"Listen up, Phones! The world ends with you. If you want to enjoy life, expand your world. You gotta push your horizons out as far as they'll go."
Also known asIt's a Wonderful World (Japanese: Subarashiki Kono Sekai), The World Ends with You is an action RPG by Square Enix and Jupiter (the same company that made Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories).It tells the story of Neku Sakuraba, an asocialteen who wakes up one day on the crossroads of Shibuya, Tokyo with no clue how he got there. He soon discovers that he has been dumped into a Phantom Zone version of Shibuya called the "Underground", where he will be forced to play the week-long "Reapers' Game". Victory will allow Neku to recover his lost memories and escape from the Underground, but if he loses he'll be erased.The rules of the Reapers' Game dictate that it must be played in teams of two, and Neku is abruptly partnered with Shiki Misaki, a fashion-conscious chatterbox who becomes the first person to break into Neku's world. Other characters include Daisukenojo "Beat" Bito, a skater who fights before thinking and will take on anyone to finish the game; Raimu (aka "Rhyme"), Beat's logical and adage-loving partner; and Yoshiya "Joshua" Kiryu, a too-clever-by-half teenager who shares Neku's impatience when working with others. Armed with mysterious psychic powers linked to pin badges, the group fight to overcome the challenges set by the Reapers' Game and survive their seven days in the Underground. Opposing them are the organisers and moderators of the game, the Reapers themselves. That's the premise — the plot is a whirlwind of reveals and gambits, so much so that the game encourages you to play a second time to gather secret reports that will allow you to make sense of it. Well, possibly make sense of it.The soundtrack consists of modern, local acts from in and around the real-life Shibuya, and the graphics are inspired by Shibuya's fashion and trends, with character designs by Gen Kobayashi and Tetsuya Nomura. Many have commented that the latter's Signature Style works much better in the context of modern Shibuya than it has in previousgames he's worked on.Battles are complex and fast-paced, with deep character-customization systems and a large number of in-battle actions to choose from. These battles use all of the DS's unique features, and at higher difficulties not paying equal attention to both screens can be deadly, so the game is often noted for its difficulty and complexity. It has achieved a high level of critical acclaim, particularly for how different it is from its contemporaries.Square Enix has also released a one-shot tie-in manga.An iOS port of the game subtitled Solo Remix was released on August 27, 2012. The port features enhanced graphics, new music including the remixes from Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], and online Tin-Pin. While no story changes were made, iOS devices could not support the two-screen combat style used in the original, creating a new combat system in which pairs fought together on screen. The port also makes vague hints towards a sequel being in development. The port is a invokedcontentious issue among fans and critics: some critics felt the gameplay was more natural on the iOS, some didn't, and then there's the fact that the game requires a relatively new iOS device due to memory requirements. Did we mention the price tag?There's also a social game subtitled Live Remix, set in an alternate universe. At the beginning of the week, players are assigned into groups of 20, and need to work together to defeat Ringleader Noise. Coco Atarashi returns to guide you throughout the game as you explore Shibuya. There's no English release yet, however.See also Sh15uya and Gantz, which have similar premises. For a game similar in visual and musical aesthetic rather than story matter, see Jet Set Radio. See also Devil Survivor, which is also set in Shibuya for seven days. Contrast Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, which deals with similar themes and carries the same HSQ.Note:It's A Wonderful Worldis also the title of a 1939 live-action Screwball Comedy starring Jimmy Stewart and Claudette Colbert.Spoilers below. The game is a Genre-BustingDecon-Recon Switch, so spoilers abound.
Provides Examples Of:
100% Completion: There are 22 secret reports, 96 Noise reports, 472 items, and 304 pins to collect. Completing each set gets you a star rank for that collection and a new character on the save screen. Collecting all the secret reports also unlocks The Stinger.
Unwinnable by Mistake: The iOS port makes full completion just about impossible due to the changes to "mingling." This was changed in an update which added Tin Pin practice mode which gives Mingle PP.
108: Joshua is Entry #108 in Another Day's Tin Pin Slammer tourney. And Pin #108 is "Eyes Full of Light".
AffablePunch Clock Villain: Most of the rank and file Reapers are nice guys, and the protagonists even make friends with some of them. They are just doing their job, which just happens to be erasing people from existence. If they fail at it, they get erased. So there's some motivation there. Reapers were once players themselves, who were granted the option of becoming Reapers due to their powers of Imagination. It's one career option in the afterlife.
All There in the Manual: The Japanese manual includes things like the pins that your three partners use. Which explains things like how Joshua somehow uses his cell phone to drop soda machines on enemies although most fans have already made a justified assumption.
Furthermore, the manual even points out all of Neku's partners, making Neku's shocking expression after finding out he has to play through another game less surprising. It even goes so far as to tell the order in which you get Shiki, Joshua, and Beat.
This trope is also in effect in the game's universe via the Secret Reports, which act as a combination of Unreliable Narrator and Mr. Exposition. They do at least explain the rules of the game and its universe before one final Mind Screw. Since you have to complete a series of enigmatic quests, scour locations for certain items, and fight boss battles (on "hard" difficulty or higher), getting the manual requires the right combination of ingenuity and combat skills, particularly since chapters will end if you trigger event flags before completing your missions. Oh, snap! There's a guide for that!
Almighty Janitor: Kariya fits the bill nicely, although he does very little work at all.
Already Done for You: A few missions are partially completed by other Players, but only after you've done almost all of the work. On a smaller and less plot-relevant note, the Reaper wall between Center Street Entrance and AMX during Week 2 Day 2 is up if you go from the Center Street side but down if you go from the AMX side, confusing Neku until Joshua reminds him that there are other Players clearing walls too.
Alternative Character Interpretation: In "Another Day", some character alignments switch around and a few character tics are removed and replaced with new ones — gone are Higashizawa's food puns, now he acts like an overly flirty woman. invoked
The best and most immediate inversion of character is Neku himself, who is suddenly and almost inexplicably joyous and full of love for life. And begins each day praying to God in slang. And sleeps in the middle of the Scramble Crossing on purpose.
An Aesop: The quote at the top of this page is the game's unifying theme.
Anti-Poop Socking : Of the three kinds of experience that your pins can get, one can only be gained by leaving your DS off for a significant period of time (or by changing the date on your system, but that's cheating!) Other than experience for your pins, stat boosting food can only be consumed at a rate of 24 "bytes" per day (you can eat items worth six bytes or less at any time, but they rarely give significant statistic boosts). This can be circumvented by purchasing an item or by adjusting the internal clock of your DS.
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Technically, this is what happens to all the Players upon entering the game. The Secret Reports reveal that the Underground is on a slightly higher plane then the real world, meaning Players ascend to a higher plane upon death. Also, Players who do exceptionally well are offered the chance to become Reapers, and Reapers who do exceptionally well can be promoted to Officers, giving them a chance to become Composer and/or even Angels.
Assimilation Plot: To right the countless wrongs of our day, we shine this light of true redemption, that this place may become as paradise. What a wonderful world such would be...
Awesome, but Impractical: In general, you will have long since beaten the main game and all the secret missions before you come anywhere close to obtaining half the cool items/powers, much less be able to use them. Completion has to be its own reward, because you're not going to get the toys when they'd do you any good.
A lot of pins that you do find in your first playthrough can fall under this too.
It's possible to collect a significant number of items (pins and items with ability unlocked) before Another Day, thanks to strategy guides and combat grinding. But no one would ever do that.
The Baroness: Mitsuki Konishi is pretty much the embodiment of the trope.
Bait-and-Switch Boss: Taboo Minamimoto, who gets crunched before you can actually fight to death. He comes back as Blue Noise during the second play.
The Battle Didn't Count: Reaper Beat. Even if you land a significant number of hits (or defeat manage to him in New Game+), Neku will be gasping and mocked for being too weak to be worth fighting.
Taboo Minamimoto as well.
Beat Them at Their Own Game: This is the goal of all Players and even Kitaniji, Minamimoto and Konishi, who are all plotting against the Composer for one reason or another. However, only Kitaniji is formally held to this rule the way the Players are.
Berserk Button: Beat's real name; also, mentioning Ramen Don owner Ken Doi's past involvement in the development of Tin Pin.
On the note of Ken Doi in Another Day. "...What? Who told you that name?"
Big Bad: Kitaniji and/or Joshua. One was a god-like figure who wanted to destroy Shibuya because of its dire problems, and the other was trying to start an Assimilation Plot to convince him otherwise.
Well, only if you believe that Joshua didn't actually arrange things so that he'd lose from the beginning. It's just thatkind ofsituation.
Then there was Hanekoma, a third party who was against both Kitaniji and Joshua's ideas and helped Minamimoto with his plans as a backup in case things didn't turn out well.
In the short chapter Another Day the Big Bad initially appears to be Uzuki, who didn't really have a big role in the main story. However, during the final confrontation Higashizawa, who had an even smaller part in the main story pulls a Starscream on her.
