A Certain Magical Index – An Unabridged Entry to My Mind

The cover of the first DVD compilation release...

Today is the 4th of July, and today I had to stay awake for 26 hours. This makes me think of fireworks. There’s fireworks to be had in the USA (happy Independence Day to all of my American friends!), and there are fireworks slowly going off in my mind, demanding that I rest my head.

Seeing as this is the situation, and that a long weekend is coming up for you guys, but a lot of tests for me, I’m going to postpone my post on “The Question at the Heart of a Story” to Wednesday (or Thursday if I keel over), and instead, shower you lot with a condensed version of an anime review, or an omnibus of pre-episodic blog reviewing content.

Ok, the above probably didn’t make a lot of sense, did it? I’ve discussed my meta-experience of watching Toaru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index) on this blog before. Last month I finally finished watching the series.
Now, as I’ve covered on that blog entry, I wrote down my thoughts on each episode, sometimes after it ended, but sometimes (and this really disrupted my “flow”), I stopped an episode to jot down my thoughts as I had them, and later I wrote down how things panned out – did they get answered, or did the water get even murkier?

What I’m going to share with you are those thoughts. You can look at them as 24 episodes’ worth of an episodic blog’s review of a series in one post, but that is obviously not what they are. These are the thoughts I had during the time I watched each episode. I sometimes had thoughts on an episode as a whole. A good episodic blog would have taken each of those thoughts, and wrote at least a paragraph on them. It’d have found thematic strings between the disparate elements and connected them.

An editorial blog (such as this one) would have taken all those endless strings and weaved the ones the writer (that’s me) finds more interesting into weaving a compelling whole.
In the case of this series, it somewhat feels as if it’s based on a light novel series, as you can point to distinct “chunks” of the series that are different in focus and even theme than others, and are discrete. The arch-angel “arc” for instance was quite horrible.

Needless to say, this post will spoil the ENTIRETY of the series! BEWARE!
Thoughts after the jump!

Episode 1:

  1. “Fleming’s motion principle” for “Railgun” in episode 1. Need to check it up.
  2. Nice that things actually affect the world, Misoko’s lightning causing there to be a power outage the next day. Also nice that he obviously knew her from before.
  3. Loved Index’s face when the protagonist took the food :D
  4. “You’re kind of making fun of me, aren’t you?” about 10:20 in, such a cute voice.
  5. Index has such cute faces! Kawaii!

Episode 2:

  1. That fire monster is called “Innocentus”, heh. More like “Executioner.”
  2. “If you don’t want to follow them into the depths of hell, the only other option is to drag them out!”
  3. End of episode, what’s up with a one leg pants? And erm, so the teacher only looks young, or is she actually something like 8?

Episode 3:

  1.  LOL, PS2 8MB memory card :D
  2. The “song” reminded me more of Jigglypuff’s song than anything else, heh.
  3. Healing section was a bit too long for how interesting it was (not interesting enough).
  4. Magic is from another world and destroys the minds of those who use it, good or bad. Very Cthulhu-esque.
  5. Also, like Discworld, the books have power in and of themselves, which humans can’t control.
  6. Magic is, forgot the word, begins with T? Not exactly ‘transformative’, something that changes the rules of the world, something insidious.

Episode 4:

  1. Combat, especially Katori’s movements, was great. But too long, and too much talk, and what was up with the music at the end?

Episode 5:

  1. Johan’s pen, a pope? And when he pushed his finger into her mouth to destroy the seal, it was like something out of a hentai show…

Episode 6:

  1. Talking about their lives as if this were a story, “This long prologue”, not exactly breaking the fourth wall, but making an analogy.
  2. “Confirmed to be a distorted interpretation of Christian doctrines..” take that Innocentius! Someone did say, there’s one religion, but the politics got in the way.
  3. “Constructing an anti-Christian weapon” LOL!
  4. “Eli eli lama shabacktani” was pronounced wrong, it’s not “EH-li” but “eh-LI”, it’s in Hebrew, BTW.
  5. Index is such “Super-moe”, how she shuffled her steps, ran, her facial expressions, her voice… anything is designed to achieve the moe! How her skirt is too long, her sleeves, from looking at her from above..
  6. Touching moment towards the end of the episode, and then we begin to truly unravel what every “Serious anime” needs, a CONSPIRACY!

