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Post Reply "Index" and "Railgun" and missed opportunities
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Posted 10/1/13
Asides from the Sisters Arc (which is freaking incredible. Watch it if you haven't.), Railgun tends to be very disappointing. They keep spamming us with the power of love and friendship. This would be fine once, but wrapping up every arc (besides the sister's arc) with "I prevailed because of my friends" is a little ridiculous. Index is a little better in that they don't fall into that gooey Slice of Life b.s.

Anyways, If you couldn't tell, I loved Railgun's Sisters Arc. That was easily best I've seen from the A Certain Series.
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Posted 10/1/13

Nobodyofimportance wrote:



Maybe I'm missing something because I haven't read the light novels or don't understand what you want, but if you take away the level 5s and Touma's powers, you lose .... everything. I mean, you could make his power plot protection, this Xanth show seems like it hit gold there, but without super strong powers what you're left with is some overarching system that controls a large number of people with the same level of ability. Then Touma is bottom rung and at the mercy of everybody. He can't do anything, because a person with an ability to a person without one is like an accelerator to a person with an ability. I feel like the setting or story would either go to pieces, or be such a despair filled angst fest it wouldn't be fun anymore. Touma's basically a glorified tour guide anyways.

I like index being fun and colorful, the ridiculousness contrasts well with the human experimentation, system that methodically murders, plots and conspires thing they have going. The epic powers are the icing on the cake, the fireworks that make it bright and dazzly. Index seems to have showboating down pat, which I think is good.

I respectfully disagree with your main point. Outside of touma's powers needing revision, which I agree with.

So, I guess what I want to know is, what do you want?


Except it doesn't have to be.

Take for a western example Batman.

Batman at his worst (and most common) is a gravel-voiced parody of plot armor. Batman at his best is showing that courage and dedication and smarts and planning can beat any superpower no matter how insane.

It's potentially the same thing. Nobody in the show or the novels should be able to beat accelerator unless the writer decides it's time for him to lose... more generally, the uniqueness of the lvl5's really is that they have exceptional power that work well for both offense and defense.

Misaka always has her static shield up. Meltdowner has a similar defensive shield up. Accelerator has a power that effects anything in direct or indirect contact with him.

In comparison, Kuroko has an excellent offensive power, or a fairly good defensive power but never both at once. Most of the level 2-4's are like that (all I can think of, but I've only seen the shows). It takes some suspension of disbelief but a bruce lee/einstein level (combined) normal could conceivably beat them, but could never touch misaka or accelerator, because you simply can't touch a level 5.

I'd argue that the writer took the same position you are, that a normal person could never face the enemies in the world he had described, but that's ultimately up to the writer. You build the scenario as you wish when you're creating a world.

Personally, I don't think he was even aware of the more interesting potential themes of his world (which the quote a few pages back supports).
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Posted 10/1/13
OH, I see.

Remember that one girl in ITEM? The one that had no powers, but took on Misaka anyways?
You want that type of main character.
I mean, not her, but the type that chooses their battlefield and plans their victory from the start, adapting to small changes, but having enough contingencies in place to not die in the face of some otherwise superior enemy.
And you want them to win.

Because your right, all the LV5 characters are overpowered to the extreme, Accelerator in particular basically only has airborne poison as a weakness, and even then he might get plot protection, so the only way to kill him would be through suffocation.

That would make for a really good show. I would watch that. like a proper game of chess instead of a queen attack.
I'm not sure it would really be Index though, maybe a spinoff.
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Posted 10/2/13 , edited 10/2/13

Nobodyofimportance wrote:

OH, I see.

Remember that one girl in ITEM? The one that had no powers, but took on Misaka anyways?
You want that type of main character.
I mean, not her, but the type that chooses their battlefield and plans their victory from the start, adapting to small changes, but having enough contingencies in place to not die in the face of some otherwise superior enemy.
And you want them to win.

Because your right, all the LV5 characters are overpowered to the extreme, Accelerator in particular basically only has airborne poison as a weakness, and even then he might get plot protection, so the only way to kill him would be through suffocation.

That would make for a really good show. I would watch that. like a proper game of chess instead of a queen attack.
I'm not sure it would really be Index though, maybe a spinoff.


