Book Review: A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 3


Things seem to be going pretty well. As I said before, I recently got four books from Barnes & Noble. So far, I have covered each one until only one remains. Today, I will be reviewing that last title, which is called A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 3 by Kazuma Kamachi.

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

With the fight between Misaka and Kiyama drawing to a close, it seems like the Level Upper incident has been resolved.

However, things become direr when the Level Upper network manifests itself outside of Kiyama’s body.

Now, Misaka and the gang must bring down the newly formed AIM Burst and awaken the victims of the Level Upper before Academy City experiences a major disaster.

I am not sure about this one. It was nice to actually see why Kiyama was doing what she was. Many times in television shows or movies, no matter whether it was animated or not, it seems like the villain is just being evil so that the protagonist has a reason to do something. Yes, there are certainly exceptions, as I have not seen everything that has ever been made, but it is how I feel about a lot of things that I saw in my childhood, now that I think about it. Here, however, I could certainly understand the motivations that drove Kiyama to create the Level Upper. This is so much nicer than having somebody be evil to give a reason for the protagonist to react to something. I also liked the actions Uiharu took in this volume. Even though she did help with the investigation and sent out the audio file meant to return the Level Upper victims to normal in the anime, it seemed like she did more here because she stopped Kiyama from committing suicide because she lost her hope in bringing back the children that were victims of an experiment that involved Kihara and Kiyama. I also liked how things were setup quite nicely for the Sisters Arc to begin, which I will most likely cover again because Seven Seas still does not list volume 9 on their release schedule, as of the day I posted this. When everything is over, Kiyama states that idea for Level Upper came from information gained about Misaka herself and that she and Misaka are alike. That seemed a bit funny because it reminded me of exactly what Misaka will do during the Sisters Arc, though the scene was not really supposed to be funny. Another nice thing was that liked seeing what happened to victims other than Saten when the Level Upper incident was resolved. Yes, there was a workshop that happened in the anime, but other than Saten feeling content to not have any powers, it did not really seem like the victims of the Level Upper learned anything because of what they went through. Whereas, here most of the victims seemed to have actually changed, not just Saten. Outside of that, I cannot really think of anything else that I particularly liked. The fact that Kiyama was not doing bad things just so that Misaka can get involved and that the victims of the Level Upper really appeared to have changed, as well as the fact that it leads nicely into the Sisters Arc, made this a nice book.

Although there were things that I liked, there are certainly some issues. First, I did not really like the fight between Misaka and the AIM Burst. While it seemed to happen like it did in the anime, it just did not really seem to be as exciting as it was in the anime. I think that this is because things were not focused so much on the fight itself in the manga. In the anime, however, more time was spent covering Misaka’s fight against the AIM Burst. Another thing that I did not really like about that fight was how it ended. When Misaka prepares to fire her railgun, I did not really feel any excitement for things coming to an end. I think this is because Misaka did not seem to understand what the people that the Level Upper were trying to accomplish and just told the minds that made up the AIM Buster to go home. On other hand, in the anime, Misaka actually understood the suffering that the victims of the Level Upper went through and encourages them to try again, which made me feel the impact of her words much more than they did in this book. Another thing that I did not like too much was the two-part side story present. It was not bad, but I do not think it really works where it was placed. In the anime, it seems to have a bit more impact because reminiscing about that incident was what allowed Kuroko to resolve the issues Uiharu and Kuroko were having that led to their argument. Then again, since things were a bit different, and no promise was made between the two at that time, I guess that I can overlook. While the side story kind of felt out of place, what ruined my enjoyment was the fact that the fight between Misaka and the AIM Burst was disappointing.

Despite the fact that Misaka’s fight with the AIM Burst was disappointing, the fact that things seemed to make a good lead into the Sisters Arc and see the victims of the Level Upper change definitely made this worth reading. I recommend this to fans of action and A Certain Scientific Railgun. As for everyone else, because this ends the Level Upper Arc, I recommend reading this only after finishing the previous two volumes.

What are your thoughts on A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 3? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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