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Video Game / The World Ends with You

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Don't hate the Players; hate the Game.note 

"Listen up, Phones! The world ends with you. If you want to enjoy life, expand your world. You gotta push your horizons out as far as they'll go."
Sanae Hanekoma

Also known as It's a Wonderful World (Japanese: Subarashiki Kono Sekai), The World Ends with You is an Urban Fantasy Action RPG developed and published by Square Enix and co-developed by Jupiter (the same company that made Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories).

It tells the story of Neku Sakuraba, an asocial teen who wakes up one day on the crossroads of Shibuya, Tokyo with no clue how he got there. He soon discovers that he has been dumped into a Phantom Zone version of Shibuya called the "Underground", where he will be forced to play the week-long "Reapers' Game". Victory will allow Neku to recover his lost memories and escape from the Underground, but if he loses he'll be erased from existence.

The rules of the Reapers' Game dictate that it must be played in teams of two, and Neku is abruptly partnered with Shiki Misaki, a fashion-conscious chatterbox who becomes the first person to break into Neku's world. Other characters include Daisukenojo "Beat" Bito, a skater who fights before thinking and will take on anyone to finish the game; Raimu (aka "Rhyme"), Beat's logical and adage-loving partner; and Yoshiya "Joshua" Kiryu, a too-clever-by-half teenager who shares Neku's impatience when working with others. Armed with mysterious psychic powers linked to pin badges, the group fight to overcome the challenges set by the Reapers' Game and survive their seven days in the Underground. Opposing them are the organisers and moderators of the game, the Reapers themselves. The plot is a whirlwind of reveals and gambits, so much so that the game encourages you to play a second time to gather secret reports that will allow you to (possibly) make sense of it. Square Enix has also released a one-shot tie-in manga.

Battles are complex and fast-paced, with deep character customization systems and a large number of in-battle actions to choose from. These battles use all of the DS's unique features, and at higher difficulties not paying equal attention to both screens can be deadly, so the game is often noted for its difficulty and complexity. The soundtrack consists of modern, local acts from in and around the real-life Shibuya, and the graphics are inspired by Shibuya's fashion and trends, with character designs by Gen Kobayashi and Tetsuya Nomura. It has achieved a high level of critical acclaim, particularly for how different it is from its contemporaries.

An iOS port of the game subtitled Solo Remix was released on August 27, 2012. The port features enhanced graphics, new music including the remixes from Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], and online Tin-Pin. While no story changes were made, iOS devices could not support the two-screen combat style used in the original, creating a new combat system in which pairs fought together on screen. On October 12, 2018, a Nintendo Switch version subtitled Final Remix was released; in addition to being based on the previous Solo Remix in gameplay and design, the game features an extra scenario that expands the game's existing story, as well as a Sequel Hook.

There was also a social game subtitled Live Remix, set in an alternate universe. At the beginning of the week, players were assigned into groups of 20, and need to work together to defeat Ringleader Noise. There was no English release, however, and the Japanese game shut down on February 28, 2014.

In June 2020, thirteen years after the game originally released, an anime adaptation was announced at Anime Expo Lite 2020. Kazuya Ichikawa will direct the series at Domerica x Shin-Ei Animation, with Midori Goto serving as screenwriter. Key staff members from the original game like Tetsuya Nomura & Gen Kobayashi (character design) and Takeharu Ishimoto (music) are also returning to those roles for the anime. The series began airing on April 9, 2021, and you can watch the reveal trailer here.

In November 2020, a follow-up known as NEO: The World Ends with You was announced for a July 2021 release on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PC. Taking place in Shibuya once more, the game follows a cast of new characters in a new version of the Reapers' Game, with appearances from classic characters like Sho Minamimoto and Koki Kariya. Graphically, the game makes the Video Game 3D Leap with cel shaded graphics vs. the original's 2D sprites.

See also Sh15uya and Gantz, which have similar premises. For a game similar in visual and musical aesthetic rather than story matter, see Jet Set Radio. See also Devil Survivor, which is also set in Shibuya for seven days. Contrast Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, which deals with similar themes and carries the same "Holy Shit!" Quotient.

Does not involve you bringing the world to some sort of "end".

Note: It's A Wonderful World is a dangerously similar title to that of a 1939 live-action Screwball Comedy, It's a Wonderful World, starring Jimmy Stewart and Claudette Colbert. In addition, the title is also similar to the Louis Armstrong song "What a Wonderful World", the resemblance being intended by the creators.

Spoilers below.

Provides examples of:

