Headscratchers: A Certain Magical Index aka: A Certain Scientific Railgun
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The whole attempt at a Pet the Dog for Accelerator... It just doesn't work the way they portrayed him in the Sisters arc. He's too much of a monster to ever cross back over the Moral Event Horizon. Just think of the numbers. How long has he been butchering 14/15-year-old girls (even when they try to flee or are otherwise disarmed for the project? Now, divide that into * 10,000* . If the project had been going on three years, he would have had to kill (nay, horrifically murder) 10 Misaka Imoutos a DAY for each of those years. That's just...staggering. I can't see how any amount of Pet the Dog could save him, no matter what Last Order says to make it seem okay.
Well, to be fair, they didn't exactly present themselves as human: didn't present emotions, never ran (the only time it seems one is running, they were leading into a trap or otherwise attacked first,) always arrived at the meeting time, fought him and never asked for mercy, they even insisted on following the experiments rules. It is entirely possible Accel didn't see them as human, and only when he did did he begin to regret his actions. Even the Sisters themselves refer to themselves as non-human. With all this, why should Accel see them as people? The only time he spent with them was when they fought him of their own volition. Oh sure, he is still a monster, but he is trying his best to be a better person. There are lots of things to consider with Accelerator; he is not nice for one, but such subtle things lead to a lot of Alternate Character Interpretation
When Last Order is talking to Accelerator in the diner, she literally opens up an alternate interpretation for his monstrous behavior as depicted during the experiments. Supposedly, his callous taunts and mockery of the Sisters were meant to invoke a human response (fear, anger, desperation). When the clones displayed none of those emotions, Accelerator could accept that they were little more than lab rats(heck the Sisters actually admit they they were lab rats), and could believe (at least on the surface) that he wasn't actually committing murder.
My personal theory is that when Last Order said "we determined that the only logical explanation was that you were trying to get us to give up" was completely wrong, but Accelerator later decided that he liked that interpretation of himself, and decided to do his Heel-Face Turn. Of course, by accepting redemption he's accepting that he murdered ten thousand girls (not to mention all the people he killed when he was younger), which explains his self-loathing.
The funny thing is... that Accelerator himself doesn't accept the idea that he can be suddenly redeemed which is why he's disgusted at himself by the end of the arc, in fact thats why he's annoyed at Last Order bringing up such an idea. My interpretation is that Touma beating him served as some sort of wake-up call. Accelerator DID take out the MISAKAs with malicious sadism, but it's not like he went on a killing spree across the street for no reason. He wanted become stronger cause thats the only thing he was good at. He's beaten by a Level 0, he figures that his killings weren't doing any good and decides to find another path (which he doesn't want to be redemption, but gets dragged into it when he sees last order in trouble).
Another possible reason for Accelerator agreeing to go along with the experiment is that he knew full well that nothing he could do would change the fact that the experiment would still go on, with or without him, as long as the General Superintendant of Academy City ordered it. The scientists could continue the experiment even with the Tree Diagram destroyed and with all of their research facilities trashed by Mikoto. Even if he refused, how much would the second ranked Level 5 need to kill? 40,000? 50,000? As the number one ranked Level 5, the deaths would be kept to the minimum required for a supposed Level 6 Shift, and if you consider Last Order's theory, then the only thing he could do was to put up a front and attempt to scare the Sisters into running away from him, which didn't even work because they're devoid of emotions. Just throwing another theory out there.
No Limits Fallacy
Just reading the concept of Accelerator bugs me. The tropes make him into a No Limits fallacy that stinks to high heaven of lazy writing. It helps that he's Brought Down to Normal in part, but the mere concept of his abilities being limitless just bugs the hell out of me: where the HELL does he get the energy for it?
Even if his abilities hasn't shown an upper limit to them, it doesn't mean there isn't one. As for the energy part, his ability is explicitly "alter the Vectors of anything that he touches" and he keeps it in an automatic state of "reflect". In essence, he completly screws with Newtons Third Law of Motion, there is no "action" to him, only a "reaction". To give an example, say some thug strikes him with a pipe. The thug applies 50 pounds of pressure in his strike, hits Accelerator, and the thug recieves the natural 50 pounds "reaction", plus the reflected 50 pounds "action". Again, due to Newtons Third Law, the thug will then give 100 pounds of pressure in "reaction" back to Accelerator, who reflects back to the thug. It keeps happening until something gives, inevitably the thugs limbs. Due to the above, all the energy comes from an outside source with Accelerator just redirecting it. Bad writing? I don't think so, it's probably one of the best explanations for a character's ridiculously broken capabilies. Besides all that, espers are essentially low-grade Reality Warpers, so just chalk it up to that.
Part of my problem is that it is a perfect conversion of energy with no spill over. Explaining why that is does not help. It works as well with Newton's Third Law as Neon Genesis Evangelion does with Christinaity. In my head there must be a tipping point or upper limit where he can no longer force the conversion. Otherwise, in a Vs. Scenario, he's reflecting the Death Star planet-buster or the Ideon Gun. Another problem is that if he keeps it on "reflect" then why does he not suffocate if he reflects everything coming in contact with him with their own force re-directed? No matter how minimal, the gas around us is in a constant state of motion. If he reflects things headed towards him by default, he'd reflect the very air around him as well. Unless he's warped reality to the point where he does not need to breath, we've got a problem. Subconsciously or unconsciously, he has to make a distinction between what is dangerous and what is not—but given it's reaction time via the sniper survival is just become a more blatant sign of Art Major Physics. I HATEArt Major Physics that tries to pass itself off as anything else.
Watching the episodes now and I notice a bit of deflection in each instance of a reflection around the object. An artistic "ripple" that unknowingly indicates that the conversion is not perfect as some of the energy goes into the creation of said "ripple". Which confirms for me it's just fans not knowing how to do proper observations and make wild assumptions based on the boasts rather than what actually happens.
You're right, there's not a complete reflection of energy, just none of it hits Accelerator. As for breathing, he lets things like air, sound, light and such through because otherwise, he would die. He can reflect those things (as shown with sound in the episode with Last Order), but without a reason to he just lets them work normally.
Your explanation leaves open the question of conscious or unconscious use of the power (as the sniper incident could possibly demonstrate). It can obviously be consciously controlled or perhaps set to default for certain thing... Having watched his first combat in full, there's a rather interesting thing I noticed. He says it affects whatever touches his skin, but he repeatedly uses the power through his boots. And earlier he obliterates a gun without touching it at all—just hanging in mid air when it comes withing a "field of effect" (which caused the aforementioned ripple). Though this is probably just an example of Accelerator being an idiot (of the two options: lack of internal consistency or "the character saying it is mistaken", I prefer to go with the later). I find it amusing when the exposition falls flat on its face. Of course, this is in the Anime, so there may be some Adaptation Decay. This power is problematic (which is funny given its name).
His power is set by default to "Auto-Reflect", however he can consciously use his power to change vectors in whichever direction he wishes. After rewatching the scenes in question, the animators did make a error with the gun breaking in mid-air, his power is only effective on whatever is touching him. As for his boots, well, I could say he alter the vectors in the boots to do what is seen, but I just think it's for the sake of not having to write/animate "Accelerator takes of his shoes" everytime he's onscreen.
Or they could have had him walk around barefoot.
Accelerator's power is to control the vector of everything he touches. So, let's make a list of the non-vector quantities in physics: mass, volume, density, electric charge, gravitational and electric potential, speed, kinetic energy, potential energy, pressure and temperature. I'll accept that he's not changing speed or kinetic energy directly, but as a byproduct of manipulating velocity or momentum, and that goes for most of this list. However, he shouldn't be able to control temperature. There are, in general, three ways to transfer heat; conduction, convection and radiation. Radiation is electromagnetic radiation, which is a vector quantity, so that's okay. However, light is also electromagnetic radiation, yet he can still see, so you could use EM radiation in the visible spectrum to transfer heat. Conduction doesn't use vectors at all. If there is a temperature difference, then simply being in contact with an object, i.e., to fulfill the requirements to use his ability, there will be a heat transfer, no matter how small. Even convection basically boils down to millions of particles conducting heat for a short time and then moving away. Even if we assume the particles are in contact with Accelerator for a much shorter period of time than normal people because of his reflection, there should still be a heat transfer. Also, consider the argument that heat is caused by the vibration of atoms; however, the individual vibrations are determined by quantum physics, thus, they are not predictable. Even though esper powers are caused by people selectively breaking quantum physics, I think this should fall outside the realm of Accelerator's powers.
QM doesn't mean unpredictable, it means there are limits - like predicting the diffraction grating from a double slit without knowing which hole, and any scalar is trivially a 0th degree vector.
"where the HELL does he get the energy for it?" The same place any of the other espers do.
As a point to mention, everything Accelerator does is mathematically intensive in the extreme, and he is (was) intelligent enough that he can create equations for his personal reality on the fly. Plus it seems that once they're created, he can solve them subconsciously, like how normal people can find 2*100 without thinking. With the right equations, he definitely can program himself, e.g. if something hits with enough speed to injure, reflect back it.
Given the discussion above, that just makes his entire character even more unbelievable. It means he is constantly doing quantum physics equations as he walks around on a daily basis, wracked with paranoia about where the next blow will come from. If he actually had a character that reflected that sort of mind set, perhaps it would be less onerous. The fact that he doesn't have to spend the mental effort to identify whatever it is that's coming at him, by all appearances . . . well, the more we look at his powers, the more they become Silver Age Superman ridiculous. His Required Secondary Powers are to much in need and to little in execution, implementation and explanation (at least in what I've seen in the early anime and what has been discussed so far).
This applies to pretty much all espers, especially the more powerful ones. Teleporters can work out, in less than a second, eleventh-dimensional movement vectors? Anyone who has studied even three dimensional vector physics knows how impossible that is. Misaka demonstrates control over electromagnetic fields so precise it would take a supercomputer to replicate, and can mentally access computer code with her electricity powers, including real-time photoshopping herself out of security footage. The implication is that the brain-altering regimen Academy City puts its espers through heightens their minds' ability to perform complex calculations to superhuman levels. This is perhaps best shown in Railgun when we see Saten going through remedial summer courses as a Level 0: this includes topics on quantum physics in middle school, and these are the remedial courses. The suggested Hand Wave is that espers honestly are smart enough to perform these calculations on the fly due to Academy City toying with their brains (Accelerator, being the top esper, is a genius even by those standards), though they do seem to do a lot of this subconsciously.
