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The Imagine Breaker (
Neither magic nor esper ability, nor Gemstone-derived, the Imagine Breaker has long been under intense speculation both in-universe and in the fandom, with only a few people in-universe such as Aleister Crowley knowing fully of what it entails.
Seemingly a reference to Touma's Imagine Breaker, Touma incorporates the meaning of the kanji used for his ability (幻想殺し), which means Illusion killer, into his famous catchphrase which can be translated into English as: "I will destroy that illusion of yours."
Interestingly in the novels, the kanji for the Imagine Breaker is sometimes changed to (俺の右手 Ore no Migite?, lit. My right hand).
Not much is known about the mysterious Imagine Breaker, but it has been confirmed that someone else, perhaps many others, have had the Imagine Breaker before Kamijou Touma. This power is terribly documented by the magic side. However, according to Ollerus, in ancient times, powers similar to the Imagine Breaker, showed themselves, taking different forms: weapons in the hands of great heroes, frescos rumored to be able to heal diseases, while others took the form of caves and functioned as trials for those who entered them. However, he is unsure if they are related to the Imagine Breaker, or if those hopes combined together into another form as they were lost and have naturally appeared here.
Seemingly, only a few people know something about the Imagine Breaker. Terra of the Left for example, deduced Touma having amnesia since he is apparently not using the Imagine Breaker to its full capacity, and hints that Imagine Breaker might actually be an ability that extends itself further away from its bearer's right hand, based on Terra's personal knowledge of Fiamma of the Right's Holy Right ability. Even then, his conjecture may have been lacking as well, as even Fiamma of the Right was unaware of the terrible power that lurks within Touma's right hand after severing it.
It has been revealed that the Imagine Breaker can choose which person can wield it. After being severed from Touma several times in the past, it still remained in his possession. According to Fiamma of the Right, the current generation is still attached to Touma, referring to it as "the right hand is only the right hand when it is growing from his right shoulder," referencing his failure in obtaining Imagine Breaker from Touma in the past.
It is unknown who previously wielded the Imagine Breaker. According to Othinus, Imagine Breaker can also exist in objects, as she noted it takes different forms each time the last one is destroyed. She pointed out that if she were to destroy everything in existence, Imagine Breaker could potentially even find its way to her.
Shown throughout the series, Touma's Imagine Breaker negates both esper powers and magic. Moreover, through several circumstances, it can negate even divine powers, such as, in his own admission, the miracles of God, and more prominently, in his defeating of Archangel Gabriel in World War III.
In two different instances, Touma demonstrated that he can dispel to an extent the effects of an area-wide attack. One instance is blocking the effects of electricity Misaka Mikoto created, by putting his right hand out to act as a lightning rod for the electricity to be directed to his right hand and Imagine Breaker as opposed to another part of his body without the Imagine Breaker's protection. The other one is blocking a portion of Kaitabi Hatsuya's Graviton from hitting the people behind him using Imagine Breaker as a shield. Nonetheless, it is required for him to have physical contact to initiate the effects of his power.
It seems that Imagine Breaker has a permanent cancelling effect on some supernatural objects, as seen when it robbed Index's clothes of their Walking Church. Imagine Breaker can even ignore the overall actual weight or force behind of which an inanimate object has supernatural power concentrated on, as seen when Touma blocked a full-powered punch from a massive golem without showing signs of obvious effort, before the golem collapsed on itself due to the magic that manifested it being abolished by Imagine Breaker's power. He did, however, "almost break his hand" in said exchange. Another example is when Touma blocks Acqua of the Back's magic-enhanced attack while in a weakened state, where before Touma would have been easily overpowered by Acqua's attack if it was just a normal attack with pure brute force and not magic.
Removal from the bodyEdit
It has become apparent that in the event that the right hand is severed from the body, as has happened to Touma on several occasions, an invisible and ineffable power appears in Imagine Breaker's stead. This power's true form is currently unknown, though it is enough to bring fear upon Fiamma of the Right upon witnessing it. However, the power was weak enough to be utterly crushed by Othinus. Later during his encounter with Kamisato Kakeru, Touma's right hand was removed to the New World, and it re-appeared once again, whereas this time it overpowered World Rejector's effects. It was speculated that it may not have been the same power that erupted in Fiamma and Othinus's presence, and there may be multiple enities residing within his right hand.
