? Ooooh. Not technically own voice, we hear differently in our heads. Ohh, Mikoto’s going into space. Or no, she needs to feed in false data, okay. (That won’t work.) She KNOWS it won’t work indefinitely, recalculations, clever. (I like when the anime anticipates me, “Railgun”s good at it.)
-Toma is the Kitty Whisperer or something. Call him “Dog”, haha, fun paradox. “Tokugawa Ieyasu” what? Bwahahaha, “Shroedinger”. The name “On Hold” isn’t terrible. OHHH. Clone met Index. OHHH, tie-in off screen. Toma, cat throwing’s a bit of a jerk move, but I don’t know what else would have worked.
-Accelerator is beating up bad guys but going too far. He can affect at a distance by touching the ground? Damn. Interesting point about the Misakas not complaining. So many clones are about at the same time? What do they sense in the Misaka Net? Oh, they both go, this is a double attack then.
-So, yeah Mikoto, it’s probably a trap. Or is it all automatic? Wow, yeah, dust on the console. What? It’s not processing requests?? Just making reports? The DISAPPEARANCE of the massive computer?! (So Index DID explode it!!) NEXT: Major clone fight, and Toma finds out.

Thoughts and Theories:
-Oh, oh, NICE, so it all ties back to “Index #6”. Toma freed Index, computer gone, and he doesn’t even remember. Scientists don’t get it, because magic. And there’s a massive conspiracy to hide it’s gone, which presumably will be busted open here because of a clone program “Tree” devised, which is going off the rails. (Of course, if Accel knows, he’ll just figure he can take Mikoto on, uhoh.) Nice interconnectedness. Damn, is this also why that scientist from “Railgun 1” was denied access?!

*looks stuff up* So Toma remembers Mikoto in “Railgun 13”, the swimsuit filler ep, meaning before the satellite’s off. But that’s after “Level Upper” has been around, so no, she was denied access to “Tree” because the government are just jerks. Fascinating world building though. I suppose it’s time to see Clone Misaka meet Index, as we begin our flip back and forth. I may stay with Index for a double episode to peek ahead this time, as Toma comes on board.


*Magical Index Disc 2*


10 Misaka Mikoto


Stream of Consciousness:
-Fun, it’s Accelerator, who we might “sympathize” with, until the clone backlash. Interesting that his power works at long range too. OP. (Hm, does Accel gain some Mikasa powers over time?) It’s Aug 20th? Wow, that is a time jump. Toma missed his first remedial classes. His last $20, old scene, new perspective!
-Mikoto’s more violent here initially, rather than admitting she once lost money too. Yes, shorts - oh no, Toma’s not going to use panties to identify the clones, is he?! Oh, wait, now their money talk, we just didn’t see the drinking bit in Railgun S, huh? So she was trying to get the money but got drinks instead.
-Airship talking about “Mizuho” discontinuing operations, a tie in? He thinks he beat her in *sports*, really? (Listen to her Level 5 talk, dude.) Girls manga reference? Kuroko talks “remedial lessons” as Mikoto’s nights out versus being with a boy. (So this is the pre-Saten continuity explanation.) Kuroko doesn’t take his hand while he sits, Toma stands. This explains a lot of the head-thinking in “Railgun”, the scene’s a lot shorter here. And Mikoto’s still taking CloneMisaka away, but there’s less anguish.
-Toma avoids stepping on the tennis ball, or no, bad luck. Now clone. Siiigh, striped panties. (Well, I called that. Weirdly I already adopted the name convention (Misaka/Mikoto) Toma does too.) She uses the goggles to be more like a level 5, huh? She’s definitely “off schedule” at this point. Stop looking at her panties. Okay, now a maid who has a brother, Tsuchimikado... Maika is a stepsister - what is a maid school?! Sooo random. Weird time to set up a new character. Oh, Index and Aisa. Didn’t expect the latter. Oh no, they’re alluding to a harem. Sphinx is back too. Mmm, savoury steamed cat.
-Mikasa brings logic to the insanity. Her electromagnetism helps, even low powered. And scene ends. (I wouldn’t say that was “meeting Index”, really.) Next day! (THE DAY.) Komoe and ESP cards in class - is he the only student? Oh no, his jerk friends too. Random Mikoto name drop! (Seriously Komoe, she can’t be the only one, why her name.) More airship plot: muscular dystrophy research centres closed in last two weeks. “Machine sets the policy” line again. She questions “Tree”’s existence outright here?
-Misaka goggles-off reference, though she is actually trying to feed the cat now? Seems no, but the cake IS out in this original version. Skips right to “Health Department” talk after a perspective cut, so one can presume the conversation was longer like in “Railgun S”. Talk of naming (with “Dog” and “Schrodinger”) now takes place in motion, not stopped. Talk of meeting Index now takes place stopped at store, not in motion. There’s definitely some revisionist history going on. Accelerator is there, she turns - there’s no other clone seen this time as he throws a clone (which is not her?) to the ground. NEXT: Learning about the killing of sisters, and Aisa goes to see Kuroko?

