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Old 2013-06-15, 19:35   Link #1
dniv
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To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S - Sister's Arc - A Discussion on Motivations and Morality

Edit: This discussion was originally started in the Episode 10 thread, and split-off to its own topic. Please keep all future event spoilers out of the thread.

---

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haigon View Post
I don't think they pay Accelerator.
I mean he was going to the cafe after killing the sister back in episode 5... He obviously has money to be able to buy food... It's not like he just randomly mugs people for their money, at least I don't think so

I do not think everyone we have seen in railgun that is a villain was forced to become a villain. Season 1 Gensei, ring any bells. How could you say he was forced to be bad? Terestina I might buy, but not Gensei.

Most villains were good and then forced to become bad... furthermore, in this season, I would not say Mikoto is almost bad. She is certainly a criminal in this season. She breaks the law, she destroys the labs with explosions, she could be hurting innocent people that work in the labs (even if they aren't innocent) and even if she doesn't know about it. She is certainly not completely in the right, no matter whether or not she is trying to save her sisters lives.

In a war both sides are at fault no matter who is bad: innocent people will die on both sides who think that what they are doing is actually right or at least not actually wrong.

Mikoto's personality has already been steeped by the darkness at this point. Don't say that it is almost... she has done horrible things at this point if you think about it rationally. This is something everyone should take into account. In terms of morality, she is not "perfect." She has done crazy things like blowing up scientific laboratories.

In her case, many other people would probably do the same thing and feel justified because they realize that the entire city is against them... but it is kind of strange that she is acting like a vigilante just because she is the #3 level 5. I don't care if ITEM is hired to do dirty work here and if Mikoto thinks she is in the right, she is still trying to blow up a scientific research laboratory.

When you think about it like that... it's not like Mikoto's a saint. She's taking the darkness onto herself to resolve this incident. She's the naive person who assumes that after doing something this crazy, it's like she never did anything wrong. All of the level 5's that we have seen seem to have been mentally scarred by AC. They can't tell right from wrong on a normal level anymore. They think right and wrong are based on who wins with violence... (making that clear). That is a deep and important theme many people ignore. (Kuroko is kind of more rational when it comes to this when she tries to follow the law and do things "by the book").

I was going to post about profit... but I don't want to do that here, it's way way too spoilerish even if it doesn't discuss any events at all. I'll do it in the Railgun LN readers section...

AC as a whole is messed up. Every esper seems to be a little weird as a result of living there. The only thing I am not sure about is whether their weird actions are justified by it being an anime or if the author/writer/animator is actually trying to say that AC is making them act messed up in a way that isn't normal and surpasses the regular bounds of normal actions in anime... this is something I am actually curious about here...

Anyway, if we see more episodes like this Railgun S should be a smash hit...

Last edited by relentlessflame; 2013-06-16 at 02:32.
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Old 2013-06-15, 20:21   Link #2
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I wast thinking AC is doing the level 6 shift just to see if they can.
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Old 2013-06-15, 20:24   Link #3
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Hmph. I don't buy this moral relativity thing.

Mikoto has not done anything evil. She's blowing up scientific laboratories. Laboratories that are cloning her, and then killing those clones as if they were nothing more then lab rats. The laboratories and associated scientists are evil, and Mikoto is good for destroying them.

I'm pretty simple minded when it comes to morality. Sure, sometimes it is hard to figure out right and wrong, and sometimes both sides are gray, but this is not one of those times. This is black and white, and I'm going to cheer for the white hats without any compunction or hesitation.
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Old 2013-06-15, 20:52   Link #4
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Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
Hmph. I don't buy this moral relativity thing.

Mikoto has not done anything evil. She's blowing up scientific laboratories. Laboratories that are cloning her, and then killing those clones as if they were nothing more then lab rats. The laboratories and associated scientists are evil, and Mikoto is good for destroying them.

I'm pretty simple minded when it comes to morality. Sure, sometimes it is hard to figure out right and wrong, and sometimes both sides are gray, but this is not one of those times. This is black and white, and I'm going to cheer for the white hats without any compunction or hesitation.
I just meant that she's doing it in a pretty violent way... Whether she's moral or not, she's still pretty violent as a person (as we've seen)... I'm not sure that can be called "sane" like Ilidsor said whether or not it's moral...

