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English: A Certain Magical Index
Synonyms: Toaru Majutsu no Kinsho Mokuroku
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 5, 2008 to Mar 19, 2009
Producers: J.C.Staff, Geneon Universal Entertainment, Square Enix, FUNimation EntertainmentL, AT-X, ASCII Media Works, Kadokawa Contents Gate
Duration: 23 min. per episode
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)L represents licensing company
Score: 7.811 (scored by 97728 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular TagsNo tags found
Mar 13, 2013
One of the greatest battles that mankind has ever witnessed is the battle between science and religion, a battle that is still being fought today. So just imagine, what will happen if people with supernatural abilities existed and both these sides got hold of people whose special abilities that are nothing short of miraculous? So how exactly does this relate to To Aru Majutsu no Index? Well I suppose a short summary of the story is in order.
Now To Aru Majutsu no Index (which I would just refer to now as Majutsu no Index) is set in a world where both science and magic coexist. Kamijou Touma, you regular high school kid lives within a place called Academy City, the so called “utopia of science” as well as an utopia for a new type of people known as ESPers, people who can have supernatural abilities by controlling the laws of science. Kamijou Touma, being a student in the Academy City, has a strange power called “Imagine Breaker”, a skill which allows him to dispel anything magical or is a product of ESPer powers. On the other hand, there is Index Prohibitorum Librorum (or Index for short), a nun who has the superhuman ability to remember virtually anything and has memorized in her mind 103,000 grimoires concerning magic that is prohibited by the church or is otherwise just far too dangerous to be used. One day, Touma found a starving Index hanging in his balcony after being chased by mysterious men, begging him for food. This is where the story starts as Touma finds himself in the middle of all the problems concerned with letting a walking manual for destruction live in his house.
Now, you gotta admit, the idea of science and magic clashing against each other is a pretty freaking good concept, and a good concept always mean a good anime right? Well, Majutsu no Index had pretty much everything that a good anime has: a good concept, interesting premises, and a recipe for romance. Unfortunately, it failed to use its full potential as an anime because of certain mistakes made by the producers of this anime.
So let’s start off with the story. As I’ve said, Majutsu no index is set on interesting premises yet it failed to fully utilize all of its hidden potential. You see, one of the biggest problems here is, or the lack thereof, of a main antagonist because what happened is that the anime was split into two sides : the magic side and the science side.
The magic side is the side concerned with magic aspect of the anime. The plots concerning this side usually just revolves around people who are relentlessly trying to kidnap Index to learn the secrets in her head and wreak havoc upon the earth, those who want to save Index from her perfect memory, which they claim would kill her if they don’t brainwash her every year since she would remember every detail she sees and ultimately overload her brain, and the church which is responsible for pretty much all of Index’s problems. And obviously, it’s Touma’s job to protect Index which he usually does by talking and punching the said magicians into submission. Though that way of solving things isn’t really all that bad, what really makes the magic side so terrible is that it’s quite episodic when it comes to plot. The plot from one arc to another just doesn’t add up and that makes it quite terrible: the fact that it has no continuality.
The science side on the other hand, is a heck lot more interesting in terms of plot than the magic side. It revolves around the concept of leveling up ESPers. You see, the thing with ESPers is that they are ranked using levels, starting from level 0 (which is by the way, Touma’s level) and above. This is done in order to measure how strong an ESPer is with level 0 being weakest, virtually having no powers, and those with higher levels having stronger powers. The current highest level ESPers have been able to attain is level 5, a title which seven different people in Academy City hold. The story focuses on two of these level 5 ESPers, namely Misaka Mikoto, who was the ability to control electricity and is a friend to Touma, and The Accelerator, who can control and redirect vectors at will. What happened is that Academy City decided to create the first level 6 ESPer, and there are only two ways to do it: Either have a level 5 ESPer kill roughly 128 other level 5 ESPers, or to have a level 5 ESPer kill 20,000 level 3 ESPers. Seeing as they only have seven level 5 ESPers, they opted for the other method: have a level 5 ESPer, namely The Accelerator, kill 20,000 level 3 ESPers. Now the question is where do they get 20,000 level 3 ESPers?
If you haven’t noticed by now, yes, I am biased towards the science side of the story but there is a good reason for that. As I’ve said, what this series lacks is the presence of a main antagonist, and what the science side gives is just that, along with a solid plot. On the other hand, the magic side is, as I’ve mentioned, quite episodic in nature, jumping around from one antagonist to the other and having no clear goal as to where it would lead the story next after one conflict is solved. This is one of the biggest downfalls of Majutsu no Index and is one of the main reasons as to why it fails to live up to its potential. Another problem with this anime is that the magic and science side of the story almost never crosses each other, despite the fact that they should be two sides of the same coin. This is especially annoying from time to time because it causes quite a few plotholes in the story.
Another one of the problems with Majutsu no Index lies in its characters. I’m not saying that they are bad, it’s just that they are so cliché it hurts. We have Kamijou Touma, who’s definition of unlucky is seeing naked chicks and getting “in touch” with the ladies (gee, I haven’t seen that before), Index, who is your regular hyperactive loli, Misaka, nicknamed biribiri, who is your run-of-the-mill tsundere, and others who would take too long to mention. But of course, that isn’t the real problem, as cliché characters can still be interesting despite the fact that they are, well, cliché.
The real problem is that the makers of the anime desperately try to make Touma, the main character, look badass when in fact, he’s not. And for the sake of doing this, they pretty much confine most of the other characters to the sidelines. This becomes very apparent during the latter half of the show, when pretty much every problem ends up being solved when Touma punches the antagonist in the face.
But of course, not all of the characters are bad. Take Accelerator for example. Aside from being the main antagonist for the majority of the science side plotline, he is also the one of the few characters that received a noticeable amount of character development. As the story introduced him as an evil psycho who is willing to kill tens of thousands to gain power, he was later shown to have a softer side who cares for others more than he seems .Other than him, most of the other anime characters just receive minimal amounts of development, maybe aside for one more character though discussing her here could spoil the story.
So far, the only redeeming feature Majutsu no Index has is in its animation and music. The Art was just the way I like it, clean, smooth, and shiny just like most of the newer animes today, though there are times when the movements seem a little bit choppy but this is barely noticeable and doesn’t really affect the overall experience of watching this anime. The music on the other hand is just plain freaking awesome. The first and second openings, both J-pop songs, where sung by Kawada Mami which are in my opinion, just perfect for the theme of the anime: fast-paced and somehow had a futuristic tune to it.
So overall I’d have to say that To Aru Majutsu no Index is more or less an average anime. It’s an anime with a good concept and interesting premises, it just happened to have been unable to fully utilize its full potential. Still though, that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad anime. It does have moments where it shines and shows some pretty amazing scenes. Unfortunately, it couldn’t maintain that level of goodness throughout which becomes one of its downfalls. So this isn’t really something that I would personally recommend, but if you’re stuck with nothing to watch, or maybe you’re one those who have a liking for shounen animes with a little bit of romance here and there then why not give this a shot. Who knows, you might come to like it more than I did.
So to provide a quick summary, here are a list of pros and cons:
+ It has a good concept: Science against Magic
+The openings, both sung by Kawada Mami, were awesome J-pop songs
+The art was clean and smooth
+The Science side of the story had a good plotline
+The Accelerator is just a badass antagonist
-The anime was unable to use its full potential and due to half of the story, the magic side, being terrible
-The makers of the anime were trying too hard to make the protagonist of the story, Touma, look badass despite the fact that he was not
-The animation can get a little choppy at times, though this isn’t too noticeable
-The characters are quite cliché
~First and foremost, thanks for reading my review. If you have any comments regarding my review or just want to have a discussion, then leave a comment at my page. I will greatly appreciate it. =)~
Nov 10, 2009
"When magic and science crosses path, what will happen?" is how I would have liked to start this review. However the answer to that would have simply be "nothing" since, although both sides exists in the same place, there were hardly any interaction between them. So instead, I will begin by asking Index what she meant by accompanying her to the depth of hell. She was hardly present for half the show and during the rare occasions when she is in an episode, she gets sidelined and become a minor character with absolutely no impact to the story (beside biting Touma on the head).
