First Impressions: A Certain Scientific Railgun


Summary: Part girl. Part railgun. All awesome.

I'm going to be honest: the only reason I started watching A Certain Scientific Railgun is because it had "railgun" in the title. As a sci-fi nerd, I'm always interested in anything that involves linear accelerators which fire projectiles at over seven times the speed of sound. Aside from that, having never seen A Certain Magical Index, I had no idea what Railgun was going to be like. In other words, I was going into this series cold turkey. Four episodes later, it was my favorite show of the season.

Railgun is set in the technologically advanced Academy City, which exists in a world where both superhuman psychic powers and magic are real. The city is devoted to the training of psychics, and has several institutions and programs designed to foster the powers of the students there. Law and order in Academy City are maintained by Judgment, a "moral committee" made up of students who serve as peacekeepers, as well as Antiskill, a SWAT organization.


These are Railgun's protagonists, Shirai Kuroko and Misaka Mikoto. Kuroko is a level four psychic and a shameless pervert who is crushing hard on Mikoto, whom she refers to as "onee-sama". She is an excellent Judgement officer, although she has a tendency to rush headlong into dangerous situations without backup or intel. Her psychic power is instant teleportation. Mitoko is an easygoing pseudo-tsundere who, unsurprisingly, loathes Kuroko's advances. She's a free spirit with a casual disregard for the law. and is a level five psychic. Her ability allows her to manipulate electricity (like so many comic book villains before her), which she uses in a variety of creative ways. Her best-known attack involves using her powers to create a linear accelerator, which can fire a metallic object (usually a coin) at a high velocity. This makes her the titular railgun.


Railgun's first episode is an excellent microcosm of the series as a whole. Within the confines of its 24-minute runtime, we are treated to an almost-naked shower scene, various attempts by Kuroko to seduce Mikoto, an amusing incident involving a limited-edition keitai strap, and a battle between Judgement and a group of small-time thieves. Unlike a certain other series, Railgun manages to blend the disparate elements of fanservice, comedy, slice-of-life and superpowered action into a harmonious whole, making for an enjoyable viewing experience.

Another facet of Railgun that bears mentioning is the creative use of superpowers. As any comic-book fan will tell you, the ability to manipulate electricity has been done to death, to the point of being cliche. Mikoto, however, always finds a cool and unique way to use her powers in battle. This is particularly evident in the fight at the end of episode four, which is quite possibly the most epic anime fight scene in recent memory.

Well, that's my brief thoughts on Railgun. I recommend it very highly; in my opinion, it's the best series of the season.

What I liked:

  • Action, comedy and fanservice blend well to make an enjoyable show.
  • The fanservice is relatively mild, and never over-the-top.
  • The action scenes are awesome.

What I didn't like:

  • Kuroko can be a bit annoying.
  • Some scenes use incredibly obvious and out-of-place CGI ala Gonzo.

You are logged out. Login | Sign up


Click to open photo gallery:


Jon Snyder
Jon Snyder   gamer profile

Formerly known as Jenny. more + disclosures



Filed under... #anime #First Impressions #Japanator Original #Tsundere



You're not expected to always agree, but do please keep cool and never make it personal. Report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community team. Also, on the right side of a comment you can flag nasty comments anonymously (we ban users dishing bad karma). For everything else, contact us!