After weeks of waiting, we finally are starting to get some plot progression in this story. And while it’s much less epic compared to the previous arc, it’s still got enough intrigue to keep me going till the end.
We know that the scientists are using some type of experimental tech to control these machines, as we see them use it to control a robot armor to fight Misaka. The weird thing is that none of these machines have a battery or operator to make them move, let alone go nuts. Proving powerful enough to overpower her, it seems their experiment may be a success. But Kongou knows bits of their plan, and it seems Febri can forcibly cause the machines to stop.
Febri is of course the box of mysteries when it comes to this episode. It turns out that she’s entirely man-made, and her DNA seems somewhat connected with the devices used to control the rogue machines. We also learn that without her candy, she enters a nearly lethal fever that’s uncurable without it. With her bring their only weakness, the scientists in the background seem to want her dead. It’s all cliche, but interesting stuff(man-made lolis; I want one please).
I think a big issue i’ve had with the past 2 episodes though is that after such a character-driven story was finished, the introduction of Febri has sidelined all other characters for gag purposes. Kuroko has nothing to do but repeat her lesbian gag, Saten and Uiharu are left with being Febri’s babysitters, Kongou shows up for plot convenience(oh, there she is listening to the scientists), and the list goes on.
Sure you have Misaka contemplating how her connection with Febri resembles her sisterly bond with the MISAKA clones. And yes, this slice-of-life aspect has been part of the Railgun series since its start. What bothers me about it now is that the Sisters arc already sidelined these characters for quite some time, so the way they’re portrayed here seems alot like cameos. It’s still fun to watch, but it could use more detail.
While most of the anti-esper scientists seem cliche, I’m still interested in why Shinobu would join them. She helped Misaka when it came to trying to stop the Sisters Project, so seeing her as part of the villain’s scheme with no reason definitely peaks my interest. Febri remains mysterious and cute enough to carry the slow pacing, and at least we got a decent fight this episode. Just please let us get some answers next week.