Tuesday, 27 June 2017

MT Series Scan: Scientific Railgun S 3.5

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 3 & 4) with A Certain Magical Index (Disc 3). I’ve been watching this universe chronologically, because I can - meaning only the last episode this post will be “Index”, as continuity is mostly “Railgun” right after the Sisters Arc. (In fact, the coming episodes are likely more with Mikoto’s friends, as they’ve had less screen time lately.) I figure the other Level 5 characters need to return before the end though, plus we see Shinobu’s fate. So let’s see how they do that (if they do that).

*Railgun S Disc 3*

17 Study Group

Stream of Consciousness:
-An after hours pass? Mikoto does have nerve. “A study group” excuse, summer vacation homework. WOW, NEW OP. (They’re separated now, and some girl, then groups, evil scientists - yeah, I’m good with this, it’s jazzy and friendshippy.) So it really is a study group? Saten’s still on about boys. Kitchen flashback? This is kind of adorable. Mikoto will be more careful now. Hehehehehehe, but not with eggs.
-Mikoto and a maid, saying Kuroko was lonely. It’s the clover girls, nice callback. Uiharu book report, and some hacker going after the newspaper club. Kongo’s random appearance. Hahaha, tossing "being alone" back. Pets? Ecaterina, her python, right. Pffft. Oh, it’s Frog-Doctor, with information about Sisters. He explains the rapid growth of 14 years in 14 days. Lifespan of another year or two, unless they’re adjusted at outside facilities. (I hope Kuroko didn’t buy mice, eh heh.)
-At restaurant... EHHH? Frenda and Meltdowner?? Frenda’s a blockhead, pffffft. Heh, weaker general population. Kuroko you’re not helping. Oh my gawd, boob jokes. You show ‘em, level 5s! Stew party. Mikoto, you’re overdoing ingredients? Uiharu is all for veggies. HAH, Kuroko DOES mention the mice. (I love this show.) Soft shell turtle? With blood. Hunhhhn. Oh yeah, Haru’ue, I tend to forget about her.
-Handmade reference... oh Saten, I get you, it IS adorbs. Now noodles. Montage. And back home. So the roomies have “made up” too. NEW ED. (Clover, windmills, all four of them... yeah, yeah, I like this too. *^_^* Wheeee “Railgun”! Oh, adding a fifth figure at end?) NEXT: Scientists are plotting, and a blonde lolita.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Eeeeeeeee, feels. It does feel a little like a plot reboot, as it knots off prior elements and brings the core characters back together. The character traits also got shown off here (like Uiharu with tech). I did not expect to see Mugino in public!
 I now feel like she and Mikoto won’t have a showoff, but will have to (grudgingly) work together somehow. Maybe the blonde lolita of the preview is connected to that blonde Misaki girl, bringing in the other level 5? Which is all wrapped up with the evil scientists? Hmm hmm. I may have more to say once we see said scientists. There were also those little green mecha things in the OP.

