Yuta Akikawa is a boy with a fear of computers. That is too bad for him since this series starts with him moving to the technologically advanced Kamimai City and then suddenly being sucked into his mobile phone. There, he meets three "Net Ghosts"; Pit, Pot and Pat, who show him the "Net World" hidden within the internet. Together, they travel the Net World meeting other net ghosts and finding new adventures.
But it's not all fun and games. Within the technology company "Dream Future" are dark plans involving the mysterious Seiren project. And even when that plotline ends, Yuta and his friends suddenly find themselves having to save the net world on a regular basis.
Crunchyroll has released legal subs of all 51 episodes under the title "Web Ghosts Pi Po Pa", along with a few other translation oddities. The last episode ends with a small Sequel Hook but whether it will lead to anything has not been announced yet.
This show provides examples of:
- Animal Motif: Most of the viruses that appear resemble sea life such as sharks, manta rays, etc. which hints that they were created by Dr. Forest. Pu / Seiren's hair vaguely resembles a dolphin, and the original was Dr. Forest's Net Ghost.
- Berserk Button: Pit, Pot, and Pat: "Don't call us Pi Po Pa!"
- BiBoBa also have this, though they allow their Master to address them by that title.
- Brand X: People are seen doing searches on Woogle.
- Brain Uploading: A key premise of the series, but particularly played straight with the Dream Future branch leaders, who are portrayed as nothing but boxes outside of the net.
- Call to Adventure: The mysterious text message that Yuma receives that allows him to Net Dive. It was generated by Seiren after she stopped Dr. Forest from taking over the Net World ten years ago.
- Chekhov's Gun: The item Pu puts in the time capsule is revealed after her Heroic Sacrifice to be a message to her friends, which creates a new link between the real and Net Worlds after Seiren's deletion destroyed the original link.
- Cute, but Cacophonic: Pu / Seiren when she sings or cries, because both trigger devastating Net Quakes. Pat manages to calculate that she can still use her powers safely if she whistles softly.
- Deal with the Devil: Mamoru makes one with Dr. Forest to be able to Net Dive. Of course, the old guy never said Mamoru would be the one in control...
- Demonic Possession: Divine Forest is Mamoru possessed by his grandfather, Dr. Forest.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Mamoru of Yuta's ability to Net Dive.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Pu / Sieren activates her self-destruct in order to destroy the Seiren copies poised to completely destroy the Net World. It also has the side effect of destroying the Net Dive connection, putting the wall between humans and Net Ghosts back up.
- Humans Are Bastards: Yuta and PiPoPa defend Pu from Net Venus on the basis that she's not the evil one, the humans using her destructive powers for their own ends are.
- Idiosyncratic Wipes: The primary transition between scenes is a quick shot of PiPoPa dancing across the screen. Upgraded in the second half to include Pu, though she is removed following her Heroic Sacrifice.
- "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: Once Yuta realizes the true identity of Divine Forest, he spends more than a little time trying to bring Mamoru back.
- Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: The Net Ghosts, sentient artificial intelligences that arose within the Internet as soon as it was allowed to flourish.
- Killer Rabbit: Pu / Seiren. Adorable, sweet, and loves making new friends. Oh yeah, and she was designed to wipe out / take over the Internet.
- Monster of the Week: The format for the second half of the series, courtesy of Net Monsters, Net Ghosts that have been infected with a virus core.
- No Name Given: Played with. The mysterious woman doesn't see the point in giving out her name, so the Net Ghosts just call her "Net Venus." She grows to accept it.
- No-Sell: Characters kissed by Pu / Seiren are protected from the audial pain of the Net Quakes she generates.
- Older Alter Ego:
- Net Venus for Sayaka, modeled after her mother. After her original avatar is infected by Divine Forest's virus, she creates a new one that more closely resembles her but it still appears older.
- Divine Forest certainly seems older than Mamoru, though it could just be averaging out between him and Dr. Forest's age.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Dr. Forest is perfectly willing to destroy the Net World, not caring at all about all the human lives he's endangering in the process, just to get into Sanctuary.
- On the Next: Like most anime, but plays with it: it shows Yuma and PiPoPa in a recording booth with scripts instead of video clips, and most of it is comments on that episode's events. Halfway though, Pu permanently joins the group, and others like Hikari start showing up.
- To Be a Master: PiPoPa's goal is to become great Net Ghosts. They have no idea what that means exactly, but dangit, they're gonna do it!