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Kihara Gensei (木原幻生 Kihara Gensei?) is an enigmatic character appearing in Toaru Kagaku no Railgun. A member of the Kihara family that has a obsession with Level 6, and has made several attempts to achieve it. He is also the main Science side antagonist of the Daihasei Festival Arc in Railgun.

As the creator of the Ability Body Crystal, his actions would influence the beginning of Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, and several characters in the later part of Toaru Majutsu no Index. For those reasons, he can be arguably considered the main antagonist of the Railgun side story.


His name (幻生) literally means "Illusory Life", and maybe a reference not appearing at all in the series in the current year of the timeline. Using other characters (原生), it can be translated as "Primitive" or "Primeval", referring to his age. Furthermore, his name is used interchangeably with "Tensei", meaning Reincarnation.


He is a man of advanced age. His height is quite average, though he seems to have a hunch. His most notable feature is that he often has his eyes closed, only rarely opening it when he is excited, as well as a birthmark that can be found on his right temple. Gensei might currently the oldest Kihara introduced in the series, if Kihara Noukan is not older.

Due to his experiences in dangerous experiments, most of his body parts are actually made of mechanical prosthetics, making him a cyborg.[3][4][5] This allows him to walk onto the electric trap Shokuhou Misaki laid unscathed.[3]


Typical of a Kihara, Gensei is a sinister figure despite his usually smiling expression; he has no qualms in killing people for the success of his research (even himself, as it was revealed during his second attempt to Level up a Level 5 Esper), which brings him at odds with Heaven Canceller, whose belief in the Hippocratic Oath clashes with Gensei eagerness to push the boundaries of science.[6] He also admits that his eagerness has resulted in not seeing anything around him when something unexpected happens, and admits that this has caused accidents that have nearly killed him several times.[3]

Perhaps because of this, and the fact that he fits the description the most that he is referred to as a "mad scientist".[6]

An old man with an analytical mind, in the long time he has spent in the Dark Side of Academy City, he has become sensitive to people plotting something.[3]


Profile of Kihara Gensei

According to Therestina, Gensei is a famous and influential scientist who famous in different circles. His expertise is in the line of neuroscience, where he conducts experiments to improve the potential of the human mind, though in more sinister ways than most scientists.[6]

Kihara Gensei presents the Crystallized Esper Essence to the scientific community.

His biggest research project yet is SYSTEM, which aims to explore the possibilities of humans to "reach the will of heaven" by creating a Level 6 Esper.[6] His methods are through "overloading espers" by destabilizing the brain and breaking its tolerable limits by the use of manipulation of the brain and subjecting it to extreme treatments involving overuse of chemicals.[6] This experiment was first done on his granddaughter, Therestina Kihara, as the First Sample, and have overloaded her abilities to extract the chemicals from her.[7]

He later presents his findings to his peers, and piques the attention of the Heaven Canceller, who tells him of the human costs of his experiments and the victims it causes, though Gensei states that there are no victims in his experiments.[6]

His experiments have apparently attracted some people, and formed a council to fund his work, with him as the supervisor. In the Advanced Education Department, he supervises the experiment, and has Kiyama Harumi, teach the Child Errors that will be used in the experiment. Predictably, the experiments goes awry for the children, though Gensei shows calmness throughout the ordeal even the children are in danger, and thanks Harumi for all her hard work. He later puts a gag order on the facility, and tells the researcher present that the experiment was completed without incident.[8] In the manga, it is shown that Gensei is later confronted by Harumi for this, though Gensei just tells her that nobody cares as they are getting rid of the problematic Child Errors.[9]

It is unknown what he has done afterward. At some point in time he had a research facility built in School District 17 for unknown uses. Although presumably, he used to carry on his research on the Crystallized Esper Essence.

He apparently later changes tactics in creating a Level 6, apparently abandoning the Ability Body Crystal and focusing his attention on leveling a Level 5. He is the primary proponent of the Level 6 Shift for Accelerator.[10] And later, after its failure, had his attention focus on the Misaka Network and Misaka Mikoto; it is noted that after the fiasco with the Level 6 Shift, for Accelerator, Gensei learned about the existence of Imagine Breaker, as well as its potential for negating the powers of people, and had calculated the possibility of it interfering with his second Level 6 Shift project should Kamijou Touma intervene again, which did occur later, due to his close relationship with Misaka Mikoto. Gensei also somehow learns of the Exterior Project and desires to use it as part of his plans.

