The Fall 2018 Anime Preview Guide
A Certain Magical Index III

How would you rate episode 1 of
A Certain Magical Index III ?

What is this?

In the wake of the September 30th Incident, things seem peaceful in Academy City once again – but only on the surface. Trouble is brewing in southern France, where religious unrest fueled by the Roman Catholic Church is causing major disruptions, and the nature of these incidents has the powers behind Academy City concerned. After Touma is forcibly convinced that his Imagine Breaker is the key to solving this problem, he's promptly shipped off to France. Of course, Touma is bound to cross paths with various denizens of Academy City first. A Certain Magical Index III is based on a light novel series and streams on Crunchyroll, Fridays at 10:30 AM EST.

How was the first episode?

Theron Martin


Although a movie and one installment of the spinoff series A Certain Scientific Railgun have made it to anime form in the interim, it's been almost eight years to the day since the last animated installment of Index's core storyline aired. For that reason, I don't mind at all that the first episode starts off with a couple minutes of recap. Given that events from the late stages of ACM2 still seem to be relevant, even more recapping might have been warranted. Also for that reason, I don't mind much that the bulk of the first episode is taken up revisiting familiat faces around Academy City, especially since it looks like many of them may not be in the picture for a while. Besides, the story gets to the basis for its first major arc soon enough with a number of teasers leading up to it.

On the downside, that makes this a very sedate episode by franchise standards. The only thing even approaching a true action scene is Touma once again fending off a certain temperamental Railgun. That said, the episode does find room for a couple mild bits of fanservice (with the next episode preview promising more), and it certainly meets its quotas for girls being mean to Touma for reasons that he mostly doesn't deserve, as he gets dragged into things over his head. It also reaches its cat quota (Sphinx has some of the most screen time that he's ever seen) and frog quota (Mikoto's adorable phone).

On the technical front, J.C. Staff returns for the animation, while director Hiroshi Nishikiori carries over from the previous two installments and movie, and script writer Hiroyuki Yoshino returns from both the movie and Railgun S. This and other staff continuity assure that this installment maintains the look, feel, and sound of previous entries. By far the biggest change on this front is that the franchise seems to be using a new sound effect for Touma's Imagine Breaker. That was actually more startling than a certain character getting killed.

Overall, season 3 is definitely not a jumping-on point for the franchise. Appreciation of the episode will depend heavily on how much of the franchise you remember and how deeply-invested you are in the ongoing story. For now at least, this should play well enough for returning fans.

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