Thoughts and Theories:
 Yeah, all the heart has been bled out of this, in favour of entangling new characters (Misaka and MaikaMaid) to the existing (Index and Aisa). Honestly, I feel like “Railgun S” did a pretty good job with their “revisionist history” though, given what they had to work with (aka work around). Even so, it’s weird changing merely the timing of conversations, when they could have made it more seamless! (Like why not have them walking?)
 It now seems pretty apparent from this side that it’s TOMA who is going to approach MIKOTO, and not the other way around. (Mikoto really is bent on doing her lone wolf thing. Guess I could have guessed from "Railgun #12".) Not sure how Aisa fits in, I truly didn’t expect her to stick around. They would seem to have two episodes left in the arc to take down Accelerator and/or reveal the truth about Tree Diagram. Calling it now, no sorcery.


11 Sisters


Stream of Consciousness:
-Accelerator redirects everything, while questioning his own purpose. He reveals “vector transformation”, man, why tell them? (Is he wanting a challenge after 10,000 tries for her to figure it out? Why didn't they look it up?) It needs to touch his skin though. His default is reflect, nice. (Explains a lot.) He can reverse her own blood flow?! (So the "Railgun" version of the battle has one clone?) Toma investigates. Interesting camera angle. (So he’ll find Misaka dead, but then "she’ll" show up tomorrow?) Appropriate reaction - oh, he called ambulance, that makes it awkward. Unless cleanup was fast?
-They missed the shoe. It was fast. Cat radar? To new clone, who is cleaning up the old one. (So in “Railgun Revisions” it will be the same clone then.) Misaka now uses password, nice callback to earlier “Railgun”. New clone, same headspace. That’s creeeeepy having all of them. Serial number 10032, oh, so it IS her, no revisionist history for "Railgun" then (my bad).
-Toma’s getting a lot of information here for not having the password. He links it back to the original Mikoto, is she in on it, makes sense. Oh no, Komoe scene. And Aisa with a scary story why? Index with her food fetish. This scene isn’t funny. No one even wonders where Toma is? Even AISA’S tired of Index by now. How does that add anything?
-He goes to room 208, this late? (Wait, so he brings KUROKO on board?) They argue, but she likely wants to learn more through him, okay. (Why is Kuroko on Mikoto’s bed? Well, at least they’re lampshading it.) A hentai/“deviant”, oh boy. Pfffft, put your mouth on your chosen girl’s flute, really?? Interesting second hand kiss method. I didn’t realize/recall Kuroko was a year back! The head resident, heh heh. HAHA, her teleport doesn’t work on him, HAHAHA. But it’s dinner, so not breaking curfew yet.
-OH. OH, the paper Mikoto put there in that earlier episode about “Radio Noise”, OH sweet callback. Interesting that it now looks like she’s totally in on it, rather than totally trying to take them down. That’s clever. Propellers turning, electromagnetism, that also comes back (or rather, pitches forward) into a previous “Railgun” reference, nice, subtle. NEXT: Toma learns the truth of Mikoto’s crushing emotional weight. And an Index scene. Of course.

Thoughts and Theories:
 I was wrong again, kind of. He seeks Mikoto out, but doesn’t find her, she really is still doing her own investigation in parallel. I can’t even guess what that is in her episode now, since I can’t see them cramming Tree Diagram exposition into this “Index” arc. (I CAN guess that Toma will end up with a clone, because of how they’re setting up this harem thing. Sigh.)
 So a team-up against Accelerator won’t be coordinated in advance at all. This also seems to be an Index-free arc (mostly), which was a good plan, to focus on the Science and Espers. Guess we’ll look at Mikoto’s side now then. Oh wait, her ep is called “Accelerator”, so she’ll fight him alone first?


