Clones or Sisters?
I found it mildly amusing when Mikoto practically got caught up in the pace of MISAKA 9982 (Sasaki Nozomi), as depicted in the various situations they found themselves in – from rescuing the kitten, to the ice cream man mistaking them as twins, to their little squabble over the Gekota badge. It is interesting to note that due to the clones inability to display too much emotion (being imperfect and all), comical expressions were used instead (that sounds kinda familiar for a certain stony cat show).
Initially I thought the phone call from Mikoto to Uiharu was original content, but upon re-reading the manga, this scene was in fact canon, with Haruue’s presence being an exception – which at this point, is safe to assume that she is an anime original character, much like the first season of Railgun.
Boy, that accelerated quickly
One of my favourite aspects of Railgun (and Index) series in general is how the tempo can easily change all of a sudden – from the daily lives that the cast lead to the action-packed, dark and gritty moments. This episode marked the transition from the former to the latter, as Mikoto learns of the Level 6 Shift Project – which essentially meant that her clones were going to become sacrifices.
This is where things get interesting, because the project at heart is an issue of human ethics. Assuming cloning is even legal – is the killing of 20,000 Sisters a “morally acceptable” thing to do? On one hand they are nothing more than defective clones, the only purpose that they were mass-produced was for them to die – much like lab rats. On the other hand, it could be said that they are all individually a living human being. While each Sister may originate from the same place, they each have their own special traits due to differences in external exposure, such as personal experiences (in which this episode is a prime example of). They may have the same “nature”, but they certainly can be “nurtured” differently, making them individually unique.
Watching a clone of yourself getting killed is going to feel weird. It is like watching yourself die, except that the person dying isn’t quite you, but also you at the same time. Ignorance is bliss for a reason, as Mikoto could simply turn a blind eye and totally not care since technically she isn’t the one dying anyway. While the whole project is a huge grey area to many, in her own eyes it is clearly something unacceptable.
I was kind of surprised by the sudden turn of events, as I expected more slice-of-life moments from the girls. As one of the better, if not the best arc of the Railgun series since this arc crosses over with the Index series, only told from a different (Mikoto’s) perspective, it pleases me to say that it gets better from hereon. As much as I didn’t mind the anime original moments this show has to offer, I would still rather have less talk and more action, if you know what I mean.
- Academy City might be 30 years ahead of the world, but they could use better designers.
- 9928 or 9982?