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Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen




Welcome to the thread for A Certain Scientific Railgun S.

Staff and Info

All names in Japanese order (family, given)

Director: Nagai Tatsuyuki
Series Composition: Minakami Seishi
Original creator: Kamachi Kazuma
Original Manga: Fuyukawa Motoi
Original Character Design: Haimura Kiyotaka
Character Design: Tanaka Yuichi

OP: Sister's Noise by fripSide, who also did the OPs for the OVA and first season, which are future gazer, only my railgun, and LEVEL5 -judgelight- respectively. Pretty much awesome.

ED: Grow Slowly by Iguchi Yuka, voice actress for Index herself and Bake/Nisemonogatari's Araragi Tsukihi.

The first episode will air on April 12 (exactly one week from this post). Funimation will stream the series on Sundays 11:30AM ET starting April 14.

For those new to the franchise

To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S / A Certain Scientific Railgun S is the sequel to the 2009-2010 show of the same name (but missing the S). Railgun itself is a spinoff of the similarly-titled light novel series A Certain Magical Index, which has also been adapted into two seasons of anime (2008-2009, and 2010-2011 respectively). All adaptations in this franchise are done by J.C. Staff, known for Toradora! and a slew of mediocre romcoms. The plot of the parent story is not particularly important, and a good number of people watched Railgun without having seen anything of Index. I'll summarize the significant things here.

Raildex takes place in the near-future, where a region of Tokyo known as Academy City has become an autonomous city-state. Academy City is, as its name suggests, a metropolis of schooling, with over 80% of the city's 2.3 million residents being students. For unexplained reasons, the city is also extremely technologically-advanced, somewhere around 30 years ahead of the rest of the world. In addition, the city is a giant experiment ground for studying the production of psychic (a.k.a. esper) powers in children. Children are ranked in their esper abilities by six Levels, ranging from 0 (no power) to 5. There are only seven residents of the city who qualify as Level 5.

Index follows a Level 0 high school boy named Kamijou Touma who has a strange, non-esper ability to negate all esper abilities with his right arm. He's thrust into a conflict between this futuristic science and strangely-similar magic, which he can also negate with his arm. In this universe, magic is religion-themed, so the story largely revolves around secularism and technology vs. religion and the supernatural.

Railgun follows Misaka Mikoto, a middle school girl who is also the third-ranked Level 5 in Academy City. Her esper power gives her control over electromagnetism, and her title, the Railgun, comes from her signature ability to use her power to accelerate a coin to massive speeds very quickly, not unlike an actual railgun. She and her three friends spend the majority of the first season investigating intriguing mysteries or conflicts around Academy City, which serves to flesh out the setting in a way that Index couldn't due to major plot distractions.

Season two here will consist largely of the "Sisters" arc of Index, but from Misaka's perspective rather than Kamijou's. The arc was episodes 10-14 of the first season of the Index anime, for anyone who wants to watch it for perspective. Since Misaka is the focal character of the arc, we will likely see significant expansion and explanation that was not present in the original.

Viewer beware

Being an anime about middle school girls made in Japan, Railgun has more than its share of creepy sexualization and fanservice. I managed to ignore the skeevy bullshit and thought season one was a pretty entertaining show in its own right, but better people than me have less tolerance for that. This season will likely be more of the same.

Characters


Misaka Mikoto - CV: Satou Rina (Umineko's Ushiromiya Ange, Blue Exorcist's Kirigakure Shura)

The main character of Railgun and one of the major heroines of Index. As mentioned above, she is the third-ranked Level 5 esper in Academy City, with control over electromagnetism. Personality-wise, she's very headstrong and brash, and will unhesitatingly throw herself into the middle of a conflict if it has any sort of relevance to her or her goals and desires. On the other hand, she is very easily embarrassed, to the point where she wears sport shorts under her skirt because she's afraid of how short it is. Yes, this is a plot point . She also has a thing for the mascot character Gekota, a cute frog, but she's embarrassed by that too.


Shirai Kuroko - CV: Arai Satomi (Ookami-san's Narrator)

Misaka's roommate and the best character . She's a Level 4 with the power of teleportation--she can move most objects moderate distances by touching them; this includes herself. Her defining character trait is her ridiculously over-the-top lesbianism for Misaka. Sometimes creepy, mostly the funniest goddamn thing in the show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4YIs4gcQ8U

She's also a member of Judgment, the student police-like force that keeps order within Academy City, supplementing the adult police force Anti-Skill.


