“To Aru Kagaku no Railgun was as bad as/worse than To Aru Majutsu no Index”



Do you guys even remember what Index was like?  The only good parts of that show were the Accelerator and Last Order arcs, mostly because there was no Touma to cause some takes-ten-minutes-to-run-two-meters or enemy-waits-to-hear-heroic-twenty-minute-long-speech scenes.

Slow and filled with fillers it may have been, but To Aru Kagaku no Railgun had a storyline.  To Aru Majutsu no Index jumped from one arc to the next with no pause.  Do you even remember the name “Himegami”?  What about “Aureolus”?  How about “Sherry Cromwell” or “Hyouka Kazakiri”?

Sometimes I hate being such a big fan of Mikoto (obviously, not her fault).  I remember things about this mediocre show “To Aru Majutsu no Index” that I’d rather not recall.  Useless characters like “Hyouka” keep popping up in my head, and it annoys me to no end.


Oh yeah, like Index didn’t have moe.  I think Railgun did a much better job in reining in moe than Index.  Index introduced us to Index and the equally useless Komoe-sensei.  Railgun introduced us to characters who aren’t one foot tall and look like babies (though regrettably, Komoe-sensei made a few more unnecessary appearances).


Go away, you slice of life haters!


Go away, you people who don’t know what “slice of life” means!   Like Mikoto says, things are always interesting in Academy City.  That doesn’t mean there’s nothing but huge explosions and bad guys flying around in the air.  It means life in the city is interesting!

tl;dr To Aru Kagaku no Railgun was great.

P.S.: Gintama, why are you ending?!

47 Comments on ““To Aru Kagaku no Railgun was as bad as/worse than To Aru Majutsu no Index””

  1. Janette says:

    I have no interest in watching Index. I’m totally watching this at some point.

  2. mefloraine says:

    I like the To Aru Kagaku no Railgun fillers. I kind of didn’t even notice they were fillers. XD
    Still four episodes behind, but I marathoned most of it. So good. o/

    • fangzhao says:

      There! That’s it! The fillers weren’t exactly fillers, since the whole show was just snapshots of life in Academy City!

      I followed the series week-by-week, so I was wondering if it worked marathon-style. Glad to hear it does! 🙂

      • mefloraine says:

        Yeah, I only stopped the marathon because I didn’t have the last couple of episodes downloaded. ;A;
        I don’t think I would want to wait between weeks for this series to release. <3

  3. TJ says:

    I was wondering when you were going to post about the show and come to its defense.

    I mostly wanted to see Mikoto and friends kick some serious butts, and at least the show delivered in the last two episodes.

    • fangzhao says:

      I was thinking of writing up a review for the series, but it would be too full of bias, so I decided against it. Though on that note, this is possibly the most obligatory post I’ve ever written. D:

      Actually, I thought that the last episode was a bit of a downer. The battle in the first half of the episode was really exciting (mega railgun!!), but the second half of the episode… not so much.

  4. kadian1364 says:

    Well at least I made it through 8 eps of Railgun and decently enjoyed it (though not enough to keep watching) but didn’t even take 2 whole eps of Index to drop it like an ugly baby about to shit.

    • fangzhao says:

      Hmmn, I’ve heard this from a handful of people. Index took a full arc to kick in (or at least make it to something worthwhile), but Railgun was just too mild for some.

  5. Mattalast says:

    Je, you should be happy having such loyal followers sharing your opinion. Slice of life haters ? Railgun is no Aria. It was boring at best, horrifying at worst. Either way i don´t see the reason for people it´s better or worse than Index, boot are full of shit. Index haves long magic speeches, and Railgun haves long girl-eating-crap episodes. And a lot of those. A LOT.

    It might be only me that prefer a Kanzaki over a winning Uiharu, or a Rusian loli angel of destruction over a punk-whit-a-gun from skillout. That said, i think Index was a better show. No offenses to Railgunfags, though.

    • fangzhao says:

      Oi oi oi, think of my readers! I’m their loyal follower, not the other way around! How do you think I get people to visit this site?

      I hate it when people say “this series is not Aria. Therefore it is not a true slice of life show.” Aria is not the only slice of life show out there, you know! Slice of life is a very flexible genre (heck, it’s more of a theme than an actual genre…)!

      Anyway, I’ve also heard this a lot (people saying both series are moot). Though I don’t understand why you go on to say that Index is better…??