Big "OMG!": Another Day Shiki, upon seeing her idol the Prince: "Omi- omi- omi- oho ho ho ho ohh! emm! gee!" Joshua thinks she's having a stroke.
Big "NO!": Neku, when he is told that Shiki is his new entry fee.
Bilingual Bonus: One NPC's thoughts are completely in Japanese. It's something along the lines of his American friends wanting him to smuggle a samurai sword back with him—except he can't be understood because he speaks English and he has no idea where the hell to buy one. (In the Japanese version, his text was in English instead of Japanese, so it made more sense there.)
Bittersweet Ending: It's pointed out in the Secret Reports that even though Rhyme came back to life, life would be difficult for her without her entry fee.
Although this is mitigated, slightly, by the fact that her entry fee can be rebuilt, unlike others: with the help of her brother and friends, she can possibly discover new hopes and dreams, which were heavily implied to be her original entry fee. Still not good, but... better.
Bizarro Universe: Another Day. What have they done to Neku?! And Shiki, Beat, and Rhyme? And everyone else?!
Bonus Dungeon: The entirety of Another Day could count, considering the Noise found there surpass the ones found in the endgame, but if you want to be pickier, Another Day's Pork City definitely counts, with 13 floors of extremely hard Noise, a different brand requirement on each floor, annoying Pig Noise to kill, and a Bonus Boss at the top.
Also Progfox, Grindcore Minks, Wooly AOR, and Goth Metal Drake. And arguably Reaper Beat and Taboo Minamimoto, who you are required to fight but not win against unless you're going for 100% Completion. Or just for the sweet, sweet taste of victory.
Boss Banter: In addition to Neku and his partner having lots of voice clips during battle, the Game Masters all have voice clips as well, usually to indicate they're about to use a certain attack. They'll also make a snarky comment if you die. Kariya is the master of this in pre-battle scenes.
Boss Rush: Hidden in Another Day. Played straight on subsequent playthroughts, if you choose — ultimate difficulty and a raised battle-chain cap allow you to fight sixteen battles featuring high-level noise. You can have even more fun by combining the smaller battles with a boss fight.
Bowdlerization: There are a few inverted crosses in CAT's graffiti; these were edited for the international release.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Kariya in the second manga chapter. "Since we showed up in silhouette last time, you probably thought we were up to something dastardly. We're totally not." He also acknowledges his status as a minor villain in the third week of the game by saying "Uh, villain? It's my job to screw with you."
Joshua does this as well in Another Day. "...Excuse me? I'm up against an unnamed character? What a waste."
Broken Aesop: Double subversion. Given the game's gambit pileup, it's almost inevitable. Trust your partner winds up appearing pretty broken, given that Joshua not only did in fact kill Neku, but Joshua also set up all the events of the game. Then it gets unbroken as Neku's trust in Joshua causes Joshua to change his mind about destroying Shibuya.
Broken Bridge: Done so blatantly, via a literal invisible wall that the Reapers set up and refuse to let the Players pass until they do the task of their choosing. Not only is this a straight use of the trope, it loops back around to brilliant.
Bullet Hell: Later bosses will create ridiculous amounts of projectiles for you to dodge. For one boss, understanding how to fight the noise created is central to advancing to the next stage of the fight.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Sho Minamimoto. He's a mathfetishist who spends much of his time either lazying around or building piles of junk, and during his time as GM, he doesn't even issue missions some days. Despite this, his player erasure rate is impeccable and he's a high-ranking Reaper and GM. He betrays just about everybody in the end, but damn, does he excel at it. His twisted genius didn't have him thinking up any way to cover up the fact that he was up to something, though. However, that can be covered by the fact that he's always up to something, and he's so eccentric that anything out-of-the ordinary would be ordinary for him. One of the secret reports says as much.
But Thou Must: At one point Neku encounters three event battles. Two of them can be skipped, but the third one is mandatory — if you try to skip it, Neku will change his mind and rush in to save Sota anyway. Also, when Kitaniji asks Neku to help him build a new Shibuya, even if you remember the earlier Chekhov's Gun and decide to play along, all it does is yield two lines of extra dialogue before Neku refuses.
Button Mashing: There are certain commands that are routine for pin types (same attack, different brand), so if you're up to six slots and have forgotten what to do while your first pins reboot... well, you'll probably figure it out just by frantically trying everything. Some fights come down to how quickly you can spam your opponent with attacks before they're able to start damaging you.
Cannot Spit It Out: When Neku finds out that Joshua killed him, it takes an entire frustrating day before he confronts Joshua about it. Joshua himself seems to fall into this trope when he doesn't tell Neku that he didn't kill him (as Neku discovers at the end of week 2)...until we find out much later that he actually did kill Neku.
Justified in canon, however, as we can see Neku's thoughts. Not only is Neku not entirely certain of his claim, Joshua is his partner and Neku needs him to win the game and save Shiki. Neku waits until Joshua is at a psychological disadvantage and he has more evidence.
Can Only Move the Eyes: During cutscenes, when the characters are paralyzed, they usually scream something about how they can't move. Somewhat justified in that they're sprites, and if they didn't say so, we'd have no way of knowing they've been paralyzed.
On a similar note, the cutscene sprites used for minor characters (like Shooter) vary only by their facial expressions.
Captain Obvious: Neku outright calls Joshua this at one point. Any time a character notes the obvious, he's thinking something similar.
Catch Phrase: Sho's "So zetta slow!" along with his other math-related tics.
Neku's "Oh snap!" upon receiving a quest item.
Cats Are Mean: Minamimoto's and Konishi's and Hanekoma's Noise forms, oh my.
Charged Attack: Any of the pins with "press" touch commands, though especially the Massive Hit psychs.
Chekhov's Gun: Near the very beginning of the game, Neku and Shiki have a conversation and Shiki notices that Neku has two Player Pins. Then, at the very end of the game, just before the Final Boss, Neku manages to avoid being sucked into Megumi's mind control scheme because he has a second one. In the same vein, the Red Skull pin is eventually revealed to trigger Instrumentality.
The secret items you have to get on your second playthrough to complete the Secret Reports are all mentioned in stray thoughts by passerby even during your first playthrough. Now you understand why that guy was rambling about a samurai wig...
Heck, there's even a callback to Neku's dash maneuver. It's the first thing you learn, and you are immune to damage at the start of the attack. Then, Neku uses it at the very end of the game, in a cutscene, to get the Red Skull pin off of Shiki.
Chained Heat: Players in the game have to make a pact to fight Noise in two different zones or they are unable to attack it, leading to quick erasure. Also, if one member of the pair dies, the remaining one has 7 minutes to make a pact with another player or die. Neku has an unfortunate tendency to make a pact with someone he can't stand.
Neku actually runs past all three of his future partners during his initial panicked dash set to the Surreal Theme Tune.
And during one early mission, you see Sota and Nao a few days before they enter the next Game. Mina and Ai appear in the street one day before a mission is centered around them, as does Makoto. The Tin Pin tournament is randomly mentioned by Makoto and Shooter and Yammer a week before it becomes relevant to Neku.
Climax Boss: The Game Masters, fought at the end of each week.
Close on Title: The numbered day of the week is specified at the beginning of each chapter, but a second splash page with the actual chapter title is shown at each chapter's end. The titles are painful.
Colbert Bump: In-universe, Joshua claims that this happens whenever The Prince mentions something on his blog. This is most likely why Shadow Ramen is so popular the day it takes central stage.
The Reapers, who are either wearing a bright red jacket or a black sweatshirt. Those in red jackets are easier to please but the walls they're guarding are the ones you have to clear to advance; those in black sweatshirts tend to guard walls that aren't required for the main storyline (although you may need to move past them to complete the secret missions) and issue the Reaper Review. The latter group appears to be slightly stronger than the first and will attack you during the third week.
All items in your inventory — food, clothes, etc. — will be bordered with a color related to the brand (Lapin Angelique items have a purple border, Mus Rattus a light brown one, etc.). This is immensely useful when you're required to make a certain brand popular.
The QUEST items come with a blue (you can make as many of them as you want, given you can find the required materials) or red (you can only get one) border.
Noise is color-coded, which is taught to you in-game. Red noise is "regular" noise, yellow is negative noise that has to be cleared from a person, noise with a "background" color is Taboo, blue is a boss, and green is pig noise. Red noise symbols and, later, Taboo ones are the most common forms. Shapes generally indicate what you'll be expected to battle, but it varies based on which day of the game you're playing and difficulty level — so the same symbol can represent the jellyfish sequence and kangaroos.
Combat Stilettos: Enamel Pumps, a piece of equipment that when equipped will help you resist knock-back.
The Computer Is A Lying Bastard: During multiple points of Another Day, it's stated on the bottom screen that none of the events have anything to do with the main plot. This is completely false, as Another Day takes place in the alternate universe Joshua ran off to at the end of Week 2, both Hanekomas are there, and several characters (both Joshuas, Hanekoma, possibly Minamamoto, and a few others) are aware of this fact. The game outright lies to you to make its eventual reveal all the more insane. This is possibly the only intentional example of this trope to ever exist.