*Railgun S Disc 3*


13 Accelerator


Stream of Consciousness:
-Back to Clone 10031. THIS time, I know how she’ll die in advance. (Can “Railgun” keep old scenes interesting? The way "Index" kinda didn't?) OP. How “Tree” was brought down isn’t key, Mikoto, it’s true. This time “On Hold” kitty isn’t by the signpost. Toma sees a hole, not her shoe.
-Mikoto trips all the alarms. What’s her goal? Hm, how does Accelerator’s vector thing work by him stomping on the ground? That’s not skin. Oh, NOW her shoe; Toma left early (“revisionist history”) she's still alive. I guess the venue flashing back and forth is to keep the old “Index” stuff interesting, somehow? Toma even hears the gunfire, that’s not in the old script. Accel still questions his purpose though. Oh, there’s a camera now? (Will Mikoto see footage?) Oh, I get it, this is one of the 183 sites she’s messing up. Yeah, she sees the feed. Toma, you are early as heck in arriving. Mikoto you are broken as heck.
-Accel heads to the holodeck? Oh, no, it’s a flashback. He didn’t know she wasn’t a “perfect” clone. He didn’t plan to kill her, ohhh, that’s interesting. He didn’t even INTEND to. They’re BOTH likely numb to death now, that’s extra freaky. And that scientist calling the Misakas dolls doesn’t help!
-Toma’s ambulance scene now. Security cameras are now in on conspiracy, to show the scope. Hmm, MisakaClone came to him this time, he didn’t run and stumble on her with the kitty. Password again. Scene feels less creepy this time, more matter-of-fact (so "Index" had that going for it). Same questioning. I feel like we won’t get the full Kuroko dorms scene, just a mention of it.
-Mikoto can what? Offer her own death once, to speed the process along?? Boy, these "Railgun" eps really DO go slower than “Index”. (Ratio 2:1?) With this end, I might have thought he’d meet Mikoto by ringing her room. NEXT: The scene with Kuroko DOES occur, Mikoto goes to sacrifice herself, and Toma intervenes with an alternative.

Thoughts and Theories:
 I kind of want all the clones to gang up on Accel at once. Maybe they’ll do that later. (Also, don’t tell Kuroko to teach them all about love, that would end badly.) So, this episode was basically “let’s get Toma up to speed on events”, except he’s not the main character in “Railgun” so, uhhh, they added in Mikoto does stuff and Accelerator gets backstory. (I suppose we also learn his ability here.)
 I see I’ve been very consistently WRONG in all my predictions. Yet that's not upsetting me, I’m actually rather fascinated. This arc does stand out from the continuities in both series'. So “Index” only has one episode to solve this now, and even if there’s fallout in the arc after, for "Railgun" that must bring the Meltdowner woman and ITEM back in - plus the Misaki blonde from the very start. All I can think plot-wise is there’s a bluff based on “Tree” calculations, and Toma negotiating some cease fire, because hand?



***
That’s another six episodes. Incidentally, Railgun S Disc 3 which was just started here, I only got for my birthday this year (while Discs 1&2 were from the HMV Closing Down Clearout under a couple months prior)... so in retrospect, I suppose it’s good I didn’t watch “Index” earlier. I'm finding “Railgun” is the more emotionally powerful one. "Index" prefers mystery, which of course doesn't work for a rerun. It’s interesting to see the two perspectives.

Would you agree? Feel free to comment something. Meanwhile, let’s move on and see how this part of the plot wraps up.

Monday, 19 June 2017

MT Series Scan: Scientific Railgun S 1.5

I am a SLOW binge-watcher (and reader). Two hours is about my limit, after which I need processing time. At the same time, I enjoy watching online reviewers, and reactions to things that I’ve previously watched, so why not take the time during a slow binge to chronicle my own reactions and speculations?

Today we’re looking at A Certain Scientific Railgun S (Discs 1 & 2). I jumped over here from “Magical Index”, continuing in continuity to that universe. Deciding I was more invested in the female characters, and as such, wanted to see the story from their point of view before Toma’s. But we have a ways to go before “Index” catches up, as they're in a time skip. We're three episodes into "Railgun S", and I still feel like the Mikotos will meet soon.

*Railgun S Disc 1*

04 Sisters


Stream of Consciousness:
-Flashback. “I did know about it” but hey, the audience didn’t, so exposition. OP. Okay, yeah, something IS wrong. I don’t think she’s a fake Mikoto though. Oh my, no. Some California island trip? Oh no, a swimsuit ep? (I just feel it’s too early for filler.) Saten, the urban legend hunter. Rice cooker bargaining? Haru’ue fan service. A Saten clone, huh? Now a sad clone flashback? Oh, no, mental age issue, good point.
-Free time with a maid (the one from the Index OP?). And young kid character recall from the first “Railgun” series. Nao has some electrics. Ah yes, the Level Upper network. Misaka 9982 is in a Misaka Net? She has knowledge but no emotions. Meanwhile, is Misaka Present going to lose all her money here? No, also at the train station. Oh, there you go, collector’s fever. (Yessss I understand that.)
-She saw something? Or sensed? Her own power, hm. “Older Sister” parallel to these events, cute. And there we go. In the end, this ep was filler backstory. EXCEPT that dark bit at the real end GYYAAH. NEXT: Identity Crisis and evil whitehair guy.

Thoughts and Theories:
 What do you do with a clone who has no emotions? I wonder if the sensing goes both ways, and they can pick up on her. Plotwise, I feel like someone at the Project wanted this encounter to happen, like maybe with a personality the clone can get past Level 3 or whatever. Except that busts my theory that CloneMisaka is with Shinobu, and not part of the Radio Project any more. We’ll see.

