*to those who are too lazy to read and just want a quick summary, skip to the final paragraph*
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. =)~
"Then would you accompany me to the depth of hell?" - Index
"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.
To Aru Majutsu no Index (or TAMI for short) is the very definition of a generic anime. Theres nothing good here but its not necessarily bad. Some characters are likeable and entertaining but that makes up such a small percentage of the enormous cast that its just not worth it. TAMI is about a guy named Touma who lives in a city thats entire purpose is being a school for Espers (see: Psychics) although nobody actually reads minds and its more they all have a certain power. So nobody is psychic at all. Touma discovers a young girl hanging on his balcony whos a magician
being chased and he helps her. They become friends and have adventures. Thats TAMI in a nutshell, they tried having some main story throughout the whole thing but nothing important was revealed and the series couldnt keep a story arc going past 3 episodes. And thats where this show really falls to mediocrity. By constantly changing the focus of the story to some new threat and introducing 1-4 new characters every 3-5 episodes you lose the whole point of this series.
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
To Aru Majutsu no Index is an action, comedy set in a modern (or perhaps slightly futuristic) city called Academy City. The entire city is basically composed of several schools that teach the usage of Esper; a scientific kind of magic.
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!
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.
Story: There really is no story to this anime, just a bunch of cool and strange happenings that occur to a "weak" boy. The individual events would be a lot better had they been conveyed in a better manner.
Art: Perhaps the only strong point to this anime, the anime is detailed and well done. The motions are fluid, the colors are stonge and catch the eye, and shadings are well done. Not much else to say.
Sound: The music is typical and boring, just the kind of music one would skip to get to the anime. It is stereotypical music of the action anime, with not
much thought put into it except probably "Hey, that sounds cool!"
Characters: The characters are okay, with the main character being, actually, quite unlikable. He's one of those characters with no feeling, and somehow always has the solution with failure. The only twist, he was annesia, typical of the usual soap opera. : P
"I, have annesia" (Calculon, Futurama)
The other characters, some of them completely random and unnessasary, don't get enough airtime. Index, probably the only likable character, is only displayed in the first arc, and then only gets cameos, (although she is a main character, cough cough).
Enjoyment: I personally don't find this anime very enjoyable, it is bland and completely boring at times, and only has a few scenes that remotely catch my interest.
The beef on the plate before you smells wonderful. Its color indicates that it has spent just about the right amount of time on the grill. Surrounded by finely cooked and cut potatoes and some vegetables for the fresh taste's sake, with a glass of delicious wine towering nearby, the seemingly delicious meat only waits for you to enjoy your meal.
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.
Toaru Majutsu no Index starts off strong, but quickly fizzles out. I, like many others, was intrigued by the fantastic world described in the first few episodes, a world where everybody has a superpower, as well as the mystery surrounding the title character. Sadly, the series fails to deliver a single solid story past the first arc and stumbles blindly onward to a barely sub-par ending.
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.
+ 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...
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.
Ever since people started thinking, gathering in groups and building villages and cities, there was always the one question that some people asked themselves and even though most people probably didn't really care in the first place, they later started asking the same questions. It was a matter of time until that question was raised. "What are we?", "Where do we come from?", "Why are we on earth?", are the ones I am talking about and one answer became popular quickly: God! Religion was founded in the early days and while having it hard at first, the religion that in the end came out on
top in the western world was Christianity. Not always through peaceful means, but they somehow managed to make people believe them. But the church doesn't really have the monopole of answering these questions. Science did not always played a role as big as it does now, hell it even was forbidden to oppose the church by using science for some time! The war between science and church though has always been going on, Galilei, who was imprisoned for spreading the truth he found out through scientific mediums, probably is the best example for it and while it certainly did cool down a lot, there probably are still people fighting about it right now! Ladies and Gentlemen, today's topic shall be the Anime with the oh so interesting topic of science and church, Today's topic is To Aru Majutsu no Index!
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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To Aru Majutsu no Index is yet another anime adaptation by JC Staff based on a light novel series published by ASCII Media Works. This is a show that has as many good things as it does bad things.
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.