Cool Shades: Hanekoma and Kitaniji both have them. You can later buy "Funky Shades," then turn them in as a quest item.
Critical Encumbrance Failure: You can have hundreds of shirts, hats, accessories, and more, but try get 10 or more copies of the same item, and you'll supposedly "collapse in swag".
Crossdresser: You can, if dedicated enough, increase the male Player's "bravery" stat so that they'll be enabled to wear women's clothing. Sadly, if one does this, it's not mentioned in actual gameplay save for a few instances (although that's one of the only miniquests that Neku won't comment on — when you click your partner, we're told Josh is totally workin' that Natural Puppy outfit). It is parodied in the manga, in any case. Reading minds will also occasionally turn up a man disguised as a woman — and totally pulling it off.
There are some articles of clothing that have extra benefits when worn by certain characters. Each character has at least a few items that provide a significant bonus when worn by their designated user (and no bonus when worn by someone else). They all tend to be things that the characters would be interested in wearing, or that they do wear — and then there's the incredibly useful gothic Lolita attire by Princess K of the bunny realm. Both Neku and Joshua (but not Beat) receive huge bonuses from certain dresses, skirts, and heels. Just to make sure you'll dress them in women's wear, there are numerous women's wear items that only provide a bonus when worn by Neku or Joshua, and the bonuses are considerable. You read that correctly: the game is actively encouraging you to send two fifteen year old boys into battle in pumps, a cape, and a skirt. One of the first unlockable items at Lapin Angelique is the "Frilly Parasol," which only benefits Joshua.
Crosshair Aware: The Kangaroo Noise, along with the shark and the elephant.
Crutch Character: Shiki has elements of this. Since female clothing has high bravery requirements, she begins with a high bravery stat, making her easier to equip than Neku, Joshua, and Beat. Her attack chain also has frames of invincibility at the end, making Button Mashing for the top screen a more viable strategy.
Doubles as foreshadowing, as Shiki is the bravest of the characters and the only one to win the game in one round. The first boss fight against the Game Master mentions this, as Shiki has undergone obvious Character Development.
A few examples, but in particular is Week 2, Day 2, during the Tin Pin Slammer Tournament. You can know how to play Tin Pin and cruise through the tutorial and the first round with Yammer, but in the second round Shooter whips out his "Inn-PINCIBLE" ultimate pin Red Kaiser, and Neku loses instantly. The player has no say in this.
Neku force-chokes Shiki using Psychokinesis early on, but you cannot invoke this power in battle later, even against Reapers. You can get Psychokinesis pins that let you grab enemies as well as obstacles, but the first Psychokinesis pin is not one of them, and none of them damage the enemy just by lifting them, either. Lifting an enemy and shaking it violently, however, is both cathartic and a form of attack. Take that, porcupine!
In Week 2, Joshua single-handedly erases a Taboo rhino. Even after you acquire the psych he used during the cutscene, erasing the same Noise with a single Jesus Beam during a conventional battle is impossible. However, Kariya warned the pair that if they used that level of power (indicative of Joshua apparently still being alive) again, he wouldn't turn a blind eye. Joshua's holding back, so that's why he can't waste rhinos in one shot anymore.
On the final day, Mr. Mew duplicates himself outside of battle during a cutscene, when he has only otherwise been able to do so during Shiki's fusion attack.
Damage-Sponge Boss: Ovis Cantus (Higashizawa) has 8000 HP. Leo Cantus has 3141 while Tigris Cantus has 4444. Both are fought much later in the game, and Tigris Cantus is fought on the final day.
Oddly, Ovis Cantus is one of the easier bosses, as he largely remains stationary. Other bosses with 4000-5000 or so hit points are often much more difficult due to their status as a Get Back Here Boss and vary from "frustrating" to "impossible" based on a player's combat style.
Deader than Dead: Anyone who gets "erased." The First Law of Resurrections is in use, though: if the author wants anyone to come back, it's possible. The secret reports detail the nature and rules of the game.
According to the Secret Reports, erasure is only erasure from physical existence. The Soul is separated from its mind and body and becomes a part of the UG. By organizing it according to a certain code it can take on any imaginable form, but only the Composer has enough Imagination to rearrange it as a human being. This explains Rhyme's erasure: her Soul was dispersed and her body vanished. Mr Hanekoma coded it into the form of a pin, which Beat and Neku both used to code her Soul into Noise form. Eventually, the Composer returned her Soul to its original human code, as we see in the ending.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Every shopkeeper you meet is a Stepford Smiler at best and a Jerkass at worst when you first encounter them (with one or two exceptions). As you build up a rapport with each one, however, they give you increasingly better service, including access to stuff in the stock room and tips about your current gear. Several even start to become attracted to Neku.
The inverse of this is Makoto when he re-opens Shadow Ramen. When the player reaches 100%, he starts becoming worried that Neku only shows up to see him.
Demonic Dummy: Mr. Mew, but only implied. Since all the media related to the game make him out to be cute, we'll tell you the creepy part now—Shiki just levitates Mr. Mew; she does not control the thing. And why is that? Shiki animated him via something called "psychomancy".
According to the TWEWY Wiki, the Japanese manual mentions that Shiki uses a pin called Groove Pawn with the Psychokinesis psych to animate Mr. Mew. As an aside, Beat uses the pin Respect with a Shockwave psych that he activates with his skateboard. Joshua... probably just does his own thing.
De-power: Joshua, to make the "game" he's playing fair.
Devil in Disguise: The Hidden Secret Reports reveal that Sanae Hanekoma is a fallen angel that gave the taboo powers to Sho Minamimoto. But then, considering Sho was opposed to the Composer's whole "wipe Shibuya" plan...
Difficulty Levels: You can earn Easy Mode rather quickly, Hard a bit later, and Ultimate upon completing the game. You can change the difficulty at any point in the game, (being defeating in battle even gives the option of redoing it on Easy), the difference being item drops. In addition, you can choose to lower your own Character Level to make item drops more likely, as well as brag on the Bestiary.
Difficulty Spike: Regarding the first Tin Pin Stride challenge in Beat's week. It's devilishly difficult in comparison to the previous one, being the first one with full player roster (four, including Neku) and enemies having superhuman reflexes.
Disc One Final Boss: Everything in the game seems to build up to it being done when you defeat Higashizawa. After all, it's The 7th day, when the Reaper's Game is supposed to be done. However, after defeating him, Neku wakes up on the first day... of a new Reaper's Game. Finished? Not at all. Yet ironically enough, he IS the Final Boss of Another Day, not including the two True Final Bosses.
Pig Butoh on Pork City's 13th floor. A unique Pig that can fight back on its own; seems fitting for the final Pig in the game? No; once you beat him, you need to beat the king: Pig Mazurka, a FlunkyMetal Slime who can get away pretty quick on the bottom screen. Oh, and after beating him? You fight Panthera Cantus.
Dismotivation: Kariya intentionally avoids a promotion so he can relax and hang out with Yashiro. Which does NOT mean that he isn't any good at his job. Holy hell, that guy's tough.
Heavily subverted with Megumi Kitaniji: at first, the Game Masters seem to be The Dragon to his Big Bad, but as you progress through the storyline, it seems that he himself is The Dragon to the Composer. At the end of the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, you fight Kitaniji, enter a suitably ominous room for the final boss fight, and do battle with Kitaniji's One-Winged Angel form. Once he's gone, the Composer turns out to be The Unfought.
While we're on the topic of Death by Irony, a subverion would be Shiki. She gets her right to come back to life, only to become Neku's second entry-fee. You only see her again at the end of Week 3, the game's Grand Finale.
Since bosses are generally the only monster you ever don't have to fight two of (sometimes, you have to fight two of them as well), you get thrown by the Grindcore Minks and Kariya and Yashiro. Especially the Minks, as you are fighting four at once. They have combo moves, too.Mr. Hanekoma's Noise form also qualifies, since you fight a different boss on each screen.
Kariya and Yashiro in their berserk form are one of the hardest fights in the game due to them being a Dual Boss... they even have their own light puck. Yashiro deals an insane amount of damage with her gun and frequently teleports before your partner can hit her, Kariya levitates, and then, just when you think you've won, Yashiro enters stage left and begins attacking again.
Subverted to a degree. Neku's ending monologue is addressed to Joshua, accusing him of not understanding how painful those three weeks were for him emotionally, forcing him to trust people through life-or-death situations, and how he basically used him. However, Neku still trusts him and considers him a friend, but he can't forgive him for all that he's done.
Shiki forgives Neku quite quickly for trying to kill her on Day 2, even shifting blame to herself. She later apologizes to him for being "too harsh" when scolding him for seeming uncaring about Rhyme being erased on Day 4.
Neku and Beat don't bring up the fact that Kariya and Uzuki were responsible for Rhyme's erasure. When Beat has a Heel-Face Turn and talks to them more often, he doesn't really mention it to them either.
Elegant Gothic Lolita: Princess K, and most of the Lapin Angelique threads she sells. Lapin Angelique's tagline is even "Gothic and Lolita".
