Never judge a book by its cover ; judge it by its Index – Age issues in To Aru Majutsu no Index

(Related to this post)

Ah , Index. Chockful of things that appeal to a large range of viewers. From the action-packed fight scenes to the little moments of fanservice, Index is like an anime one would recommend to pubescent teenagers, seeking a fast thrill and an entertaining watch.

Speaking of teenagers, there’s something rather interesting I’ve realized about To Aru Majutsu no Index –  the character’s ages.

If it’s something most of the characters in To Aru Majutsu no Index have in common, it’s unusual body proportions. And I’m not just referring to the upper regions, I’m referring to the body as a whole.

It’s common sense that the older you get, the larger you are. Yet some characters don’t reflect this at all. For instance, their teacher, Tsukuyomi Komoe. She’s almost (nearly half ) half as short as most of the characters in Index, speaks with a childish-sounding voice befitting that of a loli and yet she’s actually 30+ – old enough to smoke and drive her own car, albeit without being seen actually in it.

That means she’s twice ,or even more than twice the age of most characters in the show, although she’s at half the height and seems to be half their age.

And for crying out loud, Index looks like she could have been born around the same time as Komoe and attended school with her, yet she’s actually 15, which means she’s as old as Touma. If it’s something Index has taught me, is that all females are much older than they seem – they all appear to be very, very young. Or more mature, whatever fits the situation better.

In other words all the female characters in Index are simply made straight out to appeal to aforementioned teenagers.  You like breasts? We give you breasts? Oh, you don’t like breasts? Ok, we’ll give you flat chests (or, not give you breasts.) Age isn’t a matter in Academy City.

Alternatively, I present to you this theory : The younger the character in question, the more the audience loves said character. It doesn’t matter whether it’s physical age or apparent age, since it’s usually applied to female characters, but as long as your character gets younger and younger, the audience likes the character more. Why? Who knows.

But of course, not only the female cast are affected by the curse of reverse aging in Academy city. So is the fire-wielding, cigarette-smoking magician, Stiyl Magnus. It turns out he’s 14- in other words, younger than Touma, Komoe,and Index.

You’d be thinking that would be simply impossible. With a build much larger than his peers, towering over most characters in the show, with a deep build and a face that of a battle-scarred, weary man devoted to his job, no-one could have guessed him out to be so young. Most people must have thought he was 18 at the minimum.

Of course, it’s not like it’s something I can’t understand…



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37 Responses to Never judge a book by its cover ; judge it by its Index – Age issues in To Aru Majutsu no Index

  1. Alx2oy says:

    Wait, 14? You’ve gotta be joking ._.

  2. Lenneth says:

    wait stiyl is 14?! thanks for the information…damn whats this sense of defeat…

  3. misterowl24 says:

    Stiyl is 14!!!! I think he should cut down on cigarettes.

  4. Nopy says:

    “It doesn’t matter whether it’s physical age or apparent age, since it’s usually applied to female characters, but as long as your character gets younger and younger, the audience likes the character more. Why? Who knows.”

    Maybe it’s because the younger they are, the less likely they have been “used”, a mentality left over from ancient times.

    I didn’t know Stiyl was 14, perhaps they’re highlighting the differences between races. I’m asian and I’m in my 20s, but everyone thinks I’m 14 or 15. On the other hand, when I was 14 and 15, all of my caucasian friends could pass as adults. Since Stiyl is a British guy in Japan, he’d look older than everyone around him.

    • Valence says:

      This difference seems exaggerated if you ask me, since I don’t think we Asians are really that weak and scrawny as the world makes us out to be. I mean, surely not all British people tower over Asians like giants, right?

  5. Ming Xuan says:

    Stiyl is 14?!?!
    Mind = Blown

  6. Fabrice says:

    pubescent teenagers, LOL
    haha well im not a fan of that the younger the character the more likeable..hell no.
    Misaka ❤
    btw wtf is style or whatever 14??????
    cant be O.o

    • Valence says:

      He is, according to the light novel and various other sources. Which is kind of surprising given how they characterized him as a cigarette-smoking tough-talking rough guy.

  7. Binh says:

    stiyl is 14…
    Now that’s what I call MIND FUCKED
    Everything is reversed in this Anime -.-

  8. Azure Hoshizora says:

    So if Stiyl likes Komoe/Index, does that make him a lolicon/pedo? Since they’re actually older than him… Random thought that occurred to me…

    And accelerator may actually be in his 50s, explains the white hair, jkjk.

  9. kevo says:

    Well, it was going to create plot holes eventually, so might as well address it up front. Next thing you’re gonna tell me Aleister Crowley is 12…

  10. Carillus says:

    Just to point out – we did indeed see Komoe drinking beer and driving her car, I think somewhere in Railgun somewhere. She uses a driving aid similar to that which handicapped drivers use in their cars.

    Well, in a worldsetting where magic is just a tool and little girls throw around five billion volts of electricity like nothing, little things don’t really matter.

  11. ~xxx says:

    i does not matter anyway.
    Stiyl’s age is 14 and Komoe’s age is 30.

    I’m more into the fact that age in that show really messes with my sense of realism.

    • Valence says:

      Which is really something that helps the show when you think about it. A world where scientific abilities and magical powers clash yet co-exist, anything could go to make it feel more surreal.

  12. Maserbeam says:

    What a great way to start the year. My mind cannot comprehend that Stiyl’s age is 14. Bastard looks like he’s supposed to be 27.

    I’m not ready for this year of animu. I’ll be irradiated of moe particles and GAR molecules before March comes around.

    • Valence says:

      I’m not any bit more ready than you are. We have quality stuff dropping around the corner like Rio – Rainbow Gate . . . . .

  13. Jubbz says:

    I thought Touma was 17. >_>

  14. biotoxic says:

    LOL I can tell you 14y/o Catholic boys do not tend to be chains smokers in Britain. Although it is shocking he’s supposed to be 14.

    I like that arrow chart you have there. Tabulated and fully analysed statistical data from a reputable source I assume? 😆 This season of index is missing more Kanzaki although Oriana is fine for now. Just don’t go telling me they’re 13 or something or I’ll be upset.

    • Valence says:

      Maybe he used some spell to make himself young again. I don’t really know.

      Kanzaki’s 19, if I’m not wrong. But if it turns out that she’s 13 I doubt I’ll be surprised…

  15. Chibinium says:

    Kanzaki, however, meets all delicious expectations!

  16. Netto says:

    I thought you guys knew that he was 14! “orz

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