Book Review: A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 18

Railgun Volume 18 cover.

I hope everyone is doing well, even if the days of monotony resumed.

Things are still
about the same for me as the last time I posted, but I am still glad
that I can do what I like.

Recently, some books
I managed to secure from Amazon arrive and I managed to cover one of
them, but there is still one that remains.

Today, I will be
reviewing that title, which is called A
Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 18
by Kazuma Kamachi.

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

Things have heated
up in the clique that occurred during Misaka's walk down memory
lane, with two of the three cliques at each other's throats.

However, the heads
of the cliques involved in the matter started to notice strange and
started an investigation than rears more questions than answers.

While the previous
was quite enjoyable, I need to be careful to stay level
headed, so that I can try to remain as fair as I can be.

And after reading
this, I must say that I liked it quite a bit.

From the moment I
opened up this book and started reading through the first few pages,
I found myself engrossed enough that I did not want to stop reading
any reason.

As I have said a
countless number of times before, one of the most important aspects
in a work of fiction is how things begin, because the beginning is
supposed to transport the audience to another world, thereby giving
them the temporary escape that they desire.

While this can be
accomplished through various means, depending on the genre and the
medium used to present the work, this series, like many other manga,
was originally published in a serial publication, so it needs to
start in a way that makes sense based upon how the previous
installment ended.

In the previous
volume, after the Jailbreaker arc had concluded, we get transported
back in time to when Misaka and Misaki were first years at Tokiwadai,
where we see some girls that Misaka was thinking about not long ago,
and not long after Misaka enters the school, a fight between two of
the three cliques that existed prior to Misaki's own clique erupts,
with the third called to look into matters, before ultimately
finishing things off with the start of a battle between the leader of
one clique against a member of another, who attacked the leader's

In this volume,
things pick up right with the fight that had just started, which had
me wondering exactly how things would go and put me on the edge of my

If things had not
started here, I would have been very much disappointed because A
Certain Scientific Railgun
is billed as a battle shounen series,
like Dragon Ball Z and Yu Yu Hakusho, and that means
that readers want to see some fighting.

everyone involved in releasing this series out into the world
remembered that and delivered what was expected, which makes me feel
like giving them a passing grade.

Hopefully, this
series does not take a downward spiral like Detective Conan
has, where the people responsible for compiling the volumes keep
making annoying, yet sensible decisions in where to end a volume, but
considering that there are human beings behind this, I would not be
surprised if things started to slip.

I also liked how
Misaka was not as rash as she usually is in this volume.

As much as I like
Misaka in this series, as she feels very much human, in comparison to
Touma Kamijou in the Index anime, as he does seem to at least think
in the light novels, I do not really like how she just waltzes into
things and involves herself.

Yes, she was kind of
involved from the beginning of the Sisters arc, as she provided her
DNA for the clones, but she does things without thinking things
through, with her biggest troubles coming from her skirmish with
Accelerator at the end of the Sisters arc.

Even though there
are signs of that in this current arc, she also tries to stay out of
the way, by trying to stealthily help a student in trouble, so that
she avoids the trouble of getting involved in the battle between
cliques, and even playing along with a hostage situation during an
infiltration mission.

This shows that she
can most definitely be part of team when necessary, even though the
way she acts right now makes me think that she prefers playing solo
or, in the case of the Sisters arc, can be easily made to believe
that she must play solo.

If Misaka was always
the girl she is in the current timeline, where she'll do something
without worrying about consequences regardless of what others tell
her, I would find Misaka to be too perfect, much like how I hate that
Touma always come out on top and says things without really
understanding a person.

Thankfully, that did
not happen here, which makes me feel like Kazuma Kamachi and everyone
else involved with this series deserves some praise.

Hopefully, we will
see how Misaka develops into what we see in the current timeline over
the course of this arc, but considering that Misaka shows initiative
quite a bit this arc, I would not be surprised if she started to
become more rash in the near future.

Another thing that I
liked was how it was explained that Misaka got her moniker and that
signs of Misaki getting her own clique started to show.

While the Raildex
universe is not that great about explaining why the level 5s have the
nicknames they do, though it does not really matter too much, in
comparison to Misaka's unexplained anger towards Touma in the first
of A
Certain Magical Index
only got explanation in the first
of this series, I liked how we learned that Misaka did not
even have her moniker when she entered Tokiwadai.

having things in this direction, we learn that each of the level 5s
don't necessarily get nicknames upon reaching the rare rank nor are
they all name after their ability, seeing as Misaki has the moniker
Mental Out, which is also the name of her ability, and Kakine, who I
still believe to be nothing more than a carbon copy of Accelerator,
has the moniker of Dark Matter, which is also the name of his

makes me want to explore more of the level 5s of Academy City and see
how they ended up the way they did.