Emergency Transformation: Half-way through Shiki's week, Rhyme is erased while saving Beat from a Noise trap set by Uzuki and Kariya. In order to save both Rhyme and Beat, Mr Hanekoma reorganizes Rhyme's Soul into the form of a Noise pin and convinces Beat to make a pact with the pin to stay alive. She's human again by the time the credits roll.
Empathy Pet: The Noise that sits on Beat's shoulder mimics his behaviour and emotions exactly.
Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Futoshi, 777's concert technician. Throughout the main story, he's referred to as "the tech", but you learn his name in the bonus chapter.
invokedEveryone Is Jesus in Purgatory: It's the game's premise, although the trope itself is relentlessly mocked — for every instance of obvious allegory, there's plenty of wall-leaning and player-directed snark.
Fake Difficulty: Justified, as the Reapers actually love throwing arbitrary restrictions your way.
Fallen Angel: In the Secret Reports, there are mentions of a Fallen Angel who gave info to Minamimoto regarding Taboo Noise, and helped revive him during the third week. The final Secret Report reveals that Hanekoma is the fallen angel, who helped Minamimoto in an effort to save Shibuya.
Famous Last Words: "But Neku, I thought you couldn't afford to lose. Give up on yourself, and you give up on the world." Joshua, although they were definitely not his last words.
Flunky Boss: In addition to most of the minor, required Noise bosses you fight early on, there's also Verspetilio Canor, Cornix Canor, Sho Minimimoto/Leo Cantus, Pteroptus Canor, and Tigris Cantus (especialy her first phase.) Also, Pig Mazurka, the king of the Pig Noise.
Foreshadowing: Frequently. For example: remember the scene in Josh Week, Day 2, where Uzuki pulls out a gun and suggests popping over to the RG to "recruit" more Players? That's exactly what the Composer did to get his proxy for the Game. With the exact same kind of gun.
Watch the opening sequence very carefully after you've beaten the game the first time. It spoils the whole plot, but in such a cryptic way most people never notice they're being spoiled.
A Form You Are Comfortable With: Subverted with Joshua, because downtuning his vibe automatically gave him a human appearance. Played more straight with the Reapers, who appear in the Realground without their wings.
Possibly averted with Kitaniji. The fact that his entire plan is to save the soul and essence of Shibuya by conforming everyone so that the city may be saved for another Composer says a lot about his character.
Fragile Speedster: Cornix Canor is fast and evasive, but he has extremely low HP for a boss.
Freudian Slip: Possibly when Joshua calls Neku by name, then asks what it is. Since Neku doesn't notice and this didn't happen in the original Japanese version, it may be just as well be a translation error as Foreshadowing that Joshua has seen him before.
From Bad to Worse: At the end of the game things are spiraling out of control — Rhyme is gone, her Pin is in the hands of a person who will destroy it if you don't win the Reaper's Game, the third week Joshua is "dead" and shiki is your entry fee, and now after you get everyone back you find out that Joshua is really the Composer, and then the Conductor, in one last resort, turns into a more powerful Noise form by absorbing every one of your partners, leaving you to fight him alone.
Gambit Pileup: The plot is the result of more than one mastermind squaring off against each other. The post-game 100% Completion quests exist just to reveal what the hell is going on.
Behold, the motives of all the Officers and their seniors — Joshua wants to destroy Shibuya as judgment on humanity, Kitanji is trying to stop him with an Assimilation Plot, Sanae wants to stop both of them, Minamimoto has been given Taboo powers by Sanae for his plans but would rather become Composer, Konishi wants to be Conductor and will manipulate anyone for that purpose, and Higashizawa just wants to help Kitanji.
Joshua points out that Taboo Noise can only be hurt when you have the light puck. Kariya and Uzuki also have a light puck, which explains why they don't get their asses handed to them by Taboo Noise.
At the beginning of week 3, how does the game show that having no partner renders the Reapers' Game Unwinnable by Design? By disabling your pins so you can't do anything besides move and escape. Neku himself points out that he can simply run away from every battle (and you, the player, can indeed escape standard Noise encounters at will) but the moment a mission forces him to fight, he's screwed (because his pins won't work).
Gameplay and Story Segregation: In-story, it's treated as either extremely anomalous or a mark of involvement in the Reapers' Game if an NPC's mind can't be read. In-game, there are generally more NPCs without thoughts to be read than there are ones that do.
In-story, almost every mission has it's time limit, and failing to fulfill tasks in time results in facing Erasure. In-game, there is no time limit of any kind, and you can grind your level and pins as long as you want to.
Gender-Blender Name: Shiki, Makoto, Sanae, and Kitanji, the last of whom was apparently teased as a child for being named Megumi. Might explain a lot of things.
Generic Graffiti: Inverted, as the game's graffiti is mostly CAT's doing with only a few generic tags appearing, and none of it is specifically relevant to the story. Except for the bit where Neku was killed (thus becoming the Composers's proxy) because he was standing admiring CAT's mural.
It's revealed in the secret reports that CAT's murals attract those with a lot of imagination, and this was the reason why Joshua selected Neku (amongst other reasons) to be his proxy.
Get Back Here Boss: Several of the bosses, particularly ones who like to teleport, such as Uzuki and Reaper Beat, as well as Taboo Minamimoto. Cornix Canor also has a tendency to stay offscreen for 90% of the battle, only flying by every once in a while.
In a conversation with Sota in Another Day, who turns out to be Neku's hairstylist, he says that Neku used to bring clippings. Joshua immediately summarizes those conversations with the assumption that Neku used to say, and I quote, "Do me like this".
Give Me Your Inventory Item: Averted. While Wall Reapers will sometimes demand food, they'll never take it, usually being disgusted by what you brought them.
Glass Cannon: Beat. Even if his attack and defense stats are equal with Shiki's or Joshua's, he'll still give and receive more damage than them, respectively. His Fusion, which can potentially charge up the fastest, also has the potential to damage him if you screw up.
Glowing Eyes of Doom: When everyone in Shibuya is possessed by the O-Pins. And mentioning Ken Doi's involvement in the development of Tin Pin.
God Was My Copilot: Joshua, Neku's partner for the second week, is the Composer. Also Mr. Hanekoma, who's actually even higher rank than Josh.
Good Wings, Evil Wings: Reapers have black, angular wings. However, rather than being bat wings, they're hard-edged and have no feathers or webbing whatsoever, looking more like a wing skeleton made out of iron. Angels, of course, have the standard white feathered wings. However, Angels are a bit more morally ambiguous than you'd expect.
Every time "You have 7 days" shows up in the English version, it's "Timelimit within 7 days" in the Japanese version.
Guide Dang It: The game never tells you which type of PP you need to evolve pins, so you need a guide in order to keep from screwing evolutions up by getting too much of the wrong types.
This is especially true for the Approaching Eden set, which will get stuck in an endless loop if you only evolve them with battle PP (the final pin will always evolve back to the first one in the line). Like every pin set, you need all (five) of them to get the full benefits, which makes this quirk especially annoying. In the Japanese version of the game, the last Approaching Eden pin would evolve into a one yen pin. A devastating punishment for... not having a guide.
Also, each character has different reactions to eating different kinds of foods. If the character likes it, the Sync boost that he or she gets from it will increase; if he or she doesn't like it, the boost decreases instead. You're not given any hints for this until you actually feed the character, except for when Joshua mentions that he likes Shio Ramen which gives him the biggest Sync boost possible and the can of coke left at the memorial in Miyashita Park Underpass for Beat, which gives him the increased sync boost,
Halfhearted Henchman: Some of the Support Reapers are lazy, incompetent slackers. For one of them, this is a good thing, as he ends up the only NPC in all of Shibuya who escapes the Assimilation Plot just because he ditched work one day.
Hand Wave: On the final day and in the Alternate Universe bonus chapter, Shiki still looks like Eri. If you seek out Joshua in the bonus chapter before you go to Molco, he explains it (vaguely, as always) as a trick of the mind; that is, you expect to see the same thing you always have. This is a bit of a No Fourth Wall moment, too, since it's closer to addressing the player—Neku would of course have no idea what the hell he's talking about. In fact, his first thought is "Is this kid high?"
The Shibuya's Game is one plot-wise as well. Lose to Megumi, and he turns all the people in Shibuya into a Hive Mind. Defeat Megumi, and the real Composer wins the Game and destroys Shibuya.At least until Neku's feelings of trust persuade him to do a Heel-Face Turn.
The Heartless: The Noise are manifestations of negative thoughts and emotions. Either that, or they're artificially created by Reapers. So they're pretty much exactly the same as therealHeartless.
Heroic Sacrifice: Played straight when Rhyme pushes Beat out of the way of a shark noise that "eats" and instantly erases her. Subverted when Beat tries to push Rhyme out of the way of a car — both get hit and die, leading them to become players in the Game. Also subverted when Joshua pushes Neku out of the way and takes the brunt of Minamimoto's final attack himself — it eventually turns out to be neither heroic nor a sacrifice.
