Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review - A Certain Magical Index (New Testament) Volume 15

Well, hey all. My job has been taking much of my free time. It's a great place to work, but the finances are going to be challenging for a bit. Also, my camera has been on the fritz, which puts a further damper on my ability to post. That said, I am still trying to put hobby related content out there.


That said, what I CAN do is post a few book reviews for things I have read on my kindle lately. The new Index book, for instance. I wish I had stuck to my guns and done reviews of all of these, as I read them, but whatever. Volume 15 tells of the continuing clash between Touma (with the "Imagine Breaker") and Kamisato, his sort of evil twin (with the "World Rejecter"). It also follows up on a promise Kamachi made back in the afterword of Volume 12 to include more Misaka. This is good, because, let's all be real, Misaka is the best character in this series.

PROS:
  • A break for normalcy. I feel like the gentle comedic segment at the beginning of this installment is important, since volume 13 and 14 were pretty non-stop action. Othinus is still a chibi-goddess, Index is still a bottomless hole, and Sphinx is still trying to eat Othinus. Low brow, easy laughs all around.
  • Railgun! Yeah, so I already mentioned it, but there is a good amount of old Mikoto Misaka in volume 15. She's my favorite character, and since I came to the series all out of order with the Railgun anime, she's still the biggest part of the franchise for me. While a lot of her segments are fairly melancholy or bittersweet, it's still nice to see more of her.
  • That setup. You all know I'm not one for spoilers, but the ending of this one is setting up for something big! It makes me very excited. I like to think I know what's going to happen, but this author has sent me for a loop enough times to know to expect the unexpected.
CONS:
  • Kamisato without a clue. As much as I love so many of Kamachi's characters over the 30 odd volumes of Index (not to mention his other series like Zashiki Warashi, Heavy Object, and the Circumstances Leading to Waltraute's Marriage), I really think Kamisato is lame. He's set up to be Touma's twisted darker counterpart, but he really just seems like a villain with no reason. "I want revenge on the gods that made all women love me!" "Wait they're all dead? Then I'll just annoy and attack Touma!" Even as every single stated motivation for his actions is removed or negated, he just continues on. What is he even after anymore? He lies and uses underhand tactics, then gets offended when everyone calls him a liar and cheater. He let's other people clean up his problems, then stabs them in the back while they're doing it. 
I really just don't like Kamisato. As much as I love what Kamachi is doing with the other characters in this arc,  I can't wait to see Kamisato in the rearview mirror. That said, I really want big things in the next volume. Please Holy Kamachi, hear my plea!

Okay, back out of rabid fan reader mode. There really was a lot of good stuff in this volume, if you are willing to overlook typical light novel tropes such as girls wearing see through raincoats and gimmicky superpowers. The Index/Railgun universe has always been pretty heavily steeped in that sort of thing, so if you've gotten this far, you'll probably be okay.

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