Uiharu Kazari - CV: Toyosaki Aki (K-On!'s Hirasawa Yui, Kokoro Connect's Nagase Iori)

Kuroko's partner in Judgment, of similar age. She's a Level 1 whose power was revealed in the first season to be the ability to keep the temperature of anything she touches constant. Fan theories that go way too far have suggested that this generalizes to control over all thermodynamics at higher Levels, but her power is really completely irrelevant to the story so who cares. She is very shy and humble, with virtually no extravert tendencies at all. Fittingly, she's also probably the best computer user and hacker in the entire city, regularly accessing secret city databases and camera feeds that only upper echelons should have access to.


Saten Ruiko - CV: Itou Kanae (The World God Only Knows's Elsie, Hanasaku Iroha's Matsumae Ohana)

Uiharu's best friend and a Level 0. In the first season, she used a device leveraging a network of latent psychic energy to boost her own abilities and was able to levitate some leaves or something, but whether or not this was her own power or just an aspect of the network is unclear, and like with Uiharu it really doesn't matter at all. She's similar to Misaka in personality, but has a bit of a complex about her lack of esper power. She largely plays the role of the "normal" in the plot. Her one real hobby is flipping Uiharu's skirt to check what color underwear she's wearing. Woohoo, good job Japan and all that


Kamijou Touma - CV: Atsushi Abe (Another's Sakakibara Kouichi, Bakuman's Mashiro Moritaka)

I'm throwing Touma in here because he'll probably be showing up a lot. As mentioned above, he is the protagonist of Index, a Level 0 with the mysterious ability to negate esper and magical powers with his right hand. After meeting an Anglican nun a few apparent years younger than him named Index (yep, that's where the title comes from), he became involved in the ongoing conflict between religious magic and technological science. Shortly into Index he suffered severe permanent memory loss, but that turned out to mostly not matter.

He's extremely idealistic and about as brash as Misaka, so he involves himself in anything that bugs his morals. A recurring theme from Index is villains trying to rant philosophically at him and him just not giving a poo poo because the villain made a girl cry or is trying to take the easy way out of a problem or something.

I'm not sure how much Index herself will appear so I'll leave her out for now.

Spoiler note

Relambrien posted:

Okay guys I'm gonna make the spoiler rule more explicit for the benefit of everyone here who skipped Index:

Do not talk about anything that happened in Index without spoiler-tagging it and labeling it as an Index spoiler. The same goes for anything from the Railgun manga that hasn't happened yet. Anything from season 1 of Railgun is fair game.

That said, it is expected that the viewer knows the outcome of this arc going into it. For those who were spoiled, sucks for you, but now you know some of what the target audience knows. This is, effectively, a sequel of sorts to Index and so it's not really anyone's fault that you didn't watch what you're expected to have watched. It is exceedingly likely that, even if everyone follows this new spoiler rule to the letter, you will end up spoiled on something that you didn't already know, so read this thread at your own risk.

So yeah, if something is marked as an Index spoiler, just assume it's related to plot that you don't know about yet. This story is from Mikoto's perspective, and she doesn't know poo poo about Index, so if you didn't watch the show then neither do you. Decide whether or not to read spoilers with that in mind.

Promotional Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1Yef5i7oDI

Here have some gifs



Outer Science fucked around with this message at 00:32 on Apr 21, 2013

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Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Parpy posted:

e: * Apparently she has a significant role in the manga (which I haven't read yet either) but does not appear in the the LNs. At any rate, it's not an anime-only thing after all and this season looks like it might be sourcing its material primarily from the manga.

Yeah, Railgun's source material is a manga, not a light novel. The anime is an adaptation of the manga, which is a spinoff of the Index light novels. There are some side story LNs involving the Railgun cast, however.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


AnacondaHL posted:

Ah, now I remember. Railgun is the one with Kuroko being cray, Index is the one with punching girls in the face.

Yeah this is an apt description.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Yeah Index III would start to cover the parts where the series just goes straight off the rails into awesometown. Ideally we'll get an announcement for it as Railgun S ends, but we can only hope.

vvvv You're in for a ride.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Someone managed a radio rip of the new OP:

edit: No longer relevant now that the entire OP is in a PV.