So what happened to those 103,000 magical texts? With the exception of the first few episodes and the last episode or two, where Index as a character actually matters to the plot, there is practically zero reference to the 103,000 magical texts for 80% of the show. Granted the production studio (J.C. Staff) wanted to follow the novel as closely as possible (and they did a very good job at it), it is understandable for the abrupt ending to the story thus far. But it still makes no sense for the story’s centerpiece to be dangling here and there with no sense of purpose in the various story arcs.
If one were to ignore the problems mentioned above, then the overall production quality of Toaru Majutsu no Index is actually quite good. Decent animation from J.C. Staff (though sometimes the distant shots seem lacking in detail) plus a great cast of seiyu make this anime a pleasant watch to those who don’t really mind a poor storyline. Don’t get me wrong though, the mini arcs throughout the show which introduces and help create character developments are great in themselves. However, once the dust settles, it always makes me wonder what happen to the story that was suppose to center around Index.
Character-wise, most were introduced to compliment the particular story arc (with the exception of the main protagonists). Afterward, they will tend to “fade” to the back sometimes making a few seconds appearance here and there with no significance. In terms of character development, not much observable changes occurred for the male protagonist and Index which can be attributed to the faithful following of the novel (since there wasn’t that much matter to talk about at the time of the anime production). On the other hand the co-heroine/main protagonist, Mikoto, of the Railgun series (a spinoff of Toaru Majutsu no Index) did show considerable character growth which makes her shine like a bright star among the group of relatively static characters.
Those familiar with Shana will instantly ring a bell in their head as they watch the first OP of this series. If the OP does not make you go "OMG, this sounds similar to Shana’s OP!", then perhaps watching the daily interaction between Index and Touma will help ring some bells. To be more precise, one can even replace Index with Shana and voila, you have yourself Shakugan no Shana III. The point I am trying to make here is the similarities between the two anime.
1. From the same production company.
2. At least one of their OP theme is sang by the same singer (Kawada Mami).
3. Shana = Index, Yuji = Touma.
So what am I trying to say here? It means that if you enjoy watching Shakugan no Shana, feel free to give this anime a try. The magician (magic) vs esper (science) theme advertised by Toaru Majutsu no Index does have its selling points, but I just think it desperately need a sequel to really link the various bits and pieces together. I enjoyed the mini arcs (whether they are filler or not), those irrelevant mini stories were very entertaining and they help keep my mind off Index. But once I start thinking deeper into the character ties and relationships, there is just something missing about the purpose of Index. Perhaps a hopeful sequel will fill in the missing puzzles, but as things stand right now the story really hurts the show. read more
Nov 20, 2013
As this is a Review for both seasons of Index, I will go on and give two scores for every category!
Story:To Aru Majutsu no Index or Index as I will call it for short, revolves around Kamijou Touma, a middle school student that lives in Academic City, a city solely dedicated to science development and Esper training. It is technologically advanced and around 80% of the people living there are students. In this city there are different ranks of Espers, telling their strength, going from Level 0, people that don't have any ability, up to Level 5, which are the 7 strongest ability users in the entire world. Our Main Protagonist Kamijou though unfortunately only is Level 0 and doesn't have any ability at all, except for one thing: His right hand can destroy any Magic or Ability! One day as he comes home to his apartment, he suddenly finds an oddly dressed catholic sister hanging on his balcony, muttering that she is hungry. After taking her in, she explains to him that her name is Index and she has memorized 103000 Grimoires in her mind. She tells him of the existence of Magic as well and that some kind of evil organization is after her.
The basic premise of Index is really interesting, featuring the earlier mentioned differences between the Church and science, but it's nothing that the show focuses on too long. While the enemies often are either from some kind of church or some evil scientific organization, it doesn't feel anything but a mere excuse to have a new antagonist. The setting still remains really interesting, but more for the reasons of Academic City being one of the coolest cities that I have seen in a Franchise so far, featuring underground organizations, a realistic set of population, meaning it is not perfect and a really interesting society where students are able to rule a lot. Also the whole Esper system is really well thought through and was a lot of fun to think about, even if it certainly is not the main point of Index.
Index Story itself consists of many arcs, bound together to an overarcing story, that is not too significant yet, but might get soon. Every single arc is built the same way, there is some light hearted fun going on, something bad happens and everyone freaks out. Then some Plot Twists happen, the bad guy is getting figured out, he fights Touma and everything ends. Of course for the most time it is not as easy as that and surely isn't as dull as it probably just sounded. What this show does really well though, is the pacing. It never feels rushed and never drags once it really got going. Even though it has a few difficulties getting into the arc at the beginning, as the light hearted parts often drag out a little. As the arc gets more story focused though, the show starts to throw in a good amount of twists before ending in a for the most amazingly climatic and epic fight, that basically consists of our main characters holding epic speeches and punching everyone in their face! Believe it or not, it is a lot of fun to watch! If the show really has one big problem though, than it is the getting into it! The first few episodes of Index are pretty hard to watch, not because the story is bad, but due to another reason...
Index II: 8.7/10
Characters:The characters of Index are by far it's weakest points! The first character is Index. Index is a catholic sister, with the ability of remembering everything she has once seen. This ability is getting used by the church, as she had to read 103.000 grimoires for the church and remember every single one of them. She now has to take care of them and keep people away from looking into it. Index rarely really gets active in the show itself and for the most part only is the reason for things to happen. If she starts acting on her own though, it often gets pretty cool and the power of the grimoires hidden within her mind is not to underestimate. The second main character is Kamijou Touma. He is your generic Light Novel Protagonist, being the guy that wants to save everything and holds epic speeches, why the antagonist is wrong. His catchphrase is the sentence "Fukou da" which in English means "Such misfortune", as he sees himself as an incredibly unlucky person. There is not a lot more to him though, as he is pretty blant. It takes a lot of time, to really get used to him, since at the beginning he is really annoying and only gets really likeable in the second season. It's not that he changes a lot, but the one thing that is different, is that he is a lot more badass later on and while not being a good character, he at least is really cool! In short, the longer the series goes on, the better the main characters get!
The character cast around those two characters is huge, introducing at least one new character every single arc (there are a lot of arcs...) and keeping most of them for use later on. Every single one of them though, especially those that are getting used more often, are really well fleshed out and are by far not as one dimensional as the two main character are. They are a lot more interesting than Index and Touma are and every new side character is a great addition to the already amazing cast of side characters. I am looking forward to getting more of those in the coming seasons.
The last problem in the character section that Index has, is the character interaction, which the comedy relief scenes are focused on. The problem is that while the interactions are funny when seeing Index biting Touma the first time, as she seems to be doing it second episode, it gets boring really quick. The two characters are way too boring to produce anything amazing outside of fights and most of the side characters can't really safe that either. There were some points when I simply had to laugh out loud, but those were pretty rare. The comedy itself was just something that was overused to a point that I was not able to do anything but facepalm at times.
Index II: 7.6/10
Art:Index for the most part doesn't look too amazing. The Slice of Life comedy scenes look pretty generic and there is nothing standing out at all. When it gets serious though and they start to animate fights, they do a pretty good job at it! There are not too many stills and the animation itself is pretty fluent and while it still is not too amazing it certainly is above average! The Animation quality gets better in the second season, but still is in comparison to other Anime of that time nothing to noteworthy. The backgrounds often look pretty good though, especially when being the Academic City itself, surprising with a good amount of details. At some points the lighting is something that pleased me as well, even though that was rather rare in the show itself and happened more in the movie. The CGI though, looks pretty bad and that doesn't get better in the second season either. Unfortunately they use exactly that CGI for the backgrounds as well. It's not as clearly noticeable then though.
Index II: 7.5/10
Sound:The Soundtrack of Index was composed by I've, a Japanese techno sound production group. The Soundtrack itself is what I consider to be rather average. There are some tracks that are pretty cool and those are the ones that either show up as soon as some kind of mystery accures or as soon as people start fighting. In the more quite parts of the show though, the soundtrack was pretty generic and couldn't quite match up to the ones of others. The Openings on the other hand were all pretty much amazing! Every single one of them had more of a techno vibe to them. Every single one was sung by Kawada Mami, which did a really good job at it! They did a good job at preparing you for what was to come in the Anime itself, while getting you hyped if the last episode ended on a cliffhanger. In total the RailDex Franchise has amazing Openings. The endings were all quite good, but definitely skippable. They were nice to hear once or twice but after that, there was no real need to listen to them any more. The Voice Acting was splendid and leaves nothing to be desired as far as the emotions go. As my Japanese is not that good, I will refrain from saying more than that!
