Set in a city of not only scientifically advanced superhuman students, but in a world where magic is also real. Kamijyo Touma's right hand, the Imagine Breaker, will negate all magic, psychic, or divine powers, as well as his own luck. One day he finds a young girl hanging on his balcony railing. She turns out to be a nun from the Church of England, and her mind has been implanted with the Index Librorum Prohibitorum—all the magical texts the Church has removed from circulation.
STORY: story of To Aru Majutsu no Index is long and complex. While at first it will look like every volume is a completely different story with little to no relations to another, later on all plot threads will slowly be put together and you will be surprised just how far into the future the writer planned certain plot threads.
Also, expect a lot of Scientific Exposition and Religious (especially Christian) symbolism.
ART: with this being a Light Novel, there is not much to say about the art tough most of illustrations are pleasant to the eye.
CHARACTERS: there are many characters in TAMNI, ranging from overpowered Espers and Mages to weak so called "Level 0's", most of them being unique from one another.
There are three main characters in the story:
Kamijou Touma - THE main character of the story. While being labeled a "Level 0", his power is Negation of other supernatural powers with his right hands... tough as the story goes on it becomes more and more obvious that there is more to the power that meets the eye.
Kamijou Touma himself is an unlucky guy who always ends up being dragged into some kind of mess concerning the Dark Side of various factions and being a true Hero (tough he never will admit to be anything more but a common person) he always chooses to help the good guys.
For many characters, especially later on in the story, he is the ideal that inspires them. They see him as a hero and inspired by his deeds, they gain unfaltering wish to fight against what is not right and for former villains, he is the list at the end of the tunnel on their road to redemption.
And thats his main role in the story: not to be a developing character with inner fights (that is left for others) but to be the ideal hero.
Accelerator - the most powerful Esper in the world. His power is the ability to control all kinds of vectors.
He starts as a villain early on, with more then 10 000 deaths on his hands. After his conflict with Kamijou Touma, the story of his redemption starts.
While being a mass murderer, Accelerator believes that "Pieces of shit that fell into the Dark Side" should fight only one another and never try to mix the innocent people into their games. So when he meets a girl that is target of many darksiders, he becomes her personal guardian and falls further and further into the dark side where he pleases us by giving evil villains their due.
However a question remains: can a villain protect an innocent life that is targeted by so much evil in the world?
Hamazura Shiage - while Accelerator is the strongest Esper, Shiage is a "Level 0". At beginning he is a member of a Level 0 group called Skill Out, a group that seeks to protect other 0's from Espers... and at the same time bully the Espers. As such, from the very beginning he is a dark-sider.
When Kamijou Touma beats him up, he leaves the Skill Out and becomes a grunt worker for ITEM, a dark side 4-member organization that uses illegal methods for good of the Academy City... or more exactly, for the good of their greedy and immoral leaders. There, he helps get rid of corpses and such.
But like Accelerator, he also will find someone that he wants to protect. And soon he will become an enemy of the Academy City. Can a powerless person like him protect himself, the girl he loves... as well as his friends... from the evil of the world they belong to... an evil that has powerful technology and Espers that would make armed soldiers shiver in fear?
SETTING: the story happens in a world similar to ours... with some exceptions.
First, in Japan there is a place called Academy City. That city is part of Tokyo and it is around 20 years ahead in technology. Their technology will never cease to amaze you, especially since it is nicely explained how it works.
It is also a place where people with supernatural powers called Espers are created, raised and researched. There are many different powers and you will always look forward to seeing those Espers in battle.
However, there is a dark side to this organization... brutal experiments over children, immoral scientists, mass murders, Soviet-like secret organization... all existing in shadows of people who just seek to lead a normal life... and that dark side threatens to make many victims world-wide...
Second, Magic exists and the world is mainly ruled by Religious organizations that act behind the scenes. Unlike the Academy City, these factions follow religious ideas rather then scientific and the spells the mages use are filled with religious symbolism. As a Christian myself I am amazed at how well the writer researched religion and how well he made it all work in this story.
There are hundreds of magical organizations but three are the main ones:
Anglican Purist Church or more exactly Necessarius - their main goal is witch-hunt and control of mages throughout the world. For most of the story, Kamijou Touma is their ally.
Like Academy City, they have a dark side which is mainly felt through their leader and some of their actions. While they were not villains through TAMNI, there is a high possibility they will be in TAMNI's sequel: TAMNI: New Testament.
Roman Catholic Church - most powerful organization in the world, claiming to have 2 billion followers.
But that size is also their greatest enemy and their primary goal is to hold Status quo in the world and use all means necessary to not let the Catholic power plummet. And because of that desperation, the dark side is powerful here and thus Kamijou Touma finds himself to be their enemy in most cases, weakenign their dark side little by little.
God's Right Seat - part of the Roman Catholic Church's dark side... and teh faction that actually leads the Roman Catholic Church.
It consists of four members, every of them wielding power of one of God's Archangel's (Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel and Michael).
Their main goal tough is not to protect Catholic Church but to sit right to the God... which means to become equal to him. Their leader will do anything for that goal, even if it means sacrificing millions of lives...
ENJOYMENT: TAMNI is definitely an enjoying read. It has everything you may want: action, Slice of Life, comedy, moral questioning, great characters, intriguing storyline, well built world... if you give this a try, there is really a great chance you will enjoy it.read more
This was one of the first light novels I read, which is why I was able to finish it in the first place. I don't really remember the details since I read a while ago, so I'll speak mostly of my impression.
The first 13 volumes of this novel are pretty dull. The author sets up a magnificent stage where magicians and higher technology coexist, but emphasizes only the magic part until about volume 16 for whatever reason. I'm fine with him writing about what interests him, but personally I find the science side to be much more interesting. He also invented some of the most creative physic powers I've seen. However, all these have greatly gone in waste due to immature writing and a lack of a central plot. He manages to turn everything around at around volume 16 and really sets up an epic final battle, but that happened too late.
Other than its wasted potential, I have 2 additional problems with this novel. Firstly, the author likes to tell many different stories simultaneously, which I call immature writing. This problem becomes particularly conspicuous during the later quarter of the novel where 4 or 5 groups of people are trying to do things at different places at similar times. The author simply writes a few pages for each group and immediately jumps to the story of another group which, for the most part, were unrelated. These mini side-stories do tie up in the end, but I easily lost track of the characters, what was happening, why they were trying to do what they're doing,... etc., and is in general a big minus that only dilutes my interest.
Secondly, the author creates a massive dichotomy between magic and science, where the magicians earn everything through hard work while the espers were just gifted. However he never truly develops this theme in depth. He sort of just told you, "here's something to think about..." and left it like that. In addition, the power of the MC pretty much defies any meaning he does manage to squeeze in, because it is just way too OP and out of place for the setting of this novel. I mean, almost every battle the MC was involved in boils down to he shit talking a bunch of crap, then he punches the villain. This in and of itself is a rather boring pattern for fights, not to mention how most of MC's shit talking was very idealistic.
Finally, if you're thinking of reading this because you saw the anime, expect shit art. don't even.
Overall, this story was interesting but too much potential wasted. I give this a 7/10. read more
Have you ever seen a cute girl in your favorite anime trip, falling to the ground unharmed but embarrassed, and felt the overwhelming desire to help her up? Congratulations, you've just encountered a dojikko. Let's take a closer look at this adorable anime archetype.