Railgun S 5, Chihayafuru 18

The cute, funny scenes before the brutal murder scenes.
The cute, funny scenes before the brutal murder scenes.

The Sisters arc in Toaru kagaku no Railgun S continues to be undercut by the fact that we know the story already. Episode 5’s intentions are obvious: spend the first half having Misaka meet and bond humorously with one of her clones in a manner befitting the series, and spend the second half seeing that Sister slowly and brutally murdered by Accelerator. It’s supposed to punch our emotional buttons but it doesn’t work. Try as the show might, it can’t hide the fact that there are thousands more of these monotone girls walking around waiting their turn. It gets hard to care when there are so many of them, like death statistics you might hear about but cannot comprehend. Also, we saw a few of these deaths before, not only the room of corpses last week but a few years ago in Index. Though there was a moment at the very end, when the Sister drags herself to the badge Misaka gave her, that cuts through the indifference. And let’s not forget Misaka. Even if we can’t feel much emotion for the Sisters, she certainly can. They’re clones of her, after all, and she met one, and it ate her ice cream! Now we have a fully-motivated and outraged Misaka, setting up an interesting battle next week; even though we know the end of the arc, we don’t know all the details.

I love the look on Chihaya's face at this moment.
I love the look on Chihaya’s face at this moment.

Chihayafuru 2 doesn’t finish the championship match this week. Did you really expect it to? There’s too much for the show to fit in. We not only have to go into the heads of each of our guys to see how they’re coping with their individual issues, but we visit the minds of the ones not playing, the opponents Rion and that other guy, the reader, Chinobu, Arata (who isn’t even in the damn room), the coaches, the third place match, AND one or two watchers who talk about how intense it all is and how no one’s giving up. Of course, this show does this all the time, but now they’ve amassed such an pile of stories and emotions that it takes a while for the episode to get to them all. Chihaya’s battling her injured finger, and since she’s the main character she gets the most screen time, but her little story is put on hold for the week with plenty of time left. Hence a lot of the episode’s energy is diffused and it doesn’t feel quite as intense as other battle episodes, especially when it becomes clear that they won’t finish this week. Not to say the episode isn’t intense. I’m betting on a heavy Porky episode next week. He’s the one character we didn’t see much of this week, and he’s due for his big moment.

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2 thoughts on “Railgun S 5, Chihayafuru 18

  1. “It’s supposed to punch our emotional buttons but it doesn’t work.” That’s questionable as most of viewer’s comments under DL links or other blog posts prove otherwise. I watched Index as many others and it hit me like that train at the end.. not because it was shocking, but because it was sad. Moreso because we even know how many Sisters will end up mutilated.

    There also comes point of seeing the process of what really drove Misaka to the point that she was about to commit suicide (Index, S1). Yep, I only remembered it recently while rewatching it. In Index S1 we couldn’t even try to understand what drove such level-headed girl to the pitiful state she was in, mainly because that story was being told from Touma’s point of view, not to mention overall brutality was toned down in Index S1. Now we have a chance to see that epic fight in whole glory once again, without holding back.

  2. The episode was certainly effective in driving Misaka into a fury, even if she only saw the last moments of the battle. And the episode had a splendid buildup to Misaka running up to fight Accelerator. But even back in Index S1 I had no problem understanding why Misaka would be willing to go into a suicidal battle.

    That said, now that the prelude is finally done with and Misaka is fully involved, I’m looking forward to her side of the story. There’s a lot they can do with it.

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