Ever eager for experiments, Gensei is often hoisted by own petard when it comes to them, necessitating for him to use prostheses. He even claims that his body is a fair trade for prosthetic technology. An example of this is his right hand.[3]


Toaru Kagaku no Railgun

Level Upper Arc

Main article: Level Upper Arc

He is apparently the one who gave instructions to Harumi for brainwave tuning, allowing her to create Level Upper, effectively being the man behind the creation of the Level Upper.[11] Although it is unknown if it is through his deliberate instruction or covert manipulation as part of his plans.

Kihara Gensei smiles at the result of the experiments on Child Errors.

When Misaka Mikoto gets a glimpse of Kiyama Harumi's memory after electrocuting her, he is first seen asking Harumi to become a teacher to the Child Errors as it was a request by the head council. He is later seen smiling with glee after the experiment, overloading the Child Error espers present and putting them in a coma, apparently getting the result he wanted.

Poltergeist Arc

Main article: Poltergeist Arc

Kihara Gensei is referenced several times during the arc, after a string of Poltergeist earthquakes erupts all around Academy City, due to him being linked to Kiyama Harumi, who in their experiments have overloaded espers (overloaded espers causes the Poltergeist phenomenon). Further revelations shows Heaven Canceller's dealings with Gensei, which gives him a reason to intervene in the recent incidents.

Gensei experimenting on his granddaughter, Therestina.

In the final episode, it is revealed that he used his granddaughter, Therestina Kihara Lifeline, as the first sample of his Crystallized Esper Essence, telling her she will be Academy City's dream, in becoming Level 6.[7]

Silent Party Arc

Main article: Silent Party Arc

Gensei decline STUDY's offer to aid in their research.

STUDY tried to find organizations or people, even with the Dark Side of Academy City to aid in their research, but they got refused. Even Kihara Gensei refused STUDY's offer and called the research a mere "summer break project".[12]

Daihasei Festival Arc

Main article: Daihasei Festival Arc (Railgun)

Gensei becomes prominent during the arc, and is its main antagonist. Prior to the events of the arc, he releases Kouzaku Mitori to work for him, and by proxy allow him to use MEMBER as she is a mediator for the group.[13] Moreover, not exactly knowing where Exterior, it is implied that he used or even instigated the Urban Legend website Auribus oculi fideliores sunt to look for its location.

He has Mitori manipulate MEMBER to find one of the Sisters so that he maybe able to access the Misaka Network after he takes over Exterior, as well as restrain Misaka Mikoto for him.[11]

In a memories of stand-in,Kihara Gensei mocking Misaki for leaving Exterior.

Wanting to lure away Misaki from Exterior, he has a stand-in to look like him for the International Esper Powers Research Conference in School District 9, and most likely leaked information of "his" whereabouts there.[10] Knowing that Misaki will eventually figure out his ruse, he sends a message to Misaki by talking to the stand-in in the event that Misaki reads the stand-in's memories. Here, he mocks Misaki for leaving Exterior.[14]

He told Mitori everthing is going as planned.

As Misaki and Mikoto take down the conference, Mitori reports to Gensei himself, and shows the great foresight he had in Misaki being the one who raided their "villas" in order to find him in the conference. Gensei then tells her to prepare as he goes towards School District 2 where the Exterior is located.[11] Upon arriving there, he swiftly forces Keitz Nokleben, the security supervisor of the Level 6 Shift, and now under the employ of Misaki up on the roof in desperation with Misaka 10032 with his group of skilled special forces. He quickly takes over Exterior, going through its complex registration protocols for usage by aligning its brainwaves with his. He quickly stuns Keitz

Gensei using Exterior to penetrate Misaka 10032's mind.

with the power of Mental Out, and later taunts Misaki on the phone regarding one he easily took over, asking her if she heard that rumors, the Level Upper. He is ecstatic over Mikoto's arrival in the building, saying that it saved him the effort. With Misaki collapsing after Gensei took over her giant brain (Exterior), Gensei looks upon the still ailing Misaka 10032, and destroys the security that Misaki set-up for the Misaka Network using her powers by using her powers via Exterior. With that it shatters the security against electrical viruses, and all of the Sisters in the world are quickly infected by it.[11]

Gensei is delighted to see who has arrived.

