A Certain Magical Index Vol. 5 Review + Overview — Three Stories Arc — New Love, Redemption & Summer Break’s End

    Title: A Certain Magical Index, Vol. 5
    Author: Kazuma Kamachi
    Release Date: February 23, 2016
    Publisher: Yen Press

Check out our reviews and overviews of the previous light novel volumes of A Certain Magical Index Old Testament before reading this article.

mgaical index vol 5

It was August 31, three days after the Angel Fall incident.

Touma Kamijou and Index were back in Academy City, and things weren’t going super well for the former. It was exactly midnight, and Touma suffered from a nosebleed after eating too many peanuts. As a reminder, he slept in the bathtub while Index occupied the bed, so finding tissues in the next room over was a stress-inducing task.

In the conventional bedroom that wasn’t the bathroom, he stumbled upon a sleeping Index positioned in a way that unconsciously made room for someone to sleep beside her. Of course, Touma understood the implication, but he also understood that the person Index wanted by her side didn’t exist anymore, not that she was aware of that.

As he was reminded of every day, Touma Kamijou was dead.

The defenseless position Index unwittingly put herself in here was out of trust for the previous Touma Kamijou. With that being the case, the newly birthed Touma Kamijou wouldn’t let himself get tempted, even if he found himself excited by the sight of a scantily clad girl around his age sleeping nearby.

Index quickly woke up, noticing the boy, and as he defended himself by claiming that she didn’t excite him at all, she became quite upset and bit him as she usually does. It turned out that the prospect of her not being enticing to him whatsoever was what annoyed her, much to Touma’s bafflement. In the midst of their debate, he offhandedly mentioned how Mikoto’s violent tendencies never escalated to this level.

At him bringing up another girl she didn’t know, Index’s vexation amplified, but that was short-lived when she learned the actual cause of his nosebleed was the peanuts. The tension eased considerably yet rose once more when the nun gave Touma a piece of paper as a tissue replacement.

This piece of paper was math homework, leading Touma to realize that neither he nor his past self did any school work during Summer break. And today was Phineas and Ferb’s worst nightmare, the last day of Summer vacation. So, Touma had to haul ass.



At the same time, a familiar Esper exited a convenience store while holding a bag containing numerous cans of coffee. Countless thugs were attacking him, an occurrence that became increasingly common following his impossible defeat.

Yes, Accelerator.

The rumors of a certain unknown Level 0 defeating the strongest Level Five in battle couldn’t be so easily washed away. As he effortlessly dealt with the Espers attacking him in a desperate bid to validate their self-worth, Accelerator pondered his own. What was left for him following the failed Level Six Shift Project? Why was he still letting those who foolishly attacked him remain living? Did he grow weaker or stronger? Did that certain unknown Level 0 grow weaker or stronger?

On his walk, he heard the shouting of who he assumed to be an arguing couple in their apartment. Unknowingly to him, it was Touma and Index.

He then walked past a little girl with a cloth draped over her, and at the notice of her annoying vocalizations, he shut her off with vectors. Contrary to what some may think, Accelerator wasn’t the type to actively harm someone if they didn’t approach him with animosity. But the girl just wouldn’t stop prattling on about how upset she was about him ignoring her, and something about her speech patterns rubbed him the wrong way.

Finally caving, Accelerator removed the cloth adorning her body, finding the girl identical to the thousands of clones he massacred during the Level Six Shift Project, except she was far younger. Perhaps around ten or so years old. The Strongest couldn’t veil his shock.

Grabbing back her cloth, the girl announced her name to be Last Order with the Misaka clone number 20,001. She was the final Sister ever made, and the reason for her overly youthful appearance and fittingly childish attitude was that she was removed from incubation before her state was finalized.

Last Order asked Accelerator if he could get in contact with the scientists responsible for her so her body could grow to its predetermined state back in the incubator. Of course, he denied her swiftly, as he had no desire to get involved with even the remnants of Radio Noise. Still, the girl’s behavior mystified him. She must’ve known what Accelerator did in the experiment since all the Misaka Sisters shared memories via connected brain waves. Then again, considering how different her personality was, maybe the Testament didn’t finish inputting her characterization, so there was a possibility she didn’t yet have a way to connect to her fellow Sisters.

The duo arrived at Accelerator’s five-story dorm building, and, despite Last Order’s blatant yearnings for a place to stay and eat, he was not-so-subtly threatening her to get lost. He told her purposefully wrong room numbers so she could hopefully leave for good, but she stuck around, much to his annoyance. Eventually, they arrived at Accelerator’s room, 311, which was raided and ransacked. The sight didn’t surprise him much, considering how many Espers were out to get him, but it was a thorough reminder that his power was only good for protecting himself and nothing else.