Index II: 8.1/10
In total To Aru Majutsu no Index is really good show, that has it's only big fault in it's main characters, but even that is something to get used to after a while. It convinces with a good story, a huge but likeable character cast and simply the amount of fun you have watching Touma punch someone in his face. It has amazing pacing and a skill to climax it amazingly well, making every arc somewhat epic!
Now as I calculated the scores I gave To Aru Majutsu no Index and it's second season (Story, Characters, Art, Sound and my personal Enjoyment), I came to a score of 7.94/10 for the first season and a score of 8,14/10 for the second season. Both are amazing even though they are flawed. The pure fun watching them turns around a lot! As it stands now the first season of Index has been licensed by FUNimation, but the second has not been picked up yet. The first season is also available on the FUNimation Website for legal streaming.
And with that, I hope you enjoyed this Review of Index and I see you next post!
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Feb 16, 2012
It's funny, really. In a way, Toaru Majutsu no Index is deceptive. The first few episodes promise you a really intriguing (if not epic) story. The presentation is phenomenal; the opening is great, events that unfold in episode 1 already get you hooked and there are already some interesting characters whom you want to know more about. Hungrily, you venture onwards for more.
Throughout the episodes after the terrific first impressions, however, you start to notice a few things. First, it's only minor details that go unexplained, but you start to worry when it does not stop there. Before long, the show refuses to explain even more about certain events or characters. Soon, the story is all over the place, and with its failing ability to present itself properly or consistently, you begin to lose interest gradually over the course of the entire ride.
Remember the meal I mentioned before? The potatoes are just fine, the vegetables are okay and the wine is actually quite good. The meat, however, tastes awful. When you (try to) cut through it, you realize that it is far from done. The meat is pink, and the two or three pieces you try to chew on end up spat out on the floor.
While the side dishes were okay, the main meal was plain bad. In a way, Index is the same.
Before anything, let me just say that in its core, Index is probably a very good show with regards to the story. However, there is one thing with this story that damages the show badly - the way it is presented. And I'm not exaggerating things, because it really is that severe. The concept of the entire show (Science vs Magic) is really interesting, and the sides shown of both parties are sometimes genuinely good. All things considered though, nothing actually ever happens between them until the last one or two episodes. Index, the main heroine of the anime (I think?), carries surprisingly little importance to the plot for the most part. Mostly forced into a few scenes purely for the sake of comic, what is revealed about her at the very start of the show (which is supposed to carry a lot of weight in the actual plot) is never mentioned until, again, almost the very end of it all, and even there it doesn't matter as much as it should. These are just some of many examples of things the show presents but forgets to handle or elaborate on.
Moving on, the entire show is split into several arcs, each handling its own sub-story and characters. While a minority of these arcs are quite decent, the rest of them remain uninteresting, and some even make you question what importance they actually hold to the main plot. The main problem with the arcs is, yet again, the fact that the show forgets to handle everyone and everything that happens in a proper way. Characters who're just being given some depth are suddenly wiped out of existence (figuratively speaking) with the coming of a new story or arc. Events remain unexplained, both within themselves and how they connect to everything else, until you simply start to not care anymore. Simply put, while everything has a potential of being great and interesting, the show treats its contents with little care, telling us many stories and presenting us to a lot of different characters, only to barely tie the knots on not more than a select few of them.
The art of Toaru Majutsu no Index is, truth be told, very good. While everything is coated with a simple style and charm, the liveliness in both characters and places is presented excellently through not too extreme methods of drawing. Colors come out nicely and blend together in a pretty way where they should, nothing or no one looks too deformed or incomplete, even from a distance. While a flaw can be spotted in the art here and there, it's nothing that will deviate you from the rest of the anime.
The music fits in the moment, so to speak. While the tracks of the show give the right effect to all events that occur and set the mood right most of the time, there's nothing here that'll stick with you once the moments have passed. The music, while good, is often forgettable, but it serves its purpose in the show. As for the two openings, they are actually epic. They set the tone right for what's to come, and as standalones in an MP3-player, they're still a pleasure to listen to. The endings are also decent, though not on par with the openings. Finally, sound effects. Everything sounds like it should, whether we're talking about explosions, footsteps, laughs or anything else. Nothing bad, yet nothing exceptional.
Considering how I bashed the story section of this show, it may come as a surprise that the characters are being given a (significantly) higher score. However, while they were presented dreadfully together with the story, you actually cared for what you knew about them. Save for a few characters (including Index herself, ironically), most of them made you laugh, feel emotions, or care enough to finish watching the show altogether. Yet, it was rather frustrating when the show kept blowing away characters after their stories were told, since you really want to know more about some of them.
Back to the low scores. Index had every opportunity to become a good show. Most of the characters were interesting, the plot and setting were fresh and intriguing, and even the background details such as art and sound pleased. Nevertheless, thanks to the catastrophical presentation and handling of everything, what cound've been an epic experience was lost.
All things considered, even if the main plot failed, the show wasn't impossible to finish. The several stories, for what it's worth, were decent sometimes, and other elements such as nice characters helped carry me through the ride. In the end, however, it truly is a shame. I really wanted to like what Index truly was trying to tell, but it was impossible considering the scattered everything was.
Even if the main meal failed to deliver, the side dishes were okay. Even if the meat wasn't even close to edible, you could leave the table knowing that at least the rest of the food pleased you. It is possible that the chef might have learned from his or her mistakes, and maybe, just maybe, the next dinner will be a winner. read more
Apr 21, 2009
The anime actually had me hooked at the first few minutes of the first episode. The character of Touma, who inexplicably possesses the power to nullify any supernatural force with his right hand (and also seems to attract misfortune, something I can relate with) was very appealing. Upon his encounter with Index, a girl who inexplicably has perfect memory recall, things really started to take off. Now there were two mysterious characters and a decent plot to go with one of them. By the third episode, I was convinced that I was in for a rare masterpiece.
Admittedly I was concerned about Touma, because his mysterious power is essentially god-mode, and overpowered characters tend to ruin a story. I set those concerns aside, though, reasoning that the title character is Index, not Touma. Little did I know that after the first arc concluded, the title character would have little to no influence in the overall plot, in some cases barely managing to make an appearance in most later episodes.
Very few of the characters past the two main ones are genuinely likable. I have to admit I liked Touma's teacher, Komoe. She provided some of the best comic relief, but didn't do much else aside from acting as a plot device. Index's two guardians, central to the plot of the first arc, were also among the better personalities. At the very least, they weren't completely unlikeable. The same can't be said for the rest of the cast: almost offensively dull supporting characters; a series of super-powerful girls, each who thinks her life is the worst and she'd be better off dead; a select few villains to do battle with Touma; and behind-the-scenes bad guys who never do anything but make vague references to the story. Before I move on, I'd like to give an honorable mention to Accelerator. He had probably the coolest power of them all, and would have made my list of likable characters if he had dropped the angsty emo-kid act. Just one more wasted character among many.
If there's one thing they did right, though, it was the art and animation. But if all your anime can do is look good, there's hardly any point to it. Overall I have to say I was really disappointed with Toaru Majutsu no Index. It had such a great buildup and they could have done great things with it, but once Index was no longer a central part of the story it all fell flat. I wouldn't recommend this series to anyone. I watched it from start to finish, and now I wish I hadn't. read more
Mar 24, 2009
The story revolves around the protagonist Kamijou Touma, as he is caught between tensions and events involving conflicts between Magic and Esper (science). While the first few episodes were quite promising, hinting at a huge power struggle between two sides, with Touma being in the center of attention, the rest was quite the letdown. There wasn't any deep story. The main plot simply gets shoved into the background and To Aru Majutsu no Index becomes a somewhat repetitive, episodic 2/3 episode-per-plot anime. Despite the great entrance leading to an episodic series, however, I admit it was still enjoyable to watch. The plots are simple, but watching Kamijou Touma go through each challenge in his way was entertaining.
The art and sound are definitely the strongest points of To Aru Majutsu no Index. The art is simply amazing. Movements and actions flow smoothly, showing just how many panels the creators drew to create each episode. CG effects are wonderfully done; with the sun shining brightly and casting beams of light on Academy City. The opening songs fit the action theme of To Aru Majutsu no Index very well, and the relaxing ending songs tone down viewers' excitement after watching the episodes.
