Something sinister is growing in Academy City. The shadows are filled with whispers of a project to clone one of the super-powered students known as espers. High-ranking master of electricity Mikoto Misaka laughs off these stories until she comes face to face with a copy of herself. The duplicates are real, and are being mass-produced from Misaka’s DNA, making each one of them a little piece of her.
These clones – her sisters – are being systematically murdered in a series of experiments designed to turn a sadistic killer into the strongest esper in history. Misaka vows to save her copies and destroy the project, but this might be one fight she can’t win alone. High-energy battles and intense action explode in this continuation of the Railgun series from the creator of A Certain Magical Index.
A Certain Scientific Railgun is back, featuring the cast we all know and love, as well as a few new espers. The show starts off much like the first season did: Misaka and the others get caught up in a terrorist incident and Misaka decides to play the heroine again, demonstrating her powers in the process.
After quickly reintroducing the characters, the series starts its first arc. It turns out that years ago, Misaka gave some scientists her DNA map, which they of course blatantly abused to create an army of clones of her. Unfortunately for the scientists, they were unable to create any clones with a level of power comparable to Misaka’s. And thus the project was scrapped. That is, until they thought up a different plan for the clones: have them fight Accelerator’s to boost his power to the never before attained level 6. After discovering this plan, Misaka vows to put an end to it, which pits her against a group of mercenary espers of her own level.
Compared to the first season, the second season is a bit heavier. It delves deeper into Misaka’s insecurities and her mindset that the situation with the clones is a problem that she has to solve by herself. As she isn’t talking to her friends, Kuroko starts to worry about her, while covering for Misaka’s absence whenever needed. These scenes clearly show that Kuroko really cares for Misaka and isn’t just trying to get into her pants.
For those who remember the Accelerator arc from A Certain Magical Index, the story told in the first half of this show is essentially that same arc, but from Misaka’s perspective with a whole lot more background information. This also means that the level of violence is higher than it was in
most of the first season. Accelerator has no problem taking his time fighting Misaka’s clones, ripping off limbs and making them suffer in the process. It fits his character, but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch.
The characters are as much fun as they were in the first season. Misaka is still her powerful, slightly childish self. Kuroko is still chasing Misaka around, but she gets a bit more attention when it comes to their relationship when she has to cover for Misaka. There’s clearly a relation of trust there, even though neither of them comes out to say so. Of course, there is still plenty of comedy involving Kuroko as well. Especially her reaction when Saten dares to suggest that Misaka may have found a boyfriend are priceless. There are also a few new characters, each with their own power. This is bad news for Misaka, as they actually work together to team up on her, making for some interesting battles.
The animation style is about the same as it was in the first season: colorful and very nice. The world has been established by now, so there aren’t too many surprises in terms of backgrounds, but that doesn’t make them any less nice to look at. The place where the animation really shines is during the action scenes, of which there are more than enough. Misaka uses her powers in different nice ways this time, such as to launch all sorts of projectiles, walk on walls and ceilings, and even use a magnetic emergency escape. This makes for some very nice and energetic fights against the group of mercenaries using various bombs and laser powers. It’s also nice to see what happens when Misaka has to fight someone with a power of the same type as hers, since they can now influence each other attacks as well as their own.
The music is also still as nice as in the first season. There are a few slower tunes for the emotional scenes, but mostly the series features fast-paced tunes during its many action scenes. The opening and ending theme are also in the same vein as those of the first season. This isn’t too surprising considering that Fripside is back for another great opening theme.
The release itself is pretty nice, like what we’re used to from Funimation. There are a few minor issues with banding in the darker scenes and some aliasing in the CG backgrounds in the first episode, but that’s probably caused by the source material. One thing that needs to be mentioned, though, is that the story arc doesn’t end at the end of this first part. Because of this, you may want to wait until both parts are out so you can actually finish the arc.
Episode 5 commentary by Brittney Karbowski (Misaka) and Jerry Jewell (ADR Director), episode 7 commentary by Alison Viktorin (Kuroko) and Jerry Jewell (ADR Director), creditless opening and ending, various trailers.
A slightly heavier continuation of the Railgun saga. The story gets more violent with the battles between Accelerator and the Misaka clones. Recommended for everyone who liked the first season, but especially to viewers who want to see the other side of the Accelerator arc from A Certain Magical Index.
- Released By: Funimation Entertainment
- Available on BLU-RAY + DVD Combo Pack
- Running Time: 300 minutes
- Rating: TV – 14
- Release Date: 07/01/2014
- Reviewed By: André Van Renssen