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Academy City (学園都市 Gakuen Toshi?) is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within Western Tokyo. It is the primary setting of the Toaru Majutsu no Index series and its side stories.
As the city's name suggests, it is a city of several schools and institutions of higher learning from kindergarten to university level that learn side-by-side along with the scientists who research on psychic powers and higher technology, the latter being one of the primary reasons for its establishment. It is the most advanced city in the world and its technology is said to be 20 or 30 years ahead of the world. Academy City is composed of 23 districts, called School Districts which are simply numbered from one to twenty-three and each of these districts have a specific purpose.
In the novel series, there are only a handful of residents who know about magic, either due to encountering it or being part of the magic side themselves, such as Kamijou Touma, Index, Misaka Mikoto, Accelerator, and Hamazura Shiage.
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Government and Politics
Aleister Crowley is the Chairman of the Board of Directors and holds absolute power of the city, however, he usually doesn't concern himself with government affairs and delegates them to the 12 members of the Board of Directors. According to Aleister, the members of the board of directors are expendable and can be replaced any time. Later, Accelerator became new Board Chairman after the death of Aleister.
The government has absolute power regarding policies, as adults have no say regarding policies being implemented. There is no suffrage since the majority population are minors.
It has a constitution.
Located just west of Tokyo, it is apparently located in a region where there is a constant wind that flows within the city, allowing its wind turbines to generate power. Climate in Academy City is probably the same in Tokyo and other surrounding areas, though through its technological advances they are able to predict the weather much more accurately and can actually give schedules on when the weather might change. Academy City is roughly 1/3 the size of Tokyo.
As stated, Academy City is composed of 23 districts, which are simply called School Districts and are numbered from one to twenty-three. Each of these districts has a specific purpose; below lists all 23 School Districts of Academy City, including their functions and purposes:
|District Number||Functions/Specializations/Noted Locations|
|1||Where most of the city's administration is located|
|2||Training areas for Judgment and Anti-Skill, military-related facilities|
|3||Accommodations for authorized outsiders (which also includes hotels, private pools, etc.)|
|4||Food-related facilities, including experimental crop growing|
|5||Mostly filled with universities and junior colleges|
|6||Recreational facilities, which also includes an amusement park|
|7||Middle and high schools, school dormitories, boarding houses, hospitals, the "Windowless Building" where Aleister Crowley is located|
|8||Mainly for the various teaching staff of the city|
|9||Industrial arts and fine arts schools|
|10||Reformatories, nuclear energy research facilities, the city's only cemetery|
|12||Theology system schools|
|13||Kindergartens and primary schools|
|14||Accommodations and various other facilities for overseas students|
|15||A large district consisting of the city's major shopping district and mass communications facilities|
|16||Focuses on commerce|
|17||Railway cargo storage and organization, where Touma fought Accelerator to end the "Experiment". Location of a special prison for high profile criminals like Kiyama Harumi.|
|18||Kirigaoka Girls' Academy and Nagatenjouki Academy|
|19||Uncertain; has been in a decline recently|
|20||Schools focused on raising athletic students along with their esper abilities|
|21||Dams for water storage; observatory in the mountains.|
|22||The smallest district in terms of surface area; this district is mainly for developing technology for an underground town in the face of land shortages in major cities|
|23||Airline companies and aeronautics and space development|
Below is the complete map of Academy City, with notes pertaining to certain locations where events in Toaru Majutsu no Index occur.
The above image is mapped, clicking on a part of the map causes the browser to load the appropriate article. To find out more about the image, click on the blue "i" icon.
