A Certain Scientific Railgun has sadly come to an end, therefore I need to write my first series summary since starting this site.
I first became aware of Railgun thanks to it's opening, it had great animation and a fantastic upbeat soundtrack (only my railgun). After reading up and finding that it was a side story to A Certain Magical Index, I went and watched that first. Hence, by the time I got round to actually watching Railgun it was already in it's 9th episode. While you don't need to watch Index first in order to watch Railgun, watching it did certainly help with the characters as they had already been introduced previously.
At the start of the series the whole Kuroko-Misaka relationship thing really detracted from my enjoyment of the series, I don't mind the odd bit of yuri but doing it constantly and in a fashion that's extremely over the top just doesn't work. However, as the show went on this was decreased to a more acceptable level.
The first main arc, Level Upper, was interesting and well planned out over the 12 episodes within which it featured (that is, 1-12). The second arc had plenty of sub-arcs and it was only towards the end that you realise all of these sub-arcs are one huge arc masterminded by an insane super-villain! This arc was also interesting, however there was also a lot more filler. The occasional filler episode is fine, it's sometimes good to have a break from the main plotline and do something different, but too many episodes consisted of filler. It would have been better to see more plot and i'm sure they could have fitted some in without problem. Thought the entire series I would have also liked to see a few more fight scenes involving the use of a range of abilities. The animators did a fantastic job at animating the fight scenes, but having a few more would have made the series more enjoyable.
Background music was well used within the series, especially during fight scenes. In major fight scenes (Episodes 12 and 24) the actual fight was timed to one (or both) of the openings. As both openings where fantastic soundtracks and as the lyrics of the openings fitted the themes of the series this worked extremely well. The first ending theme (Dear My Friend -まだ見ぬ未来へ-) seems to be the weak spot here, all of the other openings and endings are fluidly animated and have a very fast, upbeat sound track. Perhaps once they realised just how popular Railgun was they decided that investing extra resources into developing an awesome second ending was feasible.
Overall, I found Railgun extremely enjoyable and rate it 4/5. If a second series is animated I will certainly pick it up. Considering how popular Railgun has been I wouldn't be surprised if a second season was animated.
I would like to thank Ayako for subtitling the series, and Mazui for the few rare cases where Ayako took more than a few days to subtitle an episode!
A fantastic action-packed finale for Railgun and by far my favourite episode, the only one that comes close is Episode 12 (AIM Burst).
This episode really brings together all of the events of previous episodes and makes you realise that Railgun is just one long arc with several sub-arcs. There are some extremely impressive fight scenes featuring all of the main characters in different situations. Like the fight in Episode 12, the fights are timed to the opening music. However, as there are two main fights, the first is timed to the second opening (LEVEL5 -judgelight-) and the second to the first opening (Only my Railgun).
Some of the new fight techniques where quite amusing, when Kuroko pulled a machine-gun style belt of pins out of her bag I couldn't help but burst out laughing. It turned out to be quite a successful technique too allowing her to rapidly teleport the pins into the weapons of her enemies, thus disabling them.
[spoiler]Telestina[/spoiler] is perhaps the most evil and insane villain I've ever seen and simply does not give up. She had to be [spoiler]blasted by Misaka's railgun[/spoiler] twice before she was finally subdued! Perhaps more amazing is that after this, she is [spoiler]still alive[/spoiler]!
I will post up a series summary soon. It's sad that Railgun is now over but i'm pleased that they made the final episode as epic as it was and didn't leave any loose ends (Code Geass R1, i'm looking at you).
Apologies for the high number of screencaps, there was so much awesome that I found it difficult to limit myself. In fact, at first I had 135 separate screencaps and eventually narrowed it down to the ones below.
With the start of Angel Beats rapidly approaching, a new PV has been released. Compared to PV6 we see a lot more of the plot as well as hear some of the characters in dialogue and part of (what seems to be) the opening song - My Soul, Your Beats by Lia.
Angel Beats starts screening on the 2nd of April. I'll let the screencaps speak for themselves, video at the end of the post, very much looking forward to this.
So we start with a scene of someone violently beating up people with a baseball bat. Straight away, I can see that Higurashi is going to be quite a violent anime. After the opening plays, we get a general introduction of the characters and normal daily life (which does not appear to include violent murder at the moment). However, when Keiichi talks to a visiting photographer, instantly our view changes. He mentions a violent murder which occurred some time ago. As Keiichi attempts to investigate further, he is repeatedly blocked by the other girls, Rena and Mion and investigates on his own. What he discovers is quite unnerving and nicely sets the tone for the rest of the series.
In a word, wow. This episode certainly rivals my favourite (episode 12). We've got a lot of plot development, revelations and a slightly unusual fight scene.
It tuns out that my suspicions about Telestina where correct, she really isn't one to be trusted, and is actually [spoiler]the granddaughter of Kihara Gensei, the mad scientist who tried to create a Level 6 and ended up putting those child errors into a coma[/spoiler]. Of course, since we handed the kids over to her last episode she now holds all the cards and can continue the experiments. Misaka attempts to stop her, but it turns out Telestina was behind the Skill Out's use of Capacity Down, rendering Misaka's powers useless and creating an interesting fight scene where an unexpected character ([spoiler]Kongo[/spoiler]) has to step in to save the day for once. Telestina really is the most evil character we've seen in Railgun so far.
After Misaka's failed attempts to stop Telestina, the other Judgement members attempt to convince Anti-Skill to act (despite the fact we've yet to see Anti-Skill do anything useful in Railgun!). It looks like Episode 24 (Dear My Friends) is going to be an awesome finale to the series, with all of the Judgement members teaming up with Harumi and Anti-Skill to stop Telestina. I can't wait!