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REVIEW: A Certain Magical Index III part 1 BR/DVD


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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Posts: 2823
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:07 pm Reply with quote
Index's first season was my introduction to the franchise, and although it was far from perfect, it got me interested enough in Academy City to check out the light novels. Although I went into the books expecting them to include stuff that was cut out of the animated adaptation, I was surprised by how much had been cut out, and how much the show paled in comparison to its source material. This problem only got worse in the second season (Touma's fight against Musujime was particularly egregious, as it turned a chapter that literally made my jaw drop into a scene that most anime-only fans probably only faintly remember).

With my memories of these issues in mind, I still went into the third season incredibly excited that my favorite arc of one of my favorite light novel series was going to be shown to wider audiences. In hindsight, I probably should have tempered my expectations much, much more, as things somehow managed to get even worse this time around.

I cannot overstate just how poorly this season adapted its source materials, or just how disappointed I am that this is the way most English-language fans are going to remember these stories. These books deserved so much better than this.

That said, I'd imagine it is still an enjoyable watch for people who don't know what was cut out. It's still Index, after all.
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FilthyCasual



Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 1375
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:54 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
An uprising in France fostered by the Roman Catholic Church brings Touma and Takemazuchi overseas to deal with it
That's Tsuchimikado.

As for Index III, I'm honestly just grateful that it exists. I'd given up hope entirely years ago. Now I can pray for a (year-length) Othinus Arc, a second season of Heavy Object, or even a Blood Sign anime.

Thank you, Index III, for giving me back hope. For everything else, there's the novels.
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Stiles



Joined: 21 Oct 2014
Posts: 86
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:03 pm Reply with quote
I will respectfully disagree with Theron and assert that Index is indeed still the standard bearer. One can easily point out a similar amount of flaws present in two seasons of Railgun that most are happy to dismiss thanks be to 'cute girls doing cute things.' Railgun is of the same quality as its parent series.

A believe a small correction is needed for the article though: The author's name is Kazuma Kamachi, not Kazumi Komachi.

I'll keep this short and say that the God's Right Seat arc needed four cours, not two, and that is Index III's biggest problem. I suspect that Index suffered for the sake of both Accelerator and Railgun, which received three cours total, although there's certainly no proof or guarantee that Index's production budget would've been bigger without those two adaptations.

Looking forward to that part two review.
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Morry



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 635
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:13 pm Reply with quote
Stiles wrote:
I will respectfully disagree with Theron and assert that Index is indeed still the standard bearer. One can easily point out a similar amount of flaws present in two seasons of Railgun that most are happy to dismiss thanks be to 'cute girls doing cute things.' Railgun is of the same quality as its parent series.

And I will respectfully disagree with your disagreement. As someone who watched Index first and has no interest in the source material, the Railgun anime is the only reason I still have any attachment to the franchise. The sci-fi world of Academy City and the characters within it have just been infinitely more interesting and exciting than one-punch Touma and the occult Christians his story focuses around. I'm happy to see a day in the life of Misaka. I can't say the same about Touma at this point.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 2156
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:32 pm Reply with quote
Really, the only rason I am interested in index iii is because it has the BEST misaka.
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Kisuke525



Joined: 05 Nov 2019
Posts: 107
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:28 pm Reply with quote
Morry wrote:
Stiles wrote:
I will respectfully disagree with Theron and assert that Index is indeed still the standard bearer. One can easily point out a similar amount of flaws present in two seasons of Railgun that most are happy to dismiss thanks be to 'cute girls doing cute things.' Railgun is of the same quality as its parent series.

And I will respectfully disagree with your disagreement. As someone who watched Index first and has no interest in the source material, the Railgun anime is the only reason I still have any attachment to the franchise. The sci-fi world of Academy City and the characters within it have just been infinitely more interesting and exciting than one-punch Touma and the occult Christians his story focuses around. I'm happy to see a day in the life of Misaka. I can't say the same about Touma at this point.


The Index novels have plenty of focus on the sci-fi side of the world and some of the volumes have little to no magic in them at all. And Index is not just Touma's story. A lot of the story is about Accelerator and Hamazura, heck some of the volumes don't even have Touma in them at all. But I can kinda see where you're coming from. Touma dosen't quite come across right in the anime since you don't really get any of his inner thoughts and before New Testament he's less interesting. And the large amount of scenes being cut REALLY hurts the story, characters, and world.

