The World Ends With You

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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 Subarashiki Kono Sekai: It's a Wonderful World, The World Ends With You is an action RPG by Square Enix and Jupiter (you know, the Chain of Memories people) that tells the story of a teenage, angsty and antisocial tagger named Neku Sakuraba who wakes up in Shibuya, Tokyo, with no idea of how he got there. He discovers that not only can he not leave Shibuya, but he has the "pleasure" of playing the deadly weeklong "Reapers' Game"—and if he loses, he'll be erased from existence.

Neku eventually meets and befriends Shiki Misaki, your typical Shibuya fashion slave; Daisukenojo "Beat" Bito, a rough skater; his street-smart, adage-loving partner, Raimu (aka "Rhyme"); and Yoshiya "Joshua" Kiryu, the Jerkass Insufferable Genius. Armed with strange psychic powers, the group tries to survive their time in Shibuya... however, they are confronted at every turn by the mysterious Reapers.

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. Many have commented that the latter's Signature Style works much better in the context of modern Shibuya than it has in previous games he's worked on.

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. It has achieved a high level of critical acclaim, particularly for how different it is from its contemporaries.

For more info on this game's colorful cast, feel free to check out the character sheet.

Square Enix has released an official (and free!) translation of the one-shot tie-in manga here.

There has been talk of a sequel for years - in the September 2010 issue of Nintendo Power, there was an interview with Nomura (the game designer), who stated, "I definitely want to make a sequel. I’m very busy working on other titles right now, but when the time is right, I would love to make another installment of The World Ends with You.” If nothing else, the main cast and the Reapers' Game made an appearance in Kingdom Hearts 3D's Traverse Town world, and now Nomura has teased that this could be taken as a hint of something to come...

A port for mobile devices subtitled "Solo Remix" was released in 2012, for iOS and in 2014 for Android. This version maintains most of the game systems of the original, but modified so Neku and his partner can share a single screen. Another single-screen port, this time named "Final Remix" and with an extra episode, was released for Nintendo Switch in 2018.

A 12-episode anime adaptation was revealed to be in production in 2020, and premiered on April 2021. The sequel, titled NEO: The World Ends with You, was released on July 27, 2021 for Playstation 4 and Switch, with a Windows version released on September 28, 2021.

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.

(Note: It's A Wonderful World is also the title of a 1939 live-action Screwball Comedy starring Jimmy Stewart and Claudette Colbert.)

