I’ve only read a little bit of the book, and have actually gotten farther in the manga spinoff. From what I’ve seen in the manga, this is quite an interesting story being told. However, I’m only familiar with the first part of the series, so my knowledge is limited at best. This, like Tales of the Abyss, is pretty much hit or miss. So far (and like any other series I’ve seen so far), we’ve seen almost no story, as we get a fairly short introduction to the world and some of the characters that will be playing big roles in the rest of the series. I remain hopeful for this, since I really like Index and Mikoto’s characters. I’m not convinced this is worth watching just yet, but from what I’ve seen, this can be a worthwhile series. I just need to figure out whether to keep it up, or archive and watch later.
Touma is having a really bad day. After trying to look cool and stand up for a single girl against a crowd of some gang members. After running away from the entire crowd, however, the girl shows up again, finding his assistance unnecessary. She proves so by using coins and her mastery of electricity to create a railgun. However, Touma’s right arm has the ability to negate such powers (“Imagine Breaker”). The final blast, however, knocks out power throughout the area, including Touma’s apartment.
Touma has a series of unfortunate events that leaves him with rotten food, no money, and no friends willing to bail him out. He sets out the futon to dry (A/C broken in Japan is a terrible thing), only to find another girl draped on the veranda railing. Although foreign-looking, she speaks Japanese, and is rather hungry.
Surprisingly enough, Index is capable of eating all of Touma’s bad food from the fridge. She explains more about who she is, and how she is a magician. Touma is in disbelief, saying that there’s scientifically proven capabilities and augmentations, but there’s nothing magical at all. Index tries to prove she’s with the church and is a magician, but has no talents to speak of, only a robe. Touma’s right hand, which strips away magic power, immediately strips her of her clothes, leading to many, many bite marks.
Index manages to repair her robe with some humongous safety pins, and bids her farewell to Touma. After all, she is being hunted by some bad people, and he wouldn’t want his room to explode, now would he? Although he offers his room as safe haven, Index leaves, and Touma wonders if he’ll ever see the little girl again.
At school, Tsukuyomi-sensei has announced a little quiz; despite her childish appearance, she’s quite the teacher, and the class loves her. Everybody except Touma, who doesn’t really put a lot of effort in his studies. Gazing outside, he wonders more about Index, and is mistaken for peeping on the girls’ tennis team. The childish teacher starts crying, earning Touma the wrath of his classmates. Walking home, the girl from the previous night finally gives her name, Mikoto. She wants to have another match, but Touma isn’t interested. Her rage causes some of the bots nearby to go haywire, and both run away as quickly as possible.
Upon returning home, the cleaning bots that frightened Index so much are scrubbing away stains in front of Touma’s door. After looking closer, Touma sees Index in the middle, presumably asleep. However, blood stains her white robe, and a sinister-looking magician appears behind them.
Tales of the Abyss is an interesting adventure anime with a mix of magic and action, but To Aru Majutsu no Index (good god that’s long) has added a certain comedic element to it. It works really well, especially with the firey personality of Mikoto and the overall airheadedness of Index. Speaking of which, Mikoto has a side manga devoted to her railgun adventures, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun. It’s really something, and sometimes I wonder if it’s better than the original material or not.
It is too early to figure out if this is a watch or not. One thing that WILL make me come back for at least another episode is that I know Touma has some growth still in him. Also, I’m excited to see Kaori’s character appear. So I’ll stay tuned at least that long.
Production-wise, I’m not a huge fan of the animation, but it is similar to that used in the manga. Touma looks really odd sometimes, but Index and Tsukuyomi-sensei are adorable. The others are rather run of the mill, though, so I hope they put a little more effort in their work. On the plus side, the ED is a really, really good song, and is worlds better than the OP. Look above and see for yourself.
Let’s give this one a little more time before a decision is made on whether it’s watchable or not. Even though I looked forward to this a lot, with a lot of other shows suddenly making good names for themselves, this one might go into “archive and watch later” mode.
Now the real fun starts!