Manga: A Certain Scientific Railgun
of A Certain Magical Index
Mikoto Misaka is the third-most-powerful Esper in Academy City, a state-of-the-art city dedicated to the scientific study and development of Psychic Powers
. Every student in Academy City is given an "Esper Rank" to indicate their power, and Mikoto is a Rank 5: the best of the best, an electromaster
with the nickname of "The Railgun".
Together with her friends in "Judgement" (the student-run "Public Moral Committee"
), she works to protect the peace in Academy City from delinquents and hoodlums. The story narrates the events of A Certain Magical Index
from Mikoto's perspective, as well as delving into her own conflict with the darker evils that lurk in the shadows of Academy City.A Certain Scientific Railgun
is a manga spin-off and supplementary reading
to the A Certain Magical Index Light Novel
series written by Kazuma Kamachi
. Similar to the original, it has received an Animated Adaptation
courtesy of JC Staff
, which covers the first major arc of the manga as well as some anime-original material penned by the author. In addition, there are side-story novels which involve the protagonists with the Magic side.
This series shares a character sheet
with A Certain Magical Index
The anime is being licensed by FUNimation
entertainment, along with A Certain Magical Index
A second season, A Certain Scientific Railgun S
, aired in Spring 2013, focusing on the Railgun
version of the Sisters Arc and an anime-original plotline.
Also, check out the franchise's other spinoff, A Certain Scientific Accelerator
.Has a recap page
.A note on timelines:
The manga's events begin two weeks before the Index
novel and anime. The anime, however, violates this by adapting events from Volume 8 of the novels into the anime's first episode. As it stands, Chapters 18 to 39 occur around the time of Volume 3 in the novels, Chapter 40 is around Volume 5, Chapters 41-42 and around volume 8 and Chapters 43-current take place around Volume 9.
These works provide examples of:
- A-Cup Angst: Mikoto is very self conscious of the fact she is not as... "developed" as other girls her age, if not younger.
- Ascended Meme: Heaven Canceler's Fan Nickname, Dr. Gekota, is acknowledged when Saten mentions how the doctor looks like Gekota.
- Adaptational Attractiveness
- In the manga, Saten was shorter than Mikoto and had a flat chest. In the anime her height is sometimes the same as Mikoto's. Her bust in some official art (when she is in a bikini) is increased to a C cup. JC Staff really likes her. Exhibit A◊, Exhibit B◊.
- JC Staff is really generous with these upgrades, especially about the eyes. Shinobu doesn't look like a Deep One and Misaka Sisters' look a lot less dead.
- Adaptation Expansion:
- The anime gives more character development to the cast from the Railgun manga and even explains more details about Academy City and the people who live there. Furthermore, It continues where Level Upper arc left off and gives it a proper end.
- The entire series is essentially this, especially Railgun's version of the Sisters arc, which explains Mikoto's struggles against the Level 6 Experiment in more detail compared to the Index version. It also shows a more introspective side of Accelerator, which makes his Face-Heel Turn more understandable.
- A Day in the Limelight: Episode 14 focuses largely on Ruiko, while episode 17 gives the spotlight to Tsuzuri.
- Adult Fear: What made the tragedy of Professor Kiyama Harumi so easy to relate to for adult audiences is the very human fear in every mother that society would hurt, betray and take their beloved children away from them. This infuses her quest to save her students, extreme measures notwithstanding, with a sad and admirable nobility that you can't help but root for.
- Affably Evil: Frenda, Mugino, Rikou and Saiai act like your normal everyday teenage girls except when they do mercenary work as Team ITEM, they are damn good.
- Affectionate Nickname: In the English dub, Shirai refers to Misaka as "sissy" (as in, sister).
- All Myths Are True: The urban legends talked about in Episode 4 all turn out to actually be true, including the Imaginary Numbers District, Toma's Imagine Breaker and the Level Upper.
- All Part of the Show: In the Railgun Side Story: Liberal Arts City, a battle between Mikoto and a Mixcoatl piloted by Xochitl is passed off as a show to everyone else, despite the danger being very real. Once things get completely out of hand later on, they couldn't keep it up.