BTW: quick question. For those who noticed the lines of text translated when Mikoto was reading her cell-phone about the company closing (in the subtitles): they filed for help under the Civil Rehabilitation Law/Act.

(I don't think this is relevant to Railgun S anymore, so I'll just point this out) Just so people realize: the Civil Rehabiliation Law (as defined in the Japanese legislature) makes filing for rehabilitation nice because you don't have to refund or pay any of the supervisors of the project/organization filing for bankruptcy. We already know who some of the supervisors of the project are: Kites (the blond haired guy) and other people... so keep that in mind. This is definitely important too along with the profit idea.

The question: does AC even have a single court? How would they enact laws?... I mean......... yeah.... I thought they were independent from the rest of Japanese laws... or are they not? (the Civil Rehabilitation Act is clearly a national Japanese law) which is why I ask... I mean AC could just have picked up the law...
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Old 2013-06-15, 21:20   Link #5
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Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
Hmph. I don't buy this moral relativity thing.

Mikoto has not done anything evil. She's blowing up scientific laboratories. Laboratories that are cloning her, and then killing those clones as if they were nothing more then lab rats. The laboratories and associated scientists are evil, and Mikoto is good for destroying them.
Thats called terrorism and sabotage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
I'm pretty simple minded when it comes to morality. Sure, sometimes it is hard to figure out right and wrong, and sometimes both sides are gray, but this is not one of those times. This is black and white, and I'm going to cheer for the white hats without any compunction or hesitation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dniv
Mikoto's personality has already been steeped by the darkness at this point. Don't say that it is almost... she has done horrible things at this point if you think about it rationally. This is something everyone should take into account. In terms of morality, she is not "perfect." She has done crazy things like blowing up scientific laboratories.
Not just that, she shows traits of her personality that shows how much she isn't the paragon of morality like destroying building as collateral damage just bcuz, blowing a car with some robbers inside not because they're robbers but because one of them make her crepe fall on the floor by accident and then chasing and later stalking several times a boy just because he just doesn't pays her the attention she always gets from others... the anime toned down these aspects like the money on the alley that was supposed to be her aliby on the hotel...
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Old 2013-06-15, 21:29   Link #6
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Originally Posted by Wilfriback View Post
Thats called terrorism and sabotage.





Not just that, she shows traits of her personality that shows how much she isn't the paragon of morality like destroying building as collateral damage just bcuz, blowing a car with some robbers inside not because they're robbers but because one of them make her crepe fall on the floor by accident and then chasing and later stalking several times a boy just because he just doesn't pays her the attention she always gets from others...
Spoiler for comparison for earlier episodes of Railgun S and the manga:
Good points. I thought about those at the time, but now it is actually more relevant when you think about it... I'm still not really sure whether the fact that it's a light novel makes it "normal" or not though. That's kind of my main question/concern.
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Old 2013-06-15, 21:31   Link #7
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Originally Posted by Wilfriback View Post
I think what you want to say is a double life. Item's girls do that. They have their normal life and hidden face that shows how much they can do like killing and go trough disturbing. Those who knows about Touma's life will find a better example on him.
Where has it ever said ITEM members live hidden lives? There's never been any hint of that.

And yeah this arc is about as black and white as it gets.
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Old 2013-06-15, 21:35   Link #8
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Originally Posted by Ilidsor View Post
Where has it ever said ITEM members live hidden lives? There's never been any hint of that.

And yeah this arc is about as black and white as it gets.
I don't agree. The researchers don't think they're doing anything wrong. That definitely doesn't make them evil... Neither does Mikoto... ITEM does (fine)

But ITEM needs money to survive as we've seen... they took the job because they obviously wanted money for completing the task. It's not like their line of work is safe.

Rikou doesn't even want to be there, and Frenda actually shows a moment of compassion for her. (How is that black and white?)