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    # - E 
  • 100% Completion: There are 22 secret reports, 96 Noise reports, 472 items, and 304 pins to collect; more in the ports. Completing each set gets you a star rank for that collection and a new character on the save screen. Collecting all the secret reports also unlocks The Stinger.
  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: The Shibuya River. Easily big enough for the characters to walk and fight in. Truth in Television, as it really does exist. According to The Other Wiki, the Shibuya River was adapted from a city street.
  • Adaptation Deviation: The misunderstanding between Ai and Mina transpires during Day 5 of the Reaper's Game. In the anime, it happens during Day 4.
  • An Aesop: The quote at the top of this page is the game's unifying theme.
  • Affably Evil: Many Reapers are pretty friendly for people who regularly erase other people.
  • Affectionate Parody: Another Day often comes across as this, of Super Sentai-style shows and RPGs ("Black joined the party!") and games are Serious Business type shows like Yu-Gi-Oh!. The Tin-Pin storyline is also a parody of the game you just played.
  • After-Combat Recovery: You gain full HP after finishing battles. In case of chained battles, HP recovery occurs after completing the entire chain, instead of between individual battles.
  • A.I. Breaker: One of the things making Taboo Minamimoto such a difficult boss is an apparent Medium Awareness, activating Teleport Spam whenever your stylus makes contact with the boss's sprite. Therefore, using pins that attack without having to touch near your target makes this boss much easier. Vortex Saber M is the usual psych suggestion, but there are many that meet that description.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: In the end, you can't help but feel bad for Kitaniji once you realize that all he was doing was trying to ensure that Joshua didn’t destroy the city he loved above all else, to the point that he was willing to put his entire existence on the line for it.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The Japanese manual includes things like the pins that your three partners use. Which explains things like how Joshua somehow uses his cell phone to drop soda machines on enemies although most fans have already made a justified assumption.
    • Furthermore, the manual even points out all of Neku's partners, making Neku's shocking expression after finding out he has to play through another game less surprising. It even goes so far as to tell the order in which you get Shiki, Joshua, and Beat.
    • This trope is also in effect in the game's universe via the Secret Reports, which act as a combination of Unreliable Narrator and Mr. Exposition. They do at least explain the rules of the game and its universe before one final Mind Screw.
  • Almighty Janitor: Kariya fits the bill nicely, although he does very little work at all. This is mainly due to him preferring to hang out with Uzuki instead, in spite of the fact that his skills easily warrant him a promotion.
  • Already Done for You: A few missions are partially completed by other Players, but only after you've done almost all of the work. On a smaller and less plot-relevant note, the Reaper wall between Center Street Entrance and AMX during Week 2 Day 2 is up if you go from the Center Street side but down if you go from the AMX side, confusing Neku until Joshua reminds him that there are other Players clearing walls too.
  • Alternate Universe:
    • "Another Day" is an extra chapter that takes place in the dimension Joshua fled to after his apparent Heroic Sacrifice. In this reality, Neku is an optimistic Cloudcuckoolander and Tin Pin Slamming is Serious Business.
    • "A New Day" appears to take place in one as well, as not only is the geography of Shibuya completely jumbled, some of the characters act bizarrely. Shiki and Rhyme act more like "close enough" versions of their main counterparts, Uzuki and Kariya swapped personalities, and Joshua has been turned into a meek, bumbling kid with a stutter who insists on using his real name. As it turns out, Neku and Beat are inside a giant Noise that's acting as a Lotus-Eater Machine; once Hanekoma exposes Coco and the Dissonance Tapir is defeated, they are returned to the real world.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: While the title change was due to legal issues, thus providing a reason for the use of the trope, The World Ends With You is quite a bit more "hardcore" than It's a Wonderful World.
  • Anachronic Order: Completing the post-game sidequests for the first 20 days awards you with Secret Reports 1-20 in that order. However, completing Beat Day 7's quests gives you Secret Report 22, and completing Another Day's quests (one of which is obtaining Beat Day 7's Report) gives you Secret Report 21.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Neku switching partners at the start of each week. You thought you were done so soon?
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: After several days of battling Noise, Rhyme undergoes an Emergency Transformation and eventually manifests as one. Downplayed in that the transformation only serves to introduce her as a Living MacGuffin, rather than invoking any Internal Conflict Tropes on her part.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Getting to change the game's difficulty at any time and offering the chance to try a fight again on easy as part of the game over screen. Final Remix also offers another one in getting to change your pins after a game-over without having to go through the title screen first in case you were caught off-guard by a boss battle when training weaker pins.
    • The alien encounters are completely random, but can show up anytime to prevent player from being completely locked from MPP evolution (including on devices that aren't actually DS, like an emulator) if they have no one to connect with. On top of that, Solo Remix made it possible to earn Mingle PP by playing single-player Tin Pin with the AI. Final Remix axed the concept of Mingle PP entirely and changed all Pins that required it to Evolve to use either Battle or Shutdown PP instead. Since there are now only two PP types, the evolution rules were also tweaked slightly to ensure it's still possible to master the handful of pins with branched evolutions; instead of evolving based on which type of PP is dominant to any degree, pins now only evolve if the required PP type is very dominant.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Of the three kinds of experience that your pins can get, one can only be gained by leaving your DS off for a significant period of time (or by changing the date on your system, but that's cheating!) Other than experience for your pins, stat boosting food can only be consumed at a rate of 24 "bytes" per day (you can eat items worth six bytes or less at any time, but they rarely give significant statistic boosts). This can be circumvented by purchasing a specific item or by adjusting the internal clock of your DS.
  • Apocalypse How: In A New Day, the ending reveals that Shinjuku has been not just erased, but subjected to something called an Inversion, the mechanics of which aren't detailed other than that they involve Noise manifesting in the RG. The "how" part of the trope is the looming question.
  • Arbitrary Mission Restriction: Some special Pig Noise enemies must be defeated in very idiosyncratic ways. Some require a specific pin to be erased, some must be beaten in under ten seconds, some must be beaten in a particular order, and one actually requires you to close your DS in order to be erased.
  • Arc Words: Week 3 has a very creepy recurring line, spoken by those who have been brainwashed by the Red Skull pins:
    "To right the countless wrongs of our day, we shine this light of true redemption, that this place may become as paradise. What a wonderful world such would be..."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Reaper Sport 1 is Russian Roulette. Reaper Sport 2 is Hide-and-Seek. Reaper Sport 3 is a Player Hunt, while Reaper Sport 4 is Tag.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Technically, this is what happens to all the Players upon entering the game. The Secret Reports reveal that the Underground is on a slightly higher plane then the real world, meaning Players ascend to a higher plane upon death. Also, Players who do exceptionally well are offered the chance to become Reapers, and Reapers who do exceptionally well can be promoted to Officers, giving them a chance to become Composer and/or even Angels.
  • Ascended Extra: Coco Atarashi, who originally hosted the microtransaction shop in Solo Remix and was featured in the mobile spinoff Live Remix, is officially added to canon in Final Remix's extra story.
  • Assimilation Plot: Kitaniji's plan to prove that humanity can be redeemed is to brainwash all of Shibuya's inhabitants, erasing their sense of individuality and personal flaws.
  • Auto-Save: Solo and Final Remix save at every screen transition. Accordingly, the "Save" menu is renamed to the "Deeds" menu, because now all it's good for is looking at your stats.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: A lot of the Final Remix-exclusive pins are altered versions of common psychs whose use is highly unorthodox (a Painfully Slow Force Rounds pin being the simplest example).
  • Badass Adorable:
    • Neku Sakuraba. Multiple shopkeepers will gush over how cute he looks as their FSG meter increases and his multiple When He Smiles moments and development into a genuinely good person firmly cements him as one. As for the badass part, he's able to use a Superpower Lottery worth of pins, takes on multiple Reapers and Noises as the story progresses, takes on three Game Masters throughout the game and win, and survives the Reaper's Game multiple times.
    • Shiki Misaki is no slouch in this apartment as well, being adorable young lady with a love for fashion and her stuffed cat...who also has no problem tearing apart multiple Noise with said stuffed cat. On top of that, her stuffed cat can also clone itself, and grow into a giant version of itself that’s even able to shoot Eye Beams.
    • Once you get past the already-thin tough-guy exterior, Beat is a warm, honest, kindhearted sweetheart who is fiercely devoted to the people he loves and will take on what is essentially the afterlife in order to protect them. He also has some of the fastest DPS combos in the game and his Difficult, but Awesome Fusion system can help make for some potent damaging attacks provided you set it up right.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • Joshua, the Composer of Shibuya, had decided that the city had become corrupt, and was planning to destroy it before it infected other regions. Kitaniji's entire plot throughout the game was a challenge for the right to stop him. Thanks to Neku, Joshua beats Kitaniji and has free reign. But also thanks to Neku, Joshua changes his mind about Shibuya needing to be destroyed in the first place. So even though the bad guy won, the good guys didn't lose.
    • "A New Day" also ends this way, this time as a Sequel Hook. Neku is dead at Coco's hands, and after attempting and failing to prevent his murder, Joshua callously decides to leave Neku to his fate, declaring Josh doesn't need him anymore. All this is part of Coco's plan to get Neku back into the UG, the first step of a scheme that threatens far more than just Shibuya. The second step? Resurrect Sho Minamimoto. Apparently to act as Neku's partner.
  • Balance Buff: Solo Remix changed the generic stat medication from Shibu-Q to go down in 6 bytes rather than 8 (HP) or 16 (ATK/DEF), bringing them from "basically worthless" to "Infinity Minus One stat boosters". The "best" foods in terms of byte/stat ratio remain the same, but the medication is much easier to acquire, and can be used repeatedly without the Hollow Leg.
  • Bait-and-Switch: This line said by Neku in Another Day:
    Neku: Wow, you guys. I always scrap [the Pinhead Weekly Magazine] an acid-proof scrapbook binder.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Taboo Minamimoto gets crunched before you can actually fight to the death. He comes back as Blue Noise during the postgame.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot:
    • Neku remembers Joshua pointing at him with a literal smoking gun, just before his death. Actually, Joshua had just shot Minamimoto, who had for some reason chosen that moment to try killing Joshua for a Klingon Promotion. And then Joshua shoots Neku for real.
    • In A New Day, Neku sees a vision of almost the same scene, after he knows what happened the first time. Again, Joshua actually shot a Reaper behind Neku — Coco, this time. And Neku dies again, because this time the assassin was after him, and Joshua failed to stop her.
  • Battle Couple: Sota and Nao. They're already established as a couple during the first week, and when Neku and Joshua encounter them in the second week, they're partners in the Reaper's Game.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Reaper Beat and Taboo Minamimoto. Even if you land a significant number of hits (or manage to defeat them in New Game+), Neku will be gasping and mocked for being too weak to be worth fighting.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: This is the goal of all Players and even Kitaniji, Minamimoto and Konishi, who are all plotting against the Composer for one reason or another. However, only Kitaniji is formally held to this rule the way the Players are.
  • Beehive Barrier: The Reaper walls take the form of transparent hexagons.
  • Berserk Button: Beat is enraged and embarrassed whenever someone calls him by his real name.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Kitaniji and Joshua. The latter is a god-like figure who wanted to destroy Shibuya because of its dire problems, and the other was trying to start an Assimilation Plot to convince him otherwise.
  • Big "OMG!": Another Day Shiki, upon seeing her idol the Prince: "Omi- omi- omi- oho ho ho ho ohh! emm! gee!" Joshua thinks she's having a stroke.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Neku, when he is told that Shiki is his new entry fee.
    • Kitaniji after being defeated.
  • Bilingual Bonus: One NPC's thoughts are completely in Japanese. It's something along the lines of his American friends wanting him to smuggle a samurai sword back with him—except he can't be understood because he speaks English and he has no idea where the hell to buy one. (In the Japanese version, his text was in English instead of Japanese, so it made more sense there.)
  • Bishōnen Line: Taboo Minamimoto. He was already attractive before he started screwing around with Taboo Noise, but upon becoming a Taboo Noise himself, his cap is gone and his jacket is completely torn apart, exposing his bare chest for all to see.
  • Bittersweet Ending: It's pointed out in the Secret Reports that even though Rhyme came back to life, life would be difficult for her without her entry fee. This is mitigated, slightly, by the fact that her entry fee can be rebuilt, unlike others: with the help of her brother and friends, she can possibly discover new hopes and dreams, which were heavily implied to be her original entry fee.
  • Bizarro Universe:
    • Another Day. Neku apparently sleeps in the Scramble Crossing on purpose, and begins each day with a heartfelt prayer to God for the next day to be "even sweeter than yesterday" — quite the contrast to mister "Outta my face! You're blocking my view! Shut up!" from the main game's intro. And the whole place is positively obsessed with Tin Pin.
    • A New Day shuffles locations and inverts most major characters' personalities — Joshua, notably, is a stammering nerd. This turns out to be a Lotus-Eater Machine of Coco's design.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The entirety of Another Day has more powerful Noise than the ones found in the endgame, but its Pork City consists of 13 floors of extremely hard Noise, a different brand requirement on each floor, annoying Pig Noise to kill, and a Super Boss at the top.
  • Book Ends:
    • The game begins and ends with Neku given the choice to kill a partner. In the beginning, his partner is said to be duplicitous and he tries to go through with it. In the end, his partner was actually duplicitous and he stops himself from going through with it. The game also begins with Neku putting on his headphones and ends with him taking them off.
    • At the start of the game (and a few times later on), Neku wakes up in the middle of the Scramble, with everyone around him walking past as they are unable to see him. When he wakes up in Scramble for the fourth time, everyone sees him.
  • Boring, but Practical: The basic Shockwave pin is basically just a fast melee attack. It's also great for racking up long combos, and stunlocks enemies so you can down them fast enough to get the star rating for battles (and the subsequent EXP boost).
  • Boss Banter: In addition to Neku and his partner having lots of voice clips during battle, the Game Masters all have voice clips as well, usually to indicate they're about to use a certain attack. They'll also make a snarky comment if you die. Kariya is the master of this in pre-battle scenes.
  • Boss Remix:
    • The final boss theme Twister-Remix is not only a remix of Twister but incorporates riffs from various other tracks including Calling and Ooparts.
    • Solo Remix repurposes several remixes from the bonus soundtrack to serve as themes for specific battles. "Long Dream -1980s-" is used for the Uzuki & Kariya Dual Boss fights, for example, while "Transformation -Transformed-" is exclusive to Taboo Minamimoto.
  • Boss Rush: Hidden in Another Day. Played straight on subsequent playthroughs, if you choose — ultimate difficulty and a raised battle-chain cap allow you to fight sixteen battles featuring high-level noise. You can have even more fun by combining the smaller battles with a boss fight.
  • Bowdlerization: There are a few inverted crosses in CAT's graffiti; these were edited for the international release.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • Downplayed in the original and Solo Remix versions. Though a lot of threads and pins require a good amount of hunting that will probably take you well into the post-game, the vast majority can be acquired on lower difficulties, allowing them to be put to use on higher difficulties - in particular, no thread item is difficulty-locked. The straightest example would be the Gatito pin sets, which (aside from a random pin from each set being buyable) are acquired by fighting bosses on Ultimate difficulty; the Darklit Planets, in particular, have two of them dropped by the Final Boss and Super Boss, so unless one of them is your random, you're unlike to have a clear target to use them on.
    • Fully averted in Final Remix with the addition of A New Day. Even on Normal, the sequence is hard enough to merit the best equipment the main game has to offer; furthermore, everything exclusive to A New Day can be obtained on Hard difficulty, leaving Ultimate as an opportunity to put it to use (if the individual player deems it useful).
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: As part of the Assimilation Plot during the third week, all of the Reapers are brainwashed and will attack Neku and Beat on sight. Uzuki and Kariya are fought in this state, resulting in a Not-So-Harmless Villain battle.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Kariya in the second manga chapter. "Since we showed up in silhouette last time, you probably thought we were up to something dastardly. We're totally not."
    • Joshua in Another Day breaks the fourth wall to protest that his opponent in a Tin Pin match is a random reaper.
      Joshua: "...Excuse me? I'm up against an unnamed character? What a waste."
  • Broken Bridge: Done so blatantly, via literal invisible walls that the Reapers set up and refuse to let the Players pass until they do the task of their choosing. Not only is this a straight use of the trope, it loops back around to brilliant.
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • Another Day Pork City. Thirteen floors, all Noise mandatory, pins restricted by brand. At the top? Nothing but simple closure assuming you survive Panthera Cantus.
    • In Final Remix, A New Day has shades of this; every battle after the first few screens is given highly unusual fighting rules to deal with. The Dissonance Shark can eat you alive even on Easy. The game gives you fair warning in its own way: in order to unlock A New Day, you have to defeat three boss encounters provided by a Reaper in purple, the last of which is an counter with four bat Noise, two drake Noise, and a woolly Noise, all at once (drakes and woollies are typically encountered individually or flanked by frog Noise).
  • Bullet Hell: Later bosses will create ridiculous amounts of projectiles for you to dodge. For one boss, understanding how to fight the noise created is central to advancing to the next stage of the fight.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Sho Minamimoto is a math fetishist who spends much of his time either lazying around or building piles of junk, and during his time as GM, he doesn't even issue missions some days. Despite this, his player erasure rate is impeccable and he's a high-ranking Reaper and GM. He betrays just about everybody in the end, but damn, does he excel at it. He didn't even need to bother coming up with a cover for his plans — as one of the Secret Reports points out, he's always up to something, so "out of the ordinary" behavior is actually completely ordinary for him.
  • But Thou Must!: At one point Neku encounters three event battles. Two of them can be skipped, but the third one is mandatory — if you try to skip it, Neku will change his mind and rush in to save Sota anyway. Also, when Kitaniji asks Neku to help him build a new Shibuya, even if you remember the earlier Chekhov's Gun and decide to play along, all it does is yield two lines of extra dialogue before Neku refuses.
