Academy City Holiday: Mikoto Misaka and Misaka 9982

mikoto misaka, misaka sisters, a certain scientific railgun, railgun

“Sisters… If I hadn’t seen her with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it at all. No… Deep down, for some time now, I’ve been scared that a clone who resembled me would suddenly show up. But… is this really it?”

-Mikoto Misaka, A Certain Scientific Railgun S, Episode Five

Clones don’t always behave as advertised. For that matter, neither do older sisters.

The fifth episode of A Certain Scientific Railgun S introduces Mikoto Misaka to one of her many clones: Misaka 9982. Railgun frames their meeting nicely, showing how each of their expectations are subverted within the short window that they are allowed to build a tenuous friendship.

Having recently found out that she had been cloned at all –– apparently children do not need their parents permission to give away their entire DNA map in the wonderful world of Academy City –– Mikoto had already been struggling with the idea of multiple Mikoto Misakas running rampant without her consent when she comes across Misaka 9982. Naturally she is stunned, especially when the first word out of Misaka 9982’s mouth is, “Nyaa.”

“This isn’t the image I had in mind. I thought it’d be something darker, like trying to dispose of the original and take my place or something. How am I supposed to react to this?”

-Mikoto Misaka, A Certain Scientific Railgun S, Episode Five

Previously in the series, Mikoto and her friends had discussed what they would do if they discovered a clone of themselves. All answers were predictably silly with Mikoto abstaining from answering at the end. Likewise, before entering the world with her limited knowledge and no social interaction, Misaka 9982 asks her creators what she should do if she encounters her original sample. Their response is to think of her as an older sister.

However much or little Misaka 9982 knows of what an older sister does, she at the very least goes into the encounter looking up to Mikoto. In a way, Mikoto is the one whom she was born to emulate; an example of the perfect version of her cloned, and therefore lesser, self. Her image of Mikoto, much like the majority of Academy City’s perception of the elite Level 5 esper, is one seemingly rooted in an ideal. Upon meeting Mikoto, Misaka 9982 immediately gains the upper hand with her direct and dry manner, unwittingly putting Mikoto at ease. The two spend the day together, under the guise that Mikoto will be able to follow Misaka 9982 back to her home, therefore allowing Mikoto to discover who is continuing to clone her and why.

A Certain Scientific Railgun S, Mikoto Misaka, Misaka 9982, Railgun, A Certain Magical Index

It’s uncertain whether Misaka 9982 purposefully hides the truth from Mikoto, but it’s easy to understand why she would under the circumstances. The short-lived relationship that the two develop is contrasted nicely with Mikoto’s interactions with both her close friends and, later on in episode four, a group of neighborhood children. Mikoto is hardly the ladylike big sister type that the city expects her to be, just as Misaka 9982 is not a bloodthirsty carbon copy out for Mikoto’s life. Both end up abandoning their preconceived notions, choosing to grow closer to each other instead. Misaka 9982’s role may be as a simple catalyst for Mikoto to uncover the violent secrets behind the Sisters’ existences; however, for a day, she could at least have an older sister.

5 comments

  1. Ever since I heard RailgunS was going to focus on the sisters I was curious to see how Misaka would react after seeing one of her clones for the first time, but that quickly turned into a slapstick thing between Misaka 9982 and Misaka which I loved because it was just funny to watch their hilarious interaction! Like Misaka 9982 eating the ice cream and acting completely innocent with the evidence on her face? Good job❤

    Sadly all the fun stuff had to come to a close thanks to Accelerator popping up, but looking back I sort of wished JC Staff would have kept his appearance out of the episode four preview because it would have been more of a surprise to see him! Ah well I still enjoy watching Accelerator even though he is so damn EVIL and has no issues killing the Misaka clones.

    1. Yeah, their back and forth was so great and (obviously) what stuck out to me while watching this episode in spite of Accelerator’s glorious appearance. I loved their dynamic and it completely makes sense if the Sisters are sharing information with each other through the Misaka Network that they would want to gather as much information/spend as much time with their “older sister” as possible.

      As I mentioned in my Metanorn comment, it’s a bit backwards for me, as I only know the *result* of what happens with this Sisters Arc and not the actual events because I haven’t seen the first season of Index. I have; however, seen Accelerator later on in the series and I LOVE his interactions with Last Order. In spite of the fact that he’s an over-powered badass, I’d also like to believe Last Order’s hypothesis that Accelerator didn’t actually *want* to kill the Misaka clones, but I guess we’ll never know… ^ ^

      Thanks, as always, for commenting!

      1. Ahh yeah! I do love that dynamic with Last Order and Accelerator! I wonder how far we will get with him this season? I assume after Touma arrives they will wrap up the past and focus on the main timeline hopefully followed by some extra fun from the manga chapters. Yeah I think Accelerator was p much brainwashed into taking part in the experiment to level up or tricked into doing it? I don’t think they ever really explored his backstory, but of course my mind is still blank on some parts of index s1-s2 >.>

        Anytime! I enjoy reading any posts on RailgunS that I can find, that and your posts are always fun to read😀

  2. I thought the short-lived relationship between Misaka and her clone was really touching and tragic, and I think the “disposability” of the clones only makes it worse. They’re not “just” clones! They all have feelings and desires! D:

    Much as I love Accelerator as a character, I can’t help but hope he gets his comeuppance soon… Come on, Touma, where are you???

  3. As I alluded a bit in my comment above, I have an odd understanding of the series from a chronological standpoint, having only watched Railgun followed by half of the second season of Index. I know that Touma ends up physically putting Accelerator in his place later on, but I can’t help but want to see more of how Mikoto will try to handle the situation herself (although it sadly means more clone deaths). I’m a bit behind right now, as I haven’t watched anything past this episode. That being said, you’re right in how tragic Misaka 9982’s story was here, and to the series’ credit, it really works. It’s not subtle in how it uses Misaka 9982 as a catalyst, but her interactions/emotions expressed with Mikoto are surprisingly low-key and genuine.

    Thanks for the comment! ^ ^

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