Touma can communicate with the power, and could somehow force it to yield to his will. In Touma's first "talk" with the invisible thing, an even greater power swallowed what had appeared and suppressed it. There is currently no information in what this great power is, or if it is simply Touma's willpower that took control.
Finally, after the right hand or right arm is torn or severed from Touma's body, it can reconnect miraculously back to the body, as if was not separated and all. This includes bones, vessels, and nerves. During Touma's first from his right arm, Heaven Canceller references this and calls his right arm a piece of fantasy. However, it has been shown that in the event that the removed right arm cannot be reconnected to Touma, a new arm takes the place where the old arm was in Touma's body, and from there, the Imagine Breaker disappears from the removed arm and transfers to the new arm. It is unknown what conditions are required to fulfill this, but it can be presumed to be Imagine Breaker's relationship with Touma.
Weaknesses and LimitationsEdit
Despite the extents of Touma's abilities, Touma might not have the ability to negate all "artificial" supernatural abilities, such as the Power of the World and leylines. Some objects such as the Queen's Fleet and Innocentius require Touma to target the core or some other important piece that provides power to them in order for his Imagine Breaker to effectively negate them.
Also, since the Imagine Breaker is concentrated to only Touma's right hand, Touma is truly helpless against a wave of magic attacks in great numbers, as what happened with Misawa Cram School and the Gregorian Chant Replica performed on him. Furthermore, since the effects of Touma's Imagine Breaker is always singular, as in it can only negate, magicians such as Oriana Thomson can make use of this to make a trap against Touma after negating a spell.
So far there are only a few attacks which can "surpass" Imagine Breaker's power canceling speed, as such he is unable to completely destroy them despite continued exposure to the Imagine Breaker: Index's Dragon Breath, Stiyl's Innocentius, Fiamma of the Right's flaming sword, Accelerator's wings in his awakened state, Birdway's Summoned Telesma Explosion, Thor's Arc Fusion Blades,  Othinus's Crossbow Arrows, and Coronzon's Magick: Flaming_Sword. The Curtana Original's Dimensional Cleavage Formula, however, is a different case, as it does not fall under the 'surpassing cancelling speed' category, but 'after this window of opportunity, it can't be negated' category. It would imply that the phenomenon that Curtana had brought upon have become normalized and is no longer considered a supernatural phenomena. Kanzaki Kaori stated that Imagine Breaker can negate a dimensional cutter attack if it comes into contact within 1.25 seconds.
While the Imagine Breaker does negate some forms of psychic powers and magic used on his body outright like teleportation and Healing Magic, this is not guaranteed. After his first run in with Aureolus, he wipes Touma's memories of what had transpired in the school until touches his right hand to his head negating the spell. Then later when they fought again he was nearly incapacitated by the Suffocate command until he stuffed one of his fingers deep into his throat to destroy the spell. When Cendrillon finds and drags Touma into a nearby alleyway, she discovers that he had been shot and immediately tries to use healing magic on him, but the Imagine Breaker simply negates her attempts. Although, the spell was not yet negated until the light of the spell spread from his wound to the rest of his body, where it reached his right hand and was then negated. In the Daihaiseisai incident Shokuhou Misaki is shown to have knowledge of the Imagine Breaker, but also showed that she is able to bypass its normal automatic negation of Telepathy.
During his trip to Russia, Touma makes use of the Imagine Breaker's limitations for the first time. Due to Imagine Breaker not fully negating supernatural phenomena, Touma has learned to use it to interfere via "negation and disruption". Normally, Imagine Breaker negates any supernatural power or object upon contact, but because of its limits, if a supernatural power/object is sufficiently powerful or massive enough in size it will not be completely negated right away or it will take a longer time to fully defeat it. It's during this state of cancellation that Touma can actually physically touch and grab the power/object, negating and disrupting it instead of instantly destroying it. This, of course, is usually more of a disadvantage than an advantage of Imagine Breaker. Still, during Touma's fight with Accelerator in Russia, Touma pulled one of Accelerator's black wings to throw Accelerator off balance and dodge the attack when Accelerator struck Touma with 100 wings that he summoned. That single touch was capable of negating the vector controlling power of said wing as well.
According to Index's speculation, Imagine Breaker negates God's blessings, which is the luck people have, as is the reason why Touma is misfortunate, much to his horror. Furthermore, she speculates that his Imagine Breaker may also negate the red string of fate, which would also explain why girls gather around him without effort.
