After seeing Academy City in the eyes of a "powerless" boy named Kamijou Touma, this spin-off series takes us to the point of view of one of the strongest espers in Academy City, Misaka Mikoto. Taking down thugs and avoiding her friend's malicious advances towards her, Mikoto's life is far from the idolized one known by many. As two girls makes friends with the famous Ace of Tokiwadai, they discover that she is not that different from the many students that make up the population of Academy City.
In the technologically advanced city of Academy City, a girl hums a certain tune while opening a canned beverage. She leans upon rails and begins drinking and enjoying her drink, up until she is approached by some suspicious-looking chaps. Of course, she takes notice, but pays no heed to them. The bystander effect is still prevalent even in this city, and citizens, though worried, ignores the queer situation that is happening — "Judgment will surely take care of this". The girl is simply amused, and states that the City is never dull.
Meanwhile, a tour bus passes by the advanced streets of the City, and a tour guide tells the people inside some trivial minutiae. Apparently, there are some prospective students in the bus, wanting to get powers of their own, as the City is famous for it the world over. While talking, a bright flash suddenly occurs, and the traffic is thrown into disarray. Although no one is hurt, it seems that the traffic will be delayed due to the traffic lights mysteriously going out.
Part of Academy City's Morals and Ethics Committee (or more popularly known as Judgment), Tokiwadai student Shirai Kuroko is chasing some thugs which she was to apprehend. She manages to reach them, but she discovers they have all been beaten up by friend and schoolmate Mikoto Misaka, much to Kuroko's disappointment.
On their way to school, Kuroko lectures to Mikoto that she must not interfere with Judgment affairs and she shouldn't be picking fights. On the park, Mikoto kicks a vending machine to get a free drink, but Kuroko has to teleport both of them away when the security robots come to investigate. Mikoto and Kuroko then return to Tokiwadai Middle School for a "System Scan", the annual testing of students' Power Levels.
Kuroko's test involves teleporting a package at a specific mark, which she was off by a few centimeters. Her performance was average and so she's still a level 4. Kuroko is made fun of by Kongou Mitsuko, a second-year student, who states that she'll become Level 5 before Kuroko. Suddenly a big explosion is heard from the nearby pool and this causes Kongou to lose her balance. It turns out that Mikoto is doing her test at the pool by shooting a Railgun using coins into the water.
After the test, Kuroko and Mikoto are taking a shower. Kuroko tells Mikoto that everyone was surprised by the loud blast from her railgun. Mikoto complains that they can't even measure her ability properly without using the pool. Kuroko says her ability is something to take pride in as Ace of Tokiwadai. Meanwhile, Kuroko tries to violate Mikoto and receives a beating for her indiscretions.
At Sakugawa Middle School, Uiharu Kazari is waiting for Saten Ruiko after classes end. Saten does her regular, routine greeting by lifting Uiharu's skirt and see her pink polka-dotted underwear. Uiharu, a colleague of Kuroko at Judgment, is invited by Kuroko to meet up with Mikoto. Uiharu is looking forward to meeting a Level 5 and dragged Saten along to the meeting. At the restaurant where the meeting is to take place, Kuroko explains that Uiharu is a big fan of Mikoto's. Kuroko then tries to go over the plans for the day, but Mikoto grabs Kuroko's notepad and learns that Kuroko plans to eventually drug her and take her to a love hotel. After pinching Kuroko's cheek as punishment, Mikoto agrees to meet Uiharu. Kuroko jumps into Misaka's lap in celebration just as Uiharu and Saten arrive outside the restaurant.
Outside the restaurant, Uiharu and Saten introduce themselves to Mikoto. Uiharu and Saten are surprised that Mikoto is rather nice and down-to-earth instead of being haughty and arrogant like the rich socialite image they had in mind. The group pick up some flyers about a crepe shop handing out a cute Gekota (a mascot which looks like a frog with a bowtie) merchandise to the first 100 customers. Kuroko points out that Mikoto is interested in the merchandise but Mikoto tries to deny that statement. The other three girls can see that Mikoto is interested and they go to that crepe stand. Mikoto and Saten are standing in the line while Uiharu and Kuroko grab seats. It comes to Saten's turn at the stand and she happens to get the last gecko merchandise. Mikoto is disappointed, but the disappointment soon turns to happiness as Saten gives her the Gekota key-chain.