  6. n1nj4br34dm4n says:

    I’ve found over the years that I have a taste in anime that let’s me like just about pretty much anything as long as it’s entertaining, I like Index, I liked Railgun, and I honestly can’t say that I like one more then the other, to me they were just as good.

    • fangzhao says:

      A unique POV, this is! Most people have told me (considering how deep I’m in the Mikoto fandom) how much hate Index, Railgun, or both, but not many have said that they liked both.

      Honestly, though, I can see where Index appeals. It’s a lot better than Railgun at some things (maybe due to the differences between the genres), and vice versa. It’s just that the fifth (sixth?) episode where Touma ran across the room for five minutes or so defined all of Index. Random mishaps like that plus a lack of characterization plagued that show, despite its good action and general premise.

  7. kluxorious says:

    I didn’t finish Index. After Accelerator I gave up on Index.

    I finished Railgun. That is saying something ^^

  8. Fine! I’ll bite…

    Of course I remember Aureolus, as Touma’s mind-game battle with him far eclipses any encounter I’ve seen through the first 12 episodes of Railgun.

    • fangzhao says:

      tru.dat. But I was more referring to the characters themselves than to the battles (Index’s battles were a lot better and a lot more… battle-ish than Railgun’s). Touma was the only character to stick around long enough to get characterized, and even then he was nothing but “standard male lead.” Railgun saw some real characters in the four girls, Kiyama, Konori, and (though not so much) the two Antiskill women.

      • So it’s the persistent nature of Railgun’s core cast that wins you over? For me, I really liked the “ideas” at the forefront of Index, with the characters / plot / etc taking a secondary role. But I do now see where you’re coming from.

        Howwwever, Railgun does feature more moe and fanservice than Index, at least at the start (I’ve only seen half of the episodes). The first — what was it, 3? — episodes being comedic filler doesn’t help the moe perception against it.

        This is by no means a terrible development in and of itself, but I don’t feel the direction pulled of these elements all that well. Early on, for example, certain comedic setups (Teleporter x Biri-Biri) are repeated too often and too predictably, weakening their effect in the process.

        • fangzhao says:

          Yeah, the KurokoxMikoto thing went way too far and defined the series (heck, it did so even before the show began!)

          But still, the “comedic filler” is what the whole show is, albeit with some actiony episodes here and there. I like to call it slice of life!

          Index’s setting and premise was great, and Railgun tried to bring this out by… normalizing (?) it (putting into a day-by-day setting). The thing is, it didn’t really work because there was so heavy an emphasis on slice-of-life that the original (though seen before in Index) science city thing same second. Of course, I liked it that way, but…

  9. deaky says:

    What? Railgun, great? What low standards planet do you come from? They were both awful 🙂

    Index had mindless action scenes with stupid and over-designed characters, while Railgun had mindless friendship scenes with boring and down-to-earth characters.

    Index tried to be about selfless heroism and ended up being preachy, while Railgun tried to be about friendship and ended up being cheesy.

    Index had too much stupid going on, while Railgun didn’t have enough of anything.

    Index had sometimes-ok, often-awful Touma. Railgun had sometimes-ok, often-awful Kuroko.

    Biribiri was in both, who is a boring beam-weapon-with-no-personality (unless Touma was around).

    Index had more loli focus, while Railgun had more lesbian/bi-curious focus. Pick your poison.

    Index had a bad, inconclusive ending that felt like everything “just sorta happened” for no real reason. Railgun had a bad, braindead ending with an even stupider villain that devolved into a festival of lame tropes and parodies.

    Ultimately, saying one is better than the other is pointless.. Railgun was a mountain train in mid-derailment, whereas Index was a cruise ship in mid-capsize.

    Defending Railgun for being slice of life is like defending Index for being an action series. Both were sub-standard examples of both of these genres.

    Both of them could stand being 13-episodes long, and focusing on their two “best” stories.. Index would be more coherent and focused, and Railgun would be less tedious and boring.

    • fangzhao says:

      Railgun isn’t half as bad as that! What’s wrong with down-to-earth characters? Usually, that’s a good thing! (Just checking, but are you sure this is what you meant?)

      Cheesy friendship scenes… I’ll concede on that. But at least Railgun delivered them in an above-par way. (see K-ON! for the other side)

      But not enough… no. I’m standing by my claim to slice of life. The only thing that there was not enough of was action, and action really wasn’t needed.

      I think you mean “Index had always-awful Index.” Touma was decent except when it came down to MEGASPEECHTIME, but Index became nothing short of a running gag. Kuroko’s love for Mikoto started out bad (aka “totally unnecessary”), but at least Kuroko had her moments of glory.

