[[caption-width-right:350:Seishirou, Subaru, and Hokuto.]]

->''"Well, I still love Tokyo... even as it is now. Where else on earth do so many people enjoy their descent into destruction?"''

''Tokyo Babylon'' is a seven-volume manga series by Creator/{{CLAMP}}. It had two {{OVA}} movie adaptations, both independent of the manga, and one LiveActionAdaptation which takes place some years after the manga. It's also a {{prequel}} of sorts to ''Manga/{{X1999}}'', where the characters of Subaru, Seishirou, and Hokuto act the rest of their adventure and reveal their last secrets.

The year is 1990. The city is Tokyo, a busy megalopolis where people are caught in dreams, anonymity, loneliness, sadness and crushed hopes underneath the fevered rush for success and wealth.

Sometimes the high-pitched emotions and acute despair manifest themselves into ghosts and curses. Enter Sumeragi Subaru, 13th head of the Sumeragi clan and a 16-year-old ''[[UsefulNotes/{{Onmyodo}} onmyouji]]''. He uses his spiritual power and genuine compassion to help people, exorcise trapped spirits and undo maledictions. In this modern world, where nothing is truly black and white, this is hardly easy, especially because of Subaru's tendency to care too much for people.

His twin sister Hokuto is there to help him, to cheer him up, and to make him wear eccentrically fashionable clothing. Sakurazuka Seishirou is a (male) 25-year-old gentle veterinarian friend of the twins, who professes to love Subaru. Hokuto thinks that making them a couple would be a marvelous idea, even though - or maybe because - she believes that Seishirou is the mysterious Sakurazukamori, an assassin ''onmyouji'' said to protect Japan from the shadows.

The series mixes a mood of upbeat cheerfulness with dark social commentary and a deceptively naive tone.

!!Provides examples of:

