///// TV-MA || TV-14 \\\\\
Animation | Sci-Fi | Action | Psychological | Adventure | Romance
Stylized Action-Violence | Language | Some Sexual Content | Brief Smoking/Alcohol-Use
"The Game Gets Redesigned"
On the island of Midorijima, off the coast of Honshu, there is a conjunction of two cities: Platinum Jail and the Old Resident District. Platinum Jail is a city for the elite, rich, and beautiful. Entrance is invitation-only, family free pass, or if you have the cash to buy one, which most people don't. Even though they’re direct neighbors of the Old Resident District, they work as a separate metropolis, thanks to Toue Inc. The other half is the said-section of the ORD and, to be frank, they were there first. They refused to relocate, either off the island or into the Platinum Jail and, as a result, lost their privilege to leave the former or enter the latte, again thanks to Toue Inc. But to them, it doesn't matter, they didn't ask for this playground for the rich to take up their island, and they try to live out their lives as best as possible, ignoring that big blue dome in the distance. The Old Resident District is broken up into four districts; shopping (south), shopping and residential (east), residential (west), and the old crumbling, dilapidated district where all the shady people go (north). The police force isn't the best, and with all the turf wars called “Ribsteez” going on, they’ll find any reason to yell or arrest someone.
There's also a new game called “Rhyme”, a virtual-reality simulator where participants compete against each other in battles within cyber space. In its virtual space, one can experience things beyond the real world, while their imagination alters the visual battlefield. One cannot receive any physical damage here, due to the obvious grave-potential of getting hurt. One could only participate if they own an AllMate, an A.I. programmed being, usually appearing as an animalized pet, while taking on an 'Avatar Form’ within the cyber world. Because so many participate in Ribsteez, players of Rhyme were considered as inferiors, while those outside gang-life were called "No Marks", who were easy targets of Rib harassment, and easy victims of forced 'Drive-by' Rhyme matches, where the rules and safety regulations don't apply.
Residing on the Eastern side of the district, twenty-three-year-old Aoba Seragaki
lives with his grandmother Dr. Tae Seragaki
, whose research led to the artificial, genetic-engineering of him and his fraternal twin brother Sei
, both having widespread nerves and a specifically-added gene called SCRAP, allowing them to possess superhuman-leveled, mind-controlling abilities in their eyes and voices. Aoba lives a normal life, while having absolutely no knowledge of being artificially-born. Due to his effeminate stature, and the ever-spreading nerves in his long, blue hair, Aoba was constantly picked on, having to always be saved and cherished by his headstrong best friend Koujaku
in the end. But as he grew, his dormant power began to dramatically change his behavior; becoming violent, he got into street fights, and freely used his telepathic abilities to the max, almost-permanently breaking the minds of those crossing him. Because of his power, Aoba's mind was divided into three: "Aoba", his original self, "Other Aoba", the psychopathic representation of his power
, and "Ren"
, the restraint keeping both personalities at bay. After finding a dark-blue Japanese Spitz AllMate discarded in the trash, Aoba patched it up and, in the process, the personality of "Ren" somehow got transmitted from Aoba's mind, and into the AllMate, allowing the said-personality to personally communicate with him. Since then, Aoba got heavily involved in Rhyme with Ren, who became his fighting partner in the cyber world, and his "dog" outside of it.
Going under the name "Sly Blue", Aoba earned a reputation amongst players, not to mention leaving his opponents in a comatose state after every match. His strength caught the attention and intensive interest of the enigmatic "identical" duo Trip
, two Rhyme veterans and the leaders of the Rib team Morphine
. To keep Aoba for themselves, Trip and Virus hijacked his mind from the sidelines of one of his matches, and overloaded his mental capacity inside its virtual space, knowing that the mental sensation of a player is limited when competing. Informed that he got into a "street-fight", Aoba woke up in a hospital bed with amnesia, having no recollection of the "accident", of ever playing Rhyme, or of having any powers. Not to mention that Ren also lost his memories, forgetting himself to be a piece of Aoba's mind, whilst ending up believing that he had been always an AllMate. Not knowing that their memories have been altered, Aoba began a normal life once again, with Ren by his side; shortly after being released from the hospital, he became a completely different person: He adopted a very kind, honest, and open-minded personality, withholding no interest in Rhyme or Ribsteez, and got a part-time job as a sales clerk and deliverer at Junk Shop Heibon, selling both new and used AllMate maintenance. However, he began to have severe headaches daily, which his grandmother Tae suspected of his "other self" wanting to be released, so she prescribed him with an intake of pills to suppress the pain.
After a few more months, Aoba comes across an eccentric but polite former TOUE android named Clear
, the apathetic hacker Noiz
, and the distant, stoic Mink
, who bears an intensive hatred towards Toue for a past tragedy. Aoba learns that, through his power, each of them, including Koujaku and Ren, have a dark side to themselves as an individual, while forging as a tight-knit group to stop Toue from using his mind-controlling technology on society. While on the verge to stop him, Aoba learns about his origins, the existence of his twin brother, as well as about his other half who wishes to create havoc from time to time. Upon Sei’s request, they terminate him, in order to destroy Tasto Toue’s highly-influential company, and return to their normal lives. However, before the turn-up of two mysterious individuals, Aoba thinks he's the only one with powers, and that all of Toue’s work has been destroyed. Having to cross paths with these two individuals, who seem to possess the same but different telepathic abilities, some of the company's research may have survived. With a growing threat, Aoba and his friends may have to rekindle, to find out what the now-deceased Toue has sprouted from underneath their noses during their last visit.
If you have not seen the anime, click here
for Part 1 of the story.