Accelerator's ability to do math is precisely as ludicrous as this would imply. In the novels he at one point says that some documents he picked up earlier in the day were encrypted in a code it would take Academy City supercomputers centuries to crack and then says the cleartext isn't very useful. The way Capacity Down affects Espers would imply their brains have been significantly altered and when their ability to do math is interfered with they stop being able to stand.
From what I read most if not all explanation above explaining Accelerator’s ability doesn't hold any water at all. According to the author and his bios on wiki his "Redirection" is automatic so he have no conscious control over it.(that way he’ll never be caught off guard, that how he can reflected snipers bullets without noticing it ). So the questions on how he is able to breathe in spite of the fact his power should reflect all air particles, on how he is able to see in spite of the fact his power should reflect all light, and how he is able to hear in spite of the fact his power should reflect all sound, are still left unanswered . is it on a kind of default setting that allows some gases, sounds,and lights to touch him and not others?, or doesn’t it allow this thing to touch him to a certain extent? either way it inconsistent. On top of that how to overcome his ability is even more difficult to believe. In his fight against Kihara Amata it was establish that if one was to pull back their attack right before it is redirected by Accelerator's field it will be directed to him instead of being reflected or to add or remove factors the air will throw off the calculation of Accelerator’s vectors . Yet According to what some of the fans said (ON THIS VERY PAGE NO LESS!) Accelerator’s vectors calculation is so advance it’s able to control temperature by predicting each individual vibrations of every particle in the air (which are determined by quantum physics, so he shouldn’t even be able to predict it!) yet if one was to simply pull their attack back in the last second it will be directed to him and bypass his “Redirection” completely. Also you can throw off Accelerator's wind control calculations by using a sound wave.Ignoring the fact that sound in general is almost always present in air. Accelerator’s ability is so inconsistent with the law of physic that it’s a slap to the face to anyone even remotely familiar with it.
In Accelerators fight with Dark Matter the only reason Dark Matter stands a chance against Accelerator is because Accelerators redirection automatically lets things in. I haven't read the authors bio but giving the fact that Accelerator blocks out all sound just before he meets Last Order I doubt he has no conscience control over it. What fans claim about it is irrelevant to the series, other then a claim that he can redirect heat (which by the way never gets proven nor disproven and is made my the same guy for claims to be able to survive a nuke even though he later realises he couldn't) there's no reason to believe he can control temperature. Even if he could control temperature, his fight with Amata Kihara (who makes Accelerator reflect his punches into Accelerator's face) occurs after Accelerators powers get more then halved. Also his powers get blocked by sound occurs after his power is more than halved. The only thing that stopped his air a large number of fans nearby suddenly turning on, he even notes before realising that the fans had turned on, that even an air manipulated wouldn't of stop his powers so it's doubtful the normal amount of sound has a great enough effect to stop his power before it was reduced. Also you claim that Accelerator’s powers are "a slap to the face to anyone even remotely familiar with" law of physics is silly, all abilities contract the laws of physics.
Technically that true however there is willing suspension of disbelief when it comes to this kind of fiction so saying that "all abilities contradict the laws of physics" is a really lame cop out. Of course that doesn't cover everything but it allow us to believe someone can gain superhuman or super natural abilities, but it a doesn’t allow us to believe that someone can do anything with those powers even to the point where it doesn’t even makes sense. That being said the question on how is he able to live if his power is automatically? remains unanswered. Seriously he shouldn’t be able to hear, see, breath, or touch thing. Also if he does have conscious control over his “redirection”( why couldn’t just cut it off in his fight with Dark Matter or Kihara Amata and simply avoid taking damage? Is he just…stupid? and don't even get me started on how he stopped the earth rotation for 5 mins...I think my brains is turning into mush becuase of the physic in this show...
It's said somewhere (it's been a while so maybe not) that his power defaults all vectors to bounce off of him, so he has to consciously allow things like gravity and light to affect him. Which means that while it is unconsciously active, he also has the ability to actively control it.
But as mentioned before, if Accelerator has the ability to allow somethings to pass through his barrier(like air, light and gravity) why didn't he just allow Kihara Amata's fist to pass through his field and not be affected by its redirection he could have avoided that beating. (not like that fight made sense shouldn't Kihara Amata's fists be reflected as soon as it comes in contact with the field?)Seriously E We were lead to believe that the reason why he lost that incredibly contrived fight against Kihara Amata was because he relied on his powers to much or that it was weaken by 50% but in reality he just can't use it properly.The same goes for his fight with Dark Matter he could have won without taking any damage at all.Is he just dumb?
Dark Matter was actually pretty straightforward, but rather thoroughly contradicts the Kihara Amata fight. Dark Matter was able to hurt Accelerator because Dark Matter's material violates normal physical laws. His attacks are not reflected because it is physically impossible for them to be dangerous in the first place and the reflection allows harmless things through. Accelerator then alters his automatic reflection to block the attacks. This actually raises two distinct problems with the earlier fight. First, we now have evidence that attacks that should be harmless aren't reflected, even if Accelerator considers them dangerous. Second, he can add or remove conditions from the barrier very quickly.
So accelerator isn't dumb it just the rules to his power are inconsistent due to bad writing.
The way his ability works does hold water, information on it is just fragmented. His auto-reflect is a function he spent years as a lab rat developing under the Kiharas, it reflects all incoming vectors through subconscious calculations while Accelerator has the ability to consciously determine exceptions (gravity, sound, visible light). This was made possible through his brain's superhuman processing ability. After he acquires the brain injury, his calculative abilities are reduced as not even the entirety of the Misaka network can make up for the capacity he lost, this leads to him relying on another function that relies on subconsciously detecting whether an incoming vector is harmful, this ability is harder to make exceptions for, causing the trouble he had in his fight with Kihara Amata. Later when he's fighting Kakine, his trouble was not that he didn't attempt to reflect the attacks, but that since Dark Matter relies on different laws of physics than regular matter, he had to analyze it to learn the laws governing it in order to make the calculations necessary to affect it with his ability.
That would hold water except during the fight with Kihara Amata most of the attacks were NOT harmful and yet his "subconsciously detecting " still reflected them as if they were. so why? it can block bullets but it can't tell if a backward moving punch is harmful even a normal human brain can do that so why can his subconsciously detecting do it. relying on his subconsciously detecting ability is harder to make exceptions for? Well he shouldn't even need to make exceptions for that fight a backwards moving punch is clearly not harmful.
Honestly, that particular fight just doesn't make sense. From what I can tell from the Dark Matter fight and exposition, his reflection triggers automatically against a list of things, and he can add and remove things from that list at will, adding hundreds of thousands of new triggers in seconds.
Which is still different to how is powers worked in the beginning of the series. There it is said that his power reflect everything that came in contact with his skin which is why he appeared to be genderless, his powers where redirecting his hormones (at least according to the light novel). Now his powers works differently and the exposition mention at the start of the series is never brought up again. seriously the mechanics behind his powers have been contradicted at least twice in the same series. It's no wonder why so many people are confused by it. I don't think the author really knows how accelerator powers work or was we supposed to just disregard all the exposition fed to us from the beginning of the series?
Well, not all of it, but basically yes. Early-Installment Weirdness. The hormone thing, especially, makes zero sense, which is likely why they just quietly didn't mention it in the anime. They might not have even mentioned the part about him being an albino because he reflects UV radiation.
There also the time in volume 15 where he fights Kakine Teitoku. When he Awakens it's stated that NOW no longer needs to be touching vectors to control them. This explanation contradicts a lot of stuff. First fans have calm that he already had this ability before this point since we clearly see him reversing vectors without touching them already and the we're all suppose to disregard the skin touching explanation . This also contradicts what the author wrote about him having a aim field.
Brain but not battery?
Accelerator can read/codify/manipulate/debug a human brain. Yet he can't manipulate electrons to charge his choker's battery that can be charged with a wall plug?
Just another example of his powers being inconsistent.or his inability to use it properly you decide.
I'd say it's the latter. For all of Accelerator's power, he doesn't use it to its full potential most of the time. It's not that he's necessarily stupid: he does come up with some pretty clever ideas from time to time, but when "hit it really hard" is a One-Hit Kill for 99% of his foes, he doesn't usually need to do anything clever.
Electronics are a bit touchy; Mikoto specializes in electricity but still has problems exploding them by accident. In theory he could do it, but he might also ruin it in the process, so it's probably best avoided. The same could be said of brain surgery, but in that case he was comparing the current state to a stored image, so he just needed to be able to actually manipulate stuff, as opposed to needing to figure out exactly what arbitrary manipulation of electrons would produce 120V and then actually create it.
Pulled Punches beat Accelerator
How does that whole "pulled punches" trick even work? Accelerator's auto-reflect only blocks harmful vectors, so shouldn't it simply not activate against an attack that would be harmless if it weren't reflected?
Close: Accelerator's auto-reflect only blocks vectors that Accelerator recognizes (consciously or otherwise) as harmful. It's a subtle but important distinction. A punch, even pulled, is pretty easily recognizable as a harmful action to its target, hence Accelerator's powers activating. After it was explained, Accelerator rationally knew the punches would be harmless, but subconsciously still saw them as harmful, therefore his powers kept activating.
I though his power was done by calculations at least that many fans believe(a least that was one explanation on this page but whatever). Anyway if powers are subconsciously then how does it know if Index's song could harm him or certain gases or sounds when his subconscious detecting can't tell if a fake out punch is harmful or not.Even a normal human brain can tell if a punch would connect or not. Really! If his subconscious detect even can't predict where a punch is going to land how could it predict all does other stuff.
If that the case shouldn't the punch be reflected as soon as it comes in contact with Accelerator's field that was always the case before.So that trick should only work if his punch was somehow already in Accelerator's field.That mean Accelerator's auto-reflect was sucking in and redirecting a target that was moving OUTSIDE his field!.
Allow me go into more detail. Accelerator's redirection field worked as a barrier or a shield of sorts reversing the velocity all harmful things that comes in contact with the field. the problem is that for something to be redirected it has to come in contact with the field. so how does a punch that is basically moving backwards comes in contact with a field that is directly in front of it? He has to be moving the punch forwards in order for it to come in contact with the field but if that's the case then the field should redirect it back. but if he just pulling back at the last the second then it's not coming to contact with the field and shouldn't affected at all.
That's been bugging me as well, but I suppose one possible explanation is that there isn't a "field" that reflects everything. Rather, Accelerator's powers could pre-emptively reflect incoming attacks before they reach him. And if the "attack" is being pulled back at the precise instant his powers kick in, then it would be pulled in rather than reflected. This does clash a bit with how the novels state his powers work (that things are reflected the instant they come into contact with his flesh), but the novels contradict their own explanation in practice, so...