History Repeats: Neku's waking up in the Scramble Crossing at the beginning of each week. Rhyme's death and erasure were intentionally reminiscent of each other, as well, as were Neku's death at the hands of and duel against Joshua.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Konishi turns Noise!Rhyme into a pin and uses it to manipulate Beat's feelings. Due to the way her boss fight works, you will always kill her with the Rhyme Pin itself.
Huge Schoolgirl: It's up to you to decide if it's just the angle of the shot (big spoilers on the other side of that link), but RG Shiki seems to compete with Beat in height in the ending credits.
Humanity on Trial: This is the entire point of the Reaper's Game, except it happens city by city instead of the whole world at once. This current Shibuya Game isn't quite typical for other reasons...
Hurricane of Puns: Any time Higashizawa speaks, playing off his chef quirk. Especially his boss fight.
Any time Minamimoto speaks will be a hurricane of math puns.
Hyperactive Metabolism: Averted. The characters can only eat a limited amount of food for each 24-hour real time period, and they have to digest it by battling. Even more realistically, you can eat anything that's six bytes or less without limit—Neku and company can literally eat ice cream and drink coffee all day.
Played straight later if you get the Hollow Leg swag which removes the limit. Very useful for grinding.
I Am Not Left-Handed: Joshua reveals some of his true powers during his Day 5, which gives his combat abilities a definite offensive boost.
Impossibly Cool Clothes: Everyone. Every Player, every Reaper, every 2-bit NPC walking down the street is covered head to toe with expensive, gorgeous, and pointless designer toggery. But, this is Shibuya.
It's also hard to believe you get outright Stripperiffic outfits like Shiki's in the same time and place as heavy, black hoodies like BJ's. Certain thought fragments imply that the game takes place in the summertime and others imply that it's winter, but there are plenty of highly impractical outfits for both seasons. Stores will also sell both summer- and winter-wear to you.
I Never Told You My Name: One of the reasons an attentive player will quickly realize Joshua is much more than he seems.
When trying to get Neku's attention, he says Neku's name before Neku ever says it. Since Neku was surprised about being able to scan him, he didn't notice the slip up. Immediately after, he asks Neku to introduce himself so that he has Neku's name.
In the Japanese version, he will say "Neku-kun, yoroshiku" at the start of battle, even if that's their first battle, before any conversation between them.
Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Reapers BJ and Tenho look exactly like all of their coworkers, to the point where some have theorized that they just have the ability to duplicate themselves (despite evidence — like the Reaper Review guy retiring and the slacker who didn't attend the emergency meeting — proving they're all individuals). Considering that the Wall Reapers don't show that much of their face (Tenho-style reapers only show their jaw, BJ-style reapers don't even show that), it's possible that they actually are several different people in identical outfits.
Infinity+1 Sword: The Darklit Planet pins. If all six are put in one deck, their attack power triples and they become some of the deadliest pins in the game. However, Hanekoma only sells you one of the six pins, and you have to find the rest either by defeating Noise and getting the pins from random drops, or using Mingle shops. God help you if you can't find the one that comes off of Panthera Cantus.
The Angel Feather is amazing too, but it needs a whopping 999 bravery.
Innocuously Important Episode: The mission in the first week to get the red skull pin popular, and we later learn that it was instrumental to Kitaniji's plot.
Insufferable Genius: Minamimoto, who loves to use math terminology and repeat mnemonics. (Did he really just call Neku a "hectopascal"?)
Joshua, as well. Not only is he a clever young man, with knowledge of Shibuya's history, and one of the only people in Shibuya who can make sense of Sho's rantings, he's also a smarmy Jerkass who loves pissing Neku off whenever he can.
Intercourse with You: "Give Me All Your Love" has surprisingly explicit lyrics. 'Enjoy the moment,' indeed.
Interface Spoiler: The first big reveal comes as a lot less of a surprise when you notice that the save screen directly specifies 'Day X, Week 1.
It's likely that later pressings of the game were aware of this, as the save screen says the name of the partner, followed by the day number.
Inverted Portrait: In the opening, Shiki is shown upside-down next to mirror image of her right-side up. This is an outright spoiler that can only be seen in hindsight. Shiki has Eri's appearance, so there really are two Shikis. We're confused too.
Invisible to Normals: The Players, the Reapers and the Noise are all invisible to normal people. The Players can be seen if they go into shops, and the Reapers are also said to be visible in the real world except for their wings. Interestingly, scanning will reveal some random NPC's can notice some of these phenomena - probably due to latent Psychic Powers or something.
Ironic Hell: For one thing, they're all dead; and besides, to play the Game, a Player lays their most precious possession on the line; this can be anything from people to memories, and you don't even get to choose it. It's what the Conductor considers what you value most, or what's most convenient for him to take. It's especially ironic for the misanthropic Neku, who now has to actually deal with the same person for seven days straight and even read people's most inane thoughts.
Irrelevant Importance: Try to sell certain pins, and you'll be told they're too precious to sell ("worth more than all the yen in the world"). Given that one of these pins is a Poison Mushroom, after you complete the mission that requires it, it doesn't seem nearly that priceless after all, but you still can't sell it, even after you've got dozens of them. After all, it's plot-important.
Irrelevant Sidequest: Some Wall Reapers block Neku's path until he finds a microphone for them. Neku later refers to the ordeal as "the detour from hell." Doing the quest for some Wall Reapers is also often not necessary — sometimes they don't even clear the wall.
It Is Beyond Saving: Joshua thinks this about Shibuya at the beginning of the game. He changes his mind later though.
I Will Wait for You: Shiki. Cruelly subverted when she's made Neku's entry fee for the second week.
Less obvious but still there, Neku waiting for Joshua to meet him at Hachiko. He never shows up.
Jedi Mind Trick: Meme imprinting can subtly steer people's thinking in a direction of your choice.
Jerkass: Joshua, at least, is aware of his status as the resident jerk, and most of his act is on purpose. Kitaniji, on the other hand...
Neku is one early on, typically ignoring or being rude to Shiki or the other players much of the time. Rhyme is the only fellow player who isn't repulsed by this.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Beat, during the third week. Neku also evolves into one, going from someone who doesn't care about other people to someone who does care for others, but sometimes loses patience with Joshua's Jerk Ass tendencies and Beat's moments of stupidity
Keep It Foreign: One of the thought fragments, entitled "English," is written in Japanese in the English version of the game (it was presumably written in English in the original Japanese version). This makes it weird, since the person's thinking about how he can't communicate with Japanese people using English.
Kiai: Presumbly the only reason Minamimoto would be shouting things like "SINE", "COSINE" at you as he attacks... Most bosses have grunts and other phrases they say as well.
Kick the Dog: Kitaniji and Konishi apparently play soccer with canines, while fouling flagrantly, on weekends.
Klingon Promotion: According to several cast members, if you take out the Composer, you get his job. This is confirmed by the secret reports, which are written by someone who had better know if that's true.
Lampshade Hanging: Several times in the manga, but a beautiful one is delivered by Kariya.
Kariya: "Since we showed up in silhouette last time, you probably thought we were up to something dastardly."
Large and in Charge: GM Higashizawa is a tower of a man by any definition, and his Noise form is larger than any regular Noise in the game, filling the whole bottom screen and only the head is visible on the top. Tellingly, his Noise form is a ram rather than a big cat (Minamimoto's is a lion, Konishi's a tiger, and Sanae's is both - of course, Kitanji's a snake and it's possible Joshua's is a dragon). The Conductor has a noise form that is so large, only the head and small bits of the body are visible; and then he absorbs the Composer....
Rhyme, too, lost a particularly important memory before the story starts; that Beat is the older brother that she admires. Interestingly enough, that memory was Beat's entry fee, not hers.
Law of Chromatic Superiority: Played with and invoked by some characters with the Five-Man Band in Another Day. The leader (who is now Shooter instead of Neku) takes Red, Neku is first Black-n-Blue but later "demoted" to just Blue so someone else can be Black (Black is The Mole), and Joshua first wants to be Pink, but then says he should actually be Gold and later gets "upgraded" to Rainbow. While Red is the one who fights Higashizawa in the end, Blue is the one Shinji Hashimoto chooses to fight.
Layered World: Referred to here as "frequencies", in keeping with the music theme.
Limit Break: In order to perform a Fusion attack the player must collect stars via the particular combo system each of Neku's partners use.
Lost Forever: The Pig Noise disappear forever once beaten, even during the New Game+. If you sell one of the unique drops from the pigs in Pork City and save, there's no way to recover them without erasing your save file and restarting the game. Any — no, everything else can be reacquired from somewhere (or can't be discarded in the first place).
Low-Level Advantage: Powering down your characters gives you a higher chance of collecting rare item drops.
Manly Tears: Beat, whenever his involvement in Rhyme's death and erasure is brought up.
Neku cries like this twice. First: During his duel with Joshua. The truth of how he died, combined with the emotional strain of having to choose shooting a friend or losing Shibuya, reduces him to tears. Second: When he wakes up in the Scramble for the last time and believes that he's still in the Game.