Shinobu herself says that the researchers don't see the problem. She even said that Accelerator might change his mind if he saw the sisters cry and recognized them as people... How is this black and white?

If Accelerator were 100% evil, Shinobu wouldn't believe that he might change his mind because he saw them cry. Stopping to hurt someone/ someone's feelings because they are crying is a show of compassion which relates to someone's humanity...

Blowing up laboratories is not black or white no matter whether or not James Bond or the Incredibles make it look like it's a good thing...

Killing the sisters is horrible and evil, but the person doing these things isn't necessarily horrible and evil (the person doing it is doing horrible and evil actions). This is a pretty general truth even if there is usually a correlation between "evil" deeds and a cruel/bad personality.

Mikoto does not care about saving her sisters; she wanted to stop the experiments that were cloning her via her DNA and having "things" that look like her get maimed and die. She doesn't even care about her sisters (as she said to Shinobu) because she doesn't want to help people who don't even want to help themselves. How is that heroic? That's more like: I want to stop the painful things affecting me and forget everything else bad that's going on... She's being selfish right now. In fact, whenever we see a flashback to the earlier episodes now, this is what makes me realize that she is slowly caring more about her sisters' suffering (for reasons other than her selfishness at seeing people who look like her die). We saw this in the flashback when she was fighting Frenda. We saw this in the flashback at the end of this episode as well. She's guilty about what's happening to the clones. Contrary to what people say: she's worrying about stopping more of this from happening at this point. She doesn't care about what lives her clones are going to live afterwords. It isn't her problem. It's partially her naivete. But that wouldn't explain why she's still guilty after stopping everything in episode 10. (the feeling of the last laboratory not being completely stopped by her and just having its information eerily gone represents the empty feeling she has in her gut when she thinks about the sisters right now)...

The most black and white thing here I would say is that the heads of AC know about this and aren't doing anything. Mikoto appears to be right about that. This is the reason I feel she's in the right. AC is against her as we have seen already. They are doing things prohibited by international law (cloning). The heads of AC are evil as we also saw in season 1 (they also interfered with Terestina in season 1 by preventing Anti-skill from helping too much) the pawns... not so much...

Like Weifriback said: practically all of the people we see in Railgun are people who are mixed in their actions/morality. That's kind of the point. They're neither evil nor good...

Since this is a "slice of life" show, there is no "good" and no "evil." There is only pain, suffering, and ephemeral happiness.

Last edited by dniv; 2013-06-15 at 23:24.
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Old 2013-06-15, 21:41   Link #9
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Originally Posted by dniv View Post
It's obvious who's evil here and who isn't evil. What's not obvious is how "sane" or "good" the methods being used to defeat the evil are...

Blowing up laboratories is not black or white no matter whether or not James Bond or the Incredibles make it look like it's a good thing...
Well those labratories are filled with people who are totally willing to kill thousands FOR SCIENCE! So not really.
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Old 2013-06-15, 21:55   Link #10
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Well those labratories are filled with people who are totally willing to kill thousands FOR SCIENCE! So not really.
Re-read my post. I edited it a lot. I completely disagree with you. I changed what I said.

And Weifriback, yes, that's right.
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Old 2013-06-15, 21:55   Link #11
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Originally Posted by dniv View Post
Mikoto didn't want to save her sisters originally; she wanted to stop the experiments that were cloning her via her DNA. She didn't even care about her sisters (as she said to Shinobu) because she didn't want to help people who didn't even want to help themselves.
And Shinobu saw right through her and said she wasn't being honest.

C'mon, with all we've seen do you really believe she's not trying to save them?
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Old 2013-06-15, 22:01   Link #12
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And Shinobu saw right through her and said she wasn't being honest.

C'mon, with all we've seen do you really believe she's not trying to save them?
Yes. I don't think she is trying to save them.

To flesh out my answer:
Spoiler for It's hard to word this so that it isn't a hint... don't read this if you don't want something hintish...it's just that if I don't say this here, it makes me look like I'm saying something stupid:


I think Shinobu is focusing on the sisters. Mikoto herself is selfish.

