A Certain Magical Index

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"I'm not pretending to be a hero. I will become one!"
Touma Kamijou

Touma Kamijou is just an extremely-unlucky Ordinary High School Student living in Academy City, a state-of-the-art city dedicated to the study of people with esper powers. He does, however, possess a not-so-ordinary power to dispel any esper powers with his right hand. His ordinary, if not unlucky, existence in Academy City is shattered when a girl dressed like a nun ends up on his balcony window, claiming to be on the run from magicians trying to kidnap her and claim the 103,000 forbidden grimoires that she possesses. Because of the girl called the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, he gets dragged into a world completely different from the scientific lifestyle of Academy City—the world of Magic.

Due to a combination of his terrible luck and the strange power of his right hand, he attracts the attention of both the Magic and Science factions, getting him dragged deeper and deeper into a secret conflict between the two sides. Along the way, he meets several other people, magicians and espers alike, unwittingly forming a combination of allies from both sides which just might tip the scales of conflict.

A Certain Magical Index (とある魔術の禁書目録 , "Toaru Majutsu no Indekkusu") is adapted by J.C.Staff from a series of Light Novels. The first half of the story has been completed at 22 novels and two short story volumes, and the second half is continuing under the title "New Testament". Several other short story volumes have been released, focusing on side characters which didn't get much spotlight in the original.

A spin-off manga entitled A Certain Scientific Railgun and a corresponding anime adaptation has been released, centering on Academy City's third-highest-ranked Level 5, Mikoto Misaka, and the daily life in Academy City.

A certain Fan Translation project for the light novels can be found here. The entire first half of the story and four other short story volumes have been fully translated, and translation of the "New Testament" series is currently ongoing.

A Certain Wiki may help in understanding various terminologies and powers that may appear here on this wiki.

The anime has been licensed and released by FUNimation entertainment, along with the movie and both seasons of A Certain Scientific Railgun.

A Certain Magical Index: The Movie – The Miracle of Endymion is a side-story that features Touma and Index, with many of the characters from both Index and Railgun appearing.

Since there are still novels which are yet to be adapted into anime, please tread carefully, lest you may be getting spoilers for future seasons.

Tropes used in A Certain Magical Index include:


  • The Abridged Series: A recent one has came out, promptly named Index'd.
  • Acceptable Breaks From Reality: For the small size of Komoe's apartment, it sure takes a long time to sprint from one side to the other when there's a girl-turned-Terminator firing a massive laser all over the place. Justified in the light novel, as said Terminator mode uses a spell to stretch the space between itself and everything else.
  • Accidental Pervert: Touma often finds himself in awkward situations with girls. At the very start of the series, he accidentally strips Index by negating the magic in her habit.
  • Action Girl: Suffice to say that this describes a majority of the female cast.
  • Adventure Rebuff: At the beginning of the series, Touma is initially indecisive about helping Index. He's forced into the matter when she's badly injured.
  • Air Vent Passageway: Subverted. In Volume 17, Touma asks if he could use the ventilation ducts in the plane, but the flight attendant says that the ducts are too small. Instead, Touma asks for some hot tea and coffee to pour down the duct, causing thermal expansion and making the terrorist on the other side think that there's someone crawling through the ducts. As a result, said terrorist gets some boiling hot tea to the face when he checks the ducts.
  • Alertness Blink: Two in a row from Mikoto in the first episode of season 2 of Index.
  • All There in the Manual: From the novels, manga, and anime, we see them spawning character relationship charts, timeline charts explaining the flow of events in the Indexverse/Toaruverse in chronological order, etc., etc., etc.. Without reading at least one of these, it's easy to be confused about who, what, why, when, where, and how things go about in the series. And it might be not an exaggeration to say those are just the tip of the iceberg... To give just a few examples:
    • The full backstory to the Sisters arc is only given in the corresponding arc in A Certain Scientific Railgun.
    • Two members of SCHOOL, Rakko and Banka, aren't even named in the original series, nor are their abilities mentioned. The former is a Posthumous Character who's only mentioned as having been killed by ITEM. They receive more development in the Dream Ranker arc of A Certain Scientific Railgun.
    • It is implied that Touma has multiple entities sealed in his body. This is outright confirmed at the climax of the Daihaseisai arc in A Certain Scientific Railgun, where severing his right arm releases eight dragons.
  • Alternate Character Reading: It's all over the place in the series. The trope page has some examples, but something to keep in mind: A lot of the Gratuitous English Esper ability names simply originate from furigana attached to that ability's kanji. In some cases, the English reading provided may simply a translation of the ability's kanji (eg. "Super Electromagnetic Cannon" is read as "Railgun"), or at times, may be an embellished Gratuitous English variant (eg. As mentioned under Catch Phrase, kanji that means "Illusion Killer" or "Fantasy Killer", is giving the English reading of "Imagine Breaker"). And then there are the terms whose English reading may have NOTHING to do with the given kanji whatsoever (eg. Kanji that means "One-Way Street" is read as "Acclerator").
  • Alternate History: The combination of magic always existing and the existence of Academy City has given rise to this. For example, the United States has had three Hispanic Presidents, and Britain is not a nuclear power.
  • Always a Bigger Fish / Serial Escalation: Each villain is absurdly more powerful than the last, regularly topping the previous winner of the Superpower Lottery. Even the Big Bad, Fiamma of the Right is outclassed by three more characters. Currently, the biggest fish title goes to Aiwass, but Kamachi may have an even more powerful character prepared.
    • Divine beings in this series go above the norm, in some ways absurdly so. We have Angels, who have the power to utterly destroy the world. God, who is above them. Then 'The One Above God' a position Fiamma briefly reached, who is above God. But even this is dwarfed by the so-called "Invisible Thing", the strange entity sealed by Imagine Breaker. And then Aiwass, as mentioned above, is stronger than all of the above.
    • In New Testament 4, Othinus has possibly topped them all. She ripped off Touma's Imagine Breaker and effortlessly defeated the invisible force inside it, with magic no less. This was something even Fiamma couldn't do, and she seemed bored at how easily she did it.
    • The end of New Testament 10 introduces the true Gremlin, an entire organisation of Magic Gods who claim to be more powerful than Othinus. Then, two volumes later, they're killed or greatly weakened by Aleister and Noukan Kihara. And after that, Kakeru appears and banishes all of the survivors (save Othinus) to another world. Though unlike the others, the last two examples don't win due to pure power, but because their abilities are particularly effective against Magic Gods.
  • Anime Catholicism: Or rather, Anime Christianity, given that the Roman Catholic Church is one of three major churches in the setting.
  • Anti-Magic: Touma's right hand, the "Imagine Breaker". He outrageously claims that it can negate even miracles from the gods, and subsequent events back him up on this.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Touma sees Esper powers on a regular basis but initially dismisses the idea of magic as nonsense. Index's counter-skepticism of Touma's power is a lot more reasonable, considering he (an Atheist) is claiming precedence over God's power. Academy City in general seems to hold this attitude, considering its brain-enhancing Esper program as thoroughly scientific and counter to any related superstitions that might crop up. But since Science is basically proven hypotheses supported by data from repeatable experiments about how the world works, the fact that magic is repeatable means...
    • If you treat Science as just a separate religion, with more public "miracles" (i.e., technology), it makes a bit more sense. All of the religions deride the others as heretics and fools, despite the fact that their magic works just as well.
  • Arch Enemy: Teitoku Kakine to Shizuri Mugino (though no longer the case after New Testament Volume 6) and Aleister Crowley to Lola Stuart.
  • Art Evolution: Compare this picture of Touma from Volume 1 to this picture of Touma in Volume 20. In fact, a lot of the characters from the earlier volumes have undergone art evolution over the novels.
  • Artifact of Death: Grimoires can give a magician great power, but are extremely dangerous to their mind and body.
  • Artifact Title: After the first arc, Index has little relevance to the plot other than in passing mentions as a MacGuffin and providing to Touma information about the magic of his enemies. The EDs are still dedicated to her side by side with Touma. In the novels, she gets a little more relevance as Ms. Exposition and the MacGuffin Girl for the Big Bad, but in the end, several other side characters are more relevant than her.
  • Artistic Age: In general, unless their age has been blatantly stated, viewers shouldn't assume that characters are as old or as young as they look. For examples at the opposite extremes, Stiyl is 14 yet looks like an adult man (not helped by being two metres tall) while Komoe is in her forties but is indistinguishable from an elementary school student.
  • Artistic License: Biology: It's revealed early on that 85% of Index's brain is taken up by all the grimoires she read, leaving only 15% for normal memories, and thus she needs to be mind wiped every year or else her brain will overload and kill her, discounting the fact that the human brain can contain a hell of a lot more information than that. Justified, in that the whole thing is a lie made up by the Church in order to convince her allies to mind wipe her regularly and keep her compliant, and the thing that's killing her is something else entirely. The entire thing about how human memory actually works is even brought up soon after.
  • Art Major Physics: This series isn't about the clash of Magic and Science, but the clash of Magic and Techno Babble. Given it opens with acknowledged psychic powers, you should really expect that sort of thing.
    • In reality, lightning travels extremely fast (about 92,000 miles per second, or 148,000 kilometers per second) so dodging or blocking Misaka's attacks should probably be out of the question. That's just the first one. This is actually touched upon however briefly in the Accelerator vs Touma rematch. According to the former, the latter is able to block the blasts because he can subconsciously sense the minor changes in the AIM field, as well as in the magnetic field, and react accordingly.
    • Endymion is a major offender. A space elevator should ideally be built on the equator, though it's noted that Academy City deliberately built it within its borders as a demonstration of its technological prowess.
  • Art Shift: Touma—and drastically so—when he sees President Obama Kuroko.
  • Ascended Meme: Remember all the artworks which depict Squid Girl as an Expy of Index? Well, the producers went with it in the third episode of "A Certain Magical Index-tan".
  • Assimilation Plot: The Croce di Pietro plot was an attempt to forcibly assimilate Academy City into the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Played with. Plenty of leaders are capable fighters (e.g. Aleister, Elizard, Lola, Othinus) but there are also many that aren't (most members of Academy City's Board of Directors).
  • Automated Automobiles: Academy City brings out automated buses during the Daihaisai festival, as a show of technology, but otherwise the vehicles are driven normally.
  • Awesome McCoolname: "Touma Kamijou" has two different alternate meanings. One is "The One Who Purifies Gods and Slays Demons", which has actually been lampshaded in the series. He lives up to the name when he manages to convince Othinus into a Heel Face Turn. Alternatively, "Touma" can be read as "Invisible Demon" and "Kamijou" as "Above God". Given that Touma's right arm apparently seals an entity described as invisible, which terrifies a person already more powerful than God...
  • Awesomeness By Analysis: Battles between magicians and between espers usually come down to trying to analyse the opponent's abilities while trying to stop them from doing the same to you.
  • Badass Boast: There's been a few.

Accelerator: This is not a negotiation. It is not a suggestion, not a trade, not a petition, not an agreement, not a compromise, not a surrender. This is my victory march, you stupid bastards.


Accelerator to Teitoku: Between me and you, there is an impassable wall.


Fiamma, just before all his plans crash and burn: I'm about to save this world. Therefore, I have no more use for you. Feel the glory, meatbag. Your value as a human being, obediently let me have it.
Kamijou Touma: I'll destroy that screwed up illusion of yours!