Regardless of the danger the invaded room comprised, like broken glass and the warnings imposed by Accelerator, Last Order still chose to stay here. Above all else, she didn’t want to be alone, so Accelerator silently relented. As he lay asleep, he wondered if this was the first time he spoke to someone who didn’t have it out for him.

Accelerator slept for a good long while, finally fully awake at around 2 PM. Noting the time and his lack of homemaking skills, he decided to eat out, with Last Order choosing to follow, though she wished to see him cook.

Last Order asked him about his starkly white hair color and whether it was natural. Of course, it wasn’t. Accelerator’s androgynous appearance was due to a significant hormonal imbalance caused by his power.

“This isn’t natural. It’s a side effect of my power or somethin’. I don’t know. The pigments in your skin and hair and eyes protect your body from UV rays, but I always just reflect all the extra shit anyway, so my body doesn’t need color. Somethin’ like that.”

The two’s rather casual talk struck Accelerator, notably his unwitting willingness to engage with her. Such an occurrence was ordinarily far beyond him. During his massacres throughout Radio Noise, his interactions with the Sisters weren’t what he perceived as conversations. He viewed them as machines with programmed responses. So, what was different about his exchanges with Last Order? What about him changed? What about the universe changed? And why?

In the restaurant Accelerator chose to eat in, he noticed a familiar researcher outside. Ao Amai. He was a scientist who pushed for the continuation of the Level Six Shift Project using the Radio Noise-produced Sisters as the backbone. Even though the calculations of Tree Diagram were proven incorrect thanks to the efforts of that certain unknown Level 0, there was a faction of researchers desperate to see Level Six Shift resumed as soon as possible. They were perusing bugs 24/7 for any surmountable opening.

Accelerator foolishly ignored the presence of Ao.

At the sight of Accelerator ordering food like a normal human being, Last Order was delightfully alarmed since, based on their interactions, she assumed he’d demand what he wanted, putting everyone’s safety at risk. At such a declaration, he didn’t deny he could do that, but there’d be no point even if he did. It would become recurrent death.

If he killed the shop employees, he’d have to kill the managers, then Anti-Skill and Judgment, and eventually all of Academy City before the outside got involved. A full-scale war with the world’s militaries could occur with him as the target, and he’d win. But once again, there was no point. All that’d be left for him would be living in a cave for the rest of his life. Conventionally living with modern human society was the best course of action.

Last Order asked Accelerator about school, to which the Strongest replied that he took classes entirely by himself in a school with over two thousand students. He was his class’ only student and didn’t participate in any events like festivals or sports. It was simply because he was the strongest and was on the path to becoming Level Six.

Last Order then asked if such a life made him lonely, yet such a question aggravated him. Not only did he not want to be pitied, but there was no reason for a monster like him to be comforted in the first place. Nothing would change the fact that he killed thousands of people.

It was peculiar, though. If he was so resigned to solitude that only someone known as the Strongest could understand and chose to kill the Sisters as a way to vent, then why did he even bother conversing with them in the first place?

The Sisters were programmed to do as instructed and didn’t act irrationally.

He was the one who didn’t follow the unconscious protocol. No one tried to talk to him, but he was the one to initiate conversation with the Sisters. Even if it was just trash talk and demeaning language, he had no reason to say a word to any of them. He wondered what that contradiction implied.

The actions of Last Order prompted ever more curiosity, though. Even when her ordered food arrived and was at the ideal steamed temperature, she waited 15 minutes for Accelerator’s food to arrive. Despite her meal not being nearly as warm as she initially yearned, she was delighted to eat alongside Accelerator.

He finally asked the still-burning question. She revealed that she did, in fact, have a brain link with the other Sisters, so why was she interacting with him when she was fully aware of all he had done?

There was a brain of sorts called the Misaka Network that each Sister was connected to, yet that connectivity went in a rather odd direction.

“When an individual Misaka dies, the Misaka network itself doesn’t disappear, explains Misaka explains Misaka. Going with the brain analogy, Misakas are the cells, and the brain-wave links are like the synapses that convey information between cells. If a cell is destroyed, then the memories experienced go away, so it does hurt, but the Misaka network can’t be completely destroyed until the very last Misaka goes away…”

Still, Last Order declared that each Misaka clone, including her, had their own individual value. Just like that certain unknown Level 0 said. Accelerator thought about how such a common sense mentality had never affected him before. None of the Sisters he slaughtered ever proclaimed their self-worth or hatred for him, so even though he knew they had emotions, he was unaware of the pain they felt.

However, Last Order defied expectations because she thanked the boy who killed ten thousand of her Sisters. Radio Noise progressed to the extent it did because Accelerator existed, birthing the Level Six Shift project. If he wasn’t around, then there’s a fair chance many of them wouldn’t have been born.