Spoiler for comparison between Manga/Anime for Mikoto's attitude:
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Old 2013-06-15, 22:08   Link #13
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Originally Posted by dniv View Post
Yes. I don't think she is trying to save them.

To flesh out my answer:
Spoiler for It's hard to word this so that it isn't a hint... don't read this if you don't want something hintish...:
Tell me then why was she in such a rush to end the experiment?

Why push herself so far when she was exhausted if a few more clone lives lost were meaningless?

Why did she think that the sisters didn't have to die anymore?

And if she changed her mind midway to here, what exactly did it? It's been a bullrush from the moment she said that to Shinobu to the current episode. Tell me as I think I missed the epiphany

EDIT:BTW, I read the manga too, and this applies there too.
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Old 2013-06-15, 23:21   Link #14
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Tell me then why was she in such a rush to end the experiment?

Why push herself so far when she was exhausted if a few more clone lives lost were meaningless?

Why did she think that the sisters didn't have to die anymore?

And if she changed her mind midway to here, what exactly did it? It's been a bullrush from the moment she said that to Shinobu to the current episode. Tell me as I think I missed the epiphany

EDIT:BTW, I read the manga too, and this applies there too.
Fine.

Spoiler for Comparison to LN:


She is pushing herself (at this point) because she can't bear the fact that her clones are being killed. She doesn't want to imagine bodies that look like her getting maimed. That's different from her trying to save the clones' lives. Right now, she can't stand thinking about people that look exactly like her having horrible things done to them.

It's like when she was embarrassed that the clone revealed her panties. Mikoto feels strange when someone that looks like her reveals itself or has something bad happen to it. This is ego-centric/selfish. I do not believe that she is doing this for her sisters at this point.

She just can't stand these things happening.

About your last question: she has not changed her mind at this point. I do not believe that she has changed her mind at all. I said that she shows some moments of caring about her sisters, but what drives her is not saving them after the experiment. What drives her is ending the experiment and preventing clones of her being created and having them killed (because they look like her). She just wants to return to her middle school life. Her life is being a middle school student. She isn't the type of person to do heroic things 24/7. She's the type of person who wants to do something crazy, fix everything immediately, and take no responsibility for the after effects. She is too immature at this point to think about her role in stopping the experiments in any other way.
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Old 2013-06-15, 23:22   Link #15
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Mikoto said she can't get some rest because "a clone might be dying right now".

That was in the filler episode but is canon regardless.
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Old 2013-06-15, 23:27   Link #16
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Mikoto said she can't get some rest because "a clone might be dying right now".

That was in the filler episode but is canon regardless.
That doesn't answer the fact that she can't stand the clones dying because she can't stand bad things happening to people who look exactly like her... My whole argument is that she can't stand "things" that look like her die. A clone dying is a thing looking like her dying... Anyone would be scared to see "themself" getting killed. That would be really traumatic. You'd be able to see how you dying would look like. That's my point... Like I said, she got embarrassed when the other clone showed her panties because the clone looked like Mikoto. This was further illustrated when Mikoto was like: well since you do look so much like me, I could see how putting the Gekota on you looks like. She doesn't think of the clones as humans, she thinks of them like a mirror she can use to dress herself with fancy garments. That's completely dehumanizing her clone if she thinks she can just put a Gekota on it to see whether or not it would be fashionable wear on her! It was a funny scene when the clone took "the gift" for herself... but the clone kind of had a point... Mikoto put the Gekota on it, how is it normal for you to do that to anyone else unless you're identical twins, and even then you would ask for permission and not go about it the way that she did... If you think about it, what she did was completely inappropriate. This was done to demonstrate how she doesn't view them as people. After spending a day with the clone, she felt more humanely inclined towards it than before because it was fun to be with her, but Mikoto lost that perception/feeling once the other sisters told her they were labrats in episode 6...

For those of you who have read the manga please refer to my last post in the railgun manga readers subsection for anime spoilers for people who read the manga, I explain things there which I can't actually do here....

Last edited by dniv; 2013-06-15 at 23:49.
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Old 2013-06-16, 00:49   Link #17
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Fine.