  • Badass Normal: Many characters in this series are this.
    • Shiage, a Level 0 who defeated a Level 5. TWICE.
    • Motoharu, who fights using his street abilities and only uses his magic in the most extreme situations.
    • Amata Kihara might be the greatest Badass Normal of this series. The reason? He kicked Accelerator's ass! He didn't need any powers to beat him, he just uses Accelerator own powers against him and later kick his ass. It also helps that he's also the leader of the Hound Dogs and was the man who taught Accelerator how to use his powers.
    • And finally, the Dorm Supervisor of Tokiwadai Dormitories. In fact, it's stated that all of the dorm supervisors have to be this, to keep their superhuman charges under control.
    • Any conventional military force that Academy City fights against, barring the use of Asymmetrical Warfare, which would be almost as useless due to the accuracy and breadth of its ECCM and reconnaissance technology.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • In general, Aleister Crowley and Lola Stuart always manage to benefit from each conflict in some way.
    • The ending of NT Volume 8 is a particular example. Othinus gains her full power as a Magic God and instantly destroys the world.
  • Balanced Harem: Touma still doesn't show any notable romantic interest in any member of his harem.
  • Batman Gambit / Gambit Roulette: Fiamma of the Right and Aleister Crowley.
    • To elaborate on the latter (as it is explained in the Light Novels, but has been ignored in the Anime thus far), Aleister intentionally set up the experiment with Accelerator and the clones so that it would be foiled and scrapped... at which point, the remaining sisters would be sent to various countries for recalibration, spreading the MISAKA Network worldwide -- a necessary step in his plans.
  • Battle Harem:
    • Touma has one. Among the girls interested in him are: a human repository of thousands upon thousands of spellbooks, the third most powerful Esper in Academy City (plus several thousands of her clones), a sword-wielding priestess, one of her spear-wielding subordinates, a magical spy/courier who wants to seduce him into working for her country, the pre-teen leader of a magical cabal, and a goddess-turned-fairy.
    • Shiage's harem also counts: the fourth most powerful Esper in Academy City, a Sensor Character who can influence the powers of others, and one who can control nitrogen. Later on there's an AI who's seemingly as intelligent as a human, if not more so.
  • Beach Episode: Episodes 15 to 17 in Index, combined with Bizarro Universe.
  • Berserk Button:
    • If you hurt their friends and family, Mikoto and Touma will kick your ass.
    • Touma pushes Accelerator's pretty hard when he slaps his hand aside, something that likely hasn't happened to him in years.
    • Harm Last Order and Accelerator will show you no mercy.
    • And if you try to kill Touma in front of Itsuwa, prepare to suffer the consequences even if you are a Saint!
  • BFS:
    • Kaori's katana, which is easily as long as she is tall.
    • Acqua of the Back's sword, Ascalon, is ~3.5 meters.
    • The Knight Leader's sword, Hrunting, is ~3.9 meters.
    • Fiamma of the Right beats them all: his Flaming Sword is about forty fuckin' kilometers long!
  • Big Bad: Aleister Crowley is set up as this for most of the series, being The Chessmaster behind almost everything in the series. Lola Stuart also seems to be this, as Aleister's counterpart on the magic side.
  • Big Brother Is Watching:
    • Underline, a system of nanomachines that allows Aleister to view everything in Academy City! No wonder he's always in control...
    • Free Compound Eyes, a computer program, is used by the antagonists in the third New Testament novel to observe the actions of the heroes by tapping into every internet-capable device with a camera.
  • Big Eater: Index, Agnese, and Himegami.
  • Black and White Morality: Accelerator likes to distinguish between people of the light and people of the dark. In his opinion, the latter can just up and die (as long as they are not useful; if they are, he uses them).
  • Blatant Lies: From the preview of New Testament Volume 1: "With that, he vanished. This is a world where Kamijou Touma does not exist."
  • Blood Spattered Innocents: Komoe-sensei gets drenched in Aisa's blood after Oriana mistakenly attacks her in Episode 11. Komoe-sensei is anything but innocent herself, but considering that she looks about six it probably still counts.
  • Blush Sticker: Last Order is regularly seen sporting these. Also Index from time to time.
    • Mikoto as a kid.
  • Book Dumb: Touma and Shiage, in contrast to (for example) Mikoto or Accelerator.
  • Book Ends: In New Testament Volume 7, Fremea has sections at the beginning at end where she debates Santa Claus' existence with her classmates.
  • Born Winner: Most characters developed their powers, but there are some that were born with their powers. These characters generally also won the Superpower Lottery.
  • Boss Rush: New Testament Volume 10 is a non-stop example of this, with Touma and Othinus up against the entire anti-GREMLIN alliance, plus the rest of GREMLIN. This is outright lampshaded in the afterword by the author. Though it's unusual in that the majority of opponents are actually on Touma's side and let him win.
  • Bottle Fairy: Komoe Tsukuyomi is one of these, what with all those beer cans and her messy apartment. Her colleagues, Yomikawa and Tessou, are also these, although only Tessou usually remains sober enough to drag them back home.
  • Breather Episode:
    • New Testament Volume 2. Part of the novel is a Recap Episode regarding all the magical incidents, justified in that Shiage and Accelerator are being introduced to magic, and Leivinia Birdway wants to provide context to the new magical threat targeting them. Other parts include the numerous comedic interactions between the characters, the fate of the other members of GROUP, and seeing how Touma's associates dealt with his disappearance. There was some drama involving a possible Colony Drop, but there wasn't much combat in averting it.
    • After the non-stop action of the Magic God Othinus arc, NT Volume 11 is a much lighter volume focusing on the previously-minor character Misaki. The central conflict is far smaller in scale and motivated by purely personal reasons.
  • Brick Joke: In New Testament Volume 14, Touma goes out to buy dinner early on. When the Kamisato Faction visits the same shop, one of them comments that everything good has already been bought.
  • Brown Note: Index' Sheol Fear, which incapacitates the religious by pointing out contradictions in their teachings.
  • But for Me It Was Tuesday: Stiyl assumes this is why Touma doesn't remember fighting him.
  • Butt Monkey:
    • Touma is never, ever able to take a break. It's best illustrated by a look at the series timeline, which shows him getting involved in world-shaking events often no more than days apart.
    • Othinus becomes this after being depowered. Being a fifteen-centimetre-tall fairy, she's at the mercy of Sphinx, who routinely plays with her like a toy.
  • Call Forward: In the manga, Touma has a dream of some of the future events of the series, including the Angel Fall incident. Too bad he forgots about it, since he loses his memories.
  • Captured Super Entity: Aleister has managed to call Aiwass, the angel of the pure world without magic, to the world. Though the exact situation (such as whether Aiwass is staying there willingly) isn't quite clear.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: During the war between the UK and France, in the middle of heated battle, Knight Commander wonders if he should send a message to the queen for permission to spank Carissa. The response is speculation that she'd empower him with all the power of Curtana Second to do it.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Touma's "Such misfortune (fukou da)" To a lesser extent, Touma is also fond of telling people that he's going to "break that illusion", or more specifically, he says "I'll kill it... That illusion/fantasy of yours!!" It's actually a pun: The Kanji given for 'Imagine Breaker' is 'Illusion/Fantasy Killer (Genso Goroshi)'. Cue punching things with his right fist. He inverts his catch phrase in episode 23 of Index, where he says "Let me show you now that in this world you reside in there's still hope! And I'll show you that your illusion won't break down because of small things like this!!!" to reassure Hyouka who isn't human.
    • Accelerator's catchphrase: "Such stupidity..."
    • Kuroko's catchphrase: "Judgment desu no!".
    • Index's irritated proclamation of "TOUMA!" every time he upsets her.
  • Cat Smile: Komoe-Sensei and Index.
  • Chainmail Bikini: The Jeans Slasher in the second SS volume.
  • Character-Magnetic Team: Touma and Index. Justified in that one has an unusual power, and the other is sought after for her information (and thus protected) by a large part of the world.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The destruction of Tree Diagram at the end of Volume 1 comes back again and again in the series.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Any time Touma encounters a magic item and doesn't destroy it, it's going to be important later on.
    • In New Testament Volume 2, Birdway recaps everything about the magic side known so far, including how Espers can't use magic due to the backlash to their bodies. In Volume 3, it turns out that Kuroyoru was listening to the whole thing while imprisoned in Touma's bathroom. She collapses a cliffside on a bunch of mercenaries by using her Personal Reality to make the ground as part of her body, and then purposely attempts to cast magic, controlling the backlash to affect mostly the ground.
    • In Volume 15, Rikou tries to use her power to influence Teitoku's, but fails. The true nature and potential of her power is further elaborated on in Volume 22. In New Testament Volume 6, she manages to successfully (albeit unintentionally) affect Teitoku's power, which leads to one of his drones taking over his personality.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Misaki Shokuhou, the fifth Level 5 esper, has been hinted at ever since Volume 1 and has finally made an appearance in the 40th chapter of the Railgun manga. Considering that there are several characters which can benefit from her power, it's heavily hinted that she'll have a part sometime soon. It turns out that (as hinted in the first volume) she does have a past connection with Touma.
    • Early in New Testament Volume 3, the President's aide reads a magazine article listing the most influential people in America. Later in the novel, it is revealed that media tycoon Olay Blueshake, one of the people mentioned in the article, is connected to GREMLIN's invasion of Hawaii.
    • At the end of Volume 22, Ollerus name drops Othinus as the one who stole the title of Majin from him. In New Testament Volume 3, Othinus (referred to as Odin) is revealed as a true member of GREMLIN and one behind the novel's events.
  • The Chessmaster: Fiamma, Aleister and Lola Stewart being the most prominent.
  • Chew Toy: After being shrunk into a tiny fairy, Othinus becomes a literal example of this. She's treated as a toy by Sphinx, while her struggles are largely ignored by Touma and Index.
  • Chick Magnet:
    • Touma is this to a ridiculous extent. By just the third volume, he has almost ten thousand girls after him... and it only increases from there.
    • Amusingly, it seems his father Touya is one too, ending up in a Meet Cute situation with Misaka's mother. Mrs. Kamijou was not amused nor pleased.
    • Accelerator and Shiage also end up becoming this. Played for Laughs in the former case, since he seems to be asexual and aromantic.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: While there are a lot Catholic characters in this series like Kaori, the series also show other Christians of different denominations like the Church of England and the Russian Orthodox Church.
    • The resemblance to those entities is purely superficial; this series is a big fan of the Nuns Are Mikos and Crystal Dragon Jesus sort of Christianity. This is not a reliable source for your Church History project.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome:

Mikoto: You're another "I didn't ask for help but he came to help anyway?"
Index: * nod*
Both: ... * exasperated sigh*

