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.

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