Effects on natural forcesEdit
The Imagine Breaker, however, is unable to negate the Power of the World, its ley lines, the lifeforces and souls of human beings, due to them being natural, despite being supernatural as well. According to Leivinia Birdway, this is because the Imagine Breaker normalizes things that are of abnormal values, specifically, it destroys things that have had their harmony taken. However, things such as the aforementioned examples, have always been uniform from the start despite being supernatural in nature. Touma's Imagine Breaker can only destroy things that had their harmony's taken from them, as such something that had been abnormal from the start, something that hasn't had their harmony taken, like the Power of the World will never not be negated by the Imagine Breaker. Furthermore, Leivinia states that a cycle was probably set up from the start to be like that, and not how much the world can replenish power.
Effects on angels and divine beingsEdit
Imagine Breaker also seems capable of affecting an angel, since Archangel Gabriel who became Misha using Sasha Kreutzev's body didn't dare to try and touch Touma's right hand when he offered her candy. Kazakiri Hyouka, the artificial angel, is subconsciously afraid of physically touching Touma. Furthermore, as a reaction to the Imagine Breaker, Hyouka gains a consciousness and is born within the Imaginary Number District. However, Touma cannot apparently completely negate them with the Imagine Breaker, as it's been shown that an angelic being has a core, which requires it's destruction to be properly destroyed, such as the triangular prism within Hyouka's head or of the AIM Burst's. Archangel Gabriel too also returned to its realm upon coming into contact with Touma's Imagine Breaker near the end of World War III.
It is unknown what effects Touma's Imagine Breaker could have on other supernatural beings such as Aiwass, though it can be assumed that since he also has a core, the effects of Imagine Breaker on him still applies.
Despite Touma's status as an esper, it is something that many treat as a non-issue, since he is enrolled in Academy City, he is often associated as part of the Science side. Touma's Imagine Breaker cannot be detected or classified by their machines, and just classified Touma as a Level 0. As such Aleister Crowley considers him neither an esper nor a magician but rather a normal person with a unique ability. This allows Touma's actions to have a little leeway; since he is neither a magician nor an esper, he can interfere in various magic side business without implicating Academy City for directly interfering with Magic side matters, such as what has occurred during the invasion of Misawa Cram School by Aureolus Izzard. Even Aleister Crowley seems to take advantage of this, allowing Touma to go into dangerous situations regardless of sides for his plans.
Most of the Science side, however, are unaware or plainly ignorant of the existence of the Imagine Breaker, and certain members of the general population, such as Saten Ruiko consider the existence of a person who has an ability that negates other abilities as an interesting urban legend.
This is also apparent in the dark side of Academy City, as only a few people such as Girl in the dress, Kinuhata Saiai, and Tsuchimikado Motoharu, are aware of Touma's importance to Aleister Crowley, despite not knowing how exactly he fits into his plans.
In Touma's fight with Rensa, she used her illegal access to Academy City’s giant database known as the Bank and identified Touma's power listed there. According to the System Scan results recorded in the Bank, he was listed as a true Level 0 but, unlike normal Level 0s, the precision equipment had truly not been able to detect anything. She did find a comment that had been added, saying there were reports of him being able to negate other powers. Normally she would have also dismissed these as rumors that he himself had spread, if not for witnessing them firsthand. She fought off the impulse to try and create the characteristics for his power, until she detected an attack that was about to be launched from Kuroyoru Umidori and choose to counter it by creating the Imagine Breaker to try it out before killing Touma. Although she had met all of the necessary conditions for creating it in her hand, her arm then swelled up like a balloon from the unknown thing beyond his right hand that resulted in her arm completely blown off. Unlike Sogiita Gunha's power, which she is unable to reproduce due to it being unexplainable, while she was able to gain some understanding of Imagine Breaker, the results of reproducing it proved to be extremely hazardous; this likely proves how, much like Accelerator's relationship with the Dark May Project, there has been no known previous attempts into replicating Imagine Breaker's power, as the mere attempt would obviously be disastrous, along with having extremely low successful results, thus further proving its value in the science side.
