A Certain Magical Index Vol. #03 Novel Review

A Certain Magical Index Vol. #03 Novel Review A certain identical twin

Creative Staff
Story: Kazuma Kamachi
Art: Kiyotaka Haimura
Translation: Andrew Prowse and Yoshito Hinton

What They Say
Touma Kamijou is the unluckiest boy in Academy City. Having settled the magical side of his problems for a while, the scientific side of things starts to heat up when Touma’s rival-turned-friend Mikoto meets her own clone. That’s only the beginning of a chain of events that leads Touma and Mikoto to face their deadliest foe yet.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
After a mysterious opening in which a girl fails to assassinate Accelerator, the strongest of the Level Five espers in Academy City, we rejoin Kamijou. It isn’t long before we find him in the middle of a run-in with Mikoto Misaka, which ends with him possessing a large number of (kind of stolen) cans thanks to her irresponsibility. In the aftermath of fleeing the scene, much to Kamijou’s surprise, he encounters Mikoto’s identical “little sister,” who simply refers to herself as Misaka (often, and in a rather unusual manner). Thanks to a bit of chance, Kamijou ends up with this “Little Misaka” helping him carry the cans home, where the two prevent Index and Himegami from harming their cat in an attempt to help it.

Some further interactions occur, including one that teaches us about the Tree Diagram, a super advanced supercomputer in a satellite over the city. After all that, Kamijou finds himself wrapped up with Little Misaka again, who pressures him into caring for a black cat. The two proceed to a bookstore to look for a guide to raising cats, and Kamijou goes in alone. When he emerges, though, he gets quite a shock as he finds Little Misaka’s butchered corpse in a nearby alley. He tries calling the cops, but the evidence is gone by the time they arrive. However, he tries pursuing alone, and much to his surprise, finds a veritable army of Little Misaka, apparently a clone of Mikoto that was mass produced for a mysterious “experiment.”

Just what is the meaning of this cruel experiment and its connection to Mikoto? And will they be able to stop it without anyone else dying? And just how will Kamijou manage to stand against the nigh invincible power of Accelerator?

In Summary
Though the second volume was a bit of a dip in quality, this one fortunately brings things back in line by presenting something thoroughly enjoyable. A few of the plot twists may be predictable, but the pacing is nice and draws you in bit by bit, even if it could use a bit more action before the ending. The scenario presented is quite interesting and unique, though the scope of it may make it somewhat hard to relate to and fully grasp at times. It’s also much appreciated to see both the science side of the series more embraced, as well as Mikoto finally getting an important role. Perhaps most importantly, the ending fight is absolutely fantastic, and easily the best in the series yet. This may not be quite up to the level of the first book in the series, but it’s still a great read that’s sure to captivate from beginning to end, and it would be wonderful to see the series manage this level of quality from here on out.

Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: N/A
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: May 19th, 2015
MSRP: $14.00