Outer Science fucked around with this message at 16:46 on Apr 9, 2013

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


I don't remember where I read this, but someone once suggested the nickname "Sparky" and I think it's pretty much perfect.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Funimation just picked up streaming rights: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/new...-s-sequel-anime

Anime News Network posted:

North American anime distributor Funimation announced on Thursday that it has acquired streaming rights to A Certain Scientific Railgun S (Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S). Funimation will stream the series on Sundays starting on April 14 at 11:30 a.m. EDT.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


This gif is probably what you were referring to anyway but gently caress it, it deserves to be posted:


(This is from Index, season 2 I think)

Accelerator really is the best character in this franchise. He gets even better in the light novels, and I really think he's legitimately an interesting well-written character, which is more than you can say for most in Raildex.

Anyway, good first episode. All the reintroductions captured the major points of each character, and we got a pretty battle scene featuring upside-down railgun fire. The OP is also as good as we've come to expect from this series.

Outer Science fucked around with this message at 01:59 on Apr 13, 2013

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Okay guys I'm gonna make the spoiler rule more explicit for the benefit of everyone here who skipped Index:

Do not talk about anything that happened in Index without spoiler-tagging it and labeling it as an Index spoiler. The same goes for anything from the Railgun manga that hasn't happened yet. Anything from season 1 of Railgun is fair game.

That said, it is expected that the viewer knows the outcome of this arc going into it. For those who were spoiled, sucks for you, but now you know some of what the target audience knows. This is, effectively, a sequel of sorts to Index and so it's not really anyone's fault that you didn't watch what you're expected to have watched. It is exceedingly likely that, even if everyone follows this new spoiler rule to the letter, you will end up spoiled on something that you didn't already know, so read this thread at your own risk.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


edit: Actually, this post was dumb. Let me try again:

Joshlemagne posted:

The first season of railgun required no knowledge of index to be appreciated. I don't know why you're acting so surprised people would expect the same thing from the second season.

The clarified spoiler rule is in place for exactly this reason. My explanation was an attempt to show a silver-lining to being spoiled.

Anyway, thoughts on this episode. New character seems like she could be interesting. It's been a while since we've seen someone actually without any supernatural power using their ingenuity like she did. Launching right into the plot bodes well for the season's pacing, too. Looking forward to next week.

Outer Science fucked around with this message at 02:09 on Apr 23, 2013

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Emalde posted:

So if I actively enjoyed Index, am I in the wrong place? I had no idea there was a spin-off show until someone mentioned it to me a little while ago.

I have a borderline-unhealthy enjoyment for Index, and I'm the OP of this thread

But yeah, go ahead and give Railgun a try. If you liked Misaka's character and the whole Academy City/esper setting, Railgun will be especially good for you. If you preferred the whole magical conflict thing, you probably won't like it as much since the conflicts are much smaller-scale and based in anime science rather than anime magic, but you'll probably still enjoy it.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Ok I'm gonna set the record straight on the different media since it looks like it's not entirely clear.

A Certain Magical Index is a series of light novels, 22 volumes long, written by Kamachi Kazuma.
A Certain Magical Index: New Testament is an ongoing series of light novels (currently consisting of 6 volumes) that is the continuation, or "second season" of sorts, of the original light novels, still written by Kamachi.

These light novels are the main unit of the franchise--every related work traces itself back to them. The first 13 light novels have been adapted into anime, across two seasons each two cours (24 episodes give or take) long. Any season 3 of an Index anime would start on volume 14 of the Index light novels, potentially also covering some of the material in the official "SS" light novels, which are side stories covering events unrelated to the main plot. At the pace the anime adaptation has gone so far, we wouldn't begin to see anything from New Testament until a hypothetical season 5.

A Certain Scientific Railgun is a manga written and drawn by Fuyukawa Motoi as a side story to Index. It is, as far as I am aware, exactly as canonical as the original Index light novels, as Kamachi has worked in references and callbacks to events in Railgun. Its anime adaptation is what we're all currently watching.

There have been many side story and guest light novels written by Kamachi and others in the Index universe, some of which can be considered canonical, but can generally be ignored. There have been two light novels written under the Railgun title which are, I believe, unrelated to the source manga.

Outer Science fucked around with this message at 22:39 on Apr 28, 2013

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Sorry, I'll edit and clarify. Check the post again in a couple minutes.

edit: Ok I think I got everything as clear as I can make it.

Outer Science fucked around with this message at 22:42 on Apr 28, 2013

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen




Add another one to the pile. Not that I didn't know it was coming due to Index, but goddrat that was a lot more brutal than I ever thought this would go. And I actually started caring about MISAKA 9982 despite knowing she had to die

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Oneiros posted:

What was it originally? I know just enough japanese to know that sort of palindrome wouldn't work.