|Legend: Location (Volume number of first appearance)|
|A||Kamijou Touma's Student Dorm (1)||B||A Certain Highschool (1)||C||Heaven Canceller's Hospital (1)|
|D||Misawa Cram School (2)||E||The Windowless Building (2)||F||Tokiwadai Middle School (and Garden of Learning) (2)|
|G||Tokiwadai Girls' Dormitory (3)||H||Switchyard (3)||I||Kirigaoka Girls' Academy (6)|
|J||Hakumeiza/Twilight Theater (7)||K||Nagatenjouki Academy (9)||L||23rd District Terminal Station (10)|
|M||Experimental Airport (10)||N||3rd Resource Renewal Center (13)||O||Site for Special Case Espers (13)|
Academy City's population has consistently been referred to having at least of 2.3 million figures. However what those figures consist of often varies. In the first volume, the city as having 2.3 million students, and states that not all of the students living in Academy City have "ceased to be human and became something like a manga protagonist," likely referring to their status as espers. Moreover, it states that just under 60% of the entire population are Level 0s, not stating what the whole demographic figure is. Later in the same novel, it adds that 80% of the residents of the city are students. However, in the ninth volume the population is referred to just being under 2.3 million [people] and 80% of them are students. The first volume of Genesis Testament uses those numbers differently yet again, this time stating that children (most likely meaning minors) form 80% of the population and adults form the remaining 20%, while also implying all 80% of the city's minors have supernatural powers. The 80% figure for students are also used differently in the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, referring to the 80% as the percentage of students in the city of 2.3 million people who are participating in the Power Curriculum Program, though this is not backed up in the anime adaptation, mentioning only that 80% are students.
In the anime adaptation of the light novels, it is stated that 80% of the 2.3 million population are students and most of them live in the city, implying that there are others who don't live there, assuming though that Touma is not referring to the district he is living in.
Regardless, though it is known that there are strange specialty schools in the city such as Ryouran Maid School, it is unknown if a student can pursue other subjects that do not have the Power Curriculum Program as part of it.
Admission into the city is based on unknown criteria, aside from an unspecified the entry fee. Some, like Kuriba Ryouko, were invited thanks to their intellectual achievements. As seen with the Tobio sisters, it is also possible to have a chance to enter with all of one's family thanks to lotteries.
Child Errors appear to be undergoing the Power Curriculum Program even though they are no longer given any support from their guardians, as with Edasaki Banri and Haruue Erii. It is likely that nearly all inhabitants of the city are of Japanese descent, though there are some foreign inhabitants of the city such as Frenda and Fremea Seivelun.
As the name implies, Academy City boasts the largest collection of primary, secondary, tertiary educational facilities in a single city. It can aptly be described as a City of Schools.
Like most Japanese schools, Academy City follows a similar setup, with lessons on English, Japanese, history, maths, etc. However, some schools such as Tokiwadai Middle School may have somewhat different setup than regular schools.
Similarly, the city follows a similar academic term to that outside of the city. With summer break beginning on the 20th of July up until the 1st of September. Additionally, the city boasts their own sports and cultural festivals similar to the outside, the Daihaseisai and Ichihanaransai respectively with its own unique touch that differentiates it from the outside.
Unique to Academy City is the Power Curriculum Program, a program which through the use of drugs, training and tests allow students to gain Esper powers. It begins at 5-years-old at the earliest, and adults are unable to take part, though it is not said exactly what age is the limit.
- Main article: Academy City/Technology
Academy City is referred to as Experiment City as several experiments occur within the city established by numerous universities and research laboratories. These experiments range from vending machines to Security robots, to scientifically grown animals and plants.
Academy City is among the increasing number of countries and organizations with a space program.
Although Academy City is stated as the dominant faction on the Science side, there are still internal conflicts with the science side, not unlike what's happening in the magic side between the various churches. Because of their stance as the most advanced city in the world and having the capability of producing supernatural powers, they are both envied and feared by the factions on both sides. Even then before the start of the series, Academy City has remained neutral towards Magic side affairs in the city, allowing magicians to enter the city and not intervene with their business even at the cost of lives, and having other magicians deal with magicians without reporting to the magicians if there are third parties involved. As magic still remains hidden to the world thus, much like Oyafune Monaka, almost all of Academy City's residence are oblivious of such areas and would consider them to be another form of esper powers. Only a few, such as Kihara Noukan and Heaven Canceller, are aware of the existence of the magic side.
Academy City is stated to follow international laws against cloning, though with the existence of the Sister clones it is obvious they are secretly delving into illegal activity banned by international law not just cloning.
