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Certain Scientific Railgun S: Part 2

FUNimation // Unrated // August 19, 2014
List Price: $59.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Kyle Mills | posted September 12, 2014 | E-mail the Author
In the futuristic Academy City are unique people called espers, someone possessing unique psychic powers, Mikoto Misaka (voiced by Brittney Karbowski) is what's known as an electromaster and is the third strongest of a seven espers who have been given the rank of Level 5, the highest ranking you can be given on a scale from 0-5.

There's a mysterious evil brewing in Academy City and Mikoto Misaka can't ignore the rumblings of the Academy city underworld. She begins to hear rumors of a project, the cloning process of a very high ranking esper. She begins to hear that a girl that looks eerily similar to her has been seen in various parts of the city, and her worst fears are realized when she comes face to face with herself. While dealing with this revelation, she also has to fear the man whom is lurking in the shadows, the same man hunting her clones to become Academy's first Level 6 esper.

Spoilers for Part 1

A Certain Scientific Railgun S: Part 2 is comprised of two separate storylines, the first is a continuation on the last few episodes of where Part 1 left off at. At the end of the first collection, we were just getting to the point where Index and Railgun S intersected in their storylines.

Mikoto (voiced by Brittney Karbowski) and one of her clones, Misaka 10032, have run into Toma Kamijo (voiced by Micah Solusod), the lead protagonist from the Index series. Kamijo and 10032 began to bond over sheltering a homeless cat, unknowing that they're being stalked by the ruthless Accelerator (voiced by Austin Tindle), who looks to take down the next clone.

As we start the set, we're not actually thrown back into where we left off, we have a flashback that dedicates a lot of it's runtime to fleshing out Accelerator's character and developing his motivations. We find out exactly why he's actually looking to achieve level 6 esper abilities. While it's pretty hard to sympathize with a character whose murdered 10,000 people, the writers sure as hell try their best. It's no surprise as to why Accelerator has such a following among fans.

Episode 14 brings us back to the present with Mikasa and Kamijo trying to figure out how they can defeat Accelerator. Despite knowing they're outclassed in nearly every way, the two decide to confront Accelerator to put an end to his lunacy once and for all, leading to the all out fan favorite brawl from the first series.

After we conclude the sisters/Accelerator arc, Mikasa takes a couple episodes for some much needed rest and relaxation before we start the final arc of the season. We see Misaka visiting Kamijo to check up on him after their hellacious fight with Accelerator, Misaka spending time with her sister, Kuroko (voiced by Alison Viktorin), while also trying to sneak in and out of their dorm room without being spotted by their advisor, along with various other miscellaneous things.

After some rest and relaxation, the last 6 episodes of the season deals with a new story arc. While hanging out with some friends around town, Misaka comes across a young girl, passed out in the middle of the town. Upon semi-interrogation, she find out the girl is named Febri (voiced by Kara Edwards.) Mikasa and her friends decide to spend the day with Febri after finding out she has no home, with the intention of taking her to an orphanage. Whilst heading home, the girls take a detour to a warehouse, where they're suddenly attacked by a mech. Mikoto is able fend it off, defeating it and the man inside, who claims to be after Febri. Soon after, Febri mysteriously passes out. After Febri's strange incident, Mikoto soon finds out from the doctor that she is in fact, an artificial human. Mikoto is told that Febri's body secretes a poison, requiring her to eat special lollipops on a consistent basis to neutralize the threat. Enraged, realizes that yet another dark organization lurks in the shadows performing more twisted experiments. Mikoto will whatever it takes to bring them to justice.

- Positives:

+ The action sequences are gorgeous.

+ Solid dub work. More specifically, Austin Tindle's work as Accelerator. I'm including this because I was told he gave a pretty subpar performance in the original Index series... however, need not worry, he is flat out phenomenal here. In the first collection, you only receive a taste of his performance as Accelerator only appears in two episodes (and the tail end of another), while in this collection, the first 5 episodes focuses on him quite a bit. Tindle captures the psychotic part of the character perfectly, while also delivering in his quieter subtle scenes. Austin gives the best performance of the series. The rest of the cast is solid throughout with Karbowski and Solusod probably being the other stand outs in the show, although no one really gives a bad performance.

+ The finale is fantastic.

+ Subtle things weave every story arc throughout the season together.

+ ITEM, whose story seemed to be wrapped up around episode 9 of the first set, finally served their purpose, despite a much more limited presence here.

- Negatives:

- Episodes 17-19. I enjoyed the hell out of everything up until the end of the Accelerator arc but these episodes were dull, unnecessary and boring.

Video and Audio:
The transfer for A Certain Scientific Railgun S is presented in it's original 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Hands down the best thing about the animation are the action scenes, which are beautifully animated and are easily the highlight of the series, visually speaking. The character designs are solid, albeit a bit bland, although each character does stand out. The backgrounds are greatly detailed as well. The animation of the series remains fairly consistent throughout.

The series comes with two available language tracks. The first is a English stereo track and the second is the original Japanese stereo track. As per usual I watched the series in English dubbing while sampling a few episodes in it's original language. The dub was solid throughout and over the course of the series there were no signs of dropout or distortions. in the dialogue. The music never overtook the scenes that were taking place during the quieter moments while ramping up during the action scenes. It's overall a solid mix.

Extras: - Episode 15 commentary with Micah Solusod and Austin Tindle, whom portray Kamijo and Accelerator, respectively.

- Episode 19 commentary with Jerry Jewell, the ADR director for the dub, and Kara Edwards, whom plays Febrie.

- U.S. Trailer.

- two Textless opening themes and two textless closing themes.

- Standard FUNimation trailers for Toriko, Fairy Tail, Code: Breaker, Steins;Gate, One Piece, Shakugan no Shana, and Serial Experiments Lain.

A Certain Scientific Railgun S was a fantastic series. It didn't start out as a series that held my attention, but it quickly evolved into a well told story that commands your attention. These last 12 episodes deliver high octane action, some great character development and 2 fantastic stories. As a whole, A Certain Scientific Railgun S comes highly recommended.

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Highly Recommended

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