Book Review: A Certain Magical Index Volume 10

A Certain Magical Index Volume 10 cover

I hope that everyone is doing well and looking forward to great weekend, regardless of how you plan to spend it.

Things have been going fairly well here, especially because the title that was giving me troubles has finally been fixed, but before I can tackle the two books that I have anxiously waiting to read, I have to tackle at least one more book from my recent Amazon order, which arrived the same day as those preordered books.

Today, I will be reviewing that book, which is called A Certain Magical Index Volume 10 by Kazuma Kamachi.

As I have given a series synopsis in and earlier post and this book concludes the events of the previous book, I will not be giving this book any summary.

While Magical Index does not have that great of reputation with me, its books have been decent for me to at least desire to see what happens next, but I kept expecting it fail, thanks to the bad impression that the anime adaptations gave me.

Fortunately, after reading this, I can say that kind of liked it.

From the moment that I first opened up this book, I did not feel like putting it down for any reason, at least until I reached the epilogue, though I do have to satisfy the same needs as everyone, and there was also quite a bit of noise pollution.

Yes, a lot of the books I have recently finished did not fail me in this regard, but Kazuma Kamachi has been having an awfully hard time maintaining my interest in events that happen in this side of the Raildex universe, except for the Tree Diagram Remnant and Sisters arc, the latter of which was almost as good in the novel series as Railgun's side of the story was in the Railgun manga and Railgun S anime, and that has kept me from wanting to say that this is as great as a small minority claims.

However, in this book, Kazuma was able to hold my attention for far longer than he has been able to when his series did not revolve around either Accelerator or the Railgun cast, which makes me want to give him a thumbs up.

Hopefully, the day will come in which my interest is not heightened in this series just because a character I like, or, in the case of the eighth book, one that comes off better when said character is making strong advances on a character I like, but that remains to be seen because Yen Press released five books in the year that they published the first book, yet only published four books last year, since this volume just got released this month, so I am not too sure when the stuff found in A Certain Magical Index II will be fully publish and the arcs that Index fans say outshines Railgun's Sisters arc will be officially released here.

For now, I will just give Kazuma credit for holding my interest, even though the main reason that my interest was held was because of how well the last book, which was released back in November of last year, according to Amazon, ended.

If it had not ended the way it did, I would have been angry at myself for picking up Magical Index again so quickly, since it would have been no better than what was found in the anime.

I also liked how there was a lot of tension in the air.

Even though the Magical Index anime and novels are two very different works, as confirmed by Magical Index fans and Yoshihiro Togashi in Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 10, when he talked about the anime adaptation of his own work, the one thing that Kazuma Kamachi has had troubles with is keeping things intense, and, in cases like the first two books, he sometimes fails to make things feel as intense as they should, whereas almost every fight and arc in Railgun, except for the fight that happens between Misaka, Touma, and Gunha at the end of Railgun's Daihasei Festival arc and a few others, has enough tension that has me on the end of my seat from start to finish.

Here, however, there was almost no moment where I did not feel like I was on the edge of my seat, almost like I was reading the Sisters arc or Tree Diagram Remnant arc all over again.

This is what I wanted to see all along in this series and Kazuma delivered.

Seriously, if Magical Index were more like this towards the beginning, I would have been more enthusiastic about this series than I am, and there would probably be a few more fans of Index than there are of Railgun.

Unfortunately, it took Kazuma too much time to be able to get this far with his and I will probably never be able to recommend any of these books to those that are not part of the Index fandom, unless it has relevance to the Railgun series like the Tree Diagram Remnant arc did.

Another nice thing about this book was that there a few more times that I actually felt like laughing than I did in the last book.

While it is more of the same things that many of the people in the Raildex community would be familiar with already, I still found myself chuckling quite a few times.

Now, this series, like many anime and manga, rely on stuff that people would generally associate with low class comedy, but I have said time and again that such things can still be funny if done right, much like how a story with a predictable ending can still be good if the story is executed well, and Kazuma has shown that he can at least balance it out well, as long as the right characters on the stage, since I found myself laughing more when Misaka and Kuroko were around than when they were not.

This is starting to seem like Magical Index is still getting ever closer to the quality of the Railgun manga and I hope that Kazuma will continue to give me something to laugh about, especially because I cannot wait to see the moment that Misaka 10032 chases Last Order around with a gun and see if it as funny in the novels as it was in Index 2, which should be released in August, according to Amazon.

If Kazuma fails to make me laugh any more than this, I guess that I will have good proof that Railgun is the better portion of the Raildex universe.

The thing that I liked the most though was how this arc did not end with Touma's usual punching.

Throughout my time following A Certain Magical Index, I hated how almost everything seemed to be resolved by Touma throwing a punch with his right fist, regardless of whether I was watching the anime adaptations or reading the novels, when he has full use of his body, and, much like how bland his character felt in the anime, it gave me a reason to want to see him die.