05 Project Level 6 Shift


Stream of Consciousness:
-Meow? Wonderfully unexpected. Misaka9982 is a narrator. Oh, that’s a difference, panties. Kitty bonding! Password confirmation, huh? Revealing your plan to her seems an odd choice, Mikoto. (Haha, a plot to replace the original, that didn’t even occur to me, weird.) Random ice cream! That deflected the sisters thing. This narrating Misaka9982 is actually pretty funny. Pfffft ha haha, bad when your clone shoots you down. Aw, a present. Clone has... a cello?
-Back to the others. Oh, or not. Mikoto has a good memory for passwords! Security Rank A then. Ah, that guy. Shifting an esper to Level 6 with clones?? Not a cello, that’s a gun. Only one can reach Level 6? In 250 years? Weird battle simulation here. GYAH! He kills Misaka 128 times and elevates?! Oh no, no, no. Dude can even deflect bullets? 20,000 sisters?! Yeah, that’s crazy. Crazy. This level 5 guy is a JERK. I really don’t know if she’ll find that clone in time. Ooh, Clone does have a nice analysis. Wow. That's... hideous. Though arms in this world can be reattached, so legs too maybe? He’s tough. Oh my God, he just. Yeah, that's... that's... that’s a new ED. NEXT: He thinks she’s a copy, oh crud.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Oh crud, oh hell, oh hell no. Props, massive props, setting the clone up as a sympathetic character that way in a single episode. Like, you can actually off your main character multiple times now, but please don’t. I can’t even here. That got real, really fast. Poor Mya. I guess the only Level 5 who’d be willing to go along with this scheme is one who’s a bit psychopathic??
 So, Mikoto will lose this round, and all I can think is someone calls Level5Guy off, because he doesn’t care if she’s the original. But maybe she’ll get information about whatever his power is here. Then, tomorrow, I’m not sure, trying to free the rest of the clones? Before he kills again? Also, if this is experiment 9,000 or something (he's finally moving outside, for the challenge?) there must be more hidden records to dig up.

06 I... Can See All Of You


Stream of Consciousness:
-Yeah, that would freak me out too. Hey, you think she might be the Original? He’s just a megalomaniac then. Okay, soooo this guy has a boomerang power? Yeah, battling him would be a problem. OH, uh, there’s... a lot of Clones. Mikoto knows him then; Accelerator, who controls vectors. Oh, that’s cold, putting a price on herselves. Now the others are searching for Mikoto. That’s a hell of a nightmare. O.o
-Shinobu’s back. Ahhh, nice, a right and wrong argument, I like these. Except I think Accelerator’s one of the people with a screw loose. Previous Ep Title Drop! She was there for 8900 tests, and they all build the Network? Gyuh. So they remember dying?? I can see why emotions might be a problem. Aww, Mikoto hears her friends worry. I like how they’re all “what the heck?” in the diner except for Haru’ue who’s eating. Saten changes the subject, but is supportive. I like Saten. ^.^ 20+ facilities is a problem. NEXT: Search for clues?

Thoughts and Theories:
 So the pieces are in place. Well played, considering this is logically a holding pattern created by the fact that "Index" came first. In a sense, all that’s happened is death of a clone, and the desire to find out more. When will Mikoto bring her friends in on it? That may take a couple eps. They’ll need a victory of some sort within the upcoming Disc 2, I think. Not overall. But maybe the small victory throws off a timetable, forcing a plan of months to be compressed to days? Speculation.

*Railgun S Disc 2*

07 I... I Want To Be Of Help To You


Stream of Consciousness:
-Fire at the labs. Coordinated attack, yeah, it’s because they’re on the grid. Took out 70%? I think that’s an overestimation. Aw, poor Kuroko. These manju buns are becoming a plot point? Makes sense that arson would come up with Judgement, interesting about no help. Saten! That wasn’t nice! Three sevens superstition. Saten, that  skirt lift would’ve been funnier if you didn’t say anything. Destruction of data! Wind turbines point to electromagnetic interference, interesting. Aw, Mikoto nightmares again.
-Children subplot! With parallels! (That’s the way to do filler, yup. Build character.) Oh, Saten. Poor Uiharu’s a little put upon by Kuroko too, for her accuracy. Will they fake a card? No, four leaf clover superstition. Butterfly symbolism! Heh, pointing out that Kuroko can’t do it all herself either. Giving Mikoto the clover? No, just good wishes then. The music helps set the ‘thank you’. She’s narrowed it down? NEXT: They’re ready for Mikoto's next attack.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Some calm before the storm is nice, and the secondary characters really did need more screen time. (Oh, Saten-san. I should hate you but I can’t.) Mikoto seems to be tiring, and they’ll be ready for her now. I wonder how effective she’s really been at stalling the project though? Maybe some of the labs she’s taken out were slackers anyway, and she’s strengthening/consolidating them.

