A Certain Magical Index is a series of light novels written by Kazuma Kamachi and illustrated by Kiyotaka Haimura, published between 2004 and 2011. The series has been adapted into a television series consisting of three seasons as well as an animated film by studio J. C. Staff. A sequel was published between 2011 and 2019. A second sequel has been published from February 2020.
A spin-off manga named A Certain Scientific Railgun, scripted by Kazuma Kamachi (the author of the parent series) and illustrated by Motoi Fuyukawa, has been published since 2007. The manga has also been adapted into an anime television series consisting of three seasons, as well as an OVA, by J. C. Staff.
A second spin-off manga named A Certain Scientific Accelerator, illustrated by Arata Yamaji and still scripted by Kamachi, has been published since 2013. An animated television series adaptation of 12 episodes was made and aired between July and September 2019. The license also has many other adaptations and derivative products, and spans various media (video games, visual novels, drama CDs, other manga series and novels, etc.).
In this article, we are going to give you a thorough insight into the A Certain Magical Index anime series. You’re going to get all the necessary information, as well as a complete guide to watching the whole series, including the four anime movies that are part of the franchise.
A Certain Magical Index watch order by release date
In this section, we are going to bring you an overview of the A Certain Magical Index works in the proper release order:
- A Certain Magical Index, Season 1 (anime, 2008–2009)
- A Certain Magical Index-tan (OVA series, 2009–2019)
- A Certain Scientific Railgun, Season 1 (anime, 2009–2010)
- A Certain Magical Index II, Season 2 (anime, 2010–2011)
- A Certain Magical Index: The Movie – The Miracle of Endymion (movie, 2013)
- A Certain Scientific Railgun S, Season 2 (anime, 2013)
- A Certain Magical Index III, Season 3 (anime, 2018–2019)
- A Certain Scientific Accelerator (anime, 2019)
- A Certain Scientific Railgun T, Season 3 (anime, 2020)
In the next part of this article, we are going to tell you how you should watch the series in chronological order.
A Certain Magical Index chronological watch order
In this section, we are going to give you a chronological overview of the works in question:
A Certain Scientific Railgun, Season 1 (anime, 2009–2010)
Kuroko Shirai, a member of Academy City’s public morals committee, Judgment, is on stage to catch a group of thugs who are harassing a girl, who turns out to be her senpai Mikoto Misaka, who has already defeated them. During this time, the city hosts the “Scan System”, which annually tests the power level of students from various schools, including Tokiwadai Middle School, which the two girls attend.
Kazari Uiharu, a colleague of Kuroko in Judgment of Sakugawa Middle School and a fan of Mikoto, is invited by Kuroko to meet with her and Mikoto and brings her best friend, Ruiko Saten, with her. Kazari and Ruiko are surprised that Mikoto is not like the wealthy worldly snobs they had in mind. Just then a bank robbery takes place nearby and Kuroko goes into action to stop the robbers, including a pyrokinesist.
When Ruiko gets hurt while rescuing a young child from one of the robbers, Mikoto angrily uses her powers to shoot a Railgun to prevent him from escaping. With the thieves arrested by the city police, the Anti-Skill, Ruiko is thanked by everyone for the courageous rescue of her. Mikoto invites Kazari and Ruiko to her dorm, ruining Kuroko’s plans to celebrate her first month since she became Mikoto’s roommate.
Mikoto then has a fight with Kuroko in the corridors of the dormitory when he learns that Kuroko had ordered aphrodisiacs for the occasion, which ends abruptly when the fearsome dorm supervisor intervenes. As a punishment for using their powers inside the dorm, they are both sent to clean the school pool the next day.
Mikoto is introduced to Kuroko’s two classmates, Kinoho Wannai and Maaya Awatsuki, the former of whom is an aquakinesist whom Mikoto rescued from some thugs some time earlier. Kuroko becomes jealous that Mikoto gets along with her companions right away and yells at her, believing that Mikoto doesn’t care.
To cheer her up, Mikoto gives her a gift to celebrate a slightly different anniversary, the day they became friends with her. However, during the toast, Kuroko accidentally drinks the aphrodisiac drink she intended to give Mikoto. She becomes so overwhelmed by her lust that she steals Mikoto’s underwear while she is still wearing it, prompting him to electrocute her repeatedly in punishment.
Kazari and Ruiko are invited by Kuroko and Mikoto to visit the school garden, a private neighborhood in Academy City that caters to elite female students and where a large number of elite girls’ schools are located. Ruiko finds his wet uniform on the street and borrows a Tokiwadai uniform. Kuroko and Kazari are called back to work by Judgment and are briefed on a case in which several Tokiwadai students have been stunned and drawn over their brows with a permanent marker.
