Baba Yoshio (馬場 芳郎,Baba Yoshio?) is a character introduced in the Toaru Majutsu no Index series. As an operative of MEMBER, he is a hacker and an expert in robotics and information gathering. Initially a minor character in his debut in the original light novel, his role in the story is expanded in Toaru Kagaku no Railgun.
Yoshio appears as a chubby young man with brown hair. He normally wears khaki trousers and a blue sweater vest over a white shirt. In Toaru Majutsu no Index III, he is much thinner in appearance and stands in contrast with his Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T appearance.
Baba Yoshio is a young man who is confident that through the use of information, knowledge, and technology any esper can be taken down no matter what kind of power they have. And though he is aware of the capabilities of an esper's powers, he underestimates them as well, as shown when he underestimates the full extent of Kongou Mitsuko's ability, necessitating for him to use a hostage against her. Yoshio is also confident on himself not relying in others, believing that it makes one weak. According to Wannai Kinuho, his scorn for trust and relationships comes from not having anyone trust in him, and that it is the result of looking down on others and closing his heart to them.
He is cruel and merciless against his enemies, most especially those whom he believes has looked down on him or embarrassed him.
Seemingly not learning his lesson from the Daihaseisai, Yoshio hides away in an emergency shelter alone known as the Summer Resort, a remarkable contrast to the field work in Toaru Kagaku no Railgun. Using his Type: Great Danes, he provides support for the Professor during the conflicts of the underground organizations of Academy City on October 9.
He first "appears" immediately after the assassination attempt of Oyafune Monaka. With his Type: Great Dane, he informs the Professor that SCHOOL and GROUP has made their move. The Professor asks Yoshio if they have made contact yet, to which Yoshio says that GROUP has failed at capturing them, and that it is currently unknown whether they can catch up to them. Hearing this, the Professor concludes that the other organization has made their moved as well. The Professor states that from the start organizations like them have reasons for their complex behavior, being repressed by the powers at the top and were subject to control. However, the Professor states that because of the riots that rose along with the 0930 incident, the majority of the Powered Suits were sent out to mop-up at Avignon. The Professor then says that it is a big opportunity for them as the suits cannot be used freely. Saraku then appears and asks if the opportune time will be soon, to which the Professor confirms. Xochitl then asks how the Professor could predict the other organization's movements even though the information from the higher-ups might be incorrect, to which the Professor says is because the trop brass possess the technology to make that possible (most likely referring to UNDER_LINE). After the Professor sees Tsuchimikado Maika ride a cleaning robot, he becomes seriously impressed. Yoshio then says that the Professor should refrain from thinking of strange ideas.
His Type: Great Dane later accompanies the Professor to School District 4 in his own attack against Kakine Teitoku of SCHOOL in order to retrieve the Tweezers his organization, SCHOOL, stole from the Elementary Particle Engineering Laboratory. Believing that he has killed Kakine with his Mimosa, the Professor talks to Yoshio on the reason why he loves formulas and why he is part of MEMBER. Unfortunately, he is not the only one to hear this, as Kakine remains alive after being attacked by his Mimosa. As the Mimosa has been blown away, the Professor is killed by Kakine and Yoshio bears witness to this.
Seeing that the Professor has died, Yoshio makes plans to leave the Summer Resort for his enemies will soon find out his location. He later discovers that the exit elevator will not work, as well as the fact that he cannot open the door to the stairs. At that moment the lights in the shelter turned bright, to which Yoshio discovers that the shelter has been put into lockdown for security reasons. He later hears water behind the walls. Believing that his shelter has been flooded, Yoshio discovers that he cannot escape on his own. Since the Professor is dead and Saraku is indisposed after his fight with Accelerator, Yoshio e-mails the only other functioning operative of MEMBER, Xochitl. However, she crushes his hopes by saying that since the information he collects on the organizations is stored in different servers for each organization, she doesn't need him to pursue her enemy and she doesn't have time to clean up her mess. This of course angers Yoshio but he has no time to complain. He invites the idea of laying down his pride and asking grunts from their subordinate organization or from the Person on the phone, but discovers that the communications cable had been physically severed. Now he can no longer get new information. And thus he was trapped, and though he was in the safest place in the world where he had enough food and oxygen to last him for an entire year, Yoshio succumbs to despair and his thoughts are later overtaken by his imagination.