08 Item


Stream of Consciousness:
-Crazy doll girl and friend? Is Mikoto going to be framed?? They’re talking about swimsuits?! “Hazy request” exposition woman (Mugino?) is herself hazy. “ITEM” is a strike team of women, who will be going against Mikoto, ooookay. This got WEIRD. I mean, I guess it makes sense that the Level 6 project would outsource, but still. OP.
-Okay, so it’ll be one on one to start then. Er, collateral damage much? Well, evil inside stuffed animals does harken back to those pop cans from Season One. Yeah, pre-set fuses. Mikoto has magnetism! And ceramic deflection, handy. Bye bye stairs? Hmmm. Equally matched?
-Nubotana Shinobu’s still fishing. (Her preferred drink may be her downfall?) How stunning. How are all those under Blondie’s skirt?! Yeah, she’s overconfident. “Ignis” gas, means she’s desperate, but still cocky. Ooh, Blondie is sneaky too. Shinobu also has a plan. Ohh, you said a trigger phrase there, bad move, Mikoto Smash. A spark will reveal the deception? Yup. Now Mikoto’s gotta be bluffing at least a bit. Numb tongue problems, ooh. Now the rest of the mercenaries. NEXT: Shinobu sacrifice?

Thoughts and Theories:
 Decent filler is decent, but we haven’t been given any reason to care about these new mercenary people, so it feels a bit like a stalling tactic. (Maybe it’s just a letdown after that Accelerator guy.) Based on the OP, it seems likely that Kuroko will show up to help deal with this Mugino woman’s energy blasting power. Helping to even the odds, though I think Mugino’s the only one with an actual power. I feel like her friends won’t do a lot for that reason. I suppose Shinobu will help - maybe releasing clones and transmitting information? Before dying by tea? I don’t know. I should just watch.
From a French Wiki, but there's lots of good imagery
of the Level 5s out there. (Some are only in the manga?)

09 AIM Stalker


Stream of Consciousness:
-“S Processor” what? Flashback? Flashback within the flashback?? And we’re back. Well, Blondie/Frenda has friends. Vaporized! So Mugino has glowing energy? Spiderman reference! The collateral damage here is going to be intense. That’s not candy. (Level upper substitute?) Memorized AIM diffusion field? Ooh, that power overuse might have saved her. 4th ranked Level 5 Meltdowner?! So they ARE a parallel to Mikoto and Kurako. (Meaning okay, crazy eye brunette has powers.) Ohh, Shinbou’s giving the Clones a chance to fight back, hmmm. It IS a bit ridiculous as plans go. Oh no, here it is. One of Mugino’s team stayed behind, daaamn.
-It’s fun how Shinobu puts in English from time to time. Clones have shortened life spans? Good call on punching the USB. Nice that it’s too late. Or not? Data’s there for the future though, I hope? Nice moves, but UltraTalk Girl must have an ace. Ah, armour. Meltdowner now has strategy, that’s a problem. Deflected! Yes, she’s a level 5 too, I’m guessing you figured it. So, she cares for her companions, but they’re not sure of that? Because it’s a pride thing, of course. NEXT: FaceOff.

Thoughts and Theories:
 This battle is going longer than I anticipated. Toma might actually show up, as implied in the OP. I hope it ends within an episode though, Mikoto’s got to realize she needs her own allies too. (Could she get Mugino to destroy the stuff she wants destroyed here?) Meanwhile, the mercenaries are being more developed, so I guess I care a bit more there, though they have no history.
 I wonder how many of the seven “level 5s” we’ll see, this makes four. (Mikoto, Misaki, Accelerator, now Mugino.) As to Shinobu, I think she’s out, but what she did should play a role later. Maybe when Accelerator’s back in the picture. Or after the "Index" stuff?

***
And that’s another six episodes, which marks a good stopping point, since (apparently) Episode 10 of RailgunS and Episode 10 of Index start sharing plot elements. I'm glad I watched this way, so I'm not anticipating what's going to happen. Still quite invested in this. Toma’s memory loss is sure to glitch into the plot somehow, until then, Mikoto all the way. (Also, Saten. Gosh darn it, Saten, why do I want more of you?)

Is this anything like you remember from seeing it? Does this make you at all interested in seeing it? Is my formatting terrible? For now, I'll keep putting this out there, thanks for reading.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Not Teaching: Week 50

I still have that usual June sense of “wrapping things up”, but it’s less panic inducing and more a sense that I need to strike as much off the lists below as I can, so that I can use the summer to prepare for September. Granted, the feeling could come somewhat from knowing this is Week 50 of 52.

