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Raildex Verse: What do you think of it?

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Raildex Verse: What do you think of it?

Post  Kihara Kisue on Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:42 pm

Share your opinions on the Raildex verse with us! It matters not how much or how little of it you have experienced, or even if you have not so much as watched a single episode or read a single chapter. Just tell us what you think of it!



I love it. The writing is engaging, the characters are all just so interesting, and I love the mechanics that the world is build upon. The only thing regarding it that disappoints me is how even though I end up loving just about every single character that appears, so many only appear only for a couple of scenes, or just one volume, and them never appear again. It's just so, so... Well, it's one of the reasons I joined this site in the first place.

_________________

Raildex Experience:
A Certain Magical Index Light Novel: Have read everything except for the Shopping Mall Demonstation SS.
A Certain Scientific Railgun Manga: Have read up to right after the SISTERS arc.
A Certain Scientific Accelerator Manga: Have read some, but am not caught up..
A Certain Magical Index Anime: Caught up.
A Certain Scientific Railgun Anime: Have seen the SISTERS arc.

Kihara Kisue
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Re: Raildex Verse: What do you think of it?

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:05 am

Might be a long post, but I'll be breaking it down per series and media. There will be unmarked spoilers for the novels, so you have been warned.

Index Manga:
I've not much to say beyond it being crap. If you want just something to quickly read, then Index's manga is quite interesting, but it skips so many important material that's used in later arcs that it doesn't feel like it'll go very far.

Index Anime:
A bit better, but not by a lot. Where it shows the really major parts of the story, the shows fails quite a bit in its execution, making it rather feel like the classic shounen “who will Touma save this week?”.

And, maybe it's because of the arcs that are shown in the series (then again, when I see the excluded content of Angel Fall, I tend to think not), but the anime feels really toned down for a regular teenager audience compared to the novels that do aim for a more mature teenage audience. Academy City feels like this place that's always being bullied by the magic side, only showing Aleister and a handful of researchers as the messed up ones when it's the entire city that's messed up and the students don't realise it.

It doesn't establish well that both sides could go at war at any point, either, as the treaty is never even mentioned even though the two sides don't co-exist as the anime implies they do. It's not a few magicians don't like Academy City, BOOM make it go away, it's a full-blown fight between two sides only being restricted by a mutual agreement that could go down any time.

Though with that said, for first time watchers it is pretting interesting and presents a plot with potential, so I would really say it's on the good side of average.

Index novels:


I've read the novels a long time ago and as such don't really remember Old/New Testament well, but I can say that the plot of Index up until World War III was pretty good in my opinion, especially thanks to the personal stories of Accelerator and Hamazura that were there to cut a bit from Touma's adventures, which would have felt redundant without.

OT succeeds well in separating itself from the main protagonist to focus on other characters and part of the city while still managing to keep interest in the big brewing events that'll lead to World War III, which is something I haven't seen a whole lot in the anime, the only notable exception coming to mind being Darker than Black, where at times you'd only see Hei for a handful of minutes in the two-episodes arcs because they spent the time developing the situation he was getting involved in.

The introduced characters are interesting and have potential, but yeah, here we'll be getting to the minus parts.

It feels like Kamachi just wants to show how much he's creative with the characters, but he doesn't really expand upon them any further than their allocated arc, and at times they just become bloody annoying to even read (such as Index, or even Mikoto). A lot of the old cast just ends up forgotten and only rarely used when it's convenient, and there's so much stuff going on between the characters that we never really get proper development for them, because there's just so much to focus on that it'd take literal volumes if Kamachi wanted to develop on all the characters he keeps introducing.

It'd be quite alright if all that was kept to some side-novels, but when I see that sometimes he just introduces between three to ten characters per novel, it's really getting cringeworthy.

Touma also is a somewhat bland protagonist, you can see some parts of his personality shine through because of his memory loss (and even before), which distinguishes him from your regular shounen hero, but it's often drowned in the “who will I save, who will I punch” aspect of his character, so it's hard to focus on the person that Touma is rather than the hero Touma is, and that's unfortunately a problem with a lot of Japanese anime/light novels/manga.

As far as the aforementioned Index and Mikoto go, they're just here as Touma support most of the time and it's annoying. Where Index was a kind girl in volume 1, she becomes a whiny, annoying brat for nearly all of the following novels, only really shining through a brief handful of times. Mikoto, who is a strong female lead in her own series, just becomes the one girl constantly chasing after Touma, most of her involvement being related to Touma, and most of her interactions somewhat related in some way or another to Touma. Please prove me wrong if you think I am.

But here I think Mikoto is reduced to a character that just goes: “I'll meet him today and do /this/ or give him /that/, I met him but because I freaked out I scared him away so I never actually get around to my plans, I then either insult him or myself, then I might or might not get involved in a fight, all that to just go back to status quo”. I love Mikoto, but I just hate reading her in the novels.

I genuinely feel Index's main problem, as a whole (both OT and NT), is that it has issues managing its characters and tries to be everywhere in terms of originality, making it that I never really enjoy the originality because I'd die to see development of some of the older characters and know it's never coming, so it'll never come from those “original and interesting” characters either.

