Title: Sister’s Noise | Artist: fripSide | Show: To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S
Description: Sister’s Noise is the first opening for the second season of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, the spinoff / other half of the To Aru Majutsu no Index series. While the main Index series focuses primarily on Kamijou Touma, who is basically useless on his own merits and can only truly shine against powerful foes due to his power-cancellation ability, the Railgun series focuses on both the personal and supernatural problems of Misaka Mikoto, the city’s #5 most powerful esper. Misaka has her own circle of friends, her own support crew, and her own story that only occasionally intersects with Touma’s; this makes her series as rich as his, and sometimes even more entertaining.
The first Railgun series dealt mainly with establishing Misaka’s own character and side characters, taking place mostly before the events of the Index anime. This one starts off at about the same time as the second major arc of Index, with the Level 6 Shift Project involving the massacre of Misaka’s “little sister” clones. Misaka’s side of this particular arc is obviously much more personal and involved than Touma’s view of things, so the tone and perspective as we see Misaka’s reactions and approach to the problems are a very interesting contrast. In addition, while that arc was a mere 5 episodes in Index, the series of events encompasses the first fifteen episodes of this season; Touma only became aware of the problem halfway through it to begin with. It’s a really amazing story arc, and I was really jazzed that it got such a strong showing.
Why You Picked It: fripSide is responsible for every opening theme in the Railgun series, so they’ve got the overall theme down pat. This particular one, while still somewhat upbeat, is quite a bit more serious than the other openings in the series. It’s a song about the determination to protect others, and both the tone of the song and the animation show an obvious raise in the stakes compared to the previous season. Yes, there’s still some fun and comedy to be had in the show, but the first half of this season is really about getting down to business and doing what needs to be done to save innocents caught in a hopeless situation, and this song reflects that very well.