Basically summarised into
one sentence: Itou Kanae didn’t know reindeer existed in real life. Oh and alcohol was involved. Two sentences.
The whole thing started on Toaru Radio no Railgun, the radio for Toaru Kagaku no Railgun hosted by Itou Kanae and Toyosaki Aki from 2009.09.20 to 2010.04.30. The reindeer topic didn’t come up until near Christmas on episode 12, 2009.12.11 for which Aki was absent and substituted by Satou Rina. Rather than me explaining it, it’d be best if I transcribed the conversations behind it so the post may be a little long, though it still isn’t a complete transcript, it’s far longer than what I usually write up. Click the spoiler tags for the transcripts. For those interested in hearing the exchange you can hear it here:
Index’s radio had become pretty well-known for having alcohol served on occasion during it’s recordings but Railgun’s radio had not had alcohol served on the show until Satou Rina, one of Index’s radio hosts, came on to guest. The subject of reindeer came up when the audio drama between Saten and Misaka was played on the radio.
Saten: “Until when did you stop believing in Santa?”
Misaka: “Hmm at around the time I was 10 years old?”
Saten: “Whoa that’s pretty late! Then how about reindeer?”
Saten: “Yeah when did you stop believing in reindeer?”
Misaka: “Umm Saten-san, reindeer really do exist…”
Saten: “Huh? What? Reindeer are fictional creatures aren’t they? As if those flying creatures could exist!”
Misaka: “Uh well… How should I put this… Well let’s just get on to the announcements!”
(The two of them announce news and releases regarding Index and Railgun)
Saten: “Umm, So Misaka-san… Reindeer don’t really exist right?”
Misaka: “Saten-san… You should have Uiharu-san take you to a zoo sometime.”
(End of audio drama)
Though the audio drama was recorded before the radio had started, this was played near the end of the radio and when the show returned to the radio you could tell Kanae’s kinda tipsy/drunk from the wine they had been drinking during the radio. She continues to fumble over the announcements while reading them while Satou seems to be unaffected by the alcohol. After stumbling around a bit Kanae blames her lack of concentration on the audio drama that was just played saying that she was still thinking about it.
(Kanae stumbles while reading the announcements)
Satou: It’s the wine!
Kanae: Ahh~ I’m getting light headed~~
Satou: Oh well! It’s adorable! It’s good!
Kanae: Well, but that audio drama that was just played about reindeer existing has really been on my mind.
Satou: …Huh?? …Eh??
Kanae: Eh? Are reindeer… Real?
Satou + Staff: They exist. They’re real. Real. Exist.
Kanae: Huh?! Reindeer are real?!?
(At this point Kanae sounds really shocked, and Satou reacts with surprise as well)
Satou: Eh?? What? Wait, what?! This is suddenly heading in a really interesting direction!
Satou: Lets rephrase this. Do you think they’re real? Or fictional?
Satou: …Does Kanae happen to be someone who thinks that reindeer are real?
Kanae: …The flying things right?
Satou: …Reindeer are… Well…
Kanae: What are those ones in the forest? Deer?
Satou: Reindeer[as well] are in forests.
Kanae: They also go in forests?! *laughs*
Satou: “They ‘also‘ go in forests”?! *laughs* This is getting really interesting!
*Satou and Kanae laughs*
Satou: Wait, wait! Let me clear this, they don’t fly!
Satou: They don’t have wings after all.
Satou: What made you think they flew?
Satou: Oh, Santa?
Kanae: Yeah, is it Santa’s magic?
Satou: Or Santa himself is flying *laughs*
Kanae: Eh?! Reindeer are… Those deer like things with horns and stuff right?
Kanae: But deer… Are real right? And reindeer… Are they real?
Satou: They exist! Just not the ones that fly.
Kanae: …Have I seen one before??
Satou: I… Don’t know the answer to that one *laughs*
Satou: I don’t really have that kind of knowledge, perhaps you have, perhaps not!
Kanae: Umm I’ve got a question!
Satou: What is it?
Kanae: Those ones in the mountains… Are they reindeer?
Satou: The ones in the mountains? They’re… Deer. Oh? Is that an image of a reindeer?
(Staff hands them a picture of a reindeer)
Kanae: Eh? Who is this?
Satou: “Who“?? Well it’s a reindeer…
Kanae: Huh the nose… Aren’t reindeer noses like a clown’s? All red and stuff?