Of course, if I were wrapping up teaching now, there’s no way I would have gone to the “GRC Global RallyCross” in Ottawa. (Anne-Lise received tickets; a French guy won one of the events.) And the Ottawa “Fringe” plays would probably be out too. Saw “Who, Me” and talked to the performer, from Australia. Also saw “6 Quick Dick Tricks: A Dick Darrow Investigation” (Anne-Lise was chosen for one), “Xave Ruth: Music+Comedy+Math” (pipe cleaner glasses), “Bless You, Bonaparte” (time travel), and “Quest Friends Forever” (improv).
Previous INDEX Next

But yeah, not teaching, so saw that stuff... and yet I’m actually feeling on track. For what, I’m not sure.

*
Item counts run Sunday (June 11) to Saturday (June 17).

Step Count: About 69,700. 28 stars.

Much Fringe walking. Tuesday would have been low, but I walked to the river after 4pm.

School Email Count: 67 New (1 sent)
Last day of classes is Monday, then exams. No A/C this week, no big surprise, no power, more surprising.



Writing/Art Related Items:
 -Wrote a temporal lemon, Off Target
 -Wrote “Epsilon Project” serial entry
 -Wrote ahead a bit in Math Comic
 -Watched 2 “Magical Index” + 12 “Railgun S” eps and blogged

Non-Writing Items:
 -Dinner with friends Monday
 -Cleaned AC filter and some lawn cutting
 -Updated NCF webpages, including linkback
 -Medical appointment Wednesday
 -Dentist Wednesday
 -Caved, got paperwork in for new Health Card
 -Made it to 5 Ottawa Fringe shows (including “Who, Me.”)
 -Went to GRC Global Rallycross Round 5 in Ottawa

POSSIBLE NEXT ITEMS:
 -Medical appointment Wednesday
 -Post recap about CanCon 2016 (from Sept)
 -Catch up with web serials I’ve enjoyed
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Organize all the paper clutter from school
 -Organize all the electronic clutter from school
 -Weed through/organize emails
 -Do another Parody Math Video
 -French Citizenship project
 -Actually market some of my creative stuff
 -Binging Anime (Magical Index)
 -Binging Anime (RWBY borrowed from Scott)
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

I’ve been pulled into “Wynonna Earp”. It might be Waverly.
Previous INDEX Next

Friday, 16 June 2017

MT Series Scan: Raildex S 2 & 1

I am a SLOW binge-watcher (and reader). Two hours is about my limit, after which I need processing time. At the same time, I enjoy watching online reviewers, and reactions to things that I’ve previously watched, so why not take the time during a slow binge to chronicle my own reactions and speculations?

Today we’re looking at A Certain Magical Index (Disc 2) and A Certain Scientific Railgun S (Disc 1). Last time I scanned, the first six episodes of “Index” seemed to be mainly setting up the world (which I knew something about from “A Certain Scientific Railgun” the original, not blogged) while establishing both Toma and Index. But now, he has no memory of her, and there are vampires? I dunno. Also, the reason for this being a “Raildex” Scan becomes obvious below.

*Magical Index Disc 2*

07 The Science Cult


Stream of Consciousness:
-Not a recap before the OP, it’s shrine girl. She what now? (Is a vampire?) So, two full weeks of memories gone, meaning studying would have been hopeless. Index is into abstinence? Or not. MacRonalls? Okaaay. Toma lost to his "friends" (no kidding, bad luck) so apparently has to talk to ShrineGirl, but why didn't they want to? Oh, NOW they like her. Heh, I like her charging for the picture though. Magician, but no magic name? Shady... teachers? Uh. Heh, even he doesn’t like his choice in friends.
-They’ll end up with Sphinx now. Index senses the flow of magic and the type? THAT’S interesting, yay for magic circles. I kind of like Magnus’ attitude now, but it must be confusing. A cram school religion? So ShrineGirl (from Zurich) will be their target. Haha, okay, it’s kind of funny that he takes magic in stride because he thinks he always did. That I can get behind. An alchemist is behind this? What was the point of Magnus' spinny sheets? I feel like circular reasoning is being used by this “Deep Blood” thing.
-Sigh, she has a cat. And lies about it. I guess it’s all his bad luck. Index, your rainbow animation isn’t working on me. Sigh, she’ll let the cat out I bet. Hahahaha, Magnus with a thing for Index. Okay. Other characters redeem Index. Paracelsus? Reality bending would be a problem, yup. No surprise, name is Aisa. Dead knight?! That’s a better note to go out on. NEXT: They fight some knights? Or are the knights on their side?

Thoughts and Theories:
 I’m glad the teacher, Komoe, won’t be back much. Index is kind of annoying in her own way, but at least she has the interesting magic sensing connection. The script is using Toma’s memory issue in an effective way too. Still, I feel like much of this may be “filler”, in that we’ve got individual arcs leading up to a some climactic thing near the end (that may pull in the characters we’ve seen along the way). Also, I’m not really invested in the “Deep Blood” user. Though I guess she killed some vampires in the past? Wait, if she’s being held in the school, why does she need train fare?

