Junko Hokaze’s story continues in the third volume of A Certain Scientific Railgun: Astral Buddy. A glimpse into the past reveals answers for questions brought up in previous volumes.
This volume contains chapters thirteen through to nineteen.
WHO YA GONNA CALL? GHOST GIRL!
Travel back to before Hokaze Junko was a student at Tokiwadai Middle School! In Clone Dolly’s third laboratory, an experiment with the mysterious Ghost Girl puts everyone in mortal danger. Will Junko be able to protect those she loves from the monster it unleashes?
This volume of Astral Buddy finally sheds some light on the identity of the Ghost Girl, and does so by taking us back into the past. The May 2020 release date of the English language version of this volume of manga happens to be very well timed: The A Certain Scientific Railgun T anime has wrapped up its Daihasei Festival Arc, in which the aforementioned laboratory played an important role.
Naturally we see a side of the lab that was not shown during that arc, because this is Junko’s story.
It does feel like a pretty familiar story, though. Higher-ups making decisions about kids, a worker getting perhaps a little too attached to one of them, and a disaster befalling the experiment. Academy City certainly seems to be full of morally ambiguous types.
The story also continues in the present day, where Junko ends up getting into more fights. The stakes are quite high in her first fight, but the second one seems to have come about as a misunderstanding.
Regardless, both are chances for more displays of Junko’s impressive Rampage Dress ability, even if she does need a little push the second time round.
Junko and Misaki’s relationship is briefly explored, with Junko discovering that her place in Misaki’s clique isn’t due to excellence and ability. Junko’s still kind of dense about those kinds of things, though…
The story may follow some pretty typical beats for A Certain Scientific Railgun, but the characters involved and the action do make it an enjoyable time. It is also nice to finally have a clearer idea about the Ghost Girl.
Though answers may have be found, this volume ends with a “To Be Continued…”. Junko’s story isn’t over yet, so we’ll be seeing more of her again in the future.