Malaproper: Beat. Rhyme usually has to correct him.
Market-Based Title: As mentioned in the opening paragraphs, the game is titled "It's a Wonderful World" in Japan. The name was changed for North American release because every variant of the original title that SquareEnix could come up with was already trademarked.
Master Actor: Joshua. Everyone knew there was something he was hiding. "I'm actually the Composer" was not expected.
Meaningful Name: You can make up the kanji of kind-of relevant animals by taking and assembling parts of the kanji of many characters's names. Of particularly note is "Sanae Hanekoma": not only can you make up the kanji for "cat", but it also contains the sounds "neko" (= "cat")... and, even better and MORE spoilery, "hane" is the kanji for "feather".
Joshua's name is full of possible allusions to the fact that he's the Composer, God-like ruler of the Game, and "resurrects" at the end of the game. "Joshua" is basically another name for Jesus, "Yoshiya" contains the kanji for "justice", and "Kiryu" is written with the kanji for "Paulownia tree" and "life". (The Paulownia tree has legendary ties with the Phoenix bird of rebirth... and is also called The Princess Tree, for extra giggles.)
Meganekko: Konishi is the "cold, untouchable" variety, rather than cute. The real Shiki plays it more straight, with a shy, mousy appearance.
Mega Neko: Shiki's Third-level Fusion Attack. "Get 'em, Piggy!" indeed!
Meido: One NPC mistakes an actual maid for a waitress at a Maid Cafe. You can also get a maid costume in the game.
Messianic Archetype: Despite the various religious references found in Joshua, the game's Messianic Archetype is actually Neku. He is killed senselessly and put through a variety of trials, thrice sacrificing what he most treasures, but ultimately cleanses Shibuya of the "sins" for which the Composer would have destroyed it and is resurrected. He was hand-picked by the Game's God-figure, and gains at least two disciples (Shiki and Beat) over the course of his time in the UG.
Mexican Standoff: After the final boss fight, Joshua forces Neku to have one of these with him to decide the fate of Shibuya. Neku falters though, and lets Joshua shoot him, which most likely means that the standoff was nothing but a test.
Mind Control: A very minor version: during some missions you can find key words to imprint on people's minds. It doesn't change their mind entirely, but it can help prompt them into action if they're indecisive or have forgotten something.
Missing Trailer Scene: The promotional trailers for the game contain more than a few scenes that never made it into the game, like Neku flying up the side of a building and an extra scene by the Udagawa tag wall. Many fans mistakenly believe that those scenes were specifically cut from the English-language version, mostly because they are among the most popular scenes to include in fanvids.
Mistaken for Gay: Mick, after having becoming overconfident in the second week only for things to fall apart by the third, apparently has so little confidence that he assumes Neku gives him his patronage because Neku's gay for him.
Morton's Fork: A pair of NPC Reapers complain about being caught in one of these during week 2 — they've been tasked by Konishi to clean up Minamimoto's "art". If he sees them doing this, they're screwed. If they ignore her, they're screwed.
Mundane Utility: Subverted. On Day 3, Neku tries to use the Pyrokinesis pin for a light, only to find that very few pins work outside of battle.
My Greatest Failure and My Greatest Second Chance, times three: A large source of guilt for Beat is the death of his sister, Rhyme. The Reapers' Game gave him a greatest second chance, which he botched by being careless and failing to protect her. Mr Hanekoma gave him a greatest third chance by binding Rhyme's Soul to a pin, and Beat failed yet again when Konishi crushes her Noise form and takes her pin hostage. It all works out in the end, but damn.
My Name Is ???: The names of unvisited districts appear as question marks when you approach them, and on the third day question marks are (justifiably) used to obfuscate the fact that the place you wake up in is actually your goal.
Never Found the Body: Inverted; people and Noise disappear in a flash of static upon erasure. This results in an interesting twist on the trope when we're shown Minamimoto's body; many fans assume he's actually alive and will appear in the possible sequel.
Arguably Kitaniji, who looks like a 70's businessman with a double life smoking pot.
New Game+: After beating the game, you can return to any chapter previously as well as play a new one. You keep your stats, items, and bestiary, and use any partner at any time with the exception of storyline boss battles. You can also hold L or R to rush through text, but you can't skip the animated cutscenes.
New Media Are Evil: Another Day Neku never watched TV at all, because his parents forbade him from watching TV, as it "warps the mind".
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Neku becomes understandably upset when he's told that, by defeating Kitaniji, he won Joshua's Game for him, meaning that Joshua gets to go through with his plan of destroying Shibuya. It's a good thing he changes his mind.
A delayed version: in the first week, one of the missions is to make the Red Skull Pins Successful. It turns out to be a vital part of the Big Bad'sAssimilation Plot.
Nintendo Hard: While manageable for most of the story, this game gets unusually difficult at the end. You fight several bosses in succession after you're last able to save, the last one possessing absurd HP totals, and one death sends you back to the checkpoint.
No Communities Were Harmed: Nearly every store encountered in Shibuya is given a thinly-veiled rename and bears ridiculous visual similarity to the location it's based on. For example, the Tower Records (slogan "It's a World Thing") becomes Towa Records (slogan "It's a Wild Thing").
People who haven't played the game usually think it has something to do with the world ending The fate of Shibuya, which was made into the game's world, hangs in the balance, though. And you come close to causing its end.
The "Underground" is considered a higher plane to normal reality.
No Indoor Voice: Minamimoto, full stop. He even carries a bullhorn to drive the point across.
Not So Different: "But Neku, don't you like music?" If Kitaniji had talked to Neku in the beginning of the game, they would have had identical mindsets.
Joshua's mindset behind wanting to destroy Shibuya is similar to Neku's own mindset at the beginning of the game. Additionally, Kitaniji was using his Assimilation Plot in order to ultimately save Shibuya from the Composer. Hanekoma also wanted to keep Shibuya around. In the end, everybody wanted the same thing. Well, almost everybody.
Odd Friendship: Lazy, cool-headed Kariya and driven, high-strung Uzuki. Neku achieves this with all his partners despite rocky starts.
Off Model: A very minor example, concerning Beat. He is shown wearing a silver band on his right ring finger on the game's cover art, but it is absent from his sprites and the rest of the game's promotional art. In-game, the times he's shown wearing it can be counted on one hand.
One-Winged Angel: Cantus form; every Game Master, along with Hanekoma and arguably Joshua, achieves it at some point.
The Final Boss takes it Up to Eleven. You beat Kitaniji and he comes back and goes One Winged Angel like every other officer... only for Joshua to arrive after he's beaten, giving Kitaniji the idea to use Joshua to give his One Winged Angel form its own One Winged Angel: Draco Cantus.
Only Known by Their Nickname/The Nicknamer: The entire cast, though, admittedly, some more than others. Justified in some cases, as Neku and his partner are usually never formally introduced to the GM or other reapers, and thus actually don't know their names.
Our Angels Are Different: They run the Game too, and are even higher in status than the Composer, but they're generally more like rule keepers that watch from the sidelines than anything else. (Hanekoma's one of them)
Our Souls Are Different: People can be erased, but as it turns out, souls are immortal, so they're not gone for good. If taken and reshaped by a strong enough outside source, they can even come back to life, in their own form or as something else.
Party in My Pocket: In Another Day, Neku can fight with any of his partners, but their sprites aren't seen following him outside of battle like they do in the main game. While this happens before he's even met them, after Neku meets them and gathers a whole gang, you still don't see anyone but Neku outside of cutscenes.
Perky Goth: Princess K, once you get her FSG to max.
The shopkeeper at Tigre Punks is a Perky Punk.
Physical God: The Game's Composer has ridiculous reality-bending powers (read: the power to create and manipulate laws of nature as well as the Game's rules)... whether in the Underground or the Realground. An observant player may note that the first mention of him uses capitalized pronouns.
Picky Eater: Your companions have certain goods they don't like. Neku in particular hates muffins.
Plot-Based Photograph Obfuscation: Shiki has a photo on her cell phone of her and her friend Eri, with the glare obscuring the unfamiliar face. Not Eri's face, though — turns out, Shiki has taken on her friend's appearance as her entry fee.
Poison Mushroom: The Red Skull pin does nothing but lower Neku's movement. You have to wear it for a few battles as part of the plan to make it more popular.
Pop Quiz: "Like a bolt from the blue, it's time for the Reaper Review!"
There's a sequence in Joshua's week when Neku and Joshua have to solve a mystery together that plays a bit like this, too.
In that same week, there's one day during which entering certain areas will prompt Josh into a little ramble about the place (or ramen) and then ask you a question.
Post-End Game Content: If you think that killing the Final Boss makes the game over, you're wrong. Say hello to a lot of the best equipment and stickers that has just been unlocked. Of course you still have to buy it.
New Game+: Something like it. You'll gain access to every day, whenever you want to access it, thanks to a sticker you got as a reward for ending the game.
P.O.V. Cam: At the end when Neku sees Joshua and Mr Hanekoma together after the duel.
Neku, when using any psych that doesn't allow movement during the attack.