Under the assumption that he is doing a mission for the higher-ups due to Kouzaku Mitori's manipulations was tasked on disabling Misaka Mikoto and finding and kidnapping a Sisters clone. Yoshio participates in the Daihaseisai as student of an unknown school and is apparently known there. Using his expertise information gathering capabilities, he helps the school outwit the much more powerful Tokiwadai Middle School, off-handedly mentioning to his teammates that he got them from a source inside the School Garden. Despite this Tokiwadai still puts up a fight, and though it inconveniences Yoshio from doing his mission proper, he is unimpressed by Tokiwadai, a supposedly elite school for espers. He says that even people like his teammates, which he refers to as unenlightened, as passable pawns.
As they are slowly gaining an upperhand against Tokiwadai, his group is informed that Misaka Mikoto, actually Misaka 10032, is wiping out their teams. Yoshio's teammates notes on how they are losing their lead as well as their Level 3s, but Yoshio thinks this is a great opportunity to fulfill his mission. He then advises his team to stop Misaka Mikoto which he believes would cripple Tokiwadai's effectiveness. He says that the rules of the Ball Hunter competition merely noted that the ball need only to break the balloons on the competitor's head and did not say anything about throwing it. With that, Yoshio witnesses his plan unfold as his team gang on Misaka 10032 which they believe to be Misaka Mikoto, and though Misaka 10032 is no push-over, they eventually succeed in breaking her balloon. Meanwhile, as all this commotion is going on and "Misaka Mikoto's" weak electromagnetic field disrupted by the sheer number of people around, Yoshio activates his Type: Mosquito robot to prick Misaka 10032 with a drug that can render her unconscious, which she did shortly after the competition. Believing Misaka Mikoto to be out of the way, Yoshio fulfills his mission, though notes on how the mission request was unusual.
The next day, he later receives a request for investigation work, and calls upon his Type: Great Dane robots to monitor the streets of Academy City for any clue where he could find a Sisters clone. While having his robots monitor the streets he comes upon a conversation between Kongou Mitsuko and Wannai Kinuho regarding the cat that belonged to Mikoto's younger sister. Seeing that she may be a clue to getting to a Sisters clone, he approaches her after Kinuho leaves. He tells her that he would like to talk about Mikoto's sister asks him to follow him to a much more isolated location, not knowing that Saten Ruiko has spotted them.
Yoshio tells Mitsuko that he too was tasked on "sheltering" Mikoto's sister and gives her an offer of exchanging information with her. Mitsuko refuses asking him to tell her who he is and why he wants to look for Mikoto's sister. Seemingly expecting this, he has a Type: Great Dane robot to attack Mitsuko, telling her to not mind his reasons and just tell him about the clue to Mikoto's sister lest he is to force it out of her with drugs. With that, Mitsuko concludes that he is Mikoto's enemy though doesn't believe he is with Shokuhou Misaki. Mitsuko is then surrounded by several Type: Great Dane robots. As Mitsuko does battle with his robots, Yoshio tells her that she has nowhere to hide as he has analyzed her powers. However, Mitsuko surprises Yoshio by showing the true extent of her Aero Hand, destroying several of his robots and catapulting an entire parabolic antenna towards them, showing that she has no limitations on where she puts the ejection points of her power. Clearly underestimating her, Yoshio decides to use the Type:Mosquito on her but the wind is just too strong for it to get closed. Yoshio then notices Misaka 10032's cat which Mitsuko puts aside and targets it, giving Yoshio the opportunity to hit her with the Type: Mosquito robot.
