A.R.C.:To Aru Majutsu no Index

ORIGINAL REVIEW DATE: March 22, 2009

Alright then, second animu review. By the time you read this, you should already know what I’ll be talking about. Yup, To Aru Majutsu no Index which is translated to A Certain Magical Index. I picked up this series based on two things: 1) The studio that was making it was J.C. Staff and 2) Eclipse was subbing it.

It started out as a light novel falling under the categories of Action, Comedy, Sci-fi and Fantasy in April 2004 but grew in popularity. Enough to have it’s own manga published by Square Enix, get a spin off manga and be made into an anime. The anime started during the Fall Season of 08 and carried on into the end of the Spring season of 09 spanning over 24 episodes. And now to actually talk about the show.

Animu Review Corner

Index and Touma

Index and Touma

Plot

★★★☆☆

In the world of To Aru Majutsu no Index, Espers and Magicians exist. Magicians sides with Religion and Espers side with Science. Touma Kamijo lives in a Academy City where education nurtures boys and girls into becoming Espers. Each student is placed in a rank from Level 1 to 5. Touma is an exception though. He’s one of the few lowly 0 ranks. Meaning he possess no psychic ability but he also doesn’t posses any type of art in magic. However, he is gifted with a unique power. His right hand has a power which is entitled Imagine Breaker. It negates any magic, physic and divine power that it comes in contact with along with Touma’s own good luck.

One day he looks outside of his apartment and finds a girl hanging on his balcony railing, starving to death. After feeding her, she says her name is Index. She turns out to be a nun from Necessarius, a branch of the Church of England. Her mind has been implanted with Index Librorum Prohibitorum which contain 103,000 magical texts prohibited from the church in exchange for her own memory.

After some turn of events, Touma finds himself running from magicians sent by the church in order to retrieve Index. He finds out that Index is said to be nothing more than a tool for the church. Depriving her of her life, limited her own personal memory to containing information for only a year before her mind is wiped out to start a new and using her as nothing more than space for their collection of intelligence.

Touma sees this as nothing short of cruelty and questions the Church about their actions. He also reveals that the “limit” on her memory is a lie and finds out that the Church just wants to put more security around their intelligence. Using the power of his Imagine Breaker, Touma finds a way to break Index free of her limited memory ordeal without losing the knowledge from the magical texts but at a cost. Index’s defense system erased all of Touma’s memories. He is the only one that knows at the time but decided to shoulder the burden by himself. Despite his efforts, the church continues to attempt to obtain Index and so Touma must protect her at any cost.

Characters

★★★☆☆

You’ll remember faces but names, not so much. The cast isn’t large really but some of the characters are there for an episode or two and that’s it. Their personalities aren’t as memorable either. Only ones that you can remember with out much of a problem are Touma, Index and Biribiri.

Artwork

★★★★☆

Academy City

Academy City

Like most of J.C. Staff’s productions, it maintains it’s quality throughout the show. The action scenes seem to be on a high budget so the quality isn’t lost when fast pace scenes show up. Even during it’s comedy aspects it keeps it’s gloss and doesn’t change. The actual character design is pretty simple but that’s one of the things that’s enjoyable. The scenery is one of the better parts of the animation. Seeing cities and landscapes drawn out to look realistic is some times breath taking especially seeing the night scenes glow so well.

Music

★★★☆☆

The music has a techno and feel to it. It matches the scenes well no matter what it might be. Whether it be fighting or comedy but some times the conversations completely block out the sound. You might focus on nothing but the words due to the shows difficult-to-understand conversation nature. Kind of a bad thing since there is a lot of dialogue.

Final Thoughts

The plot is pretty difficult to understand at times. There’s a lot of use of terminology that will have you questioning what the characters are talking about or what the current situation is. This is something that I felt made the anime hard to understand without having to rewatch an episode. Sometimes I just left some unanswered questions be due to how the explanations just raised more questions at times.

Humor wise, I really liked it. But one of the things that had me disliking the show a bit was how Index become a secondary character in her own anime. Kinda sad since I see it as wasted potential.I have to say my favorite character of the show is Mikoto Misaka due to her Tsundere character. She does play a major role in the show practically replacing Index as the heroine. Her character became so popular that she has her own spin off manga called To Aru Kagaku no Railgun which has been announced to be animated by J.C. Staff as well.

The way the show ended it seems like it’s largely open for a second season since the novel is still on going and with the spin off animation, it’s popularity continues to increase.

I give To Aru Majutsu no Index a 7 outta 10.

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