|Series Three Overhaul Project
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The Level 6 Shift attempt on Misaka Mikoto was an attempt to induce a Level 6 Shift on the third-ranked Level 5 esper Misaka Mikoto into a Level 6 by Kihara Gensei. It failed after the destruction of Shokuhou Misaki's Exterior, through the combined efforts of her, Shirai Kuroko, Kamijou Touma, and Sogiita Gunha.
Seemingly after the events of the suspension of the Level 6 Shift Project, a project that Gensei was a primary proponent of, he began to gather the requirements for his attempts to make Misaka Mikoto a Level 6. He is seemingly aware of the effects of using the calculation power of 10,000 espers and pouring it into a single individual, as what happened with Kiyama Harumi, he intended to use the Misaka Network instead and pour its power into Misaka Mikoto as a vessel. The use of the Misaka Network for the attempt was also partly payback toward Aleister, as Gensei was not happy when he learned that the Superintendent of Academy City used the Level Shift 6 Project to coverup his goal of spreading the Sisters all over the globe.
Gensei required Exterior, the giant cultivated brain used by Shokuhou Misaki in order to infect the Misaka Network with the electric virus and get around its defenses, at least one clone to infect with, and Misaka Mikoto, unharmed.
For Exterior, Gensei somehow knew of its existence but was unaware where it was kept. It is implied that he used or even instigated the Urban Legend website Auribus oculi fideliores sunt to look for its location. As for taking it over, as 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, where she modified the brainwaves of 10,000 children to that of her own, Gensei can easily tune its brainwave to that of his own without going through the long registration period of being able to use it.
Kihara Gensei later comments that Accelerator is the only one who can achieve Level 6 and remain stable. As he explains to Misaki, his forced attempt in creating a level 6 involves sending Mikoto's power out of control. At 53% of the theoretical limit, her mind would transform into something from a different dimension, and 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 either like the compression of a white dwarf or an exploding supernova, the resulting effect whatever it is 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.
Gathering of Requirements
- Main article: Daihasei Festival Arc (Railgun)
In a series of well-played conspiracies, 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. They are unable to restrain Mikoto and even capture at least one clone, though it later proves serendipitous to him, as the clone MEMBER weakened, Misaka 10032, is later taken in by Misaki into the Exterior building. Moreover, knowing of her sister's involvement, forced Mikoto to make contact with Misaki.
The Professor, leader of MEMBER, took notice of Mitori's manipulations but is unable to mount a reprisal against Mitori before Gensei started the experiment, though he confided his discovery to Xochitl as most likely the other members of the faction as well.
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.
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 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 enthralled by 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 Mental Out by using her power via Exterior. With that, it shatters the security against electrical viruses, and all of the Sisters in the world are quickly infected by it. At this time, Accelerator, who is connected to the network, becomes incapacitated as well just like the Sisters.
With all requirements fulfilled, all Gensei needed was Misaka Mikoto herself. As black electricity covers the sky and 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 a 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 did to her. However, Gensei can only smile at her arrival, the black lightning gathering outside gathers and jumps into Mikoto. Lightning flashes on the roof as Misaka Mikoto's form changes. Kihara Gensei smiles and says that the experiments will now begin, asking if Mikoto can become a Level 6.
Afterwards, Mitori, who has also been registered to use Exterior, manipulates Mikoto's thoughts. According to Misaki, since brainwashing doesn't effect Mikoto, Mitori likely used the Exterior to guide Mikoto's psyche. She brings out her fears and anger towards the city, and has her attack the Windowless Building, saying that as long as that command tower at the center of the city exists bad things would happen and someone will always get hurt. Mikoto complies and uses her newfound power to make an incredibly powerful beam of electricity descend from the overcast sky, though the Windowless Building survives. Gensei calls Mitori that in spite of Mikoto's power, she cannot damage the building by attacking it head-on. Gensei then says that her current state is that of 2% along the path of a Level 6.
