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.

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