Minor this episode spoilers: "Koneko", meaning "kitten." Since Japanese is syllabic it's a palindrome.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


JosephWongKS posted:

The latest episode is super-worth all the earlier build-up episodes.

Yeah, in the end, this was exactly the sort of thing I was waiting for.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


I don't think I'm ever going to get tired of people mixing those names up.

(I just use her first name to avoid ambiguity, what with the whole Sisters thing kind of encouraging that anyway )

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


JosephWongKS posted:

So that's what "Fre_nda" and "Fre|nda" are referencing. I can't decide whether that's clever or just morbid.

Oh my god, I didn't even get that

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


The 19th Person posted:

The truth about his imagine breaker is that he's such an aggressively boring person that people's delusions and fantasies become more boring around him.

The actual truth from the novels, or at least so far (since there have been about four different "truths" to imagine breaker), is somehow even less believable than this.

Novel spoilers: Imagine Breaker is the manifestation of magicians' collective fear that their warping of reality will cause them to irrevocably change a fundamental aspect of the world and forget what it should be. This fear coalesces into a reference point for the world, canceling all such warping on touch. Right now that reference point happens to be in Touma's right arm.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Future and minor Index spoilers in quote:

Redcrimson posted:

Also, I find it funny that Misaka's new plan seems to be destroying Tree Diagram, with the logic that Academy City couldn't possibly cover it up. Except that a certain dull gentlemen already did that accidentally and nobody gave two shits.

Yeah this is hilarious. I've never read the manga and I didn't catch if there were any hints of that in the novels/Index anime, so when I realized what was going on I started laughing my head off.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Endorph posted:

I mean, Misaka's crush is pretty dumb in my opinion, but it's not because it's a girl crushing on a dude, it's because her and Touma rarely have much of a dynamic going and she basically has a crush on him from the instant they meet without any sort of development - even just a small little moment where she realizes she likes him.

Novel spoilers: This hasn't happened in the anime yet, but she does eventually get this moment, in volume 16:

"The girl called Misaka Mikoto had realized something.
It wasn't anything that had to do with reason or logic or dignity or appearances or shame or reputation, it was just a part of her very own heart, evidently the nucleus of the human Misaka Mikoto herself. The wretched, unsightly, selfish, unreasonable - and yet despite all this, honest and frank and "human".
--snipping some poo poo--
Misaka Mikoto couldn't stop him in the end.
The reason was not because her spirit had been beaten because of his actions.
It was because part of the emotion she had realized pressed against her chest in such a manner that she couldn't move a single finger."


As to how the hell this reconciles with her behavior up to that point, the way I interpret it is that her whole behavior around him stems from her actually being confused and frustrated with why she can't seem to be herself around him, and this actually does make her angry. So she ends up acting like a stupid tsundere in her anger. Even that's a pretty unreasonable interpretation but it's the only relatively consistent one I can come up with. It would be easier to just handwave this whole thing away as Kamachi Kazuma being a bad author, which he is, but oh well

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


I agree, I am extremely glad that I was wrong about how the stupid fanservice was likely to continue (watch me eat my words this week or something). Were it not for the fact that the first season of this show is pretty much required watching for the second, I would recommend it to friends wholeheartedly. This season so far has been good.

And regarding fanservice in Index: I still can't get over how stupidly egregious the washing machine scene was.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Joshlemagne posted:

Also I'm really having trouble remembering any egregious fanservice from Railgun S1 outside the gratuitous beach episode. Granted, that episode was very gratuitous.

There is a shower scene less than ten minutes into episode one. It's the only thing I've ever felt so uncomfortable watching that I skipped it entirely.

fake edit: well not "entirely" as to know what it is I had to have actually seen the start, but you get the point.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Okay I'll take your guys' word for it but personally I don't think I'd have any clue why I should care about what's happening if I hadn't seen both Index and season 1

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Just from the events of Railgun S, I don't have any sort of insight or knowledge into how the city works. All I know is there are these superpowered kids, at least one of whom is a hugely overpowered mass murderer. He's mass murdering the clones of another kid, to make him more powerful. I have no idea why this whole thing seems to be important enough that it's a huge government conspiracy; that part doesn't really seem to have any justification and I just have to roll with it. With Index, I know that there is a huge worldwide conflict between secularism and religion and that (Index spoilers) a shadowy Big Brother-type figure named Aleister Crowley, who has serious magician connections, appears to be either doing research into the nature of magic itself or building an army with which to stand up to the magicians. With that in mind, Accelerator and ITEM make a lot more sense.