At this moment, the Index fans reading this be wondering why I, and many others, make a big out Touma winning his fights with only one hand, since Mikoto Misaka tends to use her Railgun to finish things off in A Certain Scientific Railgun, and that is the case for the Level Upper, Poltergeist, and Silent Party arcs, but Misaka tends to use her power over electricity in many ways to bring her opponents down, such as when she squared off against Frenda and Mugino, which shows that she is fairly adept at fighting strategically, and it ends up feeling like Misaka earned those victories, whereas Touma victories felt like it was more luck than anything, even when it is apparent that he did have a strategy in mind.

On the other hand, in this book, even though he does seem to pull off victory against the only opponent that he fights using his usual tactics, the thing that really foiled the plans of his enemies was, as he himself said, the Daihasei Festival itself.

Yes, this still feels like a cheap win for Touma and the gang, but it was at least more believable than many of Touma's other fights because, like Yusuke's initial encounter with Sensui in Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 14, where Yusuke did not fall into Sensui's trap, Touma had pretty much forgotten about the parade until he looked at his phone and the enemy did not take into account that possibly either.

Honestly, if Touma could get more wins under his belt without relying so much on his right hand, people would not be thinking that he as much of a joke as he is in the anime, but I do not really see Kazuma taking this approach until one of the weakness that the Index fans know about comes to light, since it has only been hinted at once or twice now in the series, though I am not too sure if I willing to wait for World War III or whatever arc it is where Touma finally learns of that weakness, as there are people saying that Touma utilizes that weakness in his rematch against Accelerator.

For now, I can only hope that Kazuma does not rely on Touma's right hand to fix things anymore, and will only give him a mild amount of applause for what he did here.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that could not stand out on its own.

Because my attention was held for the good majority of the time that I was reading, even having more tension usual, and that I was able to find things that were funny, and that the incident did not end the usual way, though it still felt cheap, this book was relatively decent.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, such as the obvious fact that full enjoyment of this book can only be had by reading the previous book in the series, there was only one thing that bothered me.

The epilogue was mostly unnecessary.

In each of the books in this series, except for the previous book, there is an epilogue that shows what happened to Touma after he dealt with the troubles that came up and a few others talking about those events or hidden agendas, which helped add something humorous or give readers some kind of hook that will keep them coming back for more.

The epilogue in this book, however, did not have me interested in the least to go buy the next volume because it showed what happened to an enemy that got away, and one that I did not care about in the least.

This is not how to write an epilogue for an ongoing series, this is more suited for a epilogue to the series finale, but Kazuma does not seem to realize that.

Yes, he does have other things that make an enjoyable epilogue, but I do not need to know what happened to the mastermind beyond a small dialogue between the protagonistand their allies.

If that whole incident was removed from this book, I would have been much more satisfied, but, right now, I can only wonder why Kazuma thinks that he needs an epilogue at the end of every arc.

Not every arc needs an epilogue, Kazuma! In fact, there are many works of fiction out there that do not have an epilogue, at least published at same time as the story, yet have great endings, and this one could have been one of them, but Kazuma messed it all up.

Maybe Kazuma learned this around the time volume 11-22 got published, but seeing something like this makes me think that he is just as terrible of a writer as John Grisham has become, and that disappoints me.

Readers want to see their favorite writers to improve and create story that are as enjoyable as, if not more enjoyable than, the last thing they wrote, but Kazuma has only seemed to have gone downhill from what he delivered in the eighth book, which was the last one I gave a pass, in spite of the one annoyance that Kazuma talked about, and that decreases my interest in this series a bit.

I can overlook quite a bit, but there are things cannot overlook whether I want to, know the author enough to have made contact with them, or because the work was still great inspite of the flaw, and this is one of those times.

Then again, I should just be glad that Kazuma did not write anything as bored and tedious as the first two books, because I would not have considered giving this series another chance.

Fortunately, I have nothing else to complain about, so I can at least end things here.

While there was only one problem with this book, it was bad enough to take this from being a great addition to the series to one of the worst.

Despite the fact that there was quite a bit to like, the only major issue to be found outweighed those positives enough that this was only good enough to kill time or finish off the Daihasei Festival arc.

I only recommend this to fans of A Certain Magical Index, because they are the only ones that will be able to really enjoy and they would have also read the previous volume.

If you have read this book, what are your thoughts on A Certain Magical Index Volume 10? Please leave a comment and let everyone know why you liked or hated the book, especially if your reasons differ from mine or you disagree with me.

Also, if you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon, so that I can find more worthwhile reads and see in Magical Index really is that great of a series.

Use an app on your phone (e.g. Scan for Android) to capture the image above. If successful, you should be taken to the web version of this article.

Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.