This notion angered Accelerator considerably. There was more to one’s existence than living and dying. After all, he was delighted by the harm he inflicted on the Sisters.

But was he actually, though?

Last Order claimed he had no desire to participate in the experiment because he kept trying to converse with them. Even if the way he regarded them was utter garbage, the point of people talking with each other was to form some type of connection, no matter what avenue of morality it was rooted in.

Last Order dug into this impossible truth further. Could he have talked to the Sisters so often because he wanted them to defy him and validate their lives? Did he want them to reveal that they had no desire to be part of the Level Six Shift experiment at all?

He came to an uncomfortable truth. He wanted someone to stop him. If all 20,000 Sisters had pleaded for their lives before Level Six Shift began proper, he would’ve not killed any of them. That was why he constantly questioned them whenever they clashed. That was why his actions were so unjustifiably cruel—his desperation for the experiment to cease festered in the worst way imaginable.

His incessant internal inquiries about what within himself had changed had a transparent answer all along. It all tied back to the efforts of that certain unknown Level 0.

Of course, his sins, no matter how obvious, bore endless emphasis. For instance, if that certain unknown Level 0 hadn’t stopped him, he knew he would’ve killed that Sister as much as she didn’t want to face that fate. Was Accelerator just too far gone at that point?

As Accelerator mused, he realized Last Order had collapsed, suffering from her incompleteness as the final Sister who was released prematurely. And he chose to leave her behind, walking alone out of the restaurant.

As different as the two were, and even though they only had one meeting, Accelerator and Touma Kamijou possessed a unique similarity. When Accelerator saw Last Order suffering in that food establishment, he chose to leave her behind. Touma would, of course, try to help her. No argument there.

However, the two both believed their powers to doom them to isolation. Touma Kamijou had a right hand with an ability that wouldn’t be exaggerated to call cursed, and Accelerator’s ability prowess was monstrous. Even though Touma lived with that nun, he was still like a phantom, not seeking external validation for his work in saving others, nor any lasting connections. Index was just a remnant from his previous self that stuck around.

Outside of the bounds of this novel, it’s worth wondering if Touma would willingly isolate himself even further if Index did not exist in his life. While it would be for inherently different reasons, he wouldn’t be all too distant from Accelerator and his loneliness.

The Strongest wasn’t honest with himself. As much as he told himself he had no place to help the girl, his heart guided him to a familiar locale at 5:15 PM. The laboratory where all the Sisters were made. Could he use the devices there to aid Last Order’s physical development? Despite not saying it, Accelerator intended to save her. After all, she saved him.

At 5:20 PM, Accelerator encountered a lone woman at the laboratory. Kikyou Yoshikawa. A woman in her late twenties who was looking through the code of the Level Six Shift experiment, seeking a way to identify and rectify the error implanted by Tree Diagram so the project could resume.

At least, that’s what Accelerator thought she was doing. She wasn’t looking at Tree Diagram’s data at the moment. Still, Accelerator was just here to help Last Order by obtaining the necessary equipment to align her aging with the rest of the Sisters: an incubator and Testament.

Yoshikawa was surprised by his knowledge, as she was only made aware of such recently. In fact, the code she was investigating was the Testament’s, a brainwashing device that instilled necessary information into the Sisters across their two-week creation process.

Yoshikawa mentioned that she was cleaning out viruses found in the Sisters’ personality data, with the conversation shifting to Last Order. The clone was the 20,001st clone of the 20,000 created to be slaughtered by Accelerator for the experiment. Instead, she was made as a safety net who could control every single clone herself if there had ever been a revolt. She has been purposefully kept young and relatively powerless so the staff can easily control her.

The virus she was investigating had to do with Last Order specifically, as she possessed strange brain waves. It was pretty serious. At exactly midnight on September 1, this virus would infect the remaining 10,000 Sisters by extension of Last Order’s connectivity and cause them to attack humanity indiscriminately.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to call this scenario the end of the world. The Sisters revolting against mankind would cause inestimable harm to Academy City’s image. Since they were all spread out worldwide following the experiment, there’d be no easy way to contain all of them. Academy City would fall or, the more likely option, assert their authority and face off against other nations, thereby causing war.

Accelerator knew he’d live no matter what, but living without anything was meaningless.

Last Order was unaware of these facts and fled via an instinctual aversion to the researchers who worked on her. Still, circumstances were dire. If someone were to catch her, understand her purpose, and then use her for their own ends, the apocalypse wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.

After all these reveals, Yoshikawa announced the name of the one responsible for the virus, Ao Amai. The same scientist Accelerator saw earlier. He was an original Radio Noise researcher who was the most knowledgeable of the Sisters’ minds as the one who helmed their personality data via the Testament.

The only option for success at this point was for Accelerator to assist. But assist how?

