A Certain Scientific Superheroine

A Certain Scientific Superheroine: Misaka Mikoto as an Homage to Superhero Comics

The back cover of the second volume of the A Certain Scientific Railgun manga reads: “With great power comes loads of fanservice,” a clear reference to Spiderman’s iconic mantra. While the Railgun anime ramps up the fanservice, it also cements the series as a true superhero(ine) story. Railgun’s characters, setting, and conflicts all could have been lifted straight out of a prototypical superhero comic, and this leads to numerous similarities in terms of tropes. We have a bit of a battle ahead of us, so let’s level-up and figure out where Railgun takes influence from the likes of Batman and Superman.

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There’s no better place to start than with the titular character: the third strongest of the Level 5’s, the ace of Tokiwadai, the Electric Princess, the Railgun, Misaka Mikoto (onee-sama). And that name of hers is where her superheroine roots begin. Batman is the ‘Caped Crusader’ and the ‘Dark Knight’, while the Flash is the ‘Scarlet Speedster’ and the ‘Crimson Comet’. These heroes’ abilities are so impressive and their actions so prolific that the public assigns them titles based on those powers or actions. Misaka is no different.Read More »