18 Moving

Stream of Consciousness:
-The mercenaries, an arms deal, but it’s some plot. UltraGirl has some skills? Aritomi is gathering data, hmmm. Lolita with lollypop. Haru’ue was talking to a teacher? OP!
-Saten asking about Cookie Boy (I like that nickname). Edasaki, I’d forgotten about her hospital thing too, oops. So she and Haru’ue are slipping back into the ether. (Who gets the rice cooker, Uiharu?) A Judgement security mission, “Research Assembly” for smart people. Saten, you’re even nice as exposition girl.
-Kongo scene, she can ham it up. Glasses guy thinks she overstepped? She didn’t assess the situation. Her friends stand up for her. Another mystery! Kuroko’s not used to walking. Making fun? (Don’t drool, Kuroko.) Saten. ^_^ Concern for Uiharu. D’awww.
-Mikoto has flowers again, heh. Cake restaurant. But traffic signal issue. Uiharu still feels like she has to push herself? They’re talking about her. Saten talks to Haru’ue about the move too, nice. (This is like an Uiharu episode.) Wait, who that Mikoto knows is in the hospital...? (CookieBoy again?? Or Misaka maybe.)
-Strange electrics. Uiharu has something weird to do? Banri left. Taiyaki for after? Well, this makes for a nice sendoff then. Now they’re both crying. Shortcut by Saten? Takes us back to plot, the lolita. She’s quiet. Saten got skills. It’s Febri, who recognizes Mikoto. (Or one of her clones?) Scientists talk about having data on Mugino now. They say now is the time? Is he GlassesGuy from with Kongo?? NEXT: Taking care of Febri, and the “Assembly”.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Hmmmmmm. So these scientists may be arguing the reverse of the previous evil scientists. Instead of making a more powerful esper, they’ll be claiming that people with powers are just terrible, and using the Level 5 powers/data in some way to justify that. (Certainly there’s lots of data on Accelerator and Railgun already.) Perhaps they imbued a Febri clone with some aspect of the powers (a level 5 mix?), hoping she’ll spark an incident during the “Assembly” that they can capitalize on? Or they made her immune to the powers they have the data for? (But maybe their data’s on the clones, which isn’t as high?) Eh, pointless speculation.
 Incidentally, it’s good they haven’t forgotten about the characters from late Season One Railgun, but I’m not especially sad to see them go. Maybe since they're anime constructs outside the manga. (So who is the fifth “group member” added in the ED? CookieBoy?)

*Railgun S Disc 4*

19 Academic Reach Assembly

Stream of Consciousness:
-Heh, half-sisters for Mikoto. Kuroko deserves a zap. Febri’s scared? Uh, finger puppet (well, explains the ED). Mikoto has no luck with Gekota merchandise (aside from that button win at the end of one ep). Saten has a little brother, eh? It’s decided, and Uiharu gets company after the move too. OP. (Is this OP never subtitled with Japanese lyrics?)
-Food. Will Febri eat theirs too? Nope, Saten fan service instead. Oh, Mikoto. Oy oy, Kuroko. Hm, bad tasting lollipop? Oh, Saten. No data? “Child Error”? Evil scientists find Febri online. Mikoto talks to the Headmistress, whoa, unexpected. Orphanage, in five days. Also when the “Assembly” is, hmm. (Big day?) Mikoto’s goal.
-Right, the Assembly is “unrelated to abilities” here. (These scientists hate those.) Kongo’s around, her entourage knows someone presenting. Boy, Febri’s easy to please. Awww, Saten senses the Mikoto issue. A truck delivery? (Is that GlassesGuy again? Oh, no, but he’s in the background, mmkay.) So there’s a “target”.
-“Tough customer”. Rainbow gekota out, but Febri’s following a frog. (A setup? Nope, some “not a real frog” fear.) Mikoto’s calling for help this time. (Yet she’ll be the one to find her I bet.) GlassesGuy sees Febri too. Well, yeah, Mikoto can take electronics out. So now Scientists know Railgun’s there. 
-Awww, Febri still runs to Saten. Nice that Mikoto is okay with it. Saten asks for apology (aw, Saten!) and Mikoto gets one. HAHA, to pinch the Gekota back, oh my. So they’re kinda friends, while Kongo and Kuroko argue. Scientists talk about conducting an experiment on Railgun?? NEXT: The scientists are after Febri? (Heh, she narrates with with her lollipop.)

Thoughts and Theories:
 Wait, so Febri’s tied to the scientists, but the scientists aren’t tied to the clone project data? I’m confuuuuuused. OH! Unless Febri has a power to record the power of others, that’s why they use her? But it’s suppressed by lollipops, the same way that AIM Stalker Girl had to pop pills?? Grasping for the straw there.
 Either way, it seems Meltdowner was the original target for their “espers are bad” lecture. At least these scientists seemingly have to vote on everything. Seems like they’ll need to ramp this up soon, since the last battle itself is sure to go a couple eps (like #22 and #23). And since Febri didn’t say Mikoto’s name here, figure that’ll happen towards the end. (Wait, how can the subtitles use a different spelling of her name from what is clearly the next episode title?!)