After watching (and enjoying) A Certain Scientific Railgun, I was very excited to start this show. Railgun is meant to be as a spinoff for one of the side characters in Index, so I was very curious to see what the main story actually is. To my dismay, however, I learned that Index, despite being the main story, is overwhelmingly average and mediocre compared to Railgun. I doubt I would have enjoyed this at all if there weren't any of the side characters from Railgun to keep things somewhat interesting.
Much like most anime that I have gripes with, my main two issues are the story
and the characters. Let's begin with the story: in a single word, I would describe it as disjointed. The story is split into several small arcs that feel like they have very little to do with one another; in addition, none of the arcs are particularly interesting (aside from the one that featured the MC from Railgun). The "magic" side of the show feels generic and offers absolutely nothing new to anyone who has ever seen any show like this. Overall, most of the episodes failed to keep my interest.
The characters are my other biggest problem, or more specifically the character motivations. The main character is basically copy-pasted from any other superpower harem anime and he has a martyr complex to the point of attempting to sacrifice himself every chance he gets for a character (usually a girl) that he literally just met. And of course, on the other side of this, every girl he meets ends up inexplicably developing feelings for him because he seems to care so much and because fuck it he's the main character. Almost none of the characters are developed and the majority of them are not interesting.
This series ultimately serves as a far inferior complement to the much more enjoyable and well-written A Certain Scientific Railgun. If I hadn't enjoyed Railgun so much I likely would've dropped this fairly quickly. Although an anime doesn't need to have complex/interesting characters to be enjoyable (see: Hataraku Maou-Sama!), nor does it need to have a particularly original story, not having either ends up only further exposing the flaws of the show. And this show certainly had many flaws exposed.
I decided to watch "A Certain Magical Index" after finishing both Railgun and Railgun S. I just finished watching the series yesterday and I thought it was decent. Not the best anime as people claimed it to be...
The story is set in Academy City, a city with a 2.8 million population; 80% of them are students training to become an esper. The story is focused on Touma, who has an ability in his right hand called Imagine Breaker. One day, Touma meets a young English girl named Index who is a nun from Necessarius. Her brain is filled with 103,000 forbidden magical books.
are 6 arcs for this season which is called "Index", "Deep Blood", "Sisters", "Angel Fall", "Three Stories" and "Kazakiri Hyouka". What do you get when you shove down 6 arcs in one season? A rushed out plot with plot holes. I admit, the story was ok but at the same time, it was very confusing. Every time an arc ends, it left me with a lot of questions. They should have focused on 2-3 arcs per season instead of 6 arcs. Each arcs were just rushed out and too quick. For example, the Sisters Arc which I absolutely loved in Railgun S was a disappointing arc here in Index. It only lasted for about 5 episodes whereas in Railgun S, it lasted for 17 episodes.
There are 2 sides in this show. The Religion side and the Scientific side. The religion side consists of people or sorcerers who use magics and believe in God. The Scientific side consists of espers who can use abilities. The anime shows both sides but is more focused on the Religion side.
The animation is ok. A bit choppy on some occasions and some character designs looks weird. Considering this was made back in 2008, I guess it's acceptable.
The soundtrack for this anime is mostly the same as the one I heard in "A Certain Scientific Railgun". I thought the soundtrack was great in Railgun so it's the same here. However, the opening soundtrack is not that great. The 1st OP was ok but the 2nd OP was horrible. The ending soundtrack is somewhat better. The 1st ED is horrible and the 2nd ED is a lot better.
The only section this anime was very good at. The characters. The characters were hilarious and each one of them had their own distinct personality that is likable. Each one of them also got a character development but it didn't take that long to actually know these characters. Now to introduce some of the MC.
Touma is the main protagonist of the show. He possesses an ability in his right hand called "Imagine Breaker" that can nullify any ability or magic that he touches. However, he is a LV. 0 esper.
Index is one of the main characters of the show. She is a nun from Neccessarius. She wears a uniform called "The Walking Church" that prevents her from getting injured. The Church implanted 103,000 forbidden magical books in her brain (not literally).
Misaka is also one of the main characters of the show. She is one of the seven LV 5 espers. Her ability is "Electromaster". Basically, she can emit or shoot electricity.
