Our Sort Of Scientific Rating
- Episodes : 26
- Genre : Action, Science Fiction, Fantasy
- Airing Date : October 2018 – April 2019
- Producers : J.C.Staff
Toaru Majutsu no Index III Introduction and Story
After 7 years of waiting since the end of Index II, J.C.Staff finally gave us the next chapter of the story of Touma Kamijou, Index, and many others that famously begins “when science and magic meet”. As a continuation of a rather complicated tale with a huge cast of characters, it’s expected (and basically required) that you’re already familiar with the story and cast to enjoy Index III.
Index III begins by focusing on the Dark Side of Academy City where some of the secret groups established to fight enemies of the city and keep an eye on its officials, namely GROUP (Etzali, Tsuchimikado Motoharu, Accelerator, and Musujime Awaki) and ITEM (Mugino Shizuri, Takitsubo Rikou, Kinuhata Saiai, and Hamazura Shiage), have begun to question their orders and independently search for their own answers. Academy City finds itself amid growing tensions with the Roman Catholic Church after increasingly violent protests in France prompt it to intervene.
Touma once again finds himself caught up in a series of events. What begins with a search for the mysterious Document of Constantine, an artifact that is being used to ignite the protests, escalates into a conflict with a group of elite, archangel-powered magicians called God's Right Seat, a power struggle between multiple princesses for control of Britain, World War III, and a near-cataclysmic, world-shattering event at the end. Hamazura Shiage and Accelerator also become main characters through all this, weaving in and out of the major plot points from different perspectives. Needless to say, there’s a lot going on!
1. Non-Stop Plot
As you can glean from our attempt at summarizing it, Index III has many story arcs, which are often told from multiple perspectives. It can be really exciting to watch because there’s minimal downtime and lots of action that moves from group to group and place to place with wild abandon but intersects at many points and leads into the final bit of the story. In short, Index III has a lot of story in its relatively quick runtime.
2. Some Great Character Moments
Bouncing between Touma, Hamazura, and Accelerator, Index III has its share of impactful character development, particularly with Hamazura who is greatly built up into a proper main character during the story. While perhaps echoing fellow 0-level esper star Touma to some extent, seeing Hamazura succeed and mature without any special abilities in a world full of overpowered magic users and espers makes his victories all the more impactful. Accelerator is also given significant screen time that delves more into his trauma and character with a particularly interesting development at the end. Some of the new characters, such as edgy clone Misaka Worst, are fun additions.
3. Strong Sound
Continuing the series’ penchant for sonic quality, A Certain Magical Index III has worthwhile music and memorable sound effects (check out the new Imagine Breaker bwaaaauuunntthhhh!) that amplify the experience, particularly the many fights scenes. While the music might not quite be as excellent as the spin-off series A Certain Scientific Railgun, Index III’s OST does not disappoint and neither does the voice acting.
1. Non-Stop Plot!
While it can certainly be praised for having virtually no filler, A Certain Magical Index III’s main faults will likely fall in its storytelling. Arcs can be hard to follow and can feel underdeveloped as we get whisked away onto the next one, sometimes without proper explanation of character motivations. All of this is compounded by having so many characters and organizations to keep track of. Perhaps the series would have benefitted from having more episodes or adapting fewer volumes of the light novel.
2. Inconsistent Art Quality
Unfortunately, compared to previous seasons and Railgun, the art and animation seem to have been given less refinement in Index III. We wouldn’t say it’s awful, and there are some high points, but the artwork, for the most part, is just passable this season. There are noticeably bad frames here and there and some of the CG elements feel dated and ugly. One notable counterpoint is the second opening which looks (and sounds) fantastic!
3. Not so Much Index
This can be said of other characters too, but considering this series is ostensibly about Index she really isn’t given much plot importance besides getting captured and used as a weapon near the very end and some gags mostly revolving around her wanting food (which are fine, but not exactly character development). We think fan-favorite Misaka Mikoto and her squad could have gotten more screen time too but considering a new Railgun series is happening it’s more forgivable than snubbing Index in her own anime.
Altogether, Toaru Majutsu no Index III is a bit of a mixed bag. While it’s great to see the series animated again, and there are certainly some cool moments and character development in this season, the storytelling, art, and animation might leave you wanting for a more refined experience. Another possible quibble we’ll mention is that there’s a good amount of fanservice, it’s not super distracting, but might not be what you want from this series.
In closing, we like to invite you to share your own thoughts in the comments section below! What do you think of Index III compared to previous seasons? Excited for the new Railgun series? Let us know, and be sure to stick around Honey’s for more of all things awesome, anime and otherwise!