Granted, I don't learn most of that until after the Sisters arc in Index, but crucially I know that there is a massive underground battle being fought by science and magic, and interpreting Accelerator as a weapon being produced by Academy City to fight against magicians makes sense at the time the arc comes up. There is then some measure of justification in the Level 6 Shift project, though clearly its cruelty suggests something far more sinister is going on.

There are also these three other random girls who seem to be completely irrelevant to the main character, but she's treating them as extremely important for some reason? Also her roommate seems to care about her a little too much in a bunch of different ways. I have no idea why the MC puts up with this and it's actually kind of frustrating. From Railgun season 1, I can see how Mikoto treasures the normal friendships she was able to forge despite her celebrity status, and how instrumental Kuroko was in helping her do that. Now I actually care about the other characters.

And of course without Index I don't give a flying gently caress about Touma so that whole scene and any of his future appearances mean absolutely nothing to me.

Now with that out of the way, in full disclosure I get very easily lost when I jump into any sort of media outside of its origin. I would not have liked Fate/Zero without Fate/Stay Night. It's hard for me to watch television dramas because even if they're episodic it's unsettling to be thrown into a bunch of characters I know nothing about. So if you actually can care about what's happening without any prior Raildex exposure, I applaud you but I honestly can't personally see how.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


I had a whole post typed up to respond but I think Endorph's right, no one outside of Clarste and I probably cares about this so I'll drop it. If you want to talk about it further then shoot me a PM or something.


vvvv We good

Outer Science fucked around with this message at 11:36 on Jun 26, 2013

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Relambrien posted:

I agree, I am extremely glad that I was wrong about how the stupid fanservice was likely to continue (watch me eat my words this week or something).

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


I've never particularly liked or hated Touma; I just treat him as a device on which to dump the plot and I'm pretty okay with that. That said, seeing things from Mikoto's perspective makes him come across as a lot more of a godsend than he does from his own perspective (expectedly).

Mikoto is fighting against an entire city, with seemingly endless ability to completely ignore her attempts to stop their plans. She's completely at the end of her rope, she doesn't have a single ally in the world that can help her, and then all of a sudden this totally random guy steps in and is like "Yo I'm on your side, I'll handle this." Leaving the gender aspects of the whole thing aside, that's a pretty powerful moment. You have nothing, you're completely in despair, you have exhausted every single option available to you and you've resigned yourself to dying in a desperate bid to do something, and then someone tells you you were never alone in the first place.

If there actually is something to take away from seeing this from Mikoto's perspective, it's that no matter what kind of poo poo you're in, someone will be there for you. That someone may be a totally bland, one-note MC of a bad-but-entertaining series of light novels, but hey, it's someone

The biggest problem I have with Touma taking the role of the savior is that there's no reason other than narrative necessity that he should be able to play that role. All things considered, he shouldn't be able to resolve this arc, but he has to, and so the arc is written to fit. I don't think that, in general, there's necessarily anything wrong with someone other than the MC solving the main problem of a story. But the character who does solve it should at least have some value that makes it worth them doing so, and Touma doesn't really have that.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Well that was certainly an excellent season guys, wrap it up, let's hope for Super Railgun S Turbo sometime in 2015 maybe

Anyway, this was a really good episode, but come on it's the climax, you'd hope that would be the case. I think something I've realized from this whole arc is that Touma is a much better character when he isn't the protagonist. He actually does come off as kind of an effective savior in this telling of the story, in the mental/emotional sense of being someone Mikoto could rely on when she thought the entire city was against her. I legitimately think it was handled well, though I don't know how much of that is because I had really low expectations to start with.

JosephWongKS posted:

Also, Misaka continues to be so tsundere it hurts. Does she ever get any better in the light novels?

(LNs) Not really, to my knowledge. She does eventually come to a really shocking realization of how much she likes him that I think I posted before, and from there she starts trying to be more proactive with him, but plot keeps getting in the way. Refreshingly she calls Touma out on his stupid "hero shouldering all the burdens" shtick, but this is mostly wasted on him. Which angers Mikoto because it's kind of hypocritical of him to tell her that she can share her burdens with him, while refusing to share his burdens with anyone.

Wolf on Air posted:

I would suspect she doesn't actually get better in the LNs because the LNs are terrible, though I hear they eventually cave to the plot having them bump together all the time. Can't speak for how it's handled.

