Having lasted merely two weeks, World War III has come to an end. Both Accelerator and Hamazura Shiage have returned home to the people they cherish most after overcoming their individual conflicts. The world is at peace and Academy City continues on as normal while the magicians focus their efforts on repairing the damage they took from the war.
Among this tranquility, however, someone is missing. Someone who used his right hand to save a young girl while changing the tides of war along the way: the "Imagine Breaker," Touma Kamijou. However, the disappearance of the self-proclaimed ordinary high school student has not affected the majority of the world as the temporary peace is soon broken when new threats, both espers and magicians, emerge across the globe. Now, the heroes of World War III must step forth into battle once more, facing off against some of the most powerful enemies imaginable in order to protect the people they hold most dear.
Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index has appeared numerous times in the Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! rankings in the best light novel category; first in 2011, second in 2012-13, third in 2014, fourth in 2015, seventh in 2016 and third in 2017.
Like a whirlpool, the Index franchise focuses on a story that spins and revolves detailing the events of various characters. A labyrinth of secrets, ideologies, and developments constitutes the story made up of two sides – magic and science. But yet, the world sees both sides develop with abnormality and struggles. A single word cannot describe such a struggle as a dangerous group looms in the darkness…just waiting to strike and take over, setting about a new era of desolation.
Toaru Majutsu no Index: New Testament (also known as A Certain Magic: New Testament) is the sequel of Index light novels series written by Kamachi
Kazuma. As a light novel, expect text and lots of text of not just based on conversations but also technical standards to convey its essence. This is New Testament focuses on how both the magic and science side go about with their plans with the story. Additionally, these plans involve our main characters. Armed with the Imagine Breaker, we meet Touma Kamijou, a normal boy who is thrown into a world of abnormality. As a main male protagonist, he also plays the role of a hero for his efforts in the prequel in the World War III arc. Of course, to say he did that all by himself would be an understatement. Characters such as Misaka Mikoto, Accelerator, and Shiage Hamazura also have their various roles. In this sequel known as Toaru Majutsu no Index: New Testament (NT), their roles extends to ways that will change the world forever.
But the world of NT is not so different from the prequel. For standards, there’s still Academy City where normal humans and espers reside. Then, there are other settings, some that you may be familiar with such as Hawaii, Tokyo, and the United States. Then, there are places that will strike out as peculiar such as the Baggage City, where a major event occurs caused by unrest. Nonetheless, NT exploits these settings to bring out one simple concept – diversity. And on a technical standard, there is also focus, as an emphasis on the story. As mentioend before, there is a dangerous new organization made up of powerful magicians seeking to change the world. In NT, the audience will learn more about their goals and ideologies from all angles.
At its best, NT works like a computer introducing many new characters and ideas that all connects to the story. Among some of these ideas spell out mysteries such as the origins of the Imagine Breaker, the near indestructible Windowless City, and truth regarding espers. And among these mysteries, there is the mysterious organization composed of powerful magicians known as Gremlin. While their goals are controversial, their purpose seems to suggest for the world to get a better understanding of itself. NT explores this organization against the world by characterizing their members and their personas. One particular member, the leader of Gremlin, is unique in many sense with her personality. And in one of the most dynamic volumes of the series, her fight with Touma constitutes beyond just the typical boxing or esper duel-abouts. It formulates a path going beyond the world of normalcy in incalculable ways.
Of course, conflicts doesn’t always end without solutions. Thanks to the efforts of the protagonists, problems do get resolved but not without some unlikely allies. Some of these new characters are introduced from various countries and backgrounds with their own ideologies. On the other hand, a few of them feels edgy and their actions can be predictable on some standards. Furthermore, it could be an overstatement to label them as “allies”. NT characterizes its characters by various backgrounds not by just through motivation but also with a multitude of purposes. These have reasoning and connects to the overall story effectively. The niche to some parts of the story sometimes become dissected by generics and unnecessary comedy. Still, it is tolerable and doesn’t get in the way of its ultimatum.
Similar to its previous predecessor, NT also has its darker dynamics. The dark side of the Academy City is explored upon with revisits to both past characters and newer ones. Espers are indeed to be both feared and respected. NT circumnavigate various human emotions relating to espers. Characters such as the level 5 Accelerator seek absolution after his actions in the infamous ‘Sisters Arc”. Then, there are dynamics focusing on people that opposes them. A theme of bigotry plays the role here involving characters that go against espers in arc specific stories. They are crafted by various ideologies that connects well to NT’s world.
