Season review: Superheroes of Science and Catholicism

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A Certain Magical Index seems like a typical shonen anime at first. A simple-minded boy hero uses his powerful hand to protect innocent people. However, the whole story is far more complicated.

A Certain Magical Index somehow spins the strangest conspiracy theories of religion into a fascinating science fiction thriller.

This particular anime comes up with enough wild ideas to keep people guessing about what happens next. It has everything–psychics, a group of sorcerors in the Catholic Church and an story that has something to do with a collection of forbidden books. The first season of A Certain Magical Index simplifies these mysterious topics by using ordinary characters who we can relate to.

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The main character of this anime, Toma Kamijo, looks like a typical high school dude. He wakes up in his dorm room and discovers a girl dressed as a nun, lying on the railing of his balcony. The girl, named Index, asks Toma to help defend her against a group of magicians. She reveals to Toma that her mind contains photographic memory of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a collection of 103,000 magical books that were banned by the Church of England.

Although Toma doesn’t really believe Index, he offers her a quick meal before he leaves for school. When he returns, he discovers Index’s bloody body lying on the ground. A shrewd magician named Stiyl confronts Toma and explains that his partner unintentionally hurt Index. Stiyl claims that his group actually intends to protect her.

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Toma doesn’t buy this confusing explanation at all, especially the sorcerors injured the girl in such a brutal fashion. After defeating Stiyl, he decides to try everything he possibly can to save Index’s life. Thus, Toma gets wrapped up in an epic battle to protect the innocent girl, Index, from the evil sorcerors of the Church of England.

Although I summarized the basic plot of this series, the entire story of A Certain Magical Index is a little convoluted. I really couldn’t predict where the storyline was headed, because each new story arc makes everything even more complicated. Every episode was fascinating, though. Each character seems to have their own twisted backstory about how their powers evolved.

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People really have to watch A Certain Magical Index to see the characters. These heroes have some of the coolest-looking abilities I have ever seen. My personal favorite is Mikoto Misaka, a powerful psychic with the abilities to shoot electricity. In the first episode, she demonstrates that she can shoot coins at supersonic speeds. Although she is a close friend to Toma, her heated arguments with him often turn into spectacular battles that are fun to watch.

Of course, Toma is clearly the hero of the show. He can cancel out nearly every attack with the power of his hand, the Imagine Breaker. Somehow, his hand can absorb nearly every attack that hits him. His friend, Mikoto, often gets jealous of him, because he can block all of her attacks. However, their friendship reaches a surprisingly touching moment halfway into the first season.

Although some story arcs of A Certain Magical Index are downright confusing, science fiction fans will still love the characters in this intellectual series. The battles between the characters are incredible displays of superhuman power. The conspiracy theories conjured up in this anime epic are also undeniably intriguing. In fact, the ideas in this show will make people ponder whether there really is a dark magical secret hidden deep inside the Catholic church.

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Filed under A Certain Magical Index, action, fighting, future, mystery, romance

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