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  • Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel v13 cover
    Well, here is the latest volume of the Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index series, and Kamachi is once again killing the fanbase through his comedy while expanding on the change in Kamijou Touma's character after the events in NT9 and NT10. So far, only parts of Chapter 1 is done, but it's already showing some of the problems I have with the series at this point.

    First off is the depiction of Touma as a trauma sufferer and how the narrative and the characters around him perceive his condition. I'm sure everyone knows how many times he had died in NT9 and his current personality reflects to that. I'm a bit baffled, though, that nothing has changed about his interactions with the same people that he saw in NT9. I was expecting more character-driven drama involving him and his friends over at A Certain High School.

    Second is the comedy's shift to a stronger schadenfreude than in the previous volumes and in OT. Let's say that Kamachi is enjoying in putting Touma in unfortunate circumstances, but it's reached the point where Touma freaking needs to take a break from that. The comedy is also becoming too integrated into protagonist-antagonist interactions, something that happens rarely in OT.

    Lastly is the series relying too much on bait-and-switch. I personally dislike when creators rely on the hype of creating something and the hype of creating something that is the opposite of the expectations of many. To me, it undermines the talent of the creator, as if people read his works only because of the twists. Also, it worsens the pain of being trolled several times because Index is used as a promotion for other works.

    You guys can read my posts on AnimeSuki (as Marcus H.) about my outlook for NT13, and I'm currently unimpressed. How about you guys? Kamachi-tier comedy aside, how is the progress of the story? Do you think you've been baited too hard by the developments in the story? And do you think Touma will get the resolution he deserves? Feel free to talk and rant on the Comments section below.

    EDIT: Sorry about not showing up at Chat, Wilfriback. I was busy typing this up.

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    • kamachi went to full-fantasy in NT9 which i didnt really like, but it was ok...to some extend, i simply ignore the fact that touma comes out unscratched from billions of years of torture, a work of fiction afterall ^_^

      but since NT10 im nto really into this anymore, it is as if kamachi lost his "feels", NT8 was similar, maybe it is me who subconsciously wants to see more science-stuff or maybe because im tired of magic gods but i think that NT12 and 13 had been boring so far, of course i cant say anything about NT13 without doubt, it isnt fully released yet so i will be quite for the time being :)

      in NT10 it was way to rushed, something kamachi never did and should never do, it was as if he wrote one-shots and than changed the ending and beginning of heach chapter so that they feel like a full book, the fights have also been somewhat "to easy", and the ending...well, it is a work of fiction afterall ^_^ but it introduced the magic god group...

      NT11 had the flashback-centered together with the new (never seen before/showing up from nowhere) enemy, some interesting powers (while i still cant think how "brain-fluid-control" allows someone to read minds) which made it enjoyable, but it felt forced that the enemy was centered around touma again, normally they have a problem with a char and touma forced himself into thir business without being really involved into this, i know NT went a different route but sinnce NT9 all adventures had been strangely centered around the MC :(

      NT12 had saint germain and his hive-mind, nothing to say, it is like NT11, a never-seen-before-villian with new powers, i dont really understand the explanation but this is mostly the case if kamachi tries to describe the powers he created for the magic side (since NT4) ^_^

      NT13 only has one chapter so far, well, it goes without saying, the beginning is filled with kamachi-comedy, something that i learned to ignore ^_^ the new char who can one-shot majins is also feels like a fanfiction char written by fans... maybe kamachi tried to hard to center everything in the story around the MC ^_^

      to answer your question if touma gets resolution: i think he will overcome his "fear" from majins and than the story will go back to his usual status quo, touma will have another freeloader in his home and stuff wont really change...  and in NT14/15, or higher... laura or another new villian make his move...

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    • The problem with chapter 1 was as you said, the comedy in the protagonist-antagonist interactions. We already knew from reading the illustration of High Priest (that doesn't really count as a spoiler, does it?) that he wanted Touma to "join" them (sort of), so Parts 7-6-8 could be likened to Touma's talk with Thor in NT5, meaning, as it is not really a confrontation, there can be some comedy inserted into it.