Yoshikawa presented him the options of either securing Amai for information on the virus or saving Last Order before she fell into the wrong hands. The former was the obvious choice for someone accustomed to aggression and killing.

Yet the monster who slew over ten thousand girls chose the latter. He was no longer Accelerator.

At 6 PM, Yoshikawa thought about Accelerator’s human actions and her mission of needing to capture Amai. She wasn’t kind, far from it, in fact. While at a glance, it seemed she was doing this all out of the kindness of her heart, she was cowardly. If she were kind, she would’ve taken on this mess alone instead of relying on someone so directly scarred. Still, she wanted to try being kind.

“If it were the normal her, if she ran across an abandoned cat on the street while it was raining, she would only think that she felt sorry for it. She wouldn’t actually take it back home and raise it.”

Determining her course of action, Yoshikawa prepared to put her life on the line for the sake of the mission. She would surpass the hesitant boundaries she unwittingly imposed within herself.

The Number One walked and remembered.

“The person who came to be known as Accelerator once had a human name. His last name was two syllables, and his first name was three. It was a very Japanese name and not at all an uncommon one.”

He had been isolated since he first began social interaction. As a child, he was scared. Others jeered him and tried to assault him out of jealousy and fear. But his power made all their efforts moot.

Accelerator realized at a young age that in order to prevent himself from accidentally killing everyone in the world, he had to turn off his emotions. Become numb to one and all. Even positivity could be morphed into disaster. Out of fear and a desire to protect others and the world, he shut himself off from being human.

He realized just then that his wanting to become an existence beyond Level Five was rooted in the hope of not needing to hurt others or others finding reasons to threaten him. He wanted to be acknowledged instead of merely being an inorganic eventuality that had to be tolerated.

And Last Order managed to do just that. She saved Accelerator from himself. In their brief meetings, she treated him as a human being. So, with his cleared light in his heart, he sought to save her.

A little past 6:30 PM, Accelerator saw the Level 0 who defeated him chasing a man while being chased by restaurant staff. Was he involved with the situation regarding Last Order? Given his nosy nature, it was possible, but he chose to follow his own lead for now.

Accelerator entered the restaurant he ate at with Last Order, learning that someone claimed to be a relative and picked her up. It must have been Ao Amai.

He contacted Yoshikawa, who revealed that since the city was in a Code Orange effect, signaling the chance of a terrorist invasion, exits were locked out. This meant that Amai couldn’t have escaped with Last Order.

After much deliberation, at roughly 7:30 PM, Accelerator went to the laboratory where Radio Noise was initiated. Amai was near a car there with an unconscious Last Order, ruminating on his struggles as his forcefully ceased jobs made the task of paying back his ever-accumulating debt all the more impossible. Still, he had to try, with this Last Order incident possibly being his saving grace, assuming he successfully fled Academy City.

At 8 PM, Accelerator arrived and wasted no time taking control of the situation, leaving a shocked Amai frozen in terror. The virus would activate in four hours, but Yoshikawa was already 80% through combing the code while also needing to craft a vaccine. So, things were looking up.

But those hopes were dashed immediately.

Last Order began crying in her sleep, with her pain level off the charts. The virus was already starting. As it turned out, Amai implemented dummy information, likely offhandedly, as a way to impede an effort as unfeasible as this.

It was too late. Yoshikawa told him with no sugarcoating that he could only save the world by killing her, back to his old ways except with renewed purpose. Still, he scoffed at the notion.

Yet he came to a realization. He could replace Testament. He could manually adjust her personality data himself by reversing her bioelectric fields via his vector manipulation.

Of course, such a task was difficult beyond words to comprehend fully. Altering one’s brain waves was no easy feat, and Yoshikawa was adamant about the impossibility of it all, but Accelerator wouldn’t take no for an answer. He declared he’d be able to write a vaccine in just under ten minutes.

The Numer One also realized that if he were to do this, the memories Last Order had while the infection was rooted within her would cease. Still, he openly greeted that forthcoming reality. After all, someone as naive, trusting, and kindhearted as her couldn’t survive in his world.

In 52 seconds, he had to rewrite 357,081 lines of code, and it was going swimmingly until Amai lost control of his nerves and shot Accelerator out of desperation. Alas, with all his focus and capabilities spent solely on curing Last Order, a deflection didn’t occur. Instead, the bullet struck him in his temple. Yet, his will didn’t relent. He did not let go of Last Order.

And he succeeded. The virus was averted, shocking Amai to his very core. In his frustration, he tried to kill Last Order, but Accelerator somehow stood up, revealing that he used his reflection at the last minute right before the bullet could directly hit his brain.

