Railgun S 16, Monogatari SS 4

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S 16 goes as we expected, at least, to those of us who have seen it all before.

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The only real tension between the fight came when Misaka squared off against Accelerator, because I don’t remember them actually tussling during this. Still, it’s a letdown when they don’t actually fight (and a relief, because even then she couldn’t have beaten him). The whole bit was to bring up Misaka’s reasons for fighting in the first place. They’re her sisters. Accelerator doesn’t think much of this explanation, but it makes sense to me, and it actually brings this story arc to a close; she’s gone to resenting these clones to accepting them as human beings. … Then Touma gets up and punches Accelerator, we get some surreal Accelerator memories that suggest he’s a guinea pig just like the sisters are, but it feels like an afterthought.

... and Misaka facepalms.
… and Misaka facepalms.

That leaves most of the episode to play around with the aftermath. The project’s canceled, Touma gets a couple visits, the second one allowing Misaka’s tsundere side to come out for the first time in a while. Touma knows exactly what she means to say and so has some fun with her failing, as well as pointing out the obvious about the sisters. But the real meat of these scenes is with the injured Misaka, and to remind us that the sisters are just as capable of infuriating Misaka as Touma is, until the end of the “who’s the big sister?” bit, where the sister (representing all the sisters) asks Misaka for help and advice. I’ve forgotten exactly what happens next with them, who takes care of them and so on, only that they pop up in Index from time to time as comic relief. I wonder if this series will show more. As for Misaka and our girls, the biggest threat facing Misaka now is the dreaded dorm manager, so I’m hoping a silly episode or two for now. Everyone in the show deserves one.

Monogatari SS 4 is, naturally, more of the same. A lot of talk, and a little progress is made toward getting rid of the, er, Hystery Tiger, if I’m not being manipulated by Hanekawa being manipulated by Gaen.

She exists!
She exists!

I expect conversations in this show, but I did not expect one with Araragi’s mother! I thought this was a typical anime household, where the parents are away, or even in another country. But no, there she is, warning Hanekawa about thinking this was a new home for her, and she ought to get her family issues taken care of. She didn’t have to say any of it, but doing so helps establish her character a little: beautiful and intimidating, especially slouching with her business suit on, and she’s got the head tilt down. Why they decided to show her, maybe we’ll learn later, but for now it’s off to meet Mr. Episode, whom I’ve completely forgotten, and they have a cryptic talk. Then Gaen Izuko, who claims to know everything (and surely we’ll get Hanekawa’s contrasting slogan as a sophistic weapon worked in next week, or month) shows up to drag Sode away on a mission. A lot of missions going on in this series, and we know next to nothing about any of them.

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We also get a conversation with Senjougahara, who thinks Gaen’s full of shit, and naturally Hanekawa talks to herself a lot, too. But it’s the chat with the Fire Sisters that gives Hanekawa the clue she’s been looking for, and I wish I could understand. They were batting words like fire and justice, as the siblings like to do, and the metaphor unfortunately translated in the fansub as “heart burned” makes Hanekawa widen her eyes. As for me, I can’t get past the actual word “heartburn,” so I’m bound to miss something. But it’s enough for Hanekawa to leap into action–mark Araragi’s bed and write her cat-self a letter. This is what passes for action in this series, learning that the cat that inhabits you is a new breed and decide to meet it.

Oh, one more thing for those of you who might know: why are the taped-on words in the picture below in kata, and why are they backwards, or is Shinbou messing with us again? (Forget that third question. I know the answer)

monogatari4-3

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