The huge gulf between the character design used in the initial A Certain Magical Index light novels and that used in more recent volumes, as well as more widely in the anime and similar, has recently been pointed out by fans. Especially the differences in Index’s design…
You can see a simple comparison illustrating the huge differences below:
The initial, hardly moe at all, light novel design:
The difference is as that between night and day, but that is not all…
All the characters now seem to created along moe lines, as you see below:
There are some who speculate that the current huge popularity the series (of novels or otherwise) enjoys is all down to the new artist direction, as exemplified by Index having become something of a moe icon. Might this be close to the mark, or is it mere coincidence that such a radical revamping has taken place?