Power Gives You Wings: It's explained that a Reaper's supernatural power is contained in their wings. When they shift over to the RG, their wings vanish, making them essentially normal humans until they return to the UG. Interestingly, Support Reapers (the ones who create walls) don't have any wings at all, while all Harriers (who create Noise and occasionally attack Players personally) do, suggesting that Support Reapers are stuck on wall duty because they don't have any other powers.
The Power of Friendship: Most battles against the Noise are done with two Players. You control the fighting with the stylus for one, and the direction pad (or the buttons for you left-handers out there) for the other person. Not to mention the ending of the game, which contains a cutscene of a Quad Fusion attack, more or less. Things went boom.
Beat: "Yo, let's start it up!" Neku: "No, let's end it!"
Preexisting Encounters: You scan the area to find and fight Noise symbols; the only times where you must battle Noise is if it's required in order to clear out a wall, or when the battle advances the storyline.
Protagonist-Centered Morality: Deconstructed. During the second week, Neku is feeling sorry for himself for losing Shiki as his entry fee and is immediately cut down by Joshua, who tells him that all Players are fighting for something precious and Neku's entry fee doesn't make him any more a deserving candidate to win the Game than anyone else.
On a more meta note, the game plays this trope stunningly straight — but we aren't shown until it's deconstructed yet again on the final day. The game has you rooting for Neku and his friends all the way, with Kitaniji being played up as the Big Bad. But once Kitaniji is finally defeated, we learn that he was working to save Shibuya all along, while everyone helping Neku was unwittingly enabling the Composer's plan to destroy it.
Psychic Powers: The game's magic system. The powers granted by pins have names such as "Pyrokinesis" and "Psychokinesis", and the game (not the characters, the game itself) refers to playable characters as ESP'ers. Mind Reading is also a important plot and gameplay element.
Neku is a special case, as he can use every pin available, whereas generally, Players are only able to use certain psychs. For example, Shiki can only use the psychokinesis pin 'Groove Pawn' to control Mr Mew. She could not use Pyrokinesis, so she gave her Pyrokinesis pin to Neku.
Pun/Lost in Translation: Subverted. Whenever Minamimoto says "SOHCAHTOA", he's making a pun on "Sou ka?" or "Is that so?" It just so happens that his lines are perfectly appropriate for the situation.
Punchclock Villain: Arguably, most of the Reapers. They're inarguably the antagonists, but most of them don't have anything personal against the Players and are just doing their job. Furthermore, a good deal of them are quite decent, and will be at least grateful if they are helped by Players, like 777 and Kariya.
Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Game Masters, or Reapers who control the Noise and give the players missions. The Harriers, below them, are their own Quirky Miniboss Squad.
Rare Candy: While most of the food items that permanently boost stats are not rare or expensive, the foods that boost drop rate are exceptionally expensive and hard to obtain. Curious Mushrooms can be bought for either 590,000 yen or fifteen 10,000 yen pins. Absolute Shadow Ramen requires redeeming several quest items, including the rare Dark Matter.
Not just them; a few food items are extremely expensive as well, such as the ones sold at the Shibu Q-Heads pharmacy and the Natural Remedies shop. And while food generally isn't rare or expensive, you do need to fight a number of battles before you can get the stat boost.
Real Men Hate Sugar: Aside from cola, Beat's reactions to eating sweet foods are neutral at best — don't even try to give him crepes or chocolate icecream.
Real Place Background: Shibuya's depiction in TWEWY is actually very accurate... making exceptions for the skewed angles and the changed store names, of course.
Also, Neku wears blue headphones and Kitaniji wears red headphones.
Replacement Scrappy: In-universe example: at the start of the second Game, Neku's trusted companion, Shiki, is replaced by Joshua; a self-centered, secretive, condescending, smug little Jerk Assprick. Joshua doesn't get through half a conversation before he makes Neku want to strangle him.
Replay Value: Worth going back and replaying it at least once to collect the Secret Reports.
Respawning Enemies: Noise respawn only after you leave the area (except for Pig Noise, which never respawn). Of course, the one time your mission is to clear all the Noise from an area, they do keep respawning until you get to the root of the problem.
Self-Imposed Challenge: You can lower your level at will, as well as eventually be able to change the battle difficulty on a whim. Turning down your level ups your drop multiplier, though, so it can be downright necessary to get the rarer pins.
Sentai: Kindred Spirits in Another Day organize themselves like a sentai team, including colour-coded names and items.
Serious Business: Pin Collection, justified in that they actually give you psychic powers. In the real world, they're just another fashion accessory.
They then parody the whole concept with the bonus chapter, "Another Day" which takes the minigame, Tin-Pin Slammer, the characters, and transports them all into a Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series-type setting in which the game is all-important. Lampshaded in the Secret Reports:
Sequel Hook: It is mentioned that Shibuya is not the only city with a Reaper's Game and that it is not the Reapers and the Composer at the top of Shibuya's hierarchy, but rather the Angels, who the protagonists never learn of or have to confront.
In the iOS version, there's this◊ (spoiler warning) piece of artwork that appears after the secret ending.
Shaped Like Itself: After spending Joshua's third day running around Shibuya on the signals of an unexplained tracker app, Neku finally flat-out asks Joshua what he's looking for. His response?
Shared Life Meter: Both Neku and his partner share a life meter that stretches across both screens of the DS. It even empties at both ends depending on who's getting hurt, with one character displaying their injured idle animation if his or her half of the life bar is completely empty.
Any Dual Boss fights in the game (like Kariya and Uzuki, Kitaniji and Shiki, or Bonus Boss Hanekoma's simultaneous dual forms) have this rule applying for the bosses as well.
Sibling Yin-Yang: Beat and Rhyme, with Rhyme being calm, level-headed and responsible, while Beat is more emotional, impulsive and less intelligent. Rhyme's gear that you can purchase after completing the game tends to emphasize defense, while Beat's tends to emphasize offense.
Soft Reset: Unique in that the 'return to title' option is only given after you've died. (Or Start, Select, L and R.)
So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: A really, really grating example; Neku changes partners each week, and any stat boosts you've given them via food or any equipment they had are taken with them. You don't get to use them again until after you've beaten the game. To make it worse, you can't just unequip them, since the last time you can do so is right before a Climax Boss.
With the exceptions of food boosts, the first one isn't so bad. Shiki will usually have nothing but female equipment on, which is initially useless to your other two, male, partners because you need higher brave to use them anyway and most gear has effects exclusive to each partner.
However, this ends up making the endgame more seamless. Because all your partners come back in the endgame, the fact that they are still equipped with all the items they left with means they'll still have all their advantages in the endgame without having to re-equip them.
Some Dexterity Required: The game's battle system has you controlling Neku on the bottom screen using the stylus and your partner character on the top using the D-pad or the face buttons for lefties. This means you need to pay attention to two screens at once and control using both the stylus and face buttons, which can be difficult to pull off for players. You can set the partner's actions to have the CPU to take over, but it isn't terribly reliable, especially for gathering Fusion Stars for the Fusion attacks. If you're up against certain bosses or even simple Taboo Noise, this trope's name becomes quite the understatement, as they will absolutely require you to have some mastery over both Neku and his partner so you can at least use the light puck (which gives a damage boost to whoever it's passed to) reliably. The iOS version has different battle mechanics to compensate for being on a single screen, such as turning the partners into Assist Characters instead.
Spell Levels: Pins in the game are divided into three elements: Positive, Negative, and Neutral. Each psych has an associated rank (e.g. C, B, and A) which determines the limit of how many said psych can be equipped in a single deck. There are also Reaper and Angel ranked pins, which unlike A-ranked pins, only one pin of these ranks can be used (it is possible to have a Reaper and Angel in the same deck, but no more than one can be used).
Spoiler Opening: Done magnificently - you won't realize it until after you've beaten the game, but the opening cinematic spoils the entire plot. Joshua, the "two Shikis," Rhyme's fate, Kitaniji's plan for Instrumentality, the reason behind Neku's death... it's all there.
Stalker with a Crush: Played for Laughs. You can follow the train of thought of one of 777's fangirls throughout the game as it basically goes from "He's the hottest man alive!" to "I'm gonna follow him home next time." to "WTH, he just disappeared while I was stalk-FOLLOWING him!"
The Starscream: Several people are trying to overthrow the Composer to take up the mantle, including Sho Minamimoto and Beat, though his reasons are generally good.
"Life for me was one giant bore. Just the same thing, day after day... Now THAT felt like death."
Even more obvious was the following quote, because by the time it comes up you know how people get into the Game:
"I'm here because I want to be."
However, it turns out that he's actually still alive. But then it turns out that we don't even know if he's technically alive or dead.
Supernatural Phone: The main characters receive the rules for the days games from the Reapers with their cellphones through text messages. Joshua however kicks it up a notch using his to use initiate his attacks which include dropping objects and Jesusbeams on his enemies. Mr. Hanekoma also modifies Neku's phone so that it can take pictures of the past.