I suspect that I'll only see that happen if I ever decide to pick
the Index light novels back up, seeing as the New Testament series is
getting localized here now.

on the other hand, was far more impressive in this volume.

I initially encountered Misaki in this series,
thought that she was quite arrogant and looked down others.

however, we see that Misaki was practically a loner and preferred to
do her own thing, as she and Hokaze just went about business for much
of the arc and tried to stay uninvolved with everything, in spite of
the fact that the cliques came to her.

during one the exchanges with the cliques, one of the leaders
suggests that Misaki should start her own clique.

we, as the audience, know that she does just that because she does
have her own clique in the current timeline, but this makes me wonder
just what prompted Misaki to form her clique.

the events surrounding Misaki alone, I am already interested in
seeing how this arc ends, regardless of how this volume ends.

these events were not included in this arc, I would have been
disappointed because Misaki and Misaka were both introduced in this
arc as people who were not really known, beyond having achieved the
coveted status of level 5, and wanted to do their own thing.

this flashback arc remembers to tie things back to the present, in
addition to presenting some interesting detail, which makes me people
like giving everyone involve in releasing this series to the world
some more praise.

thing that I liked the most though was how this volume ended.

I have said numerous time before, aside from the beginning, another
important part of a work of fiction is how things end, because the
ending is supposed to either leave the audience satisfied, in the
case of a standalone work or the final installment of a series, or
make them want more, in the case of an installment in a series.

this series does not have troubles in this area typically, I have
noticed other manga that do, as they end too late or too early to
build the excitement somebody should have for a series.

volume was is one of those that did its job properly.

the clique heads start to suspect that something might be going on,
they make moves to goad the mastermind into action, which they do,
and then realize that things went smoothly, with the final panel
revealing the mastermind, who tells the supposed enemy of this volume
that they outlived their usefulness.

having things play out like this, I am anxious get the next volume as
soon as possible, though I suspect I likely I will need to wait a
while because a page
on Baka-Updates Manga
says that this is the latest volume, even in Japan, at the time I
wrote this review.

the volume had not ended with the mastermind showing themselves, I
don't think I would be as satisfied with this volume as I am,
because I cannot think of a better way to end things.

ASCII Media Works, or whoever they had compile this volume, made a
good choice on how to end the volume, which makes me feel like giving
them major applause.

future volumes will be able to end just as well as this one did, but
knowing that it can be difficult to pick the best chapter to end a
volume and begin can be difficult, I would not be surprised if there
comes a time when I am disappointed.

of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly
liked, at least that could stood out as much as what I talked about.

the volume started off well, we get to see Misaka before she is the
girl we are used to, we learn things about the esper system and see
what could be the beginning of Misaki's clique, and that the
mastermind appearing at the end makes me want to read more, this was
a great read.

I liked the book, there are some issues.

aside from things that are too minor to talk about, there is
something that kind of bothers me, which is the official summary.

I don't think I do summaries quite as well as the official
summaries in summarizing a book, official summaries can kind of feel
a little misleading.

this volume, the official summary claims that this volume is the
climax of the arc, which suggests that things are about to end, as we
get the to what many familiar with the way writing works where I live
call the falling action and the conclusion, or denouement.

Japan and a few other countries use a bit of a different setup, which
is called kishotenketsu, accord to a page
on The Art of Narrative,
where the twist is the equivalent of what people where I live would
call the climax, but when you read through this volume with the
knowledge of what is to come, like I do, the ending presented does
not feel like a climax in the sense that my peers would call it
because things happen after the big reveal that suggest that things
are not even close to finished.

people with knowledge of what to come may say that this could be the
end of this arc and segue into a new arc that is still one year in
the past, much like how the manga version of the Level Upper arc
segued smoothly into the Sisters arc, but I would more so call this
development a twist than a climax, especially because I do not
remember anything hinting towards the mastermind, though I was not
too surprised about who they were.

this discrepancy did not hurt the product too much and does help it
to sound more appealing than my summary probably does, so I will just
mark this down as a minor annoyance.

nothing else really bothered me enough to really go to town on either
Kazuma Kamachi, ASCII Media Works, or Seven Seas Entertainment, so
they can all rest easy knowing that they did not do anything majorly

there was one thing that did kind of bothered me, it was minor enough
that it did not really hurt the product too much, if at all.

there was quite a bit to like and nothing really bothersome, unless
you feel like getting real nit picky and are aware of future events,
this was definitely worth reading.

recommend this to fans of A Certain Scientific Railgun, as
they will enjoy this the most.

for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but considering
that this volume is likely nearing the end of an arc, I recommend
reading the earlier volumes first, to get the most enjoyment.

you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider
supporting me on either Patreon
or SubscribeStar,
so that I can continue following a series that many, including
myself, enjoy and possibly find more worthwhile reads for you guys to
check out.

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