Saturday, 31 October 2009

To Aru Kagaku no Railgun - Episode 5

The word "railgun" might be in the title, but that doesn't mean that To Aru Kagaku no Railgun has to focus primarily on Mikoto all the time - Thus, this episode turns our attentions to the history between Shirai and Uihara.

This flashback takes place against an introduction where the two Judgement members find themselves at the scene of a car being broken into - Rather than waiting for backup as suggested by Uihara, Kuroko charges in without a second thought and ends up both letting the thieves escape while also putting both girls in danger. This in turn leads to a blow-out argument between the two, with Uihara (who expected her to get angry?) losing both her rag and her patience with Kuroko, particularly when the latter seems to have forgotten a promise that the pair made in the past.

This leads us nicely into the story of exactly how that promise was made, taking us back to a time when both Shirai and Uihara were at elementary school. When a robbery commences at the post office where both these characters are situated at the time (Academy City seems to be rife with crime, doesn't it?), once again Kuroko rushes into action without considering the potential dangers of doing so, endangering her friend's life and having to rely on some mysterious outside help to help her before she eventually triumphs over the robbers.

I've got to say, this was perhaps the most enjoyable episode of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun so far - For all of its lack of everyone's favourite railgun apart from some brief appearances, it was a well-paced and nicely told story that gave us a little more depth on both Shirai Kuroko and Kazari Uihara's characters, fleshing them out in a way that was arguably required to bring them forward from roles simply as "girls who aren't Mikoto" into interesting individuals in their own right. Stories that flash back to the past can occasionally be tired, plodding or just plain unnecessary, but what we saw here managed to avoid all of those pitfalls to deliver a genuinely decent story. While I rather enjoyed the fun "eyebrow drawing" story and even the more slice of life-esque opening two episodes, this is more like the kind of thing I was expecting from this series - My only concern is that it all still seems a little disjointed, taking us from what looked to be important scenes regarding Mikoto last episode to this. Still, even that isn't enough to dampen my enjoyment of this instalment.


digitalwanderer said...

This is quickly turning into my favorite anime of the season, it's just charming me. :)

kadian1364 said...

This episode rubbed me all the wrong ways. The relationship between Kuroko and Uihara aside, this episode highlights the biggest gripe I have with the premise of the show: children as law enforcement agents. Letting mere children run around willy nilly with dangerous super-powered bad dudes abound, there are so many potential practical and litigious problems this simple-minded series seems to gloss over. Let's just say I'm having a tough time suspending my disbelief here.

Hanners said...

Personally, I try not to worry too much about such things, otherwise I'd have spent all of Evangelion worrying about the Health and Safety implications of teenagers piloting giant robots. ;)

If Academy City can house teleporting lesbians and girls you can shoot lightning, who am I to argue about their child labour laws? :p

kadian1364 said...

But to come back to your example, in Eva we saw that through all these perilous situations and heady encounters with both monsters and people, these teenage pilots were terribly affected and in the end were damaged goods.

I'm not saying Railgun needs to be Eva, but some maturity and sense would go a long way to connecting me with the characters in the story.

Blacksun88 said...

come on this is just anime, why take it so seriously? if u want to pick on this, there are plenty more illogical thing u can pick. just take one piece or naruto =.=