- This is Shibuya but it is not Shibuya.
The people who live in this virtual world are the "Shibuya 15".
The only thing real is the pain.
A twelve-episode J-drama from the producers of Kamen Rider that aired in 2005. The title is pronounced, "Shibuya 15".
A fifteen-year old boy named Tsuyoshi wakes up in an alleyway of Tokyo's Shibuya district. He has no memories, and finds that he is trapped within the borders of Shibuya by some mysterious power.
He soon discovers that there are others like him who cannot leave the confines of Shibuya. Despite this, they live seemingly normal lives fighting in a three-way gang war over territory... except when they break one of the unwritten laws of the world, at which point they become "broken" and marked for death by a mysterious assassin named Piece. Once dead, they are reset into the world with a new name and identity, with their former self erased from the memories of the other inhabitants.
Tsuyoshi is one of only two people who remember the former selves of those who are slain by Piece. The other is a girl called Ema, who is the only one able to temporarily kill Piece and protect the Shibuya 15. Together, they seek to find a way to recover Tsuyoshi's lost memories and escape the virtual Shibuya.
This series contains examples of:
- Affably Evil: Kengo, who lets Asagi, Ema and Tsuyoshi eat, work off debts and rest in his tattoo parlor/restaurant despite keeping the teens in the virtual Shibuya.
- Arc Number: 15, as the area is known as Shibuya 15, and Peace usually goes after 15-year-olds.
- Arc Words: "Ittekimasu, Itterashai."
- Note that in the case of Ema, her refusal to say this in Episode 11 is due to Revu's promise not to do so.
- Ax-Crazy: Ema, before she was inserted into the virtual Shibuya.
- Betty and Veronica: Asagi being the Betty and Ema the Vernoica to Tsuyoshi's Archie. Tsuyoshi ends up with Ema.
- Big Brother Is Watching
- Bittersweet Ending: Everyone escapes the virtual Shibuya, but Ema remains in a coma and cannot truly "escape". Thus Tsuyoshi goes back to the virtual Shibuya to be with her.
- Blood from the Mouth
- Broken Bird: Ema hates Peace because her first friend, Asagi, was killed off by him and forgot their friendship.
- Catch Phrase: Asagi's "You're annoying!"
- Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story
- Evil Counterpart: Miu-chan, Asagi's manipulative Kawaiiko alter-ego.
- Fake Memories: What happens after Peace kills off those with his mark.
- Grasp The Moon: Ema is shown doing this halfway through the series. Because it relates to Tsuyoshi's/Revu's promise to her that they'd leave Shibuya and go to the moon.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Whenever Shibuya 15 goes into Restore.
- Ice-Cream Koan: Mostly whatever Piece says.
- Implacable Man: Piece. No matter how many times Ema comes to kill him, he'll appear and possess someone else.
- Inside a Computer System: Where Tsuyoshi and the other gang members are in.
- Karma Houdini: Kengo, whose acts as The Dragon are immediately forgotten after the Shibuya 15 regain their memories.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: What happens to anyone who was killed by Peace.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: What Shibuya 15 is.
- Manipulative Bastard: Miu-chan. The moment when Ryugo punches her out was incredibly satisfying.
- Meaningful Name: Tsuyoshi means "strong-willed" relating to Tsuyoshi's determination to escape Shibuya.
- Mid-Season Twist: In episode 6, Asagi finds out that she somehow has the same story about her parents in a hospital and a similar photo to one of her Lovegen mates, and when she tries to leave the borderlines of Shibuya, the train that passes by phases through her, and she wakes up in some sort of classroom before being thrown back to Shibuya 15.
- Mind Screw
- Mysterious Informant: Ootomo, the homeless guy.
- Nice Hat: Revu wore a camoflage hat, which is what Tsuyoshi wears to help convince Ema that he regained his memories.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Piece. Only Ema (in her battle armour) can kill him.
- Note to Self: "LEAVE SHIBUYA. - RAVE"
- Only Sane Man: Tsuyoshi
- Quest for Identity
- Powered Armour: Ema can summon a suit of battle armour that gives her the ability to kill Piece.
- Punk Punk: A mix of Cyberpunk and Graffiti Punk.
- Redemption Equals Death: Ema, seeing as she is forever trapped in the virtual Shibuya
- Ret-Gone: Anyone killed by Piece.
- The Reveal: Shibuya 15 is made specifically for rebellious 15-year-old students to be reformed by Peace so they become better members of society.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Piece. (Because Japanese is phonetic, his name could be translated as "Peace", which is also an oddly appropriate name. Mark Musashi- who played Piece- confirmed the correct spelling.)
- In another example, Rave's name can be alternatively translated as "Revu" and sounds suspiciously close to "Review" (which is, again, another Meaningful Name.)
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Asagi and Miu-chan who are the same person.
- Wham Line: Episode 6.Ema: (to Tsuyoshi) So Asagi was right. You're no longer Revu.
- Wham Shot: Asagi waking up in a classfroom in Episode 6, Tsuyoshi waking up in a similar one in Episode 12, and Ema not waking up in Episode 12
- Word Salad Philosophy: Also stuff that Piece says.