To Aru Majutsu no Index was a show that inspired great feelings of disappointment in me. It did not set a new high for the amount of disappointment derived from a show, but it hit pretty annoying levels of This Could Be Way Better. Despite having a cast of well designed, quirky and cute characters along with a world that was fairly well thought out, nearly all of the show’s stories fell flat due to poor planning and stupid amounts of pointless exposition. It had entertaining moments, but on the whole the show was less than stellar.

To Aru Kagaku no Railgun is a lot better.

Despite being a touch put off by the shift in tone from Index to Railgun, I’ve come to really appreciate the show throughout the 11 episodes that have aired so far. Railgun takes the types of characters and world established by Index and presents them in a fun an interesting way, rather than being the test of patience that Index often was. The trick is that Railgun keeps it simple. Rather than telling the story with long 20-minute scenes of exposition, Railgun does well to show the story, as visual media should. This can in some ways be attributed to each series’ source material–Railgun is a comic and Index is a book. That said, I don’t think I’m being totally unfair in thinking that a studio should make some effort in successfully transferring a story from one medium to the next. This would not have saved some of the shoddy stories Index had (and boy did it have some shoddy stories) but it would have at least made the show a bit more watchable.

But yeah, Railgun is great. It’s a nice mix of slice-of-life antics with some nice stand-alone stories, and has recently shown it can tell a nice longer-form science fiction yarn well, too. This is all topped off with some really smooth animation and decently composed action scenes. It really is a shame that Index couldn’t even be half this entertaining.

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9 Responses to A Certain Scientific SUPER ELECTRICAL CANON

  1. digitalboy says:

    Indeed it’s a shame, Index did some things that made me want to love it, but never could totally sell it home. Railgun is worlds better, and I think the director has a lot to do with it (his other works, Toradora and Kaitou Tenshi Twwin Angel, having been great, too)

  2. wah says:

    yeah that idolmaster xenoglossia series rocked too

  3. JANAiBlog says:

    Very true indeed. Index was plagued with numerous pacing issues and just didn’t feel all that exciting. Some parts dragged on for way too long. It was still fun to watch, but Railgun is way better. I’m always anticipating and looking forward to the next episode of Railgun, and I couldn’t say the same for Index.

  4. DS says:

    While I agree that Railgun is generally better paced and more fun, I don’t agree with all of the criticisms of Index. While there was a certain unevenness between the different story arcs of Index, there were interesting ideas behind each story. Therefore, the exposition was usually not tiresome but revelatory of the creative concepts underpinning the action.

  5. digitalboy says:

    I was pretty sure I remembered you hating Idolmaster, which is why I didn’t mention it :p from what I’ve seen of the show, though, the style is exactly like his other shows.

  6. 2DT says:

    The coup de grace, in my opinion, is that when the heavy exposition DOES happen in Railgun, we get handy visual representations (i.e. something that isn’t talking heads) to be both entertained and to understand what on earth they’re talking about. I know the stuff about networks would have sounded like mumbo-jumbo to me otherwise.

  7. coral422 says:

    I think Index was shooting for the more pseudo-intellectual approach, failed at times, but I liked that overall.

    Not watching Railgun yet except for the first 2 episode, and I can’t say anything yet that far. But I hope this show becomes the next “Dirty Pair meets GiTS with less infodump” so to speak, or are my expectations too high?

    P.S Kuroko is fucking irritating in the first 2 episodes I watched. Does she get more tolerable later?

  8. ToumaCat says:

    i just hope railgun gets better throughout the episodes

    I still love index anime tho.