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Such misfortune!
~ Touma's catchphrase
Damn rotten luck!
~ Touma's catchphrase in the dub

Touma Kamijou is the main protagonist of the the light novel and anime series A Certain Magical Index, a recurring character in the A Certain Scientific Railgun side stories, and the overall main protagonist of the franchise. He is mostly involved in the events of the Magic Side and often collaborates with Necessarius as an affiliate/unofficial member of the organization. Because of his willingness to help others unconditionally, he has attracted the affections of many characters in the series, which Aisa Himegami jokes about, stating that his life is like a dating sim where he is bound to unlock more paths to more girls. Index (who was the first to fall for him and is still the only one to have confessed her feelings) speculates that the reason for all these attractions is because his Imagine Breaker negates the 'red string of fate'.

He is voiced by Atsushi Abe in the Japanese version of the anime and Micah Solusod in the English version, the latter of whom also voices Yukine, Soul Eater Evans and Jonathan Mar.

Appearance

His most striking feature is his spiky black hair, apart from which he looks like an ordinary high school student. It's been mentioned that his spiky hair isn't natural, but was made that way using hair gel after seeing it on a fashion magazine a while back.

His father remarks that Touma looks just like his mother when he is worried about something or is thinking deeply.

Because he resides in Academy City, Touma is often seen wearing his school uniform along with an orange T-shirt underneath it. This applies to both the summer and winter versions of his uniform (though when wearing the summer version he does not button it). Because of his tendency to wear his uniform in such a manner and the fact that he seems to attract trouble, many easily mistake Touma for a delinquent. During certain days like weekends, Touma simply wears a casual shirt and pants.

Personality

I don't see why I need a reason to help somebody.
~ Touma when asked why he would risk his life to save a complete stranger
Touma is the type that acts before he thinks. He can never just sit around upon seeing someone in a pinch and will go to great lengths to protect or help the person. This, he does at great risk to himself, which typically results in him being hospitalized for several days after each confrontation. This gets to the point that he's delighted when he doesn't have to be hospitalized, which the Heaven Canceller remarks is not something most people would be proud of. When fighting seriously against a particularly strong opponent, Touma would usually first declare that he'll "destroy that illusion" of theirs, before actually engaging. He is willing to get seriously hurt to save someone he only met recently, and outright states that he doesn't need a reason to help someone. This draws confusion from many of his allies, who just don't get why Touma continuously involves himself in other people's business when he has nothing to gain from doing so.

It is evident that even when he is in a blank slate after losing his memories, Touma can still display such personality. Touma, however, after losing his memories, now seems to approach people with more caution, carefully choosing what emotion or mood to display when meeting someone he thinks he might know, lest they see through his ruse and exploit him in any way. When Touma meets Stiyl once again after saving Index, he displayed politeness and casualness towards him which made Stiyl suspicious. Touma then realised his mistake quickly and created an explanation for his behaviour. Touma also bears no grudge on former enemies, and is willing to help them if they asked for it.

Even though he is a gentleman who is kind to people in general, Touma will not hesitate to strike female opponents who harm innocents or disrespect life, such as Sherry Cromwell, who was going to start a war between Science and Faith that would result in the death of millions, Agnese Sanctis, who was tasked to eliminate Orsola, Oriana Thomson, who hurt Seiri Fukiyose and Aisa Himegami, or Vento of the Front when she had planned to destroy Academy City and anything related to science to settle her grudge on what happened to her brother in the past.

Ironically, despite Touma having several girls attracted to him, he has shown no apparent romantic attraction to them. However, Touma stated that he specifically prefers Dorm manager Onee-san (elder sister) types, as is the case with Kaori Kanzaki when he dreamed of things like her wearing the swimsuit used by Index during the Angel Fall incident, and asking a kiss from Oriana Thomson when they first meet. Despite this, Motoharu describes Touma as someone who has strong self-control, and with the case with Index, who often sleeps with him, will not attack girls that are asleep.

Despite his righteous and heroic personality, Touma occasionally displays poor choice of words which results in him getting bitten by Index, having bolts of lightning thrown by Mikoto, and creating misunderstandings with the other girls he encounters. As the result of his Imagine Breaker negating his own luck, Touma is unfortunate and often bemoans his situation when confronting an unfortunate situation with his famous catchphrase: "Such misfortune!" ("Damn rotten luck!" in the English dub). However, regardless of his own misfortune Touma believes that he is not regretful for being unfortunate, and states that he rather be unfortunate and help people than be fortunate and happy and not notice people who are suffering. He states that being unfortunate is his fortune and it would be the path that he continue to walk on.

