Episode 17 – “Study Group”
After the excitement that was the entire Sisters Arc, things wind down a bit with a filler episode, in typical Railgun fashion. I know a lot of people criticize J.C. Staff for the inclusion of these, which they feel artificially drag out the series, and those people do have a point. The fantastic story and scenarios are the main draw for the series, and the fillers in a way take away from them. However, I personally like these types of episodes because they give us more insight into the everyday lives of the series’s great characters, as well as seeing their personalities in action.
I’ve said it a lot before, but it might be worth repeating. I really like Railgun balances slice-of-life moments with serious plot. It makes things feel a lot more organic and honestly more fun to watch. I know a lot of people would rather the series be all plot all the time, but I don’t disagree with the way J.C. Staff is adapting Railgun S. But then again I haven’t read the manga so what do I know, right?
This episode, Misaka and Kuroko (it’s weird that I use Misaka’s last name and Kuroko’s first name, but it’s just because that’s what I’m hearing the most while watching) go through the trouble to get special curfew permissions to hang out with Uiharu, Saten, and Haruue. On that parenthesized note, I find it odd that this close group of friends, with the exception of Misaka and Kuroko with each other, still call each other by their last names. I forget if this was ever addressed in the first season of Railgun, but I would think teenage girls who are best friends with each other would use first names rather than family names.
I think one of the biggest reasons that I enjoy these episodes that feature all of the characters is because of the great voice acting. I can’t pinpoint why, but it just seems of a higher quality than most series that I watch. I love all of the seiyuu, like Aki Toyosaki (also Yui from K-on!) as Uiharu, Kanae Itou (also Elsie from The World God Only Knows) as Saten, and of course Kana Hanazawa as Haruue.
Aside from an awkwardly comedic run-in with both Frenda and Mugino at a restaurant, we also see Kuroko shopping with Kongou as well as Misaka visiting the frog doctor. Dr. Frog mentions the issue with the clones short lifespans, but claims that their could be a way to prolong them by decreasing the rate at which their cells divide. Now, I wonder what the new plot will be about. Judging from the new opening (which is great, but I still prefer “sister’s noise”), there’s a mysterious little girl involved. Hmm…
Also, there will be no new episode of Railgun S next week because a preview of the new Index movie will be shown in its place.