I enjoyed the first few episodes of the show but as the show progresses, it started to become a bit boring but later picked up in the 2nd half (4th-6th arc). The season finale was horrible. I only enjoyed the last 5 minutes of that episode. The season finale felt like it was rushed.
The anime had potential but they had to go ruin it by rushing the plot, leaving plot holes and shoving in 6 arcs in 1 season. I'll be watching the 2nd season soon and I just hope they don't rush the plot this time around. To be completely honest, I prefer Railgun over Index.
-Few funny moments
-Plot was rushed
-Way too many arcs in 1 season
-Season Finale was horrible (except the last 5 minutes)
Largely a compilation of various archetypes and cliches meant to produce something to hold over the Shana crowd until the inevitable Season 3, To Aru Majutsu no Index embodies the same animation style, similar story progression, and yet another myriad of needlessly confusing terminology. However, Index does manage to possess some very different characters than it's spiritual predecessor that add some freshness to an otherwise tired production.
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.
~ I will eat your illusions alive! ~
(TL;DR Version: Bottom paragraph)
In spite of the release order, i would in fact recommend visiting the alternate "Railgun" story prior to the "Index" one: as it begins by explaining Academy City's context, infrastructure and esper system more thoroughly. This could aid your ability to understand the extent of Toaru's genuinely captivating and morally driven premise. Nevertheless, i will treat this first installment of the "Index" story as the start of its own anime to avoid bias...
Academy City is introduced as a technologically advanced place in the future, where even magic is a reality; therefore filling the show with
a notable sense of wonderment and limitless potential. The Index story begins by showing a clear division between science and magic, and so to sum up: it is not merely a one-dimensional good versus evil, light versus dark conflict... In essence, Toaru Majutsu no Index documents an all out war between science, magic, and morals: the simplified meaning behind this intense 24 episode series...
This broad, imaginative and inspiring premise not only sets up an interesting stage for a war of corruption - as is typical of humanity, but it also appeals to me as particularly refreshing due to the mentioned minimal limitations of the setup. The intricacies of Index as a whole, and the number of contrasting perspectives involved render it far from a carbon copy of the "magical power" driven stereotypes.
Onto the characters...
We begin by complimenting Index's genuinely interesting, and appropriately unrelatable world of fantasy, with a blank slate known as the comparatively typical Touma. He is the "unfortunate" as he claims, and rather generic male teen protagonist of the show, who serves as the audience's relatable perspective. This greatly helps to minimize the viewers' distance between the many characters, and it gives the show a personality point of reference which allows it to refrain from coming across as too context-reliant. He's not that interesting as a personality due to his predictability, despite how Index makes multiple attempts to define him better as a character. This is acceptable though, as he serves a critically important role in delivering the story in a more personal way to the viewers.
The word "unique" is often used quite loosely nowadays, though the many characters of Index are the true embodiment of the word. Their personalities all differ greatly, each of the characters have unique selling points, are genuinely interesting, far from generic, and all-over very charming. "Index" herself is a worthy example, as she bears a rather tragic background explained early-on, which compliments her apparent innocence as is shown by her cute, quirky and likable personality and aesthetics. Similar methods of development are used with a variety of other predominately female characters, and this really helps to convey their personal wars, perspectives and experiences. From here, Index becomes able to utilize the delicacy of these personalities, alongside the intense and often life-threatening events that occur throughout.
Having this interesting integration of character development as more of a context point, as opposed to a rigid "character development section" maintains the show's consistent intensity. This development brings about a whole world full of attachment values and emotions that generally add a lot more weight, substance, and meaning to the events that later unfold. This helps to reflect the integration of morals, and the personal journeys each character makes. I can't even begin to explain how necessary this was for giving Index a notable sense of power, and so the charming character department is indeed a strong suit.
Onto the content, and this department is certainly not lacking IN SCALE...
Alike the rest of the Toaru franchise, Index is a two-faced hybrid in the way that it incorporates cinematic and action based journeys, alongside more documentative SoL elements (explained above) to form the cohesion between morals, personality and plot. Often this is a dangerous mix, as it can result in "identity issues" becoming apparent, but Index uses both of these elements to its advantage. It therefore reflects the show's ability to add a lot of uniquely defining personality and delicate elements to an otherwise very event-driven/plot-biased setup.
