A Certain Scientific Railgun Vol. 1 Paperback – Jun 7 2011
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“Part girl. Part railgun. All awesome.” ―JAPANATOR.COM
“Extracting the two most charismatic characters and giving them their own manga series was a stroke of genius.” ―WAKARANAI ANIMU BLOG
About the Author
KAZUMA KAMACHI is a Japanese writer of light novels and manga. He is best known for A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun.
MOTOI FUYUKAWA is a Japanese manga artist and illustrator best known for A Certain Scientific Railgun.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"A Certain Scientific Railgun" is a spinoff series from a novel franchise in Japan called to aru majutsu no index, which translates to "A Certain Magical Index". One does not need to be familure with Index to enjoy Railgun other than knowledge that the characters live in a city where psychics are trained called Academy City.
For fans that do not know the story well, the pacing is a bit fast so I feel as though new readers may have difficulty keeping up with what's happened. However the artists uses the characters expressions and tones to tell the story well with great characters so this book can be enjoyed by fans of the Raildex franchise or new fans. For new fans, I suggest watching the anime, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun to see these characters really shine.
The story itself is very similar to the novel and anime adaption. One of the things I enjoyed most was that the characters way of talking through translation was not sacrificed, as Kuroko still calls Misaka "Oneesama" as she should rather than "big sister". Even Gekota is in there.
The art style itself is very enjoyable. The characters are cute, expressive, and not difficult to tell apart.
This book is a refreshing take on the Railgun franchise for those who saw the anime back when it was airing in 2009.
For fans of the series, the story follows that of the anime series (for those who have seen it) so doesn't provide anything really new other than a new medium through which to enjoy the familiar characters. For those with no familiarity with the series, Railgun is a not-to-deep but fun read. The series is largely character driven (and some cameos won't make sense without background knowledge of the Index series) and those characters are rather fun - whether it is Kuroko's creepy advances on Misaka, Saten's consistent teasing of Uihara, or Misaka's not-quite-convincing tsundere act every time she runs into Tomoa. This is a great first introduction to the series.
Regardless of if you have seen the anime however, the charming characters and the amazing setting of Academy City are sure to entertain anyone thinking about picking up this title. It's a masterpiece and is difficult to put down.
As a reviewer I find it harder to write a good review for a book I liked than one I wasn't so happy with. This had an interesting story with both mysteries to solve and relationships to build. These girls are not pushovers!
The stories seemed to rise a little higher than the juvenile hijinx and embarassment the looks to dominate other series. The mystery of the level upper will be interesting to follow... will this be a benefit or a cheating shortcut with horrible consequences?
The major part of this story is to introduce one of seven level 5 espers (psychics that can control elements of the world, I guess) in Academy City, Misaka Mikoto. Right now she's only in middle school and one of the most powerful espers in the city. She's an electromaster and with her power she can accelerate an arcade coin to incredible speeds, which is why she has the nickname "railgun". Personally, I love this setup. Perhaps I am a little biased, since I studied electromagnetism from a mathematical perspective as my senior thesis for graduation. Either way, I found this world really interesting and engaging with a cast of characters that I really grew to love. I feel the characters weren't as fleshed out for the first volume, but by Volume 3 I was really engaged as the general writing of Misaka's world improved and gained more purchase for me.
The first three volumes cover the "Level Upper" story arc. I don't want to spoil too much, but you can guess that in the system of "levels" there is some piece of technology that people can use to artificially increase their level. As usual with these things, it can have some dire consequences for those interested in using this fast track. The motivation and conclusion to this mystery were pretty good. I didn't exactly guess every move, so the series wasn't that predictable to me like some series are.
In the end I really enjoyed this. If the writing remains consistent I'll be interested in reading everything I can get my hands on with this character. It would be really interesting to journey with her as she grows into adulthood, but we'll see if the series even goes to that length. If you like manga with a good sci-fi bent and a rather well written tsundere character, then this is a great manga.