Shintaro Kisaragi is a hiki-NEET who hasn't left his home in two years after a certain incident. He spends his days drinking soda, browsing the internet, and being bothered by Ene, the girl living in his computer. After her actions cause him to ruin his keyboard on a holiday when he'd have to wait five days for an online order to ship, he's forced to choose between going without his computer, or going outside to buy a new keyboard in person. Reluctantly choosing the latter, he inadvertently gets involved in a hostage situation that sparks the beginning of something more as his life begins to collide with that of his idol sister's as they get involved with the Mekakushi-dan, a group of teenagers with mysterious powers.Mekakucity Actors is an anime in the Kagerou Project series airing in the Spring 2014 Anime season, produced by Studio SHAFT and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo.Please only list down tropes relating to the anime here. If it refers to the series as a whole or the light novel and manga adaptation, please list them down on their respective pages.
When Tsukihiko goes into the village, the townspeople trap him, torture him for the location of Azami, and refuse to believe him when he says she's harmless - deducing he must be under her 'witchcraft'. He then spends some time alone, forced to think about what they must be doing to his wife and daughter, and he eventually returns, just in time for his wife to vanish forever.
Halfway through Episode 10, Shion awakens to find Marry gone, and the front door lying open. She then runs through the forest screaming for her daughter (as opposed to her being just outside in the original PV) and eventually finds her at the hands of two young men, who are contemplating taking her away to sell as a freak-show. Mama Bear instinct ensues.
Shion also gets to see Marry die in her last moments, too weak to help her, before succumbing to Power Degeneration herself.
Finally, Azami - from the comfort of the never-ending world - sees the aforementioned deaths of her daughter and grandchild, and is mocked by the Wide Eyed Snake when she apologizes to Shion, who is now doomed to suffer eternally with her.
All Myths Are True: The story Ayano narrates at the end of each episode regarding the girl monster turns out to have some basis of truth in it, as she finds out from a journal her mother kept.
Apocalyptic Log: In episode 9, Ayano discovers her mother's journal about the girl monster her mother used to read to her in her father's room. The journal mentions that the girl monster really did exist, and somehow gave children who suffered a Near Death Experience to gain powers. Unfortunately she died before she could complete her investigation, which then prompts Ayano to try and continue it.
Art Evolution: Not for the main portion of the show, but the little monster's scenes become more realistic as the series goes on, which is especially noticeable in the way the monster gains more human features over time.
Art Shift: Usually involving Ene or Shintaro's reactions to her antics.
The second half of episode 4 shifts into a deranged style, with heavy shadow, and very little colour. Fitting, as it's based on the art style of the Kagerou Days PV.
The post-credit scenes that tell the story of the little monster use a much more abstract style, with bright colors being featured prominently alongside black.
The opening of episode 9 uses CG animation to show a flashback of the orphans' arrival at the Tateyama household
Badass Boast: Azami towards one of the men who attack her in Episode 10note Given that one of her abilities is Clairvoyance, this boast is one she could actually follow up on if she wanted.:
Hiding from me is futile. I will find you even if you run to the ends of the earth.
Kido and her group end up helping Shintaro foil the terrorists in the early episodes.
Konoha does one in episode 5, when he goes into a Tranquil Fury upon being told by Shintaro that Hibiya and Hiyori being forced into a van by some unknown men is a bad thing. He rushes over there in less than a second, and stops the van from moving while simultaneously crushing open the back doors.
With Kido, Kano and Seto grievously injured, Momo, Ene and Hibiya's snakes removed (meaning they will die shortly, too), and Marry just about to reset time again, the lights in the lab suddenly go out, and striding out of the darkness come Ayano and Shintaro... the possessors of the two snakes necessary to avert the bad ending.
Haruka also pulls one seconds later; just as it seems Kuroha is going to kill Ayano and Shintaro, he shuts him up, and seems to immobilises him mentally, allowing the others' plan to go off without a hitch.
Big Fancy House: Marry's old home, compared to the small cottage seen in the "Imagination Forest" PV.
Bittersweet Ending: Everybody Lives (and at the very least Ayano, Haruka and Hiyori are Back from the Dead), but Konoha - who is established as having a separate will from Haruka - is gone. At best it's possible he becomes a part of Haruka, but that is up for viewers to decide.
