Blacksmith 11, Railgun 12

The Sacred Blacksmith 11 clears up what happened to Luke that time when Lisa was killed by Valbanill. It happens because Cecily interferes with Empire affairs.

This isn't Copenhagen, Cecily.

She gets off on the wrong foot by going after Siegfried, who is the “Man in Black,” though no one believes her. Dragged into the meeting for reasons I can’t fanthom (why wasn’t she in jail?) she overreacts again as everyone says nasty things about Luke and the current Lisa. And Luke isn’t much help. Then she gets thrown out. What took them so long?

We get some intrigue, Siegfried snickering and acting smug, and a heart-to-heart with Lisa, whereupon Cecily pulls a thought out from under her chestplate and realizes what no one else had been able to figure out: who really created Lisa. So she barges into the meeting and, as the music swells, tells them. It’s not badly done, and though Luke is off the hook for Lisa he reacts badly to the information. After all, he’s used to being tortured by guilt.

I’ve said it before, Cecily is at her best when she has her gumption up, and she gets a long monologue full of it here. It’s fun to watch her figuratively slap Luke around for a change. No action scenes this time, unless you count the monsters who attack the city at the end while Siegfried snickers some more. Snickering bad guys are a bore.

Railgun 12 brings us to the end of the story arc with lots of violent light shows and things blowing up, all because of a giant fetus. It doesn’t quite work. The more personal stuff underneath it comes off better.

Don’t get me wrong; I like things blowing up and violent light shows, but after their first attempt at killing the fetus the damn thing just grew, and we all know that means nothing much is going to stop it until they find a way at the very end. All the explosions until then are just for show. The real drama should come from Kihara figuring out a way to stop it and sending otherwise-useless Uiharu off with the antidote on a little chip (which she holds in her hand the entire way to the broadcast truck rather than securing in a pocket).

But this part works. Part of the theme to this arc was the fact that people with no special powers felt like second-class citizens in this city. The giant fetus is actually an amalgamation of these fears. But here Uiharu gets to be useful. She helps save the city.

The theme appears in the battle, too, when Misaka hears from within the fetus the cries of despair from the powerless victims, but it’s a cheesy moment, almost as bad as the fact the battle is happening inconveniently close to an experimental nuclear power station, not to mention that Misaka’s final death blow has to be explained by Kihara as it’s happening. What’s worse is that Misaka feels contrite and feels she might be partly responsible for the angst of the powerless. This is nonsense. Misaka never gives a hoot for what someone else’s power level is. She befriended powerless Saten and Uiharu. There are probably lots of powerful people in that city you could place some blame on, but not her.

Well, a lot of things got blowed up, and Saten recovers. Next week everyone wears bikinis. Maybe I’ll skip it.

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