20 Febrie

Stream of Consciousness:
-Oh, those robots had no power?! Was someone controlling... no how would that even... why is there a purple stick?? OP. (OP includes purple stick, so there’s that.) Saten heads out with Mikoto, who is trying to chip away at the pink Gekota. Kongo is very affected by cuteness. She’s loyal too though. And spots GlassesGuy. (Are these science guys reading Febri’s brainwaves or something??) You go Saten! Do urban legends! Special ice cream, no hands, she is spoiled.
-Oooh, the traffic problem, thanks Kuroko, good point. Mikoto’s ringtone is a frog, heh. Oh no, a bath springs episode?! Kurokoooooo nooooo. Well, Febri’s letting Mikoto wash hair, nice. Awww, Mikoto’s thinking back to the Misakas! And giving away her pink one! And she got named! And the was “always mine” was funny! Kuroko got left behind. See, that’s how you do a bath scene. Short, sweet, funny.
-Uhoh, is Saten getting attached? Uhoh, is Mikoto getting attached? Sidewalk closed? Detour? Suspicious van? Kongo’s been calling? Now the green robot.
-Huh. Immune to her electricity? Ohh, it has no electrical components (so a bit like those tiny robots, which had components but no power). Her electrical dust. Is someone inside? Kuroko with a teleport save. Oh no, the Gekota. System Error?? (Febri did something. Unknowingly.) And Kongo launches in, yup it’s her. No pilot? Weirdness. Febri’s actions knocked her out? The van leaves, and the signal is restored. (So some sort of jamming device.)
-Surveillance cameras were probably knocked out too. Wait, they worked but just didn’t record weirdness? Hmm hmm. It’s a purple stick again. (Mizuho hospital, what’s with Mizuho as a name.) Febri’s feverish and getting worse?? Aww, the Gekota. So their science work IS meant to be immune to the Level 5 powers. Bite the hand that feeds, so they ARE responsible for Febri too?? I think that is Shinobu with ‘em. (Was she released under condition she helped?)
-Mikoto blames herself again. Judgement girls are back. Pffft, with Kongo. Her friends (Wannai and Awatsuki, for reference) went to GlassesGuy, overheard he failed to "retrieve Febri". Keep Kongo in the loop then. Whups, they were out past curfew. Oh, hi frog doctor. Febri’s better, yay! (Thought they might kill her as a clone or something.) Does she remember them? The Doc didn’t do anything - she’s not human? She’s a product of science?? (Whaaat, is she an android?!?) NEXT: Kongo hams it up, she’s there with her snake, and more on the purple sticks.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Did the doctor want to talk to Mikoto because of some connection to the clones? Or are we into artificial intelligence here? Either way, I figure the Science made Febri able to shut down all types of power with that ‘Error’ message (that’s how she got away from them, the day of the traffic issue). That power shutdown is what they’re incorporating in their mechs, worked around with their purple sticks. (Is that what’s in the lollipops too?)
 Is their goal to put powered people in the green mechs, meaning they can’t use their powers? While controlling what they (seem to) do? Lots of questions. Including on Shinobu. I was wrong about the Febri name thing already, she used "Mikoto".