Tropes used in The World Ends With You include:
  • 100% Completion: There are 22 secret reports, 96 Noise reports, 472 items, and 304 pins to collect. 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.
  • 108: Joshua is Entry #108 in Another Day's Tin Pin Slammer tourney. And Pin #108 is "Eyes Full of Light".
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Shibuya River. Easily big enough for the characters to walk and fight in.
  • Affable 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.
  • Affectionate Parody: Another Day often comes across as this, both of Super Sentai-style shows and RPGS ("Black joined the party!").
  • After Combat Recovery
  • 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.
  • Almighty Janitor: Kariya fits the bill nicely.
  • Almost-Dead Guy: Konishi tells Beat that Rhyme's memories were his entry fee, not hers, and therefore she didn't hold him in the same esteem that he holds her before succumbing to erasure.
  • Already Done for You: A few missions are 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.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In "Another Day", some character alignments switch around and a few character tics are removed and replaced with new ones - gone are Higashizawa's food puns, now he acts like a little girl.
    • The best and most immediate inversion of character is Neku himself, who is suddenly and almost inexplicably annoying in his happiness and love of life. And the fact that he apparently sleeps in the middle of the Scramble Crossing on purpose.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Joshua [1]
  • An Aesop: See the page quote. Basically, don't close yourself off from the world and other people.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Neku switching partners at the start of each week.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: After several days of battling Noise, Rhyme undergoes an Emergency Transformation and eventually manifests as one. Subverted slightly in that the transformation only serves to introduce her as a Living MacGuffin, rather than invoking any Internal Conflict Tropes on her part.
  • Anti-Poopsocking: 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 an item or by adjusting the internal clock of your DS.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Reaper Sport 1 is Russian Roulette. Reaper Sport 2 is Hide-and-Seek, though number 1 comes from a guy who got the others wrong. Then again, Reaper Sport 3 is a Player Hunt, while Reaper Sport 4 is Tag. So he may not be far off.
  • 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.
  • Assimilation Plot: 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...
  • A Worldwide Punomenon/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.
  • Awesome but Impractical: In general, you will have long since beaten the main game and all the secret missions before you come anywhere close to obtaining half the cool items/powers, much less be able to use them. Completion has to be its own reward, because you're not going to get the toys when they'd do you any good.
    • A lot of pins that you do find in your first playthrough can fall under this too.
  • The Baroness: Mitsuki Konishi is pretty much the embodiment of the trope.
  • Bait and Switch Boss: Taboo Minamimoto, who gets crunched before you can actually fight him for real.
  • Battle Couple: Sota and Nao. Possibly Uzuki and Kariya as well, depending on interpretation.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Reaper Beat still disses your psychs and leaves you to have a scene about how he's too powerful for you to fight, even if you've just handed his ass back to him.
    • Taboo Minamimoto as well.
  • Beat Them At Their Own Game: This is basically the prerogative 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.
  • Berserk Button: Beat's real name; also, mentioning Ramen Don owner Ken Doi's past involvement in the development of Tin Pin.
    • On the note of Ken Doi in Another Day. "...What? Who told you that name?"
  • Big Bad: Kitaniji and/or Joshua. One was 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.
    • In the short chapter Another Day the Big Bad initially appears to be Uzuki, who didn't really have a big role in the main story. However, during the final confrontation Higashizawa, who had an even smaller part in the main story pulls a Starscream on her.
  • Big No: Neku, when he is told that Shiki is his new entry fee.
  • 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.)
  • Bishonen Line: Taboo Minamimoto
  • 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.
    • Although 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. Still not good, but... better.
  • Bizarro Universe: Another Day. What have they done to Neku?! And Shiki, Beat, and Rhyme? And everyone else?!
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Beat
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Minamimoto saves Neku and Joshua from a Taboo Noise, claiming that he'd be bored otherwise. Likewise, Kitaniji could've legitimately erased Neku at the end of the second week, but chooses to let him live instead, claiming to repay a debt. Never mind that the villains spend all the rest of their time trying to erase poor Neku.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The entirety of Another Day could count, considering the Noise found there surpass the ones found in the endgame, but if you want to be pickier, Another Day's Pork City definitely counts, with 13 floors of extremely hard Noise, a different brand requirement on each floor, annoying Pig Noise to kill, and a Bonus Boss at the top.
  • Bonus Boss: Panthera Cantus, a.k.a. Mr. Hanekoma
  • 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.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Argh, that elephant.
  • Boss Rush: Hidden in Another Day.
  • Bowdlerization: There are a few inverted crosses in CAT's graffiti; these were edited for the international release.
  • 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." He also acknowledges his status as a minor villain in the third week of the game by saying "Uh, villain? It's my job to screw with you."
    • Joshua does this as well in Another Day. "...Excuse me? I'm up against an unnamed character? What a waste."
  • 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, as well.
  • Broken Aesop: Subverted Trust your partner winds up appearing pretty broken, given that Joshua not only did in fact kill Neku, but Joshua also set up all the events of the game. Then it gets unbroken as Neku's trust in Joshua causes Joshua to change his mind about destroying Shibuya.
  • Broken Bridge: Done so blatantly, via a literal invisible wall 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.
  • Bullet Hell: Later bosses will create ridiculous amounts of projectiles for you to dodge.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Sho Minamimoto. He's 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. His twisted genius didn't have him thinking up any way to cover up the fact that he was up to something, though. However, that can be covered by the fact that he's always up to something, and he's so eccentric that anything out-of-the ordinary would be ordinary for him. One of the secret reports says as much.