The problem with explanation is that it implies that there is a delay in his redirection abilities. Which can't be seeing how his redirection is fast enough to reflect bullets, light (which move 299,792,458 miles per second) ,ultraviolet radiation, and gravity. so if there is a delay (though there is nothing that suggest there is) it would way to small for a human to able to take advance of (the delay the would probably last less than a microsecond).also according too his bio "Accelerator creates a thin field of AIM around him, which allows him to modify the vector values of anything he touches" so yeah there is a field according to the author. your explanation is .....OK I guess but I'm kinda looking of an in universe explanation that doesn't contradict the exposition given.
well technically there is a way, the striker began to uncurl his fist just as he reversed the direction of his arm/fist he could still touch accelerator (because his arm would be getting slightly longer) while the largest vector of momentum in his fist was moving in away from accelerator, the timing would be insane because you would have to uncurl enough to make contact but not so much that the sudden reversal would jam your fingers into your fist.
Then the punch wouldn't be able to do any real damage would it. beside how would the punch be able to travel that deep into accelerator's AIM field anyway(to the point where the fist nearly touching him. when bullets are shown being reflected immediately as soon as they come in contact with it.) Also according to author : vectors that comes towards his barrier but pulls away at the exact moment before hitting, his field will mistakenly reverse the vector and go towards Accelerator. My problem is that the solution given is that it's physical impossible. because if you pull the punch back before hitting the barrier it will not come in contact with the barrier and should not be reflected at all.
The Alchemist Arc
Well, can anybody explain the Alchemist arc to me? I'm quite confused about the climactic point of the arc. If Izzard can bring his thoughts into reality, why not just think of a vampire? Or how does distorting reality make vampires? My logic is really bending at the moment...
The problem was Izzard has never seen a real vampire before so he couldn't imagine one if he didn't know how they look like in the first place. Furthermore, his power was also his weakness because anything he thinks including a moment of doubt, that doubt will be become real. Hence why he couldn't just think and change Index into a vampire as just thinking a single thought that she isn't would undo what he did. This is the reason why he needed Aisa's powers in the first place.
His power was based on belief, and his inability to instantly resolve the problem was a clue to its limits. He couldn't directly fix Index because he didn't fundamentally believe he could. Presumably, he tried something which should have worked before and failed because he'd been lied to about the nature of the problem.
How exactly did Touma defeat the Alchemist? The events:
Izzard casts "death" on Aisa, which Touma negates; fine. Izzard knocks everyone to the floor, which Touma negates (for himself) by biting himself? Stiyl gets up, Izzard levitates him and strips the flesh from his bones. Touma attempts to charge Izzard, gets his magic-negating arm cut off. By continuing to charge at Izzard, he is able to negate future attacks because Izzard was losing his confidence and thus his ability to bend reality. That's okay, but then Stiyl is somehow revitalized. How did that happen? Touma's arm needed to be surgically reattached, so that effect was not negated as soon as Izzard lost his confidence.
Izzard didn't lose confidence and thus his ability to bend reality; he lost confidence and KEPT his ability to bend reality, which promptly led him to defeat himself. He thought "This guy is somehow negating all my attacks despite losing his arm!" which wasn't true, but because he thought it, became true.
And he managed to think "Because this guy is negating my attacks, maybe I really cant strip the flesh from people's bones.", then?
His attack was negated. By himself, but still negated. So, yes. He thought "he's undoing everything I've done," and then everything he did was undone.
What is the timing of A Certain Scientific Railgun (anime version)? Is it supposed to be while the Sisters project is going on? Because Misaka sure doesn't seem all that focused on stopping it, which she seemed pretty preoccupied during the events of Index. Railgun is definitely after Index moves in with Touma, since they are together in some scenes, but it can't really be after the completion of the Sisters arc, because the chemistry between Misaka and Toumachanged pretty drastically after he helps her save her sisters. And that change isn't really reflected in how the two act towards each other during Railgun. So, I presume it takes place while the Sisters arc is going on, and Misaka is just not yet pissed off by the thousands of murders going on under her nose? Or does she just not know about what they are really doing by the time of the Railgun anime? I presume the light novels explain all, but I haven't gotten a hold of them (much less tried to read them with my 3rd year Japanese "skills").
Here's a proper explanation. Warning! Spoilers!If you read the Railgun manga and watch the date at Harumi's clock at the end of the Railgun anime, then you know when it happen. If it's not clear, here's the rundown: The events of episode 1 to 14 in the Railgun anime happen before the events of the 1st arc of the Index anime, Episode 15 and 16 took place during the time after Touma lost his memories and before meeting Aisa. Episode 17 to 24 took place after the Deep Blood arc and before the Sisters arc. Mikoto has never know about the existence of the Sisters until August 10th, the day after Harumi's birthday during the end of episode 24. Hopefully that helps.
His bad luck keeps him alive, but makes his life miserable. He's not exactly glad he beaten Accy and his harem caused him a lot of pain, one way or another.
Exactly how does bad luck keep you alive? shouldn't being incredibly unlucky increase your odds of dying.
He has enough luck to not trip over his own feet in the middle of a fight and immediately get killed, but not enough luck to stay happy. Such as the time he accidentally broke his cell phone.
That doesn't explain how having bad luck helps him survive.
Killing him would be a Mercy Kill. His bad luck can't hurt him any more if he's dead. Note, however, that I'm not sure if the whole "Touma's luck is so bad he can't die" thing is canon; someone who has read the novels will have to weigh in.
So his bad luck is somehow protecting him from killed or severely injured(and by that I meant injured to the point of paralysis or until they need amputate a limb)? But if his luck protects him from that kind of stuff then its good luck unless he intentionally wants to die. It would only be a Mercy Kill if he wants it.
Actually, checking again, the whole "his luck is so bad he can't die" thing is fanon anyway, so that's all moot.
Regarding the harem part, there was that one theory saying that Imagine Breaker severs the Red String of Fate and attaches it to Touma. His power essentially breaks up future couples and grabs the girls for Touma. As far as his bad luck is concerned isn't it simply that he just doesn't have any Luck? His power essentially negates all Good luck, Grace of God and things like that. This would mean that being unlucky and miserable is humanity's default state.
Also, can you imagine what the reaction might be from the rest of the harem if he ever actually did anything with any of them? He is surrounded by girls that like him, though he doesn't notice this, but they are also on the whole some of the most powerful girls on the planet.
As I see it, Imagine Breaker negating his luck doesn't mean he has bad luck, it means that he has no luck at all. Basically, his luck score is neither positive, nor negative, it's just zero, so no upsides, no downsides. Then human factor comes along: Touma in his everyday life is... not very bright person. Lazy and careless at least, so with his zero luck score of course he will attract all sorts of things that he and others can see as bad luck. On the other hand, when shit hits the fan, he forgets about his supposed bad luck ang goes straight ahead. Knowing full well, that he can't rely on luck, he uses his determination, his skill and his right hand at its full capacity, and goes with it to the very end, no matter the cause, showing us that you don't need luck, when you are determined and working hard. Que all his victories and his harem.
Blocking the railgun
Technically speaking, shouldn't Touma's Anti-Magic hand be useless at stopping Misaka's railgun attack? Sure, he can cancel any esper power, but the power is only being used at her hand to accelerate the coin; by the time it reaches the target, it's just running on its own momentum. It'd be one thing if it was telekinetically propelled the whole way, but this is different. It's like saying if someone has an ability that negates the explosive properties of gunpowder that somehow lets them stop a bullet after it's been fired. Even worse is that the principle of momentum imparted by powers is not considered part of the power seems to be applied in other situations — for instance, when Accelerator uses his vector change to hurl stuff at Touma.
I was also bugged by that. It can probably be considered the biggest slip-up in the early stages of the series. Otherwise we can surmise that Misaka's railgun doesn't work as a formal railgun, like the electromagnetism continuously imparts the velocity and Touma's canceling of the esper electricity stops anything from keeping the coin moving. EVEN THEN, it still doesn't work because it requires that Touma be touching the electricity first (not the coin).
Unless the coin is fired like a lightning strike, so there has to be an ionised channel first. That would be consistent
It's explained fairly well in the Clap Your Hands If You Believe entry for both series that esper power is based off of the user's perception of reality. Touma's hand just negates whatever's thrown at by cranking the reality setting back down to completly normal. Basically Touma's power says to anything abnormal hitting it "stop, this is stupid, humans can't maniuplate electricity like that" to which the coin Misaka just fired off replies "that's a good point".
This is actually canon, sort of; the powers of espers are the projection of their personal reality. Which means they warp reality to work as they think or want it to work. What Touma does (starting from this is my own theory) is telling reality that the world doesn't work that way. Thus earning its name Imagine Breaker.
It should be mentioned that the Railgun Manga, Index anime and Index Novel all portray that scene slightly differently. The Railgun manga is the only one which shows Touma blocking the Railgun. In the anime and novel, she intentionally misses with her attack. However, in the novel he states/thinks that he can block it. Weather or not he actually can is a different story.
In the novels, there are a few other times when Touma thinks/states he can block it, and even sorta reminises about having to do so. All of these thoughts are in passing, and never once does it actually show him blocking it.
No he says that he blocked it on the bridge in volume 1
Later on in the Novels it's revealed that all his use of Imagine Breaker to fight espers has given him a sort of sixth sense. He can sense to a certain extent the manipulation of AIM Diffusion fields, which concentrate whenever an esper uses his power. So he isn't blocking lighting, he is putting the hand where the lightning is going to be(which he knows because of his sixth sense), and it's hitting his hand.
Which would makes sense if it wasn't for the fact that Mikoto could have just easily adjusted her attack slightly in the last second before she fires it and just aim for a different part of his body (like a place away form his hand) it should still hit him perfectly fine. I mean Touma's reflexes shouldn't faster than lightning. so even if he knows where the attack are going to hit her attacks should be too fast to block anyway unless she purposely allow her attack to hit his hand.
To give a proper explanation on why Touma "sixth sense "still shouldn't have made a difference lets say you had ability to block bullets with you hand and are even able to predict where they will hit, and some guy aimed a gun at your chest so you put you hand on your chest to stop it.so what stopping the guy from moving the barrel slightly and shoot in area where you hands are not protecting. like your leg or your head. you won't be fast enough to block it. Now considering that Mikoto is about attacks are about 3x times faster than bullet there still should be not a chance in hell that Touma block on his own power even with that "sixth sense" cop out. the only logically explanation is that she allow her attack to hit his hand instead of adjusting it.
