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Anime / Tokyo 24th Ward

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Tokyo 24th Ward (Japanese: 東京24区, Hepburn: Tōkyō Nijūyon-Ku, also stylized as TOKYO TWENTY FOURTH WARD) is a Japanese original anime television series produced by CloverWorks. The series premiered in January 2022 and is directed by Naokatsu Tsuda, with Vio Shimokura (of nitro+) writing and overseeing the series' scripts, Shuji Sogabe and Kanako Nono designing the characters, Takahiro Kishida adapting those designs for animation, and Hideyuki Fukasawa composing the series' music.

On an artificial island in Tokyo Bay there is a special district commonly known as the 24th Ward, childhood friends Ran Akagi, Koki Suido and Shuta Aoi hung out together. Their lives changed when their school caught on fire and Koki's sister Asumi was caught inside. They argued about the best way to save her, and instead of working together, Shuta rushed in but was unable to save her life. Now, a year after the incident, they receive visual messages from Asumi presenting them with life-and-death situations in which they have to decide on their course of action. A strange character called Carneades appears and threatens to thrust choices upon the world.

The series is licenced by Aniplex USA. who are simulcasting it on Crunchyroll and Funimation. An English dub is also streaming on both services, produced by Bang Zoom! Entertainment, which began on March 16, 2022.

Tokyo 24th Ward provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The opening scene of episode 1 shows what appears to be a digitized Kanae Suido remarking upon the capabilities of the Hazard Cast system as times change/evolve and commenting it's "such a waste". This is never referenced again or elaborated upon.
  • But Thou Must!: Mid-way through the story, the city government activates a public safety initiative that basically turns every smartphone in the 24th Ward into a surveillance device. This can't be legally forced on the public, so the users have to allow the program to run by accepting its Terms of Service; but instead of 'yes' or 'no', the options given are very specifically phrased "Accept" or "Later". And even if someone never pressed "Accept", that wouldn't stop the phones of other people who did from spying on them when they're nearby.
  • Childhood Friends: The main trio alongside Asumi and Mari, in spite of their differing upbringings.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The Ending Theme "255,255,255" by RGB's voice actors: Jun'ya Enoki (Shuta), Yūma Uchida (Ran), and Kaito Ishikawa (Koki)
  • Fantastic Drug: the seemingly untraceable "Drug D", which turns out to be an app on people's phones, using biometric data it collects to drive them into a frenzy. Its creator, who originally wrote the program as a therapeutic aid, ends up under the influence himself and tries to exact vengeance on the tech mogul who exploited his work by blowing him up. It's implied this same technology is also what gives "RGB" their visions and power-ups.
  • Freudian Trio: Ran is the Id, Koki the Superego, and Shuta the Ego.
  • Funny Background Event: In episode 3 while Kinako is eating okonomiyaki, Shuta can be seen being attacked by his mother as "revenge" for working for Mari's festival stand instead of his family's.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The "Special Administrative Region Guard" a.k.a. "S.A.R.G." (pronounced like "Sarge")
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Given by Tsuzuragawa to Koki in episode 11 when the latter is stressed over the constant Hazard Cast bugs and pressure to save Asumi.
  • Meaningful Rename: Following the car accident that gave him acquired dyslexia from the trauma, Kuchikiri renames himself "0th" as that is how his name looks when he writes the characters down.
  • Not What It Looks Like: In episode 7, Shuta, wanting tips on how to make his family's Golden Sunrise bread bun better, messages his dad (on vacation in France) who only responds with "chest" (implying the bun should feel like a chest would) resulting in Mari walking in on Shuta feeling his own chest up, who then stumbles in trying to explain himself. He also ends up spending the rest of the episode staring at several other women's chests (including Tsuzuragawa and Kozue) leaving them confused & weirded out.
  • Posthumous Character: Asumi and Kanae Suido. Subverted in that Asumi is Not Quite Dead as her mind (in a body kept in stasis) is being used as the base for the KANAE system.
  • Precrime Arrest: The "S.A.R.G." organisation operates with a "hazard cast" system that can predict crimes, but aren't allowed to legally arrest the perpetrators until they commit the crimes themselves, much to their frustration.
  • The Reveal:
    • Asumi's otherwise biologically-dead brain is being used as the core of the KANAE system, and traces of her personality have manifested in its processes. The reason what's left of her consciousness calls on the RGB trio is because the system keeps presenting her with disastrous situations that she cannot resolve herself.
    • Carneades is actually Sakiko Tsuzuragawa. She was simply pretending to be the Big Bad so Carneades will be blamed by the public for the recent disasters and so they'll be seen as the fall guy for "hacking" the KANAE system in Gori Suido's eyes (when in reality she's trying to cover up the major bug in the system, fearing Gori will break down when the extreme measures he took with making Asumi's brain the core of the system may end up being in vain).
  • Sadistic Choice: A main plot point of the series as "RGB" are repeatedly faced with a series of "trolley problems" for them to solve.
    • Also a case of False Dichotomy and Take a Third Option. Each trolley problem presents two possible outcomes, neither of them good, and assumes one of them must happen; but from the beginning this proves not to be the case, as their first intervention succeeds in averting both. But this doesn't mean they find a third option every time, and as the story progresses they actually fall into the trap of believing there isn't one, usually with Ran picking one choice, Koki picking the other, and Shuta being unable to choose.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Episode 9 "Silver Salt", which details how Gori Suido, Kanae Ishiki, Kuchikiri/0th and Sakiko Tsuzuragawa became involved together in their plans to improve the 24th Ward.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Especially noted with Ran, Koki and Shuta being given the group name "RGB" for their hair colors being Red, Green and Blue. Asumi's hair is also white, which is the combination of all three.