- All Your Powers Combined: The "Level Upper" hivemind gives its instigator the free use of the powers of all of its members, when an esper is only supposed to have one. By the time of The Reveal, this count is literally 'Over Nine Thousand''.
- Alpha Bitch: Considering Tokiwadai is a school for girls of the elite rich, there are bound to be some Alpha Bitches at that school.
- Kongoh is a bit of a subversion. When first introduced she acted like a stereotypical Alpha Bitch with Hidden Depths, before her hidden depths began being more expanded on and she genuinely starts helping people and always comes to the defense of her friends. In the second half of the second season, she even asks her father to use their airport's Humongous Mecha as a battle vehicle against STUDY! She became a full Lovable Alpha Bitch with every single appearance.
- Shokuhou Misaki, nicknamed "The Queen of Tokiwadai" is the primary Alpha Bitch at said school. Beautiful and Narcissistic? Check. Popular and with a huge number of devoted followers? Check. Manipulative? She has a LEVEL 5 ability which specializes in it.
- Kuroko acts like the Alpha Bitch towards those she see as below her and does it unintentionally sometimes.
- Averted with Mikoto. Despite coming from a rich family and being just as famous as Misaki, grew up like a normal girl thanks to her mother and acts kind and friendly to all people, no matter what social class they come from.
- Amusing Injuries: Kuroko would not have survived getting her darned neck broken by the dorm supervisor in Episode 2 if it wasn't ''so darned funny.'' Same thing when Mikoto punishes her in general for being too perverted at the time.
- Anti-Magic: Touma's right hand, the "Imagine Breaker".
- Anti-Villain: Professor Kiyama, whose motivation of saving children who were her students rendered comatose by a corrupt government experiment is noble enough to earn Mikoto's sympathy and offer to help her accomplish it.
- Arc Welding: The finale of the Diffusion Ghost arc prominently features the eponymous tower from Miracle of Endymion.
- Arbitrary Maximum Range: Even used as a plot point, the title-named character's signature move seems to go from "would wreck a tank" to "bounce off harmlessly" exactly at 50 metres. The exact number is artistic license, but it instantly going from lethal to harmless is justified due to the coin melting.
- Artistic License – Animal Care: While Mitsuko is shown to care a lot for Ekaterina, her pet python, it is implied she feeds it live food, which is generally considered to be a bad idea since the snake can get either attacked by the prey or die from a stomach rupture when the prey is too large.
- Art Major Physics:
- In reality, lightning travels extremely fast (about 92,000 miles per second, or 148,000 kilometers per second) so dodging or blocking Misaka's attacks should probably be out of the question. That's just the first one. This series isn't about the clash of Magic and Science, but the clash of Magic and Techno Babble. Given it opens with a acknowledged psychic powers, you should really expect that sort of thing.
- Misaka's odd ability to completely ignore the shockwave and recoil of firing her "Railgun" out of her hand, which should at the least rupture her eardrums(if not outright kill her) and shatter the bones of her arm every time she uses the power.
- Also, Misaka herself comments on the fact that she is limiting her power just so they can get a reading in the first episode. The people administering the test are probably too scared by her power to notice anything odd.
- Justified - the entire premise of esper powers is that espers can subconsciously alter reality and substitute their own rules into it.
- Artificial Riverbank: Where Misaka and Touma have a duel.
- Ascended Extra: Saten and Uiharu. In the manga, while they were very prominent during the Level Upper arc, they have extremely minimal appearances in subsequent ones. Even Shirai doesn't have nearly as many appearances in the manga as she does in the anime.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Kongo and Kuroko, who are both rivals teaming up against the MAR mech troops!
- Badass Adorable: Mikoto and Kuroko both qualify.
- Badass Boast: A few. The anime gives Kuroko this particularly memorable boast: "It looks like I'll be hazardous to your health today."
- Badass Normal: A couple, including:
- Bait the Dog: In the manga, two scientists are around when 9982 cleans up. They joke and laugh and 9982 criticizes the tea. All very friendly and affable. Oh, by the way 9982, don't forget to clean up the half dozen bloody corpses of your sisters before you change into the uniform, or you're just going to have to do it again. Toodles!