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relentlessflame 2013-07-21 23:15

Touma's Involvement in the Sisters' Arc
 
Based on this request:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ilidsor (Post 4766617)
Can we get a thread where we can talk about how Misaka needs Touma's help in this arc? One that allows spoilers? I have so many points to make about this that I can't in the episode threads they start up in because of spoilers.

So this is a thread where you can discuss the reasons why Touma was involved in this arc, what the implications are for Misaka's character, why she needed to rely on him (or perhaps what alternatives she might have had?) and so on.

This is in the Railgun manga sub-forum, so Railgun manga spoilers can be discussed, but please use properly-labelled spoiler tags if revealing things from Index novels.

Ilidsor 2013-07-22 07:47

Alright, I'm just going to say everything I want to say all at once so that I can just point people to this post every time I get in an argument about this.

So the issue people have with Touma's involvement is that they believe that it harms Misaka. They believe that Misaka is a strong female character and that having a man come in and save the day while she can only watch on is a horrible horrible thing. I want to explain why that is wrong.

1. This isn't about gender: The first argument that I want to shoot down is that this is somehow about gender, that Touma is saving Misaka because he is a man and she's a woman. He's not. This one really bothers me because Kamachi has done a lot of work to make this a very gender equal series. There are just as many strong female characters as there are male characters. To claim that this has anything to do with gender is ridiculous.

2. Misaka saves Touma's life all the time: Seriously all the time. Touma would have long ago been crushed to death, shot to death, beaten to death, etc without Misaka around to save him. He relies on her, although neither of them make a big deal out of it. He never seeks her out to join the action but she never seeks him out either, he got involved in this arc by accident.

3. Misaka doesn't just watch on: I don't know why so many people think that Misaka turns into a 'helpless damsel' in this arc, when Touma would have been slaughtered by Accelerator if she hadn't decided to get up and save him.

4. Power in this series is not linear: Just because Touma could beat Accelerator doesn't mean that he's stronger than Misaka. In this series power is much more non-linear than that. For instance Touma would get his ass kicked by someone trained in some sort of fighting style, a person Misaka would beat easily. Think of the universe as one giant game of rock paper scissors. Paper isn't 'stronger' than scissors, it just beats it due to their natures.

5. Misaka sometimes looses, but so does Touma: Yes in this arc Misaka 'lost' to Accelerator. This does not mean Kamachi is ruining her as a 'strong female character', it just means that she lost. One loss isn't that big of a deal, especially for Kamachi. Kamachi likes to let his heroes lose every now and then, he does it to Touma far more than he does it to Misaka.

6. Accelerator is not a mary sue: Believe it or not, this ridiculously powerful person is not a mary sue. Granted he's very strong, but in this series there are tons of other villains that could crush him. Yes he's much more powerful than Misaka is but a lot of characters are in this series. He also has a bunch of weaknesses that Misaka just isn't in the right position to exploit. Not to mention how complex of a character he is, which is pretty un-mary sue like.

Spoiler for People who could beat Accelerator from Index:


7. This ending is a necessity: A lot of people choose to ignore this but the fact is that this arc was written for Index. It was designed for Touma to be the main character. If this was written now I'm sure that Misaka would have found some way to beat Accelerator on his own, but it wasn't. When this was written Misaka wasn't all that important. Now she is, but it's far too late to change things. If it drives you that crazy just note that it won't be happening again.

I hope that covered everything. If there's any other arguments people would like to make please let me know.

EDIT: Bonus point I forgot to add.

8. Misaka had a plan that would have worked: Misaka could have saved the sisters. If she had gone through with her plan to get herself killed and ruined the calculations then that would have worked. The only reason Touma decided to step in was because it would have involved her death.

demino_hellsin 2013-07-22 08:25

I think Mikoto beating accelerator wouldn't have changed anything. They'd just redo the calculations even without tree diagram they would conclude it would be within acceptable margin of error and continue.

What Mikoto has to do is nothing short of killing Accelerator or beating him multiple times to actually put a stop to the plan. Touma beating accelerator is only a necessity as it shows a far greater disparity in data than if Misaka and Accel fought.

Ilidsor 2013-07-22 08:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by demino_hellsin (Post 4767139)
I think Mikoto beating accelerator wouldn't have changed anything. They'd just redo the calculations even without tree diagram they would conclude it would be within acceptable margin of error and continue.

What Mikoto has to do is nothing short of killing Accelerator or beating him multiple times to actually put a stop to the plan. Touma beating accelerator is only a necessity as it shows a far greater disparity in data than if Misaka and Accel fought.

Misaka's plan wasn't to beat Accelerator, though. It was to lose to him so badly that the scientists would think they started the experiment with bad information. It would have worked, but she would have had to die so Touma decided to step in.

Spoiler for Light Novels:


As far as we know Tree Diagram was the only supercomputer AC had that was capable of calculations this immense.

demino_hellsin 2013-07-22 08:36

And that is why I implied that the greater importance is a greater deviation from the given data. I think calculations within an acceptable margin would be approved by the scientists for continuation. Greater deviations mean greater changes in overall calculation and the need for more powerful processing.

Even if Aleister forced the experiment to halt, there would really be no reason to as they can still create misaka clones to form new networks.

Ilidsor 2013-07-22 09:43

Quote:

And that is why I implied that the greater importance is a greater deviation from the given data. I think calculations within an acceptable margin would be approved by the scientists for continuation. Greater deviations mean greater changes in overall calculation and the need for more powerful processing.

Even if Aleister forced the experiment to halt, there would really be no reason to as they can still create misaka clones to form new networks.
I know, I just wanted to point out that Misaka's plan would have worked since I forgot to write that tidbit into my post at the beginning.

demino_hellsin 2013-07-22 09:59

I think another way of looking at this is that the conditions set out for her victory required her to stay away from the battlefield. The moment she set foot into it, then the conditions would not be met and only a pyrrhic victory would be attained at best.

Pyromania 2013-07-23 19:21

Here's another one:

When Mikoto said she wanted to "Save his dream" she wasn't just talking about supporting Touma.

As a consequence of the trauma of this arc Mikoto feels (perhaps correctly) that she has lost the part of her that allowed her to be idealistic, to hope for and strive for the best outcome possible. If you look at the first series of Railgun her idealism stood out and she was every bit the warrior of justice Touma was. By the time she reaches the end of her rope in the Sister's arc she has lost her ability to fight like that.

When Mikoto wanted to "Save his dream" she was trying to claw back her own innocent and hopeful self, too. That her sister was moved by this desire speaks to the similarity between Mikoto and her clones, which does indeed make them Sisters in more than just genetics!

leukrota 2013-07-23 21:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ilidsor (Post 4767104)
Think of the universe as one giant game of rock paper scissors. Paper isn't 'stronger' than scissors, it just beats it due to their natures.

You're talking about a very blunt pair of scissors, right? :D

Sorry, I couldn't help it. But yeah, Kamachi tries to add that "compatibility" element as one factor.


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