Episode 7:

  1. About 3:45 in, there’s a run of all of her moe-faces, crying and smiling from before, heh.
  2. “Losing memories is a privilege that belongs solely to mysterious, wave emitting girls”, “Wave-emitting” accompanied by him swaying as a noodle, anime style.
  3. Perv friend, “Don’t tell me it’s a trap… her chest is a bit too flat for a girl” LOL!
  4. Erm, there’s a corpse lying on the ground and no one is paying it any attention? O.o

Episode 8:

  1. Ok, the lying corpse getting ignored gets discussed.
  2. BTW, where did that stuff from innerside and outerside of the coin come from? I got it, but it was a bit out of nowhere.

 Episode 9:

  1. When Index is asleep or her other personality is present, she looks older. Her young age is more an effect of her facial expressions than other things.
  2. If she is from the English church, then how come she’s from the Roman Catholic Church? They’re Anglicans!
  3. Almost like a cartoon, when the car dropped on Touma ;)
  4. What a power, he can create anything, including mental commands…
  5. Erm, one bullet did a lot of damage to the wall, how did multiple shots not kill Touma?
  6. YAY! It got addressed, consistency matters.
  7. Super-science! His arm got reconnected, wow. And the Alchemist’s power got explained. Though so long his mind can think it, he can distort reality to fit. Hm. He needed the tool to perform a form of self-hypnosis.
  8. Hm, how old is Index? She had an adult “partner” 3 years ago, but as was said, some take the roles of siblings, others of teachers or parents, hm.

Episode 10:

  1. Damn, this is a bigger gun than Yoko’s!
  2. When he says “Such misfortune”, it so reminds me of “I’m in despair!” from Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei.
  3. The sisters are weird, and narrateful. They tell you what they think, why they do things, would be a different form of society if everyone did that.
  4. Crazy maid time! This anime needs to collect all the moe types after all, sister, maid, gun-girl, shrine maiden..
  5. Himegami Aisa also talks using “Story terms”, regarding Touma.
  6. Imoutou’s eyes are dead, when she smiles, it’s so creepy. Funny talking to someone who tells you when they are angry or excited.
  7. Imoutou shows emotions at the end, with the cat, and Accelerator.

Episode 11:

  1. The screenshots in this episode, how people stand over one another, it all is so rich with sexual innuendo.
  2. The sound of Touma’s exerted breaths is really more of a wheezing.
  3. Misaka Mikoto and the “sisters”, very much like the Rei Ayanami clones? Heh.
  4. Well, at least they’re all connected, one brain, one hive-brain in a way, radio connected, heh.
  5. This show keeps revolving around “Memories”, Index’s, Touma’s, Misaka Imotous’.

Episode 12:

  1. Note, accidentally watched episode 12 first.
  2. Ah, now it makes sense why Sensei is talking, she was asked about what are Esper powers.
  3. It’s so funny how they pronounce “Schrodinger”. Heh.
  4. While sensei is talking to Index Aisa eats all the meat, heh. They love food, all three of them.
  5. Hrm. This ends with an Esper being the same as the alchemist, they just make their thoughts into reality.
  6. She smiles as she talks of destroying the research facilities, but she is sad within, she’s trying to save her sisters.
  7. “To those scientists, level 6, something they’ve never seen, must be pretty enticing.” Yeah, scientists are junkies of the “New thing”.
  8. Er, why is this a problem you started, Misaka, you’re just taking the blame. Others decided to start the experiment, or gave it approval, adults.
  9. Tree Diagram got destroyed, does this mean that Academy City is operating in the dark?
  10. Why do they call them “Sisters” now, when this is how they refer to nuns? Cause that’s the project name and they’re not really Misaka’s sisters, imoutou?
  11. “Put up your dukes”? What does that mean? Your best cards, your guns?
  12. “Don’t try to stop someone’s will with your half-assed actions!”
  13. She thinks she’s a villain, cause she let people be killed, she thinks she killed them. Later Accelerator will show us a real villain.
  14. Just like with Kenshin, “You went easy without realizing it”, heh.