Although frequently sympathetic towards his enemies due to their tragic pasts, Touma is also very intolerant of people using those pasts as an excuse to commit horrible acts. An example of this is when Vento of the Front reveals her revolt against Science is an act of revenge for the death of her brother, who died when the two were fatally injured at an amusement park and the doctors could only save one of them, since they had a rare blood type. Touma rightfully points out to her that her brother's death was out of anybody's control and she's now wasting the life he gave her going on a pointless rampage against people who have done nothing to her. He also calls her out for her survivor's guilt i.e. her belief that she stole her brother's future, asking if she'd tell someone the same thing if they were in her situation. In general, Touma just doesn't understand why people with amazing powers would use them for their own selfish gain, constantly asking them why they don't use them to make the world a better place.

Despite his strong sense of justice and desire for a world where no-one has to suffer, Touma generally seems to be more concerned with the individuals than the long-term consequences, which can occasionally cause him to have very strange priorities; when he learns about Oriana's plot to brainwash the city, it's not the possibility of mass mind control that really upsets him, but that her actions are interfering with the festival that's going on. Laura Stuart describes his mindset as one that could save or damn thousands and Aiwass states that he doesn't really concern himself with things such as good and evil, but rather does whatever he thinks is right at any given moment, which is why he can go from beating someone up one minute to defending them the next. In addition, while Villian once commented Touma is just like William Orville, someone who follows his own ideals no matter what, there are differences between the two: William is someone who stays true to his ideals and firmly believes it is the right path no matter what happens, and no matter who speaks against it; while Touma does not have set ideals and therefore can be manipulated into helping other people's plots. And when he does do something wrong, Motoharu describes Touma as someone who will carry that mistake all on his own, along with his own. Even so, he works to correct his mistakes in order to bring a smile to everyone's face at the end of the road, no matter the cost he himself may have to pay.

Abilities

Imagine Breaker

Touma's ability is Imagine Breaker ("Illusion Killer"), an ability which negates all supernatural powers, including the effects of magical, psychic, and divine powers (which may also include his good luck and God's blessing according to Index). Because of this, the people testing psychic abilities cannot detect or classify his abilities, as such Aleister Crowley considers him neither a psychic nor a magician but rather a normal person with a unique ability. Touma is the current holder of the Imagine Breaker for the power believes that there is meaning in Touma have it in his right hand, or in Fiamma's own words: "the right hand is only the right hand when it is growing from his right shoulder." At first, the source of Imagine Breaker appeared to be his right hand only, but in later episodes, it is questionable that his power doesn't concentrate on one part of his body. It appears his right hand is the only part that can actively negate supernatural things, with the rest of the body immune to supernatural effects, like heat from Innocentius that can even melt metal door handles. Though this is still debatable, as Ars Magna can bypass Imagine Breaker and go straight into the brain to affect Touma's memories. Terra of the Left hints that Imagine Breaker might actually be an ability that might extend itself further away from its bearer's right hand, based on Terra's personal knowledge of Fiamma of the Right's Holy Right ability. Despite of the extents of Touma's abilities, Touma might not have the ability to negate all "artificial" supernatural abilities. Tsuchimikado is convinced that there are things that Touma's Imagine Breaker cannot destroy, including ley lines or a person's life force from which a magician's mana is produced. One explanation is that Touma hasn't killed someone through a simple handshake, a piece of evidence that suggests that Touma's ability might have certain limits to it.

However, during his trip to Russia, Touma realizes that the Imagine Breaker not only erases supernatural phenomena, but it can also interfere via "negation and disruption". Touma made use of this when he battles Accelerator in Russia. Normally, Imagine Breaker negates any supernatural power or object upon contact, but because of its limits, if a supernatural power/object is sufficiently powerful or massive enough in size it will not be completely negated right away as it will take a longer time to fully defeat. It's during this state of cancellation that Touma can actually physically touch or grab the power/object, negating and disrupting it instead of instantly destroying or completely ridding of it right away. This, of course, is usually more of a disadvantage than an advantage of Imagine Breaker. Still, during Touma's fight with Accelerator in Russia, Touma pulled one of Accelerator's black wings to throw Accelerator off balance and dodge the attack when Accelerator struck Touma with 100 wings that he summoned. That single touch was capable of negating the vector controlling power of said wing as well.

Aleister Crowley has also gained interest in Touma's power and integrated it into his plans, and from his comments to Heaven Canceller it is likely Aleister masterminded events that lead to Touma being sent into Academy City by Touya. Aleister has monitered Touma's danger level to Academy city and labelled it equivalent to DEFCON 3, and found Imagine Breaker can affect 97% of his plans. So far there are only a few attacks which can "surpass" Kamijou Touma's Imagine Breaker power canceling speed; Index's Dragon Breath, Stiyl's Innocentius, Fiamma's 30-40Km flaming sword, and Accelerator's wings in his awakened state. The Curtana's Dimensional Cleavage Formula is a different case, as it does not fall under the 'surpassing cancelling speed' category, but 'After this window of opportunity it can't be negated' category. Kanzaki stated Imagine Breaker can negate a dimensional cutter attack if it comes into contact within 1.25 seconds.

