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Academy City, the primary setting of nearly all stories in the franchise, is one of the most prominent examples of the difference between the real world and the fictional world of Toaru Majutsu no Index.

This article describes the details of the setting in which Toaru Majutsu no Index and other stories in the Toaru series take place, that of an alternate Earth in the early 21st century.

Principles

Supernatural Powers

One of the most distinctive aspects of the Toaru universe is the existence of supernatural powers and abilities. These include both Esper abilities, derived from Personal Reality and associated with the Science Side, and Magic, derived from refined life-force as mana or other energies channeled into forms often based on religions, mythologies and folklore. There are also certain other powers which fall between or outside these two categories. Two examples of these are Imagine Breaker and World Rejecter, both powers which were crystallized from the collective wishes and desires of the world's magicians.[1]

The division between Magic and Science Sides is actually one which was drawn by Aleister Crowley using the Archetype Controller for his own purposes, and the supernatural powers and phenomena associated with the two separate sides all fall under a single unified system.[2][3]

Phases

Main article: Phase

Various religions and the actions of powerful beings have resulted in various layers, known as phases, being laid down upon the world. The phases act like filters, distorting the world,[4] and often house energies and entities which can have a major impact if brought out into the main world.[5][6][7] Beyond the phases lies a Pure World of science, untouched by magic or religion.[4]

The collisions between the overlapping phases, as a result of their changing proximity and the use of magic, produce 'sparks', which have a thin but widespread influence on the world and its people, affecting fortune and misfortune.[8][9][10]

Time

Time flow

With regards to temporal mechanics, there are no parallel worlds (world in this case referring to the universe or reality itself). Instead the world is a straight line, compared by Kamisato Kakeru[Notes 1] to a rubber string nailed onto a pachinko machine. Like a rubber string and like time or space, the world can stretch or contract. Partially due to this nature, there are a fair number of portions in the world that are unused, compared by Kamisato during his explanation of World Rejecter to being like the use of only ten frames when using sixty fps film, with no one noticing if subliminal footage was slipped into two or three of the leftover frames. The 'new world' which World Rejecter exiles its targets to is a region made up of unused space within the timeline.[11][12]

There are very few supernatural powers which can travel through or manipulate the flow of time; aside from the application of a Magic God's power,[13][14] only the Red Player, the White Player, and Alice Anotherbible are known to possess the ability to do so.[15][16] There are however a number of abilities which are capable of foreseeing the future. Due to the nature of some of these abilities, producing predictions based on calculations within a set of dimensions, while the predictions made by the ability might not be overturned normally, some abilities which use other dimensions in calculations, such as the 11 dimensional calculation Teleport, are capable of defying the predictions.[17] The power and existence of the Magic Gods can influence the rails of destiny, intentionally or not.[14] Alice's Live Adventures in Wonderland, which allows her to form connections between subjects during her adventures, can alter reality to change how events will play out, and in at least one case, her ceasing the bridging caused events to revert and play out as they would have done without her influence.[18][16][19][20]

Geography

In terms of geography, countries are largely the same, though due to certain events, different countries have formed, such as the independent city state of Academy City in Tokyo, Japan[21] and the Elizalina Alliance which split off from Russia.[22][23] There are also a few minor differences regarding landmasses, such as with Uphill Island.[24]

Politics

There are a few differences with regards to politics. The G14 has been established, though its exact nature is currently unknown. There are also a few past enmities which have remained instead of fading, such as that between the United Kingdom and France, and a few different ties between countries.