While the girls are enjoying eating crepes, Uiharu notices that a nearby bank has its security shutters on. An explosion occurred at the bank. Kuroko tells Uiharu to contact Anti-Skill and tells Mikoto to let her handle the situation. A group of three robbers escape from the bank but they are confronted by Kuroko. Kuroko quickly trips up one of the robbers and pins the second robber, a Pyrokinesist, to the ground with some spikes, but the third robber manages to run off. Meanwhile, Mikoto and Saten are helping a tour guide look for a little boy that has gone missing. Saten spots the little boy running into the robber and the robber tries to kidnap the boy. Saten runs to the boy's rescue and manages to grab the boy, however, she gets kicked in the face.
Mikoto is angered after witnessing the incident and tells Kuroko she will stop the robber from escaping. The robber gets in his vehicle and charges right at Mikoto. Mikoto sends the car flying using her Railgun. The robbers are eventually taken away by the Anti-Skill. Saten gets thanked by the tour guide, the little boy's mother, and Mikoto compliments on her bravery.
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 001
- Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 08 Prologue
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 004
- Uiharu Kazari and Saten Ruiko meet Misaka Mikoto and Shirai Kuroko.
- Okahara Ryouta and his gang are caught.
By order of appearance
- Misaka Mikoto
- Shirai Kuroko
- Uiharu Kazari
- Watanabe (Unnamed)
- Kongou Mitsuko
- Saten Ruiko
- Hitotsui Hajime (non-appearing)
- Konori Mii
- Yomikawa Aiho
- Tessou Tsuzuri
- Electromaster - Misaka Mikoto, Level 5.
- Teleport - Shirai Kuroko, Level 4.
- Clairvoyance or Telepathy - Unnamed Tokiwadai Middle School student, Level 3 or 4.
- Telekinesis - Unnamed Tokiwadai Middle School student, Level 3.
- Pyrokinesis - Okahara Ryouta, Level 3.
- Railgun - Misaka Mikoto, Level 5.
- Academy City
- A Certain Vending Machine
- Tokiwadai Middle School
- Joseph's Coffee and Restaurant
- Sakugawa Middle School
- Crepe Rablm
- Isobe Bank
- The vending machine, a recurring location in the Toaru Majutsu no Index universe, is given a name, referred as Vending Machine #7116.
- This is the first time the System Scan is shown in the anime continuity.
- Watanabe appears in this episode but will not be named until the 44th Chapter of the Railgun manga.
- The scene where Kongou brags about her abilities is taken directly from the Prologue of 8th Index Light Novel Volume. Here, the scene is used to introduce Kongou as part of the cast, despite not appearing in the Railgun manga until the 40th chapter. The scene is also redone in the manga as well, as part of her introduction in the manga continuity.
- In the episode, the shower scene after the System Scan is also based from the 8th Index Light Novel, and was also done at the last episode of the first season of Toaru Majutsu no Index anime adaptation, as well as the 6th episode of the second season. This has Kuroko in the anime continuity invade Mikoto's shower stall three times.
- Saten is introduced earlier in the anime than in the manga, to complete the four girl ensemble theme going for the show. Her appearance in the manga regarding her opinion on Mikoto is different to that in the anime, which is that in the manga, she too shares Uiharu's awe of Mikoto.
- Although her obsession with Gekota is downplayed in the first season of Index, it takes a prominent role in the anime, which is exemplified by Mikoto's actions during the episode. Furthemore, mooing sounds can be heard when Gekotas are focused in a scene.
