To Aru Kagaku no Railgun – 24 [Final]

Mikoto and her friends work together to stop Telestina and save the children.

Impressions:

Wow if you want to end a series on a high note this is the way to do it. Some might call it overkill, but really this was pretty incredible. If you take out seriousness and just enjoy the ride it’s a pretty great last episode. Telestina was such an over the top villain that you have to appreciate the mayhem she can create. Who cares if the city gets destroyed since if she makes a level 6 then there is no reason for the city to exist. She chases Kiyama’s car in a very bulky, but Code Geass like mech. Then she has another Capacity Down trap set and goes in there to do battle. Then finally she brings out her own blaster to go vs. against Mikoto’s railgun. Her snapping so suddenly might have been jarring, but she was a ton of fun to watch. I think they should take that armour into study considering it took that kind of blast and saved her life at the end. I doubt Mikoto had time to hold back from a full attack so she took a pretty heavy shot.

I have to give them credit for fitting everyone into this final conflict in some capacity. It was an interesting pair with Mitsuko and Kuroko taking on those poor robots. Of course they had to be robots or else they couldn’t have nearly as much fun taking them out. It might have lead to some iffy moral situations if helicopters piloted by people just doing their job get taken out by a flying truck. That was a pretty cool ability from Mitsuko and can see why she would brag about it. All she has to do is just slap something and watch it fly away. Of course not to be outdone Kuroko has to bring out a massive roll of needles which is incredibly deadly in her possession. They do have similarities in that they move things, but they really do move them in completely different ways. The best news is that Mitsuko has finally found people who will gladly listen to her stories and believe every word.

I have no complaints on the amount of action they fit into this one. They even found time to insert the two OPs of the series into different fights. I had thought that Telestina went down too early in the episode so it was less of a shock when she appeared like that. Everyone played a role in settling this. Perhaps the most key person was Saten. The fact she wasn’t an esper saved them all since she could move easily with Capacity Down running and then shut it off. Of course like with all computer problems all you need is a bat, lol. I know it kind of sets a message that she doesn’t need abilities to help, but I still hope that eventually she does get her own ability. Getting rewarded for all the effort isn’t a bad thing after all. Like how it tied together with really the only good mini-arc of the second half with the Big Spider motorcycle. That was also a good throw by Konori especially considering she was flying through the air.

Of course no one should have been hoping for Anti-Skill to play a key role in this one. They managed to be around by fighting forces no one ever actually gets to see. At least they had an excuse that the superiors wouldn’t let them do anything. Again it just shows that the people running this city really don’t care long as someone gets results. Otherwise there is no way that a crazy woman like Telestina would have had any authority.

Despite the weak points this arc has been worth it for those kids getting to wake up. It really concludes properly what happened in the first arc. They deserved so much better than they got so at least they can start living their lives again. It’ll be tough since they’ve missed a lot of time. They might have to give Kiyama back her teaching job since they are years behind and would stand out in a class of their actual academic level. Still it was a touching moment when they woke up and spoke to Kiyama again. I don’t like some of the things she did, but that doesn’t take away from that moment. She finally achieved it and should be able to avoid committing any more crimes. Though wasn’t it odd that Kiyama was the only one in the hospital after this incident? I mean just because Kuroko, Mikoto, and Uiharu are espers it doesn’t mean they have fast healing skills.

Final Words:

I have some mixed feelings about Railgun as a whole. There were some great moments in this series. Really there was nothing wrong with that Mikoto vs. Touma fight in the first half. My only problem was that the first half felt much stronger overall than the second half. That probably has to do with the fact that we wasted episodes on that one Anti-Skill member and the dorm lady. I mean the dorm lady? It wasn’t even the best they could have done regarding that character. The second half wasn’t completely lacking since I did like the Big Spider mini-arc. But overall it felt like they were trying to buy time with some of the episodes. Including some in the first season you probably could have cut 3-4 episodes out of this series. I think characters like Uiharu and Mikoto actually suffered with the extra episodes. They had to create these problems for them to overcome. Mikoto shouldn’t have made many of the mistakes she ended up making here.

Still while there were rough spots I really enjoyed the series. A character like Saten really came into her own here. The extra episode to finish the Level Upper incident and her role in keeping everyone together showed what a valuable member of the group she was. If I have any regret is that she didn’t get the chance to gain her own ability. The manga is ongoing obviously so maybe she’ll get lucky down the road. Not gaining an ability isn’t going to make her less valuable, but I just think that with all that hard work achieving that dream would be a nice touch.

This series really helped me gain a different view of some characters. Kuroko when in Judgment mode is a great character. She keeps her cool and is reliable when it comes to a fight and for investigating. I don’t like her obsessive side about Mikoto, but overall she is a good character. The show could have had more Touma. He’s not a main character here and that is fine. But I do think when he shows up you get some of the best reactions out of Mikoto that you just don’t get anywhere else.

