A Certain Scientific Railgun S Episode 23

Here's our chance for an all out attack!

Recap: Shinobu explains the reason Febri and Janie were created and the girls unravel their creator’s next move. With Mitsuko, and her friends joining the group, they prepare to defend the Science Fair Assembly.

Jel’s Thoughts: This was clearly the “Calm Before the Storm” episode as all the various pieces are put into place for the final battle. We confirm Shinobu’s good intentions, get Mitsuko and her lackeys completely on board, and may possibly be calling the Sisters themselves into action. Even Mii is getting out in the field for a change, so it sounds like good times to me.

NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRDDDSSSSSS

In the process of wrangling the remaining troops we got some of the series’ glorious stupidity to keep us entertained. I am still laughing at the fact that the Evil Nerds’ organization is named STUDY. As far as I can tell, they didn’t even bother making an acronym out of it. Misaka’s ability to transmit her own neuro signals with her powers was also top tier nonsense, but that was ultimately irrelevant since nothing happened between the point she figured out how to do it to the point when the effect of the drugs wore off. I’ll even throw in the fact that they invented the word “Chemicaloid” to the mix of amusingly dumb things this episode. I’m not even making fun of Railgun at this point, I just find it hilarious that someone actually thinks of these things and make them happen.

So what IS in those bags?

All in all this episode did its job in that I was really hyped for the upcoming fight. Seeing everyone taking their battle stations and ready to smash up some ubiquitous green mecha filled me with a considerable amount of joy. The only thing that would make it better is if ITEM makes an appearance and, considering an army of mechs is no match for the firepower these girls are packing, I would not be surprised if I get my wish.

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Zigg’s Thoughts: This was a decent buildup episode for what will hopefully be an action packed finale. It falls down a little in some areas but makes up for it in others, and overall does a decent job pulling together the threads as we begin to close out the series.

I think my biggest issue with this episode is that the revelation of the hilariously named STUDY’s ultimate objective falls kind of flat. Their big speech about how they’re trying to break out of the strict level-based hierarchy is a decent enough motivation, but it’s sort of diminished by the fact that that seems to be the motivation of pretty much every minor villain in the Railgun universe and that, let’s be honest, they’ve sort of got a point. We’ve seen so much stupid crap happen in Academy City that it’s difficult not to sympathise with the baddies sometimes, and not in the ‘you have complex, human motivations’ way but rather in the ‘You’re right, the heroes are dumb‘ way.

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The other thing is their super awesome top secret scheme is…well, not very impressive to be honest. They’ve basically created an organic remote control, which is kind of cool I guess, but not really the apocalyptic threat that the show seems to want us to believe it is. As far as I can tell, the group’s access to tons and tons of military hardware is a way bigger danger than their odd dabbling in genetic engineering. Anti-Skill’s complete paralysis feels very much like a plot contrivance too, a convenient way to sideline them. While I appreciate that’s necessary, I wish they had found a more plausible way to do it.

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But there was still some cool stuff in this episode. I think the bit I liked the most was Mikoto’s reveal that she’d actually had backup all along. It was a great little sting that helped reinforce the message they’ve been pushing all through this second half of the season – you should share your problems with your friends so they can help you. Likewise, the big scene near the end is a pretty predictable but very effective way to keep at that message. Then there’s the ending lock-and-load montage, which did a great job of building up the hype and, most importantly, confirmed the return of BASEBALL BAT SATEN. With that, how can this finale fail to be great?

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