The main protagonist and Seleção No. 9, Akira Takizawa awakens outside the White House with no memories and stark naked. He befriends Saki Morimi, a Japanese college student on vacation in America on her way to catch a flight home. Armed with a cellphone, Takizawa learns he is part of a game created by one Mr. Outside to use the ten billion yen on the phone to improve the state of Japan. Takizawa meets his fellow Seleção, whilst trying to recover his memories before and after he was selected for the game.
He was born on January 7, 1989, making him one day younger than Saki. Later on, it turns out "Akira Takizawa" is not his real name and his actual name remains a mystery.
- Action Survivor: He gets involved in a lot of action - being attacked by a oil tanker, taking on a missile attack, escaping numerous explosions, etc, and always comes away relatively unscathed.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: Discovers he was possibly responsible for the Careless Monday missile attacks, but actually used it as an excuse to save 20,000 NEETS that helped him evacuate citizens from being arrested for the same thing, and then erased his own memory to cover up his and their tracks.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: Is very skilled at this.
- Big Fancy House: More like big fancy shopping mall.
- Charm Person: Takizawa is quite the charmer, showing his Johnny to a businessman to give up his pants, and convinces a policewoman to let him and Saki go to the airport.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He's pretty crazy and spontaneous, with and without his memory.
- Cool Bike: He rides around on a neat yellow motorcycle. Why he can remember how to ride it is a mystery.
- Makes sense actually. Memories on how to perform tasks and procedures are stored completely separately from memories about oneself and past life experiences.
- Easy Amnesia: Twice.
- First Kiss: He gives Saki one in Episode 5.
- Foreshadowing: The fact that he picked the name "Akira Takizawa" from one of the various passports with his face on it should've been seen as a massive clue that it's not his real name.
- Gambit Pileup: He doesn't exactly play Xanatos Speed Chess, but he does have a knack for constantly throwing Spanner in the Works of his fellow Seleção plans. His solutions include...
- Stealing Number 4's Police badge to force him into another meeting to reclaim his Noblesse Phone from Number 4.
- Gets into an escalating war of dirty tricks with Number 11 to delay her from getting back to a hotel before he can get there, such as by having her driving record be listed as a repeat offender, buying out the hotel, causing its price to double in mere minutes.
- Prevents casualties on Careless Monday by having Juiz hack the Earth Quake Early Alert system, recruiting 20,000 NEETs to play the role of police and military to help guide the citizens to safe locations and hand out relief supplies.
- When the public and NEETs turn against him out of suspicion it was all a hoax done by the NEETs (and to the NEETs, by him), has the NEETs transported to Dubai as immigrant workers to get them out of Japanese public view for awhile, then erases his own memories and sent to the U.S. to let public anger die down first.
- Prevents another Careless Monday style attack involving 60 Cruise Missiles launched by Number 1 and Number 10 by 1) Having all 20,000 NEETs brought back to Japan via cargo ship to his shopping mall. 2) Contacts everyone inside the mall via Video call, claiming that he's the one launching the missiles, but giving the NEETs one chance at survival by ordering them to post their missile defense ideas on the Eden of the East Image boards. 3) Has Juiz crowdsource the best ideas that are posted to set up the defensive launchers and scramble F-15s from the JSDF to shoot down the missiles
- Has Juiz wipe his memories again, give him new ones, flown to New York, and change public records to make him appear to be the illegitimate child of an affair between the former Prime Minister and his mother to influence politics in Japan.
- Genre Savvy: Some of the very few things he does remember are the numerous movies he's seen, and how they apply to his situation(s).
- Heroic Bastard: In the films, he is accused of being the illegitimate son of the deceased prime minister of Japan. This is later proven to be false.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Willingly gives up his memories twice to save others. The first time he wound up naked in America, and the second time he became an international celebrity known as the Air King, and revealed to possibly be the son of the dead Japanese prime minister.
- I Have Many Names: He has numerous passports. In the films he goes by the name of Akira Iinuma.
- Keet: Even in serious situations he retains a cheerful and friendly demeanor.
- Last-Name Basis: Basically everyone calls him by his last name.
- Naked First Impression: His first appearance involves him walking towards Saki and two cops completely naked, although his groin is covered by a Censor Box scribble.
- Naked on Arrival: He's completely nude when he first appears.