  • Church Militant: All the religions. Mostly they use magic (see Religion Is Magic), but they'll happily use mundane weaponry as well.
  • City of Adventure: Academy City, of course, which is justified by the city's entire goal being to produce psychics and research their abilities. This goal is ultimately implied to be a cover at the end of Volume 22: One of the directors who ambushes Hamazura all but outright states that they will lock Tatsubou Rikou in a concrete cell and never let her out, if it means they can mass produce the army of level 5s needed to make the world their plaything. Also, Crowley implies that the only reason Academy City exists is to maintain technological superiority over the world to prevent anyone other than him from becoming The One Above God (something he has already achieved by the time he curbstomps Fiamma).
  • City of Spies: Academy City itself. Because of the city's unwillingness to share its research with the rest of the world, a lot of organizations have sent spies into the city.
  • Civil War: In Volumes 17 and 18, Britain gets into a civil war between the two princesses of the British Royal family for the throne which leads two of the major magic factions of England to support one side against the other.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Esper powers affect reality based on their users' internal reality. According to the pseudoscience of the series, if a Schrodingers Cat experiment was set up, espers would find the cat in the state that they believed it to be, because they believed strongly enough that the cat was that way. Hypnosis, brainwashing and drugs are used to throw the subjects internal reality out of whack. So, it might be argued that the strongest espers like Mikoto and Accelerator are the most stubbornly out of touch with the reality normal people live in.
    • This troper has figured out that Academy City produces espers by stripping away their five senses using exotic drugs and electrical stimulation, done at an early age (5) when the potential esper's sense of reality is still malleable, effectively forcing them to transplant their own version of reality onto the world.
    • Aureolus's Reality Warper/Master of Illusion magic is directed by his thought; the more he loses confidence in it and thinks it might go wrong, the more it will go wrong.
  • Classified Information: Less than five people in the world knows about the truth behind Touma's right hand, which existed before under a different name. And one of them, is dead.
  • Cliffhanger: The ending of any volume that's part of a multi-volume arc (and isn't the final one in the arc). The biggest one has to be the ending to New Testament Volume 8, where Othinus gains her full power as a Magic God and destroys the world instantly.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Kuroko, who threatens Touma the moment she sees him out of suspicion over his relationship with Mikoto, telling him that if he wants to make a go at Mikoto he'll have to go through her first. Though despite her jealousy, she never tries to sabotage or otherwise impede Touma's conversations with Mikoto. While clingy and jealous, Kuroko has the best interest for Mikoto at heart.
    • Played straight once when she realizes Mikoto might like Touma. When Mikoto goes on a date with him after he lost a bet in the sports festival, Kuroko tries to ruin their date. Ironically Misaka 10032 and Last Order are the ones who ruin the date.
  • Cloning Blues: The Misaka Network are essentially this trope personified. Hard to get much worse than being created to be slaughtered in order to improve someone else's power. Even after they're released from that, they still end up being exploited in various schemes.
  • Clothing Damage: Touma's ability destroys any clothes with magic in them, as he demonstrates with Index.
  • Cold Blooded Torture: New Testament Volume 9 is essentially a constant attempt by Othinus to break Touma's mind.
  • Color Failure: Komoe currently provides the page picture.
  • Compliment Backfire: Accelerator to Hamazura. The Level 5 calls him an "Excellent Villain" as a compliment, but Hamazura has no clue what Accelerator's talking about. Quite understandably really, considering how messed up Accelerator's views on heroes and villains are.
  • Continuity Nod: New Testament Volume 3 has a couple nods to the side stories. Olay Blueshake backed the Liberal Arts City featured in Railgun Side Story 1, as well as the Gemstone Esper hunt in Side Stories Volume 2. Brunhild Eiktobel and her connection to Gungnir, featured in the Norse Mythology Side Story, is acknowledged by GREMLIN.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Apparently his magic-nullifying power also gives Touma an over-all immunity to convection, seeing how all these lightning strikes and flame demons end up two feet away without him being barbecued by the ambient heat they give off.
    • Considering the near complete lack of fire damage to the building (only metal doorknobs and such are affected at all) in his first fight against a mage, its not just his hand. although his ability may not be limited to his right hand anyway...
    • Also it's a magical creature once you realize if you can create a giant flame demon, would it really be that much of a stretch for you to make it able to contain it's heat, instead of risking it killing you by walking too close to it?
  • Cosmic Plaything: Touma, as a cost of his power. It's repeatedly claimed that it also negates any luck he would normally benefit from, and this is outright confirmed by the High Priest.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Full Magic Gods have this power, as Othinus repeatedly demonstrates in New Testament Volume 9.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: A very creepy version goes to Vento of the Front. Now only does she wear two crosses earrings but also has a cross hanging from a chain from her tongue. It doesn't help that her face is heavily pierced. Intentional on her part; her magic, God's Divine Punishment, causes people who are hostile towards her (whether through thought or action) to suffocate. Her appearance facilitates this effect.
  • Crouching Moron Hidden Badass Normal Army: Don't make Komoe cry or her entire class turns into this under Touma's command!
  • Crapsack World: For any nation other than Academy City, if you think about it; it has had a technological monopoly over all scientific fields since the before the Vietnam War, fields soldiers who can level entire armies, and its traditional response to any attempt to exit its hegemony is massacres and military annihilation that makes the Nazis seem nice by comparison, and utterly refuses to share any of its technology, even in medical fields, choosing to release a stream of obsolete (by their standards) technology that ensures no effective resistance can be mounted. It also feeds its own citizens (and the world) a stream of propaganda about how its technology can't be understood by "the outside world", and its cultural events are geared towards the creating an army of child-soldiers (espers). Then there's the fact that the city was effectively founded by Aleister Crowley with the sole purpose of making him a physical god with the ability to reshape the universe in his own image. YMMV, though, due to the fact that this is a world where the ice caps have melted, and every single religion's myths can be used to summon eldritch abominations from higher dimensions or invoke magic spells capable of annihilating entire armies. Bonus points to the fact that almost every religion has a sect that is bent on using magic to dominate the world by force. Big Brother doesn't even begin to describe the situation.
  • Cry Cute:
    • Index when Touma (he really enjoys teasing her several times) teased her on the way to a hot springs.
    • Komoe when Touma ignored her lessons in the class room.
    • Kuroko's reaction to Mikoto's rejection.
    • Kanzaki when she couldn't figure out how to cancel a washing machine's wash cycle.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: There are a few of these, including Touma vs Kaori (winner), Mikoto vs Touma (winner, though neither was serious). One notable example is Accelerator vs Teitoku, the second most powerful Level 5. Accelerator takes him with ease, even after he powers up. This is a guy who once boasted he could defeat any other Esper with ease. At the same time. Accelerator does it it with ease, all while protecting all the ordinary people around them.
    • Accelerator has another one before that when Awaki runs into him after fleeing Kuroko, Misaka and Touma with the remains of the Tree Diagram and losing her subordinates to Anti-Skill. The look on her face says it all.
    • Academy City against Russia, actually more of a curbstomp slaughter. Word of God implies that until Archangel Gabriel shows up, Academy City suffered not a single casualty throughout the entire war, if it can even be called that, as war implies that both sides suffer horrific losses in matched combat. Regardless of the fact, the author seems to have no idea how military technology works, and real life seems to have outpaced him already; the Chinese have developed an aluminum based ceramic armor that took seven hits from a 125mm cannon at 1800 meters before it even dented.
      • and again in Volume 4 of NT: Academy City's response to the attempt to advance technology outside its say so is to obliterate Baggage City; just about one year after WWIII, Academy City has made the technology it used in the war totally obsolete, to the point that Powered Armor that could put a 40mm projectile through one end of a T-72 equipped with reactive armor and out the other is obliterated without a fight; they make advances that would take ten years or more in about six months. This troper guesses that by the point of NT volume 4, Academy City is approximately 100 years ahead of OTL in aeronautics technology, about the same in AI and robotic warfare, roughly 200 years ahead in computing and communications, and approximately 50 years ahead in vehicle and personal armor.
    • Even the United States, which according to Word of God could match Academy City in tactical and military prowess, is reluctant to take action; when Misaka Mikoto infiltrates Liberal Arts City and proceeds to flatten any and all resistance in her attempt to expose the US' attempt to create its own esper program, Olive Holiday, the resident CIA agent is prevented from taking any action due to the fact that Aleister Crowley threatens to declare war on the United States if they attempt any further research, effectively turning any gains made into a pyrrhic victory
  • Cursed with Awesome:
    • Kaori is a Saint, which has caused her a lot of angst in her life. While it grants her incredible power and supernatural good fortune, the latter comes at the expense of others.
    • Touma himself, who isn't aware that Imagine Breaker is possibly of divine origin.
    • Kakeru Kamisato, who received World Rejector from the Magic Gods, but feels that the power has only warped the minds of people around him.
  • Cute Kitten: Pretty much the sole reason Sphinx exists.
  • Cute Shotaro Boy: The Russian Orthodox Patriarch.
  • Cyborg:
    • Shizuri gains a cybernetic eye and arm after being badly injured in her first two battles with Shiage.
    • Rensa is completely mechanical except for her brainstem. Her body allows her to remodel herself to copy the powers of espers.
    • Salome is an unusual example in that her cybernetics come from outside Academy City, being her own creation. She's replaced most of her body as an offering for her magic, giving herself superhuman physical ability.
  • Darkskinned Blonde: Sherry Cromwell.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Volume 5 (episodes 19 and 20 of season 1) has former antagonist Accelerator as the protagonist and shows the events that make him less of a jerk.
    • Volume 8 of the novels (Episodes 6 and 7 of season 2, the "Move Point" story arc) casts minor character (and eventual main character of the Railgun spinoff) Kuroko as the protagonist, as she stumbles into the world Mikoto has been fighting in since the Sisters Arc.
    • Volume 11 of New Testament features Misaki, delving into her past connection with Touma.
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • Agnese and Lessar after Touma beaten them.
    • Inverted with Kaori, as it was after she had beaten Touma that he earned her friendship.
  • Delinquents: Academy City seems to be crawling with them sometimes. So far groups of them have: hit on Misaka twice, been interrogated by/hit on Misaka and attacked Accelerator. Unfortunately, since they are usually drop-outs from the Esper program they are usually Level 0-1, and so not the ones you have to watch out for.
    • An argument could be made for Touma and his friends being delinquents as well. Low marks and very little effort to improve them? Check. Constantly getting into fights? Check. Bleached hair, piercings and general disregard for the dress code? Check check and check. There are even hints the three used to go out drinking together and frequently ended up in back alley brawls. Of course it a subversion since Touma would rather avoid fights and just run away.
    • And there's the Skills-Outs, gangs of Level 0's who protect themselves against higher level epsers who bully them. Noble at first until some of those gangs started attacking espers who never bother them.
  • Demonic Possession: NT Volume 18 reveals that Lola Stuart has been possessed by the demon Coronzon for the entire series.
  • Demoted to Extra: Poor Aisa. Her importance in the series got reduced after the Deep Blood arc. She and even her Voice Actress Lampshades it.
  • Despair Gambit: This is Othinus' entire plan for Touma in NT Volume 9. Among many other things, she shows him a world where he's considered an infamous villain solely by changing everyone's perspective, and another world in which a different person has completely taken over his life without anyone noticing. And she succeeds, through a world in which everyone has been saved without his intervention, convincing him that he has to die to preserve this perfect world. Only the intervention of the Will of the Misaka Network makes him want to keep living.
  • Determinator:
    • Touma is surprisingly tenacious against overwhelming opponents. Even when he knows he is outclassed and his power can't help him, he charges in anyway just to prove a point, and because he's the hero. His Evil Laugh is amazing. Poor Aureolus. It's taken Up to Eleven in New Testament Volume 9, where he manages to convince Othinus to turn over a new leaf, after going through millions of different hells.
    • Special mention should go to the entire Amakusa Church who in vol 16. defended Touma when Acqua the Back was sent to eliminate him. They knew they had no chance of winning and would most likely all be killed, but when they said they would protect him with their lives, they meant it.
  • Determined Defeatist: Touma has terminal bad luck and a negative outlook, but will fight until the end for anyone he cares about.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Touma manages to win against many ludicrously powerful people. Bonus points because in most cases, he literally did punch them out. These include Aureolus (an imagination-based Reality Warper), Accelerator (the most powerful esper, capable of withstanding a nuclear explosion and dishing out even more), Carissa (a Badass Princess empowered to a level greater than a Saint), Fiamma of the Right (the leader of God's Right Seat, with his own, arguably more powerful right hand), Othinus (a full-powered Magic God capable of rewriting the entire universe on a whim) and Aleister (among the strongest magicians in the series, who's capable of defeating Magic Gods).
  • Disability Superpower: Episode 4 of the second season has Index subdue nuns by using the power of the magic books to point out the (supposed) contradictions in Christianity in rapid succession, causing the nuns to cry in pain. Their solution? Pull out a pair of fountain pens and stab their eardrums, permanently deafening them and thus rendering Index's attack useless.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Sherry's magic. She mostly uses it to summon a Golem to fight for her, but she can do other things with it too.
  • Divide and Conquer:
    • Fiamma remotely controls Index to attack her allies during World War III.
    • To weaken the science side, Birdway tricks members of Academy City into intervening in the conflict in Hawaii, which causes Academy City's allied organisations to break ties with it.
  • Downer Ending:
    • NT Volume 3. While Hawaii is saved and Olay Blueshake's scheme is foiled, GREMLIN has nevertheless gotten what they wanted. On top of that, Birdway exploited the entire situation to weaken Academy City by scaring away its allied organisations.
    • NT Volume 4. At the end of the day, many people still died in Baggage City. And Touma wasn't able to stop Othinus' plans, again.
    • NT Volume 8. It's hard to get much worse than Othinus successfully becoming a full Magic God and destroying the entire world.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap:
    • Index's "Walking Church" robe provides her with amazing defensive capabilities. Touma inadvertently destroys it in the first episode to prove the existence of his Imagine Breaker. Index patches it back together, but it's lost its defensive powers.
    • Accelerator is crippled in Volume 5, requiring a special choker that uses the brainpower of the Misaka Network to walk, talk or use his ability. The choker's battery lasts for 24 hours normally, and only 15 minutes when he's using his ability (due to the increased amount of information it has to handle). His effective calculation ability is only about half of what it was before. Even with these limitations, he's still incredibly powerful.
    • Othinus loses her incredible power as a Magic God and is turned into a tiny, almost-helpless fairy.
    • Touma has an incredible number of allies, including many powerful ones... and almost never asks any of them for help.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Whenever a science-side character encounters magic, and doesn't understand what it is.
    • In NT Volume 7, Rensa looks down on Touma as being ignorant of the true nature of the world. She claims that he's never experiences true suffering, as shown by him still having all four limbs. Not only does Touma know about the dark side of Academy City, he also knows about the magic side, which Rensa is completely ignorant of. On top of that, by this point in the series, he's lost his right arm on four separate occasions (to be fair to Rensa, it was reattached/grew back, so she had no way of knowing this).
    • After NT Volume 11, any scene in which Misaki and Touma interact (or any time they're mentioned together) becomes this. The reader knows of their history together, but Touma doesn't remember, and is no longer able to remember.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Shiage and Misaka WORST escape being captured by mercanaries by doing this. As for Umidori Kuroyoru, she gets stuffed into a bag.
  • The Dulcinea Effect:
    • Touma succumbs to this throughout the series. This is even discussed at one point by part of his Harem.
    • Kakeru is the same, something also lampshaded by his harem.
  • Dynamic Entry: Shirai Kuroko's favorite entrance when Touma is present.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The anime version of Index has characters from the later novels appearing much earlier. Case in point:
    • Episode 1 has Motoharu who originally appear in Volume 4 of the Novels but was mentioned in the Volume 3.
    • Episode 2 introduces Kuroko when her first appearance was in Volume 3.
    • In episode 21, we meet a red hair girl who teleports Motoharu to Aleister Crowley's Secret Lair, Novel readers might know her as Awaki Musujime, the antagonist from Volume 8.
    • In the Epilogue of episode 24, we have the guest appearance of Lola Stuart, the Archbishop of Necessarius.
  • Easy Amnesia: Index remembers very little of her own life because of her periodic mind-wipes, and at the end of the first Story Arc, all of Touma's memories are permanently destroyed due to magic-induced brain damage.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • In a side story, the Amakusa encounter magicians whose magic is based on the Cthulhu Mythos. Their schemes result in, among other things, a part of Cthulhu being (temporarily) summoned.
    • Sample Shoggoth, a bizarre parasite found in Antarctica which kicks off the plot of NT Volume 14. Its appearance is compared to an octopus, a piece of fat or a melted rubber film. It infects a human host, consuming and replacing their body fat - this ensures that it cannot be removed without killing the host. It is actually an artificial creation, made from discolored Dark Matter.
  • Elite Mooks: Several, such as the Hound Dogs and the Dark Matter-enhanced soldiers during World War III.
  • Enemy Mine: This happens on several occasions. A notable example is when the Anglican Church and Academy City team up against the Russia-Roman Catholic Church alliance in World War III.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Touma is introduced running away from delinquents, in a manner specifically intended to make them tire themselves out. It turns out that they're chasing him because he told them off for harassing a middle school girl. But then it turns out that he was actually trying to protect the delinquents from her. Finally, the girl catches up, challenges him to a fight and shoots lightning at him, which he easily blocks with his right hand.
    • Othinus makes her first appearance by crushing Touma's right hand, then crushing the even more powerful entity inside it. She then matches Ollerus in a duel of magic when he shows up.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep":
    • Pierce Aogami. It's not his real name since it actually means "Blue-haired guy with piercings". We have no idea what's his real name since that's what Touma calls him.
    • Accelerator refuses to reveal his original name. In A Certain Scientific Railgun, he claims he doesn't remember it.
    • Also a minor character named "Management" as well as the leader of the English knights, Knight Leader.
    • The same applies to the members of God's Right Seat - only Acqua's real name is ever revealed.
    • The eponymous Index - "Index Librorum Prohibitorum" isn't a name, it's Latin (or at least Google Translate's idea of Latin) for "List of Prohibited Books". Considering how many times she's had her memories wiped, she probably doesn't know her own name any more.
  • Evil Albino: Accelerator. He later becomes an Anti Heroic Albino.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The series runs at an absolutely breakneck pace, with World War III literally only lasting a few weeks.
  • Exclusively Evil: Increasingly, Academy City; their response to any attempt to challenge their technologically based hegemony ranges from mind control and extortion to, as featured in NT Volume 4, wholesale slaughter using purposefully psychotic special forces. Characteristic, perhaps, considering that the true purpose of Academy City is to raise Touma in the way that Aleister desires, as part of Aleister's goal to wipe out all magic.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy:
    • It's common for magicians and espers to explain how their power works, though they usually don't explain everything they can do (or what weaknesses they have). However, once their enemy manages to figure these things out, they often won't hesitate to confirm it.
    • Parodied by Gunha, the #7 Level 5 esper. He always explains the mechanics of his power... except that it's never the same explanation, and another character will point out how his explanation doesn't make any sense.


  • Faking Amnesia: Inverted. Touma loses his memory but passes it off as a joke so Index doesn't feel bad.
  • Faking the Dead: Touma's Dad, one of his friends, and an unnamed Gemstone do this in the second SS Volume by blowing up an unmanned Cessna that the bad guys thought they were on. We don't get to see it happen, though; we're just told that that's how they ended up resolving the situation.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: For Mikoto in the Railgun Sisters Arc. No matter what she does, she never manages to catch a break, especially when fighting Touma.
  • Fantastic Racism: Though everyone in Academy city is treated with equal rights in theory, in practice your chances of getting passed over for jobs, universities and all other opportunities in life steadily increases the lower your Power Level gets. Well meaning Level 5's such as Mikoto try to reassure their "lesser" peers with ultimately hollow mantras of "Do your best!! Your power level doesn't matter!!" oblivious to the fact that certain people are simply born incapable of crossing certain hurdles no matter how hard they try. Naturally, this breeds intensely bitter resentment, especially amongst the Level 0's of the city's population; ripe for exploitation by people like Professor Kiyama Harumi through schemes like the "Level Upper" incident...
    • This is also before the Parameter list (power estimation) incident, where management and a team of spec ops reveal to the remaining members of ITEM that the only reason why level zeros exist is because Academy city doesn't want to waste money developing the powers of people whose abilities can't be militarized or can't be brought above a certain level without massive effort. Thus, the power development curriculum of schools that cater to people like Hamazura, Kamijou and Co. have been deliberately sabotaged via the omission of classes that would allow them to develop their powers.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Definitely. This is a world that contains: magicians (who can create or summon artifacts and beings from every single mythology), angels, demons, dwarves, Saints, Valkyries, an artificial elf, zombies, vampires (though they haven't actually made an appearance), gods and dragons.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Kaori. This is intentional on her part, as it supports her magic.
  • False Camera Effects: All over the OP.
  • Fastball Special: Touma and Acqua defeat Carissa in this manner, with Acqua using the flat of his sword to propel Touma at high speed.
  • Fetish: Certain characters will loudly proclaim their interests, while others just get teased for them.
    • Touma has a thing for Onee-sans, something he doesn't like talked about in public.
    • Hamazura gets constantly picked on for his love of Bunnygirls.
    • Motoharu is an unrepentant sis-con.
    • Awaki apparently likes little boys.
    • The less said about Aogami or Kuroko the better.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three protagonists fit this dynamic. Touma fights using his magic-negating right fist, Accelerator with his extraordinarily-powerful esper ability, and Shiage relies on guns and other technology. Though there's plenty of overlap between them. Touma often has to use stealth or whatever tools are around him (especially against non-supernatural opponents) while Accelerator learns to use a gun (as backup for when he can't use his power) and becomes much more physically resilient over the course of the series.
  • Find the Cure:
    • Volumes 1 and 2 are about attempts to prevent Index' brain becoming overloaded with memories, so that she doesn't need to undergo annual memory wipes. Though this was in fact unnecessary, as explained under Artistic Licence Biology.
    • In World War III, Accelerator's plotline is about finding a cure for Last Order.
  • Fish Out of Water: Some of the magicians are not used to or familiar using modern technology from Academy City which leads to hilarious results.
    • Trust me you will want to see a crying Kaori after she messed up on her attempt trying to use a washing machine. To be fair, it was a new high tech washing machine so there was bound to be mistakes.
  • Foe Yay: Touma and pretty much all of his female opponents. And some of his male ones. Accelerator and Fiamma in particular.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the 1st novel, Mikoto accuses Touma of holding back and not using his full powers despite him saying he isn't. Turn's out she's right when in the 14th novel, Terra is wondering why is Touma holding back and not using his full powers to fight since Terra knows what his power really is.
    • Taking it even further is the Deep Blood Arc, where Aureolus Izzard cuts off Touma's right arm. After figuring out how the alchemist's powers work, Touma makes a comeback and wins when a dragon head sprouts from his shoulder. At the time it was hypothesized that the dragon head was actually born from Aureolus' imagination, fueled by his fear of Touma. However, the events of Volume 22 seem to indicate that there was more to that scene than everyone thought.
    • In Volume 1, Touma also mentions the #5 Level 5 esper, who has power over the mind, as a possible solution to Index' memory problems. However, he never attempts to contact them to help. It turns out that the esper he was talking about, Misaki Shokuhou, is someone he has a prior connection with and who might have been able to help Index. Though NT Volume 11 reveals why he didn't contact her: he can't remember her as a person, only as the #5 Level 5.
    • Yet another example from the first volume: Index mentions the concept of a Magic God as a person who reaches the absolute pinnacle of Magic. A Magic God is introduced at the very end of Volume 22, and she is the main antagonist for the first part of New Testament.
    • Invoked by one of the Sisters.