Ruiko is mistaken for a Tokiwadai student and becomes the latest victim. Kuroko and Uiharu narrow their suspicions to a Level 2 ESPer girl named Miho Jufuku, who can make herself invisible to the naked eye, which Ruiko confirms. Prevented the attack on another victim and after a land chase they manage to stop her and discover that she was targeting the students of Tokiwadai because her boyfriend, from that academy, left her because of her strange eyebrows that did not he liked them.
Feeling sorry for her, Ruiko forgives Miho and tells her that her brows are cute. After Miho is taken into custody, Mikoto wonders how a Level 2 ESPer could be so powerful.
A Certain Scientific Railgun S, Season 2 (anime, 2013)
Mikoto waits for her friends for a date all together, but they are late and so she decides to go find them. Meanwhile, Saten, passing through dark alleys, gets into trouble and is chased by thugs. She then has to ask Kuroko and Uiharu for help, who intervene after detecting their friend’s location via the cell phone signal. When Kuroko is about to fix the thugs, Kuroko arrives and electrocutes them with her ESP powers for her.
The next day Mikoto and her friends decide to meet with Erii Haruue to visit Banri Edasaki, a friend involved in the Child Error experiment, in the hospital and give her a gift. While waiting for the others, Mikoto goes to the library to pass the time, but here she has a discussion and demonstration of her powers by Tokiwadai’s other Level 5 ESPer, Misaki Shokuhō, known as Mental Out for her ability to control the mind.
Later he goes to the hospital with his friends and thinks of giving her the gift in a more special way. For this he goes out with Kuroko, Uiharu and Saten from the room, but fails to carry out the project as he forgets the bag with the gift in the room. Then chaos spreads due to the escape of a madman in the hospital, who escaped the control of Anti-Skill.
Kuroko and Uiharu intervene as Judgment to better understand the situation, but in the meantime their friend Erii, who took the bag containing the gift with her, is taken hostage. The intervention of Mikoto and the others saves Haruue, however the gift remained with the madman and others fleeing by helicopter. Mikoto then gets angry and with Kuroko’s help uses her Railgun and destroys the helicopter.
The gift is then recovered and given to their friend. In the finale, Tōma Kamijō is shown, commenting on the scene of the helicopter crashed after the Railgun suffered. Misaka sees in a dream the moment in which as a child some scientists of the Academy City show her how her powers could have become the resource to cure those suffering from muscular dystrophy and in it she sees a particular dark-haired girl.
When she wakes up she finds herself stuck with Kuroko, who after leaving school to shop, chases her Onee-sama to make up for it. Kuroko advises Mikoto to walk down an alley to get to the shops first, but here they accidentally find an envelope containing a prepaid credit card. Kuroko and Mikoto take her to Judgment and learn from Konori Mii and Uiharu Kazari that at least 60 other prepaid cards across the city have already been reported.
Kuroko finds herself dealing with this case, while Mikoto goes shopping. However, she meets Saten Ruiko on the street, who engages her in the hunt for prepaid cards and the Level 5 ESPer then fails to meet her plans for the day. Before returning to her dorm, she overhears a conversation between some Skill-Outs about who handed out the cards for Academy City.
Mikoto asks Kuroko to cover her absence in the dorm and decides to follow the Skill-Out group. They arrive at the place she went to the one who probably left the prepaid cards, an ESPer with the ability called Critical. After the Skill-Outs demand the other cards from her, she sets them up by pretending to use an ability that allows her to kill those she touches and using an anesthetic.
Mikoto, after witnessing her scene, speaks to her directly congratulating her for defending herself so effectively. However, the mysterious girl stuns Mikoto.
A Certain Magical Index, Season 1 (anime, 2008–2009)
Kamijou Touma is a boy who lives in Academy City, a city where supernatural powers are common in people and are classified by levels. Although he is a level 0, without any special powers, he possesses a unique ability in his right hand that allows him to nullify psychic powers, magic, curses and blessings, but also his own luck.
One morning Touma wakes up and has an encounter with a nun from the Anglican Church of England hanging from her balcony called “Index”. She reveals that she is being hunted by wizards due to her possessing 103,000 magic books. The two become friends after an embarrassing incident to prove the existence of magic.
When Touma returns home he finds Index on the ground bleeding and behind him appears a man who calls himself a magician. The magician is called Styil Magnus who belongs to the Anglican church. Having finished introducing him, Styil attacks Touma with fire magic; however Touma nullifies it with his right hand, then Styil summons Innocentius, a fire giant capable of carbonizing everything around him.
