A Certain Magical Index Review In Few Words (Mini Review)
Sciences clashes with magic in a city build specifically for scientific research. And a protagonist that belongs to none of the two camps, yet is able to do much thanks to his very special power. A Certain Magical Index is both about that clash & Touma’s involvement in it in a way that’s enjoyable to watch for the most part.
Good things about A Certain Magical Index
- The idea that magic clashes with science is really nice, and it is done very well in the anime.
- Index having a lot of knowledge inside of her gives a lot of possibility of how she can use them in the future.
- If you liked this anime, there is a second season for it, also, there is the novels the anime originated from, which contains much more details than the anime.
- Great characters like Accelerator & Misaka Makoto.
Possibly bad things about A Certain Magical Index
- Touma’s character.
- While I know it is hard & maybe impossible, but the anime doesn’t cover everything in the Index novels, which makes you hanging for more.
To understand the story of A Certain Magical Index the best, you will need to understand the settings it happened in. The story happen in Academy city. A highly technologically city, where most of its residents are student, one of the reasons for building this city was to research human psychic powers, people with such powers are called espers.
Each espers in Academy City has their own special power, espers are ranked based on their rank or level. Ranks range from level 1 to 5, and higher the level of the esper, the more powerful their power is. People with level 0 simply have no power at all.
The protagonist of A Certain Magical Index, Kamijou Touma, who lives in academy city. Touma is a level 0, so he doesn’t have any of the espers’ special abilities, but just like the protagonists of many anime, he has something to make up for it, which is his right hand, which has the ability to disable any special power if touches, and this ability is called imagine breaker.
One day, Touma find a girl in nun clothes handing on his balcony, the girl was hungry, so Touma feeds her. It turns out that the girl, whose name is Index, is escaping from the organisation she is from, that organisation is called Necessarius, the reason they are after her is because she has 103,000 forbidden magical book in her head. And apparently, it is Touma job to save her from them, at least that’s the case at the beginning of the anime.
While the synopsis above may not tell you really that much, as the world of Academy City is bigger than it may looks like, the story of A Certain Magical Index is about the clash between science & magic, and there are many sub plots to shows you that. Since Touma is neither an ester nor a magician, yet he has the ability to disable both powers with his right hand, he sits at the middle of the clash, and is unlucky enough to find himself involved in it.
The characters is one of the areas where A Certain Magical Index shines, though some of the characters development are not that great (I won’t say who, but you will easily know once you watch this anime).
The main protagonist of the anime, he is level 0, so he has no esper abilities. But his right hand has the ability to cancel any other power, be it an esper or magician power.
Touma has a strong sense of justice, and never hesitates to help those around him who need help, which is why he helped Index at the very beginning of the anime.
One side note I would like to say about Touma is that many people who watched this anime hate his character. I personally like how such “clumsy” man was able to achieve that much.
Index (Index Librorum Prohibitorum)
Her full name is Index Librorum Prohibitorum, but she is called Index as for short. And yes. the anime was named after her.
Index has 103,000 books inside of her due to her photographic memory, and is a member of Necessarius, an organisation that was founded in order to fight magicians.
Kaori, along with her partner. Stiyl. are the ones chasing after Index At the beginning of A Certain Magical Index. She is a magician from Necessarius who uses magic to strength her body, and uses a two-meter katana as her weapon.
Also a magician from Necessarius, and as you have guessed, he is the other person chasing after Index.
Stiyl has fire power which he invokes using runes, one of his abilities includes making a flame sword.
There are much more characters in A Certain Magical Index than the 4 I mentioned, but since I only focus at the ones you see at the beginning of the anime, I only covered those,
Other characters are Accelerator, the strongest in Academy City, Misaka Mikoto, a level 5 with the title of railgun, and one of the most popular characters in the series (there is an anime dedicated for her, which is “Certain Scientific Railgun”, And Tsukuyomi Komoe, Touma’s teacher who looks like a little girl :3 .
Pacing & Enjoyment
Pacing of the anime is okay in general, some parts have slow pacing, specially at the very beginning, where you may be overwhelmed a little bit by the many things presented at you all at once, but for the rest of it, the pacing is really good. The enjoyment is very good once you get into it, but that won’t happen right away.
Quotes from the anime
- “What you learn at your school is more important than where you go to school” Misaka Mikoto.
- “They may all look the same to you, but there are different kinds and different levels of evil. A first-class villain doesn’t target honest lives” – Accelerator.
- “As long as no one got hurt, it’s all good. Who cares who saved who?” – Kamijou Touma.
Anime to watch if you liked A Certain Magical Index
A Certain Scientific Railgun (Toaru Kagaku no Railgun)
A Certain Scientific Railgun is set in the same environment as A Certain Magical Index, but with the focus on the scientific part of Academy city. And a good thing about this anime is that the sci-fi part of the anime is so appealing even for those who are not much into that genre, and it manages to be a fun watch without being much dark.
In short, A Certain Scientific Railgun is a spin-off A Scientific Magical Index that’s done well. One that is any Index fan must watch.
A Certain Magical Index, and its side story “A Certain Scientific Railgun” are among the must-watch anime if you plan to watch the most important ones. They are among the very few series where so many stories happen in the same setting & with the same character set. Which makes them unique in a nice way (I happen to be a sucker for this kind of things).
I hope you liked my A Certain Magical Index review, and I hope to see you soon with other anime reviews.
Review Sources & Credit
- Some character information in this review are taken from A Certain Magical Index page characters page in Wikipedia, as long as the Wikia of the anime.
- Some of the information about Academy City were also taken from the anime Wikia, the rest came from my own watching of Index/Railgun anime.
If you liked this review, don’t forget to check out my other anime reviews here.