Book Review: A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 4

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With the new releases out of the way, I guess it is time to close the gap in another series. Out of the five books I recently got, the remaining three belong to that series. Today, I will be reviewing the first of those titles, which is called A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 4 by Kazuma Kamachi.

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

With the Level Upper incident resolved, Misaka and her friends think that they can finally relax for the summer.

However, when Misaka and Kuroko find out about the cash cards in the seventh district, Misaka does not know that she has become involved in one of Academy City's darkest secrets.

While I have read these chapters before, I still enjoyed this volume. Unlike the first volume, I felt like I got to know the girls a bit. Yes, that issue was understandable because it was only the first volume, but I still think that it would have better if the series started off like this. Because I got to know the girls a bit better, the pacing did not seem to be as bad as the first. Then again, it could be because this was where I first started following the Railgun manga. I also liked how things seemed to be more exciting here than in the Railgun S anime. Yes, I did say that I liked that I could actually feel Misaka 9982's desperation in my review of episode 5. On the other hand, there were episodes in the anime, like episode 3, that were not as exciting because I had to wait a week. Here, because the events of episode 2, where Misaka met Shinobu, and the events of episode 3, where Misaka learns that the girl she met is called Nunotaba Shinobu and visits a facility, were contained in the same volume, the excitement I had when the Sisters Arc began did not wane. This is definitely much better than waiting a week, or even a month, had I been following the Railgun manga ever seen it started. After all, there are events that need to be seen or read about within the same timeframe to remain interesting. Another thing that I liked was that Kuroko's scene from episode 3 was not part of this volume, not even in the omakes. Out of all the things Kuroko did in the anime, that was the most annoying scene for me. There were also a few funny things that stood out to me. First, some time after Misaka meets Misaka 9982, the driver of an ice cream truck thought that the two of them were sisters and that they were fighting. To try and fix the dispute, he gives them each an ice cream cone for free and Misaka 9982 gives a compliment about the ice cream. While this did happen in episode 5 of Railgun S, I found it to be much funnier here, though I cannot say exactly why, like I could the hospital scene found in the second volume. The other funny things were the omakes. However, unlike particular scenes in the chapters, I cannot really pick out my favorite one because they were all quite funny. Being equally funny, I do not think that they wasted my time, like most omakes seem to do. Outside of that, I cannot really think of anything else that I particularly liked. The fact that things started out better than the first volume and that my excitement did not wane, as well as the funny scenes and omakes present, made this a great book.

Although I liked the volume, there are certainly some issues. However, there are only two things that come to my mind. First, I was not impressed with the fight between Accelerator and Misaka 9982. It was not terrible, because I did enjoy it the first time I read the Sisters Arc, but now that I am rereading this after the arc concluded in Railgun S, I cannot say the same thing today. If I had to take a guess as to why, I think that it is because, as I stated earlier, I could actually feel Misaka 9982's fear and desperation in Railgun S, but not in this volume. Having seen Railgun S, I really wanted to feel those same emotions here. I guess that is to be expected with how well the Sisters Arc was animated. The other thing that bugged me was that there is a consistency issue. Ever since the first volume, Seven Seas has been good about including a Table of Contents in their releases of this series. However, when I look at this volume, there is no Table of Contents to be seen. What was Seven Seas thinking when they did this? Then again, when I glance through the pages of volumes 5 and 6, and take into account that I am reading this some time after it was officially released, according to Amazon.com, I can only label this a minor annoyance. After all, volumes 7 and 8 did not have a TOC either. Still, I do not get why Seven Seas chose to stop doing a TOC for the Railgun volumes, because they are useful. While the Misaka 9982 vs. Accelerator fight was a bit disappointing and Seven Seas did have a minor consistency issue, there was little, if anything, that could have ruined the book.

Considering that there was nothing majorly wrong, this was definitely worth reading. I recommend this to fans of action and A Certain Scientific Railgun. As for everyone else, this would serve as a decent introduction to the series, but I would really recommend reading volume 1 before this, otherwise this will ruin a lot of the excitement in that volume.

What are your thoughts on A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 4? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.