  • 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.
  • Call a Rabbit a Smeerp: Averted with things like frogs, wolves, and pigs. Played straight with the popguins and corehogs.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: When Neku finds out that Joshua killed him, it takes an entire frustrating 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 (as Neku discovers at the end of week 2)...until we find out much later that he actually did kill Neku.
    • Somewhat justified in that Neku wasn't 100% sure that Joshua killed him, and if he was wrong, that would sort of affect their relationship. Giwith a premiere date of ven that cooperation between partners is very important, widening the gulf between them would not be a smart idea. And Joshua... well, Neku couldn't find out about the plan. Josh is also sort of a Jerkass, anyway.
  • Can Only Move the Eyes: During cutscenes, when the characters are paralyzed, they usually scream something about how they can't move. Somewhat justified in that they're sprites, and if they didn't say so, we'd have no way of knowing they've been paralyzed.
    • On a similar note, the cutscene sprites used for minor characters (like Shooter) vary only by their facial expressions.
  • Captain Obvious: Neku outright calls Joshua this at one point.
  • Catch Phrase: Sho's "So zetta slow!" along with his other math-related tics.
  • Cats Are Mean: Minamimoto's and Konishi's and Hanekoma's Noise forms, oh my.
  • 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 Instrumentality.
    • 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...
    • Heck, 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.
  • 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 the Pact.
    • 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, which is their first Game. Mina and Ai appear in the street one day before a mission is centered around them ; same for Makoto. The Tin Pin tournament is randomly mentioned by Makoto and Shooter and Yammer a week earlier.
  • Climax Boss: The Game Masters, fought at the end of each week.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: The wall Reapers. The ones in red jackets and black hats guard walls you have to get through to complete a mission, while the ones in black hoodies and red scarves guard walls where breaking through is optional. The QUEST items also 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.
    • It´s a good way to distinguish different types of noise too (red: chump; yellow: negative; black: Taboo; blue: boss; green: pig).
  • Combat Stilettos: Enamel Pumps, a piece of equipment that when equipped will help you resist knockback.
  • 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.
  • Cool Shades: Hanekoma and Kitaniji both have them.
  • Coup De Grace Cutscene:
  • Crack Fic: Another Day. Makes you wonder if that day was actually written on crack due to how dramatically different it is from everything else. Five words: "Tin Pin is Serious Business."
  • Creative Closing Credits
  • Credits Running Sequence: The opening cinematic.
  • 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. Sadly, if one does this, it's not mentioned in actual gameplay save for a few instances (although that's one of the only miniquests that Neku won't comment on when you click your partner, we're told Josh is totally workin' that Natural Puppy outfit). It is parodied in the Manga, in any case. Reading minds will also occasionally turn up a man disguised as a woman—and totally pulling it off.
    • There are some articles of clothing which have extra benefits when equipped by certain characters. Each character has at least some of these. They all tend to be things that the characters would be interested in wearing, or that they do wear. Both Neku and Joshua (but not Beat) get bonuses from some girls' clothes. Read that again: The game is actively encouraging you to make your male characters crossdress.
  • Crosshair Aware: The kangaroo Noise.
  • 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.
  • Crutch Character: Shiki has elements of this. Since female clothing has high bravery requirements she has high bravery, making her easier to equip than 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.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • (Neku, thinking) "Maybe if just for one minute you could stop your bi—" Subverted in that Beat calls plenty of things "bitch"es later in the game.
    • And in the manga: "Look, enough of this sh—OW!!!"
  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • Neku force-chokes Shiki using Telekinesis early on, but you cannot invoke this power in battle later, even against Reapers.
    • 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. However, Kariya warned the pair that if they used that level of power (indicative of Joshua apparently still being alive) again, he wouldn't turn a blind eye. Joshua's holding back, so that's why he can't waste rhinos in one shot anymore.
    • 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.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Nao-Nao and Sota.
  • Deader Than Dead: Anyone who gets "erased." The First Law of Ressurections is in use, though: if the author wants anyone to come back, it's remotely possible.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Joshua, along with his Jerkass status. Neku's also good at this.
  • 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's Hourglass: The timers for each mission.
  • Demonic Dummy: Mr. Mew, but only implied. Since all the media related to the game make him out to be cute, we'll tell you the creepy part now—Shiki just levitates Mr. Mew; she does not control the thing. And why is that? Shiki animated him via something called "psychomancy".
    • According to the TWEWY Wiki, the Japanese manual mentions that Shiki uses a pin called Groove Pawn with the Psychokinesis psych to animate Mr. Mew. As an aside, Beat uses the pin Respect with a Shockwave psych that he activates with his skateboard. Joshua... probably just does his own thing.
  • De-Power: Joshua, to make the "game" he's playing fair.
  • Devil in Disguise: The Hidden Secret Reports reveal that Sanae Hanekoma is a fallen angel that gave the taboo powers to Sho Minamimoto. Although technically, the TWEWY cast is not alive at all.
  • 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 defeating 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 Random 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.
  • 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.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Higashizawa's infamous "Pudding of Their Doom." Perhaps he's related to Fawful.
  • Double Entendre: Joshua uses these frequently. Usually doubles with Ho Yay. One among many, many cases:

"You watch my behind, I'll watch yours."

  • The Dragon:
    • Konishi, and depending on how you slice it, Neku.
    • Heavily 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/Death by Irony: The last time we see Sho Minamimoto, he himself has been "crunched" by some unknown attacker and made a part of one of his signature garbage heap "sculptures".
    • While we're on the topic of Death by Irony, a Subversion 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Neku and Beat don't bring up the fact that Kariya and Uzuki were responsible for Rhyme's erasure.
  • 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: (Daisukenojo) Beat.
  • Embarrassing Rescue: Neku actually says that pissing the rescuees off is the whole point.
  • 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 mimics his behaviour and emotions exactly.
  • The End Of Shibuya 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.
  • 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.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Or rather, popguins.
  • 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
  • Evil Versus Evil: Kitaniji vs. Joshua.
  • Eye Beams: Shiki's max fusion level.
  • Failure Knight: Beat
  • Fairy Metal Slime Battle: The Pig Noise.
  • 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.
  • Famous Last Words: "But Neku, I thought you couldn't afford to lose. Give up on yourself, and you give up on the world." Joshua, although they were definitely not his last words.
  • Fan Girl: 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!".
  • 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.
  • Five-Man Band: Neku's group in Another Day - Shuto, Neku, Joshua, Beat, and Shiki. Of course, they also have a Sixth Ranger Traitor as well.
  • Foil: Beat to Neku; the game manual even tells you that they're opposites. Also Rhyme to Beat, though in a different way.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Four Is Death: There are 4 Reaper Officers, and Tigris Cantus' (Konishi's Noise-Form) HP is 4444.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Megumi Kitaniji and Mitsuki Konishi.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Full Set Bonus
  • Fun with Acronyms:
  • Gainax Ending: Immediately subverted with the option to play through the game again and fill in those gaps. The Stinger earned by filling in those gaps, however, manages to Gainax it back up. The main character's reaction to the ending is "WHAT THE HELL?!"; he reacts that way because he thinks he's been enrolled in the Game once again. He is mistaken and the credits show that.
  • Gambit Pileup: The plot is the result of more than one mastermind squaring off against each other. The post-game One Hundred Percent Completion quests exist just to reveal what the hell is going on.
    • Example XG: the O-pins.
  • 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.
  • Gender Blender Name: Shiki, Makoto, Sanae, and Kitaniji, 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 side-scrolling Beat Em Ups.
  • Get Back Here Boss: Several of the bosses, particularly ones who 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.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: ...Where do we start? How about with the thought-read titled "Missionary" where a girl is thinking enthusiastically about how she'll "make 100 people happy today!".
    • "He's the latest superstar, people love his don't-give-a-damn attitude. His blog, F Everything, gets 100,000 hits a day!" (Then again, the F stands for something else... but we don't learn that till a while later.)
    • The MC's comments on Joshua in the finals in the Tin Pin Slammer tournament in Another Day: "When he sees a hole, he knows how to fill it!"
    • In a conversation with Sota in Another Day, who turns out to be Neku's hairstylist, he says that Neku used to bring clippings. Joshua immediately summarizes those conversations with the assumption that Neku used to say, and I quote, "Do me like this".
    • The lyrics to Give Me All Your Love:
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: Averted. While Wall Reapers will sometimes demand food, they'll never take it, usually being disgusted by what you brought them.
  • Giggling Villain: Konishi and, arguably, Joshua.
  • 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: When Konishi transforms into Tigris Cantus.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: When everyone in Shibuya is possessed by the O-Pins. And mentioning Ken Doi's involvement in the development of Tin Pin.
  • God Was My Co-Pilot: Joshua, Neku's partner for the second week, is the Composer. Also Mr. Hanekoma, who's actually even higher rank than Josh.
  • Good with Numbers: Minamimoto cranks this one up to root 121.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: There are 96 types of Noise to fight, 304 Pins to find and master, and 472 items in general to collect. Good luck getting One Hundred Percent Completion.
  • Gratuitous English: Grammatically the official lyrics to the songs are all fine, but the singer seems to pronounce every other word wrong and the singer seems to skip many of the words and sing a few out of order.
    • Every time "You have 7 days" shows up in the English version, it's "Time limit 7 days" in the Japanese version.
  • 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.
    • 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. You're not given any hints for this until you actually feed the character, except for one instance where Joshua mentions that he likes Shio Ramen, and Shio Ramen naturally gives him the biggest Sync boost possible.
  • Hachiko: We're in Shibuya, right?
  • 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. This is a bit of a No Fourth Wall moment, too, since it's closer to addressing the player—Neku would of course have no idea what the hell he's talking about. In fact, his first thought is "Is this kid high?"
  • 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, which 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. Either that, or they're artificially created by Reapers. So they're pretty much exactly the same as the real Heartless.
  • 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+ you can easily beat then within said time limit. Said New Game+ also includes special optional battles against them with no time limit.
  • 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.
  • Idiot Hero: Beat.
  • Idle Animation
  • 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.
    • Strangely enough, half of the main characters wear relatively tame clothes.
    • It's hard to believe you get 'minimalistic' 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' Weapon of Choice, but they can also be used to control other items as weapons, such as Shiki's plushie, playing cards, or SUVs.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Some of the renamed locations—Tower Records becoming "Towa Records" leaps to mind.
    • Food being consumed in "bytes."
    • Neku says one, worried about the nature of the "piggy".

