Anime Review: A Certain Magical Index II

January 7, 2015

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Before getting on with the rest of the new stuff, I guess I should continue on with a few old things, huh?

Back around late November and early to mid December, I had gotten some books and iTunes credit and stated in a review that one of things that I had gotten at the time could not be covered because its release was incomplete.

Now that 2015 has begun and the rest of that incomplete show was released, I can finally finish up with the last of the things I got before Christmas.

Today, I will do just that by reviewing the last of the two shows I got between the late November and mid December timeframe, which is called A Certain Magical Index II (part 1 & part 2).

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post and, like A Certain Scientific Railgun S, the synopsis from the previous show is suitable for this portion of the series, no synopsis will given.

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While many people seem to think that A Certain Magical Index is so great, due to the fact that it is the parent series of the Raildex universe, I have not been that thrilled with the series and, unfortunately, it still rings true to this day.

However, that does mean that I entirely hated, since there were a few things that I liked, which means that I do not have to talked about things that I hated right away, though one of the things that I did like is also something that contributed to the negatives. First, I liked how the show did not focus exclusively on either Touma Kamijou, whom I still think of as the worst protagonist ever, or Accelerator. Now, I have read that there are definitely more than two protagonists in the Magical Index side of the Raildex universe, but seeing what the other characters are up to is certainly a nice breath of fresh air from spending the whole series wishing that Touma would just die already. The one that really surprised me though was having an arc deal with Shirai Kuroko almost exclusively. Out of the two series that comprise what is known as the Raildex universe, I would have expected an arc like this to be featured in A Certain Scientific Railgun, not in Magical Index, especially because Mikoto Misaka was involved as well. Seeing how Kuroko took out enemies quite easily and that her fights were things I did not want to pause for anything, I was all for following her. After all, other than Misaka herself, Kuroko is probably the only other person I want to see what struggles she has to go through, at least when her infatuation with Misaka does not go overboard, and this arc delivered that fairly well. In fact, the questions that Kuroko was asking were the same ones that I had in my head as well, despite the fact that I do read the Railgun manga regularly. Even though this arc does have at least one major flaw that I will talk about later, this is what I wish the Magical Index series were like this. Unfortunately, the kinds of mysteries found in A Certain Scientific Railgun or, better yet, Pandora Hearts, are nowhere to be seen anywhere in this series so far. If there were, I probably would have liked this series so much more. Another thing that I liked were the funny scenes found in the show. The one that should out the most though was the interactions between Last Order and Misaka 10032. While the interactions between Misaka 9982 and Mikoto Misaka, as seen in A Certain Scientific Railgun S and volume 4 of the Railgun manga, were quite funny, it pales into comparison of seening Misaka 10032 taking out a gun and chasing Last Order because of what she had done, though in my mind a parent or big sister would probably be angry if somebody chased a child with a weapon in hand. Each time I see that scene I feel like laughing because I know that 10032 is overreacting to childish behavior. The thing that I liked the most though was seeing how Accelerator met another person that gave him a real challenge. Up until and during the Sisters arc, where we meet Accelerator for the first time in both portions of the Raildex universe, anyone that challenged Accelerator got beat up pretty easily and the only one that could really compete with Accelerator was Touma. Here, however, Accelerator met somebody from his past who understood his powers and its weaknesses, because he had been the one developing Accelerator’s power. With an opponent like this, I really wanted to see how Accelerator was going to overcome this challenge, especially because he is not as heartless now as he was during the Sisters arc. Because of this, I did not really want to pause at any moment when Accelerator was finally getting focus during the current situation in Magical Index. Outside of those things, there was not really anything that stood out. The fact that characters other than Touma and Accelerator got some time to shine and that Accelerator encountered another person that really posed a challenge him, as well as the funny things that were shown, made this somewhat more enjoyable than the first season.