There are many stories told within Index, though too-many if i'm perfectly honest. The initial story plight of "Index" as a character, which in turn incorporates a lot of character development, i feel is by far the best. In these first 9 to 10 episodes, Index really comes into its own... There is a genuine sense of passion in the presentation, which is reinforced by the passion induced in the hearts of the viewers as it manipulates their viewpoint and perspective really effortlessly. It allows for the viewer to associate with the goals of Touma, and adds overwhelming levels of intensity that make out very clear who the enemy is. Index then goes about shifting this perspective, to reveal the moral dilemma our "enemy" faced, and therefore the story is appropriately not nearly as simple or one-dimensional as it first seemed.
Onto the presentation...
Index uptakes a considered approach similar to that of "Railgun S" to emphasize "drama" and "dire situations". There is a lingering intensity present to keep the viewers at the edge of their seats, and so the presentation is particularly cinematic and vivid. When combined with the decent though mildly un-fluid visual presentation, and appropriately intense soundtrack, the audiovisuals are quite appealing.
If all of the stories were able to reach the high standard, and make the powerful impact that the initial "Index-oriented" one did, then we could potentially be looking at a "10", but unfortunately i feel as though Index crammed a bit too much content into 24 episodes. Granted that in immediate-presentation terms, Index is of a high standard; though the stories following episode 10 (and therefore the majority of the show) seemed a bit incomplete. They succeeded in delivering a range of perspectives and engaging story arcs that allowed for a good summary of Index's content, though they failed mostly in terms of fluidity.
Beyond "Index's" development story, the show began to pace too fast. The drama however was on par, which means that it all seemed a bit "hyper", and so the initial richness of the magical context and development etc. seemed to dissipate. It started to progress too fast for the audience to actually absorb and reflect on what was happening, due to the sheer scale of story content, and character development that had to been covered. My main problem with these later arcs is the way that they end very abruptly, and so this really dragged down the show's consistency aspects. Each of these seemed to spontaneously advance to another story, with little consideration of making seamless transitions. This meant that conclusions throughout the show were unclear, as there was not time for any reflection. This is likely to cause undue confusion for viewers, and i just found it disappointing how an anime that clearly showcases its expansive potential, would so blatantly sacrifice its fluidity, giving it an inconsistent flow, where sometimes detrimental episodic techniques such as fast conclusions are incorporated just to get through all of Index's content.
+ Premise full of wonderment and potential
+ Charming characters
+ Personality, weight and morals incorporated into the action
+ Very cinematic and dramatic
+ Rich story in the first 10 episodes
+ Decent audiovisuals
- Generic protagonist
- Rushed stories beyond episode 10
- Abrupt and unclear conclusions transitions between stories/arcs
Toaru majutsu no index or A certain magical index are one of those incredibly interesting anime shows, that the main theme is about Roman Catholics and the Index librorum prohibitorum.
Bare in mind that this review is slightly biased, since Index is my type of anime; it has an interesting story line, comedy, light and bit of fan service and of course has a tsundere! *cough* Misaka Mikoto. Aswell as it was mainly focused on the plot.
The anime in set in a city called academy city, where one-eighth of the population are students. Its 30 years ahead than any other city in the world and
is a highly developed city. These students study to become espers, but only a small amount of them are at least level one espers. Aswell as some can try so hard to bend a spoon that their brain fries up. Only 7 students in the city are level 5; this shows how hard it is to become a level 5.
Being a misfortune level zero esper,kamijou Touma is a average high school student that has a power that can obliterate any other power called the 'imagine breaker'.
After being strucked from lots of misfortune at the last day of school Kamijou wakes up to more misfortune. Due to a power cut that a level 5 esper caused all his food goes rotten. After more misfortune occurs that in one point he sees a nun lying on top of his balcony, while airing his futon! 'Onakasuita' she repeats meaning 'im hungry'. After all that she claimes that she has all the 103,000 grimoires in her memory and that sorcerers are after her for it, aswell as she has to be returned to the Catholic Church immediately. Index was her name. She also claimed to have a power called the 'walking church' that was part of her golden embroidered nun suit. He didn't believe her 0.0000% until he used his imagine breaker on it. Her suit bursted to shreds causing her to become naked...
