Toaru Majutsu no Index


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In Academy City, magic and science coexist in an unwavering power struggle. Toma Kamijo, an academically-challenged student in Academy City, wields the power of the Imagine Breaker in his right hand, which allows him to completely negate all supernatural powers – as well as his own luck. When he happens upon a mysterious nun named Index, whose mind has been implanted with the Index Librorum Prohibitorum – 103,000 ancient texts banned by the Church – Toma’s luck is about to be pushed to its limits when he finds himself in the middle of a war he never expected!

Associated Names
One entry per line
A Certain Magical Index
To Aru Majutsu no Index
To Aru Majutsu no Kinsho Mokuroku
Related Series
Toaru Majutsu no Index: New Testament (Sequel)
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun SS (Side Story)
Toaru Majutsu no Index: Road to Endymion (Side Story)
Toaru Majutsu no Index SP (Side Story)
Toaru Majutsu no Index SS (Side Story)
Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Kanzaki (Side Story)
Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Necessarius Special Admission Test (Side Story)
Toaru Jihanki no Fanfare (Side Story)
Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Biohacker (Prequel)
Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Agnese’s Magic Side Work Trial (Side Story)
Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon (1)
I Came Back but the World is Still a Fantasy!? (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. ALLJP+
  2. Enjoyable read
  3. favorite LNs (PEAK!)
  4. The Favorite Story
  5. Novel I Read

Latest Release

v.Liberal Arts City by Baka-Tsuki (07-21-2011)
c.Love Letter SS by Baka-Tsuki (07-16-2011)
v.2 by Baka-Tsuki (07-08-2011)
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6 Reviews sorted by

dniv rated it
March 12, 2016
Status: --
The greatest masterpiece I have personally experienced--the most impressive work I have encountered in the 1000's of works I've read/played/watched. I can't give it a rating. Even though it has its flaws, it innovates so much that I find it dearer to me than other near-perfect works that play it safe and have less to say.

It's pretty unknown in the West even though it is the fourth highest selling light novel series of all time.

This reviews has no spoilers. I'm only spoilering for size/concision. ... more>>

In my eyes, there are generally two kinds of strongest works. The first kind stays entirely true to reality; the author does so because he is talented enough to do so and doesn't have to create anything fantastical in order to tell a good story. The second kind is anything but true to the reality of everyday life; the author is able to create compelling and innovative original characters, ideas, and situations, and juggle them in a sophisticated way that allows him or her to convey something that often can't be conveyed as masterfully by talking about the world as it is because it is easier to understand the world by looking at what it would be like if some aspects of it changed.

Index is in its own category. It describes reality by both being more realistic and more crazy as a gigantic clash of ideals than anything else. Its strength lies in its originality. It fully engages ideas and situations that other authors would be afraid of tackling either because they're so controversial or simply so hard to faithfully represent. But Kamachi Kazuma is a true super-genius.

In the sprawling cast of 100's of characters are many of my favorite fictional characters. There is no such thing as an unextraordinarily well-written character in index. It has the best worldbuilding, the best motifs/themes, the best plot twists, characters, etc. and it's deep, not a waste of time. The author anticipates what the fanbase wants and always throws curveballs. He is extremely prolific and is a true genius, and he genuinely cares more than I've ever seen another author care. He bucks all tradition and develops his plot in every which way possible and does so exceptionally masterfully. He already has three side-stories that introduce main plot elements because his series isn't a normal one, and it has its own way of presenting a brilliant world. The strongest point is that he'll teach you things even while you just read it for pure enjoyment in a crazy fantastical story whose match you might not find in any other novel on this site including all the CN's, LN's, and KN's. However, it's definitely the case that if you pore through every page and try to figure things out more, then you'll be rewarded and you'll notice tons of tiny details that are subtly introduced and never outright said until they might come into play 5-10 books later.