With Index’s help, despite being unconscious, Touma, using Index’s wits, was able to defeat Styil. Afterwards, Index needed medical help, so he took her to Komoe, his teacher, to cure her with magic, but he must leave the place, otherwise the magic would not work with his presence alone, leaving Index in the hands of her teacher. Index informs Komoe that she must summon an angel in order to be healed, Index draws a diagram on the table and makes a miniature version of the room with the items she finds.
The next day, after Komoe left, Index and Touma talk about why she memorized the 103,000 magic books and how Necessarius, a corrupted church that experiments with magic, was created. At night, Index tells Touma that he only remembers since her arrival in Japan a year ago. After an argument, Index leaves Touma alone and a girl named Kaori Kanzaki, a magician, appears before him.
Kanzaki tells Touma to hand over Index to him and not to get involved in magic matters; however, Touma refuses and tries to attack her, but cannot get close to her.
Kanzaki informs her that she was the one who attacked Index that time, even though she didn’t want to, she also tells her that Index has the ability of eternal memorization and that 85% of her brain is occupied by the 103,000 magic books and the 15 % is for herself, but if it exceeds more than 15% her brain would not resist and that is why she along with Styil erased her memory every year, and that within 3 days they would erase her memory, then Touma, badly injured, faints.
Waking up in the morning, he realizes that 3 days have passed; thus, Styil and Kanzaki appear. Seeing them, Index told them that she won’t run away anymore as long as they don’t hurt Touma, then she faints from her and they tell Touma that he has until midnight to say goodbye to her. At night they came, but before starting the ritual, Touma calls Komoe, she denies him about what Kanzaki told him.
He came to the conclusion that both of them were misled with the information they gave him so his only problem was that Index felt bad and discovered a seal inside his mouth. Upon touching it with her right hand, she reacts and her subconscious summons St. George’s shrine to eliminate the threat. Now Touma must touch Index to return her to normal.
Index attacks Touma with a magical power called “Dragon’s Breath”, a destructive power along with feathers falling from the sky. Touma protects her with her right hand from her attack until Styil and Kanzaki help him to get closer to her, and thus they managed to stop her; however, one of the feathers touched Touma’s head causing him to pass out.
He wakes up the next morning, but his memories of him were wiped out because of that pen. However, he lied to Index so she wouldn’t feel guilty, saying that he nullified the pen’s power with the “Imagine Breaker” (named after the hospital doctor) that he held in his right hand. It’s been 2 weeks since Touma lost his memory, he meets Styil, who needs to work together with Touma to rescue Aisa Hinegami, a girl with the ability to kill vampires, who is a prisoner inside Misawa Private School.
Touma along with Styil were heading after that school. Arriving there, Styil informs him that the person responsible for this is Aurelius Issard, an alchemist, they entered and found a bloody armor. Touma and Styil are attacked by the students of that school; therefore, Styil uses Touma as a decoy so he can escape and meets Aurelius Issard. Touma watches one of the students being injured by the magic he is using until she passes out, then meets Aisa Hinegami and heals the girl’s injuries.
A Certain Magical Index II, Season 2 (anime, 2010–2011)
Touma and Index go to a restaurant and are attacked by a magician named Yamasaki who captures Index to absorb knowledge from a book, which fails and he is severely injured. His reason was that he needed to know how to remove a curse from a girl and Touma decides to help him. Touma receives the news that Index was “kidnapped” by Stiyl, while he is searching for her he meets a nun from the Catholic Church named Orsola Aquinas.
Once reunited with Index, Stiyl asks her to find the nun Orsola Aquinas, she has the ability to decipher “The Book of the Law” and according to her she is being persecuted. Accidentally, she followed Touma, but her time with them was short as she was captured by the amakusa (a group that Kanzaki was leading).
Touma, index, Stiyl and Agnese (a nun they met in the same place) went in search of Orsola; their rescue was a success, but Tatemiya (current leader of the amakusa) explains to them that the Catholic Church wants to eliminate Orsola, since with what she knew about the book she was a danger to the Christian community, that’s why she asked the amakusa for help but he also mistrusted them.
Touma wanted to see her to confirm what she told him but the nuns Angeline and Lucia attacked them. Touma decides to save Orsola on her own, what he didn’t expect was that Stiyl and Index also thought the same thing so they went to the “orsola” church to stop her murder. While there they received help from the amakusa and a battle began between the Catholic and Anglican Churches.
