With Harumi and Telestina reversing roles as hero and villain respectively, and after a fantastic penultimate episode of the series, we were all set for a rip-roaring finale to To Aru Kagaku no Railgun. But can it deliver a memorable ending?
Certainly, in terms of the first half of this episode, this was To Aru Kagaku no Railgun at its stunning best - A relentless and non-stop cornucopia of action which made the most of Kuroko and (in particular) Misaka's capabilities, while also finding a place for Mitsuko Kongo in proceedings. Really, spectacular doesn't even begin to describe this particular segment of the episode, with all of the major characters teaming up to do their bit in helping Harumi find the missing children against Telestina and her assembled forces.
From here, the second half of the finale takes on what could be termed a more predictable feel, with the tables seemingly turned back in Telestina's favour after Harumi and company find what they're looking for, until Telestina's tendency to monologue (as is so often the case with villains in any form) proves to be her downfall as Saten takes the opportunity to rise to the particulars of this unique occasion. I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to say that everything ends well and everyone lives happily ever after here - Yes, it's clichéd, but what else were you expecting from the end of this particular series?
Overall, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun has been a bit of a mixed bag in terms of its quality - The first half of the series was frequently excellent, even when it wasn't concerning itself too seriously with its major story arc, while the second half struggled to find anything worthwhile to fill its time with before the final Poltergeist arc came along. In fairness, it turned out to be well worth the wait thanks to a couple of excellent closing episodes, but as so often seems to be the case with longer anime series perhaps thirteen episodes would have been enough to cover the major plot lines without running out of steam somewhere in the middle? At the end of it all it's a net win for this series, which has been thoroughly entertaining more often than it's been dull, but a few of those poorer filler episodes have sullied the final reputation of the show as a whole slightly.