  • Button Mashing: There are certain commands that are routine for pin types (same attack, different brand), so if you're up to six slots and have forgotten what to do while your first pins reboot... well, you'll probably figure it out just by frantically trying everything. Some fights come down to how quickly you can spam your opponent with attacks before they're able to start damaging you.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The penguin and hedgehog noise are called popguins and corehogs, respectively.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: When Neku finds out that Joshua killed him, it takes an entire day before he confronts Joshua about it. Joshua himself seems to fall into this trope when he doesn't tell Neku that he didn't kill him until much later, when you find he actually did kill Neku. Justified in canon, however, as Neku is not entirely certain of his claim, Joshua is his partner, and Neku needs him to win the game and save Shiki. Neku waits until Joshua is at a psychological disadvantage and he has more evidence.
  • Can Only Move the Eyes:
    • During cutscenes, when the characters are paralyzed, they usually scream something about how they can't move.
    • The cutscene sprites used for minor characters (like Shooter) vary only by their facial expressions.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: In the latter half of Week 2, Neku's figured out that Joshua is his murderer and wants to abandon him, but per the rules of the Game they're stuck with each other in order to survive.
  • Captain Obvious: Neku outright calls Joshua this at one point. Any time a character notes the obvious, he's thinking something similar.
  • Catchphrase: Sho's "So zetta slow!" along with his other math-related tics. Neku's "Oh snap!" upon receiving a quest item.
  • Cats Are Mean: Minamimoto's and Konishi's and Hanekoma's Noise forms are wicked-looking cats; respectively, a lion, a tiger and both.
  • Cellphones Are Useless: During the Reaper’s Game, the characters note that their cell phones have no reception. The dead can't talk to the living, after all. They can receive messages from the Reapers, and your in-game menu is supposedly the cellphone menu, but other than that they're powerless. When Joshua actually talks to someone on his, Neku instantly turns suspicious (Joshua's talking to Hanekoma).
  • Charged Attack: Any of the pins with "press" touch commands, though especially the Massive Hit psychs.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Near the very beginning of the game, Neku and Shiki have a conversation and Shiki notices that Neku has two Player Pins. Then, at the very end of the game, just before the Final Boss, Neku manages to avoid being sucked into Megumi's mind control scheme because he has a second one. In the same vein, the Red Skull pin is eventually revealed to trigger the Assimilation Plot.
    • The secret items you have to get on your second playthrough to complete the Secret Reports are all mentioned in stray thoughts by passerby even during your first playthrough. Now you understand why that guy was rambling about a samurai wig...
    • There's even a callback to Neku's dash maneuver. It's the first thing you learn, and you are immune to damage at the start of the attack. Then, Neku uses it at the very end of the game, in a cutscene, to get the Red Skull pin off of Shiki.
  • Chained Heat: Players in the game have to make a pact to fight Noise in two different zones or they are unable to attack it, leading to quick erasure. Also, if one member of the pair dies, the remaining one has 7 minutes to make a pact with another player or die. Neku has an unfortunate tendency to make a pact with someone he can't stand.
  • Character Development: Neku starts as a mopey, emo teenager who only has people around him because of the much more outgoing Shiki, who is tied to him by the game's rules. By the end, he learns to grow out of his emo ways, and that the world is bigger than himself.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Remember that Reaper with the black hoodie who gave you instructions for Tin Pin Slammer? That's Shinji Hashimoto, the Wizard of Slam and your final opponent in the Another Day chapter.
    • Right before Shiki forms a pact with Neku, look at the crowd in front of the dog statue, Hachiko. Joshua is standing right next to Neku. He's no longer there after Shiki and Neku form a pact and fight. In Solo Remix and Final Remix it's pretty much a blink-and-you'll-miss-it though, as cutscenes and overworld are now on the same screen.
    • Neku actually runs past all three of his future partners during his initial panicked dash set to the Surreal Theme Tune.
    • And during one early mission, you see Sota and Nao a few days before they enter the next Game. Mina and Ai appear in the street one day before a mission is centered around them, as does Makoto. The Tin Pin tournament is randomly mentioned by Makoto and Shooter and Yammer a week before it becomes relevant to Neku.
  • The Chessmaster: There's around three - Joshua, who initiated the whole thing and kept it moving whilst on the sidelines for a good portion of the game; Megumi Kitaniji, who carefully made sure that everyone was kept in the dark about his game with Joshua whilst slowly infiltrating Shibuya with the Red Skull pins; and finally, (possibly) Sanae Hanekoma, who popped up here and there, never letting on too much, and in the end turned out to be an Angel. This is hardly surprising, coming from a game with a Gambit Pileup.
  • Climax Boss: Each week ends with a battle against the Game Master, whom Neku must defeat to win the Reaper's Game.
  • Close on Title: The numbered day of the week is specified at the beginning of each chapter, but a second splash page with the actual chapter title is shown at each chapter's end. The titles are painful. The overall game also ends by displaying the title once more, now altered to read The World Begins With You.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Final Remix has an exclusive "Co-Op" feature only available with Joy-Con controls that allows a second player to play as the Assist Character. The second player can use all of the Partner's moves and is completely invulnerable, and playing this way also awards a 10% EXP bonus at the end of each fight.
  • Colbert Bump: In-Universe examples.
    • Joshua claims that this happens whenever The Prince mentions something on his blog. This is most likely why Shadow Ramen is so popular the day it takes central stage.
    • This is a gameplay mechanic. Fighting battles with branded pins equipped makes those respective brands more popular in your given area. If a given brand makes the popularity chart's Top 3, all of that brand's pins are given a boost in power in that area.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • The Reapers, who are either wearing a bright red jacket or a black sweatshirt. Those in red jackets are easier to please but the walls they're guarding are the ones you have to clear to advance; those in black sweatshirts tend to guard walls that aren't required for the main storyline (although you may need to move past them to complete the secret missions) and issue the Reaper Review. The latter group appears to be slightly stronger than the first and will attack you during the third week.
    • All items in your inventory — food, clothes, etc. — will be bordered with a color related to the brand (Lapin Angelique items have a purple border, Mus Rattus a light brown one, etc.). This is immensely useful when you're required to make a certain brand popular.
    • The QUEST items come with a blue (you can make as many of them as you want, given you can find the required materials) or red (you can only get one) border.
    • Pins dropped by enemies are color-coded by which difficulty slot they are in: brown for Easy, blue for Normal, yellow for Hard, and red for Ultimate. Pigs always drop green pins, and one late-game boss also has a scripted grey pin drop as part of the fight.
    • Noise are color-coded, which is taught to you in-game. Red Noise are Chump Noise, which are the most common and act as "regular" Noise. Yellow are Negative Noise that have to be cleared from a person. Gray Noise are Taboo, capable of forcing the player into battle while scanning and highly resistant to damage without proper coordination between partners. Blue are Boss Noise, which act as optional bosses (usually postgame rematches with story bosses). Green are Pig Noise, rare optional enemies that can flee from battle. Final Remix adds purple Dissonance Noise, exclusive to A New Day; fights against them involve bonus conditions. Shapes generally indicate what you'll be expected to battle, but it varies based on which day of the game you're playing and difficulty level — so the same symbol can represent the jellyfish sequence and kangaroos.
  • Combat Stilettos: Enamel Pumps, a piece of equipment that when equipped will help you resist knock-back.
  • Combat Tentacles: One of the Jellyfish Noise actually uses this as an attack.
    "If you're not careful, that obscene tentacle will start violating your HP!"
  • Combination Attack: If you earn enough stars during battle, Neku and his partner can perform different types of Fusion Attacks. Uzuki and Kariya also have one when you fight them.
  • Combined Energy Attack: The fusion between Neku and all three of his partners at the end of the final battle.
  • Coming of Age Story: The entirety of the game is this for Neku, detailing him growing out of his Jerkass personality and childish preconceptions of others into becoming a much more mature person who learns to let other people into his life and to embrace the individual values of them. This also extends to his partners as well, who each learn to accept their flaws and make better strides towards becoming better people.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The first episode in the anime features the first three days of the game, mainly omitting minor details relating to the objectives in each mission. For instance, rather than scanning a civilian near a statue to obtain a clue about their objective for the second day, the Noise possessing the Hachiko statue shows up almost immediately.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: NPC pin decks for Tin Pin Slammer are unrestricted by class limitations like the player's. During Another Day, you'll find several opponents whose decks contain multiple Angel- and Reaper-class pins or multiple copies of the same A-class pin.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: Subverted. At the start of Another Day, it's stated that the events therein take place in a world completely separate from the main story. It neglects to mention that separate worlds are an in-universe thing, and acts as though the events of this world are unrelated to those of the main story. In fact, several characters (namely Hanekoma and Joshua) are capable of traveling between such worlds, and have shown up in Another Day from the main story. That being said, that they are in this particular world is largely for Rule of Fun, as the gameplay options they offer (the Panthera Cantus Super Boss and the Time Attack Boss Rush) don't make a whole lot of sense from an in-universe perspective.
  • Cooldown Manipulation: Turbo Reboot and Over the Top, exclusive to Speed Factor and the Over the Top set, decrease reboot time of all pins by 25% and 40%, respectively, and stack additively.
  • Cool Shades: Hanekoma and Kitaniji both have them. You can later buy "Funky Shades", then turn them in as a quest item.
  • Cosmetic Award: Beating Final Time Attack will show your record time on your Mingle data.
  • Council of Angels: The Angels/Producers are the ones who run the Reapers' Game from behind the scenes. They rank even higher than the Composer, who is portrayed in-game as an allegory for God/Christ Himself.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene:
    • The final boss battle ends when the player touches a black skull pin in the bottom screen, triggering a cutscene in which Neku unleashes a final fusion attack.
    • The battle against Minamimoto ends with him using a Level i Flare attack against Joshua.
  • Crack Fic: Another Day may be actually written on crack due to how dramatically different it is from everything else, being a bizarre universe where everything revolves around Tin Pin and everything is considerably sillier.
  • Creator Cameo: Producer Shinji Hashimoto and artists Tetsuya Nomura and Gen Kobayashi all make appearances as optional Tin Slammer Opponents.
  • Creative Closing Credits: They're similar to the ones used in Ghost Trick and Ace Attorney, showing where the characters are now.
  • Credits Running Sequence: The opening cinematic plays while Neku is dashing through Shibuya.
  • Creepy Crosses: CAT's graffiti in the Japanese version incorporate lots of inverted crosses. Appropriate, since CAT is a Fallen Angel.
  • Critical Encumbrance Failure: You can have hundreds of shirts, hats, accessories, and more, but try get 10 or more copies of the same item, and you'll supposedly "collapse in swag".
  • Crossdresser:
    • You can, if dedicated enough, increase the male Player's Bravery stat so that they'll be enabled to wear women's clothing. Reading minds will also occasionally turn up a man disguised as a woman — and totally pulling it off.
    • There are some articles of clothing that have extra benefits when worn by certain characters. Each character has at least a few items that provide a significant bonus when worn by their designated user (and no bonus when worn by someone else). They all tend to be things that the characters would be interested in wearing, or that they do wear — and then there's the incredibly useful gothic Lolita attire by Princess K of the bunny realm. Both Neku and Joshua (but not Beat) receive huge bonuses from certain dresses, skirts, and heels. One of the first unlockable items at Lapin Angelique is the "Frilly Parasol", which only benefits Joshua.
  • Critical Status Buff: Various clothing items (primarily from the "Lapin Angelique" brand) provide status buffs when the wearer is low on HP. Combine these with pins that place Neku in critical HP at the start of battle and you have the "Lapin Angelique Suicidal Special" and can strike for massive damage.
  • Crosshair Aware: The Kangaroo Noise leaps into the air as one of its main attacks, and a crosshair shows where it will come down.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: The Reaper's Game offers players a chance to return to life, but with a catch- they must give up what they value most as their "entry fee", and will only get it back if they win the Game. In the case of Rhyme, it's stated that since the person in question failed to complete the game (Rhyme was devoured by a shark Noise on Day 4, but later returned to life) her entry fee will never be returned. The Secret Reports suggest that this is the Composer's way of testing Players' ability to get through life without what they value most, and forcing them to re-evaluate how important said thing is.
  • Crutch Character: Since female clothing has high bravery requirements, Shiki begins with a high bravery stat, making her easier to equip than Neku, Joshua, and Beat. Her attack chain also has frames of invincibility at the end, making Button Mashing for the top screen a more viable strategy. However, her base damage output pales in comparison with Joshua and Beat.
  • Cult Soundtrack: The music is easily one of the most memorable parts of the game, featuring an eclectic mix of J-pop, hip-hop, rock, rap, and various amounts of funky tracks, which could easily be mistaken for actual licensed songs by the unfamiliar.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • (Neku, thinking) "Maybe if just for one minute you could stop your bi—" Unlike the usual use of this trope, this isn't an attempt to get around censors (Beat calls plenty of things "bitch"es later in the game) so much as to indicate the derailing of his train of thought.
    • And in the manga: "Look, enough of this sh—OW!!!"
  • Cutscene Incompetence: In Week 2, Day 2, during the Tin Pin Slammer Tournament. You can know how to play Tin Pin and cruise through the tutorial and the first round with Yammer, but in the second round Shooter whips out his "Inn-PINCIBLE" ultimate pin Red Kaiser, and Neku loses instantly. The player has no say in this.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • Neku force-chokes Shiki using Psychokinesis early on, but you cannot invoke this power in battle later, even against Reapers. You can get Psychokinesis pins that let you grab enemies as well as obstacles, but the first Psychokinesis pin is not one of them, and none of them damage the enemy just by lifting them. Lifting an enemy and shaking it violently, however, is both cathartic and a form of attack.
    • In Week 2, Joshua single-handedly erases a Taboo rhino. Even after you acquire the psych he used during the cutscene, erasing the same Noise with a single Jesus Beam during a conventional battle is impossible. This is a rare justified example — Kariya sees the original feat, and warns the pair that such power implies the user is actually alive and that he won't turn a blind eye a second time. From then on, Joshua has to hold back to prevent getting caught.
    • On the final day, Mr. Mew duplicates himself outside of battle during a cutscene, when he has only otherwise been able to do so during Shiki's fusion attack.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Pig Butoh, a unique pig that does not run away and can headbutt Players for a sizable amount of damage, although it only has that one attack and no special tricks besides that.
  • Dead-End Room: The game drops you in one after you beat the Final Boss for the first time, as a weird Forced Tutorial on how to use the Replay Mode you just unlocked — as the tutorial box happily tells you, the only way out is to warp to another chapter. If you check the save/deeds menu at this point, you'll find that you're technically in Another Day, despite this room having nothing whatsoever to do with that story.
  • Deader than Dead: Anyone who gets "erased." The First Law of Resurrection is in use, though: if the author wants anyone to come back, it's possible. The secret reports detail the nature and rules of the game.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Everyone is "erased" by the Noise. However, this becomes a Subverted Trope when you learn that you're Dead to Begin With, and that Erasure erases you out of existence, rather than being a euphemism for death. According to the Secret Reports, erasure is only erasure from physical existence. The Soul is separated from its mind and body and becomes a part of the UG. By organizing it according to a certain code it can take on any imaginable form, but only the Composer has enough Imagination to rearrange it as a human being. This explains Rhyme's erasure: her Soul was dispersed and her body vanished. Mr. Hanekoma coded it into the form of a pin, which Beat and Neku both used to code her Soul into Noise form. Eventually, the Composer returned her Soul to its original human code, as we see in the ending.
  • Dead to Begin With: The players are dead and playing for a second chance at life. Neku is unaware of this though, due to his amnesia.
  • Death by Irony:
    • The last time we see Sho Minamimoto, he has been "crunched" by some unknown attacker and made a part of one of his signature garbage heap "sculptures".
    • A subverion would be Shiki. She gets her right to come back to life, only to become Neku's second entry fee. You only see her again at the end of Week 3, the game's Grand Finale.
  • Death's Hourglass: A timer appears in the players' hands at the start of each day. Failure to accomplish the designated objective before it reaches zero can potentially result in the team being erased, though their fate is decided based on how close the participants were to completing the mission.
  • Debug Room: There is a debug menu in the DS version accessible by using a cheat device that lets you change the location, partner, top brand, and do other things like show cutscenes.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Every shopkeeper you meet is a Stepford Smiler at best and a Jerkass at worst when you first encounter them (with one or two exceptions). As you build up a rapport with each one, however, they give you increasingly better service, including access to stuff in the stock room and tips about your current gear. Several even start to become attracted to Neku. The inverse of this is Makoto when he re-opens Shadow Ramen. When the player reaches 100%, Makoto starts becoming worried that Neku only visits Shadow Ramen because the teenager has a crush on him.
  • Degraded Boss: The first Grizzly, Shark, Corehog and Rhino Noises appear as end-of-the-day bosses before becoming regular enemies a few days later.
  • Demonic Dummy: Shiki just levitates Mr. Mew; she does not control the thing. According to the Japanese manual, her pin is the Groove Pawn, which grants her Psychokinesis to animate Mr. Mew.
  • Denser and Wackier: The manga is more of a parody than an actual adaptation of the game.
  • De-power: Joshua is omnipotent, but voluntarily limits his own powers to make the "game" he's playing fair.
  • Developer's Foresight: Right after you learn about the imprinting mechanic, you'll be given a tutorial where you're prompted to use the first keyword you learned on a nearby businessman, after which he'll leave and you can continue on with the story. However, he also has a unique line for every other keyword available that day, on the off-chance you left without completing the tutorial and came back after you learned them.
  • Devil in Disguise: The Hidden Secret Reports reveal that Sanae Hanekoma is a fallen angel that gave the taboo powers to Sho Minamimoto. But then, considering Sho was opposed to the Composer's whole "wipe Shibuya" plan...
  • Difficulty by Region: Zigzagged. On one hand, many Pins are stronger in the international versions, either directly or because the efficiency of its Psych was increased. Mingle PP was received in smaller quantities (though that was likely done to account for the fact it would be much harder to actually find people due to differences in culture). Some items are stronger, most notably Angel Feather going from -24 ATK and +600 HP for mere 75 Bravery to +30ATK/DEF and +2000 HP for at 999 Bravery. A notorious difference was Eden's Door originally evolving into 1 Yen, instead of looping back to the first one in the set. However, certain pins are weaker - such as Time Bomb Psych or the entire Black Planet set (which is still very strong even after the nerf), and most of the threads that are made available in postgame had their Bravery requirements inflated, with only minor changes in statsNote , with some of the items actually ending up worse.

