Toaru Kagaku no Railgun has returned with an “S” at the end of it. It seems that appending titles with letters is the way to go now. Not that I care. I’m just happy to see the show again.
Like the Index sequel, episode one gives us a couple of brief adventures to get us back into the flow. We start with poor Saten, the only one of the gang with no powers, being chased by a pack of random thugs that seem to be everywhere in Academy City. Kuroko’s joined the chase, dragging Uiharu along (Why? Uiharu’s super power makes her useful in catering, perhaps, but not in crime fighting), so we don’t worry too much. Soon, Saten’s cornered in an alley, Kuroko/Uiharu pop in, meaning now the thugs are cornered, though they don’t know it yet, and then Misaka innocently saunters in wondering what the fuss is about, depriving Kuroko of a chance for some teleportation and metal spike fury. I was a little disappointed by that, but knowing what would happen next I had to grin. I love it when some goon underestimates Misaka.
Now it’s time to get some chess pieces in place. We meet Shokuhou, the #1 esper in Academy city. Really? I knew Misaka was #3 and Accelerator was #2. I thought #1 would be some mysterious entity deep in the bowels of the city who ran or manipulated things with a smirk on his/her face. I didn’t expect her to be a spoiled, rich blonde student with a bad attitude. Well, we’ll find out more about her later. She’s only here this episode so we can get a look at her. After a confrontation it’s time to properly introduce the girls as they visit Banri at the hospital. I had forgotten about Banri and had to look her up. As expected in this season-opener, terrorists visit the same hospital to bust a comrade out at the same time. Hello Aiho and Tessou! Sorry you didn’t get more to do this episode.
Naturally, Erii is taken hostage and it thus becomes personal for Misaka. The action kicks in and doesn’t disappoint. Even Saten gets to help. And it makes you forget things like why the bad guys in this show are always surprised when they meet an esper in this city that’s crawling with them. But if you’re a fan of this franchise like I am you learn not to worry too much about such lapses in thinking, or plot holes, or lazy writing. You sit back and enjoy. Good first episode that does what it sets out to do: remind us how formidable the girls are, and that Misaka likes to go off half-cocked, Uiharu is unaware of the flowers in her hair, and Saten likes to flip Uiharu’s skirt. Now it’s time to get the plot rolling.