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Rail Wars! - Episode 11



The series takes place in an alternate version of Japan where the nationalized railway system was never privatized (in real life, the Japanese National Railways were privatized in 1987). Naoto Takayama is an ordinary high school student who aspires to a comfortable life working on the Japanese National Railways. He ends up working as a security force trainee, where he unwillingly has to deal with his strange colleagues as well as RJ, a group of extremists who are fighting to privatize the railway.




Rail Wars! - Episode 11



For one thing, the "awkward jamming of trivia into scenes where it doesn't belong" problem isn't present in this episode. The bits and bobs about the inner workings of trains are all plot-relevant this time, either foreshadowed from the previous episode, or explained very quickly in the appropriate context during an action scene. This is the kind of educational-but-seamless-trainfo-dumping the show could have engaged in from episode one, but weaving action and dialogue together is hard, breaking them apart into little chunks is easy, and Rail Wars! has a schedule to keep, I guess.


Episode 11 is all action, from taser fights to hostage switcheroos to train-walking, which is refreshing, especially in light of the show's poor animation. Its characters' bodies may be flopping and melting all over the place, but this little engine that could is going to be all action this week regardless! It turns out Rail Wars! is also stronger when it focuses on its main players; paper-thin though they may be, they're still more engaging than the side characters of the week. The prince(ss) of Fictional European Country ends up getting sidelined in her own kidnapping adventure, but that's okay. We care more about seeing Haruka or Sakurai in harm's way than we do the tiny blonde prince(ss), and it's less uncomfortable to see them exploited for fanservice along the way as well. (This episode features a shot of Takayama bandaging Sakurai's ankle that is intentionally staged to look like he's going down on her. The fanservice in Rail Wars! may not be the most explicit, but it's always been weirdly creative.)


Ultimately, the "assassination plot on the rails" premise of this two-parter was a front for focusing on the relationship between Takayama and Sakurai, fully cementing her status as "canon girl" over Haruka before next week's finale. To say episode 11 "developed" their relationship is giving Rail Wars! too much credit in the character department, but it does give the two characters focus. It smushes them together as clear romance targets and punches all the basics on its one-way ticket to Genericville, and it works. We certainly don't want them to plunge ahead into Clayton Ravine on the out-of-control choo-choo, and their happy ending is a bright spot on the entire Rail Wars! experience.


With the last episode next week (or this week at time of this posting), we might get one of those so-so endings which leaves things open enough for a possible second season, but with enough closure to end a series. Hopefully.


Well, it was a good episode where all four members of the 4th Peacekeeping Squad took part in solving this crisis. Of course, seems that the animation took some hits like this one where Naoto and Aoi are trying to detach the linkage.


In a modern, alternative universe from ours, the national railways of Japan was never privatized and belong to the public sector. Naoto Takayama has interests in working in the Japanese National Railways as an engineer and enrolls in the Japan's National Railway Central Academy (JNRC). He and a team of other cadets consisting of Aoi Sakurai, Haruka Kōmi, and Shō Iwaizumi are the only ones to graduate from the school. With their final test being a training-on-site, they impress their superiors by apprehending a pair of thieves. Naoto, who wanted to become an engineer, found himself instead transferred to the Public Safety Force of the railways. The story follows Naoto as he takes on the risk of the Japanese National Railways to protect the passengers of the railway.


In an alternate version of Japan, the nationalized railway system was never privatized. Naoto Takayama is an ordinary high school student who aspires to a comfortable life working at Japanese National Railways. He ends up working as a security force trainee, where he unwillingly has to deal with his strange colleagues and other problems.


But man, for the second to the last episode, there sure was a lot of NOTHING. At least the stellar writing was consistent week to week. I am thoroughly looking forward to the finale to promptly place the show where it belongs: in an oblivion where no one remembers or cares about it.


My biggest problem with this first episode had nothing to do with the characters, the fanservice, or the animation. It had everything to do with how the entire script read like it came from a bad shounen manga.


MEH IM ABOARD THIS OVERHYPED TRAIN CAUSE so far so good! But something like Glasslip on other hand was WAY MORE UNDERWHELMING! I feel like im looking forward to ep2 of rail wars not so much glasslip but ill give it a chance ?


0:06:33.8 TC: And it is true that there's some cultural things in their background. There are several wars between the Chinese and the Japanese leading up to World War II, and there's also, to some extent, they probably started their conquest for China sooner than they intended because they had a group of overzealous army officers, they kicked things off before they were ready because they really wanted to start those imperial ambitions. But at the end of the day, as the conflict progressed, it really became about that how do we get resources to keep our defense industries going for Japan.


0:11:11.7 TC: For some of the other infrastructure in Africa, really, it comes down to geography. There are parts of the continent that are just really rugged, very mountainous, where you're cutting through various mountainous terrains and jungle and so trying to really... Roads are always problematic. There's been a lot of emphasis on building them, but between just the weather... So you go from a dry season where it just bakes all season and then you switch to a flood season, and roads get swept... Roads and bridges just get swept away on a pretty routine basis. Same thing with rails and pipelines, you've got these pieces of infrastructure that require a lot of maintenance over a very long stretch of train in order to keep them operational. The other option that you've got, which unfortunately in Africa isn't really an option, is inland waterways. The US has tons of inland waterways, the Mississippi, the Ohio, just to name a few. Well, really, the only river in Africa that's truly navigable along the majority of its length is the Nile, pretty much all the other rivers, they've got very short stretches where there's some boat traffic, but it's not like interstate commerce, it's just regional or perhaps getting across one of the large lakes that do exist in Africa. And that's largely just due to terrain, because the number of locks and canals that you would have to build would probably make the Panama Canal look like child's play.


0:13:04.3 TC: There are a few railways, especially in East Africa that were made for moving people, but yeah, for the most part, it's very specific of getting a commodity to a port to get it out of the continent. And so that was part of why when I was looking at the problem of the geography and how we might use airpower to actually address that challenge, what it essentially came down to was using Agile Combat Employments and moving forces around pretty rapidly to provide close air support, most likely actually to African ground forces as they defend those various lines of communication, whether rail or road, the US still has the chance to have access to those materials that we need.


0:16:16.2 TC: Also things like, how do you get fuel to an airfield? The easiest way, and the most economical way is to have a pipeline that runs right to that airfield. But like we already discussed, there's not a lot of those in Africa to begin with, and there's even fewer that are moving refined petroleum products into airfields around Africa. There's some along the coast to supply the major international airfields. But when you start getting into some of the smaller ones, there's not. So now you start having to look at, do we truck it in? Do we bring it in by rail? If you're bringing it in by rail does a railway even come anywhere close? Because again, there's not a lot of railways in Africa, most of them are focused along the coast lines. So, how do you just get stuff there is an issue.


0:19:55.0 MS: Absolutely. And of course, just because we're most interested in great power competition doesn't mean that counter terrorism or smaller wars go away. And I was thinking about airfields are enormous assets, especially if things have been pre-positioned there that are useful, or if there are fuel stocks. We know from civil wars in West Africa and Sierra Leone and Liberia, that controlling the airport makes you pretty powerful, and so what sort of investment has to be made in protecting these things?


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