Railgun finale, Kimi ni Todoke 23

The finale of Railgun is full of action, chases, explosions, and evil laughter. I appreciate all of these things; too bad it had to rush.

Never mind. It starts out great, with Kiyama racing to save the children and Telestina throwing all sorts of threat toward her, which are nullified by the girls. Lots of tanks and armored people get blown up as one after another good girl character shows up to get a moment of attention. It’s fun as hell, but there a letdown as the show continues to the place where the children are. Telestina makes her comeback, using the ability blocker, or whatever it’s called, and we get a tense moment, but it doesn’t quite compare to helicopters, armored personnel, trucks, one motorcycle, one blue car, and the girls’ abilities.

Improvised battle gear.

One of the things this episode did extremely well is use all the characters and let them play to their strengths. Sure, Misaka, Kuroko and Kongou, the most powerful, do the heavy lifting, but the other girls get their moment, too. Uiharu breaks through the computer security. And completely powerless Saten, ridiculously carrying around a baseball bat for two episodes, gets to use the damn thing against the main control panel, breaking the ability blocker and rescuing the girls. I saw it coming, but it was still satisfying to watch.

The rest is a bit messy, so much to fit in. We have to learn why Telestina is doing this, and turns out it’s for completely batshit reasons. But she’s so much fun to watch I really didn’t care too much. But the final confrontation is a letdown; Telestina has a weapon specifically designed to take down Misaka, and Misaka has … herself, only with extra-super determination. Guess who wins.

Finally, there are the kids.

They love you, Kiyama!.

The trouble is, there’s no time to do the revival scene must justice, though the show makes a good effort. There’s a lovely moment when they wake up and see Kiyama, partly responsible for what happened to them, and they’re overjoyed she’s there. (They, however don’t notice that they’re several years older) This works because we’ve seen Kiyama suffer for them. And she believed she was just a teacher who had no effect on their lives, apart from the experiment. Here we get to see how beautifully wrong she was. But beyond that, little of anything. Some thank you’s, apologies, and a plot wrap-up before we pan around the city looking at other characters. Good to see you, Touma and Index!

In the end this was a satisfying if rushed conclusion to an uneven but decent series. I hope they return to this world and do another series sometime, with more Touma.

Kimi ni Todoke has a couple episodes to go, and the big question is whether Sawako and Kazehaya are actually going to hook up or not. It gets annoying because Sawako seems to have regressed a little. Such is her lack of confidence that she’s afraid to call him, even with her brand spanking new cell phone. Actually, it’s worse than that. She still doesn’t get the idea that she can call up Yano and Yoshida and hang out with them over the long winter break. Even though they’re friends. At one point she wonders if she can call Ryou and Kazehaya friends. What’s up with this girl?

Leave it to Yano and Yoshida, evil plotters, who introduce the idea to all get together at the shrine on New Year’s Eve, which is coincidentally Sawako’s birthday. Oh, they say, and maybe they should invite Kazehaya too? What do you say, Sawako? Heh. In a devious move, they get Sawako to invite him, which not only gives her some practice on calling a boy but makes her responsible, something that doesn’t pan out until later.

Do NOT get on these girls' bad side.

I must say I’m getting tired of Sawako worrying about something, like her friends liking her, while all that time they’re loving her to death and are planning something nice for her. The more time spent on Sawako’s insecurities the more the show drags. Yano and Yoshida have more than once pulled the show out of this quicksand and livened things up, and they do so again. First, they get Sawako all dolled up before the shrine visit, then abandon her right before they reach the rendezvous point. Have fun with Kazehaya!

Kazehaya’s reaction is … subdued. Sawako fears he might be upset. She might be right. He says nothing but “Let’s go,” and the episode ends there. Next week, expect a long nervous episode with lots of struggling to say things and trying to figure out how the other one feels. It might be a long, long episode, or it might wind up like the well-done, extended talk scene between Yoshida and Tooru a few weeks ago. Either way, something better get accomplished.

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