About Toaru Majutsu no Index and some other stuff

Hi there. Been a while since my last post, I thought it is about time I write something here again. This time I want to say a few things about an anime series I’ve started watching about a month ago. I mean, I saw one episode a month ago, and then recently I saw another one, I don’t know if you call that “watching” ^^’ anyway, it is Toaru Majutsu no Index, or A Certain Magical Index in English.

This is, apparently, an anime about a city of “scientists” (rather a city of espers), with magic users appearing and getting protagonist into all sorts of trouble. So far it is a good watch, every episode gives you some action, some plot progression, some character development. And you don’t really need my opinion to know that this anime is good, it has an army of fans and there were four seasons so far, so you can be assured that it is worth checking out.

Toaru Majutsu no Index episode 1 pic 2

Also in that anime there is this strangely dressed girl that eats fast food that went bad, and seems to be quite content with that. I don’t know if that is a good thing or not, but it sure was funny when I saw it.

But that is it for the compliments. What motivated my to write this post was some criticism I want to inflict upon that series >:) There are quite a lot of minor details that I didn’t like, but here I will talk about one only. Physics.

Let me explain. The anime starts with the protagonist – Touma Kamijou – fighting a girl Mikoto Misaka. Misaka is one of the main characters of the series, more or less, and by far the most recognizable among the cast of characters in this anime. And her superpower (yeah, they all seem to have one) is no produce magnetic and electrical fields and charges (I don’t know the detains yet). And in the very first five minutes of the show she demonstrates how she can use this ability to accelerate a coin, so it would act as an artillery shell.

Toaru Majutsu no Index episode 1 pic 1

That does seem cool, right? Well, I don’t know. You see, for a while know I was having this weird problem. If an anime or any other type of fiction presents me something, I want it to make sense, at least to some extent. Or rather, I want things to be consistent. If you tell me that a girl can produce an electric field, fine. If you tell me that a girl can magically accelerate a coin to a speed of 1 km/s, fine. But when you first tell me that the coin is going at the speed of 1 kilometer per second, and then show me how it dug a trench in asphalt, I call it quits. That is nonsense, a light weight object moving at this speed would bounce off the surface or embed itself into the road. It just doesn’t have energy required to damage the road as much as they showed in the scene. Also, I feel that according to the laws of physics Misaka should have felt recoil from that shot, if she is a source of the magnetic field.

And watching anime we get used to it. We see people fly, walk on air, fire energy beams from their hands and so on. But I personally think that there is a difference between fictional powers and neglect of laws of nature. Just to give you another example, here is a scene from an anime I hope you are watching now:

Tokyo Ghoul Kick

The anime is Tokyo Ghoul, if you wonder :P That guy Nishiki Nishio just kicked Hide so hard that he went flying and landed some 20 meters away. I don’t want to give you a lecture on mechanics here, but in short, the momentum that Nishiki should have acquired is equal to that of Hide, so he should have slid backwards a few meters at least, before friction force ate up all of that momentum (also his body should have rotated during the sliding, so really, he might have ended in that legs up head on the road comical position ^. ^). Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that this is awful that they neglected the laws of physics in this particular scene, it is just that they could have gained way more of my respect if they tried to be more realistic.

But I wonder how many people care about things like that :D  Maybe no one. Oh well. See you next time (^_^)/

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6 thoughts on “About Toaru Majutsu no Index and some other stuff

  1. Anime physics are certainly problematic or mostly non-existent. You might get a kick out of this video which examines how ridiculous Cloud’s Buster Sword is through using the laws of physics:

    • Yeah, just using this argument based on the fact that friction force is proportional to normal reaction force you can easily show that most of those overweight weapons are not usable.
      I still like to think that it is possible to make an anime kinda realistic, at least there were moments that gave me the hope. Like when they were describing conservation of mass law in Fullmetal Alchemist, I was almost impressed =)

  2. Index did a lot of weird things that were sort of corrected in Railfun (which is *far* better as a whole, especially the second season). One of those things is the portrayal of Misaka’s railgun, which just wasn’t done right in Index.

    And to explain things away to some extent, Misaka has such powerful control of electricity that she can take the force off of herself and spread it to the environment, which is the reason for no recoil. I believe something like that was brought up at one point. Obviously it’s not going to be all realistic, especially with teleportation and magic being there.

    • I guess =) I decided to watch Index because of all the good things I’ve heard about Scientific Railgun. Dunno when I will get to watching the fourth season though =)

      Oh, that sounds nice. I didn’t think they would address this issue at all. I don’t expect them to be absolutely realistic, if they just try to make it believable I think I should be okay =) Same with all that magic and superpowers – if they say that a person can use teleportation, and that is that, I would not complain, as long as they don’t try to make up a wacky pseudo physical explanation, as they did with the coin.

  3. About when Nishiki kicked Hide, he later said to Kaneki that his body is awfully fragile, like tofu. They wanted to tell us that ghouls are stronger than humans. I guess that was a good enough explanation for me :3 Then again maybe I wasn’t bothered because physics is not my thing. I remember watching SAO thinking ‘That is sooo wrong -_-‘ XD

    • I have no doubts that ghouls are way stronger =) It is just that to perform that kick I showed on the gif Nishiki needed to also have an ability to firmly attach his foot to the ground or something :P

      I might be less nitpicking when I watch SAO. They live in a video game, right? And games, from what little experience I have with them, have little to no realism, when it comes to physics, so I wouldn’t expect much in that department. Then again, from what I know about SAO, there probably would be other reasons to say that “it was so wrong!”, besides violation of mechanical laws ^^

      Now I am out for a half an hour, need to watch the next episode of TG :D

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