Be Careful What You Wish For: A message found throughout the franchise, but it is actually turned around on the villain during the final episode; Kuroha desperately begs someone to make a wish so that he (or more accurately, the Wide-Eyed Snake) can continue existing; Haruka responds by giving him Konoha's final wish: to bring Hiyori back to life. Technically, he does still exist... but as a life-force for Hiyori and nothing else.
Beware the Nice Ones: Marry. In episode 3, she bows down on the floor, apologizing to Momo (for slipping tea all over her), but the second Kano wise-cracks about her clumsiness, she stops and uses her medusae powers to shut him up.
Bluebird of Happiness: Marry picks up quite a following of them during Episode 10 after she meets Seto and starts to embrace the outside world again.
Body Horror: In episode 7, Haruka's body is slowly deconstructed in the process of him becoming Konoha. Black smoke then explodes from his mouth when he screams in panic.
Brick Joke: It takes 3 episodes for the audience to learn that the prize Shintaro won for winning Takane and Haruka's shooting game at the school festival from episode 6 was the fish specimen Kenjirou bought for himself using his class's festival budget money which Takane had scolded him for. And it ultimately wound up back in Kenjirou's possession because Shintaro gave it to Ayano.
Canon Welding: All of the different versions of Kagerou Project (the songs, light novel, and manga) are welded together into a multiverse when Shintaro sees them with his eye power at the end of episode 8.
Episodes 1 and 3 end on the same one, with Shintaro falling to the floor after he uploads Ene to the computer system.
Episode 5 ends on the reveal that Ayano was the founder of the Mekakushi Dan, and Ene recognizes her.
Episode 6 ends with Takane leaving Haruka alone in the classroom while he's having an attack (believing he's sleeping).
Episode 8 ends on the strange sequence that happens after Shintaro remembers Ayano at last and awakens to his eye powers.
Episode 9 ends with Kano presenting to Ene her body, which has for all this time been preserved in a tube.
Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: When various images of other adaptations are added into the ED of Episode 8, the Light Novel illustrations are tinted red, the manga panels are tinted green and the song PVs are tinted blue.
Color Failure: Takane looks this way after playing at least 20 players in a game in episode 6.
"One of Shintaro's friends was caught in a traffic accident!" "Wait-! Big brother has friends?!"
When the connections between Ene, Ayano, Shintaro, Kido, Kano and Seto are all discussed at length - including the fact that the latter three are Ayano's adoptive siblings - Momo is still fixated on the fact that Ene calls Shintaro "Master" despite being an upperclassman.
In episode 4, Hibiya ponders just where he's seen Momo before... as he stands with his back to three large posters of her in her idol costume.
At the very end of episode 6, Takane says "Oh, so everything I say bores you to death." She says this to Haruka, who has his head on the desk because he is dying, of an attack from his illness.
Shintaro asks several questions in episode 8 whose answers were revealed in previous episodes, such as "Ene used to be human?" and "Why is Ayano in their family photo?"
Dramatic Wind: SHAFT really seems to love making characters' hair and clothing ripple in the breeze during big statements and dramatic moments... even while indoors. Ayano and her scarf are the most frequent offenders.
Driven to Suicide: It's implied that Shintaro slits his throat during the events of Episode 11 (when we see a pair of scissors on his bed during Momo's performance), to enter the Daze and retrieve Ayano.
Dying Curse: Downplayed at the end of Episode 4; the second before the truck hits him, Hibiya only has this to say: "In your face.".
Emotion Bomb: Ayano's power. She is able to project the memories and emotions in her own heart onto someone else. She uses this to project all of the memories 'recorded' by Shintaro's ability onto Marry, to prevent her resetting time again.
Evolving Credits: The opening 「daze」 gets some added details for the second episode, and a few more in the third.
Everybody Lives: The finale permanently brings back Ayano and Hiyori from the Daze.
Exact Words: Haruka wished for a stronger body, so Azami made him one based off of Konoha, his gaming avatar. When he says he doesn't want that body, she sends it off anyway, noting that his rejection of the mental transfer will cause him to lose his memories, with Haruka completely powerless to stop any of it..
Expressive Hair: Marry's hair flies up all around her when she uses her power on a crowd of people at the end of episode 3. Likely done to cancel out Momo's ability, which is why they're looking at her in the first place.
Her hair also detaches from her head and forms what looks like floating spikes or wings◊ behind her when she resets the time loop in episode 8.
In Episode 2, during Momo's flashback, inanimate objects are used for anyone that isn't her family members. The shadows still show that they are human.
