Book Review: A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 10


It looks like things are progressing pretty well, huh?

As I stated in my last post, I got three books from Barnes & Noble recently.

So far, one of them has been covered and two remain, one of them unfortunately being yet another title from Yen Press, so I decided to leave that one for last and cover one that might actually be decent.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 10 by Kazuma Kamachi.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

Mikoto Misaka has been captured and the experiment to make her achieve the mythical level 6 is underway.

Meanwhile, Misaki has her own troubles and is forced to enlist the help of a few other individuals in order to save Academy City from eventual destruction, even if it means sacrificing Misaka.

Unlike the final volume of Judge, which suffered from mistakes made by Yen Press, I actually liked this volume.

I really liked how everything actually made sense. Back when the Daihasei Festival arc was the latest arc of Railgun, there seemed to be some things left out here and there, though not as bad as the official English release of Judge Volume 6, which made me question if Yen Press even bothered to check for mistakes prior to publication.

This is what I expect from an official release, even if the content featured here seems to be exclusive to the current volume, considering that there were rumors that some of the chapters were either lengthened, shortened, or merged. At least Seven Seas knows how to release things of good quality with some consistency, especially since the volumes have only seen releases at a rate of only one or per year, after Seven Seas caught up to the Japanese releases.

I also liked how Misaki handled things with Kihara Gensei, it really reminded me of how well Misaka thought ahead with the things at her disposable during her confrontation with ITEM in the Sisters arc.

Normally, when people have the capability of manipulating the minds of people like Misaki can, one would expect them to just go ahead and use their power without much thought, without even taking in account the slightest possibility of actually losing.

Here, however, Misaki saw the possibility of losing to Gensei and utilized her power to affect her own mind, though we see that until after Misaki’s apparent defeat and Gensei using what he thought was the self destruct code.

The thing that I liked the most though was that we finally see that Touma’s ability is not as powerful as it seems in the anime, and the early volumes of the Index novels.

For the longest, with very few exceptions, mainly dealing with magic side affairs, Touma won all of his fights using only his right arm, which disgusts me because, unlike me, he has full use of his body. I would have used my right hand to negate the power and then finish things off with my left, since it takes less time to do that than it would to clench a fist and then attack immediately after blocking an attack.

Here, however, in a situation in the science side of the universe, he could not stop the rampage caused by Misaka’s powers going out of control.

This makes me really want to see how things would turn out in a fight against Misaka and Touma, but there does not seem to be any hints of one to come in the future or even any mention that one does happen, like how there is mention that Touma and Accelerator have another fight some time after the events of the Sisters arc, I can only guess how it would turn out based on the fight that was only seen in the Railgun portion of the Raildex universe, since the Index anime never showed it and the Index novels only mentioned it briefly as a reason why Touma was scared of Misaka.

Outside of those things, nothing really caught my eye that I could say made things more enjoyable.

The fact that things made more sensed than when the arc was originally published and that Misaki has shown that she is just as capable as Misaka to come up with a strategy based on what she has on hand and her own powers, as well as the fact that Touma’s ability has been shown to not be that powerful in the science side of the Raildex universe, made this volume rather enjoyable.

Although I did like the volume, there are some issues.

However, aside from a few things that are too minor to be worth mentioning, there only two things that kind of bugged or annoyed me.

First, why is Kuroko not in a wheel chair? When she is first seen during the Daihasei Festival Arc in both portions of the Raildex universe, she is seen in wheel chair, though only the Index side seems to explain why she is in the wheel chair to begin with.

Because Kuroko is in a wheel chair due to injuries sustained from the events of the Tree Diagram Remanent Arc, which can only be seen in A Certain Magical Index II, since Yen Press has only recently started translating the Index light novels, I do not really think that she should be on her feet quite yet, especially since I myself have just recently recovered from pain that I experienced due to overexertion that lasted for more than one a day.

By exerting herself, her injuries are only going to get worse, though I do like that her infatuation with Misaka, which was not seem to be featured ever since Misaki took the memories of Kuroko and Misaka’s friends, is not her main motivation for helping to deal with the situation.

Honestly, some people can be stupid, but knowing that people do not always do what they are supposed to do for various reasons, I cannot really be too mad about this.

The thing that I hated the most was Touma’s grand entrance.

After being told the situation by Misaki and arriving where Misaka was, I could not really become too excited. This is reminding me of the anime version of Index’s Sisters arc, which also seemed to have an underwhelming appearance by Touma.

Out of the two portions of the Raildex universe, I have come to expect everything to be better in the Railgun portion, even though there are times where I need the Index portion to explain things, and Touma’s grand entrance in the Railgun version of the Sisters arc, both in the anime and manga, were much more exciting and I was actually rooting for Touma to succeed.

Here, however, things seemed to have actually gone downhill with Touma’s appearance and makes me wish that he had died, much like his appearances in the Index anime make me just wish that dies every arc.

Yes, it is hard to maintain good quality, but it does not change that the fact that it seems like Touma was just there to make the Index fans happy, even if these events were mentioned to have happened in the Index universe and is a major issue in my book.

This makes me wonder if the people working on Railgun have lost their touch, but since the Dream Ranker arc does not seem to be too bad, with the exceptions that things have not yet come together like they did in the Sisters arc, I think that there is still time for things to improve.

After all, I do not want Railgun to become another D.N. Angel, which seemed to get terrible near the end of what was part of publication.

Fortunately, other than those things nothing bugged me too much.

While Kuroko being out of her wheel chair temporarily did bug me, the thing that really hurt my enjoyment was the fact that Touma’s appearance was as underwhelming as his appearances in his own series, even though his appearance in Railgun’s Sisters arc was exciting.

Despite the fact that Touma’s appearance was underwhelming and seemed to be made only to make the Index fans happy, the good outweighed this enough to make it worth reading. I recommend this to fans of A Certain Scientific Railgun, though with this being the last volume of the Daihasei Festival arc and volumes being released at one volume a year, I recommend reading this after catching up on the previous volumes or rereading them. As for everyone else, I recommend reading the previous volumes first before reading this, even though Touma’s underwhelming, but expected, appearance is one of the reasons that I consider the Daihasei arc to be the weakest of the Railgun universe.

What are your thoughts on A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 10? Did you like, hate it, or find it okay? Was there anything that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.