There are many times when people stick with something after an unextraordinary start and see it become truly amazing. And they really wish that they could find the right words to convince other people that they'd truly stumbled upon something amazing. The anime for Index sucks in comparison. If you've seen the index/railgun anime and concluded that this series isn't very good, please reconsider and try reading the novels. The novel is primarily interesting because of the motivations of our protagonists and their underlying principles and how they clash in a gigantic clash of ideals. That is completely discarded for action in the anime. This makes the anime fun for people who've read the novels, but unfortunately it doesn't work the other way around. If you agree with some of my other reviews, please give this series a chance. I feel frustrated that it isn't popular. It deserves to be much more popular. If it weren't for its underwhelming anime and for the fact that it was written before LN's were written in such a way that considered how easy it was for anime to adapt them, it would have probably become one of the most popular series in the world.


Some advice about what to expect quality-wise from the series (in terms of when it starts to get really good and then get even better) :

The books aren't too long, and they start off way better than the anime. There are a few turning points in the series. Starting from the epilogue OT 6 the story improves dramatically. At the beginning of OT 13 Index truly gets into its own, this is where the season 3 material would be if it ever happens... From there on it's better than anything else I've read. Volume 20 and on is another improvement. And at the end of NT 6 and on is another dramatic improvement it improves in quality again. NT 17 and on is an even more dramatic improvement. There is no filler, no wasted content. Only true genius. Please give this story a try if you have the free time--you likely won't regret it.


TLDR: Ever read a long story with spaced out awesome climaxes and meh filler in-between those amazing highs and wished the story always delivered in reading value? Index is one of the longest series out there standing at 42+ main series volumes + 3 canon spin-off manga + various other media and it is always amazing. It has a bit of a slow start, but even then it is already as good as anything else is, it's just that it eventually surpasses everything else. Just know that Index can't be compared to anything else because that'd just debase the other works that I love (much less than Index).

Edit: (10/4/2017) Season III of the anime is coming out too so come join the hype train (another reason to read this) ! <<less
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Moraxella rated it
April 15, 2016
Status: --
The one novel that everyone has to read, or at the very least, try. Best world-building in any JP, CN, or KR novel I've ever read, with some of the most original novel characters there are. The power system is glorious, well-explained, and the various different abilities shown in the novel can be as generic as the power to manipulate fire or as abstract as the ability to manipulate vectors. Newly introduced personages are consistently interesting and well-designed. It can be funny and simplistic at times as well as turn... more>> complex and riveting on the next chapter. An absolute delight to read. <<less
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lullabymahjong rated it
December 14, 2021
Status: v22
When I saw this novel on this site, my first thoughts about what it might possibly be were so different than what it actually was. I was imagining that our hero was going to be an outcast at school because of his lack of powers, but suddenly meets a nun who he teams up with to take on the system or something. Not quite. It's much much better.

This series has a fantastic opening sequence, so you quickly learn what's going on. But anyway, this is a story of a world... more>> slightly different than ours where science and magic collide. The western portion of Tokyo has been redeveloped into the world-leading Academy City where the city's schools produce espers (users of scientific powers such as electromastery or pyrokinesis) through the Curriculum. What our protagonist, Kamijou Touma will soon learn is that outside of Academy City and in the shadows, lurks magical forces. This sets the stage for a world where science and magic coexist. As the anime was so keen on saying, 'when science and magic collide, the story begins!'

More about the universe:


The Toaru universe is incredible. There are rules for how magic works, and similarly for the espers. There is a balance of power in the world and unseen forces lurking in the shadows. The setting of Academy City is really good. I had heard positive things about the world-building in this series before, but I didn't take it that seriously, after all, I had never really cared about that kind of stuff in other series. But it really is one of the best things about the Toaru series. The thing that opened my eyes was rather a small thing, in the first volume, there is a magician who uses Nordic magic: they set up spells using runes, because in the Toaru universe, runes are a magical language that can be used in sorcery. Or in volume 4, replicas of objects with magical properties, such as the Cross from Christianity, also derive a smaller amount of magical power from the original as part of Idol Theory. Espers on the other hand have their powers cultivated with drugs and use them by projecting onto their personal reality, which then becomes reality. I could go on, but all I am trying to illustrate is how cool some of the laws behind magic and ESP are in this universe. This all gets a lot more interesting when you see what kinds of magical and scientific abilities Kamachi has in store for you.