Accelerator understood the hypocrisy of his actions here. Saving one related to the thousands he killed. Still, he also realized something else. That Level 0 who saved him wasn’t a superhero. He was just doing what he did because someone at that point in time had to take action to save the Sisters. The world wasn’t kind enough to deliver saviors. It was up to people to step up to the plate to become protagonists themselves. Just like Accelerator right now.

Accelerator eventually collapsed from the bullet wound, and Amai was about to shoot him dead, but Yoshikawa arrived on the scene, shooting him, leaving him on his last legs. At 8:43 PM, she explained to Amai her motives.

She did want to see Accelerator redeemed, seeing as he now understood the meaning of protecting someone. But there was more to it than that. She never wanted to be in this line of work.

“I wanted to be a schoolteacher. A teacher, or a professor, or whatever. Not some rigid job. I wanted to be a nice, kind teacher. I wanted to remember each and every one of my students’ faces. I wanted to give them counsel whenever they had trouble. I wanted to engage myself, so that I could give a reassuring smile to just one student without expecting anything in return. I wanted to be a kind teacher, the sort that would be made fun of at graduation ceremonies when they saw me crying. Of course, I abandoned the idea myself, thinking that somebody as soft as me and not at all kind should never be in a position to teach others.”

At the end of the day, she just wanted to do something legitimately kind instead of committing half-assed pursuits while being strung along. Even if she died here, perhaps it would have been worth it.

At 8:57 PM, Amai and Yoshikawa shot each other.

On September 1, at exactly midnight, she awoke in the hospital. The doctor by her side was Heaven Canceller, who, I forgot to mention before, is the same doctor who has been treating Touma since the end of volume one.

He announced that while Yoshikawa got shot at point-blank range, Accelerator managed to control her blood flow from the wound, enabling her survival. And from that, Heaven Canceller saved her.

This doctor was a legend among legends. He could save anyone with even the most minimal equipment. His supposed sole failure was rumored to have occurred at the end of July when he couldn’t restore the memories of a certain high school student.

Still, he had a plan for Accelerator, who could not internally compute his Esper calculations because of getting shot at in the head. He was severely impaired, as his powers as the Strongest were drastically limited. But, perhaps connecting him to the Misaka Network, the collective of every Sister, would at least partially restore his capabilities.

With that hope in mind, Heaven Canceller set off to heal him, and Yoshikawa, now jobless with limitless paths before her, smiled as she thought about the irredeemable monster who saved a little girl.



August 31, 8 AM.

The third-ranked Level 5 of Academy City, the Railgun, Mikoto Misaka, was lounging around having breakfast.

While we were loosely aware of her school before, we’re formally introduced here. Tokiwadai Middle School, an elite all-girls institution with fewer than 200 students that required all who attended to at least be Level Three. 47 students were Level Fours, and two of them were Level 5s. (The other Level 5 even has her own spinoff!)

The girls here all faced strict daily regimens. Even during Summer break, they would all wake at 7 AM, spend thirty minutes tidying themselves up, and then, at 7:30 AM, they would line up for roll call and have breakfast. At 8 AM, they’d be done with their meals and take the bus if needed. Alas, Tokiwadai’s gates closed at 8:20 AM, so they’d have to run on their own legs if they were late. At the very least, they were on Summer break, and unlike other educational institutions, they didn’t have homework.

Mikoto was enjoying said Summer break, doing the exact opposite one would expect from a supposedly prim and proper lady like herself. She was going to read manga. She spent large amounts of her time on this activity every Monday and Wednesday, and with it being Summer break, she could get right to it in the morning rather than needing to wait til after classes concluded.

On her way out of the school, a maid familiar to us stops her, Maika Tsuchimikado. The same Maika who is the sister of Motoharu Tsuchimikado, Touma’s next-door neighbor and absurd sorcerer/Esper/spy hybrid. The maid asked Mikoto to pick up some manga where the sister and brother get dirty together. Well, it seems she, too, has a thing for her brother, as is vice versa.

On her way to begin her manga-filled day, a handsome young man, Mitsuki Unabara, the grandson of Tokiwada’s principal, approached Mikoto. He was a seemingly kind guy who never flaunted his influence, but he tended to speak to Mikoto to ask her out unsubtly. The girl had no idea how to act around him since he was quite well-mannered, spoke to Mikoto with a tone of maturity, and she didn’t want to cause any unintended repercussions by rudely blowing him off.

He used to only initiate a conversation with her if they ran into each other by chance every now and again, but it recently became a daily practice. Unabara intended to accompany Mikoto wherever she intended to go, regardless of the destination. She obviously couldn’t bring up that she would spend hours reading manga, after all.

So, Mikoto decided on a plan where she’d bump into a random nearby guy and pretend to have been waiting for them. She’d treat them to something afterward as a way of an apology.