I believe that Mikoto's Thou Shalt Not Kill ideology comes into play here. She demonstrated her level of power to Touma, but she isn't so reckless as to simply launch an attack with assuredly fatal results at a living target with whom she is merely trying to best in a match.
Actually, iirc, its not obvious, but in the novels Mikoto never actually uses her railgun on toma. in the first scene of the novel she meets toma on the bridge, and shows off her railgun. he reacts is shock and disbelief, before questioning her if she used it on the delinquents. she answers no, and is clearly using it as an intimidation tactic in that appearance. this, along with the fact that this isnt toma's first encounter with her but is his first time seeing the railgun, suggests shes been using purely electrical attacks against people and toma. which makes sense. she isnt a psychopath like the rest of the level 5s, she obviously wouldnt use something that could very easily kill someone like the railgun. (although i have no idea what changed, since she uses it basically whenever she can in the railgun series) so yeah, chances are, she was using those same electricity cannon attacks on toma. or maybe the same attacks she used in the 3rd novel before he went to fight accelerator. his reaction to blocking her attack seems to suggest this too. if im remembering right anyway.
Never the less even her electricity cannon should be too fast for him to block. This still a clear example of Slow Electricity.
Mikoto is usually seen charging up briefly before attacking, which would give time to block her strikes. As for the railgun, Mikoto almost never targets humans with it, so she was obviously just showing off instead of actually trying to kill Touma. She uses it to wreck vehicles, blast through walls, and knock people down with the shockwave.
Not using the railgun on people I get (because it was already mention). However that charge time thing doesn't make any sense.So because she has to charge her attack for a second before firing Touma now able to block it? That like saying if someone reloads their gun before shooting at you you'll be able to block the first bullet that comes you way. the charge time will give him time to DODGE or move out of range but not to stand his ground and block that simple physics.
It is why he can block the lighting bolts despite them moving incredibly fast; the delay between when Mikoto decides to fire a bolt and when it strikes is longer than the time it takes to cover the distance, so Touma has time to interpose Imagine Breaker. It isn't reloading, it's aiming.
So if someone stop for a few second to aim their gun before firing at you, you should be able to block then....that still doesn't makes sense. The point is lightning is to fast. Even if he Knew where it was going to hit even if the attack takes a few seconds to charge/aim the is still no way he'll be able to block it . Charging and aiming doesn't affect the projectile's speed. Sure it would give time to DODGE but not Block. in order to block Touma he'll have to stand his ground and wait for the projectile(in this case lightning) to come in range before intercepting it which is impossible because lightning moves too fast he will need reflexes faster than lightning to pull that off. Simple physic.
His right hand explicitly acts like a lightning rod and draws in any electricity she shoots at him, he just has to hold it out in front of him. That's the way Accelerator describes it anyways.
I don't remember if this was mentioned, but Touma's power is to cancel supernatural, out of this world, abilities right? That means he can cancel AIM fields, which, if I remember correctly, are the fields an esper makes because of his/her percepcion of the world is slightly different. How could he cancel AIM fields if he can't subconsciously detect them? Long story short is that he can subconsciously know when and where the enemy is going to strike while the enemy is still thinking about it subconsciously.
Well, actually, his capacity to subconciously detect AIM fields is different. Imagine Breaker isn't an Esper power, so it doesn't necessarily require Touma to be subconciously aware of attacks. In fact, needing that would negate the point of it existing: It's eventually explained that Imagine Breaker is basically the universe's backup drive in case a Reality Warper makes a change that needs to be reverted and destroys everyone's memory of how it used to work in the process, so it needs to function even if the user is subconsciously convinced that whatever it's negating is the natural order. However, when an Esper is preparing to attack, their AIM field intensifies and affects surrounding objects. The combination of that and his ever-growing combat experience eventually gets explicitly compared to precognition. So he knows the route an attack will take maybe half a second in advance, giving him time to interpose his hand. It doesn't matter how fast the attack actually moves because Imagine Breaker is in position to block it. Also, it should be noted that Touma has actually been through the power development program and is presumably at least a level 0; I've theorized he has AIM Stalker.
I'm pretty sure it does matter how fast the attack is. Consider that lightening moves 3700 miles a second. and assuming that Touma is a mile away (I know he's not but lets be generous) it would take her attack once fired only 270 microseconds for her attack to hit him. Now even if we we're to believe that knew the were route of the attack was heading and even if it takes a second or two to charge and aim her attack and even if Touma position his hand in advance to block it. What is stopping Misaka from simply charging the route of the attack in the last second and aim part of his body away from his hand before firing it. He'll only have 270 microseconds to change his position to intercept which is too fast for even a subconscious reaction. Unless she simply allowed her to hit Touma's hand or he used his hand as a lightening rod. (which are the only explanations that hold water)
As was posted above (seriously, like three posts above you), his right hand does act as a lightning rod, this is stated explicitly
I know that if you had just read the post above mine(like you are suppose to do before posting)you'll know I was just reposing to the post above mine which states that speed of the projectiles doesn't matter. which doesn't make sense.
Here's another possibility: (this is half-remembered stuff from undergrad E&M class, so take it with a grain of salt). The force of electromagnetic induction is proportional, not to the level of electric current I, but to its time derivative, dI/dt. When Misaka starts her railgun, she creates a large current from nothing, making dI/dt is positive and accelerating the projectile. When Touma raises his hand, he shuts down her Esper power, I goes to 0, so dI/dt is negative, causing the projectile to experience a force precisely equal and opposite to the acceleration.
The thing is, Touma's power works even without him consciously trying to use it, and regardless of what he (and the readers/viewers) thought it does not have to explicitly touch whatever it is affecting, which means that he is capable of subconsciously forcing espers to slightly change the aim of their attacks so that they would hit his hand. In addition to that, it gives him the ability to feel the changes in AIM field, effectively giving him clairvoyance reaching slightly to the future for as long as his opponent uses supernatural powers. All in all, while it might not explicitly be something like that, his powers are closer to that of a Gemstone than those of a usual Academy City student (though instead of a natural esper ability, his powers appear to be natural magic abilities), and if there is one thing about Gemstones it is that their powers can work in weird ways. Anyway, the point is, his power makes it possible for him to prepare himself for the attack, makes it harder for his opponent to make last-moment changes to their aim (his power is actively trying to stop the changes in the AIM field which would change where their powers hit him), and quite likely start deconstructing their powers even before they reach him (though it still works better if it touches the used powers).
In episode 24 of Railgun, how does Misaka know Kuroko will be close by? Misaka isn't aware of Telestina's mech until Telestina bursts out from under the road and I can't seem to find any planning during the chase.
That's just how much they trust each other. Misaka was just confident that Kuroko would have already disposed of the Mooks she was fighting and would be close enough to assist.
Less seriously, Why wouldn'tKurokoknow where Misaka is? Misaka probably knew that as soon as Kuroko was done at her end, she'd be tele-hopping over to where Misaka is ASAP.
It just bugs me that the wind turbines in the animes sometimes turn backwards, (even when not forced to do that by the Sisters), or have the blades' angles reversed. Since they're all CG, shouldn't the turbines all have one script that turns them the correct direction every time?
Maybe these turbines are spinning using electricity and not making any! I'm deadly serious! Something's not right here. This city is definitely hiding something! A conspiracy? Government secrets?! Those turbines are a part of the government's secret plan!
Onee-sama, please don't be silly.
Interestingly, one of the urban legends mentioned in the railgun anime is that when the turbine's propellors start turning the other way, something strange will happen to the city. Lampshade Hanging, or something more sinister? You decide!
The Misakas, including Mikoto, cause the wind turbines to spin by their mere presence, and apparently over a fairly large area. They could reverse the spin on some turbines just by walking down the street.
Here's one thing that bugs me a little. After Accelerator was shot in the head, how come he's on crutches? Am I missing something?
To be more specific, when he got shot in the head, he lost most of his motor control and reasoning abilities. That collar on his neck, when not in "superpower mode", gives him just enough processing power to emulate normal brain functions, but he's still impaired enough that he needs assistance walking.
Negating luck equals misfortune?
So...exactly why would negating luck bring Touma all sorts of misfortune? I don't think no luck=misfortune. I mean, that's like you are commiting suicide just because your instinct for survival is turned off. Well, not sure the analogy works, but you get the idea.
The exact wording was "eliminates luck and the blessings of God." I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that "the blessings of God" in this case means "protection from misfortune," sort of like a guardian angel. In other words, it eliminates his good luck, and removes his protection from bad luck. Of course, it's very possible that I'm misinterpreting this...
In that case, shouldn't his right hand erase misfortune as well?
Think of it like that, Touma have zero luck, he will never get lucky if it depend on good fortune, but he also is imune to curses, never will get really bad things (like getting a deity angry at him) to happen to him, like being ran over by a car and the like.
What I'm saying is that he negates both blessings and misfortunes. Shouldn't that just make him a normal fella?
You never heard of the term Common Miracle, did you?
Err, no. Please enlighten me.
We can think of it like this : speaking in RPG terms (the point-build kind), during character creation ,most if not all games won't allow you to set any status as zero, much less negative, thus the 'normal fella' does have luck, if average, but Touma's Imagine Breaker negates whatever luck he has, setting it to zero, thus each and every time he needs to make a luck check, he immediately fails, but otherwise he does not attract misfortune, only he can't escape them
It's quite possible that Kamijou isn't more unlucky than every other person, he just hasn't the luck to compensate. So the only thing he experiences is bad luck and he only focuses on that, and since we follow him as the protagonist, we're led to believe that too. Seriously, does he seem all that unlucky to you or just not lucky?
Really, it's because the Japanese perception of luck is different than it is here in the west. No good luck doesn't necessarily mean bad luck here, but in Japan, a certain amount of good luck is needed in order to protect one's self from misfortune. Take the manga Luck Thief for example: it starred a hit man that did his job by simply touching his target, thus taking their luck away, and his victim would immediately die in some inexplicable accident. The same thing goes for the Doppliner system in Kurokami, where when a person meets a stranger that's identical to them, one orr the pair gets all of the other's luck, and the one that loses the luck immediately dies in a similar manner to the people in Luck Thief. Thankfully for Touma, the author of TAMNI seems to tone down the repercussions of having no luck.
The Queen of Adriatic Sea
Why didn't Touma's hand made the ship of The Queen of Adriatic Sea float disappeared when they're clearly made with magic?
The novels explain the Ice ships were just like Innocentius, Stiyl's fire summon. As long as the ship's magic source still exists, the ship won't be destroyed unless Touma finds it.