Characters were great and unique in terms of personality, but development was stagnant. Each character had a unique personality that you can identify and tag them with. Touma is a carefree, friendly guy who's always there to help out his friends, while Index is mischievous and spoiled on the outside, deep down she cares much about everyone around her. However, without much character development, they pretty much stay the same throughout the 24 episodes of To Aru Majutsu no Index. But overall, I think this can be overlooked, as once you become attached to them, development won't degrade the characters' uniqueness.
Overall, I enjoyed watching To Aru Majutsu no Index on a weekly basis. It was a good anime overall, despite the lack of a concrete central plot. Just watching how Touma deals with situations and interact with those around him is purely enjoyable. Definitely give To Aru Majutsu no Index a try! read more
Oct 5, 2009
Academy City, the Mecca of Science, is where most of it's denizens are student that have been scientifically engineered to be espers, or wielders of certain unique abilities: manipulating electricity, teleportation and controlling natural forces.
Touma is a student in the Esper Development Program, with very unique skill, the ability to negate supernatural powers, like the ones manifested by other Espers. This, of course, nullifies his good fortune as well: vending machines devour his yen, his cellphone crushed into silicon fragments by his foot, and he has to attend extra classes during the summer.
But fate isn't done with Touma, ready to twist the string of his destiny around it's cold slender fingers. Enter Index, hanging to dry from Touma's balcony, a church sister being hunted by... magicians. The plot has an interesting hook, the conflict between science and magic. The first four episodes prove to be interesting, serving as a prelude to what would be a plot line epic in proportions. But Toaru Majutsu no Index [no Index] quickly shifts gears, abandoning an expansive story, for smaller three to four episode arcs surrounding the various characters. It's amusing but for the most part leaves you asking: Why does this matter?. Though the last episode does give some hope, hinting at a conflict between science and magic, that's about to build, brim and explode.
The characters are likable, if somewhat cliched. Touma is the can-do hero that attempts to save 'everyone'. Misaka is a shining star in somewhat average cast. Her love/hate relationships with both the lead and her friend Kuroko coupled with her superiority complex is amusing. One of the plots faults is the harem that is accidentally formed. Harems cause symptoms of shallow character interaction and plots driven by mindless love polygons. Shades of these indicators are found in no Index, but hopefully the 'harem factor' won’t be a crutch for the plot in the future.
The animation and the art is excellent. The palette is bright and vibrant, painting Academy City alive. Cool silvers and grays are layered on the natural colors woven in between the streets. Action scenes are fluid and are filled with some intense scenes on this backdrop. Character models are drawn well, the magician's being the most interesting of the bunch. Kiori and Stiyl seem otherworldly in their outlandish clothing. There were irritating bits of fanservice unappealing because the heroines, for the most part, were flat chested.
The music was engaging, a techno flare that fit the whole scientific motif. Neither opening was exceptional, their upbeat chords danced about, setting the appropriate mood. The voice acting wasn't noteworthy, though some of the voices became grating. Index's voice had an annoying timbre that scratched at the senses.
Watchability and Enjoyment
The structure of the show made my enjoyment of the program, mixed. Some of the chapters were splendid, balancing humor, drama, and action while others made me want to drop the program all together. I have hope for the second season, which promises a return to the whole conflict between magic and science, which intrigued me in the first few episodes.
The ambition of the plot quickly disappears and what remains is a cast of likable characters, great art, and a promise. Hopefully Toaru Majutsu no Index will deliver on that promise. The small gems of story telling give me confidence that there is still hope for the exploration of the main theme presented. We can only hope. read more
Mar 26, 2009
The characters themselves are just so two dimensional and uninteresting that you dont care for their story at all. Not to mention they all have to have some gimmick to distinguish them from another character.
As far as genre goes TAMI is a shonen type action show but thats being too generous in my opinion. TAMI's action scenes never go past 1-3 actions before they have to talk for 90% of the fight about something that wont even matter once the conflict is resolved, and all the main character ever does is punch people.
TAMI isnt necessarily bad but its just so plain that you find yourself wondering why you're even bothering with it? It tries to be funny but always throws the same gags at you that you just dont care for them. I think theres some wasted potential here and thats a shame because I really wanted to like this show
5/10 read more
Jul 29, 2009
If there's one thing you can't fault J.C. Staff on, it's the animation. Sharp, crisp, with a signature pallet and inspired character design, Index can be a treat to look at. Consistent in its appearance throughout, it does a fine job of carrying a sharp appearance, even though it does not strive to be anything beyond that.
Sound is another matter. The opening and ending themes just aren't up to the quality of the animation and, for me at least, seemed to drag down the sequences. Generic BGM throughout didn't help, though vocal performances are of note. Yuka Iguchi and Rina Satou especially as Index and Misaka add great energy and depth to their respective character's lines. The rest of the cast isn't bad either, ranging from enjoyable to decent. What a complete waste of Mamiko Noto though.
These performances were also greatly amplified by a very likeable cast. Index is a real charmer from the get-go and Misaka's firecracker personality really adds something to the dynamic of the Index-Touma-Misaka triangle. I have no complaints about Touma personally, but he is another generic male lead with a built-in deus ex machina. Fortunately, it isn't the be-all end-all solution it appears to be. The supporting cast is enjoyable, but so many of them are sparsely seen, with some disappearing as quickly as they appear, that it's easy to forget or just not care about them.
While the characters are intriguing enough to keep watching, the plot isn't. Functioning on an individual arc setup, it's too disjointed with too little themes carried over from arc to arc to make it worth the effort. While Index lacks its spiritual predecessor's romantic angst, at least said angst helped carry the story over each individual arc. Here, Index has few if any ties throughout, burning bridges as quickly as it can construct them. Add in the previously mentioned myriad of complicated terminology that perpetuates the dialogue of the series, and even the strongest attention spans may be jolted by this one.
So what can be said about it as a whole? It's certainly not a terrible series, but there's too much wasted potential. The character relationships are stagnant and the poignant characters of each arc are gone with the next. It's more a compilation of side stories than a full-bodied plot, heavy on the dialogue but short-handed on plot or character development. But it is likeable, and nice to look at, and with some luck, the franchise will become more focused in the future. For now, it's disposable eye candy. Nothing more, nothing less.
Overall, I give To Aru Majutsu no Index a 6 out of 10. read more
Mar 29, 2009
The story is too shounen oriented which will deter those that are looking for depth. It is unfortunate since there is potential for the storyline which in turn is trying too hard to be deep with the inclusion of quasi-physics theories that only drags it down.
Pacing-wise it feels way too slow. A good amount of time is spent on needless talking even though the viewer already knows what's going to happen. Most of the time viewers will feel that the story should go to the boss battles as soon as possible.
Fortunately there's the art and animation. The high-production value is almost prevalent throughout all 24 episodes. Lighting, character design, backdrop, etc. I find the loliness of the girls' character designs disturbing. Then again the artist (as well as fans of the female character designs of TAMNI) likes lolis so I'll leave it at that.
BGM is average at best so that leaves us with the techno-oriented OPs and EDs which are almost memorable and fits the anime well.
For an anime that spans 24 episodes there's little to no character development. No problem with that. Most shounen action animes stick to this formula. It's just that they didn't stand out too much.