In the Christian dominations of the magic side, especially the Roman Catholic Church, the Imagine Breaker is considered a heretical power since it denies the blessings of God. In the most extreme of cases, Touma himself is considered a heretic for having that power, with him being presently active in many failed Roman Catholic missions not helping his case. His heretical nature would later inevitably spark the invasion of Academy City, and later World War III.
After the end of the third World War, Touma has become a major target by magicians, and some, such as the masterminds behind Radiosonde Castle have even gone out of their way to endanger the entire world just so to kill him. Othinus, a Magic God and leader of Gremlin, wanted to use her Magic God powers to distort the world, specifically to take this world where Academy City and the science side have won and distort it beyond recognition. For this reason, she sees no value in the Imagine Breaker that can negate her distortion acting as a reference point to before the distortion still existed. Gremlin wishes to cut that lifeline and do nothing but insuring the loss of this back-up of the previous world.
Speculation and important pointsEdit
The true nature of Kamijou Touma's Imagine Breaker has yet to be revealed, but slowly, it has been shown that it had a different owner other than Touma in the past. Both Terra of the Left and Fiamma of the Right had conjecture of its nature, with Terra of the Left, basing upon his experience on Fiamma of the Right's Holy Right, thinking that it could be extended beyond the right hand, while Fiamma of the Right terribly underestimated the true extent of the true nature of Touma's Imagine Breaker upon severing it. But the most obvious example is Aleister Crowley's interest in Kamijou Touma and the Imagine Breaker, having been implied to deliberately send Touma into dangerous situations since his introduction, such as setting up his meeting with Kazakiri Hyouka, as well as manipulating Touma to confront Oriana Thomson.
Touma's and the Imagine Breaker's importance is later brought into further light, as he is considered the core of Aleister Crowley's plan alongside Accelerator. Touma's actions have been calculated to be within the error range of his plans, meaning that any action Touma may take can be beneficial. In fact, the Imagine Breaker was apparently affecting 98% of Aleister's plans before the start of Carissa's civil war. Since another person had the Imagine Breaker before Touma, it can be assumed that this is what Aleister Crowley referred to when he comments upon having his "illusions" destroyed a long time ago, when Tsuchimikado Motoharu warned him to be wary of using Touma.
Furthermore, Touma's significance is so great that he is valued to be greater than any esper in Academy City. During Academy City's planned retrieval of him during World War III, he was to be kept alive at all cost during retrieval, however if he had sided with an organization, he was to be attacked and later kept alive with the same life support system used for Kakine Teitoku, on his way to Academy City. His importance is further emphasized as even Aiwass has taken an interest in him, alongside Accelerator and Hamazura Shiage.
Later, it is reported by Ollerus who believes that Terra of the Left was probably the person who came the closest to knowing the identity of the Imagine Breaker through researching the contradiction needed for the Son of God to be killed by human hands. He notes that the Imagine Breaker is the collection of the hope and the fear of all magicians. To him, it is the reference point or template to the original world. Its negation of supernatural phenomenon returns the world back to normal before the phenomenon occurred. As such, the Imagine Breaker embodies the hopes of magicians who can act all they want without fear of losing the original world, and is the fear of magicians because it removes the distortion they have created. It acts as a lifeline that allows the world to be reverted to normal, no matter how far it has been distorted in any direction. This is the very reason why someone who wants to distort the world beyond recognition from the previous one, like the Magic God Othinus, see the Imagine Breaker as a threat. Othinus herself would eventually make use of Imagine Breaker's function as a reference point to recreate Touma's original world after her battle with him, a process she later compared to watching an infinitely-expanding snow crystal growing from calculated core.
The Imagine Breaker's nature as a power crystallized from the hopes, dreams and desires of magicians would later be affirmed by the Magic Gods themselves, who due to wielding the vast majority of the Magic Side's power have the greatest influence in the formation of such powers. Due to the true Gremlin's emerging doubts in Touma, whom they wished to be their 'scorer', brought about by his interactions with Othinus, some of the power focused on the incomplete Imagine Breaker escaped and began to form a new power, leading to the creation of the World Rejecter, a crystallization of the wishes of magicians to escape to a new world rather than cling to the current one like with Imagine Breaker.
