Book Review: A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 5

September 2, 2013


Well, it looks like things are still progressing nicely. As I said in my review of Pandora Hearts Volume 17, I got five books from Barnes & Noble. So far, three have been covered and only two remain. Today, I will be reviewing A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 5 by Kazuma Kamachi.

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

Misaka has just learned about the Level 6 Shift project and she decides to intervene.

However, when her activities are found out, she must fight against one of the many groups that exist in Academy City's underworld.

I enjoyed this volume. The fights with the members of ITEM were certainly exciting. Instead of her usual method of rushing head on into a fight, she actually showed that she was capable of fighting strategically, unlike her attack on Accelerator in the beginning. Because of that fact, the fights presented here seemed to be much better than the usual fights. The best of those fights though was probably the Misaka vs. Meltdowner, because Misaka really had to think things through in the weakened state that she was in. It shows that one does not need to be strong, in order to win a fight. In our society, we think that if we are not strong, we will just become victims. For example, people assume that females are the victim in crimes involving males and females, or children are the victims when the situation involves a child and an adult or adolescent. While this may be true, strength is nothing compared to somebody with high agility and analytical abilities. After all, one that is strong in both of those will be able to think things through well enough to come out victorious. I also liked that Nunotaba finally made a move, other than just scattering the cash cards that she had in the previous volume. It was also a pretty good plan of action. With Misaka's tirade going on, the facilities were so focused on an outside threat that they were not suspecting somebody doing something from the inside. In one of my classes, when I was studying for my degree, I learned that security precautions should deal with both internal and external threats. There also were some funny scenes, though most were omakes. The thing that stood out most to me though was the argument between Frenda and Kuroko that makes up two of the omakes. While Misaka and Mugino glare at each, Kuroko and Frenda argue about who is better. Even though this does happen in Railgun S episode 17, it is much funnier here, because Kuroko and Frenda are attacked once for being in an argument and then again when the two girls compare Mugino's chest with Misaka's. Apparently, Mugino and Misaka were more tolerant of the argument in the anime than in this volume. Other than that, I cannot really think of anything else that caught my interest. The fact that the fights were exciting and that Kuroko and Frenda's argument was much funnier here than in the anime made this a nice volume.

Although there were some things that I liked, there are certainly some issues. However, because I found out that one of the problems started previous volume, there is only one thing that comes to mind. The fights were not that great. Yes, the fights are probably the best in the series, since I was obviously looking forward to Meltdowner vs. Misaka to be animated, but this falls prey to the same issue as the previous volume. Things were just much more exciting in Railgun S, which covers the fights in episodes 8 through 10. However, I think the reason for this is because the fighting took place in real time. Considering that it is not possible to accomplish that with manga, or even any kind of comic to be exact, I will say that this is just a minor annoyance. While the fights were better in Railgun S, there is not anything that really seemed to ruin the volume.

Seeing that the fights with ITEM were good and the argument between Frenda and Kuroko was funnier here than in the anime, this was definitely worth reading. I recommend this to fans of action and A Certain Scientific Railgun. As for everyone else, this volume would probably be good introduction to the series, but I would recommend reading volume 4 first to get to know the characters.

What are your thoughts on A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 5? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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