Episode 13:

  1. Teacher is teaching in the bathhouse, seemingly for our education, or just cause sensei can’t shut up ;)
  2. So cute, the shower part, where they wash one another, and drink the same way, etc.
  3. Hm, so anyone can become an esper?
  4. Almost harem comedy in parts. Index is angry at Touma and other girls, and now Himegami is jealous too?
  5. “System=those who aren’t deities that reach the sense of the heavens” HUH?
  6. Heh, “We still don’t understand the world, but if someone appears with a status superior to humans, this person would be able to understand God’s answers.” This is the connection to above, they don’t understand how 0-levelers who can’t gain powers exist, if they did, it’d help them understand God – the view of Science as revealing God’s plan.
  7. Good scientist Touma is: To kill an experiment, let us prove one of the underlying assumptions is wrong.
  8. Misaka has a good point, even scientists have bias, and will think that something may not mean their assumptions are wrong.
  9. But I can see the answer! If a level 5 defeating Accelerator were not enough, have a level 0, Touma, defeat him!
  10. Accelerator is willing to take on the whole world’s military, was he crazy to begin with, or he is willing because his power will allow him to win?
  11. He is a “Rule breaker”, he breaks the laws of reality. Kind of like magic above, eh?
  12. The evil dude has a crazy look, crazy eyes, obviously.
  13. “My life is what means the most to me, which is why my desire for more power has no limits.”
  14. When Misaka asks him why he needs more power even though he’s the strongest, he looks sane. He sounds sane, and thoughtful.
  15. Eyes not the same size = sure sign of insane evil.
  16. He already killed 10,031 of her by this stage, heh. Does he dream of her face?
  17. “Letting out all those heroic lines”, the story theme continues. The God theme weakened but still present.
  18. Accelerator’s power is also a problem for Touma, as he changes the vectors, he’s basically shooting bullets, but so what if Touma touches the bullets? The speed is already there. He just can smack Accelerator if he touches him.

Episode 14:

  1. What sort of genius should Accelerator be in order to calculate in real time the winds in all environs?
  2. “You’re saying I’m so sexually deprived that even under general anesthesia my hand went for a girl’s breasts on its own?”
  3. Misaka: “What kind of character do you hope I’d be?” heh.

Episode 15:

  1. This is what happens when you don’t have a memory and for all intents and purposes you’ve never went to the beach before. You think a jellyfish is a hat…
  2. That’s what anime taught me, anyway.
  3. The beginning of the episode has Touma and Index especially domestic.
  4. His family moved, so he won’t see the house he was born in, at least not if he won’t tell them he lost his memories. Perhaps he should confide in them? But then they’d ask how, probably.
  5. Err, his cousin looks like a clone of Misaka Mikoto…
  6. His family all looks like clones, his mom looks exactly like Index, heh.
  7. Touma dressed like Hannibal Lecter, heh.
  8. Heh, the “president of the USA”, what stance would (s)he take? “Yes we can!”
  9. What’s with the outfit of the Russian mage?!
  10. Angel Fall, it distorts reality, causing a disconnect between content and appearance, is appearance not part of content though? That’s part of what symbolic magic is based on.
  11. “Ways to stop an angel fall”, did the angel not fall but the ritual is causing him to fall, or it fell and this is to just stop the effects?
  12. Now we know why one of Touma’s best friends is also a level 0.
  13. Also, it’s unclear what happens when the “musical chair game” will end. Will it be that appearance will become content, will, say, Touma’s cousin’s body truly change to that of Misaka Mikoto, will Misaka Mikoto’s personality become that of his cousin, what?
  14. Hm, so what IF the appearances get switched? Will his cousin adopt the personality of Misaka, or merely her form, what’s wrong with her adopting that form, if most people couldn’t notice?
  15. UNCLEAR!
  16. Well, at least it didn’t end up being a dream episode, heh.

Episode 16:

  1. “How do lucky people feel? To always draw the winning lottery ticket, means you’re always going to have others draw the losing tickets.”
  2. Erm, how do other people don’t see someone looks “wrong”? How does it work? They see Kanzaki as Styil, but they can recognize the content of those they know, how?!
  3. Also, surprising how him touching someone doesn’t stop the illusion on that person.