Female Gaze: Shintaro spends most of the first half of episode 5 in nothing but his boxers. We then get a close-up shot of his butt at the start of his Imagine Spot.
Foreshadowing: This show is chock-full of it in practically every episode.
During the first episode, we see various shots of the Dan in places. Each location is relevant to where they originally died and how they got their eye power; Kido is in a burnt out building, Seto is beside a river, Kano is slumped against a wall in the apartment, Momo is floating in the sea, Ene and Konoha are in the lab beneath their school together and Hibiya is in the park.
Marry is first seen standing atop a large structure, overlooking everything with a sad expression. This foreshadows that she is aware of the other routes and is resetting time. The shot is shown again at the end of the Episode 8 for emphasis.
Several episodes open with a character talking to Ayano in the Daze. Their conversations are vague, but contain a lot of clues toward the over-arching plot.
When Shintaro first meets Konoha, he comments that he looks like a video game character. This is significant because Konoha's appearance is based on Haruka's avatar for a shooting game.
During the same scene, when Shintaro first sees Konoha, Shintaro's eyes very briefly flash red and he has a split-second glimpse of Haruka. This foreshadows his eye ability - "Retaining Eyes" - which allows him to remember everything he has ever seen, even in previous time loops, and that he has had his eye power all along, using it subconsciously.
When Konoha appears in the opening credits, Ene can be seen peeking out and staring at him, rather than screw around like she had been before. She also disappears completely when Kenjirou appears. This foreshadows the crush she had on him back when they were Takane and Haruka, respectively. Her hiding away when Kenjirou appears could also be foreshadowing the reveal that he killed her.
The many belts on Konoha's costume sure look a lot like the snakes usually writhing around Kuroha...
In episode 7, Haruka sees that Kenjirou's eye is glowing red, the same way as the eyes of those with powers do, while lying in his hospital bed.
Ene has some really nasty ones in episode 7, when Kano reveals Haruka's death to her.
Hibiya falls into a catatonic state for a few hours after remembering what happened to Hiyori.
Hey, That's My Line!: Said by Haruka, in response to Kuroha's "Don't try and stop me!" (directed at Shintaro and Ayano). This is, of course, the point where the Dan's victory is assured.
Hive Queen: Episode 9 reveals that the snakes that granted powers to the Mekakushi-dan are trying to reach the "queen snake", which entered the real world a long time ago. Kano implies that the queen is inside a member of the Mekakushi-dan, and Ene immediately thinks of Marry. Episode 10 reveals that Azami transplanted the snake queen into Marry in order to revive her and let her escape the never-ending world.
Hostage Situation: The terrorists in the first episode. They demand a lot of money from the mall owner, which worries Shintaro in case the owner either doesn't care about them, or doesn't have the amount of money they want.
The Inner Reveal: Ene has the news of Haruka's death broken to her near the end of episode 7, while the audience (either through prior knowledge of the series or the brief shot of his shooting game avatar in episode 6) already know he's dead and has been transformed into Konoha.
Insert Song: Since the anime is based on a series of songs it is no surprise. Not all episodes have them.
Kisaragi Attention is included in the Chase Scene in episode 2.
Mekakushi Code is used in the final scene of episode 3.
Heat Haze Days is used in the final scene of episode 4.
In episode 5, the ending theme 「days」 is used in the Relax-o-Vision of Ene in Shintaro's smart phone flipping in the air as Momo is beating on her brother out of camera.
In episode 6, Headphone Actor is used in the beginning in place of the opening and Yuukei Yesterday is used in the Good Times Montage near the end of the episode in place of the ending.
In episode 8, Lost Time Memory is used in place of the ending; It shows Shintaro's life flashing back and parts of the other realities: the light novel, the manga adaptation and some scenes from the music videos, and the end of a previous timeline.
In episode 9, Ayano's Theory of Happiness is used in place of the opening.
In episode 10, Imagination Forest is played in the background of the scene where Seto and Marry meet.
Otsukimi Recital is played in Episode 11 when Kido, Momo and Hibiya are captured and need to let the rest of the Dan know where they are without letting their captors know by combining Kido and Momo's eye powers. Doubles as an attempt to cheer Hibiya up about Hiyori, like in the original song.
The last episode has Jin himself singing Summertime Record over the end credits roll.