Those types of stories are way harder to write and execute and are better suited to books. Personally I would find it extremely boring to have a powerless character as the main character in the Index/Railgun world. Also there would be way too many balance issues with that so it would probably ruin the entire story if Touma was legitimately powerless.

I feel like the tactician/outwit route for a main character is the wrong way to go in this series because 'chess is more boring to watch than to play'. I used to compete in chess tournaments and watching chess was only fun and interesting because I knew a lot of the strategies and thinking that was going on behind the scenes. I was also able to know when a move was brilliant or extremely clever. If you try to make a show like this, you'll have to dumb it down and explain a lot of what is going on. This would immediately give it more needed exposition and make it harder to animate during aforementioned heavy exposition. Not only that, but this would bore those that already see/can tell what is going on and make it a chore for those who don't/can't. Otherwise if it wasn't dumbed down it would turn into a more niche story, appealing only to those already versed with deep strategy. With the current setup, at least there is a strong rock, paper, scissors dynamic that makes determining a battle's winner variable and more unpredictable (even if this dynamic sat in the corner for most of what was animated). Plus lets be honest and ignore the philosophical, intellectual prose mindset for a second; In a world filled with magic and super powers, would you really want to watch people thinking and planning most of the time?

If you answer yes, then go read a philosophy book, ancient war manuals, etc. because you are looking in the wrong place for what you want...
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Posted 10/2/13

windsagio wrote:


Nobodyofimportance wrote:



Maybe I'm missing something because I haven't read the light novels or don't understand what you want, but if you take away the level 5s and Touma's powers, you lose .... everything. I mean, you could make his power plot protection, this Xanth show seems like it hit gold there, but without super strong powers what you're left with is some overarching system that controls a large number of people with the same level of ability. Then Touma is bottom rung and at the mercy of everybody. He can't do anything, because a person with an ability to a person without one is like an accelerator to a person with an ability. I feel like the setting or story would either go to pieces, or be such a despair filled angst fest it wouldn't be fun anymore. Touma's basically a glorified tour guide anyways.

I like index being fun and colorful, the ridiculousness contrasts well with the human experimentation, system that methodically murders, plots and conspires thing they have going. The epic powers are the icing on the cake, the fireworks that make it bright and dazzly. Index seems to have showboating down pat, which I think is good.

I respectfully disagree with your main point. Outside of touma's powers needing revision, which I agree with.

So, I guess what I want to know is, what do you want?


Except it doesn't have to be.

Take for a western example Batman.

Batman at his worst (and most common) is a gravel-voiced parody of plot armor. Batman at his best is showing that courage and dedication and smarts and planning can beat any superpower no matter how insane.

It's potentially the same thing. Nobody in the show or the novels should be able to beat accelerator unless the writer decides it's time for him to lose... more generally, the uniqueness of the lvl5's really is that they have exceptional power that work well for both offense and defense.

Misaka always has her static shield up. Meltdowner has a similar defensive shield up. Accelerator has a power that effects anything in direct or indirect contact with him.

In comparison, Kuroko has an excellent offensive power, or a fairly good defensive power but never both at once. Most of the level 2-4's are like that (all I can think of, but I've only seen the shows). It takes some suspension of disbelief but a bruce lee/einstein level (combined) normal could conceivably beat them, but could never touch misaka or accelerator, because you simply can't touch a level 5.

I'd argue that the writer took the same position you are, that a normal person could never face the enemies in the world he had described, but that's ultimately up to the writer. You build the scenario as you wish when you're creating a world.

Personally, I don't think he was even aware of the more interesting potential themes of his world (which the quote a few pages back supports).

you cant touch a level 5 unless you fist is the biggest cock block known to man
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Posted 10/2/13

deli8079 [link url="/forumtopic-822479/index-and-railgun-and-missed-opportunities?fpid=44499401" title="View quoted

Those types of stories are way harder to write and execute and are better suited to books. Personally I would find it extremely boring to have a powerless character as the main character in the Index/Railgun world. Also there would be way too many balance issues with that so it would probably ruin the entire story if Touma was legitimately powerless.