21 Darkness

Stream of Consciousness:
-Doc told Mikoto because of how this goes beyond common sense. When Febrie forms new cells, she forms a toxin? (Were the scientists harvesting it?) The candy neutralizes it. Could be mistake or deliberate. Rumours years ago? Dark organizations outside AntiSkill’s reach? Hmm, the ITEM girls were dealing with such darkness, I wouldn’t have connected it. OP.
-Mikoto don’t liiiiie. We have Cat Callback sign. Misaka spoke to Febrie? (Oh, NOW her subtitle has an ‘e’.) Misaka narrates so well. ^_^ “Hi, I’m a clone.” “Younger sister, huh?” Oh my, Febrie has an older sister?? It’s like clone learning with “Testament”, so "ScornyEyes" is involved. Aaaand once again Mikoto has to go it alone, because “underworld”. (Oh right, guess we’re synching up with “Magical Index” again.)
-Kongo’s worried. And gives a lesson in having your friends be there, aww, share more than the fun times. Except it didn’t sink in? Yet? “I am always here for you.” She tells them all! Also about ITEM. And they’re already plotting. Saten’s on the lollipops and there’s the powered suit, okay, this was nicely in continuity. Shows character growth!
-Saten lampshades Gekota-Doc. Antiskill HQ took all the evidence away. Except the purple stick, forgotten in a drawer. Kongo’s company knows powered suit deals? Kuroko doesn’t want Kongo to show them up, heh. OH WAIT. Misaka wasn’t a clone reference, Shinobu’s trying to get Mikoto involved, knowing she can blow everything wide open?? Febrie is a BACKUP, who will die before the Reach Assembly? Ohhhhhhhh. Janie?
-A fibre of hair in purple stick? But it’s someone else’s. (Older sis, yup.) And only 72 hours to sustain Febrie on candy. Over the ED, they’re going to look (probably consult ITEM?). Doc can arrange a meeting? (With Toma?) Wow, to jail, that was fast. OH NO crazy scientist from original “Railgun”. ED still shot. NEXT: Swimsuits and ITEM.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Well well WELL. It becomes clear(er). Scientists doing something evil (in “Index”), creating a person whose very DNA can remotely control devices. Febrie was made as a backup (for the “Railgun” series), so while the science hopes to retrieve her, they can do without her, and she’ll die soon anyway. Shinobu probably helped Febrie escape, explicitly to bring the “Railgun” people on board (outside of Toma’s “Index” plot) hoping Febrie’s life could be saved... hey, I wonder if “Index” will have a new OP that includes Shinobu??
 As to where we’re going, well, "Index" has swimsuits first. But I figure Crazy Scientist will put Mikoto in touch with ITEM (at a beach?), and Mikoto (and/or her friends) will team up with them to find the lab where science guys are hiding (defended by more green robots). Meanwhile, Toma will end up at the Assembly with Misaka and that weird maid girl (and Index I guess), and they’ll have to prevent whatever science guys are more actively doing to convince everyone that espers can’t save people. I’m probably off the mark. Let’s check in with “Index”.