“Come to think of it, whatever happened to Full Tuning, #00000, who was created by Amai Ao and cut off from the network? says Misaka #19090 as she lays out a new piece of foreshadowing.”

    • At one point, Touma sees wind turbines turning with no wind, and realizes that Misaka's electrical powers are causing them to turn. This comes into play later in the fight against Accelerator, when she and the Sisters use the trick to disrupt his attempt at making a giant ball of plasma to finish Touma off with.
  • For Science!!: In the interests of science, let's see if we can make an absurdly overpowered, power-hungry, and relatively unhinged esper with little regard for human life even stronger by sending thousands of clones to their deaths against him.
  • The Four Gods: The global spell that swapped everyone's appearance was accidentally set in motion by Touma's father collecting supposedly mystical figurines that represented The Four Gods and placing them in each of their associated directions.
  • Funbag Airbag: Komoe-Sensei in the second intro.
  • Functional Magic: Two types. The magicians use Rule Magic, with a bit of device magic (created through the rule magic) thrown in for good measure. The espers used to be Inherent Gift magic. That is, until someone figured out how to artificially "gift" people.
  • Genre Savvy: After getting hit with magic-induced amnesia, Touma knows that any bizarre-looking characters he encounters are likely important acquaintances of his. He's quite proud of this prediction, actually. Unfortunately, the first time he tries this, he's wrong. But the person is quite important to what's going on, regardless.
  • Girl of the Week: Generally, Touma's plotline revolves around a particular girl in each volume (e.g. Index in the first, Aisa in the second, Mikoto and her clones in the third). Though said girls can show up again later, with Index and Mikoto being major characters.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Accelerator's red eyes and some of the Level 5s when they start to fight, also Index's eyes when under Johann's Pen Mode.
  • God: In the Science side, God is called the one who reaches SYSTEM (aka Level 6). In the Magic Side, God is called the one who reaches the status of "The One Above God". It's stated that God is beyond magic and science but the things get interesting when the word "Kamijou" (Touma's last name) is discovered to have this meaning.
  • Golem: Sherry can create one from the earth around her. It can absorb more earth to repair battle damage and grow larger.
  • Go Mad From the Revelation: Aureolus doesn't take it well when he learns that all his hard work in trying to find a cure for Index was pointless, as Touma already found an answer.
  • Good with Numbers: This is a Required Secondary Power for all espers. Notably, when Accelerator loses his calculation ability due to brain damage, he becomes unable to use his ability (until he receives calculation support from the Misaka Network).
  • Good Versus Good: There's several occasions when heroic characters clash with each other. This is especially prominent in NT Volume 10, where it applies to almost all fights: Touma and Othinus want to rid the latter of her power so she can surrender peacefully, while most of their opponents attack them for the perfectly reasonable justification of removing a major threat to the world.
  • Gratuitous English: Anti-Skill, Dummy Check, Imagine Breaker, Judgment, Skill-out, BLOCK, STUDENT, ITEM, GROUP, AIM...
    • Also, all the anime openings. All of them. (Granted they are all perfectly understandable, and with the exception of the first opening "PSI-Missing", which contains no English whatsoever within the lyrics)
  • Gratuitous Italian: When Touma and Index are in Italy, natch. Complete with horrible grammar and AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle.
  • Handicapped Badass: In connection with Good Is Dumb and No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, Accelerator suffers major brain damage at the end of his first arc, requiring a cane and the Sisters' Hive Mind to remain functional and use his powers. He's a Badass since he can still use his incredible redirection powers, if only for 15 minutes at a time. But seriously, with that kind of power, few enemies would last 15 seconds.
  • Harem Show: Touma's harem includes but is not limited to: Index, Misaka Mikoto, Tsukuyomi Komoe, Himegami Aisa, Kanzaki Kaori, Orsola Aquinas, Agnese Sanctis, Fukiyose Seiri, at least some of the 9,968 Misaka Imoutos, and Itsuwa. And since Volume 20, Lessar is on it too. Volume 2 of New Testament has some very heavy hinting from Kumokawa Seria, considering she went from genius to "blankly sitting around like an idiot" during his disappearance. In the same Volume, Touma finally make his glorious return, maknig the papers and all, greeted by all of his female acquaintances in Academy including: Hyouka, Seria, Fukiyose, Komoe, Aisa, and AWAKI. Mikoto ends up complaining about the guy to girl ratio and yells at them to stop taking her scene. [[Unwanted Harem|Touma is genuinely bothered by his harem.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: This describes Othinus' path to becoming a full Magic God. If she succeeded in constructing Gungnir, it would give her access to her full power. If Ollerus interfered and used a spell to weaken her, she could twist that spell into also giving her access to her full power.
  • Healing Factor:
    • Motoharu's esper ability, Auto-Rebirth. It is very limited, only reconnecting damaged blood vessels, and being a Level 0 ability, it doesn't always consistently activate.
    • Touma has an extremely-powerful one, but it only triggers under specific circumstances. If his right hand or arm is destroyed, the entity sealed by it emerges, but his hand/arm then regenerates completely. It's also possible that he has a much weaker version that works in normal circumstances, considering the incredible amount of punishment he experiences in a short timeframe.
    • Magic Gods can rapidly regenerate from any injury, including their head being destroyed.
  • Heel Face Turn: Several characters, the most notable of which is Accelerator, almost bordering on It Was His Sled territory, since he's one of the main protagonists.
  • Heel Realization: Accelerator, the most powerful esper in Academy City, is constantly challenged and attacked by espers wishing to prove themselves. He just wants to be left alone and live in peace. He figures if he got even stronger then he would outclass everyone to such a degree that nobody would ever dare to attack him. So he accepts a proposal by Academy City researchers to slaughter more than 10,000 clones of Misaka Mikoto for a program that is intended to level him up exponentially. The clones appear soulless to him and they never made an effort to plead for their lives. Because of this, he never faltered. But after being defeated by Touma he comes to realize that he was the bad guy. After meeting Last Order, a ten year old clone of Mikoto, he goes about atoning for his sins while simultaneously denying his intention to become a hero. He loathes the dark side of Academy City, which he considers himself to be a part of, and directs the majority of his animosity at them.
  • Heroic BSOD: Several characters get one.
    • Touma suffers one when he thinks he can't do anything to stop Index's memory from being erased to save her life until he remembers something about her brain.
    • A sad one goes to Itsuwa as she tries desperately to heal Touma after he appears to have been killed by Aqua.
    • Accelerator suffers a major emotional break down when Misaka Worst taunts him about the Sister's hatred for him and how Last Order's emotions for him are false (her claims about Last Order are false of course; those about the Sisters are warped). Plus, Worst is sent to kill the sick Last Order and Accelerator has to chose to either protect Last Order, or not hurt another Misaka clone. It was so bad that he went into black wings mode, and he lost faith in all good. He then beat Worst into the ground, then rampaged to the point where Worst feels bad for having done this to him.
  • Heroic Rematch:
    • After Fiamma reveals himself as the Big Bad of the first series, Touma fights him multiple times throughout World War III.
    • Taken up to eleven with Touma versus Othinus. He fights her literally millions of times, never once landing a single hit - and in the end, he never actually beats her in a fight (though he does succeed in destroying Gungnir). He only "wins" by convincing her to bring back the original world and surrender.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Realizing all of her attempts have failed to stop the Level 6 Shift experiment and save the Sisters, Mikoto decides to do the one thing the Scientists in charge of the experiment didn't want her to do: fight and die against Accelerator. The reason they don't want this happen is because, Tree Diagram, the Super Computer that help calculate the experiment was destroyed, forcing the Scientists to stick to their plans of Accelerator fighting against the Sisters without interruption. Mikoto intervening in the experiment would mess up their current calculations since they don't have Tree Diagram to help calculate the new data thus ruining the experiment.(And also getting them heat from the Higher Ups since Mikoto is one of the 7 Level 5's.) However, Touma tries to stop her from doing it because he claims even if she did it, it would have been all in vain since the Scientists might still continue the experiment, all to make Accelerator a Level 6.
  • Heroic Safe Mode:
    • Index has a literal safe-mode installed onto her, that activates any time the main consiousness goes down. The computer analogy is quite literal. The safe-mode even shouts out status messages.
    • A lesser example is shown with Touma in his fight with Vento, in which he was being trashed around up to the point where they were next to one of the people he wanted to keep safe. When one stray shot that would have killed a few dozen civilians was blocked by the person he wanted to protect, we discover that he was worried sick about collateral damage and wasn't fighting at full capacity.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Played straight by Kuruwa (who's obsessed with the traditional, or rather pop-cultural, image of ninjas) and justified with Oumi (who dresses conspicuously to distract people from her allies). Averted with Hanzou and Sugitani, who look like a normal delinquent and a man in a suit.
  • Hime Cut: Aisa.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": Index Librorum Prohibitorum, which is Latin for "Index of Forbidden Books".
  • Hive Mind: In yet another unexpected use of a power, the Sisters (clones of Mikoto) use their electrical powers to maintain a collective memory.
  • Hoist By Their Own Petard: To defeat Othinus, Ollerus creates and attempts to use a spell that will turn her into a much-weaker fairy. However, she uses an illusion to make him miss, and uses the exact same spell to weaken Ollerus.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Index has mastered, functional knowledge of all magic, but her ridiculous power, cumulating in destroying a satellite by accident with a giant her magical laser beam, is only seen once when Touma trips her auto-defense program (and subsequently destroys it). If someone would just tell her that she really can use magic, Index would become a nigh-unstoppable force of nature. As it is, she just makes sporadic analyses and is of little direct plot relevance.
  • Holier Than Thou: The Catholic Church, the Saints, and God's Right Seat.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: In the DVD bonus shorts. While fighting crazy-defense-program Index, Touma tries to get Kaori and Stiyl to take action by telling them to quit being "just side characters. Don't you want to be main characters too?!" (The pair think about it for a second and decide to murder Touma.)
    • Or more like they quickly defeat Index and became the new heroes of the show.
  • Hot Chick with a Sword: The katana wielding Kaori.
  • Hot for Student: Komoe. Touma used to be a naughty boy, apparently. Various things happened. Various.
  • Hot Mom: Touma's & Mikoto's moms are hot! Heck, Touma's mom is voiced by Kikuko Inoue. Their Dads are lucky men.
  • Ice Queen: Kanzaki Kaori. Naturally, she gets defrosted later. By Touma, of course.
    • As much as she is an Ice Queen, in the novels there are some funny moments involving her. Of course, given that she's an 18-year old, she's pretty much a young maiden at heart.
  • Ideal Hero: Touma is a definite example of this trope. No matter what, he will never kill anyone and always tries to save everyone.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The name of a chapter usually consists of Japanese text followed by English text. Some volumes deviate from this:
    • NT Volume 4 has an Anyone Can Die format, and uses a very atypical layout to ensure that the reader can't predict what will happen next. Chapters are categorised as either "Main" (these usually end in someone dying, accompanied by an image of the survivors), "Sub" (relatively normal chapters with a variety of viewpoint characters) and "Period" (the ones where Touma makes an appearance).
    • NT Volume 10 has each chapter named "VS _", with the blank being a title for the enemy/enemies encountered in that chapter. This fits the Boss Rush nature of the Volume, though it also makes it easy to guess who the enemies are just by looking at the table of contents.
  • Idiot Ball: An immediately-lampshaded example in NT Volume 15. After Yuiitsu steals World Rejector, Touma shouts to Salome to be careful of World Rejector, mentioning its method of use in the process. As a result, Yuiitsu learns how to use World Rejector! Salome immediately yells at Touma for this, since as part of the Kamisato Faction, she already knows this information anyway.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Several characters, mostly the ones living in Academy City, believe their conflicts and world of science is all there is, completely unaware of the conflicts and world of magic.
  • I Just Want to Be Special:
    • Magic was originally developed for this reason, in an attempt to gain the same abilities as naturally-occurring espers.
    • Many of the Skill-Outs and former Skill-Outs, being Level zeroes who didn't have the same abilities as higher-level espers. Shiage expresses this sentiment occasionally, even after becoming a Badass Normal in his own right.
  • I Let You Win: NT Volume 10 contains many examples of this. Accelerator fights in an extremely conspicuous manner, even bringing out his white wings, but holds back enough for Touma to knock him out (as an additional bonus, this discourages others from pursuing Touma and Othinus). Agnese has her forces try to avoid outright killing him, and after he convinces her of his cause, lies to her superiors to let him escape. Kaori is forced into helping him when he deliberately jumps off a floating fortress to exploit her refusal to let anyone die. Roberto Katze is convinced by Touma to let him and Othinus go, on the condition that the latter give up her power and surrender. Mikoto technically does beat up Touma, but she then allows him to pass while and holds back the Five Overs that Academy City had also sent after him. Index and Birdway do make a serious effort at killing Othinus, but still allow Touma to pass after he stops them. Arguably, this also applies to Thor, who defeated all of the other members of GREMLIN and fought Touma in a one-on-one fistfight that he was actually able to win.
  • Image Song: Index, Misaka, Kamijou, Himegami, Stiyl, Kanzaki, Misaka's sisters and Kazakiri all have insert songs, sung by their voice actors. Many of the show's OPs and EDs seem to specifically describe Kamijou Touma, his situation or his feelings and ideals.
  • Indirect Kiss: Mikoto and Touma are eating together and at some point both put their hot dogs down next to each while distracted by something else. When they turn back to their meals, there is much confusion over which is whose. Mikoto panics over indirect kisses, while Touma doesn't seem to notice or care--after all, didn't they order the same thing?. The audience will note that they did in fact eat the wrong hot dog in the end.
    • They share another one later during the sports festival. They end up drinking from the same bottle of water. Touma doesn't seems to care, but Misaka and Kuroko do.
    • Also both Index and Touma usually exchanges their food and drinks, but neither seem to care.
  • In-Series Nickname: Touma calls Mikoto "Biri Biri" (a Japanese sound effect for crackling electricity) which she does not like. The fandom on the other hand have adopted it.
  • In the Blood: Seems Touma got his lady skills from his dad Touya, who even in his old age attracts the ladies.
  • Inverse Law of Complexity to Power: The level 5's of the world seem to have very broad powers. Misaka boasts power over electricity, while Accelerator has control over all physical vectors. Lesser espers have abilities like Jufuku Miho's Dummy Check, which simply makes her less noticeable to those around her.
  • Irony:
    • Of the rather cruel kind. Touma manages to prevent the yearly erasure of Index's memories, just to lose his own when he was hit on the head by those white feathers which were a side effect of the Frickin' Laser Beams cast by Index in Johann's Pen Mode.
    • Accelerator, after slaughtering over ten thousand Sisters, takes a bullet to the head to finish saving a particular Sister. He's then dependent on the remaining Sisters to let him walk, talk and use his ability again.
    • The entire Magic God Othinus arc. The entire world mobilizes to stop Othinus from gaining her full power as a Magic God, and fails. Touma, the sole survivor, fights Othinus and manages to talk her into a Heel Face Turn. She restores the world and is prepared to die for her crimes. This then leads to Touma fighting against the rest of the world to keep her from dying.