As Mitsuko lies on the dirt, she mutters Mikoto's name, to which allows Yoshio to realize that Mikoto may have asked Mitsuko to help her and for nothing in return. Yoshio mocks her, saying that she is a horrible person dragging down someone unrelated to the dark side of Academy City. However, Mitsuko drags herself towards Yoshio and demands him to take back what he said about Mikoto as she is not like those other people and that she did it under her own accord. Annoyed, Yoshio begins kicking her, telling her not to talk down to him as she could not manage to defeat him. She mocks Mikoto again, and stops his kicking, needing Mitsuko alive to get information out of her. Suddenly however, Saten Ruiko, Wannai Kinuho, and Awatsuki Maaya come to Mitsuko's aid. Ruiko is horrified at what happened to Mitsuko and demands to know from Yoshio if he was the one responsible. Yoshio replies that it doesn't matter as Mitsuko is just trash. He then begins speaking on how Mitsuko only acted because Mikoto asked her to, mocking her as someone who can't think for herself, and someone who is worse as she cannot eve fulfill the role given to her. She continues to mock Mitsuko, saying that if they have gotten there earlier they would have seen something funny as Mitsuko was crawling around like the piece of trash she is. Ruiko's outburst is interrupted however, as Kinuho and Maaya step forward and asks her to take Mitsuko and the cat away from there, saying that if they do not keep the cat safe, Mitsuko's efforts would've been in vain. Moreover, they tell her that they cannot hold back their anger when a friend of theirs is insulted.
Seeing this, Yoshio mocks their feelings as he order his robots to attack Ruiko as she begins carrying Mitsuko. His efforts however are prevented by Kinuho and Wannai's intervention and she manages to get away. Although angered that Mitsuko got away, he is confident that the Type: Mosquito that injected her with drugs would do it's side role as surveillance well, believing that as long as she can track her he can retrieve her later. With that, Yoshio's Type: Great Dane does battle with Kinuho and Maaya. As battle goes on however, he gets an unexpected call from Kouzaku Mitori asking if he needs reinforcements, as well as if she could retrieve the clue for him. He declines on both offers, with regards to the latter, Yoshio's reasoning is that he doesn't want Mitori to hog his glory. Ending his call, he begins analyzing Kinuho and Wannai's abilities, believing them to be not at all that powerful individually, but makes up for it with their teamwork. With only a limited number of pawns, Yoshio tries to ruse his way against them. He tells them that he is looking for Misaka Mikoto's sister, and that he would like to have the clue that Wannai and Mitsuko talked about earlier, not knowing it was the cat all along. He offers them one of his Type: Mosquito robots in order to aid Kongou Mitsuko to recover from the effects of the drugs. Seeing this, Maaya believes that Yoshio is not making it up based on the fact that she touched Mitsuko a while ago and she had a fever. The both of them refuse to negotiate with Yoshio, but would take his nano-device by force. Hearing this, Yoshio takes another but empty case and has one of the Type: Great Danes take it while he hold on to the real one. Maaya makes pursuit for the decay while Kinuho faces off against Yoshio alone. Yoshio begins walking away, intimidating Kinuho to challenge his dogs to get to him. This allows him to analyze her powers even more. Believing Kinuho to only know how to do frontal attacks seeing as how he believes that he analyzed the full extent of her abilities, Yoshio stands back as he watches Kinuho tire herself out.
Despite defeating several Type: Great Dane robots, Kinuho is slowly becoming tired and has used up all the water for her Hydro Hand ability against them. Yoshio seeing this asks her what she intends to do now. Not giving up, Kinuho says that she is trained in self-defense and that she will fight him without powers. Yoshio just mocks her however as he reveals the spare Type: Great Danes he has kept hidden. He continues to mock her, making a line on the ground on what he believes to be the maximum range of her Hydro Hand if she still had water with her. With that, Yoshio asks mockingly one what she will do now, and then commands his Type: Great Danes to attack. As they charge, Kinuho tells Yoshio that though he had cleverly analyzed her power, he should pay attention more on the things he cannot see. There, Kinuho reveals that she had kept water inside one of the underground drains near them as well as the fact that she can control four clumps of water instead of three. She covers Yoshio's head in sphere of water afterwards. Panicking, he orders the Type: Great Danes to suck up all the water, falling for Kinuho's trap. With the water inside the robots, Kinuho easily destroys from inside-out. In desperation, Yoshio is forced to use the last Type: Mosquito robot that the Professor provided him. With that, Yoshio begins to ramble on in order to distract Kinuho long enough in order for the robot to inject her with drugs. However, he then sees that his Type: Mosquito has fallen and discovers that although it has enough power, it just doesn't get enough lift. There it is revealed that Maaya has acquired the other case, and that she has used her powers on Kinuho to put the bouyancy around her to zero, revealing her powers to be Float Dial.