Being sorry, from then and on its up to Kamijou to protect her from these evils sorcerers.
The art was beautiful and well animated in my opinion. The establishing shots of academy city were outstanding. The sunny scenery made me feel calm and relaxed. Even though the art is like any other anime, the established art especially in episode 1 was truly stunning.
The opening and ending themes were unique and one of kind. Watching them strangely makes you think its a Sci-fi ish anime show and not magic. The soundtrack was spot on even though I believe the insert songs could have been slightly better. Overall the soundtrack was magical and scientific.
Each character was significant in the anime and has a spot light in the openings aswell as is unique. The main protagonist kamijou Touma is a chracter that has nothing but misfortune but can be awesome.
Index is a English nun that loves food and its always happy.
Misaka Mikoto is a average tsundere that tortures kamijou for eradicating her power using his imagine breaker. There are others but I don't have time to write them aswell as it may contain spoilers.
In my opinion character development is strong.
The anime was very hard to understand so reading the light novel is much more efficient, because it makes you understand the story line much more; its much more clearer. The anime had way to much arcs including the sister's arc and index that ruined it in my opinion and made it awkward to watch. In other words the story line was rushed alot and was too fast pace.
Its my type of anime. Good magic anime. Fun to watch and its worth watching but not as good as railgun. Definitely recommend it and the manga and LN of it. Yet again its the main storyline of the franchise. The main theme also is 'when magic and science collide! '
Do you think that the imagine breaker obliterated kamijous luck? Is luck even a power? I wonder. ..
Good story line
Brilliant character development
Outstanding soundtrack and openings
Each character is important
Focused mainly on plot
Too much arcs in one season
Hard to understand main storyline
Few annoying anime clichés (tsundere)
I rushed this review so I be editing it tomorrow so there might be some mistakes.
Arigatou for reading
If I had to use one word to describe this series, it would be: Confusing.
A Certain Magical Index is the exact type of anime, that sucks you in like a black hole in the starting episodes...and then leaves you hanging.
The setting is great, the future, an academy city full off students, robots everywhere, people with supernatural powers empowered by science and on the other side there are bona fide sorcerers wielding magic that stems from a religious background (Christianity to be exact). There are HUGE possibilities in this setting for really intriguing stories and characters to emerge. And the starting episode sets the story
up incredibly well. There is just one problem...
Sadly, the whole series devolves into a confusing mess quickly. The protagonists who had the chance to be well-rounded leaders of the story, turn out to be simple tropes hastily thrown together (in the wrong mix). The support characters are initially very interesting, but turn out to be nothing but one dimensional plot devices and most of them are only there for one episode, never to be seen again.
Toma, the main protagonist seem to change personalities from episode to episode (and from scene to scene), sometimes being an indecisive dunce and in the next scene he is the assertive badass of the century. Index, the second protagonist is even more confusing, being the damsel in distress, the tragic heroine with immense power, the tsundere and the comic relief moe all in one, also changing personalities from scene to scene. It feels like the producers of the series wanted to create complex characters with many sides, but ended up with a schizophrenic mess of personality traits and tropes that just don't match and end up conflicting each other at every step.
The same goes for the storyline....or the lack of one. The first few episodes introduces the world and the buds of a great story that starts to gain momentum, but then turns around and throws a monkey wrench in it. And then a box full of monkey wrenches. The story keeps throwing seemingly random tropes at the viewer, to the point, that I spent more time exclaiming "what?", "huh?" and "why?" at the screen than actually enjoying the anime. Characters emerge from nowhere, do something incredibly important to the story and then vanish forever. Things happen that are never explained or even hinted at before or after the fact and even the characters gain and lose powers without warning, totally unexplained, acting only as mere plot devices. Furthermore, even the main characters doesn't seem to have arcs or any character development whatsoever, they just lurch into the next episode like zombies. Not that anyone would notice with that lack of coherent personalities. It all feels like the creators had a bunch of different stories written up and the characters are nothing but mere afterthoughts, vessels for these stories, without any soul. This fact alone makes it incredibly hard to like any of the characters, even the protagonists.
