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This manga is just plain awesome. The setting is unique, the characters are cool, the plot lines are awesome, and it's very funny at times. However the anime really screws up.
The anime gets a lot of support for adding character development, but my issue is that all of that character development is dedicated to making the characters less unique, flawed (especially this), and interesting, and more cute.
Some examples: In the first chapter of the manga and the first episode of Railgun Misaka uses a Railgun to destroy a car with some criminals in it. In the manga she does it after they knocked a crepe out of her hands, showing how she's a person with a short fuse and some control issues. In the anime she does it after they hurt her friend, showing that she was completely justified and not overreacting. Another example is the anime original episode where Kuroko picked a four leaf clover to give to Mikoto as a sign of support. This is despite the fact that Kuroko is a student of Academy City where such thing would be viewed as superstitious nonsense (Saten has a good luck charm but that is noted to be an anomaly). It would be like a person in today's world praying to Zeus for help. However it's "cute" so they threw it in.
And then there was the STUDY arc. The arc they decided to end the second season with. The characters are pitted against some of the worst written villains ever, lacking any charisma or threatening atmosphere.
In order to make them a threat the arc makes Misaka do very stupid and out of character things (such as losing to a single mecha just because she can't zap it), and gives the villains enough money to buy off an army and then never have that wealth explained or even mentioned again just so that Anti-Skill can't crush them.
And the resolution to it was even more ridiculous. About a hundred Judgment officers appear out of nowhere (literally nowhere) and proceed to defeat the 20,000 robots all on their own, helped along by the fact that STUDY decided giving any of the robot guns or something would have been a waste of time. Then Saten is able to memorize a manual for a super advanced transforming robot (which goes against the style of machines in the series) in a single night despite her not being nearly that intelligent of a character. And much much more.
In short, read the title.
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