  • Difficulty Levels: You can earn Easy Mode rather quickly, Hard a bit later, and Ultimate upon completing the game. You can change the difficulty at any point in the game (being defeated in battle even gives the option of redoing it on Easy), the difference being item drops. In addition, you can choose to lower your own Character Level to make item drops more likely, as well as brag on the Bestiary.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Everything in the game seems to build up to it being done when you defeat Higashizawa. After all, it's the 7th day, when the Reaper's Game is supposed to be done. However, after defeating him, Neku wakes up on the first day... of a new Reaper's Game. Finished? Not at all. Yet ironically enough, he IS the Final Boss of Another Day, not including the two True Final Bosses.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Eight total ranks of Faster Puck (easily achieved by equipping every character with Citrus Shorts and Purple Sneaks) makes the puck pass instantly. Give Neku one-hit-combo pins and the partner some Combo Panel -1 threads, and every attack passes the puck, building up its power at lightning speed.
  • Dismotivation: Kariya intentionally avoids a promotion so he can relax and hang out with Yashiro. Which does NOT mean that he isn't any good at his job. Holy hell, that guy's tough.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind:
    • It may have been noticed Joshua was fishy, but it was not expected for him to be the Composer.
    • In Another Day, the Tutorial Guy implies that he manipulated everything to get the Omega Slammer created. Then he reveals he's Shinji Hashimoto himself.
    • Double Subverted; Neku thinks Joshua kills him at first, discovers he didn't and regrets accusing Joshua after his Heroic Sacrifice, and then he discovers on the final day that he really did kill him.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Higashizawa's constant food metaphors lead to him talking about "The proof is in the pudding. The pudding... of their doom."
  • Double Entendre: Many of Joshua's dialogue includes innuendo that annoys Neku.
    "You watch my behind, I'll watch yours."
  • The Dragon: Subverted with Megumi Kitaniji: at first, the Game Masters seem to be The Dragon to his Big Bad, but as you progress through the storyline, it seems that he himself is The Dragon to the Composer. At the end of the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, you fight Kitaniji, enter a suitably ominous room for the final boss fight, and do battle with Kitaniji's One-Winged Angel form. Once he's gone, the Composer turns out to be The Unfought.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: During The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, you find Big Bad Wannabe Minamimoto's broken body unceremoniously thrown into a trash heap.
  • Dual Boss:
    • Since bosses are generally the only monster you ever don't have to fight two of (sometimes, you have to fight two of them as well), you get thrown by the Grindcore Minks and Kariya and Yashiro. Especially the Minks, as you are fighting four at once. They have combo moves, too. Mr. Hanekoma's Noise form also qualifies, since you fight a different boss on each screen.
    • Kariya and Yashiro in their berserk form are one of the hardest fights in the game due to them being a Dual Boss... they even have their own light puck. Yashiro deals an insane amount of damage with her gun and frequently teleports before your partner can hit her, Kariya levitates, and then, just when you think you've won, Yashiro enters stage left and begins attacking again.
  • Dungeon Town: More of a dungeon city by virtue of the game taking place in different parts of the city and never leaving.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Subverted to a degree. Neku's ending monologue is addressed to Joshua, accusing him of not understanding how painful those three weeks were for him emotionally, forcing him to trust people through life-or-death situations, and how he basically used him. However, Neku still trusts him and considers him a friend, but he can't forgive him for all that he's done.
    • Shiki forgives Neku quite quickly for trying to kill her on Day 2, even shifting blame to herself. She later apologizes to him for being "too harsh" when scolding him for seeming uncaring about Rhyme being erased on Day 4. Granted, the fact that they have to cooperate to get through the missions means that they can't afford to hold grudges.
    • Neku and Beat don't bring up the fact that Kariya and Uzuki were responsible for Rhyme's erasure. When Beat has a Heel–Face Turn and talks to them more often, he doesn't really mention it to them either.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Princess K, and most of the Lapin Angelique threads she sells. Lapin Angelique's tagline is even "Gothic and Lolita".
  • Embarrassing First Name: Beat's real name is Daisukenojo Bito, but he'll try to mess you up if you call him "Daisukenojo".
  • Embarrassing Rescue: Late into Joshua's week, you'll come across Kariya and Uzuki struggling against some Taboo Noise. You're given the option to help them out, infuriating Uzuki who insists they could have handled things on their own and don't need any Players' pity. Not that Neku's surprised, considering he admits beforehand that he's doing it because he knows it'll piss them off.
  • Emergency Transformation: Half-way through Shiki's week, Rhyme is erased while saving Beat from a Noise trap set by Uzuki and Kariya. In order to save both Rhyme and Beat, Mr. Hanekoma reorganizes Rhyme's Soul into the form of a Noise pin and convinces Beat to make a pact with the pin to stay alive. She's human again by the time the credits roll.
  • Empathy Pet: The Noise that sits on Beat's shoulder during Week 2 mimics his behaviour and emotions exactly.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Subverted when Neku learns that his winning the Game was all part of the Composer's plan to destroy Shibuya. Doubly Subverted when the Joshua decides to spare Shibuya after all.
  • The Ending Changes Everything:
    • The ending reveals (nearly) everything about the enigmatic Joshua and explains that the plot of the game was a "game" over whether or not Shibuya should be Erased. And you just won for the side that was "for" Erasing Shibuya. It's only because Joshua had a last minute change of heart that he didn't go through with it.
    • The Secret Report for Another Day, the last one that you unlock, reveals that the Fallen Angel was Hanekoma, who helped Minamimoto as part of a larger plan to stop Joshua from Erasing Shibuya.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Futoshi, 777's concert technician. Throughout the main story, he's referred to as "the tech", but you learn his name in the bonus chapter.
  • invoked Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: It's the game's premise, although the trope itself is relentlessly mocked — for every instance of obvious allegory, there's plenty of wall-leaning and player-directed snark.
  • Evil Tastes Good: GM Higashizawa loves making food-based puns. "The pudding of their doom", huh? That's just fawful, dude. "I'll char your bones black!" "Now we're boiling!"
  • The Evils of Free Will: Kitaniji's motivation on his Assimilation Plot is to elminiate individuality from Shibuya, because the conflict free will causes is leading the Composer to eliminate Shibuya.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: Kitaniji wants to save Shibuya by way of an Assimilation Plot, while Joshua believes that It Is Beyond Saving, and wants to destroy it.
  • Eye Beams: For Shiki's max fusion level, Mr. Mew becomes a giant and shoots eye beams from above.
  • Exact Words: On Day 5 of Week 2, a Support Reaper gives Neku the condition "Play me at Tin Pin" to clear the wall he's manning. The keyword being 'play', not 'beat'. Victory or defeat only changes the rewardnote ; accepting the slam in the first place means Neku gets through.
  • Executive Meddling: In-universe. Mick gets The Prince to sign a contract with him to let him rig The Prince's blog to draw people to Shadow Ramen.
  • Extradimensional Emergency Exit: At the end of Week 2, Minamimoto tries to erase Neku with a powerful attack, but Joshua pushes his partner out of harm's way and apparently dies in the blast. It's later revealed that Joshua was able to survive by teleporting to an alternate universe right before the attack could connect.

