Saturday, 13 March 2010

To Aru Kagaku no Railgun - Episode 23

With Harumi Kiyama's latest plot which looked set to put Academy City in danger foiled, and the comatose Child Errors seemingly safe and sound under the care of MAR and Telestina, it appears as though all should be well in the world of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun. But if that's the case, why does nobody seem happy? From Uihara to Misaka and beyond, there seem to be doubts all round that the Poltergeist case is firmly closed.

These suspicions are soon proved to be entirely correct, as when Uihara goes to visit Haruue (along with Harumi, having convinced her to tag along) she finds both Harumi's research and access to her friend blocked by Telestina for reasons that soon become clear. This leaves Uihara understandably distraught to the point of incoherence, and it takes some pretty drastic action to snap her out of her depression on Kuruko's part.

In the midst of that particular drama, Misaka once again tries to take things into her own hands, leaving alone to confront Telestina in what proves to be a decidedly ill-advised course of action - Indeed, she's only saved from a far worse fate by the coincidental presence of Mitsuko Kongo in a close shave that (thanks to Saten) reminds all of the girls as to the importance of the group's friendship.

Having complained about all the filler throughout much of the second half of this series, I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that this was by far the best episode of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun so far, surpassing everything that has come before to a notable degree. What really sealed this episode's place in my heart was the way that the four major characters bounced off of one another throughout in a way that felt absolutely genuine by way of its emotions, reactions and interactions - It would simply splendid to watch, and was beautifully realised in terms of animation, voice acting and characterisation. Add to that the smart re-emergence of "Capacity Down" with some equally well animated action sequences and a story that brought a lot to this particular arc of the series in its own right, and I can easily forgive some of the weaker points of the episode (the over-the-top "mad scientist" depiction of Telestina, mostly) in favour of the general sense of enjoyment that this episode bestowed upon me. If only every episode of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun had reached these dizzy heights.


Nanami Kamimura said...

I think you should reminded that it's Uiharu not Uihara.

Unimpressed said...

I'm glad someone liked this episode, because I found it insulting. They pull a villain out of their asses, and use every writing device known to man to try to make us care about what's going on. I sure don't.

If they had spent the last six episodes building this up, rather than it being pure filler, then it might have worked. This smacks of Endless Eight syndrome to me, a few "meh" episodes after a long string of torturous filler episodes.

Peter S said...

I agree that it's one of the strongest episodes yet, for most of the reasons you mentioned. Sometimes they handle Judgement detective work poorly, sometimes the bonding feels clumsy, sometimes it's just dully written. Not this time.

While Telestina's sudden leap to mad villain didn't work, I rather LIKE her as a mad villain. Such facial gestures!

Hanners said...

Unimpressed: I have to admit I can sympathise about pulling the villain out of nowhere (although it was somewhat foreshadowed in the previous episode), it felt a little cliché, but I can forgive that for the strength of the rest of the instalment. After all, you could probably make the exact same argument for the Level Upper story arc, which is really pretty similar in a lot of ways now that I think about it.

Anonymous said...

I found it quite obvious...I mean seriously how could you not tell she was gonna be a villain? Either way i really liked it, I got pissed though(as i really get into the shows) when she pulled out the level down thing,I wished that got blown up, poor Misaka... That would suck having all that power, and not being able to use it because someone pulled a cheap arse trick out of their sleeves.

Blacksun88 said...

Saten has my vote for being the most awesome character in this episode. being a level 0, she is actually the most calm-minded wise, and she kick other ass but bring them back to their sense. good job saten!!