Recap: Kuroko and Uiharu have their hands full with Judgement duties as preparations are underway for the upcoming Academic Assembly exhibition. The girls find time to celebrate Banri’s release from the hospital, but their encounter with a mysterious little girl may end their short lived peace.
Jel’s Thoughts: Railgun returns from the break with a pretty boring and inoffensive episode, but it did at least give the other cast members some of their mandatory screen time. I really like the slightly more mature, comfortable in her own skin version of Saten we seem to have arrived at. It’s a cool, natural progression of her character from the plucky but insecure sidekick type she started as. Uiharu also gets some positive reinforcement, as we are again reminded how capable and responsible she is in carrying out her judgement duties. Even Mitsuko has somehow managed to stay sympathetic despite her cartoonish ojou-sama personality. It’s not always easy to pull off likable support characters, but I’d say that’s something Railgun does well.
The weak links here are Erii and Banri, who really have gotten a lot more screen time than I would have ever expected. They were never really characters so much as they were plot devices, so I kind of find it hard to have any attachment to them. Even in their case though, the writers have managed to use their time in the spotlight to highlight the other girls’ positive traits, and their final conclusion to do more and possibly join Judgement was a sweet gesture. I had to look it up, but both of them are telepaths, so it’s not like they would be completely useless. Maybe they could help if Shokuhou ever reappears? We’ll have to see on that front.
Ultimately the most important thing to take away here is they are wasting no time in jumping back into an actual story arc. Sure the obvious “Revenge of the Nerds” plotline that seems to be developing sounds a little uninspired, but honestly we got all the pathos we needed in the first sixteen episodes. If Railgun’s new idea of anime only filler is Mikoto and company smashing up mechs and possibly re-matching with ITEM then I am totally 100% in full support of that. It would be a great way to cap off what has been a really successful series for the franchise.