Here’s the best ‘A Certain Magical Index’ watch order

A Certain Magical Index
Image via Chiba TV

If you’re interested in an animated world in which alchemists, magicians, and psychics run rampant, A Certain Magical Index is the perfect anime series for you. Based on the Japanese light novel series written by Kazuma Kamachi, A Certain Magical Index is set in the fictional Academy City, where students are gifted with supernatural abilities. Although the series boasts a host of colorful characters, its focus is Kamijou Touma, who starts off as a powerless Level 0 esper. While Touma’s lack of inherent magical powers hinders him from enrolling in the Academy, he is able to use Imagine Breaker to fight off esper and magical attacks.

In the course of the series, Touma meets a nun named Index Librorum Prohibitorum, who has the knowledge of endless magical grimoires stored inside her mind, which makes her a valuable asset in the magical world. As Academy City is considered extremely scientifically advanced, a tussle between science and magic becomes imminent. Religion is also a key factor in the sociopolitical strata of Academy City, and the series is dedicated to addressing these aspects that affect the core characters.

The sheer breadth of the events in A Certain Magical Index has warranted several spin-offs and special content, which can be a tad difficult to follow for those new to the franchise. Apart from Touma, other characters that are central to the series are Misaka Mikoto (also known as Railgun) and Accelerator, whose arcs are delved into in varying series entries. So, here’s a handy watch order for A Certain Magical Index.

A Certain Magical Index watch order

A Certain Magical Index
Image via Chiba TV

The anime series is pretty easy to follow, as one only has to follow the chronological release order. However, things get a little confusing, as season one is succeeded by a spin-off anime series named A Certain Scientific Railgun. The events in the spin-off serves as a prequel and overlaps with the events of the succeeding core series seasons, which makes it somewhat mandatory for the viewers to get a more holistic picture of the franchise’s world. To keep things compact, here’s the order you should follow in order to have the best viewing experience:

  • A Certain Scientific Railgun
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun S
  • A Certain Magical Index
  • A Certain Magical Index II
  • A Certain Scientific Accelerator
  • A Certain Magical Index the Movie: The Miracle of Endymion
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun T
  • A Certain Magical Index III

Although the story branches out quite a bit and introduces a wide range of characters in the process, all narrative threads coverage at the end of A Certain Magical Index III, as per the light novels at least. War breaks out between the magicians and the aspers, and the stakes get higher than ever for the characters involved. This marks the end of the A Certain Magical Index series — and although the material can often be quite dense to get through, the series is definitely worth it.