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This is Shibuya but it is not Shibuya.
A twelve-episode J-drama from the producers of Kamen Rider that aired in 2005. The title is pronounced, "Shibuya 15".
A fifteen-year old boy named Tsuyoshi wakes up in an alleyway of Tokyo's Shibuya district. He has no memories, and soon discovers that he is trapped within the borders of Shibuya by some mysterious power. Stop me if this sounds familiar.
He soon discovers that there are others like him who cannot leave the confines of Shibuya. Despite this, they live seemingly normal lives fighting in a three-way gang war over territory... except when they exceed the limitations of the world, at which point they become "broken" and marked for death by a mysterious assassin named Piece. Once dead, they are reset into the world with a new name and identity, with their former self erased from the memories of the other inhabitants.
Tsuyoshi is one of only two people who remember the former selves of those who are slain by Piece. The other is a girl called Ema, who is the only one able to slay Piece and protect the Shibuya 15. Together, they seek to find a way to recover Tsuyoshi's lost memories and escape the virtual Shibuya.
This series contains examples of:
- Affably Evil: Kengo.
- Ax Crazy: Ema, before she was inserted into the virtual Shibuya.
- Big Brother Is Watching
- Bittersweet Ending: Everyone escapes the virtual Shibuya, but Ema remains in a coma and cannot truly "escape".
- Blood From the Mouth
- Conspicuous CG
- Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story
- Dawson Casting: Every member of the Shibuya 15 is supposed to be fifteen years old.
- Evil Counterpart: Miu-chan, Asagi's manipulative Kawaiiko alter-ego.
- Fake Memories
- Karma Houdini: Kengo, whose acts as The Dragon are immediately forgotten after the Shibuya 15 regain their memories.
- Groundhog Day Loop
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Many of the cast have had starring roles in Kamen Rider.
- Ice Cream Koan: Mostly whatever Piece says.
- Implacable Man: Piece
- Inside a Computer System
- Laser-Guided Amnesia
- Lotus Eater Machine
- Manipulative Bastard: Miu-chan. The moment when Ryugo punches her out was incredibly satisfying.
- Meaningful Name: Tsuyoshi
- Mind Screw
- Mysterious Informant: Ootomo, the homeless guy.
- Nigh Invulnerability: Piece. Only Ema (in her battle armour) can kill him.
- Note to Self:: "LEAVE SHIBUYA. - RAVE"
- Only Sane Man: Tsuyoshi
- Quest for Identity
- Powered Armour: Ema can summon a suit of battle armour that gives her the ability to kill Piece.
- Punk Punk: A mix of Cyberpunk and Graffiti Punk.
- Redemption Equals Death
- Ret-Gone: Anyone killed by Piece.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Piece. (Because Japanese is phonetic, his name could be translated as "Peace", which is also an oddly appropriate name. Mark Musashi- who played Piece- confirmed the correct spelling.)
- In another example, Rave's name can be alternatively translated as "Revu" and sounds suspiciously close to "Review" (which is, again, another Meaningful Name.)
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Asagi and Miu-chan
- Word Salad Philosophy: Also stuff that Piece says.