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Although there were things I did like, there are some issues, much of which also exists in the first season. First, nothing really seems to be connected. Yes, we do get some kind of lead in to the Daihasei Festival arc and the incident in Italy, but there was not really anything anywhere to suggest something would happen. In fact, the adventures in Italy did not seem to suggest anything happening, other than a peaceful trip. Honestly, for a series that is supposedly better A Certain Scientific Railgun, it is still not living up to the quality that I would expect it to have. After all, with only a few exceptions that come to my mind, pretty much every arc of the Railgun series is related. For example, at the end of volume 3 of the manga, when Kiyama is taken away and the Level Upper incident comes to an end, Kiyama commented that she and Misaka were in the same predicament and that the Level Upper was created thanks to information gained from Misaka. Soon afterwards, the Sisters arc starts up and Misaka remembers what Kiyama had told her. That is an example of the perfect way to transition to a new arc and it even creates mysteries that I want I want to learn more about. Unfortunately, things are not that well connected in here. In fact, the way this show flows is just something that makes me feel like this whole series is just an adventures of Touma and friends show, much like how one person I found on the Internet, who thinks A Certain Magical Index is better than Railgun, said that the only reason A Certain Scientific Railun exists is so that Mikoto Misaka can have her own adventures. At least I can only think of two arcs, maybe no more than four when taking the Railgun anime into account, that were not introduced quite well, which are the Daihasei Festival arc, which recently ended, and the current arc, which does not seem to have a name right now, because there is too much going on for it to be called the Dream Ranker arc. Of course, the Daihasei Festival arc of the Railgun series was probably hinted at in the Liberal Arts City arc that never made its way over to my country like the Railgun manga and Magical Index novels did, though that does not change the fact that the transition from the Sisters arc to the Daihasei Festival arc in Railgun was not the greatest. Unfortunately, when I watched the first season again, this problem also existed there too. If this is what can be expected from the team that works on Magical Index, since I have heard that the teams that deal with Railgun and Magical Index are not entirely the same, though the two series come from the same people, I hope that these guys either make the third season be as good as I am hearing it will be or be fired, because even both the seasons of the anime version of Railgun are much better than either season of Magical Index in this regard, especially since this causes me to not really care about what happens in the show. Another thing that I did not like really like was that Touma as a character did not seem to improve at all beyond what he was in the first season. Almost every arc, I was hoping that he would finally be killed and I just wanted to stop watching right then and there whenever we switched from seeing what Accelerator was doing to what Touma was doing. At least Edward Elric became a better person at the end of FMA because of the struggles he went through and what he learned from them. Really, I am not seeing why people like Touma so much, and most likely never will in the near future, seeing as only the first novel was released here recently. The thing that I hated most though, which carried over from the first season, was that nothing was really explained. The best example of this is the Tree Diagram Remnant arc. While it did at least follow a character that I actually cared about, the questions I had were never really answered. For example, I could not really understand why Misaka involved and what the nightmare was that Awaki Musujime, the only other known level 4 teleporter, aside from Kuroko, alluded to, even after watching A Certain Scientific Railgun S and reading the Railgun manga. Now, there are some hints that it does have something to do with the Level 6 Shift project performed in the Sisters arc, where we also learn about Project Radio Noise, and having experienced Misaka’s side of the ordeal, I can connect that to the nightmare that Awaki told Kuroko about when they first met. However, if I were to take the Railgun portion of the Raildex universe out of the equation entirely, which is what I expect most of those that prefer A Certain Magical Index over A Certain Scientific Railgun would do, since I have found at least one person who said that they liked this season of Magical Index more than Railgun S, things become much more unclear, because I definitely did not understand what Misaka was going through when I saw the Magical Index version of the Sisters arc. As such, I could not really see what the big deal was about restarting the Level 6 Shift Project was for Misaka and why Kuroko would even involve herself in the matter. Man, I wish that this arc were covered in A Certain Scientific Railgun too, instead of the immediate jump from the Sisters arc to the Daihasei Festival arc, which is probably the weakest arc in the Railgun manga, though volume 10 might fix things, due to the differences that I hear are present in the volume from what can be found online. If I had to take a guess as to why it was skipped, it could be that Kuroko is part of the main cast of Railgun and this arc already focused on her. Then again, that is a lousy reason to skip an arc that would have been so much better if we understood what Misaka was going through, thus making me understand the troubles that both Misaka and Kuroko are going through. Still, it does not change the fact that the Tree Diagram Remnant arc is probably one of the better arcs in this show. Other than those issues, nothing much else really bugged me. While there was nothing that was terrible about this show that can only be found in this season, the fact that issues from the previous season still persist, such as a protagonist that I wish to see get killed off every arc, arcs that are not entirely connected, and things do not make a whole lot of sense, even with knowledge from both portions of the Raildex universe, make this show the worst thing I have seen.

Despite the fact that there were a few things that I liked, the negatives outweighed it enough to make this a waste of time. I recommend this to only those that are fans of A Certain Magical Index, especially those that prefer the series to A Certain Scientific Railgun, because they are the only ones that will enjoy this. As for everyone else, if you really want to see this, only watch episodes 6-7, the last few minutes of episode 17, and episodes 18-24, because most of the other episodes are pointless and episodes 17-24 not only have things to laugh about, but also have hints towards the World War III arc.

What are your thoughts on A Certain Magical Index II? Did you like it or hate it? Were there things that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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2 Comments

  • the Index half of the franchise is a disappointment to be sure. The stories and characters are mostly not compelling, unlike the Railgun half of the franchise.
  • @AstroNerdBoy AA AA, Railgun is a side story to Index, not a half. Its not like the author started Index while he was 14 and only started Railgun when he finished with the writing of the last arc of the second season of Index. Its not like he gets better and better as he continues writing. Its not like the anime messed up the Index LN bad and its not like the best arcs of Index overshadows overly the best arcs of Railgun
    Comment by Mathias Rosier on Feb 24, 2015 02:05am
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