8

Magicians show that they are serious by shouting their magical names. Poster child of this behaviour is shown in Endymion no Kiseki, when

Touma is still unsure of what is going on, when Stiyl shouts Fortis583 right before going all out. Touma's expression changes radically, as he understands that Styil is an enemy, at least for the moment.

Is there any rule in making the magical names, or are they intended to look like forum/internet nicknames?

  • the only Magicians i've seen in the series so far (as i've only seen season 1 of Index) are from the Church so i assumed the numbers were a bible passage that coincide with the magic in some way – Memor-X Dec 18 '16 at 21:35
  • Why is it that those forum handles sounds so much like magical names? Answer, because creating unique names on your own can be such a pain. Thus people copy it from already existing names. – 絢瀬絵里 Dec 19 '16 at 5:39
  • @AyaseEri reversal of causality is a dangerous fallacy here. We are comparing one real-world thing (forum handles) that came before the fictional one (index's fictional world magical names). – Mindwin Dec 19 '16 at 11:30
  • I mean the author might have a hard time to decide on their names and thus just use an easy escape by using internet handle names. – 絢瀬絵里 Dec 19 '16 at 11:40
  • @AyaseEri that is why I asked the queston: to clarify what the freckles is up with that naming system. – Mindwin Dec 19 '16 at 11:42
9
+50

The magic names are Latin and they are chosen to represent the wishes of the magic user. The numbers at the end serve as unique identifiers in the case that the term has been used previously as a magic name.

This is a quote from Tsuchimikado from page 112 of volume 4 of the Yen Press translation of A Certain Magical Index:

"Sorcerers-particularly the kind who assumed a foothold in the nineteenth century, or 'advanced sorcerers'- engrave our own desire upon our souls. I'm talking about magic names. We carve into our hearts the Latin for the reason we study magic, the one wish for which we would give our lives for. For me it's Fallere825, and Kanzaki's is Salvere000, nya~. The numbers afterwards are in case there're doubles of the same term. It's kind of like an email domain in that respect."

This is the same quote used by looper in his answer, but the official translation differs significantly. The official translation compares the inclusion of the numbers to an email domain rather than to email authentication. This means the two translations are offering completely different explanations for the numbers. In one case, the numbers are for the purpose of authentication so that others cannot repeat the name. In the other case, the numbers are simply for differentiating magical names that use the same Latin term.

It's easy to just offhandedly say the official translation is the correct one, but we'd have to check the original Japanese to be sure. Thanks to senshin's comment, we have this: the original Japanese is:「そこらへんはメールの登録名【ドメイン】と同じだぜよ」. The phrase "登録名" means literally "registered name", and refers to a type of name used for persistent and ideally-unique identification (a la an email local-part); he then adds furigana ドメイン domein "domain". (Again, thanks to senshin for the original text and translation)

So it turns out the Yen Press translation is more accurate to the original Japanese and makes the most sense.

Kamijou hears the full magic names, so there is a flaw in using the numbers for authentication. If the purpose of a magic name is to tell opponents, then it doesn't make sense to give them the authentication as well. Also, at the point I've read to in this series, there hasn't been any mention as to why it would be bad that someone knew your magic name, so I question why authentication would be needed in the first place.

  • 2
    That last sentence is 「そこらへんはメールの登録名【ドメイン】と同じだぜよ」. This is really weird and suggests to me that Kamachi is confused about how emails work. He uses the word 登録名 meaning literally "registered name" and referring to a type of name used for persistent and ideally-unique identification (a la an email local-part); he then tacks furigana ドメイン domein "domain" onto the word for no apparent reason. But in any case, the Yen Press translation is correct on this point; the one quoted in looper's answer isn't. This has nothing to do with authentication. – senshin May 21 '17 at 13:58
  • I wonder if "kind of like an email domain", is just supposed to mean "like an email domain, by using numbers in case of dupes". – Malady Sep 27 at 4:18
5

This is explained in the fourth novel (angel fall arc; chapter 2 part 5) by Motoharu:

“The term ‘magician’—especially the modern magicians that were established in the tenth century, will carve their wishes onto their souls. This is the magic name. Carving the reason why they want to learn magic or give up their entire lives for the one goal by writing it out it in Latin. Like for me, I’m Fallere825, Kanzaki nee-chin’s Salvare000. The numbers behind are used to prevent others from repeating the word, so this is like an email authentication.

(This is not from the official English translation because I don't have access to it.)

2

Well, I assume that this particular system is to prevent name clashes.

The church probably has a registry of names; a magician chooses​ a Latin word that fits their ideals and a number is added on to indicate that they are the nth person to have chosen that name.

It's out of necessity that they sound like that, since their magical name is something that defines them, the same way as a person's username on a forum defines their membership of that forum.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.