Black electricity covers the sky as the power caused by the virus infecting the Misaka Network manifests itself through each Sister. Gensei is ecstatic of the results, but notes on how the energy is nothing more than show if it doesn't have any use. Mikoto finally arrives at the rooftop, and seeing a downed Misaka 10032, demands to know what Gensei done to her. However, Gensei can only smile at her arrival, referring to Aleister's favorite hidden in the shadows of the main plan, whose power he intends to awaken using Mikoto as a vessel. Suddenly, the black lightning gathering outside gathers and jumps into Mikoto. Lightning flashes on the roof as Misaka Mikoto form changes. Kihara Gensei smiles and says that the experiments will now begin, asking if Mikoto can become a Level 6.[11]

Upon seeing Misaka's new form he orders her to attack the Windowless Building to test her power, her attack which is the largest lightning strike ever recorded dose not even scratch the building. He is not dismayed by the result and comments that she is still not a true level 6, only being 2% down the path to becoming one.[15]

Gensei stated scientific advances always comes with sacrifices.

Gensei easily bypasses the facilities defenses by the powers he gained by using Level Upper on an unknown number of espers for the purpose of giving himself Multi-Skill. As he makes his way deeper into Exterior he explains to Misaki that Accelerator is the only one who can achieve Level 6 and remain stable, as that his forced attempt in creating a level 6 by sending Misaka's powers out of control. At 53% of the theoretical limit her mind would transform into something from a different dimension, at 100% her mind and body would be destroyed having exceeded their limit. In the brief moment of reaching that transcended state she would melt down ether like the compression of a white dwarf or an exploding super nova, the resulting effect what ever it be would completely annihilate Academy City. Despite the fact that he would die in this result he believed that some form of progress would come from it.[16] After pinning her to a wall with his Ice Beam ability, he states that by incapacitating her he can bypass the mental blocks she placed on her self to prevent Mental Out being used on her. While doing this he becomes distracted not only by the arrival of Touma, but also the fact that Sogiita has shown up as well. As he is caught up in thinking about the effect the combination of the two will have on the experiment and recording the latest development, Misaki manages to escape.[3] As he catches up to her again he apologizes for becoming distracted earlier, he is then surprised to find that she is giving up on the game of cat and mouse. As Misaki makes a bluff against Gensei, who sees right through it and stops just before he can step on the trap. However, Misaki had already tricked him into a secondary trap, though using his Multi-Skill ability, specifically the Aero Shooter, allows him to escape the pit that Misaki hidden through the Exterior building's Graviton Panels. After being hit by and downed by Gensei, it is seemingly the end for Misaki. However, she once again uses the Graviton Panels to appear inexplicably at the hole Gensei was going through, trapping his hand.[3] However, Misaki's relief is only but a moment as he shows to her that his hand is merely a prosthetic. Gensei says that it is due to his experiments that lead to this state. Moreover, Misaki cannot fool him, for he knew that she still had hope when she was running away. With that Gensei used his Aero Shooter again to choke Misaki, making her pass out. He is then able to retrieve the release code. After retrieving his hand, he later senses Mikoto's transforming, something he claims as her "Opening Stage" and then uses the release code to fully open Exterior.[3]

Exterior begins to crumble and as a result of this a backlash is afflicted on to Gensei, crippling him.

However, unknown to Gensei, Misaki had previously considered how she was unlikely to be able to trap him with the Graviton Panels, whether she actually needed Exterior anymore, the need to heal the Sisters of the virus and that this was likely her last chance to capture Gensei. As such, she had taken a gamble by switching her own concepts of the limiter release code with the self-destruct code. Exterior begins to crumble and as a result of this a backlash is afflicted on to Gensei, crippling him in the process. As Gensei collapses he commends Misaki's plan having taken him in completely.[17] Misaki later reads his mind and discovers that Dolly, the prototype clone for the Sisters, had a little sister, where Dolly's memories and experiences have been transferred into her.[18]

His fate is left unknown in the manga, but according Railgun's editor Ogino Kentarou, after being defeated, Misaki tried to use her power to make Gensei unable to concentrate or think ever again.[19] Gensei avoided Misaki's Mental Out, threw away his body including brain, and transferred his consciousness into residue left behind by the out-of-control Mikoto, becoming an energy-based thought being.[20] Ogino cited Yakumi Hisako and Hirohiko Araki's Deadman Q as examples.[21]


Gensei is a talented researcher, specialized in neuroscience, and power developer. He is well known for his researches about SYSTEM, being creator of the Ability Body Crystal, and the main proponent for the Level 6 Shift Project. His work has made him famous and infamous amongst Academy City researchers, though many look past the lack of ethics in his experiments.