They also did a good job painting a darker colour to the city. Things start up pretty nicely, but you dig further and find some ugly things. The city allowed experiments like that since the scientists need funding and support to make these things happen. The mention of Level 6 also makes me hope that we might just see a second season for Railgun down the road.

It wasn’t perfect, but I really enjoyed Railgun. You had some fun times and you got to see some characters grow up along the way. Besides they did a pretty nice job with the effects and the fights. Besides when you have Mikoto getting silly over childish things and raging over Touma you can’t have a bad series. Plus that great smile Mikoto had this episode itself made this worth watching. It’s too bad that for now Railgun is done. Oh well back to reading the manga since I stopped while the series was going on.

4 thoughts on “To Aru Kagaku no Railgun – 24 [Final]”

  1. IMO, the second half was much better as an ensemble piece since the writers could freely control screen time. During the first half, Uiharu and Saten were awkwardly worked into several episodes, making for some rather disjointed scripts.

    Content-wise, I’d say that the first half likely reflects the original author most closely, while the second half reflects the director’s view of Railgun (which takes the material less seriously, focuses more on an ensemble, and is deliberately corny. I don’t think the plan is particularly surprising though since many industry veterans view moe/bishoujo anime in this light).

    With the latter in mind, Episodes 3 and 5 (the extra bits on Uiharu and Kuroko’s conflict) begin to make sense.

  2. Yes, Saten deserves the most-improved character award. I didn’t like her at all during the Level Upper arc, but she proved useful in this arc. Having a Level 0 on the team is also handy for certain situations lol.

    I can’t believe Telestina’s big construction mech had enough acceleration to catch Kiyama’s Lambo. Lol tons of things didn’t make sense, but we can probably all agree that it was action packed. Good way to end the series.

  3. Mitsuko WINs for how outrageous her powers are. Seriously, you don’t want to let her touch you when she’s angry lol. Pretty awesome biking skills from Konori as well. In terms of action, the battles that occur during the first half of the episode pwn everything else in the series so far, even the Mikoto vs Kiyama showdown. I really like that they included everyone who is capable enough ability-wise in the fights. It would be boring if Mikoto was the only one who took on everything on her own again.

    Telestina may be one of the more shallow villains to ever exist in the To Aru-verse, but she was still pure entertainment. The leakage of her insanity towards the end, the way she so self-indulgently cackles and who could forget the WTFness of her weapon arsenal… She pales in comparison to many other antagonists but she was a lot of fun to watch.

    Good point about Kiyama still being stuck in the hospital while everyone else looked perfectly fine and healthy. Not to mention that Mikoto was probably the one heroine who took the most damage during the entire ordeal. Maybe them being relatively young had something to do with their speedy recovery.

    Overall, Railgun was a good and satisfying piece of work. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. I enjoyed the first half more than the second half though, and the former being adapted directly from the manga hence more well-paced and organized writing probably had something to do with it. Imho, the second half felt a bit more haphazardly slapped together by Kamachi (Index/Railgun’s creator). Some of the episodes such as Tessou and the Dorm Mistress ones felt randomly plugged in just so they could fill the empty episode slots in a 2 cours series but yeah, they weren’t all in vain since they slipped in a few hints which are linked to the poltergeist arc. A complete closure of the Level Upper arc at the end was a nice touch too.

  4. @Bill
    It was certainly easier to fit in characters like Saten and Uiharu since there was so much freedom. Of course they kind of did their own things by tossing in characters like eyebrow girl or cutting out the Touma interaction at that cafe.

    @TJ
    Could certainly give Saten that kind of award. She grew the most during this series and has given herself a firm base from which to move forward.

    Yeah somehow I think rational thought went out the window with that giant mech. It would need incredible force to catch up to the speedy car Kiyama was using. Since somehow I don’t think the woman was following the speed limits, lol. The end was flashy and that’s a good enough way to end the series.

    @Keiri
    So true that you would not want to let her touch you when she was upset. You might be soon wondering about how bad your landing would be. Could be pretty fun if did it over a pool or something. While these shows aren’t all about action, have to admit seeing so many powers being used here was a lot of fun.

    I guess Kiyama’s situation is all about age. She’s just a little too old to be getting knocked around by mechs. Besides sure you can see Mikoto getting beat up a little in a fight, but you can’t have your heroine hurt in a hospital. That kind of thing is more Touma’s specialty anyways.

    While not perfect it was overall enjoyable. Plus the second half was good if only to help fully close the Level Upper incident. Everything that happened there has now been taken care of in one way or another.

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