At 8:25 AM, Touma was hanging out with his two friends, Motoharu Tuschimikado and Aogami Pierce. He was trying to purchase coffee to prepare for an all-nighter of homework completion. Still, his two idiot friends, who already completed their homework, interrupted his endeavors and were insistent on hanging out. Of course, the conversation steered to girls. Aogami seemed to think Touma was such an all-star chick magnet now that he purposefully avoided his homework to get alone time with Komoe.

We then learn a bit about Aogami’s tastes.

“Hah! Kami, what’re ya sayin’? I don’t only go for descended heroines; I’m open-minded enough to welcome any girl, including but not limited to stepsisters (older or younger), stepmothers, stepdaughters, twins, widows, upperclassmen, underclassmen, classmates, female teachers, childhood friends, preppies; girls with blond hair, black hair, brown hair, silver hair, short hair, bobbed hair, ringlets, straight hair, twin tails, ponytails, braids, pigtails, wavy hair, frizzy hair, cowlicks; girls in sailor uniforms, blazers, gym clothes, judo clothes, archery clothes; kindergarten teachers, nurses, maids, policewomen, shrine maidens, nuns, soldiers, secretaries, lolis, shotas, tsunderes, cheerleaders, stewardesses, waitresses, goths in white, goths in black, girls in china dresses, girls with weak constitutions, albinos, girls with crazy fantasies, deluded girls, split personality girls, queens, princesses; girls wearing knee-high socks, garter belts, men’s clothes, glasses, hair over their eyes, eye patches, bandages, school swimsuits, one-piece swimsuits, bikinis, sling swimsuits, ridiculous swimsuits; nonhumans, ghosts, and animal girls, okay?”

Touma then brings up his highly specific area of arousal: female dorm managers.

Tsuchimikado emphasized his love for his sister, but Touma and Aogami shattered his reality. Sadly for him, it seemed as if Maika called others “big brother,” including Touma and Aogami, as evidenced by recent encounters.

15 minutes later, Mikoto was literally standing in place for about ten minutes with a concerned Unabara before seeing the Delta Force appear. And she, of course, picked the one possible candidate to run away with, Touma Kamijou.

The other three guys in the vicinity were shocked beyond belief, and all of Tokiwadai spotted what was going on, causing Mikoto no shortage of shame. She dragged Touma around as she ran away for over an hour. They eventually halted at 9:45 AM, with Mikoto choosing to pacify Touma’s annoyance by getting him an expensive hot dog. She explained her circumstances to him, and he unsurprisingly wanted nothing to do with it, especially given that he had a ton of homework to finish. Still, Mikoto didn’t relent, as she wanted Touma to be with her all day so Unabara would understand that she was off-limits.

After a brief incident where they accidentally swapped their hot dogs, making Mikoto blush, they thought about how to pretend to be a couple. At 10:45 AM, the conversation shifted to how the Sisters were now spread across the world to partnered Academy City facilities due to their sheer quantity, with only ten or so remaining in Academy City proper. Touma was delighted by the news that everything seemed to be going well for the Sisters. The Railgun couldn’t help feeling jealous, though.

Touma resigned himself to this current fate and started pulling out his homework, which Mikoto helped him out with. The Tokiwadai curriculum was something else. As his pride was shot, she left to buy them some drinks. Shortly afterward, Unabara appeared nearby, helping a kid catch his runaway dog, before spotting Touma and sitting beside him.

Touma couldn’t help but respect the guy who boldly declared his love for Mikoto, and he didn’t even present any animosity to Touma for being with her. Was Mitsuki Unabara really that bad? They talked for a while, and even though Unabara was nervous about being rejected, he seemed serious about getting together with the Railgun. Touma wasn’t feeling up to this false act anymore.

At that moment, Mikoto appeared and dragged him away, questioning why he was getting all friendly with the guy they were trying to fool. Touma revealed his true feelings on the matter, having no idea why Mikoto seemed to hate Unabara by instinct. She was surprised by his words, electing to remain silent for a concerning amount of time before she stopped herself from speaking. She laughed emptily, but Touma saw what he believed to be loneliness in her eyes.

Mikoto was repressing herself. There was a pain, a yearning within her heart that made her want to run away and erupt in unbridled emotion simultaneously. She realized that in Touma Kamijou’s eyes, she wasn’t a unique existence who jumped out to him. She believed running away from him would only cause him pain, so she refrained.

At noon, they talked about what they should do, and Mikoto broached the topic of why Touma was so favorable of Unabara now, with him revealing that he helped him with his homework. At the sight of the correct answers, Mikoto grew perplexed. Mitsuki Unabara wasn’t academically intelligent. Since he was a Level Four Telekinesis user, he cheated his way through tests, making his effortless aid to Touma unprecedented.