Amidst all its flaws, I did enjoy TAMNI because I just needed to shrink my anime backlog. But it just can't stand out from the season's batch. Maybe because it's from an unfinished manga; maybe because it only touched around volume 6 of the said manga. I don't know. It just felt empty after watching it. read more
Aug 6, 2009
+ Science vs Magic Plot
+ Interesting and likeable characters ( girls )
+ Accidental harem
+ HD Quality
+ Humorous with popular references here and there ( leek )
- After Episode 10 it's character development for the other characters
- Not enough time to get back to the main plot ( Season 2 I assume? )
- Feels like a giant introduction / setup ( Novel and Manga still going )
- Some characters feel like filler, hopefully they'll have some use later on
. Conclusion :
I like this Anime despite the fact it got off target halfway through. They did a good job of developing the other characters in the show but then by the time you finish the series, you're expecting Season 2. Basically it felt like one giant introduction episode, introducing us to the characters and the plot, but then we never get to the real deal. As you can see, I don't have much to complain, this Anime has potential if they're able to get back to the main plot. I'm expecting them to give us a Season 2 ( I guess if Season 1 did well enough, the novel and manga are still going). It's a nice Anime to watch as long as you're not expecting a great deal out of it ( especially story wise, since it's obviously incomplete ). Perhaps by the time you read this Season 2 will be out. For now you can just await for the "Toaru Kagaku no Rail Gun" side story... read more
Aug 17, 2013
...courtesy of a Mr. Tōma Kamijō right fist. Sourced from Kazuma Kamachi's light novel franchise (and later, manga series), A Certain Magical Index follows the misfortunes of Kamijō when a rather eventful encounter with a nun hanging from his dorm room balcony throws headlong into friction-filled world of science and magic. Science, through Academy City, where he currently studies to realize his supposedly untapped potential as an esper. Magic, through Index, where he eventually ends up cares and protects her from forces that target her, in part, due to the 103,000 grimoires locked within the recesses of her photographic mind. And then there's his right hand, Imagine Breaker (Yes, he has a name for it), which has the mysterious congenital ability to negate any all paranormal and supernatural abilities that it comes in contact with. Produced by J.C. Staff, with direction by Hiroshi Nishikiori, script by Seishi Minakami and Masanao Akahoshi, and character designs, original and adaptation, by Kiyotaka Haimura and Yuichi Tanaka, respectively, it avoids an annoyingly lazy cop out common in a lot of contemporary low fantasy fiction: that science and magic are one and the same. Understanding that they are effectively separate allows for new avenues of potential in the setting to be explored.
One is that it allows the story to cover a wide range of interesting premises without the shackling constraints a tight system of logic. One on the magical end revolves around vampires, a girl, and the inadvertent destruction of her entire village that unwittingly turned, her family included. Another on the science spectrum revolves around clones, a girl, and the inadvertent massacre of over 10,000 of them for an experiment. Two is that it permits the story to set up a rich, multilayered universe that facilitates exchanges of the two sides that are both intra and well as inter, among as well as between. Academy City as well as other research communities scattered throughout serve as the domains of science, while the multiple denominations of the Church serve as the realms of magic. For those both sides who know that both worlds exist, their reactions toward each other come about as mixed relationships of either cooperation, tolerance, or animosity. Speaking of which, three is that it prompts the story to hover around a rather engaging overall natural antagonism. In other words, it sets the stage for a grand scale sense of intrigue. The underlying tension between these two powers remains in constant danger of roiling and boiling over, threatening the shakily established truce that allows sorcerers and psychics to survive without constantly being at each others throats.
A couple other things commendable about Index are its OPs and EDs. The OPs and EDs, respectively, keep to one particular artist group, though they all cover one particular musical theme. While the pacing and atmosphere for OP1 and OP2, “PSI-missing” and “masterpiece” by Kawada Mami, are drastically different, the former more mellow and melancholy than the latter, which is more dynamic and climactic, they both have that techno feeling that matches the show's technologically advanced setting: radio noise, voice distancing, auto- tuning, irregular rhythm lagging, and/or abnormal beat skipping, among other separate electronic embellishments by the keyboard, electric guitar, drum set, and synth. ED1 and ED2 “Rimless ~Fuchinashi no Sekai~” or “Rimless ~ Rimless World ~” and “Chigaikoto ~ Sukoshi Dake Mō Ichido ~” or “Oath ~ Just a Bit, One More Time ~” by IKU have the same techno add-ins, but come off more mellow and relaxed. My favorite, though has to be ED2, because I just prefer straight old singing. The electronic embellishments, which can admittedly muck up the melody at times, complements the vocals in this song quite nicely by adding a sense of breathe and broadness.
Bear in mind, though, the term “potential.” I wouldn't be able to comprehend much even if it was possible to prove on paper, but since the show tries to present esper abilities as a matter of physics, I can do this much to explain my critique on Index. You have the sum total of Index's premises as an object on the very top of a flight of stairs. Compared to the ground below, it has a relatively large amount of potential, or potential energy when placed on the edge of a flight of stairs. That potential energy is utilized when force pushes the sac down the stairs, converting that potential energy to execution, or kinetic energy. Yet the force was only so great and proper as for the object to drop a few steps before coming to a full stop. Relative to the ground, a significant amount of potential energy remains. Why? Because it was a weak ass push. Or rather, because it's poorly written. Not to the point where the plot doesn't make any serious sense, but to the point that it unravels in such a ridiculous fashion that it's hard to take seriously. For a show that indulges a lot of action, there's an awful lot of talking that occurs back and forth in during those segments, their goals, their abilities, how they're really going to bust each others' shits this time if they don't desist, to the point where the participants should just go ahead and share their life stories, dating preferences, and money saving tips over stew while they're at it. The money part especially, since the decent visuals are what probably took up much of the show's budget. One scene had Kamijo looking like he was running in place during a fight for about a minute while his opponent spoke on. Basically, there's a lack of urgency where the context so desperately requires it. What isn't lacking is the amount of exposition that was needed to define each character and situation the audience is introduced to to make the developments in the show comprehensible to follow. Because we are, more or less, told rather than shown who so and so is and what so and so means, it makes it that much more difficult to emotionally invest ourselves it in what's happening to who. This especially pertains to our main male protagonist whenever he touts off one of his sermons, sermons which blur the line between righteousness and self-righteousness, because at the end of the day, he usually has to smack someone to get the point across. It might be because the pacing for each arc was rushed, but it also might be due to how much time is wasted trying to initially show something gimmicky instead of solid, a major offender of this being Index herself, who's, funnily enough, a lot of bite, literally speaking, among other things, yet little bite, metaphorically speaking, to show on her own. There's myriad conveniences that the show likes to throw to advance the plot at the expense of belief, like how Kamijo can magically... scratch that, scientifically reattach a severed arm with seemingly no permanent consequence to his health. There's the fan service, which is so obnoxiously shoehorned in at times that it stomps whatever semblance of belief remained with spiked shoes. Or would you prefer a bare foot? Or feet, considering the show also has harem undertones?
It was poorly executed, poorly written, poorly planned... I've concluded as much. But all in all, in spite of its setbacks, Index has so much potential in the premise and setting that the portions of the show that weren't quite as messed up stood out quite positively. Hopefully, future productions of this franchise will utilize better scripting.
I give A Certain Magical Index a 6 out of 10. read more
May 1, 2013
The story itself is nothing unusual or spectacular, ordinary boy gets caught into amazing and dangerous secrets of the world, but I find the "ordinary boy" part to be quite arguable, as the hero, Kamijou Touma, was born with a special ability called "Imagine Breaker" that can cancel any form of supernatural or magical phenomenon and lives in a sci-fi city full of students that go through ESP development curriculum to gain supernatural abilities of various types.
Many describe the plot as science vs magic and later on that does come true, but for the beginning of the series, it's mostly about Touma and his allies fighting enemies from both sides, each with their own personal agenda.
Toaru is full of cliche characters, but they're well applied and I personally think that matters way more than being innovative, but if cliches turn you off, take this as a warning. Many characters really felt like they could be actual people (ignoring the ridiculous get-ups they use of course) and some of them go through some pretty good developments, the most notable ones being former villain Accelerator and Touma himself.
For me the selling point about Toaru is its mood, the feeling it gives that this is an actual world, and despite having a focus, there are other stories going on in other places with other people, and having side characters that actually can be sympathized with and aren't treated as mere tools, although it has some that aren't treated this well too, for the most part I enjoy most of the characters and actually want to see them pull through.
The protagonist is still the center though, so how does Touma fares? Well, if you have something against idealistic heroes you might not really care for him, as he's a paragon of idealism, but he's constantly accompanied by people with more realistic points of view than his own. If you do however like this type, you'll probably enjoy the speeches he gives to his enemies, to refute their claims even if he himself thinks they have valid points. I personally liked very much how he doesn't simply beat the antagonists up and call it a day, he has to put his 2 cents on the matter first.
The fight scenes and concepts behind the ESP powers and Magic of this world were also really fun in my opinion, but some fights did feel a little awkward and the animation is just average sometimes, overall they're still very good and most of the confrontations had me fully interested, especially the ones that were more tactical fights than fist to fist.
