50 Reasons to Love The World Ends With You, Part 3
22. There's a reason why there are 13 brands, and no, it's not Kingdom Hearts related. 12 of those brands have names referencing the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac, and the thirteenth one is a reference to the cat, which those familiar with Japanese media may know is included in a number of zodiac-related legends. It's a minor point, but I think it makes the brands feel a little more special...and it definitely helps you to keep track of them.
23. Being a Square-Enix game, TWEWY naturally has a bit of nonsense, but what's special about it is that it contrasts the nonsense against reality. The game is set in the city of Shibuya, which is actually a real place--one of the three major districts of Tokyo. Of course, American-players like myself may not be able to fully appreciate Shibuya, but we can understand that it's a very chaotic city where you may expect something strange like the Reaper's Game. At the same time, though, there's a very good in-game reason as to why this Shibuya is so different from the real one...
24. The story in TWEWY is a bit dark at times, but it's truly a masterpiece. It's full of numerous plot twists that toss you around a bit, making you fall in love with Shibuya and the real characters that populate it, culminating in...well, I don't want to spoil it. Really, I don't know how much I can talk about the story without giving things away, so I guess I need to be vague for now. Just trust me: it won't make complete sense until you collect the Secret Reports, but you're definitely in for a treat!
25. All the characters in TWEWY stand out, and even the nameless NPCs walking the streets get a little bit of character. When scanning for enemy encounters, you'll see some thought bubbles above the heads of the background characters, and tapping them will bring up a few sentences telling you what they're thinking. They range from relatable to funny to just plain wierd, and this little touch makes the unimportant masses of pixels floating around feel alive. These thought fragments are also used in a creepy way to establish a plot point near the end of the game...
26. At this point I want to start bringing up specific characters, and I just have to begin with the Game Master of Week 2, the Reaper prodigy, the psychopathic mathematician known as Sho Minamimoto. Yes, psychopathic mathematician. The defining variable in what makes this matrix so interesting is his habit of spouting math jokes at 186,000 m/h. Established: unless you're a zetta genius, you won't get a 100% on reading these equations, but even a yoctogram can derive enough enjoyment from them to calculate 1/0! Interested yet, radians? QED. Class dismissed!
27. Yoshiya "Joshua" Kiryu shows up out of nowhere on Week 2 (not counting his Day 1 cameo), but he very quickly takes center stage. Joshua is responsible for more than his fair share of surprises, and love him or hate him, you feel you just have to keep watching him to try and figure him out. Approach with caution: Joshua will take you on an emotional roller coaster that may ultimately leave you with mixed and/or very intense feelings.
28. A mysterious mentor is always a must, and TWEWY was sure to inclue one. Sanae Hanekoma, usually called "Mr. H," runs a cafe on the edge of Shibuya and isn't a part of the Reaper's Game...or is he? He knows an awful lot about the Game and supplies the main characters with some strange but incredibly useful items. You'll never guess who he really is, but then again, with a guy this friendly, how bad can he be?
29. The very first character you'll be controlling on the top screen is Shiki Misaki, who seems like a pretty normal teenage girl. She's friendly and fashionable, and a great seamstress--just don't let her catch you with a loose button. But there's way more to her than meets the eye--once you figure out her entry fee for participating in the Reaper's Game, your view of her will probably do a complete 180.
30. It's not cheating for me to make Mr. Mew a seperate reason, right? If you don't know, Mr. Mew is a stuffed cat that Shiki made when she was young, and she carries it with her all over Shibuya. Did I mention that Shiki fights by animating Mr. Mew and having him lunge and claw at all her enemies? There are few things quite like seeing a plush cat jumping around a city street to slash shinigami with energy claws, and it's not something you easily forget!