- Nice Guy: It's nearly impossible for anyone who personally knows him to hate this guy. He even won Number 11 trust and support.
- Omniscient Morality License: Juiz applauds him for occasionally acting like this but never really becoming evil.
- Pet the Dog: He owns an adorable Shiba Inu, previously owned by his mother.
- The Scapegoat: Takizawa willingly makes himself this three times.
- Shout-Out: Takizawa comments that his situation when he finds himself in Washington is similar to The Bourne Series.
- Take My Hand: Takizawa reaches out to Saki when departing home on a boat and she decides to stay with him.
- Will They or Won't They?: Takizawa and Saki throughout the anime and movies. They do sort of become a couple. Sort of.
A 22-year old university student in her graduating year, Saki meets Akira in Washington D.C and the two quickly become involved in each other's lives. Saki is Akira's biggest supporter and love interest. A member of Eden of the East, Saki's ability to enhance the value of junk items has helped the group to be successful. She could only go to college with the aid of her sister and brother-in-law, whom she has been living with after the death of her parents when she was a baby, and plans to find work in an office because she is ashamed of living off their money. While she is a selfless girl, she is very opinionated about the condition of the country after Careless Monday.
She was born on January 6, 1989, therefore she is one day older than Takizawa.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Saki regrets her wish for something bigger to happen after Careless Monday upon learning why Takizawa erased his memories.
- Crapsack World: She gets this impression after an embarrassing job interview - in which she got a bowl of stew purposefully dumped in her lap in order to make her leave.
- Exact Eavesdropping: Saki gets a lot of information about Takizawa and the other Seleção (with Takizawa's knowledge) by listening in on Takizawa's phone calls.
- Fiery Redhead: Subverted. Saki has the occasional emotional outburst but is overall a calm, practical girl.
- Innocent Bystander: She was until the nude Takizawa strolled into her life.
- Now or Never Kiss: She gives Akira one at the end of the second movie, Paradise Lost.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Her older sister is almost identical to her.
Eden of the East members
Saki's inner circle of friends who make up the staff of an online image recognition system and recycling group. They start off as a one-room group until they expand into a full-time business with an office. The groups members include leader Kazuomi Hirasawa, deadpan programmer Mikuru "Micchon" Katsuhara, Satoshi Osugi who has a crush on Saki, spectacled Kasuga, Sis who has a fondness for cute things, and Yutaka "Panties" Itazu, known for (formally) not wearing any trousers and is a skilled hacker. Takizawa later becomes a member of the group.
A friend of Saki's who has feelings for her.
- Butt-Monkey: Osugi is constantly the butt of jokes from the others.
- Curtains Match The Windows: Light brown hair and eyes.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Part of the reason for his initial distrust of Akira is that he thought he was Saki's boyfriend.
- Hopeless Suitor: Osugi loves Saki, Saki doesn't love Osugi, Takizawa likes Saki, Saki likes Takizawa, Osugi doesn't like Takizawa.
- Naked People Are Funny: He, Hirasawa and Kasuga strip off to make their way through the NEET-inhabited mall.
The de-facto leader of the group.
- Adjusting Your Glasses: Usually by the bridge.
- The Leader: Of the Eden group.
- Naked People Are Funny: He, Osugi, and Kasuga strip off to make their way through the NEET-inhabited mall.
- Nerd Glasses: Hirasawa wears square-shaped glasses.
- Only Sane Man: The first one to ask the basic questions about Akira.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: He wears square glasses and is the sanest one among the group.
A shy but frank girl who programmed the Eden of the Easts image recognition system.
- The Baby of the Bunch: The youngest member of the Eden of the East group.
- Brutal Honesty: As stated above, Micchon is a frank person.
- Little Miss Snarker: Micchon is the shortest of the group and has a sharp tongue.
- Older Than They Look: Despite looking like an elementary schooler, she's about the same age as her friends.
- Shrinking Violet: Micchon, but only when she meets new people. Takizawa affectionately nicknames her "Mittan", much to her embarrassment.
A club member who likes to sit inside the clubrooms rolltop desk.
- Beauty Mark: She has one under her right eye.
- Cool Big Sis: Implied given the fact her nickname is "Sis".
- Covert Pervert: Sis is into some erotic tastes.
- Curtains Match The Windows: Brown hair and brown eyes.
