One of the most asked for and anticipated anime titles in the UK for some years is finally here from Animatsu Entertainment – A Certain Magical Index. Based on the hugely popular light novel series of the same name, A Certain Magical Index combines magic and science into one explosive and crazy story. We’ll return to this unique formula with the spin-off series, A Certain Scientific Railgun which is set for release next month.
“Kamijo is a student in Academy City, where people use science to develop supernatural abilities. He’s got a lot of heart, which is lucky for a young nun named Index. She’s on the run from a sorcery society that covets the astonishing library of magical knowledge in her memory. When Index stumbles into Kamijo’s life, he becomes her faithful friend and protector. Kamijo may be the weakest kid in Academy City, but he’s got something else going for him: the Imagine Breaker, an unexplainable power stored in his right hand that negates the powers of others. But when scientists and sorcerers attack from all sides, it’s Kamijo’s loyalty that will be his greatest weapon in the fight to keep Index safe.” – Animatsu Entertainment
Based on the light novel series of the same name, A Certain Magical Index’s adaptation was handled by J.C.Staff whose track record is fairly decent, although occasionally some series could have been handled better. Unfortunately, A Certain Magical Index is one of those series, and while not a bad series, the pacing has been thrown way off course, leaving you feeling confused as to what’s happening some of the time. That’s not to say the series isn’t enjoyable, because, boy, is there a lot of intense action; the story itself is intriguing with multiple organisations, secret experiments and each character’s story really pulls you in. It’s obvious that the series did something right, as its spawned sequels and spin-offs alike, but you can’t help but feel this series could have been handled better.
For a series that first aired just shy of seven years ago, the visuals hold up excellently; it has a pre-2010 feel but also incorporates a lot of nuances that are commonplace in today’s anime. Action and fight scenes are handled really well and we’re treated to quite a few throughout the series.
This release features English audio in 5.1 surround and Japanese in stereo with English subtitles, thankfully in white. The first opening song, “PSI-missing” by Kawada Mami, has to be one of the best opening songs in anime, period; along with the visuals they create an awesome opening into each episode. The second opening song, also by Kawada Mami, “masterpiece”, along with the two ending songs, “Rimless ~Fuchinashi no Sekai~”, “Chikaigoto ~Sukoshi Dake Mou Ichido~” both by IKU, while good doesn’t quite live up to the epic quality of “PSI-missing”.
This release features a selection of extras that span across all discs in the set, consisting of four episode commentaries, textless opening and ending songs as well as a US trailer of the series. For a standard release, that’s a fair amount of extra content compared to the usual textless OP + ED and a handful of trailers.
Episode 3 English Commentary
Episode 6 English Commentary
Textless Opening Song – PSI-missing
Textless Ending Song – Rimless ~Fuchinashi no Sekai~
Textless Ending Song – Rimless ~Fuchinashi no Sekai~ / Chikaigoto ~Sukoshi Dake Mou Ichido~
Despite the fact the pacing of the series is a bit out of whack, which is ultimately down to J.C.Staff’s adaptation skills, it’s a great series that leads into a fair few sequels and spin-offs. The release itself is a solid effort on Animatsu Entertainment’s part; the quality is high and there’s a good amount of extras included. For those that enjoy the show, be on the lookout for the spin-off title A Certain Scientific Railgun which should hit shelves next month!