Saten never asks for advice
Saten-san has a Level 5 and a Level 4 as friends, but never asks them for help leveling up. ESPECIALLY considering Misaka started out as a Level 1. This is made worse by the fact that she asks Uiharu, a Level 1
If it was that easy to raise a power level, then Skill-Out wouldn't exist. Also, since she's a Level 0, there's practically no chance of her raising her level in the first place, partly because of genetics and mostly because Academy City knows the potential of every esper and simply ignores the people who are harder to level up to conserve resources. This means that they knew Mikoto had the potential to become a Level 5 from the start, which is why they took her DNA map at such a young age for the experiments. Her advertising of "Anyone can become a Level 5 if they work hard enough!" is actually false.
Mikoto is probably the least helpful person to ask, really. Sure, she started from the bottom and went up through the ranks, but she never got stuck. So while she understands the material, it's fairly likely that she'd have difficulty explaining it differently from the way it's taught, which clearly isn't working for Saten.
Was it just me, or is there something odd about Sherry Cromwell being in Necessarius in the Sport Festival arc right after she was quite publicly attempting to murder Index? Suddenly attempting to murder an incredibly valuable asset to the Church and attempting to start a full-scale war is such a minor breach of protocol that you can just turn up at work the day after with no consequences?
It was stated in the light novels that Sherry was valued for her fighting and decoding skills, so Laura negotiated with Aleister for quite a long time to allow Sherry to stay in Necessarius. As a punishment, Sherry is now holed up inside doing paperwork and such.
Magic created for non-espers?
Alright, I've read this line numerous times and it just refuses to make sense. "Magic was created for and used by those who could not become espers." That means Espers had to come before magic, and magic has been in existence for hundreds of years in story. That would mean espers have existed for hundreds of years, yet why are there no adult espers at all in the Raildex vers? Academy City was made to produce these espers, but it couldn't have been around hundreds of years. Also, as magic was made for those who couldn't become espers, how could they know they wouldn't be able to become espers without going through the Accadamy City schools? I assume none of them even tried, or else they wouldn't be able to use magic at all (And end up like Tsuchimikado whenever he uses magic). The only explanation I could think of would be the naturally occurring gemstone espers like Sogiita Gunha (Attack Crash) and Himegami Aisa, but that still doesn't explain the lack of adult espers around.
Gemstones are in fact very rare, with there being only around 50 in the entire world. Academy City has only been around for less than a century, and considering how the esper program is focused on students still in schooling, AC's espers just haven't grown up yet. There could be adult espers and Gemstones, but they haven't been introduced yet.
Exactly, because they are so rare, I don't think the gemstones alone would have been enough of a reason for magic to be created hundreds of years ago. and if academy city is only 100 years old... Well, I guess my real question is "How did espers come before magic?" or was the want of powers like the extraordinarily rare gemstone espers, way back hundreds and hundreds of years ago, enough of a reason for magic to be created?
I just read up to SS 2, and yes, the gemstones are that special / important that magic was made because others wanted the gemstone's powers.
I'm sure this discussion is incredibly old, but the point is that very rarely people are inherently "gifted" with supernatural abilities, and these people are called gemstones. Magic was made to imitate those few people. However, the Academy City espers themselves are also simply "artificial gemstones" created by an imperfect process. Magic isn't trying to imitate Academy City, both Academy City and magic are trying to imitate the same thing. Gemstones themselves have probably been appearing for at least as long as humanity's been around.
It might seem odd that magic would be invented due to just a couple dozen gemstone espers, but remember that magic is very old. It's implied to be Stone Age old. Imagine how powerful even, say, a level 2 like the Misaka clones would appear to be in a Stone Age society. By just being a little bit clever, they could easily set themselves up as a god. Now imagine how powerful a level 5 like Gunha would be.
Don't forget that gemstones aren't the only ones with natural talent. There is Saints who are at least as powerful as level 5 esper, and there is only one level 5 gemstone compared to nearly 20 Saints. And there is also Valkyries too. Naturally talented people were the cause of myths and legends appearing. And magic was invented out of envy/fear(both?) to stand on par/oppose them. I think it is explained well enough in volume 2 of the New Testament. I think naturally talented humans in the Raildex verse existed throughout humanity's entire history from the beginning. That's my opinion anyway.
Here's something I've wondered about. They state that the experiments at cloning humans are illegal. Even in Academy City. So, we know that the people behind the Level 6 Shift project are breaking the law, a fact that Accelerator himself lampshades. So, then, when Mikoto obtains documents about the experiment, rather than trying to stop the project with a Senseless Sacrifice (which, thankfully, was prevented), why doesn't she just take what she has and knows to the media? Not even necessarily Academy City's media, but ANY media outlet?
Academy City's media is too tightly controlled. Aleister would have stopped the broadcast had she attempted to do that. Using another city's media outlet would require leaving the city, and Academy City takes steps to ensure that Level 5's do not leave without their say-so. At the very least, she knows that if she tried to leave in the middle of the school year, the higher ups would be extremely suspicious and keep a close eye on her activities. And before anyone suggests the Internet: Academy City's internet access to the outside world is constantly monitored and controlled. If she tried to release it that way Aleister would clamp down on it instantly and it would never get out. And of course Academy City could always just deny everything. The leadership's ability to hide, falsify, and obfuscate information is incredible.
There's also the fact that we don't know precisely what the law is. Is it illegal to mass-produce clones as guinea pigs, or just to produce clones at all? If it's the latter, it's possible that if Mikoto did manage to get word out, the Japanese government would have ordered them destroyed.
Most likely, human cloning in general is illegal. The legal status of the resulting clones is uncertain. However, WWIII rather firmly demonstrated that no one has the capacity to force Academy City to do anything.
Telestina isn't an esper?
Why isn't Telestina incapacitated by Capacity Down? She doesn't seem to have any hearing protection, and she definitely possessed Esper powers given that she was the source of the ability crystal first sample. And while theoretically she could have lost them, the business with the colored objects in a tube implies she's at least as strong as Uiharu.
She didn't naturally have esper powers. Gensei inserted the ability crystal into her body in an attempt to give her powers, but the experiment apparently failed in the end. Also, remember that Komoe-sensei can do the thing with the colored objects too, and she's level 0.
Is it just me or is Uiharu a distant referential cameo, Expy or Shout-Out to A Certain Legendary Species in another non-relevant universe? I mean, they are both kind, shy, cute, and have the same hair ornaments, so I can't help but wonder what would happen if you gave Uiharu a Gracidea Flower accompanied with a feeling of gratitude..
The Angel Fall Spell. It was confusing, first of all. Then, after gaining an understanding, it all made sense: it doesn't make sense! Souls, minds or personalities are supposed to be switched, which is all fine, except that that isn't the case. The Minds are all in the same constellation, just the bodies got switched and noone notices, because the spells puts a filter or visual additives over your eyes.
Another good question would be why is this spell is even called "The Angel Fall spell" considering what the spell does it doesn't make any sense for anyone calling it that. This isn't even the only example of this it's like this series just slips on random biblical names/reference to things just cause it sounds cool.
It caused an angel to fall from heaven. All other effects were secondary.
I also noticed that the way it affected people seemed very inconsistent. Toma's mother and father saw him and each other as who they were supposed to be, yet they saw Tsuchimikado and Kanzaki as the wrong people. Unless the idea was that if you didn't know someone before the spell was cast then you saw them as the wrong person.
Tsuchimikado and Kanzaki were exceptions. The spell had a slightly different effect on them because they managed to shield themselves when it went off.
Accidentally casting the spell
The fact that somebody could accidentally cause something so major like Angel Fall just by unintentional arrangements of totems are just too ridiculous, if you ask me.
Tsuchimikado mentioned that the idols and figurines multiplied and amplified each indivdual's power several times over explaining, sort of, how something like Angel Fall could happen. That and the author sometimes like to use Contrived Coincidences.
This is something that directly involves God. If a Contrived Coincidence is ever justified, it is here. Who knows why He did it, but mysterious ways and all that.
Plus, Tsuchimikado said that Touma's Father had so many occult souvenirs that it would impossible not to form some sort of pattern, and that they were lucky that it was a spell like Angel Fall that didn't instantly annihilate mankind. This is also given as the reason why Touma can't fix it, because removing any single part would either a) simply make a different world destroying spell or b) explode.
Why is that the author has no scale of age/physical appearance? I know it's prevalent in other works too but seriously, look at how many characters are Younger than They Look, and seriously, Styl is 14? What the hell?
They look younger in the light novels, if that helps. Here's◊ the first pic of Stiyl; I'd buy that he's 14.
Stiyl's case in particular was the result of a bit of miscommunication between the author and the artist. The author said that he envisioned Touma's and Stiyl's first battle as kind of a "new vs old" kind of deal, with Touma being the "new". The artist misinterpreted that as Stiyl being an older man, when the author meant that Stiyl was using older techniques. In the novels, he's described as abnormally tall, but still recognizably young.
The gargantuan amount of fantastic racism in Toaru; for example, kuroko's comment that a bunch of normal humans (level zeros) could never have beaten a level 4 (butt-monkey Kongo Mitsuko, who fires laser beams)... then there's complete monster Meltdowner (Mugino Shizuri), the girl with a god-complex so large it's a surprise she can even fit her head in a room, who flies into a foaming rage when Shiage beats her using her own ego against her and superior tactics, screeching that she should be able to kill 100 normals like him without "even lifting a finger". her yell there is, sadly the attitude of almost all level 5s, most level 4s and many level 3s: a complete disregard for normal human life, to the point where normal humans are often treated like cattle; Shizuri is able to kill Frenda, and the anti-skills never arrest her, much less charge her with anything. Another example of the massive fantastic racism is the Daihesai contest between middle-schools "200 students from some random middle school versus TWENTY TOKIWADAI STUDENTS", at which point the tokiwadai students proceed to curbstomp the 200 regulars, thus winning the game by default, despite the fact that it's supposed to be a BALL THROWING CONTEST! Then, let's not get started on Dark Matter's plans to rule AC like a fiefdom, or Aliester's plans to use academy city, its ludicrously enhanced technology and its espers as his own personal enforcers should anyone try to interfere with his plans to become god and remake the universe in his own image (why else would he be in a building that creates its own supplies, oxygen, nanobots and can withstand a direct nuclear hit?)
also the ambiguity with which many of the powers work; Accelerator comments to Kill Point, that he's an idiot for using other people's locations in his teleportation, a set of powers which supposedly requires "11th dimensional theoretical calculus" to even operate! seeing as those kinds of calculations are the basis for the operation of most powers, how come they're all able to use them instantly? it takes several minutes to solve or complete even basic calculus problems, much less stuff that's involved with quantum physics, which would take days if not weeks! if the author had even a hint of respect for equality and rights, much less physics, a level zero could defeat a level 5 simply by the fact that NO ONE can react fast enough to avoid a bullet that's traveling at 900 meters a second!