Mikoto later moves from the rooftop to ground level, in what could only be described as "riding the lightning", teleportation through where her electricity struck. Kamijou Touma bears witness to this phenomenon as he is instructed by Misaki to keep her busy and slow her transformation, saying that when Touma is nearby her transformation is restrained. Mikoto's rampage continues and then affects the Daihaseisai, forcing the events to be moved into indoor venues. Meanwhile, Mikoto's exudes her electricity, enough for it to be viewed like lightning coming from the ground, which is later seen by Gunha, drawing him to her. Mikoto's subconscious tries to consider what else she could use to attack the Windowless Building, but then notices Touma approaching apparently due to static he produces due to his right hand. Without turning her head, several arcs of lightning attack him, though he negates it with his Imagine Breaker. It gives him an opening, but he is then pulled away by several blocks of metal controlled by Mikoto through magnetism. Mikoto's subconscious notices Touma but only his right hand can be seen. Mikoto tries to question it, but Mitori manipulates her by saying that Touma is only a little fly that is trying to get in her way, and tells her to shoo it away. Mikoto then begins controlling several blocks of metallic structures over her head. Touma is then bombarded by them, forcing him to dodge. While doing so, Mikoto attacks him with a powerful electric attack, but Touma easily negates it. Just as he gains confidence with negating her power, Touma is confronted by a huge mass made of metal and rubbles formed from
various metal containing structures. Mikoto then tosses it towards Touma. As Touma is unable to dodge nor negate it, his fate would have been sealed if not for the timely arrival of Sogiita Gunha, destroying the huge mass with his Amazing Punch attack. While Touma and Gunha exchange pleasantries, Mikoto continues to exude powerful electric bolts. She later attacks them both with two powerful electric attacks. Touma manages to negate his one while Gunha manages to punch it down the ground. Amazed by each other's abilities, the two exchange names and decide to team up to stop Mikoto. As Misaki does her battle of wits against Gensei, Touma and Gunha continue to dodge both metal debris and electric attacks from Mikoto. Mikoto forms a sphere of iron sand around her with chunks of metal revolving around it. Touma says that he wants to see if she turns back to
normal if he touches her. Gunha provides the opening for Touma, using his Amazing Punch attack to blow through the debris and into the iron sand sphere. It explodes though Mikoto is fine. Gunha then throws Touma towards her, and manages to touch his right hand on her shoulder. A small part of her shoulder is negated but it quickly recovers. After being caught by Gunha, Touma relates on what has happened and assumes that there must be some kind of power being completely sent in from outside, and that they can only hold her back as the person who talked to him (Misaki) finds a way to shut off the source of her power.
Suddenly, Mikoto transforms. The pair of horns that appeared on her head begins transforming and hardening, forming an onion-dome shaped structure on her head, at the widest part sits something that looks like an eye. Something revolves around the tapering structure, and at the top sits a sphere, like a miniature Saturn. As for the rest of Mikoto's body, the ribbons from before have begun connecting to her body itself. Her hands and feet have tapered as well and are connected with the ribbons. Mikoto then holds out her hand where these inexplicable crisscrossing ribbons float up. As Touma and Gunha are observing, Mikoto attacks the latter, though he quickly recovers, though is not unscathed by it. Mikoto then continues to hold out her hand with those ribbons. Gunha would later describe the thing that hit him as a mass of compressed energy.
Meanwhile, Gensei has detected Touma and Gunha's interference, saying that with Touma's Imagine Breaker acting as a stimulus and Gunha's non-standard power should cause something extraordinary to occur.
Mikoto later transforms even further, to which Gensei refers to it as "Opening Stage". Her hair is swept back, and a complex halo appears over her head: a circle with four points on each direction, and floating at the center of it is something of rectangular-shaped, tapering at both ends, with the bottom part being shorter. All of her clothes disappear. Her head down to the area of her collar bones are colored black and dotted by something resembling stars, it’s as if it was outer space or the night sky. Her hands and feet have disappeared. Her hands becoming claw-like with ribbon-like protrusions, with her legs even more abstract-looking, connecting through the ribbons. Gunha is later pinned down by some strange ribbon-like things, leaving Touma alone to deal with Mikoto.
After Mitori seemingly defeats Kuroko, she uses her Mental Out power from Exterior and orders Mikoto to destroy the Windowless Building again, before it's destruction in Misaki having switched the activation codes and the self-destruction codes and defeating Gensei. Then the ground where Mikoto is floating on turns black. Mikoto holds out her hand where she forms a large black sphere of energy. Gunha would later describe this as something from another world that cannot be understood. Mikoto would later describe it as something that she called in by her desire to crush and eliminate the parts of Academy City she doesn't like.
End of the Experiment
After Gensei accidentally destroys Exterior through Misaki’s deception and Kuroko defeats Mitori, there is now no one who can control Mikoto’s psyche and cutting off her connection from the Misaka Network. Mikoto’s subconscious wakes up, but she has no control over her transformed body, as the great black sphere of energy continues to grow, and energy exudes from the ground. After she wakes, her surroundings that have been black before slowly crumbling, however, at the same time, tendril-like objects coming from the darkness form a hand and try to grab her, likely coercing her to continue to destroy Academy City. This likely represents the part of her that wants to destroy Academy City. Moreover, Mikoto describes it as not her power.
As the sphere continues to grow, Touma notices the change, and later explains it to Gunha who has become conscious again and that Mikoto cannot suppress her power. Gunha tries to convince Touma, saying that the thing that hit him before was compressed energy, but the sphere now is made of something not of their world and cannot be understood. Gunha says that he should be able to stop it with a self-destruction technique, sacrificing himself. However, Touma convinces him that he will deal with it himself and that Gunha should cover him. Impressed by his “guts”, Gunha uses his power to “part” the black mass of energy that covers the ground where Mikoto is floating on, allowing for Touma to move, this in turn creates Shadow Metal due to the clash of their powers.