      But I still didn't like it, precisely because we know High Priest is not a nice guy: that scene where Touma truly confronts another Magic God after Othinus should have been filled with tension, instead of that, my immersion got broken by HP (shortening High Priest from now on) joking around and talking about Observer (whether it was truly a joke or an actual foreshadowing, it had no place whatsoever there, and only served as an unecessary distration). Comedy is hit-or-miss, especially Japanese humour centered around the "straight and funny men" routine, and for me, it was miss.

      Fortunately, Part 8 truly redeemed the chapter for me. That's what I wanted: good exposition, tension as we get to know the antagonists' motivation, and the clash against Touma's ideals, plus callbacks to his development up until now. HP destroying half the school was also a great scene.

      I'm waiting for the volume to be completed before making my opinion on the whole Magic Gods Arc, because for now, the spoilers don't seem all too good, but if it is written in a justifiable way, I may allow it.

      People are entitled to their opinions, but some things I want to comment on:

      kamachi went to full-fantasy in NT9 which i didnt really like, but it was ok...to some extend, i simply ignore the fact that touma comes out unscratched from billions of years of torture, a work of fiction afterall ^_^

      I'm still baffled that some people still can't accept the premise of NT9 when there are already multiple works of fiction (and good ones at that) which use the same premise. For me, it is not so much a fault of Kamachi rather than the people disliking such things as loops to begin with, so I don't think of ("full fantasy")/it as actual criticism of the volume.

      NT11 had the flashback-centered together with the new (never seen before/showing up from nowhere) enemy, some interesting powers (while i still cant think how "brain-fluid-control" allows someone to read minds) which made it enjoyable, but it felt forced that the enemy was centered around touma again, normally they have a problem with a char and touma forced himself into thir business without being really involved into this, i know NT went a different route but sinnce NT9 all adventures had been strangely centered around the MC :(

      I don't understand this either. We knew Misaki's past was tied to her encounter with Touma, of course he would have a large presence in her arc. You can complain about him showing up at the very end and not Misaki resolving her problems, but the narrative was self consistent with previous build-up. 

      Also, New Testament has always been centered around the character development of Touma, ever since NT3, which focused on his heroism and consequences of it. I cannot fanthom why you have no interest in it, in Old Testament, major character development was tied to characters Touma clashed with and encountered like Mikoto, Shiage, and Accelerator (which was the biggest and most in-depth character development of the first series). By contrast, he was static, almost never deviating from his character or changing (at least until the WWIII Arc, though Volume 14 was also good in this regard), to the point detractors called him blank. Here, his actions are questionned, his methods dissected and deconstructed, his own character was laid bare in NT9. Now begin the reconstruction.

      I have no problem with people not liking how it is handled, like Herald does. You can disagree with how it's done, but not liking that the series is centered around its protagonist? That I just find supremely idiotic.

      If you don't like that Touma is the main character of the series, well too bad for you.

      i dont really understand the explanation but this is mostly the case if kamachi tries to describe the powers he created for the magic side (since NT4) ^_^

      St. Germain controls carbon, because the character was a jeweller and alchemist who worked with jewels and diamonds (which are condensed carbon). Also, he is immortal because he is a virus propagating itself thanks to the ingestion of black pills.

      What's so hard to understand?

      (I would make a comment about not understanding Kamachi's explanations of magic powers when most of the times they are clear, but I have to remind myself not everyone get it easily)

      the new char who can one-shot majins is also feels like a fanfiction char written by fans... maybe kamachi tried to hard to center everything in the story around the MC ^_^

      Without the volume being completed, making an opinion on a character revealed by early spoilers without reading the thing themselves and see if the actual narrative make sense is an ill-advised jump to conclusions. It's like knowing of the twist ending of Sixth Sense, and deciding it doesn't make sense without watching the movie.

      Signing off for now.