I gotta say though, seeing posts like yours makes me sad because it just reminds me of how much the anime adaptation failed. The novels are just so damn interesting, so seeing the anime adaptation turn people away from them is just so disappointing. I say it all the time but if the adaptation didn't suck I truly believe that the majority of anime only people would greatly prefer it over Railgun, which a lot of the time feels like nothing but Misaka fanservice "I still love it though" and nothing more than a side dish to Index.

I hope I didn't come off sounding like a jackass in my post and if I did I apologize. Based on your post I'm guessing that you'll never give the novels a shot, but I really hope you do one day because you're missing out on something really special. At the very least reading them does make Railgun more interesting because certain information about events and characters is only shown in Index.

Edit: Looks like my quote got messed up. I don't really know how to fix this.... Sorry I'm kinda of an internet forum noob Sad I hope people understand what I meant to do.
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OH&S



Joined: 15 Jul 2013
Posts: 238
Location: Sydney, Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:14 pm Reply with quote
Theron, I'm amazed you subjected yourself to this disaster for a second time.

You're absolutely right that the big issue for the Index anime is pacing and lack of explanation to flesh out what the hell is going on. Its a problem that'll continue to get worse as the average length of an Index novel has been increasing with time. I can only say that whoever decided to squeeze the entire God's Right Seat Arc into just 26 episodes committed a willful act of sabotage to this franchise (here's looking at you Project INDEX . Evil or Very Mad ). Add to that the inevitable problems of adapting a light novel to begin with, JC Staff's horrendous production schedule and Nishikiori's bland direction.

The first scene in Episode 1 was Kamijou awkwardly walking into Index showering. By this time in the novels this kind of cheap fanservice was essentially eliminated (to be fair it might have been after the Aqua arc but I digress). Completely emblematic of the mindset of the production considering they wasted precious time on that.

Here's looking to Railgun T to save the franchise again.
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Izanagi009



Joined: 20 Oct 2014
Posts: 407
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:12 pm Reply with quote
I will be quite blunt as someone who watched Index when it first started and is up to New Testament volume 14 (new testament being the sequel LN series)

The core Index series was never THAT good to begin with.

Yes it had some fun characters and interesting powers. Hell, i would be lying if i said that i wasn't inspired by some of the crazy religion routed powers or the crazy scientific based powers of Academy City. The main issue is Touma himself.

Touma to me is so monotone thematically that it's draining. I get he's supposed to be the clueless man who falls into situations but at the point i read up to, he's now charging in without question. This would't be a problem if he was nuanced or in depth as a character but the exploration of his heroism and ideals only really take place in New Testament and by that time, he's become a strained harem hero with simplistic ideals and a simple personality. His core ideals also don't take into account major systemtic issues of Academy City or human nuances. Its just "you're living your life wrong, i break your illusion"

When the focus shifts from Touma, we get different thematic content with Accelerator being redemption and Hamazura being fighting against the system and climbing up. Even Misaka who doesn't have that much thematic content has more conflict due to the Sisters and her friends. Touma feels disconnected as a person to me due to most relations being harem style romantics or enemies turned accomplices.

As for other elements of the core Index series, the direction, editing and presentation are so bland. Compare Accelerator fighting in his own series vs the Kakine vs Accelerator fight. While the Accelerator series has issues with overcutting, Kakine vs Accelerator has the cardinal sin of being bland in presentation and uninspired in shot composition. The pacing is a self evident problem with the core series but honestly, the presentation would have sunk it if the pacing didn't. Finally, the bloated world means that characters get sidelined and when they do show up, they feel jarring

I really wanted Index to come back in full force, the show was somewhat of a creative catalyst for me and helped me learn how to develop broad powers. But the pacing issues, poor presentation, and bloated world sink the core show
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russ869



Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 359
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:17 pm Reply with quote
Stiles wrote:
I will respectfully disagree with Theron and assert that Index is indeed still the standard bearer. One can easily point out a similar amount of flaws present in two seasons of Railgun that most are happy to dismiss thanks be to 'cute girls doing cute things.' Railgun is of the same quality as its parent series.

Yeah, same here. Since day one I've never understood the popular claims that the Index series were inferior to the Railgun series. To me it seems like a pretty uniform level of quality throughout all series in this franchise. There may have been some story arcs that were better than others, but from a series perspective, I've enjoyed them all about equally.

