Having watched both seasons of A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun, this evening I watched the Index film: The Miracle of Endymion. Now, you get the review!
Happily for those that have never seen any of the TV show, The Miracle of Endymion pretty much stands alone by itself. Chronologically, it comes after all 4 seasons in the franchise but isn’t affected by any of the events that have gone on (unless you’re desperate to know Kuroko is still in a wheelchair). Let’s say you haven’t seen anything else in the franchise, what do you really need to know? The backdrop to our story is the most forward thinking scientific city in the world, Academy City. It’s principal purpose is to train the most gifted young people with scientific abilities called espers. On the other side of things, are magicians who on the whole despise science and everything it stands for. Both sides in the show have a lot of power and have fleeting quietly on the edge of war for a while. The main character is Toma, a pretty average Level 0 esper with apparently no power. Apart from the fact that his right hand can dispel anyone else’s power whether it be scientific or magical. His nun friend is Index, a member of the English Church and a magician of sorts- she has memorised the whole of the grimoires of the Catholic Church often making her a target for anyone and everyone around the world.
That should be enough to get you going through this.
As I’ve said, the film doesn’t have any bearing on the TV series and works really well as stand alone feature. It’s based on a space plane crash that happened 3 years ago in Academy City; against all the odds, all 88 people on board survived- it was seen as a miracle. Meanwhile in the present day, Index and Toma befriend a street singer called Arisa. Soon after that, they get attacked by their magic friends (I know, some ‘friends’ they are) as they try to capture Arisa. It turns out that she’s extremely powerful and could start a war between science and magic or worse yet, destroy half of the world if an immortal crazy magician gets her hands on her (!). The leader of another group trying to protect Arisa arrives called Shutaura. The two sides have a bit of a battle but in the end the three escape.
After some more fighting, singing and explosions we reach a period of the the film where only the two girls are together, allowing for Arisa to be captured and taken into space by an immortal crazy magician (looks like the prediction sadly came off). In an instances the game changes, with everyone looking to rescue Arisa and stop the crazy immortal magician (as it happens she does have an name, it’s Ladylee, I just feel like my tag line is adding some kind of effect) from destroying the world in an attempt to kill herself. Needless to say that the ensuing conclusion goes well with a bit of twist with two of the movie’s feature characters as well.
Endymion follows similar themes to the TV shows in as much as you’ve got a combination of well animated actions sequences interspersed with some genuinely funny comedy. It’s absolutely an Index movie rather than a Railgun movie so we are getting a lot more of a magic/science balance than we might have done. The story itself is a story of forgiveness and coming to terms with the loss of a loved one, which although could have had more screen time, was dealt with reasonably well.
This isn’t a movie that’s going to change your life even if you are a big fan of the TV series. While the lack of connection to the show makes the film more accessible to those that haven’t seen the franchise before, it will probably feel like a bit of let down if you wanted a continuation from what was a very good second season of A Certain Magical Index. All of that said, we should be criticising The Miracle of Endymion too much: for one thing it has all of the traits that we love so much from the show, namely the boundless comedy we get from Toma and Index’s relationship. We’re also introduced to just that little bit more lore on the world. Railgun only fans also have a bit in there for them with some good cameos from both Misaka and Accelerator. Overall it’s worth a watch, but don’t turn a good recommendation for it, it’s not going to change your life.