A certain end to an arc

It’s time to finish catching up on the reviews of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun‘s first four volumes. This is the final volume for the first coup of the show, finishing the first arc of the story, the Level Upper incident.

The artwork this time focuses on Kiyama Harumi and Misaka Mikoto at a battlefield?!

No new extras this time. It’s just the BD, CD, booklet, and short story as usual.

This volume has episodes 10-12: Silent Majority, Kiyama-sensei, and AIM Burst.

Silent Majority continues where we left off with Minority Report with Saten-san and her classmates testing out their new/advanced esper abilities in the park. We find out that Level Upper works via synthesia from Kuroko-san and Misaka-san and that’s why an audio file can trigger abilities. Once Saten’s friends start to become unconcious, she panics and calls Uiharu-san. Uiharu is too late to see her in person one last time before Saten passes out. The episode ends with the discovery that the brain signals of the Level Upper users share a common wave pattern, that of Kiyama Harumi. Kiyama takes Uiharu hostage after Uiharu went to her office to talk about the incidents. Another fantastic episode that kept me wanting more when I first watched it.

Kiyama-sensei details the motives and backstory for Kiyama. She was taken advantage by a leading scientist and became attached to what would become his latest test subjects. While searching for a way for them to recover, she developed a neural system to allow her brain to run tests much like a computer. This also gave her the abilities of the users, which break free into a fetus-like being at the end of the episode after a battle between Kiyama and Misaka. While it’s a great backstory and provides a good reason for Kiyama to act the way she did, it’s the calm before the emotional climax of the coup finale.

AIM Burst finishes the volume and the coup with a explosive battle. Misaka takes out the AIM Burst being with help from Uiharu and the Anti-skills with, of course, her signature railgun attack. We also get to see the touching reunion between Saten and Uiharu on the cliched hospital rooftop finale. In a touching surprise, the ED changes from “Dear my friend” to “Smile: you and me” to signify the ending of this arc. A very emotional episode that serves as a great finale.

This set has the audio commentary for episode 12 by Satou Rina and Tanaka Atsuko (Misaka-san and Kiyama-san’s seijuu). It also has a textless ending sequence for the special episode 12 ending theme.

The CD as usual features four shows from the To Aru Radio no Railgun radio series with Aki Toyosaki (Uiharu’s seijuu) and Kanae Ito (Saten’s seijuu) with no new surprises.

Overall, this is (in my own opinion) the best set so far. It’s an amazing ending to an arc and everything wraps up well. I’m working on a post to analyze the Level Upper arc (mostly because the philosophical science behind it is fascinating) and that’ll cover the completed box from Volume 1! It was incredibly tough to limit only four screen captures from each episode, so I’ve put some more on my Photobucket account.

This entry originally appeared on Cartoon Leap and has been copied faithfully (minus image locations) from the original content.

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