Touma, Misaka, and Accelerator are all overpowered protagonists, but I've always thought light novels were most entertaining with a cynical, sarcastic, or incredibly unfortunate/unlucky protagonist and Touma fits that bill quite a bit. Not that I read the novels or manga though...
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killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 2048
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:56 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The return of the main Index universe series, after more than eight years off and two full side series (A Certain Scientific Railgun and A Certain Scientific Railgun S) and one retrofitted movie (Miracle of Endymion), should have been a triumphant event, especially with director Hiroshi Nishikiori and studio J.C.STAFF returning to work on it


What? When the hell were those two things standards of quality? Nishikori did Azumanga, I guess, but that's it - Index I was fine but Index II was kind of pretty awful too. Also this sentence makes it seem like Railgun and Railgun S were after Index II, which isn't the case - only S was.

I don't actually have too much to talk about the third season as a whole (or these episodes in particular). As an adaptation, it was horrible. As an anime, it was fine.
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BlueAlf



Joined: 02 Jan 2017
Posts: 774
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:54 pm Reply with quote
Nishikiori returning as director was actually the first thing that let me down. I had faint hopes that he might have improved as director, but no, my hopes have quickly been dashed.

Honestly, I think they're keeping him just for the sake of maintaining good relations.

So if you want to break it down, Index anime's problem boils down to:
    1. How there's just so much content from the novels being cut.
    2. The effects of Touma's blank slate memory being too difficult to portrait.
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SilverTalon01



Joined: 02 Apr 2012
Posts: 2112
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:08 pm Reply with quote
Stiles wrote:
I'll keep this short and say that the God's Right Seat arc needed four cours, not two, and that is Index III's biggest problem. I suspect that Index suffered for the sake of both Accelerator and Railgun, which received three cours total, although there's certainly no proof or guarantee that Index's production budget would've been bigger without those two adaptations.


While I agree that it needed more episodes to cover that many novels, I don't think the staff could have delivered even with double the episodes. If they ever adapt New Testament, I hope they replace the director.

Also, if Railgun gets a bigger budget, it is probably because it sells more. Even if Railgun wasn't getting a 3rd season, there is no real reason to expect Index to have gotten more. Of course budget isn't everything in the first place.

Kisuke525 wrote:
I say it all the time but if the adaptation didn't suck I truly believe that the majority of anime only people would greatly prefer it over Railgun, which a lot of the time feels like nothing but Misaka fanservice "I still love it though" and nothing more than a side dish to Index.


It kind of is a side dish considering all of the main character's biggest developments happen in the Index novels... though spoiler[god she got shafted in the recent one.]
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Stiles



Joined: 21 Oct 2014
Posts: 86
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:08 pm Reply with quote
Morry wrote:
And I will respectfully disagree with your disagreement. As someone who watched Index first and has no interest in the source material, the Railgun anime is the only reason I still have any attachment to the franchise. The sci-fi world of Academy City and the characters within it have just been infinitely more interesting and exciting than one-punch Touma and the occult Christians his story focuses around. I'm happy to see a day in the life of Misaka. I can't say the same about Touma at this point.

That sounds pretty weird to me but I appreciate your candor. Ultimately, you're still watching To Aru and I think that's great, so good on you. Smile
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AnimeFlyz



Joined: 31 Aug 2015
Posts: 184
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:11 pm Reply with quote
I am just gonna say what I have always said about Index 3. It should have only adapted Volumes 14-19. The entire WW3 arc should have been made into maybe a movie series ala Kizumonogatari or Fate Stay Night heavens Feel. That way at least those 6 Volumes in Season 3 would have more time to explain things and cut less important content.

As for the comment on the director, what quality? he was mediocre at best as a director for the series. Index 2 being even worse than the first Season.

I feel like a New Testament anime isn't out of the realm of reality, seeing as there were rumors that they didn't even wanna finish Old testament in anime format (but did anyway, cause duh), but i pray that they hand over the directing job to Nagai.
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micah007



Joined: 25 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:23 pm Reply with quote
I would agree pacing is the biggest problem before any other issues. In fact it is so bad I would argue you can have two very different interpretations of the same arc depending on who read the novels and who watched the anime. At least for me this was the case and I ended up reading the novels for the entire second half in order to fully understand the content. Now, many viewers don't want "homework" of another media to understand an adjacent adaptation but I thoroughly enjoy this franchise so I did not mind doing this in order to get the full experience. However, I can understand the irritation of anime only's who resorted to turning off their brains in the face of an increasingly incomprehensible story particularly coming to a head during the Battle Royal Arc, which despite being one volume in the novels felt more cohesive and organic than the anime adaptation. I wouldn't have trepidation about a New Testament adaptation if it can be somewhat assured the pacing would be better and to wash the overall bad taste of the anime adaptation of the final stretch of the original novel series out of my mouth. I really do enjoy the world and characters of this franchise and it is upsetting that the recent anime adaptation of the main series was very turbulent to say the least.
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