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    • GS does have some points, but most of it has been handled decently. NT12 feels like a Magic-side story as well as a Science-side one, particularly because it reveals some stuff about Frenda and her life aside from being an operative of ITEM, all while dealing with a Magic-side enemy, so we can't say that the Science Side wasn't loved enough. The focus on Touma is also welcomed, but at the unfortunate cost of leaving out most of the cast, especially his inner circle from both sides. I hope we'd see a reorganized Roman Catholic Church soon, as well as the other major magic factions, for continuity's sake.

      As for Kakeru, sure, let's see if he's a decent character and not some Tatsuya Shiba-wannabe. Personally, it would be better if Touma gets through the story without some kind of mirror-match nemesis (or any nemesis, for that matter). But eh, I'd eventually learn to deal with it.

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    • I can understand that, this is also a problem I have with New Testament. While it tries to keep the cast restrained so to better concentrate on the main characters and limit introducing new characters to antagonists and pushing characters from SS to the forefront, it's at the cost of forgetting the rest of the lovable ensemble cast from OT. Lots of them are memorable, and well liked by the fanbase, so only showing them for a handful of short scenes makes the large cast seem less of a waste without thinking, "all this shit is going down, and everyone seems to have gone out to dinner or something" instead of "while x happens, x person is doing x".

      Styil probably got hit the hardest by it.

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    • I think the criticism of the loss of focus on characters other than Kamijou is fair and one that I fully agree with. While I'm perfectly fine with Kamijou's character growth (because out of all of the cast, he needed it), Kamachi needs to use it to move the entire story as a whole forward along with the rest of the cast. It is only through interaction and comparison/contrasting with the rest of the already established characters can Kamachi drive the character growth home for the reader. This is why I personally rate the WW3 arc, NT10 and NT12 so highly (even though NT10 was very divisive and NT12 was thought by many to be boring). Bring back the rest of the characters now.

      As for Kakeru...I refuse to form a subjective opinion of him until I read it for myself. I will say two things:

      1. My head also turned on its side when I first read it.

      2. I already envisioned a rival or anti-thesis of sorts to Kamijou long before but I expected him to come from Kamijou's past (the series biggest Pandora's Box) and be a Kihara for good measure. :) Not that Kamisato IS Kamijou's antithesis. I know nothing of his personality; just a vague description of his ability. I don't believe that he will turn out to be an anti-thesis (a rival for sure); it doesn't make sense to me as all of Kamijou's opponents in the series have been an anti-thesis of sorts to him. Recall the OT22 afterword.

      I will say more after the LN has been translated because from what little I've spoiled myself on, I'm not particularly worried.......yet. It may change when I actually read it. Who knows.

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    • @allfiction

      You can disagree with how it's done, but not liking that the series is centered around its protagonist?

      it is not like i dont like that kamachi centesr the story around the MC but how kamachi does it, it feels forced, the NT11 stuff and tha the rapid and sudden interest of the majins in toumas IB, no matter how kamachi tries to make it justified with "IB is some kind of tool to part the world equally between the majins"... it is as if he simply added them with no purpose at all, after the chars go back to status quo there will be another freeloader(or two... depends on how many female majins there are XD) and than this "IB's purpose" will be changed later with another villians use of it,

      i start to fear that kamachi wont give any 'real' explanation about it at all and finish the story with aleisters defeat :(

      Without the volume being completed, making an opinion on a character revealed by early spoilers without reading the thing themselves and see if the actual narrative make sense is an ill-advised jump to conclusions.

      yeah, i will wait before giving my opinion, it is of course only based on the spoilers but with "world rejector" (if it is true) i wont have high hopes :( :D

