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Reivax
Apr 24, 2008


I just wish that the writers had been a little more liberal in adapting the story to Mikasa's POV. As it is, she rages against everything for a half dozen episodes, ultimately accomplishes nothing, and then Touma shows up to fix everything. It worked better in Index, contrivances aside, because Touma was the focal character and Mikasa the side-kick. Just switching the POV makes everything a bit empty, if only because she ultimately solves bugger all. Rewriting the story, giving Mikasa more agency, and making Touma less of a deus ex machina would go a long way in improving things.

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ChronoReverse
Oct 1, 2009


Meh, I find it great. I never watched Index but a hero of a story doesn't have to be the one who does everything.

I've not seen Index so maybe Touma does something to offend all of you but he's just another interesting character to me as a Railfun reader only.

Reivax
Apr 24, 2008


ChronoReverse posted:

Meh, I find it great. I never watched Index but a hero of a story doesn't have to be the one who does everything.

I've not seen Index so maybe Touma does something to offend all of you but he's just another interesting character to me as a Railfun reader only.

To clarify, it's that everything Mikasa did was irrelevant. The experiments continue, the sisters continue to die. Then Touma comes and fixes everything. It's really bad writing, if only because the writers are so loyal to the story laid out in Index. In not deviating from that, it lacks closure. This is all independent of Index, which has far worse problems than Touma being a bit boring.

Wolf on Air
Dec 31, 2004

Combat Instructor
Armed Forces, Time-Space Administration Bureau

I've been enjoying the hell out of this season because I am a twisted person that enjoys watching strong fictional characters go through hell and come out changed, however, most everything already has been said on the subject of this arc resolution that needed to be said.

I think it would work a lot better if it was less hamfisted main-character-saves-the-day-by-existing and their relationship had some substance beyond him being a safe protagonist-invulnerability sandbag outlet for Misaka's (understandable) frustrations with the world being out to get her. I guess as a vehicle for starting a meaningful relationship it's a powerful enough turning point, but there's no avoiding it robbing Misaka of most of the closure to her struggle, cue feminist rant. I've lost track of the timeline by now, this is amnesiac Touma, right?

Also, holy poo poo, if that's what happens when she throws an esper temper tantrum and just cutting loose her powers with absolutely no focus and direction (I mean, that was an uniformly expanding sphere, that's like physics 101 spherical cows in a vacuum), extrapolating that is pretty , I wonder what the EIRP on that was.


Though ultimately I guess I'm shallow and just enjoy Misaka electromagnetisming the gently caress out of things because "electromagnetism elemental" is so delightfully , and while it's contrived that e.g. her friends end up kidnapped and thrown off tall buildings to give her an excuse to do so, ultimately I'm good with that, and it's pretty hilarious that neither she nor her friends actually finds that in any way remarkable, instead opting for tea, cookies and gossip. Though of course that's really just an accident of bad writing...


^ Railfun is an amusingly descriptive typo.

Wolf on Air fucked around with this message at 02:37 on Jul 14, 2013

ChronoReverse
Oct 1, 2009


Reivax posted:

To clarify, it's that everything Mikasa did was irrelevant. The experiments continue, the sisters continue to die. Then Touma comes and fixes everything. It's really bad writing, if only because the writers are so loyal to the story laid out in Index. In not deviating from that, it lacks closure. This is all independent of Index, which has far worse problems than Touma being a bit boring.

We'll just have to disagree because here we have a character who was able to take care of everything in season one but now is absolutely pinned into a corner despite all the best efforts and intentions. It's interesting to me because she doesn't have all the answers or the power to just wipe it away. She didn't really do anything wrong but in put in a horrible position (and it doesn't help that's she's just a middle-schooler in the end).

I'm reading the Railgun manga so I know the results of the next episode(s). Again, I'm wondering if some of you are simply too incensed at Touma for whatever he's like or did in Index because it certainly doesn't feel like Deus Ex Machina considering the results. Simply meeting someone who could help you isn't necessarily DEM.


quote:

^ Railfun is an amusingly descriptive typo.
Thanks, I deliberately left it there because I liked it too haha.

ChronoReverse fucked around with this message at 02:50 on Jul 14, 2013

arhra
Jun 27, 2006


Wolf on Air posted:

I've lost track of the timeline by now, this is amnesiac Touma, right?

Yeah, he lost his memories at the end of the first arc in Index, during the same incident that took out Tree Diagram.

Redcrimson
Mar 3, 2008

Second-stage Midboss Syndrome


Honestly, I think I'd be more disappointed if Misaka just solved everything on her own. Misaka is strong character, yes, but a good character also has flaws and limits. And it's pretty clear in this arc that Miaska has reached hers. Arguably, Misaka is in this position in the first place because she incorrectly assumed that she had to take the burden of her mistakes on all by herself. Part of the resolution is Misaka learning to rely on others because she can't be the hero all the time(unlike Touma, but gently caress him I'll get to that).

The only real problem I have with the resolution is that the character that Misaka ultimately confides in is Touma. A character that got maybe 10 mins of screentime in season 1. And while I realize the Sisters Arc was originally an Index arc, it feels incredibly dumb in Railgun. Misaka already has her own posse of sidekicks, but instead Touma just stumbles in and Deus ex Punchinas Accelerator in the face. I think the arc would have been great with literally any other character in Touma's place.

Reivax
Apr 24, 2008


ChronoReverse posted:

We'll just have to disagree because here we have a character who was able to take care of everything in season one but now is absolutely pinned into a corner despite all the best efforts and intentions. It's interesting to me because she doesn't have all the answers or the power to just wipe it away. She didn't really do anything wrong but in put in a horrible position (and it doesn't help that's she's just a middle-schooler in the end).

I'm reading the Railgun manga so I know the results of the next episode(s). Again, I'm wondering if some of you are simply too incensed at Touma for whatever he's like or did in Index because it certainly doesn't feel like Deus Ex Machina considering the results. Simply meeting someone who could help you isn't necessarily DEM.

Thanks, I deliberately left it there because I liked it too haha.

