"Academy City" (学園都市 Gakuen Toshi?) is the first episode of the first season of the Toaru Majutsu no Index anime series. It was first broadcast on October 4, 2008, and was directed by Hiroshi Nishikiori and written by Akahoshi Masanao.
In the futuristic city called Academy City, a "powerless" boy named Kamijou Touma lives yet another day of misfortune. After getting chased by thugs and facing one of the most powerful espers in Academy City, he ends up taking care of a nun hanging by the balcony of his apartment unit. Little did he know that this encounter was the start of his involvement in the realm of magic.
Kamijou Touma, a Level 0 esper living in Academy City, has a unique ability that allows him to nullify psychic, magical, and divine powers, but it also negates his own good luck. Said power allows him to survive a reluctant duel against Misaka Mikoto, a powerful Level 5 psychic capable of controlling and generating electricity, ending with Mikoto causing a citywide blackout.
The next morning, Touma wakes up to find a young nun from the Church of England hanging off his balcony. Introducing herself as Index , she reveals that she is being chased by magicians because she 'has' 103,000 grimoires.
Touma questions the authenticity of her story, and asks her to provide proof by performing magic. However, she is unable to because she has no mana, Touma tells her that magic does not exist, however — the supernatural truly exists, as Academy City is the home of espers — people who have supernatural abilities, and tells her that he himself has a supernatural ability on his right hand, which he states can cancel any supernatural occurrences, even divine things.Index, irritated by his beliefs, tells him her clothes are named the Walking Church, a magical item that protects her from harm. She runs to the kitchen, grabs a sharp knife, and runs back, tellling him to stab her and it won't hurt her at all. Touma promptly rejects the offer, and notes that if it really is 'magic' (calling it an esper ability), his right hand will dispel its abilities. In response, Index teases that it will happen only if his power is authentic. Irritated at her, he accepts her challenge and touches her robes, and for a few seconds nothing happens, however, it eventually rips apart her clothes making her naked. She screams after realizing her apparent nudity. This prompts Index to bite him several times.
The event proves to Touma that magic exists. Later, after fixing her robe by using clothing pins, Index tries to leave as she believes magicians are closing in on her. Touma being hospitable tells her that she is allowed to stay in his apartment if she wanted, she however refuses. After even more several mishaps, Index states that his right hand cancels out the blessings of God, as such he receives misfortune. Index later leaves (while forgetting her headdress), as well as Touma as he has remedial classes to attend to.
Touma attends remedial classes alongside his two friends, Aogami Pierce and Tsuchimikado Motoharu; they have a conversation on how Tsukuyomi Komoe - their teacher likes him and how Touma is lucky enough to spend time with her (because of punishment), which prompts Touma to tell him that Aogami is both a lolicon and masochist. Komoe, however, overhears their conversation and tells them to be quiet or else they'll be punished to do an Columbus’ Egg experiment with their powers.
Later during his remedial class, he thinks about Index and that he is aware that she has left it back in his apartment; however his daydreaming is cut short after Aogami Pierce snitches on him for looking at the girls playing tennis, which makes Komoe cry. This prompts several of his classmates to look disapprovingly at him (although they were the ones who made her cry).
While returning home, Touma encounters Misaka Mikoto once again, where she demands another fight against him. He simply ignores her; she however makes him notice her by pounding her foot on the ground which causes an electric surge on nearby electrical equipment. This causes Touma to complain about her using her powers that caused him great inconvenience, and why she is always attacked him even though he has laid not a single finger on her. Mikoto then states that their duels are a tie, which prompts Touma to say that she can have the victory. Mikoto then demands him to take her more seriously, which them made him asks if he could go all out on her, he later complains about the magician he met in the morning as well as Mikoto. Their conversation later ends abruptly as Security bots reactivate and pursue them, prompting them to run away.
He later returns home to see that Index is on the ground surrounded by several cleaning bots in front of his apartment door, however - he soon learns that Index is severely injured and is bleeding profusely.
At that same moment, a mysterious tall black-cloaked man with red hair with a barcode tattooed under his right eye appears who calls himself a magician.
- Touma meets Index.
- Touma destroys Index's Walking Church with his right hand. Which leads to her getting injured.
- Touma meets Stiyl.
By order of appearance
- Railgun - Misaka Mikoto, Level 5
- Electrical attack (various forms)- Misaka Mikoto
- Imagine Breaker (not named) - Kamijou Touma, Level 0
- Grimoire storage - Index
- Touma's "Such misfortune." phrase is the first line of speech in the anime series. Ironically, the same phrase is used as the closing phrase for the episode 24 of the anime, the last episode of the first season Toaru Majutsu no Index anime.
- First appearance of Tree Diagram.
- In the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga, the blackout caused by Mikoto due to fighting Touma on a bridge after failing to get information on the Level Upper is the same event that appears in the beginning of this episode. This event was completely changed in the anime adaptation of Railgun, as Mikoto caused the blackout while fighting Elder Sister, the anime still indicates that Mikoto fought Touma on a bridge which implies that in the anime's timeline, there were two blackouts that were caused by Mikoto.
- The Gekota mascot, is seen for the first time in this episode.
- First appearance of the Cleaning and Security robots.
There are no referbacks during this episode.
- Misaka references the series Great Teacher Onizuka when she questioned Touma on why he tried to save the delinquents.
- Some of the grimoires referred by Index were the Book of Eibon, Lemegeton and the Book of the Dead.
- The Holy Shroud of Turin is compared by Index to her Walking Church. The shroud is a cloth that is rumored to have clothed Jesus Christ after he was removed from the cross, and supposedly displays an image of the Christ on it.
- Touma refers to Index wearing her robes with clothing pins as an iron maiden, which is a famed historical torture device.
- The Columbus’ Egg is referred in this episode as a form of punishment by Komoe, however it is not explained on how it is used unlike in the novel and manga, where the esper is forced to make the egg stand on it's tip using their abilities without touching it or ruining the egg.
- Index mistakenly thought that the cleaning robots that surrounded her was Agathions, which are familiar spirits that appear during midday.
- Aogami Pierce refers to himself as a lolicon. Lolicon is derived from the word "Lolita complex" which is a term that was derived from Lolita, a famous erotic novel by Vladimir Nabokov. In Japan, it refers to attraction towards little girls.
- During Mikoto's display of her Railgun to Touma, her fingers are not seen to touch the coin when she fired it.
- How was Touma able to escape Mikoto after she attacked him with a thunderstorm?
- How is Index able to go into Academy City's tight security?
- How did Index know where Touma kept his knives? (Although she might have seen them in a skipped scene where he cooked her the food mix)
- Who is that red-haired magician?
- Touma: "Such misfortune." - said by Touma several times.
- Mikoto: "What were you doing? Being a good Samaritan by protecting the delinquents? Are you a certain hot-blooded teacher?" - said to Touma.
- Touma: "The sky is so blue, yet my future is so dark."
- Index: "I'm hungry." - said to Touma.
- Index: "Then, would you accompany me to the depths of hell?" - said to Touma.