In a tweet from Railgun manga editor Ogino Kentarou, it is revealed that Comeback Detection (逆転看破 Gyakuten kanpa?) is the name of Gensei's ability to predict when opponents have a card still up their sleeve, and is similar to Touma's Precognition.[2] Just as Touma has gained the ability to slightly predict what his actions his opponents will take in combat from his huge amount of fights against high-Level espers, magicians, and other opponents, Gensei has similarly been in the Dark Side for so long and seen so many people try to out-smart him he can pick up on the signs of someone still having a trump card to play and see through people's deceptions through their mannerisms, the hope in their eyes and facial expression. And when he can predict it, he can be wary to avoid any fake-outs.[3]

Other abilities

  • Multi-Skill (多才能力 (マルチスキル) Tasai Nōryoku (Maruchi Sukiru)?, lit. "Versatility ability"): While he himself is not an esper, he gained multiple esper abilities thanks to the Level Upper system. While he was in control of the Level Upper system, he used abilities he specifically chose to aid him in gaining access to Exterior and pass its defenses, such as the abilities for Asport, Aero Shooter, Ice Beam, Clairvoyance,[16][22] and Second Sight.[23] He comments that the number of borrowed abilities he has are nowhere near the number the ones that Kiyama Harumi obtained with the same method.
  • Mental Out (心理掌握 (メンタルアウト) Shinri Shōaku (Mentaru Auto)?, lit. "Psychological Control"): Having registered with Exterior, Gensei gained the ability of the Fifth Level 5 and all its applications.[11] After Exterior's destruction, he cannot access it anymore.[17]

Character Art Designs

His early design in the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga was based off Terror-kyouju's face of Terror-kyouju no Ayashii Jugyou fame[24]



  • He is chronologically the first cyborg introduced in the series.
  • According to Ogino Kentarou, Railgun editor, he was only Kiyama's mentor at the start, but then Fuyukawa was playing with a name plate, which happened to have "Kihara" written on it... He eventually became important figure.[25]


  • (To Kiyama Harumi from Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Episode 11) "It's a pity we lost them, but they were sacrifices in the name of science."
  • (To his scientific community from Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Episode 22) "What is the reason Academy City exists? That's right—to surpass mankind."
  • (To the Heaven Canceller from Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Episode 22) "Victims? My experiments have no victims. That's preposterous."
  • (To Therestina from Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Episode 24) "You're going to become Academy City's dream... Yes... The foundation of it, that is!"
  • (To Shokuhou Misaki from Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T Episode 12) "Me, get caught in middle of it? What are you saying? Scientific advances always come with sacrifices."


  1. Ogino Kentarou (Railgun editor), Twitter. Tweeted on 14 March 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ogino Kentarou (Railgun editor), Twitter. Retrieved on 22 April 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 065
  4. Ogino Kentarou (Railgun editor), Twitter. Retrieved on 22 April 2020.
  5. Ogino Kentarou (Railgun editor), Twitter. Retrieved on 22 April 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Episode 22
  7. 7.0 7.1 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Episode 24
  8. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Episode 11
  9. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 014
  10. 10.0 10.1 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 055
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 061
  12. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S Episode 23
  13. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 059
  14. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 058
  15. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 062
  16. 16.0 16.1 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 064
  17. 17.0 17.1 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 066
  18. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 068
  19. Ogino Kentarou (Railgun editor), Q&A. Archived from the original. Retrieved on 23 February 2020.
  20. Ogino Kentarou (Railgun editor), Q&A. Archived from the original. Retrieved on 23 February 2020.
  21. Ogino Kentarou (Railgun editor), Q&A. Archived from the original. Retrieved on 23 February 2020.
  22. Ogino Kentarou (Railgun editor), Twitter. Retrieved on 18 April 2020.
  23. Ogino Kentarou (Railgun editor), Twitter. Retrieved on 22 August 2020.
  24. Ogino Kentarou (Railgun editor), Twitter. Retrieved on 21 February 2020)
  25. Ogino Kentarou (Railgun editor), Q&A. Retrieved on 25 October 2020.


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Kihara Family
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Kihara Amata Kihara Gensei Therestina Kihara Lifeline Kihara Nayuta
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Kihara Kagun Kihara Ransuu Kihara Byouri Kihara Enshuu
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Kihara Yuiitsu Kihara Noukan Kihara Souji Kihara Hasuu
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Drencher Kihara Repatri Kihara Heikin
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Kihara Nayuta Kuroyoru Umidori Mugino Shizuri
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Kihara Gensei Rensa 28 Rensa 29
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Kuriba Ryouko Doppelganger Salome
See also: Anatomy Mechatronics and Android