There is no smoke without fire
Boy, citizens of the Academy City do like to gossip don’t they. Everywhere Mikoto goes, there has been talk about a LV5 cloning project, in which however
you Mikoto looks at it, seems pretty ridiculous. After all her DNA map was used for the “greater good”, isn’t it? Rumours, at the end of the day are still based off of “something”, be it leaked information, speculation, claimed sightings, etc.
Using her 1337 hacking skills that would put just about every hacker to shame (who even hacks through a telephone booth?), Mikoto puts on her detective cap and traced her way back to the place she is certainly most familiar with. But first, a disguise is needed since one does not simply wear their school uniform into enemy territory. This is where living the lifestyle of the rich and famous finally pays off. (Holy hell 37000 yen for a t-shirt and shorts, though she’s probably in uniform for most of the time, sure why not? Books a double bedroom classy hotel room to change because, sure why not?)
If it ain’t obvious enough already..
Ironically, everyone but Mikoto knows that something is indeed happening behind the scenes. Saten claimed to have seen someone resembling her. Shinobu Nunotaba clearly has insider knowledge, but perhaps asking her directly is out of the question. In order to seek out the truth, Mikoto embarks on a mission
impossible that would make members of the Impossible Mission Force sad, given how she infiltrates the facility and bypasses security almost effortlessly.
The end result? Mikoto uncovers the Sisters project – essentially a cloning project for the sake of artificially creating LV5s with 100% certainty instead of leaving that miniscule chance to Mother Nature. Despite Academy City being roughly 30 years ahead of the world in terms of technology and scientific advancements, a clone is still a clone after all, in a sense that they are imitations and not the real deal. With the discovery that they could not replicate a LV5’s abilities by simply cloning (duh, external growth factors do matter). The project is hence frozen and halted indefinitely..Or is it?
Of course it goes without saying that there is more than meets the eye, quite literally too. What Mikoto has unveiled is merely half of the truth, what would the other half be?
Episode thoughts and impressions
One of the greatest strengths of Railgun S is that it can be watched solely as a standalone, it isn’t mandatory to watch either Index I & II, or the first season of Railgun – in order to follow the story. That said, it does help immensely in having background knowledge of the Toaru series in general, but it is by no means a must. To put that train of thought into perspective, the current Sisters arc coincides with the beginning of Index I, with the only difference being that the story is narrated from Mikoto’s point of view instead of Touma’s.
Some manga comparisons here – the scene where Saten and gang were eating canned oden were actually “fillers” aka original content. I have to say I’m still pretty impressed with how these fillers manage to blend in with the canon material almost seamlessly. From the talk about cash cards to Saten commenting that she wants to see Mikoto in another attire, it allowed for a smooth transition to and fro without being too unnatural or awkward. That also allowed for the episode to end on another cliffhanger. Oh and in the manga, Mikoto uses the cash cards that she picked up while with Saten to pay for the hotel room and clothes, but apparently the focus of said cash cards has shifted to the aforementioned.
PS: This twin-braided hairstyle suits Saten better.