Friday August 31, 2012 at 07:35 am by AudriSampson
A Certain Scientific Railgun
A Review from old school anime critic – Audri Sampson
A Review from old school anime critic – Audri Sampson
Every fan has their criteria for a good anime. For some its action, others hot girls or guys, or maybe a mysterious plot that you have to unwind. Likewise everyone has their criteria of things they don’t want to see like screaming attacks or overuse of Moe. For me its lots of action and I really try to avoid school life shows since Ive had more since my school life now then years in my school life LOL..
That last sentence probably has you wondering, “Why the heck is she reviewing Railgun??” Good question, let me take sometime to answer that. My adventure with Railgun started late June when my bf and I were looking for a new game to play at our local game store. The game we decided that looked the most interesting was a game called Weiss Schwarz that is based on many different anime titles. My bf quickly got excited about the idea of playing Lyrical Magical Nanoha so it was time for me to find something interesting. Sadly most of the shows I was interested like Lucky Star and Phantom of Inferno were very out of print so I basically felt I was stuck with Bakamontogi… I mean at least the art work would look cool. A bit before we were supposed to put in our first card order I was on facebook and was fan-girling bad over a picture or something, I don’t honestly remember. A facebook friend then commented I was acting like Kuroko Shirai from Railgun. After a quick conversation with the friend I had gotten a link to a torrent for Railgun and started downloading it, and a few hours later watching it.
As soon as the show starts you get a great start of an opening song with lightning flashing across the screen reflecting of off Misaka Mikoto.. AKA the Railgun. The song continues with some nice scenery of the gals and such and you find yourself at least tapping your toe to the great sounds of the OP.
Next lets get into the show. The plot to be honest has been done so many times before. A bunch of super powered students go to a special school to develop their powers and get into adventures. At its simplest this is all Railgun is and to be honest I think it’s the biggest weak point of the series. One of its biggest strengths in the plot is how they manage to bring each adventure into the show. I guarantee you will never see anything like the plot device that was used to throw the cast into the main story arc.
I guess from here we will get into the cast of characters. This is by far the shows biggest strength. Most shows I generally like a character or two at most. The rest are just there or are annoying at best. Watching this show I liked basically everyone and even my least favorite of the girls was alright.
Let’s break down the main cast
Misaka Mikoto - Voiced by Rina Sato
She is a great lead character, the writers do a great job playing off her conflict to “act mature” vs her desire to have fun be silly and rather immature. Also has an odd thing for frogs. Her main power of the Railgun is also one of the coolest attacks you will ever see in anime.
Kuroko Shirai – Voiced by Satomi Arai
Kuroko is a teleporter meaning she can teleport anything anywhere with some limitations. She is also an agent for the police and public service group, Judgement. Her main feature in the show is the obsessed lover of her “Onee-Sama” Misaka. Some feel the writers went way overboard on Kuroko’s obsession and many times down right perverted lust for Misaka but honestly I found it hilarious and welcomed ever attempt of Kuroko to get something out of Misaka.
Uihara Kazari – Voiced by Aki Toyosaki
Uihara is the shy clumsy girl that every show with a group of girls have. Sadly this is the one character that I think the writers of this series really let us down with. Her character development was so typically cliché it was boring. With that said if your into the cute shy girls of the series she will be a favorite.. I for one just can’t stand that character type of a girl.
Ruiko Saten – Kanea Ito
Ruiko was the one girl without powers. The writers do a wonderful job with this dilemma and use the situation to really develop her as a character as well as using it as a trait that affected others. Kuroko is my favorite character but it isn’t by much because of how well Ruiko was handled in the series. Unlike many series where the non powered token friend is just there to be captured or give some encouragement every now and then, the writers make sure Ruiko steps up and is a major factor in every story.
The voice acting for this show was some of the best I have ever seen. Each of the characters have a rather distinct voice. They also pulled in veteran Sayaka Ohara. She has been in many series and I personally know her best as Beatrice from Umineko No Naku Koro Ni (my favorite series for the record).
We have covered the plot and voices. For the visuals the character designs themselves are basically pretty normal for anime. The school uniforms not that special, however when fights break out the animation becomes amazing. Anytime Misaka uses her electric powers the animation is crisp and clean and they make sure you can see every strand of electric current that would be appropriate for the series. They also make Kuroko’s teleportation look great, and really get creative with what she can do with that certain power. I really dislike fight scenes in anime however I couldn’t wait for another fight to break out to see how they were going to work with the girls powers this time around.
Musically the show has a very a catchy soundtrack. I think it's been a month now since I haven’t gone a day without listening to the opening “My only Railgun” by fripside. They also use the opening themes for battle music so you will probably learn the songs by the end of the 24 episodes.
Now I have to give a bit of a warning. If Yuri offends you this is not the series for you. I would say that the series overall is what happens when Strawberry Panic appears in Shonen Jump. Between Kuroko’s constant sexual harassment of Misaka and the will you just kiss and screw and get it out of your system between Saten and Uihara this show is packed full of Yuri and all those conversations that guys dream about overhearing girls having. The show is also flooded with fanservice. No matter what girl you end up liking you will have some sort of fanservice whether it be visual as in a panty shot or something in a fight where that girl really shines. It’s a shame my dear Kuroko has the WORST taste in bathing suits of any anime character I have ever seen.. Thankfully Saten made up for that LOL.
Oh well I think I’ve taken enough of your time. These are just my thoughts on my newest entry in my top ten anime list. Hopefully I didn’t fangirl to much and you enjoyed the read.