      Mikoto, regrettably, was not characterized as much as the other girls in Railgun. She was consistently the “cool, strong, perfect” type throughout the entire show. However, Index had NO characterization. Index was a running gag, Touma was a pitiful male lead, and Mikoto was still the cool, strong, perfect type. The other characters aren’t even worth mentioning.

      Railgun’s lesbian theme was totally unnecessary. I don’t know why Kuroko+Mikoto was even invented.

      Yes, both endings were similarly terrible. Telestina was one of the worst characters I’ve seen in recent months. She was just plain “evil,” opposed to Kiyama’s “justified-evil.”

      However, in the end you’re coming back and bashing Railgun for being tedious and boring, aspects of a slice-of-life series to a non-slice-of-life lover. People often criticize series like Lucky Star for being boring and tedious, but that’s just how slice of life series are. They’re not fast-paced action shows – they’re simply a “slice” of a character’s life, a snapshot of what happens everyday. Thus we sometimes get action and we sometimes don’t. To squeeze all of Railgun into 13 episodes would be to take this out and make it a full-fledged action show.

      • deaky says:

        Perhaps my standards are just different for slice of life? Debates about what “slice of life” is aside, let’s just say that shows like Lucky Star and Azumanga have no pretense of being anything more than what they are.. Railgun, however tried to tell a story between the disconnected and random “slice of life” episodes.

        But my big beef is that I don’t remember much worthwhile character development. Saten had her life lesson nearer the end, and there was some minor stuff with Uiharu and Kuroko. But many of those filler eps achieved nothing at all, and you could drop them entirely without noticing the effect on the series.. that’s just lazy.

        I will say that I’m quite disappointed in the show but it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve seen this season. I just wish that they didn’t fix Index’s glaring faults only to replace them with so many other glaring faults.

        • fangzhao says:

          Yeah, but I think that was an attempt at inserting “Academy City” ideas into the show, ending up creating a disjointed story. The slice of life masked over the unique setting that Index showed us, but then the action completely masked over the slice of life at points, so…

          Yeah, there wasn’t much character development, but at least the characters were three-dimensional (to start with… and to end with). It was quite a step up from Index’s one-dimensional character. I thought that the filler episodes weren’t meant to have any impact on the series (take Lucky Star episode 9, does that affect the series? D: ).

          I can see where you’re coming from, though. If Railgun is seen as a non-slice-of-life show, it looks pretty disjointed and… well, bad. It’s a stretch to claim that it is slice-of-life, given the huge action/plot-based portion of the show, but Railgun does seem that way to me.

  10. Taka says:

    I hated Touma and Index until I watched Railgun. Then they were kind of cool when they weren’t shoved down our throat.

    I enjoyed railgun overall more than Index. The only notable episode I remember of Index is the one where all their bodies get switched and I had to guess who was who.

    • fangzhao says:

      Especially Index, right? That bites-head thing was so stupid and overdone…

      That episode of Index was great. Though we probably enjoyed it for different reasons…


  11. temperus says:

    Both of these anime were utterly mediocre. Railgun just had more highschool girl moe/fanservice and so it will get a pass from more otaku, like many other mediocre anime before it.

    The hate of Touma isn’t because he’s preachy or talky, it’s because he’s a he.. Railgun was just as preachy and talky as Index, it just spread the effect around more moe highschool girls.

    • fangzhao says:

      Why do people think Railgun is more moe?! I don’t understand this!

      Index had so much moe overload that it was ridiculous, whereas Railgun’s [middle school] girls are portrayed as more mature. I, for one, hate moeshit and fanservice to death. Thankfully, Railgun was light on the fanservice and even lighter on the moe. The main attraction here is not the moe or the fanservice, it’s the characters themselves. Rather than saying Railgun had more fanservice/moe, you should be saying Railgun had actual characters! D:<

      And Touma is more hated because he never fails to give a speech, no matter when and where it is (how fast do you have to talk to get out that much before you run into the wall?). In Railgun, Mikoto gives a speech at the end, but at least it's under realistic conditions. Besides, Touma's speeches were a lot longer than the ones in Railgun. You stop listening to them halfway through, but the Railgun ones are short enough for the audience to understand "oh, moral time is over."