  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Accelerator. After killing over ten thousand clones in order to improve his own power, he starts to make a Heel Face Turn... only to get shot in the head (the bullet being slightly weakened by his power) and suffer brain damage. He's now dependent on others (the surviving clones, in fact) to walk, talk or use his ability.
  • Kansas City Shuffle:
    • While the heroes may have stopped the invasion of Hawaii in New Testament Volume 3, that wasn't the true goal of the true membership of GREMLIN. They had already succeeded when the volcano erupted, which helped them in the construction of Gungnir.
    • An even bigger example in NT Volume 8. Othinus allowed everyone, the other members of GREMLIN included, to think that the operations in Hawaii, Baggage City and Sargasso were needed to create Gungnir. In fact, she was able to create the lance on her own the entire time.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: If someone is shown being kind to cats in this franchise, there is no doubt that he or she is a bona-fide good guy.
  • Knight Templar: Literal knights, in fact. The 13 Knights of the Roman Catholic Church will hunt down the traitor Izzard no matter if innocent people are in crossfire.
    • The same goes for the Knights of England, who were responsible for the death of Ellis. Their actions would come back to haunt England 20 years later when Sherry Cromwell, Ellis' magician friend, tries to start a war between Academy City and Necessarius.
    • God's Right Seat is not above slaughtering innocent "pagans" in order to further their goals. Even if they happen to be well-intentioned.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Touma acknowledges his tendency to break into long monologues: "Quit getting depressed in this kinda long prologue!"
    • Also the various discussions about how Touma keeps meeting new girls and expanding his harem. Various characters imply that he's the protagonist of a galgame.
    • Aisa feels like everyone is forgetting about her. (Poor Aisa, she needs a hug.)
  • Laser Guided Amnesia: There are several examples of this in the series. Notably, these are not resolved at any point, and the repercussions of this are often important.
    • Prior to the start of the series, this was done to Index regularly, as her perfect memory would overload her brain otherwise (See Artistic Licence Biology for how this wasn't the case). It's also inflicted on Touma at the end of Volume 1.
    • NT Volume 11 reveals that Touma has another case of this. Due to brain damage accidentally inflicted by Misaki, he has both retrograde and anterograde amnesia specific to her. He can still remember that Academy City's #5 Level 5 is an expert with the human brain, but can't remember anything about the person herself.
  • Last-Name Basis: The narration usually refers to characters by their surnames, and many characters do so as well.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler:
    • Touma loses his memories, permanently! Some fans find this as a waste. However, most seems to forget that Touma's memory loss is permanent so there's no way for him get them back and even Touma keeps it a secret. In Volumes 14 and 16, it gets partially addressed when Mikoto learns about Touma's memory loss and later confronts him about it and he asked her to keep it a secret.
    • Another one is Accelerator's Heel Face Turn after Volume 5. The character sheet doesn't even bother to hide this anymore.
    • Othinus gains her full power and destroys the world, is talked into a Heel Face Turn, then loses her power and becomes a 15 cm tall fairy, finally moving in with Touma as a second freeloader. It's very difficult to discuss volumes from NT Volume 9 onwards for this reason.
  • Layered World:
    • Heaven and Hell (and other comparable places) are believed to be in the same physical location as Earth, but on different "wavelength". An analogy is that Heaven is ultraviolet rays, Earth is visible light, and Hell is infrared light. Normally, the different worlds are unable to interact. More is revealed in NT Volume 9, with the concept of phases. These are filters that have been imposed over the world by the various religions throughout history. Underneath them all lies the Pure World, a world untouched by magic, which is the ultimate goal of Aleister.
    • The Imaginary Number District is another, artificial example. It is formed from the AIM given off by Academy City's esper population, and is an important part of Aleister's plans. If it is brought into the real Academy City, it causes all magicians inside it to suffer injuries comparable to those experienced by magic-using espers.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Happens occasionally.
  • Legal Jailbait: Komoe-sensei, chain-smoking beer-guzzling Christmas Cake teacher who looks like an elementary student.
  • Lethal Harmless Powers: Plenty of powers in the series can be used in extremely dangerous ways. For just one example, any teleporter can teleport an object into something - or someone.
  • Letter Motif: Academy City has the Hard Science line of technology, all of which have names beginning with "Hs".
  • Level Grinding: According to the Tree Diagram supercomputer, Accelerator needs to kill about 20,000 Sister clones in order to become a Level 6. And so the project begins.
    • In the Railgun manga, when Shizuri finds out about the project, she literally describes Accelerator's actions as "Killing 20,000 slimes to level up."
  • Life or Limb Decision: Acqua specifically invokes this. He considers Imagine Breaker a threat, but is willing to let Touma live if he cuts it off. It's a good thing that he doesn't go through with it, consider what happens when his right hand is cut off.
  • Light Is Not Good: God's Right Seat. Each member is blessed with God's power. Except for Acqua who is the only noble member among the four, the rest are corrupt, selfish or manipulative.
  • Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition: The Index DVDs contain an 8-part Railgun side story mini novel written by the author of the novels, Kazuma Kamachi and art drawn by Motoi Fuyukawa of the Railgun manga. Wanna have good reasons why you want to read this mini novel? Lets see:
      • The Railgun cast vacationing in the USA with a Beach Episode too.
      • The US forces versus the Aztec Organization.
      • The Aztec's flying Fortress versus Xochitl, the aztec magician who first appeared in volume 15 of the Index's light novels, flying on her surfboard and teaming up with Mikoto who's is flying. Yes, Mikoto is flying and fighting a flying fortress! Get the Limited Edition DVDs now!
    • For the Railgun DVDs, the limited editions contains an 8-part Index side story mini novel staring Kaori Kanzaki, written by the author of the novels, Kazuma Kamachi and art drawn by Kiyotaka Haimura of A Certain Magical Index light novels in each DVD. So what's it's about?:
  • Limited Wardrobe: Index and her Walking Church is the only outright justified example in Index.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Just check out the MASSIVE character sheets.
  • Locard's Theory: Idol Theory is a form of The Law of Contagion, which states that an "idol" or a duplicate which employs the symbolism of a greater object or deity will always receive a part of the power of that greater object. It also means that whatever affects the greater object will also affect the lesser object. Magicians also hypothesize that the reverse may also be true. Touma compares this to how solar panels receive energy from the sun; there are several solar panels around the world which receive a part of the limitless energy provided by the sun—although it's not even a fraction of the original, the panels still gain energy from it.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Aogami and Kuroko are the prime offenders, though they are by no means the only ones. Lessar, Worst, Shiage and Motoharu all also have their moments.
  • Love At First Punch: Inverted. Mikoto first met and took an interest in Touma after he blocked her electric attack.
  • Love Confession: From Index towards Touma in the end of the first arc. Of course, he avoided any answer by changing the theme of the speech because he lost his memories, permanently.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: Invoked by Seria in the Love Letter SS.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Aureolus Izzard, in addition to being a Woobie of sort. He betrayed the Roman Catholic Church and went into hiding for 3 years all so he could find a way to prevent Index from losing her memories. In the end though, his dream was stolen by Touma, leaving Index eternally attached to Touma. Needless to say, he did not take this well.
  • Luminescent Blush: Most often seen in Misaka, typically because of some situation involving Touma.
  • Mad Scientist: The scientists behind the Level 6 Project. Or its better to say half of Academy City's scientists.
  • Magical Database: In a literal sense, with Index herself being an index about magic.
  • Magical Girlfriend: Many of Touma's love interests are magicians, espers or some other flavor of supernatural.
  • Magic Versus Science / The Magic Versus Technology War: One of the main conflicts in the series. It's important to note that most espers and residents of Academy City are completely unaware of magic or that there is a conflict in the first place.
  • Maintain the Lie: Touma's lack of memories is unknown to most characters. In Volume 16, Mikoto confronts him about it (having learned it by accident two volumes before), but is convinced to keep the secret.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: At the end of NT Volume 13, the surviving Magic Gods are instantly defeated by the previously-unknown Kakeru.
  • Man Behind the Man:
    • Aleister Crowley is the founder of Academy City together with Heaven Canceler a.k.a the frog-faced doctor, and controls the city's Board of Directors. He's behind countless plans, including the Level 6 Shift Project and Touma's move to Academy City.
    • The Pope controls God's Right Seat, a secret Magical organization within the Catholic Church. But as of Volume 16, Fiamma usurps control of the Catholic Church from him.
    • Lola is under the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury but in reality she controls the Archbishop and thus is the real power behind the Anglican Church.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Aleister Crowley and Lola Stuart throughout the series. Fiamma of the Right is this for the latter half of the original series.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Poor Sphinx, stuck in Hyouka's breasts like that. Also Touma with Oriana Thompson's breasts during the Daihaisei sports festival. And just prior to that, his face gets up close and personal with Seiri's bosom.
  • Meaningful Name: Aogami has blue hair and Himegami has hime hair.
    • Touma is another case. "Touma" can be read as "Invisible Demon" while "Kamijou" can be read as "The One Above God". Alternatively, the full name can be read as "The One Who Purifies God and Slays Demons". The latter name receives attention in-universe, from various people. The Magic Gods claim that this represents his role as the one person capable of understanding them and hence acting as their "scorer".
    • Also Komoe-sensei's name as well. "Ko" means "small" or "tiny" in Japanese and "moe" means... well, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out.
    • Magician's magical names tend to be fairly self-descriptive, justified because they are chosen later in life.
  • Mega Corp: Academy City. Even though it's located in Western Tokyo, the city is actually international territory so its not under Japanese Jurisdiction and International law which helps the city do certain research that most countrys would ban like cloning. The city is ruled by a 12 member Board of Directors With a secret 13th Director who holds the true power who decides the city affairs. Furthermore the city gets its major funding for its research in Esper powers and Higher technology from all over the world like goverments (like the US Military funding the creation and weapons of the Sisters), corporations who sponsor their products there like the Strange Juices and scientific organizations that help in their research. Later in the novels it is reveal A.C. is much more powerful than appears to be as their power of influence rivals the 3 Magic powers of Britain and the Catholic Church and not only do they have their own security/police and Rescue force like the Anti-Skills and the Multi Active Rescue unit, they even have a secert Black Ops group like the Hounds Dogs, their own private mercenary army and even their own Air Force! and they even have several smaller A.C. branchs around the world. They are so powerful not only are their high tech force filled with Espers, soldiers with the latest weapons and equipment like Tanks, Jets, Powered Armor troops and Mechs, they can quickly moblize them. At first they sent a strike force at Avignon, France and then they got serious and invaded a country! By the way, the country they invaded? Russia. Yes Russia!
  • Meganekko: A couple of girls.
  • Meido: Maika. She goes to a maid school and sits on a cleaning robot that spins round and round.
  • Melee a Trois: A huge one in Volume 15 involving GROUP, ITEM, SCHOOL, BLOCK and MEMBER. The arc is even unofficially called the "Battle Royale arc".
  • Mind Rape: Index' Sheol Fear technique.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Accelerator goes from toying with Touma to raging fury after Touma slaps Accelerator's hand away with impunity. He really isn't used to people being able to ignore his power like that.
    • Later this scene was turned into some sort of a yaoi joke in the DVD extras.
  • The Mole:
    • Motoharu was originally sent by the Anglican Church to spy on Academy City. However, he became a Double Reverse Quadruple Agent, passing information to the Church, to Academy City and to other groups.
    • Fran is another agent sent by the Anglican Church, this time to infiltrate the Kamisato Faction. However, she came to fall in love with Kakeru, and secretly defected to his side. When the other members of the faction find out, she finishes her current goal of rescuing Kakeru before voluntarily leaving the group.
  • Monster of the Week:
    • The first few volumes are more or less self-contained story arcs. The major plot featuring the Roman Catholic Church only starts in Volume 7.
    • After the Magic God Othinus arc, the series starts returning to this format. NT Volumes 11, 12 and 14 feature their own distinct antagonists, with no relation to each other or to the main plot. This turns out to be subverted, when the new antagonist Yuiitsu uses their various tools for her own scheme.
  • Morality Pet: The young girl Last Order (the 20001st Sister), for 'Accelerator, the guy who killed over ten thousand Sisters! She even gives a long speech about how he isn't such a bad guy deep down. Even Accelerator is in disbelief.
  • Morton's Fork: Pulled on Olay Blueshake in New Testament Volume 3. As she is hiding, not wanting to be prosecuted for treason against America, President Robert Katze uses his influence to make it look like that Lindy is meant to inherit Olay's corporate empire at a young age while Olay's still alive. Now Olay has two options, either she reveals herself to regain her assets, risking prison time or assassination, or do nothing as everything she owns is given to her estranged daughter. In any case, she loses everything.
  • Mugging the Monster: See Rescue Romance below.
  • Mundane Fantastic: Esper powers such as teleportation and invisibility are just facts of life.
  • Mundane Solution:
    • Touma defeats Stiyl's indefinitely regenerating fire summon by tripping his apartment's sprinkler system, thus washing away the runes sustaining it.
    • An injured Awaki was scared and exhausted after her fight with Kuroko, who was about to knock her out with a lamp, when... BANG!! Problem solved.
  • Mundane Utility: In addition to deflecting bullets and lightning bolts, Accelerator also uses his ability to protect himself from sunburn and irritating background chatter.
  • Mutually Exclusive Magic:
    • Esper powers and magic are fundamentally different. Once a person becomes an esper, they will experience a physical backlash when they try to use magic, which manifests as ruptured blood vessels. This doesn't outright prevent espers from using magic, but it does encourage them not to except in dire circumstances.
    • The members of God's Right Seat possess powerful and unique divine magic, but are unable to use normal magic.
    • Touma's Imagine Breaker prevents him from using either esper abilities or magic.
  • Naked First Impression: Touma walks in on Index (many, many times) and Hyouka changing. Lampshaded in the following episode when he is standing in front of a changing booth:

Touma: This Kamijou Touma won't repeat the same mistake he made back in the Nurses room.