- It should be improbable for the car to flip and tumble several times in the air front first if the car wasn't running upon an incline, or Mikoto's Railgun to hit at a certain angle. The scene is less dramatic in the original manga.
- This would be the first time A Certain Tune is heard in the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun anime adaptation.
- The scene where Mikoto kicks a certain vending machine, though taken from the manga, is based off the similar scene in the 3rd Toaru Majutsu no Index light novel, which was later adapted for the 10th episode of the Index anime adaptation. In fact, the animation is reused from that episode.
- The gesture Mikoto does after firing the Railgun, as if flipping her hair, is similar to what she does in the first episode of Index, though this time, no electric arcs appear out of her head.
- Zener cards are used to test a clairvoyant or telepath during this episode.
- Saten Ruiko's cellphone looks similar to that of an iPhone.
- Kuroko references the Koto, a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument, and Japan's national instrument.
- During the establishing shots of Crepe Rablm, as well as later shots of the line forming in front of the cart, one can see the forms of Shana and Yoshida Kazumi from the Shakugan no Shana fame wearing their uniforms. Later, after Mikoto laments failing to get a Gekota, faces that are similar to Takasu Ryuuji and Aisaka Taiga of Toradora fame, both of which are also anime produced by J.C.Staff, as well as being published by ASCII Media Works.
- Mikoto kicking the vending machine is reused animation from the 10th episode of the Toaru Majutsu no Index animation.
- Two boys in the background pass by Uiharu and Saten with notable blushes after Saten flips up Uiharu's skirt.
- After Uiharu sighs after having her skirt flipped up, you can see a man in the foreground walking to the right side. However, there is an animation error, as the man does not transition smoothly out of the scene and instead looks like he disappeared.
- Background scenery features several banners with Happy Anniversary. This refers to the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko's marriage, that occurred on April 10, 2009.
- only my railgun, the first opening theme of the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun anime adaptation is played at the end of the episode in place of the ending theme.
- If Uiharu is Level 1, then what is her power?
- Why was the music player in Ryouta's pocket focused on?
- Mikoto: "Seriously, never a dull moment in this city, huh?"
- Kuroko: "This is Judgment!"―recurring quote.
- Mikoto: "Chaser!"'―as Mikoto kicks a certain vending machine.
- Kuroko: "Well, I say that... but it's a humble little chest that needs some more con-fi-dence. But this humility is Oneesama's iniquity! The allure of this seductive humility! Kuroko, no, Kuroko's heart is breaking!"―to Mikoto as she molests her in the shower.
- Saten: "U~i~har~ru!"―said to Uiharu Kazari just as she flips her skirt.
- Saten: "As long as every day is fun, I'm okay with it."―to Uiharu regarding her state as a Level 0.
- Saten: "I don't think I can keep up with your friends."―to Uiharu.
- Kuroko: "Stay back, Oneesama. Maintaining the security of Academy City is Judgment's job. Please behave yourself this time."―to Mikoto regarding the current Judgment operation.
- Mikoto: "Kuroko! This fight has turned personal now. Sorry, but... I'm stepping in now."
- Ryouta: "I remember now. There's this horrifying teleporter in Judgment who'll tear apart your body and soul if she catches you... And there's another who rules over even that teleporter's body and soul—the strongest Electromaster!"―regarding Kuroko and Mikoto
- Kuroko: "That's right... That person is definitely amongst the top of Academy City's 2.3 million people. Third strongest of the seven Level 5's, the Railgun—Misaka Mikoto Oneesama. Tokiwdai Middle School's pride, the unrivaled Electric Princess."―to Ryouta regarding Mikoto.
- Uiharu and Saten: "Amazing..."―regarding Mikoto after she fires her Railgun.
- Kuroko: "You skill wasn't bad. Maybe somewhere around Level 3. It seems you went down the wrong path after growing too confident of your own abilities. Take some time to examine your soul, and then make a fresh start for yourself."―to Ryouta.
- Mikoto: "That was quite a feat Saten-san. You really looked cool back there."―to Saten.