"Precognition" (予知 Yochi?) is the 74th chapter of the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga series.
The boy reveals himself to be Miyama Shaei, a precognitive esper. He explains that he uses a camera that has gone through a research laboratory's special equipment to produce a "thoughtograph" that shows a future incident. Shirai Kuroko says that his power is not enough to make the app. Shaei adds that if he focuses enough he can also determine the time and location of the incident, by creating a photo which can then be analysed using the app. This is what he calls a "second stage" of his powers.
Shaei then asks Kuroko and Uiharu Kazari to keep the "second stage" of his powers secret as it may be misused if people knew what he could really do. Shaei tells them that he used the app to hide his identity as well as to find an esper capable of changing the futures he predicts. His predictions are apparently set in stone even if he tries to intervene, with only the place of the incident changing. Only one future incident was ever prevented, this being the traffic accident that Kuroko stopped in the previous chapter. Shaei believes that it may have something to do with Kuroko's teleportation ability, as it uses 11 dimensions, interfering with the 3 dimensions where the incidents occur.
Shaei then takes out a penlight and shines it into his eye, allowing him to focus and hence to demonstrate the "second stage" of his ability. He experiences considerable discomfort when using his ability, and his nose begins bleeding. He then creates a photo with the modified camera and tells the two girls to put it into the app. This results in information on another incident that will occur in forty minutes. Shaei hides his face to prevent them seeing his nosebleed.
At the banks of a canal, a girl tries to retrieve a friend's hat from an overhanging tree. She falls from the tree and starts drowning in the canal, but is saved by Kuroko and Uiharu.
Shaei and Kuroko talk about how they can potentially combine their powers to save people pre-emptively.
Later that night, a group of girls stab the base of a tree with a water dropper, saying that people wouldn't mind if flowers bloom there and that she learned it in her dream.
Over a period of time, Kuroko works with Shaei to stop various incidents: a woman trying to murder her cheating partner, a sign falling, an escaped alligator, and a group of thugs threatening students. Kuroko and other students now wear their winter uniforms. She and Shaei talk to each other after one of the incidents, and they see a news report regarding a group coma incident the other day, something that Shaei couldn't predict. Shaei says that the people back then were only sleeping and so it wasn't a real danger that could've triggered his powers to predict it. Furthermore, his powers pick up things more easily if it is close to him, though he says this doesn't do him any good since he can't change it. Noticing that Kuroko has a scratch on her leg, Shaei gives her a handkerchief. He then asks why she joined Judgment, but Kuroko just gives a haphazard answer that is basically summed by Shaei as being for "justice". Shaei states that he doesn't understand something so illogical.
Shaei makes another prediction in secret, causing another nosebleed and weakening him to the point that he has trouble walking. He returns to the office with a new incident that is going to occur in a park.
- The Judgment 177 Branch Office assist Miyama Shaei in preventing incidents from happening using Kuroko's Teleport.
By order of appearance:
- Unnamed ability with similarities to both Precognition and Thoughtography - Miyama Shaei
- Thoughtography (referenced-only)
- Unnamed Canal
- The QR code found in this chapter contains a link to the Dengeki Daioh official blog. The QR code is currently redirected to the Dengeki Daioh main page.
- The canal is located one kilometer south-southwest from Judgment 177 Branch Office.
- Near the end of the chapter Kuroko and Uiharu change their summer uniforms for their winter ones. This indicates that the timeline of this arc is now after September 30, where the change of uniforms are shown for the first time.
- Kuroko and Shaei hear news regarding the "group comas" of the other day, referencing the events of September 30 where Vento of the Front's Divine Punishment incapacitated many of Academy City's inhabitants.
- A reference to The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village, one of Kamachi Kazuma's other Light Novel series is shown in the chapter image. Saten Ruiko is dressed as the title character, Zashiki-Warashi, Uiharu Kazari is dressed as Yuki-Onna, while Misaka Mikoto and Shirai Kuroko are dressed as Hishigami Mai and Enbi respectively.
- A reference to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is shown in the chapter when Shaei explains the Thoughtography's mechanics and an image of an esper girl destroying a camera with a karate chop is depicted. The method the girl uses is the same of Joseph Joestar to produce psychic photographs of the future with his Stand Hermit Purple.
- Is it really because Kuroko's Teleport, which encompasses 11 dimensions, that allows her to intervene in the events that Shaei has predicted to occur using his ability?
- What are those girls doing with that tree? And what was that about the girl learning something from her dream?
- Why is Shaei straining himself to make predictions?
- Shaei: "I don't really understand anything with no logic or solution to it."―to Kuroko after she replies to his question on why she joined Judgment.