"Opening" (開会 Kaikai?) is the 44th chapter of the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga series.
At the opening ceremony of the Daihaseisai, Shokuhou Misaki and Sogiita Gunha give the opening pledge. Watching them are the teachers Watanabe and Tsukuyomi Komoe. However, Gunha forgets part of the pledge and begins improvising in his usual style. Misaki tries to keep to the script, but Gunha disrupts the event by creating an explosion with his power. The ceremony comes to an end and Misaki comments that she was beaten.
Saten recounts the nature of the Daihaseisai to Uiharu and explains the urban legend of Shadow Metal: the clash between many different esper abilities can supposedly create a metal that doesn't naturally exist. Saten is eager to find and sell off this metal, but a wheelchair-bound Kuroko approaches and scolds her for spreading such rumors. Saten distracts Kuroko by pointing out that Mikoto is competing right now (and being shown on a nearby screen).
Mikoto is taking part in the three-legged race, with her partner being Kongou Mitsuko. At the start of the race, the pair from Airin Girls' High School entangles the others in bandages to slow them down and get a lead. The other pairs break free using various means (Mikoto uses an iron sand sword to cut herself and Kongou loose) and start running as well.
The Airin pair are in the lead but fall for a trap set by another pair: hamsters, controlled by the pair from Ninoude Attached Middle School, waiting in the trees to ambush other contestants. The hamsters aim to cut the band between the Airin girls' legs, which would disqualify them, but mistakenly cut and remove their panties instead. This does prevent the girls from moving further. The hamsters are ineffectual against the other pairs: the Habatobi High School pair (consisting of Amime and Todoroki) simply knock them away while the hamsters avoid the Tokiwadai pair (due to Mikoto's emission of EM waves).
They approach the finish line. The Habatobi High pair is in the lead. The other two pairs suddenly slip; the Tokiwadai pair stays up thanks to Mikoto's magnetism, but the Ninoude pair goes off the course. This was due to Amime using his power over friction on the course. He and his partner use their abilities to speed up towards the finish line. However, the fireball Todoroki uses to accelerate them ignites a bandage clinging to Amime, causing the two to veer off course and fall towards a spectator. Mikoto and Kongou save them by launching a shock-absorbing mat at them. Todoroki also notices iron sand in his clothes. Mikoto admits that she was planning on using it to stop them reaching the finish line but asks them to forgive her since they were saved because of it. The Tokiwadai pair cross the finish line and win the event.
Watching, Kuroko is angry that her injury prevented her from partnering with Mikoto. Saten notices a nearby girl (the magician Xochitl in disguise) having trouble with her phone and helps her out. Saten thinks that the two of them met before, but Uiharu calls her away. Xochitl then receives a call from the Professor, revealing that she's part of the group MEMBER, ordering her to do her first job for the group.
Elsewhere, Misaki thinks that she can simply control the referees and players to get to the top. However, Fukiyose Seiri takes her bag (containing the remotes she uses with her power) as equipment other than sporting gear is not allowed.
In order of appearance:
- Shokuhou Misaki
- Sogiita Gunha
- Misaka 10032 (cameo)
- Misaka Mikoto
- Kamijou Touma (cameo)
- Kongou Mitsuko
- Saten Ruiko
- Uiharu Kazari
- Shirai Kuroko
- Awatsuki Maaya (cameo)
- Wannai Kinuho (cameo)
- Keitz Nokleben (cameo)
- Hokaze Junko (cameo)
- Misaka Misuzu
- Tsukuyomi Komoe
- Pirate Radio DJ (as the first race commentator)
- Kumokawa Seria (as the second race commentator)
- MEMBER's Professor (voice only)
- Fukiyose Seiri
- Unknown - Sogiita Gunha, Level 5
- Ability summoning earth pillars - Aoki
- Ability manipulating anything touches - Unnamed Airin Girls' High School student
- Ability breaking down anything to raw material - Unnamed Airin Girls' High School student
- Telepath whose ability is limited to only hamsters - Two unnamed Ninoude Attached Middle School students
- Ability involving manipulation of coefficient of friction - Amime
- Ability involving manipulation of water particles - Todoroki
- A final scene where Misaka Mikoto, Saten Ruiko, and Uiharu Kazari meet with Misaka Misuzu was present in the original magazine release but was cut from the Volume 7 release. It appears at the beginning of Chapter 45 in Volume 8.
- Xochitl is surprised to see Saten Ruiko, who doesn't recognize her due to her disguise. They had met previously in the novel Toaru Kagaku no Railgun SS: Liberal Arts City. Kuroko also refers to how Saten got into trouble during that trip.