Academy City seems like a really weird city to me. At first I thought it was some super advanced city that was created with the sole purpose of filling it out with educational institutions for science and research, but a lot of things don't seem to make sense.

I watched the first season and it seemed really weird that the government was supporting the experiments for a level 6 esper. Something like that sounds like something the military would want. Why in Academy City?

Another thing that seems kind of weird is the Enforcement body "Judgment". Why is there such an enforcing body with such high level espers? Doesn't that imply that such weird and dangerous things are normal in Academy City?

3 Answers 3


Imagine 5 years old Misaka Mikoto living not in Academy City, but in "normal" city.

  • Misaka touched her friend.
  • Friend got electrified.
  • Misaka was surprised.
  • Friend still electrified.
  • Misaka don't now how to stop.
  • Friend got fried.

That is just one example. Another would be Shirai Kuroko using her teleport power but left her hair and thus shows up bald at the destination point.

The main purpose of Academy City, is to educate the students with esper powers so that they can control it well. It also educates people that want to develop esper powers as can be seen when Kamijou Touma attended school with fellow level 0 or Saten Ruiko's school. As those students can control their powers better, their level goes up. This is also one of the goals of academy city, researching esper powers. At the very least, this is how academy city shows itself to the world.

As things currently are, the highest level known for esper powers is level 5 with only 7 people managed to achieve that. Therefore, for research purpose, they did the experiment to see whether it is possible to achieve higher level or not. Of course Accelerator, being the best among the 7 level 5s is chosen as the candidate for the experiment. Railgun was chosen as the mob for Accelerator to kill as they hypothesized that by killing Railgun 20k times (not sure if that is the correct figure) Accelerator would be able to achieve level 6. This is the dark part of academy city that it doesn't show to the world.


The use of Judgement is mainly because one can't be very sure whether the criminal would be a level 0 or a leveled esper. Suppose that it is not a level 0, then normal means might not be possible to arrest them. Therefore to catch those criminals another esper would be needed. This use the principal of fighting fire with fire. Also to be noted, not all members of judgement are high leveled esper. In fact, in Railgun and Railgun S anime there were no level 5 member of judgement. Misaka indeed illegally used Shirai's judgement armband and posed to be one before but that was illegal. As far as I know Shirai Kuroko is the highest level member of judgment, being a level 4. Another member, Kazari Uiharu was a level 1. The chief of the 177th branch (Shirai and Kazari's boss) is a level 3.

  • I thought the students gained their esper powers in Academy City. Do you mean they are like mutants when they come to Academy City where they are taught to use their powers?
    – user23676
    Apr 25, 2016 at 16:23
  • Why can't I vote up this?
    – user23676
    Apr 25, 2016 at 16:30
  • It was not clear which comes first, human experimented so that they will awaken esper powers, or espers showing up and humans try to understand them. However, judging from the age of Misaka and Shirai, other espers has existed before them, meaning that they are not the first espers. Thus it is arguably okay to say that one of the goals of Academy City is to ensure that kids born with esper powers can control their powers well. Apr 25, 2016 at 16:32
  • Try refreshing the page. If you still cannot vote up, then it might be because you have hit your daily limit. Try again tomorrow. Apr 25, 2016 at 16:33
  • No I just realized that a reputation of 15 is needed for that :p
    – user23676
    Apr 25, 2016 at 16:36

Academy City, also known as Academy City of Science and Technology, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the Tokyo Metropolitan Employment Area. As the city's name suggests, it is a city of several schools and institutions of higher learning from kindergarten to university level that learn side-by-side along with the scientists who research on psychic powers and higher technology, the latter being one of the primary reasons for its establishment.

According to the Wiki

The city was founded by the magician Aleister Crowley to do studies and research on the development of preternatural abilities.

According to Therestina, the students in Academy City are just being used to further the research and development in the achievement of a Level 6. How truthful her words are remains to be seen, however its important to note that both Aleister Crowley and Board of Directors have allowed deaths of students, and have allowed and supported further experimentation and research at the expense of many lives.

As for your second question...

Judgment is one of the primary peacekeeping forces in Academy City. The other one being the Anti-Skill; these two groups are composed of trained students and faculty respectively which deal with crimes and conflicts with security. They are authorized to retrieve Information from surveillance equipment within Academy City, to check if there are any crimes occurring, in addition to their constant patrol duties. Academy City also has a fire department as well as emergency response organization.

Although on the surface, it seems like it is only an educational city but there are quite a few sinister things going on on the inside. And the administration is of course at the center of it. Yes, it does imply that there might be other reasons for the founding of Academy City. Ability Body Crystal Experiments are another series of experiments that are illegal.


I'm sorry, but Ayase Eri's answer is completely wrong.

Misaka did not have powers before coming to Academy City. Espers who acquire their Abilities without the help of Academy City are called Gemstones, of which we only know of a small handful. (Himegami Aisa aka Deep Blood, Sogiita Gunha the 7th Level 5, and a couple others.)

Gemstones came first. Then Academy City developed a method of artificially recreating this phenomenon (the Power Curriculum Program), allowing them to mass-produce Espers.

The real reason Academy City is so interested in a Level 6 Esper is because someone who achieved that level would also achieve SYSTEM - the 'knowledge of the the will of the heavens'. Basically, they want a Level 6 so they can experiment with/on them, the same reason they want any other Espers.

As for Judgement, you actually get a skewed view of the organisation from Kuroko. Judgement officers actually have no authority outside the school they are assigned to - Kuroko keeps overstepping her bounds. Normally, any dangerous incidents are handled by Anti-Skill, the adult-run organisation.

Overall, the role of a Judgement officer is more like a part-time civilian patrol officer and are often used in community services, such as cleaning garbage from the streets (when cleaning bots are unavailable), helping locate lost objects, traffic duty, etc.

And of course there are weird and dangerous things happening all the time. Half the point of the city is to give superpowers to children - you better believe they have forces to keep them in check.

  • Ayase Eri's answer is not completely wrong. I agree that it is misleading since it makes no mention that powers development is a function of Academy City. However, Ayase's example of Misaka is hypothetical and cannot necessarily be interpreted as stating that Misaka had powers before coming to Academy City. Aug 26, 2016 at 0:11

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