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"Close Friends" (親友 Shin'yū?) is the 18th chapter of Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Gaiden: Astral Buddy, released on March 27th 2019.

SynopsisEdit

In Heaven Canceller's Hospital, Makigami Komaki and Shirai Kuroko discuss the possibility that someone was masterminding the recent incidents. Kuroko forbids Komaki from investigating, telling her she needs to focus on getting better. She talks about her past, about how she pushed herself hard and caused trouble but, as a result, also got to see more than anyone else. She praises Komaki for her guts. A doctor with a scarred face walks in and immediately trips over. He suffers an injury to his head but immediately stitches it up, to the amazement of the two girls. Heaven Canceller also arrives, commenting that the other doctor is good at his job despite his personality. Kuroko leaves the room, planning to thank Junko later and to take revenge on Houjou Arei for hurting Komaki.

Meanwhile, Shokuhou Misaki and Yumiya Iruka discuss the same topic. Misaki notes that Iruka was also being controlled. Iruka describes how she thinks of Hokaze Junko as her hero and wants everyone to know how amazing she is. Misaki then reveals that the "poison" Houjou gave Iruka was just a painkiller and she had gone to great lengths to cover for Iruka.

Iruka thinks back to a previous meeting with Houjou. She told Houjou that she wouldn't blame her for anything, to which Houjou replied that Iruka takes things too seriously.

Back to the present, Iruka asks where Junko is, causing Misaki to reveal (by having Kobayashi Satori pull aside a curtain) that she was in another bed in the same room. Iruka is mortified that Junko heard everything. Misaki sits on Junko's bed and feeds her various foods, then embraces Junko and says she is hers. This causes Iruka to become angry. Suddenly, the television in the room switches on, displaying Junko using her power in the previous incident. Moreover, this footage is shown on screens throughout the hospital and Academy City. Iruka realises that Houjou did this. Elsewhere in the hospital, the scarred doctor watches the footage with interest, only to trip over again.

Sitting in the middle of a street, Houjou comments that this is exactly what Iruka wanted. She thinks about her past with Iruka and predicts (correctly) what she is saying at this moment, finally saying that Iruka belongs in a bright place. Houjou then receives a phone call from someone implied to be her boss. The boss says that "the prototype" is behaving, allowing Houjou to be hidden from the city's surveillance cameras - this is achieved by hacking into the cameras and causing them to perceive Houjou as a different person). The boss then says that they are spreading Junko's footage along with rumours that will attract people with certain interests, which should satisfy a client. The TV screens then return to normal, showing news of a man arrested for committing a random attack, who claims that an evil spirit whispered in his ear and blames "that card". Houjou thinks to herself that she's played her roles and the preparations are complete, and this time it will be a fight to the death with Junko.

Junko and Senya are now on the roof of the hospital, the former embarrassed over the footage of her being shown to many people. Senya tries to persuade her that this is a good thing. Suddenly, Sogiita Gunha lands on the roof. He and Junko recognise each other, with Junko thanking him for saving her in the previous incident. Gunha explains that he had recently investigated a strange company that printed the cards, learning from them that they were hired by a violent Tokiwadai student. Junko deduces that this student is Houjou, but Gunha mistakenly thinks that this is Junko. Gunha declares his intent to reform Junko and delivers a powerful punch that just barely misses her.

Major EventsEdit

  • Houjou Arei escapes and releases footage of Junko's battle with her, not only in the hopes of making peopel admire Junko for Iruka's sake but also to entice certain people to come after Junko.
    • Sogiita Gunha takes the bait and has tracked down Junko and, thinking that she is the culprit behind the recent events, attacks her.

CharactersEdit

By order of appearance:

New CharactersEdit

AbilitiesEdit

New AbilitiesEdit

LocationsEdit

New LocationsEdit

  • Academy City
    • Konoha Avenue (木の葉通?)

TriviaEdit

ReferbacksEdit

  • Konoha Avenue or Leaf Street makes a small return, being the location of a man being affected by the malicious Indian Poker card. It is also the place where Kamijou Touma first encountered Vento of the Front in a restaurant.

Cultural ReferencesEdit

Unanswered QuestionsEdit

  • Why is the malicious Indian Poker card affecting not only girls of Tokiwadai to attack the Clique of the Queen of Tokiwadai but people on the streets as well?
  • Who exactly is the scar-faced doctor and why is he working with Arei?
  • Who is the Prototype that was referenced in Arei's conversation with the man on the phone?
  • Why does Arei want people like Gunha to come after Junko and does it have something to do with the "birth of a new Academy City Legend"?

ReferencesEdit

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