Book Review: A Certain Scientific Accelerator Volume 1

January 16, 2016


Things seem kind of surprising this week.

I recently went to Barnes & Noble and found out that a deal that they had online was also occurring in stores too and got three books, though I originally intended to get four, before being convinced to try for six.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those three, which is called A Certain Scientific Accelerator Volume 1 by Kazuma Kamachi.

Academy City is a strange place with strange things that happen, such as mass production of clones meant to be killed off, experiments to create godlike espers out the any of the seven level fives, and even being invaded by many people that utilize powers of the occult.

However, the strongest of the seven high-ranking espers is not having the best of times right now, as he still getting used to a life of not being able to wield his ability as much as he wants, when somebody comes looking for him and Last Order that has him become more involved with the events of Academy City.

While I am a fan of one portion of the Raildex universe and the novel version of the other portion is looking better than it did before, I am not too sure about this book.

Fortunately, there are things that I did like about this book, so I do not have to skip right into what I disliked, even if there are people that absolutely hate this series.

I liked how it got off to a quick start.

Even though this kind also contributes to one or more of the bad things present in this book, it does allow me to quickly immerse myself into his world after seeing what he had to go through in the all of the events of the Sisters arc in the Raildex universe, since only the Railgun portion seems to have flashbacks that go over what Accelerator really wanted from the experiment and that he did not want to kill the clones, which even the fifth book of the novel series of A Certain Magical Index seems to only suggest, and the events of August 31, where Accelerator rescued Last Order.

Not only can I immerse myself in Accelerator's world, but also by having it start off quickly, it is less likely that things will become boring from being tedious, much like the first two books of the Magical Index novels.

After all, if it too takes long for a story to get good, it was not that great of a story to begin with, such as how The Book Thief turned out to be, regardless of whether the experts in the writing industry or in academia think that the title deserves to be called a classic.

However, because this nice thing about the book also contributes to its downfall in a much more devastating way than the problems present in the anime version of Index's Tree Diagram Remanent arc, I do not really feeling like applauding the work done in this book, especially since A Certain Scientific Railgun and A Certain Magical Index seem to do a much better job with their stories, more so the novels than the anime of the latter.

The thing that I liked the most though were the funny things present.

While I did not really find myself laughing too much during the course of reading this book, the omakes presented at the end was absolutely hilarious.

Every single panel of the omake, such as women looking for Accelerator like he was a piece of meat and Last Order wanting a bigger chest, despite the fact that she is still under twelve years of age, had me laugh pretty hysterically, though probably not too loudly.

If this book featured only things like this, it would probably be much more enjoyable, though the series will lose its luster after a few volumes of antics like these, especially considering that the things that were funny when Detective Conan started became pretty mundane as time went on.

Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything else that I particularly liked.

The fact that things do pick up pretty quickly and that the omake was hilarious made this book somewhat enjoyable.

Although there were some good things about this book, there are some issues.

First, I do not really feel like I know Accelerator at all.

Even though I do follow both A Certain Scientific Railgun and A Certain Magical Index, the latter of which features Accelerator as a main character after the events of the Sisters arc, Accelerator himself does not seem like he has been explored too much, aside from his terrible childhood that consisted of people fearing him because of his ability and various experiments, and I was hoping to be able to learn more about Accelerator after he had saved Last Order.

Unfortunately, because things get off to a quick start, I never really learn more about Accelerator than I have beyond what happened in the Railgun version of the Sisters arc and the events that occurred in the fifth book.

In fact, it seems more like Accelerator has digressed to the point where he appears to be the killing machine that he was during the Sisters arc, though he has not done anything to Last Order, as far as I know, since I am more current on A Certain Scientific Railgun than I am with this series.

For example, when Accelerator found Last Order in the fifth book of A Certain Magical Index, he hesitates to kill her when told that he had to do it, but here, when Estelle tries to ask for Accelerator's help, he seems to have the urge to kill Estelle.

Now, this is probably not really unlike him, since he did mercilessly beat Awaki some time after the events of the Tree Diagram Remanent arc and went on a rampage when Hound Dog messed with him, but these events seem to occur right after the events of August 31st, where he was seemingly becomes more human, yet he does not seem to be as docile as the book suggested he was.

Maybe, Accelerator will improve as a character in the next few volumes, but he is certainly not the Accelerator that I am particularly fond of right now.

The thing that I hated the most though was that this volume overall was very dull.

Yes, there is a lot of action and Accelerator mops the floor with many of his opponents, much like he does in A Certain Magical Index, but there was nothing in the book that made me really want to read the next volume like there was in Pandora Hearts and the Sisters arc of A Certain Scientific Railgun.

Seeing as the Magical Index wiki suggests that Kazuma Kamachi wrote this, I am deeply disappointed, especially since A Certain Scientific Railgun, which was published before this, seems to be of much better quality, despite this being a recently started series.

Now, creating good stories one after the other is a difficult feat to accomplish, but with as much content as there is in the Raildex universe, I would expect a new series to match or exceed the quality of the series that came before it.

While I will admit that there may be a chance that this will improve, since A Certain Magical Index really started to improve after the second book, I do not really see that happening any time soon, unless the second volume really impresses me, since I do try to give series a chance, with a few exceptions, to catch my attention before I drop it.

Still, that does not mean that I faith in this series, especially when this is caused yet again by the fact that things seemed to move quicker than they should have for the first volume, and gives off the impression that this made to capitalize on Accelerator's popularity and allow him to have adventures outside of those he has in A Certain Magical Index.

Other than those things, I cannot really think of any other issues, aside from the obvious one that caused the problems already mentioned and the usual issues with the first book in a series.

Even though the book had only two major flaws, the fact that they were both caused by the fact that things seemed to move too fast and that they even exist makes this one of the worst books I have read.

Despite the fact that there were a few things to like, the negative aspects of this book, like not really getting to know Accelerator and things being dull, outweighed them enough to make this a complete waste of time.

Unless things improve in the next volume, I recommend that everyone, including fans of Accelerator from the Raildex universe, avoid this like the plague, because newcomers will not be able to learn who Accelerator is and the things that do happen and how they happen is not why people like Accelerator.

What are your thoughts on A Certain Scientific Accelerator Volume 1? Do you like or hate it? If you hated it, did you like Accelerator as he was portrayed in the other series of the Raildex universe, like I do, or do you hate Accelerator regardless of the series you follow? Was there something you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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