The good news is that Funimation’s “A Certain Magical Index” starts out strong. The bad news is, six episodes in, it brings in a tired cliche that kills all my interest in the show.
Of course, I don’t want to spoil it, so I’ll just say I rolled my eyes and had no problem turning it off and heading into work. The endnote to the sixth episode introduced an element that pushes the series into an overdone genre that I tired of at least five years ago (not just in anime).
The show was released in two sets last month, splitting season one.
The story focuses on Kamijo, a supposedly powerless student living in Academy City, where lots of people have psychic abilities of various levels. He does have a power, though: His hand can negate anyone else’s power. (He also tends to attract bad luck.) In this world, some people who didn’t have psychic abilities turned to magic to even out the playing field, so you have both forces working simultaneously.
He soon meets Index, a nun on the run because people are after the 103,000 books of arcane knowledge stored in her head. She has memory issues, though, and the books have their own protections, so not everything is as it seems.
And that’s what was so neat about the first six episodes. Were the “bad guys” really bad guys or just pawns? Who sent them and what is their true agenda? It all added nice shades of gray.
Following Index are fire mage Stiyl Magnus and Kaori, who magically works with swords. Both claim to really be her friends. There’s also Kamijo’s classmate Mikoto, who has psychic electrical abilities and keeps popping up without doing too much. I’m guessing she becomes important later on since she makes a cover.
Things were occasionally undermined by some bouts of silliness that seemed out of character, and there were a couple moments I had to stop and wonder where all the other people were during some big fights. But overall, it was a fun, interesting story as the relationship developed between Kamijo and Index. Throw in some potential villains with depth, and I was set to settle in for the long haul.
And then it got tossed aside for a ho-hum plot development. Instead of carrying on with an interesting story, they fall back to a tried and true (or tired and true) plot device that kills momentum.