There are 9 volumes of NT currently released and most of them are predominately focused on Gremlin’s goals. Yet, there also other volumes that explores the dynamics of supporting characters from different family origins. Eventually, their unorthodox roles connects together with NT’s main story that enlightens the path of a memorable journey.
Unfortunately, NT still has its generics surrounding our characters. Most of the main characters does not go any drastic personality change despite some of the events involved. Furthermore, the comedy moments often feels forced, repetitive, and on occasions even asinine. While some of the characters’ dynamics are fascinating, most of the main characters’ backgrounds still remains in unexplored territory. Characters such as Accelerator and Hamazura returns but has less focus on their background development. This is perhaps the result of a large story casting that orientates more on the story. Yet, on many opportunities, there should be occasions to explore their backgrounds but most of it is brushed off. Misaka Mikoto, Academy City’s ‘Railgun’, also suffers development in particular with her relationship with Touma. There’s a weakness in pacing and most of it is lost thanks to Touma’s actions.
Luckily, fans may come to appreciate some of the newer characters. While some of them lack originality in terms of character design, their persona may paint a memorable experience for readers. Their behavior reflects a clear and concise way of influencing others. Furthermore, their roles in the arcs in each volume let the readers get to know more. Most of them aren’t disposable either as the more prominent characters introduced in NT are characterized by strengths of their roles. I think fans can appreciate the way Kamichi writes his story to categorize them each differently and in his own way. On the other hand, some of those characteristics may come as cliche or unsatisfying depending on preferences.
As a light novel, there isn’t much artwork to write home about. Yet, the dialogues captures the many creative ways Kamichi describes his characters. It’s easy to picture what’s happening on most occasions with fitting imaginations because his descriptions often use similes and comparisons. I like the concept behind his way of describing the character vividly and to fine details. These include the clothes the characters wear, their powers, and personalities judged by actions. Some dialogues later on in the volumes really reflects emotions and the pains revolving the actions/results of the antagonists.
Overall, NT is something of a gift, ready to be opened by fans of Index. The LN is fairly long with each chapter detailing events in fine detail with clever dialogues. And because the series offers a diverse cast of characters, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with them individually. Whether esper or magician, there’s special about each character that gets themselves involved with NT’s story. Even as humans, they hold influence too. The back stab to some of these character might lack a bit of background dynamics. Some characters also can be categorized and be put on the generic hall of fame. But for it’s worth, NT is a series that not only expands the Index realm. It revolutionizes it.
I gave the first series of Toaru Majutsu no Index a whole 10, but I'll give NT a minus 1, to a total of 9.
Story : 10
It's still as epic as ever. Kamachi Kazuma never fails at giving his readers an epic and complicated story. The war between science and magic at the scale of the world is still masterfully written. NT is still one of the LN with the best story aspect.
Art : 9
The art is great, but there are some (not much) LN with better illustrations. So I'll hold back a little and give it 9 for art.
Character : 10
Accelerator is the best!!!
Kamijou and his Imagine Breaker is just as cool, Hamazura is also funny as ever, and Mikoto is still my favorite. Where else you will find a Light novel with four main characters, each with their unique background and story?
Enjoyment : 7
What!? Why!? Here's the reason : it's hard to read. It is necessary to have a superb imagination and understanding in order to recreate the scene in the story inside your head. There are several reasons for this :
- Lots of terminologies and explanations. One point that will make you confused.
- There are too many new characters introduced in each volume. Another point towards confusion.
- The abundance of main characters actually became a drawback here. The story ends up unfocused, and if you haven't read the first TAMNI you might even think that Touma (the real MC) is just a side character. Yet another point towards confusion.
- The story switches between point of view too often. First two pages you will follow the MC, then three pages from the enemy POV, and the next page suddenly switches to some soldier in a battlefield. Total confusion.
Long story short, it's a great, VERY great Light Novel. The only catch is that you need lots of patience and imagination to read this. NT is actually one of the two most difficult LN I ever read (the other being Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon).