Take Off Your Clothes: When Shiki sees that a button on Neku's pants isn't sewn on right, she demands he take off his pants to let her fix them. He doesn't really interpret it as a come-on, but it's pretty awkward anyway.
Take That: The track "Game Over" possesses a Stealth Insult towards message boards, namely 2ch, and the nature of anonymous posting:
He's got an opinion and posted suggestion but never reveals his name Read by someone, taken as a good one but nobody knew who had wrote it Few lines of the sentences lie Anonymity is annoying me all the time It's like a two channel, where people can just throw their own anger And forget about those foul actions
Take Your Time: You have so-and-so many minutes for each mission. Feel free to take years to do so, and, as mentioned, get rewarded for doing so.
Team Spirit: Without a partner, a Player is automatically erased in seven minutes. Fighting alone doesn't work, either; before you get a partner, you can't use any of your pins.
Technician Versus Performer: It's briefly mentioned that where Yammer is an expert in the technical aspects of Tin Pin Slammer but isn't a very skilled player, the talented Shooter barely understands the game at all.
Technicolor Death: Slain bosses fulfill this in two different ways, first turning black on a background of white noise, then radiating beams of light, and finally vanishing in a white static burst.
Teens Are Short: Even Beat, by far the tallest of the 15-and-under group, is teeny in juxtaposition with any given character over 17.
Theme Naming: The clothing brands are named after the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. This becomes relevant in one mission. The 13th clothing brand, Gatito, is a reference to the legend of how the Cat didn't follow the rules of the Chinese Zodiac. It's also run by Hanekoma, rather than normal civilians. And to make this a bit more obvious, CAT didn't follow the rules of the Angels.
The four Game Masters are also named after the cardinal directions—Kitaniji, Minamimoto, Higashizawa, and Konishi (north, south, east, and west respectively).
Every Game Master and Hanekoma's One-Winged Angel forms are all given Latin names ending with "Cantus". An animal name is also hidden in the kanji of their names. There are also several boss Noise named Canor; all these are basically bigger versions of normal Noise.
The various normal Noise have musically-themed names. (Mostly.) The musical theme of the UG is reinforced by the top positions being called the Composer, Conductor, and Producer.
There is also a subtle Floral Theme Naming for Neku and his partners in their surnames: Sakuraba means '"cherry garden" , Misaki tranlates to "beautiful blossom", while Kiryu and Bito contain the characters for "paulownia" and "wisteria" respectively. Rhyme's surname is Bito as well.
Title Drop: The English title drop is demonstrated by the top page quote. The Japanese title, "It's a Wonderful World", gets a rather ominous drop near the end of the game:
"To right the countless wrongs of our day, we shine this light of true redemption, that this place may become as paradise. What a wonderful world such would be..."
Tomato Surprise: Shiki, as she appears in the Underground, is really taking on the guise of her best friend Eri because she's incredibly self-conscious about her own appearance.
Joshua, who was the Composer all along, REALLY killed Neku, after being seen as guilty first and innocent later. Then there´s the whole "Angel Hanekoma is more powerful than Joshua and reborned Minamimoto to send him after Josh, who is trying to destroy Shibuya, while Neku is being manipulated by Josh to win a Game he has with Kitaniji, the Big Bad who really wants to SAVE the city (using Instrumentality, but still wants to protect the place").
Too Dumb to Fool: When Konishi attempts to emotionally cripple him by revealing that Rhyme doesn't love Beat as much as he loves her, Beat hesitates only long enough to give her satisfaction, and then promptly ignores it.
Totally Radical: Usually avoided, as the game uses modern slang, and properly, at that. The salesman, Mick, however, is still stuck in the 80's when he first appears. Neku also falls to this a couple times.
T-Word Euphemism: Subverted. Cultural icon Eiji Oji, A.K.A. the Prince of Ennui, has a super-popular blog called "F Everything" which gets referenced several times. No, it doesn't mean what you think it does. It stands for Fabulous.
True Final Boss: Beating the main story of Another Day lets you challenge Shuto for one final match of Tin Pin Slammer. Beating Shuto lets you challenge Shinji Hashimoto himself for a final final match of Tin Pin Slammer.
Up to Eleven: Minamimoto's final attack (which he never uses in battle) is called "Level i Flare", a play on the names of attacks in Final Fantasy such as Level 3 Flare and Level 5 Death, which affect characters whose levels are divisible by those numbers. Except that i is the square root of negative one, making it a possible factor in every number, both real and imaginary.
Also a moment of Fridge Brilliance, as the Secret Reports state that the psychic attacks used by Reapers and Players are powered by the user's Imagination. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that Sho's most powerful attack would utilize an imaginary number.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: Mild example. Certain characters have food(s) that they don't like. Keep on feeding them these food(s) and you'll be treated to voice clips of them saying "Yuck", "Ew!" or "Eeew! Take it away!",
Hypothetically, if someone were to defeat the Composer, then he or she would assume his position and all it entails.
Voice Grunting: The opening and ending scenes have full voicing, however.
Wake-Up Call Boss: Invoked Trope. Game Masters are meant to ensure that Players (the in-universe kind) don't survive the week, and you conclude the first week by fighting one. What does this mean for players (the... out-of-universe kind)? A boss with very strong, spammable attacks, and several times more HP than any previous boss.
Warrior Therapist: Hanekoma sure as hell tries to play the part during his boss fight, spouting out inspirational phrases ("DON'T LET LIMITS SLOW YOU!", "ENJOY THE MOMENT!", "OPEN UP YOUR WORLD!") while he kicks your ass six ways to Sunday.
Welcome to Corneria: Averted. The NPCs whose minds you read have different thoughts from week to week, and later on in the third week, they all turn to the same thing because of Kitaniji's plan.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kitaniji, in the end, just wants to save Shibuya from destruction. Granted, doing so via mass brainwashing probably isn't the wisest of ideas. Likewise, Beat's motives for becoming a Reaper and agreeing to kill Neku and later for trying to become the Composer via Klingon Promotion are to bring his friends and particularly his sister Rhyme back.
Joshua is also a Well-Intentioned Extremist. His reason for wanting to destroy Shibuya is to prevent it from corrupting the rest of the world.
Wham Line/Wham Episode: The first one occurs during Day 4 when Rhyme is killed by a Noise, and they keep building from there, sometimes with one new Wham every day. Especially Day 7 when Neku discovers he's forced to play The Game for another seven days.
Wham Shot: Day 6, so you and Shiki are going out helping advertise this strange red pin and...wait a minute: Why is there another Shiki hanging around Shibuya?
Whatever: Uzuki lapses in and out of this. Nao is a constant Valley Girl, though.
What the Hell, Hero?: Neku tries to kill his own partner; luckily, Hanekoma is there to stop him and call him out for it. Later, Neku blames himself for Joshua's death because he didn't trust his partner enough, although he turns out to be fully justified in that regard.
White and Gray Morality: With the exception of Mitsuki Konishi, there's not a lot of evil in the game. Either side is just doing what they can in order to get by. Aside from that, Joshua only wants to better humanity, and Kitaniji and Mr. H just plain love Shibuya. Another exception could be Minamimoto, but he may or may not be on Blue and Orange Morality.
Wild Card: Hanekoma helps both Kitaniji and Joshua accomplish their completely opposite goals. However, this could be because the Producer's job is to keep things equal.
Willfully Weak: You can adjust your level at any time, so you could play the entire game at level 1note unless you level up in the middle of a battle, anyway if you so wished. There's also Joshua, who has his power ratcheted down so that he can go unnoticed.
Downplayed in that changing the level only affects your health, while leaving all of your other stats untouched. Playing at level 1 near the latter stages of the game essentially makes you a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
World's Smallest Violin: After Neku explains what happened in the previous week, Joshua quotes this trope by name and then tells Neku that he isn't the only player who has something important riding on winning the Game.
We all perceive the world around us differently, filtered through the lens of our desired reality. So if you're wondering why a certain young lady still looks like somebody else...it's because you refuse to perceive her as she really is The only thing stopping you from seeing what she really looks like... is you. So you see, it's your fault.
This is a parody because it's a variation of Hanekoma's Title Drop speech about how the "world ends with you" (see the quote at the top of the page). It's meant to sound like a Hand Wave, but reading between the lines (and the fact that it's "Another Day"... AND the fact that it's Joshua saying this), it's pretty much a roundabout way of saying "the developers didn't bother - for whatever reason - to make new sprites and artwork for just this one character and didn't want to come up with a more plausible in-universe reason for Shiki still looking like Eri, so just deal with it". Neku is understandably confused by this.
You Watch Too Much X: In Another Day, after an enigmatic conversation with Joshua, Neku thinks, "Kid plays too many video games."
Even before Another Day, during the 2nd week Neku says as much about Josh when the latter shows off his knowledge of a kid's anime based off of Tin Pin Slammer.
Zettai Ryouiki: Not only does Mitsuki Konishi have them, many equipable miniskirts and hot pants have flavor text that mentions that they would look killer with stockings in their descriptions and vice-versa in several stockings' descriptions.