Nunotaba Shinobu (布束 砥信 Nunotaba Shinobu?) is a third year student in Academy City character that was introduced in the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun sidestory, and she is a main character of Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S. She is a child prodigy and, was the one who supervised the operation of Testament machines for use in the Sisters Project.
She is a girl with an average looking build, although she would prove to be stronger than she looks when subduing a hired thug later on. Her most prominent features are her unkempt hair and her wide open eyes, dubbed “fish-eyes” by Misaka Mikoto. She seems to adhere to gothic lolita clothes, when she is not wearing her uniform or lab coat.
In the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S anime, Shinobu is depicted without her trademark fish-eyes.
Not much is known about her, though she seems to exude an air of aloofness. She is calm, as shown during an attack by a group of Outs. She tends to think of things in a highly objective manner, as seen after lecturing Mikoto on how the scientists in the experiments do not see anything wrong with using clones as test subjects. Her aloof nature makes her hard to approach and can be seen as advantage for her to intimidate opponents, along with her appearance. She has the habit of speaking sentences partially in English and partially in Japanese.
She, however, shows care for people. During Kinuhata Saiai’s attack on her, she refused to hit her vital spots using a gun and even tried her best not to shoot it. This care for people is shown greatly towards the clones, and after perceiving them as humans she tries in her own way to stop them from being used for experiments any longer. In addition, in the Silent Party arc she comes to care for Janie and Febrie, who were created based on a paper she wrote in her younger days.
Not much is known about her past, though it is confirmed that she was already a child prodigy at a very young age in the field of biopsychology.
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun
- Main article: Sisters Arc
She was hired by the 7th Medical Research Center as the supervisor for inputting intracerebral information on the Mikoto clones using Testament, but left the institute after it was found that there was a flaw in the first production plan for the clones as they could not reach the level of Misaka Mikoto.
She was however called back for the 2nd production plan, as the sisters were reused for the Level 6 Shift. Shinobu had originally thought of the clones as human guinea pigs, but changed her ways after having a conversation with a clone who who wanted to see the outside, which brought to light the clones' innate humanity. She opted to quit and decided to stop the experiments. Knowing that the experiments would be carried out in surveillance blind spots like alleyways, Shinobu chose to distribute a vast number of money cards in these areas in the hope that people walking through these areas would obstruct the experiments. Though, this was only to slightly hinder the project until she was able to re-infiltrate the project and integrate emotions to the clones that would make the people involved in the experiments reevaluate the clones' humanity.
Her first appearance was in her hideout, where Mikoto witnessed her being attacked by Skill-out members who were after said money cards. However, using her abilities as well as good acting and intimidation, she was able to cause a mental breakdown on them and defeat them, impressing Mikoto who was spying on her.
Through Shinobu, Mikoto was able to discover that there is something behind the rumors of her clones. Mikoto tries to squeeze answers from Shinobu, but is repelled and is told that Mikoto cannot do anything with her powers even when she tried. She explains to Mikoto the reason she is distributing cash cards in Academy City's blindspots, so it can be filled by humans and as such the experiments cannot be performed without revealing the experiments to eyewitnesses. Shinobu, now having her hideout compromised, tries to destroy the evidence as well as her hideout (including the Skill-outs that were unconscious) by burning them. She quickly leaves the premises, leaving Mikoto to haul out the Skill-outs.
Shinobu is later seen after Mikoto witnesses the death of Misaka 9982 in the hands of Accelerator, as part of the experiment. She notices Mikoto has witnessed how the experiment is and tells her that a time ago she has stopped thinking of the clones as mere guinea pigs, and believe them to be truly human that deserve to live. Shinobu asks Mikoto what she thinks of the clones, to which she replies that she doesn't see them as humans, and tells her that this is her problem as they are using her DNA Map for the experiments. Shinobu tells Mikoto that she is not really being honest with herself, and tells her that what Mikoto really intends to do is do it alone, to which Mikoto answers her with a rhetorical question: Just who do you think I am?