I feel like the tactician/outwit route for a main character is the wrong way to go in this series because 'chess is more boring to watch than to play'. I used to compete in chess tournaments and watching chess was only fun and interesting because I knew a lot of the strategies and thinking that was going on behind the scenes. I was also able to know when a move was brilliant or extremely clever. If you try to make a show like this, you'll have to dumb it down and explain a lot of what is going on. This would immediately give it more needed exposition and make it harder to animate during aforementioned heavy exposition. Not only that, but this would bore those that already see/can tell what is going on and make it a chore for those who don't/can't. Otherwise if it wasn't dumbed down it would turn into a more niche story, appealing only to those already versed with deep strategy. With the current setup, at least there is a strong rock, paper, scissors dynamic that makes determining a battle's winner variable and more unpredictable (even if this dynamic sat in the corner for most of what was animated). Plus lets be honest and ignore the philosophical, intellectual prose mindset for a second; In a world filled with magic and super powers, would you really want to watch people thinking and planning most of the time?

If you answer yes, then go read a philosophy book, ancient war manuals, etc. because you are looking in the wrong place for what you want...


I guess my counterpoint is that there already a TON of shows like that. They're freaking everywhere in anime.

Further, the nonpowered hero would have to be more than just planning, because as you say it is an action show... but you can fill the gap with reaction time and fighting skill &ct.


If you wanted to be extreme you could take a Harrison Bergeron theme, where the main character is unrealistically perfect in every way -- except he's not an esper.