...and? The arrogance that most Espers have is addressed instory, like with how Skill Out originally being formed to "protect" Level 0's from Espers. People with power on both sides of the Magic/Science war honestly believe they are better than lower level espers/non believers, that includes the likes of the earnest yet haughty Kuroko but with the rare exceptions like Misaka Mikoto. Mugino is just crazy. As for the Daihesai events that was more a handicap than outright racism, Tokiwadai has a mandated Level 3 limit for students. Considering how the whole event allows the use of powers giving a handicap to lower level schools is an honest attempt at being "fair." Aleister and Dark Matter both suffer from A God I Am. As for the instant high level calculations, it's a combination of geniuses, practicenote How long did it take you to learn the multiplications table in elementary? How long does it take for you to calculate 7x9 now?, and the Esper program itself. The author knows that characters with power become prideful and uses that as one of the elements for Academy City's less fortunate residents.
I'm going to call you out on your reply, there, unfortunately; Misaka Mikoto and all other espers are using advanced physics, calculus and differential equations to pull off and chain powers in under a second. for those who do not know what this looks like, a basic differential equation looks like this: this◊ and the answer is this◊. The best people math students, who are capable of acing such classes—easily with IQs of 170 of higher—take at least 15 minutes to solve such problems, even with daily practice. there is no way in hell that she should be able to do that; the only way to do so would be to physically increase the processing speed of the brain to something on the order of a supercomputer. the only way to do that is to isolate the human brain in something that moves faster in time and space than the world surrounding it—namely a hyperspace bubble generator moving at the speed of light. there's another fault too; in SS: Liberal Arts City, Uiharu cracks top grade military security in under seven seconds; this shouldn't be possible: firstly, academy city probably uses different code than the outside world, thus making the code foreign and unknown, and secondly, Uiharu is a level 1. Performance at that skill that she is shown to be pulling off would mean that the median IQ of Academy city sits somewhere around 200-240. For reference, the highest IQ score recorded was 228, and 'genius' level IQs (170+) comprise less than 1 out of every 150 people, roughly 0.75% of global population. IQ scores of 200+, then, comprise less than 1 in 300 people. Considering that Academy City does not allow people to immigrate except espers and japanese citizens who have pre-registered, Academy city should have far fewer espers, far fewer geniuses, and absolutely no reason why it is 30+ years ahead of the rest of the world.
An example from intermediate mechanics: setup a simple, ideal game of catch, think about how long it takes to solve, add in various real world effects (friction, arm movement, etc), and marvel at the (intuitive) numerical analysis involved in baseball. Also, IQ is pretty much only useful for differentiating between low, normal, and high IQs with dubious connections to much else.
It is mentioned that the espers of AC all took tests and drugs to increase their calculating speed and therefore their IQ. Plus it's implied that AIM fields help with the calculation of esper abilites. It wouldn't surprise me if the higher your level goes the more smarter you get to. This is supported by the fact that Level 5 Misaka a middle school student can easily help Touma a normal high school student. Also the strongest esper Accelerator needs nearly 10000 clones for him to have half his calculating speed back.
Math Is Power, indeed.
Can someone explain the bizarre fetish with the "Biribiri" nickname among the English-speaking fandom? It's an arbitrary string of syllables and utterly meaningless to someone who isn't a Japanese-native speaker. Why are people so obsessive about using it to the exclusion of words we English speakers do understand? I'm tempted to dismiss the whole thing as "because weeaboos" but I am hoping for there to be a better reason than that.
It's catchy. No really, "Biri-Biri" is simply the Japanese onomatopoeia for electricity and the English equivalents doesn't sound as good. Occasionally you'll find an english speaker who calls her "Sparky," "Shocker," or even "Pikachu," but for the most part people simply Touma's nickname for Mikoto cute and/or catchy. Even so, the above nicknames are still pretty prevalent amongst the english speakers.
Also, it's literally her In-Series Nickname. Touma spends most of Railgun calling her it, plus even after his memory loss, Touma still calls her it occasionally. It's in bad taste to translate names, nicknames included, even if there is a suitable translation
Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?
Why does none of the antagonists just shoot him with a mundane gun (correct me if I'm wrong because I haven't read the novels yet, just the anime)? And God help me, don't say things in the line of "They had too much confidence/They are too proud." or I will suffer from aneurysm.
I would assume you mean why no-one shoots Touma. The simple answer is: Why should they? Magic and psychic powers tend to be more damaging than firearms. Also the only ones targeting him are on the magic side and it was the Fake UnabaraEtzali that was first to target Touma specifically, and he ended defecting to Academy City afterwords. On top of the fact that most of the magicians Touma fights were at first from Necesarrius who would prevent crucial information like "Don't use magic" from leaking out. Not to mention magicians shun technology in the first place.
And note that Kanzaki, the one who had the most luck against him, did shun direct magic attacks for some spell that involved actually making attacking with a bunch of steel wires practical. But she's a Saint; most magicians couldn't pull that off (and wouldn't see the need to until its too late).
Guns aren't as effective on Touma as one would think. Touma improvises against people with guns and gets off without any injury compared to the hard and barely winned battles he has to fight with magicians and power-users as proven by the recently released episodes where he had to fight Skill-Outs.
In order for the series to have magic and esper powers be actually usefulnote considering that most of them seem to need ludicrous amounts of preparation and calculations the author could only include firearms against opponents who wouldn't be troubled by them like Ellis.
Actually, as of New Testament 3, it's been confirmed that the magicians of GREMLIN are wise enough to see this as the default method of dealing with Touma (aside from also developing spells that are meant to work against him specifically). As such, said magicians are more than happy to use guns against Touma or wave upon wave of thousands of heavily armed mercenaries.
Which raise the questions why didn't Aureolus just try shooting him in the head.
This too has an in-story answer. Aureolus was pissed off enough at Touma stealing his thunder that he didn't want him to die quickly. By his own words, he wanted Touma to suffer as much as possible before he finished him off. By the time Aureolus prepared to actually finish him with a headshot, his aim had gone wonky due to his fear of what he had seen coming out of Touma's severed right hand and to the still de-skinned Stiyl using illusion magic to throw off his accuracy.
The short answer is that most people who fought Touma weren't actually planning on killing him. Either they didn't know about Imagine Breaker, didn't expect him to get in the way, or don't want to kill him. Mikoto gets into fights with him the most, but she doesn't actually want to kill him and her entire motive for fighting him is wounded pride; using anything but her powers would make the fight pointless. For most of the others, their powers are generally more dangerous than guns and they were not anticipating being countered by someone who is susceptible to gunfire. Also, most of the series takes place inside Academy City. Security is pretty tight; it would be difficult to sneak in an ordinary weapon without authorization.
Touma and the Tokiwadai Dorms
How did Touma get to Mikoto's dorms in the first place without causing a ruckus? It was clearly established that the district where Tokiwadai is located is restricted access. I though it was for female school students only yet Touma got in no problem. Or is the dorm Mikoto lives in located in a different district?
It was at night so most of the student body would be asleep in the first place, and he did need Kuroko to unlock the doors for him.
You are missing the original issue. The whole region around Tokiwadai is restricted (as it was shown in Railgun). Touma shouldn't be able to even get near the dorms, if they were located there. Of course, the dorms aren't located there. The dormitory Misaka lives is in the same district, but not inside the restricted Garden of Learning. There are two dorms, but the one Misaka lives is in the non restricted area (the other one is, but it doesn't matter)
It was late at night and everyone was supposed to be asleep/indoors due to curfew. Most likely Aleister let Touma through without a ruckus because he had planned for the Level 6 Project to fail from the very beginning.
The dorms where Misaka and Kuroko live are one of two Tokiwadai dorms, the one Kongo lives in is in the Garden of Learning (which is only accessible to female students) but theirs isn't. This is shown more in the Railgun series where Uiharu and Saten can walk right into Misaka's dorm but need a special pass to get into the Garden. Touma wouldn't have had any issue just getting into the building, but he did have to be buzzed into the room.
Touma's Fighting Style
Does Touma's fighting style get more varied later on? Honestly, he's solved almost every fight with the same kind of attacks. I know they want to emphasize that he's a street fighter, and it's mainly a "magic and science" story, not martial arts one. However, his fights could utilize a bit more ingenuity than simply "run at the opponent, Imagine Breaker, punch".
For the most part he follows the same formula later on as well but there are a few instances here and there where he mixes things up a bit and even fights dirty, like his time against the Fake Unabara.
Maid Academy. REALLY?
There's also Butler school in Real Life so Maid School isn't surprising.
Original poster here; I mean, who would specifically build/go to school that teaches kids how to be a butler/maid? It's... just beyond my comprehension...
You don't just go off and be a maid; you have to have training first. I'm certain that such schools exist in real life as well.
Remember also that whenever the Japanese think maids and/or butlers, they have in mind a (somewhat) romanticised version of aristocratic households in Victorian/Edwardian England, where being a butler/maid (particularly the former, but also the latter, as well as the rest of the serving staff) was, for someone of humble origins, actually fairly prestigious. Certainly, it was the kind of job that tended to be passed along family lines, and as already pointed out, butlers/maids need to learn SOMEWHERE... they'd have learned 'on the job' back in the day, but throw in a dose of modern culture and an academy makes sense.
Or, alternatively, just don't think about it too hard. The Japanese like maids, this is a city made almost entirely up of schools/academies. Logical conclusion: maid academy.
Original poster here. Gurgh... I might as well just accept that.
Arming the Sisters
So... why were the Misaka Imouto using guns?
They are only level 2 espers, each of them with 1/20000th of the original's power. Hive Mind notwithstanding, they can't read magnetic lines without those visors, while Mikoto can with her naked eye. And even if they can they're just not as powerful as the original individually. Considering that they were not able to train long enough to use their Electromaster abilities to their full potential (they were created to help Accelerator Level Grind after all), they resort to conventional weaponry as they're more practical to use in conjunction with their limited power set.
Giving them weapons also enables more options for testing Accelerator's powers.
Correct. However, it's when 10032 decided to use her esper powers when conventional weaponry just won't work on Accelerator that she was able to hurt him by ionizing the oxygen in the air to turn it into ozone. But still, because they can't read magnetic lines without their visors, it would be more difficult for them to pull off a Railgun even if they can. Thus, they can only shock opponents to death, which doesn't work if they're immune to electricity, and they can only do so much with their AI, so giving them guns is a more practical option.
