In most school populations, and even in many business environments, there’re one or two people who are as nice as can be, but they try way too hard to “toot their own horn.” Maybe that’s how they were always taught. Maybe that’s a self-defense mechanism they’ve evolved over the years. Whatever the reason, things feel, well, kinda awkward around them.
Heck, maybe I’m one of those people! I don’t think they’re actually aware of the designation…
A Certain Scientific Railgun T has one of those characters, and her name is Mitsuko Kongou. She’s really a dear. I don’t think there’s a mean bone in her body. She puts on airs like laughing into her folding fan not to put anyone down, but just to give herself a little boost of self-confidence. And it’s not like she doesn’t actually help out — just look at how much she contributed to the fight in “Dear My Friends,” episode 24 of the first season!
Despite how much she helped and how friendly she was, Mikoto Misaka and Kuroko Shirai kept her at arm’s length. The scripts usually played it for laughs; a little social awkwardness among school kids. I even laughed at it from time to time.
And then she had to go and do what she did in “Trust,” the fifth episode of the T season.
If you haven’t seen the first four episodes of Railgun T, you probably want to stop reading here. It’s not a huge spoiler, but it will give away a little bit of the plot, and I want you to be in complete control of your information flow!
Still here? Cool! Here we go…
Kongou was so proud of herself for being able to distinguish between Misaka and her Sisters. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Misaka was desparate. For reasons unknown, Misaki Shokuhou erased all memory of Misaka from her friends minds — and even Shirai had no recollection of her! Talk about a serious situation!
You know Misaka. She didn’t want to involve anyone else for fear they’d get hurt. But when she learned through casual conversation that Kongou could easily tell Misaka from one of her Sisters, she couldn’t help herself. She was desperate to find the Sister who had been kidnapped, and time was of the essence. She couldn’t go looking herself because she was being watched — closely and carefully by other ESPers. She explained the situation to Kongou.
Kongou almost exploded with fury (05:58). Not only meddling with peoples’ minds, but actually kidnapping someone? That deeply offended her! She said she understood the situation. She was all in and she was going to do whatever she could to help. That alone was enough to make me feel bad for judging her for her self-promotion.
And then she kicked it to the next level.
As Misaka tried to express her gratitude, Kongou surprised her. “No,” she said (06:35). “Miss Misaka, you should not trust any information that I give you.” Before I could wonder where she was going with this, she proved just what an extraordinary young woman she is. “…I may already have been brainwashed by Misaki Shokuhou. Any and all information I give you will be false. You should consider that possibility.”
Misaka hadn’t considered the idea that Kongou might also have been compromised. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Misaka was crushed; she hadn’t considered that. Now she had no idea what to do. Things were bleak before; she’d had almost no hope. Now even that was gone.
Until Kongou finished.
“Yes. No one would trust me after I said something like that, right? So I will bring you not information, but your sister herself.”
As she walked away, she breezily told Misaka to believe in her and wait for her to return.
How cool is that? She not only completely understood what Misaka was saying, but she was willing to go the extra mile. She was willing to do what it takes to rescue her sister. Who knows if she felt the emotional distance Misaka and Shirai maintained between themselves and her. But you know what? I’m not sure it really would have mattered. Kongou wanted to help her friend, and she wanted to do the right thing. That’s a fantastic combination, and in a week filled with interest anime, this moment stood out.
What did you think of this moment? Did Kongou surprise you? Or did you already know of her hidden greatness?