When men come to Azami's home, shoot her several times and then decide to do the same to Shion, Azami - without a second to spare - makes Shion invisible, heals herself, turns the men to stone, and leaves the last one alive to send the message: "Don't come back."
Later, when Shion finds Marry at the hands of two men threatening to sell her as a freak-show, she utilises her powers to turn one of them to stone, despite never having used it before, and despite the heavy toll on her body.
Meet Cute: Momo and Hibiya's first meeting involves them running into each other, followed by the two racing all over the city while Kisaragi Attention plays in the background. D'aw.
Medium Blending: The end credits use live-action footage on a train, with the characters drawn on top of it.
The alternate end credits of episode 8 do this as well, using pictures of real life locations, along with clips, panels, and pages from the other adaptations.
Mood Whiplash: Episode 11; the first half includes not one but two suicides, a Breaking Speech, and Kano's breakdown. Then Otsukimi Recital starts playing, Kano and Hibiya are brought out of their depression, Mary takes space-hopper ride on Konoha and Takane gets her body back, just in time for the most heartwarming moment of all: Shintaro appears to Ayano in the Daze, then asks her to come back with him and fight. Cue tears of joy.
Not What It Looks Like: Marry opens the door to where Shintaro was resting in episode 5, only to find him in his underwear. Ene decides to make things worse by making it sound like he was trying to do perverted things, though in reality it was because she forced him to strip down and beg her to tell him what was going on, lest the "terrorists" outside the room shoot him. He was unaware that he had been rescued.
Painful Transformation: Judging by his screams as it happens, the transformation into Kuroha - which involves being engulfed by a writhing mass of snakes and having his consciousness repressed to the point of destruction - is less than pleasant for Konoha.
Pervert Revenge Mode: Momo slips into this quite often, beating up no less than three of the male cast members for saying/doing perverted things (Shintaro, Kano and Hibiya, respectively). The former was actually a subversion egged on by Ene, but the latter were justified; when Kano suggested Hibiya use his powers to be a Peeping Tom, Hibiya's first thought was "Lady's bath!" and his eyes flashed red.
Photographic Memory: Episode 11 reveals Shintaro's eye power. "Retaining eyes", whatever he sees, he'll remember. This is what make him so smart and why, once he gets it back, can remember all the time loops.
The Heat Haze world. What we've been shown indicates that one is trapped in a hellish maze (and time loop) based on the place/way you died. For example, Kido and her sister were trapped in a burning maze of trick exits, and Hibiya was trapped in a surreal copy of the city, where everything was out to kill him and Hiyori. Survivors are shown to enter a (temporary) catatonic state when they remember what they endured. The form the world takes is most likely based on your strongest memory (which, for many of the people who enter it, is the moment of their death). For Shintaro, who lives in constant regret and wishes to return to the past, the Heat Haze world takes the form of an endless classroom.
The Reveal: Shintaro's had his eye power since he was in the womb and had his powers since he was born.
Serial Escalation: In episode 4, while trying to come up with an excuse to go to the big city with Hiyori, Hibiya's father keeps rejecting his reasons, and throws him outside the house. At first there's a lone wolf out there, but as the days pass by and the scene keeps repeating itself, more and more wolves show up every time he's tossed out.
Serious Business: Shintaro debating whether to order a keyboard online and wait a few days for it to arrive, or to go to an electronics store to get a replacement immediately. Which is a problem for him due to him being a Hikikomori who hasn't been outside in 2 years.
Shape Shifter Guilt Trip: Happens in episode 7, thanks to our resident shapeshifter. Kano turns into Haruka to mess with Takane (because she wanted to save Shintaro from his guilt over Ayano.)
Show, Don't Tell: The powers that the various characters have are mostly shown, rather than simply being explained, such as when Marry freezes Kano for making a joke about her after she drops some tea onto Momo by accident. Kido also shows her ability to make herself and others near her less noticeable several times.
Signature Style: With its abnormally large rooms, heavily stylized technology, and of course the head tilts, it's a Shaft production.
However, with the final ending of the anime and the official PV for the song, it can be interpreted that her disappearing at the end of the video symbolizes her revival and escape from the heat haze daze.
Soundtrack Dissonance: Near the start of Episode 10, where Azami fends off attackers. While the music for the scene is most definitely awesome, the fact that it breaks into dubstep around the point where Azami reads their minds to find out what happened to Tsukihiko is a bit odd... considering the scene is set hundreds of years in the past.
