For ten long years, Japan has hidden itself from the world behind an electronic curtain. Since the UN adopted strict limits on the development of cybernetic and biological technologies to avoid possible scientific abuses, Japan has chosen to continue the research hidden from the world's eyes. All the world knows of Japan comes from the Mega-Corp that runs the country, Daiwa, which continues to export state of the art robotic weaponry to the highest bidder. Until now.
Tipped off about a clandestine meeting between a Japanese official and representatives from various governments, the agents of S.W.O.R.D. are on a stakeout to see what has changed. After the council is massacred, they move in to discover the Daiwa executive, Saito, is perfectly willing to cut off his own leg to escape... a thoroughly replaceable leg.
Now S.W.O.R.D. must do the unthinkable, infiltrate Japan without government backing to discover the secret they have been hiding from the world.
This work contains examples of:
- America Saves the Day: Yeah, actually. The heroes are a special forces group from the U.S navy. Of course, everyone but Vexille and the captain are killed minutes after reaching Japan by rocket launcher mooks. It then falls to the snobby and nationalistic Japanese La Résistance to save the day with the help of Vexille. That said, they probably would have failed without the outside help.
- A God Am I: Kisaragi.
- Body Horror: The people of Japan are completely inorganic, needing neither food nor sleep. Also they're slowly turning into 'perfect' androids, incapable of emotion and independent thought.
- Corporate Conspiracy: Daiwa Heavy Industries already has complete control over Japan and its citizens, and plans to do the same to the entire world so as to fulfill Kisaragi's desire to move mankind to the next stage in evolution.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Both averted, and later justified. The surviving cybernetic population are all completely normal-looking and feel emotions, despite being understandably depressed and despondent. However, when the Final stage converts/destroys the brain, they become mindless obedient zombies (a non-contagious type P, or cybernetic type V), loyal to the company.
- Decoy Protagonist: The first half of the movie is spent with Vexille, who's part of a force that's about to stage a covert operation against an isolationist nation. The second half of the film reveals the protagonist to be Maria, a character who wasn't introduced in the first half. Indeed, pretty much everything Vexille was trying to do didn't matter at all. Maria's the one who knows what the stakes are, has devised a plan to thwart the villain, and has gathered together a group of people to execute said plan. She has a direct and personal connection to the villain, as well as people on her side who she has to work against to gather resources and manpower to pull off her scheme. The story in the second half continues to be told from Vexille's point of view, yet her main contribution is to have things explained to. And to pilot the Mecha.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- An entire country locked away from the outside world?
- The original title directly references Sakoku.
- Everything Is An I Pod In The Future : Averted and played straight in the opening battle. The 'bodyguard' robots of the bad guy are slightly grimy, and look rather worn. On the other hand the S.W.O.R.D. robots are shiny, bulbous, and translucent white.
- Evolutionary Levels: What Kisaragi thinks he's accomplished by turning the Japanese into androids.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Kisaragi.
- For Science!: Kisaragi used all of Japan for test subjects, killing what must have been the vast majority of the population and destroying everything organic on the surface due to Jags.
- Fun with Acronyms: S.W.O.R.D.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: The Jags. Depending on how Kisaragi saw it, the catastrophic mortality rate and tendency to destroy the subjects mind (useful for creating willing slaves, not so much since he couldn't avoid it if he injected himself).
- Hypocrite: Kisaragi, again. He harps on about creating the next step in human evolution, but did not inject himself with nanites because the process was still very risky. Saito, who is infected, did not like this about his boss.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Maria shoots adorable kid Takashi when he loses his 'shards of humanity,' so that he won't reveal the resistance's plans.
- Island of Mystery: Daiwa has turned the the entire nation of Japan into one. The rest of the world has been sealed off with an electronic field, and no one knows just what's going on there, except they keep exporting high-level robotics to the highest bidder.
- La Résistance
- Last of His Kind: Kisaragi is the last human Japanese.
- Loss of Identity: What will happen to just about everyone in the slums of Tokyo. Once the nanomachines reach and convert the brain, the 'shards of humanity' will be extinguished and the human will die, leaving only a robotic body.
- Love Triangle: Maria, Leon, and Vexille.
- Pet Monstrosity: The villain keeps a tiny Jag in a sandbox in his lair. Probably an insanely dangerous thing to do, considering they are tornadoes of scrap that devour metal, but he's a pretty crazy guy.
- Powered Armor: The S.W.O.R.D fighter suits.
- Sand Worm: The Jags, giant whirling tunneling tornadoes of metallic scrap. They can sense, seek and eat anything metallic, but die when immersed in water.
- Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Kind of. All that's left of Japan and the Japanese that isn't Jag food are holed up in a ghetto over what was Tokyo, surrounded by a gigantic ceramic fence.
- Undead Children: Takashi. See Cybernetics Eat Your Soul, Loss of Identity, and I Did What I Had to Do.
- Undressing the Unconscious: Vexille, the moment she regains consciousness in Maria's place. The first person she sees in Takashi, and then she realized she's wearing a T-shirt and pajamas pants, at which point Takashi quickly assures her that it's Maria who changed her clothes.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: The "vaccine" was designed to spread the Nanomachines that did this.
- Villain's Dying Grace: While dying of a bullet to the brain, Saito manages to command two robots to free Maria and Vexille so they don't die as the base collapses.
- The Virus: The nanomachines which roboticized the population.
- What Happened to the Mouse??: The fate and actions of the American official that was infected (or possibly replaced with a cyber-clone) is never revealed.