      PS: i agree with OH&S, the lack of other previously etablished chars is truly sad, i wouldnt mind it if the new chars had their own "selfs",

      for me, saint germain is like a antagonist(plus, more creepy and more dangerous) version of the misaka-will, kanou looks like mini-fiamma and somehow has bonds with frenda which actually doesnt have anything to do with the main story, NT11-girl is the "bad"-misaki(plus, lack of power control/level)... i will wait for the new enemy to show up,

      but i could actually imagine that he is somwhat like a "new"-version of accel, previously in OT accel was toumas "opposite", he had all other powers (magic, esper, some aim/divine/whatever power) and was able to use his powers in hundreds of different ways etc etc their looks had also been opposites, their world-views too, but accel got sidelined after NT6 (he isnt forgotten but he had two short cameos(which should be more for the deutergonist)) like many other chars... i wont be suprised if the new one will remind me on Vol.3-accel ^_^

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    • (recopied from AnimeSuki)

      Whoa, man, the last segments of the volume were intense. As said by others, it really redeemed the volume for me. I foremost wanted to read it for Mikoto (And I was well served. She really was the spotlight this volume. Even if it didn't exactly ended well for her, it ended with her getting some new introspection and having some soul searching to do.), and up until now, the plot, while not boring, wasn't remarkable or that interesting. A chase scene is hard to make interesting in any medium other than films or TV, especially if the chase takes place most of the novel. But then, the last chapter took me by surprise by suddenly upping the quality, in terms of drama (the HP/Touma dialogue about Mikoto) and action (the launch into space, Touma's arm, and Noukan Interrupt).

      The Epilogue was even better, though I am still on the fence whether Kamisato's introduction was a good thing for the plot or not (so far, I'm inclined to say no). At the very least, the last confrontation revealed, in one fell swoop, the powers of Niangniang, the origins of Nephthys (which I kinda suspected when the narration talked about the goddess' ambiguous origins at the beginning of NT12), the names of other Magic Gods, and Laura being a magnificient bastard (and no, nothing indicates in the text that she herself isn't human, guys). That's the exposition I need

      High Priest as an antagonist didn't have an interesting power (I would have wanted more Buddhist magic, you know?), but he made up for that with interesting motivations, backstory, and his presence (so much ham when he was riding the meteorite).

      Disappointed in the Noukan's intervention, and his Anti-Art Suit still not getting a clear explanation besides "connected to Aleister". The phallic compensation joke was really funny though. Also disappointed in Fiamma having been one shot for basically no reason, and Othinus and Index not having been involved, no matter what Touma may have said: when you have countermeasures, you go fucking use them. Not sure what rating I will give this volume, but it at least went up from the 5/10 I mentally rated it before today.


      it is not like i dont like that kamachi centesr the story around the MC but how kamachi does it, it feels forced, the NT11 stuff and tha the rapid and sudden interest of the majins in toumas IB, no matter how kamachi tries to make it justified with "IB is some kind of tool to part the world equally between the majins"... it is as if he simply added them with no purpose at all, after the chars go back to status quo there will be another freeloader(or two... depends on how many female majins there are XD) and than this "IB's purpose" will be changed later with another villians use of it,

      Well, IB has always be deemed important, so I didn't feel like the Gods' interest in Touma was surprising or unwarranted. And I think you misunderstood the novel, it isn't so much IB they were interested in but Kamijou Touma himself; the definition of IB as a reference point (which has been said since NT5) hasn't changed at all, it was how Touma wielded it that determined that he served as the best judge for the Gods' differents.

      Unless, of course, you mean the introduction of True Gremlin itself, which I agree was out of left field. Yes, there was nothing that forbid that many Magic Gods existed besides Othinus, but their sudden appearance as villains at the end of NT10 was...kinda jarring. Ollerus' story made it as if becoming a Magic God was a super rare chance that could happen to only one person (especially since Othinus stole the title from him, it somewhat implied the title wasn't available for anyone else anymore), but then not only we discover more, they were also not hindered by the 50/50 restrictions that plagued Othinus before she acquired Gungnir, and they were more powerful than her at full power. All the things we used to define "Majin" were apparently worthless from the beginning. Gremlin was a frustrating Diabolus Ex Machina.

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