    F - O 
  • Faceless Masses: They're not faceless, but compared to Neku and his partner, the random pedestrians of Shibuya have washed out colors and simpler animation. The effect is amplified in the ported versions, where the main characters have crisp, redrawn sprites while the NPCs only have a smoothing algorithm applied to the original DS sprites.
  • Fake Difficulty: Justified, as the Reapers actually love throwing arbitrary restrictions your way.
  • Fallen Angel: In the Secret Reports, there are mentions of a Fallen Angel who gave info to Minamimoto regarding Taboo Noise, and helped revive him during the third week. The final Secret Report reveals that Hanekoma is the fallen angel, who helped Minamimoto in an effort to save Shibuya.
  • Fangirl: Singer and fashion idol Eiji Oji's fan squad. There's actually opposing factions of his fans in Another Day. These factions then switch to worshipping indie rockstar 777, with one vowing "And then...when they go major...I'll be there to complain about how they sold out!".
  • Fantasy Metals: You can get Orichalcum, Adamantite, and Scarletite Pins. Given the low levels of fantasy, it can be safely assumed that the Pins are simply named after said fantasy metals and are not actually composed of them, although the Pins are said to be embedded with gemstones. As in standard fantasy settings, however, you can use them as trade materials to acquire rare goodies from shops.
  • Fat and Proud: A series of random NPC thoughts tell the story of a girl whose boyfriend told her "don't get any thinner" — so she starts gaining weight on purpose. Not only does the boyfriend not mind, he decides to gain weight too. In the end, they're both pretty fat and pretty happy. Not that her sprites reflect this at all.
  • Fight Woosh: Of all the tropes to be justified, you would probably not expect this one. But it is. As the Secret Reports reveal, battles take place in an alternate dimension.
  • Finish Dialogue in Unison: On the last day, Konishi says what Beat's about to say at the same time he does, commenting that she's gathered enough information to predict his every move.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: While the game doesn't play Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors (strictly speaking, at least), nevertheless, it still has fire, ice, and lightning attacks for Neku to use in battle. They don't differ in "element" — and, in fact, all share the same "negative/ranged" element — but instead differ in the way they're used.
  • Flunky Boss: In addition to most of the minor, required Noise bosses you fight early on, there's also Verspetilio Canor, Cornix Canor, Sho Minimimoto/Leo Cantus, Pteroptus Canor, and Tigris Cantus (especially her first phase). Also, Pig Mazurka, the king of the Pig Noise.
  • Foil: There are too many people that are foils towards each other. See the page here.
  • Foreshadowing: Frequently. For example: remember the scene in Josh Week, Day 2, where Uzuki pulls out a gun and suggests popping over to the RG to "recruit" more Players? That's exactly what the Composer did to get his proxy for the Game. With the exact same kind of gun.
    • Watch the opening sequence very carefully after you've beaten the game the first time. It spoils the whole plot, but in such a cryptic way most people never notice they're being spoiled.
    • When Beat introduces Rhyme, he says she's "my... my partner." He was most likely about to say "little sister", but stopped himself when he remembered that Rhyme lost her memories.
    • On Week 1, Day 4, when Rhyme pushes Beat out of the way of the shark Noise, the top screen shows Beat trying to push Rhyme out of the way of an oncoming car.
    • In the scene immediately following Rhyme's erasure where Kariya and Uzuki summon Noise to attack the rest of the group, Kariya explains that Reapers create Noise by gathering up soul essence and binding it to a pin. This is later revealed to be what Hanekoma did to Rhyme to keep her from being completely lost.
    • The theme Transformation while it more obviously alludes to Minamimoto transforming into a Black Noise and Neku's feelings about Joshua changing, it foreshadows that there's more to Neku's death still and that the whole truth of how he was killed by Joshua have still not been revealed.
    • Several Gatito pins have a Rage Against the Heavens theme to their flavor text (especially the three Cat pins, which each talk about "breaking the gods' spell over all"), foreshadowing the fact that their creator, Sanae Hanekoma, is a Fallen Angel.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Subverted with Joshua, because downtuning his vibe automatically gave him a human appearance. Played more straight with the Reapers, who appear in the Realground without their wings.
  • Formulaic Magic: Minamimoto is all over this one, using math-based "spells".
  • Four Is Death: There are 4 Reaper Officers, and Tigris Cantus' (Konishi's Noise Form) HP is 4444; though it was 6000 in the original Japanese version.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Megumi Kitaniji and Mitsuki Konishi, the Big Bad and The Dragon who both wear glasses.
    • Possibly averted with Kitaniji. The fact that his entire plan is to save the soul and essence of Shibuya by conforming everyone so that the city may be saved for another Composer says a lot about his character.
  • Fragile Speedster: Cornix Canor is fast and evasive, but he has extremely low HP for a boss.
  • Freudian Slip: Possibly when Joshua calls Neku by name, then asks what it is. Since Neku doesn't notice and this didn't happen in the original Japanese version, it may be just as well be a translation error as Foreshadowing that Joshua has seen him before.
  • From Bad to Worse: At the end of the game things are spiraling out of control — Rhyme is gone, her Pin is in the hands of a person who will destroy it if you don't win the Reaper's Game, the third week Joshua is "dead" and Shiki is your entry fee, and now after you get everyone back you find out that Joshua is really the Composer, and then the Conductor, in one last resort, turns into a more powerful Noise form by absorbing every one of your partners, leaving you to fight him alone.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • One of Minamimoto's things is to say "SOHCAHTOA" (a mnemonic for basic trigonometric functions) out loud while reciting in the text some contrived statement that fits the acronym. This is also a subversion of Lost in Translation and Pun, in which Minamimoto makes a pun on "Sou ka?" or "Is that so?"
    • Some Old Horses Can Always Hear Their Owner Approaching. Said to Joshua. Minamimoto seems to be saying "I know that you're the Composer."
    • (When asked what he eats) "Slabs of Ham, Celery and Horseradish, Tons of Asparagus."
  • Gainax Ending: The ending is extremely confusing for a first-time player, involving several plot twists piling up at once and a lot of ambiguity. Comprehensible plot twists include Joshua being the Big Bad who killed Neku and was manipulating him to destroy Shibuya, with Kitanji fighting to save it via an Assimilation Plot, while Mind Screw questions include what happened after Neku and Joshua's gun duel, why Joshua was with Mr. H, what Hanekoma's role was, and why he let Shibuya live. Fittingly, the main character's reaction to the ending is "WHAT THE HELL?!" It's then subverted with the option to play through the game again and fill in those gaps with the Secret Reports, which manage to Gainax it back up by including concepts, copious religious symbolism, and a Sequel Hook never hinted at in the story.
  • Gambit Pileup: The plot is the result of more than one mastermind squaring off against each other. The post-game 100% Completion quests exist just to reveal what the hell is going on.
    • Behold, the motives of all the Officers and their seniors — Joshua wants to destroy Shibuya as judgment on humanity, Kitanji is trying to stop him with an Assimilation Plot, Mr. Hanekoma wants to stop both of them by manipulating everything from behind the scenes, Minamimoto was given Taboo powers by Hanekoma for his plans but would rather become Composer, Konishi wants to be Conductor and will manipulate anyone for that purpose, and Higashizawa just wants to help Kitanji.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Joshua points out that Taboo Noise can only be hurt when you have the light puck. Kariya and Uzuki also have a light puck, which explains why they don't get their asses handed to them by Taboo Noise.
    • At the beginning of week 3, how does the game show that having no partner renders the Reapers' Game Unwinnable by Design? By disabling your pins so you can't do anything besides move and escape. Neku himself points out that he can simply run away from every battle, but the moment a mission forces him to fight, he's screwed because his pins won't work.
    • Shiki, as a fashionable girl, has the highest initial Bravery stat despite being the first partner you get.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • In-story, it's treated as either extremely anomalous or a mark of involvement in the Reapers' Game if an NPC's mind can't be read. In-game, there are generally more NPCs without thoughts to be read than there are ones that do.
    • In-story, almost every mission has its time limit, and failing to fulfill tasks in time results in facing Erasure. In-game, there is no time limit of any kind, and you can grind your level and pins as long as you want to.
  • Gameplay Automation: If controlling Neku and the partner at the same time appears too difficult, you have the option of allowing the AI to take over the partner's controls after a set period of time at the expense of the AI being slower than the player and suffering from some Artificial Stupidity. You also get a free PP multiplier for not using it.
  • Gameplay Grading: After each battle, your performance is ranked based on number of reductions, time, damage taken, and how many "special" bonuses you achieved (such as combos, puck passes/cross combos, having autoplay disabled, failing to get any pin drops, invokedonly using one character...), and these are combined into an overall rank. The overall rank itself doesn't mean anything, but the components give a multiplier to the PP earned, so if you're grinding your pins, you're gonna want to aim for ⭐ ranks anyway.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Shiki, Makoto, Sanae, and Kitanji, the last of whom was apparently teased as a child for being named Megumi. Might explain a lot of things.
  • Generic Graffiti: Inverted, as the game's graffiti is mostly CAT's doing with only a few generic tags appearing, and none of it is specifically relevant to the story. Except for the bit where Neku was killed (thus becoming the Composers's proxy) because he was standing admiring CAT's mural.
    • It's revealed in the secret reports that CAT's murals attract those with a lot of imagination, and this was the reason why Joshua selected Neku (amongst other reasons) to be his proxy.
  • Genre-Busting: Although it's commonly classified as an Action RPG, the combat, particularly on the bottom screen, is quite reminiscent of belt-scrolling Beat 'em Ups.
  • Geometric Magic: With graffiti, obviously.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Several of the bosses like to teleport, such as Uzuki and Reaper Beat, as well as Taboo Minamimoto. Cornix Canor also has a tendency to stay offscreen for 90% of the battle, only flying by every once in a while.
  • Glass Cannon: Beat. Even if his attack and defense stats are equal with Shiki's or Joshua's, he'll still give and receive more damage than them, respectively. His Fusion, which can potentially charge up the fastest, also has the potential to damage him if you screw up.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Konishi starts her transformation into Tigris Cantus by removing her glasses and staring cruelly at the screen.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: When everyone in Shibuya is possessed by the O-Pins, their eyes glow red.
  • God Was My Copilot: Joshua, Neku's partner for the second week, is the Composer. Also Mr. Hanekoma, who's actually even higher rank than Josh.
  • Golden Moment: Shiki and Neku get one of these on day 7, as part of the illusion that you're about to finish the game. Shiki talks about what she learned about herself over the week, and Neku declares that "the best is still ahead", once they come back to life.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Reapers have black, angular wings. However, rather than being bat wings, they're hard-edged and have no feathers or webbing whatsoever, looking more like a wing skeleton made out of iron. Angels, of course, have the standard white feathered wings. However, Angels are a bit more morally ambiguous than you'd expect.
  • Good with Numbers: Minamimoto cranks this one up to root 121.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: There are 96 types of Noise to fight (105 in Final Remix), 304 Pins to find and master (323 in Final Remix), and 472 items in general to collect. Good luck getting 100% Completion.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Grammatically, the official English lyrics to the songs are all fine, but it's obvious that some of the singers are not fluent in English, with "Hybrid" being hit with this particularly hard.
    • The "You have 7 days" text in the English version shows up as "Timelimit within 7 days" in the original Japanese version.
  • Groin Attack: Implied in a random NPC thought. After musing on his skating accident the other day, he thinks "I only need one to have kids."
  • Guide Dang It!: The game never tells you which type of PP you need to evolve pins, so you need a guide in order to keep from screwing evolutions up by getting too much of the wrong types.
    • This is especially true for the Approaching Eden set, which will get stuck in an endless loop if you only evolve them with battle PP (the final pin will always evolve back to the first one in the line). Like every pin set, you need all (five) of them to get the full benefits, which makes this quirk especially annoying. In the Japanese version of the game, the last Approaching Eden pin would evolve into a one yen pin. A devastating punishment for... not having a guide.
    • For that matter, good luck guessing what the Approaching Eden, Brainy Cat, and Irregular Note sets even do, as rather than describe what they do, the descriptions for all of their pins instead vaguely tell the player that they need other pins to complete the set. The Darklit Planet set does clearly tell you how to use the pins (and they're psychs you already recognize anyways) but doesn't directly tell you that their power triples when you have all six pins equipped at once.
    • Also, each character has different reactions to eating different kinds of foods. If the character likes it, the Sync boost that he or she gets from it will increase; if he or she doesn't like it, the boost decreases instead. Out of the 43 foods in the game and the four characters you can feed them to, you are given exactly two clues: Joshua states his preference for shio ramen in an unavoidable dialogue (and being able to select Neku's favorite in the same dialogue could maybe be interpreted as hinting that he's neutral-or-better to all of the options presented), and the can of coke left at the memorial in Miyashita Park Underpass obliquely implies that Beat is fond of the beverage. Ironically, knowing Beat's Trademark Favorite Food is curry is no help here, because there isn't any curry in the game!
    • One Pig Noise is asleep at the start of the battle and automatically flees after the first hit, far too fast for you to bring it down. You need to put your device into sleep mode. What.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Invoked. Most pins belonging to the hyper-feminine brand Natural Puppy allow Neku to perform projectile-based attacks, while more tradionally masculine brands like Jupiter of the Monkey let him perform melee attacks.
  • Halfhearted Henchman: Some of the Support Reapers are lazy, incompetent slackers. For one of them, this is a good thing, as he ends up the only NPC in all of Shibuya who escapes the Assimilation Plot just because he ditched work one day.
  • Hand Wave: On the final day and in the Alternate Universe bonus chapter, Shiki still looks like Eri. If you seek out Joshua in the bonus chapter before you go to Molco, he explains it (vaguely, as always) as a trick of the mind; that is, you expect to see the same thing you always have. The explanation is meant more for the player than for Neku, who would of course have no idea what the hell he's talking about. In fact, his first thought is "Is this kid high?" And then Joshua proceeds to give the real explanation: "When you're drowning in a sea of work with not enough time, why pour your soul into assets that will be used all of...what, once?" For obvious reasons, this flies right over Neku's head.
  • Happy Ending Override: The main game seems to end on a rather lighthearted note. The Reaper's Game is over, Shibuya is safe, Rhyme is alive, and Neku is all set to spend a nice day together with his new friends. However, Final Remix keeps the camera running with A New Day. Neku and Beat are entered into the Expert Mode of the Reaper's Game which takes place in a distorted version of Shibuya. Their misson? Escape Shibuya in 24 hours or face erasure. They are greeted by a cute Reaper girl named Coco who claims to know them, and it quickly becomes apparent that something isn't quite right. They eventually discover that the Shibuya they're in is actually a city-sized Noise that Coco created to manipulate them. They manage to overcome her and escape, only for Coco to shoot Neku in the back, killing him to force him into the UG once again. She goes on to ressurrect Sho Minamimoto to serve as Neku's Partner in a whole new Game. And on top of all that, the nearby Shinjuku has not only been erased, but has been subject to something called an "Inversion", which seems to involve Noise manifesting in the RG.
  • Harder Than Hard: Above Hard difficulty is Ultimate difficulty, in which enemy Noise are at their most powerful, but will also generally drop better Pins than on any other difficulty.
  • Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: Def Märch.
  • He Was Right There All Along: Konishi during the third week, hides in Beat's shadow in order to trick him into panicking and making a mistake due to the pressure of his impending erasure.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Played straight with Neku, but extremely inverted in Kitaniji. Not as much of an inversion in Kitaniji's case as it may seem; it's actually a subtle clue that his plan involves false unity.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose:
    • The battles against Reaper Beat end with him getting away even if you can actually defeat him.
    • The Shibuya's Game is one plot-wise as well. Lose to Megumi, and he turns all the people in Shibuya into a Hive Mind. Defeat Megumi, and the real Composer wins the Game and destroys Shibuya. At least until Neku's feelings of trust persuade him to do a Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Heartless: The Noise are manifestations of negative thoughts and emotions. Reapers gather up the negativity and concentrate it into their animalistic forms, which are then dispersed throughout the UG. Which means they're more Unversed than Heartless.
  • Here We Go Again!: At the end of A New Day, Neku is fatally shot by Coco shortly after returning to the real world; Joshua shows up to defend him but is too late. Neku is last seen fading away in front of the CAT mural as his body returns to the UG.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Played straight when Rhyme pushes Beat out of the way of a shark noise that "eats" and instantly erases her. Subverted when Beat tries to push Rhyme out of the way of a car — both get hit and die, leading them to become players in the Game. Also subverted when Joshua pushes Neku out of the way and takes the brunt of Minamimoto's final attack himself — it eventually turns out to be neither heroic nor a sacrifice.
  • Heroic Willpower: Beat, facing erasure on the last day, fights it off through sheer willpower, fuelled by his desire to save his sister.
  • History Repeats: Neku's waking up in the Scramble Crossing at the beginning of each week. Rhyme's death and erasure were intentionally reminiscent of each other, as well, as were Neku's death at the hands of and duel against Joshua.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Konishi turns Noise!Rhyme into a pin and uses it to manipulate Beat's feelings. Due to the way her boss fight works, you will always kill her with the Rhyme Pin itself.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The three fights against Reaper Beat and the one against Taboo Minamimoto are only played as hopeless—the only actual restriction is time. On your first playthrough you simply have to stay alive for that long, while on a New Game Plus you can easily beat then within said time limit. Said New Game Plus also includes special optional battles against them with no time limit.
  • How Did You Know? I Didn't: From Another Day:
    Joshua: See, but you're clipping [hairstyle pictures] from fashion mags, not comic books.
    Neku: Hey! How did you—
    Joshua: No way. You seriously brought in comics? Hee hee.
    Neku: (Stupid, Neku! Stupid!)
  • Huge Schoolgirl: It's up to you to decide if it's just the angle of the shot (big spoilers on the other side of that link), but RG Shiki seems to compete with Beat in height in the ending credits.
  • Humanity on Trial: This is the entire point of the Reaper's Game, except it happens city by city instead of the whole world at once. This current Shibuya Game isn't quite typical for other reasons...
  • Hurricane of Puns: Any time Higashizawa speaks, playing off his chef quirk. Especially his boss fight. Any time Minamimoto speaks will be a hurricane of math puns.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Averted. The characters can only eat a limited amount of food for each 24-hour real time period, and they have to digest it by battling. Even more realistically, you can eat anything that's six bytes or less without limit—Neku and company can literally eat ice cream and drink coffee all day. Played straight later if you get the Hollow Leg swag which removes the limit. Very useful for grinding.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Joshua reveals some of his true powers during his Day 5, which gives his combat abilities a definite offensive boost.
  • Idle Animation: The main characters have some when left to idle (e.g. Neku listen to music, Shiki checking out her phone) as well as some enemies (e.g. a Joey popping out of a 2-step Boomer's poach, Electro J-Popguins flapping its wings in place).
  • Ignored Enemy: When you see Taboo Sho for the first time, it's possible to try walking around him. Once you're past him, he chides you for ignoring him when he's right there, and the encounter proceeds normally.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Everyone. Every Player, every Reaper, every 2-bit NPC walking down the street is covered head to toe with expensive, gorgeous, and pointless designer toggery. But, this is Shibuya. It's also hard to believe you get outright Stripperiffic outfits like Shiki's in the same time and place as heavy, black hoodies like BJ's. Certain thought fragments imply that the game takes place in the summertime and others imply that it's winter, but there are plenty of highly impractical outfits for both seasons. Stores will also sell both summer- and winter-wear to you.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Everyone. Pins are most Players' weapons, but they can also be used to control other items as weapons, such as Shiki's plushie, playing cards, or SUVs.
  • I Never Told You My Name: One of the reasons an attentive player will quickly realize Joshua is much more than he seems.
    • When trying to get Neku's attention, he says Neku's name before Neku ever says it. Since Neku was surprised about being able to scan him, he didn't notice the slip up. Immediately after, he asks Neku to introduce himself so that he has Neku's name. Ironically, this is a localization error that was fixed in Final Remix.
    • His voice clip "Have fun, Neku" may appear even in their first battle, before they've spoken to each other. It's possible this is simply Gameplay and Story Segregation.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Reapers BJ and Tenho look exactly like all of their coworkers, to the point where some have theorized that they just have the ability to duplicate themselves (despite evidence — like the Reaper Review guy retiring and the slacker who didn't attend the emergency meeting — proving they're all individuals). Considering that the Wall Reapers don't show that much of their face (Tenho-style reapers only show their jaw, BJ-style reapers don't even show that), it's possible that they actually are several different people in identical outfits.
  • Infinity -1 Sword:
    • Pi-Face's Cap, pried out of Minamimoto's cold broken hands in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. While it's nowhere near the power of the post-game equipment you can get, it's still the most powerful thing you'll have for the main storyline and only requires a rather forgiving 75 Bravery to wear. In the original Japanese version, it has slightly worse stats but its Bravery requirement is so forgiving that even Beat should be able to equip it by the time it shows up.
    • Lightning Rook shoots lightning in a straight line for good damage, and unlike most pins worth their salt, you can equip a duplicate of it. During a normal playthrough you're most likely to get it just in time for Final Boss, although it's possible to acquire it somewhat earlier by grinding and evolving a different pin.
    • Most of the pins exclusive to Final Remix qualify for this, if not for Infinity +1 Sword. All of them either sport new psychs outright, blend two old psychs together, or put a new twist on an old psych that makes it much more powerful.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • If all six Darklit Planet pins are put in one deck, their attack power triples and they become some of the deadliest pins in the game. However, Hanekoma only sells you one of the six pins, and you have to find the rest either by defeating certain extremely rare and powerful Noise and getting the pins from random drops, or using Mingle shops. Angels help you if you can't find the one that comes off of Panthera Cantus.
    • The Angel Feather is amazing too, but it needs a whopping 999 bravery. This does not apply to the original Japanese release, where it's more of a regular item.
    • The Hollow Leg sticker removes the daily restriction on food consumption, allowing you to eat foods worth more than 6 bytes as often as you want. You can only get it after completing the game.
    • Final Remix introduces the Crimson Kingdoms set of pins, a miniature version of the Darklit Planets that only double in attack power rather than triple, and are Unbranded so they can't get a trend boost like the Darklit Planets can, but also only take up three pin slots instead of all six. It also adds the Gourmet Rice Ball and 100,000 Yen pin, both formerly microtransaction items, which can be acquired by exchanging a large number of enemy drops for them or by performing a repeatable sidequest in A New Day 3.
  • Informed Attribute:
    • A series of random NPC thoughts tell the story of a girl whose boyfriend said "Don't get any thinner", so she got fat on purpose. The game doesn't actually contain any visibly fat NPCs to assign this thought to, so she invariably looks as thin as the rest of the crowd, even at the end when she's thinking about how they're now both Fat and Proud.
    • The Work Coveralls' description says that it's "a huge challenge to pull off", but they only require 48 Bravery to wear, a level Neku may easily reach the first time they become available, assuming you don't rush through it.
  • In Medias Res: Downplayed on Day 4 of Week 2. The rest of the Week establishes that Neku is still getting conked out and wakes up on each day, rather than staying awake until he decides otherwise despite Minamimoto not issuing missions. This Day starts with Joshua and Neku wrapping up a game of Tin Pin Slammer to settle a disagreement, establishing that they've been at this for a few hours, thus allowing the player to skip to the part where Joshua gets fed up and is willing to make a deal with Neku.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: The mission in the first week to get the Red Skull pin popular, and we later learn that it was instrumental to Kitaniji's plot.
  • Insufferable Genius:
    • Minamimoto loves to use math terminology and repeat mnemonics. (Did he really just call Neku a "hectopascal"?)
    • Joshua is not only a clever young man, with knowledge of Shibuya's history, and one of the only people in Shibuya who can make sense of Sho's rantings, he's also a smarmy Jerkass who loves pissing Neku off whenever he can.