Spanner in the Works: Ayano purposely throws herself off the school roof on August 15th, so she can become possessed by a snake and not return, thereby wrecking The Plan of reuniting them all in our world, by extension saving her friends and family (since the snake possessing her father surely wouldn't bother with a plan if he knows it'll fail. He kills Takane and Haruka anyway.
The Wide Eyed Snake notes that Shintaro would be joining the Dan in this route, but thinks that "nothing a guy like him could do will make any difference." Guess who ends up being the one person that knows how to stop him.
Spit Take: When Haruka asks Takane "What was that 'Lightning-Dancer' stuff about?" as she drinks some water, this happens. With a rainbow!
Spoiler Opening: The opening hints at several spoilers regarding Outer Science, including Kuroha's existence, Marry resetting the time line, and a brief frame showing the rest of the Mekakushi Dan lying lifeless on the ground.
Stepford Smiler: A LOT of characters can be categorized as this as of episode 7. Special nominations go to Ene and Kano.
Sword Beam: Every swing of the katana Kido uses during Episode 6 produces violet beams powerful enough to take down buildings. Justified by the fact that the entire scene is a video-game simulation.
The weird stuff that happens in the first episode during the hostage situation is explained in episode 3, as we see what Momo and the others were doing to help her brother out during that time frame. Kano and Seto, aka "Hostage A and B" also deliberately end up where the hostages are so as to help Shintaro out.
Another example is when the terrorist leader thinks one of his henchmen hit him on the head, and gets mad at him as a result in the first episode. In episode 3, it turns out Mary accidentally slipped and almost had a phone receiver hit him on the head before Kido manages to catch it. But the phone still had enough momentum to tap the guy in the head, explaining what happened.
In several of the Flash Back scenes, characters can be seen doing various things that aren't shown prior, such as Shintaro winning a coelacanth as his prize in episode 9 (which he then gives to Ayano) for defeating Takane at her game in the school festival seen in episode 6.
Taking the Bullet: Konoha does this for Takane in the last episode, when Kenjirou tries to shoot her. This injures him, leaving him open to being possessed by the Wide-Eyed Snake.
Take That, Audience!and Critics!: In the first episode, through Ene complaining to Shintaro, the show takes a jab at those who complain on animated adaptations.
Possibly unintentional, but in the second episode, one of the criticisms thrown at Momo no less than twice is that she's "all style and no substance," a complaint commonly thrown at Studio SHAFT and Akiyuki Shinbo's works.
Tempting Fate: Shintaro sees Konoha asking a woman for some help finding Hibiya and Hiyori in episode 5. He thinks to himself that it's probably best if he ignore the situation and keep walking by, only for Konoha to then rush towards him to also ask for help. In the end Shintaro does help him out, and fortunately they do find the two kids, who unfortunately are also being kidnapped at the time. Luckily Konoha is a bonafide Bad Ass, and he singlehandedly saves them in the blink of an eye.
Too Many Belts: In addition to the two hanging, forming an x across his waist, Konoha has another four belts, one hanging from each limb. They look suspiciously like the snakes.
Weird Moon: In episode 11, the moon is red and in a curious shape that makes it look like a snake's eye.
We Need a Distraction: In the first episode, Kano asks Shintaro what he could do about the hostage situation. The latter says he could definitely do something if he had a distraction to keep the terrorists distracted. Then suddenly the electronics around the store start falling off the shelves, some of which fall on the terrorists, giving Shintaro the opening he needs to upload Ene into the computer system and open the shutters back up.
Episode 7, especially for those weren't aware of Kano's true nature or had any light novel background.
Followed up by Episode 8, wherein Shintaro discovers Ayano's involvement with the gang, he manifests an eye power, sees the events of multiple different routes and Marry transforms into a medusa and resets time.
In episode 9, Ene makes a shocking discovery courtesy of Kano when he shows her human body inside a tube in a lab underneath their school.
Hibiya keeps having dreams where Hiyori dies from various accidents in episode 4. No matter what he tries, she always gets killed. Then at the very end, he says Screw Destiny, and throws Hiyori out of the way as a truck is crossing the road. Unfortunately he gets hit by it instead.
The wide-eyed snake as Kenjirou tells this exactly to Kano to warn about going against him.
Similarly, the wide-eyed snake says as much when he sees the group are running through the facility, trying to stop him: "The more you struggle, the more permanent this man's wish becomes!"