08 Ars Magna


Stream of Consciousness:
-Back to recap mode. Oh, the OP had Aisa with Sphinx, interesting. 13 Roman Orthodox Knights. Mmm, I kind of like the head/tails analogy (of science/magic?) within this barrier. Phoned Index, of course. And she’s eating all his food. (Not a fan.) Haha, Toma’s lacking a sense of tension. Interesting idea there, that she loves the him who had those two weeks with her.
-They all just noticed? Yeah, talking in unison is bad. Seraph... magic is keyed to religion, huh? I should have realized. A Gregorian Choir? 3333 monks? Cuts on her to achieve the spell? Roll with it. The glowing balls aren’t doing much. Now they’re doing even less. Oh, hi Aisa.
-Izzard in green, hey, he’s familiar from OP too. Index bathing, seriously? With a CAT? She’s going to make things worse, somehow. Latest model magic wand?? Okaaay. She attracts vampires when outside? Oh, so vampires are nice people in universe. I dare say that’s a nice twist. Aisa wanted science to fix her. Oh yeah, trust the Izzard guy. Toma makes sense again. Areolus Izzard has skills. I wonder if HE is a vampire then? Oh no, not another memory thing.
-Huh, so Index can track runes. Hey, Toma’s good at realizing things, but punching out your ally isn’t so good. They’re calling on Revelation? “Holy Hex”, I like that more as a swear phrase. Oh, so the knights aren’t attacking them, they’re simply jerks... while Izzard can rewind time? Probably more a building thing. NEXT: Fighting Izzard, and that looks like a bad wound.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Well, we’re deeper into this now. First, that memory loss power? Would be hella useful if you’re trying to keep magic from being well known. I wonder if only vampires can do it. Second, Index is a pain in the @$$. I hope “Index in peril” doesn’t become a running gag. I’m okay with the other main chars, and like that Magnus may have a thing for her. Third, I am not that religiously aware, so all that significance flies above my head - I wonder if it does make sense? (Like “3” is apparently significant, amongst all the book revelations. Pun not quite intended.) So what’s Izzard’s master plan? I guess he wants vampires to rule the world? I can sort of buy sticking your plan in a magic building in the middle of a science city to hide it. Seriously though, what was with Aisa’s train fare?

09 Deep Blood


Stream of Consciousness:
-“The reason being...” suspense, apparently. Time to call the vampires, huh? “You can’t save Index” ... because she was already saved? Oh, oh, he’s trying to make her a vampire, sure. But he didn’t know she’d come to the building, did he? And how does this guy not know the memory wipe date?! And that he's too late?! Yeah, just tell him. Uh, maybe don’t tell about the hand...? Index, apples are evil. Why does this guy keep stabbing himself? Toma biting his right hand works how? Izzard’s being set up as not redeemable. Yet now they’re trying "past redemption"?
-So Toma’s ability does work on himself? (Suffocation.) When it’s death, maybe? Haha, a car crush. I guess I finally understand the reality bending thing Izzard does now; that must have a huge price. Don’t just STAND there. Oh no, a monologue? Hey, Magnus now has a good question. GYAH! WTF on Magus? Gyah gyah hand gyah! Though I guess the ability is to make people perceive, and their perceptions create the reality, so Toma’s okay?
-They’re carefully not showing his right side. It’s all about belief then. Dragon, heh. Oh, don’t close-up on Index after that. Wait, so the arm WAS severed? Yet Magnus is fine without the hospital? Rules, please, rules for this magic. Izzard’s without memories too now?? Oh yeah, name drop on the Knights that never became a thing. Apples are evil. Aisa’s nice, Index you’re crazy, not in a cute way. NEXT: Mikoto’s arc, which I think relates to Railgun S.

Thoughts and Theories:
 That didn’t go where I thought. On the one hand, it’s good to be surprised by things like Izzard’s history with Index. On the other hand, the conclusion felt very unsatisfying. The cram students, the knights, the vampires? Never seen, barely dealt with in my mind. How does Aisa feel about what happened to Izzard? Dunno. What’s the upside-down Magic Director’s take? Dunno. Train fare? Nope. But hey, Index likes cats. Ugh.

To check on where we’re going, I looked up order of release dates. The “Raildex Series” is given as: Index 1, Railgun 1, Index 2, Index Movie, Railgun S. Yet a preference for Railgun (which had a bigger budget?) implies seeing some of Index first, then jumping over, because this upcoming arc has more heart in “Railgun S”? Hmmmm. Oh, there’s a YouTube video about the chronology. ... The Sisters Arc is Crazy, got it.

So do I want chronological release, or chronological within the show? Do I want the fast sequence in Index first, then seeing it more in depth with Railgun, or the other way around? Hm, perhaps a better question... do I want to try a viewing that it doesn’t seem like a lot of other people have done? Yes, yes I do.

