Tuesday, May 18 2010

Toaru Majutsu no Index - Review

Toaru Majutsu no Index

Kamijou Touma is the weakest of the weak in Academy City, a place where people with paranormal abilities, so-called espers, study to increase their power. One day he finds a girl hanging over the railing of his balcony. She says her name is Index, and claims to be a magician. She is being chased by other magicians, who wish to obtain the 103,000 grimoires locked away in her head - all the volumes on magic that have been outlawed. Touma takes it upon himself to protect her, and in doing so involves himself in the ancient struggle between science and magic.

Kamijou Touma
Kamijou Touma:
Wherever Touma goes, bad luck seems to follow; it is no coincidence that his catchphrase is "such misfortune...". The ability he possesses is called Imagine Breaker: any supernatural ability that comes into contact with his right hand is cancelled out. He helps people whenever he can, most of the time without even being asked to do so.
Index:Index, or Index Librorum Prohibitorum in full, is a mage of the English Purist Church. She is the target of many attacks because of the 103,000 grimoires that have been stored in her brain.
Misaka Mikoto
Misaka Mikoto:
The third strongest of only seven Level 5 espers in Academy City, her ability is to control the flow of electrons. Her nickname is Railgun, because she can use electricity to launch metal projectiles at great velocity.

Tsukuyomi Komoe
Tsukuyomi Komoe:Komoe-sensei is Touma's homeroom teacher. She has a bit of a crush on him as well, which is why she enjoys putting him in detention.
MISAKA:Misaka's twin sister.
Accelerator:The strongest Level 5 esper in Academy City, his power allows him to change all vectors he comes into contact with.
Kanzaki Kaori
Kanzaki Kaori:A mage sent by Necessarius, the Church of Necessary Evil, to capture Index. She uses magic to strengthen her body, and attacks with a long katana.
Stiyl MagnusStiyl Magnus:Kanzaki's partner, his magic allows him to produce flames. He is rarely seen without a cigarette in his mouth.
Himegami AisaHimegami Aisa:
Also known as Deep Blood, the smell of her blood attracts vampires. However, when a vampire comes close to her, it will die. She is a very quiet person, with a rather introvert personality.
Kazakiri Hyouka
Kazakiri Hyouka:
The best student in Kirigaoka Academy for Girls, one of the top five schools in Academy City. She is the first person Index befriends, next to Touma.

Note: there are so many supporting characters in this series that I decided only to include those who play a central role in more than one episode.

Let me start off by saying the I really liked this series. I find the concept of a city dedicated purely to science fascinating. It is also interesting to see the two different approaches to supernatural power - one rooted in science, the other in magic.

Now let me say what I didn't like about the series. It starts off extremely slow, causing me to almost drop the series after four episodes. The story arcs were too short at only about five episodes each, as well as quite repetitive; all of them pretty much came down to some bad guy doing some bad thing, and Touma stopping him to save someone he barely knows. The story in itself is not exceptional either, nor is it extremely well told.

However, the thing that really got to me about this series were the characters. We have Kamijou Touma, the world's unluckiest individual, but also truly a modern knight in shining armour. There is Misaka Mikoto, the third strongest esper around, who refuses to admit she likes Touma. And then there is Index, possibly the most adorable and loveable character I have ever encountered in any work of fiction, which I think can mainly be attributed to the excellent voice acting.

Moreover, the humour in this series is very much to my liking. I can't remember any other time when I laughed as loudly on my own as in the episode where Index goes to the beach for the first time and, mistaking it for a hat, puts a jellyfish on Touma's head.

Deep down I want to give this series a four star rating, but I cannot possibly justify such a rating based on characters alone. The fact of the matter is that the story is quite lacking. Still, I didn't want the series to end.

I think I'll go watch Haibane Renmei again to reassure myself of the importance of a good story.

I can imagine myself watching this series many times without it getting old.

Full StarFull StarFull StarEmpty Star

Posted by: Jordi Vermeulen at 23:41 | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 It took me quite a while to gather my thoughts on this one - so long in fact that I have already finished watching Toaru Kagaku no Railgun in the meantime.

It will be the subject of the next review I write, but I don't know how soon my thoughts on it will be organised enough to enable me to write them down.

Posted by: Jordi Vermeulen at 23:45 on May 18, 2010 (5EMw1)

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