ANIME & MANGA - Review
11:00 - 13th November 2015, by David West

A Certain Magical Index Season 1

Toma Kamijo lives in Academy City, where people with special powers, called ESPers, hone their talents. Toma’s right hand contains the Imagine Breaker – the ability to cancel out anyone’s powers – which proves mighty helpful when he comes to the rescue of Index, a young nun in the English Puritan Church. She’s on the run from Necessarius, an organisation of sorcerers who want the 103,000 forbidden magical texts stored in her memory.

Adapted from a popular light novel series, A Certain Magical Index is formulaic fluff, beset by poor writing. The script is littered with cumbersome exposition dumps and contrived confrontations between the characters just to provide a steady supply of fight scenes. Index may be the titular heroine, but she is essentially passive in the plot and treated as a prize to be fought over. Moreover, from episode six onwards, she is kicked off to the side, popping up only to provide comic relief or Lolicon fanservice while Toma takes centre stage. Yet even Toma gets pushed off the screen for several episodes built around a plotline involving a powerful ESPer called Accelerator.

On the plus side, the animation is strong, always smooth and crisp, although the design work is uninspired with several characters who look like they shop in the bargain bin at the goth store. Toma is surrounded by an array of adolescent girls who provide a slightly seedy harem element.

Despite the good production values, this is a lazy collection of overly familiar shonen anime clichés.
SCORE: 2/5
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