Despite that, I've genuinely enjoyed Old Testament, and would read it again as I've done previously.  The story, although having its lows, is most often than not strong with interesting vilains and characters. It keeps you in, but also makes sure you don't get bored of what it's presenting you by offering you other aspects that you wouldn't have considered otherwise.




However, these feelings didn't accompany me to New Testament. While I am not up-to-date with NT, it lacks the charm that OT has and rather feels like, as Guy put it, it's just trying to continue things as they were in OT rather than being an actual sequel to the events of WWIII.

Where I would've loved to see more about Aleister and his plans, here I am presented for 10 novels a group apparently trying to destroy the world to return it to a previous state (we weren't too far off from me being capable of quoting Lelouch Lamperouge...). The suspense, frankly, sucks. World War III had this thing going for it that everyone helped out with taking down Fiamma and it was interesting to see how, but here you know Touma's your only chance and he will succeed, because if he doesn't then the plot ends.

And Accelerator and Hamazura's plots mostly ended, so they just feel there to be there or to assist Touma in a fashion similar to Mikoto. The charm of OT, having so many protagonists to focus and expand on, was lost in NT where it mostly focuses on Touma or on other characters that again, will be discarded until needed for a next plot point. Because it's Touma, you know he'll save the day, but in OT you didn't know what would happen with Accelerator and Hamazura.

Now, don't get me wrong, if I didn't love the series then I wouldn't be here, but I feel it's a shame that it has this much potential but is slowly falling down, which is why I hope it'll end on a high note at the very least, and preferably soon before I die.

EDIT: Forgot something important.

While Kamachi has nice arcs going for Index, I'd also really like if we could actually get back to the main plot instead of always introducing new stuff on new stuff on new stuff. Again, I kinda wanna see what's Aleister's big plan before I die. When I see the story getting this side-tracked in all its "originality", then it just makes me wonder if we'll ever see the end of it, especially when I remember that Zero no Tsukaima's author actually died before ever finishing the story.

Universe insight is nice, but frankly I think it should be kept to side novels instead of always getting side-tracked in the main ones with grand enemy here, grand plot there, and we only gets bits and pieces of the actual story by the end of arcs...

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Spoiler:
"Mikoto speaks"
'Mikoto thinks'


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Re: Raildex Verse: What do you think of it?

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:31 am

The Light Novels – Old Testament:

It goes without saying, but yeah I love the novels and I spent a lot of time consuming them. The fact alone that I read all major novels and a lot of Side Stories so far should be proof enough for that.

While I can relate to people claiming that some characters simply never got the attention they deserved or were never given proper screen time before new characters were introduced, I must also say that this is one of the good parts of the series, as it gives some hint of realism and depth.
The overall universe in my eyes is extremely deep and offers a lot of things to discover while being extremely lively with the many people there are.
The Side Stories do a good share of contribution to that image as well.

To me personally Kamachi Kazuma does a great job at presenting new ideas each volume, creating a variety of well made characters and antagonists and a super good job at keeping a connection between the volumes you wouldn’t even expect at first.

Everything in this series serves a purpose. Every character has their role and place in the universe. Yes some may come short, but there are also those that get some big spotlight here and there. That’s how a realistic story works. There’s no way for every character to gain the same share of attention.
Just honour them when you can and that’s what is happening.

To me To Aru Majutsu no Index is a very good story that I love to experience and reexperience. I wouldn’t be such a motivated member on this site otherwise.

The Light Novels – New Testament:

New Testament is not the same as the Old Testament. It doesn’t feel like it and it isn’t supposed to be like it.

Kamachi has been trying to change the overall atmosphere with the start of the new series by using a different set of characters and a different set of motifs. While we have our typical Touma saving girls in need, it isn’t as hardcore as during the Old Testament. Plus he isn’t the absolute centre point of the conflicts here and only become the hero by the absolute end of the first saga.

I think NT is not to be compared to what was before it, as it isn’t what it was. That metamorphosis is there to underline the changes that happened after World War III, with Aleister leaving Academy City, the Magic Side drowning in chaos and Academy City’s Dark Side changing into something different to what it had been before. These changes are what defines New Testament and its story telling.

Yes, it might be sad that we don’t really see all the Magicians we knew in the past or all the other Dark Side characters like Musujime or Etzali, but that is just another intentional strike dealt by Kamachi, showing that they’re not important to the current workings of the world anymore, due to everything having changed.

Basically what I think is about to happen in the future volumes is what was announced in both NT10 and NT11, a change back into the original state, marked by Aleister’s return and Touma finally beginning to destroy illusions again, which is quite some interesting development and another proof for Kamachi’s skill at building up a certain atmosphere.


Of course I can’t deny that I didn’t enjoy NT as much as I enjoyed OT, which is due to some of the arcs being extremely terrible in my eyes. I hereby declare my hatred towards the latter half of Agitate Halation Arc.

To Aru Kagaku no Accelerator:

It started of as a good series, but it went into such a boring and disappointing direction…I’m simply sad about it.

At least it is supposed to give us the dose of Accelerator we deserve…at least it should have done so…

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