What made the Russian-Academy City conflict in volumes 20-22 a "World War"? China and India were mentioned (in passing) as supporting Academy City but other than that there wasn't really any involvement from other countries, right? The english-french battle was magical in nature and was probably swept under the rug so not much official military involvement there.
Russia was fighting Academy City, and by extension Japan, and China and India while being allied with France who was fighting England. That's almost every international superpower engaged in the war. As for the French/England front even if the magical aspects were downplayed there was still involvement from the royal family, non-magical military involvement goes without saying.
Why would it even have to be covered up? Espers in Academy City are public knowledge, so if you saw anyone doing something weird in a big battle you'd just assume they were part of a top secret esper program being run by the country they're working for. And the world powers are running programs like that, albeit with limited success, because superhuman soldiers are the new arms race. Future novels make it clear that magic is practically an open secret though. Not that the people in charge would be able to tell the difference between magic and psychic powers. Would you be able to tell the difference between magic and psychic powers if the series hadn't been constantly stopping to explain it?
It's a World War because pretty much all of the "world powers" were involved (Russia, China, Europe, and Academy City). The USA was the only one left out, but they were gearing up for it, and the war ended before they could pick a side and jump in. In any case, the outcome of the war would decide a new balance of power across the globe... thus, World War.
The way esper powers work, they don't actually have to do all that math in their heads to be able to use their powers. For one thing esper powers canonically are based on their personal perceptions. This allows them to harness their AIM field and apply their power.
Except they do. When Accelerator uses his powers, he does A LOT of math, so, when his incredible calculation skills were lost, his powers gone as like. Not to mention teleporters, who have to do calculations up to eleventh dimension on the fly to use their powers.
One Above God
I'm having a hard time understanding the whole "One Above God" deal. When Fiamma achieves this status, he's obviously neither omnipotent nor omniscient... which means he is clearly not "greater than God", because some of the defining characteristics of the Christian God are omnipotence and omniscience. So what does "The One Above God" really signify if not simple power? (Not to mention that the very idea of something being "greater than God" is utterly nonsensical and impossible from a basic Christian point-of-view, and despite all the liberties taken in the series with Christian beliefs, that one is pretty fundamental!)
Short answer: The author is not known for doing the research on Catholicism. See also the female bishop. However, if you really want an in-universe explanation, then we can assume that the "God" Christians worship was never actually all-powerful or all-knowing, merely powerful and knowing, with the rest being propaganda (either by God trying to pump up his image or mortals misinterpreting things).
If that is the case and what is written in the bible in that universe is propaganda and false then how do they how strong God is? I mean you can't claim to be stronger than someone without knowing exactly how strong that someone is and if the only book about this person is propaganda then what exactly are they using making this comparison? it can't be bible so what?
That's assuming the Bible is the only source of information mages have on God's power level. They're an Ancient Conspiracy (actually like a million of them) who have been hiding all sorts of things from the rest of the world since pretty much the beginning of human history, if not earlier. They have actual Saints at their beck and call, and several people can call upon the power of archangels at will. They might have had the direct opportunity to observe God's power level. Or they asked one of the angels and managed to get a better answer than "It is beyond your ken, mortal."
That is not even close too the amount of info need to make that kind of assumption (not even the bible if accurate has that kind of info on God). Angel gossip and some observation? The angels could easily be lying or just assuming themselves. You think all of God angel knows all the absolute peaks and limits to his power in precise detail(that would odd of God to tell them all that). How would they "observe God's power level"? Did they ask God to take some sort of test? How would they know these feats of strength are the limit to his power(they could just be the tip of the iceberg)? and how exactly would they measure it? by raw power? versatility? usability? practicality? Hard to imagine God agreeing to this.
Or this: even though God is omnipotent, his omnipotence is useless (for people) since he's not actually DOING anything with it. One Above God might have less power than real God, but he would USE it, making him more important from the common people's point of view.
So the status of "One above God" is not a measure of power but of one's proactivity? Then couldn't a low rank espier or a normal person reach this status?
Okay, so much confusion and misunderstanding in here, let me try to help a bit. First, about Kamachi not being knowledgeable about Catholicism, you example is just plain wrong as the female bishop is from the Anglican Church and the Anglican Church is way more open in the ordination of women than the Catholic Church. The first woman ordained as a bishop in the Anglican Communion was in 1989. So, it's critical research failure on your part.
Now, let's try and clear up all this mess. The magical concept of La Persona Superiore a Dio in Index is quite hard to grasp but easily to understand if you do. In Index verse, Kamachi makes extensive use of hierarchical theme in his story line, exemplified by Terra of the Left's Execution of Light. The meaning of this is that someone of the lower order can't harm much less kill someone of the higher order, the exception to that is IB. However, to fit this concept in La Persona Superiore a Dio, it was theorized by magician that the position of the Christian God is a fixed position, He can't be a subordinate or anything else, only God. The only other being in Judeo-Christian mythos that is equal in rank to God is Michael, the Right Hand of God, and Fiamma's Archangel. But humans are different, and Fiamma is unique. His race as a human offers him infinite possibilities of growth, his position of Michael in God's Right Seat lets him assume his authority (therefore his rank and powers) based on Idol Theory. However, what made him superior to God when he achieves La Persona Superiore a Dio is that he achieved a state that is the same authority as God. Now what made him above God at this point? As I said, the position of God and everything else in Toaru follows a strict hierarchy, so there can't be another being that is the same as God, so the only place for him to go in the hierarchy is above' God. It's quite simple and stupid, but that is how Idol Theory works in Toaru. The misconception of you all to that is that you assume that La Persona Superiore a Dio is more powerful than God, which is incorrect. Its just a state and magical hierarchy that places Fiamma above God (having the same power and authority) in the hierarchy because he can't be God because there can't be another God. Hope I was clear enough.
Then wouldn't make more sense to call him La persona uguale a Dio Person equal to God. It only common sense to assume La persona superiore a Dio or The Person Superior to God would actually be superior to God. also where are they getting the info for this comparison from it can't be from Judeo-Christian mythos . (For one thing Judeo-Christian mythos doesn't put God and Michael in the same rank.) how do they know Him and God have same power and authority? Equal authority ...... bit of a stretch but maybe, equal power? not at all Judeo-Christian mythos would place God above seeing how he has omnipotence and omniscience which Fiamma don't got. Seriously creating a rank above god that isn't actually above god is needlessly confusing an well false advertising.
Is Level 0 really supposed to mean that there is no ability present or is it just an expression for the inability of someone to actually progress within the levels?
Given that even level 0 can't use magic (without danger), the potential power probably already exist, it's just yet unusable at that stage.
They possess some amount of power. After the workshop, Saten notes that she did better on the ability test. Presumably their powers are just so weak as to be completely useless.
Given later revelations in the series, the leveling system is complete bullshit. Everyone has a power, but the only ones that get developed to their full potential are the ones that Aleister deems most beneficial to his research, with all the others having to just chug along the same development path as those ones, despite the fact that trying to develop them the wrong way just flat out does not work(as evidenced by the very existence of level 0s). The stronger Espers who aren't level 5 have been deemed worth the effort to develop them, at least partway. Everyone undergoing the Esper program has the potential to be level 5, its just that the establishment doesn't want to put the extra effort and resources into developing each and every power to its fullest, so they just focus on the ones they really want.
To put it another way: Saten and the other Level 0 espers are receiving approximately the same power curriculum as Mikoto—it's just that Mikoto and the other level 5's are predisposed to react to the program better, so they are given more attention, especially regarding the expensive stuff that we don't usually see on-screen, like the hypnotism and chemical alterations and whatnot. Saten's powers are increasing under the power development program, and they'd increase even faster if she got the same attention as Mikoto. It's just that it would still be very slow, and the city considers it too inefficient to waste the extra resources on her.
That's partially wrong actually. Given certain statements by Item's handler, it seem that some Espers either can't grow or can only grow a little. Given that level 0s are supposed to be impossible they can all presumably hit level 1, but most of them probably can't go beyond that even with help. Mugino at least believed Hamazura might have simply stopped along the way, even if he got the proper treatments. It's more that the level 0s aren't being given a chance to try that's the bad thing.
Also, remember that Tsuchimikado is a level 0, but his power works, but is uncertain. A level 0 is explicitly stated to be someone whose powers are such as not to be useful.
Touma falling into the Arctic
Did they ever explain what happened to Touma between Vol. 22 and NT Vol. 1? How did he survive falling into the Arctic Ocean and get back to Academy City? I've been reading the NT Volumes and haven't been able to find it.
Dawn-Colored Sunlight (Birdway's group) was tracking his fall and rescued him.
Crazy Level 5's?
Is it ever explained why exactly all the level 5s are either full-blown crazy or sociopaths at worst (accelerator) and mildly eccentric at best (Mikoto)?
The fact that esper powers involve messing with your personal understanding of reality might have something to do with it. Or perhaps it's just a side effect of teenagers having super powers and given free reign by the city to do nearly anything. Hell, most of them have actually been contracted for black ops work, which can't be good for a child's psyche.
There is also the fact that a good number of them have been experimented on or dragged to the Dark Side(or both). Mikoto and Gunha are the only ones not to have been confirmed to have anything done to them, and with Gunha you have to wonder how much of his personality is his and how much was influenced by the city to keep his mysterious power under control.
Last Order level 3
If they could make Last Order level 3 then why not make all the clones level 3?
As the administrator of the network, she has access to more power than the rest. Also, she's a later model, and it appears they refined the process as time went on. That being said, she was probably more expensive as well; the Level 4 clone who shows up later is noted to be too expensive for mass production.
Apparently, the process was a bit irregular; some of the normal Sisters were Level 3 and some weren't. It's not entirely clear what was up with that, since Tree Diagram could apparently precisely calculate how many but not which.
I think it was mentioned that some of the Sisters could theoretically reach level 3, but they were only level 2 when they came out of Testament and fought in the experiments.
If fighting is all it takes to level Accelerator up why not just have him fight Misaka in several fights that aren't to the death? That would both same a shitload of money and be more morally acceptable.