"What if it's possessed- waiting to pork chop us in the back of the head?"

  • Ineffectual Loner: Neku.
  • I Never Told You My Name: One of the reasons an attentive player will quickly realize Joshua is much more than he seems. (This is only the case in the English version, although most fans think it's a really nice touch.)
  • 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: The Darklit Planet pins. If all six 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 Noise and getting the pins from random drops, or using Mingle shops.
    • The Angel Feather is amazing too, but it needs a whopping 999 bravery.
  • 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, who loves to use math terminology and repeat mnemonics. (Did he really just call Neku a "hectopascal"?)
    • Joshua, as well. Not only is he 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.
  • 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 NPC's 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 Got Worse: At the end of the game things are spiraling out of control Rhyme is gone, the pin her noise is in the hands of a person who will destroy it if you don't win the 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 dragon by absorbs every one of you partners, leaving you to fight him alone.
  • 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 them be Somebody Else's Problem.
  • 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.
  • Jerkass: Joshua, at least, is aware of his status as the resident jerk, and most of his act is on purpose. Kitaniji, on the other hand...
    • 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
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot or Kudzu Plot: It depends on how you look at it.
  • 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.
  • Keep It Foreign: One of the thought fragments, 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 makes it weird, since the person's thinking about how he can't communicate with Japanese people using English.
  • 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: Kitaniji and Konishi apparently play soccer with canines, while fouling flagrantly, on weekends.
  • 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.
  • Killer Game Master: Obviously.
  • Killer Rabbit: Pigs are usually harmless monsters with great rewards. However, there is one particular Pig Noise 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.
  • 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. 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 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.
  • Layered World: Referred to here as "frequencies", in keeping with the music theme.
  • 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 Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: Shadow Ramen. Subverted later, as you can actually get it to reopen.
  • Lost Forever: The Pig Noise disappear forever once beaten, even during the New Game+. 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. Any — no, everything else can be reacquired from somewhere (or can't be discarded in the first place).
  • Low Level Advantage: Powering down your characters gives you a higher chance of collecting rare item drops.
  • Mad Mathematician: Sho Minamimoto takes this Up to Eleven.
  • 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 Man Behind the Man: Joshua behind Neku and Hanekoma behind Minamimoto.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Subverted hard with Shiki.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Konishi.
    • Joshua qualifies as well.
  • 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.
  • Mark of the Beast: Taboo Minamimoto.
  • Marked Change: Taboo Minamimoto.
  • Market-Based Title: As mentioned in the opening paragraphs, the game is titled "It's a Wonderful World" in Japan. The name was changed for North American release because every variant of the original title that SquareEnix could come up with was already trademarked.
  • Master Actor: Joshua. Everyone knew there was something he was hiding. "I'm actually the composer" was not expected.
  • Master of Illusion: Konishi, who is also, fittingly, a Puzzle Boss.
  • 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.)
  • Meganekko: Konishi is the "cold, untouchable" variety, rather than cute. The real Shiki plays it more straight, with a shy, mousy appearance.
  • Mega Neko: Shiki's Third-level Fusion Attack. "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.
  • Mind Over Matter
  • Mind Reading
  • Mini Game: Tin Pin Slammer.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: The promotional trailers for the game contain more than a few scenes that never made it into the game, like Neku flying up the side of a building and an extra scene by the Udagawa tag wall. Many fans mistakenly believe that those scenes were specifically cut from the English-language version, mostly because they are among the most popular scenes to include in fanvids.
  • 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 he's gay for him.
  • Mouthful of Pi: Sho uses this as the incantation for Level i Flare. See Good with Numbers, above.
  • Mr. Exposition: Higashizawa in Another Day. Lampshaded and reprimanded by Uzuki.
  • 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.
  • 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 Say "Die": 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.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: There are several scenes in trailers that weren't in the game proper.
  • New Age Retro Hippie: Shinta Iwata, the owner of the Cosmic Corner shop.
    • Arguably Kitaniji, who looks like a 70's businessman with a double life smoking pot.
  • Nice Hat: You eventually get Minamimoto's hat as an item, and Statistically Speaking, it would best be described as an Infinity Plus One Hat
    • And don't forget Shiki, Beat and Rhyme's caps.
  • 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.
  • 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").
  • Non-Indicative Name: People who haven't played the game usually think it has something to do with the world ending.
  • No Indoor Voice: Minamimoto, full stop. He even carries a bullhorn to drive the point across.
  • Not So Different: "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.
  • Noodle People
  • Odd Friendship: Lazy, cool-headed Kariya and driven, high-strung Uzuki. Neku achieves this with all his partners despite rocky starts.
  • Off-Model: A very minor example, concerning Beat. He is shown wearing a silver band on his right ring finger on the game's cover art, but it is absent from his sprites and the rest of the game's promotional art. In-game, the times he's shown wearing it can be counted on one hand.
  • Oh No You Didn't: Beat, when a Reaper almost says his Embarrassing First Name.
  • One-Man Army: Well, two-men army for Neku and his respective partner.
  • One Size Fits All
  • One-Winged Angel: Cantus form; every Game Master, along with Joshua and Hanekoma, achieves it at some point.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname/The Nicknamer: 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
    • 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 therof.
    • Megumi Kitaniji - Shades
    • Sanae Hanekoma - Mr. H
    • Not to mention 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. In fact, Neku doesn't ever get to actually introduce himself.
  • Ontological Mystery/You Wake Up In A Pedestrian 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.
  • Palette Swap: The Bonus 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 Minimimoto, and Bonus 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.
  • 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.
  • Plot Based Photograph Obfuscation: Shiki has a photo on her cell phone of her and her friend Eri, with the glare obscuring the friend. Or so we think; it's actually hiding Shiki, who's taken on her friend's appearance.
  • Poison Mushroom: The Red Skull pin does nothing but lower Neku's movement. You have to wear it for a few battles as part of the plan to make it more popular.
  • 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 has just been unlocked. Of course you still have to buy it.
    • Another Side, Another Story: Another Day, a world dominated by Tin Pin Slammer.
    • New Game+: Something like it. You'll gain access to every day, whenever you want to access it, thanks to a sticker you got as a reward for ending the game.
  • POV Cam: At the end when Neku sees Joshua and Mr Hanekoma together after the duel.
  • Power Floats/Mid-Air Bobbing: Joshua, when using his Jesus Beams.
  • 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 direction 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.
  • The Power of Trust
  • Pre-Ass-Kicking 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!"