I agree as far as saying Mikasa shouldn't be able to solve everything on her own. The problem is: Touma appears and fixes everything. Its the same problem as Index, where episodes were spent setting up a (lovingly animated) scene he would punch a ten year old bondage nun and 'fix' them.
But he's had very little screentime here, he's very underdeveloped, so his appearance is a little incongruous. Railfun is a series that can, for the most part, stand alone from Index, but Touma's importance in this arc does more harm than good. Railgun is usually quite light-hearted. Sure there's violence and dangerous powers, but despite that, the good guys always save the day and restore order. It's a very feel-good show. Having Mikasa powerless and impotent in the face of overwhelming evil is such violent change that it feels out of place in the series. I like it, but I just don't think it was handled well enough.

In all honesty, Touma is nowhere near as bad as people make out. Index had far worse problems, like its constant sexualisation of 10-15 year old girls. He's bland, but that's about it. It is, however, hilarious that despite losing all his memories, he's exactly the same as he was before. He's the ultimate distillation of the bland shounen hero.

Zettace
Nov 30, 2009


Redcrimson posted:

The only real problem I have with the resolution is that the character that Misaka ultimately confides in is Touma. A character that got maybe 10 mins of screentime in season 1. And while I realize the Sisters Arc was originally an Index arc, it feels incredibly dumb in Railgun. Misaka already has her own posse of sidekicks, but instead Touma just stumbles in and Deus ex Punchinas Accelerator in the face. I think the arc would have been great with literally any other character in Touma's place.
That's because the Railgun anime and manga are targeted at Index fans and you are expected to have watched/read/have some understanding already. Touma's appearance makes more sense from the Index point of view (in that he will help anyone in trouble and Misaka and the Sisters where one such case he stumbled on to). This is a retelling of the Index story arc from a different point of view so it's more enjoyable if you watched the Index arc too.

Edit: As an example of this show being for Index fans, the Niconico comments on the Railgun episodes are overjoyed when Touma appears and everyone is calling him "a cool dude" and that he's awesome.

Zettace fucked around with this message at 05:18 on Jul 14, 2013

SatansBestBuddy
Sep 26, 2010

by FactsAreUseless


Reivax posted:

Railgun is usually quite light-hearted. Sure there's violence and dangerous powers, but despite that, the good guys always save the day and restore order. It's a very feel-good show. Having Mikasa powerless and impotent in the face of overwhelming evil is such violent change that it feels out of place in the series. I like it, but I just don't think it was handled well enough.

That's kinda funny, I actually think they handled it drat near perfectly. Any other series would probably try to keep the light hearted tone while everything in the story is actually grim as gently caress, so I'm glad Railgun S at least had the decency to go full boor and admit, hey, this is some seriously dark stuff that's pretty distressing to watch, so we should portray it as such. It shows that the team behind this show have some flexibility and are totally comfortable with 180'ing the show's tone if the material calls for it.

Regardless of the actual resolution of this story, which from the looks of things is going to be an HD retrend of the climax from Index rather than the Misaka side retelling we were hoping for, what I'm looking forward to is what's gonna come afterwards. I mean, at this point I have just enough faith in the writers that they aren't just gonna dump all this to the side and start doing beach episodes till the end of the season, no, this stuff has some ramifications coming for Misaka, both mental and emotional scarring from seeing yourself killed over and over, and threats from all the people who have been running these experiments for god knows how long that will soon have nothing to show for it. I know how this story ends, I'm quite interested now in how the next story will start. I mean, how do they plan go back to the more light hearted tone of the first season?

quote:

In all honesty, Touma is nowhere near as bad as people make out. Index had far worse problems, like its constant sexualisation of 10-15 year old girls.

Constant sexualization of girls regardless of age is a continual problem for anime in general, and Index has problems that are even worse than that. I would say Touma is definitely one of them, if not outright the worst of them, and not because he's bland, but because he's continually involved in poo poo that has nothing to do with him. Ever. You think him jumping to Misaka's help is bad, at least it's in the same drat city he is supposed to live in. On the same continent that he lives in. Involving people he's previously interacted with at some point. There are some arcs in Index that he seriously has no loving reason at all to be there for, and yet there he is, [Index spoiler]in the middle of loving Europe stopping a loving Navy full of loving nuns by punching someone in the face really loving hard.

And he always wins. That's another issue with Index, Touma is loving invincible and destroys all challengers. It's pretty ridiculous at some points, the ways the story contorts itself so that he walks away from everything clean and maybe with some new friends/harem members. I mean, when I saw the first arc of Index I was under the mistaken impression that having amnesia would be a disability that he'd have to live with and would face constant challenges from the fact that he can't remember the faces of his friends and family. Instead it's treated as a minor nuisance at best.

Oh, oh, and he has literally no idea how the world works. Just keep thinking everything will turn out okay and you won't lose anything because you don't want to and it'll all be fine. Stick up for your friends who are naturally good hearted people you can trust, don't bend to the bad guy's will because he is never right, never give up and you'll succeed... he has the world view of a child, just do your best and it'll all work out in the end.

... Touma's the worst. I don't even particularly dislike him or anything, but I simply can't look at the greater picture of the Index stuff I've seen and say that he's anything but poison to the narrative.

Parpy
Oct 22, 2009

Ducklings have been known to imprint on, and imitate, species in close vicinity -- especially cats and dogs.

~SMcD

Redcrimson posted:

The only real problem I have with the resolution is that the character that Misaka ultimately confides in is Touma. A character that got maybe 10 mins of screentime in season 1. And while I realize the Sisters Arc was originally an Index arc, it feels incredibly dumb in Railgun. Misaka already has her own posse of sidekicks, but instead Touma just stumbles in and Deus ex Punchinas Accelerator in the face. I think the arc would have been great with literally any other character in Touma's place.

She's planning to be dead in 10 minutes and she wants someone to blame her for this whole mess. Why not leave your spoken suicide note with this familiar face, surely he'll condemn you and you can feel justified for what you're about to do.

Reivax
Apr 24, 2008


SatansBestBuddy posted:

That's kinda funny, I actually think they handled it drat near perfectly. Any other series would probably try to keep the light hearted tone while everything in the story is actually grim as gently caress, so I'm glad Railgun S at least had the decency to go full boor and admit, hey, this is some seriously dark stuff that's pretty distressing to watch, so we should portray it as such. It shows that the team behind this show have some flexibility and are totally comfortable with 180'ing the show's tone if the material calls for it.