Confronted by the two angry girls, Yoshio begs for mercy, telling them that he was only hired to do what he needed to do, as well as point out the location of the Type: Mosquito he just used. Having none of it, Kinuho slaps him. She then says that his scorn for trust and relationships comes from not having anyone trust in him, and that it is the result of looking down on others and closing his heart to them. Finally, she warns him that if he doesn't accept his comrades and do not meet them halfway then one one will save him. With those words uttered, Yoshio runs off into a nearby storage facility. In tears, he believes that if he had known their powers from the beginning he wouldn't have been defeated. He activates a disguised truck to open to reveal Type: Mantis, intending to use it to humiliate Kinuho and Maaya for humiliating him. As the large robot moves, Misaka Mikoto appears before the large robot. Seeing this, Yoshio panics, but then assume that she is a Sister, and finally finding one, orders the machine to capture her. The Type: Mantis' easy destruction at her hands was enough for him to realize that it is the true Misaka Mikoto. Mikoto talks to Yoshio, telling him that she knows where he is from the communications signal. Yoshio tries to get away from his command center discovers that it may have been taken over by Mikoto already. Mikoto threatens to do to Yoshio what she did to the robot. However, believing him to be just being under the control of Shokuhou Misaki, she lets him go with a warning. She says that if she ever finds those robots around her friends again, she will find him and crush him. Yoshio later faints at the thought. Yoshio later breaks a window of his truck and manages to get away before Mikoto could get to him.
He later reports his ordeal to Mitori, and asks her for a safe place to hide from Mikoto's wrath.
Although he doesn't display any esper abilities nor is a capable fighter himself, he is a good tactician, able to analyze the abilities of his opponents easily and change tactics when he needs to in spite of lack of information. He however is much comfortable if he has information beforehand, believing that it will allow him not to lose.
Yoshio is an expert in machinery, and prefers to fight using the animal-shaped robots that he has under his control. He uses these to obtain information from a distance, to communicate with others, or to eliminate threats without staining his hands. Among his robots are the following:
Originally referred to as Dog-type robot (犬型のロボット,Inu-gata no robotto?) in the original novel, it is later named as Type: Great Dane (タイプ：グレートデーン,Taipu: Gurēto Dēn?) or T: GD is a silver-colored robot that is in the form of a Great Dane, though in the original novel is is described as being close to looking from the carnivorous cat family. It was a four-legged robot that was created using titanium alloy and synthetic resins. It had an unnaturally long "nose" like an elephant. This trunk can act like an arm, and is powerful enough to break rock. It can also act as a vacuum to suck in things like water. Also, because it had a guide robot dog walking program installed, it was surprisingly flexible in adapting itself to human society.
Primarily used for investigation, it is is equipped with communication devices to allow a person to speak with him through the robot. Yoshio has these types of robots connected to an overhead display, which allows him to receive audiovisual information from the unit itself. In battle, it is used by Yoshio often in numbers, and fights by ramming itself into the enemy. It has powerful legs allowing it to jump a fair distance and outrun a middle schooler.
Type: Mosquito (タイプ:モスキート,Taipu: Mosukīto?) - Also known as T: MQ, is a mosquito shaped nano-device. It is a more expensive robot under Baba's arsenal. Due to its size, Type: Mosquito is more often used in conditions wherein being detected is not recommended, like in ambushing desired targets. This robot can inject drugs into its target, including one that can render a person unconscious as well giving them a fever by using its minuscule mosquito needle. Moreover, it can also be used as a surveillance device as it has a camera and microphone. It needs lift to to fly, as such strong winds or differences in bouyancy can hinder it.
Type: Mantis (タイプ:マンティス,Taipu: Mantisu?), also known as T: MT, is a large robot that is based on the shape of a praying mantis, and is seemingly designed for combat situations. A few meters tall and several meters long, the Type: Mantis is the largest robot in Yoshio's arsenal. It has large pincers that are either used to attack its targets or grab them. It's feet are padded and flat, seemingly allowing it to slide on a smooth surface. Due to it standing out too much, only a single unit is stored in the back of Yoshio's truck and is rarely used. It also has surveillance devices, allowing for Yoshio to see and hear what's happening.
(To Ruiko, Kinuho, and Maaya, from Railgun Manga Chapter 51): "If you show off for someone else's sake...and then end up in some position you can't recover from, you'll regret it and end up blaming the person you did it for. No one has any imagination, so they never seem to understand this until they experience it for themselves."