  • Preexisting 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.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Deconstructed. During the second week, Neku is feeling sorry for himself for losing Shiki as his entry fee and is immediately cut down by Joshua, who 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.
    • On a more meta note, the game plays this trope stunningly straight — but we aren't shown until it's deconstructed yet again on the final day. 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 a 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.
  • 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.
  • Rank Inflation: S(tar) rank.
  • 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.
    • Not just them; 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.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: 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: The reason why despite being an avid fanboy, Neku doesn't know who CAT is.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Instant sign of being Brainwashed And Crazy.
  • Red Filter of Doom: Neku's flashback.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In Another Day, "Red and Blue, eternal rivals..."
    • Also, Neku wears blue headphones and Kitaniji wears red headphones.
  • 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.
  • Replay Value: Worth going back and replaying it at least once to collect the Secret Reports.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Who didn't see Kitaniji's Noise form coming?
  • 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.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: 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..
  • Rhino Rampage: The Rhino Noise, naturally.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Rhyme, but she gets revived in the end.
  • Sacrificial Lion/Mauve Shirt: Triple 7.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: You can lower your level at will, as well as eventually be able to change the battle difficulty on a whim. Turning down your level ups your drop multiplier, though, so it can be downright necessary to get the rarer pins.
  • Sentai: Kindred Spirits in Another Day organize themselves like a sentai team, including colour-coded names and items.
  • Sequential Mind Screw Puzzle Boss: Tigris Cantus, Konishi's Noise form.
  • 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."

  • 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.
  • Sleeper Hit
  • Shout-Out
    • A few pins in the Japanese version of the game are shout-outs to the big four gaming magazines in Japan (they were changed to stereotypical Japanese things in the international version).
    • What should show up while reading minds but "Ouendaaaan!"?
      • Not to mention that the corresponding item (the Head Honcho outfit) has the characters for "ai rabu yuu".
    • The pins Lefty Cat, Brainy Cat, and Righty Cat make a trifecta of power, courage, and wisdom.
    • In "Another Day", Higashizawa uses the phrase "Dilly dally, shilly shally" to lure contestants into Molco. This is widely known as the exceedingly confusing phrase blurted out by Tifa to Cloud in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in an attempt to make him put his past behind him about being powerless to stop Aerith's death. Neku, rightly, is confused.
      • That would be in the English version only. The term used was "motto motto", which is like a motivational way to say "don't give up", "never give up", etc.
      • And on the subject of Final Fantasy VII, there's a food item called Mako Synergy.
      • For Final Fantasy in general, there are pins named Bahamut, Ifrit, and Shiva.
      • One of the Swag items makes a shout-out to the original Final Fantasy, with Matoya's spell.
    • Apart from a few minor differences, Kitaniji's time-stopping ability looks suspiciously like Dio's "The World".
    • "The proof is in the pudding...the pudding of their DOOM!" A possible Shout Out to a certain engrish-speaking villain?
    • "'I see dead people' kind of sees things?"
    • Strangely enough, The Wizard of Oz. The Game Masters and Kitaniji have the four cardinal directions in their names, and Neku and Beat both call Konishi a "witch" on a few occasions. The "nishi" in Konishi means "West"; as in the Wicked Witch of the West?