Regardless of the actual resolution of this story, which from the looks of things is going to be an HD retrend of the climax from Index rather than the Misaka side retelling we were hoping for, what I'm looking forward to is what's gonna come afterwards. I mean, at this point I have just enough faith in the writers that they aren't just gonna dump all this to the side and start doing beach episodes till the end of the season, no, this stuff has some ramifications coming for Misaka, both mental and emotional scarring from seeing yourself killed over and over, and threats from all the people who have been running these experiments for god knows how long that will soon have nothing to show for it. I know how this story ends, I'm quite interested now in how the next story will start. I mean, how do they plan go back to the more light hearted tone of the first season?

It's still got the same flippant, irrelevant tone as most of the series. Frenda and the gang are more of the wacky characters from feel-good Railgun. Sure they're psychotic killers, but it's still played off as harmless, not 'real' danger. It's not treated with the same levity as the rest of the arc. I have no idea what the writers were going for with the scientist girl. She disappeared, and nobody seems to care that she did. Just up and vanished.

SatansBestBuddy posted:

Constant sexualization of girls regardless of age is a continual problem for anime in general, and Index has problems that are even worse than that. I would say Touma is definitely one of them, if not outright the worst of them, and not because he's bland, but because he's continually involved in poo poo that has nothing to do with him. Ever. You think him jumping to Misaka's help is bad, at least it's in the same drat city he is supposed to live in. On the same continent that he lives in. Involving people he's previously interacted with at some point. There are some arcs in Index that he seriously has no loving reason at all to be there for, and yet there he is, [Index spoiler]in the middle of loving Europe stopping a loving Navy full of loving nuns by punching someone in the face really loving hard.

And he always wins. That's another issue with Index, Touma is loving invincible and destroys all challengers. It's pretty ridiculous at some points, the ways the story contorts itself so that he walks away from everything clean and maybe with some new friends/harem members. I mean, when I saw the first arc of Index I was under the mistaken impression that having amnesia would be a disability that he'd have to live with and would face constant challenges from the fact that he can't remember the faces of his friends and family. Instead it's treated as a minor nuisance at best.

Oh, oh, and he has literally no idea how the world works. Just keep thinking everything will turn out okay and you won't lose anything because you don't want to and it'll all be fine. Stick up for your friends who are naturally good hearted people you can trust, don't bend to the bad guy's will because he is never right, never give up and you'll succeed... he has the world view of a child, just do your best and it'll all work out in the end.

... Touma's the worst. I don't even particularly dislike him or anything, but I simply can't look at the greater picture of the Index stuff I've seen and say that he's anything but poison to the narrative.

The paedophilia is still an incredibly toxic problem. Sexualisation is problem for all media, anime more than others, but the paedo angle is especially noticeable in anime, Index in particular. It's all the more noticeable because it has no place in the story.

Touma isn't the reason the narrative is poo poo, he's just a by-product of larger problems. The whole conflict is driven by a secret/cold war between Espers and the (Catholic?) church, which has potential, but plays out as a fist-fight between ridiculous stereotypes and violent manchild. His naivety isn't really refuted by the narrative. If anything, it reinforces it. The bad guys (girls) generally mellow out after that lovingly animated punch, and, as you say, join the harem.

Railgun would be infinitely better if it wasn't linked to such a vile series. Don't get me wrong, I do genuinely enjoy this series, it's an improvement over the (good) first series. The problems of the Index universe naturally leak over in the crossover arc and the series is worse for it.

veekie
Dec 25, 2007

Dice of Chaos


Reivax posted:

I have no idea what the writers were going for with the scientist girl. She disappeared, and nobody seems to care that she did. Just up and vanished.

I figure that was the whole point. She spends a lot of her screentime remarking that people who oppose the city get disappeared.

Then she disappears.
After opposing the city.

Clarste
Apr 15, 2013

Just how many mistakes have you suffered on the way here?

An uncountable number, to be sure.


veekie posted:

I figure that was the whole point. She spends a lot of her screentime remarking that people who oppose the city get disappeared.

Then she disappears.
After opposing the city.

And no one even knows why, because she tried to do everything herself and never told anyone where she was going. Just like a certain someone. Her basic role in the story is to show us the price of failure in what Mikoto is doing.

Reivax
Apr 24, 2008


veekie posted:

I figure that was the whole point. She spends a lot of her screentime remarking that people who oppose the city get disappeared.

Then she disappears.
After opposing the city.

Point. The last you see her is climbing down into darkness isn't it?

SatansBestBuddy
Sep 26, 2010

by FactsAreUseless


Reivax posted:

Sexualisation is problem for all media

I would never, ever, ever say this without some really, really strong evidence. Sex is awesome, I highly advocate you all go get laid today.

Back on topic

Reivax posted:

Touma isn't the reason the narrative is poo poo, he's just a by-product of larger problems. The whole conflict is driven by a secret/cold war between Espers and the (Catholic?) church, which has potential, but plays out as a fist-fight between ridiculous stereotypes and violent manchild. His naivety isn't really refuted by the narrative. If anything, it reinforces it. The bad guys (girls) generally mellow out after that lovingly animated punch, and, as you say, join the harem.

Okay, maybe it's been awhile since I've seen the Index animes, but from what I remember, Touma doesn't really care about the greater conflict and is only ever interested in what's happening in front of him or directly affecting his friends. If it falls outside of that, he doesn't care. But it never does, like I said, he's always involved even when he has no reason to be. Hell, from what I do recall, he played for both sides of the field, he cares so little about the greater conflict between these two powers that he holds no allegiance to either, so both treat him like they work for him. And he does, too. I'm pretty sure he only ever does what he's told until it goes against his moral code, at which point it's time to punch away the problem.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Reivax posted:

Point. The last you see her is climbing down into darkness isn't it?

What? No, the last you see of her is slung over the shoulder of a mook, presumably to be taken to the incinerator or a secret torture prison.