* AnAesop: The main theme of the series is that no one knows what's in people's heart, and no one can judge others' pain and suffering.
* BreakTheCutie: Poor [[spoiler: Subaru]] is easily the cutest character in the manga, and gets broken so bad he's still hurt several years later.
* CanonWelding: Like most of CLAMP's works, it's been tied and referred to their other works, mainly ''Manga/{{X1999}}'', ''Manga/XXXholic'' and ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle''.
* CherryBlossoms: Subverted in that they're mostly used for creepy effect.
* TheCity: For once, Tokyo isn't particularly the center of the universe.
* TheClan: Two of them, the Sumeragi and The Sakurazukamori. They have been around, serving the emperor and protecting Japan since the Heian period. [[spoiler:The Sakurazukamori is an interesting case, as it's actually a clan of one person.]]
* ContemplateOurNavels: One of the first Clamp series to do this. xxxHolic is in many ways its SpiritualSequel.
* CreepyCoolCrosses: Most notably on Subaru's clothes.
* CrossOver: With ''Manga/{{X1999}}''.
* CrypticBackgroundReference: Various references to the "Bet", eventually explained in the end.
* {{Cult}}: A sect is featured in one of the "Save" case.
* DeadPersonConversation: Used several times. Of course, it is part of Subaru's job to have these, and he usually recognizes them for what they are.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Hokuto dies at Seishiro's hands, and it's not until ''X1999'' that we truly learn the full implications of what she did]]
* TheEighties: Although set in the early nineties, the atmosphere is more reminiscent of the Eighties flavour - especially the official soundtrack.
* EvilPhone: Features in one of the cases where girls who abuse magic chat and curse their victims through.
* EyeScream: Well, it's CLAMP. What did you expect?
** First case is in "Save", where a girl who gets bullied tries to stand up but gets stabbed in the eye for her troubles.
** Later, and more importantly, is Seishirou getting his right eye stabbed by [[TakingTheBullet getting in between]] Subaru and a desperate mother trying to get a healthy kidney for her sickly son.
* FlashbackNightmare: Subaru has almost recurrent dreams about meeting a teenager in front of a cherry tree as a child. [[spoiler:It's not a dream, it's a memory.]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Book 3. [[Manga/{{X1999}} Take a guess to what]].
* ForgottenFirstMeeting: Subaru meets Seisshirou as he [[spoiler:[[CradlingYourKill cradles his kill]]]], and they end up making a promise. Years later Subaru only remembers this as a vague dream, and has little idea why Seisshirou has suddenly appeared in his life as a suitor. Unfortunately the memory isn't a very happy one, once it's revealed.
* FunctionalMagic: Onmyoujitsu, mostly dealing with curses and counter-curses, kekkai (protective barrier), exorcism, maboroshi (illusion worlds), shikigami (spirit familiars) and other traditional spells.
* HalfIdenticalTwins: Despite being PolarOppositeTwins Hokuto and Subaru look almost the same.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Hokuto]] pulls one at the end.
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: The girls who abuse magic.
* KillTheCutie: [[spoiler: Hokuto.]]
* KlingonPromotion: [[spoiler:The Sakurazukamori's succession ritual is killing their predessesor. If [[Manga/{{x1999}} Subaru's case]] is to be taken, then anyone who gets to kill the Sakurazukamori inherits the name and job, bloodline be damned.]]
* LampshadeHanging: [[spoiler: Hokuto often inquires as to whether Seishirou is connected to the Sakurazukamori clan, and Seishirou follows up by immediately changing the subject - which Hokuto follows up by telling him he is changing the subject. To make sure we caught that, apparently.]]
* LoveEpiphany: After a chat with a blind man, Subaru discovers that he holds Seishirou in a highter position that even his sister and is he's only person in the world he doesn't want to hate him and was very scarred that would be the case since Seishirou just losed his eye (and overtime, his eyesight) for his sake. All this let his to realize that, indeed, [[spoiler:he has fall in love with Seishirou. And just a few steps intro a room after that moment, he suffers one of the biggest BreakTheCutie in the history of CLAMP.]]
* MindControlEyes
* MonsterOfTheAesop
* OminousLatinChanting: In this case it's ominous Sanskrit chanting.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: [[spoiler:Seishirou goes beyond the lines to keep Subaru alive, since he's waiting for the end of the "bet" to see if Subaru is to be killed or not by Seishirou himself.]]
* {{Onmyodo}}: The main magic tradition utilized in the series.
* ParentalAbandonment - The only 'parent' is the grandmother, who lives in Kyoto. Subaru and Hokuto live on their own in Tokyo.
* RapeAsDrama: Midori, a schoolgirl who's so horrendously traumatized after being raped that [[AngstComa she falls into a coma]]. Subaru has to [[JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind dive into her consciousness]] to rescue her.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines - Several cases were obviously inspired from recent or common society issues.
* StarCrossedLovers: [[spoiler: Subaru and Seishirou]]
* ThanatosGambit: As revealed in ''X1999'', [[spoiler:Hokuto was pulling one of these when she left Seishiro kill her]]
* ThemeNaming: All the main characters are named for stars and constellations.
* TokyoTower: Subaru's second case in volume One is the ghost of a woman who commited suicide, but liked the Tokyo Tower so much that her spirit stayed there.
* TwistEnding: Somewhere between TheUntwist and the WhamEpisode, [[spoiler: Sure, ''everyone'' was expecting for Seishirou to be the Sakurazukamori, but few would expect his reasons for sticking around and the amount of cruelty he displays.]]
* UnfinishedBusiness - Usually only requires a visit from Subaru the traveling psychologist.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue - One of the Annex chapters.
* WillTheyOrWontThey - Will Subaru succumbs to Seishirou's advances as Hokuto urges him?
* WindsOfDestinyChange - Horribly played with and possibly [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]] in the first OAV, where [[SmugSnake Shinji Nagumo]] uses his supernatural luck to cause several accidents... of which he comes out unscathed, but his co-workers and superiors come out ''dead''.
* TheWorldTree - A rather ominous cherry tree where [[spoiler:the Sakurazukamori buries his kills.]]
* YamatoNadeshiko - Grandmother Sumeragi is an older, harsher version.
** Mirei from the OAV is another, with PsychicPowers to boot. [[spoiler: So was her mom. Who pulled an HeroicSacrifice to save her daughter's life and help her and Subaru catch a SerialKiller.]] Also, [[spoiler: her love interest and local male HotLibrarian Miyazaki is a RareMaleExample, to the degree that he's [[WildMassGuessing speculated to be]] the one that would inspire characters like [[Manga/CardcaptorSakura Fujitaka]] and [[Manga/{{X1999}} Aoki]].]]
* YouAreTooLate: [[spoiler:Subaru realizes his true feelings for Seishirou just the day Seishirou declares that the time is up and Subaru lost the bet.]]