    • Darkstalkers. Uzuki's battle sprite has her holding her arms in a manner identical Morrigan's signature fighting stance, and her and Kariya's Fusion resembles Morrigan's usual Level 3 Super with Lilith.
    • There are several elements of the plot that seem to bear some similarities to Neon Genesis Evangelion, but it may be unintentional.
    • Marble Sentai Slashman is a phenomenon in the world of WEWY. Several NPCs are talking about it, and you can buy Slashman costumes in Another Day.
    • Rhyme's shoes look oddly familiar. [dead link]
    • Red's "It's all about manly spirits slamming into each other!!" is a direct quote from a certain man named Kamina.
    • Shibuya's got a fever, and the only prescription is more Tin Pin!
    • The main character is an auburn haired Japanese youth with an interest in graffiti, and wears headphones all of the time in the district of Shibuya. Funny considering that another character is named Beat that enjoys skateboarding, wasn't there a game that also had a theme about Shibuya and modern day youth culture with catchy tunes?
    • The shopkeeper of Molco's Tigre Punks is a punk-rocker named Nana.
      • Not to mention the R-inscribed padlock necklace sold there.
  • In the US version, the Wild Boar shop has equipment called "Sabotage" and "3 MCs 1 DJ", both of which are references to Beastie Boys songs of the same or similar names.
  • 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: The Players' Player Pins.
  • Similarly Named Works: The 1939 comedy It's A Wonderful World is the reason that the international release's title is different from the Japanese title.
  • Sinister Shades: Kitaniji's glasses.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Rhyme in Another Day.
  • Slap On The Wrist Colony Drop: Joshua's level 3 Fusion, "Jesus Meteor", wherein Neku and Joshua drop the freakin' moon on Earth.
  • Soft Reset: Unique in that the 'return to title' option is only given after you've died. (Or Start, Select, L and R.)
  • Some Dexterity Required: If you're up against certain bosses or even simple Taboo Noise, it becomes quite the understatement.
  • Spanner in the Works: Neku specifically mentions to a Reaper that Beat cannot be predicted by anyone, so trying to manipulate him is pointless. See also Too Dumb to Fool.
  • Sprite Mirroring
  • Spoiler Opening: Done magnificently - 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 plan for Instrumentality, 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.
  • Stepford Smiler: Shiki in the first arc.
  • The Stinger: Provided you've completed one of the One Hundred Percent Completion criteria.
  • 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.
  • Surreal Theme Tune: "Twister".
    • By the end, practically the entire song seemed to be an Expository Theme Tune, except done in such an overly stylish way that the exposition was unrecognizable.
  • 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.
    • Taken more literally with Futoshi's self-perceived rivalry with 777, though that was the fault of Negative Noise.
  • 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 also 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". An animal name is also hidden in the kanji of their names. There are also several boss Noise named Canor; 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 tranlates to "beautiful blossom", while Kiryu and Bito contain the characters for "paulownia" and "wisteria" respectively.
  • Third Person Person: Princess K.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Kariya and Uzuki.
  • Those Two Guys: Shooter and Yammer, Ai and Mina.
  • Time Stands Still: One of Kitaniji's abilities.
  • Title Drop: The Japanese title "It's a Wonderful World" refers to how the world was always an amazing place—Neku just refused to notice; the English title "The World Ends with You" refers to how Neku controls his own isolation and has the power to open up.
    • The Japanese title also gets a far more ominous drop late into the final week. And then it drops it again. And again. And again and again and again...