*Railgun S Disc 1*

01 “Railgun”


Stream of Consciousness:
-Heh, starts by saying it’s an “Index” side story. Saten-san and the others! I’ve missed them. Oh you, Misaka Mikoto, one of seven level 5s. I’d forgotten about Haru’ue. And Miss Kongo. Ohh, another level 5? With breasts, and tampering power? She’s a bit of a jerk, but nice foreshadowing, Misaki. (Why is her name so similar?) Oh Saten, I forgot you did that to skirts. ^_^;
-It’s a big reunion. Pseudo-radical guy? I’m reminded that Uiharu can heat up food. Ahh, now guns. This will end badly for Haru’ue. Yup, that was revealed fast. Oh my, Mikoto can do that with her electrostatics? She’s spiderman. She can pin a helicopter too?! Ohh, the bad guys are in trouble. Oh SATEN, this is why I like you, even powerless. (Not because of the skirts.) Oh dear, those two high powered girls are crazy. But ADORBS. Well, that wasn’t so safe... unless you have a teleporter on hand, heh. I LOVE THIS SHOW. And it was just about a uniform. Haha, Toma, I like you more as a guest star. Oh, is this the OP as the ED? NEXT: Investigation Bear Hug.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Do I like this more because of the bevy of female main characters? Seriously, there were almost no guys there. Anyway, great recap of the first “Railgun” season characters with some new action. I’m so much more jazzed than I was with the church plots! I know that ep was essentially a stand-alone though.

02 Critical


Stream of Consciousness:
-I saw this ep at Anime North (2016). Oh wow, they set the flashback up in ep 1, sneaky. A black haired girl? It’s a good OP, musically, and I like the more individual character shots, rather than the montage pan of "Index". The girls are funny as long as they don’t go too fanservicy. Right, the passage scene. I remember this plot stuff not just from seeing the ep but reading that far in the manga too. Ah yes, Saten reincorporated, to hint at the Sister/Clone thing. And her rumour mill. Oh, Saten.
-Level 5 clone story, one wonders why Saten hadn't... I love when characters are psychic to my thoughts. Same black haired girl here maybe? Elite academy. “Critical” ability, with English words. She’s good at psychology, I wonder how much truth is in there. Yup, Mikoto the Original. Actual ED’s pretty good, still jazzy yet heartfelt. NEXT: Sneaking into a facility?

Thoughts and Theories:
 I’m glad I went this route; I remembered that single ep so well that any twists from Index would likely spoil me for what's coming. As I recall (from the manga?) the money cards were to get people to explore the hidden passages (though I don’t recall why). As to the clone/sister thing, there isn’t much to go on for theories yet.

03 Project Radio Noise


Stream of Consciousness:
-“Clones, doctor?” “Clones.” OP. Ah, exploration explanation, with more people looking, there’s less place for evil to hide. Well, that’s one way to escape. Ah, right, Mikoto can hack. Black hair is "Shinobu". Buying from LaMancha? Haru’ue, you got SKILLS! Aw, Saten. Three lookalikes for everyone, huh?
-Okay, Kuroko, that’s... weird. Stop that. I love that the guard’s watching Magical Kamani. Oops, noisy. Oops, someone ELSE is breaking in?? Oh, visitors. Clone visitors? This will get complicated. (Both Mikotos powered?) A “Radio Noise” file? I wonder why they picked her. Former tests? Or chemicals? Used “Testament” to install brain? (I feel like “Sisters” will be confusing given there’s religious “Sisters” too.) The supercomputer found that they weren’t Level 5s, oooh, nice twist (I wondered if they had powers). Well, there’s one clone, Mikoto. Oh, and said Clone is very analytical. When will they meet up? NEXT: Clone history, or new clone?

Thoughts and Theories:
 Well, the “Radio” project is still alive in some form, maybe with a different level 5? Unless they’re trying to boost the DNA for ones they already have. Though I think SisterMikoto (CloneMikoto?) may be working with that Shinobu girl instead, to help shut everything down. I’m pretty sure the Mikotos will meet soon enough, this show doesn’t tend to wait long on revelations (and they’re having tea in the ED). The other characters are in a bit of a holding pattern, but they’re still getting screen time, which is nice.

***
That's six episodes, equivalent to one disc. If I keep this up (back and forth as needed) it makes sense to stick with 6 episode posts. I'm definitely feeling it more with "Railgun". I'm not sure if it's the characters, or the more scientific (less churchy) setting, but I do want to see the story from this side first. Incidentally, I got through the first "Index" manga, and felt better about it in written form. I only bought the one though.

So, would you agree this is a good plan for the "To Aru" timeline craziness? Or with any of my opinions? Thanks for having a look, now heading towards Disc 2. Uh, again. It's... yeah.