- Hidden Depths: Sis reveals she can drive semi-trucks.
- Nice Girl: Generally a friendly person.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Her real name is unknown, only going by "Sis".
- Transsexual: Heavily implied but never outright stated to be one.
A prodigious, yet reclusive hacker with hardcore pride for his hometown of Hiroshima; and prefers to use his Hiroshima dialect on a regular basis.
The SeleçãoThe twelve Chosen Ones selected by Mr. Outside to save the country. Each member is given a special cell phone with ten billion yen which they must use to improve the country. Each Seleção has an unseen assistant linked to the cell phone named Juiz, who can help them fulfill almost any request they make, but each one spends some of their money. If they abuse their money, do not play the game, or spend all of their money, the Seleção will be eliminated by the enigmatic Supporter.
- Blessed with Suck: They're given a fortune, but are told that they'll be killed if they use it for personal gain, don't play the game, or run out of money, and are manipulated so that they'll fear being assassinated by their fellow Seleção.
- The Cameo: Seleção 3, 7 and 8 only have cameo roles. 7 doesn't even physically appear.
- Dark Messiah: Most of the Seleção appear to fill this.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: They can use their money to screw the rules and then some.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Not to Light Yagami levels, but many of them are definitely in this direction.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: No. 3 is an elderly, purple-haired woman.
The mastermind behind the Seleção game, also known as Noblesse Oblige.
- Anonymous Benefactor: Uses the alias Mr. Outside until his identity is revealed.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: The taxi driver.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Ato Saizo has a cameo in Episode 11 as the taxi driver that drives Saki and Micchon to Takizawa's mall.
- Even earlier in Episode 4 when he snatches a magazine from Takizawa, scolding him on reading politicial nonsense.
- Eccentric Millionaire: Uses his fortune to try to save Japan in... heterodoxical ways.
- Fiction 500: Must be ultra-wealthy given his ability to give 10 billion yen apiece to twelve people.
- I Have Many Names: Along with Mr. Outside, he also acts as Seleção No. 12 and the Supporter.
- Indy Ploy: Japan is stagnating, there's a very high number of young people who have No Employment, Education, or Training (aka, NEETs), the government is deadlocked with controversy. Solution? Step one, give eleven random people he's met while driving a taxi cab around town a high tech prototype cellphone, 10 billion yen each of his own money accessed only with said phone, and an advance A.I. system with the ability to tap into any network needed to do just about anything possible at their request. Step two, set himself up as an observing member, and give a vague threat of "Elimination" should the participants fail as incentive for them to participate. Step three, something interesting happens. Step four, one of the Seleção comes up with an awesome idea, and Japan Profits!
- Pulls this on Number One and his co-conspirators when they think they've got the game already won by controlling his company, and thus, the Noblesse System and Juiz. Just when Number One thinks he's won total control of the game, Mr. Outside/The Supporter finally makes his first money expenditure as a Seleção, by quietly having the remaining players Juiz Super computer and A.I. Networks loaded up on trailers, and kept out of Number One's control by having them constantly moving around Japan.
The mysterious woman who helps the twelve Seleção and aids them with their various requests, no matter how absurd they may be. She is actually an artificial intelligence in the form of twelve devices disguised as cargo truck trailers which are constantly moved around for protection. Juiz appears to have twelve different personalities to suit the Seleção.
- Benevolent Genie: Depends on the user, but often tries her best to fulfill the orders of Seleção as close to their wish as possible. For particularly advanced or complex orders, she categorizes them into multiple orders.
- Deadpan Snarker: Tends toward this, although this varies between light amusement (toward Takizawa) and total contempt (toward Naomoto).
- Deus ex Machina: Juiz practically is one and can do just about anything if ordered to.
- Literal Genie: Occasionally has a habit of this.
- Made of Explodium: Several of the Juiz trucks are blown up in the first film.
- Magical Computer: There are twelve of her.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Generally does whatever her Seleção orders.
- Split Personality: Juiz has twelve different personalities to match each Seleção. Juiz is very loyal and obedient to No. 1, speaks playfully to No. 2, openly criticizes and mocks No. 6, and is very kind and supportive of Akira.
Seleção No. 4 and the second introduced after Takizawa. Kondo is a Japanese police officer and detective and pursues Takizawa to figure out if he is the true perpetrator of Careless Monday.
- Dirty Cop: Subverted. He is unafraid to use Juiz to assassinate criminals or others who bother him.
- Four Is Death: He is the first to go.
- Grumpy Bear: He's quite moody and pessimistic, believing that ten billion yen is not enough to save the country.
- Karmic Death: Kondo's wife accidentally receives a text he meant to send to his mistress and she stabs him in revenge.
- Kick the Dog: He attacks Takizawa, beating him up to steal his phone.
- Mr. Exposition: Kondo explains things to Takizawa during their encounters and manages to send Takizawa off to find the other Seleção before he dies.
- Motive Decay: Kondo's motives are hard to make out. He seems to enjoy his new lease on life with the money has has, and has Juiz assassinate people that bother him. However, upon his death, he claims he was just trying to do the right thing in life.
Seleção No. 5. Dr. Hiura is a brain surgeon who uses all of his money and is the second Seleção to be eliminated although he is the only one to be personally eliminated by the Supporter. Takizawa tracks him down to a state-of-the-art hospital for the elderly where he is the chief executive. A kind middle-aged man, Dr. Hiura embraces his known fate, having played the game not to save Japan but to rather improve the hospital systems. He mimics a phone call from Mr. Nobody to inform Takizawa of their involvement in the game.
- Go Out with a Smile: Dr. Hiura accepts his death when the Supporter appears.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: He accomplishes his goals through bribing politicians, and so in the press receives negative coverage as a source of political corruption. On the other hand, his patients consider him a saint.
- Instant Sedation: Hiura drugs and knocks out Takizawa after he claims he is No. 9.
- Nice Guy: The only Seleção aside from Takizawa and No. 3 who appear to be completely friendly.
- Not Quite Dead: Panties discovers Dr. Hiura is alive and kicking, but his memories of the game were wiped by the Supporter.
- Selfless Wish: Dr. Hiura is unafraid of dying, giving all his money to improve the medical system in Japan.
Seleção No. 11, Kuroha is president of a model agency, but also doubles as the infamous Johnny Killer who kidnaps criminals, tortures them and then chops off their penises with a cigar chopper. However, she is does this to help protect scorned women, possibly having been harmed sexually herself. She develops an interesting relationship with Takizawa, saving him twice.
- Black Bra and Panties: She's often seen wearing these, fitting for her seductive nature.
- Curtains Match The Windows: Light blue hair and eyes.
- Does Not Like Men: Aside from Takizawa. Apparently this only extends to Japanese men, as the entire reason she set up the modelling agency was to import handsome European men to replace all the people she's killed.
- Escape Battle Technique: Kuroha flees her hotel room by seemingly sprouting bird wings and flying out the window. This turns out to be an illusion she had planed via Juiz, using supplies from costume and magic shops.
- Groin Attack: Kuroha castrates the men she kills.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the first movie, Kuroha sacrifices her version of Juiz to keep Takizawa in the game, after Mononobe fires missiles to eliminate other Seleção.
- Serial-Killer Killer: Definitely along those lines. Kuroha only kills rapists or cruel men.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: The reason she likes Akira is because he's a "good boy".
- Straw Feminist: Can come off looking like this. Her quest to "save Japan" is motivated by the country's hideously misogynistic culture. How does she do this? Kill men by cutting off their genitals and replace them with (presumably) less sexist non-Asian men. Considering how sympathetic she winds up being, though...
- Token Evil Teammate: By the time of the movie, she's taken a break from Johnny-hunting and becomes a valuable ally for the heroes.
- Unflinching Walk: In the first movie, after making her Juiz blow up to save Takizawa's Juiz.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has light blue hair.
The Big Bad of the show, and Seleção No. 1. A former politician, Mononobe became head of Ato Saizo's company and planned to become Mr. Outside himself. He is quite resourceful and smart, identifying most of the Seleção, and recruits No. 2 and 10 to work with him. His ultimate goal is to become ruler of Japan via terrorist attacks and eventually he plans to overthrow the government and replace it with a new one at the cost of individual freedom.
- Car Fu: Twice. First with Panties, though he ultimately survived. This is also how he kills Yuki. Shame he didn't spring for a bulletproof windshield...
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Used his Noblesse phone and connections to purchase Ato Saizo Industries, with the intent of controlling the Noblesse system and Juiz.
- Government Conspiracy: Subverted in the show it self, he's a former politician. By the first movie, he's managed to get himself back into some political power as an adviser to the Government due to Outside stopping him from taking over the Noblesse system, and Takizawa's repeatedly interfering with the missile strikes he and Number 10 launched.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Does this in the two movies, notably the second one to go after the other Seleção's, often by having his rivals charged with Tax Evasion, or causing public unrest.
- Predatory Business: Subverted. This trope involves actual people instead of businesses, Mononobe firing missiles to eliminate the other Seleção's versions of Juiz. He succeeds in taking down No. 2 and No. 12, whilst Kuroha (No. 11) blocks a missile to keep Takizawa in the game.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: By getting back into politics, he starts changing laws to favor a power grab for himself.
Seleção No. 2, Tsuji is in the marketing business and works with Mononobe and Yuki. Unlike them, he is not really interested in Mr. Nobody's game and just wants it to be other, and hasn't used any of his money. He starts making his move in the first film.
- Affably Evil: Tsuji is not really a villain but is a bit of a manipulative guy. He helps Yuki out after he eliminates himself from the game and goes into hiding.
- A Glass of Chianti: During many of his scenes in the movie he has a cocktail glass in hand with some kind of drink in it
- Cool Boat: He owns a big yacht.
- Evil Debt Collector: Mononobe sends an army of these to remove Tsuji's money.
- Nice Hat: A black knit cap.
- Orcus on His Throne: Tsuji spends most of his time lounging around on his fancy yacht.
Seleção No. 10. Ryo Yuki works with Mononobe and Tsuji to win the game. A disgruntled employee, Yuki is quite Ax-Crazy and wants to get revenge by bombing Japan with missiles.
- Ax-Crazy: More like missile-crazy.
- Evil Is Not Pacifist: He's horrified during the series when Mononobe uses his car to run down Panties, but as Mononobe points out, he has no qualms about using missiles to kill thousands of people.
- Evil Minions: He was one to Mononobe until he was betrayed by the latter.
- Killed Off for Real: He attacks Mononobe at the end of the game, unaware the latter has had his memory erased of the game as a gift from Mr. Outside. He shoots Mononobe only to get run over by his car.
- Life Isn't Fair
- Not Quite Dead: Yuki faked his death by destroying his cell phone but surprised Tsuji when he revealed he was alive.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His basic motivation in the series. After his parents died from being overworked, Yuki got nothing out of their hard work and was "betrayed" by Japan's bureaucrats and selfish businessmen.
- Shadow Archetype: To Saki. They both lost their parents at an early age, but while Saki was taken in by her elder sister and brother-in-law, thus sparing her from having to cut short her studies and go to work, Yuki was caught in a cycle of unstable employment, and he's implied to have not been taken in by anyone after his parents' death. Yuki hates Japan's system and the way it extorts work out of the youth while giving little in return, and Saki expresses similar feelings after she's turned down by unsympathetic interviewers. If Saki didn't have people like her family, friends or Takizawa supporting her, she'd likely become as embittered as Yuki.
- Unwitting Pawn: When Yuki's provided by Tsuji a gun and a forged passport to help in killing Takizawa, he's unaware that he's that way providing Tsuji a way to keep on his plan of winning the game without Tsuji's destroyed Juiz.
Seleção No. 6. Naomoto is an eccentric filmmaker who goes Ax-Crazy in his plan to kill Takizawa and Saki for a film — by blowing them up whilst they have a shower together. His plan falls through thanks to Kuroha, and he tries to kill Takizawa with a flamethrower whilst recording the scene. He is arrested soon after.
- Fate Worse than Death: Naomoto is arrested and loses his memory at the end of the second film, freaking out when he discovers he is in a police station.
- Prima Donna Director: He practically mirrors the comments made about Michael Bay.
- Prison Rape: His eventual fate, courtesy of a large, black inmate.
- Pyro Maniac: Comes at Takizawa and Saki with a flamethrower.
- Shipper on Deck: Of a really weird and perverse kind- hard to figure how else to to describe his desire to get Takizawa and Saki to shower together so he can blow them up.
- Smug Snake: And his Juiz shows him no respect because of it, making it clear how stupid she finds his plans.
- Stuff Blowing Up: He attempts to blow up Takizawa and Saki whilst wanting them to have a shower together, due to there "never being a scene like that before".