Spoiler for Comparison to LN:


She is pushing herself (at this point) because she can't bear the fact that her clones are being killed. She doesn't want to imagine bodies that look like her getting maimed. That's different from her trying to save the clones' lives. Right now, she can't stand thinking about people that look exactly like her having horrible things done to them.

It's like when she was embarrassed that the clone revealed her panties. Mikoto feels strange when someone that looks like her reveals itself or has something bad happen to it. This is ego-centric/selfish. I do not believe that she is doing this for her sisters at this point.

She just can't stand these things happening.

About your last question: she has not changed her mind at this point. I do not believe that she has changed her mind at all. I said that she shows some moments of caring about her sisters, but what drives her is not saving them after the experiment. What drives her is ending the experiment and preventing clones of her being created and having them killed (because they look like her). She just wants to return to her middle school life. Her life is being a middle school student. She isn't the type of person to do heroic things 24/7. She's the type of person who wants to do something crazy, fix everything immediately, and take no responsibility for the after effects. She is too immature at this point to think about her role in stopping the experiments in any other way.
Spoiler for Comparison to LN:

I find the "panties" stuff to be a reasonable reaction, and definitely not enough to accuse her of being selfish. It reflects her being extremely self-aware, as shown enough times before, and it's definitely not proof that she only cares about how they make her look.

Honestly, the idea of her driving herself into such life threatening states just out of a mental image is beyond ridiculous. It would be like risking your life to contest a troll's post.

If by any chance she really was doing it for herself, she would have had an angry frustration for being unable to stop it, as if it was a personal insult going over and over. But she wasn't pissed. Instead she was falling into despair.

She isn't a cold hearted bitch that disregards someone's life just cause it's inconvenient for her. She is self-centered, inconsiderate and immature, in addition of having no respect for the law/rules. She "plays" being a hero and follows her own justice, but not out of self satisfaction, she does it with a genuine wish to help others. Meaning that she isn't selfish in the slightest (it isn't really a synonim with self/ego-centric), but she obviously has a problem putting herself in other people's shoes (it's shown as part of her character development)

She is very naive but doesn't turn a blind eye to what she has already seen. Her interactions with the first clone are more than enough for her to acknowledge their existence, she simply would not be so disturbed if that wasn't the case. She is definitely angry at their passiveness and acceptance of their fate (see the "other's shoes" problem) but that doesn't mean she won't see them as humans, despite what she told Shinobu (which the latter didn't buy for a second)

But I'll stop here. I just had to put my opinion after so much shit spreading.

I'll just ask you two things, one is not to explicitly state as facts your opinions. They are not the same thing.

The second is not to start a multi-media discussion if you won't finish it. There is honestly no more annoying argument as "My proof is in the manga/novels/games/VN/etc" without providing the relevant quotes. It's pretentious as hell and gives no room for discussion.

If we discuss a character here, we should do it with only arguments derived from the anime, as if any other media didn't exist. It's technically an adaptation, not an extension.

If you insist on using other sources, then do it with the appropriate spoiler tagged quotes. We might get banned, but at least it won't be for half-assed posts.

Edit: Now I gotta sleep, don't expect me answering anything soon.
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Old 2013-06-16, 01:17   Link #18
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One last thing to make this clear:

Three points.

Mikoto doesn't like her sisters dying because she doesn't want to imagine herself dying when she sees them die.

Mikoto also feels embarrassed when the Misaka Clone from an earlier episode shows her panties, because the clone looks exactly like her, which makes her feel embarrassed.

Worst of all, Mikoto treats the first clone she meets as a "mirror" and puts the Gekota toy on her in order to see how it looks on her. This is dehumanizing. If you are twins, you might put something on someone else to see how it looks on you, but it's downright rude to put a plushie/Gekota thing on someone else to see how it looks on you without even asking for permission. In my opinion, this demonstrates that Mikoto doesn't see her clones as people.

One last concluding point:

Prior to the end of episode 5, Mikoto saw her clones as people. After episode 6, Mikoto didn't think of her clones as people because they called themselves lab-rats. Because of this I think her actions are somewhat selfish right now.

