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Post Reply "Index" and "Railgun" and missed opportunities
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38 / M / Oakland, CA
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Posted 9/29/13 , edited 9/29/13
These shows, while I enjoy them, annoy me to no end. They just could have been something special, and end up being only a fun ride.

The world they reside in is one of the most subtly dystopian I've seen in anime, and it's kind of great for that. It's a beautiful safe post-needs society that only worships knowledge and power, and which is willing to sacrifice ANYTHING for those goals. The juxtaposition and the irony of the world makes for a really strong setting, especially at the start of the various series...

Because it seems that it's going to be about the powerless in a a society that worships power and gives benefits for power even if it's a worthless one. And that's what you think you're going to get with Touma at the beginning of Index. Nobody knows he has a power, so he's subject to subtle discrimination and feels powerless... But they can't do that of course, so they give him a super-power trump card that negates all others, as is proper for any manga/anime/light novel hero. He can't be heroic despite being powerless, they have to give him a perfect counter (I like to compare him to Bink from Xanth, for those who are old and geeky enough to remember that, except Bink's power is kind of played for laughs, while Touma's is treated totally seriously'. They traded in the pssibility for an interesting story for a dime-a-dozen action/adventure.

Railgun is, to me, in some ways worse... because they have the characters right there, and sometimes spend time looking at them. Saten and Uihara are a million times more interesting than the 'generic tsundere super-powerful action chick', and the things you see with them have potential for a real story (the best thing in all of the series is the stuff about Saten dealing with the issues she has with being powerless, although even that reinforces the deep injustice of the world, as they get browbeaten for 'cheating'). It's great that they address the idea, and it's well done with amazing characterization, but it also hurts.... I'm always left with what could have been when they spend another 10 episodes using their super powers and shooting megalasers at each other.

~~~

In short, goddamn what shows they COULD have been. We're left with only 'really fun and very generic'.


(There now I feel better getting that off my chest :D)
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Posted 9/29/13
I found Railgun more enjoyable than Index. I find myself not able to enjoy it the same I enjoyed Railgun though.
Aside from this, I feel there are some secrets that might not have been questioned to me.
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Posted 9/29/13
I really would have a liked a more deep and dark story than what they did. I think they way they do anime today is a major reason that this didn't occur and why people say new anime is bad its not bad but different and if you hate moe, high school, slice of life, loli then you probably hate most new anime out there which I can understand.

I would have liked to have seen a very deep explanation of powers even if it was bending some scientific principles and explaining how they are different this would have only been about half an episode that could have easily been divided over several. They hinted at how powers worked in railgun but didn't really explain how any theory was different or explained how those theories even gave way to certain powers.

I know people say that anime isn't getting worse. Those people are partially incorrect because anime certainly has changed about who they cater to and what kind of anime happens. Had this been done ten years ago we certainly wouldn't have had episodes stuffed with fan service. Also new anime centers on moe, high school, and the old girls doing stuff anime as which this became.

Newer anime today always seems to disappoint me in the fact for how light they make it when they really needed a serious tone. Animes such as Railgun, Index, Sunday without God heck even Attack on Titan wasn't serious at several points when it needed to be but instead catered to the fans from fan service, to moe, to terrible jokes to lighten the mood.
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Posted 9/29/13
Totally agree with what you're saying, but I think you'd be doing a disservice to the series as a whole if you ignore the Sisters Arc, which (at least in the anime-haven't read the manga) is the biggest and most substantial arc in the entire universe.

I thought the Sisters Arc was an excellent example of what they can do in this world when they really want to, and they covered pretty heavy topics and themes in that one.
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Posted 9/29/13



Times have certainly changed if that means anything to you.

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Posted 9/29/13

iblessall wrote:

Totally agree with what you're saying, but I think you'd be doing a disservice to the series as a whole if you ignore the Sisters Arc, which (at least in the anime-haven't read the manga) is the biggest and most substantial arc in the entire universe.

I thought the Sisters Arc was an excellent example of what they can do in this world when they really want to, and they covered pretty heavy topics and themes in that one.


Anime still can do an amazing job and cover some deep topics and issues. But I just wish Railgun did it without the flipping of skirts or showing whats under them what felt like every episode.
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33 / M / Planet Sanno
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Posted 9/29/13

windsagio wrote:
I like to compare him to Bink from Xanth, for those who are old and geeky enough to remember that


*raises hand*

Ancient Xanth fan here, and that's actually a really good comparison to make, considering everything about A Certain Franchise.
Posted 9/29/13
I think this could apply to the entertainment business as a whole.
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20 / M / California
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Posted 9/29/13 , edited 9/29/13
I definitely get where you're coming from (even though I personally loved railgun and thought Index was all-right).

I'm divided on the issue, to be honest, because a part of me thinks it's just preference. I had the same problem with Attack on Titan and what they decided to do with Eren. I was in love with the series up until episode 5, and then I was kind of disappointed because they went a route that seemed very generic and uninteresting.

But one man's misused potential is another man's masterpiece, unfortunately. That's extremely frustrating but it's just the way things go lol

With Index and Railgun, though, that power struggle is definitely there. It's not out in the forefront, but it's almost like a sub-theme. Even in the most recent season it's rearing it's head now and again - it's just not the focus. And yea, it may have been more interesting if they gave more attention to that (particularly with Touma in Index).

