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Railgun S 23, Watamote 11

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S 23 is an episode of long talks that I suppose were necessary before we get to the big battle next week.

What a strange concept!

What a strange concept!

The first, inevitably, comes from Aritomi, one of those smirking speeches bad guys give that give away just about everything, along with some twisted logic involving espers and normal people. While we need to hear his motivations, it comes as no surprise that his are rather predictable, and not new to this show. Normal people are ignored in favor of espers, etc. In the four seasons this franchise has had, we’ve explored this no doubt legitimate problem from every angle, so it’s become tiresome. Anyway, he’s going to start a revolution at the conference tomorrow. Misaka and Shinobou listen to it and then have a talk of their own, where the other old Railgun chestnut “I have to fix this on my own,” is held up and destroyed by Misaka, who knows better.

Pre-battle bonding moment.

Pre-battle bonding moment.

Then we get the next talk, back at Judgement headquarters, and thankfully there are no more themes evoked apart from the “every smiling” image (However, we do switch to STUDY doing more gloating and using the “darkness” theme somewhere in there). Instead it’s one of those strategy talks where everyone is depressed for a while. They don’t know where Janie is, can’t get Anti-Skills to do anything because they’re compromised, and so on. So everyone makes a few phone calls, the smiling image is evoked, everyone cheers up, and we end with everyone set up and prepared for the human/robot showdown. Saten with her bat was a nice touch. So I can forgive all the talk we had this week, it all had to be said (even the stupid parts), and next week we get what we really want from the show, unless you’re in it entirely to watch Kuroko grope Misaka.

watamote11-1

Watamote 11 is as close as this series gets to a happy episode. So happy that they stuck balloons on the closing credits. This comes after a girl in a dog suit gives Tomoko a balloon, and a hug. Now, I could add that before this the dog had been giving balloons and hugs to children, and so we come back to the thought that Tomoko is no more than an overgrown elementary-schooler, but sometimes everyone needs a hug. The girl in the suit was the school festival chairman, who had been running into Tomoko throughout the episode and seen her either moping or injured, and so borrowed the suit to give Tomoko a special gift. And so, for one of the few times in the series, a stranger does something nice to Tomoko because she needs it.

watamote11-2

Normally, strangers, not to mention classmates and teachers, treat her with benign indifference. The same is true for the earlier parts of this episode. Her class is busy with their cosplay cafe plans but somehow doesn’t manage to include Tomoko in them. This is fine with Tomoko, it seems. School festival–bah! But we know her too well. She wants to be put to work, be part of a team, if only they’d remember she existed. On the other hand, they’re probably not sure how good a job she’d do, and their fears are confirmed when she injures herself with the box cutter. Otherwise she mopes a lot, gets sick, the usual. Until Yuu visits the festival and she realizes that she’s actually … having fun, and it’s because she’s doing things with a friend. Her problems are still there, but the goal has rarely been so obvious. Alas, she still has no way of fixing them, so it’s nice when a stranger in a dog suit gives her a balloon and a hug.

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Categories: Index/Railgun, Watamote
  1. September 23, 2013 at 6:22 am

    I honestly couldn’t decide whether to feel bad or happy for Tomoko at the end of this episode of Watmote. On the one hand, as you point out, sometimes you just need a hug. And clearly said hug made Tomoko feel a lot better about the world, which I’m sure just about everyone can empathise with. On the other hand, the only person to actually hug Tomoko when she’s feeling down is an essentially random school acquaintance who just happened to notice that Tomoko was on her own and probably emotionally down. Left to her own devices, Tomoko would of course never be able to ask for such a simple thing as a hug – that’s assuming she’s even able to consciously recognise that she wants such a thing. I’m guessing that the reason she apparently wanted to grope!hug her friend to begin with is because while all Tomoko wanted may have been a simple hug, she was unable to admit this to herself without rationalising it as something else – in this case, the chance to feel up Yuu-chan’s boobs. Which strikes me as a pretty sad thing.

    • September 23, 2013 at 9:20 am

      I like that idea. The business of Tomoko wanting to grope Yuu confused me when I watched it, but I like the idea that it’s her justification for some sort of human contact. And while it is sad that it’s given by a stranger out of empathy, beggars can’t be choosers, and so many episodes have passed with her getting nowhere that I was glad she got something for a change.

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