Several reasons: First, it's not fighting in general, but fighting in specific situations designed to force Accelerator to expand the way he uses his powers. The majority of Mikoto's tricks can all be easily defeated by his Attack Reflector. That being said, it probably actually would have been a good idea, because it would have forced both of them to expand their powers—as noted above, without the moral complication of killing twenty thousand little girls. Which brings us to the second point: Mikoto is the unofficial face of Academy City, and the administration was trying to keep her from peering too closely at the dark side. They probably just didn't want her involved. However, most importantly, the point of the program was never to advance Accelerator to level 6. That was all a smokescreen; what Crowley really wanted was an excuse to spread the Misaka Network across the globe, which resulted in the AIM Diffusion Field covering the entire planet. Though I'm still not sure why he didn't just do that.
Given the revelations in chapter 61 of the Railgun manga, it seems that the truth is that the Level 6 Shift project was a plan with a whole bunch of possible outcomes. The stated goal was to get Accelerator to level 6. And while that would have been an acceptable outcome, the fact that Gensei refers to Mikoto as "Aleister's favorite" implies that he always expected her to undergo the shift. Presumably, she was supposed to find out about the project once she ran into one of the clones (she can sense them from very far away due to her powers), and since they weren't even allowed topside until thousands had been killed, she'd be outraged at the whole experiment. She tries to stop it, fails, and then faces Accelerator again, and in a moment of desperation hopefully fuses with the network and achieves level 6. Of course, what actually happened was Touma popped up and punched out Accelerator, but that's where the backup plan came into play: Let Heaven Canceler spread the Sisters across the globe, resulting in the AIM Diffusion Field covering the planet. Though a decent amount of this is still supposition, it clicks together quite neatly, and fits with what we know of Aleister's personality and planning methods.
One problem: if the plan was to link Mikoto to the network, why didn't they just do that in the first place without bothering with having Accelerator fight them? It doesn't appear she can block out the network. I suppose it's possible that they couldn't make the network controllable through messing with Testament data while still getting the Sisters to manifest their abilities. Assuming that's the case, Exterior may have been successfully hidden from Kihara until recently, so getting Mikoto connected to the network would leave her outside of their control and rather angry.
The plan was not simply to linkMikoto to the network. That would be relatively simple, and would just involve her finding the right radio channel and making sure she has the right brainwave pattern to act as a key. The network is already linked to each other, and they can't share powers. They needed Mikoto to fuse with the network, like what happened with the Level Upper network, which is far more difficult (and immediately puts all the Sisters in a coma). Gensei didn't have access to Exterior; Mikoto even brings this up when she and Misaki are going to its location, that it might be a trick to find it, but Misaki is too confident in her security and brushes it off. There is the question of whether they would have had any control over Mikoto in her angel form without Exterior, but they might have been able to still control the Sisters, and even if they couldn't, would Aleister care? Finding a way to make a Level 6 is the point of Academy City. He's safe in the Windowless Building, so even if she destroys the entire city, he'd get all the experimental data he needs.
If the fights weren't to the death, they probably would not push the limits of their abilities and thus not improve them much, making it take a lot more than 128 fights. Probably not more than 20,000, but still a lot. There would also be some ancillary problems; duels between Level 5s are not exactly subtle. It would be nearly impossible to keep it a secret over the long term. The public reaction and fallout would be fairly unpredictable, and lots of groups have a vested interest in preventing Accelerator from reaching Level 6.
Uiharu has an incredibly useful power despite being classed as a level 1. Her ability is temperature regulation. Anything she touches will maintain its current temperature indefinitely. At a first glance, this may seem like a mostly useless ability, but when put into real-world applications, its uses become apparent. During Misaka's battle with the AIM Burst, it attempted to reach Academy City's nuclear power plant and cause a meltdown. Had Misaka not been able to stop it, the most useful person to have around would be Uiharu. By maintaining the temperature of the reactor core, no amount of damage caused by the AIM Burst would create a nuclear meltdown. In a somewhat more unfortunate situation in which the reactor had already begun the process, Uiharu would still be one of the most useful people to have around. By maintaining her own body temperature, she could travel within the facility and shut it down without any risk of receiving thermal burns caused by the overheating core. The damage sustained by radiation poisoning is an entirely different matter. In a similar vein, Uiharu is invulnerable to extreme hot and cold weather. By, again, maintaining her own temperature, she could scale Mount Everest completely naked without getting so much as a chill. She would also be invaluable as a traveling companion, as she could maintain the temperature of anyone she stays in contact with, preventing frostbite, heatstroke, and any other effects caused directly by harsh temperatures.
Uh, Uiharu isn't immune to hot and cold. That's why her power is normally only useful for things like keeping food warm.
Which is probably the reason why she is a level 1, she has no real control over her power that would allow her to implement such applications.
Innocentius (the big fire monster) would've melted the surrounding area by its very presence. The anime even showed it melting metal door handles. Even if Touma's right arm can block magic/esper abilities, it probably wouldn't be able to cool the entire surrounding area and prevent everything from catching fire.
Seeing as it's a magical monster, it's quite likely that the heat is contained to just outside its "skin".
Capacity Down is a sonic phenomenon, correct? It's an esper-crippling Brown Note. Why didn't any of the brilliant espers involved ever buy ear plugs after their first run-in?
Sound can transmit through your entire body, ear plugs wouldn't do jack if the volume was loud enough. You can easily test this by putting your fingers into your ears, and turning up your speakers. Get sound loud enough, and you can feel it thudding in your chest, since we're all basically bags of mostly water.
Touma's duel with Mikoto
In retrospect, Mikoto's Cry Cute moment during her duel with Touma doesn't make much sense. Up to that point, the implication was that Mikoto is just so absurdly powerful that she just didn't know how to react when she's cornered and can't use her electric powers. However, in Railgun, we see that she already was in countless life-or-death situations prior to this, including at least one fight where she was getting beaten up in close-combat while being unable to use her power (her fight with Frenda). Not to mention that crying because someone is going to punch her just feels odd considering her personality. So what was up with that?
Pretty sure you have the timeline wrong. You mean Mikoto's fight with Touma on the Artificial Riverbank when she first uses her iron sword, right? Because that happened long before the Level-Upper arc or the Sisters arc. Remember when she fought Kiyama, she tackled her and said "This didn't work on that idiot...but you don't have such an unreasonable power as his, right?"
That's the one. Yeah, I did get confused there with the timeline. Still, that's some amazing character growth in such a short time (couldn't be more than a few weeks or months at most, after all). But then again, that's what animes like this are pretty much about.
I don't think she was anywhere near as motivated in her fight with Touma; fighting him was borne of irritation, wanting to prove the dominance of her powers, and enjoying getting to fight, while the incidents where she ignores severe pain and fights with her powers unavailable are about protecting her friends, the city or her sisters. Note the playful bantering tone she has fighting Touma versus the angry growl when fighting Frenda.
And on a different note: does nobody care about what is going on on that bridge? It's supposed to be a very densely populated area, but nobody seems notice the sparks and the noise. You'd expect the police (or even Judgement) to check out what's going on.
Would you walk into a fight where Mikoto is cutting loose at full power? Probably everyone assumes two level 5s are having a fight, and it's wisest not to get between them.
Exactly, nobody interferes there for the same reason that nobody interferes whenever Accelerator goes on a rampage: they aren't suicidal. Someone like Mikoto cutting loose can literally change the landscape, and the people without the kind of direct power to join in on a slugfest of that level have to realize that all going near a fight like that is going to accomplish is to at best be a mild distraction, and at worst die like flies. Not to mention that specific to the case you mentioned... their weapons are utterly useless on Mikoto. It would not be hard for her to redirect incoming fire from their weapons(like she does in NT) so that they don't even hit her, or even use any metal they have on them to throw them around.
*SPOILER* Volume 22 ending
So at the end of Volume 22 Touma "dies" again, and the other time they used that terminology was at the end of Volume 1 to signify his memory loss. The only thing I have to say about that though is that throughout NT so far, he has not referred to his second memory loss again. Throughout the early Index novels he was referring to the fact that these people seemed to know him that he couldn't recall, however he just doesn't do that in NT. So did Birdway give him a complete rundown and photographs/descriptions of everyone he was supposed to know before they got back? I mean it didn't even slip when he was drunk and wandering around. Unless that didn't actually mean he lost his memory again like everyone assumes?
Birdway actually references it, and she refers to it as Touma's "error", and that it destroyed the old rules of the world. It doesn't seem to refer to actual memory loss this time. What it actually means will presumably be revealed when Birdway stops being cryptic.
Probaly because the author wanted the reader to believe he was dead. After all, we already had two more protagonists by then and the back cover of NT 1 even mention that Academy City is now without "him". There is no reason to believe he lost his memory, especially since he references thinhs like Index bitting him when angry.
Alright, I know this is nitpicking at the premise of the entire series, but it's been bugging me, lately. How does Touma hide his memory loss from everyone? From Index, Styl, Kanzaki, and other people who barely know him, I can buy. And I can even buy the incident with his parents, for the most part. But, how do people like Tsuchimikado, Pierce, Miss Komoe, and other people who see him every day, not realize he doesn't remember anything from before the incident with Index? If he's forgotten everything, then why does he still hang out with the same two guys? I suppose if they showed up and acted like his best bros, he just ran with it, right? But, with Tsuchimikado as insightful as a spy and Pierce reeking of Epileptic Trees, how could neither of them, at the bare minimum, realize their best friend has no memory? It just doesn't make sense to me how no one figured it out.
Well, like you said, Pierce is an enigma, so maybe he does know. But other than that, you need to keep in mind they aren't super-close friends. Sure, they hang out and stuff, but they don't talk to each other about all the secret things they get up to. Throw in the fact that Touma is treated as a bit of an idiot in-universe (whether he deserves that classification is a bit more up in the air), and he can just play along, and if they catch him in a lie, he pretends it just slipped his mind. Implausible? Yes. Impossible? No
He apparently acts much the same and probably went and read everything in his apartment. Also, most of the time he just pretends he knows. what people are talking about. Generally, people won't assume amnesia when he does slip up. Plus, he apparently missed most/all of the rest of the makeup lessons, so there was a significant time gap between his amnesia and when he next met his classmates.
How has nobody unrelated to the Level 6 shift not noticed that there were at least 20,000 girls who all had the same face running around in one city? It would be so easy to run into multiple ones going about your daily business, someone should have noticed that something was up at some point.
Because only a handful were ever aboveground at a time. They weren't even allowed aboveground at all until somewhere in the 9000's. During the final battle against Accelerator, when they disrupted his calculations, there were significantly more, but that was at night when fewer people were around, and they might have escaped from the underground when 10032 called them for help. After the experiment, there are only four left in the city: 10032, 10039, 13577, and 19090. Also note that people were starting to notice, with rumors flying around about an army of Misaka clones. Saten even saw one at a convenience store.