To sum it up, Toaru has its flaws but none too important to really ruin all the good points it has, and if you find yourself liking the show for reasons similar to mine, I would really suggest you check out the novels, especially for the part where it shows the thought process of the characters a lot more than the anime. read more
Apr 9, 2011
-Terrible execution of said concept
Having a world of science and magic and one boy that sort of stands between them is interesting...in theory. His ability to nullify powers and the abilities of other characters could all have come together to create some epic battle scenes and stories...but why would they do that when they could just completely cop out? Instead of a story with twists and turns and deep meaning, the makers of this series (whoever you consider that to be) decided to make something where the main character wins every time via a holier-than-thou attitude and hax.
Here is the formula for this show:
1.There's a bad guy(s) with amazing powers and a damsel that needs saving (or at least the main character decides that she does).
2. The main character attempts to save the damsel, despite having practically no power in comparison to the enemy.
3. Main character gets whooped UNTIL he gives a long, drawn out, repetitive, hackneyed speech about how much his opponent sucks and how they aren't good enough and need to be happier/kinder/more thoughtful.
4. He magically beats the snot out of them with his glorious fists of virtue.
5. Damsel falls in love with him. Oh, and throw in some fanservice/the main character getting beaten up by one of his numerous love interests somewhere.
One thing that bothers me the most about this anime is how logic apparently doesn't apply to it. One antagonist in particular needs to do complex calculations in his mind to use his powers—calculations that can be pretty challenging with a calculator and a formula in front of your face—yet they seriously want me to believe that he's beaten by the main character because the main character "has street fighting skills"? The enemy doesn't even have to get near him to attack for God's sake! Sure, he can nullify some of his enemy's power, but with only his right hand to null attacks I'm fairly positive that his enemy could have come up with SOMETHING to counter that. "Oh, but the opponent relies too much on his power and thinks he's unbeatable." Yeah, but do you truly believe that after someone realized the person that they're fighting could cancel out their power that they wouldn't think of a way to avoid getting close to them? That someone would have to be a moron. And really, all of the people who want the main character dead just keep using the same tactics? "What, he can cancel out all powers and has beaten every single thing we've thrown at him? Well, send out another magic user/esper after him. It's bound to work eventually." NO, NO IT'S NOT. Is it really that hard to hire a freelancing goon to make him disappear? I think not. Honestly, it's enough to make you...well, rant on MAL. Another thing is how the girls, without fail, always. need. saving. Many of them have powers vastly superior to his, yet they still need him to, what? Be moral? What does he have that they don't, other than lack of a likable personality and of powers?
The best parts of this show are probably the fight scenes...if you put them on mute when the main character starts talking. Actually, the best ones usually don't involve him because all he does is use the same moves over and over again, like a five-year-old playing a fighting game and only pressing x.
Is the show horrendous? No. Is it infuriating? Yes. Is it entertaining? Yes. Addicting? At times, adding to the infuriation.
Overall this most certainly isn't the worst thing I've ever seen, but the glaring flaws definitely brought out a lot of rage. If what I've mentioned previously doesn't bother you in a series and you're considering watching it, go for it I suppose. Although you should also be warned that his main female counterpart, Index, is also painfully obnoxious, so beware. read more
Mar 23, 2009
Story: The premise of To Aru Majutsu no Index (Index from now on) had me intrigued from the beginning, a story which is based on a science vs magic/religion is the type of plot I can really get into. However the way the story is executed turned the anime into something that could have been a great show with a deep and interesting plot into an anime with long and confusing dialogue that was so in love with its own world that you would wish everyone would stop talking for at least 1 minute. The action that the show would offer you would often get interrupted by more explanation and exposition about the situation and it would hurt the pacing and momentum that the show itself built. The story itself is also very "episodic" in a way. The show has been segmented into many different mini-arcs which followed a pretty basic 2-3 episode long outline:
- Main character gets dragged into a weird situation
- Main character finds an antagonist behind the events
- Main character and antagonist fight
- Main character wins but ends up in the hospital
I am not joking every arc on this anime ends with the main character hospitalized. However despite all these details the story of the anime can still be enjoyable and interesting at times.
Animation: I have no complains with the animation on this anime. It is very well made and its very flashy when in comes to battles and backgrounds. This is a good looking anime.
Music: Apart from the great OP songs from the ever-sweet Kawada Mami. There is not much else to say about the sound department on Index. It does the job well enough.
Characters: Another one of the issues I have with the anime is the way the characters are handled. The actual characters on the show are all interesting on their own way however the anime is only fixated on the main MALE lead Touma, while every other character takes a supporting role cast. In every arc we see Touma encounter a new character, and for those 2-3 episode we see the new character and Touma be the focus of the show but once that is over we barely ever see that character again, or it only lurks in the background. This condition is so extreme not even the "main" female character Index, whose name is on the anime title, escapes this reality. For the first 4-5 episodes we are introduced and aquainted with Index, however past that point she is almost non existent and is only shown for the sake of having at least the most minimal screen time on each episode. Such threatement for the characters really lessened the enjoyment I could've had watching this show.
Enjoyment: Even though i have mostly complained here, I still liked this anime. Im a little sad that it didnt live up to its full potential but its not a bad show on its own right.
Overall: Despite the terrible handling of the characters and the story, To Aru Majutsu no Index manages to be an entertaining show for those who enjoy magic and supernatural abilities. And I would recommend it for anyone who wants to kill time. read more
Jun 2, 2013
The first thing of note is the flow of the anime, or rather, the seeming lack thereof. You are first thrown into this very compelling, if not epic, storyline that sets the show up with a ton of potential. You have 2 major organizations in the series: the science side, Academy City (Home of the espers) and the Magic side, Religion (Home of the Mages). The protagonist of the series, Kamijou Touma, is a student in Academy city who poses the ability to nullify any supernatural power his right hand comes in contact with. Touma ends up meeting a unique young girl named Index, who claims to have the contents of 103,000 powerful grimoires memorized, and power-hungry mages want dibs on this knowledge. Alright, cool. After 6 episodes of some pretty compelling story and set-up, suddenly the preceding events cease to hold much importance. Index, the promising plot-generator, becomes a little more than comedic relief and the story set up until now is barely, in round-about ways, touched upon. As the series continues, each event seems rather disconnected from each other. What gives?
The above observation is what I believe causes people to lose interest in the series. But, a bit a research sheds some light onto why the story is told this way, and realizing this information made the series much more enjoyable for me. You see, unlike many Animes, Majutsu no Index is based off a (lengthy) series of light novels instead of a manga. The difference between the 2 is while each chapter of a manga is a continuation of the last, each volume in a light novel is intended to be read as a separate story: plots that have an introduction, conflict, and then a conclusion. Each essential "arc" of Majutsu no Index is an animated version of each volume of the light novel series. So why did this series get animated?
The thing about this series is that is actually does have a compelling, detailed, continuous plot; but not until much later. The first few novels act as prologues for this plot, and slowly but surely start the start building the needed details. Unfortunately for the viewers, this means the whole first season of Index is nothing more but a large and convoluted prologue to something much bigger. Bummer. However, it is important to note that I found the series to be much more enjoyable when you expect to see a bunch of mini plots instead of 1 continuous story. It's very much akin to Higuarshi no Naku Koro ni, and to a degree, Cowboy Bebop, Gintama, and detective Conan's perspective on storytelling.
Alright, so how good are these "arcs"? I'd give a general 7/10 overall throughout the series. They are enjoyable, but they don't hold the depth one might want to see from an anime. The series tends to follow a formula for the first 6-10 novels or so: Some character relevant to the immediate plot is introduced, some conflict surrounds this character, Touma gets thrown into the conflict, Touma confronts the antagonist, antagonists explain their reasons, Touma preaches morals to them and then proceeds to punching out the conflict with his magical right fist. Meh.
While formulaic (mostly), this is also part of the charm of the series. You see, in Majutsu no Index, there is no "ultimate" evil the protagonist is trying to defeat. The are good and bad aspects of both sides. We are introduced to the bad aspect of the Religious side quite early on, but a bit further the dark side of Academy city is hinted at as well. Throughout the first season, the viewers are left in a position where they really can't decide if the "boss" of Academy city is good or evil. Everything is washed with a shade of grey. This is a good part of storytelling, and receives a plus in my book.
The real strength of Majutsu no Index, I feel, is the character interaction. The characters are not profoundly unique in any respect, but they are detailed enough that entertaining dialogue can be exchanged at a decent rate. You see, in this series, between the main conflicts are little snippets of a slice-of-life anime, and Index does these exchanges well. While it's always fun to see Touma overcome a tough opponent, it is very easy to get lost in the pace of the slice-of-life conversations, which are sprinkled with comedy and character-development throughout. Setting the main-character's power to backfire on his everyday life by blessing him with abnormal bad luck is a sure way to have some interesting situations, but entertaining nonetheless.