Once recovered to Orsola she tells them the method to decipher the “book of the Law”; however, Index tells her that method is wrong; thus, Orsola no longer poses a threat to the church. Then Touma has a fight with Agnise with him being the victor although he was injured. At the hospital Kanzaki thanks him for solving that problem.
Kuroko and Uiharu observe that some people were robbed by other black guys who took a suitcase from outer space. Kuroko decides to stop them, but suddenly a girl who also has the ability of teleportation appears, she leaves Kuroko wounded and tells him that the suitcase contains a remnant of the “Tree Diagram” satellite and, also, about the experiment they did with Mikoto.
Misaka. Kuroko decides to butt in and watches Misaka and Awaki’s confrontation. Awaki wants to use the sender to create a new satellite, by doing that the “Level 6” project would return. Misaka 10032 asks Touma for help and together with Misaka stop that purpose.
Meanwhile, Kuroko has one last showdown with Awaki at a hotel, but she manages to escape her and destroys the building along with her inside of it; however, Touma and Mikoto go to her aid. Awaki, after running away, ran into Accelerator; he destroyed the remnant and defeated her with one blow. Kuroko in the hospital tells Misaka that he can always count on her to see her happy.
Academy City has a big sports festival where all the schools in the city participate, so Touma makes a bet with Misaka: if his school beats the other’s, he will do whatever the winner asks. On the other hand, Tsuchimikado and Stiyl have the mission to locate Oriana Thompsom since she has in her possession the “Sword Stab” whose power can kill a saint.
Touma, after being dragged by Fukiyose Seiri (her schoolmate), finds Oriana and decides to chase after her. Tsuchimikado and Stiyl join Oriana’s chase. She lays many traps for them on her way and often confuses them. Since they lost her, Touma meets Index and they decide to have lunch with her parents. At the restaurant they meet Mikoto and Misuzu Misaka (Mikoto’s mother).
Tsuchimikado was able to find Oriana’s location. He and Touma confront her but he manages to escape from her by leaving the “sword stab”, but it was really just a sign. They try to find the location of the counter spell, which can hurt anyone just by touching it, and infiltrate another school’s event. To her misfortune Fukiyose touches her seal leaving her unconscious.
Oriana’s goal is to activate “Peter’s cross” so that the Catholic Church has power over academy city. After the chase Oriana attacks Himegami believing her to be a Necessarius mage. Komoe tries to use the healing spell while Touma goes after Oriana.
A Certain Scientific Accelerator (anime, 2019)
After saving Last Order at the expense of much of its power, Accelerator finds itself embroiled in a new conflict linked to a sinister organization called Disciplinary Action that plots to use Last Order for a dangerous mission. The group of antagonists have already set their plan in motion and are in search of the child, so it is up to the most powerful ESPer in the world and her new adventure partner, Esther Rosenthal, to protect Last Order and defend the Academy City.
A Certain Magical Index: The Movie – The Miracle of Endymion (movie, 2013)
Shortly before the new “Endymion” space elevator is completed in the Academy City, Tōma meets a Level 0 girl named Arisa. At the same time, however, a team of wizards infiltrates the city, opposed by an internal team of the City. The young Arisa, however, could be the key to averting a possible war between the world of magic and that of science.
A Certain Scientific Railgun T, Season 3 (anime, 2020)
Ahead of the Grand Festival of Conqueror Stars, Mikoto Misaka, along with other Level 5 ESPers, is approached with an offer to take over the swearing of athletes during the opening ceremony of the festival. Meanwhile, when a fight breaks out between the cheering teams over the use of the main stage, Kazari Uiharu steps in to try and stop them.
This grabs the attention of Level 5 seventh ESPer Gunha Sogiita, who ends up doing more harm than good with his powerful but unknown ability. While Kazari and Ruiko Saten try to save the civilians, Mikoto steps in to protect them from the rubble. Eventually, as the offer is declined by Accelerator, Teitoku Kakine (the second Level 5 ESPer), Shizuri Mugino and Mikoto, the representative roles are given to Gunha and Misaki Shokuhō, the latter of whom shows interest in the Sisters .
After an explosive improvisation by Gunha, the Grand Festival of Conqueror Stars begins with a three-legged run, with Mitsuko Kongō teaming up with Mikoto in place of the injured Kuroko Shirai. As Mikoto goes to change her dress after winning her contest, Misaka # 10032 is mistaken for Mikoto and taken to take part in Tokiwadai’s next event, Balloon Hunter, where someone has her eyes on her.