As we see, nonesper kids in that world get the worst of everything, and it would really hammer home the injustice of it very well, as well as making action centric episodes possible... and it would be pretty rad.


~~~~

Also very rad though, would be to go totally non-index and make it a slightly depressing/slightly hopeful slice of life about someone like Saten realizing their own value and existing in a world that ignores them. That's a TOTALLY different show, but it'd be doable, and it could also be really great.


So those are 2 possible specific alternatives, one of which is really close to the current story, but both of which have stronger, more interesting narratives and themes.
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Posted 10/2/13 , edited 10/2/13


"I guess my counterpoint is that there already a TON of shows like that. They're freaking everywhere in anime."

I would love some examples, at the time I made the post I legitimately couldn't think of any examples of a powerless normal MC. It would be nice to have some examples of this off the top of my head

"Further, the nonpowered hero would have to be more than just planning, because as you say it is an action show... but you can fill the gap with reaction time and fighting skill &ct."

Yes, most shows do that but it tends to hamstring the strategy and planning aspect. Also, if they do the exposition/planning/tactics/etc. during the action sequences the viewer will miss out on the exposition or action (since, despite what people say, the brain cannot multitask). Whats left is typically mediocrity in both areas which is disappointing :(

"If you wanted to be extreme you could take a Harrison Bergeron theme, where the main character is unrealistically perfect in every way -- except he's not an esper."

Never heard of the Harrison Bergeron theme (thanks, I'll have to read up on that later), but ultra-perfect people are typically horrible protagonists to an audience because they are more abstract and harder to empathize with. Characters like Batman are good examples of a MC that people can identify with because, despite his training, fame, wealth, etc. he still struggles with things regular people do; love, regret, revenge, anger, and these emotions that we get little spinets of (beneath his exterior) give him depth and humanity which make him a good main character that can be complex and interesting for the audience to watch. More importantly, I think having the main character be super-ultra perfect would probably just make people focus on finding ways he isn't perfect, lol.

As we see, nonesper kids in that world get the worst of everything, and it would really hammer home the injustice of it very well, as well as making action centric episodes possible... and it would be pretty rad.

I completely agree with you! A show with the Index/Railgun world where we see the great disparity between the powerful/important and the weak/unimportant would be amazing. It could show the psychological effects on people, whose worth in society is determined by their level; perhaps the burden of higher levels to live up to the ideal that they represent, while we could see the lower levels and their struggle to find worth in society; either accepting their insignificance, self-destructive behavior doing anything it takes to increase their number, etc. So many possibilities! The level upper arc of Railgun touched on this, but for the most part that one arc is all we got... Were the show to go this route, I would argue that it would be better for there to be NO main character because the central focus of the show is no longer the characters, but the world of the story and its society; As opposed to the Index/Railgun world where it is not the focus and is used as more of a supporting role and vehicle for the events. Regardless of MCs or not, that kind of show would definitely be amazing, but I feel that its appeal wouldn't be so broad anymore and, as a result, wouldn't be able to get enough budget/time to do it properly as an anime. Business and money trumps all I guess (haha, just my pessimistic side popping through a little )
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Those types of stories are way harder to write and execute and are better suited to books. Personally I would find it extremely boring to have a powerless character as the main character in the Index/Railgun world. Also there would be way too many balance issues with that so it would probably ruin the entire story if Touma was legitimately powerless.

I feel like the tactician/outwit route for a main character is the wrong way to go in this series because 'chess is more boring to watch than to play'. I used to compete in chess tournaments and watching chess was only fun and interesting because I knew a lot of the strategies and thinking that was going on behind the scenes. I was also able to know when a move was brilliant or extremely clever. If you try to make a show like this, you'll have to dumb it down and explain a lot of what is going on. This would immediately give it more needed exposition and make it harder to animate during aforementioned heavy exposition. Not only that, but this would bore those that already see/can tell what is going on and make it a chore for those who don't/can't. Otherwise if it wasn't dumbed down it would turn into a more niche story, appealing only to those already versed with deep strategy. With the current setup, at least there is a strong rock, paper, scissors dynamic that makes determining a battle's winner variable and more unpredictable (even if this dynamic sat in the corner for most of what was animated). Plus lets be honest and ignore the philosophical, intellectual prose mindset for a second; In a world filled with magic and super powers, would you really want to watch people thinking and planning most of the time?

If you answer yes, then go read a philosophy book, ancient war manuals, etc. because you are looking in the wrong place for what you want...


I completely agree

but that doesn't mean windsagio doesn't have a valid point.
Index has a universe that can easily lend itself to any type of show anybody wants.
It's almost like the guy who wrote it just went, "you know what would be cool?"
then out came Index
and it was brilliant
Heck, I think railgun went through what, slice-of-life, sci fi + 1 mecha at the end.
and Index is fantasy/sci fi by definition. So why not use the same "this would be cool" reasoning and stretch into some more genres?
" Underground Tournament: Can a normal beat an esper?" or something. Somebody like the main villain at the end of Railgun S, or one of his cohort, I think, would be a good pick. A hyperintelligent person who's dreams have been crushed and is lamenting life at the edge of despair.
There should be a number of ways to implement similar ideas with different characters, settings etc.

Say, something like the typical betting arena scenario where people are picked off the street and forced to fight. So a slave trader captures an esper and places a collar on them to administer a knockout drug. These espers are then paired off against normal people who are tasked with incapacitating the esper through some predefined means in an arena they are allowed to booby trap to some extent. If they win, they get money or something, and the loser gets incapacitated and forced into a penalty game. Betters bet on who wins, and the person who set it up makes money off it. Probably someone in the Kihara family, because they seem really evil and could do it. Details for character development and stuff would need to be worked on.

It would be otherwise tough to use a random person on the street because Academy city is a utopia with a dark underside for contrast.
It also doesn't fit with what I've seen of the main story, which is why I thought it would be better as a spin-off. Set in the same world, but not part of the main story, except for maybe a tasteful reference or two.
The universe can certainly support the idea. Although it would be niche so I doubt it would get animated unless it sold really well.
Alternatively, A certain light music club could be the next big hit.
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Posted 10/2/13

deli8079 wrote:


Never heard of the Harrison Bergeron theme (thanks, I'll have to read up on that later), but ultra-perfect people are typically horrible protagonists to an audience because they are more abstract and harder to empathize with. Characters like Batman are good examples of a MC that people can identify with because, despite his training, fame, wealth, etc. he still struggles with things regular people do; love, regret, revenge, anger, and these emotions that we get little spinets of (beneath his exterior) give him depth and humanity which make him a good main character that can be complex and interesting for the audience to watch. More importantly, I think having the main character be super-ultra perfect would probably just make people focus on finding ways he isn't perfect, lol.


(bold mine)

To my despair, when I saw that my first thought was 'damn kids these days, what are they teaching them?!' then I felt oooooooold ><

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