She is last seen being invited by the S-Processor Company, during Mikoto's attack on one of its laboratories. Though she seemed to have been well aware of their plans of using her as a scapegoat. Shinobu takes advantage of the relocation of data to another facility during Mikoto's attacks and plans to install an emotion program into the Sisters. Here, she states that she is unsure that the program will be halted because of this, however, her program should at least show the clones that there is another path than death. Here, she hopes that the clones would not feel the despair of death, and make the researchers see, that they are not simply lab rats but humans. She also hopes though highly unlikely, that the clones pleas about the experiments would move the heart of Accelerator.
Shinobu is then attacked by Kinuhata Saiai and her lackeys, telling her that Mugino Shizuri predicted that Mikoto's attack might be used as a diversion and confirming that the room Shinobu was in was off-limits. During her struggle with Saiai, Shinobu asks herself if the clones could ever hope to live a normal even if her plan works, she however becomes resolute after remembering Mikoto. She successfully installs her program just before Saiai could destroy it. However, her plan fails as the program was not relayed into the entire Misaka Network, unbeknownst to her due to the interference of Misaka 20001, Last Order. Before finally being detained, Shinobu attacks one of the thugs holding her and steals his gun and points it towards Saiai. She asks Saiai to pull back or else she will shoot (which she is reluctant on doing), however, Saiai intimidates her into shooting, though only the shoulder. Shinobu soon realizes that Saiai is unharmed by the gunshot.
Shinobu is later detained and carried away by the thugs, where Saiai indicates that Shinobu will not be killed if she still has any use. However, Saiai states that she'll probably lose everything and may have a terrible future awaiting her.
Silent Party Arc
- Main article: Silent Party Arc
She is later expelled from Nagatenjouki and her whereabouts between the time she was captured and was later sold is unknown. She later reappears after being sold to STUDY, deeming of her use as they have used a research paper of hers as a base program for their Chemicaloids. There, she sees both Febrie and Janie for the first time and is haunted that her research led to their creation and continual bondage under the yoke of STUDY. With this, she opts to betray STUDY. She inputted the learning abilities and knowledge of both Febrie and Janie through Testament. She later frees Febrie from her tank, gives her as much of the lollipops that neutralize the poison that builds up in her body as she can, gives her one of her gothic lolita clothes, and tells her to remember the name of "Misaka Mikoto". From then on she secretly planned to input human consciousness into Janie as well and eventually escape with her as soon as she discovers the recipe for the neutralizers, the lollipops.
As she has been sold in the dark side of Academy City, she cannot escape them lest she will be hunted down by the dark side of the City. Thus, much of the arc has her being silent and simply agree with the rest of STUDY's decisions. She is also the one who is to tune up Janie for the Silent Party, STUDY's planned terroristic event on Academy City. However, she continues to search for a way for the neutralizer despite the dangers.
During one of ITEM's attacks on one of their old factories, Shinobu volunteers to scope it out for the STUDY, believing that the recipe for the neutralizer would be there. Little did she know that Aritomi Haruki has begun to suspect her. There,she meets Misaka Mikoto as well who is also investigating STUDY. Initially, she deems Shinobu as part of the nefarious plan against Febrie, who is running out of lollipops, but is convinced otherwise after she chugs to her the supposed "recipe" for the neutralizers. But they were both of the deceived as Haruki enters the scene, telling them that the information Shinobu got was a dummy. He later coerces Shinobu to tranquilize Mikoto with the leverage of the true recipe, and though she hesitates she eventually acquiesces with Mikoto's insistence. They are then betrayed again after Haruki destroys the recipe before their eyes.
They are later shut into an office room where Shinobu tells Mikoto of what had transpired. Here, Mikoto thanks Shinobu for helping her Sisters and tells her as well of the despair that she had felt during the Sisters Arc that only was alleviated because of her friends, whom she has now come to rely on. As her friends arrive to bust Mikoto out, Shinobu opts to stay behind as so that she can keep a look out on Janie and finally asks Mikoto to save them.