Episode 17:

  1. “No matter what misfortune awaits me, the road is for me to take!”
  2. Heh. Back to pre-memory loss Determinator.
  3. That coming out of the moon seems to be the spheres, the celestial spheres planets and stars rotated in.
  4. “Power of God” = Gabriel, but she used the name Misha, which is Michael.
  5. Also, why is the angel after Touya’s father? She thinks he caused the angel-fall, and by killing him she’ll return to heaven? But she wants to cause the catastrophe, which means she’s trying to complete angel fall, so what about his dad?
  6. As a Christian I can’t defeat a Christian angel, however, my Christianity is a multi-religion Christianity style! Yeah, religion martial arts! LOLOL
  7. “In a polytheism like Shinto, anti-deity magic exists, as well.”
  8. Heh, a self-parody of spies and double spies and triple spies :D
  9. “Such misfortune” is so much like Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei’s “I’m in despair!”

Episode 18:

  1. “Touma, do you swear you feel nothing when you see my sleeping form?”
  2. Boy, talk about a trap question!
  3. Talk about a teeth-cracker, that name took half the screen!
  4. I have the crazy eyes of a crazy killer! On that note, I should probably check Toradora!
  5. The concept of “The Kamijyou Faction” is so ridiculous.
  6. See, unlike Accelerator, the semi-crazy killer has emotions too.

Episode 19:

  1. Accelerator being all thoughtful and introspective, though yeah, these dudes are so stupid. So someone beat him, he can still beat all of you.
  2. Wow, a tiny girl stalking Accelerator, heh.
  3. Hm, he bounced noise, turns out he bounced all noise.
  4. Hm, the silly annoying music comes along with the lil girl’s voice.
  6. And with much more emotions and animation in her voice!
  7. Body compact, brain also not fully developed, repeating everything about herself, “grumbles Misaka grumbles Misaka.”
  8. Also understandable she came to Accelerator, she was created for him, so he can validate her existence.
  9. Also, the opening scene’s monologue is now clear, the “meeting” is not after August 31st, but during August 31st, after Midnight, the day the previous episode is in.
  10. Also, a bit funny how the red on her cheeks is drawn so it covers empty space not on her face.
  11. Wonder if people are returning the favour to Accelerator, since he used to beat them all, and now someone had shown them that he’s defeatable, though not by the likes of them.
  12. “Delicious food is delicious” lolcat land, here we go!
  13. If she’s the command center, if she were to die, would all Sisters lose contact with one another? What is her purpose?
  14. Also, how can personalities be overwritten, is it science that can be used on everybody, or just the Sisters? Also, talk about rotten security, who let this runt out with a body that is not finished?
  15. The end of the episode’s preview kills me, “This epic will begin” is not the right words to keep using at episode 19’s end.

Episode 20:

  1. “I used to possess a human-like name before too.” Not a human name, but a name that made him look as if he were a human…
  2. Accelerator speaks of “Humans”, but it’s not like a psychologist analyzing his own species, but like someone who no longer is.
  3. “A Testament Machine”, again with the religious symbolism? :D
  4. “Who the hell do you think I am?” :D
  5. “I don’t have any computation capacity left to do a deflection.” He is a genius, he treats his brain like a computer, processing information. His ability is not automatic, it relies on calculating deflection and forces… Even if done beforehands.
  6. The blood flowed from the back of his head before, and now the back of his head is still clean, the hair is not drenched with blood…
  7. The Frog-faced doctor is taking care of a girl like Last Order at home? That’s interesting.

Episode 21: (Watched after an 8 month stop)

  1. Anti skills? Again, who is the guy in the opening? Too many future storylines left open.
  2. Well, now we see the blonde and the stone golem.
  3. Very little actually happened this episode.

Episode 22:

  1. Highest Masterpiece OP reminds me of the Black Lagoon OP.
  2. “Cromwell”, someone remembered some history lessons and picked a suitably “English” name ;-)
  3. Looks like a doll without her glasses and her open head. Now that’s freaky.
  4. Kazakiri Hyouma reminds me of Yomiko Readman from Read or Die, while Himegami reminds me of someone from Shigofumi.