(LNs) Mikoto plays important roles in a lot of the remaining LN stories. My favorite among them is the Hawaii arc, where she teams up with Accelerator and the yet-to-be-introduced Misaka WORST and kicks some rear end. At any rate, she's being elevated further and further in any plot in which she can reasonably play a role and Index herself keeps getting brushed to the side. In general, at least.

While we're talking about the LNs, it's kind of interesting how the theme of the story has shifted throughout the series' expansion. What originally started as a light sci-fi religion vs. secularism conflict has evolved into (LNs, duh) a sort of investigation of the nature of heroism. With the addition of two more protagonists, we now see conflicts from the eyes of three different archetypes of "hero": 1) The Chosen One, with the unique prophesied ability to resolve the conflict, 2) The Redeemed Villain, who has seen the worst of the world and escaped, and 3) The Powerless, who takes on the hero mantle despite the overwhelming odds stacked against him. This whole concept of what makes a hero is actually exploited by the villains in the latest novel.

Despite the piss-poor execution, I think Kamachi has shown that he can come up with actually interesting ideas as an author. But really, I wouldn't trade the insanity of some of the un-animated LN arcs for anything, they're too excellent.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


SatansBestBuddy posted:

So, uh... I haven't read the books. Can someone explain WHAT THE gently caress THAT WAS?!?

Big novel spoilers:

There's more than one instance where Touma loses his arm and something "underneath" it, of sorts, takes over and blows the poo poo out of whoever he's fighting. Then he grows his arm back like you saw here. It's still not very clear exactly what Imagine Breaker is, and how that other power relates to it. Depending on who you ask and at what point in the novels you ask it, Imagine Breaker is either 1) a device that absolves sin, 2) a physical manifestation of the Christian idea of purification, tying into the idea of the "right" as holy, or 3) the collective manifestation of the fears of magicians that they will lose their image of a standard world unwarped by magic.

Which also ties into Touma's name. The same pronunciation, written with various different kanji, can mean "the one above God" (which is itself a concept present in the novels), "the one who cleanses God", or other things.


I'm honestly excited to see where it goes from there, though.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


All of that is true, but the really cool things that happen are really loving cool, and I've never read anything more insane and entertaining. That's about the only redeeming thing, though.

vvvv We can be white-knight bad taste bros

Outer Science fucked around with this message at 16:33 on Apr 21, 2014

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Really -the- major narrative problem with Index is that Kamachi keeps coming up with new themes and ideas to write about, but instead of creating a new setting, plot, and framework to write in, he just throws them into his flagship series. That series' framework isn't always amenable to what he wants to write about, and tossing in so many different things dilutes the whole work.

Some of the ideas he's explored:

1) The nature of secularism vs. religion, and their inherent similarities
2) Humanity as a collective thwarting the designs of a few
3) The threat of death as a comforting, grounding agent
4) Similarities and differences between heroism and villainy
5) Self-sacrifice by offering oneself as a target of hatred
6) Willed vs. coerced salvation
7) The bounds of morality and how they can be twisted
8) Heroism as seen from different strata of power and influence
9) Commonalities among all those who would be heroes
10) The relationship between effort, providence, good, and evil
11) The nature of the self and identity

And this is just off the top of my head. It's clear that Kamachi has some interesting ideas about the kinds of stories he wants to tell, but instead of writing the different stories his ideas deserve, he thinks "How can the next Index volume incorporate this idea?" Combine this with the fact that he needs to keep the anime-ness of the series going, and you get a mess of cast bloat, incongruous themes, retcons, and a progressively less fallible protagonist who has to be able to incorporate all of those things--to the point where now there are three protagonists because not even Touma can philosophize at people enough by himself.

But then Touma punches an archangel or the President of the United States storms into a mall wielding a shotgun to clear out a bunch of magical terrorists and all is forgiven.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


I'd actually be kind of impressed to see him up the scale. I don't even know where you can go after (latest LN) literally the only extant things in the universe are the protagonist and antagonist.

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Huh? That's New Testament 9, and I'm pretty sure NT10 comes out May 10th or so. Do I have this wrong?

edit: Oh I guess it started at the end of NT8, if that's what you mean?

Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Yeah if that happens I might just make a general Toaru thread (or someone else can do it) since that's what this one's become anyway.

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Outer Science
Dec 21, 2008

Daisangen


Index novel spoilers: In the latest novel Shokuhou is the protagonist.

DOUBLE Index novel spoilers: She still gets saved by Touma in the end. Despite him being absent for the entire novel. And it being important that he has no idea who she is, or absolutely any way of knowing that she is in danger.

Kamachi

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