Where the city's funds comes from is probably from different countries, particularly military organizations, that have high interest in psychic research. Also, the city has other bases of operations outside of Japan such as in Russia, demonstrated when all of the Sister clones left after the Level 6 Shift Project except 10 are sent outside Academy City for adjustments. Various cooperative institutions were affiliated with Academy City, up until the events in Hawaii which led the 27 remaining organizations (at least 2 cooperative institutions were disbanded for subversive actions earlier in the year ) to break away and form Science Guardian.
Many countries/factions found out the existence of Gemstones, natural born espers, and attempted to collect them to set up a esper research institutes independent of Academy City. There are up to 50 different factions/countries, all of which targeted one of the 50 gemstones outside Academy City. It was stated the CIA had 2 moles within each faction and tried to bring all of the gemstones together under their control. Academy City's Board of Directors in the end made a deal with Heaven Canceller, and sent in the Sister clones to all 50 institutes around the world to retrieve the gemstones for their protection, and also sent Kinuhata Saiai to assassinate the mastermind behind the plan of collecting the gemstones.
Academy City sometimes holds powers demonstrations from one of their espers in cooperative institutions outside the city, for the purpose of strengthening their connections, reducing friction between them due to their technological disparity, and in a show of transparency to show they are not hiding anything from their partners. There is a demonstration for the press and a demonstration for the public. Known exhibitions include the Level 5 Misaka Mikoto participating in one in Russia for the cooperative institution running the Russian Shopping Center, and Hasekura Reiri participating in one in Paris, France.
From September 3 to September 10, students from Academy City are sent all over the world (though the destinations are majoritarily in America), and students from all over the world are invited to Academy City.
Security and Military
Academy City's technology is thirty years ahead of its time and thus, has accessibility to a more sophisticated array of measures to ensure security across the city. The city limits leading outside are lined with walls, accessible only through entry points which require persons to have permission to enter or leave the premises. For vehicles, infrared seekers and MRI scanners a used to check vehicles. Inside the city, hidden cameras are dotted along many roads and alleyways. Not only that Aleister Crowley uses small minuscule machines known as the UNDER_LINE to gather data around the entire city. The image of safety and trustworthiness is the forefront of Academy City's concerns, but information was strictly monitored and controlled below the surface. Many systems were laid out throughout the city in the name of preventing the approach of any terrorists or spies, be they industrial or working for a nation’s government. This control and manipulation of information is exemplified during Fräulein Kreutune's escape, where not only the messageboards and the local SNSs block and manipulate information regarding her, the channels used by Anti-Skill are controlled as well.
In addition to the ground-level security protocols in Academy City, the satellite Orihime 1 (where the Tree Diagram supercomputer is located) and Hikoboshi II (a camera satellite and also a satellite laser-cannon) gathers detailed pictures of the area and relays it back to Earth. According to Kamijou Touma in the beginning of the series, there were three satellites that continually monitor the city.
People who want to register to be a denizen of the city, requires information regarding their fingerprints, voiceprints, and retinal patterns. Furthermore, a denizen of the city requires a pass if they wish to leave the city, these are countermeasures against the abduction of the students, by industrial spies and agents. To leave, a student must first write and turn in three written applications, after signing all of them, their blood has to be checked for authenticity of identity using a micro machine, and lastly, students need to have a guarantor to obtain a complete pass, such as parents or guardians. Students going out are later injected with a nanodevice that is a transmitter before allowed out of the city using a mosquito needle. People who want to simply enter the City require a permit.
The primary peacekeeping forces in Academy City are Judgment and Anti-Skill; these two groups are composed of trained students and faculty respectively which deal with crimes and conflicts with security. They are authorized to retrieve Information from surveillance equipment within Academy City, to check if there are any crimes occurring, in addition to their constant patrol duties. Academy City also has a fire department as well as emergency response organization.
Unfortunately, security in Academy City is revealed to have severe flaws in it. Because of the destruction of Orihime 1, live feeds of satellite images are greatly reduced. Magicians can easily enter Academy City and, like Sherry Cromwell, can cause damage despite the presence of Judgment and Anti-Skill units. It has also been revealed that parts of School District 10 of Academy City have been completely overrun by its inhabitants, unreachable by technology due to the Skill-Out members destroying the hidden cameras and Security robots throughout the area. Groups like MEMBER and ITEM are mostly politically motivated factions working for one of the 12 Board of Directors of Academy City or Aleister Crowley, and care less about security and more on furthering their (or their employer's) own interests.
