A Certain Magical Index

A Certain Magical Index

A Certain Magical Index anime cover art featuring Kamijō and Index
A Certain Magical Index Cover Art


A Certain Magical Index is the primary story in the franchise known as RailDex which also includes the side story, A Certain Scientific Railgun. I believe the watch order for these series is Index, Railgun, Index II, Railgun S, then whatever Index season 3 is going to be called, but I watched Railgun first. Whoops.

Index takes place in the same Academy City as Railgun, and features many of the same characters, except this time Kamijō is the protagonist instead of Misaka. It also focuses more on magic than science, as the title implies.

The first arc in the series annoyed me a lot. Index, the female lead, is named such because she functions as an index for 103,000 volumes of magical text. Now, this alone isn’t annoying, but just about every other sentence in the first arc is reminding us of these 103,000 volumes.

Just typing out those sentences about the 103,000 volumes of magical data is triggering flashbacks, so that’s the last you’ll hear about them from me. After that beginning arc, the series does get better, but it still has its issues.

The main issue I think I had with the series was the over-saturation of religious references. Sometimes I found them to be fine such as the use of golems by one of the mages, and other times I found them interesting such as how different religions can be used to counter each other, but most of the time that wasn’t the case.

Typically the characters would just ramble on about something while throwing in religious terms or phrases without making any real sense. I think these scenes were supposed to be confusing because we’re understanding everything from Kamijō’s perspective, but it was a bit much.

This is the type of gag I expect the show to pull once or twice, but it became less of a gag and more just a part of the show. Every episode has this kind of thing happen multiple times; more times than is acceptable for a running gag.


Tōma Kamijō is the protagonist for this series. He’s a student in Academy City, but doesn’t appear to have any psychic powers like most of the other students in the city. On the other hand, he also doesn’t appear to have any magical ability like the sorcerers he meets during the series.

Instead, Kamijō has an ability which seems to fall into neither of these categories. His (right?) hand is able to completely stop both magic and psychic powers simply by touching the power, or the person using the power.

I recently saw a video which mentioned him and said that his power was boring because having a power that cancels out the powers of others is overdone for anime protagonists. However, I can’t think of another protagonist with this ability, so I wasn’t bothered by it in that sense.

That said, I do think that the ability to nullify the abilities of others simply leads to uninteresting fights.

Think of it like this, we all know that Naruto is going to resort to using the shadow clone jutsu, but at least he can use that in conjunction with other jutsu or strategies. Kamijō on the other hand just has to touch his opponent or whatever ability they throw at him, and the battle is essentially over.

Index is the female lead of the series, not Misaka from Railgun. She’s a member of the English Puritan Church and is in possession of a large number of grimoires (see how I didn’t say the number?) which are stored as memories in her head.

Misaka is still in this series, however, but plays a more supporting role. She also had 20,001 clones of herself running around Academy City, but I don’t even want to get into that.

This may be an issue I have simply because I watched Railgun first, but I felt that Misaka wasn’t the same character who I was used to seeing in Railgun. I can’t pinpoint what was different about her exactly, but her personality wasn’t the same.

Komoe Tsukuyomi is one of Kamijō’s teachers who is neither an esper or a magician. Her role in the series is mainly to be the stable adult figure since most of the other characters are teenagers. However, her appearance is that of a small child for whatever reason.

The final character I’ll mention is one of the antagonists for the series, an esper known as Accelerator. His psychic ability allows him to freely control any vectors, which he typically uses to reflect any attack that comes at him back towards the user.

Accelerator is the strongest of the seven level 5 espers in Academy City and is part of an experiment to make him the first level 6 esper.

Kamijō and Index from the anime A Certain Magical Index
Kamijō and Index


At first I didn’t like A Certain Magical Index as much as I liked A Certain Scientific Railgun, but by the end of the season I’d have to say they’re about the same. Because of that, I rated A Certain Magical Index at 6/10.

I’ll have to watch the second seasons of both shows before I can really decide which one I liked more, but for now I’ll say I’m leaning slightly more toward Railgun because it made more sense.

The first OP for A Certain Magical Index is available here.

My review of A Certain Magical Index II is available here.

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