      Finally, males are almost always the ones who give speeches… and are liked because of it. It makes them seem more manly and powerful. Giving female characters speech powers is more of a hindrance than a benefit. It's just that Touma manages to take all the "manly" out of speech-giving as he pounces towards the rock golem while delivering a three-page long lecture. Speeches in anime are meant to mean nothing and sound really cool, not to actually mean something and take too long to say. 🙁

      • temperus says:

        I will grant that once you pass the first 6 or so episodes or both series they tone down the fanservice/moe a fair bit, but Railgun has a string of filler eps that are about middleschool girls doing moe middleschool girl things (like ep 13, the “swimsuit” ep).

        I certainly won’t try to defend Touma’s speeches.. but I didn’t feel like he chose to put himself into dangerous situations out of a moral duty to do so. The cast of Railgun seemed to be braindead, thrusting themselves into dangerous situations “just because” (especially Mikoto and Kuroko, who you’d think would have learned her lesson).

        • fangzhao says:

          Oh come on, you could take that jab at all slice of life shows. But that swimsuit episode was an exception. It was pure fanservice, that episode (though I liked it. :p).

          That’s true, but you have to take into account Mikoto’s tendency to act on impulse. It’s not that she does something on a whim – it’s that she tends to act first, then think. Of course, we usually don’t see the latter stage…

          Kuroko sucks, that’s all I can say. I could justify her “just because” thing with her devotion to Mikoto…. but no. Just no.

      • Taka says:

        I’m pretty sure if I was watching Index as it aired they would have had commercial breaks mid-touma speech

  12. RP says:

    Railgun’s just a real nice feel-good story. Even some of the arcs that sort of bored me (Kuroko and Uiharu’s boss is the most boring character ever) I enjoyed watching. That’s the biggest difference between Index and Railgun I think – likeable characters.

    • fangzhao says:

      I actually liked Konori. I thought she was pretty cool. But yeah, the cast of characters was much more likeable this time ’round. (Maybe because we got to see them more than once.)

  13. glothelegend says:

    Gintama is not ending. It will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

    Since this is over, I can now marathon it, if I ever have time, which I won’t.

    • fangzhao says:

      I actually read an article on ANN saying just that. Without your second sentence. Apparently, the anime caught up with the manga because Sorachi was getting lazy and went back to go draw some more.

      Anyway, make time! Gintama should be first on your priorities list!

  14. Razleplasm says:

    Railgun is pure garbage imo. I’m sorry but when a show takes out almost all of the action, has no comedy, no plot and nothing to show but terrible characters with the exception of Mikoto, then I drop it.

    On the other hand Majutsu no Index was pretty good. Not great but the plot and the action was a great plus. Not to mention that pretty funny alternate reality episode.

    • fangzhao says:

      Hmmn, I think that’s because the characters didn’t appeal to you. I’m pretty sure that had I disliked the characters, I would’ve dropped the show too… but I just happened to like the characters. It’s like that with every slice of life I watch (Lucky Star – yes, Hidamari Sketch – no, Azumanga – yes, K-ON! – no, etc.)

      Index’s characters were just too flat for my tastes. Index herself became nothing more than a mascot, and I found myself raging whenever she got screentime. Even the arc characters were more interesting than her!

  15. Roy Mustang says:

    The best part of Railgun were when Index ate a meal, drank a soda and chased after a swept up doughnut.

  16. Valence says:

    I don’t know, I liked both series.

  17. Solaris says:

    Oh my god, never read higher pile of carbage than in this thread. If you can’t catch where both index and railgun series were far better than the average action shows in the past 2 years, well you people just deserved more naruto to watch to.

  18. […] bit of perspective for Railgun fans from Index fans or at least someone who’s seen […]

  19. Railgun fan says:

    I watched both series… But to me the best one was Railgun! Mikoto was great. And as mentioned above there was more of a story line in Railgun than in Index. I mean is true that I really don’t remember most of the character names in Index (lol, not even the main character guy!).

    If they are going to make a season two for Index, I hope they get Mikoto more involved in the fighting. I mean what kind of action can we expect from a guy whose only ability is to dispel everything with his right hand? But having Mikoto and Kuroko fighting togheter to defeat those foes sure is a good piece of action.

    P.S. I came to know about Index by seeing a image of Mikoto and Kuroko in a certain website! (though I didn’t realize of the existence of Railgun until I finished watching the so so Index.

    Index 7/10!
    Railgun 10/10!

