"Thoughtfulness" (心馳 Shinchi?) is the 97th chapter of the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga series, released on October 27, 2017. This chapter serves as a preliminary chapter before the formal opening of the Jailbreaker Arc on chapter 98.
After the various events that unfolded in Academy City, Saten Ruiko and Uiharu Kazari visit certain urban legend sites in Academy City while trying to pick up from their respective losses. Meanwhile, a flustered Misaka Mikoto remains shaken by a conversation she overheard, and finds herself looking for advice on what to do next.
While taking a stroll around Academy City, Saten and Uiharu talk about some urban legends, including the story of a talking Golden Retriever stopping an attempted suicide and the story of three Child Errors (Flower Chomper Lahay Guillot, Feigned Innocence Emako and Sweet Tooth Siegtogo) who were abducted and experimented by a mad scientist. They later enter a small archway, rumored to ruin the romantic relationships of anyone who pass under it, and spend time on a manmade reservoir that was said to have sheltered a mutated giant serpent. Their conversation soon gains the attention of two gyaru girls, one of which claims that she saw a serpent not too long ago. However, her poor attempt to photograph the beast arouses suspicion from Uiharu.
After leaving the reservoir, Saten takes the chance to thank Uiharu for letting her see various urban legend sites in Academy City, and admits that she had been in a dismal mood after the sudden disappearance of a friend that she just recently met. Uiharu refuses to promise Saten that she will not disappear like her other friend, but she assures Saten that she will not disappear if Saten would stop feeling so depressed.
Saten, with her spirits lifted by Uiharu's words, soon finds a flustered Mikoto among the crowd. According to Mikoto, "a friend" was baffled about a certain other person's tendency to meddle with the former's affairs and sacrifice itself for others and that "friend" realized having a "special kind of feeling" towards the other person. While Mikoto mulls over the fact that the "other person" seemed to like "symbols of motherhood" (i.e. large breasts), Uiharu tells Mikoto that the only way for her "friend" to receive the feelings of the "other person" is to be exposed to something tragic and to stay in such a state of tragedy. As a confused Mikoto listens to Uiharu's advice, Saten desperately tries to keep Mikoto from being misled by this advice.
- After the injury from Kakine Teitoku's assault and the sudden disappearance of Frenda Seivelun, Uiharu Kazari and Saten Ruiko go for a stroll along some of Academy City's urban legend sites.
- Misaka Mikoto, after overhearing a conversation from Kamijou Touma's phone, is in a daze after learning about the boy's latest series of actions.
- This chapter concludes the Dream Ranker Arc.
By order of appearance:
- Saten Ruiko
- Uiharu Kazari
- Misaka Mikoto
- Kamijou Touma (fantasy)
- Itsuwa (fantasy)
- Kazakiri Hyouka (fantasy)
- Fukiyose Seiri (fantasy)
- Daigo (referenced)
- Frenda Seivelun (referenced)
No abilities were used in this chapter.
- One of the gyarus that approached Saten and Uiharu bears a resemblance to Akikawa Mie, most notably her short hair and cardigan tied around her waist.
- Uiharu has a sling on her right arm after being attacked by Kakine Teitoku during the Battle Royale Arc.
- By this point in the story chronology, Frenda Seivelun had already died in the hands of fellow ITEM member Mugino Shizuri.
- Asunaro Park, the Child Error institution visited by Mikoto and the others in the anime series, was referenced in this chapter.
- The "giant white python" is probably a reference to the Toaru Majutsu no Index Archives 1 Audio Drama, where a Hindu magician used experimental animals to attack Touma.
- The massive serpent sighted by the girl during the fireworks was actually one of the dragons unleashed from Touma's hand during the fight between him and a transformed Misaka Mikoto.
- Mikoto's actions in this chapter are directly due to an encounter with Touma in OT Volume 16. At that time, Touma himself is trying to take on Acqua of the Back, who demands the surrender of his right hand, with the help of Itsuwa and the Amakusa-Style Remix of Church.
- Itsuwa is the latest example of "girls with symbols of motherhood" (i.e., girls with big breasts) that Mikoto had seen interacting with Touma. The other examples were Kazakiri Hyouka (during OT Volume 6) and Fukiyose Seiri (during Daihaseisai).
- The "man-faced dog", also known as jinmenken, is a known Japanese urban legend. Like the talking Golden Retriever, the jinmenken is capable of speech, and can rather be rude, but is otherwise harmless compared to other urban legend-related creatures.
- What happened to one of the dragons from Touma's right hand?
- Talking Golden Retriever: "Life can be as bitter as a cigar. But you grow hooked on that bitterness. You too will understand once you are old enough to smoke. So why not try living long enough to understand the flavor of life?"
- Uiharu: "Making promises about the future isn't that easy. But...If you tell me you'll never look so sad again...then I guess I could promise you."