Impression – Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S, Episode 09

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Episode 09 – “Power Trace: AIM Stalker”

So I started watching Index this past week, and things make a little more sense now. It’s interesting how all of Railgun essentially takes place before the events of the main series. So people who have watched Index already pretty much know what will happen in the big picture, but it’s interesting to watch the exact events that transpire, as well as Misaka’s struggle to stop the experiments. I wonder exactly how much time happens between this season and Index.

This week, we’re introduced to the rest of ITEM. The ringleader is Shizuri Mugino (CV: Ami Koshimzu, as in Kallen from Code Geass), the 4th strongest Level 5 in Academy City right behind Misaka. She uses her laser hands, which is infamously known as The Meltdowner, to blast holes in everything. Misaka hypothesizes that they work similarly to her own ability. So maybe they have similar properties to EM Waves? The next episode preview calls them “Particle Destabilizers,” which is a really fascinating.

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I really enjoy how all esper abilities have a scientific background. In Index, it’s explained that these abilities are derived from Schrödinger’s theory of imposed reality (made famous by his feline thought experiment). Just as we force reality to assume a particular form when we open the box, espers can construct reality as they wish with their powers. It’s an incredibly interesting, albeit confusing, explanation for why espers can do what they do.

I think Nunotaba should win the BAMF of the episode award. She infiltrates a facility by herself (most likely without Misaka knowing either), and she takes it upon herself to try and stop the experiments. Unfortunately, she’s stopped by Saiai Kinuhata (CV: Chinatsu Akasaki, as in Nibutani from Chuunibyou) who possesses Offense Armor which reminds me of Index’s Walking Church. I love the names they choose for these, by the way. But I wonder if the reason that her emotion program failed to install is because the clones might already possess the capacity to do so?

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There’s a lot of uncertainty concerning the “correct” course of action. Misaka believes that destroying the facilities involved will stop the project, while Nunotaba believes that providing the clones with emotions will change the minds of scientists. However, she begins to doubt herself because can people who partake in something like this be swayed so easily? Even if the experiments are stopped, can the clones really live normal lives? It’s a complex issue, and I feel like the events in Index diminish its meaning a little. Of course, I haven’t finished Index yet, so maybe I can’t say for sure.

I don’t think there’s a moment when I’m watching this when I’m not saying, “Man, this show is awesome.” Everything about it is just so well put together. I feel like I’m noticing the animation production values more and more too, especially after going back to watch Index. This has some serious potential to become one of my favorite series of all time.

B.W.

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2 responses to “Impression – Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S, Episode 09

  1. I doubt the anime would explain Mugino’s ability since the manga didn’t, so I’ll try to summarize.

    Mugino’s Meltdowner is technically called Particle Waveform High-Speed Cannon.
    Apparently, electrons can have properties of particles and waves, though it can’t express both at the same time. Meltdowner forcibly places electrons in an ambiguous state where they simultaneously have properties of both. This state, according to the author, can cause a massive amount of destructive force.

    I have no idea if this is scientifically plausible or not, but whatever. It’s LAZERS, no need for scientific validity.

    • That actually does make scientific sense because quantum physics suggests that light is neither a particle or a wave, and yet both at the same time. When we attempt to observe light’s properties, we’re actually “forcing” it to behave as one way (typically the opposite of what we want too). This also connects to Schrödinger’s thought experiment of imposing reality, and the ability to force an ambiguous state sounds pretty powerful.

      My explanation was probably bad, but it’s really fascinating to think about. It also makes my head hurt a little.

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