So I was looking through bookmarks for one in particular, when I noticed I had accidentally bookmarked this post by Steven a few months ago. In the comments, we had a back and forth about Mikasa (the “Railgun) Mikoto’s power.
Steven pointed out that Mikoto had probably been holding back during the school tests. Although she had no reason to do so, it’s entirely possible that she was, being less motivated during testing than, say, in the middle of a life and death confrontation.
If that’s the the case then, it belatedly occurs to me, that her ranking as #3 among level 5’s is probably entirely incorrect. She’s likely the true #1; it’s just that her power, in terms of battle application, is weaker than Accelerator’s*. It’s definitely more versatile though, as we see her hack computers with it. Incidentally this explains how she didn’t fry Kiyama’s car’s electronics; she’s got a fine control and when she concentrates on it, she can protect a zone from her own powers.
*edit: On the other hand, not only is there Steven’s point below, I forgot about his computational ability required to support the Accelerator power, which he applies in other places.
Additionally, per the manga, she is a bit short on endurance. During the first half of the Sister’s Arc (alluded to during Index by the bag with the map of destroyed installations) she fights a mercenary team made up of 4 youths, two of whom are also in the top 7. show
The Railgun manga is not an alternate continuity; we’ve reached the point in the story where Mikoto and Touma meet at the vending machine that she often abuses (in fairness, it steals money a lot, so Mikoto’s thefts are to recover her losses to it). showHer entire war took place in the course of only a few days, which is why she doesn’t seem as shell shocked in Index until that storyline, or in the Railgun series — all that is in her future during Railgun.
I still hope they do a movie of the Sisters arc.