Aside from regular governments, there are also the factions which make up the Magic and Science Sides. The main factions in the Science Side are Academy City and its cooperative institutions, while the Magic Side's main factions are the magical organizations within the major churchs, such as the Anglican Church's Necessarius, and various magic cabals. Many of these larger factions in the Magic and Science Sides exert an influence on the governments of the 'Normal Side' from behind the scenes.[25][23]

One of the most important aspects of this hidden side to the world is the treaty between Magic and Science, an agreement which prevents the two sides from using the other's techniques and interfering with the others' affairs.[26]

Space

Aside from traditional rocket-based launches, other ways of getting into space have been developed and implemented. Due to the advent of air launching, which needs less land than multi-stage rockets, many new space programs have emerged, with smaller countries becoming able to start their own and many eager to prove themselves to sponsors.[27] There is also a different distribution of launches between launch providers due to various circumstances, such as the agreement between India and the United Kingdom.[28] As well as the shuttles and rockets used by other spacefaring factions,[27] Academy City and its cooperative institutions also have access to mass drivers and space planes, and have constructed a working space elevator, Endymion.[29] Academy City has also maintained at least three major satellites in orbit,[30] including the Hikoboshi II and the now-destroyed Orihime 1.

There has been no colonization of other worlds, though plans have been made and technologies developed for a mission to Mars,[31] and technology with terraforming applications has been researched.[30] There have also been no definitely confirmed extra-terrestrials.[32]

The field of space is one which has been a source of conflict between the Magic and Science Sides, being not well defined in the treaty between them.[33] There are various spells which rely on the positions of the stars and other celestial bodies in order to function,[33] and a few very powerful beings are capable of manipulating them.[34][35][36][37][38]

Other

This section requires expansion
Life and Death
Population (7.5 billion (R-SS3/NT22R), previous mentions), companies/corporations/related

The world's current population is somewhere around seven and a half billion.[39][40][Notes 2][41][42][43][44]

Chronology

Main article: Unified Story Timeline

Though largely similar, the history of the Toaru universe has a number of differences, some due to the presence of supernatural powers, the scientific leaps brought about by Academy City and the various circumstances brought about by them, and some due to other circumstances. The current year in which the series takes place isn't known exactly, though it is at some time in the early 21st century.

Notes

  1. In Toaru Majutsu no Virtual-On, it is stated that this view is also shared by the Academy City Board of Directors, who calls it the rubber string theory (禁書世界の時間論 Kinsho sekai no jikan-ron?, lit. Prohibited world time theory). However, due to the nature of the story as a crossover, it is unknown how canonical this is.
  2. The figures given for the world's population in the Toaru series have gradually increased over time, possibly reflecting real world conditions. The earlier volumes give a figure of around six billion, with figures of between six and seven billion being given around the early part of Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index, and the six billion mentions being phased out in the early second half. Around the end of Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index, the figure given is seven and a half billion.

References

  1. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 14 Chapter 1 Part 1
  2. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 17 Chapter 2 Part 13
  3. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 19 Chapter 2 Part 7
  4. 4.0 4.1 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 09 Between the Connected Points
  5. Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 04
  6. Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 22
  7. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 10 Chapter 13
  8. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Chapter 3 Part 11
  9. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Chapter 3 Part 13
  10. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 19 Epilogue
  11. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 13 Epilogue
  12. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 17 Prologue
  13. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 09
  14. 14.0 14.1 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 13 Chapter 1 Part 8
  15. Toaru Majutsu no Index (PSP game)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 05 Between the Lines 3
  17. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 075
  18. Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 05 Chapter 2
  19. Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 05 Chapter 3
  20. Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 05 Epilogue
  21. Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 15 Chapter 1 Part 1
  22. Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Epilogue
  23. 23.0 23.1 Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 20
  24. Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Kanzaki Chapter 2
  25. Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18
  26. Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 02 Prologue
  27. 27.0 27.1 Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 08 Chapter 1 Part 2
  28. Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Kanzaki Chapter 5
  29. Toaru Majutsu no Index Movie: Miracle of Endymion
  30. 30.0 30.1 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 10 Chapter 9 Part 2
  31. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 07 Between the Lines 1
  32. Toaru Majutsu no Index: Mars SS
  33. 33.0 33.1 Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Necessarius Special Admission Test Chapter 7 Part 3
  34. Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 04 Chapter 3 Part 2
  35. Toaru Majutsu no Index Episode 17
  36. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 09 Chapter 8
  37. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 10 Chapter 19 Part 3
  38. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 10 Chapter 19 Part 5
  39. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun SS3 Chapter 6 Part 5
  40. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 22 Reverse Prologue
  41. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 04
  42. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 10
  43. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 12
  44. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 13
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