So i am actually reviewing another manga this time around?? Well I guess hell finally froze over due in part that I actually bought a hard copy for the first volume of Rail-Gun. Now Don't count me on doing a full review for every single volume that comes out for the series, however this is one of the few manga's that I will actually be following legally state-side as of now. My only small rant is not at the publishers for the manga Seven-Seas but at the company Funimation. As much as I love the company I just wish that the would announce an release date for the Rail-gun/Index DVDs/Bluray's already.
However due to some complications came up genon of Japan so the series will them setting on the title for awhile. However a legal stream at their site to in order to promote the series more which would greatly help with sales of the series down the road and being region restricted for Japan should not hurt sales that much due to reverse importing.... but that's just my opinion on this.
Now that my little rant is over for the time being lets get on with this. Rail-gun is a spin-off series from the popular light novel To Aru Majutsu No Index. The manga for rail-gun started in publication on April 2007 which is still on-going currently with six volumes out so far. As I just stated above Seven-Seas is doing the localization for the manga in the states.
From what I have read in the first volume they seem to be handling the localization quite well the translation also seems to be on par with everything I have seen so far as well for the series. The printed softback is also in decent quailty with fifteen page preview of the tord-dora manga as well. Normally I would go into more detail than this but I will save the major details for my review of anime when I am able to.
|Shocking, isn't it??|
Now lets move on to the main plot/story, To Aru no Railgun takes place in city called academy city that is mainly made up of students with a population of 2.3 million. The technology they have in the city is thirty to forty years far more advanced than any where else in the world. The main focus or study in the city is on esper or telekinetic powers and rates the students based on their abilities from level zero to level five, of course level five being the strongest possible, so powerful that only seven students even register at this level and our main fourteen year-old female lead Misaka Mikoto is ranked number three out the seven registered.
Her special ability is that of electrode master. Basically I am saying that she has the ability to shoot off huge volts off electricity from her body at high speed "up to a billion volts", warp sand into a steel like sword. Then there Misaka's special ability called the rail-gun In which she fires an arcade token three times faster than the speed of sound.
Misaka goes to an all girls private school named Tokiwadai Middle School which is on campus area and lives with her roommate Shirai Kuroko who is a level four teleporting esper, that happens to be one the most flamboyant lesbians I have seen in a long time. It's funny to see her get turned down from Misaka more than any male lead put together in recent history I can think of.
Kuroko also has a habit of calling Misaka oneesama, not due in fact that she is her older sister but out of respect Kuroko has for her. So what is the instal story about for the first volume?? It starts off really slow with a few crime bust from Kuroko because of her part in the student enforcement called Judgment, where main job is to enforce law/order with in academy city. "gee what happened to baseball or soccer?"
It's not until chapter three or four is when things start to really heat up due to mystery bomber that solely attacks judgment remembers. This is where they introduce the third main female lead Uiharu Kazari that works along side kuroko at judgement. Uiharu is an esper as well but unlike the other two she is just a level one that has a little to no use with her ability. It's around this chapter that we see some development between the girls and Misaka realizes how hard it to work for Judgement by a mistake in identity, be warned some minor spoilers below
However it's not until the bomber nearly kills off Uiharu from using some kind of power up. This is when we finally get a sense of where the series gearing towards more action than just slice of life. In the main bombing just mentioned if no not for a certain Touma even Misaka would have been killed, even with her rail-gun ability. One huge plus I do give for Misaka is that, she doesn't take crap for no one and she is willing to fight/stand up to anyone even if she had no ability her-self "which makes a great role-model for younger to older teens"
The only other character that is worth mentioning as of now are Touma Kamijou who has the ability to negate, deflect any and all esper abilities with his right hand called "the imagine breaker". From time to time Misaka tends to get in to bouts with Touma because of his ability. Misaka is like most in the city don't realize that his arm is capable of stop the attacks but to be honest I think that's it's just more a of lover's quartile than anything else.
You would have to be pretty damn dense not to see how Misaka feels about Touma, but of course she goes about it in a tsundere style. I will admit that Misaka is no where near as bad as recent characters with this trait, hell you could just say that she is your average teen-age girl w/ electric powers. However you might want to wear some rubber gloves on the first date unless your looking for sparks to start the mood.."
|Well There Goes The Good Night Hug|
In all honesty this initially starts off the same way the anime has so if you have seen that, then there is little reason for you buy or even read the first volume. However the manga is much more faster paced than it's T.V. counter-part but the same could be said of all manga, I will say this I rather enjoyed the first volume of the manga much more than the T.V. series I had to watch fan-subbed.. ahem moving on along is the story, characters and art any good? I would say that's it's above average, noting really great but not bad what so-ever. Hell I really enjoy this franchise in all honesty I am actually happy to own a legal piece of it.
As far as recommendations go for this title is go. Well this is a mixed series that takes some time to establish the plot/characters over-time, it's a bit slow paced to the action but once it gets on the ball it's a blast to read. The manga however takes a different course from the t.v anime but still stays true to the sci-fi elements a lot and yes there is some fan-service in chapter one. However this is nothing that would stop any mainstream fans from reading it. I will also give Misaka props for wearing a pair of shorts under her skirt the up-skirt view of her panties".
The last few things I wish to add is that the first volume comes with seven full chapters "around 30 pages each" and cost as low as $7.88 depending where you want to buy it. I will provide a link to the cheapest place available. I know that most of you will say that this really wasn't a review just "info giving" but I hate to spoil to much for you, go out buy a copy and read it for yourself. However I do need to work on my impressions ...I loved it all I can say.
They only flaws I do wish to point are the generic/cliched settings that have been used over a million times already, however they quickly drop these move along past the main set-up to something that's really enjoyable to read with really likeable characters, settings and a hint of magic here or there. Well that's all she wrote on this review, I hope that you found this to be helpful and I might make this my bi monthly manga review if this keeps up, for those who have watched the anime feel free to watch the OP for season one part one below.
-Cecil The Dark Knight
Age Rating 13+
One Volume 192pgs
Overall Rating 4/5