  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Here's some of them:
    • In the science side: Vector Redirection (Accelerator), Dark Matter (Teitoku Kakine), Railgun (Mikoto Misaka), Meltdowner (Shizuri Mugino), Mental Out (Misaki Shokuhou, "The Queen of Tokiwadai"), and Attack Crash (Gunha Sogiita), a.k.a. the 7 Level 5's of Academy City. Introduced later on is "the Artificial Angel" Fuze=Kazakiri.
    • In the magic side: Index Librorum Prohibitorum (in her Johann's Pen mode), Vento of the Front, Terra of the Left, Acqua of the Back, Fiamma of the Right, Knight Leader, Ollerus, The Power of God (Archangel Gabriel), The Likeness of God (Archangel Michael), The One Above God, and Magic God One-Eyed Othinus.
    • Finally, there's "The Invisible Thing", the second most powerful being in the series, currently being sealed by Imagine Breaker...
  • Naughty Nuns: For a series with a load of nuns, close to none of them actually follow their vow of celibacy.
  • Narrating the Present: The Sisters have the habit of narrating whatever they're doing.
  • Necessarily Evil:
    • Necessarius was originally formed by English Puritans to destroy magic & magic organizations in England for God and the country's well being. But in order to do that, they too use magic to destroy magic, hence why they were called the Church Of Necessary Evil. Ironically, when the organization became a part of the Church of England, they became the very thing they try to destroy. Now, Necessarius new job is to protect Britain from any magical threats that threaten the country, no matter what.
    • In the fourth volume of New Testament, it's claimed that this is the reason why Academy City doesn't share most of its technology and scientific knowledge with the outside world. The Kihara family arise from unchecked scientific research, and spreading Academy City's knowledge would only cause them to appear everywhere and bring chaos. However, this is all according to a Kihara.
  • New Technology Is Evil: Vento of the Front sees people who use technology and Espers as Heretics and thinks they deserved to be killed. All because her older brother died from a Ferris Wheel accident that she survived.
  • New Transfer Student:
    • Subverted when Komoe-sensei announces Touma's class will be getting a new student. Index walks into the classroom, only it turns out she was lost and looking for Touma. Himegami is the actual new transfer student.
    • Played straight when Kakeru transfers to the same school that Touma's school is temporarily merged with.
  • 90% of Your Brain: 85% of Index's mind is taken up by the grimoire collection. This leaves her only able to maintain one year of memories. {{{1}}}. Also averted in the fact that the 85% thing is about her memory, not "brain function" as the claim usually is with this trope.
  • Ninja: The ninja in the series stand out for how relatively normal they are. They're all normal people without supernatural powers, and use whatever tools or strategies they need to win. Though one group of ninjas, the one to whom Oumi belongs, are trying to gain supernatural powers in order to keep up in a changing world.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The first time Accelerator actually tries to help someone with his powers and what does he get? A bullet to the head for his troubles; though he survives, he gets brain damage that makes him reliant on the Sisters' Hive Mind to make up for the impaired brain functions. His powers are also reduced; he can only use them for 15 minutes at a time.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The second round of Accelerator's battle with Teitoku. Not that it really could be even called a battle... After attacking Yomikawa and awakening, Teitoku starts gloating about how Acclerator isn't even an opponent to him anymore, merely an object to test his new power on. The next line of text is Splat...
  • Nominal Importance:
    • Averted with a character who, despite being important in Volume 15 and showing up again in Volume 19, is still only known amongst the fandom as "Girl In Dress."
    • Deliberately averted with the members of Useful Spider, none of whom receive any names. In the afterword of NT Volume 17, the author comments that this was to give them a different impression to the usual named characters.
  • No Name Given: There are a lot of people or things that don't get named. Touma's school, which usually gets described as A Certain High School; the 6th Level 5 has yet to be named; the girl in the red dress, a member of SCHOOL never gets named; Heaven Canceller goes just by that (or is nicknamed the "frog-faced doctor"); Accelerator's real name is never given; the same for Aogami. Index has taken that as her name, if she ever had a real one to begin with.
  • Non Sequitur Scene: Regarding the Heavy Object C-movie:

Kinuhata: “At the climax right before the end, the super huge image of the Indian elephant jumping together with all the members was the super best. Right, Hamazura?”
Hamazura: “That’s the hardest part to understand…”

  • Nosebleed: Touma in reaction to having a half-naked Index sleeping in his bed. Also subverted in that he had a nosebleed from humidity before he saw her, and lampshaded in that he defends himself by calling it unrealistic "manga-like" interpretation of a nosebleed. His nosebleed did get worse upon seeing her though.
  • No Such Thing as Wizard Jesus: While the series makes it close to the line, there is no doubt that he was truly Divine.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy:
    • Stiyl is not disturbed at all upon coming to complain to the Archbishop Lola bathing. Probably because he's used to her doing this kind of thing.
    • A hilarious one happens when Touma accidentally walks into Seiri topless. Instead of doing the usual response in these kind of scenarios, Touma makes fun of her big breasts!
    • Accelerator walks in on Yomikawa, Yoshikawa and Last Order bathing together, and merely asks why the door isn't locked.
  • Nuns Are Funny: Index, Orsola, the members of the Agnese Forces.
  • Nuns Are Spooky: The Agnese Forces and in particular, Agnese herself.
  • Nun-Too-Holy: Index, Agnese and her army of nuns.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Komoe-sensei looks like a young girl (and wears bunny pajamas), but her home is littered with cigarettes, beer cans, and neurology books.
    • Two lesser examples are Shiina Kamijou (Touma's mom) and Misuzu Misaka (Mikoto's mom). The former is described as very young looking, and the latter is often mistaken to be Mikoto's older sister. Index hangs a lampshade on how strange it is that all three adult women look so young.
    • Appears to happen on occasion in the Magic side, in the case of Fiamma and Aleister, for example.
  • 108: When rumors first surfaced about the Sister clones running around, Kuroko fantasizes about having 108 all for herself.
  • Omake: Much as there was with Shana, there's a series of DVD specials titled Toaru Majutsu no Index-tan. They include, among other things, a nod to another of J.C. Staff's works, Toradora!.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Much of the music, especially the battle music, is Badass Latin Chanting remixed to techno-pop, symbolizing the struggle between magic and science.
  • Only Sane Man: In the 15th episode, Touma suddenly finds everyone around him inexplicably recast in different roles, with no one else the wiser. Among other things, Mikoto is now his Genki Girl cousin, Index is his mother, and Kuroko is now President Obama ("Yes. We. Can!"). He spends half the time yelling at everyone for playing a prank on him and the other half just wondering what the hell is going on before he finally finds out what's going on.
    • Perhaps the best part is that the first one he notices is Mikoto as his cousin, and he just went through the Sisters arc. So he (and the audience) are thinking "Well, I guess Mikoto has one more clone than I thought, so I guess this makes sense..." and then Index shows up as his mother.
  • Ordinary High School Student:
    • The nature of Touma's power makes him fit the bill compared to all the other superpowered individuals, so long as people are trying to find new and creative ways to kill him. Touma's protests to Mikoto that he's just a "Level 0" are met with a compelling rebuttal in the form of a giant blast of (ineffectual) electricity.
    • Kakeru is both a parody and a deconstruction of this trope. He claims that he's perfectly normal, right after he defeats Magic Gods in one hit using World Rejector, a power comparable to Imagine Breaker. However, it turns out that he really was a normal student until recently, and had the power forced on him suddenly. His character arc revolves around trying to deal with this.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Apparently, if you force an angel down from heaven, it goes berserk in the attempt to get back home to do whatever its job is and may destroy the world in doing so. They don't seem particularly thrilled about this.
    • And there's also the artificial angels created by Academy City.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Mentioned in Aisa' backstory. They're described as being normally indistinguishable from humans, aside from immortality and a thirst for blood. Aureolus, who studied them, also claims that they have an infinite memory capacity as a Required Secondary Power for their immortality. However, no vampires have appeared or even been hinted at since then.


  • Panty Shot:
  • Papa Wolf: In episode 20 and the 5th novel, Accelerator refused to kill Last Order and stood up against Amai Ao to protect the remaining sisters although he got a bullet in the brain by Amai.
    • Bonus points on this because the author, Kazuma Kamachi, clearly states on the Volume 22's Afterwords section that Accelerator is like a parent for Last Order.
  • People Jars: Aleister spends most of the series floating in one, upside down.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Suffice to say that this applies to many, many characters in the series. There's every Level 5 esper, every Saint (and similar beings like Valkyries), angels, Magic Gods...
  • Phantom Zone:
    • "People-clearing fields" are a spell universally used by magicians, to prevent normal people from entering an area.
    • In NT Volume 4, one of these is created by the clash between different supernatural powers in Baggage City. It was planned by GREMLIN to study the concept of holism, and had the effect of inciting conflict between people inside it.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • Touma's first magic-using opponent, Stiyl, uses liberally distributed magical runes to throw 3000 °C fireballs and control an indefinitely regenerating fire demon. He's a firestarter, twisted firestarter.
    • Fiamma of the Right is an even more powerful fire user. He can conjure up a colossal Flaming Sword that can cut entire mountains.
  • Physical God: The concept of a Magic God, one who reaches the pinnacle of magic. Multiple examples appear as major villains in New Testament.
  • Playing with Syringes: Academy City is built around this trope. Its stated purpose is development of esper powers through experimenting on children on a massive scale. And then there's the countless experiments done in the dark side, which don't even have to pretend to be ethical...
  • Post-Modern Magik: Especially used by the Amakusa Catholics.
  • Power Born of Madness: The basis of esper abilities is being so out of touch with reality, that you can force it to behave the way you want. This is especially apparent with the seven Level 5s, the most powerful and the most delusional of them all.
  • Powered Armor: Widely used by Academy city's military and other departments.
  • Power Gives You Wings: More prevalent in the Science side than the Magic side, but once you reach a certain tier, you're most likely going to grow wings. Just ask Accelerator, Teitoku, Hyouka and Index.
  • Power Limiter: Shizuri Mugino has one to prevent her powers from harming her. Apparently if she released it she could kill Mikoto instantly but at the price of her life. She came back to life, but not in a good way.
  • Power Perversion Potential: A mundane version. Touma loses a bet with Mikoto, where the loser has to do everything the winner says for an entire day. The night before the day in question, Mikoto is writhing around on her bed, moaning and muttering "What should I have you do next?" Kuroko notes she's been like that for a few days.
  • Power Trio:
    • The Delta Force, consisting of Touma, Motoharu and Aogami, is a group of idiots who basically do nothing but screw around... except Touma is The Hero, Motoharu is a Super Spy and no one knows what's going on with Aogami, but considering that isn't his actual name, there a theories he's not what he first appears to be.
    • Touma, Accelerator and Shiage may also count, despite the fact that any time they interact with each other they are trying to commit at least bodily harm to the other. Until New Testament at least.
    • Just for New Testament Volume 3, Shiage, Worst and Umidori.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Surprisingly for a J.C.Staff light novel adaptation, the anime is very faithful to the novels. However some parts of the novels have to be cut for time and constraint like the serial killer in the Angel Fall arc.
  • Pretty Freeloaders: Index, and thanks to his memory-loss, Touma doesn't even know why! Later on, Othinus becomes a second freeloader. Thankfully, her smaller size means she doesn't increase living expenses too much.
  • Private Military Contractors: Trident, introduced in New Testament Volume 3, hired by a media mogul to assist GREMLIN and defeat the American military stationed there.
  • The Protagonist: The novels as a whole take great pains in delving into the differing natures of 'protagonists' and heroes (or heroines). Of the three mains, one is the type who will always do what he feels is right, another is the type who wants to right what he percieves as wrongs, and another just wants to protect the girl who is closest to him. They also go into detail about what a protagonist is and how they affect the people around them.
  • Psychic Children: Nearly ever esper encountered in the series is a teenager or younger. This is justified by natural born espers being rare, and all the children in Academy City are students taking part in an esper development program. Said program only reached the point of being able to mass-produce espers fairly recently, so older espers are a rarity.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Played for Laughs with Shirai Kuroko.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: Touma insults Aogami's infatuation with girls that fall from the sky, and he goes into an incredible Troperrific rant about what he's into that contains so much Fetish Fuel it has to be seen to be believed. Here is the original list from the novels, be prepared:
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Touma might be the main protagonist with an Anti-Magic fist... but he's still one person without formal combat training. Against multiple opponents, people who actually know how to fight, or people with proper weapons, he's at a clear disadvantage.
    • All the time Touma has to spend on heroics cuts into his school attendance. His failing grades are a Running Gag, and actually end up becoming plot-important in NT Volume 13.
    • Mikoto tries to take down the Level 6 Shift Experiment on her own, refusing to let anyone else know about it. But even a Level 5 esper with power over electricity can't do much against a project with the resources of an entire city behind it.
  • Reality Subtext: In the Index-tan special, someone who used a voice changer asked Kaori Kanzaki about her age, her Stripperific outfit, and her voice actress' Lady Drunk antics in the launch of the anime.
  • Reality Warper: Aureolus Izzard by all appearances. In reality, it's a combination of Your Mind Makes It Real and Master of Illusion.
  • Recognition Failure: No one recognizes Roberto Katze, The President of the United States of America, much to his annoyance.
  • Redemption Demotion: Accelerator, after becoming more of an Anti-Hero, is weakened in later novels. There is however a time-sensitive workaround for his disability. He also wields a pretty massively increased power when he summons his wings.
  • Redshirt Army: The extent of Anti-Skill's abilities seems limited to damage control, cannon fodder, and cleanup after whatever mess the protagonists get into is over. This is partially explained in-show because they are hamstrung by bureaucracy and the higher-ups, but one has to wonder about the merits of having a group of normals, even Badass Normals, guarding a city of superpowered children.
  • Relationship Values: In a Shout-Out to these, Last Order declares to Accelerator that her "love index" will go up if he feeds her.
  • Religion Is Magic: Whereas ESP is science.
  • Religious Bruiser: The magic side is filled with them.
  • Rescue Romance: Subverted at the beginning of the series. Touma tries to get a delinquent hitting on Mikoto in a diner to leave her alone—saying that he's troubling her—and winds up getting chased off when the delinquent's friends return from the bathroom. When he finally seems to lose them and stops to rest, Mikoto walks up and admits to frying them to save trouble. Turns out Touma had known she was a powerful lightning esper the entire time, and had been trying to protect the delinquents from her. The "fight" that follows only strengthens her determination as his Unknown Rival. Played straight with many other girls that Touma rescues.
  • Retcon: The space elevator Endymion, which plays a major role in the movie. Supposedly, it's been under construction for several years, yet is never mentioned in the series or it's spinoff (at least, not in instalments released before the movie).
  • Ret-Gone: The Queen of the Adriatic Sea is capable of not just physically destroying a city, but outright erasing its influence from history. Volume 11 is about preventing this being done to Academy City.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Etzali, the Aztec magician who disguises himself as Unabara Mitsuki, betrays his organization. So they send a magician to kill him as punishment. She fails.
  • Robo Speak: Index seems to enter verbose debug mode when ever accessing the tomes.
  • Rotating Protagonist: Touma is initially the sole protagonist, but later on Accelerator and Shiage are introduced. The point of view rotates between them, with the latter two having entire volumes (e.g. 15 and 19) to themselves. That said, Touma still has the most appearances.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The British royal family, composed of Queen Elizard, first princess Rimea, second princess Carissa and third princess Villian. They are part of a power triangle that controls Britain (the other two being the Knights and the Church). All of them play important roles in the civil war in Volumes 17 and 18, and Carissa fights personally in World War III.
  • Running Gag:
    • Whenever Index is mad at Touma, she will take a bite out of him. Several, in fact. Even when she draws blood, it's Played for Laughs.
    • Another Running Gag is how many times Touma has been in the hospital, which still doesn't explain why he doesn't have a huge bill by now or why his parents aren't coming by Academy City more often (considering how many times he's been injured).