While the story makes some amazing progress, such as connecting seemingly disconnected events together, introducing some really interesting characters and events, and transitioning the story to follow 3 protagonists and their different perspectives instead of a normal 1, it unfortunately happens after the events of this season, and thus cannot be considered in this evaluation. As a stand alone anime, The first season of Index cannot show off the series' whole potential, and is hurt because of it.
Story - 6
Art - 7
Sound - 8
Characters - 8
Enjoyment - 8
Overall - 37/50 = 0.74 = 7 out of 10. read more
Feb 2, 2013
It's somewhat apt that I happened to choose that as the opening quote to this review, because it really does sum up To Aru Majutsu no Index rather nicely - that is, an anime filled with misfortune.
Initially, Index got off to an...interesting start, it wasn't particularly bad, nor was it particularly good either, it was just interesting. We are introduced to our main character Touma, rather interestingly, Touma is not the stereotypical useless protagonist so often seen in shows like Index; don't get me wrong, at his core, he's just a variation on the plain nice guy, but this nice guy also happens to have one of the most overpowered abilities in the history of fiction: the ability to negate literally any form of supernatural ability that happens to come his way with his right hand.
However cool it is to have a main character who has an ability that, in most cases, is reserved for the most powerful of powerful enemies, having this power also presents a couple of immediate problems for the show, the first of which being that there is near enough no risk whatsoever when Touma fights; it doesn't matter what the situation is, Touma will undoubtedly get out of it using his hand of God (a rather ironic statement if you've actually seen the show), as shown during the Accelerator and Sherry Cromwell fights, you could quite literally throw the most powerful supernatural abilities at this guy and he will negate them instantly. Consequently, this also makes none of his fights remotely interesting if they have anything to do with supernatural abilities, as he will just spam his Deus Ex Machina ability repeatedly in order to get out of whatever predicament he's in.
Our other main character is Index, and the moment she is introduced to the show, things immediately go downhill, and it's not just her character (which I'll get back to later), the show itself breaks two rules of writing that should never be broken:
1) It throws out lots of random terminology.
2) The story doesn't go anywhere.
That first one is a trap the writer fell into all too fast, right from Index's introduction we are suddenly given an influx of terminology that we are supposed to remember, things like "Necessarius", "Dedicatus545", "Johann's Pen", "Imagine Breaker", "Judgment", "Esper" and "Anti-Skill" just to name a few out of the dozens of terms that populate Index's world, there is literally no point in trying to remember them all, especially not the magic spells which are frankly ridiculous in terms of naming length. Now, as you no doubt know, throwing out random terminology in the hopes that some of it will stick does NOT make a story, frankly, they're nothing but a bunch of meaningless words that are, at most, given a three line explanation as to what they actually mean. Worse still, the terminology doesn't stop, and we are continuously hammered with terms that make it seem like the show is ridiculously complex and would take nothing short of a quantum physicist to understand everything that goes on. Don't get me wrong, there are shows that have done exactly what Index did, Haruhi is guilty of it, Shakugan no Shana is most definitely guilty of it, but the major difference between those two shows and this one is that Shana and Haruhi actually made progress in their story.
Which brings me onto my other point.
The biggest problem with Index is that the story doesn't go anywhere - at all. The first series does nothing more than introduce certain characters, and give out lots of random side stories that do nothing but hinder what little progress the story makes; there are literally only three arcs in Index that actually serve to deliver something that's beneficial to the story at all, those being the first arc, the Sisters arc and the finale. Admittedly, the character development that Accelerator received in his own little stand alone arc was rather good, but one character getting developed when there are more characters and terms than the writers can keep track of is nothing but a minutely small achievement when there's so much that the story has to tell. Honestly, it's hard to tell what exactly is going on in Index half the time, there are arcs in which characters that were key in the beginning are totally swept aside, arcs in which characters I thought were nothing more than minor extras are reintroduced and are suddenly given total importance (with absolutely no foreshadowing whatsoever), and, of course, a beach episode.
None of this is helped by some of the worst writing I've ever seen. There's bad writing, then there's bad writing and then there's To Aru Majutsu no Index. There are several times in which a character is delivering a monologue that not only seems completely out of context, they're usually random and worse still, they don't make sense. An example of one such monologue is in the first arc of the series, Touma happens to be engaging in life or death combat with a character who happens to be hunting Index, Touma, our ever rational hero, then proceeds to start a speech about friendship that not only doesn't make sense, but somehow wins over said villain; it's one moment of utter stupidity amongst hundreds of others in Index. The lapses in logic in Index only get worse as the series goes along, this is not helped by the plot holes that the series induces upon itself later on in the series (especially in the beach episode), and we're left with a series that certainly seems to want to do something with all its terminology and characters, it's just abstaining vehemently from doing so.
On the flip-side of this, Index does at least look okay, which is surprising considering that this is J.C. Staff animating here. The character designs look good, the spells and abilities look pretty decent, and the fights look nice as well; it's definitely not perfect, there are several times in the series in which the quality of the animation dips drastically, and several abilities lack the impact that they should considering how powerful they're meant to be, which is more along the lines of what I've come to expect from J.C. Staff. Oh and the fan-service, it would most definitely not be complete without the fan-service.
As for the sound, the main themes are generic and utterly forgettable at the end of the day, and the rest of the OST is passable at best, there's no major stand-out themes in it so I won't dwell. The voice actors do nothing more than an average job, the already bad writing delving further into horrible melodrama due to some of the female seiyuu coming out with really hollow performances at times; the only two voice actors who deserve a mention are Yuka Iguchi as Index and Nobuhiko Okamoto as Accelerator, both of which are here for very opposite reasons. Iguchi is mentioned because she manages to turn Index from a generic loli-tsundere, into a horrendously annoying one; her performance as Index is tantamount to taking pieces of broken chalk and scratching them down a chalkboard. As for Okamoto, he manages to deliver a performance as Accelerator that captures his sadistic personality rather well, and also manages to act well in the scenes when Accelerator isn't finding new ways to deflect people with his vectors.
One last thing about the voice acting, try listening to the many Misaka clones keep repeating "Misaka Misaka" all the time, I guarantee that you will never want to hear that name ever again.
And now the characters, they're a rather interesting bunch, each having some form of cool ability or special magical power that's almost interesting enough to make you want to see what it does.
Nearly every single one of them is characterised horribly.
As mentioned before, Touma is a variation on the stereotypical useless hero, but don't let that "variation" part fool you, he's just as idiotic and naive as nearly every single other character in this archetype. Fueled by his idiotic need to save every person around him regardless of the risk to his own life - oh wait, that statement is redundant considering who he is - Touma's only real saving grace is that he can actually do something rather than get overshadowed by a far superior female lead.
Accelerator is hands down the best character in the show; he is after all the only character to receive some good character development, and manages to be as sadistic and twisted as I first imagined him to be. He's deeper than he actually first appears, has a cool ability, and watching his stand alone arc made me think that somehow Index was about to improve.
There are many people who believe Mikoto to be the best character in the show; unfortunately, I cannot agree with this statement as Mikoto doesn't remain the focus of the show anywhere near enough to warrant the term "best character", not to mention she's somewhat inconsistent, developing tsundere characteristics whenever the plot feels it to be appropriate then dropping them as the story demands only for them to appear again at random intervals. Her characterisation in Index is nothing more than very mediocre at best and if you really want to have a better opinion of her, it's much easier to watch To Aru Kagaku no Railgun (which is actually much better than Index anyway).
The rest of the cast (aside from Index who I'll cover in a moment) are a random bunch of almost remotely interesting characters, and most of them hit the stereotypes rather well, there's plenty of loli's in the show, a lesbian, big boobs, blonde haired delinquents...nearly every single stereotype is hit at some point by Index.
And the titular character in the title is the biggest offender of them all.
