Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (とある科学の
The anime series is composed of two 24-episode seasons and one 25-episode season, which is set in the same universe as the Toaru Majutsu no Index light novel series, although with a focus towards one of the seven Level 5s in Academy City, Misaka Mikoto.
- Main article: List of Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Episodes
Like in the original manga, the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun anime series serves as a supplement to the Toaru Majutsu no Index anime, focusing more on life in Academy City.
Misaka Mikoto is known by many as the ranked-third Level 5, the highest attainable level of an esper, and a role model to many students in Academy City, especially in Tokiwadai Middle School, where she studies. However, a little-known fact is that Mikoto is also like most of the population of students in the city and is far from the role model figure many assume her for. The series documents Mikoto's various exploits within the city together with her devoted roommate Shirai Kuroko and her friends Saten Ruiko and Uiharu Kazari.
The first season focuses on a mysterious sound file that is rumored to allow its listeners to gain esper levels, as well as the teacher that develops the file. The second season coincides with a substantial arc in the Toaru Majutsu no Index light novels which involves an experiment that used Mikoto's DNA map to create clones of herself which are later slaughtered to give way for an attempt to produce the first Level 6 in Academy City. The first two seasons feature anime-original story arcs, with the first season dealing with mysterious earthquakes, and the second season centering around a girl created for an experiment by an organization who seeks to rebel against the current methods of developing esper powers. The third season begins with Academy City's annual sports festival, featuring the science-side incidents that occurred in parallel to the events shown in Index, with Mikoto's rival Level 5 at Tokiwadai being a key player. Following that, it then delves into various events surrounding special cards capable of recording a person's dreams.
- Misaka Mikoto - An Electromaster, ranked at Level 5, and a student in Tokiwadai Middle School. She is considered as a student role model for her steady progress of her abilities, but is actually a tomboyish girl with a strong sense of justice. She is voiced by Satou Rina.
- Shirai Kuroko - A teleporter who works in Judgment and is Mikoto's schoolmate and roommate. She has an almost unhealthy obsession over her "onee-sama", and will go to great lengths to receive her affection. She is voiced by Arai Satomi.
- Saten Ruiko - Studies in Sakugawa Middle School and is a Level 0 with an ambition to gain esper abilities that does not match her enthusiasm in pursuing it. She is close friends with Uiharu, and she flips her skirt at times. She is voiced by Itou Kanae.
- Uiharu Kazari - A Level 1 esper with an ability she does not think highly of. She is Saten's schoolmate and Kuroko's colleague in Judgment, and is formidable at using the computer to gain information. She is voiced by Toyosaki Aki.
An anime series adaptation of the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga series was green-lit on March 18, 2009. The series, produced by J.C. Staff, directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai and written by Seishi Minakami, aired between October 3, 2009 and March 20, 2010 on six TV channels, and was later released in eight-disc DVD and Blu-ray sets between January 29 and August 27, 2010. A second season of the anime, entitled Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S, whose staff comprises of the same team that worked on the first season, was broadcast between April 12 and September 27, 2013, in two TV channels. The third season of the anime, entitled Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T, with the same director and Yasukawa Shogo replacing Minakami Seishi as the script supervisor, was broadcast between January 10 and September 25, 2020.
Notably, the airing of Railgun T was beset by delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic impacting production of the season. So far the anime was delayed five separate times. Episode 7 was delayed for a week and was broadcast on February 28, 2020. Episode 8 was delayed for two weeks and was broadcast on March 20, 2020. Episode 13 was delayed for a week following Japan's declaration of a State of Emergency, and was broadcast on May 1, 2020. Episode 14 was delayed for a week and was broadcast on May 15, 2020. Finally, Episode 16, the first episode of the Dream Ranker Arc, was delayed for over two months, eventually airing on July 24, 2020. According to Kawase Kohei, one of the production managers of Toaru series, this move will dedicate the staff to finish everything they can to ensure that there will be no more delays when they finally air the next arc.
The anime series is licensed in North America by Funimation under the title A Certain Scientific Railgun. The first season was released on DVD on April 16, 2013, and the second season was simulcast on Funimation's website, and was later released in two parts on DVD on July 1, 2014 and August 19, 2014. The third season was streamed simultaneously on Crunchyroll followed by a SimulDub by Funimation starting on January 24, 2020.
