Saturday, February 28, 2009

To Aru Majutsu no Index

To Aru Majutsu no Index is a highly entertaining anime series from the Fall 2008 season. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it. In the series, ESP powers and magic are real, except that ESP is accepted by science, while magic is in the realm of religion and the occult. It is a strange distinction for what are effectively the same powers. In fact, the separation goes even further because people with ESP powers cannot use magic and those use magic have no ESP power. Or so we were told in beginning of the series, but now we have discovered that it is possible for some people to use both abilities. Sounds fishy, doesn't it?

The main character is Kamijou Touma a very low powered ESPer. Touma succeeds mostly by pushing himself way past his limits, and occasionally by out thinking his opponents. He always gets the shit beat of him. He wakes up in hospital rather frequently and has even lost his memory while saving Index, the title character. He has a great line, "Such misfortune!", and is a likable and genuinely heroic character.

Touma's power is that his right hand negates any ESP or magic power that it touches. That's right, it works on both types. That is too much of a coincidence and is why I've concluded that the two powers are not different at all. The distinction exists only in how the user has been educated or indoctrinated. I hope this becomes more clear later.

In one episode there is one of the best techno babble explanations of how ESP works, that I have ever heard. I'm going to have to watch it again to see if I can actually understand it.

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