*Satou gasps, Kanae laughs*
Satou: ….[Toyosaki] Aki-chan! Come back!
Kanae: A reindeer’s grave– I mean nose (Kanae accidently says “haka” which means grave instead of “hana” which means nose)
Satou: Grave?! Don’t kill the reindeer off!! *laughs*
Satou: Wait is this the effect of the wine? Or is this just how Kanae is normally?
Kanae: Don’t reindeer have noses that shine and stuff? Whats the difference between a deer and a reindeer? Is it how one flies and one doesn’t? *laughs*
(Satou then tries to move the radio on and ignores Kanae to read the ending announcements. They then get some information from the staff about the differences between reindeer and deer)
Kanae(reading out loud): “…A reindeer is a type of deer…”
Satou: A type of deer.
Kanae: What?! So it IS a deer!!
Satou: *laughs* Whats with that “What a disappointment!” reaction!
Kanae: Then the flying ones! Where did the flying ones come from?
Satou: They don’t fly! They just don’t fly!
Kanae: Then where’d that come from?
Kanae: Aren’t reindeer like pegasus? Wait pegasus… Exist? No they aren’t real! *laughs*
Satou: Pegasus don’t exist!
Kanae: And reindeer do?
Satou: They do.
Kanae: So they do exist…?
Satou: You thought they didn’t?
Kanae: Yeah… The flying ones. Flying deer. The flying deer were the reindeer was what I thought.
Satou: Well they don’t fly. *laughs*
Kanae: Eh? Eh?
Satou: I’ll keep saying this over and over again! Reindeer don’t fly!
Kanae: When do they start flying then? *laughs*
Satou: They never fly! Is this the wine speaking??
Kanae: *laughs* What are the advantages of reindeer??
Satou: “Advantages“?!? *laughs*
Satou finishes with “This was really fun! I want to come guest again. We can drink wine again as well!”. This radio episode ends here but on Railgun’s next episode Aki comes back and it looks like she’s heard about the whole reindeer thing…
Kanae(Reading mail from a listener): “…And have you two ever found out something unexpected about one another before?”
Aki: Yep! I have! I have!
Aki: I don’t have enough fingers to count how many times!
Kanae: That many?
Aki: Well the first thing I want to say is… Well Kanae…
*Kanae starts giggling nervously*
Kanae: What is it…? You’re starting scare me… *laughs*
Aki: Umm well, despite your appearance and impression… You lack quite a bit of general knowledge.
Kanae: …Well I can’t do anything about that!
Aki: Umm I just want to yell this out. ALL THE REINDEER IN THE WORLD CRIED!!
Aki: Kanae! Reindeer exist!!
Kanae: But you know how reindeer was in that song and stuff!
Aki: Yeah rabbits were also in that song!
Kanae: And their noses were red!
Aki: Yeah and that part is fiction.
Aki: Reindeer are like my favourite animals! Or one of my favourites. It’d be a contender for top place though!
Kanae: Eh? Do you like real reindeer?
Aki: Yeah… If they weren’t real why would I?
Kanae: Maybe something like a reindeer character with a blue nose?
Kanae’s referencing Tony Tony Chopper, the reindeer from One Piece who Aki is a fan of.
Aki tells Kanae off for not knowing that her favourite animal existed. Incidentally they bring wine on to the radio for this episode after this point and Kanae gets tipsy really quickly. She continues to stumble over her words and break into fits of giggling during the show <3
Outside Railgun’s radio, the whole reindeer thing gets referenced again in the new Index radio for it’s second season when the two hosts, Satou Rina and Iguchi Yuka, were asked to act like Aki and Kanae. Upon hearing this the first thing Iguchi said was “Do reindeer exist?!” in an imitation of Kanae. I’m guessing she listened to the radio herself since she imitated how Kanae spoke when she asked the question haha.
Another recent incident was on Payo Payo with Takahashi Mikako when Kanae came on to guest and Mikako asked Kanae about it. Kanae embarrassedly explained the reindeer thing to her and Mikako had the same reaction of “Huh? You didn’t know they existed?!”.
Including these times, Kanae’s reindeer incident continues to pop up from time to time, the other time I can think of is when Aki had referenced it in one of her blog posts around last Christmas.
…I really miss Railgun’s radio :(