Dropping the topic, Mikoto decided that they should drop the whole couple act, and she chose to treat Touma one last time despite them having eaten a bunch already. With her standing in line, Touma was a block away, encountering Unabara once more, except, well, it was weird. Someone else in the line with Mikoto looked identical to Unabara.

Touma told him that he should go check up on her since he’d been relentless in pursuing her this past week, but Unabara revealed that he’d been away for a school training camp the past week. He just wanted to see Mikoto once before Summer break ended. Seeing two identical Mitsuki Unabaras got Touma naturally thinking before he was attacked by the one nearby.

Unabara punched Touma in the stomach so expertly that Touma lacked the capacity to scream. When he pulled out a knife, Touma realized this was an attempted assassination, a silent kill in the middle of the street where no one would hear the scuffle. This was the fake Mitsuki Unabara. He confined the real Mitsuki Unabara elsewhere, so the one near Mikoto now was assumedly the real one.

The knife Unabara wielded was far from a traditional blade. Explosions would shoot out seemingly wherever he desired. So, Touma went on the run and called Index on the phone, with the fake Unabara chasing close behind, knife-induced explosions in tow. He was clearly a sorcerer.

When Touma brought up the knife he wielded, Index immediately labeled it as the Spear of Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli from the Aztec god of Venus and calamity. Essentially, it would kill anyone who was exposed to the light of Venus, the sun. Further, it was probable he used an Aztec art where one would cut off someone’s skin and then wear it, though with it merely being a disguise, the fake Unabara would only need to have performed a minor incision on the real Unabara’s arm.

Touma found the whole process disturbing, but he didn’t comment further, hanging up on a mid-sentence Index before running into a building’s construction site. The fake Unabara seemingly backed Touma into a corner, but it turned out that the cement dust of the environment impeded the blade’s perception. Touma took advantage of the situation, punching the sorcerer with Imagine Breaker.

It was a little past 12:30, and Unabara was down, resignedly explaining how the real Unabara used his telekinesis to “harden his own body’s movements at an atomic level,” putting him into a cold sleep. His blade couldn’t stab into the real Unabara’s body, so he imprisoned him instead. The fake Unabara’s face was now cracked, partially exposing his own darker complexion, a feat made possible by Imagine Breaker.

There was far more to this matter, though. Why did this fake Unabara even do any of this at all?

The Kamijou Faction.

Touma Kamijou was an exception among exceptions for more than just Imagine Breaker. Ever since the incident before he lost his memory, he’s been making numerous allies of quite diverse origins across both the Science and Magic sides. Of course, such a notion should be impossible, given the divisions between the sides. Even in the cases of spies like Tsuchimikado, it was just a case of used or be used.

However, Touma Kamijou was different. From just the handful of magic side incidents he became involved with to the Level Six Shift experiment, he had already amassed the affinities of a runic flame sorcerer, the holder of the 103,000 grimoires, a Level 5, a Saint, and, if you wanted to be technical, over 10,000 clones. All in the span of roughly a month.

The fake Unabara was assigned to nip the sprouting bud before it could blossom. This led to the current battle where he aimed to kill Touma, take over his identity, and sabotage his relationships.

Still, this sorcerer was truly in love with Mikoto Misaka, so the thought of doing something so insidiously callous due to decisions beyond his control irked him to no end. Touma believed they could become friends, but such a notion was impossible now.

Touma, vowing to destroy the resigned philosophy distorting the fake Unabara’s life, set off to stop him, with the two battling each other as steel beams from the construction site lost balance and fell toward their vicinities.

One such beam was falling toward the fake Unabara, and while he seemed to accept his fate, possibly out of frustration and exhaustion at his current state of life, Touma aimed to save him. Yet, even when he failed to do so, Mikoto, who was watching the battle from afar, intervened and saved him with her magnetism.

Only Touma took offhanded note of her participation, with the girl not presenting herself to the scene. The fake Unabara, on the other hand, felt relieved by his own failure, relieved by the fact that he no longer had to put the one he loved in danger, and accepted his fate. And understanding that his life would never allow him to come into contact with Mikoto Misaka again, he asked Touma if he would protect the girl anytime, anywhere, no matter what.

The response from the wielder of Imagine Breaker was unknown, but we can assume:

“That really was the worst answer you could have given,” muttered the collapsed sorcerer, smiling bitterly.

A little after noon, Mikoto Misaka only caught bits and pieces of the two boys’ conversation and battle. She only clearly grasped the end of their exchange when Touma promised he would protect her.

Of course, Touma, the personification of misfortune, likely did not view himself as worthy of having a girlfriend. And Mikoto, while not understanding why, knew Touma was dense, so such a promise didn’t have any romantic intent behind it.

Yet, she was a blushing girl in love—a girl who had fallen hard for the savior of herself and her 10,000 Sisters.