  20. Leander says:

    I’m an obvious Anime lover …so I don’t think all of you should fight over which Railgun and Index is the better or worse… nor tell others how bad that they become to you… we have all things that we like and there are things that are not…(we react just by smelling the stench…) perhaps we better think of what the creators of both Animes would think if they have been given a chance reading such comments that they could not even see words of Appreciation… nothing but an army of : you SUCK !you Stink! this BLAH! BLAH! is better than BLAH! BLAH! I dropped this Anime cause of its BLAH… BLAH …. whats the problem in TOUMA’s more than 10 minutes of speech? at least they could make some good sense…(SIGH…) maybe am just wasting my time and drops of brain cells about this comment of mine…but before all of you throw your stones at me…try to widen up your ability of understanding or your open mindedness…or just make your very own Anime! show people like me how good you are to make Animes that bring us such “entertainment”, sending us to Kingdom come…or your just nothing but a bunch of BIG TALKS…that’s all… by the way “INDEX” is one of the greatest and most entertaining Anime I’ve been watching…makes me filling up my room and my FB account of Kaori Kanzaki’s pics…INDEX is not as bad as you think! T_T…

  21. Leander says:

    My apologies for my last comment…sentences are in a real mess, like the ruins of Midgar…the real thing is; am having a bad day and am a bit drunk…I was about to go ZZZZzzzzZZZZZzzzzzz…then suddenly it came to my mind…I remember reading all your comments last Friday…I never meant myself being rude but I feel enraged after reading such comments specially on the Anime; To Aru Majutsu NO INDEX…it felt like “an added burden on Cloud Strife’s heavy sword or something that made Tidus burst into tears…there is nothing left in my mind to speak but allow me to give my last words… “It’s Anime! nothings impossible…anything can happen if we just give a damn on it!” I think you don’t have have these words in mind before scattering those dirty comments of yours…I’ll say! I find nothing that convinces me on those comments…nothing at all…

  22. Leander says:

    (SIGH…) It felt like being defeated by life itself…

  23. Battler says:

    “It’s just that the fifth (sixth?) episode where Touma ran across the room for five minutes or so defined all of Index. ”
    To be fair, it was magicm do you remember the spell with summons scars(no, not the magic circles) on the field(I think was called St. G. Sanctuary for something)? Space distorted thats their job.

    “That’s true, but you have to take into account Mikoto’s tendency to act on impulse. It’s not that she does something on a whim – it’s that she tends to act first, then think.”
    And thats why the consequences of her acts leads her to go emo/suicidal on the Sisters arc… and others arcs later :P.

    Railgun…. it could had been better with less stupid characters like:
    -Telestina was a total fail of villains among lame villains.
    – Uiharu, retarded and for some reason reminds me Yui from K-on! a lot.
    – Konori = fanservice, at least she had a bit development.
    – Kuroko = yuri-service to the point to be annoying, will get the spotlight on one of the arcs of Index second season.
    – Mikoto is portrayed as perfect girl living a perfect world which is not true, is just when Touma pass around shows her true self. The girl has no personality without the guy.
    – Touma was/is/and will be hated for two reasons: 1) Is a HE and 2) HE will never accomplish Railgun fandom shippers.

    And no, IMO not every slice of life shows are the same, the ones mentioned above never tried to show “Hey! We have superpowers! Yay! Lets go to eat crepes!” something Railgun tried and failed on this attempt.

    As everyone can say is a question of tastes, weird thing because I enjoy Gintama a lot and dislike Railgun while you enjoy(right?) both of them.

  24. Max Jones says:

    Well I’m a bit late to the party here, but I personally preferred Index. While I didn’t mind Railgun, I just enjoyed the action and characters of Index more. I really found Uiharu and Saten to be kind of boring compared to the likes of Tsuchimikado, for example, but that might just be my cup of tea. The clichés were indeed rather strong and annoying in Index (Index biting Touma, Touma seeing literally every female naked, etc.), but I somehow managed to get past that. In addition, I found, for the most part, the story lines to be much more interesting in Index (Daihasei Festival, Academy City Invasion) than in Railgun. Admittedly, though, Railgun did a much better job of portraying the Sisters arc and made it feel much more impactful. Aside from that, though, I just got bored from the other Railgun stories.

    Of course, though, the pièce de résistance to both series is clearly the Touma x Mikoto ship. My favorite moments were by far when the two of them were interacting; I just couldn’t get enough of seeing them together. Even Touma’s exchanges with the Misaka clones (10032, specifically) were great. Despite Touma’s extreme denseness with women and Mikoto’s lack of being able to properly communicate with Touma, I eagerly look forward to seeing more of them together. I am truly excited for Season Three for the sole reason of more Touma x Mikoto alone.

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