Also according to Index, it is also capable of canceling the red string of fate, which may be the reason why so many women fall for Touma.

Further speculation

When Fiamma severed Touma's right arm along with the Imagine Breaker in order to absorb that power into himself, it was not for the Imagine Breaker ability, but for it to act as a medium for his Holy Right to gain a corporeal form. Immediately afterwards, a "invisible thing" gathered on Touma's right shoulder which made all Fiamma has pale in comparison, but Touma unexpectedly crushed that power with an even greater power and then took back the Imagine Breaker. Though the true nature of those powers is unclear, Touma is shown to be able to communicate with "invisible thing" referring the power as "you" before refusing to use its power, crushing the power and regenerating his lost right arm.

After Fiamma's right arm was severed by Aleister, it was confirmed there is more to Touma's right hand than just a "a right hand that can negate supernatural ability". Touma's right hand is a vessel that can be used to house a greater power, and this is the main reason why Aleister and Fiamma seeks Touma's right hand, not for Imagine Breaker.

Other abilities

Touma is also a capable street fighter and quick thinker as shown in his fight with Aureolus Izzard where he exploited the weakness of his "Ars Magna". His fighting capability is stated many times in the novels to be the result of countless fights he was involved in with other deliquents when he tries to help other people, even when his opponents are Skill-Outs that carry deadly weapons. Also Touma has an incredible amount of stamina as displayed during Mikoto's attack on him where he took in every attack she threw and was still able to combat and beat Accelerator. He possesses a high threshold of pain, as demonstrated against his battle with Aureolus where his entire arm was cut-off and he was still able to think straight enough to beat Aureolus, although Stiyl said he just got "high" off of the pain.

In spite of the examples above, Touma still only sees his fighting capability as "capable of winning one-on-one, maybe possible of winning two-on-one, and run away when it is three-on-one".

During the Civil War Crisis in London in volumes 17-18 Touma displays the ability to be able to sneak and hide from others very carefully. During volume 20, Fiamma was amazed at how well he has gotten at doing it while he was trying to fight and locate him during his current ventures in Russia.

Later, Accelerator speculated that Touma has been in so many fights that he has subconsciously obtained partial Precognition or 'Mind's Eye' , where he can judge the severity of the attack coming towards him by the enemy's movements and feel the tiny AIM dispersion field around them, then move Imagine Breaker and the rest of his body to the best location to minimize the damage taken. He has, on more than one occasion, managed to block Mikoto's electrical attacks regardless of the rates at how fast she discharges her bolts from her body. Touma doesn't know he himself has this pseudo 'Mind's Eye', and if he actively tries to do things like look for openings or feel the AIM field it would probably perform worse. Lessar noted that even if someone else were to have the same "right hand" like Touma, they couldn't use it half as well as Touma, with his combat skills that accompany it.

Trivia

  • There was a mistranslation when spoilers of Volume 16 first came out, with Fiamma stating Imagine Breaker is similar to the 'Holy Stone'. In actuality it's the 'Holy Right', as the kanji for Right and Stone are very similar (石 - stone; 右 - right).
  • According to the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga, because he has to cook for himself, he possesses great culinary skills.
  • The novels point out that his zodiac sign is Aquarius.
  • According to the Toaru Majutsu no Index manga, before his memory wipe, Touma dreamed about some future events like the Angel Fall incident and the Aztec magician- Etzali.
  • There is a sort of running gag in the show with Touma being fond of telling people that he'll "break their illusion", before proceeding to beat them with his right hand. More specifically, he says "I'll kill it... That illusion/fantasy of yours!!" It's actually a pun: The Kanji given for 'Imagine Breaker' is 'Illusion/Fantasy Killer (Genso Goroshi)'.
  • Touma has consistently been voted the most popular character (both male and overall) in the Toaru Majutsu no Index light novels.
  • In vol 16, Misaka Mikoto was thinking of asking Shokou Misaki to help get Touma's memories back with her 'Mental Out' ability but Imagine Breaker would negate it due to 'Mental Out' being a form a telepathy and, unknown to her, the memories destruction can't be solved with that.
  • Currently, the only Science Side characters who know Touma's involving in the incidents of the Magic Side are Aleister Crowley, Etzali, Motoharu Tsuchimikado, Hyouka Kazakiri, Accelerator and Shiage Hamazura.
  • Almost every person Touma defeats throughout the whole series also ends up fighting alongside him later in the series.
  • Touma is the 1st place winner best overall character and male character of the kono light novel sugoi 2011 awards.
  • Touma's ability to dispel supernatural powers is likely a reflection of his nature as a pacifist i.e. one who defuses situations.

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