Network Terminal Security Rank
Furthermore, the network terminals of Academy City are ranked, to which only a device or a person with at least the same rank as the terminal can access information therein. These networks are connected to each other. For example, a Rank D terminal cannot access Rank C information.
- Rank D - Cellphones
- Rank C - Library and homes
- Rank B - Teachers
- Rank A - Research Laboratories
- Rank S - General Board of Directors
Automatic Alert System
Academy City has an automatic alert system that triggers colored codes depending on the situation.
- Code Red - Academy City's highest alert status, which indicates that a terrorist have been confirmed to have invaded Academy City. Here, the city blocks traffic flow between the inside and the outside, as well as traffic between the districts are restricted. Checkpoints are also set up on the roads, and Judgment members can request leave to help locate the terrorist and help crowd control and evacuate civilians while Anti-Skill handle the situation.
- Code Orange - Academy City's second highest alert status, indicating the potential of an incoming terrorist threat on the city. All traffic between the inside and outside of the city is blocked.
- Code Yellow - Unknown, but the city was under Code Yellow after the invasion of Vento of the Front. Presumably, the code is up when the city is under the presumption that attacks can still be possible.
- Main article: Academy City Military
Anti-Skill is used as the formal military forces of Academy City. With their advanced technology, Academy City boasts technological superiority over most military of the world, with their several Powered Suits such as the HsPS-15.
- Main article: Academy City/Chronology#Background
In 1947, a heavily injured Aleister Crowley was found by the Heaven Canceller in a remote English countryside and nursed back to health by him. He later tells Aleister Crowley of the far away land of Japan. Being impressed by the country after visiting it once, Aleister would later choose the country where he would make his comeback. Postwar Japan and the reconstruction was ripe for Aleister to create the city, in the name of giving the country an educational and technological recovery. The nature of the Japanese people were more than willing to create the city cut off from the occult.
Some time later, a parcel of land to the west of Tokyo in slow development was bought for the development of Academy City. The Five Elements Institution is the first research organization formed, though its exact location or existence has been in question. However, this was merely a rumor, or more likely, a cover-up, as the Imaginary Number District–Five Elements Institution was another realm in the same location as Academy City.
The city was founded by the magician Aleister Crowley to do studies and research on the development of preternatural abilities. More than half a century prior to the present, Academy City would produce its first esper using data on Meiji-era esper Mifune Chizuko, a young girl nicknamed "the Beginning Child". She would serve as the foundation of the quantum theory system used by Academy City and upon which it was built. The general public of the time did not believe she actually had powers, and, according to official records, she went missing due to the harassment she suffered at the hands of skeptics and newspapers. But the system used for the Beginning Child would become the foundation for the Power Curriculum Program, and by the current year of the story timeline half a century later, esper powers have existed for a few decades.
According to Therestina, the students in Academy City are just being used to further the research and development in the achievement of a Level 6. How truthful her words are remains to be seen, however it is important to note that both Aleister Crowley and Board of Directors have allowed deaths of students, and have allowed and supported further experimentation and research at the expense of many lives. And it is true that espers are considered only a byproduct of the city's real objective.
It is eventually revealed that the entire city is an "alternatively-shaped temple", a reproduction of the Abbey of Thelema, Aleister's former spiritual centre founded in Sicily in the early 20th century, using the same methods of inducting the paranormal in adolescent minds using drugs.
October 9 is Academy City's Independence Day Holiday. The actual year of independence is unknown.
- Main article: Academy City/Chronology#Chronology
As the main setting of the Toaru series, much of the story is told within the city.
The locations listed below are ones for which the School District they are located in is unconfirmed. For locations confirmed to be within a specific School District, see that district's respective page.
- Many scenes of Academy City from the anime are taken from Tama City and from Tachikawa City, both of which are in the Tokyo prefecture.