Scale of the franchise:


When I talk about the Toaru 'universe', I really do mean it. This is a big media franchise, there are the 3 mainline Index novel series (52 books total) as well as 3 spinoff manga that follow other protagonists, in addition to side story novels, visual novels and anime original content. To illustrate how much I have enjoyed this series, I used to just read novels on my kindle. Toaru has changed this. My bookshelf is now completely filled with Toaru. I have 23 of the 24 english volumes released and have volumes 1-16 of the Railgun manga and 1-4 of the Astral Buddy manga. I had to buy a bigger bookshelf because of this series.


This series has an amazingly well thought out system of rules behind the magic and scientific powers, it has plenty of great characters and laughs to be had, awesome action scenes and...
I like the MC! Yes, in a shocking move by myself, I like the MC of a light novel. In fact, it's hard to dislike any of the characters that are in this series.

Best volumes and some of my favourite characters:


The best volumes so far were volumes 1, 3, 4, 13, 15. Volume 1 offers a very strong start to the series, volume 2 is not as good a follow up, but stick with it because one of the most loved arcs comes right after in volume 3. Volume 4 does incredible things in fleshing out the magic system, volume 13 is the start of a major shift in the series and 15 gives new perspectives on the happenings in Academy City.

After finishing the final novels of the series, I have to say that the last arc (novels 20-22) are absolutely phenomenal. Kamachi takes all the plot threads he weaved in previous novels and puts them all together for an amazingly satisfying conclusion.

Some of my favorite characters: Kuroko, Tsuchimikado, Kanzaki




Looking at the front cover of volume 1, you might write this series off as some cutesy 2000s series with average art. The covers of the first couple of volumes are a bit rough, but Haimura's skill steadily increases over the course of the series and by volume 17, the illustrations were impactful and consistent and the covers look pretty darn good too. As a character designer he has also made the characters look distinctive and visually interesting, so I have to give praise to his work. I look forward to seeing his style refine further in later volumes of the series.


Overall, Toaru Majutsu no Index is unlike any other novel series I have read, it lays out a massive and coherent universe filled with likable characters and interesting plotlines. Best of all is that the author doesn't forget about these plot points and they remain key information in the series used to shape the last arc of the series. Don't write this series off as being some cutesy 2000s LN series, it's a lot more than that. I don't give 5 star ratings often, but this series is just so refreshing and innovative that I can't help but give it that despite its flaws or weaker volumes. All I want to convey to you is that I think this series is something special and absolutely worth your time, along with its spinoffs and side stories. I can do nothing but sing the praises of the Toaru series. <<less
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Le-Ether rated it
April 22, 2022
Status: Completed
Honestly one of the greatest power system of all time. The combination of magic and science truly mix together to create a very harmonic and chaotic plot. Each characters has there own fleshed out personality and the characters have different motives and the most interesting is that all of their ideals either conflict with each other or cooperate.

There is evil or good but the characters themselves are always continuously developing so you don't know which is truly evil or good.
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TalkNoJutsu rated it
October 16, 2022
Status: v6
Not gonna lie, this series is one dimensional as hell. On volume 6 and all the villains so far have tragic backstories, all of them. Not one of them is a villain for a mundane reason, needless to say none of them died (the only one that seemed to have died was not explicitly declared dead so he may very well be alive). In spite of the violent supernatural fights somehow nobody dies, only one mob like wtf? It makes no sense. Then there's the plot armor, plot holes, cliches... more>> and inconsistencies, to the point where you can clearly see that the author's forcing it at some points. Tbh, only reading it cuz there's nothing else to read, not really enjoying it thanks to all the above <<less
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Gravemind rated it
May 22, 2022
Status: --
World Building: 5/5

Character Development/Interaction: 5/5

Plot: 5/5

Writing Style: 5/5

Starting/Ending: 5/5

One of my favourite pieces of fiction and objectively one of the best works of all time.
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