Setting aside some obvious fanservice moments, Kagaku no Railgun is easily one of the best anime’s of 2013.
A specialized city that focuses mainly on (Japanese) school systems, and 80% student population and of those students the vast majority possess supernatural powers, OR are known as Espers.
As you can imagine all sorts of trouble happens. The main focus is on Mikasa, one of the Level 5 Espers (Level 5 is the highest rating, and the most powerful. Like, CRAZY, powerful) of Academy City. If Miisaka ranks number three on the top ten Level Fives then Mugino is number four, and ain’t happy about it.
Mugino shows up a little later in the series as a hired assassin leading an organization called ITEM; a group of mostly young Esper girls who are talented assassins in their own right.
When Misaka crosses the dark powers that run Academy City ITEM is hired to wipe out the ‘pest’ not knowing that it’s actually a Level 5 Esper. Misaka scrapes a win against one of the members of ITEM only to run into Mugino after three days of nonstop use of her electromagnetic power.
Here’s where it gets fun.
Mugino quickly realizes that Mikasa is something unusual and sends home the rest of her team, having figured out that it’s none other than the ‘Railgun’ and this is her chance to step up to the number three spot.
Of course she kicks the shit out of Misaka but Misaka wins (barely) by being very clever and using tactics instead of sheer power.
What I loved about Mugino VS Misaka is that it’s actually a very brutal, no-holds-barred fight. Usually in shounen women are treated with kids gloves during battle, not involved in battle, or have a very muted presence, even though they have been introduced as ‘warriors’. There are a handful of series that go against this but mostly women don’t get to have a down-and-gritty fight with blood a’flying.
When I say Mugino kicks the shit out of Mikasa I mean she does her best to rip her apart. Mugino is powerful, smart, good with tactics and she knows it. She’s got no problem hunting down her objective with any means necessary.
She also seems to be slightly insane.
There is a wonderful juxtapose in this scene where Mugino, stylish, beautiful and going all-out against a middle-school aged child, is screaming obscene curses and enjoying squashing her enemy flat.
After the Mugino VS Misaka showdown she becomes OBSESSED with Misaka and killing her because that seems to be her personality; the type of person who cannot STAND being beaten. She falls into a definite kind of madness where she ends up killing one of her team members out of pure viciousness.
Though, I think, Mugino is a character that is later redeemed in the series the Mugino that is introduced is vicious, powerful, power-hungry, without mercy, and a damned good villain.