The release of the anime series on disc format included a series of albums entitled Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Archives. The Railgun Archives albums share the same format as its Index counterpart, composing of character songs performed by the anime series' voice actors, as well as an audio drama. The three albums were released between March 26 and July 30, 2010.
A parody series based on the Railgun anime entitled Toaru Kagaku no Railgun MMR was bundled with limited edition Blu-ray and DVD releases for the three seasons of the anime.
An official guidebook to the Toaru Majutsu no Index and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun anime series, entitled Anime Toaru Majutsu no Index no Subete―featuring Anime Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, was released on October 2010, and was bundled with the OVA of the Railgun anime.
The limited-edition disc releases also include Toaru Majutsu no Index side stories written by Kamachi Kazuma, which each volume of the release having a single part of the story. Each side story focuses on a different magic side supporting character and takes place far from the events in Academy City. The side story included with the release of Railgun's first season is Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Kanzaki, focusing on Kanzaki Kaori as she investigates various incidents related to Norse Mythology. The side story included with the release of Railgun S is Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Necessarius Special Admission Test, focusing on the Amakusa-Style Remix of Church as they attempt to officially join Necessarius following the events of Orsola Aquinas Rescue Arc. The side story included in the release of Railgun T is Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Agnese's Magic Side Work Experience, focusing on Agnese Sanctis as she find herself doing odd jobs for Stiyl Magnus all over Europe following her rescue in the La Regina del Mare Adriatico Arc.
Like in the Toaru Majutsu no Index anime, Iuchi Maiko handles the music for the three seasons of the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun anime. Fourteen theme songs in total are used for the series. In the first season, fripSide performed "only my railgun", which was used in the first 14 episodes (Episode 1 treated it as ending in initial TV airings only), and "LEVEL 5-judgelight-", which was used in subsequent episodes except for Episode 24 (for initial TV airings only). ELISA performed the ending theme songs in the first season, namely "Dear My Friend -Mada Minu Mirai he-", which was used in Episodes 1-11 (debuted in Episode 2 in initial TV airings), 13-14 and 24, and "Real Force", used in subsequent episodes up to Episode 23. For the OVA, the song "future gazer" by fripSide was used as opening theme song, while ELISA's "Special "ONE"" was used as ending theme song. A collection of sheet music was released in 2011.
For Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S, fripSide's "sister's noise" was used as opening theme song (Episode 1 treated it as ending), followed by "eternal reality", also by fripSide. "Grow Slowly" and "Links" were used as ending theme songs, performed by Iguchi Yuka and Misawa Sachika respectively.
For Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T, fripSide returns to do the opening theme song "final phase" (again, treated as ending in Episode 1 like in previous seasons), followed by "dual existence" also by fripSide. "nameless story" and "Aoarashi no Ato de" were used as ending theme songs, performed by Kishida Kyoudan & THE Akeboshi Rockets and sajou no hana respectively.
- Official site for the first Season (in Japanese)
- Official site for Railgun S (in Japanese)
- Official site for Railgun T (in Japanese)
- A Certain Scientific Railgun on Anime News Network
- A Certain Scientific Railgun S on Anime News Network
- A Certain Scientific Railgun T on Anime News Network
- "Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga's Anime Green-Lit", Anime News Network. March 18, 2009.
- Toaru Project (Official Twitter)
- Toaru Project (Official Twitter)
- Toaru Project (Official Twitter)
- Kawase Kohei's Twitter account. Retrieved on 05/23/2020
- "Funimation Reveals A Certain Scientific Railgun's English Cast", Anime News Network. February 8, 2013.
- "Funi Adds Trigun Film, Moyashimon, Shiki, Black Butler 2, Sekirei 2, More", Anime News Network. July 3, 2010.
- "Funimation to Stream A Certain Scientific Railgun S Sequel Anime", Anime News Network. April 12, 2013.
- "Crunchyroll to Stream A Certain Scientific Railgun Season 3 Anime", Anime News Network. January 5, 2020.
- "Stay Cozy with Funimation’s Winter 2020 Lineup", Funimation. January 5, 2020.