Doctor: "You've been hospitalized twice in ten days." *beat* "Don't tell me you have a nurse fetish?"

    • One of the biggest running gags in the series (in fact one that frequently results in his subsequent mastication by Index) is Touma's tendency to walk in on girls while they are a) in the middle of changing clothes or b) just plain naked. Worse still, even when Touma tries to be Genre Savvy and avoid this, fate somehow still manages to conspire to force naked women right into his line of sight, none of the above ever seems to deter Index from pinning the blame entirely on Touma. Yes, he really is that misfortunate.
  • Sailor Fuku: Aisa, Seri, Saten and Uiharu's school uniforms.
  • Schrodingers Cat: Used to explain why Espers are able to use their abilities.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Kuroko, who gets concerned at how much fun Mikoto seems to be having in her rivalry with Touma. Clingy Jealous Girl, too.
  • Science Destroys Magic: The power of magic and the various churches built around them have largely declined, leading to a balance of power that is roughly even between that of the Science and Magic sides. While science continues to grow, magic largely stays the same or lessens. Becoming a scientific esper removes a person's ability to use magic (without risking death). Aleister's ultimate goal is to destroy magic and return the world to a state of pure science.
  • Science Fantasy
  • Send in the Clones: Double subversion, it's not the Sister clones that Academy City is sending to Russia, its their 2nd generation counterparts, The Misaka Worst clones!
  • Serious Business: Touma's class, especially the Delta Force, eat and breathe a mix of Serious Business, What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome? and a dash of What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?. When someone made Komoe-sensei cry, their response was more like an all out war than anything. The cafeteria sold out because the class was let out late? Organize a small scale break out so some members can go get some food from a local store. Someone mention Nabe? Let's all go out too eat~! Of course, the Delta Force (Touma, Aogami and Motoharu) are the worst, getting into fist fights over being called Onii-chan by Motoharu's beloved little step sister and which is better: Red, black or white bunny girls.
    • In the second SS Novel, Jeans.
  • Shadow Archetype: Kakeru is this to Touma. Both are self-proclaimed normal highschool students, with an Unwanted Harem and a special ability in their right hand. Both are compelled to save people in need. While Touma's Imagine Breaker destroys illusions, Kakeru's World Rejector drags people into their desired world. However, Kakeru absolutely hates his power, thinking that it has warped the minds of the girls around him and that they are only interested in him because of it. Unlike Touma, he actually grew up as a normal person, only gaining World Rejector recently.
  • Shipper on Deck: Now, how do we begin with to describe? Let's name a few:
    • Index/Touma: Surprisingly, Mikoto's mother Misuzu is very well aware of this and...
    • Mikoto/Touma: ... this too.
    • Kaori/Touma: Motoharu seems to love teasing her about this... and so do her former comrades from the Amakusa Catholics. Later half of England finds out about this.
    • Itsuwa/Touma: Nee-chin, you're going to be in a very heated Lover Tug of War with your kouhai: and to make things worse your former comrades are all cheering for her nya~
  • Ship Tease: Anytime Touma spends time with any of the girls (who have a crush on him), they are just darn right adorable.
    • In New Testament Volume 1, Misaka Worst raises the flag when she tells Accelerator that she'd be willing to let him touch her tits and ass, if it means ruining his relationship with Last Order.
  • Shock and Awe: Mikoto has power over electricity, which she exploits in her signature railgun attack, accelerating a coin to multiple times the speed of sound.
  • Shout-Out:
    • After Touma finally loses the delinquents in the aforementioned first episode, when Mikoto tracks him down.

Mikoto: Being a good Samaritan by protecting the delinquents? Are you a certain hot-blooded teacher?

    • In one episode, Touma passes an old man and a little kid (illusions) reading a magazine with Shana-tan on it. "Shana-tan, moe~"
    • In another episode, after seeing Aisa Himegami skillfully heal an unfortunate bystander, Touma asks her:
    • Touma gets tied down in the exact same straitjacket and mouth restraints as Doctor Hannibal Lecter in Episode 15 when he goes berserk at Index, whose appearance had switched with a girl-crazy classmate.
    • Also in episode 15, Kuroko replaces Barack Obama on TV complete with the Yes We Can! Catch Phrase.
    • The A Certain Magical Index-tan omake is itself an imitation of the Shakugan no Shana-tan omake and makes clear reference to it several times. The Toradora! tiger makes an appearance, too, for the same reason: same publisher/studio.
    • Does the restaurant that Accelerator goes to the day after he meets Last Order seem familiar? Julian Cafe has a vampire working at one of the other branches...
      • And considering that Aisa's blood can kill vampires and there's no vampire featured in the series yet...
    • Another one is Accelerator of all people yelling "Who the hell do you think I am!" when he decides to save Last Order at least in the manga.
    • When Accelerator is trying to erase the virus in Last Order's brain, he repeatedly says "Delete!" a.k.a "SAKUJO!!!". I wonder where he got that from...
    • In her official identification photograph, Index is repeating the word holding a leek.
    • In NT Volume 1, Shiage and Saiai watch a movie based on Heavy Object, another series by Kamachi.
    • At the start of NT Volume 7, Misaki watches a TV show based on The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village.
    • The Heavy Object movie comes up again in NT Volume 17, where Touma uses a trick he learned from it.
  • Shrouded in Myth:
    • Pierce Aogami to the fandom.
    • The #6 Level 5, Aihana Etsu. Nothing is known about them besides their name, not even their power.
    • Touma gains this reputation over the course of the series. This becomes especially apparent when he introduces himself to Shinka, who's immediately frightened and talks about how he's capable of knocking out anyone with a single punch and seduces every girl he comes across.
  • Skirt Over Slacks: Mikoto and Shizuri.
  • Slasher Smile: Accelerator's smile when he get serious or when he is enjoying a fight... or a murder.
    • Touma' smile at the end of the second arc where his arm got severed by Aureoulus Izzard, also this plus his evil laugh which scared the alchemist.
  • Social Darwinist: Academy City to a tee, in all its laws and regulations; level zeros (ordinary humans) might as well not exist, and are given just enough money to survive if they don't have a job (Touma), while level 3s, 4s and 5s are given multi-million dollar allowances, live in gated communities and ride in buses capable of taking hits from anti-tank rockets. Furthermore, crimes commited against level zeros by espers are rarely reported, even covered up by city management, to the point where some level 4s and all but one of the level 5s could take out an entire neighborhood, stick the heads of the dead on pikes and management would do nothing.
  • Sorting Algorithm Of Evil:
    • The successive members of God's Right Seat are each more powerful than the previous one, with Fiamma being the strongest of them all.
    • Othinus stands far above God's Right Seat, In her first appearance, she easily crushes the Invisible Thing, which terrified Fiamma in his most powerful state!
    • But even Othinus can't hold a candle to the Magic Gods of the true GREMLIN, whom she had no idea even existed.
  • Spanner in the Works: Shiage was a nobody that somehow defeated Shizuri. Something Aleister did not expect.
  • Spell My Name With An "S": "Laura" Stuart's first name should actually be "Lola", but until NT Volume 18, translations have consistently had it as the former. This actually hid an important plot point: that Lola is actually Aleister's daughter Lola Zaza Crowley (based on the daughter of the same name by the real-life Aleister Crowley.
  • Squishy Wizard: After his fire summon is negated, Stiyl goes down with a single uppercut from Touma, who to be fair has a pretty impressive punch. Accelerator, the strongest psychic in Academy City, has no experience in streetfighting and subsequently thus goes down to a flurry of Touma's punches as well.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • Although at that point the crush part is debatable, Mikoto did follow Touma quite excessively, including once chasing him around for a full night.
    • There's the fake Unabara Mitsuki, who forced Misaka to use Touma as a fake boyfriend to get him off her trail. Doesn't really work, since (while he did develop romantic feelings for her of his own accord) he was actually sent to spy on the developing Kamijou Faction.
  • Starfish Language: Angelic language, first heard when Accelerator awakens.
  • Step Three: Profit: The Jeans Slasher in the second SS volume.

Step 1: Cut open the Jeans of random passerby.
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Become a Valkyrie.

  • Strange Minds Think Alike: When Mikoto accosts Touma to have him fulfil his promise to temporarily act as a servant, he does so sarcastically by getting down and fanning her from below. Upon seeing this, Kuroko is enraged at the fact that (in her opinion) he's stealing her role, and proceeds to do the same.
  • Suicide By Accelerator: Seeing how his revolution failed, Komaba Ritoku shot at Accelerator at close range, knowing that the bullet would reflect back
  • Super-Hero School: Subversion. Academy city doesn't teach their students to become super heroes, they just teach them how to use and improve their powers.
  • Superpower Lottery: On one end, you have people like Mikoto who worked hard to raise their rank and have intimidating powers. And then you have Gunha Sogiita the 7th Level 5 psychic who was born with his powers.
    • And then there's Accelerator. He can change the velocity vectors of anything he comes into contact with, be it bullets or Elemental Powers—even automatically if he is in danger. When a character can theoretically fly, replicate the effects of a variety of other offensive powers, shrug off a nuclear bomb without even trying, and still have time for an Evil Laugh, you have to wonder if something went wrong somewhere...
    • On the other hand of the spectrum you have people like Uiharu who, while her friends can shoot lightning or teleport, has the amazing superpower to keep things she touches at a constant temperature. But only things which aren't too hot or cold for her to hold. People being frustrated with their weak powers is also the plot hook for the "Level Upper" arc in Railgun.
    • In the magic side we have, William Orville, better known as Acqua of the Back. He is special because he is blessed by God's power yet at the same time can use magic when the price of God's blessing is that they can't use magic. He can cast more powerful spells than most magicians and furthermore, he's a Saint, which gives him super strength and the ability to call upon God's powers! Heck, this man is a Walking Hax, hence his nickname "Superman".
    • And then you have Fiamma of the Right. Why? He's a bloody SNK Boss! The guy can move at godlike speed, destroy everything including a city in one move without any destructive force, and cast a gigantic 40 km Flaming Sword!
    • Touma. Yes, that Touma. It's revealed on Volume 22 that if someone chopps off his right arm (again), he will manifest something from his shoulder that will make anything the aforementioned Fiamma can pull off pale in comparison, and he still has something even stronger that can literally swallow the first power and regrow lost limbs. He discarded both though.
    • Surprisingly, Takitsubo, the esper with the power manipulate to AIM fields, which are themselves the source of esper powers. While her powers aren't fully developed yet, if she became level 5 she'd single-handedly make the entire Academy City esper program obsolete.
    • Magic Gods make all of the above look weak. They can casually destroy the universe on a whim, and recreate it with the same amount of effort.
    • Kakeru is a third person with a unique ability in his right hand, known as World Rejector. He can banish anyone with conflicting desires in their heart, even Magic Gods!
  • Super Weight: All over the place. See the main entry for details.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Index, rather triumphantly.

Index: Touma, I never said that I'm hot or that I'm about to get heatstroke. Of course I never thought of spending other people's money to satisfy myself, so I never thought of eating ice cream at all.
Index: Touma, this clothing is a materialization of God's protection; I never thought about it being hard to wear, being hot, being troublesome, or whether there should be a summer or winter version.