As long as she is acting selfishly, it doesn't matter whether she's doing something good or something bad, she's doing it for the wrong reason and is only acting in her own interests.

That isn't a very redeeming trait.
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Old 2013-06-16, 02:15   Link #19
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Originally Posted by dniv View Post
One last thing to make this clear:

Three points.

Mikoto doesn't like her sisters dying because she doesn't want to imagine herself dying when she sees them die.

Mikoto also feels embarrassed when the Misaka Clone from an earlier episode shows her panties, because the clone looks exactly like her, which makes her feel embarrassed.

Worst of all, Mikoto treats the first clone she meets as a "mirror" and puts the Gekota toy on her in order to see how it looks on her. This is dehumanizing. If you are twins, you might put something on someone else to see how it looks on you, but it's downright rude to put a plushie/Gekota thing on someone else to see how it looks on you without even asking for permission. In my opinion, this demonstrates that Mikoto doesn't see her clones as people.

One last concluding point:

Prior to the end of episode 5, Mikoto saw her clones as people. After episode 6, Mikoto didn't think of her clones as people because they called themselves lab-rats. Because of this I think her actions are somewhat selfish right now.

As long as she is acting selfishly, it doesn't matter whether she's doing something good or something bad, she's doing it for the wrong reason and is only acting in her own interests.

That isn't a very redeeming trait.
Nah. Mikoto would do all that you mentioned to her close friends. She feels comfortable enough without acting formal. She doesn't mind if her friend do the same thing. Unless, Kuroko gives her extra massage.
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Old 2013-06-16, 02:19   Link #20
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Originally Posted by dniv View Post
One last thing to make this clear:

Three points.

Mikoto doesn't like her sisters dying because she doesn't want to imagine herself dying when she sees them die.

Mikoto also feels embarrassed when the Misaka Clone from an earlier episode shows her panties, because the clone looks exactly like her, which makes her feel embarrassed.

Worst of all, Mikoto treats the first clone she meets as a "mirror" and puts the Gekota toy on her in order to see how it looks on her. This is dehumanizing. If you are twins, you might put something on someone else to see how it looks on you, but it's downright rude to put a plushie/Gekota thing on someone else to see how it looks on you without even asking for permission. In my opinion, this demonstrates that Mikoto doesn't see her clones as people.

One last concluding point:

Prior to the end of episode 5, Mikoto saw her clones as people. After episode 6, Mikoto didn't think of her clones as people because they called themselves lab-rats. Because of this I think her actions are somewhat selfish right now.

As long as she is acting selfishly, it doesn't matter whether she's doing something good or something bad, she's doing it for the wrong reason and is only acting in her own interests.

That isn't a very redeeming trait.

but you forget that anyone would freak out if they suddenyly bumped into a clone of yourself that you didnt know they even exist... mikoto didnt know what the reserchers were doing with her DNA map.... so she was in a shock state to see that while they promised to help sick people they used her DNA map to military purpose and used them just as meat to kill..... that really shaked her up a big time

you tell about beign rude to put somethig on a twin to see how it looks.... well she didnt had any mirror to see.... but lets remember that after putting that strap on the clone.... the clone herself "didnt want" to give it back to mikoto... so even if it looked rude the clone decided to take it anyway.... becouse for the clone it was the very first present from mikoto the DNA owner....and later before it was killed it went for the strap and held it till death...

mikoto is doing the right thing... to destroy the buildings... but she should collect all data about all researchers... and try to hunt them down... destroy their homes for punishment... and hack to all computers and destroy her own DNA map files becouse there is no point in destroying the buildings if the files still exist

well mikoto is mostly mad that the clones that wear her face go to death so easyly... while the real railgun never gives up it pains her.... but still the girls learn to live and experiance many different things in the world that she is in from 14-15years (while they live like few days to a week) so she wants to save their lives anyway.... she just hates that attitude to give up..... but be real she knows that she cant fight accelerator herself as its certain death for her.... so what can a level3 clone do against accelerator
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