Beyond the right handEdit
It has been hinted even from the very beginning that Touma's Imagine Breaker has a queer connection with dragons, with Touma's Imagine Breaker being able to destroy the Walking Church, that supposedly could only be destroyed if the Dragon that St. George defeated would descend again. Strangely, Touma later does battle with both St. George's Sanctuary and Dragon's Breath in the same value, being unable to completely negate it and requiring Stiyl Magnus and Kanzaki Kaori's assistance. However, the most striking example of this is in the climax of the Deep Blood Arc. Wherein after Touma had his entire right arm cut off, Touma uses Aureolus Izzard's Ars Magna against him using fear, which made Aureolus conjure up the dragon head that was used to defeat him. The dragon head was referred to as the Dragon Strike (
The Dragon Strike reappeared when Touma's arm was blown off in his attempt to stop Misaka Mikoto, while her powers were rising to Level 6, from firing a highly destructive giant black sphere during Daihaseisai. In its reappearance in stopping the destructive collected energy sphere by tearing it apart, it was accompanied by seven other dragon heads all of different appearances and all of them extending out with long necks from Touma's stump. As both Mikoto and Sogiita Gunha saw the dragon, this proves that the Dragon Strike wasn't merely imagined by Aureolus. It should be noted that within Christian Church, the dragon represents more than one thing. It represents pagans and foreign invading forces, but also represents a fallen angel stained with evil.
The presence of something beyond the Imagine Breaker in Touma's right hand is not addressed again until the climax of the third world war. When Fiamma severed Touma's right arm along with the Imagine Breaker in order to absorb that power into himself, it was not for the Imagine Breaker ability, but for it to act as a medium for his Holy Right to gain a corporeal form. Immediately afterwards an "invisible thing" gathered on Touma's right shoulder which made all Fiamma has pale in comparison, but Touma unexpectedly crushed that power with "an even greater power" and then took back the Imagine Breaker. Although the true nature of those powers is unclear, Touma is shown to be able to communicate with the "invisible thing" referring to the power as "you" before refusing to use its power, crushing the power and regenerating his lost right arm much like what he likely did when he saved Misaka Mikoto from Kihara Gensei's Level 6 Shift attempt on her.
After Fiamma's right arm was severed by Aleister, it was confirmed there is more to Touma's right hand than just "a right hand that can negate supernatural ability". Touma's right hand is a vessel that can be used to house a greater power, and this is the main reason why Aleister and Fiamma seeks Touma's right hand, not for Imagine Breaker. Due to Fiamma's discovery of something within Touma's right hand, Aleister is forced to make an appearance into the world, hinting on how he knew what was inside Touma all along and now that Fiamma knew of its existence forces Aleister to eliminate Fiamma by his own hands. Although Aleister failed in killing Fiamma of the Right, it showed how important the Imagine Breaker, and especially the unknown power residing in Touma's right hand, is to Aleister's plans that he is willing to show himself to the world and ruin his ruse of him being dead to the world.
However, the most important aspect of this is that Touma now also knows that something resides in his right hand and wishes to understand what is Imagine Breaker. Regardless of this desire, Touma has never used the invisible power on his own volition and prefers to use the Imagine Breaker instead. Although, it should be noted that during the final part of his battle with the High Priest, Touma has seemingly tried to use whatever it is that resides in his right hand to stop the comet, which High Priest fused with, from falling to Academy City.
Below is Haimura Kiyotaka's design of the Dragon Strike for Toaru Majutsu no Index Volume 2. Following that are designs for the dragon heads released by the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga editor from his Twitter account. These are the dragon heads that appeared from Touma's severed arm as seen in the tankobon of the 10th volume of the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun. Designed by Kiya Shii, it shows 8 of the dragon heads as well as additional 9 designs that have been rejected.
- A very specific and high pitched sound is played in nearly every moment where Touma's Imagine Breaker negates something in both seasons of the Toaru Majutsu no Index anime adaptation.
- Because of the new sound designer, this sound has been altered in the anime adaptation's third season.
- The negation sound used in the anime adaptation of Toaru Kagaku no Railgun is a different sounding effect, a similarly high pitched sound which echoes slightly. This is later remedied in the second season.
- The song Gensō Goroshi is present in the 2nd Toaru Majutsu no Index original soundtrack and is named after Touma's ability. It is used in all animated adaptations of the franchise, both Index and Railgun, and is played often during moments of building towards action sequences. On the same soundtrack the song, Breakthrough can be found, having a faster tempo than the former and having a heavier rock-oriented arrangement.