I have given up on this being a great continuation of the Sister’s arc long ago. But the least I wanted was a story that keeps me entertained and doesn’t ruin the continuity of the Railgun franchise. Even if it’s relying too much on references, it’s a safe way to achieve that. It’s definitely anti-climactic, but the Febri arc is tying up with the rest of the franchise very well.
It seems that at this point, there’s really no questions left to be answered. Shinobu’s reason for being part of the STUDY corporation is because she was sold to them as a captive when ITEM caught her during the Sister’s arc trying to insert the personality program in the Sisters. And as for Aritomi, his whole deal is that his research on Chemicaloids was rejected in favor of the Level 6 project by none other than Therestina’s grandpa, Dr Kihara.
And just like that, everything else is answered with more references. Shinobu feels responsible for the Chemicaloids because they’re based on the same paper she wrote about the Sisters Project. Janie’s ability uses materialization of AIM diffusion fields in a similar way to Harumi Kiyama’s Level-upper life form from the first season of Railgun. And they seem to have used the same flashback to Touma 2-3 times in this arc.
Aside from answers though, this is by far the most dissapointing episode i’ve seen thus far. In the end, Aritomi’s whole deal can be summed up in 3 words: espers get attention. And yet he drags on with a speech that last several minutes, and his plan is simply to show the world they can make artificial espers by using it to trigger a robot invasion. It’s been done to death in this franchise and it doesn’t work unless the villain is interesting.
In fact, answering all those questions right before this episode kind of serves as a detriment. Everything is spelled out to us about what the plan is, and the solution is inevitably left to the main characters fighting because the STUDY dorks are so influential that they control part of Anti-skill and the supplies for the Assembly. Everything is coming full circle, but it’s clumsily tied up through references, coincidences, and the power of friendship(it worked before, but definitely not here).
At the very least, it looks like we’ll be getting one epic battle. With 20,000 robotic suits ready to attack our psychic girls, I can expect an entertaining finale for this relatively uneventful arc. It’s been ok, so let’s hope it at least ends with a Bang.