So this is my conclusion : Unless you have confidence in your bookworm skill, or a fan of Toaru series, I suggest you to think twice before reading New Testament.
Madness and Chaos is like gravity, all things eventually move towards them, in a world of absurdity only the bonds that we have can provide a sanctuary from the insanity outside.
That is the nature of "Dispersion" and its counter.
Toaru is one of those LN series that truly have withstood the test of time, Kamachi have truly proven that he is an author with an idea to put to paper, uncaring of what others thought of it.
And here we have the second entry of a possible trilogy.
What can we say about Shinyaku.
That is shattered everything through the reveal of the truth?
That it pushed the world of
Toaru further into madness?
That it showed Touma turning from a Seemingly Ideal Hero to a Man who really have seen it all?
The main idea of Shinyaku, I feel is the topic Kamachi have always been about.
The "Absurdity" of the world.
What matters of civilization or consequences, in a world that can't prove it was not recreated a moment ago? destiny shackles all but does that justify all the madness caused in an attempt to destroy it? can it even BE destroyed?
There are no clear person who one is certain to root for, none of the choices are ideal but none seem totally awful either. Perhaps this is why Touma seemingly began to degrade into more and more of a degenerate, who only does the bare minimum to keep the world running.
That there lies the charm of Shinyaku Toaru that caused me to place it in my all time favourite LN. Pure undiluted insanity.
Ambitions interwine, madness consumes all, no one can claim they have the world in their hands, there are no chess masters anymore, for everything have been dragged into the madness, uncertain what fate await them.
Finally, the prophesy is fulfilled. This is the world you wanted, "All man is a star", a world where there is no clear goal of winning or way of stopping it from moving further into madness. Most of all, no one to care enough about doing anything to stop it anymore.
Ok. So this is one of my favorite light novel series out there so i thought of making a review for it.
It's still basically magic vs science, but in a better way than the previous series. TouMAN is here to punch girls in there faces yet again!
well so lets start with the review.
Story : as the previous Index series, this series is also a character driven story. The events happening in many protagonists lives are smoothly connected. Magic vs Science is here yet again and adds more crisp. The fight scenes are always a treat with both sides using brain & muscle to overcome each
other. The story is well executed within it's full potential through out the series. 9/10
Narrative abilities :
Kamachi never fails to amaze us with the plot twists and his well written narration. Every volume has a different type of narration as various gimmicks, but it's all well written and executed with the events occuring. The point of view frequently changes between characters, so you get a good grasp of situations through different angles.
Especially volume 7 is my favorite. Heroes vs Heroes setting was simply mind blowing to read. 9/10.
Strongest point of NT. It's filled with different types of characters. We have TOUMA, our usual protag. But then there's accelerator with his own probles about his killings, hamazura who despite being a target of killing for academy city but still living within the city and trying to live a happy life, misaka who's trying to get close to touma and much more.
The character developement Touma has got is especially remarkable. He's our typical hero, but he can be a little selfish too sometimes to save himself, right?
Same is applied to other characters, misaka, accelerator, hamazura, birdway all go through some developement of their own.
Othinus was best antogonist of the series. Her development was heartwarming to say the least.
I feel sorry for index though.
Art : good. This is added bonus with plenty of illustrations to add in your reading. It's good, it's there when necessary and it enhances the enjoyment as whole.
Enjoyment : this series is a collision of various ideolisms, philosophies and such. And it's presented in a complex way, so you enjoy it when you finally realise the concept of each characters motive. As i said, volume 7 is my favorite. Thousands of heroes fighting each other to save one girl but all in different way. And the way it was narrated was mind blowing. Same with volume 9. The emotional trauma of kamijou was so well written that you feel it yourself. I loved all settings and surprisingly every volume has a different setting and it's well executed in each. It was a great read put all together.
Overall : 9/10.
Yeah, i really enjoyed it. It's nowhere near flawless but Every volume offered something different and i loved it all.
It all comes down to our own preferences, and this series pretty much satisfies me in every bit. This novel series is generic yet refreshing, complex yet simple and all.
I definately recommend this series to each & all of you. It's a great reading experience.
Maybe you wont like it as much as i do but it's definately worth a try.
I also suggest to read the previous series or watch the anime so you can enjoy this fully.
This review ends.