In the final battle of the Silent Party Arc, she was placed in charge of overseeing Janie. Aritomi Haruki handcuffs her when Mikoto attacks STUDY's hideout, and in her state of powerlessness Shinobu continued to lose confidence in her abilities. However, when Mikoto stops Haruki from shooting himself and declared that she is ready to save anyone in the city, Shinobu regains her resolve and declares she will do her best, what "only I can do".
She attempted to synchronize the thought-waves of Janie and Febri in order to wake Janie up, a plan that Saten Ruiko described as harnessing the "power of love": a description which the prodigy found embarrassing. However, the computer at the facility could not cope with the high processing speed required. At that point the system received extra processing power from an external source, the Misaka Network, greatly boosting the processing speed. Misaka 19090 contacted Shinobu to give Shinobu her thanks for giving her a "heart", and with that Shinobu realized that 19090 was the clone in the S-Processor Company facility that she'd infiltrated. Though it remains unclear whether she meant that 19090 was the last sister clone of the series that she had inputted emotions into, or whether that was the clone that she had tried to input fear into. Misaka 19090 explained the Misaka Network was helping them because the Chemicaloid twins shared the same base program as the Sisters, making the twins one of the Sisters' own. With the Sisters' help, Febri is able to get through to Janie.
On Ruiko's prompting, Febri presents Shinobu an onigiri she made for Janie and Shinobu. Overcome, she tells Janie and Febrie that there are so many things she wants the both of them to see.After the Silent Party incident, Nunotaba Shinobu accompanied the chemicaloid twins to a research facility overseas for readjustments to the twins body, presumably similar processes that the Sisters were also undergoing to alleviate a shortened lifespan and deteriorating health due to their accelerated growth induced through drugs and hormones.
While at the airport and bidding farewell, Shinobu remarked to Mikoto that this was an "unbelievably favorable sentence", in the light of all that had happened and possibly her previous entanglement with the Dark Side of Academy City. She also mentioned that the data record of the entire incident is written in their favor, at which point she looked at Misaka Mikoto suspiciously, hinting Mikoto had tampered with the electronic records in their favor. However, she was confused as to why some people's memories of the event appear to have been modified. Which Mikoto simply replies if you throw away unnecessary pride, then that kind of things are possible, at which point the camera switches to the Shokuhou Misaki, suggesting Mikoto had asked for Mental Out's help. Finally, Shinobu said she'll be fine this time, because she is not alone anymore, whilst looking over at the chemicaloid twins.
She does not have any powers, but uses good acting to invoke fear into enemies and make them believe she has a deadly one.
In fact, she referred to her 'ability' as Critical (
She is also deceptively strong with sharp reflexes, using surprise kicks, knee jabs and other physical attacks to subdue her foes, even when being restrained herself.
Character Art Designs
- (To Mikoto in Railgun Chapter 25)"You're not being very honest now, huh? There's more than 20 facilities involved in this. Do you intend to do this alone?"
- (Internal monologue from Railgun Chapter 28)"Among the 'Sisters' who accept death as if it was nothing, there might appear those who grieve that cruel fate. Seeing that, there might appear a researcher who begins to acknowledge them as more than lab rats. And the least likely: A plea from them for the fighting to stop... Just might move someone's heart."
- (To Mikoto, about the Sisters) "[...]I couldn't see them as mere guinea pigs any more.To me, the world is just this twisted, ugly thing. I thought she was far more human than I.'"
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 018
- Mikoto hacks Nagatenjouki Academy, from Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 019
- Shinobu's flashback fromToaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 025.
- Shinobu's explanation of her plan from chapter 19.
- Shinobu detailing her plan, from Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 028.
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S Episode 23
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S Episode 21
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S Episode 24
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S Episode 22
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S Episode 02
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S Episode 09
|Aritomi Haruki||Kosako Shunichi||Sakurai Jun|
|Sekimura Hirotada||Madarame Kenji||Nunotaba Shinobu|