The focus of this review will be the split between the two arcs main story chapters if you will of A Certain Scientific Railgun S. Background To begin I am not as well acquainted with the production side of anime especially when it comes to storywriting. Yet even I again someone thoroughly unaqcuainted with the production of anime could not help but feel that the story progressed almost as if the writer had been replaced midway through the production process. After researching a bit I confirmed that while episodes 1 through 16 were based on the original work episodes 17 through 24 were not. This proves to be a glaring flaw for A Certain Scientific Railgun S for two reasons. First because it means that the viewer or I at least was unimmersed in the anime at least to the point where I could analyze that there was something going on behind the stage rather than being able to immerse myself fully into the story. Second because A Certain Scientific Railgun S did not intend for the viewer to be able to sense that divide nor that there was something going on backstage. Having said that although there are obvious flaws with the storywriting I absolutely loved the show. And here is why: My Interpretation of A Certain Scientific Railgun S The message or philosophy of A Certain Scientific Railgun S is not a singular one. Rather it is as though the philosophical arguments of the first arc the Sisters Arc are being amplified and added onto in the second arc the Silent Party Arc. The Sisters Arc as I interpret it argues for a type of egoistic altruism helping and valuing others only because I want to do so and a relativistic approach to the definition of what it means to be human an idea which I will refer to as relativistic humanism. Misaka wishes to destroy the Level 6 Shift program not because the Level 6 Shift program is bad in itself but because she wishes to mend whatever she can still mend of her past mistakes. She wishes to mend whatever she can still mend of her past mistakes not because her past actions are bad in itself but because she feels guilt over her sisters. She feels guilt over her sisters not because she believes her actions to have been inherently wrong but because she wishes for her sisters to not have to suffer any longer. And she wishes for her sisters to not have to suffer any longer not because it is her ethical or metaphysical duty to do so but just because. In the process Misaka and all those wishing less suffering for the sisters consider them as human or as valuable regardless of any absolute scale or rigorous standard of what it means to be human or what it means for something to be valuable. As such the main message of A Certain Scientific Railgun S seemed to be that dumbed down I can value whatever I want and that is fine. This is where the original writer ends his message. And whatever the cause might have been the story writer for the anime decided to add onto that message in the second arc. The Silent Party Arcs message as I interpret it is an extension of the original creators philosophy. Keeping the idea of egoistic altruism and relativistic humanism in place the storywriter for the second arc decides to emphasize a message that might have slipped by some viewers attention. The Sisters Arc left Misaka in a state where she did not actively seek for help. Yet by the time she achieved her goal of destorying the Level 6 Shift Program she was being supported and helped by many others. Most notably the sisters who Misaka yearned to provide help for in the first place. In my opinion this way of storywriting is a subtle way of showing that outside help is fine if not necessary. The Silent Party Arc takes this message and amplifies it into oblivion as can be obviously seen in the show. The amazing part is that the Silent Party Arc manages to do so without comprimising the orignal writers message. The group of people helping Misakas cause of fighting for Fibri do so not because of inherent ethical or metaphysical concerns they do so because the people they value asked them to do so or in other words just because. Why I Can Look Past All The Flaws To return to my main point I loved A Certain Scientific Railgun S because of these messages. It was amazing to see how the storywriters for the second arc were adding onto the first one almost as though they were trying to argue with the original writer. And having this in mind I could not help but forgive the writer of the second arc for his writing. Sure the second arc was philosophically a reexamination of the first arcs questions and thus thoroughly similar in terms of story premises. However I understand that to get the above mentioned message across there was no other method but to structure the story in the way it is now. Sure the divide between storywriting styles of the first and second arc were surprisingly jarring. Yet I also understand that amplifying a subtle message and presenting it as the main one is unfortunately ought to bring about as significant a change in writing styles as can be seen now. A Conflicting Conclusion This is a question to the reader: What do you value in an anime? What makes an anime enjoyable or great for you? Honestly I doubt that there is anyone who can answer these types of questions while still being true to themselves. The fact is that we just enjoy or value the anime that we do. We can analyze a series reverseengineer all its parts from voice acting to background drawing but in the end we enjoy the anime that we enjoy just because. If the storys writing is so jarringly different in one part of the anime to another does that mean that this anime is a badly written one? Probably. If the story of the second arc is not able to immerse the viewer into its world does that mean that this story is a boring one? Probably. If the characters in one part seem to be speaking differently in one part of the anime as compared to the other does that mean that these characters are badly written? Probably. But yet I absolutely adored the show. Concluding this review I would like to refer back to the messages of the writers of A Certain Scientific Railgun S: I can value whatever I want and that is fine. And if that is true no matter how glaringly obvious the flaws of this show are in a critical perpective it should be fine for me to say that this anime is amazing just because. 3/5 Very Good
50 /100
23 out of 30 users liked this review