  • Intercourse with You: "Give Me All Your Love" has surprisingly explicit lyrics. 'Enjoy the moment,' indeed.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • The first big reveal comes as a lot less of a surprise when you notice that the save screen directly specifies "Day X, Week 1". Later pressings of the game fix this by replacing it with "[Partner], Day X", which is still a spoiler, but a much smaller one, and already revealed in the manual anyway.
    • If you're a dedicated grinder, you can gain an item with a Beat-specific ability during Joshua's week, spoiling the existence and identity of Neku's third partner.
  • Inverted Portrait: In the opening, Shiki is shown upside-down next to mirror image of her right-side up. This is an outright spoiler that can only be seen in hindsight. Shiki has Eri's appearance, so there really are two Shikis. We're confused too.
  • Invisible to Normals: The Players, the Reapers and the Noise are all invisible to normal people. The Players can be seen if they go into shops, and the Reapers are also said to be visible in the real world except for their wings. Interestingly, scanning will reveal some random NPCs can notice some of these phenomena - probably due to latent Psychic Powers or something.
  • Ironic Hell: For one thing, they're all dead; and besides, to play the Game, a Player lays their most precious possession on the line; this can be anything from people to memories, and you don't even get to choose it. It's what the Conductor considers what you value most, or what's most convenient for him to take. It's especially ironic for the misanthropic Neku, who now has to actually deal with the same person for seven days straight and even read people's most inane thoughts.
  • Irrelevant Importance: Try to sell certain pins, and you'll be told they're too precious to sell ("worth more than all the yen in the world"). Given that one of these pins is a Poison Mushroom, after you complete the mission that requires it, it doesn't seem nearly that priceless after all, but you still can't sell it, even after you've got dozens of them. After all, it's plot-important.
  • Irrelevant Sidequest: Some Wall Reapers block Neku's path until he finds a microphone for them. Neku later refers to the ordeal as "the detour from hell." Doing the quest for some Wall Reapers is also often not necessary — sometimes they don't even clear the wall.
  • It Is Beyond Saving: Joshua thinks this about Shibuya at the beginning of the game. He changes his mind later though.
  • It Only Works Once: The Anguis Pin. It's one of the only four pins with Nexus Ray and has a whopping 999 Attack, but its psych only lasts for one shot (two if you have a pin with Turbo Gauge in the same deck), and once you fire it off, it never Reboots until you're done fighting - even if you're fighting a chain.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: A stew of played straight, played with, deconstructed, subverted, and reconstructed back into form. Its It's A Wonderful World elements are mixed with a nice heavy dose of popular culture and modern social commentary, an anime styled survival game premise, real life allusions, and mysteries to a dimension related to the supernatural, the divine, and human experience. See the Characters page for how these elements play accordingly to the main cast.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: In-universe example: "I'll be off listening to bands you kids have never even heard of! And then...when they go major...I'll be there to complain about how they sold out!"
  • It's Up to You: Averted. A few missions are completed by other Players. Neku and his partner usually still contribute to those missions, however, though Joshua is inclined to let someone else deal with it.
  • I Will Wait for You: Shiki. Cruelly subverted when she's made Neku's entry fee for the second week. Less obvious but still there, Neku waiting for Joshua to meet him at Hachiko. He never shows up. In a bonus scene, he is seen watching over the others gathered there and he's in his true form. His unhappy expression (which Hanekoma comments on) implies he wishes he could join them.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Meme imprinting can subtly steer people's thinking in a direction of your choice.
  • Jerkass:
    • Joshua, at least, is aware of his status as the resident jerk, and most of his act is on purpose.
    • Neku is one early on, typically ignoring or being rude to Shiki or the other players much of the time. Rhyme is the only fellow player who isn't repulsed by this.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Beat, during the third week. Neku also evolves into one, going from someone who doesn't care about other people to someone who does care for others, but sometimes loses patience with Joshua's Jerkass tendencies and Beat's moments of stupidity.
  • Karmic Transformation: While she wasn't transformed into something she hated, Shiki's entry fee was her own appearance, resulting into her transformation into her best friend she sorely envied.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: You can buy a (dull) samurai sword accessory that confers an incredible bonus to Attack.
  • Kawaiiko: Nao doesn't dress like a little kid, but she's a cutesy kogal through and through, giving everyone unbearably sweet nicknames. In fact, you can call her "Nao-Nao". For short. Coco from Solo Remix plays this straight, though.
  • Keep It Foreign:
    • One thought fragment, entitled "English", is written in Japanese in the English version of the game (it was presumably written in English in the original Japanese version). This results in a Dub Induced Plothole where a supposedly English-speaking tourist who is thinking in Japanese worries about how he's going to get the Japanese locals to understand him.
    • In the English version, Hideki Kikuchi, the owner of Mexican Dog at Spain Hill, speaks Spanish words with the Midwestern accent from the United States. In the Fan Translation to European Spanish, Hideki says the Spanish words in a (stereotypical?) Mexican accent.
  • The Key Is Behind the Lock: On Day 2 of Week 2, there's a Reaper stationed by the entrance to Spain Hill who won't let you pass unless you bring him a Definitivo Chilli Dog. Problem is, the only restaurant that sells Definitivo Chilli Dogs is located on Spain Hill. If you didn't bother to pick one up on an earlier day, then you'll have to wait for a New Game Plus to fulfil his request.
  • Kiai: Presumbly the only reason Minamimoto would be shouting things like "SINE", "COSINE" at you as he attacks... Most bosses have grunts and other phrases they say as well.
  • Kick the Dog:
  • Konishi killing 777 off-screen after his defeat against Neku and Beat.
  • Konishi's last words are to tell Beat that Rhyme didn't care as much for him as he did for her, for no reason other than pure cruelty.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Neku's first day of the third week has this in the hands of Kariya and Uzuki. Luckily, Beat is not gonna tolerate this move, starting his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Kid Hero: Neku, Shiki, Joshua and Beat are all 15, according to the manual. No idea how old Joshua actually is, especially considering his true form, which looks much older.
  • Killed Offscreen: Implied to have happened to Sota and Nao between when you see them last in Week 1, and when Week 2 begins, since they're playing in the game the latter week.
  • Killer Game-Master: The Game Masters will hunt players on the final day of a game.
  • Killer Rabbit: Pigs are usually harmless monsters with great rewards. However, there is one particular Pig Noise, Pig Butoh, that fights back, and it can kick your ass in seconds. It doesn't attempt to run away, since it doesn't need to.
  • King Incognito: The Composer's downtuning makes him unrecognizable to most, allowing him to accompany Neku during the second week almost completely unnoticed.
  • King Mook: The Canor Noise are Boss Noise that resemble big versions of standard Noise (Vespertilio Canor-Gabba Bat, Cornix Canor-Decadraven and Pteropus Canor-Happycore Bat) and can spawn them during the fight.
  • Klingon Promotion: According to several cast members, if you take out the Composer, you get his job. This is confirmed by the secret reports, which are written by someone who had better know if that's true.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Several times in the manga, but a beautiful one is delivered by Kariya.
    Kariya: "Since we showed up in silhouette last time, you probably thought we were up to something dastardly."
  • Large and in Charge: GM Higashizawa is a tower of a man by any definition, and his Noise form is larger than any regular Noise in the game, filling the whole bottom screen and only the head is visible on the top. Tellingly, his Noise form is a ram rather than a big cat (Minamimoto's is a lion, Konishi's a tiger, and Sanae's is both - of course, Kitanji's a snake and it's possible Joshua's is a dragon). The Conductor has a noise form that is so large, only the head and small bits of the body are visible; and then he absorbs the Composer....
  • Large Ham: Hanekoma can be this, seen in his odd Battle Cries.
    Panthera Cantus: "Enjoy the MOMEEEEEEENT!!!"
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The protagonist, as in all Square games. He actually has it twice! Rhyme, too, lost a particularly important memory before the story starts; that Beat is the older brother that she admires. Interestingly enough, that memory was Beat's entry fee, not hers.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Played with and invoked by some characters with the Five-Man Band in Another Day. The leader (who is now Shooter instead of Neku) takes Red, Neku is first Black-n-Blue but later "demoted" to just Blue so someone else can be Black (Black is The Mole), and Joshua first wants to be Pink, but then says he should actually be Gold and later gets "upgraded" to Rainbow. While Red is the one who fights Higashizawa in the end, Blue is the one Shinji Hashimoto chooses to fight.
  • Layered World: Referred to here as "frequencies", in keeping with the music theme. The Underground exists just above Realground, causing those in the former to be able to perceive the latter, but not the other way around. Noise exists on a plane between these two, allowing it to interfere with both. Above all of these is a plane from which the mysterious Angels such as Hanekoma come from.
  • Lemony Narrator: The tutorial box has shades of this, on occasion.
  • Level Limiter: Lowering your level raises the drop rate, giving you a higher chance of getting Pins.
  • Limit Break: In order to perform a Fusion attack the player must collect stars via the particular combo system each of Neku's partners use.
  • The Little Detecto: Joshua gets an app from Hanekoma that lets him track some kind of "energy spikes". Things that set it off include the mysterious new Shadow Ramen shop and large crowds of people wearing Red Skull pins. Unfortunately for Neku, the only explanation Josh is willing to give him is that he's looking for "what this tracker is tracking". The Secret Reports explain that it detects the Conductor's Imagination — anything related to Kitaniji's plan will ping it, allowing Joshua to put together what he's up against. At this point, even Hanekoma himself doesn't know what Kitaniji's plan is, so the tracker is the best bet for both of them.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: Shadow Ramen. Subverted later, as you can actually get it to reopen.
  • Loophole Abuse: Pork City is a special area where only pins of certain brands work. Unbranded pins are not affected by this, and many of them are stronger versions of branded pins.
  • Lost in Translation: Subverted. Whenever Minamimoto says "SOHCAHTOA", he's making a pun on "Sou ka?" or "Is that so?" It just so happens that his lines are perfectly appropriate for the situation.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The entirety of A New Day until the ending takes place inside an immensely powerful Noise that Neku and Beat are trapped in.
  • Low-Level Advantage: Powering down your characters gives you a higher chance of collecting rare item drops.
  • Luminescent Blush: Shiki feels embarrassed after finding out that she was Neku's entry fee for Week 2, causing two bright pink spots to become visible on her cheeks.
  • Mad Mathematician: Sho Minamimoto, the psychotic Game Master in Week 2, has a tendency to pepper his dialogue with what appears to be nonsensical math references. This quirk extends even to his chants, as his most powerful attack requires him to recite the first 156 digits of pi.
  • Magical Camera: Joshua's cell phone camera can take pictures of the past, and Neku's is later upgraded to be able to do the same.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything:
    • Generally played straight, as any Player duo can complete a mission but Neku and his partners will usually be the ones doing it. Justified the later in a week you go, as there are fewer other Players that could do it (and all of Week 3, where there are no other Players).
    • Lampshaded and parodied in Week 2 Day 2. Joshua wants to blow off the day's mission to pursue his own errands and points out that other Players can cover it. But Neku doesn't want to leave it to others and refuses, strongarming Joshua into pursuing the mission anyway. The mission ends up forcing Neku into an awkward social situation, with Joshua trolling him the entire time. And it's ultimately another Player who completes the mission anyway after Neku fails.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Shiki is an outgoing, energetic young girl paired with the antisocial, brooding Neku. Subverted; it's an act she's putting on and she's at least as much a mess as Neku is.
  • Manly Tears: Beat, whenever his involvement in Rhyme's death and erasure is brought up.
    • Neku cries like this twice. First: During his duel with Joshua. The truth of how he died, combined with the emotional strain of having to choose shooting a friend or losing Shibuya, reduces him to tears. Second: When he wakes up in the Scramble for the last time and believes that he's still in the Game.
  • Malaproper: Beat. Rhyme usually has to correct him.
  • Master Actor: Joshua. Everyone knew there was something he was hiding. "I'm actually the Composer" was not expected.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • You can make up the kanji of kind-of relevant animals by taking and assembling parts of the kanji of many characters's names. Of particularly note is "Sanae Hanekoma": not only can you make up the kanji for "cat", but it also contains the sounds "neko" (= "cat")... and, even better and MORE spoilery, "hane" is the kanji for "feather".
    • Joshua's name is full of possible allusions to the fact that he's the Composer, God-like ruler of the Game, and "resurrects" at the end of the game. "Joshua" is basically another name for Jesus, "Yoshiya" contains the kanji for "justice", and "Kiryu" is written with the kanji for "Paulownia tree" and "life". (The Paulownia tree has legendary ties with the Phoenix bird of rebirth... and is also called The Princess Tree, for extra giggles.)
  • Mega Neko: Shiki's Third-level Fusion Attack essentially turns Mr. Mew into a Kaiju temporarily. "Get 'em, Piggy!" indeed!
  • Meido: One NPC mistakes an actual maid for a waitress at a Maid Cafe. You can also get a maid costume in the game.
  • Messianic Archetype: Despite the various religious references found in Joshua, the game's Messianic Archetype is actually Neku. He is killed senselessly and put through a variety of trials, thrice sacrificing what he most treasures, but ultimately cleanses Shibuya of the "sins" for which the Composer would have destroyed it and is resurrected. He was hand-picked by the Game's God-figure, and gains at least two disciples (Shiki and Beat) over the course of his time in the UG.
  • Mexican Standoff: After the final boss fight, Joshua forces Neku to have one of these with him to decide the fate of Shibuya. Neku falters though, and lets Joshua shoot him, which most likely means that the standoff was nothing but a test.
  • Mind Control: A very minor version: during some missions you can find key words to imprint on people's minds. It doesn't change their mind entirely, but it can help prompt them into action if they're indecisive or have forgotten something. Of course, Kitaniji's plan plays it a lot straighter...
  • Mind over Matter: The Psychokinesis psych gives Neku the ability to push or lift objects in the battlefield, and with certain pins, push or lift enemies. Joshua's basic fighting abilities also has him dropping objects such as road blocks, bicycles, and SUVs on enemies.
  • Mind Reading: The Player Pins gives the players of the Reaper Game to read the mains of those in the RG.
  • Mini-Game: Tin Pin Slammer, which has the player flicking their pins at their opponents' in an attempt to push them out of an arena.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Mick, after having becoming overconfident in the second week only for things to fall apart by the third, apparently has so little confidence that he assumes Neku gives him his patronage because Neku's gay for him.
  • More Dakka: At the higher evolutions, the Natural Puppy brand has a tendency to fill the entire screen with penetrating bullets. Not too useful against bosses, but against enemies which have a wonky hitbox or groups of weaker enemies they're pure gold, especially when it comes to grinding sync rates. Some other brands have a similar screen-filling ability, but Natural Puppy has the 'spray and pray' down pat.
  • Morton's Fork: A pair of NPC Reapers complain about being caught in one of these during week 2 — they've been tasked by Konishi to clean up Minamimoto's "art". If he sees them doing this, they're screwed. If they ignore her, they're screwed.
  • Motif: The game is entirely motifed after music and elements of music production in general, with it being vital in naming conventions across the game.
    • Enemies are named after music genres and sub-genres, with families of noises being named after sub-genres of the same gerne (for example, wolf noises are called "Alterna", "Garage" and "Grunge", various sub-genres of alternative rock). The species of enemies itself being referred to as Noise is another reference to music. The reaper's noise form are also named always in latin in the format "[Animal Latin Name] Cantus", which translates to "Singing [Animal]".
    • The people behind the reaper's game at the highest grade are granted the titles of "Conductor", "Composer", and "Producer", all of which are professions involved in music creation and production.
  • Mouthful of Pi: Sho's incantation for Level i Flare is pi, recited to an absurd number of places.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Minamimoto triggering his homemade nuke at the end of the second week by reciting pi to 150 significant digits.
  • Mundane Utility: Subverted. On Day 3, Neku tries to use the Pyrokinesis pin for a light, only to find that very few pins work outside of battle.
  • My Greatest Failure and My Greatest Second Chance, times three: A large source of guilt for Beat is the death of his sister, Rhyme. The Reapers' Game gave him a greatest second chance, which he botched by being careless and failing to protect her. Mr. Hanekoma gave him a greatest third chance by binding Rhyme's Soul to a pin, and Beat failed yet again when Konishi crushes her Noise form and takes her pin hostage. It all works out in the end, but damn.
  • My Name Is ???: The names of unvisited districts appear as question marks when you approach them, and on the third day question marks are (justifiably) used to obfuscate the fact that the place you wake up in is actually your goal.
  • Mystical 108: Joshua is Entry #108 in Another Day's Tin Pin Slammer tourney. And Pin #108 is "Eyes Full of Light".
  • Never Found the Body: Inverted; people and Noise disappear in a flash of static upon erasure. This results in an interesting twist on the trope when we're shown Minamimoto's body; many fans assume he's actually alive and will appear in the possible sequel.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: There are several scenes in trailers that weren't in the game proper. The Final Remix advertising also asserted that A New Day would "get right to the heart of the story", but it ended up delivering no answers and actually raising tons of questions — to be answered in the sequel, presumably.
  • New Game Plus: After beating the game, you can return to any chapter previously as well as play a new one. You keep your stats, items, and bestiary, and use any partner at any time with the exception of storyline boss battles. You can also hold L or R to rush through text, but you can't skip the animated cutscenes in the DS version. You'll also gain access to every day, whenever you want to access it.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Neku becomes understandably upset when he's told that, by defeating Kitaniji, he won Joshua's Game for him, meaning that Joshua gets to go through with his plan of destroying Shibuya. It's a good thing he changes his mind.
    • A delayed version: in the first week, one of the missions is to make the Red Skull Pins successful. It turns out to be a vital part of the Big Bad's Assimilation Plot.
  • Nintendo Hard: While manageable for most of the story, this game gets unusually difficult at the end. You fight several bosses in succession after you're last able to save, the last one possessing absurd HP totals, and one death sends you back to the checkpoint.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Nearly every store encountered in Shibuya is given a thinly-veiled rename and bears ridiculous visual similarity to the location it's based on. For example, the Tower Records (slogan "It's a World Thing") becomes Towa Records (slogan "It's a Wild Thing").
  • No Indoor Voice: Minamimoto, full stop. He even carries a bullhorn to drive the point across.
  • Nonindicative Name:
    • Westerners who haven't played the game usually think it has something to do with the world ending. The fate of Shibuya, which was made into the game's world, hangs in the balance, though. And you come close to causing its end.
    • The "Underground" is considered a higher plane to normal reality.
  • Non-Natural Number Gag: Minamimoto's final attack (which he never uses in battle) is called "Level i Flare", a play on the names of attacks in Final Fantasy such as Level 3 Flare and Level 5 Death, which affect characters whose levels are divisible by those numbers. Except that i is the square root of negative one, making it a possible factor in every number, both real and imaginary. Also a moment of Fridge Brilliance, as the Secret Reports state that the psychic attacks used by Reapers and Players are powered by the user's Imagination. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that Sho's most powerful attack would utilize an imaginary number.
  • Noodle Incident: In the first week, when Neku witnesses Rhyme being devoured by a Noise, he says that he feels like crap, "just like that other time". Whatever memory had awakened within him is not revealed throughout the game, though "Another Day" implies that Neku was reminded of a friend who had perished in an accident, which in turn triggered his traumatic descent into the insociable individual he is at the start of the story.
  • Noodle People: Some of the characters have exaggeratedly thin waists (e.g. Shiki, Uzuki, Nao). The anime averts this by giving such characters slightly more realistic proportions.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • "But Neku, don't you like music?" If Kitaniji had talked to Neku in the beginning of the game, they would have had identical mindsets.
    • Joshua's mindset behind wanting to destroy Shibuya is similar to Neku's own mindset at the beginning of the game. Additionally, Kitaniji was using his Assimilation Plot in order to ultimately save Shibuya from the Composer. Hanekoma also wanted to keep Shibuya around. In the end, everybody wanted the same thing. Well, almost everybody.
  • Numerical Hard: On higher difficulties, enemies have higher stats and better drops, and that's the only difference.
  • Odd Friendship: Lazy, cool-headed Kariya and driven, high-strung Uzuki. Neku achieves this with all his partners despite rocky starts.
  • Officially Shortened Title: Originally WEWY, as seen in the DS version's manual and a handful of fourth-wall-breaking post-game threads. The fanbase near-universally ignored this and abbreviated it as TWEWY, which was ascended in Solo and Final Remix by renaming the threads in question.
  • Oh No You Didn't: Beat says this when a Reaper almost says his Embarrassing First Name.
  • Older Than They Look: A random NPC thought reveals that the woman having it (who looks the same as any of the other late-teens-early-20s random background NPCs) is, in fact, 58. She credits her youthful looks to "the restorative powers of royal jelly".
  • Old Media Are Evil: Another Day Neku never watched TV at all, because his parents forbade him from watching TV, as it "warps the mind".
  • Omniscient Morality License: Invoked by Hanekoma, in the final Secret Report. One almost gets the impression he expects his Fallen Angel status to be revoked when his actions cause everything to end up working out for the best.
  • One-Man Army: Well, two-men army for Neku and his respective partner.
  • Once More, with Clarity: The game does this three times with the same sequence of Neku's death. First, Neku ends up scanning Joshua's mind, which normally shouldn't be possible, and ends up seeing his dead body in his mind. When he scans Joshua again, we see a sequence where Joshua appears to shoot Neku. Then on the final day, the presence of Joshua and Minamimoto in the same area makes him remember the same sequence of events, only this time, it's revealed that Joshua was aiming for Minamimoto, who was right behind Neku, and it appears that Minamimoto was the one who shot Neku, and then during the ending, Joshua restores the full memory, where it's revealed that Minamimoto was aiming for Joshua, but failed due to Joshua still having some of his powers, causing Minamimoto to flee. Then, Joshua definitely kills Neku and leaves him with his extra Player pin.
  • One Size Fits All: Once you can get your character's Bravery stat high enough, you can get them to wear all sorts of clothes that are smaller than the characters.
  • One-Winged Angel: Every Game Master and Hanekoma start their boss battles by morphing into their Cantus forms. The Final Boss does it twice. You beat Kitaniji in his human form, then he assumes his Noise form, only for Joshua to arrive after he's beaten, giving Kitaniji the idea to use Joshua to give his One Winged Angel form its own One Winged Angel: Draco Cantus.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The entire cast, though, admittedly, some more than others. Justified in some cases, as Neku and his partner are usually never formally introduced to the GM or other reapers, and thus actually don't know their names.
    • Neku Sakuraba - Phones
    • Yoshiya Kiryu - Joshua, Josh, J
    • Daisukenojo Bito - Beat, Skulls, Freshmeat
    • Raimu Bito - Rhyme, Skulls Jr.
    • Uzuki Yashiro - Pinky
    • Koki Kariya - Lollipop
    • Yodai Higashizawa - Big Guy, Ram-Crotch
    • Sho Minamimoto - Pi-Face, The Grim Heaper
    • Mitsuki Konishi - Iron Maiden and several variations thereof.
    • Megumi Kitaniji - Shades
    • Sanae Hanekoma - Mr. H
    • CAT (Mr. Hanekoma), Piggy (Mr. Mew), Nao-Nao, Makoto "Mick" Miki, Shuuto "Shooter" Dan, Itaru "Yammer" Yokoyamada, and Eiji "The Prince" Oji.
    • And then there's Another Day, in which the main cast all get themselves color codenames. Neku doesn't ever get to actually introduce himself.
  • Only One Save File: The game only has a single save file, and attempting to start a New Game from the title screen will instead ask the player to erase the existing save data if there's one already present.
  • Ontological Mystery: One of your objectives in the first week is to figure out just how you ended up waking up in the middle of the Scramble.
  • Our Angels Are Different: They run the Game too, and are even higher in status than the Composer, but they're generally more like rule keepers that watch from the sidelines than anything else. (Hanekoma's one of them.)
  • Our Souls Are Different: People can be erased, but as it turns out, souls are immortal, so they're not gone for good. If taken and reshaped by a strong enough outside source, they can even come back to life, in their own form or as something else.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Seeing the characters act grossly out of character is a major red flag that something is seriously wrong in "A New Day"; Uzuki is a Lazy Bum, Kariya is the ruthlessly ambitious one, and Joshua is a stammering Shrinking Violet who always goes by his full name.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: The hated elephant Noise and both forms of the final boss can be defeated easily in a matter of seconds with the Time Bomb psych.