At 3:15 PM, Touma was back in his dorm room trying to do his homework while Index watched her favorite show, Magical Powered Kanamin, humorously trying to equate its concepts to real-life magic. It was the standard daily life the two of them held, yet even after facing the bastard who stole someone’s face that same day, Touma’s troubles were not yet over.

At 4 PM, a sorcerer named Ouma Yamisaka traversed Academy City to find and capture Index for whatever reasons he deemed necessary. Shortly after 5:30 PM, Touma and Index left to eat dinner at the latter’s request, and at 6 PM, Ouma invaded their dorm room, realizing it was vacant.

Touma wanted a change of scenery and had no time to make dinner, what with his homework situation. The two faux quarreled as Index tried to elucidate Momotaro’s connection to the magic side. She had a pretty continuous lecture mode on anything regarding magic.

At 6:30 PM, a waitress spilled food and drinks on Touma as he was working on his homework, so feels bad for him. Then, a few minutes later, Yamisaka arrived and kidnapped Index from the restaurant, using his magic-induced bowstring to veil himself and Index from the premises without interference.

The situation was strange. While this all seemed like a typical kidnapping from a vain sorcerer seeking Index’s grimoires for his own ends, he was being surprisingly accommodating to the girl. He loosened the ropes when she complained about being bound up too tightly, enabling her comfort. He didn’t want to harm the girl here meaninglessly. All he desired was a grimoire.

As Touma headed off to find Index, he bumped into Mikoto Misaka, who he became the fake boyfriend of earlier that day during the fake Unabara incident. Her romantic yearnings for Touma were abundantly evident now, even if they were veiled in tsundere tendencies.

Still, even as she offered him her number in a not-so-subtle way, implying a date, he ran away, evading her lightning strikes from afar. Index was the priority right now, and while not explicitly said or implied, you can assume that Touma didn’t consider himself worthy of romance. Regardless, he was as dense as a ton of bricks, so he couldn’t even detect any romantic intention from Mikoto.

After 10 PM, Touma ended up on the run, chased by Anti-Skill, who assessed him as the one who caused the trouble at the restaurant, putting the city at a code Orange. A whole series of hijinks ensued, eventually resulting in Touma reaching the hotel rooftop Index was being held.

Yamisaka managed to grasp one of the grimoires embedded within Index’s mind, but the effects were catastrophic. His head was inflicted with agony, and his face broke out and bled. No human could grasp a grimoire and escape unscathed. Yet, he had to. There was a woman he needed to save. A woman he needed to heal, and using this grimoire was the only way he could do it.

At 11:30 PM, Touma was on the scene, though. And not only did he negate the attacks sent his way, but he offered, no, forced his help to the sorcerer. After all, he had Imagine Breaker. With his right hand, he could save the woman Yamisaka was trying to sacrifice his own life to save. The man was shocked beyond belief, both at the supposed capability of Imagine Breaker and Touma’s attitude, but the boy wouldn’t take no for an answer.

He couldn’t avoid saving those who needed saving, after all. So, on midnight of September 1, Touma set off to save the woman this man cherished.


So, this volume is a strange one. I took some liberties here since the novel sometimes shifts between the events of the stories, so I loosely organized them all to be more directly coherent. There’s a lot going on here across three highly succinct tales. The Accelerator narrative is immaculate, establishing his unachievable redemption and setting up a new status quo for this character we’ll see plenty of in the future. Accelerator is plenty of fans’ favorite character, and for good reason. This volume sets the precedent for that adoration. Please be excited.

The fake date with Touma and Mikoto is also a highlight. Aside from Mikoto’s feelings for Touma becoming a heavy focus, an indirect point of emphasis is Touma’s lack of interest in her and romance as a whole. This is a subject never openly or explicitly discussed in the novels, but you can make assumptions about Touma’s perspective on romance when he’s involved. He’s a high school boy who wanted a girlfriend, but when considering his misfortune, recent “birth,” and general lack of self-confidence and love toward himself, he doesn’t consider himself worth the time and effort to date. It’s a tragic mentality that will become more noticeable the further we progress.

As for the third story of this volume….eh. It’s the briefest yet worst part of the novel, bar none. It feels largely unnecessary, acting as more of an odd introductory piece that establishes the daily life of Touma. Based on how quickly I went through it, you could probably tell that it’s not terribly interesting. This specific story was the first episode of the anime’s second Season. Even though that Season occurs after the events of volume 6, they used this story as the basis of an introduction, which is pretty clever, to be honest. There’s not much purpose in this Yamisaka incident otherwise. The saving of that woman isn’t even shown.


Next up, it’s time for another Academy City adventure. The Kazakiri Hyouka Arc.


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Orpheus Joshua

Random gamer equally confused by the mainstream and the unusual.