Friday, April 23, 2010

To Aru Kagaku no Railgun

The anime To Aru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun) is great fun to watch and has some amazing displays of super powered action. The story takes place in the same setting as To Aru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index) which I wrote about last year. However, Railgun is not a sequel but a side story featuring Misaka Mikoto, a secondary character in the Index anime. Mikoto is the Railgun and she is freaking awesome!

Mikoto is one of only seven Espers who have attained level five ability, the highest level known. Mikoto can manipulate electricity and its associated magnetic fields. Her techniques range from the subtle, like controlling a running computer, to the devastating, like using a coin as a projectile. The latter is of course why she is called "Railgun." Mikoto holds back, using just enough power as is necessary (unless she is pissed off!), so its hard to be sure that we've seen her full power yet.

Although level five is the highest known level, there is ongoing research to produce a level six Esper. The Index anime featured one such experiment. The Railgun story details additional experiments being conducted on the children of Academy City. So far all of the research has been highly unethical and, as the Index anime revealed, apparently conducted with the approval of the powers behind Academy City. Why are they so desperate to achieve a level six Esper? So far this question remains unanswered.

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