Meanwhile, Mikoto seeing that there is no way to stop the sphere, which she says that can now destroy more than the city, formulates a plan to compress it enough so that her body can cover the ensuing explosion. Then Mikoto notices Touma coming towards the sphere, Mikoto screams towards him, saying that what he sees before him is not an esper power, and since it was called in by her desire to destroy the parts of the city she doesn’t like she should be the one to stop it. It is implied that Touma heard all that Mikoto says to him. Touma then touches the sphere with his right hand, but the power is too great for his arm to bear and it is ripped from his body intact.
At that moment, a dragon appears from where the right arm was ripped off, and then bites the sphere. It bites the black sphere and allows the seven other dragons to emerge from Touma's severed arm. The dragons viciously rip apart the black sphere, causing Mikoto’s transformation to crumble away afterwards. The resulting destruction of the black sphere cause the dark skies to part away, making room for the blue sky, and the dragons disappearing.
The halo cracks as well as the “starry sky” form of her head and chest as if it was dried paint chipping away. Touma then taps her head with his left fist. He says that, although he knows that there is a side of Academy City that is bad and is being controlled by important people that they can’t touch, even if she eliminated it by force he doubts that it would bring about the kind of world she wants. He says that he is sure that there are people other than him who are working to help her, and that they will help her change things bit by bit, including him. And Mikoto agrees with tears in her eyes. With that, as she is naked due to her clothes being vaporized, Touma gives her his jacket to cover her naked body.
Touma’s arm later regenerates, much to Mikoto’s surprise. Meanwhile, Gunha, Touma, and Mikoto all notice the metal that has appeared on the ground. It is unknown if Mikoto could actually achieve Level 6 or if she was actually turning into one in the first place. However, as Kihara Gensei had guessed, thanks to Gunha's assistance did a unique outcome had appeared as Touma's right arm was severed, further showing the power beyond Imagine Breaker, when he attempted to save Mikoto.
Similarities to Kazakiri Hyouka
- Main article: Kazakiri Hyouka
It should be noted that Gensei's attempts on creating a Level 6 is similar to that of the Kazakiri Hyouka, which in turn, is based on the Golden Dawn's attempts on forcing Telesma into a container. Kazakiri Hyouka is the container for the formless power known as AIM. To force Kazakiri Hyouka to become Fuse Kazakiri requires the Misaka Network by which Last Order's mind is being restrained by the virus to force to become the core of the AIM diffusion fields of the city and force it to make Hyouka as an angel. The effect renders the Sisters in the city immobile, though conscious.
With the case of Misaka Mikoto, Gensei has the virus infect Misaka 10032, not needing Last Order for it due to using Exterior, and infecting all Sisters in the world. Their power as a result of being infected, manifests itself as black lightning, which then automatically (most likely an instruction from the virus) pours into Misaka Mikoto as the container. In this version there is no core as Gensei did not use a command center like Last Order to control the Sisters, unlike what Kihara Amata had done.
Regardless of differences in appearance, the resulting effect of having power poured into beings results in them becoming incredibly powerful.
Seeing as Gensei acted covertly to have Kouzaku Mitori manipulate MEMBER, a faction that answers to the Board of Directors, into doing his bidding, it can be assumed that this experiment is not endorsed by the Board of Directors.
Haimura Kiyotaka designed Mikoto's forms with JRPG final bosses in mind, where they change forms at certain points. The names or labels that he uses for Mikoto's forms are tentative as they do not have official names yet.
The first two forms borrow elements from fictional beings associated with lightning (a Raijin wearing a hagoromo and a garuda respectively). The third form is described as having an eeriness from lack of expression, a vague form with aspects taken to the extreme, and excessive decorations or complicated shapes removed for a sudden minimalism, with Haimura comparing it to Lavos Core, Ozma, or Yu Yevon. Haimura's concept art labels also note similarities to Aiwass and the Aeon of Horus with the third form.
- Connecting to the Thelema-related concept notes, the effect present on Mikoto's head in her third form, with an appearance of space filled with stars, is somewhat reminiscent of traits of Nut, an Egyptian sky goddess depicted in art as being covered in stars and basis of Nuit, a major deity in Thelema known as "Queen of Infinite Space" and "Lady of the Starry Heaven".
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 067
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 013
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 061
- Ogino Kentarou (Railgun editor), Twitter Retrieved on 4 April 2020.
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 059
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 064
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 055
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 070
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T Episode 10
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 062
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 063
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 065
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 066
- Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 13 Chapter 10 Part 7
- Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 15 Chapter 3 Part 7
- Rainbow Spectrum (Japanese), translated by js06 and posted on the Beast Lair forum by user IhaxlikeNoob
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Volume 10, Concept Art Notes