*Magical Index Disc 3*

15 Angel Fall

Stream of Consciousness:
-Owarai Beach. Index in swimsuit. After "Sisters", Komoe said get out of the city until the heat blows over? Index is an illegal immigrant but wants to come and has ID. Hit with jellyfish. It IS a new OP here. (More techno opening. Flashing around to various people, we see more I recognize from “Railgun”. Then it gets kind of jazzy. Accelerator’s still in here, so are, I don’t even know. Not as much of a fan this time.)
-Toma needs First Aid, Index at least apologizes. Someone coming is delayed? (Oh, it’s his parents, now I remember.) Index is whiny. Oh, caught up to my parents thought fast. Index is now in different robes. Baths scene. Index, get a grip. He doesn’t even remember his parents?? (I thought he only lost a couple weeks? That wasn’t clear before.) Wrong channel, so Index bites him, bleh. Move on please.
-Coughing man, parents there soon. “Dad” was in India. Dad’s kind of onto him, first meeting. They moved last month. Toma has a little sister, Otohime. Or a cousin? Looks a bit like Misaka. Toma’s confused. Why make her look like... oh no. No, no, Mom looks like Index. >.< Toma, don’t be stupid, you haven't met them. Sigh, he’s stupid. (She can look like that, no? If not, play along.) Dad takes charge. Gah, Toma’s STUPIDER. (I guess it’s supposed to be funny.) Now he’s STUPIDEST, even breaks his Dad’s pen?
-Why is Misaka at the Inn?! Dad makes excuses. It’s Magnus who’s not Magnus? Aaaand, that’s not Index, so there really IS funky magic going on. (Right, Magnus ‘coughed’ and Misaka did the nail blowing, that’s subtle at least. Nicely set up, if not obvious.) Toma’s not going to play along at all, huh?
-Now Otohime at the beach. Toma calls her Misaka. (Don’t confuse me even more.) A souvenir from Russia? Aaand that's... not a swimsuit. It has no straps. (Someone has a Lolita Complex but it’s not these characters.) The White House rocked by a scandal? (That gag hasn’t aged well for 2017.) Komoe is acting like a journalist. Pfffffft, okay, the Kuroko is President bit ALMOST makes up for this stupidity.
-Toma’s clued in to how it’s everyone now. (But not outfits, so the beach swimsuit was accurate, yipes.) The old PICTURE is accurate though (cousin has dark hair) even though TV feed wasn’t, hmmm. A shackled blonde?? With belts?? (Very “Fate” from Nanoha vibe.) Toma FINALLY decides to play along with the ONE person who’s not affected by the spell. Oy oy.
-Oh, Kanzaki’s back! With a spiky blond hair guy! Tsuchimikado who? Oh, they’ll look different from who they really are too, makes sense. ... No, it really IS Kanzaki. (Aaaagh!) Russian Orthodox Church, Misha Kruezhev? Okay. (Well, this all points to “Dad” as being the caster, since he hasn't been flagged as looking different either.) “This boy is not a sorcerer, he is an esper”, heh, they’ll be surprised at his level. Kanzaki knows? Calls him on out on not knowing her. Riiight.
-Global Scale Spell named “Angel Fall”. A Sephirotic Tree (like sepharim?). Humans can’t reach an “Angel” rank (I like the diagram there) but now an Angel’s become human? Ha, I like how Tsuchimikado is just eating ice cream. It’s a game of “Musical Chairs” on physical appearances?? Toma’s escaped the effects, so his life is in danger.
-Hmmm, an esper CAN use magic, but it leaves traces?? (That’s different.) Tsuchimikado knows about the Imagine Breaker? (Is it really him, or a ruse?) Misha 86es them, testing Toma’s hand. (Why does she talk like a robot? Also, it’s Toma's Dad doing this.) Destroy a ritual site? Okaaaay, Tsuchimikado is in the Necessarius Church, curveball. ED is the same. NEXT: Talking to Dad, and some truth.

Thoughts and Theories:
 OKAY. Toma’s not even IN THE CITY, meaning while these events are taking place in tandem with “Railgun”, they’re COMPLETELY separate. Having Misaka seemingly present here (from the previews) threw me WAY off course.
 If we stay true to “Arcs are Multiples of 3”, the “Index” plot MAY return in time for the “Railgun” finale (at Index ep #18), and Toma WAS seen in the “Railgun S” OP briefly, so I guess that makes sense. Also, Toma’s descended from angels, what now? Well, let’s just scrap everything I thought I knew.

 *quick research* Okay, so Railgun’s “Silent Party” Arc is indeed ANIME ONLY, much like how “Poltergeist” (and Haru’ue) from Season One were ANIME ONLY. (I guess I should get back to buying more manga after #5.) This explains how Crazy Scientist can be back in continuity there. It looks like the next major crossover isn't until the “Miracle of Endymion” Movie, so I’m not sure what’s happening with Toma in “Railgun” now. I might as well complete my “doing it wrong” viewing by watching the rest of “Railgun S”, then flipping back here for this “Angel Fall” arc?

And that's another six episodes. The next post will wrap up the Railgun S series entirely, and push us through to Disc 4 of "Index", in some order. I was SO off base here - did anyone else actually do the research before watching? Did that help? And what was with Febri's name subtitling?? Feel free to comment below, about any of that, about whether you find this sort of post interesting, about whatever. Even if you don't, thanks for reading!

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