"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 reborned 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 final match of Tin Pin Slammer.
  • The Unfavorite: Beat, to his sister Rhyme.
  • 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.
  • Unsound Effect: Bling! Which is at least vaguely onomatopoeia. The original version, "GET!", on the other hand...
  • Unwitting Pawn: Beat, Neku, and Shiki are both examples of this and Spanners In The Works.
  • Up to Eleven: 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.
  • Urban Fantasy
  • 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...
  • Vendor Trash: The only way to get money is by selling pins to the trash can, making it literal Vendor Trash.
  • 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 or Vendor Trash.
  • Voice Grunting: The opening and ending scenes have full voicing, however.
  • 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! Line/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.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Minamimoto triggering his homemade nuke at the end of the second week by reciting pi to 150 significant digits.
  • Whatever: Uzuki lapses in and out of this. Nao is a constant Valley Girl, though.
  • 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 (not that one) 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.
  • White and Gray 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.
  • The Wiki Rule: Olé!
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Twisted; the Great Power was a ruse intended to cause the Great Insanity, i.e. Instrumentality, 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 1[2] if you so wished. There's also Joshua, who has his power ratcheted down so that he can go unnoticed.
    • Subverted 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.
  • Wutai Theft: A really, really grating example; 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.
    • With the exceptions of food boosts, the first one isn't so bad. Shiki will usually have nothing but female equipment on, which is initially useless to your other two, male, partners because you need higher brave to use them anyway and most gear has effects exclusive to each partner.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Shiki in Another Day.
  • You Are Not Alone: In the ending theme.

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 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."
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Not only does Mitsuki Konishi have them, many equipable miniskirts and hot pants mention that they would look killer with stockings in their descriptions and vice-versa in several stockings' descriptions.
  1. except for "Another Day"; then you can pretty much scratch the "ambiguously" part.
  2. unless you level up in the middle of a battle, anyway