Index is not just a bad character, she is the worst type of loli-tsundere around. My argument for why I think tsunderes are bad would have to be Index, she is perhaps one of the most ungrateful little brats in animation, whose only real purpose is to make the main characters life worse, and more than likely win in the harem that he forms (I neglected to mention that, but oh well). There are very few characters I want to see die more than Index, in fact, if I had the chance, I would personally ensure that she does get killed off - and I would be the one doing the killing. She somehow manages to make every episode she's in worse (this isn't helped by her appalling voice actor) and I saw her turning into a loli-tsundere 5 episodes before she actually did. Index is the kind of character that needs to be slapped repeatedly until she understands that she's a bad character, then slapped some more for good measure; frankly the one redeeming thing about the random side stories is that she doesn't feature prominently in them (if at all).
I will admit, To Aru Majutsu no Index has its moments; the way that the story is structured means you can marathon through an arc and come back to it without really forgetting where you are in the story - wait, that statement is redundant too. And despite my major gripes with the writing and characters, Index is hugely enjoyable, if I was to base my score for this series based off enjoyment, this would be a very different review.
It's just a shame that isn't the case.
In summary, Index is an anime that suffers from poor writing, an extreme lack of story and poor characters (as well as characterisation), and manages to carve itself into a level of anime that's usually only reserved for travesties like Mars of Destruction - it has its moments sure, but then again nearly every anime does.
What a waste. read more
Oct 8, 2011
This anime is a very safe option if you're; fairly new to anime, don't have high expectations of the series (things can only get better type of disposition) or you're confident you can't get enough of the; superpower anime with a basic plot, layback male lead, tsundere female, moe girls - type of series.
If the above sounds familiar, yet not in a good way, then avoid this series, as many well-used wirting tools are present:
- passive male we're suppose to belive is the 'underdog' dispite being the main quickly proves himself
- a tsundere female who behaves in a bratty, irratic manner for no particular reason
- a cute magic girl with a mystery past who is in need of protecting
- there's always a method in which a writer can avoid killing off a character who should be dead
- though the girls aren't entirley defenceless, they must become damzels in distress in order for the male to protect them
- good over evil - you're in the wrong! + power of love/friendship + "I'll protect her"
Though I'm aware many people find the above traits cute, so if this appeals; tune in.
Again, great starter anime, yet nothing too special IMO.
My spelling is awful by the way. ;) read more
Aug 20, 2013
The 2 season anime were released between 2008-2011 and a movie released in February this year.
A Certain Magical Index is set in a world where supernatural abilities are a reality. While some individuals known as Espers possess special powers gained since birth, other individuals denominated Magicians gain their powers upon mastering the power of symbolism, be it from obtaining knowledge from special books known as Grimoires or by using special magic artifacts. While several Magician cults align themselves with ancient religions, Esper powers are usually developed by experimentation and training, thus they are usually aligned with scientific institutions. This leads to a power struggle between magic and science factions for control of the world.
The story is set in Academy City, a technologically advanced city located in western Tokyo, known for its educational and research institutions. Tōma Kamijō is a student in Academy City whose right hand, the Imagine Breaker, has the ability to negate any supernatural powers, but also negates his own luck, much to his chagrin who meets a young girl named Index who is a nun from Necessarius, a secret magic branch of the Church of England, and her mind has been implanted with the Index Librorum Prohibitorum—103,000 forbidden magical books the Church has removed from circulation. His encounter with her leads him to meet others from the secret worlds of science and magic and an adventure with his friends where both collide. Tōma's unusual power places him at the center of conflicts relating magicians and science-based espers in Academy City. As Tōma tries to help and protect his friends, he learns the people he knows are not as they appear and begins to attract the attention of magicians and espers alike as they try to unravel the secrets behind Academy City, Index and his own special power.
Story-10: Okay, after watching the first few episodes of the series i was overwhelmed by all the information being thrown at me, it left me confused and i nearly gave up on the series, but i stuck through...and my god it was worth it.
After the first few confusing episodes, the story started to space out and add more humour to the plot, for example; Index and Toma talking about food and when Toma refuses to buy her anything, she starts trying to eat him which is a recurring theme throughout both series and is always funny to watch, and i was able to enjoy the personalities and relationships between characters without worrying about having more information thrown at me in colossal chunks again, during this 'break' period (because there are multiple occasions you'll find yourself wondering what they're blabbering on about) is when i started to gain an emotional attachment to Misaka and Index, and as every anime fan knows, once you're attached you will keep watching to find out their fate, right? and thats exactly when i admired the story for what it is, and considering anything i say about the story will be a minor spoiler at least, you'll just have to experience it for yourself.
Art-8: The art is fantastic from any angle you look at it, however, despite the crisp looking and vastly colourful looking animation, its not my type, and i'm very cynical of what male characters look like, and in my opinion, our unfortunate protagonist could have been designed to compete with the more 'handsome' anime characters like Zero from Vampire Knight for example, his appearance and 2D personality makes me wonder exactly what does Misaka see in him? (although his lack of social skills makes a rather amusing scene every now and again) but other than that, the magic battles and alike are spot on what i'd expect from a big budget franchise like this one.
Sound-8: Not much i can say on this one as 3/4 of an AVERAGE episode has magic spells flying about the screen like a fly thats just been sprayed by a can of anti-bug, and my lack of knowledge as to what a REAL fireball sounds like makes this alot more tricky, however, the japanese voice actors are very very good, as youd expect from the japanese actors/actresses, sadly i havent got a chance to watch the english dub version of this series, but ive heard good reviews about it, so how bad can it be? The sound quality is also very good, although the music can be a bit too loud when Toma is giving his overview at the end of the episode.
Character-9: All the characters play their own part in the overall humour of the show; Toma is always found in outrageous situations due to his bad luck, Misaka's roommater Kuroko often does stupid and surreal things to attract the attention of Misaka, Toma is always the 'straight man' in the Toma-Index relationship with Index bossing him about and trying to eat him in every episode.
The characters (except Stiyl Magnus and Tsuchimikado) are all well flushed out and fit well into the story with their unique personalities, back stories and links to each other , the reason i didnt give the 'character' section a solid 10/10 is because a certain red haired gentleman does something unnecessary and quite frankly stupid in the second season, and with no real motive to back him up, no real back story, his actions just felt really pointless.
Enjoyment-10: After a ton of confusing episodes dotted all over the 48 episode series (and judging by the ending of the second season, there will be at least one more season) and reflecting upon the motives of all the character's actions; ESPECIALLY Accelerator's, i came to a sudden realisation that i had just finished watching an absolute masterpiece, and the magic part? i didnt even realise just how good this series actually was until it was all over, and thats something you dont get alot from shallow anime series you see lately, however, if you're looking for any romance, ecchi or love triangles, look elsewhere, because although its obvious that at some point our clumsy protagonist will end up with one of the main characters, no progress has been made between them at all.
All in all this series has alot (borderline too much) story, magic and characters, if you want a relaxing anime to watch, one where you dont have to remember something from episode 6 when you're watching episode 30, then, again, dont go near this anime, because its requires you to absorb every last piece of information given to you, and even then, you probably wont expect whatll happen at the end of the episode, but isnt that just amazing? I hope you guys will take on this adventure, you will not regret it at all. read more
Dec 19, 2009
The story revolves around Kamijyo Touma, a high schooler who suffers from misfortune due to his right arm, which can dispel any kind of magic or supernatural anomaly. The story is split into different chapters, each of which involve Touma beating the crap out of someone with his Imagine Breaker. Don't let Index's name in the title fool you, the story only revolves around her in the first chapter, while she becomes somewhat of a background character in the other ones. The stories by themselves are exceptionally well-done and enjoyable, but when they're tied together, the overall story is somewhat lacking. It appeared that a certain person in a certain tube was behind everything and had a big evil plan, but it felt like the anime got cut off before it went into specifics.
The artwork is decent, but nothing special. It is exactly what you would expect from J.C. Staff. There are times when the animation exceeds expectations, like in the Innocentius fight, but there are also times when the quality drops, like Kuroko in the 2nd opening.
The openings are very fresh since they break away from the anime pop norms by using edgy techno with distorted animation. They are very fast-paced and get you excited for the episode, and fit very well with the theme of the anime. If nothing else, the openings just scream "This anime is going to be badass."
Characters have little time to develop, since it seems that each character shows up as a main character/villain for one chapter, then make minor character appearances in the other chapters. Also, Touma preaches a lot to pretty much every bad guy he meets, but it didn't bother me much since those types of main characters are extremely common.
The anime is enjoyable at times, but there are certain moments where it will get a little boring. The ending is by far the least enjoyable, due to things being left unexplained and a rushed attempt at a wrap up. read more