Episode 23:

  1. It’s ridiculous how quickly this magician scribbles. That’s her true power.
  2. Index using powers, woot!
  3. About Physics: Kazakiri would be between the golem and Index and he should still hit both, just like Touma’s hand doesn’t cancel the motion of something moving.
  4. What Kazakiri said also fits Touma, with his unlucky right hand.

Episode 24:

  1. Touma punched her hard enough that she left a hole in the wall. What is this, some super-powered anime ;-)
  2. The true mark of a shonen anime, the protagonist not only gets along with everyone, but within 3 minutes understands their true goals. This is because they are all so simple, and only think they are complex three-dimensional beings, and because the authors read too much pop psychology (machismo).
  3. Well, guess she didn’t go splat to stop the golem, Kazakiri.
  4. Seeing much more of Index’s thighs these last two episodes.
  5. Well, now need to wait for the next season, both for Laura Stuart, such a young and a woman archbishop, also, Touma’s friend who is a magician, how can he be so close to Aleister Crowley?
  6. Mysteries.


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8 comments on “A Certain Magical Index – An Unabridged Entry to My Mind

  1. Blacksun88 says:

    haha i finished this series not long ago too. and i would say ur though is funny and capture the scene well ^^

  2. Yi says:

    Wow, this is actually a really good, fun, and effective way to blog a series. Will come back again when I finish the series or as I watch the series.

    • Guy says:

      Well, it might go better for 13 episode series, cause this is long!

      Also, it’s to a review what a drive-by-shooting is to a war. It’s a quick glimpse into the nature of things, scattered. I wouldn’t call it a review, but it’s a good way to get people a lot of what mattered. It’s almost like these are the things people would tweet about as they watch a show. Except I didn’t really tweet at the time.

      Let me know what you think. And you watched Railgun without watching Index?

  3. lovelyduckie says:

    I claim I may re-try this series someday…but I’d have to be really bored (probably unemployed) and have already exhausted watching many other series.

    “A good episodic blog would have taken each of those thoughts, and wrote at least a paragraph on them”

    I don’t like following episodic blogs because I rarely watch something on a week to week basis. I’m the type that builds up a whole lot and then wawtches it marathon style. I appreciate a first impressions post and a final (spoiler free) review more than anything.

    • Guy says:

      Episodic blogs are also weird, if you watched the episode, you’ve already watched it. If you haven’t, then go ahead and do it. 20 minutes and you’re already watching the series, so why read the post?

      No. Episodic blogs are coffee-break discussions. You want to talk to others who like what you like, and engage in a conversation regarding what both of you wrote. This discussion could also work well in a chat format, rather than a forum.

  4. Solaris says:

    I’m rather impressed on how many uninteresting details you took down. It looks moe and commedy impressed you much more than any deep analisys of the context. No wonder you halted it halfway. Did you find all of those gibberish speech boring and uncomprehensible? Would you cut them off for the sake of comedy too? Did you also find arcs loosely related in the first place? If so you need to carefully rewatch it and pay more attention on the context.

    • Guy says:

      It’s stuff that drew attention to itself. Or did for me. It didn’t come instead of the “important bits”, but is what I might not think would be important later, or well, many important things are not here, as they’re not born from a collection of details, but synthesizing the whole series.

      If you’ll note my reviews, they mostly have deep analysis. I can post the Angel Beats comments I’ve done in a similar way to this (but less notes, due to no screenshots). I wonder what you’d think of those.

      Gibberish is by definition incomprehensible. Sometimes it’s interesting if you actually think it can be deciphered and attempt to be so. Gibberish should always be cut away.
      There were plenty of so-so, or outright boring but not incomprehensible discussions. Some were left intentionally vague and foreboding, like anything with the spy friend and Aliester Crowley, but some like with the angel were plain crap; and should’ve been excised.

      Cut them for comedy? Not really. It’s not really a comedy series, or at least, not very funny, even if it has many bits that belong to the “comedy genre” (which is often not funny!).

      And no, the arcs, plenty of them, even if not all, are not really related. It shows its light novel origins. But you’re free to disagree.

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