    P - Z 
  • Pacifist Run: Attempted invocation in Week 3 when Neku is forced to play the week without a partner, and thus no way to attack Noise. He deduces that he can just run from every Noise encounter...only to cut this train of thought short when he realizes that the moment a mission requires him to erase Noise, escaping ceases to be an option.
  • Palette Swap: The Super Boss, Panthera Cantus, is a double-palette swap: a blue Tigris Cantus on the upper screen and a red Leo Cantus on the lower.
  • Panthera Awesome: A trinity of them. Puzzle Boss Mitsuki Konishi, That One Boss Sho Minamimoto, and Super Boss Sanae Hanekoma.
  • Party in My Pocket: In Another Day, Neku can fight with any of his partners, but their sprites aren't seen following him outside of battle like they do in the main game. While this happens before he's even met them, after Neku meets them and gathers a whole gang, you still don't see anyone but Neku outside of cutscenes.
  • Perky Goth: Princess K, once you get her FSG to max. The shopkeeper at Tigre Punks is a Perky Punk.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The Pig Noise disappear forever once beaten, even during the New Game Plus. In the DS version, if you sell one of the unique drops from the pigs in Pork City and save, there's no way to recover them without erasing your save file and restarting the game. Everything else can be reacquired from somewhere (or can't be discarded in the first place). Averted in the Solo Remix version, where it is possible to rebuy them after seeing The Stinger.
  • Physical God: The Game's Composer has ridiculous reality-bending powers (read: the power to create and manipulate laws of nature as well as the Game's rules)... whether in the Underground or the Realground. An observant player may note that the first mention of him uses capitalized pronouns.
  • Picky Eater: Your companions have certain goods they don't like. Neku in particular hates muffins.
  • Playlist Soundtrack: The game has this style of soundtrack as the protagonist, Neku Sakuraba, listens to it through his headphones.
  • Plot-Based Photograph Obfuscation: Shiki has a photo on her cell phone of her and her friend Eri, with the glare obscuring the unfamiliar face. Not Eri's face, though — turns out, Shiki has taken on her friend's appearance as her entry fee.
  • Poison Mushroom: The Red Skull pin does nothing but lowering Neku's movement speed. In Week 1 Day 6, you have to wear it for a few battles to complete an objective (promoting the Gatito brand) in the story, since it is the only Gatito pin the player will have at this time.
  • Pop Quiz: "Like a bolt from the blue, it's time for the Reaper Review!"
    • There's a sequence in Joshua's week when Neku and Joshua have to solve a mystery together that plays a bit like this, too.
    • In that same week, there's one day during which entering certain areas will prompt Josh into a little ramble about the place (or ramen) and then ask you a question.
  • Post-End Game Content: If you think that killing the Final Boss makes the game over, you're wrong. Say hello to a lot of the best equipment and stickers that have just been unlocked. Of course you still have to buy it.
  • P.O.V. Cam: At the end when Neku sees Joshua and Mr. Hanekoma together after the duel.
  • Power Floats: Joshua, when using his Jesus Beams.
    • Neku, when using any psych that doesn't allow movement during the attack.
  • Power Gives You Wings: It's explained that a Reaper's supernatural power is contained in their wings. When they shift over to the RG, their wings vanish, making them essentially normal humans until they return to the UG. Interestingly, Support Reapers (the ones who create walls) don't have any wings at all, while all Harriers (who create Noise and occasionally attack Players personally) do, suggesting that Support Reapers are stuck on wall duty because they don't have any other powers.
  • The Power of Friendship: Most battles against the Noise are done with two Players. You control the fighting with the stylus for one, and the D-pad (or the buttons for you left-handers out there) for the other person. Not to mention the ending of the game, which contains a cutscene of a Quad Fusion attack, more or less. Things went boom.
    • Mingle Mode is the game's way of enforcing Power of Friendship in the real world.
    • Another real-world example can be found in Final Remix, which allows for two players to play the game in "Co-op Mode", each with one joy-con and controlling either Neku or his Partner. Doing this gives you a post-fight "special" and consequent boost to your EXP modifier (*1.1).
  • Power of Trust: The story has Neku trying to open up to people so he and his partner can fight efficiency against the Noise and complete the missions of the Reaper's Game.
  • Power-Up Food: All kinds of food have different effects on each character in terms of stat boosts and sync rate effects. They also come in different sizes, measured in Bytes, and their effects on each character will depend on how well they enjoy them. Full list here.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Essentially what happened to the gameplay in Solo Remix and Final Remix. The original game was very much designed around the Nintendo DS having two screens with two different control schemes to control two playable characters simultaneously. Nearly every other system lacking multiple screens makes this impossible to translate cleanly, so the ports consolidated all the action into one screen with just Neku, turned the second playable character into an Assist Character, and revamped Sync into a Combination Attack mechanic.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Neku and his partners get memorable two-liners right before performing their Fusion attacks.
    Beat: Yo, let's start it up!
    Neku: No, let's end it!
  • Pre-existing Encounters: You scan the area to find and fight Noise symbols; the only times where you must battle Noise is if it's required in order to clear out a wall, or when the battle advances the storyline.
  • Prophecy Twist: During A New Day, Neku has a vision of Joshua shooting at him. Again. When the vision comes to pass, this time Joshua really does turn out to be shooting at someone behind Neku: Coco, who just killed Neku.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Played with.
    • During the second week, Neku is feeling sorry for himself for losing Shiki as his entry fee, since Shiki was supposedly about to come back to life. When Neku brings this up as the reason why he can't afford to waste time with Joshua's errands, Joshua tells him that all Players are fighting for something precious and Neku's entry fee doesn't make him any more a deserving candidate to win the Game than anyone else. Part of Neku's Character Development in Week 2 is learning to care about other people.
    • The game has you rooting for Neku and his friends all the way, with Kitaniji being played up as the Big Bad. But once Kitaniji is finally defeated, we learn that he was working to save Shibuya all along, while everyone helping Neku was unwittingly enabling the Composer's plan to destroy it.
  • Psychic Powers: The game's magic system. The powers granted by pins have names such as "Pyrokinesis" and "Psychokinesis", and the game (not the characters, the game itself) refers to playable characters as ESP'ers. Mind Reading is also an important plot and gameplay element. Neku is a special case, as he can use every pin available, whereas generally, Players are only able to use certain psychs. For example, Shiki can only use the psychokinesis pin 'Groove Pawn' to control Mr Mew. She could not use Pyrokinesis, so she gave her Pyrokinesis pin to Neku.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Most of the rank and file Reapers are nice guys, and the protagonists even make friends with some of them. They are just doing their job, which just happens to be erasing people from existence. If they fail at it, they get erased. So there's some motivation there. Reapers were once players themselves, who were granted the option of becoming Reapers due to their powers of Imagination. It's one career option in the afterlife.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Game Masters, or Reapers who control the Noise and give the players missions. The Harriers, below them, are their own Quirky Miniboss Squad.
  • Rainbow Motif: Jokingly mentioned in reference to Joshua.
  • Rainbow Speak: All the key words and memes are like this.
  • Random Encounters: By the third week, Neku may be attacked randomly by Reapers when moving between areas.
  • Random Event: When using Mingle Mode, you may come across "Aliens" that award a hefty 100 MPP when encountered. As far as anyone knows, nothing influences the appearance rate of Aliens, thus making them more or less random occurrences.
  • Rank Inflation: In battles from lowest to highest: E, D, C, B, A, and ★ (Star).
  • Rare Candy: While most of the food items that permanently boost stats are not rare or expensive, the foods that boost drop rate are exceptionally expensive and hard to obtain. Curious Mushrooms can be bought for either 590,000 yen or fifteen 10,000 yen pins. Absolute Shadow Ramen requires redeeming several quest items, including the rare Dark Matter. A few food items are extremely expensive as well, such as the ones sold at the Shibu Q-Heads pharmacy and the Natural Remedies shop. And while food generally isn't rare or expensive, you do need to fight a number of battles before you can get the stat boost.
  • Rare Random Drop: The Black Mercury pin, part of the Darklit Planets, can be acquired through two ways: the WildKat shop (which has a random Darklit Planet pin for sale which does not change in a single save file), or grinding in the Shibuya River in Another Day, the only place where you can find the rare Fifenfrogs, which have a base 0.13% chance of dropping Black Mercury on Ultimate difficulty — this can be capped, if you can chain your way to 770 drop stars. Of course, after that you have to go through all those battles and hope the damn frog is in one of them.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: Aside from cola, Beat's reactions to eating sweet foods are neutral at best — don't even try to give him crepes or chocolate icecream.
  • Real-Place Background: Shibuya's depiction in TWEWY is actually very accurate... making exceptions for the skewed angles and the changed store names, of course.
  • Reclusive Artist: In-Universe: The reason why despite being an avid fanboy, Neku doesn't know who CAT is.
  • Recurring Boss:
    • Reaper Beat is fought at three points during Week 2.
    • Minamimoto is the final boss of Week 2 and reappears as a boss in Week 3 as Taboo Noise.
    • Uzuki and Kariya: both are initially fought individually, then both at the same time as a Dual Boss twice.
    • Kitaniji is fought in a total of three fights in the final day.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Characters who have been Brainwashed and Crazy by the Red Skull pins have glowing red eyes and attack Neku on sight.
  • Replacement Scrappy: In-universe example: at the start of the second Game, Neku's trusted companion, Shiki, is replaced by Joshua; a self-centered, secretive, condescending, smug little Jerkass prick. Joshua doesn't get through half a conversation before he makes Neku want to strangle him. Even the tutorial box points out how annoying it is that he's different from Shiki.
  • Replay Mode: After playing through the entire game once, all chapters of the story are accessible directly, so you can fight Noise with good item drops and replaying is required to get 100% Completion.
  • Replay Value: Worth going back and replaying it at least once to collect the Secret Reports.
  • Respawning Enemies: Noise respawn only after you leave the area (except for Pig Noise, which never respawn). Of course, the one time your mission is to clear all the Noise from an area, they do keep respawning until you get to the root of the problem.
  • Restored My Faith in Humanity: Most of the characters in the game help to do this for Neku, and Neku in turn does it for Joshua.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The game contains a thick and complex plot that tends to be easy enough to follow on the first playthrough. However, during a second playthrough, the perspective will alter your perception of the storyline, most noticeably everything regarding Joshua. It happens again after you've played through the game again and gotten all the secret reports, this time with Hanekoma. Most notably, the opening movie actually sums up the entire plot, but you won't know until a second playthrough. Even the biggest spoileriffic detail is there, though it's a Freeze-Frame Bonus.
  • Rhyming with Itself: In "Transformation":
    Now, open your eyes, the pieces are all over!
    Now, you should accept that it is over!
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: Attempted by one of the Game Masters. By the third week, Kitaniji has become sufficiently fed up with Neku's continued survival that he immediately starts off with putting Neku in a no-win scenario.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: The partners are this - Shiki's the tougher partner to attack with, while Beat is usually considered the easiest. Joshua is considered the best partner though.
  • Sentai: Kindred Spirits in Another Day organize themselves like a sentai team, including colour-coded names and items.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • It is mentioned that Shibuya is not the only city with a Reaper's Game and that it is not the Reapers and the Composer at the top of Shibuya's hierarchy, but rather the Angels, who the protagonists never learn of or have to confront.
    • Collecting all of the Secret Reports and clearing the game again in Solo Remix awards a hidden illustration as The Stinger, shown after the secret ending. The girl in the image is ultimately revealed to be Tsugumi Matsunae, a major character in NEO: The World Ends With You.
    • The main purpose of the new chapter "A New Day" in Final Remix is to set up the events leading to NEO. Neku is shot dead (again) by Coco to force him back into the UG, and Coco revives Minamimoto to become a Player, purportedly as Neku's new Partner. Furthermore, Shinjuku is Inverted, causing the erasure of most of its human population except for Tsugumi, leaving its Reapers available to cross over to Shibuya.
  • Serious Business: Pin Collection, justified in that they actually give you psychic powers. In the real world, they're just another fashion accessory. They then parody the whole concept with the bonus chapter, "Another Day" which takes the minigame, Tin-Pin Slammer, the characters, and transports them all into a Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series-type setting in which the game is all-important. Lampshaded in the Secret Reports:
    "... a world where Tin Pin Slammer—of all things!—reigns supreme."
  • Set Bonus: The Gatito brand's shtick is pins that have these:
    • Big Bang and Big Crunch together give access to the Nexus Ray Psych, a rare psych that only two other pins can use.
    • Over The Top (Righty Cat, Lefty Cat, Brainy Cat) slashes the Reboot time of other pins by 40% and causes all pins to start the fight already booted. While this set takes up half the deck, with the right attacking pins it allows for infinite air-juggling.
    • The Irregular Note set causes the four pins in the deck to start floating around the screen in random directions, bouncing off the walls of the screen and each other. The player can pause the game to rearrange the pins with the stylus. Tapping any of the pins causes a series of neutral-element bullets to travel between the four pins on the screen, damaging enemies in their path.
    • The Steps to Eden set activates the Holy Field Ability when all five pins are in the same Deck. Holy Field hypercharges your Puck, granting it 5x Multiplier, near-instant travel speed, and insanely long duration, in addition to granting Neku total invincibility if he has the Puck. In Solo Remix, Holy Field instead hypercharges your Cross Combo hits, bestowing permanent Blazing, 330% damage and 7% Sync Rate per CC hit, and any CC hit grants Neku a 4-second invincibility shield. However, the player will only have a single pin for attacking with, so they need to make it count.
    • The Darklit Planet set is the only one where the individual pins have any functions of their own, each acting as a reasonably strong pin. Putting all six in the same deck triples the damage they inflict, with the resulting deck being the game's Infinity +1 Sword.
    • Final Remix adds the Crimson Kingdoms set, a trio of Unbranded pins which double their damage output when placed in the same deck in similar fashion to the Darklit Planets.
  • Shaped Like Itself: After spending Joshua's third day running around Shibuya on the signals of an unexplained tracker app, Neku finally flat-out asks Joshua what he's looking for. His response?
    Joshua: Simply put? I'm looking for what this tracker is tracking.
    Neku: (What the...? Oh, that's real helpful!)
  • Shared Life-Meter:
    • Both Neku and his partner share a life meter that stretches across both screens of the DS. It even empties at both ends depending on who's getting hurt, with one character displaying their injured idle animation if his or her half of the life bar is completely empty.
    • Any Dual Boss fights in the game (like Kariya and Uzuki, Kitaniji and Shiki, or Super Boss Hanekoma's simultaneous dual forms) have this rule applying for the bosses as well.
  • Shinigami: The Reapers were called "Shinigami" in the original Japanese. They forgo Psychopomp work in lieu of setting up elaborate games that give dead people a second chance at life.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page!
  • Shrine to the Fallen: There's one for Beat and Rhyme, after they died in a car accident.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Beat and Rhyme, with Rhyme being calm, level-headed and responsible, while Beat is more emotional, impulsive and less intelligent. Rhyme's gear that you can purchase after completing the game tends to emphasize defense, while Beat's tends to emphasize offense.
  • Signature Device: Player Pins for Players mark them as players of the Reaper's Game trying to win and be revived.
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: Joshua's level 3 Fusion, "Jesus Meteor", wherein Neku and Joshua drop the freakin' moon on Earth.
  • So Bad, It Was Better: One of the passers-by you can scan is an Eiji Oji fangirl bemoaning the fact the Prince has started seeing a vocal coach, as she'd taken a liking to his incredibly off-key singing voice.invoked
  • Socialization Bonus: One of the game's shops stocks exactly one of six "Darklit Planet" pins (otherwise available only as a Random Drop from specific opponents on the highest difficulty setting), but which one they offer depends on the player's game (or more specifically, the system ID of the player's DS). The others can be acquired by purchasing them from other players who have them.
  • Soft Reset: Unique in that the 'return to title' option is only given after you've died. (Or Start, Select, L and R.)
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Neku changes partners each week, and any stat boosts you've given them via food or any equipment they had are taken with them. You don't get to use them again until after you've beaten the game. To make it worse, you can't just unequip them, since the last time you can do so is right before a Climax Boss.
  • Some Dexterity Required: The game's battle system has you controlling Neku on the bottom screen using the stylus and your partner character on the top using the D-pad or the face buttons for lefties. This means you need to pay attention to two screens at once and control using both the stylus and face buttons, which can be difficult to pull off for players. You can set the partner's actions to have the CPU to take over, but it isn't terribly reliable, especially for gathering Fusion Stars for the Fusion attacks. If you're up against certain bosses or even simple Taboo Noise, this trope's name becomes quite the understatement, as they will absolutely require you to have some mastery over both Neku and his partner so you can at least use the light puck (which gives a damage boost to whoever it's passed to) reliably. The iOS version has different battle mechanics to compensate for being on a single screen, such as turning the partners into Assist Characters instead.
  • Sneeze Interruption: Neku is challenged to "Reaper Sport 3" but can't hear what the Reaper says because his partner had a sneezing fit.
  • Spanner in the Works: Neku specifically mentions to a Reaper that Beat cannot be predicted by anyone, so trying to manipulate him is pointless. The Secret Reports reveal that Hanekoma imprinted Beat with the knowledge of how to create noise specifically because it wouldn't alter the outcome of the game, and he admired his dedication to wanting to save his sister. Come week 3...
  • Spell Levels: Pins in the game are divided into three elements: Positive, Negative, and Neutral. Each psych has an associated rank (e.g. C, B, and A) which determines the limit of how many said psych can be equipped in a single deck. There are also Reaper and Angel ranked pins, which unlike A-ranked pins, only one pin of these ranks can be used (it is possible to have a Reaper and Angel in the same deck, but no more than one can be used).
  • Spiritual Antithesis: Whereas Kingdom Hearts is a High Fantasy series that focuses on traveling through different worlds and going on fantastical adventures with an assortment of colorful characters from Disney and Square Enix, this game is an Urban Fantasy that has the main characters trapped in the ultra stylistic Shibuya and being forced to team up with others in order to survive a Deadly Game. The protagonists are complete opposites of each other, with the former franchise starring an idealistic and kindhearted young man who embraces The Power of Friendship and becomes a Messianic Archetype despite being The Unchosen One; whereas the latter is starred by a hardened and insociable teenager who is handpicked to represent the worst of humanity, before gradually changing for the better.
  • Spoiler Opening: You won't realize it until after you've beaten the game, but the opening cinematic spoils the entire plot. Joshua, the "two Shikis", Rhyme's fate, Kitaniji's Assimilation Plot, the reason behind Neku's death... it's all there.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Played for Laughs. You can follow the train of thought of one of 777's fangirls throughout the game as it basically goes from "He's the hottest man alive!" to "I'm gonna follow him home next time." to "WTH, he just disappeared while I was stalk-FOLLOWING him!"
  • The Starscream: Several people are trying to overthrow the Composer to take up the mantle, including Sho Minamimoto and Beat, though his reasons are generally good.
  • The Stinger:
    • Provided you've completed one of the 100% Completion criteria.
    • Solo Remix tacks on a Stinger to a Stinger, adding a picture of a mysterious girl who bears similarities in design to both Neku and Shiki.
    • Final Remix tops them both with the new stinger at the end of A New Day, which acts as a full-on sequel hook.
  • Subliminal Seduction: Two characters use this to advance their agendas.
    • As CAT, Hanekoma imprints his art with the message "Enjoy the moment more." to make people more sociable and improve their lives.
    • Kitanji imprints the Red Skull pins to take control of the wearers and indoctrinate them into his Assimilation Plot.
  • Suicide Is Painless: Heavily implied with Joshua.
    "Life for me was one giant bore. Just the same thing, day after day... Now THAT felt like death."
    • Even more obvious was the following quote, because by the time it comes up you know how people get into the Game:
      "I'm here because I want to be."
    • However, it turns out that he's actually still alive. But then it turns out that we don't even know if he's technically alive or dead.
  • Super Boss:
    • Progfox, Grindcore Minks, Woolly AOR, and Goth Metal Drake appear as Blue Noise during the main game, are very powerful, have no part in the storyline and fighting them is completely optional. However, they pale in comparison to the game's true superboss, Panthera Cantus, aka Mr. H.
    • Reaper Beat and Taboo Minamimoto. You are required to fight them in the main story, but not defeat them: surviving for a sufficient amount of time is enough. However, they can be fought as Blue Noise in the post-game (with no time limit), and defeating them is necessary for 100% completion. Or just for the sweet, sweet taste of victory.
