Railgun 01: Wonders of Academy City
Well, this is the first show of the season I haven’t immediately dropped after the first episode. Yay! I know absolutely nothing of To Aru Majutsu no Index, and quite frankly I don’t feel at all curious about it. So far it seems like you can watch this spinoff without having seen the original so…
I guess if you read this blog regularly you’re expecting some crazy esoteric mumbo-jumbo angle UIHARU IS GOD to pop out at any point in the post. Considering it’s only the first episode though I just have one comment and I’ll get it out of the way right now:
Academy City takes full precaution regarding public order when looking after your children…
So says the tour guide at the very beginning, predictably setting up the total chaos that will ensue when some fellows pick on the superpowered protagonist Mikoto, and then a little later on during a bank robbery. What’s more, Mikoto comments on how security in Academy City is way less than perfect etc. Her point is well taken, but I’ve got another one of a different order. This point is best exemplified by this next pic right here:
Metaliciously speaking, of course, Academy City’s youth have a far more formidable adversary than hoodlums disrupting the public order: us viewers. The city is plainly a fishbowl, a cloudy one, though I supposed DVDs might take care of even that! The bathrooms are obviously bugged. Tell you what: I’m not sending my children to study there… And why are those bad guys being sent to disrupt the public order anyway?
That’s my point. It’s silly, but the tour guide’s claim at the start triggered the thought in me and I’m not one to let thoughts go by idly.
The character design is very nice, the backgrounds are nice, the animation and action are nice. As for the voices, Kuroko’s is definitely interesting. She likes to say “の” (“no”, an emphatic particle of sorts) at the end of every sentence, which could become very an-no-ying in the later episodes, but for now it’s fine.
The fanservice is absolutely shocking. The shower scene I alluded to before actually exceeds many a series’ crowning fanservice in the latter stages of the show, and here we get it in the first episode! Also, when Saten tells Uiharu if she wants to see her undies, she doesn’t threaten to show them, she just goes ahead and lifts up her skirt. These kids are not very well-behaved.
Also, just before I closed my eyes during the shower scene, I noticed that Mikoto’s bodytype − and don’t complain to me for comparing apples with oranges because they’re both fruits and so, yes, they CAN be compared − resembles a Fatima’s! Now, for all of you who know naught of Five Star Stories, here’s Fatima Focus Light:
The one difference is in head size, where Mikoto’s seems closer to the dude on the right…Oops, now she’s mad!
Anyway, I’ll definitely hang around for the next episode.
NOTE ON THE CHARACTER NAMES:
They’re somewhat odd… and meaningful.
Misaka Mikoto (御坂美琴) – Literally “great-hill beautiful-koto”. Koto is of course the Japanese harp. But “mikoto” written differently is an adjective used for gods and emperors: “august” in the old translations.
Shirai Kuroko (白井黒子) – “white-well black-child”. Shirai is a common enough surname, but I’ve never heard of a Japanese couple wanting to to name their kid “black child”. However, “kuroko” happens to also be the term for the stagehands in kabuki theater, because they dress in black and you’re not supposed to see them [well, you do, but you’re supposed to ignore them and only focus on the characters of the play…]
Uiharu Kazari (初春飾利) – “first-spring beneficial-ornament”. Straightforward considering her innocence and flowers. The word “kazari” itself written differently means just “ornament”.
Saten Ruiko (佐天涙子) – “heavenly-aide tearful-child”. Prophetic?