Railgun 15 finally gives us a new story arc. Too bad it is, in itself, not very interesting. Another gang, calling itself “Big Spider,” is raising havoc, and seems to have a weapon which negates the powers of ability users. Kongou is the first of the main characters to encounter this. She’s rescued by another guy, and he’s got a big spider tattoo on his back, which makes Konori gasp in that plot-development kind of way.
What’s more interesting is the underlying causes for the friction. We’ve seen it before in this series, in fact it’s one of the main themes: those with no powers often envy and resent those that do, and that turns them against society. Here we get a better idea of how this society works. When Kuroko confronts the gang leader she arrests him for crimes against ability users, making me wonder if this is a separate law than any where the powerless is a victim. The Big Spider gang and other so-called “skill-outs” live in a slum, and while Misaka wonders why the city permits such squalor, the fact is the slum is indeed there, and it’s where the outcasts go.
And it’s easy for those with skills, i.e. those on a higher level of society, to simply say that these angry powerless people are just scum and rabble. It’s way too easy to come to this conclusion, Kuroko seems to be thinking this way, and a little frightening, too. We see the Spider gang (which is, albeit, commanded by a psychopath) attack more and more skilled people, some of which try to use their powers only to be overwhelmed by force. It’s an ugly society to live in. We’ll see what they do with this theme in later episodes. Oh, there’s probably a love interest thing going on, too, but I really can’t get up any enthusiasm for it.