One thing I can praise beside the great setting is the art direction. Everything looks beautiful, the character designs are great (however they do feel like each of them was stolen from different anime) and the backdrops, the scenes, the settings and the animation quality are all top notch. Too bad the story and the characters are so messed up, this could've been a really unique and engaging series.
Toaru Majutsu no Index is an anime that can make you feel murderous, and then make you feel bad about yourself because you know that these feelings make you not nearly as moral or righteous as the main character in the series. If you were an antagonist in this anime, you would lose because you don't have the power of PUPPIES AND RAINBOWS AND A DREAM OF EVERYONE SMILING HAPPILY TOGETHER AND NOT HAVING TO FIGHT.
-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.
I felt this series shouted to the world that if its overrated, why not give them, viewers, the bestest sound effects, action, world building there ever existed. 'Cause it is overdone. The saving of girls, when even the hero just met them on the street. Word is, if you met this hero, all of this person's problem will be solved, but unfortunately, only to females. It's like the hero is allergic at saving people with similar gender. The creators are quite aware of this, I think, since them character's dialogue includes the stating of this fact like "the hero will save her", or "are you
a stupid hero, why are sacrificing yourself for someone you only met a minute ago?".
the constable-like group that enforces law of those that has power is portrayed as efficient with their satellite and 24/7 watch, but I rarely see them when things go crashing and people trying to kill each other. There it is. There are many similar anomalies like this in the anime.
But as it may seem there are many plot holes, and overrated story lines, and complicated and long dialogues, why does the anime has 2 season, each composed of 24 episodes? Quite mysterious don't you think? I could only theorize about it and that is it gives a lot. A lot of music, a lot of action, nude scenes, ladies, damsels in distress. It was like a shotgun type, hoping to hit viewers with little aim needed. And there were no shame whatsoever. They would flaunt this fault via their character's dialogues, short of posting it on their cover. I have to note with the highest importance that the dialogues is the most unreal of all. They are long, embarrassing, lots of figure of speeches, and sometimes added unnecessarily.
== Story ==
there are arcs and in it, continues by episode. Uniqueness in this series is out of the question. The hero has a hero-scene fetish so he would save them. He is attending a summer class and during this period, encounters this sister of a church, hanging in his balcony, in need of food. This then triggers the start of the adventure of his life. Also, I forgot to mention since this is suppose to be his thing, he gets this misfortunes like tripping, accidentally punched or fall. A thing no hero shouldn't really possess with opponent that can move mountains, metals like magneto and send it to you as fast as a bullet, against his only power, to null those powers via touching them with his right hand. I really have no idea how he gets through with each death defying fights. I guess he talks them opponent's ears off and distracts them when they are about to defeat him and starts monologuing.
== Art ==
The art was a so-so. I could grade this as 80% good. The actions and motions were top-notch, since they need to compensate. The sister uses only one dress, another anomaly, so she's easily recognize. The characters attires where sometimes stupid like wearing this shirt like blankets. They are recognizable enough, in fact, better than average anime in this regard.
== Sound ==
If the dialogues sucks, they make up for the music and effects. They would add super cool music, with crickets and birds chirping, when fights scenes or events of big importance happen. The sound and art were good.
== Character ==
The hero is a es-per(?) student and I don't really know what happens to them if they graduate so it is a mystery. He is registered in this city composed of a big school of the world where the es-pers gather to learn. He is weak to girls in need of help. I notice he doesn't make advances to girls but opportunity always finds its way to him. He is thoughtful and caring. He lacks of emotions in terms of love and doesn't pursue to further his relationship to any of the girls he meet, another anomaly, I mean, what would you do? So I guess he's dull? Yes it seems he is.
== Enjoyment ==
I may say that the stories of the arcs where not so good but it was not the case at the start. It felt like it was going to lead at somewhere, then it got sidetracked. Okay, I should clarify this from the start that I'm all for story/settings that's already been done, since sometimes it somehow transforms to be interesting, but this was an exception. The dialogues were my problem along with the a fore mentioned. But to hell, I decided to continue and finish this to season 2 since little resolution was done on the first arc which got me hooked in the first place. It's like we are forced to see 2nd season.