Tokiwadai begins the Balloon Hunter event against the opposing school, which gains a head start thanks to information on Tokiwadai’s ESPers provided by MEMBRER agent Yoshio Baba. Believing Misaka # 10032 to be Mikoto, Yoshio sends her teammates to join her as she sends a robotic mosquito to inject her with a nanodevice.
After the event ends with Tokiwadai’s defeat, Mikoto goes to have lunch with her mother Misuzu Misaka, arguing with Tōma Kamijō and Misaki while having a drink, while Ruiko and Kazari decide to look for a metal known as Shadow Metal. Meanwhile, Misaka # 10032 collapses to the ground due to the nanodevice inserted inside her body, at which point she is found by Misaki.
A Certain Magical Index III, Season 3 (anime, 2018–2019)
The tension between the Catholic Church and the Academy City is growing after the September 30 attack by Vento del Fronte from the seat to the right of God, so the city begins to increase its security level. Tōma Kamijō had an unlucky day as hungry Index bit him, Seria Kumokawa hit him in the head with a ball, accidentally saw his teacher named Suama Oyafune taking off her skirt and Mikoto Misaka attacked him after seeing a photo of him and his mother, Misuzu Misaka, on his phone.
As he heads home, Tōma is forced to follow an elderly woman named Monaka Oyafune, who has turned out to be Suama’s mother, and the two talk in a park. Monaka reveals to Tōma that she is one of the board members of the city and her fear of her for the impending war, so she wants him to investigate whether the recent worldwide protests against Academy City are by the Catholic Church.
Motoharu Tsuchimikado shows up on the scene and shoots Monaka, but Monaka explains that she ordered him to shoot her to protect her family and satisfy the rest of the pro-war board who would soon discover her secret meeting with Tōma. Tōma agrees to work with her and follows Motoharu as they head to Avignon, France via a supersonic jet.
Tōma parachutes into a river and risks drowning, but is saved by Itsuwa of the Amakusa Church. Tōma explains to Itsuwa that he and Motoharu planned to find the Document of Constantine, also known as Document C, a magical artifact that was donated long ago by the Roman Emperor Constantine to the Catholic Church to allow the Pope to be revered by his followers despite rebuttal information, which led to riots against Academy City around the world.
Itsuwa takes it to a bar and explains that Document C is currently in Avignon and not in Vatican City due to the historic conflict between France and Rome and the city’s power lines allowed the artifact to spread its effects throughout Europe. However, Tōma and Itsuwa are forced to leave the place after the rioters realize Tōma’s connection with Academy City.
Meanwhile in London, Stiyl Magnus and Agnese Sanctis interrogate prisoners Lidvia Lorenzetti and Biagio Busoni for information on the seat on God’s right. Lidvia explains that there are four special individuals who have sacrificed their ability to use normal magic in exchange for divine powers to get rid of original sin and thus get closer to God.
While avoiding the rioters, Tōma and Itsuwa receive a call from Motoharu ordering them to find one of the city’s power lines so that Tōma’s Imagine Breaker can destroy the rioters. effects of Document C. Shortly before they cut off one of the city’s power lines located in a museum, Tōma and Itsuwa are attacked by one of the members of God’s right seat called the Land of the Left.
Motoharu shows up on the scene and joins Tōma and Itsuwa in their battle against Terra, who quickly fled after the arrival of some unmanned Powered Suits sent from Academy City. Motoharu then stays behind to stop them while Tōma and Itsuwa chase Terra to the Palace of the Popes. After reaching the completely empty palace, Tōma calls Mikoto to get some news about Academy City.
So she informs him that an operation has been sent to clear Avignon of enemies, thus dealing with a dangerous religious group, but their conversation is interrupted when Terra presents them with Document C. During their struggle, Terra discovers that Tōma has not yet reached the full power of Imagine Breaker due to his lost memories.
Tōma thus takes advantage of a weak point in his opponent’s abilities to defeat him and destroy Document C. Just as Tōma is about to learn the secrets of the power of his right hand from Earth, a team of stealth bombers approached by Accelerator attacks the palace, allowing to Earth to escape. Later in St. Peter’s Basilica, Terra is killed by another member of the Seat to God’s right called Acqua del Retro for involving civilians while performing his spell. Acqua decides to face the conflict alone after the recent failures of Vento and Terra.
A Certain Magical Index-tan is an OVA series included in the Japanese releases of the first and fifth Blu-ray and DVDs of each season of A Certain Magical Index. The episodes features a chibified Index and parodies of events that take place in the series. They are not canon and do not fit anywhere in the chronology.