Reivax
Apr 24, 2008


ArchangeI posted:

What? No, the last you see of her is slung over the shoulder of a mook, presumably to be taken to the incinerator or a secret torture prison.

Oh dear, I was really off. That is far better closure than I thought it was, my bad.

SatansBestBuddy posted:

I would never, ever, ever say this without some really, really strong evidence. Sex is awesome, I highly advocate you all go get laid today.

Back on topic


Okay, maybe it's been awhile since I've seen the Index animes, but from what I remember, Touma doesn't really care about the greater conflict and is only ever interested in what's happening in front of him or directly affecting his friends. If it falls outside of that, he doesn't care. But it never does, like I said, he's always involved even when he has no reason to be. Hell, from what I do recall, he played for both sides of the field, he cares so little about the greater conflict between these two powers that he holds no allegiance to either, so both treat him like they work for him. And he does, too. I'm pretty sure he only ever does what he's told until it goes against his moral code, at which point it's time to punch away the problem.

I should have clarified I meant the creepy leering sexualisation

I last saw Index as it was airing, so a few of memories are a little fuzzy, but yeah, Touma's pretty mercenary, fighting for whoever best serves his interests. At the root of it, the characters don't really grow. Things happen, but they might of well been a dream for all the character development they serve. I think Index the character is a good metaphor for the series itself: has the potential to be really interesting, but is ultimately a weird pandering thing, flailing from one zany scene to the next. Side characters tended to fade into the aether, save for brief, blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameos. A quick search shows that the guy who writes the Index light novels also wrote (writes?) the Railgun manga. So the guy can do character growth, he just chooses not too, because it would upset the status quo of his bizarro world.

There was also an uncomfortable misogynistic undertone, especially in the second series. I can't pin down if it was the downright brutal punches the female villains received, or the savage glee the fans took in these acts, or both. The fact that these blows 'pacified' the unruly women was just the cherry on the sundae. It was just something I noticed, and coupled with underage, prepubescent looking characters in string bikinis, gave the series a much skeevier tone than it might otherwise have had.

Reivax fucked around with this message at 07:43 on Jul 14, 2013

Paracelsus
Apr 5, 2009

bless this post ~kya


SatansBestBuddy posted:

And he always wins. That's another issue with Index, Touma is loving invincible and destroys all challengers. It's pretty ridiculous at some points, the ways the story contorts itself so that he walks away from everything clean and maybe with some new friends/harem members. I mean, when I saw the first arc of Index I was under the mistaken impression that having amnesia would be a disability that he'd have to live with and would face constant challenges from the fact that he can't remember the faces of his friends and family. Instead it's treated as a minor nuisance at best.
Really, two burly guys with baseball bats should be able to take him out with no problems. Imagine Breaker doesn't do anything against regular physical fighters, he's just lucky that the people he ends up fighting rely so heavily on their magic/esper powers and never learned to block a punch.

fivegears4reverse
Apr 4, 2007

by R. Guyovich


Dan7el posted:

So, I watched Episode 14 and then the same original Index. There were a few differences, but only minor. They could've used the same exact footage. There were no massive point of view angles that would've been missed either way. I'm interested to see how the next couple of episodes handle the scenes from Mikoto's POV.

The focus on Mikoto's emotional state throughout her conversation with Touma (as well as the acting for her) is huge. Not even exaggerating, go back and watch these episodes again. When we see Mikoto in Index, she's nowhere near as distraught so far as we're allowed to see. She gets to play the role of the bratty super-powered side character who people got REALLY fixated on. We don't see anything in Index that really truly sells just how terrible the situation is for her, and most of the time that she DOES appear in Index, she's either being a huge loving brat (like every girl is to Touma because lolanimecharacterization), or she's struggling to form words because she's around this guy she likes who, as we're finding out in greater detail with Railgun S, played a significant role in putting a stop to a nightmare that she feels directly responsible for creating.

Reivax posted:

It's still got the same flippant, irrelevant tone as most of the series.

I think you're giving a bit too much credit to the craziness of some characters while ignoring the actual dark poo poo that has been constantly implied throughout this season (and Index and the first season of Railgun in general) in order to try and make a point.

Railgun S has spent the better part of a whole season repeatedly mashing into the heads of the viewers that Academy City Is hosed Up. Hell, season 1 of Railgun should have done this, but I guess the happy J-pop and fact that it's Mikoto saving the day made people forget that the big plot of the season revolved around kidnapping children to force them to grow new abilities through drugs, and then the repercussions of putting a stop to said plot, with the further implication of "Boy, if you thought that poo poo was hosed up, man Academy City does this sort of thing ALL THE TIME. Also, Telestina is a Huge, Crazy Bitch. Oh, and this one time, Kuroko was crippled by this one dickhead during a bank robbery, the guy was like in his forties and doped up something fierce, nooooot creeeeeeeeepy."

The thing is, with the first season of Railgun, Mikoto MADE herself a part of the plot of her own volition. She saw some injustice and worked to fix it with her friends through the means available to her. Outside of her friends potentially being affected, she didn't have a billionth of the emotional involvement as she does with the Sisters arc. Unlike with the first season, the entirety of the Sister's Arc is possible because Mikoto willingly gave her DNA map to Academy City scientists. Granted, she had no idea that it would lead to that, but seeing what her decision has lead to has, unwittingly, put her in the same position as Kiyama Harumi from Season 1. She even tells Mikoto prophetically that they are very much alike.

Unlike Harumi, Mikoto is not willing to do "whatever it takes" to stop the experiments, which is the thing that ultimately makes Harumi an arc villain (regardless of the actual good of her intentions) and Mikoto the heroine.

veekie
Dec 25, 2007

Dice of Chaos


ArchangeI posted:

What? No, the last you see of her is slung over the shoulder of a mook, presumably to be taken to the incinerator or a secret torture prison.

Secret torture lab probably, she's still a high level esper. You don't waste those when you can do SCIENCE to them.

Reivax
Apr 24, 2008


fivegears4reverse posted:

I think you're giving a bit too much credit to the craziness of some characters while ignoring the actual dark poo poo that has been constantly implied throughout this season (and Index and the first season of Railgun in general) in order to try and make a point.

Railgun S has spent the better part of a whole season repeatedly mashing into the heads of the viewers that Academy City Is hosed Up. Hell, season 1 of Railgun should have done this, but I guess the happy J-pop and fact that it's Mikoto saving the day made people forget that the big plot of the season revolved around kidnapping children to force them to grow new abilities through drugs, and then the repercussions of putting a stop to said plot, with the further implication of "Boy, if you thought that poo poo was hosed up, man Academy City does this sort of thing ALL THE TIME. Also, Telestina is a Huge, Crazy Bitch. Oh, and this one time, Kuroko was crippled by this one dickhead during a bank robbery, the guy was like in his forties and doped up something fierce, nooooot creeeeeeeeepy."

The thing is, with the first season of Railgun, Mikoto MADE herself a part of the plot of her own volition. She saw some injustice and worked to fix it with her friends through the means available to her. Outside of her friends potentially being affected, she didn't have a billionth of the emotional involvement as she does with the Sisters arc. Unlike with the first season, the entirety of the Sister's Arc is possible because Mikoto willingly gave her DNA map to Academy City scientists. Granted, she had no idea that it would lead to that, but seeing what her decision has lead to has, unwittingly, put her in the same position as Kiyama Harumi from Season 1. She even tells Mikoto prophetically that they are very much alike.

Unlike Harumi, Mikoto is not willing to do "whatever it takes" to stop the experiments, which is the thing that ultimately makes Harumi an arc villain (regardless of the actual good of her intentions) and Mikoto the heroine.

You're right that the seedier, dark side of Academy City was always there, but it's not given much notice. In many ways I think this makes it more effective, a shame that it isn't properly explored. The omnipresent gangs, the brutal human experimentation, the threat of sexual violence against the heroes, the heavily armed police (some of whom moonlight as school teachers), the paramilitary child-police, all of these thing are there, in almost every episode, but are glossed over. It's accepted that they exist, and are a part of everyday life, despite the fact that they clash with the utopian, always sunny image of Academy City.
The problem is that these dystopian aspects aren't much explored. They'll appear in an episode, but not a lot of thought will be put into them after the fact. Banri is saved from Harumi's inhumane experiments, but it's never talked about afterwards, and everyone is happy and cheerful. I'm happy that they are exploring this in detail beyond simply setting up Touma's latest punch-bag, as I think that the original Index version lacked a lot of the emotional depth.

Reivax fucked around with this message at 09:16 on Jul 14, 2013

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


Touma is involved in so much poo poo because after Index, Touma becomes a major factor and tool on the magic side of things, and he HAS to help them or they will just drag off Index again. He then gets on the Science sides Radar after PUNCHING OUT ACCELERATOR, and there is constantly mentioned and reference behind the scenes maneuvering to involve him into various conflicts... and he has no luck to help him avoid poo poo. Literally zero luck because of his powers.



likely: We will see an episode that happens around when angel fall is going on and all characters get replaced by other characters, Mikoto becomes the Disrobing Scientist/Level Upper woman.

fivegears4reverse
Apr 4, 2007

by R. Guyovich


Reivax posted:

You're right that the seedier, dark side of Academy City was always there, but it's not given much notice. In many ways I think this makes it more effective, a shame that it isn't properly explored. The omnipresent gangs, the brutal human experimentation, the threat of sexual violence against the heroes, the heavily armed police (some of whom moonlight as school teachers), the paramilitary child-police, all of these thing are there, in almost every episode, but are glossed over. It's accepted that they exist, and are a part of everyday life, despite the fact that they clash with the utopian, always sunny image of Academy City.
The problem is that these dystopian aspects aren't much explored. They'll appear in an episode, but not a lot of thought will be put into them after the fact. Banri is saved from Harumi's inhumane experiments, but it's never talked about afterwards, and everyone is happy and cheerful. I'm happy that they are exploring this in detail beyond simply setting up Touma's latest punch-bag, as I think that the original Index version lacked a lot of the emotional depth.

It should be noted that the Railgun manga doesn't really give Harumi a chance to redeem herself, so far as I've read. That whole second half of the first Railgun season is basically original content mixed with some stuff that actually happens to a degree in the LNs, IIRC. I don't even recall seeing Telestina in it at any point.

I think a number of the issues you are complaining about are given plenty notice enough. The majority of Railgun S1 is more or less dedicated to how hosed up the Level Upper situation was (and it has after effects felt throughout Index in retrospect). Judgement (and the military/police) are basically a response to the failed results of the human experimentation that even made Academy City possible (though most of the people don't know that). If Academy City wasn't involved with experiments that were essentially failing to turn people into superhuman monsters and then releasing them into the streets after they failed their tests, we wouldn't even have the Railgun side stories in their current form.

Plus, I think we get an idea that AC is super hosed up throughout Index as well. The Sisters arc still happened, and there basically everything to do with Accelerator (which I think is our first official meeting with the Kihara family's unique brand of crazy and "KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIHARAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-KUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!"). Thing is, the Index series also throws a lot more focus on how awful the magic side is. For reference, see every episode where the Magic side is involved with something that is really bad.

The original Index anime are very poorly paced (and widely considered thus for many good reasons), which is a shame because the Railgun shows have been able to do a much better job of fleshing out the story arcs and the actual world Academy City inhabits. I'd love for the Railgun S2 animation team and director to do a renewal of Index as a whole, because I think they'd do a much better job with it.

fivegears4reverse fucked around with this message at 10:05 on Jul 14, 2013

JosephWongKS
Apr 4, 2009

by Nyc_Tattoo


veekie posted:

Secret torture lab probably, she's still a high level esper. You don't waste those when you can do SCIENCE to them.

Do we know for sure that Shinobu is an esper? She disposed of those thugs in the abandoned building with psychology and great acting skills, and when she was found hacking into the Sisters' computer network with an emotions software package, she fought back with a gun instead of esper powers.

JosephWongKS fucked around with this message at 09:45 on Jul 14, 2013

Falken
Jan 26, 2004

Do you feel like a hero yet?


AtomikKrab posted:

likely: We will see an episode that happens around when angel fall is going on and all characters get replaced by other characters, Mikoto becomes the Disrobing Scientist/Level Upper woman.[/spoiler]
Yes, that plays perfectly into the "victims of the stripper woman become the stripper woman!" poo poo that Saten was saying to Kuroko to rile her up. If they do that for an episode, I hope they switch out the characters in the OP just for the of it all.

Clarste
Apr 15, 2013

Just how many mistakes have you suffered on the way here?

An uncountable number, to be sure.


JosephWongKS posted:

Do we know for sure that Shinobu is an esper? She disposed of those thugs in the abandoned building with psychology and great acting skills, and when she was found hacking into the Sisters' computer network with an emotions software package, she fought back with a gun instead of esper powers.

When she was first introduced they made a deal out of the fact that her school accepts both high level espers and genius normals. Given that she invented an important device, she definitely qualifies for the latter, so there's no reason to believe she's an esper. Or even if she is, she's not high enough level to do anything cool. Like Uiharu I guess.

fivegears4reverse
Apr 4, 2007

by R. Guyovich


JosephWongKS posted:

Do we know for sure that Shinobu is an esper? She disposed of those thugs in the abandoned building with psychology and great acting skills, and when she was found hacking into the Sisters' computer network with an emotions software package, she fought back with a gun instead of esper powers.

She is not an esper whatsoever, just an amazing actor by the standards of the universe (that and the guys she used "critical" on were all dumb as bricks).

Phobophilia
Apr 26, 2008
This space intentionally left blank.


God drat it Touma maybe you should explain your brilliant plan before you stood in front of a bolt of lightning. If you really intend to punch someone out you should wait until your muscles aren't in painful spasms.

Reivax posted:

To clarify, it's that everything Misaka did was irrelevant. The experiments continue, the sisters continue to die. Then Touma comes and fixes everything. It's really bad writing, if only because the writers are so loyal to the story laid out in Index. In not deviating from that, it lacks closure. This is all independent of Index, which has far worse problems than Touma being a bit boring.

This is the problem. I stood up a bit when Kuroko suddenly decided to involve herself, but nooo, she stands down because she's not allowed to be involved with the story and some vague ~promise~ she made some time ago. gently caress that noise, this is a character defined by being Misaka's best friend, she should be all over this poo poo. And besides, every single other arc beforehand was solved by the power of friendship: Uiharu and her memory chip, Saten and her baseball bat. This should have been no different, but nope, this is Touma story and by god we're going to ruin all the effort put into Misaka's story if we have to.

Another way Misaka could have tried to resolve it: use those ability down speakers on Accelerator, put a cap in him. Or not, there'll probably be some bullshit about Accelerator blocking the sound waves/vectors or something. Nevermind that idea. Idiot Touma to the rescue.

veekie
Dec 25, 2007

Dice of Chaos


Ability Down fundamentally works through distraction, so yeah it'd do just fine unless Accelerator turned his ears off before it started.

fivegears4reverse
Apr 4, 2007

by R. Guyovich


Phobophilia posted:

God drat it Touma maybe you should explain your brilliant plan before you stood in front of a bolt of lightning. If you really intend to punch someone out you should wait until your muscles aren't in painful spasms.


This is the problem. I stood up a bit when Kuroko suddenly decided to involve herself, but nooo, she stands down because she's not allowed to be involved with the story and some vague ~promise~ she made some time ago. gently caress that noise, this is a character defined by being Misaka's best friend, she should be all over this poo poo. And besides, every single other arc beforehand was solved by the power of friendship: Uiharu and her memory chip, Saten and her baseball bat. This should have been no different, but nope, this is Touma story and by god we're going to ruin all the effort put into Misaka's story if we have to.

Another way Misaka could have tried to resolve it: use those ability down speakers on Accelerator, put a cap in him. Or not, there'll probably be some bullshit about Accelerator blocking the sound waves/vectors or something. Nevermind that idea. Idiot Touma to the rescue.


The Index stories were written well before Railgun was, so changing the outcome (or how we get to the original outcome) of the Sisters arc significantly just to please some disgruntled fans doesn't really sound like a good idea, considering how many people actually do like Touma. For me, I'm kinda neutral on him. He has his moments where he does cool stuff, and in a show where people can literally throw buildings like pillows, teleport, erase your memories and make you eat all the twinkies, disintegrate things at the atomic level, be really good at bombs or finding people, or ignore physics, it's actually fitting that there's a character who's special ability is to negate all that magic bullshit with a punch.

We could just as easily assume that Mikoto understandably doesn't want to involve anyone from her circle of friends. This is a bit different from joining the amateur young justice hour whenever you feel like it because you have nothing better to do as a person who flings arcade tokens at light speed. She's openly challenging forces that she now knows will make people disappear if they are challenged, forces that have hired another Level 5 and her friends to try and make that happen. Forces that she inadvertently assisted with mass murder. Mikoto might (heavy emphasis there) be able to resist the city like this (until capacity down gets used, like you've suggested), but nobody else she knows would have lasted very long against the likes of Meltdowner and company being ordered to silence them.

Insurrectionist
May 21, 2007


fivegears4reverse posted:

The Index stories were written well before Railgun was, so changing the outcome (or how we get to the original outcome) of the Sisters arc significantly just to please some disgruntled fans doesn't really sound like a good idea, considering how many people actually do like Touma. For me, I'm kinda neutral on him. He has his moments where he does cool stuff, and in a show where people can literally throw buildings like pillows, teleport, erase your memories and make you eat all the twinkies, disintegrate things at the atomic level, be really good at bombs or finding people, or ignore physics, it's actually fitting that there's a character who's special ability is to negate all that magic bullshit with a punch.

This is a false dichotomy though. If there was no way to do that storyline without killing the narrative, then don't do it. If it was inevitably going to have a boring cop-out ending then the choice to not have that storyline at all is the right one. I mean, I hate Touma but if he'd actually have been a part of the narrative and story prior to the ending, it wouldn't really have been that bad. But he wasn't, and as such the resolution to this story is awful.

As for your point about powers, that is true, but it doesn't change the fact that the writer goes out of his way to come up with ways for Touma's ability to always be the solution to whatever power he's facing, while contriving to find stupid and ridiculous reasons for why other characters' powers can't be. Plus the whole 'Touma has an obvious weakness (non-magical/esper threats) that somehow hasn't caused him to lose once in however many fights he's been in'.

Phobophilia
Apr 26, 2008
This space intentionally left blank.


I guess my problem is that I won't shut up about it because of how unnatural and forced the situation feels. Everything from 1-13 of Railgun S feels naturalistic: one thing leads to another, and characters respond in reasonable ways. Until we get to the points that contradict the original series: Kuroko never meets Misaka's sisters, and Touma solves Misaka's problems for her. In order to fit this scenario, the story suddenly feels forced and unnatural and it suffers and I really should shut up about it because it will not solve anything. Unless say they retcon out Index and everything magical. If loving Haganai gets retcon spinoffs, then this deserves it too (I have not and will not finish Haganai).

fivegears4reverse
Apr 4, 2007

by R. Guyovich


Insurrectionist posted:

This is a false dichotomy though. If there was no way to do that storyline without killing the narrative, then don't do it. If it was inevitably going to have a boring cop-out ending then the choice to not have that storyline at all is the right one. I mean, I hate Touma but if he'd actually have been a part of the narrative and story prior to the ending, it wouldn't really have been that bad. But he wasn't, and as such the resolution to this story is awful.

As for your point about powers, that is true, but it doesn't change the fact that the writer goes out of his way to come up with ways for Touma's ability to always be the solution to whatever power he's facing, while contriving to find stupid and ridiculous reasons for why other characters' powers can't be. Plus the whole 'Touma has an obvious weakness (non-magical/esper threats) that somehow hasn't caused him to lose once in however many fights he's been in'.

The narrative hasn't been killed. It was always going to lead to this point. The narrative for this particular arc has always been:

- even super powerful people need help sometimes

- even super powerful people need punching

- Mikoto, you are not a bad person for having given your DNA to scientists when you were like five years old

- Also, that guy you kinda like and at the same time are frustrated with because you don't understand his ability is actually kinda cool and has put his life on the line for you, despite the fact that you have been kinda bitchy and tried to cut him with a sword made of iron sand a month ago, and despite the fact that you feel complicit in the sort of monstrosity you actively fought to stop not too long ago

The biggest change to this arc is a shift in perspective. That's it. Where as in Index, Misaka was willing to get herself killed, it's presented as a drastic solution from Touma's perspective, who has no idea of what Misaka has been doing to try and stop this (and neither does the audience, because we never see any of what we've seen in Railgun, at all). We just see a girl who has decided it's time to die, which from Touma's perspective probably makes her a lot like those clones who are so willing to continue these experiments knowing they are going to die. In Railgun, we are actually seeing how and why this popular bit character was actually driven to the brink of suicide.

The writer does a lot to justify anything any of the characters do or don't do, not necessarily because it makes the most logical sense, but because he's writing the story he and many fans enjoy. Touma gets a lot of that, but he's kinda the main character of the whole franchise. The Sisters Arc might be Misaka's story to a great extent, but it's taking place in an already existing framework, and it has to fall into that framework first (while also expanding on the Science side as a whole).

Insurrectionist
May 21, 2007


fivegears4reverse posted:

The narrative hasn't been killed. It was always going to lead to this point. The narrative for this particular arc has always been:

- even super powerful people need help sometimes

- even super powerful people need punching

- Mikoto, you are not a bad person for having given your DNA to scientists when you were like five years old


These three are all fine in theory, but the execution is horrendous when the person helping her is someone who up until this point has been barely seen and been completely unimportant narratively. If Touma had taken an active role in the story his helping her wouldn't have come out of left field, like it did. This wasn't 'just' a change in perspective (though the resolution was stupid in the Index version as well, it was just normal 'Touma's ability is Deus Ex Machina' stupid), because the narrative can change hugely in quality, tone etc just by changing what character's being followed, without changing events.

In addition to that, I freely admit that I also hate the fact that it was Touma, more than any other character. Given how much Railgun has focused on friendship, the fact that when she actually needed help, her problems was solved by someone she doesn't even count as a friend, who's barely appeared in this series at all, and whom she has a crush on, means it's pretty much the exact opposite of the reason why I watch the show. In fact, it really bothers me both how her problems manifested both as emotional problems and straight-up powerlevel problems, and her friends weren't involved with helping her out with either. I could get it if it was straight-up 'not enough power, call in the god-hand plot-device!' but given how personal and dark the arc got, the ending is super-disappointing even independent of Touma's intervention.

fivegears4reverse
Apr 4, 2007

by R. Guyovich


Insurrectionist posted:

These three are all fine in theory, but the execution is horrendous when the person helping her is someone who up until this point has been barely seen and been completely unimportant narratively.

You're still pretending Touma isn't important to this particular arc in Railgun just because you don't like him, and are ignoring the fact that Railgun is a side story to Index, where Touma is the main character, and this is originally the Index arc that really introduced Misaka to the audience as an important secondary character as opposed to being just background clutter. You can pretend the Index side of the franchise is totally unnecessary, and that you don't NEED to actually pay it any mind whatsoever, but Railgun S is adapting one of (if not THE) most popular arcs in the whole franchise from the perspective of Misaka. It is still telling the Sisters Arc, not the Friendship and J-Pop Solves Misaka Clone Mulcher Problem This Time Around Arc. As far as most of the people watching the show are concerned, Touma has shown up in Misaka's life multiple times already, and is an important factor in events around Academy City. If anything, this is the 'moment' that actually explains the bond between both characters.

The problem really IS a "not enough power" problem. We've seen everything that drove her to so casually suggest getting herself killed in the original telling of the events, and it is as dire as it ought to be. She's gone from being the hero in her first season to confronting a problem that she is at the core of, the scope of which is far worse than anything she's ever encountered. Misaka is not strong enough alone to solve this problem. She's not strong enough to stop Accelerator, she's not able to undo anything that has been done. She's up against a city that is supporting everything she's fighting against and made people like her possible. She has been trying to take this on alone because she's afraid of what her friends would think of her, she already blames herself for what has happened. She also doesn't want them to get hurt or dead. However, it's plainly obvious by this episode that she doesn't have the ability to do this alone.

