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A Certain Magical Index: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Season 4
Based on the light novels by Kazuma Kamachi and Kiyotaka Haimura, A Certain Magical Index began its televised run in 2008 and hasn’t stopped since. The anime has since expanded into a successful franchise, complete with sequel and spin-off anime.
Just recently, Index’s third season wrapped up, leaving fans wanting more. Unfortunately for them, information about even the existence of a hypothetical Index IV has been scarce. Thankfully, some details about Index’s future do exist, however vague they may be.
10 J.C.Staff Hasn’t Confirmed Or Denied A Season 4
As of this writing, J.C.Staff has been mum on their plans or involvement in the Index franchise’s future. Some rumors and unsubstantiated claims surfaced online, but most were quickly dismissed or debunked. That said, it wouldn’t be surprising if ever J.C.Staff announced that it would be animating Index IV in the near future.
Right now, J.C.Staff is incredibly busy making anime and movies, both announced and still in production. Just this year, they released Edens Zero, The Way Of The Househusband, the OVA for Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? III, and more. It wouldn’t be too much to assume that they’re either preparing to animate or are currently animating Index IV.
9 Expect An Announcement Between Now And Next Year
A few months ago, Index’s publishers at Kadokawa Shoten announced that they aimed to produce 40 anime per year all the way to 2023. This encompasses both new and sequel series, but doesn’t mention tie-in adaptations like video games. The ambitious goal is part of the already-successful firm’s continual expansion, as seen in its plans to make a 3D CGI animation studio.
Since Index and its adjacent titles, especially Railgun, are one of Kadokawa’s biggest successes, it would be ill-advised for them to end the franchise without any ceremony. Right now, Kadokawa hasn’t revealed a list of its upcoming anime, but it will in due time. Expect an announcement for Toma and Index’s return either in the coming months or in the first half of next year.
8 Season 4 Isn’t That Necessary
Whether or not Index IV becomes a reality, Index don’t have much to worry about since Touma’s story is complete. Index III may have closed on an open-ended note amid World War III’s end, but it wrapped up everybody’s character arcs neatly. Anything after that isn’t as much of a priority in terms of storytelling.
This was always the production committee’s plan, since their goal was to give fans a complete adaptation of the light novels before doing something new with Touma and Index’s futures. The Index light novel series comprises 22 entries, and Index III adapted the remaining 9. Whatever comes after will be more of a nice consolation prize for longtime fans than an urgent need.
7 Season 4 May Be A Sequel Series
If Index IV does get greenlit, the easiest solution for its story would be to adapt the stories of New Testament: A Certain Magical Index. Beginning in 2011 and ending in 2019, this 22-volume light novel series served as the direct sequel to Index. Because of this, some fans have gotten to dubbing Season 4 as Index NT.
New Testament follows a post-World War III world, where global annihilation may have been averted but society as large is still in shambles. Many of the world powers and institutions have been thrown asunder, leaving everyone else to restart their lives as best as they can. Touma’s status is still up in the air, as he was assumed to be one of WWIII’s many MIAs.
6 Season 4 May Star Accelerator Instead Of Touma
Index III ends with Touma being found by Leivinia and Mark Space somewhere in the Arctic Ocean. Though barely alive and knocked out at worst, Touma is oceans away from home and out of the picture. As a result, New Testament’s first arc doesn’t star him, and instead passes the protagonist’s duties to Accelerator.
New Testament opens with GROUP disbanded, leaving Accelerator to his own devices. Having completed his redemption arc, Academy City’s strongest Level 5 Esper now lives a more peaceful life as the guardian of the Mikoto Misaka clones, Last Order and Misaka Worst. Unfortunately, his peace is shattered when the vengeful faction Freshmen emerges.
5 Season 4 Could Be An Anime-Original Arc
Unlike its sister series A Certain Scientific Railgun, Index has close to no filler content. Minus a few changes here and there, Index is a faithful adaptation of the light novels it was based on. If ever there was a time for Index to branch off into entirely original storylines, arcs, and characters, it’s now.
For comparison’s sake, Railgun had filler episodes while Railgun S’ second cour was a filler arc. This wasn’t detrimental to the overall story, since it gave the characters more development, expanded the worldbuilding, and threw in some fun action as well. Index is back at the drawing board, so it wouldn’t hurt to let loose and have some fun.
4 Season 4 May Or May Not Be A Reboot
By the time Season 3 finally aired, it had been nearly seven years since a new Index episode made it to televisions or streaming services. Season 2 wrapped up in 2011, but Season 3 only began airing in 2018 before ending in 2019. Because of this long gap of time, the production considered making Season 3 a reboot.
With this in mind, Index IV being a franchise reboot isn’t that much of an impossibility. As mentioned above, Index’s story is pretty much done, leaving the anime’s creators with the choice to either continue or retell the story, but with better animation and other fixes. Whichever they choose, fans will undoubtedly watch it.
3 Season 4 Is Highly Dependent On Railgun T’s Success
In Japan, merchandise sales are an anime’s lifeline. Cases in point: Gintama’s consistent DVD sales kept the franchise afloat for more than a decade, while The Promised Neverland Season 2’s abysmal video sales were the final nail on its coffin. Video sales will determine a fourth Index’s status but strangely enough, it’s not its DVDs that are in question.
Miki Kazuma, the editor of Index’s light novels, revealed in an interview that a continuation of Index will be determined by the sales of Railgun T’s DVDs. Fortunately, both Index III and Railgun T have been selling pretty well. If these sales are anything to go by, Index IV may be a done deal that’s just waiting for the right time for an announcement.
2 Index’s Editor Promised That Index Will Continue In Some Way
Shortly after Railgun T’s finale, Kazuma sent out a Tweet thanking fans for watching it and for supporting the now 10-year-old franchise. What caught some fans’ eyes, however, was the vague but promising closing sentence that stated that “A Certain Magical Index will continue!” Whether this was referring to the anime or the franchise is unclear, but it got fans excited.
What exactly Kazuma meant is anyone’s guess, since there don’t seem to be plans or indications of stopping Index any time soon. As of this writing, Index is still churning out light novels, manga, and other related material. While a new anime hasn’t been announced yet, Kazuma’s Tweet was basically a confirmation of Index IV.
1 Fans Are Losing Their Minds Waiting For Any Update
Given the Index franchise’s popularity, it’s obvious that its fans are desperate for any sign of life. Right now, it’s been more than a year since Index III ended, and nearly one since Railgun T concluded. Excluding the occasional specials and ads, there has been nothing but radio silence, leading to fears of cancelled anime and wackier fan conspiracy theories.
Since both Index and Railgun had almost 10 years in between their seasons, fans are worried that they’ll have to wait a similarly long time again for more Touma and Misaka. But after Kodakawa announced its expansion, hopes for a shorter waiting period have been granted credence. Here’s hoping that this drought of information and episodes ends sooner than later.