As a side note, I just recently finished Gakuen Alice, which I think is kind of like a child's version of what you wanted index and Railgun to be.
emh45 
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Posted 9/29/13 , edited 9/29/13
I personally think the whole fan service aspect of anime just one part of what makes anime what it is, yes its pointless and not needed 99% of the time, but I feel that's just one of the things that makes anime the thing I love. Also not every anime can be a master piece, there are very few anime's I would say are perfect, tbh wouldn't say there are any. So when I'm watching an anime i focus on the overall story and character progression and i feel that railgun has done a good job of these things. (I'm about halfway through railgun S and its been very serious so far)

not really watched index so can't make any judgement's on that series.

SavioD 
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Posted 9/29/13
I think you guys have already heard this a million times, but I'll say it again.
If you want a more immersive and thoughtful experience I suggest you to read the novel.

As much I would like the anime to be seen as a stand-alone product, this is not how the business works.
I mean what I imagine the producers thinking:
"So, we have this popular book and we will make it an animation. Where would we focus on ?
Hmm... Most of the people watching the show probably had read the book, so action sequences need a big role since what those readers need now are those (action) paragraphs translated into anime".
"What about the people who haven't read anything ? Well, I guess if they like the setting and the characters, they will be buying those novels in no time".

My final point is, even tough you don't like, theses shows are more of a propaganda to the source material.

Btw, I love the Index/Railgun franchise.






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Posted 9/29/13

rcsatcrunchyroll wrote:


windsagio wrote:
I like to compare him to Bink from Xanth, for those who are old and geeky enough to remember that


*raises hand*

Ancient Xanth fan here, and that's actually a really good comparison to make, considering everything about A Certain Franchise.


You, sir... are very right! The more I think about it the more similar it actually is (barring the emphasis on puns)... That's utterly bizarre, <<< insert animated gif of head explosion here >>>


iblessall wrote:

Totally agree with what you're saying, but I think you'd be doing a disservice to the series as a whole if you ignore the Sisters Arc, which (at least in the anime-haven't read the manga) is the biggest and most substantial arc in the entire universe.

I thought the Sisters Arc was an excellent example of what they can do in this world when they really want to, and they covered pretty heavy topics and themes in that one.


Sisters, I'd agree definitely strengthened the dark theme, but I kind of have a slight issue with it in a different way, it really undermines Misaka's character to me. She pretty much becomes what people complain about the geek version of a 'strong female character', in that she's powerful and near perfect and awesome, and yet totally goes to pieces in the face of the REAL (male) protagonist and can't actually succeed without him (of course that's kind of her original purpose, to make Touma look good, but that's a different subject :p)



SavioD wrote:

I think you guys have already heard this a million times, but I'll say it again.
If you want a more immersive and thoughtful experience I suggest you to read the novel.

As much I would like the anime to be seen as a stand-alone product, this is not how the business works.
I mean what I imagine the producers thinking:
"So, we have this popular book and we will make it an animation. Where would we focus on ?
Hmm... Most of the people watching the show probably had read the book, so action sequences need a big role since what those readers need now are those (action) paragraphs translated into anime".
"What about the people who haven't read anything ? Well, I guess if they like the setting and the characters, they will be buying those novels in no time".

My final point is, even tough you don't like, theses shows are more of a propaganda to the source material.

Btw, I love the Index/Railgun franchise.



What are the books focused on? I'm guessing Touma and Misaka. If that's the case it's not really addressing the main issue I have (although Index is probably better and probably has more focus on his issues).



emh45 wrote:

I personally think the whole fan service aspect of anime just one part of what makes anime what it is, yes its pointless and not needed 99% of the time, but I feel that's just one of the things that makes anime the thing I love. Also not every anime can be a master piece, there are very few anime's I would say are perfect, tbh wouldn't say there are any. So when I'm watching an anime i focus on the overall story and character progression and i feel that railgun has done a good job of these things. (I'm about halfway through railgun S and its been very serious so far)

not really watched index so can't make any judgement's on that series.



It's not really about fan-service, it's about the wasted potential. I love all kinds of intensely stupid action/comedy shows that are way more offensive than Index/Railgun could ever be, but they don't have any chance to be more than they are... and that's kind of my issue.
SavioD 
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Posted 9/29/13 , edited 9/29/13

windsagio wrote:

What are the books focused on? I'm guessing Touma and Misaka. If that's the case it's not really addressing the main issue I have (although Index is probably better and probably has more focus on his issues).

.


Basically, on the Science vs. Magic conflict and a boy who can defy both powers.

Afterwords from the author featured on the first volume:



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Posted 9/29/13 , edited 9/29/13
I was once interested in Index, but after reading the LNs, I just dropped it after vol. 16. I cannot stand Touma anymore. His power is super annoying.
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Posted 9/29/13 , edited 9/29/13
A lot of your 'missed opportunities' don't make their way into the series until later. With the recent New Testament series being absolutely great. Just wait until the beginning of the 3rd season, it starts right off with some of the hardest hitting parts of the series,
without even having Touma play a part.

A lot of the ideas of the series come from science and magic working towards one goal and how incredibly similar they are. The idea behind Misaka falling to pieces is that she shouldered all the problems by herself and ended up falling to pieces. This also reflected in how Touma refuses to rely on others as well, in fact not actually asking for help until the most recent light novel (NT 8).

The books mostly focus on Touma, but later introduce the semi main protagonists Accelerator and Hamazura. Misaka feels weak in the sisters arc, but mostly throughout the novels, with NT giving her more screen time, she's confident, but unsure how to express her feelings.
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