In retrospect, this arc makes every single arc preceding this one dumb, because SHE HAS ALREADY LEARNED THIS LESSON. She should know that if she needs help she has friends who can help her! Except if we want to come up with in-universe reasons why she should or should not do this to satisfy our personal preferences, we can come up with hundreds for and against calling in the friendship brigade. She just spent three episodes in this very arc fighting good reasons as to why she SHOULDN'T, but its totally okay to ignore all that if you want.

Insurrectionist
May 21, 2007


fivegears4reverse posted:

You're still pretending Touma isn't important to this particular arc in Railgun just because you don't like him, and are ignoring the fact that Railgun is a side story to Index, where Touma is the main character, and this is originally the Index arc that really introduced Misaka to the audience as an important secondary character as opposed to being just background clutter. You can pretend the Index side of the franchise is totally unnecessary, and that you don't NEED to actually pay it any mind whatsoever, but Railgun S is adapting one of (if not THE) most popular arcs in the whole franchise from the perspective of Misaka. It is still telling the Sisters Arc, not the Friendship and J-Pop Solves Misaka Clone Mulcher Problem This Time Around Arc. As far as most of the people watching the show are concerned, Touma has shown up in Misaka's life multiple times already, and is an important factor in events around Academy City. If anything, this is the 'moment' that actually explains the bond between both characters.

I guess the problem I have is that I find the whole resolution completely awful, and the fact that Railgun lets itself be dragged down by a far worse show due to narrative necessity doesn't justify anything from where I'm at. And Friendship would have been a far better solution to literally every single Index arc than Touma's lovely power, both in terms of plot and themes. Touma himself is just bland with a penchant for annoying speeches, but I've never hated an ability or power in media more than his tension-killing imagine breaker, which literally kills his ability to be proactive. In fact, it being useless unless specifically used in reaction to another power is the perfect representation of Touma's role as boring buzzkill.

Nate RFB
Jan 17, 2005



Clapping Larry

In a perfect universe Index would never have existed and the world could have been constructed around Railgun from the beginning, and thus this argument wouldn't be happening. But Index does exist, and anything we try to insert into it to "correct" it away from that is pretty much fanfiction. I'm sure there could be a way for this to end without Touma, this is pretty much Handwave The Series, but for better or worse (mostly worse) we have what we have.

Sure, Touma is "important" from the perspective of Index. No denying that. He's the main character and blah blah blah. But so what? Does that mean that the writing of this conclusion isn't bad? That it's not the same old asspulls that were prevalent throughout Index? Of course not.

Reivax
Apr 24, 2008


fivegears4reverse posted:

You're still pretending Touma isn't important to this particular arc in Railgun just because you don't like him, and are ignoring the fact that Railgun is a side story to Index, where Touma is the main character, and this is originally the Index arc that really introduced Misaka to the audience as an important secondary character as opposed to being just background clutter. You can pretend the Index side of the franchise is totally unnecessary, and that you don't NEED to actually pay it any mind whatsoever, but Railgun S is adapting one of (if not THE) most popular arcs in the whole franchise from the perspective of Misaka. It is still telling the Sisters Arc, not the Friendship and J-Pop Solves Misaka Clone Mulcher Problem This Time Around Arc. As far as most of the people watching the show are concerned, Touma has shown up in Misaka's life multiple times already, and is an important factor in events around Academy City. If anything, this is the 'moment' that actually explains the bond between both characters.

The problem really IS a "not enough power" problem. We've seen everything that drove her to so casually suggest getting herself killed in the original telling of the events, and it is as dire as it ought to be. She's gone from being the hero in her first season to confronting a problem that she is at the core of, the scope of which is far worse than anything she's ever encountered. Misaka is not strong enough alone to solve this problem. She's not strong enough to stop Accelerator, she's not able to undo anything that has been done. She's up against a city that is supporting everything she's fighting against and made people like her possible. She has been trying to take this on alone because she's afraid of what her friends would think of her, she already blames herself for what has happened. She also doesn't want them to get hurt or dead. However, it's plainly obvious by this episode that she doesn't have the ability to do this alone.

In retrospect, this arc makes every single arc preceding this one dumb, because SHE HAS ALREADY LEARNED THIS LESSON. She should know that if she needs help she has friends who can help her! Except if we want to come up with in-universe reasons why she should or should not do this to satisfy our personal preferences, we can come up with hundreds for and against calling in the friendship brigade. She just spent three episodes in this very arc fighting good reasons as to why she SHOULDN'T, but its totally okay to ignore all that if you want.

A problem in nerd media is this weird adherence to 'canon.' What is canon and what isn't becomes more important than discussing the works themselves, on their own merits. The Alien series, Star Wars, Star Trek, all get sidelined by fussing over details and how it deviates from the accepted canon. Nate RFB is right in saying derivative works shouldn't be slavishly adherent to canon, and should instead be made to work on their own merits.
Railgun up until this point was series that could be watched completely independently of Index, but this latest episode drags it kicking and screaming back to canon, which weakens the story considerably. Touma is the main character in Index, Mikasa is the main character in Railgun. My argument isn't so much that Index shouldn't exist, it's that Railgun can be its own work and stand independently of Index.

This isn't a documentary, a retelling of real events, it's fiction. It can be written any way he pleases. A certain level of contrivance is to be expected. I can easily suspend disbelief that the kitten chose to pull at the zipper and reveal the all-important documents at that particular moment, but when a peripheral character is suddenly the protagonist, stealing the spotlight. I think a lot of people forget that Touma and Mikasa aren't exactly buddies; he bumps into her a few times, is overly familiar, and is generally an arse. She has every right to be suspicious of this white knight Nice Guy.

No one's doubting that Mikasa's decision not to involve her friends is the right one, she's only offered immunity because of her rare power level. But that shouldn't exclude her friends from investigating on their own, but when they come close to doing so, narrative convenience dictates that they can't. The narrative leading to this point isn't necessarily bad for Index, but it's toxic for Railgun.

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ChronoReverse
Oct 1, 2009


Which is something only Index viewers are saying. As a Railgun only viewer/reader, you guys just seem to be making a mountain out of a molehill.

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