  • Supernatural Phone: The main characters receive the rules for the days games from the Reapers with their cellphones through text messages. Joshua however kicks it up a notch using his to use initiate his attacks which include dropping objects and Jesus beams on his enemies. Mr. Hanekoma also modifies Neku's phone so that it can take pictures of the past.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Neku and his partner try to wait in line at Shadow Ramen, but being Invisible to Normals means that no one notices them in the queue or recognizes that they're there, while simply walking through the front door results in them being accused of cutting in line and told to wait with everyone else.
  • Synchronization: Your partner shares HP. Neku might not get hit at all, but if your partner gets dealt enough damage, Game Over. This is especially bad if you're using Auto-Play, because the AI for it sucks.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: The Whammies in Tin Pin Slammer (except one) each counter another Whammy.
  • Take Off Your Clothes: When Shiki sees that a button on Neku's pants isn't sewn on right, she demands he take off his pants to let her fix them. He doesn't really interpret it as a come-on, but it's pretty awkward anyway.
  • Take That!: The track "Game Over" possesses a Stealth Insult towards message boards, namely 2ch, and the nature of anonymous posting:
    He's got an opinion and posted suggestion but never reveals his name
    Read by someone, taken as a good one but nobody knew who had wrote it
    Few lines of the sentences lie
    Anonymity is annoying me all the time
    It's like a two channel, where people can just throw their own anger
    And forget about those foul actions
  • Take Your Time: You have so-and-so many minutes for each mission. Feel free to take years to do so, and, as mentioned, get rewarded for doing so.
  • Team Spirit: Without a partner, a Player is automatically erased in seven minutes. Fighting alone doesn't work, either; before you get a partner, you can't use any of your pins.
  • Technician Versus Performer: It's briefly mentioned that where Yammer is an expert in the technical aspects of Tin Pin Slammer but isn't a very skilled player, the talented Shooter barely understands the game at all.
  • Technicolor Death: Slain bosses fulfill this in two different ways, first turning black on a background of white noise, then radiating beams of light, and finally vanishing in a white static burst.
  • Teens Are Short: Even Beat, by far the tallest of the 15-and-under group, is teeny in juxtaposition with any given character over 17.
  • Theme Naming:
    • The clothing brands are named after the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. This becomes relevant in one mission. The 13th clothing brand, Gatito, is a reference to the legend of how the Cat didn't follow the rules of the Chinese Zodiac. It's also run by Hanekoma, rather than normal civilians. And to make this a bit more obvious, CAT didn't follow the rules of the Angels.
    • The four Game Masters are named after the cardinal directions—Kitaniji, Minamimoto, Higashizawa, and Konishi (north, south, east, and west respectively).
    • Every Game Master and Hanekoma's One-Winged Angel forms are all given Latin names ending with "Cantus" (Latin for "song" or "chant"). An animal name is also hidden in the kanji of their names. There are also several boss Noise named Canor (also meaning "song"); all these are basically bigger versions of normal Noise.
    • The various normal Noise have musically-themed names. (Mostly.) The musical theme of the UG is reinforced by the top positions being called the Composer, Conductor, and Producer.
    • There is also a subtle Floral Theme Naming for Neku and his partners in their surnames: Sakuraba means '"cherry garden", Misaki translates to "beautiful blossom", while Kiryu and Bito contain the characters for "paulownia" and "wisteria" respectively. Rhyme's surname is Bito as well.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: The Irregular Notes are a postgame pin set that is very unorthodox in its use, as the pins float around the screen and using them causes the projectile to pass from one pin to another, making them the only time the ability to move around pins on your screen is relevant. They're also one of the few neutral Psychs that Neku can equip, and the only ones that do not rely on obstacles - making them a perfect counter against the dreaded Fifenfrog, which absorb both positive and negative Psychs and spawn only in areas that never spawn obstacles.
  • The Only One: Averted, since the Reaper's Game only requires one team to complete the mission. Most of the time, Neku and his partners are the ones who complete the missions, but on Week 1, Day 3, Beat and Rhyme deliver the killing blow to the smaller bat that is the boss Noise's true form, and in the Tin Pin slam tournament in Week 2, Sota and Nao win the tournament and complete the mission. For much of Week 2, Joshua has Neku go around doing errands for him while other players do the missions. It's justified in the third week, seeing as how Neku's team are the only ones who can do the missions, and Neku would be the only player if Beat hadn't done a Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Pin Is Mightier Than the Sword: The main form of combat in the UG is with pins. You collect them, level them up, and evolve them — rather like a Mons game.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: A Reaper's lifespan is determined by points they score by following the brass' orders and erasing Players; if the Reaper doesn't score any points as Beat demonstrates, their lifespan is thirteen days.
  • Those Two Guys:
    • Shooter and Yammer are two recurring NPCs who enjoy playing Tin Pin Slammer together.
    • Ai and Mina are a pair of recurring NPCs involved in a subplot with Makoto.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: Konishi's noise form is a tiger, while Kitaniji's is a dragon. She's planning on overthrowing him.
  • Time Stands Still: One of Kitaniji's abilities is to freeze time, allowing him to place two energy spheres on the field that fire multiple projectiles once the time stream returns to normal.
  • Title Drop: The English title drop is demonstrated by the top page quote. The Japanese title, "It's a Wonderful World", gets a rather ominous drop near the end of the game:
    "To right the countless wrongs of our day, we shine this light of true redemption, that this place may become as paradise. What a wonderful world such would be..."
  • Tomato Surprise:
    • Shiki, as she appears in the Underground, is really taking on the guise of her best friend Eri because she's incredibly self-conscious about her own appearance.
    • Joshua, who was the Composer all along, REALLY killed Neku, after being seen as guilty first and innocent later. Then there´s the whole "Angel Hanekoma is more powerful than Joshua and reborn Minamimoto to send him after Josh, who is trying to destroy Shibuya, while Neku is being manipulated by Josh to win a Game he has with Kitaniji, the Big Bad who really wants to SAVE the city (using Instrumentality, but still wants to protect the place").
  • Too Dumb to Fool: When Konishi attempts to emotionally cripple him by revealing that Rhyme doesn't love Beat as much as he loves her, Beat hesitates only long enough to give her satisfaction, and then promptly ignores it. Despite being vastly more intelligent than Beat, Konishi laments that his stupidity tends to make him a Spanner in the Works to her plans.
  • Totally Radical: Usually avoided, as the game uses modern slang, and properly, at that. The salesman, Mick, however, is still stuck in the 80's when he first appears. Neku also falls to this a couple of times.
  • T-Word Euphemism: Subverted. Cultural icon Eiji Oji, A.K.A. the Prince of Ennui, has a super-popular blog called "F Everything" which gets referenced several times. No, it doesn't mean what you think it does. It stands for Fabulous.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The game uses this as a gameplay mechanic: how much a character likes a certain meal affects the Sync Boosts you get. Of the four beginning ramen types, Neku likes Shoyu Ramen, Shiki likes Miso Ramen, Beat likes Tonkotsu Ramen, and Joshua prefers Shio. Shiki has a fondness for sweets. Beat meanwhile likes fast food while Joshua is disgusted by it. Neku likes ramen and Mexican food.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The reveal trailer for Final Remix prominently features the mysterious girl that appeared in The Stinger of Solo Remix and Sho coming back from the Taboo Noise Sigil.
  • Translated Cover Version: Some songs in the soundtrack have versions in both English and Japanese.
  • Translation Convention: While the characters in non-Japanese versions appear to speak the language the game is being played in, the story does still take place in Japan and the characters can be assumed to "actually" be speaking Japanese. This is, of course, true of every translated work ever, and so would normally not be worth mentioning, but the "English" thought fragment, which (as the name implies) was in English in the original Japanese text, is changed to Japanese in the non-Japanese texts, to preserve the jarring and possibly incomprehensible language shift, despite being about someone who only speaks English and not Japanese and is actively complaining about the trouble this fact causes him.
  • Trapped in Villainy: The Reapers are mostly Punch Clock Villains, but they do point out that if they don't erase players, then they get erased instead.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-universe. Sho is insistent that his junk heaps are works of art.
  • True Final Boss:
    • Beating the main story of Another Day lets you challenge Shuto for one final match of Tin Pin Slammer. Beating Shuto lets you challenge Shinji Hashimoto himself for a final match of Tin Pin Slammer.
    • At the end of "A New Day", your final opponent is the Dissonance Tapir, a big-ass elephant Noise responsible for trapping Neku and Beat in the distorted alternate Shibuya.
  • Tsundere: One female clerk for an upscale clothing store is rather dismissive of Neku at first, with her thoughts doubting that he can afford anything. If Neku spends enough money there, she'll initially be surprised, then start greeting Neku with polite professionalism but her thoughts indicating she's rather bashful and possibly has a crush on Neku
  • Underground Monkey: Many normal enemies appear in different versions that only differ from each other by colour and minor additions to the model.
  • The Unfought: The final boss is not the Composer. Well, at least not directly. When Neku does face the Composer, it's in the epilogue; the player can't influence the outcome.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: The iOS port makes full completion just about impossible due to the changes to "mingling." This was changed in an update which added Tin Pin practice mode which gives Mingle PP.
  • Unlockable Difficulty Levels: You start off on Normal and unlock the other difficulty levels with stickers. Easy is earned on day 3, Hard at the start of the second week, and Ultimate can be purchased in the post-game. This is important because Noise drop more and better pins on higher difficulties.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Hanekoma in the secret reports. To the point where he blatantly leaves important things out or makes them ambiguous and then writes to Neku himself towards the end.
    • Also, Neku's Laser-Guided Amnesia makes his own memories unintentionally unreliable. Several times.
  • The Unreveal: No, you never see the entirety of RG Shiki's face. Not even in Another Day.
  • Unsound Effect: Bling! Which is at least vaguely onomatopoeia. The original version, "GET!", on the other hand...
  • Unwinnable by Design: Kitaniji tries to invoke this in week 3 by swiping away all other Players as the entry fee for Week 3. Neku reasons that all he has to do is simply not fight...but then realizes that the moment a mission requires him to fight any Noise, he'll be really stuck. It fails when Beat shows up to save Neku.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Beat, Neku, and Shiki are both examples of this and Spanners In The Works.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • The iOS version, despite making compromises to the gameplay for it to work on one screen, features higher resolution graphics, music tracks from Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], and adds social features added into the game.
    • The Switch version builds upon the iOS version and adds a whole new extra scenario that further fleshes out the story.
  • Urban Fantasy: The game takes place in modern-day Shibuya, where death gods pits people in a game of life-or-death and fighting off graffiti-inspired monsters.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: To right the countless wrongs of our day, we shine this light of true redemption, that this place may become as paradise. What a wonderful world such would be...
  • Valley Girl: Both Nao and Solo Remix's Coco talk like this. Some of the shopkeepers as well.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Shibuya River sewers. Brr.
    Shiki: This door just screams "endgame".
    • And just so you know you're finally really getting near the end, instead of being numbered "Day 1", "Day 2", etc, Week 3 uses "7 Days Left", "6 Days Left", etc, until "The Last Day".
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers:
    • Beat some of the enemies in specific difficulties and you'll get their pins instead of normal ones.
    • Hypothetically, if someone were to defeat the Composer, then he or she would assume his position and all it entails.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: If you go out of your way when you're trying to help Def Märch's tech fix the lights at A-East, you can also have him buy 777 some cough drops for his sore throat. Doing so nets you a valuable pin, but more importantly, you get the sense of satisfaction that comes with helping someone.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Mild example. Certain characters have food(s) that they don't like. Keep on feeding them these food(s) and you'll be treated to voice clips of them saying "Yuck", "Ew!" or "Eeew! Take it away!"
  • Visual Pun: Another Day features the Fifenfrog, which absorbs almost every attack the player can throw at it.note  It's a (mostly) white Noise.
  • Voice Grunting: The opening and ending scenes have full voicing, however.
    • As does the cutscene with Joshua's last words.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Invoked Trope. Game Masters are meant to ensure that Players (the in-universe kind) don't survive the week, and you conclude the first week by fighting one. What does this mean for players (the... out-of-universe kind)? A boss with very strong, spammable attacks, and several times more HP than any previous boss.
    • Before that, there's the boss of Day 5. While not quite on the level of the above entry, it still has much more health than previous bosses, has very high attack for the point you fight and can buff that attack once it gets damaged enough.
  • Warrior Therapist: Hanekoma sure as hell tries to play the part during his boss fight, spouting out inspirational phrases ("DON'T LET LIMITS SLOW YOU!", "ENJOY THE MOMENT!", "OPEN UP YOUR WORLD!") while he kicks your ass six ways to Sunday.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Averted. The NPCs whose minds you read have different thoughts from week to week, and later on in the third week, they all turn to the same thing because of Kitaniji's plan.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kitaniji, in the end, just wants to save Shibuya from destruction. Granted, doing so via mass brainwashing probably isn't the wisest of ideas. Likewise, Beat's motives for becoming a Reaper and agreeing to kill Neku and later for trying to become the Composer via Klingon Promotion are to bring his friends and particularly his sister Rhyme back.
    • Joshua is also a Well-Intentioned Extremist. His reason for wanting to destroy Shibuya is to prevent it from corrupting the rest of the world.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The first one occurs during Day 4 when Rhyme is killed by a Noise, and they keep building from there, sometimes with one new Wham every day. Especially Day 7 when Neku discovers he's forced to play the Game for another seven days.
      • Special mention goes to Day 5, where Neku finds out that he and all the other Players are dead, and the Reapers' Game is a competition for a chance at resurrection.
      • Day 4 of Week 2 reveals that Joshua apparently shot Neku dead. And the very next day reveals not only is he much more powerful than he let on at first, but he's not a Player (which is why he can be Scanned), and he's not even dead.
      • The ending of "A New Day" in Final Remix. Her plans foiled, Coco shoots Neku dead. Then it turns out that while Neku has been dealing with her crap, Shinjuku was erased and Noise are breaching into the RG. Then Coco resurrects Minamimoto to serve as Neku's partner for her plans.
    • In the anime, the mission involving the Red Skull pins takes a dramatic change. At 3:00 PM when several people are gathered in front of 104, all wearing the pins and staring at the screen, a giant Noise symbol appears in the sky and starts obliterating Players. Neku and Shiki barely survive the ordeal thanks to Joshua's intervention.
  • Wham Line:
    • Day 1 of Week 3 has this exchange between Uzuki and Kariya.
      Uzuki: I'll make this week the pinnacle of my Harrier career!
      Kariya: 'Atta girl. Now let's just hope we get to the scene while there's still a Player to harry.
    • In case anyone didn't get why the above exchange is so important, it's spelled out clearly a bit latter:
    • In Week 3, Beat, while talking about Rhyme, says a line that puts his relationship with Rhyme in a completely new light.
      Beat: Some brother I make.
    • And of course, there's the big one at the end of the game.
      Joshua: It's me. I'm the Composer.
    • Another Day has its own, lighter wham to fit the lighter "get back the stolen pins" plot:
      Rhyme: Friends? I'm a Black Skuller.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Week 1, Day 6, so you and Shiki are going out helping advertise this strange red pin and...wait a minute: Why is there another Shiki hanging around Shibuya?
    • On Week 2, Day 7, Neku gets yet another flashback to his death, but this time, after Joshua fires his gun, you see Minamimoto there.
    • On Week 3, Day 5, you take photos of Sho's Taboo Noise sigil. The one from four days ago shows Hanekoma making adjustments to it.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Avoided; all of the major bosses turn into monsters, but revert to human form before being erased. This does not keep Megumi Kitaniji from directly violating Rule 34 note  of the Evil Overlord List, although, to be fair, it's not his final form.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Neku tries to kill his own partner; luckily, Hanekoma is there to stop him and call him out for it. Later, Neku blames himself for Joshua's death because he didn't trust his partner enough, although he turns out to be fully justified in that regard.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: This is how the Reaper's Game usually works; each Player has one pin whose psych works for them, giving them exactly one way to fight the Noise (for example, Beat's "Respect" gives him finer control over his skateboard while Shiki's "Groove Pawn" lets her control Mr. Mew). Neku is an anomaly in the UG because this trope doesn't apply to him.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: With the exception of Mitsuki Konishi, there's not a lot of evil in the game. Either side is just doing what they can in order to get by. Aside from that, Joshua only wants to better humanity, and Kitaniji and Mr. H just plain love Shibuya. Another exception could be Minamimoto, but he may or may not be on Blue-and-Orange Morality.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Twisted; the Great Power was a ruse intended to cause the Great Insanity among the Reapers just when it started with the civilians.
  • Wild Card: Hanekoma helps both Kitaniji and Joshua accomplish their completely opposite goals. However, this could be because the Producer's job is to keep things equal.
  • Willfully Weak: You can adjust your level at any time, so you could play the entire game at level 1note  if you so wished. There's also Joshua, who has his power ratcheted down so that he can go unnoticed.
    • Downplayed in that changing the level only affects your health, while leaving all of your other stats untouched. Playing at level 1 near the latter stages of the game essentially makes you a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: "Twister". Boy howdy.
  • World's Smallest Violin: After Neku explains what happened in the previous week and how his new friend Shiki became his entry fee for the second week(which is why Neku can't afford to lose and has little patience for anything that might hurt his chances of completing the missions), Joshua quotes this trope by name and then tells Neku that he isn't the only player who has something important riding on winning the Game.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Shiki in Another Day.
  • You Are Not Alone: In the ending theme of the original DS game and part of the overall theme for the whole game.
    A lullaby for you
    Stars will always gracefully watch over 'till it's bright
    May tomorrow be wonderful too
    Take my hand and promise me that we'll be alright
    Even through cloudy days
    You are not alone!
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Another Day parodies this.
    We all perceive the world around us differently, filtered through the lens of our desired reality.
    So if you're wondering why a certain young lady still looks like somebody's because you refuse to perceive her as she really is
    The only thing stopping you from seeing what she really looks like... is you.
    So you see, it's your fault.
    • This is a parody because it's a variation of Hanekoma's Title Drop speech about how the "world ends with you" (see the quote at the top of the page). It's meant to sound like a Hand Wave, but reading between the lines (and the fact that it's "Another Day"... AND the fact that it's Joshua saying this), it's pretty much a roundabout way of saying "the developers didn't bother - for whatever reason - to make new sprites and artwork for just this one character and didn't want to come up with a more plausible in-universe reason for Shiki still looking like Eri, so just deal with it". Neku is understandably confused by this.
  • You Are Too Late: Joshua shows up at Udagawa and shoots Coco in the shoulder, forcing her to flee. However, by this time Neku's already been shot dead, and neither Joshua nor Beat could have changed the outcome.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Some of the voice clips that talking enemies make mid-battle fit this.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Congrats! You survived the week and won the Game! That was fast. Hey, how come you never met this guy on the cover? ...oh.
  • You Watch Too Much X: In Another Day, after an enigmatic conversation with Joshua, Neku thinks, "Kid plays too many video games."
    • Even before Another Day, during the 2nd week Neku says as much about Josh when the latter shows off his knowledge of a kid's anime based off of Tin Pin Slammer.
  • Zonk: In the Japanese version, if you follow the entire Approaching Eden evolution path and then level up the final pin, Eden's Door, incorrectly, it "evolves" (irreversably) into... a one-yen pin. Thankfully this was removed in the US/EU version, where making that mistake merely has it evolve back into the lowest-level Approaching Eden pin.

—You have 7 days.
Fail and face Erasure.
- The Reapers.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Subarashiki


Stunlocking the Bonus Boss

By stacking several faster-reload effects on an already-fast launching attack, Orange Fluffy Sheep manages to juggle the Bonus Boss to death, trivializing what is normally a very difficult fight.

How well does it match the trope?

4.42 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / CycleOfHurting

Media sources: