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Literature / Babylon (2015)

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That's Ai Magase and she's not a very nice woman.

Babylon is a novel trilogy written from 2015 to 2017 by Mado Nozaki with artwork done by Zain under Kodansha's Kodansha Taiga novel label.note 

It has received a manga adaptation by Nobuhide Takishita in Comic Days magazine under Kodansha's Afternoon KC imprint in 2019, with an October 2019 anime adaptation directed by Kiyotaka Suzuki and produced by Koji Yamamoto while the scripts are written by Minaka Sakamoto and music done by Yutaka Yamada and animation by Revoroot.

The anime adaptation is shown worldwide with regional subtitles under Amazon Prime with the first three episodes aired together. In Japan, it's available via Tokyo MX, BS11 and AT-X. It ran for 12 episodes.

The Tokyo District Public Prosector's office authorizes a daylight raid in Tokyo's newly created Shiniki ward to investigate a pharmaceutical company named Japan Supiri, suspected of faking medical test results from a university. One of the prosecutors involved is Zen Seizaki. While the DPPO investigates, an anesthetist by the name of Shin Inaba was found dead. Left behind is a mysterious document with the word "F" written on it with hair and skin samples.

As Seizaki investigate the case, he learns that a mysterious group is making plans to covertly manipulate the ward's local mayoral election and deceive the locals by using fake information. At the center of law enforcement investigation is a woman named Ai Magase.

Head here for the character trope page.

Babylon has the following tropes:

  • Amoral Attorney: Seizaki confronts corrupt prosecutors while investing the mysterious suicides, which also includes his boss in the DPPO.
  • Author Filibuster: In the final half of the second novel/eleventh episode of the anime, where the world leaders at the G7 Summit take up pages discussing how the concept of human morality and good and evil are essentially meaningless and all boil down to mankind's most base animal instinct to keep existing.
  • Driven to Suicide: Shin has been conducting R&D tests on a new drug named Nyux, which is a painless suicide pill. Kaika was apparently instrumental in backing its creation. The series implies that taking it allows someone to kill themselves without feeling pain.
  • Driving Question: Who is Ai Magase?
  • Extremely Short Intro Sequence: The anime's opening is a 30-second long instrumental piece.
  • Peaceful in Death: All of Magase's victims share the same MO, despite the rich variety of genders, ages and standing in society. A serene, peaceful, smile forever plastered in their visages pre- and -post-mortem.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Viewers/readers have mentioned that some parts of the story can be understood if you know the story of the Whore of Babylon.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The end of "Suspicion" has Atsuhiko Fumio, a public prosecutor assistant, found dead from an apparent suicide.
    • The end of "Revolution" has 60 people kill themselves by jumping off the roof of skyscrapers after Itsuki announces the existence of Nyux.
    • President Wood is shot and killed by Seizaki reluctantly since the former knew that Magase was brainwashing him in "The End". The ending suggest that Seizaki was also killed in Washington DC after his encounter with Magase.