  • Sword and Sorcerer: Kaori and Stiyl play a Type 1 pair.
  • Take Off Your Clothes: Touma suggests Misaka 10032 take off her brazier when last order steals her goggles to help different her from Misaka. She assumes he wants her to strip for other reasons and proceeds to do so. In the middle of the street.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: A lot of people in this show have the strange habit of starting long monologues to explain what they're about to do while attacking an enemy.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Index throws things at Touma a number of times, often because of things that weren't really his fault to begin with.
  • Teen Genius: Accelerator. What really makes him awesome (aside from being an unorthodox psychopath and grand prize winner in the Superpower Lottery) are his outstanding calculation abilities. Most notably, saving Last Order by reprogramming her brain with electricity. Which required translating inbetween computer code on screen (memorized by being looked at once), electric signals, biological memories and what they actually mean in human context in a very short amount of time, totally improvised; calculating the flow of the winds to use vector shift to make the air form plasma, which requires either a high amount of density or temperature; figuring out and integrating the formula of dark matter, a "substance" he's never come across and is supposed to be completely alien to the common laws of physics, in his calculations to disarm Teitoku. The world's greatest mathematical genius and you send him to kill of a bunch of middle schoolers.
    • Proven even more by the fact that it takes 10,000 clones to make up for his calculation skills.
  • Teleporters and Transporters:
    • Kuroko can teleport herself or anything she comes in contact with as long as it weighs 137 kg. The higher concentration required relative to other types of powers prevents her from using it if she can't stay focused.
    • And there's Awaki, who's even more powerful than Kuroko as not only can she teleport objects without touching them, she can teleport objects as heavy as 4,500kg! She gets ill from teleporting herself, though.
    • In Volume 17, the spiritual item known as Skíðblaðnir is introduced, a group of suitcases which allow the transportation of objects to the other identical suitcases over a range of 100 km.
  • Tempting Fate: At the end of NT Volume 17, Touma and Index return home. After two volumes of non-stop action, they're relieved at a chance to relax. Literally 5 seconds later, NT Volume 18 begins.
  • That Came Out Wrong: When Misaka and Kuroko are discussing lingerie, and Kuroko suspects Misaka might want to buy breast pads to please Touma.

Misaka: No way, I have no interest in that! Anyway, I'd get found out when I take off my clothes! *Beat*, during which Kuroko goes white with shock* That's not it! For gym! I meant when we're changing for gym!

  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Reversed with Touma's verbal barrage at Aureolus.
    • Actually, Touma weaponizes "The Reason You Suck" Speech relatively often. It's how he managed to live through his first battle through Kaori (and eventually get her friendship), and how he managed to distract Izzard long enough to make his powers stop working so he could hit Izzard with Imagine Breaker.
    • Played straight with Accelerator who enjoys mocking his opponents and telling them why they'll lose.
  • The President's Daughter: Lindy Blueshake, the eight-year old estranged daughter of media mogul Olay Blueshake, and the only living heir to Blueshake's business empire. She ends up being targeted because Olay is the one who hired the Trident mercenary group to support GREMLIN in the invasion of Hawaii. Incidentally, the President knows of this is because he was involved with hiding Lindy from her mother, and by coincidence, she's hidden on another one of Hawaii's islands.
  • Third Person Person: The Sisters narrate everything they say in third person, complete with descriptions of how they are speaking and what they are doing at the time. It probably goes with the Hive Mind. Last Order takes this a step further by stating said descriptions of intonation and current activity twice.
  • This Looks Like a Job For Aquaman: Even though Touma's abilities aren't really that spectacular when compared with the abilities of everyone else, they end up being the only thing that can save the day most of the time. Which is justified because most of Touma's opponents rely on their supernatural powers. Against opponents who are able to fight without powers, he has trouble.
  • Through His Stomach: Because of Index, this has turned into the main way Touma deals with women. Misaka Imouto angry? Offer to feed her. Last Order annoyed? Popcorn is the perfect solution. He even lampshades it.
  • Thunder Shock: Index and Aisa (plus a Color Failure), when Komoe starts happily talking about how Touma was a naughty boy, and how "various things" happened. Though in this case it's more like a Thunder Rage:

Index:"Another one?"
Aisa: "That bastard."

  • Token Minorities- Within Necessarius, a British Anglican organization these three are the token minorities within the organization.
    • Kaori Kanzaki: Japanese, Catholic, Swordswomen and a Saint.
    • Sherry Cromwell: British, Darkskinned Blonde, Jewish and Golem summoner.
    • Motoharu Tsuchimikado: Japanese, Onmyodo, Spy with questionable loyalties and Magician/Esper Hybrid.
      • And lets not talk about those European Catholic Battle Nuns lead by Italian Agnese Sanctis, once they join Necessarius.
    • While most of the members of Team GROUP are Japanese, Mitsuki Unabara is the Token Minority of the group since he's actually an Aztec sorcerer named Etzali in disguise.
    • There's Frenda Seivelun of ITEM, who's the only foreigner in their group.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: When Index mentions a few of the books she houses, they include both the Book of the Dead (a.k.a. the Necronomicon) AND the Book of Eibon. Is it any wonder she's wanted so badly?
    • All grimoires appear to be this. They only want to have their knowledge spread. Knowledge that is extremely dangerous to anyone who reads it, and in order to have it read they will do anything.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The escaping Hound Dog from the factory battle who thought it would be a good idea to stop just before making it to safety, turn around, and taunt Accelerator about how his comrades were going to kill Last Order.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Remember Kazakiri Hyouka? The useless, scaredy, Meganekko girl with big boobs? Well, by episode 24/the end of Volume 6, she fights an enormous Golem with Super Strength. In the later novels, she takes this trope Up to Eleven when she becomes an artificial angel. In this form, she can fight Archangel Gabriel, a being capable of casually destroying the planet, singlehandedly!
    • Subverted by Touma, who doesn't ever actually improve over the course of the novels. He just repeatedly uses the same thing over and over again to more and more awesome results, though he does get precognition later on, simply by having the shit beaten out of him so many times by crazy powerful opponents that his mind starts to sense these powerful attacks coming.
  • Training from Hell: The Necessarius training ground. It was actually toned down by the time of Volume 17, which involves being trapped in an isolated room and forced to conjure survival gear through magic. It was used against one of the New Light members.
  • Traintop Battle: Touma fights Freyja on board a subway train.
  • Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: Touma to a small degree. Using psychological warfare on one enemy and throwing a shovel full of dust at another, he's shown not to really care much about fighting fair.
    • On the other hand, just look at who his enemies are... no, more importantly, just look at what they have. It's less "fighting dirty" and more the use of quick thinking to negate the overpowering disadvantage he's at.
  • Tsundere:
    • Mikoto over Touma, obviously.
    • Index also displays lapses of Tsundere-ish behavior from time to time, especially when Touma ends up in the hospital without her knowing why.
    • Probably Fukiyose Seiri is one too with Touma.


  • The Un-Reveal: Some examples along the series:
    • The sixth Level 5 esper is mentioned several times, but almost nothing is revealed about them, not even their age, gender or ability. New Testament Volume 12 confirms that their name is Etsu Aihana, but that's pretty much it.
    • From Vol.7, we don't know the contents of Kaori's letter because she refused to hear the contents from Touma in front of her while blushing, even worse when Motoharubumped in to the room:

Kaori: “Do I have to say it in front of this guy? Why is this guy so inopportune in coming here?”

    • In Vol. 22, besides his memory loss, Touma tells something else to Index before disappearing after crashing the Star of Bethlehem on Gabriel. Only Index and Touma himself know what it was.
  • Unusual Chapter Numbers: In multi-volume story arcs, the numbering of chapters in a volume continues from the previous one. So if one volume has four chapters, the next one will start with Chapter 5.
    • NT Volume 9 (in addition to being part of a multi-volume arc) has three different versions of Chapter 6 in a row, differentiated by their English subtitles. It's because in each one, Touma is forced to experience a different type of hell.
  • Unwanted Harem:
    • Played straight, Touma is one of the rare Harem Anime protagonists who genuinely find their position unfortunate.
    • And now that Accelerator and Shiage have harems of their own, it would seem that this is a requirement for being a protagonist.
    • Kakeru is this Played for Drama. He believes that he isn't deserving of his harem as (unlike the previous examples) he really was just an ordinary student before receiving the power of World Rejector.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • The Pope. Under the belief that Touma is some heretic that will destroy the world, he follows Fiamma's advice on what the Catholic Church should do without even asking about it. By the time the Pope realizes that everything Fiamma told him to do was not for the church but for his selfish ambitions, Fiamma casts a spell to destroy the the Vatican. The Pope diverts the spell onto himself to save the Vatican. Though he survives, he is hospitalized.
    • Touma is used by everyone for whatever reason, and never realizes it until it's too late.
    • In New Testament Volume 3, the GREMLIN members that the heroes face are themselves unwitting pawns for the true members of the organization. They only sought to make the volcano erupt as part of an experiment.
    • The ending of NT Volume 10 reveals that even Othinus was no more than a pawn for the true GREMLIN, an organization of Magic Gods that she knew nothing about.
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Urban Segregation: Depending on which district of Academy City you go, it's either good or bad. For example: The School Garden is one of the best district to go as not only it looks like an European city, it where most of the elite girl schools and high class shops are located. However only elite school girls are allowed in the School Garden and school girls from other districts need permission to enter there. District 10 aka "The Strange" is one of the worst district as not only is it dirty and many building are run down and in disrepair, it's also where most of the gangs like the Skill-Out's lived. It comes to no surprise why the city's only cemetery and correctional facility is also located there.
  • Unknown Rival:
    • Mikoto hounds Touma on a regular basis trying to get him to fight seriously with her, having misinterpreted his mysterious ability to negate her lightning as a sign of some incredible power that he's holding back. His nonchalance toward her and her otherwise remarkable power is a blow to her pride as one of the strongest espers in the city. And then she's really unknown after Touma's memory is erased and he can't even remember their original meeting.
    • Although not really focused on, Kuroko has a small rivalry with Touma over her Onee-Sama's affections. He has no idea about this, and even if he did his response would probably be along the lines of 'Wait, what?'
  • Verbal Tic: Several characters have unique ways of speaking.
    • All of the Sisters narrate their actions after they say something. Last Order takes this further, as she says the "said Misaka" portion of her narration twice.
    • Komoe-sensei has the ever-recognizable -desu! Results from her always speaking in a formal dialect.
  • Waif Fu: Kuroko, Awaki, several other female characters.
  • Wager Slave: Touma and Mikoto bet on who's school will win the sports meet, with this as the punishment. Mikoto eventually makes him go on a date with her.
  • The Walls Have Eyes: Sherry can literally invoke this, by turning parts of a wall into eyes to gather information.
  • Webcomic Time: The series has an incredibly short timespan. It begins in late July, and by New Testament Volume 18 (40 main series volumes and 13 years later) it's December 11.
  • We Have Reserves: The Sisters. See For Science for details.
    • Also, this seems to be the Roman Catholic Church's approach to everything—with two billion members, everyone except for God's Right Seat is considered expendable.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Everyone, even Accelerator, to the point that Touma had to give a punch to the face, for almost all of them.
  • Wetware Body: Index's body is possessed by an AI of sorts some of the time. It's pretty competent really.
  • Wham! Line:
    • "Conclusion: Dark Matter is within this building.”
    • “Begin the invasion. I now have Curtana Original, the sword that decides the king, within my grasp. This makes me, Carissa, the ruler of the United Kingdom. Anyone that does not want to see the country decay under the rule of the previous pacifist queen, stand up of your own will. To bring about the new United Kingdom, leveling some things will be necessary and some destruction will be necessary.
    • "We are deeply concerned over the likelihood that Academy City personnel intervened in the recent issues in the Hawaiian Islands. We do not wish to hold power that can easily influence the flow of events of an entire nation, especially one large enough to be known as the world police. We began cooperating with Academy City in order to increase the benefits for both parties, but our roots remain in our respective countries. Dispatching personnel to alter the history of other countries like this is not what we would call ‘cooperation’. We may work for Academy City, but we are not its slaves. As the twenty-seven largest cooperative institutions, we are now ending all cooperation with Academy City. This is a necessary step to protect our own countries."
    • "These small fights are such a pain. I think I'll just end the world." And exactly as she had announced, everything was immediately destroyed.
  • When All You Have Is The Ability To Cancel Magic or Esper Powers: Touma's complete lack of offensive power basically reduces his strategy to running at the enemy—using his hand to shield himself—and punching them really hard in the face. Some thought to figuring out the weakness in his enemy's flashy attack may be required first.
    • Something with which he is actually decent. Sometimes he has to bounce something that makes no sense off Index (here's looking at you, Spear of Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli), but he's good at pulling apart a magician's tricks on his own after seeing it a few times.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: Accelerator. The manga explains that his albino appearance and androgynous physique are due to his power passively reflecting UV rays, eliminating his body's need for pigmentation and making it more difficult to produce certain hormones.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: Kamijou Touma is a subversion of this trope: even though he is more than willing to hit a woman if she is willing to cause the death of innocent millions to further her own selfish agendas, he will hunt you down like a dog and kick you to the middle of next week if you harm helpless and nice girls; just ask Accelerator, the murderer of the gentle and innocent clone-sisters of Misaka Mikoto.
  • The Wiki Rule: Toaru Majutsu no Index Wiki
  • Wild Card:
    • Tsuchimikado Motoharu — self-professed liar — plays at this; at the end of the arc where his secret identity is revealed, he claims to be an agent, or maybe a double agent, or maybe a double double agent, etc... for the Church or Academy City. Conveniently, his esper power is slow regeneration, thus allowing him to survive the bloody backlash that accompanies an esper using magic.
    • Touma himself very loosely, if seen from the side of Academy City. One moment fighting in their best intrests , and the next against them, depending on what he thinks is right. Tsuchimikado even warns Aleister that if he keeps using Touma this way he might turn against him.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Uiharu and Accelerator in season 2 OP and ED. Mikoto in the official artwork.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • In Volumes 16 and 18, Kaori is at a disadvantage against the new villain, being immediately defeated in the latter.
    • The Invisible Thing switches between being on the giving and the receiving end of this trope. When first introduced in Volume 22, it terrifies Fiamma (after he's become the One Above God), but is itself forced back into its seal by Touma. In its next appearance, Othinus crushes it easily, even claiming that it wasn't much. When it appears in the fight against Kakeru, it overpowers the latter's World Rejector, even after that ability had overpowered Imagine Breaker. And against Aiwass, it's easily crushed again.
  • World of Badass
  • Would Hit a Girl: Despite his chivalrous nature Touma has no problem attacking females he knows that are harming/murdering innocent people or his friends.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Aleister and Lola play this with each other, incorporating new elements (Shiage managing to defeat Shizuri, Kakeru's appearance) into their plans as they appear.
  • You Leave Her Alone! Invoked by Touma as challenges the invincible heartless psychopath Accelerator to stop him from murdering yet another Misaka sister, armed with nothing but bravery, kindness and a mean right jab.
  • X Meets Y: X-Men meets Angels & Demons.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Tsuchimikado Maika, the Maid, who asks Mikoto to pickup some Boys Love manga for her. Except it isn't for her, it's for her friend, she's more interested in Brother-Sister Incest manga, which is kinda funny since her brother...
  • Younger Than They Look: See Artistic Age.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Izzard's Ars Magna-type alchemy. Basically, an Ars Magna user is a Reality Warper via the combined effect of Master of Illusion and this trope. His effects are very real, but they rely on his will to keep it going beyond effects already wrought on reality by his "illusions". Touma only beats Izzard by scaring him half to death and causing him to buff up Touma with a dragon for an arm.